- Controversial women’s issues writer Katie Roiphe penned an essay for Sunday’s New York Times Book Review lamenting what’s happened to male novelists writing about sex. In the ’60s and ’70s, many balked at the ravenous, at times violent, depictions of sexuality in books by writers like Philip Roth, John Updike and Norman Mailer. But the “Great Male Novelists” of today that Roiphe cites—men like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Franzen—write more passively and apologetically about sex. It’s another “let’s blame feminists for everything” type of piece, but it also led me to believe this woman has never heard of Tucker Max. [New York Times Book Review]
- Legislators in Kansas hope to block $250,000 in federal funds for preventing unwanted pregnancies from going to two Planned Parenthood clinics. Ugh. Please stop being foolish, people! [Kansas.com]
- Grr. Why is it that women who start their own businesses are called “lipstick entrepreneurs”? Can’t we just be regular entrepreneurs like men? [Times of London]
Tag Archives: feminism
- I’m not surprised that according to a recent Gallup poll, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in the world (16 percent), but I am surprised that she nudged ahead of Sarah Palin for that position by just a hair (15 percent). Three women in the top five are all African-American—Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Condoleezza Rice. For reasons totally beyond my comprehension, scorned golf wife Elin Nordegren not only pops up in the top 10 but is tied with former poet laureate Maya Angelou. [Gallup]
- A woman born in South Africa is more likely to be raped in her lifetime than to learn how to read. The mistaken belief that sex with a virgin (even if that virgin is a child) will cure HIV/AIDS is partially responsible for the “rape epidemic.” [BBC]
- Dr. Sally K. Ride, a former astronaut, is supporting President Obama’s plans to improve America’s dismal math and science rankings and she’s zeroing in on the cultural expectations we have for girls. Dr. Ride recalled a recent science expo she attended where the mom of a 12-year-old girl made a big fuss over her daughter’s interest in science, as if it were so unusual. “[The mom] was saying, ‘I don’t know where she got this, she’s so different from everyone else,’” Dr. Ride explained. Girls “internalize the message that scientists are geeky-looking guys with labcoats and pocket protectors who never see the light of day.” She added that ages 10 through 12 are a vital time to prevent girls from getting discouraged from pursuing math or science in higher education. [New York Times]—Even though Barbie says “Math is hard!” researchers say girls can handle it.
- … but it certainly doesn’t help that a science blogger noticed that Toys R Us sells microscopes and telescopes marketed to little girls (pink, of course!) that are less powerful than the black or red microscopes marketed to little boys. Are you serious, people? [ScienceBlogs.com]
- Power to the lady boomers! In the first nine months of 2009, women ages 43 to 61 were the single biggest book buyers, followed by women ages 20 to 30. There’s bad news, though: the crappy economy has led 68 percent of women surveyed to cut their book purchases, meaning all your writer friends are probably poor. [Publisher's Weekly]
- For a book author Sarah Palin isn’t doing too shabby: Going Rogue has sold over one million copies. Palin’s tour for Going Rogue recently wrapped up with a book signing in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. [Alaska Daily News]
- The Washington Post is still fixated on the 2008 election and why younger women didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. Um, because we liked Barack Obama (or John McCain) better?[Washington Post]
“I think it’s important for girls to feel that it’s okay to be open and as explicit as they feel they need to be, and not feel like they need to live up to any man’s Madonna/whore standards of what a woman should be. When guys say they want a lady in the streets but a freak in the bed, OK, that’s cool. But you know what? Then you’re not man enough for me, because any man who’s gonna date me has to know I’m gonna be me all the f**king time.”
- The ’70s had Mary Tyler Moore. The ’80s had Murphy Brown. The ’90s had Ellen. And the aughties have Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex & The City,” writes Naomi Wolf. [Guardian UK]
- “If I see a floral print or pastel dress in my closet, I think: ‘Ugh, gross! I don’t want to wear that,’” a woman tells The New York Times Style section. “Anything more girly, I just see as weak. It’s not cool to be demure.” Thoughts? [NYT]
- Remember how the U.S. Army said it was court marshaling soldiers who got pregnant? They’ve scrapped that proposed policy after women’s groups complained. Apparently four female soldiers already got in trouble, though. [Reuters]
There’s something comfortable and familiar about chain bookstores, like Borders and Barnes & Noble: The vanilla latte always tastes the same, the photography books are always near the fashion books, and there are always comfy chairs. I’ve probably spent thousands of dollars at chain bookstores and I spent many a weekend during my high school years at their poetry nights.
But the bookstore most dear to my heart is a tiny little place called Bloodroot, half vegetarian restaurant and half feminist bookstore. My brother-in-law took me to Bloodroot when I was a teenager and it became a part of my identity. I came of age in the late ’90s and early aughties, when Britney Spears slithered around onstage and suburban kids wore Playboy bunny T-shirts to school, which, don’t get me wrong, is all enjoyable, yet nauseating after a while.
Luckily, the bookstore at Bloodroot proved to be a godsend for the feminists and freaks and gay kids who were trapped in the suburbs until graduation. We could have something we didn’t have anywhere else: a community. Keep reading »
- Yesterday a judge in Wichita, KS, ruled on the “necessity defense,” which anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder has tried to use to justify murdering Dr. George Tiller, who performed abortions. The judge said he would allow limited use of the “necessity defense,” which means Roeder’s lawyers can present evidence and argue that Roeder killed Tiller because he honestly believed he was saving the lives of unborn babies. That means, hypothetically, a jury could find Roeder guilty of manslaughter, but not premeditated murder. [Kansas.com]
- DoubleX rounded up the most memorable moments for feminists this decade, starting with the Britney Spears’ “Oops…I Did It Again” video back in May 2000. [DoubleX]
- Recent data from the Centers For Disease Control says that in 2007, the teen birth rate rose for the second year in a row. Births to moms ages 15 to 19 rose one percent between ’06-’07 and five percent between ’05-’07. Well, good job, abstinence-only sex ed. Thankfully, Congress recently allocated money to comprehensive sex ed, so teenagers will actually be educated about how their fun parts work! [NY Daily News]
- “Sex and the City”‘s Cynthia Nixon is speaking out for abortion rights in light of the restrictive Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the House health care reform bill and the Nelson-Hatch Amendment in the Senate’s bill. Nixon recently told CNN.com: “My mother had an illegal abortion pre-1973, and it’s something that I would never want to face or want my daughter to be facing or any of her friends. Abortion is a right I feel must not go away, and I feel like people aren’t mobilizing so much because it’s so complicated and it’s difficult to understand.” [CNN]