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Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot has been in the news nearly daily lately, and with good reason. The announcement of the members' two-year prison sentences has mobilized and outraged so many of us, and sparked an outpouring of support from around the globe. Three masked activists in Germany were recently arrested for staging a "Free Pussy Riot" protest inside a cathedral, and Madonna and Kathleen Hanna even lent them support. Now a new project, Lets Start a Pussy Riot!, has been created to raise...
Women Against Rape, an organization founded in 1976 to provide legal and emotional support to victims of sexual assault, spoke out against the extradition of Julian Assange in The Guardian. “Whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual violence, we do not believe that is why he is being pursued,” they write. “Once again women's fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes.” Since no actual charges have been filed against Assange in the...
In a piece for xoJane.com, Lesley Kinzel argues that the outrage over blogs that promote anorexia – i.e. the efforts by Pinterest and Tumblr to take down “pro-ana” or “thinspiration” pages -- is actually making things worse. Shame, Kinzel points out, is a driving force behind eating disorders. So shaming anorexics by rushing at their blogs with flaming torches and scarlet “A”s may only encourage them to retreat further into the shadows, and away from recovery. She sites a recent Indiana University study that suggests these...
A blogger named Clarissa is pissed off about Pussy Riot. But not about the censorship that resulted in their public arrest and conviction: no, she’s pissed because they’re not the right kind of feminists.  “I would have been bugged by their actions no matter what, but it especially pains me that they have chosen to call themselves feminists,” Clarissa writes in a post titled “Do Ukraine and Russia Need Feminism?” According to this post, the blogger believes that to be a feminist, one must “engage in a...
Fifty Percent.  50%.  Half.  I hope it’s not news that women comprise fifty percent of our country- and of course our world’s- population.  This very simple fact, one should hope, would translate into the equal distribution of power.  However, this is not the case and I find it ceaselessly perplexing.  The government remains an elite and exclusive club inundated with (white) men.  Why are women a minority, when we are not a minority?  How can women make rules, when our mere presence is the exception to...