In order to expand and reach more readers, I have moved Adventures of a Young Feminist to a new, self-hosted site! Please update your subscriptions, links, blogrolls, etc. The new site can be found at

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anti-Abortion Violence Deserves It's Own Registry

I was looking through The Huffington Post today and came across this article about the need for a registry of people who have committed violence against abortion clinics or providers. I found the article really interesting and it definitely made me think.

The author, Jacob M. Appel, compares the anti-abortion violence registry to the sex offender registry.

Much as we do not permit convicted pedophiles to teach kindergarten or convicted hijackers to board airplanes, common sense dictates that individuals who have been imprisoned for plotting violence against abortion clinics should never again be permitted anywhere near such facilities.

While I was intrigued of the idea of this registry and could definitely see the benefit of it, I was a little weary while reading the first part of the article just because of the restrictions against free speech. But Appel later addresses this concern.
While shouting at female patients during their most vulnerable moments may be a Constitutionally protected right, doing so does not contribute to a robust marketplace of ideas. Nor does the legality of such demonstrations make them any less distasteful. Civil society would benefit greatly if anti-abortion activists took their protests to state capitals or to the steps of the United States Supreme Court instead.

I think that this idea merits serious consideration. It has benefits for both sides. One the pro-choice side, it helps promote the safety of clients and employees of abortion clinics. On the anti-choice/pro-life side, it further supports their nonviolence mission.
Doing so would lend convincing credence to the anti-abortion movement's claims to nonviolence and would prevent dangerous ex-felons from infiltrating its ranks.

Appel doesn't make any claims that this registry is going to solve the debate over abortion, because we all know it won't. But what it will do is ensure safe access to abortions for women who need them while also stopping violence within the "pro-life" movement.

This article spoke to me on a personal level as well. I recently started volunteering at my local Planned Parenthood. While this clinic does not provide abortion serives, there have still been protests there (because heaven forbid women get basic health care). As Appel asserts, people who committed crimes against abortion clinics in the 80s and 90s are just now starting to be released from jail and it is unlikely that they have shifted their political beliefs.

And this is the case at my local Planned Parenthood. A man was recently released from prison where he was serving time for crimes he committed against this clinic. When he was released, this office strengthened their security measures to prevent any future protests and/or crimes. While I still feel completely safe there, these security measures could turn off people going to the clinic. If this type of registry was in place and there were laws that legally kept this man away from the clinic, these measures would not have to be in place and it could potentially be a safer place for women to come to receive health care.

Where's the Empowerment?

Something I have been thinking about lately is the female empowerment (or lack there of) in young Hollywood. Looking around at the young women singers and actresses, there aren't a lot of good examples of empowerment, even though they might like to think so.

As I have discussed earlier, Megan Fox is becoming increasingly known as a sex symbol. Fox herself finds being a sex symbol empowering. This Us Magazine article says,

Megan Fox doesn't mind that she's viewed as a sex symbol.
"I think it's wonderful. I didn't decide I'm gonna be an actress cause I wanna be respected for how I play chess," she tells Entertainment Tonight. "Part of Hollywood is being perceived as attractive."

While Fox may be ok with her sex symbol status, what kind of example is this setting for all of the teenage girls and young women that idolize her? According to Fox, the only way to be valued in Hollywood (and society) is to be attractive. You cannot be valued for your talent. Is this empowerment? Being valued just for your looks?

Another prominent example is the music icon Lady Gaga. She's all about sexual empowerment, as she calls it, but is this a beneficial form of empowerment? Lady Gaga's lyrics are all about sex and her taking control. While this may be great, Lady Gaga is not necessarily setting a good example. In an Entertainment Weekly article, Lady Gaga describes her lyrics as, "sexually empowering women.''
But Lady GaGa is not a feminist. ''I think it's great to be a sexy, beautiful woman who can f--- her man after she makes him dinner,'' she says. ''There's a stigma around feminism that's a little bit man-hating. And I don't promote hatred, ever. That's not to say that I don't appreciate women who feel that way. I've got a lot of gay women friends that are like, 'Put your clothes on.' People just have different views about it. I'm not wrong. I'm free. And if it's wrong to be free, then I don't want to be right. Things are changing. We've got a black president, people.''

What are these things that Lady Gaga says are changing? Women being valued for purely for their sexuality? I don't think that's anything new (see Jessica Valenti's book, The Purity Myth). And what is her deal with feminism? She seems to be greatly misinformed if she thinks feminism is all about man-hating. There are many things about this quote that bother me (like why is it important that her gay women friends tell her to put clothes on?), but it seems clear that Lady Gaga's form of empowerment is all about valuing women purely for their sexuality.

Just look at her lyrics. The song "Love Game" centers around her wanting to "take a ride on your disco stick." And "Poker Face" declares "and baby when it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun." And that's only a small selection of her lyrics.

The female empowerment that seems to be coming through in young Hollywood is the "empowerment" of sexuality, where these "role models" are valued purely for their looks and sexual knowledge (or perceived sexual knowledge).

What does this form of "empowerment" say to teenage girls and young women? The message that I get is that you have to be attractive to do anything in life and be valued in any way at all. What about the majority of teenage girls that have body image issues that don't see themselves as attractive? These teenage girls will think that they are not valued by society because they do not see themselves as attractive (even if they are).

I guess I should also address what I see as empowerment. To me, empowerment is about being a strong, successful (in a way that the woman herself is proud of what she's done), confident woman. Being able to take care of oneself and knowing what you want in your life.

Now, you may ask: if empowerment is partly about a woman knowing what she wants in life, can't being valued for your sexuality be empowering if that's what the woman wants? Empowerment can definitely be about sexuality. But when empowerment becomes solely about one's sexuality and valuing someone purely for their sexuality, then we have a problem. Seeing sexuality as the root of empowerment devalues women because women are so much more than their sexuality. Empowered women are strong, successful and confident, as well as sexually empowered.

As I was writing this, I was trying to think of a woman in young Hollywood that would be a good example of empowerment, but I could not think of one off the top of my head (what does that say about young Hollywood?). Does anyone have any examples of young singers, actresses, etc. that could be seen as an empowering example for girls and women?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Comprehensive Sex Ed Works (Well, duh)

Straight from Feministing, we find out that comprehensive sex education really works...

