Links for Sexy Feminists: Hugo Schwyzer, Female Engineers, and more

Hugo Schwyzer and Male Feminism: We’ve mentioned the problems with The Good Men Project before, and the problems with Hugo Schwyzer are well documented here. Schwyzer recently announced he is taking a break from the public eye to deal with some personal problems. Here is an interesting take on what these events mean for male feminists.

Wiener Flipside: The woman who rose to fame for sexting with Wiener dishes on her side of things. Feministe has an on-point rebuttal of what she had to say.

Homophobia is So Gay: Literally, in the case of these shirtless French homophobes who don’t seem to see the irony in what they’re doing.

Female Engineers: A resonant post on how women in tech are perceived differently, with a rather unfortunate sounding title.

Caring Careers: There is a stigma attached to those who work in the “care” professions and want to make money, a problem that disproportionately affects women.

Sexy Feminists Read: An early work of Nora Ephron, Crazy Salad, is well worth revisiting. For a poignantly surprising look at the female migrant workers of modern China, check out this excerpt from Leslie Chang’s Factory Girls. And here’s a fun compendium of excerpts from feminist graphic novels.


Links for Sexy Feminists: Anthony Weiner, Jane Austen, and more

Still At It: Anthony Weiner has doubled down on his decision to stay in the mayoral race, a move some described as “delusional.” One of his former interns put out a calculated tell-all on her weeks with the campaign, which intriguingly mentions that Weiner called several interns “Monica.” His spokeswoman responded by calling the intern several slurs for women, and has since put up an apology of sorts involving an instagrammed shot of a “swear jar” full of cash and a credit card. Ugh. Can we please let the people of New York City focus on the real candidates?

Feminist Undies: Art student Shelly was fed up with mainstream stores’ selection, so she’s printing up underwear to empower the wearer with images of justly celebrated ladies.

Male Allies: A thought-provoking list of ways a man can try his hardest to be an ally to feminism. And we love this little gem on how a father plans to talk to his daughter about safely exploring her sexuality, when it’s age appropriate. We’re also digging this piece by Kareem Adbul-Jabbar on “coming out” as a fan of things besides sports, including the show “Girls.”

Throwback: This piece was written nearly ten years ago, yet the issues with feminists being called “sexist” are totally timely.

GLBT Rights Watch: Louisiana cops are harassing gay men using the obsolete sodomy law, which is still on the books. Meanwhile, Pope Francis says it is not up to him to judge gay priests, but women still can’t be priests. Hm.

Rape Joke: That’s the title of Patricia Lockwood’s poem recently published by the Awl, which has gotten a lot of press considering its genre.

Gift Registries: As modern feminists, we get that the registry for fancy household gadgets should be obsolete, but is asking for cash really any better?

Jane Austen: The celebrated English author will grace the 10 quid note starting in 2017. Sadly, the woman who led a campaign for this to happen received threats from male extremists.


Links for Sexy Feminists: Wendy Davis, Paula Deen, and more

Beyond Marriage: Some fresh takes on what the next focus of the gay rights movement should be. And a fine perspective on how the feminist movement can learn from the successes of the campaign for gay marriage.

Camp for Feminism: A weeklong program for girls to explore what feminism means in the twenty-first century points out that being anti-feminist is now more acceptable than being homophobic.

Go Wendy!: In all the hubbub over the SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage last week, we neglected to mention Wendy Davis’s fillibuster. For those who missed this, the Amazon page on the sneakers she wore is now a tribute to her. This article highlights two reviews that speak to very serious aspects of the laws on abortion.

Safe Choices: This woman’s story of a wanted pregnancy and child illuminates why we need to make sure human reproduction remains a woman’s choice. Writing from a delighted father’s perspective, Rob Delaney points out what should be obvious: that no man does the hard part of birthing a child, ever. Meanwhile, those of us in the U.S. face extremely high medical costs for even a normal pregnancy.

Triggering Comments: We were delighted to see Kotaku take a strong stand on comments that target a particular group, such as women or transgendered individuals. Hopefully other sites will follow suit.

In Solidarity: Women in Egypt risk being raped while they protest in Tahrir Square.

Paula Deen’s Scandal: The Southern hospitality mogul’s personal brand has suffered seriously since allegations of her company’s racism emerged. Yes, it is that bad. Yet in the public outcry of support for her, there are interesting insights about what “white America” really thinks about racism–pointing towards ways to change for the better.

Politics of Inclusion: Feminism is not, and should not be, solely about white women.


