What do we mean when we define a female character as “strong”? When an actress is the protagonist, her conflict is decidedly different than the average male protagonist’s: In literary terms, we often see the female protagonist engaged in a “man vs. self” struggle, while male protagonists wrestle with outside forces. The point is not at all that any one iteration of female “strength” is more admirable – more worthy of depiction on-screen – than another, but rather than our female characters consistently demonstrate one kind of strength while our male characters demonstrate another. Furthermore, when our female characters demonstrate stereotypically “male” strength, they do not win the awards.
These complications of storytelling are all exacerbated by Hollywood demographics :...read more
Guest Blogger: Molly Westerman
It’s interesting to me to hear how individuals’ gut feelings and beliefs about reproductive justice–and specifically about abortion and fetuses–are affected by personal experiences of pregnancy....read more
You may have noticed we’ve fallen down on the job of publishing guest posts over the last few months. It seems each of the editors was hoping that the others would pick up the slack, and it just didn’t happen. Apologies to all who have sent a submission to us and not heard back....read more
“How come I can stick a tampon in myself, and still be considered a virgin? I understand a non-virgin is someone who’s had a penis penetrating a vagina before. But if penetration is that important, how is being penetrated by a tampon any different? It’s like sexuality only counts when it’s involving penises or something.”...read more
So begins a miniseries for the next couple months on rape culture and the finer points of victim-blaming illogic, as part of an effort to stray from tried-and-true topics and cover more divisive subjects that typically attract online harassment and rape threats. Afterward we’ll talk next semester’s plans and ask how you’d grade Feministe’s first attempt at vlogging this year. But first, here’s our last episode of 2013, as of this writing…...read more
I am a serious fan of Jane Austen’s books and of her ironic observers’ take on women and Regency society. She did not describe her characters very much, and was far more interested in their personalities and interactions than their looks....read more
As one blogger asked, where were you when Beyoncé’s self-titled album was dropped on December 13, 2013? The world was shell-shocked when the Beytomic bomb exploded on the musical landscape. After this initial shock and awe, fans of her music have been able to digest her masterpiece in all its glory. We can surely talk for days about her more explicit sensuality. Or her refined ratchetness. Or how this coincides with her shift in musical expression. I’d like to explore the latter of these two. And what it means for her as black woman who grew up middle class in the south. They are these intersections of race and class—not to mention gender, which has already been talked about a good bit in feminist spaces—that make Beyoncé so fascinating and, as one of my homegirls and Melissa Harris Perry (my homegirl in my head) put it, will doubtless be the album that launches a thousand woman’s studies papers....read more
Content Note: Some images in this post may be considered NSFW
Julia Kozerski lost 160 pounds, exactly the way that fat people are encouraged to. She changed her diet, she built in exercise, she stayed constant. Her goal was to change her body, and she succeeded. She went from weighing 338 (fat women can always tell you the exact number) to about 180. She’s also a photographer, and she has documented the experience extensively....read more
In a possible dystopian future where Obamacare’s birth control mandate is struck down and American women stripped of their right to contraception minus co-pay discrimination, there may come a time when a woman and her sperm-producing partner may need to discuss cost-sharing over birth control. Because despite Republican beliefs about how women should be charged more for healthcare because they have vaginas, it’s our sincere hope as few girls as possible wind up with boyfriends like this…...read more
Guest Blogger @DrRubidium is an analytical chemist.
Scientist and science communicator @DNLee5 declined an offer to blog for free from biology-online.org and got called a ‘whore’. @DNLee5 posted a thoughtful response on her Scientific American’s blog ‘The Urban Scientist’. A short time later, her response vanished… ...read more
Oh Andre Perry. Oh Andre. Let me just say straight up that as a white kid from a tiny town in New Jersey, I’m, like, supremely unqualified to talk about issues in the black community. But even I can tell this is a bunch of impractical horseshit.
GOOD, PLEASE STOP publishing “pragmatic” articles that sound like they were written by a Young Republican. If you’re going to tackle the complex issues that affect black and low-income communities, the least you could do is come up with some solid bullet points that don’t make it sound like you hate poor people....read more
1. This article deals explicitly with issues of both penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault. It may be triggering for some readers.
2. While this is written from my own personal experiences, they still do not represent all kinds of sexual assault experiences. My article is meant to bring attention to other kinds of sexual assault and promote the inclusion of these experiences in assault conversations and survivor advocacy.