The Council on Science and Public Health gave a report at the AMA annual meeting that shows that comprehensive sex education, not abstinence-only programs, is the way to go.

Sex education that provides information about abstinence, condom use and other contraceptive methods is the most effective way to reduce the growing number of teenagers who contract a sexually transmitted infection or become pregnant.
"What we're talking about is comprehensive programs which, of course, include abstinence, but we can't just stick our heads in the sand and expect them to do the right thing. We have to provide them with all of the information they need to make responsible, adult decisions," said Barry Sheppard, MD, a thoracic surgeon and alternate delegate for the California Medical Assn.
This is what people have been saying all along. Maybe now the abstinence-only people (I'm looking at you, Abstinence Clearinghouse - among others) will get the message with yet another research study.

A Guy With a Vagina...Better Buy Some Tampons!

Tampax has this new ad campaign, complete with website, blog, and Twitterfeed, told from the perspective of a 16-year-old boy, Zack. But what has really caught the attention of people is that there is something not "normal" about this day he woke up and his penis was missing and there was...uh oh...a vagina there! This is the whole video together (all 4 days):

Not only does this ad campaign reinforce gender norms, it completely ignores the society's construction of gender and places it fully on biology. Now that Zack has a vagina, he is acting like a girl...he bakes, is moody, and (oh no!) gets his period. Nevermind all of the socialization he has received as a male for the his 16 years of life. That just goes out the window when he gets a vagina.

I'm not quite sure how Tampax expects to sell more tampons by having a man talk about his miserable life with a vagina and a period. Personally, I would be turned off by a man talking about which tampon to buy. This is something that women go through. Are they trying to appeal to men? If so, that's not a great ad campaign because most men don't buy tampons... (please see update for a clarification and expansion)

And what's worse is that I can't tell from the comments on the video if people realize it's a joke (I mean, ad). One person blatantly wrote:

i am confused, is this reali true or a joke? i cant get my head round it. not sure if i should believe it coz i told my friend and she said its fake n im just being gulible :( please help
While this person is obviously confused about the intention of this video, other comments seem to be taking the story seriously:
Zack you are amazing… you are very very brave. I don't know many people who would actually be able to go through what you are going through. I wish you lots of luck with all ur problems, and hope u figure it all out soon enough.

This film is amazing. I'm serious. This needs to be made into a 6-episode series for HBO. I feel for you Zack - but thankfully not in my vagina. Since I don't have one. I didn't mean to rub it in.

And while others see this as an ad, they are completely supportive of the message:
Even my very understanding and wonderful husband had an all new appreciation for menstruation after watching these! Something about hearing it from a guy makes it a bit easier I suppose. Thank you so much!

A very original idea to get into the minds of the fascinating world of woman! After watching the movie, most peeps will go to the help me link and there is all the right questions – very clever! Thanks for finding me on twitter – I just watched the roundup, but will watch the full episodes at some stage.
This ad campaign shows the complete misunderstanding and fear that advertisers ( have of menstruation...and women in general.

You can write to Tampax about the ad campaign here or to Procter & Gamble (their parent company) here if you disagree with this campaign and have something to say about it.

I learned of this ad campaign from Feministing.

Update: There are some other points that I would like to add/expand on. I did say, "this is something only women go through" and "most men don't buy tampons." This was a little insensitive of me because some men (trans men) go through menstruation. I'm sorry for any offense that may have caused.

Also Tampax is completely erasing the existence of lesbians in addition to being insensitive to trans people. In his "blog," Zack says,
Took Chelsea Carr to prom last weekend. She looked great. Too bad I'm completely unequipped to be her boyfriend.
Many people go through healthy relationships without penises involved. By not acknowledging this, Tampax is completely erasing lesbians from existence. Way to go.

Also, how are trans women supposed to feel? They had to go through painful surgery and social ostracism to become who they really are...women. Zack's "experience" is kind of (and by kind of, I mean totally) insulting to this experience.

Megan Fox is Setting a Bad Example...Anyone Surprised?

I saw "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" for the second time last night when I took my neighbors to see it. I was interested in seeing it again not only because I like action movies but also because something about it bothered me the first time. I thought that seeing it a second time would help me get past the explosions and loud noises to help me better understand what bothered me about it the first time.

It was obvious, even the first time, that there were racial stereotypes (even though Michael Bay, the director, claims it's just comedic relief) and it was also obvious that Megan Fox's character didn't really serve a whole lot of purpose, at least not to me.

I'm not going to talk too much about the racial stereotypes, there has been a lot of discussion of that (see Newsday and Valley24 - for a more positive review of the movie). What I do want to talk about is the obsolete character of Mikaela Banes, played by Megan Fox.

To me, it seems like the only thing that Fox seems good at in this movie is having pouty lips and wearing low cut shirts while running in slow motion and falling cleavage first in front of the camera. And the main storyline surrounding Mikaela Banes is her trying to get Sam (Shia LaBeouf) to tell her that he loves her.

The first time she tries to get him to say those three words she changes into a white dress to look like the hot, innocent girl. Throughout the movie, she brings this up numerous times and threatens to leave him if he doesn't say it. The message that I got out of this is that to get boys to love you, you have to look hot and wear low cut shirts and very high heels and this is your whole purpose in life. You can't contribute meaningfully to saving the world from killer robots, you just have to get the guy to want you. What kind of message is this sending to the teenage (and younger) boys and girls that are populating the theaters in the thousands (or more, I don't know exactly)?

When I saw this last night, I took four children (1 girl and 3 boys) all under the age of 12. I didn't know what to tell them when they asked why I didn't like Megan Fox's character. Do I tell them that she's only there as a sexual object whose only purpose is to have teenage boys stare at her for hours on end (and Fox likes it that way)? What I did end up telling them was that she was setting a bad example for women and teenage girls. But they didn't really understand what I meant.

How do we talk to children (especially ones that aren't your own, in my case) about what Megan Fox and her character mean for women? How do we expect these children to grow up to have healthy relationships if they keep seeing these types of ones in the media where girl is desperate to be desired and the guy refuses to say "I love you" until the girl says it first? Not to mention how do you discuss the racial stereotypes of the Transformers with them?

