March 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
“If fashion were porn, this dress would be the money shot.” — Oscar nominee and beautiful person Gabourey Sidibe
January 30, 2010 § 4 Comments
Starting the blog was a very random decision. Back in January 2009, I was an avid reader of a plethora of feminist and progressive blogs, having been introduced to Feministing by Shira a year and a half earlier.
I had flirted with the idea of starting my own blog, but the prospect was daunting, to say the least: Would I be able to update as often as I felt I should? How would I deal with abusive comments and insensitive critiques? Most importantly — who would read? But one Friday night on a whim, I created a WordPress account and the blog was born.
The answers to the first two questions came when I decided to make Women’s Glib a group adventure. Having multiple bloggers allows us to update more frequently, to commiserate and laugh about misogynistic comments, and to explore a more diverse range of feminist thoughts and experiences. The seven young women who join me here are inspirational feminists, powerful writers, and amazing friends. Thanks, ladies!
The answer to the last question — who would read the blog — is constantly evolving. I am impressed and honored by our readership. Whether you are a blogger, a regular commenter here, or just a silent and supportive reader: Thanks. We owe you.
That concludes my one-year blog birthday reflection. Now for some photo goodness… Be honest with me, now: is Women’s Glib as cute as Shira’s sister Ellie was on her first birthday?
Cupcakes + babies = love.
November 19, 2009 § 1 Comment
This week we celebrated “Love Your Body Week” at Grinnell, hosted by the Feminist Action Coalition. Yay! There were (and still are) a ton of great events including a film screening and discussion, a fat activism workshop, open mic night, Grinnell Monologues (comparable to the Vagina Monologues), queer sex-ed, and my personal favorite, two masturbation workshops! It really was very comforting to see how well-attended these events actually were. I think the week did a lot to dispel the myths of apathetic college students across the country.
I think one of the best things about the week (and, coincidentally, about this blog) is that most of the events weren’t strictly serious, stuffy, or overzealous. Who says learning about your vagina has to be uncomfortable or boring? Basically, congratulations to all the humorous feminists on campus, and all of those who got over their fear of humorous feminists. Let’s keep on dispelling more myths (and yes, I probably will use this term several times. Sorry).
Finally, I really appreciated the atmosphere of communal learning that was pretty apparent in all the workshops I attended. Obviously, most people came from different backgrounds. Some were really familiar with all of the ideas being bandied about, but some, particularly at the very well attended masturbation workshop, had received very little education on such taboo topics. The fact that students who knew more were completely willing to help out those who didn’t was super refreshing. What was more refreshing was the fact that women (who attended the female identified masturbation workshop, I have no idea what went on at the male identified one) were not helping each other out of obligatory sisterhood, but out of actual desire.
I do have one question though. It seems as if I am encountering a barrage of social justice-y causes, open dialogue, and fun terms like “doing gender,” “dispel the myth,” and “social construct” just in the nick of time- before I enter the real world. Why does it have to be that way? What If we taught these terms, habits, and ideals before having them hurriedly shoved in our faces? This has been bothering me a lot lately. Obviously this isn’t going to happen any time soon given the other pressing problems in our educational system, but what is so wrong about introducing the concept of loving your body to grade school students? What if these so-crazy-they-just-might-work ideas had a place in every elementary school curriculum? We would probably live in a much more understanding environment, where no one would need to ask in a college class what “the gender binary system” is.
I am so sorry for the above display of crazy.
November 15, 2009 § Leave a comment
Food Porn Daily. It’s an instant pick-me-up (though not veg friendly).
September 15, 2009 § Leave a comment
I am officially a Grinnell Sexual Health Information Center Peer Counselor (wow what a fucking mouthful!). Needless to say, I am super pumped, and ready to share my new knowledge on sexual health with you allllllllllllllllllll.
August 23, 2009 § 2 Comments
Since I haven’t been doing anything remotely intellectual for orientation, this is going to be a baby post. Here are some funny facts I learned about Grinnell campus:
- Formerly the section of campus where only women lived, South campus has some pretty hysterical architectural differences from all of the other sections. For example, the loggias (covered walkways) are not open air like the all the others on campus. They have beautiful glass windows. Know why? Because women should never have to walk in the cold Iowa winters. Haha, guess what. No one should have to do that. Ever.
- All of the kitchens on South campus come equipped with ironing boards. For us womenfolk to do the ironing.
- Just learned this one, it may be my favorite so far: the Loose dorm (holla!) was notoriously the hall for “loose women” because the window locks are the easiest to break for late night collegiate trysts.
I found those details pretty amusing when I first heard them, I really hope you enjoyed!
July 29, 2009 § Leave a comment
Not surprisingly, The Onion is still riotously hilarious: Study: Abstinence-Only Lunch Programs Ineffective At Combating Teen Obesity.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the findings could adversely affect federal funding for all programs that tell kids “lunch is worth waiting for.”
“There’s no evidence to suggest that instructing teens not to chew, swallow, or even think about food is actually going to stop them from eating,” Sebelius told reporters. “Let’s face it: Kids are already eating. And not only during lunchtime. They’re eating after school, at the mall, in their parents’ basements. Pretending like it’s not happening isn’t going to make it go away.”
