You know Avital Norman Nathman as the columnist behind Mommie Dearest, our feminist parenting column. But Avital is also the “mom” of her first book, The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood To Fit Reality.
The anthology explores the same ground she writes about here on The Frisky, like teen parents, postpartum depression, the changing face of the American family. Contributors included maternal health advocate/model Christy Turlington Burns, New York Times Motherlode blogger K.J. Dell’Antonia, Feministing co-founder Jessica Valenti, Manifesta co-author Jennifer Baumgardner, The Radical Housewife blogger Shannon Drury, and many others.
I’m not saying this just because Avital is one of our columnists — I genuinely loved The Good Mother Myth. It provoked me to think about feminism and motherhood in ways I hadn’t before and opened my eyes more to how gender identity, race and class alter the experience. I gave Avital a call over Skype to chat about her book, myths surrounding motherhood, and how to know when you’re ready to have kids. Our interview, after the jump: Keep reading »
Realistic marriages have little real estate on television, and feminist marriages even less. “Mad Men” and “The Sopranos” were studies of estrangement; “Breaking Bad” of spousal abuse. On “Friends,” marriage meant banishment forever on to the suburbs.
Imagine my excitement, then, on chipping my way into the first DVD set of “Borgen” — the so-called ‘Danish West Wing’ — and finding a perfectly preserved companion marriage. The show centers on Denmark’s first female prime minister, the charismatic Birgitte Nyborg Christensen, flanked on one side by her supportive husband Philip (Mikael Birkkjær) and children, and on the other by a fickle coalition government. Keep reading »
Of course I’d rather look like Kate Moss than look like myself. I wish I didn’t feel like that, and I think the reason we feel like that is because of the imagery we’re fed all the time. Women are still expected, in some weird way, to kind of … sit there and look pretty. And not talk.
Lily Allen delivers another dose of realness in Elle UK, expounding on the same themes in her song “Hard Out Here.” She’s had an at-times problematic history with her depiction of women of color, particularly in the music video for that song. However, she’s also been one of the most vocal female pop stars to speak out about all the pressure on women’s looks and how body policing contributed to her own eating disorder. Plus, she is delightfully sex positive! Thank you, Lily, from the bottom of my heart for not just sitting there and looking pretty. [Elle UK]
Many Frisky readers are too young to remember the 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas, then a federal circuit judge. One name you might recall is Anita Hill. She was the Black woman who came forward to publicly testify that Thomas, her boss at the Department of Education and the EEOC, had sexually harassed her in a gross, relentless manner. The accusations against Thomas were a powderkeg, taking on a life of its own and igniting racial, sexual and political tensions. Anita Hill herself became the one put on trial in the court of public opinion. For a lot of women, how her behavior was picked apart and the violent threats she endured were a chilling reminder of what could happen to any woman who speaks out against sexual harassment at the hands of powerful men. (Thomas was confirmed and remains on the Supreme Court to this day.) “ANITA” looks like an absolutely gripping documentary and a must-see for all working women. It will be released across America in March 2014. [YouTube]
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government then so be it! Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be … [Democrats] think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication.”
This is former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, finding new and creative ways to insult women. Uncle Sam as sugar daddy? Women who use birth control can’t keep their legs together? What about women impregnated by rape***? I guess us ladies should be controlling our reproductive systems with our God-loving minds and the power of prayer, not with contraception and medicine and SCIENCE. Just keep talking, old white Republican men! Keep talking all the way up until the 2016 election. (***They’re probably sluts who were asking for it.) [Talking Points Memo]
Just two months after being released from a Russian penal colony, members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are coming to America. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will appear at an Amnesty International event called Bringing Human Rights Home, taking place in Brooklyn on February 5th. Keep reading »
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not yet said one way or the other whether she intends to run again for president in 2016. But that hasn’t stopped the chattering classes from dissecting every single item related to a “Hillary ’16″ run ad nauseum. The latest iteration is the TIME magazine cover this week: a coverline reading “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” over a photo-illustration of a huge, high-heeled woman in a pantsuit stepping past a miniature man who jumps out of the way.
See the full image after the jump: Keep reading »
“That was something that my mom would always point out to my brother and me, that our culture does often portray women especially… like objects. For example, we would always watch Lakers games as a family, but my mom would always point out every time the cheerleaders come on, ‘Okay, so look, here’s the story that gets told: The men get to be the heroic skilled athletes and the women just get to be pretty.’ She didn’t mean any offense to any individual woman who was working as a cheerleader, but she wanted me and my brother to be aware of it because we see these images on TV, in the movies, and on magazines all the time. And if you don’t stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality. … I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely! It’s worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don’t have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be.”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has long been high up on our list of Dream Celebrity Boyfriends, thanks to his intelligence, talent, and good looks. But what really makes him one of our favorite men in Hollywood is his obvious respect for women. Keep reading »