Maybe it's just me or the fact that these children aren't my own (I don't want to step on the toes of their parents), but it was a really awkward moment for me when they asked why I didn't like Megan Fox. If they don't understand why this character is harmful to women, what does that mean for them when they grow up?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Can Princesses Fall from Grace?

There's no denying it. Americans (especially young girls...who then grow into women) are obsessed with princesses. Much of this can be attributed Disney for making these princess characters into role models for young girls.

There are many things wrong with the idolization of these princess characters. For gender norms to the promise of a happily ever after to their "perfect" lives...and everything in between. Young girls grow up thinking this is how women are supposed to act if they want to reach their happily ever after, which further hurts women by confining them to very specific gender norms.

The other day, I came across this photo project/series titled "Fallen Princesses" by Dina Goldstein (you have to click on "Fallen Princesses on the left). I was really struck by this photo series for its goal to show the princesses in "real life" and not in their idolized settings.

In a JPG Magazine story, Goldstein describes the series as placing...

...Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The '...happily ever after' is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues.
I think that this photo series does a great job at showing how unrealistic these Disney princess really are by placing them in "real life" situations that are relevant to today's society.

This picture of Jasmine might be my favorite. I like the placement of her in the army as a strong woman. It's also just a visually interesting picture.

As of right now, there are 10 pictures in the series with 2 more to shoot. The series will go on exhibit October 15, 2009.

You can read a little more about the series here.

This Week In Blogs: June 21 - 27, 2009

Every Sunday (at least I hope), I will be posting some fantastic posts from other feminist blogs from the week.

Feminist bloggers have a lot to say and deserve to have their voices heard. These women (and men) have interesting and insightful opinions on a wide variety of topics. And I cannot comment on everything that happens in feminist news. So here we go...

  • A couple in Sweden raises their child outside of the gender binary. Is this possible to do in a society full of gender socialization? Is it worth it? Ann at Feministing and Holly at Feministe weigh in.
  • Honor women filmmakers, there aren't that many of them. New war/action film from Kathryn Bigelow released on Friday.
These are only some of the great feminist blog posts that I read this week, but they offer some valuable insight into the world of feminism, feminist analysis, and women's rights.

Happy reading! If you have any other blog posts that you find interesting from this week, please leave them in the comments below.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Have a Baby, Save the Economy

If you have an abortion, you are contributing to the demise of the American economy. Well, that's at least what this billboard (found on Sociological Images) wants you to believe.

Nations always have pro- or anti-natal policies to control their population. Basically, do it (or don't do it) for your country. But according to this billboard (and the policies, the billboard is just way more obvious), women have a duty to their country over their bodies and their reproductive choices.

Electing Women Can End Sex Scandals

Ever since the details of his affair came to light, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's indiscretions have been all over the news. I'm kind of sick of it. Yes, he had an affair. Yes, he used "state business" as an excuse to visit his mistress in Argentina (please explain to me how there can be South Carolina business in Argentina). But does it really grant so much press coverage?

But, when I came across this article in the National Review Online, it made me smile a little about the whole situation. Dana Perino argues that by electing more women, we will avoid the GOPs who are "hypocrites in their personal lives."

There's one common denominator, and it's not partisan. It's a chromosome named Y. Why? Could someone please explain?

While I am not able to explain, I do think I know the answer to all of this: Elect more women. No woman I know has the time for such trysts, nor do I know any who say the desire one. They're too busy trying to keep all the plates spinning at home, at work, and at the gym to make sure none fall and break.
While there are many reasons to elect women to public office, this is another great one to add to the list - no more sex scandals!

High Heels and Lipstick: The Big Question

For a while I have been struggling with the "am I a feminist if..." question.
Am I a feminist if I follow certain patriarchal beauty standards (i.e. makeup, high hells, hair straightening/curling, etc.)?
Am I a feminist if I read Cosmo?
Am I a feminist if I follow pop culture?

I enjoy these things. Does that make me un-feminist? I don't think it has to, but it has taken me a long time to come to this conclusion.

One of the things that our sisters were fighting for in the 70s was the ability to not HAVE to do these things. To not have to wear heels and panty hose. To be able to wear pants in a professional as well as informal situation. To not have to wear makeup. And all Cosmo and pop culture do is perpetuate these patriarchal beauty standards and reinforce the stereotypical belief that women only exist to please the men in their lives and in society.

How can I call myself a feminist if I support this type of oppression of women? I enjoy wearing heels, dresses and makeup on occasion as well as picking up the sporadic Cosmo and People. But I have also committed my life to feminism. How do I consolidate these aspects of my life?

When it comes down to it, it's all about personal preference and choice. That's not to say that every woman that wears heels and makeup can be a feminist - you have to be away of the political and social meaning behind your choices. Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards in their book Manifesta say,

"In reality, feminism wants you to be whoever you are - but with a political consciousness. And vice versa: you want to bea feminist because you want to be exactly who you are," (56-7).
I wear heels, dresses, and makeup, but I am aware of the history behind the fight to not wear them. I read Cosmo and People but constantly question and analyze what I find in them - I do not take what they are "reporting" blindly.

Feminists need to know what their sisters fought for in the 70s and on and what wearing heels and makeup means in relation to that. Then, feminists need to make the conscious decision on what to wear, read, and do based on that reflection. In the end, I think that even asking the question "am I a feminist if..." shows that there is feminist analysis and reflection in that person. Just asking this question shows a feminist consciousness.

What Happened to Weeds?

I used to love the show Weeds. It was sarcastic, had great social commentary, and always kept me interested. But something has changed. Something has been bothering me about the show lately. It all started when the Botwin's moved out of Agrestic and to Del Mar. And Nancy's move away from selling pot and into the Mexican mob.

The main thing about this move that bothers me is Nancy Botwin's relationship with Mexican mob boss, Esteban. I hate this guy, and I'm pretty sure we're supposed to. At least I hope we're supposed to hate him.

Nancy and Esteban have an abusive relationship. But nothing is being done about it. He rapes her, he hits her, he threatens to kill her...and when she gets pregnant, she is forced into constant surveillance and going to a doctor that treats her like dirt and Esteban like a God.

