Guest Post: The No-Pants Challenge

Blogger Lyz Lenz writes about not shopping, her lovely daughter, and her love of chicken nuggets over on LyzLenz.com. Her work has been published on Babble, Guideposts, The Hairpin, YourTango and more. In this guest post, she tells us about her no-shopping-for-one-year challenge, which she hopes will show her young daughter that life is more than expensive clothes.

 

When I was eight months postpartum, I finally lost all the baby weight. As soon as I stepped off the scale, I rushed to the attic to liberate my clothes. But, when I unpacked my 30-gallon tub, I didn’t see the colorful and carefree wardrobe that I remembered from my pre-baby days. All I saw were piles and piles of cheap crap.

Halter tops. Unlined jackets with shoulder pads. Rompers. What was I thinking?

Perhaps it was the wisdom that comes with having a child, or more likely it was the aging process sped up by the months of sleeplessness, but when I looked at the mounds of cheap sweaters and flimsy, stretched-out dresses I suddenly felt lost. For years, I’ve been overspending my clothing budget in an attempt to amass the clothes I thought I needed. But the problem was, when it came to spending, I had a feast or famine mentality. Raised as the second-oldest of eight children, I had seen my parents file for bankruptcy and lose their home. And I suffered through high school in thrift-store finds and hand-me downs, until I was old enough to get a job. Then, I spent every cent I earned at the Gap and Abercrombie, just trying to fit in. I bounced checks, and my parents lectured me my finances, but I didn’t care. I believed that if I had money, I better spend it. Tomorrow it would all be gone.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: The Nora Ephron, R.I.P., Edition

Nora Ephron’s Greatest Hits: A Video Compilation [via the LA Times]

Remembering Nora Ephron — A Great New York Dame [via FoxNews.com]

Nora Ephron Mined the Mundane for Laughs [via The Baltimore Sun]

Nora Ephron Talks Her Last Meal, Aging, and More on Charlie Rose [via The Huffington Post]

Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Billy Crystal and More Mourn Writer-Director’s Death [via E! online]


What Nora Ephron Taught Us

Nora Ephron is an icon for women, for writers and for feminism. Her passing marks the loss of one of our greatest heroes.

Ephron dominated the male-run industries of journalism, publishing, Broadway and Hollywood, earning the accolades and awards of her male peers and practically inventing a genre that remains the most successful in all of film: the romantic comedy. And Ephron made rom-com an artform, exploring deep issues of female friendship, death, divorce, single motherhood and unconventional love in all its forms. Her success as a humor writer stands as a permanent rebuttal to any chauvinist writer who decides to script another “women aren’t funny” headline. And every time a sexist film masquerading as a romantic comedy sweeps the nation, we’re comforted by her canon of thoughtful, provocative and heartfelt films.

To celebrate her life and her work, here are a few of the best lessons we’ve learned through Nora Ephron films, every one of them worth viewing for a gazillionth time.

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"When Harry Met Sally": Falling in love with your best friend doesn't have to be all mopey pining or an impossible love triangle where one woman always loses. Ephron’s most successful film consistently makes critics’ best lists and remains a cultural talking point even today for its smart, honest take on guy and girl relationships.


Could ‘Women’s Issues’ Be a Thing of the Past?

Once again, we have The War on Women to thank. No, really, we’re serious: Now that ladies’ rights have emerged as a wedge issue in the upcoming presidential election, there seems to be a new movement toward actually finally acknowledging that women’s issues are everyone’s issues. It seems too good to be true, but we’re cautiously optimistic. President Obama’s recent push for equal pay (we cannot believe this has not been achieved yet!) focused on its benefits to “families,” not just to women. It should be a “duh” moment, but apparently it requires explanation in our skewed world. See, if the woman in the house makes more, everyone wins! More money = more money, no matter the gender of the person making it. High math, we know, but, look! Even as girls, we understand it.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: A ’50 Shades’ movie, Elizabeth Warren for president, and more …

Could a 50 Shades movie actually be good?: Salon’s Laura Miller says yes.

Elizabeth Warren for president?: Not that we don’t love Warren, but The Atlantic ponders whether the Democratic bench is deep enough to handle the next election.

Congrats, Ms.!: The venerable feminist magazine celebrates its 40th.

