I wouldn’t blame anyone for being sick of the discussion around the word “feminist.” The conversation is extremely fucking overwrought, when it shouldn’t be. I agree with Joss Whedon, who says in the video above, that you either believe that women are human beings equal to and deserving of the same opportunities and respect as men, or you don’t. But Whedon said something else when he spoke earlier this week for Equality Now at an event called “Make Equality Reality.” He said that he hates the word “feminist.” Keep reading »
Tag Archives: feminist
Global law firm Clifford Chance is under fire for distributing a five-page memo to female employees with specific dress code critiques and advice for how to conduct themselves professionally. Not surprisingly, the firm is now being criticized for a “sexist” focus on only their female employees.
I don’t disagree that a focus soley on the behavior and appearance of only female employees is sexist. Specific pieces of the advice are problematic.
But taken all together, is the advice Clifford Chance gave to its female employees wrong or bad? Nope. Keep reading »
“No, I wouldn’t say [I'm a] feminist — that’s too strong. I think when people hear feminist, it’s like, ‘Get out of my way, I don’t need anyone.’ I love that I’m being taken care of, and I have a man that’s a leader. I’m not a feminist in that sense … but I’ve worked really hard since I was 19, when I first auditioned for Idol.”
Here’s Kelly Clarkson in TIME magazine on why she doesn’t call herself a feminist. You can call yourself anything you want, or not, Kelly. But are you sure about that? Because if your music is any judge, I would argue you’re a kickass “modern day feminist” just like Beyoncé. Keep reading »
Getting married is a series of capitulations. I got married three weeks ago (and I swear to God I will write about other topics soon, really), so I know this for a fact. Thinking that you can have wedding that is 100 percent a reflection of all of your values all of the time — to say nothing of your partner’s values — is naive. Weddings involve capitulations to your family and his/hers. Weddings involve capitulations to your bridal party and/or friends. Weddings involve capitulations to societal tradition, family tradition or religious tradition. For plenty of people, weddings are a capitulation to our consumer-driven, “keeping up with the Joneses” (or in this case, “the David Tuteras”) society. Like anything else in life, you will negotiate some of your values that previously were very strongly held. The difference is that with a wedding, your values take an outsized importance because it feels like you’re supposed to take a stand — possibly the biggest stand you’ll ever take in your life, even. Keep reading »
If you are a lady of a certain age with an Internet connection, chances are you read Jezebel.com. In fact, you might be on it right now. The blog launched in 2007 and truly proved — to the mainstream media, to our feminist foremothers who complain that women today are apathetic, to men — that there is an appetite for smart, sassy, feminist commentary on the Internet. The site inspires intense feelings amongst feminists and Reddit-trolling men’s rights activists alike — the former critiquing the site for its coverage of hot-button issues and the latter for encouraging women “to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
OK, that last one was Pat Roberston, but I am betting he would not like Jezebel either. Which is precisely why I love it.
So you can imagine how thrilling it is that Anna Holmes, founder and original editor of Jezebel, has published The Book Of Jezebel, a coffee table encyclopedia of modern womanhood. The contributors’ page reads like a who’s who of the smartest women writers today, who have written entries ranging from “Roseanne” to abortion to Alice Walker to vulvas. No wonder the conservative web site The Daily Caller already had an apoplectic fit about The Book Of Jezebel, accusing its “angry women” authors and fans of having widespread daddy issues.
I called up Anna Holmes to discuss the book’s release and her thoughts on the feminist media ecosystem today. Here’s our conversation, after the jump!
Since this happened, I’ve been in hospitals too many times to count. I’ve found it impossible to love at times. I’ve gained and lost friends. I no longer dance or compete in pageants. I’m different now, and I can’t ever go back to the person I once was. That one night took it all away from me. I’m nothing more than just human, but I also refuse to be a victim of cruelty any longer. … I not only survived, I didn’t give up. I’ve been told that a special prosecutor is going to reopen the case now. This is a victory, not just for me, but for every girl. I just hope more men will take a lesson from my brothers. They look out for women. They don’t prey on them.
