‘Why Don’t You Just Give the Vagina You Have a Better Life?’

This and other important questions are raised by this 8-minute film we just discovered, Goodnight, Vagina, starring Cheryl Hines and Gary Cole. Reasons you should watch include the following lines: “I have a Bentley, so you know I’ve done this dozens of times.” And: “Your vagina died on the table.” Yep, there’s also a vagina funeral with a tiny coffin. We have a clip here; you can watch the whole thing here.

Dubai: Ancient Repressive Laws vs. Tourist Marketing

witw-logoNina Strochilic investigates the tension between Dubai’s conservative laws — a Norwegian woman was recently sentenced for claiming she was raped (though subsequently pardoned) — and its desire to be a world tourism hotspot. Women in the World has more.

An Ode to Odes to ‘Kisses Down Low’

We love Kelly Rowland’s new album, particularly her instructive “Kisses Down Low,” part of a great musical tradition of detailed step-by-steps about how to go down on a lady. In honor of Ms. Rowland’s breakout album and her celebration of female sexuality, we offer this list of Great Songs About Cunnilingus (which is to say: any songs about cunnilingus):


Bikini Kill, “Sugar”


Khia, “My Neck, My Back”


Madonna, “Where Life Begins”


Missy Elliott, “Work It”


Mariah Carey, “Bliss”


Lil’ Kim, “How Many Licks”


Christina Aguilera, “Woohoo”


Janet Jackson, “Anytime Anyplace”


Liz Phair, “Glory”


Foxy Brown, “Candy”


The Gossip, “Swing Low”


Sheena Easton, “Sugar Walls”


Lady Gaga, “Teeth”


“Raspberry Swirl,” Tori Amos

Thanks, The Atlantic, That’s What We’ve Been Saying…

SFcoverSMSince we published our book, Sexy Feminism: A Girl’s Guide to Love, Success, and Style in March, we’ve received our fair share of mixed reviews. Of course we did. It’s a book about feminism. The cover has glossy lips on it. The title has the word “sexy” in it. All of these things pretty much require a careful, even skeptical analysis. Sometimes we got that, sometimes we got worse, and many times we received lovely, thoughtful praise. We’re thankful for all of it (you can review most if it here, Google for more of the less-civil discourse).

Today The Atlantic wrote the kind of thoughtful review we’d been hoping for all along. Rather than picking apart all of our chapters–on dieting, bikini waxing, sex, fashion, female friendship, etc.–as “feminist or not” (in itself notsomuch a feminist act), it revisited the wonderful wealth of books that set out to do just what we did: speak to young women about feminism in an approachable, deliberate way. Our primary goals for our book were to educate and incite discourse, the latter being the most important of the two. Getting women to embrace feminism as cool, doable and–yes, ok, sexy–would be a bonus.

The Atlantic‘s Jordan Larson cited books published from the 1970s to today that celebrated feminism as a right and righteous act for young women–from Feminism for Girls: An Adventure Story to Manifesta and Full Frontal Feminism. We’re honored to be included in this bunch, as they influenced our feminist identity and led to us writing our own book.

Larson doesn’t gush about Sexy Feminism, and indeed raises some questions and concerns that should be raised any time a new feminist text hits the marketplace. And that’s why we’re thankful for this piece. It encourages everyone to seek out these books–all of them–read them, think about them, and decide for themselves what their own brand of feminism looks like.

And then talk about it.

Remembering Helen Thomas

HelenThomasTrailblazing journalist, unabashed rabble-rouser, and a die-hard patriot, iconic reporter Helen Thomas holds a special place in our hearts.

Her career ended in controversy, but every other moment was extraordinary. She opened doors for women in journalism, and broke down the gender barrier of many institutions, including the National Press Club. She sat in the front row in the White House briefing room and often set the tone, always pushing for transparency, even well into her 80s. She covered 10 presidents–from Kennedy to Obama–and never stopped asking questions. She died July 20 at the age of 92. Here are some of the best tributes to this truly revolutionary woman:

Politico has a video montage of some of Thomas’ most badass confrontations in the White House briefing room. And even more on YouTube.

CNN’s Candy Crowley said of Thomas, ”She did not live perfectly, but she lived passionately and she made a difference. She was not about being the first woman to do this or that. She was about making sure she was not the last woman to do this or that.”

CBS’s Bob Schieffer recalls his colleague’s remarkable career.

Journalists take to Twitter to remember Thomas and share some unforgettable moments.

Former President Bill Clinton said of Thomas, “Her work was extraordinary because of her intelligence, her lively spirit and great sense of humor, and most importantly her commitment to the role of a strong press in a healthy democracy.”

“What made Helen the ‘Dean of the White House Press Corps’ was not just the length of her tenure, but her fierce belief that our democracy works best when we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account.” - President Barack Obama

The Pressure to ‘Recover’ from Anorexia

witw-logoEmma Woolf, author of the memoir An Apple a Day, writes about her journey back from weighing a mere 70 pounds at the height of her eating disorder. Will she ever be recovered? That’s a complicated question, she says. Read more at The Daily Beast‘s Women in the World.

