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    Sex, lies and the Internet: The tale of Lena Chen →

    Over the five years, anonymous Lena Chen hate blogs proliferated, packed full of links to other anonymous Lena Chen hate blogs as well as sexual slurs, the original naked photos and the names of the targets over and over. The names and links were a way to strategically elevate the posts in Google’s search results. It’s known as “Google bombing,” or, in the words of the online vigilantes, “getting googlefucked.”

    In 2009, the harassment campaign included a fake news article about how Chen’s employer regretted hiring her. There were hundreds of posts on the online forum AutoAdmit alone. In late 2010, the harasser(s) started diligently dissecting everything Chen did on social media in detailed timelines. 

    Hamm has paid more than $10,000 on reputation management services to clean up his Google profile. His family name has been dragged around the Internet in such a grotesque and inexplicable way that he says his relationship with his parents and other relatives is “permanently damaged.” After close to six years of dating, most of Hamm’s family aren’t actively trying to get him to break up with Chen anymore. But they certainly aren’t too fond of her.

    The harasser appeared to want Chen, and anyone who dared to stand by her, to have Google results so repugnant that it would infect their real lives, thwarting job hunts and sabotaging relationships. It’s possible that the detractor(s) simply wanted Chen to feel so mortified that she’d stop blogging, and the fact that she refused, year after year, provoked them into intermittent torrents of hateful, pornographic rage.

    This story about cyber bullying — particularly cyber bullying of a feminist — is one that needs to be told more often in mainstream media.

    — 10 months ago with 51 notes
    #cyber bullying  #fem2  #feminist 
    Hi readers! It’s been a year now, so please help me update my suggested feminist blog list and book list; 101 primers on issues like class, white privilege, and LGBT issues; and book clubs that provide safe spaces.
The goal? To help better inform and connect feminists across the world.
Let me know what your favorite reads are (or shamelessly self promote!)

    Hi readers! It’s been a year now, so please help me update my suggested feminist blog list and book list; 101 primers on issues like class, white privilege, and LGBT issues; and book clubs that provide safe spaces.

    The goal? To help better inform and connect feminists across the world.

    Let me know what your favorite reads are (or shamelessly self promote!)

    — 1 year ago with 21 notes
    #feminsim  #Feminist Follow Friday  #feminist  #feminist books  #feminist classics  #racism  #classism  #white privilege  #lgbtq  #lgbt 
    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.

    Author Ingrid Anders has graciously offered a discount on the first book for readers: you can grab the first book for $.99 this week!

    [Full disclosure: I received a copy of both books to review for free.]

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #book review  #travel  #travel fiction  #fiction  #kat vespucci  #coming-of-age  #feminist  #berlin  #taipei 
    "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?"

    Zooey Deschanel

    (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.)


    — 1 year ago with 197 notes
    #zooey deschanel  #feminist 

    Although I agree with parts of this piece on “hookup culture” by Hanna Rosen (I’m happy to live in a world that, for the most part, offers women sexual freedom equal to that of men), I have to disagree that this culture is key to feminist progress. If that’s true, we haven’t made much headway towards gender equality:

    For an upwardly mobile, ambitious young woman, hookups were a way to dip into relationships without disrupting her self-development or schoolwork. Hookups functioned as a “delay tactic,” Armstrong writes, because the immediate priority, for the privileged women at least, was setting themselves up for a career. “If I want to maintain the lifestyle that I’ve grown up with,” one woman told Armstrong, “I have to work. I just don’t see myself being someone who marries young and lives off of some boy’s money.” Or from another woman: “I want to get secure in a city and in a job … I’m not in any hurry at all. As long as I’m married by 30, I’m good.

    The women still had to deal with the old-fashioned burden of protecting their personal reputations, but in the long view, what they really wanted to protect was their future professional reputations. “Rather than struggling to get into relationships,” Armstrong reported, women “had to work to avoid them.” (One woman lied to an interested guy, portraying herself as “extremely conservative” to avoid dating him.) Many did not want a relationship to steal time away from their friendships or studying.

