For a couple who wants kids, it stands to reason that at least one person’s professional life is going to have to take a back seat. And it no longer makes economic sense for women to default to a caretaker role and men to a breadwinner. It may be of bedrock importance in the abortion debate, but in the context of work and family, it’s her choice is a paradigm that doesn’t make sense anymore.
My version of feminism isn’t about being left to my own devices to make a choice that will affect my entire family and then pick up the pieces if and when it doesn’t work out. I’d much rather be a truly equal partner in making a mutually agreed upon plan.
In 2008, American women traveled an average of 30 miles to access abortion services, according to “How Far Did U.S. Women Travel for Abortion Services in 2008?” by Rachel Jones and Jenna Jerman of the Guttmacher Institute. Sixty-seven percent of abortion patients traveled less than 25 miles, 16% traveled 25–49 miles, 11% traveled 50–100 miles and 6% traveled more than 100 miles.
White supremacy has not only not changed its direction, it’s intensified as black people and other people of color have gained rights and have proved ourselves to be equal. In many ways the Zimmerman case is really a modern day lynching, it’s about racist white people reinforcing racialized power.
We can’t combat white supremacy unless we can teach people to love justice. You have to love justice more than your allegiance to your race, sexuality and gender. It is about justice. That’s why Dr. King was so vital because he used the transformative power of love as a force for justice.
Hi. We've just published Mark Forsyth's The Horologicon (or book of hours) - unusual, beautiful & forgotten words, arranged according to when you need them. We are posting Mark's favourite obscure words and their definitions, such as ultracrepidarian, 'somebody who gives opinions on subjects they know nothing about'. We're running a campaign to bring back these lost words and we need your help with spreading the word (!) by sharing them and using them in everyday life. Best wishes, Madeleine.
I adore this idea!
Interested folks can read more about it on GoodReads.
hi there, i would be honored if you could tell your lovely feministy followers about my blog, inclusive streetstyle, which is a body positive, poc inclusive, queer + trans* friendly fashion blog. basically trying to balance out all those horrible fashion tumblrs that only feature emaciated able-bodied cis white women! thanks a lot :)
Beautiful women who fall apart serve a necessary cultural purpose: they’re a warning against over-indulgence and narcissism. They also attract the peddlers of celebrity gossip in a way that few other stories do.
Today, it’s Amanda Bynes. In recent memory it’s been Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paula Abdul, Anna Nicole Smith and Courtney Love. The storyline is more or less the same every time: a celebrity whose career is ebbing does something erratic; the media takes notice; the celebrity realizes the media notices and the erratic behavior becomes increasingly bizarre, often involving social media; at some point the celebrity does something illegal or at least quite alarming and the police become involved; rubber-neckers look on and murmur concern while buying Us Weekly to get the latest…
It’s easy to go the “Leave Britney alone!” route, or to insist we collectively look away, or to criticize the media for perpetuating these downward spirals by giving the spiral-er the attention she craves. Those are all fair responses – we should all leave Britney alone and stop staring at people who are visibly troubled; the tabloid model that profits when bad things happen to famous people is clearly an evil one.
But it’s also worth taking a look at why we find it so satisfying when women appear to descend into madness, especially when those women were, like Bynes, previously paragons of female sweetness and innocence. Their erratic behavior is a particularly female kind: they’re brash when they were once admired for being demure, they amp up pinup model femininity in their appearance to the point of parody (think Bynes’ bleach-blonde wig and push-up bras, or Anna Nicole Smith’s heavy make-up and bleached hair) or tear it down in some dramatic way (head shaving seems to be a popular choice).
Goodreads, according to Salon’s own publishing maven, Laura Miller, “was the single major readers’ community independent of Amazon.” But maintaining that independence hasn’t been easy. Up until January 2012, Goodreads used the Amazon Product Advertising API as its primary source for book data. But as Jon Mitchell explained last year, getting in bed with Amazon comes with some rather stringent handcuffs. For one thing, Goodreads wasn’t allowed to use that data in conjunction with any site or app “designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device.”
The library system, dubbed BiblioTech, proposes to make thousands of e-books available for county residents both online and at a 5,000-square-foot physical location on the South Side of the county, according to a statement issued by Bexar County officials. Visitors would be able to check out books to read on their own e-readers or tablets, or borrow one of the library’s 150 take-home e-readers.
Sadly, the graphic meant to set the record straight on false accusations only confuses matters. Three major problems jump out:
The graphic assumes one-rape-per-rapist. Looking at the above picture, one might start to get the impression that every other man you meet is a rapist. Nearly one in five women have been raped, according to the latest substantive government numbers, and infographics like this might make people conclude therefore that one in five men is a rapist. In reality, a much smaller (though still troubling) number—an estimated 6 percent of men—are rapists. Your average rapist stacks up six victims. That’s hard to capture in an infographic, but could be clearer by just labeling the little dudes “rapes” instead of “rapists.” After all, the fact that most rapists are repeat offenders drives home how troubling it is that victims can’t find justice. If more rapists saw a jail cell the first time they raped someone, the number of victims would decline dramatically.
