The first MMA fight that I saw was by accident. I was visiting a friend at her apartment and her boyfriend and his friends were watching the last battle in a trio of fights between Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva, two notable MMA fighters. I’d always had a healthy respect for the craft of boxing but this was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The extreme violence of it paired with the variety of fighting styles in the ring was especially jarring.
It was awhile before I saw my next fight. But this time it was between two women: Cristiane Santos and Gina Carano. I watched with a couple girlfriends of mine. All three of us were interested in fitness. We wanted to not only tone our bodies but also incorporate some kind of self-defense into our weekly workouts. The fight between Carano and Santos piqued our interest in not only learning how to fight in self-defense, but also in taking our fitness regime to the next level. Keep reading »
Hey, masculinity and femininity are totally constructions. That’s some Women’s Studies 101 stuff right there. Nevertheless, there are times when we just really want to dig in and fulfill our essentialist ideals. That’s likely why a thread on Reddit last week blew up — men were asked, “What thing do you do to make yourself feel manly?” and a range of responses came in. Everything from “running my hands through my chest hair” and saying “‘make it double’ while ordering a drink,” to “fixing things around the house without calling a professional” and “cooking meats, preferably on a BBQ” were mentioned. And while none of these things necessarily embody maleness, they are telling social markers for what we’ve come to expect of masculinity.
So in the spirit of sharing, we’ve come up with our own list of things that make us feel “feminine.” Even if “femininity” isn’t really a real thing. Check out our list and share yours in the comments.
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I love hippies … I just don’t always understand what they’re talking about. Case in point: an uber-New Age-y piece Alanis Morissette penned today on The Daily Beast about the “divine feminine.” Well, it’s sort of about how everyone needs to reconcile the “divine feminine” and the “divine masculine” within themselves and that will bring peace and harmony to the Earth. Or something. Keep reading »
Big news in science land: A new study from UCLA’s Department of Psychology has found that Republican women have more feminine facial features than their Democratic counterparts. Researchers examined the facial features of women in Congress and rated them based on adherence to standards of “gender-typical femininity.” Those faces were then judged by students, who were asked to guess which political party each face belonged to. The students were apparently, surprisingly, accurate in matching faces that ranked high in femininity with conservative politics and those with more masculine features as more liberal.
Oh boy. Keep reading »
Update: 4p.m. Well, that was quick. State Senator
Mary Marty Golden’s website has canceled the event. I guess you’ll have to learn your feminine wiles elsewhere. [New York Observer]
Please tell me this is a joke. This is a joke, right?
The office of a Republican politician in Brooklyn, New York, will be offering a class for women in his district about “Posture, Deportment, and Feminine Presence.” Ostensibly this is a career development event about etiquette, but the packaging is really, really WTF. Keep reading »
It figures a mother who made headlines when she taught her six-year-old daughter to pole dance would find another way to make the news: Sarah Burge of the UK gave her girl, Poppy, a voucher for breast implants on her 7th birthday. Burge, who is known as “the Human Barbie” for her slavish devotion to her plasticine looks, said Poppy can cash in her boob job after she turns 16 and her natural boobs have grown in. Do I even need to write about how promising an elementary schooler that she can get a boob job is really f**ked up? No? Cool.
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As if naming their sloppy Joe sandwich a “Manwich” wasn’t macho enough, a company is now explaining why commercials advertising their product show dudes talking about “feminine
” or “gay
” topics like hair and musical theater and then getting smacked in the face while a male voice growls, “It’s called a Man
This guy uses hair products? Given to him by a guy named Alejandro? Smack him!
Uh oh, it’s the Be A Real Man police … Keep reading »
Dr. Phil doesn’t want your son to be “confused” — especially if “confused” means “gay.” Not that one of America’s most prominent psychological experts (thanks a lot, Oprah) comes right out and says being gay is bad. The gay and lesbian blog Queerty points us to DrPhil.com, where he kindly suggests a mother “direct” her son away from the clothes and toys “for girls” to which he is gravitating. “Don’t buy him Barbie dolls or girl’s clothes,” he writes. “You don’t want to do things that seem to support the confusion at this stage of the game …Take the girl things away, and buy him boy toys.” Keep reading »
One of the defining tensions in my life has always been reconciling my feminist political beliefs, my desire for a respectful and egalitarian relationship, and my attraction to more traditional alpha males. I passionately believe in women’s equality, in reproductive rights, and in equal pay for equal work. And I want to be in a loving, intimate, balanced relationship where everyone makes a contribution, whatever that might be. So why do those things seem so hard to reconcile with my desire to feel looked after and taken care of? Keep reading »
Bad news, ladies: being described as “caring,” “sensitive,” “kind” or “nurturing” in a recommendation letter can work against you. According to research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, of 624 letters of recommendation submitted on behalf of 194 applicants for eight positions at a university, women are more likely to be described with stereotypically “feminine” adjectives by both male and female letter writers and they are less likely to get offered the job if tainted with these “feminine” descriptions. Researchers took the letters, removed identifying, gendered information, and controlled for things like papers published and honors received. The search committee rated the letters in which the subject was described as “feminine” the lowest for both men and women, but women’s letters of recommendation letters are where these descriptors were most likely to appear. What are some of the words more likely used to describe men? “Confident,” “aggressive,” “ambitious,” “independent,” and “daring.” According to Inside Higher Ed, scholars who analyzed the research said there are “clear patterns” of word choice in recommendation letters. Keep reading »