Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person

Hey All! I just came across this article called Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person and it covers a lot of interesting topics about the intersectionality of race/gender/sexuality etc. I think these are important things to remember and reflect on, especially in light of all the controversy surrounding Ferguson right now. Also, the author mentions that the work that made him realize his privilege was Peggy McIntosh's "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" !!!!

Ferguson and Feminism

As we all face our outrage after the Grand Jury's failure to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, I invite you all to look at the killing of black youth through a different lens than we perhaps typically do. This article and many others strive to show that this is an issue of reproductive rights, a so called "women's issue". As we have discussions of intersectional feminism, it is important to consider the many perspectives and experiences of different feminist issues. As terrifying as the implications of the Grand Jury's decision yesterday are to me, I will never be able to understand that fear as a black mother, terrified to lose her child to racist, unprovoked, violent attacks. We all deserve to make reproductive choices about having or not having children, but that needs to come with certainty that those children will not be feared and attacked for the color of their skin.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The New York Times article about cooking dads

The New York Times posted a short article about an increasing number of dads who spend a decent amount of time in their kitchen.

Some interesting facts and statements of the article include,

# A study reported that 42% of men and 68% of women spent time cooking on any given day. Although a large gap still exists, it has been shrinking.

# However, a male interviewee also said that people are still surprised to know that he is the primary cook of his family.  

Good for Lego!

Lego Wins Everything

So I'm avoiding writing at least three essays right now and I think I've found the end of the internet. In the process, I found this! I read it out loud to a friend and they asked what year it had happened. The answer? 1974. So hey...good for Lego for promoting gender equality for the last forty years!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Marry someone who will take care of the kids"

An interesting article from Slate that was posted the other day:


In in, women across generations grapple with their role in the professional world and how that fits in with their family/husband's career. The trends of women who are more career-focused is definitely a move away from the suburban housewife problem we saw in Collins' book, and men are increasingly feeling less like their career should take precedence and have more of a role in child-care and housework.

However, there's still a problem with women who are "mommy-tracked" in their jobs by their bosses. In terms of the ERA, could it help these women who seek to have their own career as well as a family at home?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Social Experiment on Domestic Abuse

Article 4 of Redstockings Manifesto, which states that women cannot oppress men, reminded me of a social experiment that I watched a while ago. It was an experiment to find out how differently people would react to a man abusing a woman and a woman abusing a man. At the end of the video, it says something along the lines of "violence goes both ways" and I thought that was particularly eye-opening, as I've only considered it as a one-way thing until now.

Feminism only works when we consider both genders by the same standards, and I think assuming that men wouldn't be oppressed by women ironically reinforces our conditioned thoughts that women are weaker and therefore inferior beings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Civil Rights movie! ... all about MLK

I went to a movie over the weekend, and saw this trailer:

As soon as I realized it was about Civil Rights, I got really excited and hopeful... But then it went on to appear as though the entire movie is about King and his efforts. I really hope I'm wrong. If the trailer is an accurate representation of the movie, then the only thing women do it act as wives, or as participants and supporters of the movement, but most definitely not as organizers. Ugh. Because I couldn't remember anything about marches in Selma, I looked in Freedom's Daughters to see what Olson had to say. The bit on the marches was in a chapter we didn't have to read (ch 20). And, no big surprise here, but women were a huge part of making the marches happen - including Diane Nash! Apparently, Nash and her husband were the ones who told MLK that Selma was a good place, and he eventually agreed. Anyways, here is yet another example of the dominant narrative prevailing in a situation where an amazing story could be told - one that includes everyone who worked to make change (I mean, how interesting would a movie be on the life of Diane Nash?!).

Celebrities as Representatives of the Feminist Movement

Just like Tracy, I like to go on Buzzfeed occassionally and I've been noticing a lot of stuff on Taylor Swift and her 'conversion' to feminism. It's great that there's one more person in the world that advocates for equal gender rights, but I think our focus on celebrities can be somewhat dangerous and misleading. The feminist movement used to be characterized by people like Alice Paul, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash, or Patsy Mink as its key figures/leaders who dedicated their lives to the betterment of women, and I think it's somewhat of a degradation to let singers and actors speak for the movement and its agenda without even fully knowing its history. I am not saying that people who work in the entertainment industry are not respectable; I just don't think they have the expertise to be representatives for such a broad movement. In fact, they do a great disservice to feminism when they are misinformed, as shown in this article. Celebrities like Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga have distanced themselves from the label, stating that they are not 'man-haters'. As people that many young women look up to, these simple characterizations will prove to be a detriment to the advancement of equal gender rights by equating feminism with man-hating.

