A historic Women’s Glib moment…

April 17, 2009 § 1 Comment

That we’re a little bit late on. My two-line plug for Holla Back was our 100th post!!

Starting Women’s Glib was a slightly random decision, though I’d had it at the back of my mind for a while. I am thrilled to say that it has been an immensely gratifying venture and my new preferred method of procrastination. I’m incredibly privileged to write, plan, talk, and change the world with such amazing young people.

Thanks as always for reading, commenting, ruminating.

My new favorite thing

April 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

Is the hilarious (and heartbreakingly realistic) Derailing For Dummies website.

Just follow this step-by-step guide to Conversing with Marginalised People™ and in no time at all you will have a fool-proof method of derailing every challenging conversation you may get into, thus reaping the full benefits of every privilege that you have.

JUST what I’ve been looking for. Amen. My personal favorite piece of advice is You’re Being Overemotional, a derailing method that’s been used on me just seven trillion too many times. Angry about that rape joke I just made? You must be on your period, Miranda. Lighten up.

The author touches on a particular point that’s been dominating my thoughts recently…

The best part is, you don’t even have to be a white, heterosexual, cisgendered, cissexual, upper-class male to enjoy the full benefits of derailing conversation! Nope, you can utilise the lesser-recognised tactic of Horizontal Hostility to make sure that, despite being a member of a Marginalised Group™ yourself, you can exercise a privilege another Marginalised Group™ doesn’t have in order not to heed their experience!

We’ve been talking about this issue in my school’s Gay-Straight Alliance for a few weeks; big post on that in the works. I’m continually fascinated by the shortcomings of progressive movements – like the historical failure of the mainstream feminist movement to include anyone but elite white women and what the queer justice crowd is willing to get loud about (hint: yes to Prop 8, no to the horrifyingly commonplace murders of trans women of color).  It is profoundly disappointing when marginalized groups act oppressively towards other groups. Call me idealistic – I am idealistic.

Feministing’s Fire in the Belly Series

March 24, 2009 § 2 Comments

I just wanted to take a few minutes to highlight Feministing‘s Fire in the Belly series, a response to the Times asking if young women should be passed the reproductive rights torch and us replying that we are more than up to the task. From Feministing:

Sally Burgess, executive director of the Hope clinic, who is also chairwoman of the National Abortion Federation, said [in the article]: “What I observe for women in their 20s and 30s — there are fewer who really have the fire in the belly for this.” Then it devolved from there with Debra Dickersen over at MotherJones.com, demanding “Tell me exactly what today’s feminists are doing for the struggle.”

As young feminists, we’re unfortunately all too familiar with this blatant ageism. The pervasive stereotype of youth as apathetic, lazy people who take the struggles of those before us for granted is unproductive and destructive to the feminist movement. The time we spend bickering amongst ourselves about who does more for the cause is time we should be spending fighting the good fight.

Here are just a few things that myself, the rest of the Women’s Glib crew, and other young’uns are doing to keep the fire in our own bellies alive:

  1. We are spending election season talking to our friends and relatives and calling voters in support of pro-choice candidates nationwide.
  2. We are distributing condoms and information about emergency contraception at subway stops all over the city as part of NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action (keep an eye out for pictures later in the week!).
  3. We are starting clubs (Shira and I created Feminist Focus this year at our school; Silvia spearheaded The F-Word at hers) – and blogs! – to make feminism accessible to youth and to amplify our too-often-silenced voices.
  4. We are talking back to doctors who ask, “What’s the rush?” when we confide that we’re sexually active.
  5. We are speaking out in support of comprehensive sex education and against manipulative abstinence-only rhetoric.
  6. We are buying condoms, taking birth control, having sex, and making our own reproductive decisions without shame.

 With all that pro-choice goodness in mind, Feministing is bringing us wisdom from five young women working in reproductive justice fields throughout the week. Links and tidbits from the first two women are below; check back with Feministing for the rest.

Part I: Liza Fuentes.

