Links for Sexy Feminists: Costume Play, Male Beauty, and more

Costume Play: Between Halloween and last week’s geek gathering at New York Comic Con, ’tis the season to disguise oneself. You might be saddened but not surprised to see some of the awful, creepy things that cosplayers have been told. These pale in comparison to what happened to one unfortunate soul who had her personal photo of herself as Lara Croft mocked after she accidentally left off the friendslock control on Facebook, yet she sounds empowered in the essay. Yet going in disguise has an important way of releasing inhibitions, according to My Other Me, new documentary about cosplayers.

Ancient History: New findings suggest that most cave paintings were done by female artists.

Sexual Violence: Why campaigns to end the stigma of female pleasure might be triggering for victims of sexual assault. And an empowering look at how an organization in Nashville attempts to turn the tide for domestic victims of sex trafficking.

Real Male Beauty: Since men are increasingly subjected to all the same b.s. beauty standards, it’s refreshing to see four average dudes pose in their underwear.

South Asian Women: Though Malala has been a viral sensation recently for her incredible poise, it’s too soon for her to win the Nobel, and just as well she didn’t. And we love this photoessay about maverick women in Nepal.

Black Women’s Hair: A new collection of photographs gives white women stereotypically black hairstyles, and Crunk Feminist Collective published a moving response.

Female In Public: This wonderful essay perfectly captures what it’s like to be a woman and realize that to some, you are public property.

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: Hindu Goddesses, What is a Woman? and more

Goddesses Under Siege: A PR campaign aimed at raising awareness about domestic violence in India by depicting Hindu goddesses as victims of abuse has recently become a source of controversy.

What is A Woman?: A charming collection of watercolors of realistic female nudes paired with some hella empowering text. Probably NSFW.

Male Ally: A man talks about how he plans to tell his son about respecting the women around him in a very sweet and moving essay.

Feminists Prank Playboy: Some internet feminist activists successfully pranked Playboy, with total awesomeness ensuing.

Sexual Abuse Recovery: A thought-provoking first person perspective on why negative reactions to childhood sexual abuse can be at least as damaging as the abuse itself.

Love and Transgender: This cis person who married a trans individual will make you think twice about your assumptions about transgendered persons.

War on Women, Ground Floor: We’re unfortunately not surprised to hear this awful tale of a Texas woman who now drives four hours to Planned Parenthood after an uncomfortable experience with her doctor.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Kate Post Baby, Sleeping Alone, and more

Royal Baby Fever: Kate and William revealed that their little one is named George, for Queen Elizabeth II’s father. For the first time in history, a firstborn girl would have still been ahead of a younger brother, but the point is moot. A few advocates for gender fluidity took to Twitter to decry that genitalia is destiny. And we love this charming little essay on how bravely Kate showed off her post baby belly.

Feminism is Rad: A great intro piece on feminism for a dude in your life who needs some help to embrace it.

Society and Disability: Lisa Egan on how modern society chooses not to accommodate her, disabling her.

Sex and Politics: Anthony Weiner got himself into more trouble with mainstream media for not learning his lesson about sexting, and there’s now a website to help you find your own pseudonym a la Carlos Danger. On the flipside, Melissa Petro points out the tremendous double standard that still exists for a woman who does sex work.

Looking Different?: A fine take on what’s wrong with asking someone where they’re “really from.”

Modern Celibacy: Not having sex doesn’t make one a prude, or eliminate the sensuality of life, says Sophie Fontanel.

From Russia with … : (Trigger Warning). Just in case you haven’t noticed the pictures of gay rights activists suffering extreme violence in Russia. Meanwhile, one of the activists of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, had her appeal denied.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Trayvon’s Friend, Feminist Slurs, Shaving, and more

Feminist or Not?: A male photographer documents the changing role of the sexes in Spain by photographing men in women’s clothes. The premise could certainly be read as feminist, except that he states on his website that he’s concerned about “men’s sense of loss of reference.” Concerned? Weigh in in the comments!

International Dress: An Indian American woman on proudly dressing in her salwaar kameese and dupatta.

Language Games: A fun romp through the dictionary to learn the origins of some common slurs for women.

Moral Abortion: We love this piece by a rabbi about how his Judaism causes him to see abortion very differently than the Christian right.

To Shave or Not: One woman’s take on the age-old feminist debate.

Lesbian Blues: A charming piece on the queerness of 1920′s blues singers.

Hard to Get?: Why playing “the game” plays into the patriarchy’s hand. And an interesting take on rape culture uses an analogy with banks to turn the tables on guys. On the lighter side, we love this excellently written parody on the “pickup artist” movement.

Women Travelers: Which leads us to this fine perspective on being a solo woman traveler.

