If you asked me three years ago whether I thought Ke$ha was a positive feminist role model for both myself and millions of other young girls belting out her bravado across the globe, I would have shot you a McKayla Maroney face with a slight “are you serious?” twist.
I was so unimpressed with her song “Blah Blah Blah,” I think I wrote an article about my musical nausea in my high school’s newspaper. However, after a friend played “Grow A Pear” a couple of years later, I found myself hysterically laughing throughout the full three minutes and 29 seconds. I had never heard a female artist sing about “dating a dude with a vag” or “[seeing his] man-gina.” Soon afterward, “Blind” became my anthem on repeat for almost all of 2011, and now my five other roommates and I cannot stop dancing on our dining room table to “Die Young.”
MTV announced Ke$ha as “perhaps the most empowering artist on the planet” in 2010, and Ashley Fetters from The Atlantic completely agrees, citing various passages from Ke$ha’s new autobiography, My Crazy Beautiful Life, about her rising feminist and widely influential antics. Keep reading »
“Whether it’s a summertime dress that makes me feel carefree, an evening cocktail dress that makes me feel fancy, or a vintage dress that makes me feel like a ’50s housewife—which I enjoy feeling like, for some reason—I just really like dresses. …
If I feel too much like I’m wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up. … [I]t’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know? That is a huge defining factor in who you choose to be with. Some combinations of people are toxic, you know? You have to find the right one that isn’t just going to explode into fiery ash and destruction.”
This is Taylor Swift in Harper’s Bazaar magazine, first talking about her love of dresses, and elsewhere in the interview talking about what she wants from a relationship. Tay-Tay is someone I’ve criticized in the past because she seemingly doesn’t understand feminism whilst declaring herself not a feminist. Fine, don’t be a feminist, but at least understand what it actually is that you’re disagreeing with. So I found myself nodding my head in agreement when I read these quotes above that she gave to Harper’s about what kind of dudes she likes to be with in a relationship. I nodded my head because hey, Taylor Swift, I am the exact same way.
So I was somewhat dismayed to see Taylor getting trashed for these quotes on the blog Mommyish. Keep reading »
Jemima Khan, writing for the New Statesman in the spring, asked [Vivienne Westwood] if she was an antifeminist, so I thought I’d check out how consistent her views are: is she a feminist? She says not, because she doesn’t see why women in ‘the privileged world’ need to be. She can’t see the point of fulminating and agitating in order to prove that you are as good as a man. ‘Another reason is because I live in the privileged world I would never accept the idea that somehow I am a victim of society. Just by being born a woman!’ But she definitely feels that ‘women in – other cultures, let’s call it – should be supported. And in our culture if they are somehow in the position of victims. But I think men are victims just as much really and I think in our society it would be really scary to be a man.’
This is an excerpt from writer Vicki Woods profile of designer Vivienne Westwood in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper. I definitely disagree with Westwood’s reasons for not calling herself a feminist; it’s almost as if she’s suggesting women in America or the UK don’t experience sexism. What about the amount of women and girls who are raped? What about old, white male politicians who try to make medical decisions for us? What about sexual harassment? What about equal pay? All those things still happen all the time in privileged cultures. Keep reading »
Some people might look at a title like “5 Ways I Failed At Being A Feminist” and turn up their noses. It’s a listicle by a woman of ways that she’s not a “perfect feminist,” like how she straight-irons her hair because her crush once complimented her when her hair was straightened. Silly, yes, but haven’t we all been there? I don’t know if that means being a “failure” at feminism, which afterall, is not just one thing but actually many multiple movements all together. Let’s be a little less hard on each other and ourselves. We are all human. We are all learning and improving. Tearing people down is not as helpful as building people up.
I — and by extension, the whole Frisky staff — think bashing other people for not being “feminist-enough” is like eating our own young. In fact, we realize that sometimes the guilt we feel for not being “feminist enough” is just us being really conflicted about internalized patriarchal bullshit. We so often see ourselves as the sole problem, which oftentimes is partially true, but there’s a whole society out there that is also to blame. Baby girls don’t come out of the birth canal thinking they’re fat!
So, after the jump, here are some of the ways I, other Frisky staff members, and a few other anonymous feminists I know have “failed” at being feminists. Oh, how we have failed! Keep reading »
“My weight was a very big issue when I started. I was then — and am now — a very normal size 10. But that’s not acceptable. Everyone’s aware of it. It’s partly because fashion, film and television have become so interdependent. Increasingly, it’s actresses doing the big fashion advertising campaigns and now there’s no distinction between actresses and models. There’s no way I could ring up a company that was lending me a red carpet dress and say, ‘Do you have it in a 10?’ Because all the press samples are an eight —I would say a small eight. If you want the profile, you have to lose the weight. … It’s difficult because if I refuse to do any magazines at all, my work, I think, would suffer in a very immediate way. But when I appear in these magazines, I know I’m being ‘trimmed’. I’m being airbrushed a lot. And I know that people are accepting those images and are under the impression that that is really how my body looks, that I’m hairless and sexless and weigh 90 lbs. That really worries me. And I really don’t know what to do except talk about it.”
– Romola Garai plays a pioneering woman in journalism on the kickass BBC drama “The Hour” and it turns out she’s just as rad in real life. I find it fascinating that she’s aware she’s being airbrushed in magazines and feels guilty about women who look at her and think it’s the real deal. Photoshop is not going anywhere, so we all have to make peace with it somehow; it should not be too much to ask that Photoshop does not change the fundamental way we look. If I were a celebrity, I feel like I’d be okay with having a zit airbrushed off or something. But 20 lbs? That’s a bit much. [Telegraph UK]
Who’d've thunk?! Suggesting that pregnancy from rape is “God’s will,” that some rape is “legitimate” while other rape is not, and saying a woman’s body has “a way of shutting the whole thing down” so pregnancy does not occur from rape DOES NOT MAKE WOMEN WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin may have found two women — including one who was raped and had an abortion — to appear in a campaign ad proclaiming him the second coming of Gloria Steinem, but the rest of us ladies were not buying it. Keep reading »
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.
Keep reading »