Links for Sexy Feminists: Against Rape Culture, Female Beauty, and more

Against Rape Culture: Wonderful Indian actresses team up to explain why every rape ever is the woman’s fault, and their words ring sadly true for the U.S. And it’s too bad it was needed, but this great “Missed Connections” listing calls out a serious douche for street harassment.

African Feminists: Women in Rwanda are making great political gains through organized feminism, and we all could learn from them.

Bringing Home the Bacon: Why there was never a “traditional male breadwinner” in most of human history.

Intersectionality and Inclusion: If you’re a white feminist, chances are you could benefit from reading this simple list of ways to be a better ally against racism.

Not a Parody: Great humor piece about a woman who is making 300 sandwiches to get her man to propose. Flag this for use in your next “Make me a sandwich” style flameware.

Creepy Uncle Sam: We’re delighted that the “Other 98%” has turned the imagery of the Koch ad around on itself to argue against transvaginal ultrasounds.

Female Beauty Standards: Blogging for The New Yorker, Rebecca Mead uses the hook of Lena Dunham’s recent tweet on George Eliot to mention that the renowned writer of Middlemarch was probably far less desperate than her legend suggests.

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: The Feminine Mystique, Fashion Week, Lena Dunham, and more

The Feminine Mystique: 40 years after the landmark book’s publication, Stephanie Coontz reflects on why gender equality stalled. On the positive side, a recent study suggests that menopause and grandmothering were critical to human evolution.

Diversity is Hot: NYC just wrapped up Fashion Week, and way too few women of color hit the runways.

Your Rights at Risk: Just in case you thought Mississippi was the only state passing legislation that severely endangers a woman’s right to choose, Alabama is here for you.

Exhibitionist Girls: Vulture on why Lena Dunham may be an iconic feminist but her nude scences aren’t “brave.”

No to Shame: On the other side of the world, feminist women are courageous in standing up for their human rights.

Hey Oscar! Women are talented behind the camera, too, yet the categories with no women or one woman nominated suggest an industry bias.

Leave Beyonce, Lena, and Rihanna Alone Already

In the past several months, Beyonce, Lena Dunham, and Rihanna have taken intense heat for the following ills of society:

1. Sexism overall, specifically their own capitulation to sexism by refusing to wear pants, or clothes, at given times in their performing lives. Other problems apparently include their sexiness, their sexuality, and, in the case of Lena, the sexiness of others on screen with her.

2. The fraught history of women taking their husbands’ last names upon marriage.

3. Racism.

4. Violence against women.

5. Promiscuity.

6. General lack of morals and possibly the decline of civilization.

[Read more...]

Sexy Feminist: Lena Dunham

Nitpickers love to question a lot of things about Girls creator and star Lena Dunham: her haircuts, her brazen self-confidence, her self-involved characters, her voting record, the lack of diversity on her show, the explicit sex on her show. But there’s one thing no one can question: her feminist credentials. She publicly campaigned for Obama’s pro-woman policies in an ad that upset some people for its sexual undertones. (Unsurprisingly, a young woman having sex and voting for Obama upsets Conservatives.) She’s a good writer with a startlingly clear vision for someone who’s just 26 — her film Tiny Furniture had a more indie sensibility, but Girls is a mainstream work that brings plenty of grit, substance, and freshness to chronicling the lives of young women. (Newsflash: Most 20-somethings do not spend their days in glossy offices performing dream jobs while going on glamorous dates with prince charmings, as many chick-lit-ish portrayals would have us believe.) Her insistence on appearing naked in almost every episode of her series is a subversive act. Her nudity is often casual, matter-of-fact — not objectifying — and her body type falls outside the strict parameters most of Hollywood sets for acceptable. And, in related news, her brazen self-confidence? Most young women can use a role model like that.

Dunham isn’t perfect — yes, more diversity on Girls would be nice, and she’s been called out for other expressions of racial insensitivity. She still has some things to learn — she’s 26, after all — but she’s also responded to the legitimate criticisms with good humor as well as action. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

Links for Sexy Feminists: More dumb rape remarks, Brave-Thinking ladies, and more …

Sigh. Another dumb rape remark from a male politician. [via The New Yorker]

And Obama’s response: “Rape is rape.” [via CNN]

And Romney’s “dilemma” in responding [via The New York Times]

Voter ID laws’ effect on women of color [via Jezebel]

Lots of our favorite ladies (nuns, Lena Dunham) among The Atlantic‘s Brave Thinkers list [via The Atlantic]



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