Women in the World Wrap-Up: Remembering Nora Ephron, saving women’s lives, succeeding at business, and more …

Hillary Clinton addresses the Women in the World summit. Courtesy of Daily Beast.

We were lucky enough to be among the hundreds of women gathered in New York Friday for the Daily Beast’s Women in the World summit, where we were inspired by Hillary Clinton, Oprah, and many other amazing famous and non-famous women. Here, a few of the tidbits we learned:

* Nora Ephron knew who Deep Throat was. She predicted correctly to Tom Hanks years before Mark Felt’s identity as the Watergate informant was made known to the world.

* For less than the cost of a Diet Coke, we can provide women with kits that help save their lives in high-risk childbirth.

* The CEO of Sam’s Club is a kickass woman named Roz Brewer. Her message to aspiring female execs: ”You know it. You just need the confidence to go for it. Trust your intuition. Let your voice be heard.”

* Human trafficking is one of the three fastest growing criminal activities in the world. For more information on how to help, check out the amazing work of Joy Ngozi Eleilo, the UN’s special rapporteur on trafficking.

* Diane VonFurstenberg’s mother, a holocaust survivor, weighed just 49 pounds 18 months before VonFurstenberg was born. “As long as we know we should never be victims,” VonFurstenberg said of her mother’s legacy in action, “we can win the war.”


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: Magical HIV-fighting condoms, Hillary’s possible presidential run, and more …

Now this is the future we’d hoped for: No flying cars, but io9 tells us about these female “condoms” that contain HIV-fighting drugs, kill sperm, then disappear, no muss, no fuss, thanks to nanotechnology. No wonder these scientists got a million-dollar grant.

25 articles every woman should read: We agree, HuffPo, though we think men should read them, too.

Hillary Clinton is basically running for president: Or we’re all acting like it, or we just miss having an election to talk about, or we just enjoy fanciful daydreams. The New Yorker breaks down the pros and cons. We’re not the only ones kinda moony-eyed over the idea, either.

Women are now a third of nation’s doctors and lawyers: So says The Wall Street Journal.

Two sexual assaults reported at Yale this week: The Yale Daily News reports

Election Night Stakes: Your Vagina, Hurricane Sandy Relief, Queer Voters, Hillary Clinton’s Legacy

With election night less than a week away, we’re hearing more and more of this campaign’s catch phrase: “the stakes couldn’t be higher.” Yes, that’s true. But context should be added to every mention of that phrase. Yes, it bears repeating ad nauseum; it’s that important. Here are the stakes as we see them:

Women’s health and reproductive rights. Duh. We all know this has been the hot-button issue this election season. We all need to get to the polls to let our voices be heard on this one. But this student journalist heeds an important reminder that women’s health care rights are always relevant—and vulnerable.

Humanity. Hurricane, superstorm, franken-whatever Sandy hit hard. Lives and livelihoods were devastated and the country’s biggest, most resilient city was forced to cower in Mother Nature’s wake. How President Obama and Mitt Romney responded tells us a little bit about each one’s ideals. Authenticity matters, folks.

Voices—All of Them. Gay and transgender Americans are all-but-forgotten in campaign stump speeches, give or take a scripted comment about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or  the Defense of Marriage Act. Here are some fantastic essays that lend insight into Voting While Queer and Voting While Trans. One highlight to ponder: is there any reasonable reason that we must list our sex on the ballot?

The economy. A thriving one means more opportunities for equal work for which we can fight for equal pay. There is no one answer to get us back in the black, and, folks, this shit takes time. Each candidate wants a more solvent American economy, but their approaches are very different. Understand that difference.

Women’s empowerment around the world. No one has done more to put women’s rights, freedoms and economic empowerment on the international stage than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (recap some awesomeness here). She will be leaving the office at the end of President Obama’s current term. No matter who wins this election, we must not forget the importance of this work and continuing to protect, support and celebrate women all over the world. Political activism starts with each of us letting our local representatives know where our priorities lie. Get chatty, make change.



Sexy Feminist Halloween

We won’t reiterate our feelings on all the “sexy” Halloween costumes being trotted out again this year. You know how we feel.

Instead, we wanted to offer up some totally badass feminist costume ideas, and ask you to share your own.

Hillary Clinton in “Texts From Hillary.” Going as the Secretary of State is feminist and awesome in itself, but going as her meme garners the type of pop culture hilarity that every costume aficionado dreams of.

Liz Lemon. Imagine the possibilities!: Liz as Princess Lea trying to get out of jury duty. High school science geek Liz with an awesome ‘fro. Liz with Tom Selleck, her mustache. Sex hotline Liz. Liz inadvertently stealing a baby (no sitter needed for the night!)… Plus, she’s the most feminist imaginary person we’ve had on television since Mary Richards.

Mary Richards. You get to dress warm (in adorable vintage threads no less) and throw a beret in the air. You’ll also be going as Oprah’s hero, so major feminist points there.

Zombie, Vampire, Monster, etc. No need to add “sexy” to these classic spooky costumes. They’re always in style, totally DIY and (unfortunately) surprising at a party.

Share your feminist Halloween ideas with us here or on Twitter on the #sexyfeministhalloween thread.

SF Talking Points: Women and Same-Sex Experimentation, Can A Wal-Mart Fashion Blog Empower Women?

College Not So Much A Place Of Same-Sex Experimentation: A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the “LUG” (lesbian until graduation) phenomenon is not as common as popular perception might suggest. Out of 13,500 responses, 10% of women ages 22 to 44 with a bachelor’s degree said that they’d had same-sex experience — compared with 15% of women with no high school diploma. And of the total 13% of women who reported having had same-sex experience, only 1% identify as lesbians, and 4% as bisexual. What could explain this? Quotes selected by the NYTimes suggest that it is because it’s erotically thrilling for people, especially young men, to imagine college women having sex, and the representation of college in the media bolsters this. Or perhaps it could be because women in college are just more vocal about their experimentation and are “out to prove something”, as opposed to high school dropouts, who may simply have sexual relations with women because they are living in “surroundings with few desirable and available male partners.”

It’s not surprising that this stereotype has been turned over on its head. Quite a few TV shows and movies about college life are made for young men who think it’s hot for girls to make out on top of beer-drenched tables — because that’s why women go to college, right? — but that’s obviously not an accurate representation of all college girls. [Read more...]

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