When most people think about street harassment, they think about what women wear or about how women should respond to catcalls. But there are other, more subtle, effects of street harassment and how it affects women’s existence in public space. Recently, The Wall Street Journal noted that only 11 percent of the participants in India’s Delhi Half Marathon were female and one of the reasons they gave for why women in India don’t run is the “stares and calls from drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.” In other words, women don’t go outside to exercise when they live in fear of street harassment. Keep reading »
A funny thing can happen in politics: You make a comment and it might come back to bite you weeks, months, or even years later. That’s what just happened to Representative Roger Rivard of the Wisconsin legislature, who’s found himself in a very tight race with a Democratic opponent, which means the gloves are off when it comes to digging up dirt.
Some rather nasty comments he made about rape 10 months ago are suddenly in the national spotlight while they passed without a ripple originally, illustrating how in politics, you’re never truly safe from your past. Keep reading »
“Girls” star Lena Dunham evokes a passionate response from bloggers and journalists, especially in women’s media. So I’m a bit nervous about admitting that my thoughts on Dunham’s oeuvre is neutral, even dispassionate. She’s overexposed for a small and fairly meh body of work: “Tiny Furniture” wasn’t that great and I got bored with “Girls” about three episodes in and stopped watching. Her role in the zeitgeist doesn’t interest me much, either. I’m sick of talking about how she takes her clothes off in her work. I’m sick of talking about whether she is racist or just dopey. I’m sick of talking about whether she’s the voice of a generation, or a voice of a generation. It’s not jealousy or hatred that I feel, just a profound feeling of I’m over it. IMHO, Lena Dunham gets a lot of attention for all the attention she is getting. But still, she is everywhere. Keep reading »
I grew up in the ‘80s on a tree-lined neighborhood that skirted the edge of New Haven, Connecticut. Nobody really traveled down my short street unless they lived there or were visiting, and my family was friendly with all of our neighbors. With a backyard that was mostly brambling bushes and trees, I spent the majority of my childhood playing right out in front of my house, alternating between frolicking in the garden (much to my mother’s chagrin) or biking up and down the sidewalks with friends. A good portion of that outside time was spent with friends, by myself, or with my younger brother in tow, but mostly unsupervised by adults. Sure, my mom stuck her head out every now and again, and a neighbor was never far off. But the majority of my outside play was independent and unstructured. Keep reading »
Last week, we told about about that alleged near-death-by-butt-chugging incident of a Pi Kappa Alpha brother at the University of Tennessee. Yesterday, Alexander P. Buttchugger, I mean Broughton, came forward to deny all charges that he took Franzia (or anything) up his ass and that the details of his story were fabricated. In a press conference led by his fraternity lawyer, Daniel “Foghorn Leghorn” McGhee (you can watch it above), Broughton denies even knowing what butt chugging is, so how could he have done it? But way, way, more importantly, they want you to know that Broughton is not GAY.
This is the most awful press conference I’ve ever seen for a number of reasons. I’ll get to my many gripes in a moment. But first, let me ask you this: If this were simply a near-death binge drinking incident, would this kid be holding a press conference? Keep reading »
My name is Amelia. I am a feminist. I also have a Pinterest account. If a recent lengthy piece on Buzzfeed (wait, Buzzfeed does “lengthy”?) is to be believed, these two things are antithetical. According to Amy Odell, the editor over at Buzzfeed’s lifestyle vertical, Shift, Pinterest is “killing feminism.” So, as a feminist who uses Pinterest, I’m, like, killing some part of myself, I guess?
Odell’s thesis is based on the fact that Pinterest’s 23 million users are overwhelmingly female (60 percent) and that they use it to curate “retrograde, materialistic content,” like “recipes, home decor, and fitness and fashion tips,” which Odell claims are staples of women’s magazines that the Internet was “supposed to help overcome.” Odell also derides the fact that Pinterest users don’t go there to read articles, which I find kind of hilarious coming from someone employed by a website that is dominated by photos and funny captions, her lengthy screed notwithstanding. Odell says websites like Jezebel, Feministing, and The Hairpin are examples of places on the internet where women “can find smarter, meatier reads just for them,” but is clearly disappointed (and even surprised) that their existence hasn’t done away with the female desire to “scrapbook every imaginable physical aspect of their dream lives.”
Call me crazy, but I don’t see what the fucking problem is. Keep reading »
I have something to say to my lady blogger friends who write about domestic violence. Please tread more carefully with your words, and please don’t be so sure you know what you’re talking about. Unless you a) have been in an abusive relationship or b) are a professional who is trained to treat people in abusive relationships, you could be doing more harm than good.
The most recent debate that had my hair standing on end was the conversation that erupted around Dr. Drew Pinsky’s comments on Lance Bass’ new SiriusXM radio show. Keep reading »
I have vilified Lady Gaga in the past (to much condemnation, given her rabid fanbase): the contrived, weird-for-attention shtick really wears on me, particularly considering it comes hand-in-hand with what basically amounts to catchy, radio-friendly pop music with a pseudo-controversial religious message here and there. I can live with her message of peace, love, and acceptance, but that isn’t enough to make a fan out of me. Here’s what is: in defense of her recent 25-pound weight gain and the ensuing media scrutiny, Gaga gets naked, or at least stripped to her skivvies, to set the “Body Revolution” in motion. Keep reading »
Let me tell you a story about “bi invisibility.” A few years ago, at my first full-time job – which, I should clarify, was at an LGBT nonprofit organization – I was chatting with a gay male co-worker about a conversation he had with an acquaintance of ours. Apparently I had come up in their conversation, and he had referred to me as “straight.” As in “heterosexual.” I don’t know where the rest of the story was going, because I stopped my colleague right there.
“Actually,” I interjected, “I’m not straight.”
He seemed genuinely baffled. “You’re not?”
“Well … no. I can see why you thought I was, but I’m not. I’m bisexual.”
His eyes widened and he smiled. It was like a light bulb had gone off in his head and everything suddenly made sense. Meanwhile, I walked back to my cubicle, shocked that, at an LGBT organization, anyone would assume that anyone else was straight. It surprised me that, in a space where identity politics and queer issues were discussed regularly, being in a relationship with a man would automatically signify me as a hetero. I suddenly realized that my identity as a bi woman would always be invisible. I would always be invisible. That is, unless I found a way to combat that invisibility. Keep reading »
There are many in Western society that seem to band together anytime the subject of sex-selective abortion in foreign countries comes up. It’s a tricky topic, especially for those of us who favor unfettered abortion access. Outrage and incomprehension over aborting female fetuses in favor of males is usually the default response, with many claiming the practice is misogynistic, and rightfully pointing out the negative impact it has on many countries, specifically in Asia.
But despite our alarm and discomfort surrounding sex-selective abortion, many in Western society have no issue doing all they can to conceive a specific sex. And while pregnancy screenings to rule out female fetuses abound outside the U.S., there has recently been a surge in the number of parents looking to do exactly the opposite within this country: going to great — and expensive — lengths to ensure that their newborn is a girl. Keep reading »