Posts tagged "feminism"


April 8th, 2014

My 5-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl.

The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.)

But my daughter was determined. She liked the story pretty well so far, but Bilbo was definitely a girl. So would I please start reading the book the right way? I hesitated. I imagined Tolkien spinning in his grave. I imagined mean letters from his testy estate. I imagined the story getting as lost in gender distinctions as dwarves in the Mirkwood.

Then I thought: What the hell, it’s just a pronoun. My daughter wants Bilbo to be a girl, so a girl she will be. And you know what? The switch was easy. Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else.

Bilbo Baggins is a girl: Until children’s books catch up to our daughters, rewrite them. (via daxsymbiont)

I’ll reblog this for forever

(via memymarie)

(Source: sashimigrade, via newsweek)

January 12th, 2014

greenpoffin:

bethanysworld:

Dear Microsoft - 

Didn’t realize there was only one glass ceiling and that relegating a woman to Fed Chair, instead of Secretary of State was considered shattering it.  

Multiple glass ceilings exist… and, we’ve only merely splintered it.  When Congress and the Judicial System and the History of Oval Office seat holders are represented by 51% women, as we’re represented demographically and includes multiple women of colour (legislatively and judicially occurring at the same time), only then will that glass ceiling be shattered. 

Appreciate the message, but it’s a start… not a finish line.  

Fucking bullshit.

It’s possible, but demanding that we have a specific number of women to consider the abstract glass ceiling “shattered” is just stupid. Besides, you should look at how many women are actually striving to climb the ladder that far (not how many women exist) before deciding what percentage of women should be there.

Make it so that someone’s sex doesn’t hinder them in politics. However, don’t try to make anyone be voted for solely based on their gender.

Because men have NEVER been voted for just because of their gender or never tried to insinuate that because they’re men they’re just naturally better in “leadership” roles and can handle power because they’re “not emotional”.  

Last time I looked, asking for positions of leadership in all three sectors of our government to reflect the natural demographics of the American people is not asking for women to be voted for just because they’re women.  

What you’re trying to say is that there aren’t enough women that could be considered for positions of power while singularly not considering the fact that women are still NOT told that they CAN be leaders, who still face monumental challenges because they ARE women.  Need we look any further than the BS that Marissa Mayer faces as Yahoo’s CEO faces that other CEOs don’t?  Decisions she makes that male CEOs are not?  The comments obvious: we look for how a woman fails instead of looking for ways she succeeds.   Any decision she makes is to be questioned, because she can’t possibly use logic instead of emotions.  

it’s bullshit to say women are not seeking to climb the ladder.  BULLSHIT.   Women want to have roles in business, education, they want to lead.  They are not given the power, the authority to do so, for a variety of reasons that all seem to do with the arbitrariness of “because she’s a woman”.  

Until women are not voted against or championed against because they are women, we will not have equality… and until then, feminism is a necessity.  So you can be against it all you want, but it’s here to stay. 

January 12th, 2014

Dear Microsoft - 

Didn’t realize there was only one glass ceiling and that relegating a woman to Fed Chair, instead of Secretary of State was considered shattering it.  

Multiple glass ceilings exist… and, we’ve only merely splintered it.  When Congress and the Judicial System and the History of Oval Office seat holders are represented by 51% women, as we’re represented demographically and includes multiple women of colour (legislatively and judicially occurring at the same time), only then will that glass ceiling be shattered. 

Appreciate the message, but it’s a start… not a finish line.  

January 2nd, 2014

Capable

My Dad and I are having a dialogue back and forth via email about the Holidays… to probably try to understand the situation better and learn how to not have it happen again, or at least to determine how he can help minimize some of the difficulties with my Mom / sister.  

One of the things that I’ve realized is that this entire Holiday was one in which a lot of things came to a head, when dealing with well intentioned relatives that try to help the “poor helpless girl” who lives alone.  

First and foremost, I want to be clear, I don’t think that anyone in my family was intentionally trying to do anything but be exceedingly kind and exceedingly helpful… and I’m writing this not to dwell on things, but in the hopes that I can either make other women realize something they may not be able to put into words or have other family members understand why it’s hurtful to just “do”. 

