“I have little kids in school. I want to maintain my marriage and my family, so I have to be here when he comes home. … [I gave advice to a girl friend who] is an actress and in a new relationship with someone else with a big career, and I said this may not be feminist, but you have to compromise. It’s been all about you and you’re a big deal. And if you want what you’re saying you want — a family — you have to be a wife, and that is part of the equation. Gloria Steinem may string me up by my toes, but all I can do is my best, and I can do only what works for me and my family.”
– Gwyneth Paltrow talks to Harper’s Bazaar about juggling a career, family, husband, random appearances in Mario Batali cookbooks, and duh, GOOP. But I don’t think anything she’s saying strikes me as godawfully un-feminist. Gwyn is struggling with the same work/life balance issues that everyone else is struggling with (of course, at a higher pay grade) and feminism is supposed to be about letting people make the right decisions for them, rather than having our genders dictate our decisions. Making family life a priority is a totally valid choice. I might not personally have phrased it as “you have a be a wife,” but it seems to me what she’s getting at is how it’s difficult to be both A Huge Movie Star and a Wife And Mother at the same time. Suggesting compromise — for both partners — isn’t un-feminist. That’s just logic. [Evil Beet Gossip]
Conservative lady-splainer Caitlin Flanagan is handwringing over the teen girls again. No, not only in her new book, Girl Land, which frets about “eighth-grade girls who know how to roll on condoms because they’ve learned that in school.” She’s also fretting in last weekend’s New York Times op-ed page regarding the teen girls in LeRoy, New York, who came down with Tourette’s-like symptoms like tics and barking. Flanagan, who writes for The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, tied it to other cases of female mass hysteria — emphasis on the word female here — including “the Salem witch trials” and “poltergeist hauntings.”
Her diagnosis of this hysterical outbreak? Teen girls “deserve more protection.” Keep reading »
A North Carolina politician sent an email to all his colleagues calling for “public hangings” of abortion providers as a deterrent. Republican Rep. Larry Pittman wrote in an email:
“We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner. If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.”
This is all kinds of crazy that I don’t even know where to start. Comparing abortion providers — a safe, legal, at times life-saving medical practice — to murderers, rapists and kidnappers? Suggesting public hangings as a cost-saving measure? Hell, why not go whole hog and whip out the guillotine? Keep reading »
“Any feminist out there who doesn’t support me gets a big boo because you’ve got one person out there who is advocating for women in Hollywood and you’re going to slag that person? If you’re a feminist, you should be up my butt. I have no idea if I’ve helped feminism or set it back, because people see me as such a polarizing figure. I hope it’s the former. But if I can’t even get feminists on my side, maybe I’m not helping.”
– Diablo Cody, who wrote “Young Adult,” is certainly sick of being criticized by feminists (and their at-times strange bedfellows, conservatives) for various crimes, like the fact that “Juno” didn’t involve an abortion, Diablo’s past career as a stripper, and plenty of other violations dictated by The Not Feminist Enough Police.
FWIW, I’m a feminist and I’m on your side, Diablo. [Guardian UK]
A group of Seabees, the U.S. Navy’s specially trained construction force, just went down in the military history books for being the first all-female team to finish a construction job start to finish. Russell Stewart, a Seabees spokesperson, said, “Unlike most times Seabees show up to a new location, this team was welcomed with rolling eyes and comments on the order of, ‘Really, a group of girls?’” The team quickly answered that question with a resounding, “Yes, really!” Their mission — to build four barracks in the freezing mountains of Afghanistan — certainly wasn’t an easy one. But the team of eight women didn’t stop there: they doubled their workload by adding a gym and an operations center onto the original building plan. And they managed to finish the job, electricity and utilities included, a full week ahead of schedule. Now that’s girl power! [LA Times]
… because what is more obscene than feeding your hungry children?! I mean, UGH.
I am being hyperbolic; the comedy site Funny Or Die was not. Comedian Ahna Tessler is a breastfeeding mama of twins and she submitted a skit of herself, which incorporated the breastfeeding, on Funny Or Die. The short skit called “Leah Got A Job” is about a woman who just got hired as an art teacher even though she hates children — and while she’s bitching about kids, the camera pans down to where a baby is latched to each boob. It’s shocking only because seeing a woman breastfeeding her child on camera is shocking — after two seconds of shock, it’s just “oh, she’s feeding the kids.” The video isn’t even that funny. Overall, it’s not a big deal.
At least, not to me. Funny Or Die thought differently. According to The New York Times, Ahna Tessler’s video was flagged as “obscene” — perhaps by a moderator — and not published. But what’s really a headscratcher is that her previous Funny Or Die videos were all taken down and her account with the site was suspended. Keep reading »
So, apparently this video is a few months old, but I don’t care — YouTube user astrorice is an amazingly articulate and wise 13-year-old girl who impressed the pants off of us with her critical analysis of slut-shaming and rape culture. Astrorice, you inspire! Please watch, learn, and share. [YouTube]
“Feminism is not only for women. It’s something everyone can participate in, and evolve together, as the first step in the right direction. I see feminism as a tool to achieve … balance and peace. … Patriarchy is a fundamental imbalance underlying society. And it’s one we rarely address because it’s so universal. But as I get older, I see that peace is a product of balance. You can’t start with imbalance and end with peace, be that in your own body, in an ecosystem or between a government and its people. What we need to strive for is not perfection, but balance.”
– Ani Di Franco talks feminism while promoting her new album, Which Side Are You On?, which is coming out on January 16. It has always surprised me how some people think feminism means a matriarchy in the sense of oppressing men and women being in control of society. Really, people who care about gender equality care about just that: letting who you are dictate your opportunities, not your gender. How come that’s so hard to understand? [Independent UK]
When I heard yesterday that New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie made a blowjob joke while campaigning for Mitt Romney, I thought it just sounded, at worst, crude. (And embarrassing for Romney’s squeaky-clean Mormon image, although that’s another story.) Christie was rallying for Romney at a campaign stop in Exeter, New Hampshire, when some women started chanting about jobs going down. After a few distracting chants, Christie says, “You know, something may go down tonight but it ain’t going to be jobs, sweetheart.” Keep reading »
Rep. Michele Bachmann dropped out of the GOP presidential race this morning, after placing nearly last place in yesterday’s Iowa caucus. Bachmann will return to focusing her energies in Congress, where she represents the state of Minnesota, telling reporters today, “I will continue to fight to defeat the president’s agenda of socialism.” Keep reading »