Inspector Shazadi Gillani and Rizwana Zafar have faced their fair share of hurdles. Without the support of her father, Gillani paid for her own basic training. After the birth of eight daughters, Zafar’s parents raised her as a boy. The two now police an especially conservative northern Khyber Pakhunkhwa province. Gillani dons a burqa, and Zafar wears a faux mustache as they fend off bandits and militant forces.
As Reuters reports, the biggest battle fought by these women is one against inequality. Read More
Renowned author and essayist William T Vollmann commits to his protagonists. In the case of his most recent heroine, Dolores of The Book of Dolores, he tried to live as a woman. Dolores is a transgender prostitute who interests include jewelry and geology. She is a housewife who often dons a black and red corset. She carries a whip into the bedroom. As accurately and earnestly as possible, Vollmann transformed himself into the female character in preparation for the book.
And he learned a lot. Read More
According to the New York legal firm Clifford Chance, female lawyers and staffers need to tone down their feminine “quirks.” In a memo addressed only to female employees, the firm instructed women on everything from speech patterns to proper attire.
Much of the advice might be helpful to any young associate; for example, they advise “[projecting] power,” not using the word “like,” or “[dropping] your volume at the end of a sentence,” and not “[raising] your pitch at the end of a statement if it’s not a question. Read More
It is no exaggeration to say that I am obsessed with Hello Kitty. My bedroom is saturated with stuffed animals and wall decals. The first thing I see every morning is an image of Hello Kitty on an airplane adventure, the words “It’s a wonderful day... Hello Kitty” flying alongside her.
But not all of Kitty’s days have been wonderful; like the rest of us, she has faced her fair share of criticism. The Japanese Kawaii aesthetic from which she is modeled is often seen as oppressive. Read More
Debbie Harry Sports Striped Leggings
We’ve all read or heard some variation on the “leggings are not pants” speech. And although everyone’s views on fashion are valid, a lot of the discourse surrounding leggings centers around subtle body-shaming. In well-meaning articles on clothing “dos” and “don’ts,” bloggers use language that can be harmful. Of the garment, one writes, “how to avoid the dreaded sausage-in-too-tight-casing look? Aim not to think of them as trousers. Read More
In a sexist society, women are conditioned to be cheerful and peppy and men are trained to be confrontational and ambitious. The expectations placed on individuals based on gender contribute to some awful things like assertive women being called “shrews” or kind men being considered weak.
A new study by the Institute of Information Technology in Canada’s Saif Mohammad and Tony Yang suggests that we might internalize these destructive double standards more than we want to accept. Read More
Art critic John Berger’s text Ways of Seeing suggests that women in art are often displayed for the pleasure of men, tilting their heads and looking at the viewer with an air of suggestion and submission. There’s a connection between this idea and his claim that advertising sells fantasy more than it does products; ads seem to suggest, “Buy this, and this girl will want to sleep with you.” The objectification of women sells.
Motorcycle advertising is no exception. Read More
As Halloween approaches each year, the internet abounds with images of sexy costumes; some websites advertise and others mock, but everyone seems to have an opinion. Both types of costume coverage seem to center around women, and it’s always unpleasant to see internet lists that either objectify (“10 sexiest women at Halloween”) or shame (“10 sluttiest costumes”) us ladies.
For this reason, I was surprised to encounter a list entitled “25 Sexy Halloween Costumes For Men That Should NOT Exist. Read More
Ideally, a bookstore is an endless cornucopia of knowledge, a place where boys and girls can explore their most personal curiosities. But at a recent visit to the bookstore, eight year old KC Cooper, daughter of author Constance Cooper, found something quite unexpected and distressing: sexist children’s books.
KC loves the outdoors, and as she thumbed through adventure books, she found one that included tales of animal attacks and natural disasters. Read More
Since a study came out about the long term effects of high heels on women's health, I’ve noticed a slew of essays, blog posts, and editorials on the cultural implications of what we choose to put on our feet. After scouring the web for insights, it’s hard to determine exactly how women feel about high heels.
Buzzfeed reports that shoes were used to “immobilize women” starting in Imperial China and the Middle Ages. Read More