    Armstrong and Hamilton had come looking for sexual victims. Instead, at this university, and even more so at other, more prestigious universities they studied, they found the opposite: women who were managing their romantic lives like savvy headhunters. “The ambitious women calculate that having a relationship would be like a four-credit class, and they don’t always have time for it, so instead they opt for a lighter hookup,” Armstrong told me.

    The women described boyfriends as “too greedy” and relation­ships as “too involved.” One woman “with no shortage of admirers” explained, “I know this sounds really pathetic and you probably think I am lying, but there are so many other things going on right now that it’s really not something high up on my list … I know that’s such a lame-ass excuse, but it’s true.” The women wanted to study or hang out with friends or just be “100 percent selfish,” as one said. “I have the rest of my life to devote to a husband or kids…” Some even purposely had what one might think of as fake boyfriends, whom they considered sub–marriage quality, and weren’t genuinely attached to. “He fits my needs now, because I don’t want to get married now,” one said. “I don’t want anyone else to influence what I do after I graduate.”

    (emphasis mine)

    These college-aged women assume that having a romantic relationship with a man ultimately leads to a 1950s-like world of marriage, children, and giving most of yourself for your partner, like friendships and career aspirations.

    We live in 2012.

    If that’s the future young women expect, then feminism still has a long way to go. If women don’t seek out and expect partners to encourage and support their ambitions, how can gender equality ever occur?

    Judging from these interviews, I’d say hookup culture isn’t progressing feminist ideals by giving heterosexual women more freedom to pursue their goals — it’s merely serving as a “delay tactic,” or respite before women allow men to become the center of their lives.

    — 2 years ago with 12 notes
    #hookup culture  #hanna rosen  #feminist  #feminism 
    What individuals with vaginae/uteri will gain from the Affordable Care Act

    Thirty-two million people will gain access to health care insurance coverage including sixteen million people who will gain access through Medicaid. What does this mean for individuals with vaginae/uteri? How will this affect our health and healthcare coverage?

    (Excerpts taken from a recent Feminist Majority post)

    Subsidies to purchase coverage

    • About three-fourths of people who purchase through the insurance exchanges (those with incomes between 133% and 400% of poverty) will receive a federal subsidy to help pay for the coverage.

    Bans Discrimination

    • By 2014 at the latest, insurers will be banned from “gender rating,” or charging individuals with vaginae/uteri higher premiums for the same coverage, both for individual policies and for employer group plans with fewer than 100 employees. In most states, individuals with vaginae/uteri with individual plans pay on the average some 48% higher premiums for the same health insurance coverage.

    No Co-Pays or Deductibles for Preventive Care including Birth Control

    • Every new insurance policy is required to include the basic preventive health care package without any co-pays or deductibles. As recommended by the Institutes of Medicine, this includes pap smears, mammograms, birth control, STI/STD testing, checkups, immunizations and other preventive care.

    Discrimination Based on Pre-Existing Conditions Eliminated

    • Exclusions for pre-existing conditions were immediately eliminated for children in 2010, and will be eliminated in 2014 for adults. This will prevent the exclusion of coverage for individuals with vaginae/uteri who have “pre-existing conditions” such as pregnancy, prior injuries caused by domestic violence, the second or subsequent Caesarian delivery, re-occurrence of breast cancer, etc. A temporary high risk insurance pool program is available to cover eligible adults with pre-existing conditions until 2014.

    Bans Insurers from Dropping Coverage Because of Illness

    Mandatory Coverage of Maternity Care and Specific Health Services

    • Beginning January 1, 2014, individual and small employer plans must cover at a minimum a comprehensive package of “essential health benefits” including, for example, pre-natal and maternity care, prescription drug coverage, mental health care, and pediatric care (including oral and vision care). Currently 87 percent of individual health insurance plans exclude maternity coverage.

    Mental Health Parity

    Benefits for Older People

    • Medicare guaranteed benefits are not reduced.
    • Beginning in 2011, Medicare now covers the full cost of preventive care, including cancer screenings, annual physical examinations and immunizations.
    • The Medicare prescription drug “Donut Hole” will be gradually eliminated, starting with a $250 payment to beneficiaries in 2010 and a 50% discount on Medicare Part D prescription drug costs. By 2020, payments by beneficiaries will be reduced to 25% of drug costs in the gap.