Nancy barely stands up for herself. She tries to protect her family the best she can, but not very well. While I think (hope) we are supposed to realize that this is an incredibly unhealthy relationship, I wish the show presented ways that women could get out of situations of domestic violence. It could show women who are actually in this situation that there is a way out, that there is hope, and that there are services and people out there to help them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

One More Step Towards Ending Violence Against Women

Today the White House announced the appointment of a new White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal.

In this new position, Ms. Rosenthal will serve as an advisor to the President and Vice President on domestic violence and sexual assault issues; be a liaison to the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy community; coordinate with the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) on implementation of Violence Against Women Act programs; coordinate with the Department of Health and Human Services on implementation of Family Violence Prevention Act services (including the National Domestic Violence Hotline); coordinate with the State Department and USAID on global domestic violence initiatives; and drive the development new initiatives and policy aimed at combating domestic violence and sexual assault with advocacy groups and members of Congress.
This new office is just one more step towards ending violence against women. While the battle is still far from over, by giving the issue the importance that this office does, more people will become aware of the seriousness of this issue.

Abstinence Only Documentary

The other day when I was volunteering at Planned Parenthood, I watched this 2006 documentary titled "Abstinence Comes to Albuquerque." It's a great documentary about the abstinence only debate. It is obviously geared towards abolishing abstinence only education (as it should be) and has some great information.

Even though Obama has abolished funding for abstinence only education for 2010, the threat is not gone. Some of that funding can be used for abstinence only education and the abstinence only movement (part of the virginity movement, according to Jessica Valentia, as can be read about here and here) is still going strong. Continue working towards abolished abstinence only education through writing to your elected officials, working with organizations like Planned Parenthood, organizing events in your community, etc.

You can watch "Abstinence Comes to Albuquerque" here:

How to Market Women's Studies

If I tell someone that I have a degree in Women's and Gender Studies, I often get the responses: "What's that?" or "What are you going to do with that?" How do you explain to others, especially potential employers (in this economy) the skills that Women's Studies provides that other disciplines don't? How do you dispell the false beliefs about Women's Studies and show the importance of the knowledge gained through Women's Stuides? While people in the field of Women's and Gender Studies know the advantages of it, the general public is still uneducated on the benefits of Women's and Gender Studies.

Women's Studies majors know how to read analytically, write passionately, and apply their knowledge from the classroom to the "real world." In my senior seminar, we had to write a definition of Women's and Gender Studies in 100 words (in my case, 102 words) and I think that this can be helpful in marketing your Women's Studies degree to future employers, friends, acquaintances, and anyone who might have a curious comment.

Women's and Gender Studies is the interdisciplinary examining and questioning of interlocking forms of oppression that different women face that is grounded in their lived experiences. While the experiences of women play an important role in the construction of knowledge within women's studies, it is important to question the context of those experiences. It was developed as the academic arm of "the" women's movemnet and has further developed the connection between academics and activism. Academics feeds activism, but activism also feeds academics. Women's studies encourages questioning the construction of knowledge both outside and within the discipline and its relation to the patriarchy.
While the definition does not highlight all of the skills and knowledge that one gains as a Women's Studies major, it is an important first step. Understanding what Women's Studies means to you in a concise way will help you realize the marketable skills that you have.

I encourage everyone to write their own definition because so much of Women's Studies depends on personal experience. Start by thinking of the definition, then the skills, such as analytical reading, good writing skills, and the application of classroom knowledge.

Feminist Resources

National Library of Medicine - Medline Plus
Planned Parenthood

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards
The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti
Nickel & Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Manmade Breast Cancers by Zillah R. Eisenstein
Women's Studies On Its Own edited by Robyn Wiegman
Women's Studies For The Future edited by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Agatha Beins
We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists edited by Melody Berger

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Joss' Strong Women

I LOVE Joss Whedon. He gave us great things like Buffy, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. He's awkwardly amazing and amazingly awkward. I was perusing the Bitch Magazine Blog the other day and came across this amazing video of Joss Whedon's speech at an Equality Now event.

In this speech, Whedon offers his many answers that he gives when asked: "Why do you always write such strong women characters?" Sometimes he attributed it to people in his life such as his mother, his father and step-father, and his wife. My favorite answer, though, was his last.

Because equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity, we need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it. We need equality, kinda now.
Joss Whedon is amazing. We need more writers like him in Hollywood to get some more strong women in entertainment. I can't remember a female character as strong, both physically and mentally, and human (kind of) as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Thank you for these characters, Joss.

About Adventures of a Young Feminist

Pop culture from a feminist perspective with a little bit of everything on the side. This blog was created to counter the lack of feminist news and feminist interpretations of current events. Feminism is still alive and kicking in the United States and around the world. Women still do not have the same social standing as men. They are still discriminated against in the workplace, media, government, and society in general. This is why feminism is still necessary. My goal for this blog is to show that feminism is still necessary and flourishing. Pop culture is a part of society that reflects the values and interests of society in general. Because of this, I chose to focus mainly on pop culture, but I will also touch on important news in the feminist community.

The blog comes through my viewpoint as a white, middle class, feminist female. Many of my posts will be related to current events, including politics to pop culture to legal cases and everything in between. Overall, this blog will look at the interlocking forms of oppression that different women face around this country and around the world.

About Me
My name is Laura Sundstrom. I graduated from Beloit College in May 2009 with a B.A. cum laude in Women's and Gender Studies. I have always been a feminist, but haven't always been conscious of it. I was introduced to Women's and Gender Studies in an anthropology class my freshman year at Beloit and I have been in love with it ever since.

I am currently searching for employment in this lovely economy of ours and am mooching off of my parents. When I am not looking for a job, I am volunteering at my local Planned Parenthood and keeping up on my current affairs, which includes the movies and television shows that I enjoy keeping up with. I enjoy reading books about feminism, class issues, and religion. I also enjoy biographies or memoirs of fantastic people. I listen to all kinds of music but usually tend to enjoy alternative folk and bands that fuse different styles together. Some of my favorite bands of the moment are The Avett Brothers and She & Him, but this is constantly changing.


I really appreciate any comments that you might have. Please keep it respectful (i.e. no insults, keep it P.C., etc.) and with good intentions and I will do my best to address your comments. Comment on anything and everything you feel inspired to. I would really like to foster some conversations about feminist and the place is has in the world today. Do you agree/disagree with what I'm saying? Is there something that should be added to a post? Do you have any concerns?

