Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today marks the 100th anniversary of...  


Today, activists all over the world are gathering on bridges to show their support for gender equality. It might be too late to attend a bridge gathering near you, but you can see from this map just how many bridge events happened across the globe. Pretty incredible.

There are plenty of other IWD events to attend today/tonight, so find one near you.

Google even dedicated one of its famous doodles to International Women's Day.

Head on over to the IWD website for some cool stuff, including photos of women celebrating all over the world. And if you're a social media junkie like myself, read Mashable's "How To Support International Women's Day Using Social Media." By the way, look to your right to see IWD on Twitter.

Mashable also posted this nifty video from Equals that lists many of the ways women and men are not equal (and it features Daniel Craig in drag!)

Even if you just stay at home today, find a way to celebrate. Enjoy today, enjoy how far we've come, and enjoy the women who did so much to get us here.
Thursday, February 24, 2011

More commercials I can't stand: Virgin Atlantic sets us back 50 years  

Really, Virgin Atlantic? You couldn't have made a commercial without the horrific gender stereotypes? Apparently they want us to live in a world where the men are the pilots and the businessmen, and the (skinny, white) women are flight attendants dressed in short red skirts and stripper heels. Thanks, Virgin, for your big middle finger to the feminist movement.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ending solitary confinement, reducing psychological damages  

Though I may not write about it too often, prisoner rights is a feminist concern. Women and non-gender conforming prisoners find themselves uniquely affected by a variety of issues: just take a moment to read about the all-too-horrific practice of shackling incarcerated women during pregnancy or the large amount of sexual assault inflicted on inmates with an unconventional gender identity.

But steps are being taken in the right direction to ensure that prisoners are treated humanely. Most mental health experts agree that the use of solitary confinement in prisons can result in long-lasting psychological damages. According to the ACLU, a bill was introduced in the Colorado state legislature this week to end Colorado prisons' use of solitary confinement. Some shocking numbers tell why this is clearly the humane thing to do:

In Colorado, 37 percent of those in solitary confinement are prisoners with mental illness or developmental disabilities – up from 15 percent just a decade ago. The more than 1,400 Colorado inmates in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in isolation, for 16 months on average, at an increased additional cost of up to $21,485 per year, per inmate.

Read a copy of the bill online.

Kansas' abortion provider targeted  

The doctor who stepped up after the assassination of Dr. George Tiller is now facing serious intimidation from anti-choicers, who have made her their new target.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Girlie-girl" culture  


Spotted an article on Slate today that highlights a new book: Cinderella Ate My Daughter by feminist author Peggy Orenstein.

Her website describes the book:

The acclaimed author of the groundbreaking bestseller Schoolgirls reveals the dark side of pink and pretty in this wake-up call to parents: the rise of the girlie girl is not that innocent.

As a new mother, Peggy Orenstein was blindsided by the persistent ultra-feminine messages being sent to a new generation of little girls—from "princess-mania" to endless permutations of pink. How many times can you say no when your daughter begs for a pint-sized wedding gown, she wondered. How dangerous is pink and pretty anyway? Being a princess is just make-believe, isn't it? Does playing Cinderella shield little girls from early sexualization—or prime them for it?

I LOVE anything that questions the mass distribution of harmful gender role-reinforcing products to young girls that are far too easily accepted by society as "normal." Will be adding this to my reading list.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why do we do this to our daughters?  

Huffington Post put up this video recently. It's a clip from a horrific show on TLC called "Toddlers & Tiaras" (which is about exactly what the title implies) that depicts one of the pageant mothers forcing her crying five year-old daughter to get her eyebrows waxed. The girl was traumatized from a previous waxing session during which her skin was ripped off.

Pure child abuse, and a prime example of how gender roles and beauty expectations operate in a vicious cycle. I'm sure this pageant mother's parent(s) forced the same twisted values on her. Even though I don't plan to have kids in my lifetime, sometimes I wish I could raise a daughter, if only to teach her that her self-worth goes beyond having well-shaped eyebrows.