headline fail… Unless feminism only ceased its dirty word status for the two hours between the posting of these stories.

(Haha “suddenly”)

“This is why feminists are feminists—it’s why there needs to be a name. Social, political, and economic equality is not the default. The reason Whedon can stand up at the podium and say that equality is natural is because all these feminists he doesn’t talk about, from Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth on up, have fought exhausting battle after exhausting, grinding battle to get to this point. “Feminist” is a movement, a history, a faith, and a hope for change—as Firestone says, “if there were another word more all-encompassing than revolution we would use it.” Saying equality is natural sounds like a good thing, but Whedon uses it rhetorically to ignore the entire history of feminism. Instead of acknowledging his foremothers, he can just offer up standard-issue self-aggrandizing self-deprecation, spontaneously generating words that will (with appropriate caveats of course) perhaps change the face of feminism and make all those feminists he’s not talking about anyway obsolete.”

Lewis’s law is an observation she made in 2012 that states “the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.” Lewis has written frequently about misogynist hate directed at women online.[8]

Can we just repeat that a few more times, 
“The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”
“The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”

Lewis’s law is an observation she made in 2012 that states “the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.” Lewis has written frequently about misogynist hate directed at women online.[8]

Can we just repeat that a few more times, 
“The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”
“The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”

Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry

This is a perfect response. You really should read the whole thing. My little summary: While the dove video addresses distorted views of ourselves that affect our self-worth and self-confidence, it still reinforces the whole be beautiful above all else thing, and conventionally beautiful at that. And if you’re not, well, I guess that’s too bad, since it doesn’t matter how smart or how nice or how generally awesome you are if you’re not something resembling conventionally physically beautiful. Great message, Dove, but I’m with Christopher Robin. (“Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”)


So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts… 

Read More

This reminds me of Winnie the Pooh… 

No seriously, it does. Have you ever heard that quote, “Always remember: you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”? Well that quote is from Winnie the Pooh. It upsets me that lots of people share the quote without sourcing it, like they’re ashamed of Pooh Bear or something. But anyway, I digress. There’s something else that I’ve noticed: a popular version of the quote is making its way around tumblr, pinterest, and facebook. It’s the same at the start, but then add, “and twice as beautiful as you ever imagined”. That last part is usually written in the biggest text, or italicized for emphasis. It’s sort of like what this Dove video is saying, right? So… why is this so important? Why did girls feel like something was missing from that quote it its original form? Why are so many females I know having such a strong reaction to the sketches video, being moved to the point of tears? 

Because the message that we constantly receive is that girls are not valuable without beauty. 

Brave, strong, smart? Not enough. You have to be beautiful. And “beautiful” means something very specific, and very physical. Essentially every movie and tv show and commercial shows us that, right? It doesn’t matter what other merits a woman posses, if she is not conventionally attractive, she is essentially worthless (go watch Miss Representation for more thoughts on this). And my primary problem with this Dove ad is that it’s not really challenging the message like it makes us feel like it is. It doesn’t really tell us that the definition of beauty is broader than we have been trained to think it is, and it doesn’t really tell us that fitting inside that definition isn’t the most important thing. It doesn’t really push back against the constant objectification of women. All it’s really saying is that you’re actually not quite as far off from the narrow definition as you might think that you are (if you look like the featured women, I guess). 

And actually, it almost seems to remind us how vital it is to know that we fit society’s standard of attractiveness . At the end of the experiment, one of the featured participants shares what I find to be the most disturbing quote in the video and what Dove seems to think is the moral of the story as she reflects upon what she’s learned, and how problematic it is that she hasn’t been acknowledging her physical beauty: It’s troubling,” she says as uplifting music swells in the background. “I should be more grateful of my natural beauty.  It impacts the choices and the friends we make, the jobs we go out for, they way we treat our children, it impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.”

Did you hear that, ladies? How beautiful you are affects everything—from your personal relationships to your career. It could not be more critical to your happiness! And while it could be argued that the woman was actually talking about how you feel about yourself or something, it is clearly edited to suggest that the “it” is beauty. I know we’ve been told it thousands upon thousands of times before, but I hope you heard that, girls: your physical, superficial beauty is the most significant part of who you are, and the most important determining factor in your life. And now I want you to hear this: that is a lie. …

…that’s what was so remarkable and emotional about the Beastie Boys’ feminist turnaround. Maybe your father says sexism doesn’t exist and your boyfriend disrespects you. Maybe you have to deal with assholes on the subway who rub up against you every day and laugh when you yell at them. But listening to this band that you love so much say that your pain is real, that the world is fucked up and that they are not going to participate in actions that hurt you anymore because they care about you—it was the overwhelming feeling of being made visible. They were sending a clear message to their female fans: this isn’t okay, we have your back, we’re sorry.



