Links for Sexy Feminists: Chris Brown, the Crossdressing Cowboy, and more

Rape Culture and Men: Chris Brown recently mentioned in an interview that he lost his virginity to a young teenage woman when he was only eight. That he brags about it rather than treating it as a sensitive issue has profound implications for how we see men and rape.

Malala Fights On: A wonderful interview with Malala, the Pakistani teenager famous for having been shot by the Taliban shows her wise beyond her years and a little befuddled by her fame.

Out and Proud: A beautiful tale of a Wyoming cowboy and military veteran who goes through all his daily business dressed in 50′s women’s clothing.

Objectification Woes: We’re less than thrilled that Carl’s Junior is using all the tired old “sex sells” cliches in its “new” ads.

Real Female Beauty: A great interview with Petra Collins, an art school wunderkind who designed a shirt for American Apparel with a line drawing of a woman masturbating while on her period.

Girls and Halloween: Gone are the days of DIY costumes and kids will be kids, which is too bad, since I still fondly remember going in a painted old shirt as a tube of toothpaste.

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.

Gendered TV: Is ‘Game of Thrones’ for Boys, ‘Girls’ for Girls?

This guest post is from Andrew Daar, who writes about pop culture, baking, photography, wordplay, and the law on his blog Pop Tortes. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDaar 


wallpaper-cersei-1600Pop quiz: Whom is the show Game of Thrones “made” for?

A.    Men

B.     Women

C.     All people

“All people” seems like the obvious choice, right?  No one involved with the show – not HBO, the network that broadcasts it, not showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and certainly not George R. R. Martin, author of the books upon which the show is based – has ever said that the show is intended only for a certain gender.

And yet, some critics seem to be under the impression that Game of Thrones is a “man’s show,” and that it does not appeal to women.  In one of the earliest reviews of the show, New York Times television critic Ginia Bellafante argued that the showrunners include romance plots and sex in the show “out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise.”  Bellafante goes on to state that women are uninterested in fantasy and that Game of Thrones is “boy fiction.”  More recently, in one of the worst-argued pop culture pieces I’ve ever read, Renata Sellitti of Thrillist made the sweeping generalization that women don’t like the show because it caters solely to men with its ickiness, swordplay, and nakedness.  Sellitti’s arguments were made without citation to any evidence and were insulting to both women (one of her arguments was that the plotlines are too complicated to follow) and men (they only like the show because it’s “gross” and features lots of naked breasts).

This idea that television shows, or, for that matter, any work of popular culture, is meant to be consumed by only one gender is one that needs to be eliminated.  It is not only insulting to both genders, it is bad for our culture.  Many people who would otherwise enjoy a work will dismiss it based on a silly prejudice, and many potentially great works will go unproduced out of fear that not enough people will consume it because of said prejudice.
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Links for Sexy Feminists: Women Working, Domestic Violence, Silver Vixens, and more

Women Working: Women face and handle workplace stresses differently than men, according to a recent study covered in the WSJ. What’s more, they often face subtle stereotyping after becoming new mothers.

James to Janice: The etiquette of addressing a friend’s gender transition.

Single and Loving It: A great piece on why simply being married (or single) isn’t the magic bullet for your life.

Feminism and Abuse: One woman’s perspective on an abusive ex sheds light on the damage the patriarchy did to the male abuser.

Silver Vixens: Portraits of women who let their natural silver shine.

The Girls Controversy, Continued: Film Critic Hulk Smash compares Lena Dunham’s show favorably to The Sopranos in an astute critical piece.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Rape debate rages, Phyllis Diller dies, and more …

It Was Rape: Feminist author/filmmaker/all-around cool chick Jennifer Baumgardner needs your help. Click here to help fund her It Was Rape documentary, which will explore “how denial allows rape to thrive.” Alas, this project is all too timely with the misinformation being spewed by Rep. Todd Akin, who thinks “legitimate rape” somehow doesn’t cause pregnancy. (You may remember Akin from the debate over “forcible rape,” in which he conspired with our illustrious VP candidate Paul Ryan to distinguish that kind of rape from, um, the other—nonexistent—kind.)

YourTango Explores the Tricky Territory of the Money Talk: When should you bring $$ into the <3 equation? We don’t know, so their guess is as good as ours.

Jezebel Profiles the 24-Year-Old Who’s Willing to Die for the Anti-Abortion Movement: Lila Rose says, “I’m all in for this cause.”

Phyllis Diller Dies: The Grande Dame of comedy, who gained fame in the ’60s through several appearances on Bob Hope specials, was 95. Read more about her at

The Single-Sex Class Trend Is “Rooted in Stereotypes,” ACLU Report Says: The organization says the idea is based on “discredited science” and calls for reasonable alternatives to be offered.


