Last night, Suzanne Braun Levine, author of the new book, 50 is the New Fifty, joined feminist icon Gloria Steinem, famed actress and director Isabella Rossellini, editor-in-chief of More magazine Lesley Jane Seymour, and congresswoman Donna Edwards for a panel on the book’s subject matter, life after 50.
I didn’t intend for this to be a personal post, yet the fact that I now sit here writing in the first person and with the aid of some scotch suggests all did not got as planned. When I saw the advert for the event in my local B&N last week, I thought the panel would make for a good piece of reportage for The Frisky. Yet, it would also have been something I’d have considered going to on my own if only to see Gloria Steinem, a woman I’m proud to call a fellow graduate of my Smith College, and who also spoke at my graduation in 2007, delivering what was surely the greatest commencement speech a young woman could hear. Keep reading »
Sigh. We remember back when Feministing was just Jessica Valenti’s small third wave feminist blog with a couple of her friends. But now one of our favorite blogs rolls nine bloggers deep and is turning five years old!
The anniversary bash will be held on June 12 in New York City. If you’re not in the NYC area but still love Feministing, you can buy a ticket that the bloggers will donate to a partier who can’t afford to go.
If a night of debauchery with folks who aren’t afraid to use the F-word (feminist, duh) isn’t enough to bring you out, the party will even host a special guest appearance from Kathleen Hanna of Le Tigre and Bikini Kill! So get your tickets now, alright? [Feministing] Keep reading »
Earlier this week, New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, wrote an op-ed piece about how feminism has made women increasingly unhappy over the last 30 years. Despite being wealthier, healthier and better educated than they were a generation ago, women in post-feminist America aren’t as happy as they used to be. He suggested this may have something to do with the number of women “stuck raising kids alone,” a “depressing” lifestyle that’s much more common among women in the lower socioeconomic class. This hardly explains why so many wealthy women in East Hampton are so miserable, though, Douthat admits. He suggests women’s unhappiness may have something to do with their politics — maybe women “prefer egalitarian, low-risk societies, and the cowboy capitalism of the Reagan era had an anxiety-inducing effect on the American female,” he writes. Um, sure. Or, it could also be the famous “second shift,” Douthat offers, “in which women continue to do the lion’s share of household chores even as they’re handed more and more workplace responsibility.” Hmm, you think? And whose fault is it that women continue doing the lion’s share of household chores? Is it possible that women, who have more options now than ever, are making the wrong choices, creating their own unhappiness?
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America has its first black president in the White House—and now we’re about to have our first female black rabbi in the holy house. On June 6, Alysa Stanton will make history when she is ordained as the FFBR by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. She certainly didn’t see this in her cards growing up. She was raised in a Pentecostal fam, but she was always interested in other religions. “Judaism was what resonated with me. It’s what touched my soul,” says Stanton. She reportedly drove 144 miles a week to meet with the rabbi who agreed to perform her conversion ceremony. “I’ve been breaking down barriers the moment I stepped out of the mikvah, but the amount of attention that it’s been getting and the well-wishers have been amazing to me,” she said. Well, we’ll drink to that. L’chaim! [Jewish Journal] Keep reading »
In “The Trouble With Jezebel” on Double X, Linda Hirshman takes Jezebel to task for what she considers to be a cavalier and snarky attitude on serious subjects like rape and STDs. Then, she asks, “What can Jezebel tell us about the state of young women’s lives?”
Can we please stop talking about Jezebel already? Is there’s really some big conclusion to make about “women’s lives”? The last time I checked, lots of women were blogging about their experiences and their opinions — Feministing, Nerve, Your Tango, Divine Caroline, Bust, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Heather Armstrong, Twanna Hines, and yes, this site. Keep reading »
These ads caught my eye — which I suppose is exactly what their creators at Brazilian ad agency Publicis had in mind when they created them. The image is arresting, isn’t it? In this provocative ad series, the women appear to be holding their own lopped off heads. The tagline is an odd fit, though. “Keep a high self-esteem even after taking off your high heels.” Not sure I get that. I mean, I get the line by itself, but how does that work when the image would suggest the tagline should read: “Keep a high self-esteem — even after losing your head”? Another version reads: “Let’s face it: what’s the point having 40 pairs of shoes in your closet and 5 books on your shelf?” Which would seem to suggest if that’s what you’ve got, you’re an idiot? A third says: “Beauty attracts men. Intelligence keeps them.” Well, now I’m just confused. Maybe it would make more sense if I was holding my head in my hands. [Ads of the World] Keep reading »
How’s this for a controversial book title? Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Have Been Duped Into The Romantic Dream–And How They’re Paying For It. The book, written by Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake — two professionally successful women — argues against marrying only for love and urges women to think about their beau’s pocketbook before walking down the aisle. In the new issue of Marie Claire, the magazine sits down with a brief Q&A with the authors, who back up their argument with some statistical support — women still don’t make as much as men in the workplace and bear more of the burden of child-rearing at the same time. “The juggling act required to be a successful woman, to be a good mom and to be a careerist, makes you want to say, Screw it, I should’ve married for money,” says Ford.
All this has got to make you wonder what Ford and Drake’s marital statuses are — Drake is happily married to someone she married for love, while Ford says, “I married the love of my life when I was 26 years old. Now I’m a single mom and he’s engaged to a girl 15 years younger than me… The bitterness is there.” And I don’t blame her. Unfortunately, as I can attest from almost marrying someone for love (who also happened to HAVE money), there’s no way to prevent or take the burn out of being left brokenhearted. Keep reading »
Sinead King and Katie O’Brien are two twentysomething Brits who make up the Muffia, a performance art duo which aims to make a feminist statement by flashing their merkin (that’s a pubic wig!) clad crotches in the streets of London. Their message? That more women, and men for that matter, need to be discussing issues that are relevant to women’s lives. “Why don’t we resent the way the media portrays women?” they question. “Does no one care that women are mutilating themselves with cosmetic surgery? Why do so few young women know what feminism is?”
In addition to the “pubic performances,” they also dress up in body stockings, scrawling messages like, “Lose a few pounds” on each other’s figures. O’Brien even camped outside Topshop, vomiting into a bucket, to protest the retailer’s use of ultra-thin models. In general, their performances/antics/actions have garnered some laughs, some praise, and a few detractors. Performance art can often be, um, really bad, but I find O’Brien and King’s message important, even if their methods might be shocking to some of you. What do you think? [Guardian UK]
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Over at Nerve.com, Steve Almond takes on VH1′s “Rock of Love” and asserts the latest installment in the reality TV series, “Rock of Love Bus,” is, basically, pornography. According to Almond, the show is “eerily like a porn film,” absent, he says, feeling or intimacy, while everyone stands around groping and tonguing each other, nevertheless, and totally misogynist. But is “Rock of Love” misogynist — or reality? Keep reading »
Amanda Hess at the Washington City Paper has a bone to pick with feminism. “If I have to endure another essay on the mysteries of the female orgasm in the name of feminism, I may never have an orgasm again,” she writes in “Why Sex Positivity Is Bad For Feminism.” She writes in reference to the Visions in Feminism conference, an annual feminist symposium held at American University, having picked PhD’d porn star Annie Sprinkle as their keynote speaker. While the conference aims to address a wealth of issues — domestic violence, queer feminism, etc. — it ends on a “sex positive” note. “A sex positive polyamorous pansexual bi-gendered individual who enjoys nothing more than talking about and/or having sex” is doing a workshop, followed by Sprinkle’s presentation. I’m gonna give this a resounding “eww.” Why does sex positivity always sound so ickily intellectual? Way to kill my girl boner. Keep reading »