The feminist movement began as a struggle for basic rights: women’s suffrage, reproductive rights, access to work and education, and equal rights within those institutions. Through the hard work and dedication of our foremothers, many of those feats have been won. As a result, our culture has become dominated by a narrative that is not representative of the country’s reality: A progressive picture of fairness and equal opportunity regardless of sex or race. One where the fight for Civil Rights eradicated racism and feminism ushered in an era of “equality” between the sexes.
Yet, in reality, not much has really changed where gender relations are involved. Though a small percentage of men and women have entered fields that they were once barred from participating in because of their sex, most work fields are extremely gendered, many of the most dangerous occupations are still dominated by men and society still has very restrictive gender ideals. Keep reading »
Finally, a social experiment I can get behind: Australian morning news anchor Karl Stefanovic decided he was going to test viewers’ differing attitudes toward him and his female coworker, Lisa Wilkinson, after she did a segment on the negative feedback and unsolicited advice she gets about her wardrobe. He wore the same suit for a month and no one noticed, so he told Wilkinson and their producer about his idea, and decided to extend the experiment for a whole year.
The grand total of comments he’s received on his wardrobe is a whopping zero. He says he does get other feedback, though: “I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humor — on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is.” Keep reading »
TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs tacked an apology onto the magazine’s “Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015?” article this weekend, expressing regret for including the word “feminist” in the poll. She writes:
TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.
I so would like to be pleased with this apology. I so don’t want to say, “This is not an adequate apology.” I hate to be that person, and I get tired of taking issue with the details of the language we use, especially if that language is contained in what looks to be a genuine attempt at apologizing. Keep reading »
Yesterday morning, TIME Magazine’s Katy Steinmetz released a list of fifteen words from which we can chose one that most deserves to be “banned” in 2015. The poll, which includes items such as kale and #sorrynotsorry, is intended as a bit of fun, but there is one point where I want to get off the ride:
“feminist: You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”
I fail to see how one can have a problem with hearing the word feminist – and any discussion of it, including discussions participated in by celebrities — but not have a problem with feminism itself. Keep reading »