Tag Archives | Women

I Am A Full Woman

A number of years ago, I attended a conference on women in Canada entitled, "Gather the Women." I was very interested in going, but I had a niggling thought that kept coming back in the middle of the night. I just knew that it would not be a gathering of women, per se, but a gathering of 95% white, Western, middle income women, with a few women of color and a few women on the financial edge sprinkled in. I began to admit to myself that I was sick of attending conferences with names like "Gather the Women," when they should have been called, "Gather the middle income, white women, and have a conversation that can't possibly express the interests of Women (big W), without truly including women of color and women who would never even have heard about such a conference in equal measure!" At the last minute, I decided I would go if the conference coordinators would allow me to present a video montage of faces of diverse women I'd photographed, to remind us all that we have to include these types of voices in future conferences. They agreed. So, I quickly pulled together photos from my desk-top and threw them together with a great piece of music I loved called "Full Woman," by Rachel Bagby. At the conference, the montage was shown on a large screen at the end of the first day, and the response was overwhelming. Women were weeping in the audience, and many...
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Swaziland Outlaws ‘Rape-Provoking’ Clothing

Picture: Julia70(CC)

The African nation of Swaziland has just made “If she didn’t want it then she shouldn’t have dressed that way” its national policy:

Via Raw Story:

Police in Africa’s last absolute monarchy Swaziland have banned women from wearing miniskirts and midriff-revealing tops saying they provoke rape, local media reported on Monday.

Offenders face a six-month jail term under the ban, which invokes a colonial criminal act dating back to 1889.

“The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women,” police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta was quoted as saying in the Independent Online news.

The ban also applies to low-rise jeans. “They will be arrested,” she said.

Hleta said women wearing revealing clothing were responsible for assaults or rapes committed against them.

Fight back the bile and keep reading.

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An All Female U.S. Supreme Court

Proving, perhaps, that she takes extreme, radical positions on important issues, Justice Ruth Ginsburg says she wants an all female Supreme Court. From CBS:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hopes to see an all-female Supreme Court one day.

Ginsburg made the comment during a 10th Circuit Bench & Bar Conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder, according to CNS News.

“Now the perception is, yes, women are here to stay,” Ginsburg told the conference. “And when I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough and I say when there are nine, people are shocked.”

Ginsburg said that no one has “ever raised a question” when nine men were serving on the bench…

[continues at CBS]

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Polish Company Uses Topless Models to Sell Coffins

Picture: http://www.cofanifunebrimania.eu (C)

Jack Kerouac said “Pretty girls make graves”, but should they sell them, too?

Via Reuters:

A Polish firm that makes coffins has angered the Catholic church by trying to drum up business with a calendar depicting topless models posing next to its caskets.

One image from the 2013 edition of the calendar has a blonde model, wearing only a skimpy thong and with a snake draped around her neck, reclining on a coffin. In another, a woman wearing a crimson corset is depicted pulling out the heart of a man lying on a casket.

“My son had the idea of creating the company’s calendar… so that we could show something half-serious, colorful, beautiful; the beauty of Polish girls and the beauty of our coffins,” said Zbigniew Lindner, the firm’s owner.

“We wanted to show that a coffin isn’t a religious symbol. Its a product,” he said. “Why are people afraid of coffins and not of business suits, cosmetics or jewelry?”

Read more here.… Read the rest

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New Study Provides “Confirmation for Stereotypes About Sex-Hungry Males and Naïve Females”

Picture: Oliver Abels (CC)

Harry: … men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Irritating rom-com, When Harry Met Sally, may have been on the money as regards the age old question of platonic relationships between men and women. Scientific American reports that, according to new research, men see their women friends as potential conquests:

researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab.  Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship.  In order to ensure honest responses, the researchers not only followed standard protocols regarding anonymity and confidentiality, but also required both friends to agree—verbally, and in front of each other—to refrain from discussing the study, even after they had left the testing facility.

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African Women Start Sex Strike To Force President Out

Don’t mess with African women! BBC News reports on the sex strike in Togo:

Women in Togo have been urged to abstain from sex for a week from Monday to push their demand for reform.

