If you’ve seen an episode of Xena, hell, if you’ve seen the opening titles to “Xena,” you know that you don’t mess with Xena. She’s strong, clever, resilient, and at times, ruthless. The show remains an important feminist text for a number of reasons, reasons reinforced by the likes of Joss Whedon and Quentin Tarantino. It champions strong women, but at the same time, it does not paint them as these infallible, flat superheroines. The female characters of the show, allies and villains alike, are rounded, with complex back-stories and goals that range from trying to lift a city-wide ban on dancing to wanting to become the queen of the Amazons.
But this is old news. What’s really striking about the show is just how many of the central villains are female. To date, I believe ”Xena” still has the most female big-bads of any television show. Read more on The Mary Sue…
Maybe I’m just a sexist pig, but I fail to get a boner for this allegedly sexist Equinox billboard in Bethesda, Maryland, that has a group of mothers petitioning for its removal. The billboard depicts an attractive young woman, fully clothed in a dress and heels, crawling on a pool table while she shoots a ball with a cue; the tag line, “Dexterity,” is obviously a reference to the fact that she’s bent over in what is both a billiards and doggie style position. The image was photographed by Terry Richardson, known for both his provocative photos and for being a perv with the women he shoots.
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Apparently in 1962, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (that’s NASA) had no interest in sending women into space. They were also pretty sure that they would never need such a ridiculous program. Ladies! In space! LOL! Check out this letter, which says, “We have no existing program concerning woman astronauts nor do we contemplate any such plan.” The level of certainty with which NASA assured this applicant that they had no need for female astronauts must be more than a little embarrassing to look back on. Keep reading »
During the launch of the World Islamic Economic Forum, the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, spoke with Malaysian Prime Minister about the role of women in education. After the the PM noted that 68 percent of college graduates in Malaysia are now women, Johnson just had to add that “they’ve got to find men to marry.” What Johnson therefore implied with his comment is that women aspire to nothing more than marriage, even with their degrees. Keep reading »
Last week, Madelyn Sheaffer went to Adventure Oasis Water Park in Independence, Missouri with her teenage daughter. Sheaffer, who recently lost 100 pounds, was proud to be wearing a bikini for the outing. The park officials, however, did not feel the same way.
While she was cooling off in the pool, two teenage employees approached her and asked her to put on some shorts or she would be asked to leave the park. She refused and continued to enjoy the day with her family. Sheaffer was then approached by a supervisor at the park who told her she had to put on both shorts and a shirt or leave because he found her attire too offensive for a family-friendly park. Sheaffer looked around the park only to see that there were plenty of other women wearing similar bikinis, yet she was the only one that was asked to cover up. Therefore, she again refused to leave. The supervisor called the police to escort Sheaffer out of the park. According to a post on Sheaffer’s Facebook page, even the police officers found the situation to be questionable. She wrote:
“We can’t actually say anything,” they said as we walked outside (as it is a city owned park) “… but I hope from the expressions on our face you can tell how we feel.” They were compassionate. They too, thought it was ridiculous.
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“Do you think [Marion] Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little: ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a [Maria] Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?
Yeah, BBC’s Radio 5 Live host John Inverdale actually said this after Marion Bartoli defeated Sabine Lisicki to win the woman’s Grand Slam title this weekend at Wimbledon, managing to be offensive on multiple levels. One, it’s just plain rude! Two, there’s the suggestion that a hot blonde female tennis player doesn’t have to play as hard. Sure, attractiveness may have something to do with scoring endorsement deals off the court, but on the court, appearance has absolutely no bearing on skill. Keep reading »
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A few weeks ago, I tried to convince y’all to watch my favorite summer reality show, “Big Brother.” What I forgot to mention is that because of the 24-hour live feeds, the houseguests can, will and have been caught saying all manner of offensive things. But the cast of “Big Brother 15″ has really, really, really overachieved in this department, garnering tons of attention for the excessive sexist, racist and homophobic comments that have been caught on camera — and they’ve only been in there for less than two weeks, with many more to go. Keep reading »
Last week, Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, announced that he will be sending a junior minister to the British Open, a prestigious golf tournament, instead of attending it himself. He’s an avid golfer and is not forgoing the event out of disinterest. Rather on a matter of principle: the club hosting the event does not admit women as members. In about a month, the tournament will be held at Muirfield, a privately-owend club that is run by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which only allows male members. Salmond feels the male-only membership rule of the club sends the message that women are “second-class citizens” and that Muirfield should have been made to change its membership rules before it was considered for the honor of hosting the tournament. Alas, discrimination against women in golf is nothing new. The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, just admitted its first female members last year after a long, long time of feminists protesting this injustice. For some reason, golf clubs have gotten away with not admitting women for an unreasonable amount of time. What’s up with that?! [Telegraph UK] [Photo of a woman golfing via Shutterstock]
Imagine being an athlete at the top of your field and not being recognized by the authorities for your accomplishments simply because you are a woman. This is the problem faced by Elham Asghari, a 32-year-old swimmer in Iran, who isn’t having her records recorded by the country’s sports ministry. In fact, just last month, Iran refused to acknowledge Asghari’s recent 20 kilometer swim in the Caspian Sea. Why? Because when she emerged from the water after the swim on a women-only beach, her figure was still “visible” underneath her six kilos-worth of body-covering swimsuit paraphernalia. Keep reading »
Leave it to Germany to make every kind of sausage imaginable. These Rastings sausages are designed and marketed specifically towards men or women, bearing a hyper-sexualized image of the opposite sex. The sausages for women are labeled “lean,” while the brats for men are labeled “hearty” and “strong-spiced.” Obviously this is because women are solely concerned with their appearances while men are helplessly self-indulgent with no concern for their health. Gender-specific tubed pork products! What a brilliant idea. Obviously, I would go for the “hearty” sausages for dudes. [Huffington Post]