I retain the right to delete any comment that I feel is inappropriate or does not necessarily pertain to the subject of the post. If you have general comments, please direct them towards me email.

Guest Posting and Cross Posting
I have an open guest posting policy. If you have a post that you think would fit in well with this blog*, please feel free to email it to me with a brief bio. Guest posting is a great way to build community and foster discussion. So don't be shy, send in some guest posts!

I am open to my posts being cross posted on other blogs, but please contact me before doing so!

*I retain the right to determine if a guest post fits in with this blog. Any post that generally has a pro-feminist theme will most likely be accepted. But, just like with comment, if the post is not respectful, it will most likely be denied as a guest post. This is not to discourage you from sending in guest posts, just to make sure that your are thoughtful in doing so!

About the Page Design
This blog was created as my personal attempt to make a "ripple" in the status quo. This is symbolized through the depiction of a drop of water.

Do We Still Need Women's Clubs?

To me, this question is just about the same as: do we still need feminism? The answer is yes. The other day, Veronica Arreola of Viva la Feminista wrote an op-ed for NPR, "Girls Just Wanna Have...Networking?". This op-ed is about U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor's decision to leave the women's networking club, Belizean Grove.

Republican senators were disconcerted by Sotomayor's membership in this club which influenced her decision to leave. But what about this thing called the "old boys club." The old boys club has been around for as long as anyone can remember helping white men climb even higher on the social totempole. The old boys club is still around, so why can't there be women's clubs?

For centuries, the old boys' club supported men in powerful positions and made it difficult for women to rise up through the ranks. Now that some of those top spots are opening up to women, too, all-female clubs are providing women with valuable networks and training in networking — things the old boys' club provided men for centuries, and still provide. Lest we forget, men's clubs are not a thing of the past.

Obviously, there is still discrimination against women getting to higher offices. Only one example of this discrimination is the aversion to women's club while the old boys club sitll remains intact.

Arreola hopes that,
women's clubs will die out because men's clubs have died out, too. I hope both are replaced with professional clubs, plain and simple. But right now, we need women's clubs to support women professionals and help right the gender discrimination of the past.

I whole-heartedly agree with Arreola. We need women's clubs just like we need feminism. Working towards the end of gender discrimination is an ongoing process that needs to be worked against in all aspects of life.

Nixon Excuses Interracial Abortions

On June 23, the New York Times published an article titled "On Nixon Tapes, Ambivalence Over Abortion, Not Watergate." While many of the issues discussed in the article, from Watergate to Vietnam, are very interesting and important to foreign and domestic policy, the one thing that I was struck by in the article were the three short paragraphs at the beginning of the article where Nixon discussed Roe v. Wade and abortion.

Not only did Nixon think that abortion encouraged "permisiveness" and that "it breaks the family," but he also had some interesting views for cases that would permit abortions. Nixon said, "There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white," only later adding, "Or a rape." Apparently interracial pregnancies are just as bad as pregnancies caused by rape, according to Nixon, if not worse, because the case of rape was only added on later.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Weird Fascinations Aren't Always Good Things

I have this weird fascination with the Twilight phenomenon. I have always been intrigued by things that cause mass followings. I was first exposed to the Twilight series while working at a summer camp where a good number of the teenage girls were wandering around campus all day clutching their copies of one of the four books. I didn't think too much of it then, but then the uprising around the movie started happening and I started paying attention. (I must note that I have not read the books, the writing was just too much for me, but I have seen the movie a couple times and read articles about Twilight when I see them).

I'm not going to go into the feminist implications of Twilight too much right now because there are several great articles out there about it (check out Bitch magazine or Ms. magazine). What I do want to talk about now is New Moon.

A little while ago the first trailer for the New Moon movie was released (see below). In the trailer, Edward leaves after an incident where his "brother" Jasper almost kills Bella. Bella is distraught. She lies on the floor of the forest for who knows how long. Showing that she apparently cannot live without Edward. After that, she allows the vampire Laurent to taunt her and call her "mouth watering" while she just stands there helpless.

From what I can tell from the trailer and the little that I know of the plot of the book, I can see that New Moon is not going to be any less anti-feminist than Twilight, not that I was expecting much. I just wish that people wouldn't idolize Edward and Bella so much. They have such a messed up relationship. Edward is creepy as hell and Bella is this meek, little excuse for a woman. Even just looking at the tag line for Twilight: "and so the lion fell in love with the lamb." Bella (the lamb) is portrayed as this helpless animal that has no agency of her own. She's not even falling in love. Edward (the lion) is falling in love with her.

I won't even pretend to say that I won't go see New Moon. I really do have this weird fascination with this phenomenon. I honestly don't see why people are sooooo obsessed with it.

Support Healthy Families

Girl With Pen wrote a post today on the need for paid sick leave for both American workers and employers. The Center for Economic and Policy Research recently published a report titled "Contagion Nation: A Comparison of Paid Sick Day Policies in 22 Countries." This report found that the U.S. is the only one of these 22 countries that does not require paid sick days or leave for employees. As a result,

each year millions of American workers go to work sick, lowering productivity and potentially spreading illness to their coworkers and customers.
The CEPR then published a follow-up report titled "Paid Sicks Days Don't Cause Unemployment." As you can tell from the title, requiring employers to provide paid sick days does not cause an increase in unemployment. In "Contagion Nation," the authors state,
A substantial body of research has shown that in addition to the obvious health and economic costs imposed on employees by the lack of paid sick days or leave, significant costs result as well for employers. Workers who go to work while sick stay sick longer, lower their productivity as well as that of their coworkers, and can spread their illnesses to coworkers and customers.
As you can see from this research, there is a need for paid sick days and not a whole lot of threat of unemployment.

The Healthy Families Act, which is currently in the House of Representatives, would require companies with more than 15 employees to provide seven paid sick days. I think that this is an important piece of legislation because it will not only help American workers, but it will have a great impact on the lives of working women. This act allows paid sick leave if you are sick, to care for an ill family member, or to seek domestic violence services. Women are usually the ones who are burdened with caring for ill family members and to be affected by domestic violence.

