Tag Archives: feminism

The Soapbox: On Being A Sikh Feminist

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In light of this weekend’s tragic shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, we thought our readers would be interested to learn more about this religion. We reached out to the Sikh Feminist Research Institute for some thoughts on Sikhism. 

Often I am asked of when I first became aware of being a feminist. This question takes me back to the deepest recesses of my memories of early childhood, since it was my mother who was my first feminist role model. She would frequently give me feminist pep talks: “You want to be a pilot? Yes, of course you can become a pilot!” or “Your favourite color is blue? Sure, blue is a great color.” Often defiant of male authority, a natural and equal partner in running the household, she was both bread-winner and the CEO of our home.

As I grew older I would often wonder about the origins of my mother’s feminist ideas. Not having had the opportunity of a formal education due to the poverty following forced migration at the time of Partition, it was apparent she had no access to the feminist theorists I would come to prize in later life. Instead her ideas emerged from the Sikh historical narratives she was raised on and the strong women in her own life. The re-telling of the lives of Sikh women would provide fodder for bed-time stories, both awe-inspiring but also re-assuring of a universe that made sense where women and men are equals. Keep reading »

Elizabeth Banks Stands Up For Planned Parenthood

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Elizabeth Banks On Planned Parenthood
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  • Actress Elizabeth Banks continues to be a magical unicorn from my dreams with this just-released video in support of Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. Banks talks about why she supports Planned Parenthood — when she was a broke college graduate they helped regulate her heavy flow! — and Obama’s overall support for women’s health care. (No one tell her “30 Rock” character Avery Jessup that she did this, okay?) [YouTube]
  • Two different people have told me they just couldn’t read this Esquire article about women “whining” because it is just too obnoxious. You’ve been warned. [Esquire]
  • An Orthodox Jewish member of the Boro Park neighborhood in Brooklyn does not want security video cameras posted for a bone-chilling reason: he is concerned that any domestic violence captured on camera will be dealt with “outside the community.”  [Forward]
  • What to do when your friend group has a case of the Creepy Dude. [Captain Awkward] Keep reading »

Madonna Speaks Out For Pussy Riot At Moscow Concert

Pussy Riot Pleads
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The feminist punk band has pleaded "not guilty." Read More »
Mistreated In Jail
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Lawyers say Pussy Riot has been mistreated in jail. Read More »
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Pussy Riot says the judge in their trial is biases against them. Read More »
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Madonna Speaks Out For Pussy Riot

Last night at her concert in Moscow, Madonna appealed for the release of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band which has been jailed for five months after speaking out publicly against President Vladimir Putin. This video sent chills up and down my arms as Madonna spoke about censorship, democracy and freedom. What an incredible reminder not to take our freedom of speech for granted.

The three women were charged with hooliganism for performing a “punk prayer” at a Moscow church and praying for Putin to be removed from the presidency. During their five months of imprisonment, the women say they’ve been mistreated in jail. Their trial began on Monday and the women have said their judge is biased against them. I’ve been writing about Pussy Riot daily in Today’s Lady News, but Mother Jones has a good recap here. [YouTube]

A Woman’s Guide To Hasidic Street Harassment

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Hasidic Man

Living in New York City means getting used to street harassment. In the past few years, my name has been Baby, Sexy, Bitch, and Hey You, Why Don’t You Smile? I’ve learned when to give the finger and when to hide. My friend Jen Dziura, a life coaching columnist, advises women that the best way to counter street harassment is to walk calmly up to the whistler or catcaller in question and politely let him know that he needs to learn how to speak to women in a respectful way.

It’s because of her that I finally said something to the Hasidic men who harass me in my neighborhood. Keep reading »

Did The U.S. Gymnasts Do Their Hair In Solidarity With Gabby Douglas?

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  • Gymnast Gabby Douglas was (preposterously!) criticized for her laid-back hairstyle while competing in the Olympics and it appears that three of her fellow U.S. gymnasts — Ali Reisman, Jordyn Wieber, and McKayla Maroney — all did their hair in a similar way last night in solidarity. Cute! [BuzzFeed]
  • Medical groups in Texas are pushing back against a proposed rule that would forbid doctors from even discussing the option of abortion with patients. [Think Progress]
  • Newsweek illustrated their most recent issue about the 101 best places to eat in the world with … uh … a picture of a woman about to perform fellatio on some asparagus. [Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting]
  • Three must-read women’s perspectives on the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting. [Glamour] Keep reading »

Study Looks At Doctors Using Steroid To “Prevent” Lesbianism

  • What in the what now? American doctors have been using a non-FDA-approved steroid called dexamethasone to try to “prevent” lesbianism, bisexuality and intersexuality (i.e. both male and female genitalia) in fetuses. Pregnant women are given the steroid if their fetus is seen to be at risk for something called “congenital adrenal hyperplasia,” which results in the development of “masculine” traits in female fetuses. Perhaps intersexuality is something that could be biologically prevented — although whether it is ethical to do so is a whole can of worms I’m not going to get into here — but what’s this about preventing people’s sexual orientations?  You can read more about the dexamethasone study published last month in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry here. [Queerty]
  • An Iowa health official has rejected a ban on funding for abortions in the cases of rape and incest. [Think Progress]
  • A Christian summer camp in Texas trains high school kids on how to be effective anti-abortion activists. [New York Times]
  • s.e. Smith at Tiger Beatdown on why we should stop using the phrase “free birth control” when talking about health care reform. [Tiger Beatdown] Keep reading »
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