Recently in This is a feminist issue... Category

"Vulva"...A Feminist Issue?

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Since our classmates' informative and compelling blog about the perfume industry has made fragrances something of a hot-ticket item, you all might find this new development amusing - or disturbing. (Or both!) A German company recently came out with a fragrance that claims to smell like a woman's genitalia. Its name? Vulva.

I found a few different articles with some compelling and pithy commentaries:
Jezebel
The Smoking Jacket
Some Dude On A Message Board
A video from Jezebel, comparing Vulva with Britney Spears' latest perfume

I especially recommend visiting Vulva's official web site, which boasts a video ad that is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The url alone is hilarious: www.smellmeand.com . But be warned! It's not work-safe!

Used Car Ads....Totally A Feminist Issue

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I found a really brazen ad for used cars. There is so much going on in this single image that it boggles the mind. The model's sexualized gaze, the implication of her role as the slut or temptress, the underlying assumption that a woman's value is determined by her virginity/chastity, the reduction of women's bodies to products and property to be possessed like one would own a car...Yowza!

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Men In Heels...A Feminist Issue?

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Last month, a group of men in Anchorage walked in high heels for "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes", an event to raise money and awareness for sexual assault. Is this an effective strategy for raising awareness? While the element of crossdressing certainly adds humor and playfulness that could potentially be transformative, what kind of laughter is it encouraging? What does it mean to link tropes of gender identity with sexual violence?

As I was reading letters to the editor(Dr. Date type column) I noticed a brief paragraph explaining this new "Don't Say Gay Bill" being proposed in Tennessee by Senator Stacey Campfield. The bill would prohibit educators from "the teaching or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8. I then decided to do some googling and found an article here summarizing the issue. I then read on another website that Senator Campfield doesn't believe that schools should be advocating for or against homosexuality. To me, this definitely sounds against homosexuality.

What do you think of this bill?

If this bill passes, how will it be detrimental to the well-being of the children in our school systems?

Shouldn't LGBT youth have a place within the school system to have open discussion concerning their own personal thoughts and/or issues?

What if there is a hate crime towards an LGBT youth, would this prohibit the teacher from discussing it with the child?

Organic food as a Feminist Issue?

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Within the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the push towards eating organic due to the supposed health benefits and environmental factors associated with organic food. Stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods have popped up all over the place (even all across Minnesota) and it really causes me to question this whole organic food thing, even as a feminist issue. First of all, because feminism is usually about taking measures to protect and champion for marginalized individuals, and I would argue that the earth has been quite victimized. As a result, are organic foods really helpful towards decreasing one's negative impacts on the environment? Does it really mean eating healthier? And is it available for everyone?

Well... statistics say no. Organic food has not been proven to provide drastic health benefits, eating food produced locally, as opposed to organic food that potentially had a several thousand mile journey to your grocery store, is what will most effectively reduce one's carbon footprint, and that eating organic is mainly a trend among middle/upper class white people.

So, I question whether or not eating organic really is helpful for the consumer, the producer, and to the environment itself. Also, through organic food consumption, we can see a distinct pattern of socioeconomic statuses and races that do the consuming. So! Is this a feminist issue or do I just think too hard...?

Is Seventeen Magazine a Feminist Issue?

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Perhaps like many young women, I grew up with a subscription to Seventeen Magazine. When I was younger, I could not wait for my magazine to come every month so I could look at the cute clothes and get ideas for what I needed to have for school the next year, just like I had seen my older sisters do when they were teenagers too. However, as I am now older (haven't been a teenager for a little over a month now!) and have not had a Seventeen subscription for many years, I begin to see how truly messed up of a publication it really is. I know that the media is general, however Seventeen has really begun to bother me. I remember from when I used to be a regular reader, and I'm guessing the format has not changed much, is that the magazine consists of a fashion section, a make-up section, a fitness/health section, information about college life, a dating/sex/boys section, a celebrity interview/photo spread, and there was always some horror story about a girl who thought she was dating a boy and it turned out to be a girl, or a young woman who had a stocker and how she handled the situation. Pretty much the rundown of every issue.

Boost your confidence! But feel pressured to dress like a celebrity and make your crush want you!:
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I however have become troubled by the magazine as it claims to be about empowerment for young girls but simultaneously reminds them that they are not good enough, and that there is always room for improvement. Similarly, I now see that the magazine is certainly formulated for a particular kind of girl. First of all, heterosexuality is assumed, most of the women featured on the cover and in the pages are Caucasian, and a particular assumption about class is underlying as the whole magazine promotes consumption.

Dress for your body but don't forget to get amazing abs!:
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Of the most disturbing of Seventeen's endeavors is perhaps The Seventeen Magazine Project in which girls are encouraged to "spend one month living according to the gospel of Seventeen Magazine."

Look pretty! And get your best butt:
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What are your thoughts on the magazine itself, its message to girls, and the Seventeen Magazine Project?

Sex and the City... a Feminist Issue?

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Admittedly, I am a fan of the popular and iconic television series/movie franchise Sex and the City. I find the show to be funny, witty, oftentimes mindless entertainment, but that it does touch on important and current issues that women face. There are however many issues that I have with the show that I think could make it a feminist issue. Some include, but are not limited to:

+All of the women are white
+All live lavish lifestyles that most women could never afford
+For the most part, the men they date are white
+Two continuing gay male characters are immensely stereotypical
+Samantha, the most sexually active (for lack of a better term) never faces consequences for her frequent sexual encounters with many, many different men.
+Charlotte's greatest desires in life are to be a wife and mother, even declaring that all women just want to be saved
+All relationship story lines among the women (except for one brief plot line with Samantha) revolve around heterosexual relationships

This is a very brief list of issues that I see with Sex and the City, and if you've seen the second movie you know that the entire thing is flawed and filled with the above issues and some weird form of imperial feminism. (This article highlights imperial feminism more and is essentially the same situation that happens in the film).
As mentioned, I find Sex and the City valuable as demonstrated an open space for women to discuss issues that are normally discouraged conversation points in our society. However, the show/movies remain problematic. Thoughts?!

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Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha-- the main cast of SatC

Red Bull.. a Feminist Issue?!?

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I found this while studying at Walter Library. I guess when Red Bull workers decided to handout free Red Bulls, they decided to hand out a message.
Yes, Red Bull apparently decided to throw itself in a feminist war. "If you see a woman doing a lot of work all at once, continuously, and tirelessly, you should give her a red bull so that she can do more work." I know that doesnt just sound wrong to me. Not, "you should help her to lessen the workload on her" or "find someone to help her" or "where is her husband?" rather "find a way she can do more work."
Feminist issue?

World's Richest Moms... a feminist issue?

