With lots and lots to read.
I’m back from my lovely weekend in Prague and Munich, and my email box is full of great articles and blog posts, all of which deserve to be highlighted in their own right — but I also have finals starting on Friday, so I have to learn ze German law ASAP, and that means limiting the blogging. In the meantime, there are a great many excellent links that you should check out below the fold.
And, to keep you checking Feministe regularly, we’re going to be making a Big Exciting Announcement sometime in the next day or two. You don’t want to miss it, so stay tuned.
Former guest-blogger Fauzia sends on this article about Indian women gaining greater independence through their careers. This is one that I wanted to do a full post on, because I was struck by how the women seem really torn between a traditional life and an independent one. The hunger for independence is there, but the idea that it’s possible to balance independence with tradition is still being forged, and young women are still told that they can’t have it all (sound familiar?).
The hysteria and schizophrenia about women’s autonomy isn’t just about women at work; it also reaches into religious expression, school attendance, and the intersections of race, religion, gender, and immigration status. I’m alluding, of course, to the French headscarf ban, which Laila Lalami (have I mentioned that I love her?) beautifully takes to task. Did you know that a simple headscarf is “a successor to the Berlin wall”? Me neither. Read the whole article.
What does gender have to do with water management? Quite a bit, apparently. Thanks for Kyle for the link.
Bad news all around: Not only are pantyhose making a comeback, but our dear leader made it a priority to re-instate a White House dress code requiring women to wear them. I am staunchly anti-pantyhose; I do tights when it’s cold and sometimes I’ll do sheer black or fishnet stockings, but the skin-colored hose have to be some of the ugliest, least comfortable items of female fashion torture ever invented. So let’s hope this is a short-lived trend. The conservative focus on pantyhose strikes me as a little odd, since the “nude” ones aren’t really hiding anything, they’re just giving your skin a weird, shiny tone. Which is why comments like this confuse me:
Katie Couric has been one of the most stalwart and high-profile bare-leggers, bringing her tanned gams into living rooms every day with the TV news. But the sight of bare legs is so repulsive to some that a forum has emerged on Stockingshq.com, a website for stockings fans, dedicated to persuading the chipper news anchor to wear pantyhose. Fundraisers, bribes and beatings are a few of the strategies discussed. One man lamented that he’d been forced to switch to Fox, where the legs are rarely naked.
Besides the obvious fact that stockings don’t make your skirt any longer or your female-ness any less visible, it’s telling that “pro-modesty” commenters would suggest beating Couric as punishment for her slutty, slutty bare legs; it’s also kind of hilarious that complainants would switch to Fox News, the porniest network on TV (legs may not be naked on Fox, but a whole lot else is). Also, “a website for stockings fans”? I suspect there’s a nice bit of kink mixed in with the oh-so-wholesome concerns about stocking-clad legs.
And speaking of ridiculous and misogynist “concerns” about women’s personal decisions, Zuzu wrote about professional panty-sniffer Phil Kline; Crooks & Liars has more. Thanks to Kristen for the link.
Also, The Dudes Have Spoken and today, fake boobs are totally out. The best part? Details actually emailed Lauren a link to this article. Because “guys who read Details think your body is gross” is feminist news.
India’s own Pink Ladies are going all vigilante on corrupt officials. Good on them for learning self-defense, and for calling out corruption and wrong-doing. I’m not so hot about the violence (which of course is highlighted in the blurb but not really substantiated in the article), and definitely annoyed that the BBC felt the need to remind us that “The pink sorority is not exactly a group of male-bashing feminists,” but I am glad to see a story about one of the great many groups of women doing feminist work in their communities. Thanks to Cecily, Ali and Chris for the link.
Scientists Write Letters, and RHReality Check has the goods. And it is delicious. A taste:
As a group of leading scientists who have recently conducted research on adolescents, reproductive health, and abstinence-only education, we are writing to express our strong concern about increasing federal support for abstinence-only education (AOE) programs. This federal support includes monies going to states (Section 510 of the Social Security Act) and those going directly to community and faith-based organizations (the Community-Based Abstinence Education program). Recent reports in professional publications by the authors of this letter have highlighted multiple deficiencies in federal abstinence-only programs. As such, we are surprised and dismayed that the Congress is proposing to extend and even increase funding for these programs. In this letter we identify key problems with abstinence-only education. We also have attached recent scientific reports that are pertinent to the debate over these programs. We note that many of these studies have used nationally-representative data from surveys sponsored by the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You’re going to want to bookmark that post — it’s a great resource for future discussions about abstinence-only “education.”
With the holidays coming up, Roni points us to Early to Bed (warning: giant dildo on the header, which may not be work-safe), which not only sells sex toys, but donates a percentage of sales from certain gift sets to Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Women’s Health Center, the Chicago Abortion Fund, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Have I mentioned that I accept bribes?
Talk of the Nation has a piece on educator sex abuse, and one commenter makes a powerful point that this isn’t about “affairs” or adolescent sexual experimentation; when an adult teacher has sex with a minor student, he says, it’s rape. Other people, though, may argue that statutory rape laws are victimless crimes. I’m of the opinion that age does matter, but power matters more, and that it’s hard to separate the two. Should an 18-year-old go to jail for having sex with a 16-year-old? No. But is something fishy when a teacher, who is in a clear position of power, sleeps with a minor student? Yes.
We all know that David Horowitz is a racist, xenophobic, imperialist dipstick. Now we can add anti-feminist to the list — he’s going after gender studies programs. The executive director of the National Women’s Studies Association fires back.
ChrisR sends on this article about violence against women in the D.R. Congo. It is, indeed, the most horrible thing you will read today. Any suggestions as to what we can do? ChrisR suggests writing to representatives, writing a letter to the editor, donating to the International Rescue Committee, educating others, applying economic pressure to whoever benefits from the violence, etc, all of which are solid ideas. Any additional suggestions are appreciated (and needed).
Any other links we should be reading today?
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