What do you guys think about celebrities standing in the forefront of the feminist movement? Do you think they can be effective spokespeople?

Friday, November 7, 2014

How Women Use Fashion to Assert their Power

This NYT article was written in response to the recent opening of the "Women Fashion Power" exhibit at the Design Museum in London, and discusses how fashion can be a tool for women, especially those in politics.  It cites examples of powerful women such as Wendy Davis and her Mizuno sneakers, and argues that fashion empowers women rather than belittles them.  The idea that women seem to be criticized more than men for their image is something that we've touched on in class, and is an interesting way in which our society views female politicians differently than male politicians.

Here's a quote from the article:
"Indeed, in a Daily Beast article last year about Ms. Davis and her sneakers, the liberal pundit Sally Kohn wrote that noting what women wear “undercuts the leadership of women and quashes their voice.” It seems to me, however, and this exhibition shows, that the situation is the opposite: What women wear is an embodiment of their voice, and identifying it helps identify their agenda (as it does with men, for that matter). "


If Men In Politics Were Described Like Women In Politics

So when I can't sleep at night, I browse through BuzzFeed. And I stumbled across this. I found it humorous, and reading some of these felt kind of strange, because we don't talk about men in politics this way. So why do we about women?


Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Gender Gap in Voting

It is no surprise to anyone, I think, that older (white) men are key to Republican victories. Thinking more about our discussion of the election, this article gives a nice breakdown of both age and gender gaps in voting the other day. I am generally very intrigued by the victory of various female GOP candidates, particularly since we still see women tending to vote for Democrats.

This also makes me curious about how the gender gap may or may not change in the future. We see more general support for "women's issues" from the left, but perhaps increased female GOP representation will cause that to shift and will lead to a decrease in the gender gap. The Republicans know how important older men are to their success, but the party that lacks organization and diverse support is definitely trying to reshape its image and identity, and in turn gain support from a variety of demographics. It may be up to these new female GOP representatives to narrow the gender gap in voting.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lena Dunham wants you to vote! (and voting selfies)

As I was looking up women in the midterm election results, I came across this Glamour Magazine article, titled, " Will Women Turn Out to Vote in Tomorrow's Midterm Elections?  Democrats are Counting On It."  The article outlined some of the "women's issues" that we have been discussing in class, and interestingly had its own "Glamour Poll" of whether or not you were going to vote.  Here were the results:
This makes me wonder the reasons why the 8.57% said no!

Also, the article had a link to a video from a partnership of Lena Dunham and Planned Parenthood (link directly to video here).  I thought this was an interesting partnership between Dunham and PP, as Dunham seems to be using her celebrity status to further her political views, and PP is leveraging their partnership with Dunham to get the attention/support of her fans.  

On another note, here's the CNN article titled, "Selfies at the ballot box illegal?"  The article also has the celebrity selfies at the top, just like we talked about in class (look, even Kendall Jenner voted!  If a Kardashian can vote, so can you.)

Some "firsts" for women in Congress

Elsie Stefanik, a 30-year-old Republican from New York, has become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Mia Love of Utah has become the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.

Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, is the first woman Senator elected from West Virginia.

Joni Ernst, a new Republican Senator, is the first woman elected to either house of Congress from Iowa. She's also the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate.

Mississippi is now the only state to have never elected a female governor or sent a woman to Congress.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Just saw this hilarious satirical "reasons why men shouldn't have the vote" piece why men shouldn't have the vote and thought of womens suffrage

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Judy Harvey Sahak on Going to A Women's College in The 1960s

A few years ago I did an interview with Judy Harvey Sahak about her experience as at a women's college (she's graduated from scripps in 1962) in the 1960s. She echoes a lot of what Collins says in chapter 2 about the pressures young women felt to get married, so I thought it was worth sharing!