If you’ve done any reading on the Internet about the business of sex work, chances are you’ve come across Melissa Gira Grant. She’s written about sex, politics, labor and tech everywhere from the UK’s Guardian to The Atlantic to Jezebel and Valleywag, making her one of the top intellectuals to turn to when America needs an explanation about why we’re so weird about sex.
A former “web cam girl,” Grant just published her latest book, Playing The Whore: The Work Of Sex Work, which is unlike any book about sex work or feminism that I’ve ever read. In it, she critiques law enforcement’s treatment of actual or perceived sex workers; labor issues surrounding sex work; and the tendency for governments and some outreach workers to treat all sex workers as “victims” in need of being “rescued.” However complicated you might have thought issues pertaining to sex work were before, Grant’s excellent book is extraordinarily illuminating.
Grant recently spoke to me about “whore stigma,” feminism, police, and the media’s struggle to accurately cover sex workers. Our Q&A begins after the jump: Keep reading »
“As I was watching [Beyoncé's visual album] I felt very conflicted, I felt her message felt very conflicted in the sense that on the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her.”
Emma Watson and Rookie Mag editor Tavi Gevinson had a chat for Wonderland magazine and naturally the subject turned to Beyoncé (because every subject eventually turns to Beyoncé) and feminism. Tavi gave a much longer, well-thought-out response with her opinions about Beyoncé, sexuality and agency, but I tend to agree with how Emma Watson feels here. That is, I generally enjoy Bey’s music but I’m conflicted about her lyrics and some imagery in her videos. It seems to me that Bey sings and presents some problematic stuff in her videos, but everyone just fawns all over her anyway, for being a mega-super-famous superstar who identifies as feminist. (I am also fairly certain this viewpoint might get me fired from The Frisky, as Amelia is Beyonce’s number one fan, as in she wants to wear Bey like a skin suit. If I’m not here Monday, you know what happened.) [NYMag.com via Wonderland]
How awesome would it be if we could hand a kid a doll that didn’t have absurdly unrealistic proportions like Barbie does?
You may remember last year’s 3D print of a Barbie created using the average measurements of a 19-year-old girl. It made waves on the internet because, spoiler alert, the original Barbie’s shape was nothing like the average-sized doll. Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm, the genius behind that project, got bombarded with questions about where parents could buy a doll like his creation. Lamm couldn’t point to any doll on the market with a realistic look, so he took things into his own hands. Keep reading »
Like many daydreamers, I often think about time periods other than the one I’m currently living in that I would most likely enjoy. I usually settle on the roaring ’20s (it’s easy to get caught up in how cute everyone would look with flapper dresses and bobbed hair). Then I remember, of course, what the ’20s were actually like. Women had only recently secured the right to vote, abortion was illegal, penicillin and birth control were very new, and employment opportunities were still divided into men- and women-only. (Guess who had the less attractive options?)
This little game is just a daydream. Yet it ends up always serving as a reminder that I’m fortunate to be a woman the 21st century. And that’s a reminder I’m ashamed to admit, as a feminist, that I need somewhat often. There are times when being a woman even in 2014 feels disappointing — things should be better, things should have changed more. I’m privileged as an educated white, middle-class woman that these things are as few as they are. But one of the very biggest areas that needs changing is women writing about sex. Keep reading »
If you’re like me or Emma Thompson, you’ve likely called yourself a “card-carrying feminist” since you were in diapers. But now you can call yourself an actual card-carrying feminist with this wallet-sized card that says, well, “FEMINIST.” The other side reads “This card does not entitle the holder to any special rights, privileges or benefits,” with a choice of the message “Sisterhood is powerful” or “Feminism is for everybody.” (The former phrase is the title of a book by Robin Morgan, while the latter is the title of a book by bell hooks.) The $8 card made by Jennifer Armburst for BuyOlympia is a handy talisman for bra burnings or explaining to your grandmother why you’ll be keeping your “maiden name” — and of course serves as your ticket for our man-bashing, baby-eating lesbian ceremonies. [BuyOlympia]