The End of DOMA and Prop 8: Why We Were Finally Ready

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image13726342In 2004, when gay and lesbian couples began marrying on the San Francisco courthouse steps, nervous Democrats worried that the spectacle of wedded bliss would turn future elections against them. They cautioned against being too supportive of gay causes, lest mythical “middle America” be turned off by too much enjoyment of equality.
Hard electoral losses in 2004 were credited largely to opportunistic bigot groups pushing state anti-gay measures to turn out the Republican base. Conservative Democrats were quick to say I Told You So.
“I believe it did energize a very conservative vote,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said at the time. “I think it gave them a position to rally around. I’m not casting a value judgment. I’m just saying I do believe that’s what happened.”
“So I think that whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon,” she added. “And people aren’t ready for it.”
It only took ten years for marriage equality to go from political poison to electorally essential.
Twelve states, the District of Columbia and five Native American tribes now permit same-sex marriages, including the Midwest states of Iowa and Minnesota. Democratic lawmakers now routinely tout gay rights records during elections. The sitting vice president, then the president and first lady, all publicly supported it and were greeted not with shock or scandal but with shrugs of “it’s about time.”
What happened?
First, the simple passage of time. The electorate is getting younger and less socially conservative, as well as less demographically rigid. Young people voting for the first or second time aren’t concerned with who’s sexing whom, and they think your concern over it is more than a little creepy. Those legislators who can read the polls realize this country isn’t going back to the ’50s, no matter how loudly they shout about Adam and Steve.
For another, the world has gotten smaller. Our greater technological connectedness ensures that we see one another’s lives more clearly. The greater presence of out gay and lesbian people in media, as well as greater attention to the dangers of bullying and forcing people to hide who they are, can touch even those who do not personally know an openly gay person.
And last, gay people have gotten married, and the earth has not caved in. The skies have not fallen. Serpents have not begun to speak in human tongues, or whatever the hell apocalyptic scenario was supposed to ensue. Brave men and women, American heroes all, stood up proudly with those they loved and declared their intentions to build a life together.

We were always ready, it turned out, for that.


Bringing Down DOMA, Putting Prop 8 in its Rightful Place

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-same-sex-marriage-image29055416As the token gay lady at Sexy Feminist, I am especially ecstatic to share my thoughts on the Supreme Court’s rulings today.

To fully illustrate my glee on today’s decisions, I direct you to this little meme from Buzzfeed.

Seriously, my first thought is: finally. (As well as a huge sigh of relief.)

Not only was the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) deemed unconstitutional, but the court also dismissed California’s Proposition 8 case. The latter truly surprised me. My initial prediction was that the justices would strike down DOMA, but leave the notorious proposition alone. While long-term effects of the Prop 8 decision are a bit vague, it is clear to me that the court declared that the petitioners do not legal standing. In essence, the Supreme Court has validated the lower courts that have rejected Prop 8.

Now, I’m hopeful that with both positive outcomes, our country’s justice system will pave the way for future progress. That is to say it will be much harder (if not impossible) to defend discriminatory laws still on the books in individual states.

And for the states that have already legalized same-sex marriages, the defeat of DOMA carries an extra significance: your marriage is now federally recognized. (I think this calls for a second wedding and/or honeymoon, right?)

And speaking of the Feds, the President did not disappoint me. Obama released a statement on the landmark decision. The money quote: “The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

To paraphrase my latest Facebook status, I knew I would live to see this moment, I just didn’t know it would come so soon. The snowball that began rolling at the beginning of my formative years is now a bona fide avalanche. In the decade plus since I’ve come out, I’ve witnessed the airings of “Queer as Folk” and “The L Word,” Massachusetts legalizing same-sex marriage, Ellen DeGeneres becoming a household name, the defeat of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; my home state of New Jersey legalizing civil unions, my residence of New York legalizing same-sex marriage, and today, the highest court in the land validating it all.

Now, as MC Hammer once rapped, we’re too legit to quit—in every sense of the phrase.


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!


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.


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: 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.

 

 


Feminist Wins on Election Night = Wins For The USA

There’s no sense waxing nonpartisan as a feminist. The line is clear, it has been drawn by both sides, and women—the electorate majority today and for many, many years to come—have spoken: We demand equal rights and respect. When faced with sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia and misogyny: We shut that whole thing down! Major wins from election night 2012:

President Barack Obama re-elected for a second term. We mean, phew! Healthcare, equal rights, immigrant rights, preservation of critical social programs, the future of education, humane diplomacy… the issues go on and on and on and we have a chance at seeing the change that takes more than one term to affect. No pressure, Mr. President, but let’s go on and get to all of that.

Elizabeth Warren. The rockstar economist/feminist/consumer advocate/badass beats out incumbent Scott Brown for a senate seat in Massachusetts. We think Ted Kennedy is smiling in the Kennedy compound from beyond. People are already rallying for a Warren presidential run in 2016.

Tammy Baldwin. The new senator from Wisconsin becomes the nation’s first openly gay member of Congress. She’s also the first female senator from the state.

Claire McCaskill. Speaking of shutting it down, Missouri voters rejected Todd Akin, he of the famous “legitimate rape” comment, and re-elected this progressive democrat to a second term.

Gay rights. Maryland, Maine and Washington legalize gay marriage. Dear, The Rest of The Country: Get. it. together!

Marijuana. It’s not about getting high, people. It’s about making our criminal justice system a bit more justified, and allowing terminal patients access to a proven method of relief. Colorado, Washington and Massachusetts decriminalize marijuana in varying degrees. Now, let’s fix those mandatory minimums on crack and cocaine, shall we?

Democracy! Young people turned out in record numbers. African-Americans stood in line to let their voices be heard. Hispanics made sure their 17% of the nation spoke up. Patriotism has gone viral and it’s a beautiful thing.


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