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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... Read More
The Proteus effect, the influence of virtual and digital identities over offline behavior, has been studied mostly in boys: “Does video game violence encourage boys to be more aggressive in real life?” But Stanford University just published a new study in Computers and Human Behavior that examines the effects of online role-playing and avatars on girls, and it turns out that virtual representations of women can be harmful to young women’s ... Read More
Oh, dear. We all know Roman Polanski has done some terrible things to girls and women, and I guess he hasn’t learned anything since his rape conviction in 1977. At the Cannes Film Festival, the director railed against the birth control pill, saying that it “has changed the place of women in our times.”
What place? The place of the virgin or the mother? While both have been used iconographically in his films, I’m shocked ... Read More
Flight attendant jobs have a history of being empowering to young women; in the 1960s, girls took jobs as an alternative to marriage and got the chance to save money and travel the world. In the last few decades, that trend has faded in the US, and that’s not a bad thing; women now have more opportunities to pursue other jobs, and women who do choose to be flight attendants don’t have to wear sexy little outfits to work.
But this ... Read More
"The Hottest Styles Are Here"... Not
Abercrombie and Fitch is having a “meltdown,” reports Buzzfeed. Why? Because girls aren’t buying the whole “cool kids wear Abercrombie” thing anymore. Women’s clothing sales have dropped 30% in the last quarter, contributing greatly to an overall 10% decline in business.
Company CEO Mike Jeffries isn’t revealing much about the drop (don’t let 'em see you sweat, ... Read More
In high school, my best friend and I would practice making the “crazy person face” to deter people from sitting next to us when we traveled alone. My mother has always told me that people will always sit next to young women on planes and trains because they feel they have a right to get all up in our personal space. “Wait until you get older; they’ll respect you more,” she would tell me. For some reason, the majority of people ... Read More
To some, birth control pills and condoms are no longer the gateways to women’s liberation that they were in they days of Margaret Sanger and her colleagues. New York Magazine’s Ann Friedman recently wrote a piece entitled “No Pill? No Prob. Meet the Pullout Generation” in which she discusses the possible benefits of "pulling out," especially for women.
My response to this idea was something along the lines of ... Read More