Look, you’re a feminist who, in this particular case, made the non-feminist choice. That’s all. I assume it was the right choice for you, or you wouldn’t have done it, and that’s fine! But feminism is not, in fact, all about choosing your choice. It is mostly about recognizing when things are fucked up for women at the societal level, and talking about that, and trying to change it. So sometimes, even when a decision is right for you, you still need to recognize that you made that decision within a social context that overwhelmingly supports your choice, and punishes women who make a different one.
I’m tired of talking about feminism to men.

I’m tired of explaining to men that the feminist movement will, in fact, benefit them as well as women. I’m tired of trying to hawk gender equality like I’m some kind of car salesman showing off a shiny new sedan, explaining all of its bells and whistles. I’m tired of smiling through a thousand thoughtless microaggressions, tired of providing countless pieces of evidence, tired of being questioned on every. single. damn. thing. I’m tired of proving that microaggressions exist, tired of proving that I’m unfairly questioned and asked for proof. For a movement that’s centered around the advancement and empowerment of women, why do I feel like I’m supposed to spend so damn much of my time carefully considering how what I say and do will be taken by men?

I’m tired of men who insert themselves into feminist spaces with claims of hurt feelings. I’m tired of men who somehow manage to make every issue about them. I’m tired of men like the one who recently stopped by a friend’s Facebook thread in order to call feminism “cunty,” then lecture the women involved for being too “hostile” in their responses to him. I’m tired of men telling me that my understanding of feminism and rape culture are wrong, as if these aren’t things that I have studied intensely. I’m tired of men who claim to be feminist allies, then abuse that position to their own advantage. I’m so fucking exhausted by the fact that I know that I will have to, at some point in this piece, mention that I understand that not all men are like that. I will have to note that some men are good allies. And all of those things are true! And all of you good allies get cookies! But honestly, I’m tired of handing out cookies to people just because they’re decent fucking human beings.
everything that’s wrong with the world. on pinterest: feimineach/ i’m not gonna lie.Orig: themindunleashed.

everything that’s wrong with the world.
on pinterest: feimineach/ i’m not gonna lie.
Orig: themindunleashed.

10 Female Revolutionaries That You Probably Didn’t Learn About In History class

The clue’s in the title here. Our conventional history curricula are not revisionist, per se, but there’s no small amount of glossing over the influence of women, historically, on social, ideological, political and cultural change.

There are lots of examples of amazingly important women on the link. Here’s one:

Constance Markievicz (née Gore-Booth) was an Anglo-Irish Countess, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil politician, revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist. She participated in many Irish independence efforts, including the Easter Rising of 1916, in which she had a leadership role. During the Rising, she wounded a British sniper before being forced to retreat and surrender. After, she was the only woman out of 70 to be put into solitary confinement. She was sentenced to death, but was pardoned based on her gender. Interestingly, the prosecuting counsel claimed that she begged “I am only a woman, you cannot shoot a woman”, while court records show she said “I do wish your lot had the decency to shoot me”. Constance was one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position (Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic, 1919–1922), and she was also the first woman elected to the British House of Commons (December 1918)—a position which she rejected due to the Sinn Féin abstentionist policy.

Rest: filmsforaction.

Women’s greatest threat isn’t misogyny, it’s counting calories

This (on the washingtonspost) is a moving piece that discusses one woman’s struggle with an eating disorder and her regrets about the time she wasted in trying to “be thin”. She’s right that we (women, and myself included) spend too much time trying to conform to/ achieve some sort of conventional beauty when that time and energy could be better off spent almost anywhere else. I don’t agree with the author that these aspirations are a greater threat to women than misogyny, though; rather, our waist-watching is indelibly caught up with a patriarchal, misogynistic and capitalist culture that (1) narrowly defines how women should look, (2) has no end of products to sell to us to help us look just like that, and (3) ridicules and shames us if we don’t live up to that norm. Counting calories, then, is yet another very damaging form of misogyny in action.

