Links for Sexy Feminists: Gay Marriage, Transgender Rights, and more

Marriage Equality!: The SCOTUS has ruled that married gay and lesbian couples are eligible for the federal benefits of marriage. The ruling is not a total victory, since a couple who moved to an anti-gay marriage state could still lose state recognition. Yet the victory is monumental for this lesbian couple and others in which one party is not an American citizen.

Breaking Up: Why the way many women console their girlfriends after a breakup is spectacularly unhelpful.

Pro-Eating: Why do even the most body-positive women still feel the need to eat in secret?

Transgender Rights: Adorable first grader Coy won the right to use her school’s girls’ bathroom, in accordance with her gender identity.

Anti-Feminism: The anti-feminist right wing has taken on a new tactic: rebranding themselves as “freedom feminists.” Ugh.

Media Studies: Writing for the Nation, Jessica Valenti does an excellent job of critiquing media for taking the male perspective as the norm. On a lighter note, see if you can recognize yourself in this charming little cartoon on the pitfalls of feminist self-awareness–as one commentator notes, this just shows why we need more representation of female characters.

Women in the World: Amnesty International issued a statement in support of feminist protesters in Libya who created and circulated a controversial cartoon in favor of women’s rights. In nearby Morocco, local and European women gathered in solidarity with the Saharawi women. On a different note, Bloomberg profiles Jennifer Li, a Chinese woman with a high-flying business career.

The (Gay) Marriage Choice

I have a question: Does anyone really care why total strangers choose to get married? I feel like I know the answer to this one—it’s a big resounding no.

Recently I read a statement about commitment posted on Facebook that really resonated with me. It said, “Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

In light of the recent arguments heard by the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA and Proposition 8, it seemed fitting to remind people that at the end of the day, marriage is a choice. The idea of partnering with another human being and sharing your life with theirs is not an involuntary action. While I deeply believe that love is not a choice, the decision to commit to that love is.

I have a second question: Even if  (and please note the emphasis on “if”) being gay was a choice, how would it seriously impact marriage? I think we all know the answer to this one, too.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: Marriage Equality, lessons from Steubenville, and more …

Marriage Equality: The Supreme Court has now heard two cases, each of which could lead to a redefinition of marriage. There is also a chance that the court could refuse to redefine marriage, instead giving the issue more time to develop. But to refuse to broaden the definition of marriage would put them on the wrong side of history, Stephanie Coontz argued following Obama’s public endorsement last May: Straight people have already changed the definition of marriage. BeyondMarriage, meanwhile, makes a case for reframing marriage, family, and healthcare rather than focusing on marriage equality.

Pink Equality: On the lighter side, Facebook users are doubtless aware of the campaign to change all profile pictures to a pink and red equals sign. If you’d like to show your solidarity in a more quirky way, HuffPo has gathered some alternative examples.

Moving Past Steubenville: One high school teacher’s heartwarming narrative of talking to her ninth graders about consent.

Was Feminism Hijacked? A thought-provoking piece in Al-Jazeera argues that whether women are told to “lean in” or to “have it all,”  the feminist icons delivering the message are undercutting the movement.

Dating While Feminist: A great piece on how to negotiate that oh-so-tricky part of life.

Women in Prison: Oklahoma explores rehabilitating nonviolent female criminals.

Retro Housewives: Meanwhile, New York magazine unleashed a furor with a purposely controversial piece on the “retro wife.” When reached for interview by the Atlantic, Kelly Makino, the woman profiled in that piece, points out that systemic societal biases against women contributed to her decision and that she doesn’t consider herself a traditional housewife.

Cleaning House: Exercise your right to not be judged for a messy house!


Links for Sexy Feminists: Life After Steubenville, Hillary for Gay Marriage, Leaning In, and more

After Steubenville: Mainstream media coverage of the trial outcome focused on the repercussions for the perpetrators, even though they are not the victims here. One independent commentator points out that the two had different reactions at sentencing, with Ma’Lik seeming more redeemable. Mia McKenzie of Black Girl Dangerous points out that punishing the boys by sending them to juvie will “just break them harder.”

Jane Doe Recovers: The then-unconscious girl faces a tough recovery in a small town where everyone knows, but at least her mother has been supportive.

Women are People: Well-meaning commentators who ask “What if this happened to your sister?” are missing the point, because women are individuals in our own right. The New Statesman says that this is rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment.

Hillary Watch: Embracing the freedom of having completed her term as Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton announced her support for gay marriage.

Malala Emerging: The Pakistani teen and world feminist icon started boarding school England, but the cause she fought for remains unfulfilled.

Leaning In: Sheryl Sandberg is creating quite a stir with her book, but improving policies to mandate that women have access to part-time leave could actually foster subtle job discrimination, preventing other women from reaching the very top. Meanwhile, workplace gender segregation has broad implications for how men and women see each other. And at least one career woman wonders if the sacrifice was worth it.

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.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Chick-fil-A, Mariah vs. Britney, and more …

Katie Couric to Lean Into the Whole ‘Perky’ Thing Already: At least that’s what we’re getting from the bits of info being reported about her new talk show, including the Sheryl Crow theme song, as detailed on Jezebel.

Zoe Kazan’s ‘Ruby Sparks’ Reviewed: The Atlantic weighs in on the young actress’ much-anticipated screenwriting debut.

More Junk Food Products Weigh In on Gay Marriage: There’s this whole Chick-fil-A thing happening, if you didn’t know yet — a quick summary in The LA Times.

Men and Women Can’t Be Friends: So says science, as reported on HowAboutWe.

The Reality Singing Show Diva Arms Race Is a Dangerous Thing: Richard Rushfield weighs in on why Britney and Mariah were hired to judge The X Factor and American Idol — and in neither case is it about singing ability.

The Affordable Care Act Kicks in Aug. 1: With lots of goodies for women’s health. Here’s a breakdown of what it could mean to you.

Gay Marriage: A Personal Reconciling

Two years ago, I convinced my girlfriend at the time to read Dan Savage’s The Commitment.

I figured what was basically a treatise about passionately fighting for one’s right to wed, by a guy who was so formerly blasé about the idea of marrying his boyfriend of a decade, could convince her that gay marriage was the way of the future. A choice many queers were making, in just about every conceivable fashion (much like our straight counterparts). Besides, we lived in the most exciting city in the world, New York. We shared a love of all things artistic and we knew how to entertain ourselves (and each other) on a shoestring budget. How could our marriage be boring? It would be an adventure, just by the very nature of who we were and where we lived.

Or so I thought.

After she read the book, a switch was flipped. I don’t know if it was the book itself, per se, or if it was our relationship changing to the point where she could envision us sharing a life together. We were already sharing the same apartment, families, vacations, and money.

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