Monday, November 29, 2010

Feminist Break-Ups

My roommate from this summer/one of my favorite feminists just brought to my attention this really sweet article about how to deal with a break up while feminist. I would summarize, but I will let the author win you over herself with the below excerpt:

How To Get Through the Feeling Betrayed / Feeling Sorry for Yourself / "My Life Sucks And Nobody Has Ever Been In As Much Pain As I Have" Phase:

In this garbage dump of a situation, I realized I have an AMAZING group of friends. ...They made me laugh, they let me cry. Which made me realize how important the feminist value of sisterhood's so important to have a close group of girl friends that will get you through to the other end and keep you on track no matter how trivial the problem you're dealing with seems in the scheme of things.

My Relationship with my Mom/Other Female Role Model
Strong women role models – in this case, my Mommy – helped me (and can help you) remember that even when other people act in ways that are pretty low, you can still hold yourself to a higher standard and rise above them.

How To Move On To Empowerment

Set Yourself Aside and Focus on Other People

Settle Your Karmic Score

I realized that while I was hurting, I had hurt other people. Without going into it, freshman year my two best friends and I had a huge fight. Stupid freshman that I was I walked away thinking that I was the only one who had been hurt. It took nearly 3 years and some heartbreak to figure out I may have hurt them, too. I began to realize the people I had designated "good" and the people I had designated "bad" were turning out to all be in the wrong categories and set out to fix it.

Now. Maybe I didn't react to this experience in the most feminist way. Maybe instead of focusing so much on this one incident I should have channeled that energy into rallying for a more important cause. Instead of curling up in the fetal position, I probably should have volunteered for Planned Parenthood or something. And maybe this advice isn't even the most feminist guide ever. But sometimes life, emotions and just being a freakin' teenager interfere with perfect feminist theory. And when that happens, this is what I have learned: be a kind human being. Treat others the way you want to be treated. When you slip up and do something bad to somebody else, own up to it and make it right. When somebody does something bad to you, try to maintain your integrity and look inwards toward your own strength and outwards towards a future where you are a stronger person for the pain. Because in the end, that's essentially what feminism is.

I highly recommend you read her full article, which elaborates on all of her advice and details her own recent break-up experience.

Please share your own feminist break up advice (for any or all genders) in comments.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Setback for Paycheck Fairness

Apparently our senate is not making wage discrimination a priority:

A bill aimed at stamping out wage discrimination was blocked Wednesday as too few senators voted to move forward with the legislation, the Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 17. The Paycheck Fairness Act was short by two votes.

The bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year and would have amended the Equal Pay Act to limit the defense that employers can use to respond to charges of wage discrimination based on sex, among other actions. In a press statement, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said she would continue fighting for the legislation so "women are not treated as second class citizens by employers who refuse to compensate them in a fair and equitable manner."

You know what to do, contact your senator and tell them that you want them to stand up for equal pay.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Today is International Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, please remember to memorialize trans people who been murdered because of prejudice. For more information and to learn about steps you can take to stop hate crimes against trans men and women, click here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Feminism and Men

Tired of hearing how advances for women can only mean an impending "End of Men"? Well, so is Hugo Schwyzer at the Guardian. He wrote a great article about what feminist advances may mean for men, my favorite bit of which can be found below.

Traditionalists warn that women who exercise "too much" sovereignty over their bodies (by utilising contraception, availing themselves of abortion or new reproductive technologies) risk making men irrelevant. And men who feel irrelevant will behave like perpetual teenagers, refusing to make lasting commitments, cheerful in the certainty that whatever happens sexually, a "woman will take care of things".

We socialise women to be afraid of one thing more than anything else: being alone. The anti-feminist opponents of progress are masters at exploiting that fear, urging women to resist the siren song of technologically assisted autonomy lest they find themselves growing old without a man. The anecdotal evidence that a great many men in Britain and the US do seem stuck in what the scholar Michael Kimmel calls "Guyland" – an enduring adolescence that seems to last decades – seems to legitimate the shrill jeremiads of the traditionalists.