At every turn we see them: a woman counting calories, a woman dieting despite her normal weight, a woman cutting carbs or pretending she’s allergic to gluten so she doesn’t have to eat that slice of pizza at the office party. I have friends who spend three hours at the gym and run marathons on a diet of bananas. This isn’t an exaggeration. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 25 percent of college-aged women binge and purge as a form of weight-control.

College-educated women are leaning closer to the toilet bowl than to Sheryl Sandberg’s boardroom table. In the past several years, women have been speaking louder about gender discrepancies in the workplace, unfair pay and the paradoxes that arise out of trying to “have it all.” On the surface, 21st-century feminism seems to be booming. But even as writer Hanna Rosin proclaimed “The End of Men” in 2010, women were really the ones disappearing. Quite literally. According to a 2009 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder.

Women are starving themselves. They’re spending more time thinking about their calorie intake than how to change the world. It’s not just the severe disorders that we have to be wary of. In a 2008 survey by SELF magazine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 75 percent of women reported disordered eating patterns, 37 percent regularly skipped meals to lose weight, and 26 percent cut out entire food groups. The report concluded that “eating habits that women think are normal — such as banishing carbohydrates, skipping meals and in some cases extreme dieting — may actually be symptoms of disordered eating.”

At every turn we see them: a woman counting calories, a woman dieting despite her normal weight, a woman cutting carbs or pretending she’s allergic to gluten so she doesn’t have to eat that slice of pizza at the office party. I have friends who spend three hours at the gym and run marathons on a diet of bananas. This isn’t an exaggeration. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 25 percent of college-aged women binge and purge as a form of weight-control.

College-educated women are leaning closer to the toilet bowl than to Sheryl Sandberg’s boardroom table. In the past several years, women have been speaking louder about gender discrepancies in the workplace, unfair pay and the paradoxes that arise out of trying to “have it all.” On the surface, 21st-century feminism seems to be booming. But even as writer Hanna Rosin proclaimed “The End of Men” in 2010, women were really the ones disappearing. Quite literally. According to a 2009 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder.

[…] Women are starving themselves. They’re spending more time thinking about their calorie intake than how to change the world. It’s not just the severe disorders that we have to be wary of. In a 2008 survey by SELF magazine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 75 percent of women reported disordered eating patterns, 37 percent regularly skipped meals to lose weight, and 26 percent cut out entire food groups. The report concluded that “eating habits that women think are normal — such as banishing carbohydrates, skipping meals and in some cases extreme dieting — may actually be symptoms of disordered eating.”

Rest: Women’s greatest threat isn’t misogyny, it’s counting calories.
Piece by @vanessathekrane.

Artist Nathan Sawaya. On pretty girls make graves: pinterest: feimineach

Artist Nathan Sawaya.
On pretty girls make graves: pinterest: feimineach

boob cap. 
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

boob cap.
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

"yes, poor little old you."
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

"yes, poor little old you."
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

vintage sexism. #advertising On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

vintage sexism. #advertising
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

good summary. women and children. 
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

good summary. women and children.
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

seriously.
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

seriously.
On anonymous was a woman: pinterest: feimineach

Bad Feminist: Roxane Gay on the Complexities and Blind Spots of the Equality Movement

I was either busy or offline when Roxane Gay’s book (Bad Feminist) was released. I think it was about a month ago. There was a lot of talk about it then and it certainly looks like a good and interesting read in its discussion of being a woman, woman of colour, and a (sometimes bad) feminist. It’s next on my list. Brain Pickings reviews below:

Roxane Gay, one of my favorite minds, has been swimming against the current in many ways — female, black, large, queer. She steps firmly ashore in Bad Feminist (public library) — a magnificent compendium of essays examining various aspects of “our culture and how we consume it,” from race and gender representations in pop culture to the way revolution and innovation can often leave us unfulfilled and unheard to the gaping blind spots of what we call “diversity.” To be sure, Gay isn’t writing to and for women only — what is perhaps her most piercing clarion call to men is made sidewise and subtly, as a comment about privilege in an essay about the class asymmetries of the education system, where she writes: “The notion that I should be fine with the status quo even if I am not wholly affected by the status quo is repulsive.”