    Ban on Discrimination against Lower Paid Employees

    • Employers will not be allowed to provide inferior plans with less coverage to their lower-paid workers, who are more likely to be individuals with vaginae/uteri and people of color.

    Addresses National Nursing and Primary Care Physicians Shortage

    • The law increases the numbers of nursing education slots, providing loan repayments and retention grants and offering grants for employment and training of family nurse practitioners. It provides scholarships, loan programs and bonus payments to private care physicians and general surgeons. It also expands health accessibility by doubly the capacity of community health centers. New programs will increase support for school-based and nurse-managed health centers.

    *Update: I changed the title to reflect how the Affordable Care Act will affect individuals with vaginae/uteri — not just those people who self-identify as women.


    — 2 years ago with 752 notes
    #ACA  #affordable care act  #feminist  #women's health  #obamacare  #obama  #health 
    Feminist Pinterest: War on Women 2012 →

    ..because Pinterest can be a tool for more than just pretty dresses and wedding planning.

    — 2 years ago with 4 notes
    #pinterest  #war on women  #feminist  #feminism  #social justice  #women's health  #abortion 
    Ms. Readers’ 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time →

    10. The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti Seal Press, 2009 Jessica Valenti combats a nation’s virginity complex, arguing that myths about “purity” are damaging to both girls and women. She points the way forward toward a world where women are perceived as more than vessels of chastity.

    9. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks South End Press, 1985 Cementing her place as one of the most influential feminist theorists, hooks’ Feminist Theory explores Kimberle Crenshaw’s conversation-changing idea of intersectionality: the way racism, classism and sexism work together to foster oppression.

    8. Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks South End Press, 1999 Named after the famous speech by Sojourner Truth, this must-read by bell hooks discusses black women’s struggle with U.S. racism and sexism since the time of slavery and doesn’t shirk from how white middle- and upper-class feminists have at times failed poor and non-white women.

    7. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy Free Press, 2005 What do phenomena such as Girls Gone Wild say about feminism? This book looks at the ways women today make sex objects of themselves, and she’s not impressed. She chews out false “empowerment” based on self-objectification and offers feminist alternatives.

    6. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi Crown, 1991 This landmark book sounded the alarm about a pervasive backlash against feminism. She painstakingly refutes each insidious anti-feminist argument–for instance, that feminism is responsible for a supposed epidemic of unhappiness in women. What’s really wrong, she says, is that equality hasn’t been achieved; in fact, the struggle has only just begun.

    5. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Metropolitan Books, 2001 Long-time Ms. columnist Barbara Ehrenreich posed undercover as a low-income worker to gain material for this empathetic portrait of how the bottom half lives. She reveals that simply making ends meet is a silent struggle for many Americans, especially for women with families to support.

    4. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf Harcourt Brace, 1929 This classic from the 1920s makes a devastatingly eloquent argument with a simple takeaway: For a women artist to thrive, she must have space in which to work and some money for her efforts.

    3. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde Crossing Press, 1984 This master work by Audre Lorde, a Caribbean American lesbian feminist writer, collects her prose from the late 70s and early 80s. Many of these pieces made feminist history, including her candid dialogue with Adrienne Rich about race and feminism, her oft-quoted critique of academia “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” and her Open Letter to Mary Daly.

    2. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio Seal Press 2002 Inga Muscio’s 2002 feminist manifesto radicalized a new generation. She argues for the reclaiming of the tarnished word cunt, and discusses her personal experiences with self-protection, sex work, abortion and solidarity.

    1. Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks South End Press, 2000 Fittingly, in Ms. readers’ favorite feminist book of all time, bell hooks argues that feminism is for everybody, regardless of race, gender or creed. She urges all to live a feminism that finds commonality across differences and makes room for impassioned debate.

    Click the link for the rest of Ms. Magazine’s top 100.

    — 3 years ago with 291 notes
    #reading  #feminist  #feminist books  #ms magazine  #top 100 
    I’m sure everyone has seen this by now, but finding this new Tumblr has completely made my day.

    I’m sure everyone has seen this by now, but finding this new Tumblr has completely made my day.

    — 3 years ago with 104 notes
    #ryan gosling  #feminist  #feminism  #meme  #tumblr  #i love ryan gosling