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One of the main focuses of feminism is to secure women (and all genders) a safe place in the workplace as far as sufficient wages and a harassment-free environment/gender neutral environment. But what about self-made women that have been mothers throughout their entrepreneurial success? In the Forbes.com blog about "The World's Richest Moms," they mention Diane Hendricks, a self-made billionaire who started the company ABC supply (one of the most popular roofing/siding wholesaler companies in the U.S.) with her husband. She was running the business when her children were growing up and she was a widow. In the article, she is quoted saying, "'Women may get tired before the men...'because that responsibility of raising a family still falls heavily on the female,'" (Says Hendricks on ForbesWoman by Jenna Goudreau: http://blogs.forbes.com/jennagoudreau/2011/05/03/worlds-richest-moms-wealth-billionaire-mothers-day/ ). Later in the article it states that Hendricks would not have been able to do it without a nanny, but she also believed that, "Pursuing college or a career was never proposed or encouraged, and she believed a woman's role was at home with the family," (http://blogs.forbes.com/jennagoudreau/2011/05/03/worlds-richest-moms-wealth-billionaire-mothers-day/ ). Is a full-time mother and career woman an impossible feat? Do mothers have an advantage in the workplace because they know what it takes to juggle everything including family, or is it a hindrance? Are the world's richest mothers a feminist issue? Does the workplace provide available resources to full-time mothers (daycare/etc)? What I would want to ask these women is the advice they would give when they look back to raising their family. Do you think this is a feminist issue? What provokes your thoughts?

Sexting and/or technology a feminist issue?

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My interest in the "sexting" epidemic was sparked when I heard of young girls in the neighborhood getting in trouble for it. My reaction to "sexting?" What the hell! The stuff that goes on with kids these days makes me scared to ever have a child. What is driving these girls to do this? Is it just their insecurities or is there an underlying issue here? For those of you who don't know exactly what "sexting" is... it's short for "sexy texting." This can be done either by risky pictures or sending promiscuous text messages. I have heard of 11 or 12 year old girls getting grounded and having their phones taken away because of sending inappropriate messages...that is WAY too young in my opinion. Is it the standards that us girls have to deal with that's driving people to "sext" or is it the readily available access to technology that is the issue? Would these girls or boys act as promiscuous when face to face?

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History is a feminist issue because...

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I know we've all heard the quote, "history is her story too," and when we look up the origin of the word, history, its greek root really has nothing to do with being male dominated, however; when looking back at what many would deem the history they learned in High School, how much of it is feminine history? How much documentation has been focused on historical events revolving around men and patriarchy? I understand that years ago, women were not equal and were socially stigmatized into certain roles attributed to motherhood and marriage, but I've read so much history about men and very little archived about women. How as the "herstory" movement changed people's view of history itself? And how could it be better applied in feminist pedagogy in education to raise more positive awareness about feminist ideals?

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With all the breaking news about the war in Iraq, and the finding, and ultimately the killing, of Osama Bin Laden I've started to wonder how these things apply to my own beliefs as a world citizen and a feminist. I'll be the first to admit, that like many people (young and old) I haven't done very much research into the war after the first few years passed by. I don't have any family or close friends over seas, however; I'm very grateful to those men and women who've gone and are gone.

Anyway, until last night when I read that Bin Laden had been killed, I hadn't given the war much thought recently. I certainly thought that since we hadn't caught Bin Laden yet, we probably never would. Overall my interest in the "War on Terror" hasn't spread much past analyzing the Patriot Act, and researching the infringements on American citizen's constitutional rights that have happened since September 11th, 2001. Overall the "War on Terror," has been the center of many controversies within the government to budget cuts and body counts and issues of America's safety. I myself feel like a bit of a government conspiracy nut with my research into the Church Committee, and the far reaching lessons its findings have to teach American's today.

I know this may not really count as....This is a feminist issue because...
But I hope it does because I have these and many more questions in need of discussion, and I hope it gets some before class ends.

Was the killing of Osama Bin Laden justified? Does his numerous terrorist acts constitute a contract out on his life?

From a global feminist perspective, is war ever okay?

From a curious citizen perspective, the government has stated so many reasons for this war, over and over again they've made it into issues of national security on all the main media news networks/speeches by its officials, but is it really just that? What other variables are a part of it? And who's job is it to suss out the truth, when reporters and main news stations are in the pocket of governmental bodies?

What about the people of Iraq? How does American treatment of prisoners of war in the past and possibly the present affect the world?

Dating....a feminist issue still?

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So, I went on a date the other night with a guy..that I turned out not to be that into. But, as I was explaining what happened to friends of mine, I started thinking. At the end of the conversation, they asked "well did he pay for the drinks?" I told them yes and they were like, well you should go out on one more date with him then.

A few thoughts came to mind after this...first, would it have been so bad if I had paid for my own drinks? Is this still something that needs to happen? Maybe I'm too upset about this, but I think that a girl buying her own drinks does not scream "oh what a jerk." We're all poor college students right?

The other thought that came to mind was, why did him buying my drinks make him a gentleman? So he bought me a beer, what did that really say? Dating in general is an exciting yet frustrating time and to say because a guy bought you alcohol is a good sign is slightly skewed if you ask me.

The story and the way my friends reacted just made me think about dating as a feminist issue in general, but because of stigmas on all sides of the gender web.

Trailer for " A woman in Berlin"

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This is the movie that is based on the book that I talked about.

How do we document mass rape? Feminist issue?

