Feminist Dating Resolutions for the New Year

Look, we’re not going to tell you how to date, who to date or that you even need to date. But if you’re looking for love, it’s worth looking for it in the right places—and going about it the right way. Here are some  ideas to consider for the New Year.

By Kristin Tschannen

Listen for Real Compliments. Start paying attention to what a potential love interest is really saying. There is a significant difference between a pick up line and an authentic compliment or question. Any lover you are considering bringing into your life should want to know the real you. He or she will admire your zest for life or your passion for travel; your family and the things that are important to you and make you smile.

Don’t Male Bash. Straight women, say it with us: Men are not the enemy! Leave your past disappointments and negative, preconceived notions about men and dating in 2012. It’s not only counterproductive to your efforts, but its downright unfeminist. We need men on our sides—in the board room and the bedroom—to make the kind of progress we still need to make. Start the New Year with a positive outlook in love.

Set Standards that Matter. Throw tall, dark, and handsome out the window and call in smart, funny, and spontaneous or any qualities you deem important in a potential love interest. Seek fit and a chemistry that keeps you buzzing. Date men who understand what it means to be a feminist woman and one who isn’t afraid of letting you know he’s a feminist man. Date men who have no problem talking to you about sex and are mature enough to have open communication and want an equal partnership. Then hold up a mirror and make sure you’re following the same standards.

Stay Single If You Want to Stay Single. Tons of alone time, a schedule beholden to no one, and the freedom to be as selfish as you want to be doesn’t exactly suck—especially if a little “me” time is what you really need right now. The New Year is a great time to start focusing on your relationship with You. You can surround yourself with people who really stoke your fire and who you can focus on having fun with. This is the time in your life to travel and have adventures and meet new people (see how non-sucky this is?). Don’t put expectations on your relationships with people; let them unfold naturally and enjoy it!

Links for Sexy Feminists: Rape Protests in India, Unpacking Christmas, Gun Control After Newtown, and more

Solidarity with India: Thousands of Indians took to the streets to protest lengthy delays in bringing rape cases to justice. Their courage is remarkable, since one witness notes that many women are more afraid of police than they are of guys on the street.

Elsie is my homegirl: On a much lighter note, Jezebel ran a glorious profile of 1912′s perfect woman, and she sounds so rad.

12 Million Days of Christmas: As if you weren’t already sick of mall carols, here’s a great look at how creepy towards women they can be. Our friends in Australia are doing a feminist remix of the classic Twelve Days of Christmas. Secular and non-Christian readers may appreciate this American Muslim’s take on observing the spirit of giving.

Dudes can be feminists: The Yeti Detective tells us (some of) what’s wrong with the “friendzone.” Feminist or not? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Fallout from Newtown: Why is my uterus more regulated than my guns? asks this rural Alaska woman.

Links for Sexy Feminists: The Good Men Project Gone Bad, Feminist Charities Need Your $, More

So-called feminist blog The Good Men Project has really gone downhill, says SalonFeministe offers an insightful breakdown of how things went wrong, and it’s everyone’s loss: we all need the male feminist perspective. Why? The Guardian provides a saddening example.

My A is for Angry: If reading all that annoyed you, donate to A is for, an awareness campaign for women’s health issues and feminist activists.

‘But I followed the dress code!’: The hidden dangers of slut shaming and the modesty police.

‘I Don’t Want Kids’: Letting people know you’re childfree by choice at Jezebel.

Katie Goodman’s Tribute to Her Feminist Husband

Katie already wrote a lovely holiday tribute to her husband here, but, hey, videos are fun, and we love feminist men, so we’re posting her song tribute to him. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays to Sexy Feminist Krista!

As part of our Sexy Feminist Holidays, we’re running appreciations of Sexy Feminists as the gift that keeps giving.


Merry Christmas, To My Dear Friend Krista.

I’ve learned a lot this year about what happens when the bottom drops out of your life. I no longer have my own home,
I will no longer have a steady job as of early next year and I may soon break up with the love of my life, New York City. But I am totally cool with it. I am actually less stressed then I have been in many years, because of my wonderful, amazing, beautiful friend, Krista.
When it all came crashing down, I didn’t feel the impact because I have a great friend. When I told her about how I would have to give up my outrageously expensive apartment, she said, without blinking, “You will come stay with me.” Krista even drove over and picked up my stuff. She has yet to blink since I dropped an entire bottle of steel gray nail polish on her bathroom floor (which, FYI, cleaning that up was a thing of nightmares; try to avoid it at all costs.) She doesn’t bat an eye at the routinely clogged tub (I have long, plumbing-issue-causing hair) and my general avoidance of dish washing. When I tromp through her home late at night, numerous hours after she has turned in, she simply says, “I’m glad to see you. How was your day?”
Krista is modest, extremely hard-working and incredibly generous. She inspires and I aspire. She has opened her home to me and has smiled while doing so. We’ve been friends for ten years and I’ve always enjoyed her company. I’ve been an appreciative recipient of her generosity for quite some time, but now I have realized she is even more special. If I could thank her everyday for a year for her help and her friendship, it still wouldn’t feel like enough. But I will continue to brag about how lucky I am and how awesome my friend Krista is.
Merry Christmas, Dear Friend, and may next year be filled with a lot of love, much happiness, many laughs and way fewer nail polish incidents. XOXOXO.
– Kristin McGonigle

Links for Sexy Feminists: Gun control in the wake of Newtown, what we can do about the wage gap, and more

Obama seems to be moving toward gun control: According to accounts of his speech at the Newtown memorial yesterday, including this one in The New Yorker. A bunch of celebrities agree that gun control would be cool. The New York Times, meanwhile, is running a series of philosophical essays on gun ownership and control. And parents and schools across the country are wrestling with what this means to them.

