“Of course I’m a feminist … I know that I get talked to in label meetings and by executives like a woman. It’s demoralising and sneering, and we apparently don’t have an opinion. It’s done in a way to make you feel ashamed, whether they know they’re doing it or not. There are women in the room, in those meetings, and no-one says, ‘Don’t talk to her like that.’ That’s the only way I feel like it’s going to change, when people start saying, ‘You can’t fucking do that!’”
Lily Allen fans were collectively confused last week when the pop star was quoted in The Shortlist saying she “hates” the word feminism because “it shouldn’t even be a thing anymore.” The “Hard Out Here” singer continued that there was no “man version of feminism” and that “I don’t think men are the enemy, I think women are the enemy.” The blogosphere veritably exploded. Plenty of people wondered why Lily, who has spoken up about feminism, politics and body image issues numerous times, would say such a thing. Well, she would like a do-over: Lily told the UK’s The Debrief that she was misquoted and misunderstood. What she apparently meant was that feminism should no longer need to exist, because men and women should be treated equally, and that jealousy amongst women is as harsh as anything the patriarchy does. I still think she should be more careful how she speaks, though. [The Debrief UK] [Image via Getty]
“Oftentimes in films, even if you do have a really strong woman, there’s jealousy and envy among her sisters. So you’ll have this really empowered leader, who’s a chick, and then she has some sort of envious relationship with another woman in the movie. And in ["Divergent"], there’s no envy and no jealousy–no ridiculous girl-fights. It’s such an important message to send out there in this age of feminism because, yes, men need to respect women, and women need to be the leads of films, but at the same time, how do we expect men to respect women if women don’t respect women? A big theme in my life is sisterhood, and I think that this movie is a really great representation of that–of being there and supporting one-another without the malicious attacks that so often come in movies and media. So many women feel so much anger towards other women.”
“Divergent” star Shailene Woodley is doing nothing to abate my raging crush on her. A lot of actresses don’t even give very complete answers when they are asked about women’s representation in film and feminism, but Shai —that’s what I’d call her if we were friends, which we are in my head— just brings it up herself and says something really intelligent about it. I haven’t read the Divergent books, but knowing that it’s got a feminist bent kind makes me want to read them now. Between “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games,” we really are in a golden age of positive role models in films for teens! [The Daily Beast] [Image via Getty]
If you’ve done any reading on the Internet about the business of sex work, chances are you’ve come across Melissa Gira Grant. She’s written about sex, politics, labor and tech everywhere from the UK’s Guardian to The Atlantic to Jezebel and Valleywag, making her one of the top intellectuals to turn to when America needs an explanation about why we’re so weird about sex.
A former “web cam girl,” Grant just published her latest book, Playing The Whore: The Work Of Sex Work, which is unlike any book about sex work or feminism that I’ve ever read. In it, she critiques law enforcement’s treatment of actual or perceived sex workers; labor issues surrounding sex work; and the tendency for governments and some outreach workers to treat all sex workers as “victims” in need of being “rescued.” However complicated you might have thought issues pertaining to sex work were before, Grant’s excellent book is extraordinarily illuminating.
Grant recently spoke to me about “whore stigma,” feminism, police, and the media’s struggle to accurately cover sex workers. Our Q&A begins after the jump: Keep reading »
This post is reprinted from The Huffington Post with the permission of its authors.
What’s the biggest myth about street harassment? That men of color comprise the majority of offenders.
It’s a myth as old as this nation: the idea that Black men are more likely to be sexual predators — especially of white women. Consider D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth Of A Nation,” that builds an entire narrative on the idea of the black brute. From the Scottsboro boys to Emmitt Till, history as well as popular culture, the justice system and virtually all other facets of American society still hold the deeply entrenched notion of Black men as people to be feared.
But the myth doesn’t stop with history. In a recent New York Times article, a White woman living in a mostly Caribbean community (Crown Heights, Brooklyn) gets physically assaulted by a Latino man and wonders if it’s her fault, as if moving into a mostly Caribbean community was the city-dwellers equivalent to “asking for it.” A few years ago, a woman, also writing for The New York Times, reported on her experience doing aid work in the Congo and hearing repeatedly from other European aid workers that sexual harassment, violence, and rape in those areas “is cultural,” instead of, as she duly notes, “a tool of war.” The myth that Black and Latino men are innately sexually aggressive is one that extends beyond our national borders. Keep reading »