Daisy Coleman, 14, the young woman at the center of the Maryville, Missouri, rape story, penned an “It Happened To Me” essay for xoJane about the 2012 sexual assault she endured by a student athlete and how the town rallied behind her attacker. Her rapist, Matthew Barnett, then 17, is the grandson of a MO state representative and had all charges — sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child — against him dismissed. Keep reading »
What a load of chickenshit. Conservative French politician Philippe Le Ray has been fined $1,700 for making chicken noises at a female colleague while she spoke before the National Assembly on Tuesday. Oh, yes, he did this in front of everyone. Green Party MP Veronique Massonneau, an ecologist deputy, was speaking before the government about pension reform when Le Ray began loudly clucking. (In France, the word for “chicken” is used as a slur against women.) Massonneau stopped speaking and addressed him: “That’s enough! I’m not a chicken.” The leader of the National Assembly then temporarily suspended the parliamentary session and publicly chastised Le Ray when they returned. I guess it’s sort of a relief that politicians are juvenile sexist douchebags the world over? [Guardian UK, Belfast Telegraph UK] [Image of a chicken via Shutterstock]
“I was raised by a feminist mother. And yes, she said never be frightened about using the ‘F’ word. So I’m not. She believes in the sisterhood, and so do I. And she planted the seed in me early to speak out against the fact that women are so often treated differently than men. … No matter how long I devote my time to this I still cannot comprehend that one in three girls in their lifetime will be beaten, abused, or raped. It’s just an unbelievable statistic.”
Here’s Nicole Kidman speaking at Variety‘s Women and Power luncheon on Friday afternoon revealing she’s totally OK using the “F” word — feminist, that is. I never got a huge activist vibe from Nicole before, I suppose because she’s fairly private. But she has played writer Virginia Woolf and photographer Diane Arbus on film and both of those women are instrumental to women’s history. It’s important to have people in the streets fighting for women’s rights, it’s also important to bring complex, important female characters to life on film. Welcome to the club, Nicole! [USA Today] [Image via Fame/Flynet]
“I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible. I want women and men to be able to be full-time parents or full-time working people or any combination of the two. I want both to be able to do whatever they want sexually without being called names. I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.”
I love Natalie Portman: she’s intelligent, passionate, gorgeous, and she’s been in some incredible movies (and some real stinkers, to be fair). Here’s her definition of feminism, as told to her “Thor” costar Tom Hiddleston in Elle UK, and I can really get behind it! So many people erroneously believe that feminism is about forcing women to behave “like men,” stripping away all femininity and pooh-poohing “female” things. They don’t seem to understand that attitude is just another way of privileging the masculine and male. A story doesn’t have to be told in a traditionally “male” way for it to be feminist and a woman doesn’t have to become just like a man in order to succeed. Feminism is about having the opportunities for everyone to be who we want, rather than letting gender roles restrict us. [Elle UK]
Literature Bro David Gilmour Isn’t Sexist, He Was Just Busy Speaking French When He Said Women Writers Suck
“I was having a conversation, in French, with a colleague while this young woman was doing this interview. So these were very much tossed-off remarks. … [T]his is a young woman who kind of wanted to make a little name for herself, or something, because when I said ‘real heterosexual guys’ I’m talking about Scott Fitzgerald [and] Scott Fitzgerald was not what you’d call a real guy’s guy, a real heterosexual guy. Part of Scott Fitzgerald’s charm is in his feminine sensibility. But then this noise happened. … Quite frankly, I was speaking to a Frenchman, so I was more concerned with my French than I was with what I was saying to this young woman.”
Are you following this? Professor David Gilmour of the University of Toronto isn’t sexist for refusing to teach women writers in his classes (except for one short story by Virginia Woolf) — you see, he was just busy speaking in French to someone else. It’s so hard to not be sexist and speak French at the same time. Also, the female journalist who printed the words that came out of his mouth is just trying to “make a little name” for herself. Also-also, women writers still aren’t very good at writing, but F. Scott Fitzgerald has a “feminine sensibility” so he’s still OK as the type of “serious heterosexual guys” that Gilmour will only teach. Cool story, bro. [National Post]