I have to say I’m dismayed by an upcoming piece in The New York Times Magazine by Rebecca Traister. Let me first say: I love Rebecca. She’s been the women’s political issues writer for Salon.com for nearly forever and last year she published Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For American Women about the 2008 election. She’s been a personal mentor to me over the years and someone I’ve always respected and whose career I’ve hoped to emulate.
But I wonder if her recent piece on the current state of feminist activism in general, and SlutWalks in particular, in the Times magazine reveals a generational rift of opinion. Is it individual? Is it generational? It’s hard to say. But there’s no debating that there isn’t a word in the English language more controversial than “slut.” It only helps to multiply that controversy when feminists often virulently disagree about it. Keep reading »
Yesterday, thanks to Summer’s Eve douching products, I learned that my vagina is “the most powerful thing on Earth and that samauri warriors and medieval jousting was all about fighting over a good, clean vagina. It turns out there are more douche-y douche commercials where that came from. Keep reading »
When a friend introduced me to the author Kate Monro over email, explaining she’d just published a book filled with virginity loss stories, I knew that I would love it, sight unseen. The First Time: True Tales Of Virginity Lost And Found (Including My Own) totally delivered! Monro, who used to work for the band Blur and for Dazed and Confused magazine, began collecting stories on a blog called The Virginity Project. For her first book, Monro collated vignettes from Brits and Americans, from grandpas to high school girls, who all reminisced about their first time with fondness, earnestness and occasional heartbreak. It may have been a long time since any of us has been a virgin, but if the bare humanity on display in The First Time is any indication, we could do well to revisit it.
Kate Monro lives in the UK, so we had to conduct our interview over email — but I’d like to imagine we chatted over cups of Earl Grey and some Tim Tams while staring off into the London fog. Our Q&A, which was edited for length and clarity, begins after the jump. Keep reading »
“I believe too many women are sitting on the sidelines and aren’t engaged in the issues that affect them. I’m particularly concerned about younger women — women 40 and under who are not engaged at all. Some of it has to do with the fact that women are busy; they’re focused on their careers; they’re focused on raising children. But a lot of women also believe that their voice doesn’t matter, that their views are not important, and that their vote doesn’t make a difference. And that’s really what I want to challenge with American women.
Right now, less than one percent of women in Congress are under 40. I want to really work over the next few years to bring more women off the sidelines and get them engaged. To care about the policies and decisions that are being made because I don’t want them waking up a year from now, two years from now, 10 years from now, and realizing that they don’t agree with the laws that are being written and the agenda of this country because they didn’t participate.”
—Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is my number one favorite politician right now, precisely because she utters quotes like this. Instead of being preachy about why we need more women in politics “just because” (which is how we could end up with President Michele Bachmann), Sen. Gillibrand is simply and succinctly pointing out that legislation is passed by those who care enough to make it work. Horrified that your state doesn’t recognize gay marriage or de-funded Planned Parenthood? Do something about it — run for office. If you don’t, someone else will! [Marie Claire] Keep reading »