Tag Archives: gender

The Soapbox: Where Helen Gurley Brown Got Feminism Wrong

RIP: Helen Gurley Brown
Cosmopolitan's founding editor has passed away at age 90. Read More »
HGB: Fun and Fearless
Helen Gurley Brown photo
Ten fun and fearless facts about Helen Gurley Brown Read More »
Helen Booted From Cosmo
How Helen Gurley Brown got booted from Cosmopolitan mag. Read More »

When Helen Gurley Brown passed away earlier this week at the age of 90, female journalists and writers came out en masse to laud Brown for her contributions to the sexual liberation of women and heralded her a feminist icon.

It’s true that Brown’s incredible 32-year reign at Cosmopolitan marked a sea change for women’s publications, offering a fresh, sexually liberated image of women “having it all” (which in Brown’s world meant sex, money and power). Brown wanted women to harness their femininity to get ahead, and many took to her female-forward, pro-sex message. But let’s not pretend Helen Gurley Brown’s “stiletto feminism” — to borrow a phrase from Washington Post writer Kathleen Parker — wasn’t also problematic. Keep reading »

These Half-Drag Portraits Will Make You Reconsider Everything You Know About Beauty

If you find T Magazine‘s Model-Morphosis as utterly transfixing as I do, then prepare to be stunned: photographer Leland Bobbé’s incredible new portraits will blow your mind. The ongoing series depicts men who masquerade as women as one dichotomous (and, it must be said, beautiful) persona — half masculine, half feminine, neither male nor female. Says the artist, “My intention is to capture both the male and the alter-ego female side of these subjects in one image … These are composed in camera and are not two separate images joined together.” The result is a powerful and welcome addition to the conversation of gender and a segue into Nietzche’s overman, “the man that goes beyond, who is beyond.” I’ll drink to that! Click through to check out the full series. Fair warning: there are many. [Refinery29 via Vogue Italia]

I'm A Drag Queen!
Watch this clip from an episode of Ricki Lake. Watch »

Rad Reads Week: Book Recommendations For (Almost) Your Every Obsession

I’m a person who gets on kicks. I see an autobiographical movie and I spend the next five hours researching every iota of information about the person on the internet. The great thing is, whatever you current obsession — no matter how vaguely random — there’s probably a book to satiate it. Here are but 10 topics you might be obsessing over and mostly recent/new books to satisfy your craving.

Rad Reads Week!
All of The Frisky's book content. Read More »
Guys On IM
His thoughts on your bookshelf. You bet, he's judging you. Read More »
Love To Read Again
Ten ways to reinvigorate your love of reading. Read More »

12 Famous Women Who’ve Used Their Sexuality (To Get Ahead)

The combination of tits and drive can, apparently, cause the internet to crash. In the past six months I’ve watched as publications and writers I admire scrutinize Lana Del Rey for representing a “passive femininity,” gawk at young writer Marie Calloway for sleeping with older, more established male writers and shake their heads at Rihanna for not giving a f**k anymore and Instagramming intimate moments from her party-fueled lifestyle. What is more controversial than a woman using her sexuality in order to get ahead? I guess, not apologizing for it.

The main reason for feminist criticism in these cases is that the image of sexuality projected by these women doesn’t look “transgressive” — it looks too much like the role assigned by mainstream, for the benefit of the male gaze. These images read socially as “hot,” seemingly heterosexual and femme.  I mean, I love it when women rock the boat with their sexual expression. I enjoy the “man repeller” fashion trend, I like seeing stars like Amy Poehler not in suggestive poses on the pages of magazines, I like the ugly-funny sex in “Girls.” But I also think there should be room for more. Why can’t a fantasy-driven  femme, submissive, seemingly heterosexual display of female sexuality be a genuine one? Why can’t the image of a self-destructive Lana Del Rey in heart-shaped sunglasses be one of her own creation?

With those questions in mind, click through for a celebration of famous women who are using their sexuality and not apologizing for it.

Pink Pieces
The 10 best pieces of pink journalism from 2012. Read More »

Geena Davis Believes We’re Not Done Creating Gender Equality

Bill Talks Gender Equality
Bill says empowering women and girls is essential in the 21st century. Read More »
Marriage Equality In WA
gay woman photo
The state of Washington passed a marriage equality bill. Read More »
Lea T On Gender
lea t photo
Transexual model Lea T explains her gender expression. Read More »

“I just gave a commencement address at a local girls’ high school and one point I made was to realize that that the job of creating gender equality was not yet done. There’s a tendency for the younger generation to think that the women’s movement made enormous progress and that we’re pretty much set, you know, we’re good. And certainly college girls don’t want to hear anything about feminism. But the facts are not so good. While the girls may enter various fields at 50 percent as compared to the boys, even higher in some cases, that percentage drops off severely as early as the very first level of promotion. And then it’s like a pyramid that gets very skinny at the top, at the CEO level and the board level. So I asked them to be conscious of this, to notice the numbers and to proceed with that consciousness.”