A year and a half ago, when my cousins were living here, without discussing anything with me, they decide to just do things on their own.  When it came to things that directly concerned them and not me, I left well enough alone and honestly couldn’t care less about their decisions.  When it came to decisions that DID directly affect me, that were decided without me, I took issue with that.  One of those things was the gate.  Now, I had asked them to fix a broken chair.  I had asked them to fix Lexi’s stairs.  I had asked them to do any number of things that would have left me happy and peaceful.  Instead, they decided to “fix” the gate so that it slammed shut when they came home, because it was too taxing to close it behind them.  

Now, unless I prop it open, the gate sometimes closes on its own.  Which is decidedly inconvenient if you’re carting election supplies or… you know, groceries.  

Last year, at Christmas, my father and my brother-in-law took it one step further and bent the gate latch to help in the closing of the gate further.  They did it without asking me about it.  They did it without me saying anything about it.  They made a decision and, again, best of intentions, they just did it.  To make my life easier, supposedly.  Only, they didn’t consult me.  They just did it.  So, now, when it’s rainy and cold or just rainy, my gate won’t completely close.  It will slam shut behind me, but it won’t latch.  I can’t bend it back.  It’s embarrassing to ask to have something bent back and what’s more, it’s a difficult social situation, because then it gets into a “but, doesn’t it work better this way” and I have to explain why it doesn’t.    

This Christmas, in addition to the air hockey table that I might have liked when I was a teenager, but doesn’t fit me or my life as of now, things went a step further and my Mom, who does treat me like a child at times, got into the act… From deciding where things went on the Sunday before Christmas, before she left for two days, to trying to do it all over again on Christmas Eve, to not accepting my room, that I spent a lot of time cleaning and prepping just for them… to, putting tarp on my firewood on my patio.  These were all decisions that were just made.  There was no communication, no requests, no questions.  They were just being done.  In my home.  

I’m not saying here, that I can do everything on my own.  I know I can’t.  I know my limitations.  What I am saying is, if there’s a change that can be made, suggest it first and, because it’s my life that’s going to be affected, I’d like to have some say in it.  Also, asking me what needs to be done would be a lot nicer than just doing something that I don’t think does or that’s low on my list or that I can do on my own. 

By making decisions for me, by making changes to my life, by determining how things must be done in my life, you’re disempowering me.  And if you’re doing it for people you love, you’re disempowering them, too.  You may have the best intentions and wonderful motives, but what harm would it truly be to make a suggestion, advise a person, and sit back and let them decide what’s best for them and their life?  

When you take decisions away from the person whose life they directly affect the most, you’re saying, “You’re incapable of living your life or making a smart decision or doing what I think is best.”  Most of the times that’s done, it’s done with very little consideration for the person whose life is impacted the most. 

I’m asking, begging you, to understand that just because I am a woman, I am capable of doing things on my own and if you want to do something for me, ask me what I think needs to be done, what I want, what my wishes are… before determining them on your own, without even a conversation with me.   And, if I’m doing something that could either be improved upon or helped or I’m doing something improperly, please make the suggestion, but if I don’t accept your advice, don’t ignore me and do it anyway or stop the dialogue.  Doing so, basically infers that I’m not my own person or that I’m not worthy of the discussion in the future.   Doing so implies that I’m not capable.  

December 20th, 2013

….Sometimes, these criticisms hit home. We could all stand to check our privilege.

The truth is that reproductive rights, economic justice, and access to power are all inseparable elements of the feminist movement. If you care about any part of it, you have to care about the whole of it.

Feminism isn’t just about sexual politics and reproductive health. Feminists have to care about the tax code. Feminists have to care about the minimum wage. Feminists have to care about voting rights.

Feminists have to care about the unique obstacles faced by women of color, women in poverty, women in rural communities, women of all sexual orientations, women in the military, and women with disabilities.

Most of all, feminists must recognize that the power we seek for every woman — the power to make your own decisions — does not come with strings attached. Women don’t owe feminists anything. And it does us no good to fight so hard for a woman’s right to make her own choices if we then turn around and tell her she’s made the wrong ones.

What decides whether or not I, indeed, am a feminist isn’t the choices I make in my own life. It’s whether I’m truly committed to empowering every woman to make whatever choices are right for her own life.

So for me the question isn’t whether Beyoncé passes that test — it’s whether her critics do.

