Sold Out

I would just like to take a moment to thank my university for selling my email address and my cell phone number.

Posted in Education | 16 Comments

Recommended Reads

The Heretik: Women Left Hanging in Iraq
The Economist: For Jihadists, Read Anarchists (very interesting article though I don’t necessarily agree with everything stated)
Bulldog Manifesto: Orwellian 101
Media Girl: Kingmakers and the Real Net Roots

Posted in Recommended | Tagged | 5 Comments

Miss NYU

There’s a bit of a controversy stirring at my undergrad alma mater (and my future law school) about a Miss NYU calendar that’s in the works. A friend of mine and former photo editor of the Washington Square News is the brains behind the calendar, which will feature a variety of NYU women representing different contingents of the NYU student body, including (I’m pretty sure) feminism, with someone wearing a “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like” t-shirt and surrounded by NOW signs. The proceeds of calendar sales are going to the American Cancer Society. As I understand it, the calendar isn’t full of half-naked bikini-shots. But nonetheless, it has still ruffled some feathers, particularly in the NYU feminist community. Which is understandable, and certainly a cause that I’m sympathetic to. As one of the leaders of this campaign writes in an email,

the main gimmick is to capitalizeon the popularity of the sexy college co-ed image, an image that hurts us all. The real Miss NYU? A young woman who works hard to get into a school like NYU because she’s here for an education, her career, her mind, not to be a sexpot…unfortunately the sexist image is prevailing, and being even a bolster by this calendar here at our own insitution of higher learning. Predictably, MISS NYU has come out with the idea of MR NYU-great! equal opportunity exploitation!

She’s right, of course. The “sexy co-ed” image is harmful to all women, and the real Miss NYU isn’t necessarily thin, light-skinned, and fitting most of the other beauty norms in our culture. But at the same time, I’m a big believer in trusting women to be thoughtful actors in their own lives. Of coures, it’s always more complicated than that, but I’m not sure I buy the idea that being photographed and having one’s image used to raise money is harmful in and of itself. At the same time, I don’t think that this Miss NYU calendar will be particularly representative of me, or of most NYU women, and I do think that, like beauty pageants, it is inherently demeaning. But should it be where we as feminists direct our efforts?

Obviously, I haven’t come to a conclusion on this one yet. But I do think it’s good to be having a conversation about it. Unfortunately, supporters of the calendar are coming out in full force, and seem to be choosing to counter feminist questions with personal attacks instead of having a reasoned discussion. The woman who is spearheading the anti-calendar effort sent me this link to a thread discussing the issue, primarily because my name came up in it (even though, interestingly, I have so far had nothing to do with the issue on either side, since I haven’t been anywhere near New York for three months). But the part about me is really weird, so skip it. What’s more interesting is how they choose to discount feminist arguments — calling us “hairy,” “overzealous,” “hippies,” “ungrateful bitches,” and “ugly.”

Now, anyone with half a brain could figure out that feminists aren’t opposed to things like this because we’re all ugly and are jealous that we weren’t attractive enough to be featured in this calendar. Our politics are a little more complicated than that. And as I’ve written about before, it can be a big conflict for feminists like me who believe in the ideals, but who still use make-up and wear high heels and go on stupid diets and otherwise conform to various facets of the beauty myth.

And not that it matters, but like I said before, I do know the woman who has started this campaign — and she’s actually quite beautiful. So I look forward to seeing some conservative heads explode when they realize that women — even pretty ones! — have ideals that are separate from their physical appearance.

Am I feeding right back into this myth when I mention that she’s pretty? I’m not sure. I hesitated to write it, because it obviously doesn’t change the validity of her argument. But I’m putting it out there because, sadly, it does point out that women who are deemed attractive are given more leeway in making feminist arguments, simply because the “you only think that because you’re ugly/because you can’t get a man” rebuff fails with them. Just look at the relative success of Gloria Steinem compared to, say, Andrea Dworkin. It’s bullshit. But it’s interesting to look at anyway. And I should add in here that the woman behind this campaign is really fuckin smart — I should have said that first.

So I’m conflicted about the whole calendar issue, and definitely open to thoughts/suggestions.

Posted in Education, Feminism | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Back in NY

Sorry for the long absense… I’ve been en route to New York, and have finally returned. However, I’m homeless and living with a friend in Jersey, so blogging may continue to be a little slow on my end until I find an apartment (and if anyone is moving out of a downtown 2-bedroom for $2,000 a month or under, drop me a line!)

Posted in Blogging | 13 Comments

We Got Some Answers

Karol answers some questions that I quoted from PLS earlier:

I’m a woman that voted for Bush. Here are your answers:

Who’s denying financial support for reproductive health care around the world, thus causing the death of thousands of women and babies?

Why is it our responsibility to pay for this? We pay for a million other things for countries all over the world. Maybe they can handle this one thing all on their own.

Who thinks little girls who’ve been raped or subject to incest should become mothers?

If you’re pro-life, and believe that life begins at conception, what difference does it make how the baby is conceived? It’s still a life. It’s actually very hypocritical of pro-lifers to make this exception. It’s either a life or it isn’t. If it is, the circumstances of conception don’t matter. And, I’ve always wondered, why add ‘incest’ to the ‘rape’ exception? If it’s rape by a family member then just call it rape and if it’s consensual sex between family members, then why should they be included in the abortion exception? Is it just to make the circumstances sound horrible enough to invoke pity?