But the opponents of progress are wrong.

Leaving aside their wrongness on the larger questions of women's autonomy and reproductive ethics, they're wrong about men. They're wrong in their insistence that with female vulnerability, men will rise to responsibility, while without it, men will invariably sink down to drifting, predatory fecklessness. While it is absolutely true that we've raised men to believe that their worth is contingent on how well they take of vulnerable women, it's also undeniably true that traditional gender roles have exacted an enormous cost from men.

Male privilege is not a guarantor of either happiness or health, and trying desperately to play the part of protector and provider has robbed generations of men of both. Feminism, in concert with these many new and exciting reproductive and contraceptive technologies, offers men a chance to rethink and re-evaluate their worth and their purpose. It offers them an opportunity to be intimate allies with their female partners, to forge relationships based on more than duty and dependency. It gives men a chance to be loved for the wholeness of who we are, rather than solely for what we can provide.

I am so glad that there are voices against the outdated "traditionalist" thinking Hugo cites. To read more about traditionalism and why it is short-sighted, read the full article here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fitness is Not Necessarily Thinness

Morning Gloria over at Jezebel wrote a great piece railing against America's obsession with weight as a measure of fitness, something I have complained about (in a less articulate way) in the past.

There are lots of great parts of the piece which I suggest you read in its entirety, but you can get the jist through the below summary.

I bought a women's fitness magazine the other day and almost every page equated fitness with losing weight. Get bikini ready in seven days! Lose 12 pounds by tomorrow by doing these three exercises! Hungry? Eat seven almonds! Fuck that.

Your body was made for so much more than being looked at, deprived of food, and enjoyed by others. Your body was made for kicking some ass.


Discussing exercise or athleticism is tricky in the context of body acceptance; we're told the only reason we'd possibly want to exercise is to have a sexy body or to be smaller or more in line with what society has determined is an acceptable size.


You guys. This is bullshit. Physical fitness doesn't have to be about anyone else but you or about anything else but becoming stronger. It's time we stopped associated exercise with a form of conformity and surrender, because do so is to deprive yourself of the potential that your body offers you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Women Underrepresented in Management

According to a government report, the number of women in managing positions only increased a lousy one percent (from 39 to 40 percent) between 2000 and 2007. This is especially ridiculous considering that women are now the majority in colleges and universities and comprise 46.8% of the labor force.

Nanette Fondas at the Ms. Magazine blog has a fitting acronym to explain why: W.O.M.E.N.

W- "Work-family spillover"

O-"lack of Open, flexible work options"

M-"Masculine model of the 'ideal' worker"

E-"Evaluations of performance punish use of flexible work policies"

N-"No time for activism"

To learn more about the meaning behind the acronym, read Nanette's full post

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Heart Tina Fey

Tina Fey, on the occasion of winning the Mark Twain award for comedy, took on the myth that having any women in politics is good regardless of whether they enact anti-woman policies.

Right-wing women, said Tina Fey last night, are great for all women, "unless you don't want to pay for your own rape kit...[or] you're a lesbian who wants to get married to your partner of 20 years."

I know there has been some criticism of Ms. Fey in the feminist blogosphere lately- but I think we can all agree that this comment is badass.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Positive Results of the Midterm Election

Okay, so I have spent a good amount of time since the midterm elections bemoaning some of the douchebags who made it in to office. However, in this post I would like to focus on the positive for the sake of both my sanity and the sanity of all my fellow feminists out there.

First of all, "
a historic 106 openly gay candidates have been elected to office this year." Yay for political views, not homophobia, dictating how people vote!

Secondly, Colarado luckily
voted down "the so-called 'personhood' amendment, which would define 'personhood' as beginning at 'biological development' in an underhanded attempt to restrict women’s access to safe abortion services and reduce their reproductive agency." Yay Colarado for standing up for a woman's right to choose!

Please leave more positive results of the midterm election in comments.