For all the pomp and circumstance of having nursed my son until he was three-years-old, I’ve only ever dealt with somebody negatively commenting on it twice. The first time happened when my son was around 18 months old. We were visiting family in southern Connecticut and ended up at a Johnny Rockets for lunch. A few minutes after being seated, our teenage waitress came over and said that somebody had complained about me breastfeeding my son and informed me that I “couldn’t do that here.” I let her know that, actually, I could, since the state of Connecticut protected my right to nurse my son in public wherever I wanted. She then told me that the restaurant had a special room for nursing, and that I should use that. It turned out that the “special room” was the questionably clean bathroom, and I let her know, again, that I was perfectly fine where I was. She finally left, only to stare at me while snarking behind her hand with her fellow waitresses, and I continued to nurse my son while sipping on my delicious milkshake. Nothing more was said by anyone on the subject (except for my sister-in-law, who ate lunch with us that day and later emailed Johnny Rockets headquarters to let them know what transpired — they sent us free milkshake coupons as an apology). Keep reading »
Tag Archives: feminist
“Whether it’s a summertime dress that makes me feel carefree, an evening cocktail dress that makes me feel fancy, or a vintage dress that makes me feel like a ’50s housewife—which I enjoy feeling like, for some reason—I just really like dresses. …
If I feel too much like I’m wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up. … [I]t’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know? That is a huge defining factor in who you choose to be with. Some combinations of people are toxic, you know? You have to find the right one that isn’t just going to explode into fiery ash and destruction.”
This is Taylor Swift in Harper’s Bazaar magazine, first talking about her love of dresses, and elsewhere in the interview talking about what she wants from a relationship. Tay-Tay is someone I’ve criticized in the past because she seemingly doesn’t understand feminism whilst declaring herself not a feminist. Fine, don’t be a feminist, but at least understand what it actually is that you’re disagreeing with. So I found myself nodding my head in agreement when I read these quotes above that she gave to Harper’s about what kind of dudes she likes to be with in a relationship. I nodded my head because hey, Taylor Swift, I am the exact same way.
So I was somewhat dismayed to see Taylor getting trashed for these quotes on the blog Mommyish. Keep reading »
Vivienne Westwood Not A Feminist, Says Women In “The Privileged World” Can’t Be A “Victim Of Society”
Jemima Khan, writing for the New Statesman in the spring, asked [Vivienne Westwood] if she was an antifeminist, so I thought I’d check out how consistent her views are: is she a feminist? She says not, because she doesn’t see why women in ‘the privileged world’ need to be. She can’t see the point of fulminating and agitating in order to prove that you are as good as a man. ‘Another reason is because I live in the privileged world I would never accept the idea that somehow I am a victim of society. Just by being born a woman!’ But she definitely feels that ‘women in – other cultures, let’s call it – should be supported. And in our culture if they are somehow in the position of victims. But I think men are victims just as much really and I think in our society it would be really scary to be a man.’
This is an excerpt from writer Vicki Woods profile of designer Vivienne Westwood in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper. I definitely disagree with Westwood’s reasons for not calling herself a feminist; it’s almost as if she’s suggesting women in America or the UK don’t experience sexism. What about the amount of women and girls who are raped? What about old, white male politicians who try to make medical decisions for us? What about sexual harassment? What about equal pay? All those things still happen all the time in privileged cultures. Keep reading »
Some people might look at a title like “5 Ways I Failed At Being A Feminist” and turn up their noses. It’s a listicle by a woman of ways that she’s not a “perfect feminist,” like how she straight-irons her hair because her crush once complimented her when her hair was straightened. Silly, yes, but haven’t we all been there? I don’t know if that means being a “failure” at feminism, which afterall, is not just one thing but actually many multiple movements all together. Let’s be a little less hard on each other and ourselves. We are all human. We are all learning and improving. Tearing people down is not as helpful as building people up.
I — and by extension, the whole Frisky staff — think bashing other people for not being “feminist-enough” is like eating our own young. In fact, we realize that sometimes the guilt we feel for not being “feminist enough” is just us being really conflicted about internalized patriarchal bullshit. We so often see ourselves as the sole problem, which oftentimes is partially true, but there’s a whole society out there that is also to blame. Baby girls don’t come out of the birth canal thinking they’re fat!