Sorry males. But this is true and should probably be adjusted.


Joss Whedon: Feminist

  • Interviewer: So why do you write these strong female characters?
  • Whedon: Because you're still asking me that question.


It would be interesting to trace the history of policing what girls can and cannot wear to school—-as it was less than a century ago when they weren’t allowed to wear trousers. Ahem

Woman blames women & feminism for Weiner’s bad behavior; Points to Adam Sandler flick as supporting evidence

I came across this gem yesterday, in which the author says, yes, men behave badly, but really, isn’t it the women involved that are at least half to blame? Aren’t we missing the point, she posits, that without evil temptresses these men would behave as the little angels their true selves wish to be? 

Some observers have offered a “boys will be boys” explanation, suggesting that cheating is just something men have always done. It’s true that many of these men seem to think sexual improprieties are part of their job description — and as political leaders they have no shortage of opportunities to act on their desires.

Still, we’ve been much too quick to ignore the role that women — and modern feminism — have played in setting the stage for many of these infidelities … for every disloyal and lewd male lawmaker, there’s a woman (or two, or three, or more) who is all too willing to enable his behavior.

Enable? Oh! “Boys will be boys” because women enable it! Apparently, ladies, you really shouldn’t be on twitter or have email accounts; some dude could send you inappropriate pictures & you’d be enabling such behavior. Ergo, it’s totally your fault. After all, if you stayed in your appropriate domestic sphere, you wouldn’t be so crass as to use the internet at all, and then, these men would be cured of their evil ways by the absence of an outlet. That makes so much sense.

But wait, it’s feminism’s fault! Fighting for equality of the sexes is the culprit of these wily enablers: 

More important, more and more men — and women — have forgotten what a healthy relationship (let alone marriage) looks like. For decades, modern feminists have undermined the idea of marriage,

We have? You mean, undermined the idea of marriage with traditional gender roles, and the idea that women should stay in abusive or otherwise bad marriages? You mean the idea that women don’t have any real options other than to marry whatever comes along & stay with that no matter what? Why yes. Yes we have. But the idea of marriage in general, as an equal partnership through life? Um, no. Not so much. You’re confusing us with the GOP.

discouraged romance and courtship, encouraged a laissez-faire sexual culture,

Ohhh right, the “no romance” and “loose morals” definition of feminism. The whole Egads! Women are acting like romanceless undiscriminating sexual beings, like men! How crass! twist.

No, feminism is not encouraging women to denounce romance and embrace casual sex; rather, it is encouraging society not to reward men and punish women for the same behavior but instead to regard such behavior as people’s personal choices. Feminism fights the double-standard. Women are no worse than men for engaging in said behavior. How is this concept difficult, again?

and done everything in their power to eliminate gender roles.

Um, yes. And?

Add to this the academic and professional opportunities available to women today,

Oh NO! Not academic and professional opportunities for women! Where is this world going? 

and the access to affordable birth control,

Such a terrible thing, reproductive health and autonomy. 

and it’s clear that it’s much easier for women to participate in our “no strings attached” sexual culture than ever before. But this freedom, which has benefitted women so much, doesn’t come without consequences — namely, that it has allowed so many women to think it’s permissible to have an affair with a married man.

Anyone knowingly pursuing a relationship with a married or otherwise committed (in a relationship, not a mental institution, to clarify, although…) person is not exactly acting at the height of morality, but isn’t it the person that’s actually in the committed relationship that’s mostly to blame there? 

But wait! An Adam Sandler movie has a ridiculous premise in which a dude poses as a married man to get dates! AND he gets dates! In a scripted movie! It’s like art imitating life! Solid societal evidence of her argument! After all, Adam Sandler is a renowned sociologist and the movie industry in general is known for it’s accurate portrayals of society in a non-stereotypical way. 

Clearly, this lady knows what she’s talking about. 

Oh, and then there was this bit in the Huffington Post about how Weiner’s wife should have known better than to marry a hot man, because hot men, especially hot rich men, as a rule, don’t make good husbands.

A) Anthony Weiner is hot? Really? 

B) My eyes rolled too far back into my head to bother countering this one. Have fun laughing at the absurdity on your own. 

What’s less often acknowledged is that feminism has always been an explicit part of Abramson’s career. After graduating from Harvard in 1976, the native Manhattanite covered that year’s presidential campaign for Time. Reflecting on the experience this past March, she said, “I remember being in the bar of the Sheraton Wayfarer the night of the New Hampshire primary, so proud of the press credential dangling from my neck. I gazed at all the famous ‘boys on the bus,’ including Jack Germond and Hunter Thompson. But as a very young woman, I didn’t dare belly up to the bar. Those days are over.”

Via Dana Goldstein, The Nation