In the introduction, Gay examines the state of feminism, half a century after Margaret Mead contemplated its future, and justifies her identification as a “bad” feminist:

The world changes faster than we can fathom in ways that are complicated. These bewildering changes often leave us raw. The cultural climate is shifting, particularly for women as we contend with the retrenchment of reproductive freedom, the persistence of rape culture, and the flawed if not damaging representations of women we’re consuming in music, movies, and literature. […] Feminism is flawed, but it offers, at its best, a way to navigate this shifting cultural climate. Feminism has certainly helped me find my voice. Feminism has helped me believe my voice matters, even in this world where there are so many voices demanding to be heard.

Rest on Brain Pickings.

Every feminist and activist I know has been the subject of horrible misogynistic abuse online. I have, several times, and so much so that it has been an ordeal for me to even check my twitter mentions (for example) in the morning. The abuse follows the same pattern for everyone: a feminist states her opinion about some, any form of gendered inequality, violence etc. and she receives an onslaught of specifically gendered abuse in response. This abuse can include rape, violence, death threats, accusations of being ugly, fat, stupid, lesbian (because that’s an insult, clearly), and speculations that the feminist must be a virgin (on account of being so ugly and fat, you see), but also a whore. The abuse can also be racist, ableist, transphobic and ageist. Really, the possibilities are endless. After a while, it would become hilarious if, you know, several people weren’t threatening to rape and kill you.
That’s why the artwork above appealed to me so much. It’s ascetically beautiful, for starters, and it encapsulates excellently some of what feminists have to endure online all the time. Kudos to @Amy Davis Roth for doing it.
HT to slate: “For having the temerity to say that women should have equal rights, opportunities, and treatment as men, she gets a tsunami of hatred, venom, death threats, rape threats, and more. It would be enough to break down hardened people, and it has. But not Amy. She manages to not only deal with this horrifying onslaught but also turn it into art.”
See also: Twitter mentions: I’m not longer looking at them (Amanda Marcotte) and The Next Civil Rights Issue: Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet (Amanda Hess).

Every feminist and activist I know has been the subject of horrible misogynistic abuse online. I have, several times, and so much so that it has been an ordeal for me to even check my twitter mentions (for example) in the morning. The abuse follows the same pattern for everyone: a feminist states her opinion about some, any form of gendered inequality, violence etc. and she receives an onslaught of specifically gendered abuse in response. This abuse can include rape, violence, death threats, accusations of being ugly, fat, stupid, lesbian (because that’s an insult, clearly), and speculations that the feminist must be a virgin (on account of being so ugly and fat, you see), but also a whore. The abuse can also be racist, ableist, transphobic and ageist. Really, the possibilities are endless. After a while, it would become hilarious if, you know, several people weren’t threatening to rape and kill you.

That’s why the artwork above appealed to me so much. It’s ascetically beautiful, for starters, and it encapsulates excellently some of what feminists have to endure online all the time. Kudos to @Amy Davis Roth for doing it.

HT to slate: “For having the temerity to say that women should have equal rights, opportunities, and treatment as men, she gets a tsunami of hatred, venom, death threats, rape threats, and more. It would be enough to break down hardened people, and it has. But not Amy. She manages to not only deal with this horrifying onslaught but also turn it into art.”

See also: Twitter mentions: I’m not longer looking at them (Amanda Marcotte) and The Next Civil Rights Issue: Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet (Amanda Hess).

