Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

What did you dress up as for Halloween (or what are you dressing up as tonight?) 

Friday night my friend and I dressed up as feuding former Disney and Nickelodeon princesses Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes. We carried around their mugshots and cardboard steering wheels.

I have other friends who went for the scary part of Halloween, used sweet makeup trips learned on youtube and freaked everybody out all night. AWESOME. 

Saturday night my friends and I went to a fancy masquerade! 
All we had to do was wear masks. And it was open bar! Wooooooooooooooo!

Tonight I have to go to a make-up rehearsal for the feminist choir I'm in, so I'm going as Rosie the Riveter, since it's such an easy costume. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012


So you know how I just wrote that post about how Taylor Swift doesn't consider her a feminist and I think that's annoying? Well, I still love her music. I mean... duh. ANYWAY, her newest album, RED, just got released so I'm listening to it on repeat and gearing up to analyze all the lyrics with my friends (a tradition) and "22" is a standout. I am 22 and often describe this period of my life is a "less glamorous episode of Girls, which is a show I've never seen because I think it would make me sad," but this song is like... ooh, Tay, you got it. Ya got me goo


"And if I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, I'm gonna lose my mind. "

-Tina Fey at the Center For Reproductive Rights Gala


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Evil Has a Face, & That Face Belongs to Ann Coulter

By now you might have had the displeasure of hearing about Ann Coulter's latest shocking attention grab, the use of the r-word in reference to President Obama during the last Presidential debate. 

Oh, Ann. Ann, Ann, Ann. Just when we forget you exist, and go to that happy place in our minds where we don't have to think about how unadulterated evil can simply cough and Fox News will bring it on as a special guest, there you are again.

Of course, giving Ann Coulter this attention is what she wants. There are people who hate Ann Coulter and always will, and then there are people who think she's funny and smart and always will. This is just how things are. She says stuff and a bunch of people tell her she's great while a bunch of other people call her the devil (reasonable!) and wish she'd go away.

The upside of Ann Coulter opening her vile mouth is that we often get really intelligent and thoughtful responses from decent human beings. Special Olympian John Franklin Stephens wrote her an open letter, and it's really beautiful:

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night. 
 I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have. 
 Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next. 
 Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift. 
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

So, if you're tired of feeling pure rage toward Ann Coulter, I recommend you grab a Kleenex and read the rest of Mr. Stephen's letter.

The Only Senatorial Candidate Romney has Endorsed says Pregnancy from Rape is what "God Intended"

Oh... did you think we were over politicians saying stupid ass shit about rape? Did you think, perhaps, that Republican candidates had maybe looked at the Todd Akin fiasco and thought to themselves, hmm... better not? Well, think again. Because Tuesday night, senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock of Illinois said that he doesn't believe abortion is an option in the case of pregnancy after a rape because that pregnancy is "something God intended."

Mourdock of course tried to clarify this later, but unfortunately, this is what he actually believes, so his clarification sucks as well. "Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don’t think that. Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that’s not even close to what I said.”

Ummmm... actually, well, no, that is pretty close to what you said. No, Mourdock, it is pretty sick and twisted that you believe so strongly that a fetus has a stronger set of rights than the lady that fetus is inside. It is pretty sick and twisted that you believe that a woman can get raped and then it's still okay for you to be like, "Mmm, actually, my opinion about what you do with your body matters more!"

This shit is fucking tedious to talk about, it really is. Everyone is sick of this stupid election, everyone is sick of absurd politicians saying stupid things, proving how totally screwed our government is. Seriously, I do not want a man who thinks that because he believes literally in some 2,000+ year old book that he's qualified to be in charge of people's lives. Sure, there are tons of religious politicians who are reasonable people. President Obama and Vice President Biden, for example. But they aren't so close-minded and idiotic as to think that their religion somehow gives them jurisdiction over someone else's body. For all their yammering about the Constitution, Republicans tend to forget about that little "separation of church and state" bit.


Happy Wednesday, y'all. NOT.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Short History of Celebrities Dodging the F-Word

Interviewer Do you consider yourself a feminist? 
Taylor Swift: I don't really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.
Can we collectively groan together now? 1, 2, 3: UGHHHHHHHHH. Alright, as feminist and a Taylor Swift fan, I am well aware of the feminist critiques of her work. Whatever! I just like singing along, let me be. The issue here is three fold:

a.) Taylor Swift doesn't know what "feminism" means. Her dodge-y answer to the f-word question never says "yes" or "no," it just mostly shows that her image of feminism is men vs. women, which is not feminism. Girl, I know you gotta smartphone, you can google it.

b.) Taylor Swift has a ton of fans. They are mostly young and impressionable. I know this. My hearing was off for 3 days after I saw her play in a stadium concert. She knows this as well, which is why despite a hugely public dating history, she has like the squeakiest clean Hollywood rep ever. I mean, seriously. She knows what being a role model is. But when she says she's not a feminist AND also mis-identifies feminism, that sets her fans back.

c.) Taylor Swift is megarich and has megainfluence. Every time a tear falls from her eyes she basically earns a million dollars. And she's still afraid to be associated with feminism? SHIT.