I recently wrote my representative, Hon. Vern Ehlers (cough...Republican...cough), to urge him to work towards passing this act, for the reasons I've mentioned above. His response: "I recognize the value of paid sick leave, but am concerned about the potential impact of this legislation of small businesses."
After reading this post from Girl With Pen and learning about the reports from the CEPR, I am considering writing to him again with more evidence to my point. I urge you to write your representatives. NOW has some more information on the act and a sample letter to send to your representative.

Another Offensive BK Ad

I just saw this ad on Feministing and had to share it. I just don't even know what to say or where to start. Are they advertising their "seven incher" or a woman ready to give you a blow job? I'm really not sure. Where do these people come up with these ideas? Well, I can guess where they come up with them because it's probably a room full of guys, but why do they think this ad is ok?

And this isn't the first offensive ad from Burger King. We have the "Square Butts" ad with Sponge Bob and "Baby Got Back"

And then there were the "Whopper Virgin" ads back in 2008.

Where is this advertising going to end? The contact info for Corporate Burger King is here. I urge you to write to them and let them know that this type of offensive advertising is not ok and not going to stand.

Virginity is Being Rebranded

I am a huge fan of Jessica Valenti and all of the people over at Feministing, so when I saw Valenti's article, "The Virginity Movement, Rebranded," in The Nation, I had to read it right away. Valenti's book, The Purity Myth, is about how the virginity movement is sexualizing abstinence and rolling back women's rights. According to Valenti, the virginity movement is,

much more than the same old sexism; it's a targeted and well-funded backlash hellbent on rolling back women's rights using modernized notions of purity, morality, and sexuality. Its goals are mired in old-school gender roles, and its primary tool is young women's sexuality.
In this article, she discusses how the virginity movement is fighting back against some of the bad publicity they have gotten recently, from Bristol Palin to Leslee Unruh, founder and president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, screaming "I want more babies" on Fox News.

After these hits on the virginity movement, it has been trying to change its image. It has changed from abstinence-only education to "abstinence-centered" education apparently grounded in science.
Joe Sonka, managing editor of the Advocates for Youth blog Amplify, wrote of the lobby day, "Instead of abandoning their demonization of condoms and adherence to social conservative ideology over sound science, they would simply rebrand themselves as a curriculum that 'wasn't just about abstinence,' but was all about 'holistic approaches' to 'healthy lifestyle choices.'"
So while they claim that they are grounded in science and not just about abstinence, they are still using the same old tactics and same old curriculum to scare teenagers into not having sex.

They have even turned Bristol Palin into a poster child for abstinence. In a People magazine article, Palin said, "If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex." What sex education was she getting if she didn't know that sex could lead to babies? I'm pretty sure most people know this, they just aren't educated on how to stop a pregnancy from happening. It's unrealistic to expect teenagers to not be curious about sex. What is realistic is expecting them to make responsible choices about their sex lives by educating them about birth control and contraceptives.

According to Valenti, stopping the virginity movement is very important for women, teenagers, and basically the entire American population.
It's about stopping a movement committed to the regression of women's rights, enforcing gender norms and teaching America's youth -- especially young women -- that sexuality is wrong, dirty and dangerous.
Jessica Valenti does a great job at explaining the goal and strategies of the virginity movement and the reasons for fighting back. Another must-read by Valenti.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More to Objectify?

I'll admit...I like to watch "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." I'm not saying they are good shows, but I enjoy watching this type of trashy television. But, Fox has a new show airing on July 28th called "More to Love." It is basically "The Bachelor" for "real people" (aka heavier people). I have mixed feelings about this show.

One ad for the show states that the
average dress size for American women is 14/16 but the average size of reality TV show stars is 2. The Fox website says that they are "setting out to prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes with the new inspirational dating competition series." While I think it is great that there will be a more realistic representation of women in television shows, I'm not convinced that this show is a good thing.

We all know that the women that are portrayed in the media through television shows, ads, celebrities, and on and on do not represent what women really look like. But does making a separate show for "real"/heavier people just further other and objectify them? These contestants are separated into their own class of people. They aren't good enough to be on the
real reality shows, so they had to make them their own show. By creating this show, we are further making heavier people "the other." Fox may think they are doing a good thing by saying "look, real people can find love too." But this implies that they can't find love on their own, without the help of a television network.

Fox's description of the show says that "each week, the husky hunk will wine and dine a group of curvy women to determine if they have more love to give or if they are truly more than he can handle." Even this description is objectifying the people on the show. They are described as "husky" and "curvy"
as if their only defining characteristic was their weight. According to Fox, there is nothing more to these people than how they look, even though they think they are showing that people are more than how much they weigh. But is there really a way to have a "dating competition series" that doesn't simply value people for how they look and doesn't objectify both the contestants and the person "looking for love"? If there is, I have yet to see it.

Shame On You Jon Stewart

I am normally a huge fan of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and of Jon Stewart in general. But his "debate" with Mike Huckabee on June 18, 2009 about abortion made me really disappointed with him.

He had Huckabee on to discuss the "pro-life issue." Not only was the debate framed in an attack on anti-choicers by calling it the "pro-life issue," Stewart did not do a good job at framing the pro-choice side of the debate. Stewart does admit at the end of the interview that abortion is one of the issues that he struggles with the most and doesn't really know how to address it. My complaint is that he should have done his research on pro-choice arguments before the "debate" and took more of a stand. Jon Stewart is normally really good at debating serious issues while keeping it light and funny. I was hopeful at the beginning when he jokingly brought out a bottle of alcohol, but it went down hill from there.

Stewart does attempt to raise some of the key issues in pro-choice arguments, such as a woman's right to her body, but it was just not done well. He didn't question Huckabee on the belief that life starts at conception. Huckabee even said that this was "biologically and scientifically", maybe it's a human fetus, but life, I don't think so.

Stewart also did bring up the need to abolish abstinence-only education in order for people to be fully informed of the consequences of sex in order to reduce the need for abortions, but Huckabee managed to kind of skirt around that issue.

I hate to say it, but Huckabee did such a better job in this debate. He knew what he wanted to say, he stood his ground, and he argued against Stewart's points. Jon Stewart, on the other hand, was very vague and didn't really seem to have that much of an opinion.