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I just finished reading the book "A woman in Berlin" and realized that history has the strangers ways of recording mass rape of women. When talking about WWII one can definitely see that history is constructed through a male perspective. His-tory vs Her-story? "A woman in Berlin" holds a unique place in the canon of World War II literature. History is written by the victors, as the saying goes - who are usually male. How many readers have given a thought to what it felt like to be a German woman made to pay the price for her country's belligerence in 1945? Though the precise statistics will never be known, existing estimates are breathtaking: 2 million women were raped in Germany, many of them more than once. In Berlin alone, hospital statistics indicate between 95,000 and 130,000 rape victims. After reading this book, it is impossible for any human being to see these numbers as pure statistic, because one is brought face to face with the reality of the situation through three hundred pages with the gashes upon the soul inflicted by repeated rape and gang rape, not to mention prostitution, makes one turn back to all the evil atrocities of the period and suddenly realize they weren't numbers on a scorecard of infamy, but souls tortured, and in many cases murdered. The writer of this book makes the reader realize that each person had their own separate individuality and each one suffered in ways we cannot even imagine, to perceive one person's suffering gives us an immense insight into what that kind of life these women lead. Even though Anonymous wants to give individuals that suffered at that time a name, the essence of this book is really the emphasis of the complete collapse of a moral, social, and human code and system of values. German women such as the heroin in this book had a protected and comfortable space in the Nazi regime, where their identity was confined to Kinder, Kirche, Kueche in society. This role came with the privilege of security, which was annihilated during the Limbo stage of the Russian take over of Berlin. In the candlelit basement of her apartment building, a 34-year-old journalist leads us into a world of mass rape and unimaginable violence by simple scribbling her impressions of the collapsing society around her into a school book. Early on women in Berlin begin to realize that nobody will be able to secure their bodies ones the Russians take over. This sense of disparity and helplessness makes them understand that they have to move forward and begin to play a new role in society. Her equanimity is severely tested, however, when the Russians show up and she is raped repeatedly, along with thousands of other female Berliners. Far from wallowing in despair, however, she conceives a plan to protect herself. Using her few words of Russian to lure well-placed Russian officers, she trades her body for food and protection. "No question about it: I have to find a single wolf to keep away the pack," she writes. "An officer, as high-ranking as possible, a commandant, a general, whatever I can manage. After all, what are my brains for ..." After the narrator makes this testimony, the reader leaves the simple notion of rape behind and has to redefine the heroin's role in the power struggle between her oppressor (rapist) and herself. The author herself comments in wonder on the picture of a highly educated middle-class girl turned whore for a handful of potatoes. I believe that this statement is something that many German readers weren't able to handle or forgive in 1960. This book brought a whole different level of analysis to that particular time. The diary shows a transformation that had taken place that many historians, anthropologist, or sociologist neglected for a long period of time. As a rape victim, Anonymous didn't remain silent in shame, like many rape victims are expected to. Instead she started an honest discussion about her pain, anguish, and disbelief of her situation. This allowed for many women to find a discourse and agency to identify with her, and analyze their own tragedies at that time. Throughout the book I found myself cheering her on for her resourcefulness, buoyancy, and fierce will to survive. Despite the grim subject matter, she is often a delightfully witty and intelligent commentator on the times. Perhaps, in truth, what 20th century readers couldn't stomach was the shameful picture of German men standing helplessly by while their women were degraded. As Anonymous tells her diary, "Among the many defeats at the end of this war is the defeat of the male sex." There are many diary entries in which she clearly discusses the specific failures of the other gender. Many of these disappointments had nothing to do with the subject of rape, which I found very interesting. Early on the author begins to explain her disapproval of the incredibly young soldiers. She looks at the Volksturm units and only sees boys, children, innocent infants that shouldn't have to deal with the issues of war let alone the actual act of war. She emphasizes this critic by saying: "Up to now being a soldier meant being a man. And being a man means being able to father a child. Wasting these boys before reaching maturity obviously runs against some fundamental laws of nature, against our instincts, against every drive to preserve the species." As a woman she finds it criminal to take away the innocence of a child in order to advance in a war. "People aren't supposed to do that", she declares. I believe that this shows the complete change of norms in that war. It was the place of the man to take on nature's call of protecting both child and woman, which he failed to do at the time. This failure resulted in the young boy having to take on the identity of the man. One nineteen year old girl was raped by three different soldiers one after the other, then she had marmalade smeared into her hair and coffee grains scattered over her face. If this would have been a single rape, in any community it would have been considered an atrocity. However what takes place when this becomes and everyday reality for a woman? The right of the women to see their catastrophic incident as singular, distinctive and exclusive was stripped from them. Instead of understanding the specific details of their own horrors and elucidating their status as a victim, women had to take on a mass identity as rape victims. I believe this is one of the reasons why this book doesn't have a specific author. Anonymous decided that it wasn't solely her story that she was telling but rather a communal one. It gives them a kind of collective identity as women and a collective despair with men. As they queue up once stability is restored to collect ration books and get jobs, the chat amongst the women is of how many times they've been raped and how they will deal with their husbands about it. Fears of sexual disease and pregnancy also proliferate in the women's mind. Many women build a sense of solidarity and trust through this common dominator. Some victims of the Russians found comfort in knowing that they had a better chance to stay alive in Berlin than in Air-raided Dresden or Potsdam. This mentality was often portrayed by the grim humored jokes: "Better a Russki on top than a Yank overhead!" As a reader one is saddened that a woman had to accept rape as a daily reality that she couldn't escape from. What makes the book an essential document is its frank and unself-conscious record of the physical and moral devastation that accompanied this particular time. This book gave the world the understanding of the drastic alteration in identity for many people during World War II. The experience she went through, completely changed her and other women's reactions to men. The fear created lasted long after authority was restored- she notes that when she goes out in the evening, she never sees women. Also in her eyes, men become diminished, parasites or rapists. The most intriguing question this book brought up is: Why go back and conform to the old role of a woman in the patriarchal society, when that system had failed in such a disastrous manner. Both the book and the movie make me wonder how we look at mass rape of women in the past. This is definitely an important feminist issue, since history many time leaves out individually experienced atrocities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEZxcSf9HwM

I came across this on Feministing.com. To me this is encouraging ignorance and promoting inequalities and discrimination. What are your thoughts?

http://feministing.com/2011/04/22/tennessee-senate-passes-dont-say-gay-bill/

Why animal rights are (still) a feminist issue

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An egalitarian society will never come about while sections of it are oppressed, whether on the basis of their sex/gender, race, ability, sexual orientation - or species, writes Katrina Fox.

Recently I attended 'F', the first feminist conference in Sydney, Australia for 15 years. During the course of the weekend, a jam-packed program featured a diverse range of panel discussions and workshops.

An attempt had been made to include at least one person of colour on the panels, the majority of speakers acknowledged and discussed white privilege, and some workshops were held by men, sex workers and trans people. The conference had a policy of inclusion and was open to all.

So far so good. But while progress had been made on some fronts, there was one area that had fallen off the agenda and indeed, it seems, feminist consciousness, and that is speciesism: the assigning of different values or rights to beings on the basis of their species membership.

Nowhere was this more obvious than the catering, which included a stall selling meat pies, including veal, an abundance of dairy milk for tea and coffee and a conference dinner that was held at a non-vegetarian restaurant. All in all, it added up to an epic F for Fail.

Failure, that is, to see the intersectionality between various forms of oppression - in this case, between female humans and non-humans.

How do feminism and animal rights issues intersect?

While all animals suffer under the system of intensive or factory farming, the females of the species usually experience the most heinous and prolonged abuses:

* Battery hens are imprisoned in tiny cages with several other hens. Their beaks are cut off with a hot wire guillotine, an extremely painful process and many have great difficulty eating properly for the rest of their short lives. They are forced to lay egg after egg and after a year, their bodies 'spent', they are dragged from the cages, stuffed into crates, trucked to the abattoir and shackled upside down on a conveyor belt to await slaughter. Many suffer multiple fractures during this process.
* Dairy is an industry built on the control of the reproductive systems of female non-humans (surely a feminist issue given the movement's emphasis on fighting for women's rights to control their own bodies and reproductive systems). Cows are kept perpetually pregnant, so that their babies (whom they carry for nine months, much like human mothers) and their babies' milk can be stolen from them. Cows bellow with grief at the loss of their young. Female calves' horns and extra teats are cut off with no anaesthetic and in some areas the same happens to their tails. Milking machines attached to the cow's body result in painful infections of the teats such as mastitis. The cycle of forced pregnancy, birth, theft and grief continues until the cow's body can give no more and she is shipped off to be slaughtered.
* Female pigs are forcibly impregnated and kept in 'sow stalls' - tiny spaces not big enough for them to turn around, where they often go insane with boredom as they are social creatures. They are kept like this for life, constantly impregnated. After giving birth, they are forced to nurse their babies from the confines of gestation crates where they can barely reach them.
* Animal rights groups have obtained video footage from undercover activists showing abbatoir workers sexually abusing female animals.

