Nerd alert! I feel very “Lord of the Rings” whenever I read about the “fall” of men: dramatic, old fashioned, and spoken in Cate Blanchett’s voice. And the conversation (like the trilogy) seems never-ending. From Hanna Rosin’s book The End of Men to Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, everybody must add their two cents about why male incomes as a whole are declining.
So here’s mine. I personally find this male-centric view frustrating. Yes, according to a 2010 USA Today article, women are entering institutions of higher education at record-high rates, surrpassing that of men. Though I may think, Who cares? Men have been dominating for millennia!, economists are worried about employment eligibility and opportunity for men. As reported by The New York Times, a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor David H. Autor, takes a stab at explaining this puzzling societal problem. Keep reading »
I don’t have to tell you that Steubenville is all over the news.
I don’t have to tell you that the fact that Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, the two teenagers convicted of raping a sixteen year old girl, were only sentenced to a combined three years in juvenile prison, is a fucking joke. Each will serve a year for the rape itself; Mays will serve an additional year for “illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.”
I probably don’t even have to tell you that the media treatment of this trial has been a perfect, if utterly sickening, example of rape culture, with its focus on how difficult and painful this event has been for the rapists who raped a 16-year-old girl then bragged about it on social media.
And I almost certainly don’t have to tell you that the world is full of seemingly nice, normal people who want to go to bat for the convicted rapists. I’m quite sure that you already know about the victim-blaming that’s been happening since this case first came to light. You know about the fact that people have actually come out and said that the real lesson to be learned here is that we need to be more careful with social media (i.e. go ahead and rape but make sure you don’t get caught). You already know that people seem to think that being a sports star and having a good academic record should somehow make up for the fact that you are a rapist.
I don’t have to tell you any of that because it’s all par for the course.
What I do want to tell you is that you need to stop using the “wives, sisters, daughters” argument when you are talking to people defending the Steubenville rapists. Or any rapists. Or anyone who commits any kind of crime, violent or otherwise, against a woman. Keep reading »
I expected the worst when I heard that that New York magazine would be writing an article about “The Retro Wife,” about how some liberal feminists are embracing retro lifestyles by staying-at-home. Well, I didn’t expect the worst. But I expected your typical scoopfuls of women-don’t-need-or-want-feminism-anymore BS, which, as Anna North at BuzzFeed Shift notes, are all too common in lifestyle articles about work/life balance in women’s lives.
Instead, I found “The Retro Wife,” by Lisa Miller — while light on factual analysis and more reliant on anecodtes — spoke to me. Keep reading »
I used to feel like I was lucky for having zero body image issues. Those insecurities completely surpassed me well into adulthood, because up until about around age 25, I had a very conventionally attractive body: a slender frame with an hourglass figure. I could wear anything I wanted. No one — not my mother, not men, not random strangers — criticized my body. Body issues (too big! too small! too squishy!) were simply not something that crossed my mind.
But I was aware body insecurities concerned — even consumed — a lot of people, in particular women. A close friend struggled with anorexia. Family members were bullied for their size. I read fat acceptance blogs online and books like Lessons From The Fat-O-Sphere by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby. As a feminist writer, I was keyed into the way our society privileges the skinny. Still, for a long time, it was not something I directly understood.
But body issues didn’t skip me entirely: they just came later in life. Keep reading »