The graphic overestimates the number of unreported rapes. It’s hard to measure how many rapes go unreported, because, duh, unreported. Making it even harder to get an accurate count, a lot of rape victims don’t identify as rape victims, because it’s so stigmatized. Still, improved public education has made it easier for rape victims to report. RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), using government numbers,estimates that 54 percent of rapes go unreported. Tweaking the infographic to reflect this more conservative number wouldn’t make the image less convincing, but it would make it more accurate.
The graphic overestimates the number of false accusations. This infographic is intended to drive home how rare false accusations are, and yet, because of a simple error, it overestimates how many actually occur. The problem is that the Enliven Project conflates “false reports,” which only require the claim that a crime has happened, with “false accusations,” which require fingering a supposed perpetrator. This might seem like a small thing, but this report from the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women, which focuses in part on teaching law enforcement to understand and root out false reports of rape, is very careful to warn against conflating the two. In its list of potential indicators of a false report, the Center specifically singles out the lack of a named perpetrator as something to look out for:
To summarize material developed by McDowell and Hibler (1987), realistic indicators of a false report could potentially include:
• A perpetrator who is either a stranger or a vaguely described acquaintance who is not identified by name. As previously discussed, most sexual assault perpetrators are actually known to their victims. Identifying the suspect is therefore not typically a problem. However, victims who fabricate a sexual assault report may not want anyone to actually be arrested for the fictional crime. Therefore, they may say that they were sexually assaulted by a stranger or an acquaintance who is only vaguely described and not identified by name.
Emphasis mine. According to the document, 2-8 percent of reported rapes are false, but the number that are false accusations is smaller. Women who make false reports want sympathy, and as victims of real rapes can tell you, accusing a real man usually gets you very little.
This is a great clarification of yesterday’s popular infographic — I admit I too was so instantly drawn to the tiny number of false reports and the number who face trial that I posted it without double checking the source of the numbers.
Kat Vespucci Series: "Earth to Kat Vespucci" and " Kat Vespucci and the Renegade Province"
Unlike most fictional stories about an American’s experience abroad, the heroine of the Kat Vespucci series doesn’t seek to “find herself” in other countries or to “save” the natives. Rather, wide-eyed, curious Kat is thrown blindly into new experiences with little or no previous knowledge that could distort her observation of history and culture through the eyes of locals.
In the first book, Kat, a native of New Jersey who has never left the U.S., decides to study abroad in Berlin. The first few weeks in the city prove to be a trial through fire as Kat realizes how little she knows about current and past political history in Europe, the world map (she carries a small map of the world around with her for a while since she can’t place the countries of her fellow international students on the globe), the U.S.’s involvement in WWII, and even the workplace culture of the city. The title “Earth to Kat Vespucci” refers to a fellow student’s teasing about her ignorance.
But instead of accepting her continuous foot-in-mouth situations as the inevitable, Kat immerses herself in local culture, reads up on history and politics, and asks her fellow study-abroad students about their lives and experiences. By the end, she could almost pass a cultured Berliner.
This trial through fire and subsequent process of observing and asking questions continues in book two when Kat moves to Taipei after college (and a terrible experience working in pharmaceutical sales) to teach English at the “Happy Pupil Very Excellent the Good English Cram School.” She enters into her adventures, however, with greater maturity and less fear. By moving to a country where she doesn’t speak the language, Kat is forced to take chances and navigate her way through cultural and language barriers largely by herself. Her story of freedom and adventure is intertwined with one of her new love interest and foil, native Zhang Weiming (Wayne), as he struggles against his conservative family’s adherence to marriage traditions.
Some readers may find Kat overly naive or privileged — she clearly doesn’t research the history of a country before moving there, know much about international politics and history, and has a tendency to accept things natives tell her at face value — but with a series that makes the location a character in its own right, she’s the perfect protagonist. Through her astute observations and relationships with locals, Kat lets the locals tell their story as she takes the reader on a smart, vivid tour of Berlin and Taipei and inspires even the most unadventurous to consider traveling abroad.
With a dose of humor and charm paired with her more serious moments, Kat is a likable character who continues to grow through the series. It is clear that she will ultimately evolve to become an intelligent, cultured activist, but she’s not there yet. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what Kat discovers on her next adventure: this time in China.
It is class that created and maintains the schism between the professional feminists and the women who look to unions rather than to feminism to help them at work. You can’t find a self-proclaimed feminist who doesn’t pay at least lip service to the idea of equal pay for equal work, but we don’t see a whole lot of connection between that problem and the actions that might be taken to rectify it. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would allow workers to discuss salaries with one another in order to discover discrepancies, has been touted as a partial solution to the gender wage gap, but the idea, for instance, that workers should organize into a union whereby they’d bargain collectively for better pay and conditions seems lost.