That's not to say that male animals don't suffer, of course, including a non-human mother's male babies who are considered 'byproducts' with little monetary value:

* Male calves in Australia are slaughtered for veal and in other countries are destined for the veal crate, designed to be so small that they can't turn around so their muscles atrophy. They are deprived of essential nutrients to ensure they are pale and 'tender'.
* Male chicks born in battery operations are simply disposed of - usually by being shredded alive in a macerator.

So it's disappointing, not to mention sadly ironic, that a feminist conference invited a keynote speaker (Greens MP Lee Rhiannon, a vegan) to talk about abortion rights at the official dinner. The irony being that 'dinner' involved attendees putting someone else's body (probably female) and secretions (definitely female) into their mouths while talking about their own oppression and fight for reproductive autonomy.

Why has animal rights fallen off the modern feminist agenda?

Back in the '70s and '80s there was a much stronger link between feminism and animal rights and an acknowledgement of the links between the two. So what happened?

What does the term 'ecofeminism' and its association with animals and the environment conjure up in the minds of today's feminists?

Well, some will associate it with essentialist ideas of women being connected to the earth or the anti-porn, anti-sex-work and transphobic rhetoric of some ecofeminists. It's fair to say that blanket generalisations that all porn is bad, all sex workers are victims whether they know it or not, and undergoing surgical and hormonal treatment to transform your sex or gender is unnatural have alienated many feminists, especially queer and younger feminists.

That's not to say, however, that the discourses within ecofeminism have not moved on - indeed much ecofeminist theory has pointed out how problematic and regressive concepts of essentialism are.

But while feminists writing in mainstream media and indeed much of the feminist blogosphere focus on raunch culture, body image and analysing pop culture - the 'hip' and 'trendy' topics - ecofeminist theory gets left by the wayside, relegated unfairly to the 'old-school' or 'uncool' box when in fact it's more relevant than ever.

Of course it could be argued too that animal rights groups such as PETA have had a part to play in the disengagement of feminism and animal rights due to their adverts that are viewed by many to be sexist and in some cases, racist.

Race issues

The issue of race of course ties in with the intersectionality of oppressions.

In her new book Sistah Vegan, in which black female vegans talk about how they perceive nutrition, food, ecological sustainability, health and healing, animal rights, parenting, social justice, spirituality, hair care, race, sexuality, womanism, freedom, and identity, author Breeze Harper quite rightly points out the white racialised consciousness and white privilege of the mainstream animal rights movement and the stereotype of vegan = white, skinny body.

Interestingly, these reflections in Sistah Vegan, which are from a diverse North American community of black-identified women of the African diaspora reveal that they have not necessarily come to veganism through animal rights. Instead many consider that they are actively decolonising their bodies by embracing a healthy whole foods or raw food veganism way of eating.

However, when promoting the message to go vegan - which I do and wholeheartedly believe it is the way forward to minimise harm to ourselves in terms of health, the environment and of course animals - it's important for the white-dominated animal rights movement to consider issues of race and class, as well as gender: it may be cheaper to buy a McDonald's so-called 'Happy Meal' than organic, fair-trade, cruelty-free foods. And as we know, the majority of people living in poverty are likely to be people of colour due to the institutionalised racism of western societies.

Building alliances and coalitions

This is why it's important to build coalitions and raise awareness of the intersectionalities of oppression: to realise that our fight for justice as women, as feminists, is inextricably linked to racism, homo/transphobia, class and speciesism as well as the devastating destruction of the planet and the damage to our health through unethical corporations' promotion of products that they deceitfully label 'food'.

That's not to say it's an easy thing to do. Building alliances often means acknowledging our privileges and making major changes to our behaviour, actions and lifestyles. As Breeze Harper in her video Would You Harbor Me? points out: Transformation is not comfortable. It's hard because much of how we build our identities is through processes that perpetuate privileges of gender, race and species membership.

Two things tend to happen, Harper says, when one person goes to another and says, "Your actions (whether they be sexist, racist, homo/transphobic or speciesist) are hurting me, I find them problematic - can we talk about it?"

The first is the person challenged goes on the defensive and refuses to acknowledge that what they are doing is impacting negatively on others. The second is that person may have an epiphany and then be consumed with shame or guilt at their lack of awareness and for having contributed to the suffering of others.

We all come to realisations at different points in our lives as our knowledge and awareness increases. So while as feminists we may be (finally) open to acknowledging that it's not acceptable for us to be racist or homo/transphobic, this consciousness needs also to extend to us not being speciesist.

The multi-billion-dollar animal agriculture industries have done an outstanding job of promoting images of 'happy cows' willingly giving up their milk and concealing the torturous practices in all forms of animal farming, including those outlined earlier in this article.

Farmed animals feel pain, fear, loss, grief. By consuming their bodies and excretions we give our approval to them being tortured and abused. As feminists we must hold ourselves to ethical standards that align with and are considerate of the struggles of others, including non-humans, otherwise we are no better than the patriarchy that seeks to dominate and oppress us as women.

It's not a case of fighting for EITHER human OR animal rights, for being involved in feminist causes OR animal causes. You don't need to attend an anti-vivisection demonstration instead of starting up a rape crisis centre, but we can choose not to support the exploitation of non-humans in our day-to-day consumption - and especially at feminist conferences.

Image courtesy of Jenny Downing http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenny-pics/2432117840/ issued under Creative Commons Licence http://www.creativecommons.org

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/opinion/24lepore.html

Above is a link to an article I read in the New York Times recently. It's a fascinating piece of history, and speaks volumes to family values, choices, opportunity, and gendered circumstances.

Two family members, two futures, two worlds.

How does the demolishing of her house contribute to the lack of concern we give in education for "her" history ?

How does Jane's life situation speak to opportunity and equality, more specifically the importance of opportunity and equality in the 21st century?

What other stories about other women are out there that are undocumented and unappreciated and learned from today?

This is a feminist Issue....J Crew Ad

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There seems to be a huge controversy over an ad published by J.Crew. I received the ad myself via email and thought nothing of it. However all the major networks felt differently as they all reported on this. Specialists were brought in to comment on apparent "gender bending" that occurred in this ad. Some claimed that the ad was promoting the feminizing little boys. It seemed a little crazy to make such a big deal about about a mother and child having a little fun. Is this gender bending? If it is why is that an issue? Why is it ok to make girls act more like boy but not the other way around? Was this ad meant to promote so called "gender bending" or was it just designed to promote J.Crew?

