Guest Bloggers are most welcome to diversify the range of views and experiences presented on this blog. The opinions of Guest Bloggers do not necessarily represent other bloggers on Feministe: differing voices are important to us. Readers are cordially invited to follow our guidelines to submit a Guest Post pitch for consideration.
What do we mean when we define a female character as “strong”? When an actress is the protagonist, her conflict is decidedly different than the average male protagonist’s: In literary terms, we often see the female protagonist engaged in a “man vs. self” struggle, while male protagonists wrestle with outside forces. The point is not at all that any one iteration of female “strength” is more admirable – more worthy of depiction on-screen – than another, but rather than our female characters consistently demonstrate one kind of strength while our male characters demonstrate another. Furthermore, when our female characters demonstrate stereotypically “male” strength, they do not win the awards.
These complications of storytelling are all exacerbated by Hollywood demographics :...read more
Guest Blogger: Molly Westerman
It’s interesting to me to hear how individuals’ gut feelings and beliefs about reproductive justice–and specifically about abortion and fetuses–are affected by personal experiences of pregnancy....read more
When I was in my teens abortion was illegal and sex and resulting unwanted pregnancies were a big gamble. I’ve seen abortions and all forms of contraception become legal and available in much of this country. Now I’m seeing that in too many parts of the US and the larger world, the risks are increasingly greater and the deck is being stacked against women. I have known too many women whose choices were constrained by bad odds. What we need to do is stack the deck in favor of all women....read more
“How come I can stick a tampon in myself, and still be considered a virgin? I understand a non-virgin is someone who’s had a penis penetrating a vagina before. But if penetration is that important, how is being penetrated by a tampon any different? It’s like sexuality only counts when it’s involving penises or something.”...read more
So begins a miniseries for the next couple months on rape culture and the finer points of victim-blaming illogic, as part of an effort to stray from tried-and-true topics and cover more divisive subjects that typically attract online harassment and rape threats. Afterward we’ll talk next semester’s plans and ask how you’d grade Feministe’s first attempt at vlogging this year. But first, here’s our last episode of 2013, as of this writing…...read more
I am a serious fan of Jane Austen’s books and of her ironic observers’ take on women and Regency society. She did not describe her characters very much, and was far more interested in their personalities and interactions than their looks....read more
As one blogger asked, where were you when Beyoncé’s self-titled album was dropped on December 13, 2013? The world was shell-shocked when the Beytomic bomb exploded on the musical landscape. After this initial shock and awe, fans of her music have been able to digest her masterpiece in all its glory. We can surely talk for days about her more explicit sensuality. Or her refined ratchetness. Or how this coincides with her shift in musical expression. I’d like to explore the latter of these two. And what it means for her as black woman who grew up middle class in the south. They are these intersections of race and class—not to mention gender, which has already been talked about a good bit in feminist spaces—that make Beyoncé so fascinating and, as one of my homegirls and Melissa Harris Perry (my homegirl in my head) put it, will doubtless be the album that launches a thousand woman’s studies papers....read more
Content Note: Some images in this post may be considered NSFW
Julia Kozerski lost 160 pounds, exactly the way that fat people are encouraged to. She changed her diet, she built in exercise, she stayed constant. Her goal was to change her body, and she succeeded. She went from weighing 338 (fat women can always tell you the exact number) to about 180. She’s also a photographer, and she has documented the experience extensively....read more
In a possible dystopian future where Obamacare’s birth control mandate is struck down and American women stripped of their right to contraception minus co-pay discrimination, there may come a time when a woman and her sperm-producing partner may need to discuss cost-sharing over birth control. Because despite Republican beliefs about how women should be charged more for healthcare because they have vaginas, it’s our sincere hope as few girls as possible wind up with boyfriends like this…...read more
The brilliant Lisa Wade at Sociological Images has a thought-provoking piece about penis/gun imagery in safer sex ads, like this particularly vivid one:...read more
I am a woman from Asia and the Pacific, having been born in Malaysia and raised in New Zealand; I have always straddled both sides of my vast and awkwardly constructed region. I was struck recently, when over a few beers, a friend asked me to name three feminist icons all of the names I came up with were white women from Europe or North America, and this is true for most of the young Asian feminists I know. As a young woman growing up and coming into my feminist consciousness, feminism and whiteness were all tangled together for me. For a while, being a feminist meant rejecting my Indian identity and accepting a position of ‘honorary whiteness.’ This made me deeply uncomfortable, although for a long time I did not have the anti-racist language to describe how and why this was problematic....read more
A well-meaning mother****er at one of our schools recently suggested that integrating consent into sex education should prevent rape, because it helps date rapists to understand what consent does and doesn’t look like. Bollocks, we say. Whilst teaching consent does create a more feminist, hostile environment for rapists who try operating without being called out, it’s not the same as educating date rapists to recognise signs of consent – because rapists in fact know damn well what consent looks like, despite claiming they just didn’t realise their dates said no. And coincidentally, that’s the topic of this episode…...read more