Feminism

A happy ending after all: Constance McMillen, the high school senior whose high school canceled the prom after she requested that she be able to wear a tux and bring her girlfriend, got to go to prom this past Friday. The makeshift prom had been organized by community members and parents of the students in the school and, because it was affiliated with the school (and the courts had ruled that their "rule" of no same-sex couples was discrimination), Constance and her girlfriend were invited,...

It is now a radical act to stay at home, so writes Shannon Hayes in her new book, "Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture."  While many women are increasingly engaging in careers and distancing themselves from the titles of "homemakers," Hayes argues that homemaking does not have to be a four-letter-word, and that, in fact, it is a powerful political and ecological act. Hayes discusses homemaking through a modern lense- one that has been reworked through the feats of feminism and through a larger...
The Chicago Reader's Jessica Hopper reported yesterday that on the revived Lilith Fair's Facebook page, fans are encouraged to choose a women's charity in their hometown to receive $1 for every ticket sold to the Lilith concert in that city. Cool right? But the truth about what organizations are in the running for this grant is not so cool. According to Hopper: "Minneapolis and Indianapolis fans are given the option of supporting Metro Women's Center and Indianapolis Life Center, respectively—institutions whose approach to women's reproductive...
Nicholas Kristof is normally my man but I'm not a huge fan of his latest column "The Boys Have Fallen Behind." In it he's talking about how boys are falling behind girls in public school and colleges are having to do affirmative action for boys to keep gender ratios from getting too skewed.  Boys are acting out, boys can't read, boys are bored, there's too much girl power, boys aren't going to college, OMGZ THE GIRLS ARE TAKING OVER! While there's no denying that Kristof is a...

In a time when hot topics of women and health care revolve around setbacks like the Stupak Amendment, it's refreshing to read an article from the New York Times titled, "Health Law Cuts the Cost of Being a Woman," about a new health care law that protects women from discrimination from the health care industry. In the past, no laws were in place protecting women from sex-based health insurance discrimination.  Women who had individualized policies were generally charged more than men, based on the theory that...

The disappearance of women’s studies programs from college campuses across the U.S. is a trend that matches the women’s movement itself. As author Susan Faludi pointed out last weekend in New York, it's an ebb and flow that often appears fatal. Faludi described a pattern that has been marked by conflict since the smoking and drinking flappers of the 1920s denounced the "humorless prudes" who were their suffragette elders. The current craze of women who don’t want to be called feminists clearly follows the pattern. But...
I'm a pretty much a textbook third-wave, sex-positive feminist.  I wear make-up and mini-skirts (no high heels though, I can barely balance in my Converse.)  Occasionally for parties, I'll dress up in sexy costumes (sexy Hester Prynne is my masterpiece.)  I even straighten my hair sometimes.   And I don't see anything wrong with that. Now, I recognize that by doing these things, I'm engaging in practices sold to me by a capitalist patriarchal society (say that five times fast).  These industries get off on telling...

The Guardian posts an interesting statement this morning: Iceland may be the most feminist country in the world. This accolade comes on the heels of a new law in Iceland banning strip clubs, topless bars, and the like—it would ban any business from profiting from the nudity of its employees. Iceland is a tiny country with a population of roughly 320,000—smaller than any US State—and, while it stands to reason that they may not have that many strip clubs to begin with, the number has...

In a time when feminism has become a dirty word, it's promising to see a surge of female positivity and action cropping up in other areas of the world.  The United Kingdom is seeing an uptake in the amount of women organizing for feminist causes, as well as more media focus on issues regarding feminism. Just this month, the third annual Million Women Rise march had an estimated 8,000 people marching to celebrate International Women's Day, a new website aimed at local feminists, called UK Feminista,...
The Girl Scouts of America introduced a bill to Congress today that would establish a national task force to develop guidelines to promote positive images of girls and women in the media. The bill, called the Healthy Media for Youth Act (H.R. 4925), is part of the Girl Scouts efforts to engage the government around health and well-being issues that affect young girls.  The legislation encompasses media literacy programs, research on the effect of media on young people, and an all-around promotion of healthier media images...
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