Who wants to curtail Title IX and return to the days when girls’ sports could be systematically underfunded in order to support bloated football teams?

Forcing schools to support womens’ teams equally to mens’ is absurd. It’s a fact that men play sports more than women. Men are actually getting the short end of this stick because schools have to pay for womens’ sports programs that have barely any participation.

Who nominates a Supreme Court candidate who gleefully finds arguments against enforcing laws mandating equal pay for women?

Key word is ‘mandating’. I hate that liberals treat women like we’re fucking retards. We don’t need a law for every little thing. We’ve been in the workplace for awhile now.

Why do women vote for George W. Bush?

Because some of us are smart.

Have at it.

Posted in Feminism, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 80 Comments

I Sincerely Hope This Is a Joke

I can’t even think of anything to say about this. Ew.

Posted in Celebrity | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Female Hip Hop Callout

Via Lynne,

This is what you have been waiting for: to release one of your homemade tracks on our new netlabel called femalehiphop.net. For our first release “Flip Flops – The Instrumentals” we are looking for beats you’d like to share with the world. We will then release six selected tracks online on femalehiphop.net. This basically means that you can download an mp3 of the track and either listen to it or – this will lead us to our second release “Flip Flops” – add your own rap to the instrumental and send it to us. We’ll then choose the best versions and publish them as Flip Flops.

Via FlipFlops, you’ll be able to work with a beat/a vocal track of a producer/an MC you didn’t know before, so you could sit in Berlin while your MC would be e.g. in Detroit or Sydney. Our motivation to start a netlabel is to push female MCs and producers who didn’t get a chance to publish a record yet and also to connect female mcs worldwide. Your tracks will be published under a Creative Commons license (please visit creativecommons.org or www.femalehiphop.net for more information on the license). So get your equipment running and hit us with some banging beats at flipflop@femalehiphop.net! Good luck!

So, so cool. Any music makers out there?

Posted in Gender, Music | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Rape? Incest? Deathly ill? Who cares!

A lawsuit has been filed in Kansas to have abortion outlawed and have the court declare that rights begin at conception.

The attorney general of Kansas filed a lawsuit last week against Governor Kathleen Sebelius, arguing that use of state money to finance abortions violates the state constitution. Medicaid currently pays for abortions resulting from rape, incest, or when the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother’s life. Kansas’ constitution, however, protects individuals’ “inalienable natural rights,” among which are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In his lawsuit, AG Phill Kline says using Medicaid to pay for abortions is contrary to those protections, and he also requests that the court agree that life begins at conception. A spokesperson for the Kansas attorney general says Kline is simply doing what the state legislature instructed him to do in 2002 when the State House voted to ask the courts to determine the legality of state funding for abortions. Kline’s lawsuit has the backing of pro-life state representative Lance Kinzer and the group Kansas Right to Life.

Until someone advocates criminalization of abortion outright, I say it’s all grandstanding.

Posted in Reproductive Rights | Tagged , | 9 Comments

The Scourge of the World

It’s a wonderful day when I’m told in at least two places that my little family is ruining “good” society.

If my life is bad, bad is looking pretty good.

Second link via B3.

UPDATE: Two days in a row! I must be onto something.

Posted in Gender | Tagged | 6 Comments

We Feminists Must Be Stopped

Via Alas, A Blog we find how feminism has hurt women:

Women are less likely to fall victim to murder today than 20 years ago because they are more willing to walk out of violent relationships, a new study has revealed.

…Danny Dorling, the report’s author and professor of human geography at Sheffield University, said that marked changes in the social status of women explained the shift.

“The decline in the female murder rate is probably due to women being more likely and able to walk out of violent relationships,” he said.

“People have both became aware of how dangerous domestic violence is and how fruitless it is to stay in a violent relationship. In addition, women have become economically better off and so, in increasing numbers, they can afford to walk out.”

Damn you feminists.

Snark aside, there are other interesting facts on socio-economic class and murder in Great Britian in the article. Worth a read.

Posted in Feminism, Recommended | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Women in Iraq and Elsewhere

Apologies to Whirled View, but this post deserves to be quoted in full. PLS writes:

George W. Bush says that women’s rights are protected in the current draft of the Iraq constitution.

Iraqi women insist that they are losing rights under this document. And eleven U.S. Senators who are also women are worried, too.

Who’s telling it like it is here? Do you trust the testimony of worried Iraqi women or the airy speechifying of an American President who has lied again and again about the Iraq fiasco?

Let’s continue with this questionnaire:

Who’s denying financial support for reproductive health care around the world, thus causing the death of thousands of women and babies?

The George W. Bush administration.

Who thinks little girls who’ve been raped or subject to incest should become mothers?

The George W. Bush administration.

Who wants to curtail Title IX and return to the days when girls’ sports could be systematically underfunded in order to support bloated football teams?

The George W. Bush administration.

Who nominates a Supreme Court candidate who gleefully finds arguments against enforcing laws mandating equal pay for women?

The George W. Bush administration.

Why do women vote for George W. Bush?

Beats me.

Yes. And thank you.

Posted in Gender, Politics | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

So, You Married a Man With a Virgin/Whore Complex

Belle says it so I don’t have to. Don’t understand the squidge? See here. And buck up.

Title credit: Scott Lemieux, whose last name has far too many vowels in a row.

UPDATE: And there’s more.

Posted in Feminism, Sex | Tagged , | 19 Comments