Not to mention the fact that these are two white guys sitting around discussing abortion. Does it matter what a woman has to say about the issue? According to them, men can handle discussing it. Women don't have to concern themselves with it. One thing that made me chuckle a little was when Huckabee said, "I've counseled scores and scores of women," about abortion...therefore he must know what he's talking about.

How do you think Jon Stewart did in this "debate"?

I had some trouble embedding the video, so here's the link to the video. There are three parts, make sure to watch all of them.

Chris Brown is Finally Guilty

Did we ever have any doubts? I'm guessing that many of you are familiar with this case. Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend Rihanna. CNN reported that:

Under terms of the agreement, Brown will serve five years of probation and must serve 180 days in jail or the equivalent -- about 1,400 hours -- in "labor-oriented service," said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. He must also undergo a year-long domestic-violence counseling class, she said.

Brown's sentence is comparable to other felony sentences when the defendant has no previous record, she said.

"This is not an easy sentence," Gibbons said. He must check in with a probation officer every three months.

I don't really have enough of a background with assault or domestic violence cases to know if this is a fair sentence or if he is being let off a little easy, as many celebrities are. Feministing has some doubts on the effectiveness of the sentencing as well.

Rihanna was apparently at the trial and the judge issued something like a restraining order on Brown. Rihanna didn't want this because she has apparently forgiven Brown (as was all over the entertainment news earlier this year) but her lawyer advised that she accept the "restraining order" at least until Brown finishes domestic violence counseling.

I am in complete support of the restraining order, even though I think women should have a choice in who they spend their time with. But Rihanna is in such an influential position for young girls and women and I feel like she is just showing people that domestic violence is ok if you really love the person. Love can forgive all. Even a public beating. This semi-restraining order (if publicized in the right way) can show these young girls and women that domestic violence is not something that is part of a normal relationship and is not ok.

Do you all think this is a fair sentence for Brown? What do you think about Rihanna's "restraining order"?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Get Involved!

What is feminism without activism really? We can sit here and talk about all the ways that women are oppressed and how horribly the society treats women, but nothing is going to change if we don't make it happen. Here are some small ways that you can make a difference in your community and in the country:

-Volunteer at your local Planned Parenthood clinic
-If there is a NARAL office near you, volunteer there
-Volunteer at a domestic violence shelter
-Volunteer at a food pantry (since many of the low income people visiting food pantries are single mothers, plus it's just a good thing to do...)
-Get involved with your local YWCA
-Research the non-profit organizations in your community. Find one that caters to women's issues to volunteer at
-Get involved with your local NOW chapter
-Write your elected officials about the issues you care about
-Write to companies that don't have fair treatment of their employees, run offensive ads, or are Walmart

You don't have to do all of these things. Just by choosing one that you care about or that you have time for in your busy schedule
will make a difference.

Buffy Kicks Edward's Ass

Many of you who know me know that I LOVE Buffy and that I have a weird fascination with the Twilight series (for many reasons, some feminist, some just pure curiosity in pop culture). I found this video that is a great mash up of both Buffy and Edward Cullen from Twilight. It shows the creepiness (i.e. sexist and controlling) of Edward in a more obvious way than in the actual Twilight movie. Now, I can tell the creepiness of Edward in the movie, but it is way more obvious when Buffy stands up to him.

The video is not great quality because it is just clips from Buffy episodes and Twilight (and some from Harry Potter), but it is really entertaining. Thank you to the blog The American Virgin to introducing me to the video.

The Purity Myth

This is one of the best books I have read in a while. The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Women was written by Jessica Valenti, founder and executive editor of Feministing (one of my favorite blogs, you should check it out). So, how is the virginity movement harming women and girls? The virginity movement and the "purity myth" place women's value in their sexuality. Moral women are women who are pure (i.e. save themselves for marriage) and immoral women are dirty (i.e. have sex before marriage). Boys are taught to be respectful, strong, aggressive, etc. to be moral people where as girls are taught that their morality lies in their sexuality. Valenti offers many examples of this from purity balls (gag!) to Girls Gone Wild to abstinence-only education and everything in between. The book is very comprehensive in its argument and just overall a good read. It is easy to approach, funny and sarcastic, but obviously has valuable and credible research behind the argument.

So what needs to be done about the virginity movement's attack on women?

"Abstinence classes that tell girls they're dirty and used unless they "save it"; a culture that doesn't believe women who are raped; porn-based beauty standards for our genitals; a moral compass for young women that's based solely on sexuality...There's no doubt that we have a difficult fight ahead of us, but I know we're up for it," (203).
What we need is a more complex and comprehensive approach to sexuality. Should all teenagers be having sex? No, that is not what Valenti is arguing. She is simply arguing that we should teach our youth (through schools and cultural views and values) that sex is a natural thing, but you have to be prepared for it both in the way of protection and in the way of maturity. We cannot stop women from having sex. That is not what we want to do. Women's sexuality is a natural thing. We want women (and men) to be prepared for sex and not feel ashamed of their sex life.

I cannot not make this argument as eloquently as Valenti did, so I recommend that all of you read the book (and check out Feministing!).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Abortion is a Blessing

This isn't the common belief held by many people, including some feminists. I'll admit that I have occassionally used an argument along the lines of "yes, aboriton is a tragedy, but it is the lesser of two evils." I have used this argument to get anti-choicers to recognize a woman's right to choose and that sometimes it is the better option, even if it is "evil." What I was not aware of when I was making this kind of argument was that this argument might actually be deterring the pro-choice movement.

At the 2009 National NOW Conference, I heard Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale talk about reproductive rights as an Episcopal priest. She says that "abortion is a blessing," never a tragedy. What is a tragedy, according to Ragsdale, is the loss of hopes and dreams. Whether an unplanned pregnancy is a resule of rape or just faulty birth control, abortion is blessing to that woman in need. Unplanned pregnancies can severely disrupt the hopes and dreams of women and abortions help to restore these. And when women want children and have a planned pregnancy, but health issues require her to get a late-term abortion to save her life, the loss of the hopes and dreams of having a child is the real tragedy. Not the abortion. Never the abortion.

When we, as feminists, make concessions that abortion is a tragedy but the lesser of two evils, we lose our footing and this will eventually lead to loosing the pro-choice battle. We are still fighting to uphold Roe v. Wade. Abortion providers are being murdered. This is a pro-choice battle. If we say that abortion is a tragedy, anti-choicers can use the argument that even pro-choice feminists believe that abortion is evil so it should be illegal.

