Earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted a ban that prohibited women from openly serving in combat roles in the military. This would entail overturning a 1994 rule that bans women from certain ground combat roles, thus opening up more jobs to servicewomen. Women have already been attached to ground units performing these jobs — they just haven’t been properly credited for it.
Yesterday, Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Join Chiefs Of Staff, officially overturned the 1994 rule. “Everyone is entitled to a chance,” Panetta said. According to The New York Times, the Army is now creating gender-neutral standards for all their positions but will not be lowering the physical standards required just so that women can be admitted.
All week there have been reactions to lifting the ban, both for and against. I’ve rounded up some of the responses: Keep reading »
You’re (hopefully) already a fan of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women, by Jessica Valenti, the kickass activist and blogger who co-founded Feministing.com. But did you know her groundbreaking book has been made into a documentary, now available on DVD? “The Purity Myth” documentary is narrated by Valenti herself and walks us through the cultural resurgence in “purity” that has every female celeb bragging she will be a virgin on her wedding night. Keep reading »
Once upon a time, Sarah Palin was just a pit bull in lipstick. But speaking on May 14 to a PAC that finances anti-abortion female congressional candidates, Palin not only called herself “feminist” but praised the “emerging, conservative feminist identity” and the “pro-woman sisterhood.” (Never one to miss an opportunity to inject ferocious animals into the conversation, Palin praised “mama grizzlies,” too.)
Now, it’s not difficult to understand how the estrogen contact high, which surely comes from speaking to a group that finances female congressional candidates, could give one a sense of kinship to the sisterhood. But considering how feminists are generally not considered the type of people who would require women to pay for their own rape exams, you wouldn’t be alone in wondering what the heck was going on when Palin dropped the “f-bomb.” Keep reading »
Virginity documentaries: they’re hot right now. A few weeks ago we reported on an upcoming documentary, “How To Lose Your Virginity,” by filmmaker Therese Shechter. But tonight at 11p.m. (EST), VH1 joins in with an episode called “The New Virginity” for VH1 News. The program focuses mostly on the virgins of pop culture — the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Donna Martin on 90210, etc. — and the hypocrisy of their at-times-sexual public persona with their alleged chastity vows. It will also explain creepy practices like abstinence pledges and purity balls to those of us lucky enough not to get roped into them. Plus, Jessica Valenti, author of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women and one of the co-founders of Feministing, will be featured as an expert — that’s reason enough to watch! [VH1]
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If you call yourself a “feminist“—which basically means you believe women deserve the dignity, rights and respect afforded to men—then you can relate to how peeps come out of the woodwork to tell you you’re either being “too feminist” or “not feminist” enough. Some people think feminism should be a spartan existence where there’s no frivolity allowed, on principle: no makeup, no “Sex & The City, and definitely no getting married!
The dumbest criticism of feminists we’ve ever seen happened when some people freaked out over the engagement of Jessica Valenti, co-founder of Feministing (and one-time Frisky blog!) to her boyfriend, Andrew Golis, deputy publisher of the politics blog, Talking Points Memo. Gettin’ hitched, apparently, is “antithetical” to feminism. Keep reading »