Sexy Feminist Poll: What’s the Sexiest Feminist Thing a Man Can Do?

What's the sexiest feminist thing a man can do?

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Links For Sexy Feminists: Oscars’ Opening Fallout, Sephora Addiction, Body Acceptance, and more

Rape Culture and the Oscars: This New Yorker blog offers a great, balanced look at the problem with Seth MacFarlane’s opening number. And his independent blogger calls us all out for ignoring rape culture when it comes attractively packaged. Finally, though we don’t normally think it’s fair just to turn the tables and objectifiy men, but this video pokes lighthearted fun at the whole thing.

Solve for XX: For a nice antidote, check out this talk by Geena Davis on media portrayals of women and girls.

Makeup Addiction?: Sephora can be fun, but beware: it’s an expensive habit. To keep it fun, moderation is key!

Women’s Health: Heart disease is a leading cause of death for women, yet too many people see it as a “men’s issue.”

The Body Beautiful: You don’t have to fall for the trap of trying to lose weight specifically because you’re getting married. Find a bit of courage from photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero, who documents others’ reactions to her body. From a medical standpoint, this article offers insight into how doctors should approach a “weighty” conversation.

Sexy Feminist Poll: Why Did You Become a Feminist?

Why did you become a feminist?

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Sexy Feminism Excerpt: What Cosmetic Surgery Really Means

Leading up to the publication of our book, Sexy Feminism, on March 12, we’ll be sharing some short excerpts of it with you, the readers who helped make this book possible! Here, a portion of our chapter, “Plastic Surgery: Can You?” 

Extreme cosmetic procedures also happen to be a serious threat to  health. To understand why plastic surgery is a feminist issue, we need to look at what it is—the ugly, bloody details. Imagery surrounding plastic surgery more often than not focuses on the “after.” Women showcasing smooth, tight new parts are shown smiling and dancing, usually on a beach. The reality of what they must endure to achieve the end result of smoother, tighter, younger (and happier?) are details usually confined to the doctor’s office. Here’s what the most popular procedures entail:


What it is: The good old-fashioned nose job is now so common, it’s often used as a comedic aside in film, TV, and standup acts—and the butt of the joke is always a woman. Remember poor Jennifer Grey’s ribbing and effective ousting from the entertainment industry after she got the nose her agents and managers no doubt talked her into? Here’s what they’re laughing at: After the patient is sedated, her nose is cut free from the cartilage so doctors can get to work sawing and hammering it into a new shape. Advertised recovery time is a few weeks, but most cases require six months to a year, and often a follow-up procedure is necessary to fix any imperfections or complications—including infections, blockages, and trouble breathing.

[Read more...]

Sexy Feminist: Zooey Deschanel

Some girls in the spotlight become more than the sum of their parts, and not in a good way. Zooey Deschanel is a prime example: Just by being her, she ignites extreme emotions, many of them unfavorable. She basically invented the idea of the “manic pixie dream girl,” the archetype of a woman who can change any young, repressed man with one stroke of her quirkiness. But the fact remains: She’s a stone cold feminist.

How do we know this? Let us count the ways, and they have nothing to do with those irresistible bangs and big blue eyes. First, her character on her sitcom New Girl is quietly revolutionary: She shows us that girls who are inherently as sweet and quirky as she is love sex and have plenty of it. During the current otherwise insufferably drawn-out flirtation her character, Jess, is experiencing with roommate/friend Nick, we’ve learned that she’s all about having tons of emotionally unattached sex with her current boyfriend. Yes, blue-eyed, aggressively-banged (ha-ha), ultra-feminine Jess has knock-down, meaningless sex with a dude. Score one for the Mary Richardses of the modern era.

Second, Deschanel is a solid, multi-faceted actress, going back as far as Almost Famous. How awesome is Almost Famous? How awesome is she in it? She’s the big sister we all wish we had. She also happens to be a rock star, literally, with the band She and Him, and to throw her weight behind a very feminist, very funny, yet unabashedly girlie, website called Hello Giggles. Roll your eyes all you want about how cutesy Deschanel is, but you have to admit: She’s more comfortable with the idea of femininity than anyone we know.

Does Feminism Overlook Motherhood for Abortion Rights?

While mainstream media often try to pit feminism against motherhood (our stance: that’s bullshit), there’s no doubt that conflict exists for working mothers. Guest blogger Guinevere A. Murphy, Ph.D. reveals how returning to her high-level career in science after giving birth to a child made her question, then value, feminism.

