Ms. magazine is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, feminist magazines in America. The mag has occasionally featured celebrities on the cover; Wonder Woman was its very first cover girl, while other cover stars include Meryl Streep, Cher, Cecily Tyson, Ani DiFranco and Pam Grier.
But the mag’s latest cover girl, Beyoncé, is causing controversy for all kinds of reasons. Keep reading »
As Gloria Steinem walks Oprah through the beautiful and elaborately decorated NYC apartment she’s lived in since 1966, it’s hard to imagine that until recently, she treated it as a temporary home. “For years and years and years I lived out of cardboard boxes,” says Steinem. “I was brought up to think you didn’t make a home [without] husband and children–you didn’t make it for yourself.” We’re glad she finally settled in, because it’s fascinating to get a glimpse into Steinem’s home life, from the travel mementos and feminist artwork to the living room where she launched Ms. Magazine. The sprawling apartment is worth millions now, but you won’t believe how much she paid for it when she and five of her single pals bought it in the late 80s (hint: it was less than a quarter of the price of Avril Lavigne’s wedding ring). Yep, time to cry. [Refinery 29]
As a feminist and a fashion-lover I’ve long wrestled with the idea that my passion for one would somehow negate the other. I believe strongly in gender equality. I protest sexism and injustice. I volunteer for Planned Parenthood. I also read fashion magazines and spend a fairly large chunk of my time writing about cute shoes.
I’ve come to realize that my two interests actually go hand in hand. In Ms. Magazine’s new issue, Minh-Ha T. Pham, an assistant professor at Cornell and also a fashion blogger (right on!), explores the many intersections of fashion and feminism. “If feminists ignore fashion,” she says, “we are ceding our power to influence it.” I couldn’t agree more.
Fashion is a concept and an industry, yes, but at its heart is a simple act: getting dressed. Our clothing sends a message to the world, and as such, the clothing we choose is actually a powerful tool for self-expression. It allows us to express ourselves on an individual level and on a much larger scale, such as the prevailing dress codes of a nation or religion. Throughout history and throughout the world, fashion is closely tied to political movements, cultural identities, and increased visibility for marginalized groups. Clothing has the power to stoke the fires of revolution.
So why does fashion get a bad name? Keep reading »
Last week we wrote about the controversy surrounding Ms. magazine’s cover image which featured President Obama in a shirt that reads, “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like.” Around the same time, it was revealed that Obama does identify as a feminist, a fact that, frankly, impresses me. Many women with feminist values don’t identify as feminist and that’s even more true of men. But now that President Obama, whose inauguration was the most viewed, um, ever, has identified as a feminist AND the leading feminist magazine has declared him one, will male feminists be more in vogue? I decided to ask the guys on my IM. Check their responses, after the jump… Keep reading »