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.

Why Some Newsrooms Are Hotbeds of Sexism

witw-logoDiscussion of sexism in media has been heating up again — this time, it’s about the folks who bring us the news, not just how women are portrayed in said news. First we had that magazine cover that hailed a “new golden age” for print media, and featured only white male editors. Now we have a public pissing match between The New Republic and Politico over who’s slightly less sexist. The Daily Beast’s Women in the World investigates.

Links For Sexy Feminists: Oscars’ Opening Fallout, Sephora Addiction, Body Acceptance, and more

Rape Culture and the Oscars: This New Yorker blog offers a great, balanced look at the problem with Seth MacFarlane’s opening number. And his independent blogger calls us all out for ignoring rape culture when it comes attractively packaged. Finally, though we don’t normally think it’s fair just to turn the tables and objectifiy men, but this video pokes lighthearted fun at the whole thing.

Solve for XX: For a nice antidote, check out this talk by Geena Davis on media portrayals of women and girls.

Makeup Addiction?: Sephora can be fun, but beware: it’s an expensive habit. To keep it fun, moderation is key!

Women’s Health: Heart disease is a leading cause of death for women, yet too many people see it as a “men’s issue.”

The Body Beautiful: You don’t have to fall for the trap of trying to lose weight specifically because you’re getting married. Find a bit of courage from photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero, who documents others’ reactions to her body. From a medical standpoint, this article offers insight into how doctors should approach a “weighty” conversation.

Links for Sexy Feminists: NY Times editor calls sexism on writer, women anchor and moderate debate, and more …

Wow, if this isn’t evidence that having women in positions of power makes a difference, we don’t know what is: New New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan took author Jennifer Weiner’s side in a Twitter dust-up with Times writer Andrew Goldman for being a sexist both in print and on social media. Read more at Jezebel.

Speaking of non-sexy-but-brilliant Halloween costumes, we love The Frisky’s idea: Be Workout Paul Ryan!

We didn’t get to post about this last week, so we’ll take this moment to say: This Wisconsin anchorwoman’s on-air response to a viewer comment criticizing her weight is inspiring. You’re awesome, Jennifer Livingston.

Reminder: Watch the Tuesday debate on PBS. Not only is it the least-annoying place (no crawls, minimal crazy commentary) to view it, but it’s also the only all-female anchoring team hosting. With Candy Crowley moderating, you can have an all-lady night.

The Pakistani girl who was shot last week by the Taliban for speaking out about girls’ education has been airlifted to Britain for emergency care, The New York Times reports.

5 Reasons Britney Needs a Feminist Awakening

There’s no doubt that Britney Spears is not a feminist icon. But she could very well be the most important female pop culture figure of our times — which is exactly why it would be nothing short of revolutionary if girlfriend ever managed to escape the poptart prison her handlers have constructed around her during her decade-plus reign to realize her own grand significance. Here, we plead our case to the woman behind the Femme Fatale image. Oh, if only we believed she were reading!

Dear Britney,

Here’s why we need you to get with the F-word:

1. Madonna and Christina. Remember how you once made out with these two in a wildly overhyped menage a girl-on-girl-kisses-for-media-attention? We do. And we wish that Madge and Xtina had been able to somehow pass a little feminism your way while swapping spit onstage, because they’ve certainly got girl power to spare. As much as everyone likes to declare you “the next Madonna” — and as much as we understand why — you’re missing that element of self-determination that Madonna’s had since before she was even famous. (That kiss was her idea — go figure.) While you’ve long denied your sexuality even while selling the heck out of it, Madonna has … well, embraced hers. If you haven’t noticed. Same goes for Christina, who grew up with you on The Mickey Mouse Club and faced the same pressures of growing into womanhood very publicly. She may have been the one who ended up in unfortunate assless chaps, but she never pretended not to know exactly what they meant.

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Sending Our Most Sincere Support to Lara Logan

There are no words we can even come up with to measure up to the horror of Lara Logan’s beating and sexual assault while she was reporting in Egypt. Of course, many senseless pundits have found plenty of victim-blaming words anyway, as US News reports. Really, LA Weekly? The mobs “consummated their newfound independence by sexually assaulting the blonde reporter” with the “shockingly good looks”? Really, Debbie Schlossel? (“No one told her to go there. She knew the risks. And she should have known what Islam is all about. Now she knows.”)

Terrifying incidents like these just show why we still have so far to go toward equality: Because a woman, pretty or not, can’t go overseas to do her job without an extra layer of fear. And because when she gets back home, she’ll probably be blamed for being beautiful and blond.

FemiNoshing: Why Can't Even Female TV Cooks Be Fat?

I really enjoy your recipes, Giada De Laurentiis. I made your saltimbocca for New Year’s Eve, and your artichoke soup is a staple in my repertoire. But, if you don’t mind my asking, do you ever enjoy your own food? Sure, I see you taking a bite at the conclusion of each show, but honestly, I have my doubts that you dine that sumptuously every day.

The same goes for you, Padma Lakshmi. I’ll bet you never actually swallowed that repulsive-looking Carl’s Jr. burger you were chomping with such gusto in that commercial.

And let me not forget Debbi Fields, who for years made the most decadent treats on television yet never seemed to gain an ounce.

Now, ladies, I want you to know I don’t dislike you personally. And I don’t hate the thin (just slightly begrudge their genes). But I do despise what you represent: the celebrity chef who cooks heavenly food yet never seems to get to enjoy it. I despise your alleged effortless perfection, which presents you as the male ideal: the hot chick who cooks without getting fat.

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Putting Out for a Good Assignment

I have reported from the frontlines of my bedroom more than once in this space.

I detailed that sleepover with the hot guy who claimed not to like condoms (don’t worry, I didn’t let him get away with it). I confessed my insecurities about my vagina around the time of the advent of labial plastic surgery. I admitted to some racy sexual fantasies—a piece that was met with, shall we say, plenty of enthusiasm by the guy I was then dating.

And—oops—there there I went again, using my sex life as essay fodder. But around here, we like to think such self-revelation is all in the name of the greater good: That condom bit illustrated a growing disrespect for those invaluable little pieces of latex. My vagina monologue shed light on a common fear among women that needed to be addressed. And those racy fantasies? Well, the whole point was that women shouldn’t be ashamed of their sexuality, and there were indications that pop culture was becoming more accepting (if still not accepting enough) of such.

But when does sex writing cross the line into the kind of tawdry self-exploitation that’s just one more way of using your body to get ahead? With more and more journalists losing jobs every day, good sex writers have been among the first to go—and that makes me a little nervous that we’ll be getting more of the latter. With lots of hot young J-school grads—most of whom are female—flooding the market in search of jobs that don’t exist, will more of them be turning to the kind of confessional “reporting” that gets a girl noticed for something other than her sharp interviewing skill and her analytical know-how?

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