This link is just one of many about this topic.

http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/04/12/6458726-jcrew-ad-stirs-up-controversy-with-pink-nail-polish

Uniting American Families Act- A Feminist Issue

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"Don't let our families be torn apart"

A bill being reintroduced to Congress soon. Do you see this as a feminist issue? Do you think it will likely be passed any time soon? Why or why not?

So...I lost cable and internet last week due to an extremely high bill so I strolled down to the Southeast public library and picked up season 2 of HBO's series "Big Love" and had a marathon all weekend. As I was watching, my feminist curiosity took off... the show depicts a modern day polygamist family off the compound...think TLC's sister wives.

big-love.jpg

Despite their high level of normalcy, I can't help but become frustrated with and at the same type sympathize with these "sister wives" and the religion in which they have chosen to live by. Because the main character, the husband, has three wives, each wife only gets two nights a week with their husband. Although the women try to harness their jealousies on a daily basis, there is still a sense of competitiveness between them. The dynamics of a usual marriage is thrown into a whirlwind as the relationship becomes more of a group dynamic where they literally vote on issues. One episode shows Margie, the youngest wife, absolutely delighted just to learn she wasn't the last one to find out about the husband's business venture.
To add to the mix, each wife has children with the husband. The episode I watched last night showed the toll this patriarchal religion has taken on the oldest son. The oldest son decides to become in engaged to his girlfriend at sixteen so as to not live in sin any longer because they engage in sexual activity. One of the sister wives, his mother, explains that this is no reason to get engaged and that he is still young. The boy replies by saying something to the effect of, "If our love is not eternal, I can always find my second wife." To me, this type of thinking implies that women are somewhat disposable. After this remark, the audience can tell the sister wife is very troubled by her son's perception.

Is this a feminist issue?

Can feminists, those who I believe strive to respect others' choices and beliefs no matter how socially unacceptable or stigmatized, recognize this religion as legitimate belief system?

What does this religion communicate, when it not only allows, but mandates one sex to have multiple partners to gain access to the "divine path" to heaven?

To me, this question is ridiculous but relevant to our unit; could a Mormon, polygamist family hold feminist values? What would it look like? Is it healthy for children to grow up in this environment?

Religion is a Feminist Issue Because...

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Toy commercials: This is a feminist issue because...

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This week's readings have gotten me really interested in the whole gender identity thing. While parents can decide to raise their children gender-neutral, is that really enough? There are many different points of influence a child will encounter that parents may not be able to control. For example, television. Here is a video from Bitch Media that talks about commercials played on channels for young children, such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network:

How much of an influence do you think things like this have on the development of a child's gender identity? Does it at all?

Sleep..................a feminist issue

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woman%20sleeping_5128318[1].jpg


Studies indicate that women do not function well when they don't sleep well and that women are more deprived of sleep than men. It is even shown that women sometimes do this intentionally due to the idea that "getting enough sleep means you must be lazy or less than passionate about your work and your life." Do you think this is a FEMINIST ISSUE?

I couldn't help but think of this class recently over break. I am back home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and I find myself among friends just talking and hanging out. My friend, Megan, proceeds to tell us that at work today her manager said that her t-shirt and jeans attire was not sexy enough. Her male manager then went on to say, "you need to look as sexy as possible at work." The males in the room, including Megan's boyfriend, justified the manager's comment by saying it provided Megan with more tips.

waitresses.gif


Since when is "being sexy" a prerequisite to serving food and beverages?
Are male servers required to look sexy?
Are places like Hooters detrimental to views of women?
How does this type of mentality affect the views of women?
How does this affect the treatment women in this type of work place?

This is a Feminist Issue Because... Trans* Readings

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So in class on Monday, I mentioned that none of our readings were trans* inclusive, and Sara said that I should look into some resources for the class. I know that the unit on reproductive rights/justice is ending, but I found some things to take a look at and consider, even as we move into other units. Trans* inclusive language is important throughout all of feminism, not just this one topic.

A blog post by MidwestGenderqueer about gender-inclusive language and spaces in the women's rights movement

An essay by Dean Spade, an Assistant Professor at Seattle University School of Law, on gender-inclusive language in general

NOW saying a few words on the Transgender day of Remembrance (includes some discussion of gender-inclusive language)

Some posts from the blog Cuntastic discussing different Queer and Trans* topics in relation to reproductive issues

Note: I wasn't really sure what to put this under, so I just stuck it under "This is a feminist Issue Because..." kind of arbitrarily, kind of because it actually is a feminist issue.

HPV and men, a feminist issue...

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I found this article, Half of men may have HPV, study shows ,from MSNBC on February 28th. The article discusses the distribution of the Gardasil shot to boys/men as well. What do you think?


Thumbnail image for hpv wordle cloud.jpg

Interracial Adoption... Feminist Issue?

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In essence, interracial adoption has two main arguments in this debate. Some say that interracial adoption is great for both parent(s) and child(ren). Parent(s) are able to have a family, perhaps they want the diversity, and that all children deserve loving homes. Others say that interracial adoption is wrong and unnatural since it takes a child from his/her own culture, completely instituting a foreign culture that will forever detach them from their own. Thoughts?


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Music....feminist issue?

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I was listening so some of my favorite Pandora artists when an artist I really enjoy listening to named, CocoRosie, came on. I had never heard this song of hers titled, "By Your Side". I listened to the entire song and could not believe my ears. This woman was singing about how she would love to be her lover's housewife and nothing more. The part that surprised me the most was that this was coming from a female artist. It is not a new discovery to find male artists slandering women with slang terms and degrading them, but I never thought I would hear one of my newly discovered favorite female artists wanting to be nothing more than a servant to this man! Do you think that she is using sarcasm as a tool to bring the issue of women in songs to light? Is this a feminist issue, or just a simple song displaying a devotional love for a lover? How do you feel after listening to the song? Do you find yourself seeing AND hearing more and more feminist issues?


I'll always be by your side
Even when you're down and out
I'll always be by your side
Even when you're down and out
I just wanted to be your housewife
All i wanted was to be your housewife
I'll iron your clothes
I'll shine your shoes
I'll make your bed
And cook your food
I'll never cheat

I'll be the best girl you'll ever meet
And for a diamond ring
I'll do these kinds of things
I'll scrub your floor
Never be a bore
I'll tuck you in
I do not snore
I'd wear your black eyes
Bake you apple pies
I don't ask why
And i trys not to crys

I'll always be by your side
Even when you're down and out
I'll always be by your side
Even when you're down and out
And its nearly midnight
And all i want with my life
Is to be a housewife
Is to be a housewife
'Cause it's nearly midnight
And all i want with my life
Is to die a housewife

Is to die a housewife

Here's the link to the URL to the music video, because I couldn't attach it the the entry. Please watch and listen!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tik9Q3sF6kk&feature=related

Mail order bride................a feminist issue?