But popular celebrities and famous women dodging the f-word is nothing new.

Gwyneth Paltrow told a magazine in early 2012, "Gloria Steinem may string me up by my toes, but all I can do is my best, and I can do only what works for me and my family."

Yahoo CEO Melissa Meyer famously said post promotion "I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that I certainly believe in equal rights, I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so in a lot of different dimensions, but I don’t, I think have, sort of, the militant drive and the sort of, the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it’s too bad, but I do think that feminism has become in many ways a more negative word."

Swan-dress Björk told Bust magazine in 05 that she wasn't a feminist, "Because I think it would isolate me. I think it’s important to do positive stuff. It’s more important to be asking than complaining...You could probably call my mother a feminist, and I watched her isolate herself all her life from men, and therefore from society."

Demi Moore once said, "I am a great supporter of women, but I have never really thought of myself as a feminist, probably more of a humanist because I feel like that's really where we need to be."
Queen of the world Beyoncé told Harper's Bazaar, "I don't really feel that it's necessary to define it. It's just something that's kind of natural for me, and I feel like it's what I live for. I need to find a catchy new word for feminism, right? Like Bootylicious."

In 2009, Sandra Flipping Day O'Connor, the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court told the NY Times when asked if she was a feminist "I don't call myself that."

I could go on with this list, but I won't.


It really makes me crazy. It does. It's not as if we're in 1975. It's not even 1991. We have tons of feminist role models running around, normalizing it and declaring their opinions strongly. Amy Poehler! Tina Fey! Alia Shawkat!  Kerry Washington! Ellen Page! Susan Sarandon! Meryl Streep! Halle Berry! Drew Barrymore! Ani DiFranco! Tori Amos! Jodie Foster! Bette Midler! Geena Davis! Ellen Degeneres! Ashley Judd! AND EVEN LADY GAGA.

Yes, Lady Gaga is often counted among the "not a feminist" camp for a well-known interview from 2009, but she has since changed her mind, and ... clearly given it some thought. And she clearly knows what feminism means.

I commend all these women, whether they identify as feminists or not, for all the success and hard work they have had in their careers. But it really saddens me when I see smart, hardworking women brush off feminism based on stereotypes, fear, or their own misunderstanding of the word. It's just plain SAD to see these women get asked the f-word question and then flounder as they try to distance themselves from what they think the word means, all the while demonstrating that they don't actually know. It's the whole "I'm not a feminist, but..." bit, but in Entertainment Weekly proportions.

I get it, labels are tricky. But ladies, c'mon! It's 2012! Google feminism, and get over it.

El Feminismo!

Estás buscando una lugar bueno para noticias y información sobre el feminismo? 

ESPECIALISTA EN IGUALDAD es una página favorita de mío que tiene todo. Te recomiendo, es llena de cosas buenas si tienes una interes en el feminismo con un foco particular en latinas y Latinoamérica. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

And Let's be Real: Raddatz Wins

Remember in the first Presidential debate when Jim Lehr could barely get a word in? Remember how he stumbled through and got steamrolled by that mean rich guy who loves Big Bird but loves firing people more? Martha Raddatz, accomplished journalist, was totally in control of the debate last night. She was professional and like the champ she is, went for those follow up questions, and  she got the juice.

Martha Raddatz, we bow down to you. Can't wait to see how your friend Candy Crowley does in her turn moderating the Presidential Debate.

Did You Watch the Vice Presidential Debate?

Hoo, boy. Ryan's answer here is a bunch of malarky. Uh, bean? Uh, science? Uh, Hyde Amendment? Calm down, dude. Take a fact check. Fortunately, Biden's answer is reasonable, and I love that he accepts his church's position on life beginning at conception--and that he refuses to impose that belief on others. And that he snarkily refers to Ryan as, "my friend." And that he refuses to let Ryan lie.

This is an important election for women since reproductive freedom and family planning are so central to health and socioeconomics, and they are certainly under risk of being trampled if Romney and Ryan are elected.

Did you guys watch the Vice Presidential debate? What did you think?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Reconsider Columbus Day

I imagine that I've posted this before, but it's worth sharing again.

Apart from celebrating some seriously inaccurate historical myth, Columbus Day is a classic demonstration of the whitewashing of history and continued denial of rights and humanity of indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples in North America continue to fight state repression, racism, and horrendous health metrics, and the conditions for indigenous peoples in Central and South America are even worse. Take for example the big story coming out of Guatemala this week--that at least 6 protestors were killed and even more wounded by the Guatemalan military.

Columbus Day is an easy one to forget about--it's a minor holiday that I barely pay attention to since I don't get off from school anymore--but it is certainly important to reconsider, since we have a long way to go before indigenous people are treated equally.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Running for My Life

Today I paid $35 to run 3 miles in a Wonder Woman costume through a hilly cemetery.

The 5K benefitted the Friends of Laurel Hill organization, which holds educational events in the historic cemetery, and Gearing Up, an organization which "provides women in transition from abuse, addiction, and/or incarceration with the skills, equipment, and guidance to safely ride a bicycle for exercise, transportation, and personal growth."

