“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]
“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]
Miami NewTimes: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Farrah Abraham: I’m pretty feminine. I think so.
Not feminine — feminist.
What does that mean, you’re a lesbian or something?
No, that’s not what I’m asking at all.
What context are you saying it in?
It’s a complicated concept, but I guess at it’s most basic, it means that women are equal to men.
Oh, I definitely feel that women are equal to men. No doubt about that. I mean women should have equal rights to men, every day.
– Farrah Abraham — “Teen Mom,” porn star, memoirist, and feminine-ist. I mean, that’s what feminism is all about, isn’t it? Or does it mean, like, being a lesbian or some shit? I don’t know, this question is hard. [Miami NewTimes via Jezebel] [Image via Splash News]
Nina Siahkali Moradi won an alternate seat in Qazvin, Iran city council elections fair and square. But male colleagues agree she’s “too attractive” to join them and have disqualified her from her clear winnings.
Moradi placed 14th out of 163 candidates in the elections, with almost 10,000 people voting for her. But the 27-year-old has been disqualified because members of the council think she has nothing more to offer than her youth and beauty and according to one senior official in Qazvin, they “don’t want a catwalk model on the council.” Keep reading »
Women, you guys! It’s pretty crazy how we all have vaginas and we don’t all like the same things! Is your lady brain just continually blown away by that fact that just because both you and you friend are in possession of uteruses (uteri?) that you have different interests? Like, you like chocolate ice cream, and your friend likes reading economics textbooks? How is that even possible? Bryan Goldberg (pictured), founder of the much ballyhooed new lady site Bustle, is blown away by these things, too.
Goldberg, who achieved huge success with the sports-centric website Bleacher Report, announced the coming of his new site in a glorified press release earlier this week on PandoDaily, and has been catching a lot of flack in the last few days. It’s not because of the site, per se, which seems totally fine, if a little scattered. We’re not here to knock down any lady writers, or lady blogs. Goldberg’s biggest problem is not Bustle — it’s himself. Keep reading »
Everything you’ve heard about “Fruitvale Station” is true. The biopic, which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at Sundance, explores the final day in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Black man from Oakland who was shot and killed by a BART officer on New Year’s Day in 2009.
The movie flashes between the past and the present, exploring Grant’s relationship with his four-year-old daughter, his mom, and his girlfriend, who was with him on the night he was shot. After a scuffle on the BART, Grant and his friends, who are all people of color, were detained on the platform. Numerous witnesses filmed the incident with their cell phone cameras, including the moment when Grant, who was unarmed and being restrained by several officers, was shot in the back. That cop claimed he had meant to reach for his Taser; he served less than one year of prison. My three friends and I legitimately bawled for the last 10 minutes of the film. Keep reading »
Last week, the controversial professor, feminist blogger and personal essayist Hugo Schwyzer announced on his blog, in an interview with NYmag.com and again in LA Weekly that he was retiring his notorious public persona and quitting the internet for good (or— for the time being, he corrected himself some days later in yet another goodbye). Maybe you don’t know or care who this person is and that is just as well. He is a semi-big deal in the feminist blogosphere in the way that Serge Haroche is probably (hopefully) an even bigger deal among mathy-type people (he won the Noble Prize in Physics in 2012, according to this random website I found when I Googled “Nobel Prize winners”). And maybe we should all know more about Serge Haroche. But here we are talking about Hugo. (For a complete list of criticisms of Hugo’s work, you can go here. Or here. Yes, there are entire websites created for the sole purpose of criticizing this man and his work.) [Note: A few of Schwyzer's pieces on The Good Men Project were crossposted on The Frisky a few years ago.]
I can’t help it. Honestly, I’m kind of obsessed with him. As a freelance writer as well as a writing instructor — I teach courses in memoir, personal essay and opinion writing, the genres that both Hugo and I write — this whole brouhaha is pushing all my buttons. Some people are taking a certain joy in this character’s downfall — which I feel is mean but, yes, a little tempting. Like many, for me, the redemptive narrative of Hugo Schwyzer always rang less than true. Keep reading »
You know what is just the worst? When pregnant ladies go out in public. Yeah, their selfless maternal giving and their miracle of life — it is really not something other people should have to watch. Please, shield us from the inhumanity. Keep reading »
I think I’m a decent aunt. Not so good at remembering birthdays, admittedly, but what I lack in presents-giving, I make up for in lots of facetime. We play all kinds of games — usually “doctor,” in which I pretend to have some terrible malady wrought by a zoo animal (“Help! A hippopotamus bit my leg off!”) and they wrap toilet paper (“bandages”) around me pretending to fix it. Either we do that, or we play Barbies.
Usually my nieces’ Barbie dolls are going to a ball to meet a prince. It doesn’t matter if she’s Color-Change Mermaid Barbie or I Can Be USA President Barbie. She is always going to a ball to meet a prince. Sometimes directly after the ball, she and the prince get married. So, last weekend when I was babysitting, I tried to set the tone for something different. Keep reading »