"AllHipHop's Chuck Creekmur wrote an open letter to rapper Nicki Minaj revealing why he, as a father, thinks her new "Anaconda" cover is problematic. But are concerns about Minaj's cover reasonable or a case of selective outrage?"
Chuck Creekmur did a really awful job of defending himself. He’s an idiot.
Perhaps you’ve heard the rumors … Feminist Dialogue is a community of feminists of all stripes building the movement to reclaim, redefine, and rebrand feminism as an inclusive, diverse, experiential, and evocative community.
Bitches Who Brunch, our feminist salon series, has been reborn as The Hive - same fabulous concept, same emphasis on a feminism of listening, sharing, and collaboration.
"Despite what can seem like a profusion of heroines in kids’ books, girls are still underrepresented in children’s literature. A 2011 study of 6,000 children’s books published between 1900 and 2000 showed that only 31 percent had female central characters. While the disparity has declined in recent years, it persists—particularly, and interestingly, among animal characters. And many books with girl protagonists take place in male-dominated worlds, peopled with male doctors and male farmers and mothers who have to ask fathers for grocery money (Richard Scarry, I’m looking at you). The imbalance is even worse in kids’ movies: Geena Davis’ Institute on Gender and Media found that for every female character in recent family films, there are three male characters. Crowd scenes, on average, are only 17 percent female.
More insidiously, children’s books with girl protagonists sometimes celebrate their heroines to a fault. Isn’t it amazing that a girl did these things, they seem to say—implying that these heroines are a freakish exception to their gender, not an inspiration for readers to follow. Children’s lit could benefit from a Finkbeiner Test. (Well-intentioned kids’ media can, ironically, introduce their youngest listeners and viewers to gender barriers: The first time my daughter heard the fabulous album Free to Be … You and Me, she asked “Why isn’t it all right for boys to cry?”)."
Lockwood's new book of poetry, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals was reviewed in the NYT this weekend.
From the review:
"Pointless weirdness gets old fast...but here the weirdness almost always carries a magnificent, and political, point. If sexual and social norms make some of us (especially the young) feel monstrous, out of place, unheard, unprotected or out of control, then Lockwood will speak for the monsters — for the Loch Ness monster, for example, in “Nessie Wants to Watch Herself Doing It” (“Doing what, I don’t know, being alive”). Like the best stand-up comics, Lockwood seeks honesty, an honesty inseparable (for her) from the jarring, the awkward, the malformed, the disconcerting, from the tones and topics (especially sexual ones) usually excluded from polite company." Here is the beginning of Lockwood's "Rape Joke." You can read the rest of the poem here. I recommend it.
by Patricia Lockwood
The rape joke is that you were 19 years old.
The rape joke is that he was your boyfriend.
The rape joke it wore a goatee. A goatee.
Imagine the rape joke looking in the mirror, perfectly reflecting back itself, and grooming itself to look more like a rape joke. “Ahhhh,” it thinks. “Yes. A goatee.”
The rape joke is that he was seven years older. The rape joke is that you had known him for years, since you were too young to be interesting to him. You liked that use of the word interesting, as if you were a piece of knowledge that someone could be desperate to acquire, to assimilate, and to spit back out in different form through his goateed mouth.
Then suddenly you were older, but not very old at all.
The rape joke is that you had been drinking wine coolers. Wine coolers! Who drinks wine coolers? People who get raped, according to the rape joke.
"At orientation there was a huge focus on sexual assault due to the high risk of freshmen, especially, on college campuses. What I was most happy about was that they were not putting the responsibility on the girls alone to prevent rape from happening. I expected a lecture to the female students about staying together, not walking alone, not putting our drinks down.. But not only were we told that, but they also really focused on educating the male students on rape, what is rape, when consent isn't present and when someone is unable to consent. Not only were they teaching females how not to be assaulted, but also taught the males not to assault. It made me feel a lot safer and happier knowing the lessons are not one-sided on the females' part like society usually makes them."
Our amazing day care center here on campus has
announced that they’ll be providing more hours for parents who need child care.