Trayvon’s Friend: The star witness for the prosecution fell victim to some tired stereotypes about African-American women. Meanwhile, she has already suffered the devastating impact of being the last person to talk to her friend when he was alive. Crunk Feminist Collective gathers some nice notes in solidarity.

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.

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: Against “Dieting”, Safer Sweatshops, Women Vote in Pakistan, More

Against the “Diet”: A poignantly inspiring tale of a woman who watched her father waste away due to self starvation and vows to embrace her own plus -ize figure. If you’re ever at a loss for body positivity, may we recommend reading and rereading this compilation of advice from fat women who love their curves. Meanwhile, having broken the “We don’t want fat people” Abercrombie story, Business Insider charts a precipitous drop in the brand’s popularity following the story.

Safer Sweatshops: On the other end of the fashion cycle, we were encouraged to hear that several prominent retailers are committing to improve factory conditions in Bangladesh.

Rethinking Choice: One woman’s interesting take on the semantic argument between “Life” and “Choice.”

Surprise!: Greater access to and education about birth control leads to fewer abortions. Interestingly, education in the study led many women to conclude that an IUD was the right choice for them, suggesting that the long-term solution may be underused.

Sex Positivity: Thanks to Jezebel for this primer on the so-called “looseness” of the vulva. NSFW.

Mommy Life: One woman’s story about coming to terms with postpartum depression and accepting that her husband could be the better caregiver at the beginning.

Activism Works: The Florida teen whose science experiment caused a minor explosion has had charges dropped after internet activists accused the accusers of racism. Meanwhile, though Disney has publicly backed down from its Merida makeover, only time will tell if they’re changing her back.

Women in the World: Pakistani women braved threats of violence to vote this past weekend, while Kuwaiti women are gaining grounds for athletic competition. Coming from a different religious perspective, Israel has struck down the mandate that women and men be segregated on public bus rides through conservative neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Canadian students created this funny and thought-provoking spoof of gender roles in advertising.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Elizabeth Smart, White Privilege, Female Sexuality, and more

Elizabeth Smart Speaks Out: The woman you may remember as a kidnapped and assaulted 14-year-old was in our thoughts as three women victims of trafficking were found alive in Ohio this week. Now a self-possessed 25-year-old, she was in the news recently for commenting that abstinence-only sex ed made her feel as worthless as a chewed piece of gum. Mormon commentator Joanna Brooks points out that this tactic is all too common in the religion’s sex ed classes.

White Privilege Alert: A Muslim American woman’s story of open bigotry from security guards at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner will have you quaking with rage.

Men Can Be Feminists: Enjoy this TED talk by activist Jackson Katz on the way ordinary men can prevent–or condone–gender violence.

Girls and Geek Culture: Not all women hate Game of Thrones, and Amelia McDonell-Parry wants folks to cut that sexist BS. Meanwhile, an intelligent analysis reveals that the “boob plate armor” found in videogame graphics doesn’t just objectify women: it would also make the wearer more likely to perish on the field of battle.

Save Merida: The Disney princess who was her own heroine in “Brave” has received a much maligned makeover.

Creep Alert: An NRA convention vendor is the subject of some (but probably not enough) controversy for marketing a female-shaped target as an “Ex.”

Freeing Female Sexuality: And lastly, here’s this charming essay from a sweet old lady about lust for life.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Real Beauty, Anorexia, Girl Geeks, and more

Real Beauty:  We posted last week about Dove’s latest ad campaign, but The Frisky has a great article about issues the ad raises.  Writing for the Houston Press, Abby Koenig says that even if you find the ads problematic, they’re a step in the right direction.  Her article also discusses the controversial “You Are Not A Sketch” campaign, which Dodai Stewart of Jezebel says “passes the buck and misses the point.”

The Point Being: Speaking of anorexia, modeling scouts in Sweden apparently recruit from a clinic for those suffering from the disease.  Ick.

Girls and Geeks: The two terms aren’t mutually exclusive at all, of course.  But a great post by a guy about wanting to play videogames with his 9-year-old daughter is both sweet and thought-provoking.

Women Are Hilarious: And one of our favorite funny feminists, Katie Goodman, needs your help to get to Edinburgh Fringe.

Feminism in Action: A new UK arts project attempts to get us all thinking about how our feminism is part of everyday life.

Catcall Patrol: Writer Emmie Mears on why catcalls feel threatening.

Sex and Gender: After a recent post which compared a woman refusing sex with her husband to child neglect, NYMag has an appropriately eye-rolling response.  It’s worth mentioning that one of the experts quoted in the original article was talking about sexual desire irrespective of gender, and that’s clear in the article itself.





Switch to our mobile site