Aside from the basic absurdity of paying money to run, these are good causes, and since the race was COSTUMED (Halloween theme heyoo) I signed up. And then all of a sudden it was race time and I had done almost no training. The thing about running is, I know all these people who run all the time and do races and say it's so fun, but whenever I go out for a light jog around the neighborhood I want to DIE. And Laurel Hill Cemetery is kind of a hard course because it might be the hilliest spot in Philadelphia. FORREAL. I thought I had asthma. But I finished.

They scored the best times for people in age categories 21+, 13-19, and 13 and under. My time was better than the time of the kid who won for the 13 and under bracket. Just saying. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Advice Corner: Slut Shaming

Recently we got asked a question on FOXJUICE about slut shaming. I have reposted my answer here, but you can read the original at FOXJUICE
Anonymous asked: Should a girl feel embarrassed or ashamed if a guy thinks she's a slut?
The sad part of the question is that no matter what I say, the girl will still probably feel embarrassed or ashamed if she is called a slut. That is how name-calling works.
When the It Gets Better project started two years ago to reach out to LGBT youth after a tragic spike in suicides among kids who had been bullied about their sexuality (or perceived sexuality), a lot of feminist bloggers brought up the idea of doing a similar project about slut shaming, which unfortunately also has prompted a number of suicides among teenage girls. Bloggers generally liked the idea but in general didn’t know what to say. Like, being slut-shamed feels bad right now… but someday it won’t suck so much?
I like logic, so here goes my attempt to logic-away some of the sting: “Slut” is a derogatory and gendered term. While in recent years it has become somewhat normalized and is thrown around “affectionately” by friends, occasionally applied toward males (often as “man-slut” or “man-whore”) it is almost always used on women. There is no male equivalent. Leora Tanenbaum, author of Slut! Growing up Female with a Bad Reputation has a handy guide to gendered descriptors, and lists terms for women that are positive and negative and terms for men that are positive and negative. The list of negative terms for women (slut, bitch, floozy, whore, etc.) is much longer than any of the other lists, and unsurprisingly, there are few terms that are complimentary toward women in regards to their sexuality. Men, on the other hand, get bachelor and ladies’ man and all sorts of other “positive” reinforcement for exploring sexual behavior.
The use of the word “slut” is tied to the antiquated idea that somehow a woman’s sexual behavior makes up her self-worth. That is why when Kristen Stewart cheats on her boyfriend she gets called a Trampire and skewered in the media, and when various male celebrities cheat on their wives, beat their girlfriends, solicit prostitutes, or engage in any sort of unsavory behavior, we tend to forget about it. Women are under an intense amount of scrutiny for their sexual behavior (and often simply their perceived behavior, Tanenbaum writes about girls who are virgins or simply have big boobs as being called sluts out of jealousy or simple adolescent spite) and it is not fair. It is not fair under any universe. It is a word that can have devastating repercussions for a girl’s reputation, especially in the age of the internet, where every terrible thing has the potential to be posted online, shared, commented on, and exacerbated.
Whether you have had sex with 0, 1, or 100 people, you are not a slut. You are not a whore, you are not a ho-bag, you are not a floozy, a tramp, a bitch, or a cunt. You are not promiscuous, loose, or easy. You are not a bad person, you are not deserving of ridicule, and you are not lesser. You are a human being with integrity and worth and promise and a goddamn right to your sexuality, however you wish to express it. Whether you wait til your wedding night or have sex in the back of a car when you’re in high school, your sexuality is your own and it is your own business. And you should never feel ashamed of your right to express your sexuality.
If you get called a slut, it will simply not feel good. Whether it is a boy or a girl who does the name-calling, you will probably feel embarrassed or ashamed, because that person is specifically calling you out for something that is private and shrouded in complicated social dynamics. This person is denying you your humanity and your right to your body and your choices. Perhaps you then feel embarrassed—question the clothes you were wearing, think about the boys you were talking to, or feel ambivalent about the experiences that you have had. In the harsh society that we have, that is natural. We have conditioned ourselves toward these responses. But I ask that you also feel ashamed and embarrassed for the name caller because he or she does not have the good sense to leave people alone. He or she does not have the integrity to allow you to exist unscathed and un-judged, probably because they did not have someone to tell them how to be a respectful person. And maybe he or she is insecure about something within their own life, and they are taking it out on you because they see you as an easy target, or they don’t like you, or they just feel like it. They are using an utterly uncreative word on you, a word that you do not deserve, to try to degrade you. This kind of cruel behavior is embarrassing. It is shameful.
I hope that you do not get called a slut. I hope that the people around you are better than that. And I hope that if you do, you have friends who will support you through it. I hope that you do not feel embarrassed or ashamed, or at least for not too long. I especially hope that if you know someone who has been called a slut or is repeatedly harassed and slut shamed that you reach out to her and let her know that she is not a slut. But what I hope most of all is that you never call anyone else a slut. I hope that you hold slut shamers accountable, and do not give them the power that they do not deserve. You are better than that.