GoldieBlox, the kickass toy company that encourages young girls to explore engineering and other STEM fields, will have a float in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. “The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine” float will look like a life-sized GoldieBlox toy and use “kid power” to make pinwheels, parachutes and other components move. Goldie, the company’s girl inventor mascot, will be on the float with her dog. The company’s key message centers around the idea that “while girls may love princesses, they can build their own castles too” and hopes to do away with the gendered toy store aisles that teach young girls that they belong in the home. The company began on Kickstarter just two years ago and has already made its way to big retailers like Toys ‘R’ Us and Amazon. Clearly, the world was eager and ready for something to buy for daughters that wasn’t a princess doll.
Sick of explaining misogyny to dismissive, confused dudes? For a fee, The Womansplainer will explain feminism to you in varying levels of detail. Artist Elizabeth Simins launched the site to provide “consulting for men who have better things to do than educate themselves about feminism.” She came up with the idea when she grew sick of men on the internet demanding that women spend their precious time explaining, essentially, why they have the right to be angry at those dudes (and to be clear, these are people who are indignantly trolling and remaining intentionally ignorant, not those who simply want to better understand gender equality). For $20, she’ll Google questions like “do feminists hate sex/humor/fun?” and “explain rape culture/the patriarchy/what ‘systemic’ means.” A higher fee will get you a public Twitter conversation. Considering how many hours some women end up spending trying to explain feminism to jerks (both male and female), this is a brilliant idea that should be probably be taken as an actual business venture. [Jezebel] [Image via The Womansplainer]
Mary “Unique” Spears, a 27-year-old mother of three, had just left the funeral of a relative on Saturday when a man she’d never met began harassing her under the guise of wanting to ask her out. She was on her way to the Joe Louis Post rental hall in Detroit to continue memorial services with her family. The man, 38, asked Spears for her name and her number, but she wasn’t interested. The man continued to pester Spears throughout the evening until the bar’s security staff escorted him out. Around that time is when he grabbed and hit Spears. When Spears’ fiance intervened, the harasser pulled out a gun. He shot her once, and when she tried to run, he shot her two more times in the head. Then, the man turned his gun on the crowd and injured Spears’ fiance and four other members of the family. The five other victims are expected to heal, but Spears was killed. Thankfully, the man is currently in custody and expected to be arraigned on murder charges. Her family has set up a fundraising page to help pay for her funeral.
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Politically and socially, the most powerful demographic, with the exception of White men, is White women. Though still underrepresented in key economic and power positions, White women enjoy numerous social benefits, maintain political power as a “majority” voting body, are still allowed access to the resources provided by White men through marriage or other familial ties and are protected by patriarchal ideas of fragile femininity.
This social hierarchy of “Whiteness,” regardless of gender, becomes particularly evident in the nearly male-absent world of feminism. Though feminism purports itself to be a movement that represents the needs of all women, White dominance remains stubbornly omnipresent, marginalizing the voices and needs of women of color.
For that reason, I’ve created this list to help White women better understand intersectionality and come to better grips with the hurdles that Black and minority women face. It is not meant to splinter, or further divide the feminist body, but merely written with the hope that the power bestowed upon White women, as a result of White supremacy, can be used for the betterment of others. Keep reading »
When I was just a little bitty budding activist just starting to get involved in organizing and protesting more heavily than I had in high school, I remember this conversation I had with my mom. I excitedly told her that I had found “my people” — people who cared about the same sort of idealistic things I did — like ending the Iraq War, redistributing the wealth, ending sweatshops, freeing Mumia, feminism, fighting racism, supporting unions. It felt like a big deal at the time, because up until then I’d been sort of marching all alone.
Always a bit of a downer, I remember her warning me that activist men fighting the good fight could be just as bad, sexism-wise — if not worse — than non-activist men. Because they think being counter-cultural and progressive gives them “a pass” that other men don’t have. “Don’t forget — Angela Davis.” she said. Keep reading »
Everything going on with women in the literary world right now is fucked. You might have heard about Ed Champion, the now apparently abandoned book reviewer/sexist Twitter troll, sure. But have you heard about Janey Smith and Tao Lin and peterbd? Have you heard about Stephen Tully Dierks? Short version of the story: The alt lit world is riddled with dangerous misogynists who have harassed and abused women for years, and used their pull to get away with and excuse it. Dierks, at least, published a sincere apology and furthermore bowed out from his publication, Pop Serial. The rest? Eh. Keep reading »