So this past week and a half has been pretty rough. I sprained my knee, and as a result I have been hobbling my way to class for the past few days. When I first injured my knee, I was prepared for how much it sucks to be on crutches and how handi-inaccessable our campus is, but I was not prepared for the worst part of this injury- ALL of the goddamn mansplaining.
So if you didn’t already know, I’m on the speech team for JMU and being on this team has allowed me to see some pretty amazing speeches. This Saturday, I viewed a speech that was fanstastic and had me yelling PREACH in my mind the whole time. First off I would like to say what kind of speech the student was competing in; the event is After Dinner Speaking. After Dinner Speaking is a persuasive or informative speech that uses comedic elements to get an issue across to an audience. Now that I’ve got that explanation out of the way, I must, must, tell you about an ADS speech that I had the privilege to witness.
Simple Pickup, an all-male group that advises men on topics such as how to pick up women when you’re high, documented their public use of a Sybian, or “vibrating saddle for female pleasure,” to raise awareness for a “serious issue, in a fun way…” Simple Pickup pledged to donate $5 to prevention of female circumcision for every second that a woman stayed on the Sybian.
The men were filmed walking around Venice Beach, asking women questions like, “Do you like your clitoris?” in order to encourage women to participate in their fundraising efforts. Let’s take a moment to reflect on this situation: I happen to be a woman. I love my clitoris. BUT if a random stranger, namely a male stranger, approached me on the street and asked me to masturbate in a public space in order to raise money for a this cause—or any cause—I would be fucking offended. Continue reading
In light the discussion about Jack White’s move to speak out against sexism in the music industry (http://www.siriusxm.com/pearljamradio), Slate magazine happily dubs White a feminist to elithe backlash about his supposed “woman problem.”
Read more HERE:
“We often think of gender violence as women’s issues that some good men help out with.”
This is one of the opening lines of a TED talk given by Jackson Katz, an awesome feminist educator and activist, regarding our society’s thought process on the issue of gender violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and what better way to continue the conversation then with a thought-provoking TED talk? Katz’s TED talk, “Violence Against Women: It’s a Men’s Issue,” offers a unique perspective on intimate partner violence and other sexual violence issues that is relevant both this month and this day in age.
*Content warning: contains email describing violence against women
Anita Sarkeesian is the creator of Feminist Frequency, a video webseries that explores the representation of women in pop culture. According to the website, Feminist Frequency “largely serves as an educational resource to encourage critical media literacy and provide resources for media makers to improve their works of fiction.” Sounds awesome, right? Well, not to everyone. There’s always someone who can’t be supportive of educating people about feminism.
Yesterday, on Tuesday, October 14th, Anita Sarkeesian cancelled her appearance at Utah State University. She was supposed to speak at USU today (Wednesday the 15th) about how women are depicted in pop culture, an event that was organized by campus feminist and the center for women’s and gender studies. However, Sarkeesian had to cancel her talk because of the events following this email:
This email is incredibly frightening. The author claims: “I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs,” and “a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees” as well as students, staff and the women’s center. The entire email is just so gruesome, disgusting, terrifying, and I cannot imagine how or why someone would want to do something so horrible.
Check out these illustrations about gender stereotypes by illustrator Carol Rossetti!
This Friday at 7 p.m. is the premiere of Laverne Cox’s documentary series on MTV as well as Logo TV. The show follows the lives of transgender young people and details the often difficult journey they face.
“We live in a world where people are often judged for being different, but this is a celebration of those differences, as well as how we’re the same.” –Laverne Cox
I think this show is great because it gives people a way to see what it means to be in someone else’s shoes. It also lets other transgender youth see that they are not alone, and I think that’s pretty freaking amazing. I encourage everyone to watch this show. Not only is it making history by being the first of its kind, but it is also a huge step in the fight for trans rights and equality!
This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Kailash Satyarthi of India and Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan. Both were awarded the prize “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”, which is HUGE in the countries of India and Pakistan.
In India, boys and girls are often forced into child labor when they come from poor families, and miss out on their chance for an education. I learned after reading Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography, that in Pakistan, boys and girls opportunity for education is often put in jeopardy when religious extremists and/or dictatorships take hold of the country, and attempt to strip the youth of their right to education. Both Kailash and Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to restore children to their childhood, which is a great cause to fight for and support. Read more about their efforts by clicking on the images above!
Have you ever heard of a counter feminist? I hadn’t until I stumbled upon the community through the subreddit r/TheRedPill. As I started digging through posts and blogs and articles, the amount of material I was able to find surprised me. A cursory google search of “counter feminist” returned an astounding 6.5 million hits. While reading through a few of those 6.5 million hits, I was curious about the numerous references made to “plates” throughout the writings. As it turns out the plates everyone kept referencing actually refer to women. Awesome. I was just thinking that we need one more inanimate object to compare women to. Thanks to the counter feminist movement, we now have the spinning plate metaphor to describe how the same men who think this:
“… ‘FEMINISM’ MUST BE OPENED TO THE DISINFECTING SUNLIGHT OF THE WORLD’S GAZE AND HELD TO A STERN ACCOUNTING FOR ITS GRIEVOUS TRANSGRESSIONS.”
also seem to believe that if they pursue many different women at the same time, the power in the relationship dynamic will always fall to them. Many counter feminists imply through their writings that they see sex as transactional and as a power struggle. Some even go as far to say that a woman’s right to decline sex is “female privilege” and is helping to systematically oppress men. In order to keep themselves from getting burnt by a power hungry, man-hating feminists, the counter feminists came up with the guiding principal of the “spinning plate theory”.