Karl Lagerfeld’s recurrent anti-woman and body-shaming comments probably aren’t great career moves for a Chanel and Fendi designer who thrives on appealing to women. He first got under my skin when giving an interview with Harper’s Bazaar... as Coco Chanel herself. When asked if she was still a feminist, the faux Coco Lagerfeld clumsily responded, “I was never a feminist because I was never ugly enough for that.” Wow. Read More
In attempts to keep hormones and teenage desire at bay, schools across China are enforcing unheard of and questionable rules. In some, kids of opposite sexes are prohibited from walking together; in others, boys and girls must stand fifty centimeters from one another.
This latest rule almost sounds made-up. Zhongshan Technical Secondary School, a high school in the Chinese province Guangdong, thinks colored undergarments are too suggestive. Read More
The other day I was listening to an old episode of This American Life with Ira Glass called “Testosterone.” In one story, a transgender male feminist explained how his eyes uncontrollably wandered to female bodies when he took testosterone. He was heartbroken by the fact that he spent more time looking at chests than faces. Read More
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