The ban has been called by opposition coalition Let’s Save Togo, made up of nine civil society groups and seven opposition parties and movements.

Opposition leader Isabelle Ameganvi said that sex could be a “weapon of the battle” to achieve political change.

The coalition wants President Faure Gnassingbe, whose family has held power for decades, to stand down.

“We have many means to oblige men to understand what women want in Togo,” Ms Ameganvi, leader of the women’s wing of the coalition, told the BBC.

She said she had been inspired by a similar strike by Liberian women in 2003, who used a sex strike to campaign for peace.

“If men refuse to hear our cries we will hold another demonstration that will be more powerful than a sex strike,” she added…

[continues at BBC News]

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A Radical History Of Mothers’ Day

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe

Here’s wishing all the disinfomoms in America (it’s not Mothers’ Day in most other countries) a happy day, but of course you’ll want to know the alternative scoop, provided by Laura Kacere for Nations of Change:

There’s a good number of us who question holidays like Mother’s Day in which you spend more time feeding money into a system that exploits our love for our mothers than actually celebrating them. It’s not unlike any other holiday in America in that its complete commercialization has stripped away so much of its genuine meaning, as well its history. Mother’s Day is unique in its completely radical and totally feminist history, as much as it has been forgotten.

Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars.

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Can Porn Be Feminist?

Feminist PornMaura Kelly, reporting on the Feminist Porn awards, from the Daily Beast:

To kick off the annual Feminist Porn Awards on Wednesday night, adult filmmaker Buck Angel screened his documentary Sexing the Transman XXX to a cheering crowd at a University of Toronto lecture hall. In the movie, Angel talks to female-to-male transsexuals, like himself, about their sex-change experiences. Then he films them masturbating, with and without dildos.

Welcome to feminist pornography, a genre of sex films designed to appeal to people who feel put off by mainstream porn. In the world of feminist porn, women come in all shapes, sizes, and sexual orientations. The actresses don’t necessarily conform to the typical big-boobed, tiny-waisted ideal; some sport armpit hair. They look more like the average woman walking down the street or standing in line at Whole Foods than “porn stars.”

Angel’s documentary is one of 41 films from eight countries being celebrated at the annual awards event, which features several days of screenings and presentations, including an awards ceremony, held last night.

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Sex, Lies & Media: New Wave of Activists Challenge Notions of Beauty

Miss RepresentationEmanuella Grinberg writes on CNN:

Here’s the fantasy: A half-naked woman lies across a couch, lips pouty and cleavage prominent as her sultry gaze implores you to buy this bottle of perfume.

The reality: Women make up 51% of the United States yet only 17% of seats in the House of Representatives. They’re 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 7% of directors in the top 250 grossing films.

What’s the connection? We live in a sexualized society where the gap between fantasy and reality is vast and harmful, director and activist Jennifer Siebel-Newsom says. “Women are aspiring to do great things in leadership, yet the glass ceiling is still there because of the way media depict women,” Siebel-Newsom said. “It influences our culture and dictates our gender norms and values.”

Siebel-Newsom’s documentary, Miss Representation, is the latest cinematic foray in the movement to challenge portrayals of beauty in “the media,” a term used to describe all forms of mass communication, from the internet, TV, film, magazines, radio and advertising …

Read More: CNN

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The Success Myth And The Female Gaze

Noah Brand

Noah Brand

Noah Brand, a mysterious figure with a very nice hat, tells of his greatest professional failure, explains his theory of “The Success Myth,” and introduces the idea of the female gaze, for the Good Men Project:

The masculine equivalent to what Naomi Wolf called The Beauty Myth is The Success Myth. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe said, “A man being rich is like a girl being pretty” and everyone nodded their head, recognizing and endorsing the sentiment. When a rich guy marries a slim young “trophy wife” we all nod our heads again, recognizing that, like it or not, this is a match of two high-value people, a conventionally-successful man and a conventionally-beautiful woman. It would take way too long to get into all the horrible things that arise out of these paired myths, from “gold-digger” stereotypes to men who kill themselves for being “failures”; for now let’s just talk about the idea that men can’t be considered attractive.

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