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mail-order-bride[1].jpg

This has became a popular business in many countries. Women sold out as bride to unknown men. do u think this is a feminist issue? Check out this video


The Wedding Industry: a feminist issue?!

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wedinatorbestbride.jpg
photo property of http://wedinator.icanhascheezburger.com

The business of getting married is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. And not because everyone is raring to spend obscene amounts of money in a down economy (20-25 thousand is average in the U.S.), but because the wedding industry has established an idea of what "the perfect wedding" and "the perfect bride" should be. Our society now has expectations for how brides should behave-- spending thousands on "the perfect dress", getting excited over mundane details, or spending hours poring over hairstyles. The wedding industry has created one small mold brides are encouraged to fit into.

Do you think this is a feminist issue? Do you think there is pressure put on newly engaged women to be one thing or the other? Is there anything unfair or sexist in this? Do you think there is a specific ideal for brides to live up to? Is there an assumption for how brides (and wives?) should act?

Summer bikini car wash............a feminist issue?

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car_wash_girls1[1].jpg

We all know that this is one of the popular ways of making money during the summer. Do you think this is a feminist issue? Why women? Why women in bikinis not shirt and jeans? Why skinny women with flat belly? Why not men in bikinis? Do you think the purpose of the creation of a woman is to attract men and society with her body? is this a feminist issue?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-691drfPD2k&feature=player_embedded

Traditions of Dating... A Feminist Issue or not?

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Do you agree that even though we are living in the 21st century there are definite rules/procedures to dating in heterosexual relationships? Are men still expected to pay the bill, get the door, and provide the transportation? If so, is this a feminist issue? What are our expectations and where do they come from?

If feminism intends to find equality with men, does that include the interactions between those embarking on a relationship? Or is this something that is too personal to be considered a feminist issue? Is it something that depends on the culture in which one is raised?

Is a woman any less a feminist if she lets a man support her? This ties into the ideas of marriage. Is marriage a feminist issue?


This is an interesting site which outlines the history of dating and how it has changed over the years.


Here is another site which offers some interesting perspectives.

Scent...A feminist issue?

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NYT fertile women.jpgMany words/variables/studies/knowledge's/behaviors alerted me in this New York Times article from Feb. 21st "The Threatening Scent of Fertile Women". Is this a feminist issue and why?

Reproductive choice may now be in jeopardy, for the republican-lead congress is looking to cut the ENTIRETY of governmental budget for Planned Parenthood.

Though the Hyde Amendment prohibits any federal funding from going to abortions, republicans accurately argued that:

"putting ... federal money in Planned Parenthood ... could actually be subsidizing abortions, because it's money that Planned Parenthood doesn't have to raise on its own to spend on those services."

But Planned Parenthood estimates that the $317 in Title X funds went to

things like breast exams, cervical exams and infertility counseling last year.

Yet, the House of Representatives successfully passed the bill, eliminating all federal funding of planned parenthood for the fiscal year.

So now the question to be asked is, where do disadvantaged women go for breast exams, cervical exams, and counseling? The answer will probably still remain planned parenthood, but absent the government funding, they will likely have to scale back greatly the work that they are able to do, meaning that not everyone is likely to get treated, locations may have to close, and equally bad, quality of care may decline due to the overburdening of the system.

Enjoy the bigoted rant of Indiana Congressman Mike Pence

Fortunately, not even all pro-lifers fall under Pence's extreme. Pro-Life Democratic Congressperson Stephen Lynch fortunately falls on the side of ration and sees this limiting of funding as unjust,

"This is about the ability of Planned Parenthood to conduct women's health care, to offer services that are deeply needed in many communities where no other source of health care is available.... I don't have many friends in the Planned Parenthood community. They don't support me. I am pro-life. But I respect the good work that they do."

Not all hope is lost though, in order for the bill to become law, the bill must still make it through the Senate where democrats still maintain a respectable majority.

Wingmen Are A Feminist Issue Because...

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We've all heard of wingmen, right? The hilarious scenario of dudes helping their buddies pick up chicks has certainly proliferated in our cultural atmosphere in Judd Apatow projects and television shows like How I Met Your Mother. But apparently some men are now taking this idea much more seriously, and have developed the heretofore informal practice into a highly precise methodology, including various techniques of persuasion and subtle manipulation. Wingmen - a feminist issue?


wingmen.jpg

A feminist... Romance Novels

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Compliments of Germaine Greer's The Female Eunech and her inset quote from one of Jackie Collins romance novels.

"He caressed her body as though there were nothing more important in the
world... Her breasts grew under his touch, swelling, becoming even larger and
firmer... When it did happen it was only because he wanted it to, and they came in
complete unison. Afterwards, they lay and smoked and talked. 'You're wondeful,'
he said, 'You're a clever woman making me wait until after we were married!' (51)."

I believe that this type of narrative is a feminist issue because it is harmful to men and women's expectations, both in and out of bed. This portrait of a big strong man controlling the woman's orgasm and the perfection of the woman's breast is painting a picture that doesn't really exist. Not only that, but do men then search to be this Fabio-type of man? This emphasis of the man's control over the woman's body and sexuality, while only a fictional narrative here, very much reflects the stereotypes that we have today.

Are these types of novels a reflection of our societal expectations or do they themselves propel these roles? This a feminist issue because allowing these novels to continue without being analyzed and confronted let's them sit as something thats ok, a fiction that is only a fiction. However, as much as they are known to be only a fantasy, they continue to be a norm at the same time; what every man and woman strives to be, or at least portray to the object of their lust.

This is a feminist issue..... sexual abuse in the military

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This is a feminist issue because...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/us/16military.html?scp=1&sq=military&st=cse

this link is to an article about an recent lawsuit against the us military.

should the military change their policies regarding sexual abuse? if so how?

The Conscience Clause is a Feminist Issue...

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Last month the conscience clause came up in the news when a Walgreen's pharmacist denied a woman anti-bleeding drug because she may have had an abortion. The anti-bleeding medication is oftentimes prescribed after an abortion, but may also be used after a miscarriage. Because the woman refused to tell whether she had an abortion or not, the pharmacists denied her the prescription under the conscience clause.

Most states have some kind of health provider conscience clauses, which were enacted after Roe v. Wade to allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to preform abortions. In some states the laws have since been expanded to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraceptive based on personal moral beliefs. In Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued emergency rules that require pharmacies in the state to dispense FDA-approved contraceptives.

Should pharmacists be allowed to deny prescription medication because of their religious or moral beliefs, or is it a form of limiting women's reproductive rights?

