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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.
Lately, we’ve heard a lot about the street harassment of women, from a CNN.com homepage feature to a skit on Saturday Night Live, and while the focus on the gender-based street harassment of women needs even more attention than it’s getting now, the harassment of men is an interrelated issue that deserves some attention, too....read more
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....read more
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....read more
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....read more
Almost four years ago, President Barack Obama achieved something monumental: he inspired people who had never voted to vote in droves. He motivated college students across the country to organize rallies and voting drives in support of his campaign. And he encouraged millions across the nation – across racial lines – with his message of hope and change....read more
It’s not a new idea – we’ve certainly seen it raising its ugly head in media repeatedly, but it’s become popular again – the “flipped prejudice” fiction....read more
I’m fortunate to work with students in one of the few states in the States where legislators generally respect reproductive health as a fundamental right (unless you’re Rep. Darrell “all male contraceptive panel” Issa). So when the local uni put out a call for people to submit “creative presentations” about HIV/AIDS, these students – all of whom were part of a local feminist/cosplay/anime/ninja/fun group – decided to create this sex education video:...read more
This is a complicated issue because, when it comes to media, the 2 often seem to be the same thing. If a book or film or TV series has included marginalised people then surely it has portrayed them, right?...read more
“Paul Ryan is a ****ing rapist. Sorry for stating the obvious,” she said....read more
Ten years ago the opposition used to speak in coded language about how their attacks on women’s sexual equality were about “protecting women” from themselves, promoting “a culture of life” – because everyone knows that without guidance from wise, misogynist politicians, women just aren’t smart enough to make personal decisions about their own sexuality. Today the opposition has dispensed with its dog whistles entirely, and taken to openly smearing women who dare to exercise control over their health and reproductive rights as sluts and threats to the moral foundation of America. (They’ve also said pretty rude things about the LGBT community, but… one thing at a time.)...read more
In 2004, I read this line: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” It so intrigued me that I decided to learn more about the woman who wrote it. Her name was Simone Weil and she was a French philosopher, activist, and mystic, from the 1930s. I was amazed by what I discovered....read more