I had never really questioned before that having an abortion was something that I shouldn’t talk about. But then I thought about what I went though trying to get the abortion–being shunned by my doctor and figuring out how to pay for it. And I saw that the whole process was made to ensure that women are ashamed of themselves no matter how they go about it. And I decided that I didn’t want to stand for it anymore.

Part II: Alma Avila Pilchman

While it may be true that some of us haven’t gotten the message that we are under attack in the U.S. –that our rights are being taking away with laws like “parental notification” and “24-hour waiting periods”–there are many of us who are dedicating ourselves to this issue. I think that mainstream reproductive rights organizations are still in the process of recognizing that, and are only now beginning to accept young women, and especially women of color, as strong activist leaders.

Also, it is imperative to redefine what being pro-choice means. Young people are seeing abortion rights differently than those who were part of Roe. For us, abortion is only a piece of the huge puzzle of women’s rights, and ultimately human rights.

The Reasons Women Don’t Recognize Their Abusers

March 20, 2009 § 1 Comment

Irishwitch over at Daily Kos has an eye-opening article up about batterers and how they operate. She also covers the reasons why women often times don’t recognize the warning signs of abuse. She even touches briefly on Chris Brown and Rihanna, but mostly discusses a personal experience that a friend of hers had.

It’s amazing that we feel sympathy for the victims of a Ponzi scheme operator like Madoff—but, all to often,  not for battered women because “they should have seen it coming.” In the case of Chris Brown’s alleged abuse of Rihanna, he fooled not only her, but the fans, the media and some pretty big corporations who hired him as a pitchman.  He was Mr. Nice Guy.  If they all fell for it, it’s no wonder that a twenty-one-year-old girl did too.  And that is why women don’t recognize the red flags for what they are: they don’t look like red flags. They look like roses.

As horrifying as the article is, I think it’s also extremely important. I would definitely recomend you go read it.

Search terms and stereotypes

March 4, 2009 § 3 Comments

In the month or so since Silvia’s post on being a Latina feminist, we’ve had a steady stream of questionable search terms – that is, words or phrases that, when entered into a search engine, eventually lead people to our blog. This week alone, we’ve gotten hits from terms like “naked Latinas,” “Latina sex,” “hot naked Latinas,” “Latina women legs,” “Latina photo,” and “tied up Latina.”

Most just have two or three readers attached to them, but still. What do you all think this says about Latina women in our culture? And how do you think these people react when they find Silvia’s post – which is still our most-read piece?

Rihanna and Chris Brown Reunion

March 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

I have mixed feelings concerning blogging about Chris Brown and Rihanna, mostly because I think that Rihanna’s privacy has been invaded enough. However, I do think it is important for us to discuss and to provide an alternative to the way this has all played out in the media. I’m writing this post in response to the “Chris Brown and Rihanna reunion” that is already all over t.v. and the internet. From the little that I have heard and read about the “reunion,” it seems that they are getting back together.

The responses of other celebrities and of the media to the domestic violence allegations against Chris Brown have been more than disappointing. And while the recent news that Rihanna and Chris Brown might be getting back together has sparked some responses that emphasize the message that the move is sending to girls, there are still huge problems with the way the media is covering Rihanna and Brown.

Throughout this ordeal, there has been way too much pressure and scrutiny placed on Rihanna and now is no different. I think that whether or not she decides to get back together with her alleged abuser, she will be portrayed as having made the wrong choice. The media coverage might as well be a crash-course on victim blaming. Of course personally I hope she uses her image to become an advocate for victims of domestic violence. However, I really just hope we lay off of Rihanna for a while and that we get up the courage to call the media out on the way they have portrayed the entire situation.

Things to celebrate…

February 27, 2009 § 2 Comments

1. It’s finally Friday! I know it comes around every week, but I still have a little party inside every time.

2. Pheebs’ awesome letter to inconsiderate oglers was posted on the front page of Feministing!

3. It’s that once-in-a-lifetime event…where Silvia turns 18! It’s been a fierce, feisty, feministy year. Happy birthday, girl. You rock.

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