I’m writing about Amanda Bynes’ very public breakdown at the Guardian, and what the media coverage says about American views on beautiful women:...read more
As noted by Jill, thanks are owed to Women, Action, and the Media; the Everyday Sexism Project; and Soraya Chemaly, as Facebook has agreed to remove the kind of content that celebrates violence against women and has been heretofore brushed off as “crude humor.” They have also promised to review their content moderation policies and educate their content moderators — and they really need to....read more
Congrats to Women, Action and Media for their successful campaign to push Facebook to deal with violent misogynist content. Facebook routinely deletes offensive content, but has long allowed really awful rape jokes and graphic images of beaten women to remain on their pages. And that’s the rub: This isn’t a pure free speech issue. Facebook isn’t the government, and people who post offensive comments aren’t being hauled off by the police. Since Facebook is a private company, it can control what users post. And Facebook decided that certain kinds of offensive content aren’t ok. By leaving up violent misogynist content while removing other content deemed offensive, Facebook was drawing a line between “acceptable” and “unacceptable,” and putting misogyny squarely in the “acceptable” category. Glad to see they’re working on fixing that. And glad to see so many awesome women and men putting on the pressure....read more
This piece in the Times about sex workers who testified on behalf of their pimps in a sex trafficking case is… interesting. It touches on too many complex issues for me to do it justice in a blog post without having read the trial transcript or knowing much of the background, but a few thoughts:...read more
Hope those of you in the U.S. are having a pleasant one. I am currently in Malaysia for the Women Deliver conference, and will be blogging some updates from here. So prepare for a few days of maternal health news! Also please prepare for slightly slower moderation over the next month, as Malaysia time is 12 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States, so I’ll be asleep while many of you are commenting. On the Memorial Day tip: As long as we’re honoring fallen American soldiers, we should maybe also honor those who are currently serving by having a real zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual assault. When 26,000 soldiers were sexually assaulted last year — up from 19,000 in 2010 — there’s clearly a cultural problem in the military....read more
I recently tried once again to read George Orwell’s 1984.
As always, I got a few chapters in and had to stop because it was so depressing that I couldn’t live in Orwell’s evocation of mind-controlled totalitarian world for a minute longer. One thing I did get out of the experience was adding one more time reading the early chapters including the Two Minutes Hate scene. Early in the book the hero, Winston Smith takes part in his office’s mandatory daily group hate ritual, an exercise in bonding and mind control....read more
A must-read op/ed in the New York Times about the dangers in state control of reproduction:...read more
Living for five years in California and then Oregon, Samantha Escobar felt okay about her appearance, more satisfied with her career and family and friends than she was concerned about weight gain or loss. After just over a month living in New York, she’s begun to feel ugly — “[u]gly enough that I view myself unpresentable to be in front of other human beings, as though I am literally disrespecting them by looking how I do.” It’s heartbreaking....read more
Having a product called “Sexcereal” is funny enough.
Seriously promoting it as being full of foods that make you sexy is funny enough.
Having different versions of it for men and women is funny enough.
But honestly, the folks behind Sexcereal are in the wrong business. Hollywood pays big bucks for people who can be this hilarious:...read more
In February, Angelina Jolie had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. This week, she wrote an op-ed about it for the New York Times. And here’s all I’m going to say about it....read more
No, The Onion. No, Hanna Rosin. A joke about beating a woman to death is not funny....read more
Stories of discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace are all too common, and that’s why we need the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which was introduced in Congress today.
Despite the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act over 30 years ago, which prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, some employers continue to deny pregnant women the minor job modifications that could protect not only a woman’s pregnancy but also a family’s economic security, forcing pregnant women out of their jobs.
The PWFA would make it crystal clear to employers that they can’t treat pregnant women worse than other workers who have certain job limitations and instead must make reasonable accommodations if doing so doesn’t pose an undue hardship on the business....read more