“After all, they’re teenagers,” Sebelius continued. “Eating is practically the only thing on their minds.”
…Perhaps more troubling, students who completed the abstinence-only program were reportedly unable to answer the simplest questions about their own digestive systems, and some as old as 17 still believed they could catch high blood pressure from their very first Snickers bar.
…”I’m never ever going to eat, because eating is wrong, and I’m worth more than a chicken sandwich with asparagus and rice pilaf,” Woodbridge seventh-grader Tracey Holmes said. “I heard Jennifer Hines eats all the time, like 50 times a day. I heard she eats all her ice cream upside-down, though, so she doesn’t get fat. That’s how it works.”
“It’s really hard, though,” Holmes added. “I get so hungry sometimes. Especially after hours and hours of unprotected sex.”
July 22, 2009 § 2 Comments
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Provincetown, a small beachside town in Cape Cod, MA that has a really bustling queer scene. Though I wasn’t there during their annual celebration, Carnivale, I have been to P-Town in the past during that festive week. Individuals flaunt deliciously glamorous drag costumes, men walk around naked promoting various community theater ventures, tourists can be seen hugging the huge Y-shaped statues that read ‘Discriminate’ down the side. My gut reaction to Carnivale has always been a positive one; I think it’s great that individuals who might normally feel like outsiders have a safe space to show that they love who they are. Expression and pride are wonderful things that I wholeheartedly support. But something about celebrations like Carnivale — Earth Day, the Gay Pride Parade, Black History Month, Women’s History Month — always give me pause. I just can’t get over the feeling that when we designate something as a a celebration of difference or our ideals, we actually end up creating a vacuum that ignores some of the bigger complexities at hand. I think that the celebratory weeks, days, and months that spot our calendars can actually work to stunt dialogue; we devote a certain chunk of time to an issue and then feel okay about ignoring it for the other 364 days, 51 weeks, or 11 months. This is not to say that I think we should do away with any of those aforementioned celebrations. I just don’t really know why we can’t make the celebration permanent. Why isn’t every day an affirmation of the importance of women, transgendered individuals, immigrants, homosexuals, our earth?
One of my biggest confusions pertaining to Carnivale is the very common practice of posing for photographs with individuals dressed in drag. When I was younger, I loved finding the most outrageous looking drag queens, sidling up to them, and getting a ‘hilarious’ snapshot. And now I look at these pictures and sort of cringe, without even knowing why. The strangers in these pictures totally agreed to be in them; indeed, they were standing in the middle of the street precisely to be noticed, photographed, and talked about. And that’s obviously a personal decision that I respect entirely. Maybe it just complicates my idea of pride — pride in the genders, races, religions, and isms we all align ourselves with. I am proud of being a woman! I am actively trying to create a world for myself that includes a lot of consideration for the condition of my sisters, my femininity. Should I put on my most womanly (?) outfit and head to the streets to pose with strangers? Should I vamp up my feminism in March to correspond with Women’s History Month? I genuinely don’t know the answers to these questions. What are your thoughts?
June 2, 2009 § 2 Comments
I recently got accepted into next year’s Gender Studies Round Table Leadership Program at my school. The group consists of 15 – 20 high school girls and five female teachers. It’s going to be an intensive three-day program focusing on leadership skills and gender issues relevant to us as a group. The three days aren’t strictly planned out, so today we had an hour-long meeting to discuss what issues were most important to to us.
Some of them were:
- Women in positions of leadership
- Sexuality (being a gay man vs. being a lesbian)
- Sexual empowerment and how it’s definition changes for genders
- The catty high school girl stereotype
- Women in positions of leadership throughout history (specifically women of color)
I also would be really interested in discussing the “hook-up culture” that adults are so terrified of, domestic abuse, and how and why people are afraid of calling themselves feminists.
But what about you? Can you think of any more topics or issues that you feel would be beneficial for a group of high school girls to explore?
Oh, and one last thing: the last question our teachers posed to us at the end of the meeting was, “If this were a leadership program strictly for boys and not girls, what would be different about it?”
May 11, 2009 § Leave a comment
Jessica Valenti, an incredible author on dissecting gender binaries and current day feminism, is doing a reading at Bluestockings, (172 Allen st), this Sunday. This will be a great night, I hope to see some of you there!
Sunday, May 17th @ 7PM – Free
Reading: Jessica Valenti “The Purity Myth”
American culture is plagued with concerns about the sexual purity of young women. Please join Jessica Valenti in a reading and discussion of her new book “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women,” in which she brings the full powers of her wit and intelligence to a critique of the problematic cultural appraisal of girls and women based on their sexual worth. Valenti is also the author of “Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters” and “He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut…and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.”
Bluestockings is my favorite place in New York. Here is their mission statement, taken from their website:
Bluestockings is a radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Through words, art, food, activism, education, and community, we strive to create a space that welcomes and empowers all people. We actively support movements that challenge hierarchy and all systems of oppression, including but not limited to patriarchy, heterosexism, the gender binary, white supremacy and classism, within society as well as our own movements. We seek to make our space and resources available to such movements for meetings, events, and research. Additionally, we offer educational programming that promotes centered, strategic, and visionary thinking, towards the realization of a society that is infinitely creative, truly democratic, equitable, ecological, and free.