Because of the time sensitive nature of emergency contraceptive, some claim that should not be any delays in obtaining the medication. Because of this should emergency contraceptive be exempt from the conscience clause?

Some pharmacies have a policy of not selling emergency contraceptive to men on the grounds that it might be used as a form of reproductive coercion. Do you think this is a fair rule, or an undue burden on men who are obtaining the medicine for legitimate reasons?

Jezebel article on the Walgreen's pharmacy

An article for the conscience clause

An article against the conscience clause

Jon Stewart addressed this issue a few years ago:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Pill of Rights
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook


This is a Feminist Issue Because... The Modern Corset

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As a fashion history and corset enthusiast, something that really catches my attention is debate about clothes historically being used to control women. The general consensus with the corset is that it was used as a tool of the patriarchy back when corsets were widely worn in everyday fashion.

However, in recent years, the corset has made a sort of comeback, at least in some places (high fashion, alt. fashion, fetish wear), and there are a lot of different opinions on it. My question is: What is your feminist opinion on the modern corset? Is it even a feminist issue at all?

Background reading:
Feminist view of historical corsets
Information on the modern corset
One feminist's viewpoint of the modern corset

This is a feminist issue...ORGASM!

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orgasm-inc-poster2011.jpg


This is a movie review by Mark Jenkins (NPR) of Liz Canner's documentary Orgasm Inc. I have not seen this yet, but I think it is something that will apply to the course and interest us all.

Some things to think about...

***Viagra has been out for 11 years now; what about female sexual dissatisfaction?
***In the article the struggle to help women who are sexually dissatisfied is discussed. Along with this is much confusion behind the lack of desire and the failure to reach orgasm the "right" way. What do think about this?
***What type of medicalization is present here? Are there options unrelated to pharmaceuticals available for women?
***Vaginoplasty is also mentioned in the article. What is making women feel the need to reconstruct their vaginas; and is the surgery a matter of getting pleasure back or aesthetics?

Alexandra Orr FemDeb. This is a Fem. issue because...Extra Credit.

copy & paste article into new window:

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/aug/21/opinion/oe-ream21

1.) What do you think of the modesty movement making claims that date rape, sexual harassment, and sexual violence is because of lack of female modesty?

2.) A Harvard professor says, "Women play the men's game, which they are bound to lose. Without modesty, there is no romance -- it isn't so attractive or so erotic [to men]." Is the purpose of a woman to please and attract males? Does this statement affirm our patriarchal society? How so?

On September 24th the homes of anti-war activists in places such as Minneapolis and Chicago were raided by the FBI for charges concerning "material support of terrorist organizations". After reading these articles, I'd recommend Google-ing "Grand Jury" if you're not familiar with the term. It should help to understand the potential implications of the charges these activists face.

The New York Times article isn't up-to-date, but provides a good summary of what happened immediately following the raids.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/us/politics/25search.html?scp=1&sq=FBI%20Raids%20anti-war%20activists&st=cse

http://www.fightbacknews.org/2011/1/25/minneapolis-stands-against-grand-jury-witch-hunt

How is this a Feminist issue?
What is your immediate reaction to the Grand Jury process? Through a feminist lens, what does it say about the American justice system?

Study: Kids' weight increases when mom works more

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THIS IS A FEMINIST ISSUE BECAUSE...

Read Article below:
(Copy & Paste into new window)

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/02/04/children.bmi.moms/index.html?npt=NP1

1.) Should working mothers take the blame for children gaining weight?

2.) Should mother's be held solely responsible for their children's diet and health?

"We don't have a choice. We have to go to work," Han said. "How does society as a whole support working families so I still am able to provide healthy food for children, so their weight will not be compromised?"

3.) What do you think of this quote?


bell hooks said, in a passage from, "Feminism is for Everybody," "Males as a group have and do benefit the most from patriarchy, from the assumption that they are superior to females and should rule over us. But those benefits have come with a price. In return for all the goodies men receive from patriarchy, they are required to dominate women , to exploit and oppress us, using violence if they must to keep patriarchy intact. Most men find it difficult to be patriarchs. Most men are disturbed by hatred and fear of women, by male violence against women, even the men who perpetuate this violence. But they fear letting go of the benefits. They are not certain what will happen to the world they know most intimately if patriarchy changes. So they find it easier to passively support male domination even when they know in their minds and hearts that it is wrong. Again and again men tell me they have no idea what it is feminists want. I believe them. I believe in their capacity to change and grow. And I believe that if they knew more about feminism they would no longer fear it, for they would find in feminist movement the hope of their own release from the bondage of patriarchy."

Do you agree with this statement?

Is it believable that even men who are a part of domestic violence towards women only take part in the violence because they feel they have a "role" they need to fill? (It is said that violence is learned.)

Are men too afraid to shake the gender roles we are given just because they don't understand what feminists "want," and are too afraid of change?

Covering up is a feminist issue

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Look check it out this reading:
http://www.phdinparenting.com/2010/01/27/covering-up-is-a-feminist-issue/
This reading is really interesting.
What do think about this reading?

Web sites like this are a feminist issue because...

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supreme.jpg

Since we're experimenting with different ways to explore feminism through social media and other internet sites, I dug a little deeper using a few Google searches. I've listed a few sites I came upon which pushed me to think further about the bell hooks readings in terms of education and inaccessibly of feminisms in the everyday lives of many people.

How can feminists spread a positive feminist message to the women reading the messages of these sites?

If confronted with a situation where one might have to discuss their views to someone holding these ideologies, what would be good points to bring up?

How has religion used these websites to specifically target feminism, therefore; changing its very definition?

How does a rhetoric of submission, obedience, and quotes like, "...a man's business is God, a woman's business is the man" perpetuate patriarchy specifically? How can feminism gain a foot hold for positive change in both sexes of all religions?

What form of government is feminism most compatible with? Socialism as the last link suggests, instead maybe democracy, anarchy, or monarchy?

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Womens%20Page/womens_page.htm

http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/biblical-womanhood/when-all-the-ducks-are-in-a-row/#more-2706

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Feminism/communist_tyranny.htm

Strippers are a feminist issue because...

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stripper.jpg


I would just like everyone to check out this link:
http://jezebel.com/5603659/an-open-letter-from-a-stripper

and read this article. Just an excerpt for some food for thought:

"You might feel uncomfortable that this is my work but that is, quite frankly, insulting and stupid. Insulting because you think that women should be getting naked and treating you like the king that you are for free, or that this type of behavior should be only be natural and acknowledging it as anything else offends your sensibilities. This is the same reason why other sorts of traditionally gendered work is low-paying: because women should naturally care-take, or nanny, or teach, and not greedily demand money for it! Stripping, like many other work, is gendered and classed."

Tell me what you think about this!

Pejorative? Amelioration?

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BITCH

Here are some helpful links:
Wikipedia's 'Bitch' entry
Google image search 'Bitch'
Bitch magazine's website
Twitter search 'bitch'

Merriam-Webster's definitions:
pejorative (n): "a word or phrase that has negative connotations or that is intended to disparage or belittle : a pejorative word or phrase"
ameliorate (v): "to make better or more tolerable"
bitch:
"1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals
2: a) a lewd or immoral woman
b) a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman --sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse
3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant
4: complaint"

Questions:
How does the word 'bitch' make you feel?
In what contexts do we use it?
Can it be affirming?
What is the history of 'bitch'?
Is it 'okay' to say 'bitch'? For whom and in what situations?
Should feminists be concerned with the amelioration of 'bitch'?
Is there consensus on this issue? Among women? Feminists?
Should we be doing anything about? What should we do?
How do you deal with 'bitch' in your life?
Is it a feminist issue?

This is a feminist issue...

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As a psychology major I have wondered why Aspergers, an autistic spectrum disorder, is more diagnosed in males than in females. Why are males getting diagnosed more frequently? How many females are there that have not been diagnosed? How does this affect a family when they don't know that their daughter or child has Aspergers or a form of autism? Here's a website page titled "Girls and Aspergers Syndrome" > http://www.yourlittleprofessor.com/girls.html. It talks a little about the problems with identifying Aspergers in girls.

Phones are a feminist issue in Bangladesh

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i am looking around to read the new. I saw this article is kind of interested and related to feminist issue. Therefore, i put in this entry. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101213com3.html After reading this i feel very innovative approach from fixing the economy from the bottom up. Bangladesh is doing quite well in this regard. First the Grameen Bank, and then several other entrepreneureal businesses that are concentrated on improving the lives of the poor.

Is fat a feminist issue?

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My cousin have a very complicated relationship with dieting and body image. Looking in the past, my cousin was overweight,and she tried to lose weight by skipping breakfast or lunch. She ate only one time a day and most the time drank the water. Because she didn't eat much, so that her body couldn't take up enough energy to burn a day. One day, she passed out in the gym class, and ended up in the hospital. After that, she participated in the loosing weight program. So far, she was doing well. She went to my meetings every week, and met other people who was facing the same challenges that she was, and she has lost many pounds and now she is at the standpoint.
i give this example not only to say weight loss is feminist issue but also open some debate about teenager. Most girls reported that they were trying to lose weight even though, from a health standpoint, most of them didn't need to. Is dieting anti-feminist? Do we support dieting person or/and support people when they choose to make healthier eating decisions in order to improve their overall well-being? And how's about men, is fat men a feminist issue?

Names and Legacies

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As a woman who is engaged to be married, I have been asked more than once about whether or not I am going to keep my name. My answer is always, "Of course I'm going to keep my name!" Why is it that in this supposedly feminist society we live in, it is still expected that a woman should take her husband's name, and that, in turn, if she has children, those children will automatically bear her husband's name? It can be argued that children should be named after the man because then it is clear that he is the father (it is usually more obvious who the mother is), but what about the woman's legacy? Is the woman's legacy automatically her husband's legacy?

Mobilizing Resources

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The majority of India's poor still live in rural villages, while the many living in the urban areas have increasing purchasing power. In response to this growing disparity an Indian organization, GOONJ, has developed a large-scale resource mobilization initiative to re-use surplus clothing from the urban consumers to the rural poor; rather than simply giving away the clothing the villagers are motivated to engage in community projects such as the repair of roads or de-silting existing water in exchange for the clothing. Strategically, GOONJ started with recycled clothes - clothes did not involve heavy investments and policy changes - with plans to expand to deliver critical resources like medicines and books using the same distribution model.
The distribution network engages over 100 grassroots organizations as dispersal partners in rural areas since local groups can best analyze the needs of its locality and have access to some of the remotest regions. Urban collection camps are staffed by volunteers working with corporations and schools to collect and transport the recycled material.
Systemic changes to the way urban households think about discarding consumer goods and engaging with those less fortunate can have lasting impact throughout India. Lessons learned from observing those impacts and the ones learned from a scalable distribution network responding to populations living in poverty or post-disaster can be applied throughout the world. Started as a national movement it could turn into an international one.
clip_image001.jpg

In our culture, there is a strict distinction of only 2 different genders: Male and female bathrooms, male and female clothing stores, male and female names and colors and roles, and Feminism: the belief that men and women are equal. What about the people that fall somewhere in between? The people that may not identify with being strictly male or strictly female? I have not researched deeply enough into Feminism to know, so I ask: is there recognition of the transgender community in Feminist theory and belief?

Women in the Military

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Women now more so than ever make up a substantial portion of our military, but we rarely acknowledge their presence in our society as veterans of war. Media doesn't usually cover the difficulties women encounter in a modern military, but it's something that should be addressed. Especially since, "nearly 250,000 female soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade." In the last few months the Star Tribune decided to actively write stories at least once a week in November about women who serve in the military. The articles are very enlightening but in particular the issue about women veterans serves as a strong example of why this issue is relevant to feminism. You can view the article here:

In particular though I wanted to re-post some of women's comments in the article in terms of how they were treated while in the service and the particular issues that they face after returning

Here are some examples: "Women across Minnesota who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan tell similar stories: Home loan paperwork from the Department of Veterans Affairs made out in the names of their husbands. VA hospital care where women are such an afterthought that examination rooms face out toward crowded hallways... Family-outreach programs blind to the idea that some of the spouses left struggling at home are husbands, not wives."

"Males are afraid to put a female in a position of authority because they assume a male would do a better job ... It's a man's military, and that's what we get for stepping into it." 23-year-old woman who served in Afghanistan with the Minnesota National Guard. Like a number of others, she spoke of her service on the condition of anonymity.

A female vet's response as to why she doesn't have veteran plates: "If we had them, everyone would think that they were my husband's,'' she said.

"Women were given the worst of everything. I had to walk a half mile to shower or use a flushing toilet." 27-year-old woman who just returned from Afghanistan with the Minnesota National Guard.

And finally, "Anger issues, sleeping, irritability. I was sexually harassed." 24-year-old woman who served in Afghanistan with the Minnesota National Guard.

Thoughts, comments?


Changing a Tire

| 4 Comments

Growing up, I was never taught how to change a tire, jump-start a car, etc. I'm not sure if this resonates with the majority of women or not, but I've heard from many that while growing up, their brother would be taught skills such as changing a tire, but they themselves would not be taught these same skills. It might be thought, "why would a woman need to know this stuff?" but why wouldn't a woman need to know this stuff? It is interesting how certain life skills are still deemed unnecessary for women to know, and by not giving women these life skills, people are hampering a woman's ability to be independent. Part of the blame can be directed towards women for not seeking out help in learning these life skills, but it must be remembered that there are many men who do not think it is necessary for a woman to learn these things, and so many are unwilling to teach a woman these skills.