The beeping machines and the loud voices in the crowded delivery room fell silent in the instant I saw the tiny, crying baby. My baby. A long minute later, they placed the wet, pink, perfect little human in my arms. A warmth and light effused my being, and without even a slight hint of cliché, I thought wonderingly, “This is the best moment of my life,” with an absolute certainty and fervor beyond anything I’d ever experienced.

Everything changed in that moment. I had to separate my life into pre-Evie and post-Evie epochs, like B.C. and A.D. The overwhelming love I felt for my baby gave me a clarity and sense of purpose I hadn’t realized was missing before.

I came to realize after Evie’s birth that my devotion to my career in science had become in large part an act, one that I put on, among other factors, because of my whole-hearted belief in what is popularly attributed to a feminist ideal of the high-achieving career woman, but I’ve since come to realize originates more from an out-of-control, greed-dominated corporate culture. Marissa Mayer famously went back to work after just a “few weeks,” and worked from home while still healing from delivery. Her decision to do this largely contributes to the idea of motherhood as merely a minor bump in the road of one’s career trajectory.

I went back to the office at six weeks. It’s not hyperbole to say that my every instinct cried out against walking out the door most mornings, and nights I mourned if I was home even five minutes late, for the precious hour we had together before bedtime. My experience illustrates why feminism is still needed in the U.S., one of four countries in the world without mandated paid maternity leave. This angle wasn’t lost on me at the time, but above all, I felt a furious, overwhelming sense of betrayal, by the feminist movement.  [Read more...]

Links for Sexy Feminists: The Feminine Mystique, Fashion Week, Lena Dunham, and more

The Feminine Mystique: 40 years after the landmark book’s publication, Stephanie Coontz reflects on why gender equality stalled. On the positive side, a recent study suggests that menopause and grandmothering were critical to human evolution.

Diversity is Hot: NYC just wrapped up Fashion Week, and way too few women of color hit the runways.

Your Rights at Risk: Just in case you thought Mississippi was the only state passing legislation that severely endangers a woman’s right to choose, Alabama is here for you.

Exhibitionist Girls: Vulture on why Lena Dunham may be an iconic feminist but her nude scences aren’t “brave.”

No to Shame: On the other side of the world, feminist women are courageous in standing up for their human rights.

Hey Oscar! Women are talented behind the camera, too, yet the categories with no women or one woman nominated suggest an industry bias.

Sexy Feminism Excerpt: What I Learned From a Laser Facial Peel

Leading up to the publication of our book, Sexy Feminism, on March 12, we’ll be sharing some short excerpts of it with you, the readers who helped make this book possible! Here, Jennifer’s “Feminist Confession” about trying a laser peel, one of the most popular cosmetic procedures available.

I spent years with a laser facial treatment on my wish list, but it remained far from possible for most of my twenties and thirties, thanks to the prohibitive $2,000 cost. But when I got my first book deal while I was still working at a well-paying full-time job, I found myself flush with disposable income. Regular taxis, luxurious dinners out, and overpriced designer jeans became part of my new reality, and I decided I would also choose one big-ticket indulgence before socking the rest of my newfound money away in my savings account. The winner was a laser treatment to smooth away the evidence of hard-fought battles with terrible teen acne.

I have a fancy dermatologist, the kind who’s quoted regularly in women’s magazines and who’s worth the hour-plus trip on the subway from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, so I wasn’t worried about safety. The nurse who handles the outpatient cosmetic procedures at the office told me to expect some discomfort. She also advised me to take a few days to a week off work for recovery,  because my face would be a little red, “like a sunburn”—a mantra everyone in the office would repeat often throughout the process. I’ve had sunburn. I could live with that.

[Read more...]

Leave Beyonce, Lena, and Rihanna Alone Already

In the past several months, Beyonce, Lena Dunham, and Rihanna have taken intense heat for the following ills of society:

1. Sexism overall, specifically their own capitulation to sexism by refusing to wear pants, or clothes, at given times in their performing lives. Other problems apparently include their sexiness, their sexuality, and, in the case of Lena, the sexiness of others on screen with her.

2. The fraught history of women taking their husbands’ last names upon marriage.

3. Racism.

4. Violence against women.

5. Promiscuity.

6. General lack of morals and possibly the decline of civilization.

[Read more...]

NY Sexy Feminists: You’re Invited to Our Book Release Party March 13!

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