So, after the jump, here are some of the ways I, other Frisky staff members, and a few other anonymous feminists I know have “failed” at being feminists. Oh, how we have failed! Keep reading »
- Wow, everyone: Project Unspoken at Emory University put together this amazing video in which it asked both men and women on camera what actions they take on a daily basis to avoid sexual assault and harassment. Not surprisingly, the men say they do nothing … and the women go on and on and on and on. Seriously, watch this video. It’s very powerful. [Feministing]
- INTERPOL has elected its first-ever female president, Mireille Ballestrazzi. [The Mary Sue]
- I don’t talk as much about “intersectionalism” as I probably should — that is, recognizing that oppression is all intersectional and that feminist activism must never ignore class, race, sexual orientation, etc. — so this “Intersectionalism 101″ blog post is probably a good place to start if you want to learn more about it. [Nerdy Feminist]
- On the wide poverty gap between women and men. [The Atlantic]
- Four ways in which women won the 2012 election. [TIME] Keep reading »
“My weight was a very big issue when I started. I was then — and am now — a very normal size 10. But that’s not acceptable. Everyone’s aware of it. It’s partly because fashion, film and television have become so interdependent. Increasingly, it’s actresses doing the big fashion advertising campaigns and now there’s no distinction between actresses and models. There’s no way I could ring up a company that was lending me a red carpet dress and say, ‘Do you have it in a 10?’ Because all the press samples are an eight —I would say a small eight. If you want the profile, you have to lose the weight. … It’s difficult because if I refuse to do any magazines at all, my work, I think, would suffer in a very immediate way. But when I appear in these magazines, I know I’m being ‘trimmed’. I’m being airbrushed a lot. And I know that people are accepting those images and are under the impression that that is really how my body looks, that I’m hairless and sexless and weigh 90 lbs. That really worries me. And I really don’t know what to do except talk about it.”
– Romola Garai plays a pioneering woman in journalism on the kickass BBC drama “The Hour” and it turns out she’s just as rad in real life. I find it fascinating that she’s aware she’s being airbrushed in magazines and feels guilty about women who look at her and think it’s the real deal. Photoshop is not going anywhere, so we all have to make peace with it somehow; it should not be too much to ask that Photoshop does not change the fundamental way we look. If I were a celebrity, I feel like I’d be okay with having a zit airbrushed off or something. But 20 lbs? That’s a bit much. [Telegraph UK]
Who’d've thunk?! Suggesting that pregnancy from rape is “God’s will,” that some rape is “legitimate” while other rape is not, and saying a woman’s body has “a way of shutting the whole thing down” so pregnancy does not occur from rape DOES NOT MAKE WOMEN WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin may have found two women — including one who was raped and had an abortion — to appear in a campaign ad proclaiming him the second coming of Gloria Steinem, but the rest of us ladies were not buying it. Keep reading »
- Now that’s dedication! Illinois mama-to-be Galacia Malone stopped at her local voting station to vote while her contractions were still five minutes apart. Once she voted, she dashed off to the hospital to give birth. Amazing. [ABC News]
- Women in the military say that sexual assault is still very much a problem. [New York Times]
- How a Tea Party-affiliated group is targeting transgender voters. [Raw Story] Keep reading »
When the Arab Spring hit in early 2011, no one could have guessed what it might have meant for women’s rights in Egypt. But as the country continues to feel its way through a revolution, there is one surprising outcome — several citizen’s groups are now patrolling the streets of Cairo, and taking action against men that perpetrate violence against women.
If anything, the uprising has made violence and harassment against women more visible, say officials, and that’s spurred residents into action. Teenage boys as young as 16 are even joining the patrols. The groups are in response to a culture of government and police inaction, bolstered in part by a former regime that touted that violence against women was a non-issue in Egypt.
“When I started reading Ms. Magazine when I was 16 years old, I knew, Oh, there’s a name for this. I didn’t know before that, but I knew I had some pretty serious discussions with people about women’s place in the world and had some serious brushing up against authority issues. There’s a lot of head-shaking and forehead-slapping when you start to realize just how deep-seated misogyny can be, how systemic and entrenched certain modes of thinking are that are still very much alive. …”
– This is Callie Khouri, the creator of “Nashville,” my new favorite show of the fall season. (And not just because I want to knock down Connie Britton and steal her pretty hair.) It’s a complex drama that’s more smart than soap-y, with fabulous glittery costumes and country music to boot. It also occurred to me after watching the first four episodes that “Nashville” passes ‘the Bechdel test’ with flying colors. It has more than two women who talk to each other about something other than a man all the time. No surprise here that Khouri is a feminist. [NYMag.com]