Time magazine’s annual poll of the year’s “worst words” looks for words that make you “definitely cringe,” even “exhale pointedly,” even “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids.” And it asks people to “vote another word off the island” (and if I never hear that phrase again, I’ll be okay). This year’s poll includes bae, basic, bossy, disrupt, I can’t even…, influencer, kale, literally, om nom nom nom, obi, said no one ever, sorry not sorry, turnout, yaaasssss, and… feminist.
Just two of the latest incidents: a Black actress kissing her White husband in front of her CBS workplace detained on suspicion of prostitution, and a Black man shot repeatedly in the back by police after buying a souvenir samurai sword.
@thetrudz has compiled a timeline of tweets that lay out what’s been happening with the pseudo-feminist troll hashtag #EndFathersDay and how it rapidly devolved from anti-feminist sockpuppeting to misogynoir sockpuppeting with very little pushback except from the targeted WoC and BW tweeters themselves.
Alexis Okeowo in The New Yorker: Nigeria’s stolen girls.
If this were happening anywhere else in the world, there would have been non-stop mass media coverage of the burnt school and the grieving families and relentless questioning of the relevant officials as to the inadequacy of the search and rescue operations.
We tend to get it here mostly on threads which criticise racist aspects of mainstream feminism, but it’s all over the social justice map – people derailing criticism of ongoing perpetutations of oppressions with their defensive insistence that while yes of course that incident was very wrong however critics need to acknowledge that They/We are not all like That/Them.
John Scalzi lays out the 101 on why that argument functions as just another silencing tactic whether one means it that way or not, and notes how falling back on it blocks one’s ethical self-examination of how one benefits from the status quo:
I’m in Brazil right now with the wonderful International Reporting Project, and while here I spoke with a young woman who, like many women around the world, got pregnant when she didn’t want to be. Here in Brazil, abortion is generally illegal. After trying several different methods unsuccessfully and reaching out to a variety of slightly-shady people for help, she decided to go the safest route: To say she had been raped and get a safe, legal abortion in a Brazilian hospital. Her story is here. Women in this country are understandably very afraid to speak with anyone about abortion, and lots of women die or are injured from unsafe procedures. I’m particularly grateful to this young woman, who I’m calling Juliana, for her generosity, her honesty and her courage in sharing an extremely complicated story.
Twenty-three years ago, Anita Hill testified before Congress in the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, who is now a Supreme Court justice. Hill’s testimony brought the term “sexual harassment” into the general American lexicon, and changed the way we talk about gender, power and the workplace. At the time, Hill was vilified by the media and treated horribly by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her testimony, and the hostility she faced, galvanized women and feminists across the U.S. On Friday, a new documentary called “Anita: Speaking Truth to Power” will be released. I’ve seen it, and it’s excellent — go check it out.
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Hill — one of my personal heroes — and to interview her for Cosmopolitan. You can read the whole thing here. A bit of it:
You know, to get rid of swoob (sweat-boob). Yes, the idea of boob deodorant might make you titter, but it’s a real thing an actual company is marketing. And that says a lot about our beauty industry.
Stephanie Coontz says yes, and she makes a pretty convincing case.
Hope you all celebrated and had a grand ol’ time. Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog — December was a big month of travel for me, often without great internet. One of those trips was to Malawi, which is a fantastic country in East Africa, small and extremely poor but the locus of some really innovative development efforts. I met a lot of bright, interesting girls doing fantastic advocacy and activism work in their communities. Unfortunately, they’re looking at being defunded: Endemic corruption in Malawi is a national scandal, with millions in donor aid plundered by politicians. Now, many Western governments are suspending funds. I wrote about it for the Guardian, so click over and read the whole thing. I’m happy to start 2014 with a reminder that there are some pretty amazing young women advocating for their own futures all over the world.
Hot on the heels of Arizona news that one Christian woman was assaulted by another Christian woman in Phoenix because she said “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” (!) comes a New Jersey report that two men attempted to burn down a “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia” billboard put up by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (to counter a “Keep Christ in Christmas” banner hanging over Pitman’s main thoroughfare). It’s not the first attempt to deface/destroy the FFRF billboard since it was unveiled last week.