Day care on campus is so important—especially at
community colleges. The American Association of University Women recently published a report, “Women in Community College: Access to Success” that emphasizes
the importance of on-site childcare for student parent success. The authors
state that "student parents consistently cite child care responsibilities
as a chief reason for dropping out of community college before achieving a
degree or certificate" (2) and that "having access to reliable and
affordable child care helps student parents stay in school" (23). Access
is to child care is not just a retention issue; it’s a social justice issue. So kudos to NCC for supporting the Greenhouse and to
the Greenhouse for meeting the needs of so many students—and faculty.I personally don’t know what I would do without
the Greenhouse; the availability of excellent child care has made all the
difference in my own professional life.
Here is there updated schedule and contact information
for those who might be interested in using the Children’s Greenhouse:
Mon.: 7:15 AM to 8:00 PM
Tues.: 7:15 AM to 8:30 PM
Wed.: 7:15 AM to 8:00 PM
Thurs.: 7:15 AM to 8:30 PM
Fri.: 7:15 ...AM to 5:30 PM
Interested parents should call 516-572-7614 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more
"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon.She willneedher sisterhood."
Join the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Ipas, Las Libres and the NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Program on July17, 2014
from 6 pm to 8 pm
NYU’s Kimmel Center,
60 Washington Square South, Room 808, New York, NY
for the U.S premiere of
The Story Continues…..”
We will be joined by some of the individuals featured in the film, including Verónica Cruz, the Executive Director of Las Libres, and Manuela Castañeira, the Director of Las Rojas.
Las Libres documents the violation of women’s rights in Guanajato, Mexico at the hands of harsh and draconian state laws criminalizing abortion.
Between 2000 and 2008, these laws were used to send 130 women in the state to prison—often for sentences of 25 to 30 years—for the “crimes” of abortion and miscarriage. This new and critically acclaimed documentary shares the stories of 6 of these women and highlights the role of *Las Libres*, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that denounced the laws and fought alongside the unjustly incarcerated women for their freedom.
Las Libres exposes the resulting human rights violations in Mexico, demonstrating the true impact of laws criminalizing abortion. The documentary reveals the malicious nature of conservative agendas that work to limit and restrict women’s rights and reproductive health, not only in Mexico, but also in countries such as the United States. Yet, in telling the story of *Las Libres*, the film also lifts up and celebrates the many organizations and individuals in the relentless fight to defend and promote women’s rights in Mexico, Argentina, and around the globe.
From the article: "It has been almost three months since Islamic militants in northern Nigeria attacked a school that was giving exams and kidnapped more than 250 girls — some of the brightest and most ambitious teenagers in the region."
From the article: ""It took the college just 12 days to investigate the rape report, hold a hearing and clear the football players. The football team went on to finish undefeated in its conference, while the woman was left, she said, to face the consequences — threats and harassment for accusing members of the most popular sports team on campus." SHARED WITH YOU BY SARA.
I really enjoyed the first season of Orange is the New Black. I found it entertaining
and moving and, like many viewers, I liked that it centered on women’s lives and experiences. I also appreciated the diversity
in the cast and in the stories.And,
perhaps most importantly, I applauded the way the program handled serious,
real-world issues facing incarcerated women and introduced them to a larger
This is why I’ve found season 2 such a disappointment so
far.(I’m only about 5 episodes in, so
maybe I’ll have to eat my words.I’ll
let you know).Themes and issues explored
with sensitivity, realism, and complexity in season 1 have been emptied of their political implications and transformed
into standard ridiculous television nonsense in season 2.Here are just two examples.
In season 1, Morello is depicted as obsessing over her
upcoming wedding to Christopher.We get
the sense, though, that something is amiss when another inmate points out
that Christopher has never come to visit Morello.
This moment in season 1 begins to suggest the isolation of a
prison conviction, the ways in which inmates might come to feel forgotten by
the outside world.It might even begin
to indicate a larger, systemic problem: as numerous incarcerated individuals as
well as researchers have pointed out, while men can often count on wives and
girlfriend’s visits, women in prison are often not visited by the men in their
lives.There are numerous reasons for
this, but one is certainly that women’s prisons are usually located farther away from women’s home communites, making such visits even harder on family and friends.
