Free Radicals, Part 3

ain't no revolutionIn Parts 1 and 2, I talked about the basic differences between the radical and the liberal strains of feminist thought in this country. Now I’m going to illustrate them with an example from my own life. I’ll start by telling you about the time I got kicked out of feminism. [Read more...]

Partnering with Men for Feminist Change

C.Hayes photo 2012The 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...]

Women, Politics and Represention

C.Hayes photo 2012There’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.

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It’s Hard Out Here for a Feminist

LAllenUntil 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...]

Joss Whedon and the F-Word

Whedon

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...]

Free Radicals, Part 2

Radfem(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...]

Low-Hanging Fruit: Hanna Rosin

Rosin

Full disclosure: I haven’t read Hanna Rosin’s book “The End of Men” in its entirety, nor do I intend to; you can scold me in the comments if you like, but it just ain’t gonna happen. This is principally because I find Hanna Rosin SO BLOODY ANNOYING that I can barely get through one of her short, click-baity excerpts on Slate without a major spike in blood pressure [Read more...]

Rethinking Manliness

 

C.Hayes photo 2012In the tense hours leading up to the identification of the Boston bombing suspects, a number of pressing questions swirled around their identities. What was their nationality? Did they act alone or were they operatives in a network? Was this an isolated incident or part of a larger plan? Here’s one question nobody asked: Were the bombers male or female? That question was answered before it could even be posed; it was treated as a given that the perpetrators were men. [Read more...]

Points of Entry, or Why Everyone’s Yelling About Sheryl Sandberg

sandbergThere’s an argument that the American women’s movement has been having with itself on and off since since the late 1800’s, and it looks like we’re in for another round this week. It’s an argument about authenticity and the movement’s true purpose, about what qualifies as a real feminist concern and, by extension, who qualifies as a real feminist. In the 19th century you would have heard Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone shouting each other down (politely, over tea) about the enfranchisement of African American men; in 2013 you get feminists tweeting (less politely, beer in hand) about Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” which was released today and is causing quite the uproar in ladyblogger circles. [Read more...]

Have Book, Will Travel

L-R: Contributing writer Janet Frishberg, publisher Kim Wyatt, moi.

L-R: Contributing writer Janet Frishberg, publisher Kim Wyatt, moi.

So! “Get Out of My Crotch,” the awesome collection of essays I’ve told you about, came out last week, and there were readings in Portland and South Lake Tahoe to kick things off. I figured, eh, the office can probably manage without my brilliance for a week, so I took time off and went to both events. I am SO glad I did, because as much as I enjoy sitting at home in sweatpants, pecking at my laptop and bouncing ideas off the poodle, getting out and actually talking to people about this stuff is way more fun. [Read more...]