Missing Women: It’s Time for Legislative Quotas in British Politics

Below is a detailed analysis (from the UK PSA Women and Politcs blog) on the merits of gender quotas to ensure a gender balance in government. Gender quotas are unpopular but, if properly implemented, they can be effective in maintaining a gender balance. Ireland and Rwanda are already giving it a go. (That second link is to quotaproject.org, by the way, which has a great deal more information about quotas.)

The findings from last week’s Sex and Power in the UK report are stark: women constitute more than half the population but only 23% of MPs and Government Minsters, 35% of MSPs; 42% of AMs; 19% of MLAs and 33% of local councillors. Globally, the UK’s performance on women’s representation is slipping – in 1997 the House of Commons was ranked 20th in the world for women’s representation; it is now 65th.

No one who knows anything about British politics will be surprised about this. Sure there are frequently lots of brightly coloured jackets on show at PMQs , but earlier this year the maleness of politics was laid bare at Westminster: the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister apparently failed to realise that their front bench was men-only. While the Sex and Power report is welcome, it’s but another in a long line of reports over the last decade and a half which show substantially fewer women than men in politics[i]. We also now know – for the first time systematically – that mothers are a particularly absent group in the House of Commons. Working class women are rarely part of elite male claims about the under-representation of working class MPs. And BME women are fewer than they should be despite gains and ‘firsts’: in 2010, the first BME Conservative woman MP and the first Muslim women MPs.

The research evidence is clear about the causes of women’s under-representation: a combination of a lack of women coming forward and obstacles placed in their path. Academic research also shows – based on UK and global analysis – that something can be done about it in the here and now. The use of gender quotas by the Labour party in the form of All-Women Shortlists (AWS) for Westminster elections in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010, and twinning in Scotland and Wales in 1999, reveals the critical role that UK political parties play as gatekeepers to political office. In short, when a political party has adopted a quota for women in the UK, women’s representation has increased.

Rest: psawomenpolitics.

The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys

Mehran, age 6, first arrived at her kindergarten in Kabul Mahnoush, in pigtails and a pistachio dress. When school shut down for a break, Mahnoush left and never returned. Instead a short-haired, tie-wearing child with the more masculine-sounding name of Mehran began first grade with the other children.

Nothing else changed much. Some teachers were surprised but did not comment except to one another. When the male Koran teacher demanded Mehran cover her head in his class, a baseball cap solved the problem. Miss Momand, a teacher who started her job after Mehran’s change, remembers being startled when a boy was brought into the girls’ room for afternoon nap time but realizing, as she helped Mehran undress, that she was a girl. Mehran’s mother Azita later explained to Miss Momand that she had only daughters, and that Mehran went as the family’s son. Miss Momand understood perfectly. She herself used to have a friend at school who was a family’s only child and had assumed the role of a son.

Officially, girls like Mehran do not exist in Afghanistan, where the system of gender segregation is among the strictest in the world. But many other Afghans, too, can recall a former neighbor, a relative, a colleague, or someone in their extended family raising a daughter as a son. These children even have their own colloquialism, bacha posh, which literally translates from Dari to “dressed like a boy.” Midwives, doctors, and nurses I’ve met from all over the provinces are more familiar with the practice than most; they have all known bacha posh to appear at clinics, escorting a mother or a sister, or as a patient who has proven to be of another birth sex than first presumed.

The health workers say that families who disguise their daughters in this way can be rich, poor, educated, or uneducated, or belong to any of Afghanistan’s many ethnic groups. The only thing that binds the bacha posh girls together is their families’ need for a son in a society that undervalues daughters and demands sons at almost any cost. They disguised their girls as boys because the family needed another income through a child who worked and girls aren’t allowed to, because the road to school was dangerous and a boy’s disguise provided some safety, or because the family lacked sons and needed to present as a complete family to the village. Often, as in Kabul, it is a combination of factors. A poor family may need a son for different reasons than a rich family, but no ethnic or geographical reasons set them apart.

On The Atlantic.

Presented without comment (but I really suggest you read it all).