Links for Sexy Feminists: Little girls want to be sexy, female boxing debuts at Olympics, and more …

Six Year Old Girls Say They Want to Be Sexy: This, according to a study detailed on Jezebel. We’re torn: On the one hand, we hate the idea of little girls feeling pressured to be sexy, when that is not something they physically can do until their teens, when things get even more complicated. On the other hand, we remember being 5 and declaring, as prompted by a L’eggs pantyhose commercial, that we had “sexy legs.” Our mothers laughed at us but otherwise ignored it, and it went away, and we turned out relatively fine, and we’re certain we did not know then what “sexy” really meant. And now we grew up to be feminists with a website with “sexy” in the title. So it’s not all completely hopeless, is what we’re sort-of, maybe saying.

Female Boxing Debuts at Upcoming Olympics: The Atlantic hips us to a cool documentary project about the youngest girl boxer headed to the games, known as T-Rex.

Yay, Girls!: Lots of Emmy nominations for funny ladies, The LA Times reports.

Ann Romney Breaks Out the “You People”: Salon reacts.

Is Single Motherhood Worse for Children?: Slate debates.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Why cougars are wrong, marriage is optional, and ‘Girls’ is awesome

Science says cougars are living a lie, YourTango reports: The Sexy Feminist will have to break up with her boyfriend now.

Jezebel gives us “10 Very Good Reasons You Aren’t Married Yet”: Print out and keep in your clutch to hand to any nosy old people at family weddings and whatnot.

Girls creator/star Lena Dunham in New York Times Magazine: “If we have done nothing else for you, you cannot say that we didn’t show you Peter Scolari’s penis.”

This week in lady movies: From Indiewire.

Fashion can be a political statement: Especially when your husband is running for president and the designers you wear kick in a ton of cash for his campaign, as The Washington Post reports.

5 Feminist TV Shows to Watch This Spring

It might be the most feminist TV season ever — and not just because there’s no Bachelor at the moment! Here, a few of our favorites to put on your must-see list:

Girls: Let’s just say you’re not allowed in the young, cool feminist club right now if you don’t watch this show when it premieres April 15. Seriously, everyone is talking about it. It also happens to involve Tiny Furniture’s Lena Dunham, producer Judd Apatow, and a wickedly realistic take on life as a struggling, confused, terminally poor young woman. So, win-win.

Mad Men: The drama phenomenon has been hinting at the coming feminist movement since its storytelling began in 1960 (with plenty of ’50s sensibility left over). Now that we’re deep into the ’60s, there’s no escaping the impact of women’s lib. Peggy is now openly lamenting having to “act like a man” to get ahead in her job, while Joan showed her military hubby the door for dominating her for too long. Thanks to those ladies’ show-stealing turns, we barely even care anymore what happens to erstwhile philanderer Don Draper. Oh, and he’s having terrible guilty fever dreams about that, by the way; his seeming desire to make good to second wife Megan makes her more intriguing to us than we thought possible.

Veronica Mars: Yes, our favorite crime-solving teen is back, thanks to cable. SoapNet, known for its awesomely addictive repeats of such hits as The O.C. and One Tree Hill, is now running Veronica, which brought us Kristen Bell, noirish intrigue, and important issues in one package. Set your DVR for the April 15 marathon that kicks it off.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: Resilient Ovaries, Math Lessons from Mom, and more …

Our ovaries may not be shriveling as much as we thought!: Or at least they might not in the future thanks to stem cell research reported on

We’re so over people thinking girls are “hard-wired” to suck at math: Jezebel breaks down some new findings, showing, mostly, that moms need to talk about math with their daughters more

More on Chris Brown: YourTango explores whether abusers can reform

This is just sort-of cute: And it has a photo of Madonna in the English countryside with chickens; thanks, Hello Giggles!

Links for Sexy Feminists: Girls in science, Catholics in birth control, and more …

Girls like science and technology: The suddenly kick-ass Girl Scouts of America released a study showing girls dig math, science, and technology but don’t see these lucrative fields as possible careers. We hope this means a new generation will see that programming computers is more lucrative than selling cookies. Though Thin Mints still rule.

Catholic bishops hate birth control: Of course, we already knew that, but now they’re threatening legal action against the Obama administration’s plan to make insurers cover contraception — even though this is a compromise after an earlier plan would have made religious institutions directly responsible for paying for their workers’ birth control. Sigh.

While we’re at it …: The Center for Reproductive Rights is launching an email campaign to urge the Obama administration to lift age restrictions on emergency contraception. Seriously, everyone: Why are we so into making people have unwanted kids?

Why do men love jailbait porn?: A fascinating analysis on Jezebel from Hugo Schwyzer.

Life and love after being part of the sex trade: Check out this deeply personal account at YourTango.

If you’re wondering why we shouldn’t let Chris Brown continue being a pop idol: Here are some good reasons, via Feministe, Hello Giggles, and others.

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