As feminists, we need to stand our ground that abortion is a blessing for women who face the fear and stress of an unplanned pregnancy. We need to continue to defend the ruling of Roe v. Wade. We need to support our local or state abortion providers. We need to work for the reproductive rights of all women around the country and around the world.

The speech that Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale gave at the 2009 National NOW Conference was really inspiring and eye-opening. I am so used to hearing the religious argument that abortion is murder, women shouldn't use birth control, and that LGBTQ people are less than human. But it was amazing to hear a pro-choice, reproductive and LGBTQ rights advocate who was a religious person, not to mention an Episcopal prient. Ragsdale was recently elected as the second woman and first openly lesbian or gay president and deal of Episcopal Divinity School. Ragsdale will be responsible for teaching and training a new generation of priests which will make strides (not steps) toward the religious support of reproductive and LGBTQ rights.

Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale's selected sermons

EDS information on Ragsdale

What I Did This Weekend

This past weekend (June 19-21) I attended the National NOW Conference in Indianapolis, IN. It was an amazing conference filled with intelligent and passionate women. I felt right at home in the room of over 400 fellow feminists. In case any of you are interested, this is what I was up to there. I went to four workshops and saw some brilliant speakers.

The first workshop I attended was "Don't Be a Bystander: Own Your Sexual Health." This workshop covered various resources that are available about reproductive and sexual health led by a woman from SisterSong and two women from the National Library of Medicine.. I'm amazed at all of the valuable information that is out there and the work that is being done by organizations to make the information even better. Here are some of the websites that I especially liked:
Mapping Our Rights - Developed by SisterSong, this website has tons on information of the laws and policies in each state that relate to reproductive rights. Right now, it doesn't have everything, but it is still really comprehensive and you can request that they add information.
Medline Plus - Put out by the National Library of Medicine, this is a comprehensive health website, but has some great sections of Teen Sexual Health, Reproductive Health, Women's Sexual Health, etc.
Sex Etc. - a webiste geared toward LGBT teens who are questioning their sexual identity.
Women's Health - this website is pretty much what the name says, but it has some great info!

The next workshop I went to was "Square Butts, Date Rape, and Wicked Witches: Confronting Dangerous Media Messages." This was about the dangerous effect that the media has on women, from the self-esteem of girls and women to how men view women. This was an amazing workshop that was really comprehensive about the different types of advertising strageties and how the media portrays women. It also talked about things you can do to fight back. You can check out NOW's Media Hall of Shame. If you see an advertisement or news report that offends you, contact the company. If you decide to boycott a company based on their advertising campaign, make sure you let them know why. So many offensive ads have been taken out of magazines, off TV and down from billboards because people have written to the companies because of offensive material.

On Saturday, I went to "Feminist Blogging: Connecting Women Around the World." This workshop was pretty straight forward, but gave some valuable information on how to get started, what to post, and how to manage a blog.

Finally, I went to "Feminist Activism on Global Issues: CEDAW, Trafficking, Violence, Poverty, and Women's Health." This was such a jam-packed workshop and I arrived late because some other speakers ran over. But it was so comprehensive. The main focus was human and sex trafficking. You may not think that it's that big of a problem, but oh yes it is. It was kind of overwhelming to sit there and listen to all these horrible things that happen not only to women in other countries, but to women right here in the United States. The biggest problem in working against the trafficking of women is that there are no services for the women after they escape from their traffickers. I don't know what else to say because there was just so much information and it was so overwhelming.

The speakers at the conference included Lulu Flores, president of the National Women's Political Caucus; Donna Smith, health care advocate who was featured in Sicko; Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and activist for women's and working class rights; Hon. Jennifer Brunner, first female Sec. of State of Ohio and Senate candidate to be the first female senator from Ohio; Hon. Gwen Moore, representative from Wisconsin; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennet College for Women; and Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, the first openly lesbian or gay president and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School.

Overall, amazing conference, amazing people, amazing time!

Sandra Bullock is a guy...?

Last time I checked, she wasn't. As I was driving back from Indianapolis today I listened to part of American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest. He had a little blurb about Sandra Bullock's new movie, The Proposal. He basically said something along the lines of "Sandra Bullock's playing a guy." (I didn't get a chance to hear his interview with Bullock because the radio station cut out). Now, I was thinking about going to see this movie already because it looked like an amusing, light movie, but after hearing that I had to go see it!

What Seacrest was expressing in his little blurb was the belief held by many people in the United States still today. Someone who is a strong, successful, hard-working business person has to be male. Bullock's character is an editor at a publishing firm and everyone in the office is scared of her, using instant messenger to warn co-workers when she's coming. She's even called a "poisonous bitch" when she fires someone who hasn't been doing their job. Granted, she is pretty unemotional and detached from the people around her, but when did this become a bad thing. If she were a man, people might still be afraid, but he would be respected. It's so sad that this kind of sexism and double standard still exists in our society.

Later in the movie, Ryan Reynolds' character avoids helping a struggling Bullock by saying, "she won't let me help...she's a feminist." So, what's so wrong with this? Women can take care of themselves and can certainly carry their own luggage. But using feminism as an excuse to help someone who is clearly struggling is the kind of thing that has turned feminism into the "f-word." This kind of use of feminism is what is turning people off from it because feminists are then seen as "crazy bitches" who hate men.

This movie would have never been made, though, if the roles were reversed. If Bullock's character were a man who was forcing Reynolds' character to marry him, it would not be a funny, romantic comedy, it would be sexual harassment. This is true. But why is it funny when it's a woman forcing a man to marry her? Why isn't this sexual harassment, or at the very least, a misuse of power?

Now don't get me wrong, I didn't hate the movie. I laughed during quite a bit of it. It was a light-hearted, romantic comedy that I did enjoy watching. But what message about women and feminism is this movie spreading? This is just the kind of thing that is adding to the perpetuation of our sexist society. I'm not saying don't go see the movie. It was funny. It was pretty good, if you like romantic comedies. All I'm saying is that you should become aware of the kinds of messages the movies you watch are spreading about different genders, sexes, races, classes, sexual orientations...and the list goes on.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin