- The brilliant Jaclyn Friedman, feminist activist and writer, has finally come out with her new book, What You Really Really Want:The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety. Read a review at Where is your line? and an interview with Friedman at Feministing. Now I know what I’m getting everybody for Xmas/Hannukah.
- To paraphrase Rachel Maddow, this is the Best New Thing this week. Maddow introduces us to the OWS “bat signal”:
- Anti-feminist journalist Katie Roiphe reduces sexual harassment in the workplace to “dirty jokes and risque remarks” in her NY Times opinion column last Sunday. Tiger Beatdown aptly gives her a “slow clap” of disapproval:
At no point does she address how not fun and amazing sexual harassment is for people whose intersecting identities make them a target for harassers who want to exploit their lack of institutional power. The workplace Roiphe is commenting on is some fake workplace, in which sexual harassment never goes too far, never impedes anyone’s ability to do their job, and never creates collateral damage for those employees least able to fight back. She does not see fit to address the cost levied against the targets of sexual harassment, who are likely to see their creativity, productivity, and standing within the company deteriorate.
- Sexist B.S. Award of the Week: A mother in Michigan was publicly shamed and asked to leave a courtroom because she was breastfeeding her sick 5-month-old son. When the judge condescendingly asked her if she felt it was appropriate to be nursing in the courtroom, she responded:
I said, “Considering the fact that my son is hungry, and he’s sick, and the fact that it’s not illegal, I don’t find it inappropriate … And the judge said something to the effect of ‘It’s my court, it’s my decision and I do find it inappropriate.'”
- Raise your hand if Bella, the protagonist of the Twilight book and movie series, makes your feminist soul writhe in pain! GOOD magazine offers fans of young adult fantasy fiction a list of “what to read instead of Twilight.”
- But Sarah Blackwood at The Hairpin has another view on the series in her piece “Our Bella, Ourselves.” She argues that Bella’s passivity and the “gothic” depiction of her pregnancy in the series “has the potential to revitalize a number of our larger conversations about feminism, especially those related to sex, pregnancy, desire, and autonomy.” She writes:
Gestation, birth, and motherhood are gothic emotional and physical states in which many of one’s most carefully considered intellectual stances and commitment to autonomy are challenged and often dismantled. Even more importantly, these are topics not much talked about in young adult fiction aimed at teenaged girls, which means that, perhaps in the name of empowerment and feminism, we have omitted a major aspect of women’s lives from the very narratives through which girls come to deepen their understanding of how to live in the world.
- Here’s your new desktop background: Benneton’s new “UNHATE” campaign. Check it out.
- Victory for a Roma woman who was forcibly sterilized in Slovakia and has been awarded €43,000 as a result of her human rights appeal. This is a huge step forward for global reproductive justice, as it is the first time Strasbourg’s European Court of Human Rights has taken up a case of forced sterilization.