Links for Sexy Feminists: The Great Gatsby, Tattoos, Women in Stem, and more

The Great Gatsby: A fine look at the reality of flappers as compared with Fitzgerald’s story, and an interesting dissection of Daisy’s sketchy characterization. But this feminist writer points out that one can just relax and enjoy the story.

Fighting Harassment: One woman finds the courage to tell her street harassment story. On the other side of things, a comedienne wrote a great little piece on how not to harass people.

Tattoo Empowerment: A critique of the obnoxious coinage of “skank flank.”

Women in STEM: The Florida honor student who inadvertently exploded a Sprite bottle hasn’t just had the trumped-up charges against her dropped: her story resonated with the man whose memoir inspired “October Sky,” and he’s sending Kiera Wilmot and her twin sister to Space Camp.

U.S. Immigration: Latinas commend the Senate Bill on Immigration for broadening the inclusiveness of Medicaid.

Women in the World: Pollution in the developing world puts women at risk. A British writer points out that Western society has toxic attitudes about masculinity. And women in Jordan are facing open biases as they fight for equal pay for equal work.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Contraception, the male gaze, porn on planes, and more …

Chris Piascik sums up the contraception/Planned Parenthood debate in a drawing: “If this doesn’t describe out of touch with Americans, I don’t know what does.”

Jezebel’s Lindy West gets transcendent picking apart a douchey Globe and Mail piece: “Titled ‘Why men can’t—and shouldn’t—stop staring at women,’ the piece attempts to make a reasoned argument for why the male gaze isn’t creepy (in fact, men are doing society hella favors!), but instead reads like an episode of Law & Order: SVU (one of the ones where Liv uses her sexuality as a weapon and it backfires and Elliot has to rescue her).” Her evisceration only gets better from there.

We heart mentoring young feminists: And we kinda want to take this debate workshop that Ms. talks about here even though we’re grown women.

An interesting women-in-tech mini-controversy: Two recent semi-public sexist incidents in the overwhelmingly male programming industry prompted a swift and decisive outcry — refreshingly, not from feminist agitators, but from the industry itself, as reported by blogger Brian Curtin. This seems like good news — if one company is so quick to denounce another for “hiring women to bring you beer,” that means lots of these places genuinely want to welcome women to their high-paying, in-demand ranks.

Yeah, we’re gonna have to support a no-porn-on-planes rule: We’re neither prudes nor Miss Manners, but it just seems rude to peruse porn when you’re crammed into those tiny seats so close together. YourTango has more on one women’s crusade against such antics.


‘Women for Cain’: Yes, That’s a Supposedly ‘Real’ Thing

UPDATE: Herman Cain has now dropped out of the presidential race.

The Herman Cain website just launched a “Women for Cain” section, which you know is for women because it has pretty purple script font and a ridiculous picture of four unnaturally happy females giving you the thumbs up from atop the page. It allows “women” the “opportunity” to post messages of “support” for Cain, which seems to come down to attacks on his accusers for being jealous single bitches. If this isn’t presidential — or, more to the point, another major piece of evidence for Rachel Maddow’s brilliant theory that Cain’s an Andy Kaufman-style performance artist — we don’t know what is.

Just, no:

SF Talking Points: Stereotypes Reversed

One-Third Of All Football Watchers Are Women: I myself am not a football-watching kind of gal (I prefer more fast-paced sports, like rugby, soccer, and basketball), but I know a lot of ladies who are. And according to ESPN, women comprise 34% of all football league viewers. This doesn’t surprise me — but Katie Baker’s reasoning for it in her recent New York Times Magazine article does. Which is that women probably like football for its “reality-show-like intrigue.” She writes:

“A friend of mine recently asked me if I wanted to watch the Jets game; like the parent of a suddenly-friendly teenager, I tried not to show my excitement. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. She has seen every season of ‘Real Housewives,’ ‘Intervention’ and ‘Jersey Shore,’ after all.”

The point of Baker’s article is to prove that although football has been chock full’o scandal lately — with sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexting by players making headlines — female football watchers aren’t as prissy as everyone thinks they are. In fact, they watch football because they like hearing about the players’ lives, no matter how offensive or terrible those players may be. After all, women watch degrading shows like The Bachelor! And why do they like football and The Bachelor? For the “characters, stories, rivalries and heartbreak” of course!

I personally think her argument makes no sense. What about the women who watch football because they genuinely like football — and the drama that happens off the field doesn’t matter to them, because that’s not part of the actual game they enjoy? And for those women who only watch football because they follow the players’ real lives with the same fervor as they do reality TV shows, that means that they keep following the sport/the players because they enjoy hearing about things like…. Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sexually assaulting a college student in the bathroom of a bar? I suppose that could be true, but I have a hard time believing it. [Read more...]

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