LeanIn.org and the Girl Scouts’ campaign to ban the word “bossy” certainly has good intentions. The word “bossy” is often used as a negative term to describe girls and women who speak and act with authority, while it’s rarely used to describe boys and men who act similarly. But is banning the word really the answer, or is changing the perception of it a better approach? But perhaps before we can really answer that question, we should be asking a younger generation of girls what the word bossy means to them. Check out this awesome video from She Knows featuring a bunch of adorable and smart little girls answering that very question. [She Knows]
Meet Barbara Bienvenue, a woman from Quebec who managed to fake a quintuplet pregnancy (yup, that’s five babies!) for a full nine months. You might need a minute to wrap your mind around that. It took me 10. And once you do, you’ll likely move right along to asking WHY? and HOW? and WTF? Don’t worry, I’m getting to that. Keep reading »
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that some people who run “Christian” schools are actually enormous dicks.
Eight-year-old Sunnie Kahle is no longer a student at Timberlake Christian School in Lynchburg, Virginia, after administrators sent a letter home to her guardians complaining she doesn’t dress or behave “feminine” enough, like wearing pants with her school uniform. Her grandparents, who are her guardians, pulled Sunnie out of Timberlake and enrolled her in public school instead of forcing her to be someone she is not.
Sunnie is a tomboy with a big, infectious smile who wears short hair (she donated her longer hair to kids with cancer!) and comfy clothes like jeans and T-shirts to run around outside. But elementary principal Becky Bowman from Timberlake Christian School wrote in a letter to Sunnie’s grandparents that perhaps it’s “not the best place for her future education” if Sunnie can’t conform to the Biblically-based gender identity they dictate:
“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment … We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education.” Keep reading »
We, the undersigned faculty, stand behind victims of sexual assault and want them to know that our campus is a place where they have a voice, where they will not be made to feel responsible and where they can find support and justice. If you have been the victim of unwanted sexual contact, under any circumstances, we can help you find the support you need from the campus groups listed below. As academics and members of the Princeton University community, these are the values we embrace. We encourage others to stand with us, for the integrity, health and well-being of all our students.
So reads part of a statement published in Princeton’s student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, signed by dozens of staff members including writers Anne-Marie Slaughter and Joyce Carol Oates, in response to “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton’s recent remarks about rape. (Read the full statement here.) While Patton has made a name for herself in recent months for advocating that Princeton’s female population focus on finding a man while they’re in college, she’s also used the spotlight to crow about how women are what responsible for what happens to them when they are drunk, all but rolling her eyes at the existence of date rape. This staff statement is in direct response to an interview Patton did with The Daily Princetonian, in which she said the following when asked “Why does the woman hold the responsibility in the case of rape or sexual assault?”: Keep reading »
Today the Supreme Court heard challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover preventative care, which was filed by Christian owners of secular businesses who object to covering certain forms of birth control for their employees. Hobby Lobby claims their religious freedom is being violated and they should be exempt, like explicitly religious employers. There’s a whole lot to read about the subject and I’d like to thank commenter LR52185 for pointing us to a few of them:
Today is a very special day in feminist history: it’s the 80th birthday of icon Gloria Steinem. Some may know her as co-founder of Ms. magazine. Some may know her for her undercover exposé as a bunny at the Playboy Club. Some may know her as an activist for the ERA, equal pay and abortion rights and her fight against bigotry, racism and apartheid. Some may just know her by her aviator sunglasses. (They were pretty dope.)
But if you only know a little about Ms. Steinem, then you don’t know enough. In honor of her octogenarian birthday, MAKERS made a kickass infographic to get you up to speed on Gloria’s accomplishments and influential role in Second Wave feminism. (Check it out after the jump!) And if you haven’t yet seen the HBO documentary about her life, “Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words,” might I suggest you add it to you queue?
Keep reading »
Earlier today, Zerlina Maxwell, a feminist writer and political analyst, was inspired to start the Twitter hashtag #RapeCultureIsWhen in response to both TIME magazine and RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) claiming that feminists have overhyped the existence and impact of rape culture.
Last week, RAINN made their recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and for some reason decided to make a point of deemphasizing the impact of rape culture, writing:
In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campus. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important not to lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime.
Keep reading »
Today the prosecution rested its case in the trial of South African Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Steenkamp, a model, was found shot several times through the locked bathroom door in Pistorius’ home; he claimed that he accidentally shot her, thinking she was a burglar. Police had previously responded to “allegations of a domestic nature” at Pistorius’ home and on the night of her death, neighbors said they had heard gunshots and screams from both a man and a woman prior to the shooting. Pistorius, who is 27, has entered a plea of not guilty.
Text messages from WhatsApp between the couple were submitted as evidence and despite plenty of messages of a loving nature, they show that three weeks before her murder she was telling him “I’m scared of you sometimes” while detailing controlling and mean behavior. Keep reading »