By focusing solely on equal pay for equal work, we focus on the pay rates of individual women compared to individual men; we presume that work is taking place in the kind of white-collar workplace where one’s salary can be negotiated individually rather than collectively. Marilyn Sneiderman, a lifelong labor organizer and head of Avodah, the Jewish Service Corps, notes that it’s an individual struggle for a lawyer trying to make partner, but for a waitress, a janitor, a hotel housekeeper, the hope for a better job isn’t promotion through the ranks. Rather, it’s in pushing for paid sick days, for job security, for a raise—and those are things you get through organizing with your fellow workers.
“I’m just being myself. There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap that they say. We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?”—
(THIS. She may sometimes border the line of overly twee, but I love this woman. Any celebrities who are openly feminist? I’ll take them.)
Hi Claire, thanks for the follow on Twitter! I'd like to ask you to read my book. It's called "Independence Ring: Rock the Female Revolution." The book contains core feminist teachings, originally from a Buddhist teacher, and then goes on to describe how, over time, these original understandings morphed and became my own as I learned, observed and perceived the lack of core gender knowledge at work in women's and men's lives. THANKS! Liz Lewinson
Where can I find your book? It sounds like a cool read.
“A library has limited shelf space, so you almost have to think of it as a store, and stock it with the things that people want,” said Jason Kuhl, the executive director of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Renovations will turn part of the library’s first floor into an area resembling a bookshop that officials are calling the Marketplace, with cozy seating, vending machines and, above all, an abundance of best sellers.
As librarians across the nation struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age, many public libraries are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores. They are increasingly adapting their collections and services based on the demands of library patrons, whom they now call customers.
Today’s libraries are reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grass-roots technology training centers. Faced with the need to compete for shrinking municipal finances, libraries are determined to prove they can respond as quickly to the needs of the taxpayers as the police and fire department can.
“I think public libraries used to seem intimidating to many people, but today, they are becoming much more user-friendly, and are no longer these big, impersonal mausoleums,” said Jeannette Woodward, a former librarian and author of “Creating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model.”
According to the Post-Dispatch archives, a 37-year-old William Akin, from Creve Coeur — whose name and address matches other information about the future lawmaker — was among a group of protesters arrested on March 15, 1985. The newspapers account said, “Nineteen anti-abortion demonstrators who refused to leave the waiting room of an abortion clinic in the Central West End were carried out by St. Louis police officers.”
Three weeks later, another six protesters, including Akin, were arrested at another St. Louis demonstration. “Police had to carry Akin into an elevator,” the story said.
On April 5, 1985, Akin was arrested again as one of 10 protesters who were “attempting to block entrances” at the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Ill., according to the paper. One clinic employee told the paper that the protesters caused minor damage and leveled “verbal abuse” at women entering the clinic.
I’m a clinic escort volunteer because of people like him — because these protests still happen. The protests may not always be violent, but they are almost always offensive and disturbing for Planned Parenthood and other clinic patients.
..One thing standing in the way of further progress for many men is the same obstacle that held women back for so long: overinvestment in their gender identity instead of their individual personhood. Men are now experiencing a set of limits — externally enforced as well as self-imposed — strikingly similar to the ones Betty Friedan set out to combat in 1963, when she identified a “feminine mystique” that constrained women’s self-image and options.
Although men don’t face the same discriminatory laws as women did 50 years ago, they do face an equally restrictive gender mystique.
Just as the feminine mystique discouraged women in the 1950s and 1960s from improving their education or job prospects, on the assumption that a man would always provide for them, the masculine mystique encourages men to neglect their own self-improvement on the assumption that sooner or later their “manliness” will be rewarded…
The masculine mystique is institutionalized in work structures, according to three new studies forthcoming in the Journal of Social Issues. Just as women who display “masculine” ambitions or behaviors on the job are often penalized, so are men who engage in traditionally female behaviors, like prioritizing family involvement. Men who take an active role in child care and housework at home are more likely than other men to be harassed at work.
Men who request family leave are often viewed as weak or uncompetitive and face a greater risk of being demoted or downsized. And men who have ever quit work for family reasons end up earning significantly less than other male employees, even when controlling for the effects of age, race, education, occupation, seniority and work hours. Now men need to liberate themselves from the pressure to prove their masculinity. Contrary to the fears of some pundits, the ascent of women does not portend the end of men. It offers a new beginning for both. But women’s progress by itself is not a panacea for America’s inequities. The closer we get to achieving equality of opportunity between the sexes, the more clearly we can see that the next major obstacle to improving the well-being of most men and women is the growing socioeconomic inequality within each sex.