Keep reading »

Why A Men’s Center At Canada’s Simon Fraser University Should Not Be Controversial

Men's Rights Activists
How men's rights activists (MRAs) get feminism wrong. Read More »
Men's Studies
Men's studies versus male studies: what is the difference? Read More »
Women Aren't Crazy
Has gaslighting conditioned women into thinking they're unstable? Read More »
manly men

Last month, the student society at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, approved $30,000 to establish a men’s center. The center’s main supporter, a student named Keneen Midgely, said the volunteer-run men’s center would only be equitable, considering SFU already has had a women’s center since 1974. It would be a space, he pointed out, for men to support each other and deconstruct masculinity and gender roles just like SFU women can.

I couldn’t agree more. Yet somehow, establishment of the SFU men’s center is controversial. Instead of being seen in a positive light as a “safe space” for men, it is being seen as an unnecessary, even frivolous, expense to give men their own space in what is already a patriarchal culture.  Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Little Girls & Their Pink Things Make For A Fascinating Photo Project

My Little Pony
Author Peggy Orenstein has a bone to pick with My Little Pony dolls. Read More »
Pink Stinks For Toys
princess dress girl photo
Some parents are upset their little girls are given pink toys. Read More »
Sexist Beliefs
mother and daughter photo
Sexist beliefs are passed down more from mothers than fathers, study finds. Read More »
The Pink & Blue Project photo
  • As if you needed further proof that toy companies are ruthless when it comes to marketing “girls” and “boys” toys in the basest way possible: “The Pink & blue Project,” by photographer JeongMee Yoon, captures little girls and their pink — very pink — toys, dolls, shoes and clothes. [Flavorwire]
  • Feminist activists Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan and Jane Fonda say it’s time for the FCC to step in and deal with Rush Limbaugh, who recently called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” on-air. I suspect the FCC is too busy keeping an eagle-eye out for wardrobe malfunctions. [Christian Science Monitor]
  • Here’s a delightful compendium of Rush Limbaugh’s worst comments about women … [Seattle PI]
  • … including a special focus on his use of the word “feminazi.” [Media Matters For America] Keep reading »

British PSA About Male Rape Proves It’s Hard To Please Everybody

Date Rape PSA
date rape poster
This date rape PSA has been accused of blaming the victim. Read More »
Dating Good Guys
boyfriend photo
Not every woman wants to date an a-hole. Read More »
Depressed Men
stress ball photo
Threats to masculinity lead to depressed men. Read More »
Real Men Get Raped PSA

The issues of male rape and sexual abuse get plenty of sensationalistic air time on “Law & Order: SVU,” but not so much substantive awareness in our day-to-day lives. While it is true that reported sexual abuse of girls and women is far more prevalent than male abuse, I also assume acknowledging or discussing male sexual abuse brings up uncomfortable feelings amongst guys about masculinity and what it means to be a “strong man.” There’s even vicious stereotypes that dog gay guys — who are routinely denigrated as being “not manly enough” — that they must have been sexually abused as kids. In a way, that’s kind of all you need to know about what some (perhaps many) people think of male sexual abuse survivors. 

So it makes sense then, from a messaging standpoint, that to reach male victims of sexual abuse, the UK group Survivors UK would address “masculinity” head-on. Their new campaign, which launches this week in time for a rugby tournament in London, features a rugby ball (speared by a nail, I think?) and the slogan: “Real men get raped: and talking about it takes real strength.” Keep reading »

Bill Introduced To Ban Abortions Based On Sex & Race

Abortion Lies
abortion photo
CPCs scolded for misleading women about abortion. Read More »
Black Men Targeted
Fatherhood beings in the womb billboard
This anti-abortion billboard targets black men. Read More »
Womb Is "Dangerous"
abortion photo
"The most dangerous place for a black person is in the womb." Whoa. Read More »
abortion protest photo

Abortion rights are being screwed with yet again! The Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act seeks to criminalize abortions based on the race or the sex of the fetus. That might sound good to some people: supporters of the bill quickly point out how many female fetuses are aborted in China, where there is a one-child policy in most areas and a nationwide preference for boys. However, a closer look at the bill reveals that it’s yet another tricky-dick move by abortion opponents to restrict abortion rights and make life more difficult for abortion providers. Keep reading »

Oops! Men Only Think About Sex 19 Times A Day, Not 8,000

Wack Sex Facts
15 things you don't really need to know! Read More »
Sex = Love
Ladies should be prepared to fall in love if they have sex. Read More »

Just kidding! There was a slight miscalculation. Men don’t actually think about sex every seven seconds. I always thought that 8,000 sexual thoughts a day seemed like an oppressive estimate.  New research says that men are not the wild, hyper-sexualized beasts science made them out to be. Men’s sexual notions happen more like once every hour. Much more manageable. The study, done at Ohio State University, found that in addition to their sexual thoughts, guys actually think about (gasp!) other things during the course of a day like eating and napping. The men in the study thought about sex an average of 19 times a day with food a close second at 18 times a day, while women thought about sex an average of 10 times a day and food 15 times. Keep reading »

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