Author: Guest Blogger

Celebrating Womanfest

These days of course there are so many added venues for women to get together -– drinks after work, lunch, maybe a film, etc. My experience with such opportunities often, however, did not seem to me so different from my mother’s day. Often isolated, often individualized, often professionally segregated or age separated.

Considering this a few years ago, I decided a new, big gathering of women was just the ticket.

What We Really Learned About Romney Last Night, Beyond the Binders Meme

In just one question last night, Mitt Romney told us everything we needed to know about how disconnected he is from everyday women. His answers reflected a shockingly retrograde view of working women, and a total lack of interest in women’s issues. Behind his answers lies the reality that a Romney presidency has no plans to do anything to rectify gender inequality in the workplace.
When asked what he would do as president to rectify the fact that women earn 72% of what men earn for the same jobs, Romney stumbled unbelievably. It became clear that Romney has never given much thought to the economic inequalities faced by women, and was woefully unprepared for the question.

What do little girls have to do with our wars?

This week a Taliban hit squad in Pakistan targeted and shot Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old who was fighting for the right of girls to be educated. I cried at the inhumanity on and off all day when I heard. Maybe she should have just dressed the part and saved her life. I’m not being flip. I wish with all my heart that she didn’t have to be shot in the head to become a “global icon” for the plight of girls. But the plight of girls is the plight of the world. That’s what people need to come to terms with.

Facebook and the “12-year-old Slut” Meme

Earlier this week, I had barely finished writing Cameras, Consent and Conservative Rapeyness here, when this Change.org petition came across my desk: “Please sign to remove 12 Year Old Slut Memes from Facebook.” One of the offending page’s profile photo is of a pink-lipped and pouty child (she looks a lot younger than 12) wearing a tank top that reads “I love COCK.” Now, this page doesn’t openly advocate violence against anyone. It is, in essence, the virtual equivalent of street harassment. But, it is a case in point of how, whether real or virtual, photography serves to exponentially magnify the effects of subtle and real violence.

Cameras, Consent and Conservative Rapeyness

Women deal with violence or its threat all the time. Women who defend themselves make people pause, however. Violent women, especially, disturb people. They upset the “natural order” and cause no small amount of unease. If a woman’s defense of herself enters the courts, well, that is always enlightening for the degree to which male norms are revealed to permeate the justice system and she is either re-victimized, criminalized or pathologized for defending herself. Now, in an interesting modern twist on old themes, enter the camera and its intensifying and catalytic effects – both real and metaphorical.