The American women’s movement is at a turning point. Roughly 45 years into feminism’s second wave, after decades of social change work dedicated to leveling the playing field for women, activists are coming back around to an old idea that’s been with us since the 1970s: the frequently cited maxim that “feminism is for everybody,” men and women alike. [Read more...]
Man, Rashida Jones really stepped in it, didn’t she? Following up on a series of ill-advised tweets (with the charming hashtag #stopactinglikewhores) aimed at “encouraging” female pop stars to cut it with hyper-sexual stuff already, Jones channeled her inner Sunday school teacher again last week in the pages of Glamour magazine. Her editorial was intended as an elaboration and clarification—“I didn’t say stop being whores, I said stop acting like it!”—but mostly it was a personal defense. She’s not, she assures us, a “prude.” In fact, she’s a feminist, which I guess in this formulation is the opposite of the moralizing scold the Twitter hordes accused her of being. But she didn’t soften her original arguments, which basically boil down to something about role models, plus Jones being grossed out by the sexualized images of pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. [Read more...]
It’s that time of year again, the season when I cannot seem to refrain from posting recipes to my political blog, apropos of absolutely nothing. What can I tell you? I love to cook and bake, and I especially love to do those things in the winter, for the coziness. [Read more...]
There’s something I need to get off my chest. It’s been weighing on me, and I want to come clean before the next election cycle: I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary. That fact is only controversial because I’m a women’s advocate by trade, and there are certain feminist circles in which anything less than full-throated Hillary support is tantamount to heresy.
Until this week, I was only peripherally aware of Lily Allen. Sure, I’d downloaded “Fuck You” and “Smile,” her funny pop confections with a bracing dash of intelligence. But I never qualified as a Lily Allen fan, and in fact had kind of forgotten she was a thing until the Internet blew up with a heated debated about the video for her new song “Hard Out Here.” [Read more...]
First, some context: I love Joss Whedon. LOVE HIM. Like swoony, wobbly-kneed preteen-at-a-One-Direction-concert kind of love. I believe that Joss Whedon should be at the top of the short list for the Nobel Prize in Television Awesomeness, if such a thing existed, which it totally should. As far as I’m concerned, based on Buffy and Firefly alone he could have retired in 2003, secure in the knowledge that he had served humanity well. [Read more...]
Before I saw those pictures of her online Monday morning I didn’t know who Julianne Hough was, and even after Googling her, I’m still not entirely sure. Ballroom dancer and country music singer? Which is it, Julianne, did you have a hit song or were you just on Dancing With the Stars? In any case, this weekend Julianne learned an important lesson in the life of the demi-celebrity, which is that there’s a downside to being constantly photographed: when you screw up—say, by donning blackface to dress as your favorite Orange is the New Black character—everybody sees it. Next thing you know, people on Twitter are calling you racist and bloggers are questioning your professional accomplishments. Who has time for that? Not Julianne Hough, who no doubt has a voice and/or samba lesson to get to. [Read more...]
As California closed the book on the 2013 legislative session, a popular notion took hold, here and across the nation, that the Golden State is a pretty woman-friendly place. At a time when many states are losing ground in reproductive rights and women’s health care generally, California has passed legislation that increases abortion access, repeals Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws and improves pre- and perinatal health care services. These are legitimate political gains, and the advocates who achieved them should be proud.
But I worry that California progressives are prematurely popping the champagne. [Read more...]
(Read Part 1 here.) Last time, I talked about the ongoing argument in American feminism between liberals and radicals, and how our failure to distinguish between the two has left the movement ideologically confused. This confusion causes people to compare fundamentally unlike things (e.g., number of women CEOs vs. unrealistic female beauty standards), and reach conclusions that look oppositional but are really just different perspectives on the same problem. To wit: “We now have women in the Fortune 500, so sexism = OVER!” [Read more...]
(Part 1) Feminists fight with each other a lot; we’re a scrappy bunch. Most of the arguments are useful, a healthy airing of the differences you’re bound to find in a social movement as large and long-standing as US feminism. But there’s one particular argument I’d like to see us put to rest forever. [Read more...]