And so Morello’s story in some ways comes to represent a
larger and more troubling reality about many women’s prison experiences.
However, in season 2, we learn that, in fact, Morello is a
stalker who has fabricated her entire history with Christopher.That is, it’s not that he doesn’t come to
visit because, tragically, he no longer loves or supports Morello once she
becomes incarcerated.Instead, she’s a
dangerous wacko.This is made even
clearer when Morello goes rogue in the prison van and breaks into Christopher’s
house.This whole episode is so contrived
and unbelievable as to make it almost unrecognizable from the more
well-considered, realistic episodes in season 1.
Another example: in season 1, Taystee gets out of prison and
finds that she has no safe or supportive place to go.A former foster mother reluctantly gives her
temporary shelter, but life "on the outside" is presented as miserable, lonely,
and dangerous. A viewer can understand how or why Taystee might see prison life--the community and routine she has in prison--as preferable or at least less-scary than what awaits her outside.
But in season 2, Taystee’s return to prison is spun as a result
of not having the support of a particular individual—Vee—a woman who we find out had
acted as Taystee’s surrogate mother.Even putting aside the discrepancies with what we saw in season 1, this
plot change again begins to empty the political implications of the season 1
story. Taystee returns to prison not because she was failed by a larger system that didn't provide her with a safe place to live, adequate job training or opportunities, or the resources she would need to succeed, but because an individual--Vee--failed her.
What I'm saying is that both of these “changes” or elaborations on the
earlier stories back away from what made OITNB
so exciting in the first place: a revealing and honest look at some of the
less-discussed obstacles facing incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated people
and a potentially radical critique of systemic problems in both the prison
world and our larger culture.
This is too bad. Season 1 remains smart and funny and
heartbreaking and I hope that the writers get back on track later this season or
maybe in future seasons.As my friend Shanice (a WST Fem
contributor) pointed out, the Riverhead Correctional Facility, where OITNB films, has recently come under fire for truly horrendous living conditions (including overflowing sewage in the bathrooms--also a plot point in OITNB); there is surely fodder for future episodes here. Rather than focusing on the over-the-top and sometimes absurd plotlines that the creators might feel they need in order to stay fresh and edgy, perhap they will return to the formula that proved so successful in season 1: subtlety, humor, and honesty, with a dash of social-consciouness.
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th Floor
The New York Times Feminist Reading Group is a participatory performance by Jen Kennedy and Liz Linden where you’re invited to discuss events in that day’s issue of the Times from a feminist perspective.
Throughout 2014, the artists will be collecting and scanning the newspapers that have been discussed, marked up, dog-eared, and annotated in the reading groups. The scans will then be compiled in The New York Times Feminist Yearbook, to be published at the end of the year.
I was reading a French daily paper and the big news today is that the parental leave was extended but only if it is the father that takes it (or the mother if it was the father who took it at first). The current benefit is that either the father or the mother can take the parental leave (this is in addition to maternity leave, which is fully paid). Parental leave gives you a very small allowance and you have the choice of not working at all (with only the small allowance) or working a certain % of your workload, with % reduction of your pay. But you are guaranteed your job back after the leave and of course, you keep fully paid health insurance benefits during the leave.
"On a new website, the department lists the mug shots of alleged pimps and johns, along with their names, dates of birth and charges against them. The pictures come with the disclaimer that while those in the photos have been arrested and charged, they 'are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.'"
It does seem to me that we're finally moving away from the uncritical mainstream glorification of the pimp--evidenced by "Pimps and Ho's Parties" and the Pimp Halloween costume (also available in kids' sizes!) and the Oscar Award winning song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (if you haven't seen the primetime network T.V. perfomance at the Academy Awards, watch it here). So yes, let's humiliate, rather than celebrate, the pimp. I also don't think it's a bad idea to convey the idea that these are "real" people--not the benign goofball caricature these representations and costumes might suggest.
Finally, law enforcement is focusing on arresting the pimps and johns and not the prostitutes--who as we know are most often women and/or children. To read more about the injustice of punishing a sexually exploited child rather than a exploitative adult, check out the documentary Very Young Girls, Rachel's Lloyd's book Girls Like Usor her TED talk.