Saturday, March 10, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Ten: Let's Talk About Sex

In today's Future of Feminism post at the Ms. Blog, I feature organizations that promote healthy sexuality and reproductive justice for women of color and youth:
While yesterday’s post dealt with the negative sexualization of women and girls, it’s equally important to encourage a positive outlook on sex. In fact, the potentially self-esteem-ruining and otherwise problematic objectification of women and girls in media culture means that supporting healthy sexuality has become an even more pressing feminist goal for organizations.

Click here for more.

Read Full Post/Permalink...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Future of Feminism, Days Eight and Nine

Yesterday, for International Women's Day, another great "guest post" (this one by Amanda Montei) over at the Ms. Blog as part of my Future of Feminism series: "Future of Feminism: 50 Global Solutions for Women and Girls"; you can read it here.

Also, today, I contributed a post for Day Nine on the sexualization of women and girls in media culture. Check it:
t’s hard to ignore the sexualization of women and girls in the media these days; it’s everywhere, from Carl’s Jr. ads to films supposedly meant to empower women. Dr. Jean Kilbourne, creator of the film series Killing Us Softly (1979-2010), has been tracking advertising images of women since the late 1960s. In a recent interview with Bitch magazine, she stresses that things are getting worse, not better...

Read the rest here.

Read Full Post/Permalink...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Suffrage a la Lady Gaga

Feminist Law Professors just posted an awesome video made by the folks at Soomo Publishing. It's an ode to woman suffrage, Lady Gaga-style! Enjoy:

By the way, regarding the fact that all the performers in the video are white: the prevailing response (on FLP and in the Youtube comments section which, as we all know, is a bastion of truth and righteousness) is that woman suffrage was a largely white, middle-class movement and, hence, the video is historically accurate. But...I think that's a little bit of a cop out.

Yes, the suffrage movement was incredibly problematic in terms of race. Some suffragists believed, for example, that the 15th amendment--which gave black men and male naturalized citizens the right to vote--was an insult to women because it allowed men of lower standing (read: non-white, working class, less educated, etc.) to have power over white, educated, upper-middle class women, thereby degrading and corrupting the political system which (white, upper-middle class) women would be better able to keep pure. And suffrage organizations like the NAWSA (National American Woman Suffrage Association) barred black women from membership.

So, yeah, that's pretty problematic.*

However, there were a lot of suffragists who were women and men of color (many of the former abolitionists turned to the suffrage movement after the Civil War): Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Dubois, to name a few.

Despite what some suffragists (including "heroes" of the movement like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton) would like us to think, the movement wasn't all white...why not at least acknowledge that in the video?

All that said...I do love this video.

* Professor Louise Michele Newman's written a fascinating book about race and the suffrage movement that discusses all this in much more detail: White Women's Rights: Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States (Oxford UP, 1999).

Read Full Post/Permalink...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Future of Feminism, Days Six and Seven

The past two days of my Future of Feminism series at the Ms. blog have been "guest posts" by blogger Avital Norman Nathman. Her posts are on "Mommy Bloggers" and the Institute for Musical Arts, respectively.

Go check them out! The mommy blogger post has already garnered quite a few responses.

Read Full Post/Permalink...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Five: Writing Women

Today's post as part of my Future of Feminism series at the Ms. blogs chronicles a number of online organizations that support and encourage women writers:
The fact that blogging and social media have become such prominent avenues for discourse is of vital importance to the future of feminism. A powerfully articulated idea can spread like wildfire. Social media allows us to do in just a few days what physical protests and boycotts might have taken weeks or months to accomplish–take, for example, the swift reversal of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s plans to defund Planned Parenthood. So today I’d like to focus on three organizations that encourage and support women writers both on the internet and the “old-fashioned” way–in print.

Read the rest here.

Read Full Post/Permalink...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Future of Feminism, Day Four: Join Me on the Bridge

Day 4 in the Future of Feminism series at the Ms. blog features the organization Join me on the Bridge:
As children we’re taught that even those who seem different from us share, at heart, the same hopes and dreams. We learn in school that world peace and equality are the ultimate of aspirations. But by the time we’re adults, most of us are more cynical, even jaded: World peace is nothing more than the punchline to a joke about beauty pageant contestants or the name of a basketball player.

So it’s all the more important to be reminded that, while world peace and equality may seem distant fantasies of a hard-won future, the key to eating an elephant (as the saying goes) is one bite at a time. That seems to be the motto that guides Join Me on the Bridge, an event designed by Women for Women International, an organization devoted to helping survivors of war rebuild their lives. The campaign’s mission is to bring together people from all walks of life, in communities all over the world, “in taking a stand for peace and women’s equality.”

Read more here.

Read Full Post/Permalink...