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.
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“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]
“You know what’s so funny is, I actually think there’s a new feminism that is completely different and I don’t think either is better or worse. Any kind of feminist has valid views for herself about what it means to be a feminist, but, as a new-age feminist, I would say I quite like the transference of strength I feel by submitting to a man – being under him. I actually wrote a song about it on my album, it’s called “GUY” and it stands for “Go Under You.” So wearing makeup, smelling delicious and having suckable, kissable, edible things between your limbs is something I find strengthening because I know that when I pick the right guy, I can let him have it. Some women feel oppressed by make-up and clothing, and here’s to them, they have every right to feel that way as well.”
– Lady Gaga actually says the resonant thing about feminism — to me — that that I’ve heard a pop star say. Yes, it’s possible to be a savvy businesswoman and multi-million-record-selling pop star but also submit to a man in the bedroom for sexual fantasy! And yes, it’s possible to be a feminist and choose to wear makeup! And yes, it’s possible to be a feminist and choose not to wear makeup! I don’t know quite what Gaga is rambling about with the “suckable, kissable, edible things between your limbs” part, though. Guess she likes to play with her food? (Ironically, however, this photo was taken while she was visiting accused rapist/Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London, proving there is no “perfect feminist.”) [Stylist UK] [Photo: Bauer-Griffin]
The former “Man Show” host Adam Carolla has been all too happy to be a professional douche. That time he said women are not as funny as men? The time he asked, “When did we start giving a shit about [transgender] people?” So … SURPRISE! … now Carolla has joined Fox News as a commentator. He’ll be chumming it up with Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor” and appear on other shows occasionally as well.
The last thing that network needs is another dude who tries to pass off bigotry as “humor.” I understand that Carolla has some opinions that might be considered “liberal,” but I sure as shit do not consider a homophobic sexist qualified to represent me or most other liberals I know. Another reason not to watch this trash (although, in fairness, the only time I watch any Fox News is when my nearly-70-year-old suburban Republican father puts it on when I go visit — so, enjoy Dad!). [NYMag.com] [Photo: Getty]
The Daily Beast: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Taylor Swift: I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.
Are we surprised that Taylor Swift doesn’t really consider herself a feminist? Not really. But it’s still completely dismaying that “guys versus girls” and that when women don’t succeed it’s because we just didn’t work hard enough is apparently what she thinks feminism is. It’s actually about men and women being equal to each other and deserving the same opportunities; it’s also about women being able to make choices for themselves. Call the Feminism PR Department, we have a pop star to educate! In all seriousness, though, I do suspect feminism within the pop music industry can be hard to come by. At the very least, the messages are complicated — Beyoncé, anyone? Taylor has been pursuing her career since she was about 14 and she’s probably drank the industry Kool-Aid about how she has to be marketed — sweet, innocent, uber-feminine, wearing dresses — to appeal to tweens and teens (and the parents who buy their music for them). Still, she’s 22 now and has been exposed to a lot in these past few years. I do not expect that Taylor Swift would have the politics of Kathleen Hanna, India.Arie, Ani DiFranco or even Alanis Morrissette. But I do wish she could correctly identify what a feminist is — even if she does not want to identify as one. [The Daily Beast]
… seeing as we don’t have a man to keep us warm at night and all. Click through Flavorwire’s gallery to see them all — one to accessorize with every cat. [Flavorwire]
Yes, men cleaning. Who’d've thunk, right?! Just a T-shirt, Swiffer? Not a Boy Scout badge? Or the Nobel Prize, perhaps? I mean, men cleaning is obviously such a rare and uncommon practice that you think guys deserve a T-shirt bragging “Caution: Men Being Awesome” for wiping a Swiffer across the floor. (Which, as someone who also does not like to clean, I don’t think we can justifiably call “cleaning.”) It’s all part of the world’s dopiest Facebook contest called “Man Up, Clean Up” for men who are “clean, dirty, skilled or clueless” to go to Swiffer’s page and share stories of why it is “worth it” to help with household cleanups. More blowjobs? Not getting roaches? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. And just think, when you win that T-shirt, you’ll have something to use as a rag. [BusinessWire]
“I can’t stand whining. I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they’re not happy with the choices they made. You live in a time when there are endless choices. … Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don’t break a sweat.”
— Da-yum, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Tell us what you really think. Marie Claire asked Clinton about The Atlantic‘s infamous Anne-Marie Slaughter piece “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”; I hope that in the context of the actual piece it doesn’t sound so much like she’s dismissively saying “deal with it.” I’m certain Clinton knows all about the larger, structural institutionalized sexism and workplace flexibility issues that families face, so I’m not sure why that wasn’t reflected in her response. [Jezebel] Keep reading »
If you haven’t fallen in love with Caitlin Moran, there is something wrong with your head. Earlier this year, the Times Of London columnist published a brilliant modern-day feminist screed called How To Be A Woman; I literally can’t keep it on my bookshelf for longer than five minutes before another girl friend wants to borrow it. Moran is whipsmart, witty, pro-sex, anti-secrets and utterly unapologetic about being a feminist.
Why, then, would pop culture feminist magazine Bitch refuse to run an interview with her? Keep reading »