Imagine being an athlete at the top of your field and not being recognized by the authorities for your accomplishments simply because you are a woman. This is the problem faced by Elham Asghari, a 32-year-old swimmer in Iran, who isn’t having her records recorded by the country’s sports ministry. In fact, just last month, Iran refused to acknowledge Asghari’s recent 20 kilometer swim in the Caspian Sea. Why? Because when she emerged from the water after the swim on a women-only beach, her figure was still “visible” underneath her six kilos-worth of body-covering swimsuit paraphernalia. Keep reading »
Summer camp is the quintessential summer experience for many, but at this Manhattan-based camp, there isn’t a campfire or s’more in sight. This is Feminist Camp.
Created by Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, the co-authors of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future, Feminist Camp aims to teach girls what being a feminist really means. Young women can expect to “hone their leadership skills, meet inspiring activists, and tackle the real issues that impact their lives.” Sounds rad! Keep reading »
“I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident bitches and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education and healthcare. It’s a bit of an old-fashioned word. It’s used more in a way to minimize you. My daughter [Eva Amurri] who is 28, doesn’t even relate to the word “feminist” and she is definitely in control of her decisions and her body.”
– Susan Sarandon is probably the last celebrity I would have expected to use the “I’m a humanist, not a feminist” line. I wish someone with her clout and stature would take back the term from the negative connotations and not let it be used to “minimize” a person, as she put it. Anyway, I would argue Sarandon is a feminist, though, because later in the interview, she talks about her sons and how she’s proud both of them know how to cook. “The things I told them to do if they wanted a good woman were to learn to listen and to learn to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner,” she explained. “They can do that.” It seems to me like Susan Sarandon really believes one’s gender shouldn’t dictate their roles. To me, that’s feminism! [Guardian UK] [Photo: WENN]
Recently, students at England’s Cambridge University took part in the “Who Needs Feminism” campaign, a public awareness campaign aimed at asking people why and how feminism is important to them. As a women’s studies major in the ’90s, I was continually frustrated by women in my classes who believed that feminism was no longer necessary, because women had achieved “equality” with men. So it’s cool to see in 20-frickin’-13 that feminism is still a vital topic on college campuses. The CUSU partnered with the ARU Feminist Society and asked more than 600 students why feminism is necessary to them. The results? Cambridge students are remarkably smart and savvy when it comes to understanding the intersections of feminism, racism, and classism. Take a second to look at some of the amazing responses from the Who Needs Feminism campaign after the jump and check out all 600 responses on the CUSU Women’s Campaign Facebook page. Keep reading »
I do a lot of interviews and stuff where they ask me about it and I feel like the nostalgia is this happy thing where it’s like, “oh, I wish I lived in the ’90s, it would be so awesome! There was this community and it would be so great. My experience of it was that it was not that great, and a lot of people don’t know about the violence at shows and how much shit bands with women in them — especially explicitly feminist bands — took. And so when people are nostalgic about it, I’m like, oh, you want to go back to a time when if you were onstage and you said, “there’s a pro-choice rally happening,” there could be a guy who’s yelling “shut up!” while you were talking, and possibly had a knife in his jacket. And nobody would do anything about it. You know, and a lot of times girls just weren’t safe at shows. And I don’t know if they are now, I definitely know that at some shows they’re not. The nostalgia erases a lot of the negative things that happened and when I talk about that in lectures people are very shocked.
––Fun fact: In the ’90s, girls at hardcore shows were often jokingly referred to as coat hangers, because they were often on the edge of the crowd, “holding their boyfriend’s coats.” Hahaha get it? Ugh. Kathleen Hanna, whose writing and time in Bikini Kill is heavily featured in the new Riot Grrrl Collection (released via the Feminist Press), touches upon the false dichotomy of the ’90s as some magical glitter pony time when women were really powerfully asserting themselves and men were supportive and responsive to the desires and demands of Riot Grrls for safe shows and safe dialogues. Not necessarily true. Keep reading »
“I was asked to lose weight by a network for a TV pilot. The conversation happens because you get a job and your agent or manager calls and they say, ‘They are so excited about you. They just think there is no one better for this part and they want you to look and feel your best — they really feel that that could include losing 15 or 20 pounds’. … I feel like it’s the last frontier of feminism — the weight thing with women — even for myself. I identify as a feminist. I have so many feminist beliefs — and then I’m so mean to myself about my body sometimes. Or I can be judgmental about other people for their bodies, and I don’t know how to get over it.”
The attitudes Busy Phillips from “Cougar Town” espouses on “The Conversation” about feminism and her body sound a lot like mine. Even being a feminist who realizes there’s an entire corporate culture dedicated to profitting off me feeling bad about my body, it’s a struggle not to be mean sometimes. Obviously it’s that much harder for actresses in the public eye. It would be hard not to be, when a TV network had the gall to ask her to lose 20 pounds under the guise of wanting her to “look and feel” her best. Uh huh. Right. [The Conversation TV via Women & Hollywood] [Photo: Splash News]