Tag Archives: feminism

Is Porn A Relationship Dealbreaker?

My mother and many of her second-wave feminist peers view pornography as an institutional ill that is degrading to women and damaging to developing sexuality. She believes that the camera-ready angles, waxed and plastic body parts and pervasive depiction of extreme acts as “normal” distort human sexuality and give young porn-viewers a whole bunch of false and dangerous expectations.

My mom is a smart lady, and she’s not wrong. While I agree that some porn (okay, most of it) fits the bill she describes as damaging, I don’t find the filming and viewing of sex acts as objectively offensive. In other words, I think that porn is not inherently problematic, but its content often includes problematic ideas and attitudes. I also believe when viewed as entertainment, porn can be a positive element in the repertoire of adult sexuality, Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: New Hampshire Planned Parenthood Stops Dispensing Birth Control

  • Planned Parenthood of New Hampshire has stopped dispensing birth control because of budgetary issues. The state government, upset that Planned Parenthood clinics provide abortions, naturally yanked funding from the clinics, preventing them from providing services which could prevent women from having abortions. It makes so much sense. [Concord Monitor]
  • The New York Post‘s “scoop” that the hotel maid who accused ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was actually a prostitute is looking hella fishy. [Washington Post]
  • Why won’t the mainstream media call abortion clinic violence what it is: terrorism? [Slate]

Keep reading »

5 Things To Know About Betty Ford, “Stealth Feminist” And First Lady

Betty Ford is not a First Lady most of us think about regularly (unless, I suppose, one is an addict). She lacked the glitz and glamour of Michelle Obama or Jackie O and was not necessarily a powerhouse in the White House like Eleanor Roosevelt. But when Betty Ford died on Friday at age 93, obituaries remembered a women’s rights activist who was uncommonly outspoken for her time and polled more popular than her husband, Gerald Ford. In addition to her foundation of The Betty Ford Clinic, one of the most famous rehab centers in the country, Betty Ford should also be remembered as a Republican “stealth feminist,” blogger Joanne Bamberger at PunditMom wrote.

After the jump, five things to know about Betty Ford, a surprisingly cool First Lady. Keep reading »

That’s Not Feminist!

It may be awhile before the Internet graces us with new webisodes “Vag Magazine,” about a cabal of feminist hipsters who buy fashion magazine Gemma with proceeds from their Etsy shop and replace it with uber-P.C. mag Vag. The girls — I mean, women — I mean, womyn — are currently filming season two. But fear not, there are still feminists who will tell you how to think: Vag‘s chief scold, Fennel, is sharing her views with the world in a new vlog called “That’s Not Feminist.” You’ll have to watch to find out what’s not feminist this week. Also, it’s sad, but I own that exact same hairband Fennel is wearing. [YouTube] Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Man Says Periods Make Women Workers Less Productive

  • A New Zealand man was fired from his leadership of a business group after he suggested that women are paid less because “once a month they have sick problems” and they also take time off to have kids. “I’m sorry, I don’t like saying these things because it sounds like I’m sexist, but it’s the facts of life,” said Alasdair Thompson. The kids thing makes slightly more sense, but blaming periods on productivity and using it as justification to pay women less is absurd. Also, who calls periods “sick problems”? Is that some kind of Kiwi thing? [BBC]
  • An anti-abortion group in Wisconsin has asked the state’s attorney general to stop the University of Wisconsin medical school from teaching med students how to perform abortions. Because, really, neglecting to teach doctors how to perform and/or respond to a widespread medical procedure is an excellent idea to promote health. [Think Progress]
  • The TSA is accused of demanding to search inside a black woman’s hair. [The Grio]
  • Pop culture’s most fascinating “weak female characters.” [Flavorwire]

Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Kansas Appoints Anti-Abortion Lawyer To State Medical Board

  • Oh, for f**k’s sake: Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has appointed a lawyer for anti-abortion activists to the state’s medical board. Rick Macias has represented Operation Rescue, the biggest wackadoodle anti-abortion protest group in the country, which dogged the late abortion provider Dr. George Tiller until he was eventually murdered at his Wichita church. Macias has also represented Kansans For Life, another anti-abortion group. He’s truly an excellent appointment to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which oversees the state’s abortion providers. My, my. What is the matter with Kansas? [Mother Jones]
  • President Obama has nominated an openly gay lesbian to West Point’s Board of Visitors. Brenda “Sue” Fulton is an alum of West Point’s first class to include lady cadets. [SheWired]
  • UN Women has released its first report, entitled “Progress Of The World’s Women.” [Tiger Beatdown]

Keep reading »

Is Lauren Astley, 18, Teen Dating Violence’s Latest Victim?

Just weeks ago, 18-year-old Lauren Astley of Framingham, Massachusetts, graduated from Wayland High School. On Sunday night, she was reported missing after she didn’t return home from her job at a local mall, where she had told co-workers she was meeting her ex-boyfriend after work. On Monday morning, her body was found in a marsh by a passing cyclist and her ex Nathaniel Fujita, 18, is the main suspect. Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Obedient Wives Club Spreads Through Southeast Asia

  • (Cue Stefan voice) Southeast Asia’s hottest club is the Obedient Wives Club, where Muslim women cure problems like domestic violence and prostitution by being “submissive” to their husbands and giving them whatever they want in the bedroom. Good luck with that, ladies. Let me know how it goes. [Guardian UK]
  • The 14 men and boys in Texas who are accused of gang-raping an 11-year-old girl in November appeared in court today. [Yahoo]
  • A bill requiring California’s public schools to include the contributions of gays, lesbians and transgender people in their history lessons is headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. [Los Angeles Times]
  • If Casey Anthony were black. [Feministing]

Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Oregon Jail Says “No Bail, No Abortion”

  • A jail in Oregon won’t let a 23-year-old pregnant woman have an abortion unless she posts 1/10th of her $65,000 bail. You see, her abortion is not an “emergency.” Um, hello? This woman is being treated for mental health issues! She doused herself with paint thinner! And lighter fluid! She sure sounds like an excellent candidate for unwanted motherhood to me. Sigh. [Yamhill Valley News Register via Reproductive Rights Reality Check]
  • The hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former chief of the IMF, of sexual assault announced she will sue The New York Post and five of its reporters for libel after it published a story on Saturday claiming she was a prostitute. [Reuters]
  • Meanwhile, writer Tristane Banon has filed a complaint accusing Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape in 2003. [Los Angeles Times]

Keep reading »

Saudi Woman Challenges Her Dad Over Male Guardianship Law

Imagine that you could not travel or go to school without your dad’s permission. You need him, your brother, or a male driver to take you anywhere you want to go in a car. He even has a say in who you get to marry.

This is life under Saudi Arabia‘s guardianship law — a combination of the legal code and religious doctrine within the kingdom. Men have guardianship over the unmarried women in their families, which usually means a father is guardian to his daughter (but in his absence, a son or uncle can fill in). When a woman marries, the guardianship switches over to her husband. Even when Saudi women are no longer minors, they are still treated like children in the eyes of the law.

One woman is trying to change all that: a 43-old-old doctor, going by the pseudonym “Samia” in press reports, is challenging her father’s guardianship in the Saudi Supreme Court. Keep reading »

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