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 »
If you’re wondering who thought it was a good idea for Bristol Palin, pregnant at 17, to warn America’s teens not to have sex until they’re married, you’re not alone.
But it’s hard to figure out what, exactly, the well-meaning adults who preach “no sex until marriage” to teenagers are thinking, considering a 2007 study confirmed abstinence-only education does not work.
Jessica Valenti, editor of Feminsting.com and author of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women, has written a piece for The Nation about how the groups that comprise what Valenti calls “the virginity movement” have finally realized they need new PR.
Unfortunately, the abstinence preachers’ ideas for discouraging teens from having sex still don’t make any sense. Keep reading »
Sigh. We remember back when Feministing was just Jessica Valenti’s small third wave feminist blog with a couple of her friends. But now one of our favorite blogs rolls nine bloggers deep and is turning five years old!
The anniversary bash will be held on June 12 in New York City. If you’re not in the NYC area but still love Feministing, you can buy a ticket that the bloggers will donate to a partier who can’t afford to go.
If a night of debauchery with folks who aren’t afraid to use the F-word (feminist, duh) isn’t enough to bring you out, the party will even host a special guest appearance from Kathleen Hanna of Le Tigre and Bikini Kill! So get your tickets now, alright? [Feministing] Keep reading »
Jessica Valenti was on “The Today Show” this morning to promote her new book The Purity Myth. Instead of discussing her book in depth, the producers pitted her against abstinence education champion Lakita Garth in a debate moderated by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, who always looks slightly perplexed. The result was that Garth got way more speaking time, although Valenti held her own as best she could, and Kathie Lee positioned herself on the issue of virginity loud and clear. “It’s much easier to give it away than keep it, right?!” Keep reading »
“There is a moral panic in America over young women’s sexuality — and it’s entirely misplaced. Girls “going wild” aren’t damaging a generation of women, the myth of sexual purity is. The lie of virginity — the idea that such a thing even exists — is ensuring that young women’s perception of themselves is inextricable from their bodies, and that their ability to be moral actors is absolutely dependent on their sexuality. It’s time to teach our daughters that their ability to be good people depends on their being good people, not on whether or not they’re sexually active.” — Jessica Valenti, “The Purity Myth”
I love Jessica Valenti. Can I just make that clear? The founder and editor of Feministing.com and author of Full Frontal Feminism has a new book out this month: The Purity Myth. It’s about the confusing and dangerous messages sent to women and girls about their sexuality. Namely, if a girl has sex before she’s married, she’s a whore, but those same “whores” are the ones celebrated by the mainstream media for making money and attracting men. Keep reading »