A group of Seabees, the U.S. Navy’s specially trained construction force, just went down in the military history books for being the first all-female team to finish a construction job start to finish. Russell Stewart, a Seabees spokesperson, said, “Unlike most times Seabees show up to a new location, this team was welcomed with rolling eyes and comments on the order of, ‘Really, a group of girls?’” The team quickly answered that question with a resounding, “Yes, really!” Their mission — to build four barracks in the freezing mountains of Afghanistan — certainly wasn’t an easy one. But the team of eight women didn’t stop there: they doubled their workload by adding a gym and an operations center onto the original building plan. And they managed to finish the job, electricity and utilities included, a full week ahead of schedule. Now that’s girl power! [LA Times]
… because what is more obscene than feeding your hungry children?! I mean, UGH.
I am being hyperbolic; the comedy site Funny Or Die was not. Comedian Ahna Tessler is a breastfeeding mama of twins and she submitted a skit of herself, which incorporated the breastfeeding, on Funny Or Die. The short skit called “Leah Got A Job” is about a woman who just got hired as an art teacher even though she hates children — and while she’s bitching about kids, the camera pans down to where a baby is latched to each boob. It’s shocking only because seeing a woman breastfeeding her child on camera is shocking — after two seconds of shock, it’s just “oh, she’s feeding the kids.” The video isn’t even that funny. Overall, it’s not a big deal.
At least, not to me. Funny Or Die thought differently. According to The New York Times, Ahna Tessler’s video was flagged as “obscene” — perhaps by a moderator — and not published. But what’s really a headscratcher is that her previous Funny Or Die videos were all taken down and her account with the site was suspended. Keep reading »
Yesterday, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I stopped to be grateful. I am grateful that my 22-year-old daughter has the right to her reproductive freedom and access to abortion. I am grateful that I was able to get an abortion when I needed one when having a child was not an option — a choice I don’t regret for a minute. I am especially grateful that scores of women are no longer dying as a result of botched illegal abortions, that we do not have to be that desperate anymore.
But without fail, every year for the last several, I am acutely aware of the repeated attempts – and mounting successes — by the anti-choice movement to dismantle Roe completely. I grow concerned with the increasing lack of access to abortion by women in poverty and in rural areas where clinics have been protested or legislated out of existence.
Last week I got into a heated exchange with a group of men on Facebook about abortion. It was regarding the Texas law requiring a woman view an ultrasound prior to getting an abortion. The man starting the thread praised the Texas Supreme Court for upholding the ultrasound law. Keep reading »
As a feminist and a fashion-lover I’ve long wrestled with the idea that my passion for one would somehow negate the other. I believe strongly in gender equality. I protest sexism and injustice. I volunteer for Planned Parenthood. I also read fashion magazines and spend a fairly large chunk of my time writing about cute shoes.
I’ve come to realize that my two interests actually go hand in hand. In Ms. Magazine’s new issue, Minh-Ha T. Pham, an assistant professor at Cornell and also a fashion blogger (right on!), explores the many intersections of fashion and feminism. “If feminists ignore fashion,” she says, “we are ceding our power to influence it.” I couldn’t agree more.
Fashion is a concept and an industry, yes, but at its heart is a simple act: getting dressed. Our clothing sends a message to the world, and as such, the clothing we choose is actually a powerful tool for self-expression. It allows us to express ourselves on an individual level and on a much larger scale, such as the prevailing dress codes of a nation or religion. Throughout history and throughout the world, fashion is closely tied to political movements, cultural identities, and increased visibility for marginalized groups. Clothing has the power to stoke the fires of revolution.
So why does fashion get a bad name? Keep reading »