‘Gay Men and Christian Wombs’: New York‘s The Cut reports.

A lesson in wage disparity: The Frisky‘s Lauren Passell knows she makes less money because she’s a woman — and argues that it’s because her gender has shaped the way she ran her career and didn’t ask for raises.

‘Why are you still single?’: Melanie Notkin examines the social plight of the single, childless woman on HuffPo.

People like porn of all kinds, regardless of official sexual orientation: Or at least those surveyed by Yale’s LGBTQ publication do.



Let’s Talk Guns: Now

This morning a young man in his twenties pulled up to a Connecticut elementary school carrying no fewer than four firearms and murdered 26 people (at last count), including his mother and 20 children under the age of 10. As a parent, I am utterly destroyed (I must have snuck in on my son’s nap about four times—in between sobs—to just stare at him and feel grateful). As a citizen, I am enraged. People, we need to talk. Today, right this second, as emotions are raw, as faces are covered in snot and tears, we need to talk about why this happened, how we could let it happen and what the hell we’re going to do about it—all of us—starting today.

We need to talk about why we have guns in the first place. Seriously, why? They serve no civil societal purpose other than to kill

another human. People who buy them for protection are doing so to protect themselves from other people with guns. Hunters don’t need access to assault rifles. People don’t need concealed weapons permits in Starbucks. Good lord, they don’t need them at schools or daycare centers (WTF, Michigan?) Why is our society so obsessed with arming itself around the clock?

We need to talk about who is being killed. Let’s start with the timely topic. ABC News estimates that there have been 31 school shootings in the U.S. since Colombine in 1999. According to a Children’s Defense Fund study, 5,740 children and teens were killed by guns in just two years (2008-2009). That breaks down to “one child or teen every three hours, eight every day, 55 every week for two years.” The circumstances of these shootings don’t matter. They were killed by guns, period.

The presence of a gun in the house raises the risk of death, assault and suicide by 50 percent. In the U.S. women in particular are at a higher risk of homicide or assault by a weapon than in any other developed country in the world. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Americans under age 40, and more than half of those suicides are carried out with guns. All these deaths, none of them for protection or hunting and gathering.

We need to talk about why Washington won’t fix gun control laws. According to research by Mother Jones, there have been at least 61 mass murders in the U.S. since 1982. More than three-quarters of the guns used were obtained legally. Time and time again the Supreme Court strikes down cases that seek to limit or ban handgun ownership. Why? No presidential administration has the balls, it seems, to attack this issue and make changes that can save lives—thousands of lives, children’s lives. Why? In his address after the shooting, President Obama said, “We’re going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent tragedies like this.” Yes, Mr. President, we are. Get. On. That.

So start talking—to each other, to your local, state and national government officials, to the media, on the blogs, everywhere. This is a time of mourning for us all, but it’s also time to face—and fix—this problem.

Links for Sexy Feminists: America’s left lean, ’11 Qualities of the Perfect Woman,’ and more …

Is America moving left?: Yes!, says The New Yorker.

A teen girl speaks out for gender-neutral marketing: Easy-Bake Oven marketing excludes boys, she tells CNN. Especially in a world where most chefs are men!

Men’s Health’s ’11 Qualities of the Perfect Woman,’ ugh: Jezebel’s Lindy West rips it apart so we don’t have to. And, Lindy, we totally laughed at your jokes … Does that make us the perfect woman for you?

‘Bro-Choice’: Sarah Silverman lays out the case for men to fight for reproductive rights, via The Cut.

‘I Took Plan B’: One woman tells her morning-after-pill story on The Frisky.

EAT, People (Not a Zombie Blog)

This is a guest post from the awesomely talented and funny and feminist Katie Goodman. Check out her comedy and other stuff here.
I’ve never written about this before, but when I was in high school and college I had a mild eating disorder. Nothing extreme, but a basic binge/purge cycle, although the purge was through excessive exercise. I would have been bulimic except that I couldn’t make myself throw up. And I tried. Believe me. Thank you, strong Russian stomach. But it was fairly pervasive and took up a ton of my attention and energy.  I’m writing about this now because as an adult I have no obsession with food and body image whatsoever and as a feminist I think we really need to see this oppressive, anti-woman dilemma for what it is: um, an oppressive anti-woman dilemma.
It’s the holidays and invariable friends have started to bemoan – along with the anxiety about the anticipated home-for-the-holidays political fights and child-rearing-criticism to come –the expected weight gain. Here’s what I know. And I had to learn it, so I am writing this because I hope it helps others. Eating and being healthy and fit are completely natural. Babies know it and if we don’t screw up our kids too much, they know it. Beauty magazines don’t. Your best friend probably doesn’t. And your parents are your parents, so whatever you learned there, therapy was invented to undo.  (Across the board probably.) But this is about eating.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Gay marriage, ‘The Year of Heroine Worship,’ and more …

Gay marriage goes to the Supreme Court: The highest court’s ruling could lead to federalizing gay marriage — or not — by late spring or early summer, says The New Yorker.

More gay marriage: Meanwhile, same-sex couples started getting legally married in Washington State this weekend. And Jezebel has a piece by a woman who grew up with two moms.

‘Year of Heroine Worship?’: New York Times critic A.O. Scott heralds 2012 as a golden age of strong female leads. New York mag’s The Cut says not so fast.

Gwen and Gavin are our aspirational-couple heroes: They are never allowed to break up. Here is some video of them singing “Glycerine” on stage together, via The Frisky, to reassure you that they are still awesome and together.

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