Equally Nudged: A Plea for Lasting Domestic Partnership Despite Gay Marriage Gains

domestic-partnership-certificateSexy Feminist co-founder Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s domestic partner, A. Jesse Jiryu Davis, argues for the Defense of Domestic Partnership in this guest post. (Yes, that’s our domestic partnership certificate there, and, yes, we both have a lot of name confusion. You can learn all about that here.) 

My girlfriend and I are gay-married. That’s how we joke about it to friends. We’re a straight couple, but we got domestic-partnered July 17th last year. We’d moved into an apartment together the day before. As soon as we’d gotten all our boxes into the new flat on 14th Street and had a night’s sleep, we took the muggy subway to the New York City Clerk’s office and got ourselves hitched.

We got our domestic partnership as soon as possible because my girlfriend, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, is a freelance writer. Health insurance for freelancers is ruinously, unjustly expensive. New Yorkers have the substantial advantage of the Freelancers Union’s group plans, but even so, minimal health insurance with the Freelancers Union costs ten times what it would cost us to add Jennifer to my generous corporate health plan. To add her, we had to be spouses or domestic partners. We don’t want to marry now, if ever, so we chose domestic partnership.

[Read more...]

‘Inside Amy Schumer’: How Women’s Mags Come Up With Those Sex Tips

If you’re wondering why we started our own site, this Inside Amy Schumer sketch pretty much covers it:


Where’s Wonder Woman?


In this guest post, Andrew Daar makes a strong argument for a Wonder Woman movie.

It’s no secret that superhero films are all the rage right now.  Movies featuring characters whose popularity transcends their comic book origins – Superman, Batman, Spider-Man – make hundreds of millions of dollars in their opening weekends, while many films featuring characters less universally known are also drawing huge crowds.  Iron Man 3 earned almost $400 million in the United States alone, and The Avengers – which featured heroes who, prior to the release of their stand-alone films in the preceding years, had nowhere near the recognition of the likes of Superman or Spider-Man – was the highest grossing film of 2012.  But despite this popularity, one doesn’t even need two hands to count how many theatrically released superhero films have featured women in the starring role. (Of course, sadly, this lack of women at the center of films isn’t limited to the superhero genre.  NPR’s Linda Holmes points out that, right now, it is nearly impossible to find films in cinemas that feature women in the starring roles, and calculated that the number of showtimes in her area for Man of Steel was over six times greater than the number showtimes of all female-centric films combined.) And on top of that, there has yet to be a theatrical film featuring Wonder Woman, arguably the most iconic female superhero in existence.

What gives?  Why have there been so few movies starring female superheroes, and why hasn’t the female superhero received her own big screen adventure yet?  Superman has had six films, Batman has had seven. Recently, executives greenlit two additional Spider-Man films to add to his (soon-to-be) five.  Why can’t Wonder Woman or Ms. Marvel or Black Canary or Jessica Jones get a film of her own?  And why has every female superhero-centered film that has been made been a colossal let-down?  (No, that isn’t hyperbole.  As I will note later, literally every superhero movie that has a woman in the lead role has been pretty terrible.)

[Read more...]

Marriage Equality: Reactions From Around the Web

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

With these words, The Supreme Court opened the door to gay marriage across the nation. It’s now legal in California and federal benefits will be available to same-sex couples in all states where the union is already legal. This is a human rights victory of historic proportions. Here’s how the world is reacting so far:

GoogleGoogle is a rainbow.

Cheering and crying outside the Supreme Court. Warning: it may make you weepy.

Edith Windsor, the octogenarian responsible for challenging DOMA, received the news of her victory with a call from the president. Check out her priceless reaction.

Stylite recalls how gay marriage has influenced the fashion indusrty.

The Atlantic takes us through the year’s ups and downs that led to this victory.

Rachel Maddow lays it out: “This is now decided as a nation. The argument is won.”

Some of the most outspoken celebrities in support of gay rights took to Twitter (along with the rest of the world) to share in the victory:

Lady Gaga: We stand tall today. So many fought for so long. Be proud, the prejudice are now the minority.

Ellen DeGeneres: It’s a supremely wonderful day for equality. Prop 8 is over, and so is DOMA. Congratulations everyone. And I mean everyone.

Ben Affleck: Big news from the Supreme Court. Goodbye . Hello .

Neil Patrick Harris: DOMA-it-just-lost-O Mr. Roboto! So, so happy for Edie, et al.

President Barack Obama: Today’s DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove

And here’s our favorite pair of tweets from, respectively, one of the creators of “Lost” and just a regular guy celebrating a life-changing moment:

@DamonLindelof - I want to french Justice Kennedy SO hard right now.

@KoreyKuhl - I wish I could have “called in gay” for work today. So much to celebrate!

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