Missing Joan and Peggy: The only three types of businesswomen represented in pop culture, according to Bitch.

Slate investigates the history of “witch hunts”: Hey, at least it’s a reference to women’s history!

The New York Times on The Atlantic “have it all” dust-up: A balanced summary of the debate.


Stay-At-Home Moms Are Feminists Too

Remember Elizabeth Wurtzel? Quick recap: she wrote a book about depression and addiction called Prozac Nation (maybe you saw the movie), got famous, then posed naked on the cover of her next book, Bitch, flipping us all off. She’s now a lawyer and one would assume has a slightly more settled life than the memoir-making chaos that led to her early publishing success.

But she wants you to remember that middle finger. She’s flipping it again, and this time it’s directed at women. Namely, those who choose domestic responsibilities over career ones. In a new essay in The Nation, Wurtzel blames who she calls “1% moms” for the failure of feminism and the reason the war on women exists.

Yeah, wow.

The bulk of her argument is directed at the Desperate Housewife set—the moms with expense accounts (provided by their husbands), nannies and acrylic fingernails that eschew the dirty work of motherhood. Some of them have Ivy League degrees. Others just lucked out marrying a rich guy.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: Pixar’s ‘Brave,’ ’1% wives,’ and more …

Pixar finally gives girls their due: Salon reviews Brave.

Elizabeth Wurtzel baits debate by calling out “1% wives” in The Atlantic: We aren’t going to get on board with the whole mommyhood-is-a-pedicure-fest idea, but we do agree with this: “Who can possibly take feminism seriously when it allows everything, as long as women choose it? The whole point to begin with was that women were losing their minds pushing mops and strollers all day without a room or a salary of their own.” Feministe and The Frisky weigh in.

We heart Amy Poehler: And purple. So we like reading about her recent appearance at the 92nd Street Y in Capital New York, and her “purple-state feminism.”

Are you gay?: Match.com offers some advice for the curious-but-confused.

16 Excellent Retorts to “Why Are You Still Single?”: We’ve always gone with “Just lucky, I guess,” but we like HowAboutWe’s suggestions, too.

 


Sexy Feminists Read: Julie Zeilinger’s ‘A Little F’d Up’

We’ve wanted to be Julie Zeilinger when we grow up ever since she launched the feminism-for-teens website TheFBomb.org. Never mind that she’s still under legal drinking age. The Barnard student and author of the new book A Little F’d Up talked to us about embracing your feminism, the Fourth Wave, and body image.

The subtitle of your book is “why feminism is not a dirty word.” We know why we think it’s a great word — but how about you? As a young feminist, why do you think it’s important not just to have feminism, but to call ourselves feminists?

I call myself a feminist not only because I identify with and support the movement, but as a teenager I found that my peers simply hadn’t been exposed to that many people who outwardly called themselves feminists. They hadn’t been exposed to or educated about feminism and therefore relied on negative stereotypes or just remained ignorant about it. By calling myself a feminist, I found that I was able to raise awareness about it and educate those who asked me about my identity. However, I have never felt that one has to label themselves a feminist to be involved in the feminist movement or to believe in and fight for feminist issues. I recognize that there are people who would rather not label themselves in any way and I think that’s fine as long as they’re educated about these issues and are willing to fight for their rights. Of course, I think that if somebody does label themself as feminist they’re much more likely to be invested in this movement and put themselves on the front lines of the issues we fight for, but at the same time I’m not sure fretting over the label is the most important thing we should be worried about right now as a movement.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: Birth control, Father’s Day, and more …

Catholic hospitals reject birth control compromise, AP reports: This is getting tiresome.

Slate rounds up readers’ feelings about being child-free: “Imitation is the highest form of flattery and the surest sign of envy. My child-free state was like a mirror that did not reflect their image.”

Happy Dad’s Day!: A writer shares her experience finding out her dad is gay at YourTango.com, and Match.com dissects dating a single dad.

“Morning-after” guidelines change: The FDA revises its consumer guide to the controversial pill amid debate over whether such methods are akin to abortion, The Daily Beast reports.

 


Seeking Sexy Feminist Reading Groups

If you’re part of a reading group that might want to discuss our book, Girls Just Wanna, when it comes out next year, let us know! We’ll be sure to get you an early review copy.


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