Of all the spooky beings spotlighted on Halloween, none is more truly badass than the witch.
Sure, they may seem a little square in the age of sexy zombies and shimmering vampires — the black pointed hat and broomstick have a musty, traditional air — but let’s not turn our back on the supernatural beings that made fantasy exciting to the mainstream again. From “Bewitched” to “Charmed,” witches have always maintained a cozy spot in the popular imagination, but with the arrival of Harry Potter, witchcraft exploded into a genuine craze. Though the changing tides of cultural fashion have elevated other fantastical beings, leaving witches in the dust, it’s worth asking whether we’d even be enjoying this bonanza of “The Walking Dead” and “The Vampire Diaries” were it not for J.K. Rowling’s internationally beloved witches and wizards. Read more on Huffington Post Women…
The Law School of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, has had enough of the negative stereotypes that sometimes come alongside the word “feminist.” Their campaign, “McGill Law Feminists,” aims to remind us that feminism doesn’t have just one face. Members of the McGill community from a diverse range of backgrounds were photographed as they reclaimed the f-word. “Feminist” is not a bad word, and I love this campaign’s efforts to make that clear. [Ms Magazine, McGill Feminists]
I have to say I’m dismayed by an upcoming piece in The New York Times Magazine by Rebecca Traister. Let me first say: I love Rebecca. She’s been the women’s political issues writer for Salon.com for nearly forever and last year she published Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For American Women about the 2008 election. She’s been a personal mentor to me over the years and someone I’ve always respected and whose career I’ve hoped to emulate.
But I wonder if her recent piece on the current state of feminist activism in general, and SlutWalks in particular, in the Times magazine reveals a generational rift of opinion. Is it individual? Is it generational? It’s hard to say. But there’s no debating that there isn’t a word in the English language more controversial than “slut.” It only helps to multiply that controversy when feminists often virulently disagree about it. Keep reading »
Sometimes I like to write in a dry style. When I do this, it’s amusing to read comments by commenters who don’t understand that I’m being sarcastic. So I hoped this op-ed which popped up in my Google alerts, “Skinny Jeans, John Wayne, And The Feminization Of America,” was also being very dry. But in fact this author, Jane Gilvary, is quite serious that men in skinny jeans are the downfall of America. How about this gem?
“… real men don’t wear skinny jeans. Real men also don’t wear V-neck tees, or accessorized scarves, and they avoid purple and pink like the plague. The mere idea of a pedicure or waxing makes a real man nauseous. If a woman hangs out with this kind of girly-man routinely, it’s only because she wants to share his wardrobe and his non-fat caramel macchiato.”
Well, menswear-as-womenswear is hot right now. Keep reading »
Usually “burning money” is a figure of speech. But Sweden‘s feminist party literally set fire to $13,000 (or 10,000 Swedish kronar) to symbolize the amount of money women aren’t getting every minute compared to men. An advertising agency donated the $13K, which members of the Feminist Initiative heaped on a BBQ. According to Sweden’s statistics agency, in 2008 the average salary for women was about 19 percent less than for men. Keep reading »
The first biography of Helen Gurley Brown, who was Cosmopolitan‘s editor-in-chief for three decades, hits stores today, and we’ll be snapping up a copy after work. Written by Jennifer Scanlon, a professor of gender and women’s studies at Bowdoin College, Bad Girls Go Everywhere looks at Helen’s life from her start in an Arkansas town in the Ozarks to her rise from secretary to advertising copywriter to editor-in-chief. Scanlon compares Brown to feminist figures like Betty Friedan. Brown believed sex was a “powerful weapon” for single women and changed the Cosmo format so it addressed real women’s lives — sex and all. (However, she omitted certain realities from the magazine, including children and AIDS.) While Brown cared about looking put-together and slept with her bosses, she didn’t let those things replace any of her substance. To her, hard work was always the most important thing in getting what you wanted — making the most of your features and getting your dream job. Keep reading »