This Siberian husky “helping” his human rake the autumn leaves features for this month’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the next four weeks.
* with a few netiquette exceptions
When a teen is gang-raped and photos of her rape distributed online, the normal human response should be indignation toward her attackers – not toward the victim, for allegedly being a slut who enticed all the boys. Sadly civilisation has a long way to go, but even in the last couple of years, the cultural climate has grown more conspicuously hostile for misogynists who fancy themselves arbiters of women’s sexual worth. Something has changed – but what?
On Saturday, I sat on a panel in the American Sci-fi Classics track at Dragon Con, talking about female heroes in classic sci-fi. One question from the audience stuck out to me as being insufficiently addressed in the time we had available, so: Young woman in the front row, stage left, ’bout three seats from the end, if you’ve followed me here (which is totally cool and appreciated), here’s the answer you deserve.
Question: Seeing as how “femininity” is really just a social construct, don’t we need to see more heroines who eschew traditional signifiers of femininity?
[Content note for depression, anxiety, and the medical treatment thereof]
In a series of posts on the NYT’s “Anxiety” blog, starting in February, Diana Spechler has been documenting the process of (with her doctor’s supervision) going off of the prescription meds that had been treating her anxiety, depression, and insomnia for over a year. Going Off opens with “Breaking Up With My Meds,” outlining how she came into psychopharmacology and why she wanted to get out of it.
Happy Women’s Day, South Africa! So, Bic is really bad at women. Last time, it was lady pens. This time, it’s an ad that encourages women to, among other things, “look like a girl” and “think like a man.” (#HappyWomensDay, y’all!)
[Content note: sex trafficking and sexual abuse]
Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Lena Dunham, Emily Blunt, and numerous other celebrities, along with former sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and women’s rights advocates, have signed a letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) criticizing a policy currently under discussion within Amnesty International. The policy, which Amnesty plans to introduce at a meeting in Dublin in August, promotes decriminalization of sex work to protect sex workers’ rights, health, and safety.
[Content note: sexual assault]
The current cover of New York magazine is significant not just for who’s there — 35 of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of rape — but for who isn’t there — victims of sexual assault who are afraid or ashamed to come forward. Those individuals are represented by an empty chair, including those unspeaking individuals in the “unwelcome sisterhood” of Cosby’s alleged* victims.
In a 2005 deposition for his first sexual assault case, brought by Andrea Constand, Bill Cosby admitted that he did acquire — and deploy — drugs for the purpose of having sex with women.
As coming-out videos go, it’s a heartbreaker. It’s pretty moving. They’ve got the style right on: black and white, sentimental music, earnest testimonies delivered straight to the camera. A little bit of tearfulness at the back of the throat, because seriously, it’s hard to come out. It’s hard to be honest with people when you don’t know how they’re going to react, that they’re not going to judge you. It’s scary putting yourself out there and saying, “Listen, I trust you to take this part of me, this vulnerable piece of me that I’m putting in your hands, and still love me once you know the truth. The truth, that I am…
… A CATHOLIC WHO’S AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.”
It’s a coming-out video from Catholics who are against same-sex marriage.
It’s not my place to tell a woman she shouldn’t spend $25 on a pair of panties if she wants to. I would never say that a feminist can’t enjoy pink bubble letters. And if you’re so comfortable enough with your body that you want to take and share a selfie of your butt, that’s good for you.
Thus I present this without comment.