On Beyonce by Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Federation of America

November 2nd, 2013

Little Girls with Big Voices.

I’m finishing up work, finally, at Starbucks - a meeting place for canvassers on the campaign and there was a young girl having the most deliciously fantastic temper tantrum.  I mean, my head hurts and I’m tired, but for once, I was kind of mesmerized by how adamant and powerful a 5-year-old could be saying, “no.”  For a moment, I thought about how we often quiet our voices, shamed into politeness, restrictiveness, sometimes societal submissiveness and for a moment, even with my head hurting, even as I knew she needed to be scolded, because she was being kind of a brat, a little part of me died when she was finally removed from the coffee shop.   I want little girls that have those big voices and strong emotions to live into adulthood and old age.   I want them to never stop screaming at a patriarchal society that does everything it can to take rights away from fellow human beings.  I want little girls with big voices, shouting, making heads hurt, hearts hurt.  I want people to die when a little girl is taken out of a room for being obstinate and stubborn, especially when the rules are stacked against her.

I want little girls with big voices.   

July 25th, 2013

“It’s not a question of what I saw or didn’t see. I just happened to see people at the gate on the East side being stopped, and in a couple of cases I didn’t think about it at the time, but they pointed out that they had, if they had suspicious-looking containers and bottles of stuff, feces in bags, that they asked them to throw it out rather than to carry it in,” he said.

He said he saw “people that were pitching things” three or four times.

- David Dewhurst, giving yet another version of the supposed events during the abortion bill vote.  

Heads up to Lt. Governor Dewhurst?  First off, most people telling the truth?  Their stories change, but not radically so.  You’ve gone from seeing jars of urine and feces, to seeing bags of feces and water bottles of urine, to being told that’s what it was.  The problem is?  No DPS officer at the Capitol that day confirms your story. 

P.S.  It’s doubtful that DPS would ask that people “toss” biological waste into the garbage.  If DPS didn’t confiscate it and take activists in for questioning, then they would dispose of it down the toilet, a more likely scenario, don’t you think? 

July 22nd, 2013

That was when I told my parents that I wanted to join in the protests. I have seen anti-abortion protesters at a clinic near our house, and it makes me upset to see women who are facing this hard decision being told that Jesus condemns them.

I guess I don’t think it seems very Christian to me.

- Tuesday Cain, "I’m the 14-year-old Who Wrote the ‘Jesus isn’t a dick so keep him out of my vagina’ Sign in Texas and was Labeled a ‘Whore’ by Strangers Online"

Read the hell out of this of the day.  

July 22nd, 2013

The Conversation #ProChoice Activists Should Be Having Re: the Royal Baby

I love Catherine Middleton, for a variety of reason.  I’m thrilled that she is having a baby today, and while I understand that some of the backlash over the coverage (do we really need a live stream in front of the hospital wing?), I don’t understand not taking advantage of a terrific opportunity. 

Catherine Middleton is someone that the ProChoice movement should be celebrating, should be discussing, should be talking about.  We should be talking about the misogynistic hate hurled her way when she had to announce her pregnancy early and as she was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.  How uninformed our public is to maternal mortality rates, especially in this country and how difficult and challenging pregnancy can be even under the best circumstances and with the best care.  

We should be talking about the fact that Catherine Middle had access to a wealth of age appropriate sex education, that she knew about birth control, and that when the time came, she was able to make an informed choice to get pregnant, rather than be faced with an unwanted pregnancy. 

We should compare the amount of health care services and social services that make Britain truly ProLife, including paternity pay for two weeks and other services that new parents in the U.K. receive that the Duke and Duchess are eligible for, but unlikely to utilize.  

We should compare the health care services that Catherine has received her entire life, letting her know about any health concerns prior to her pregnancy early on, so that she could be treated with minimal cost or invasion of her body.  We should compare her prenatal care.  

We should compare what services, upon birth HRH the Prince/ss of Cambridge will receive, the standard immunizations and check ups that are so costly in the United States, where health care is a profitable business.  

We should honestly talk about all of this and how it should be a basic human right.  If we have the right to life, we have the right to medical care, common sense education… and that should filter down to the poorest of the poor.  

Especially if we demand that women give birth period.  No matter what.  If we truly care about life, we should give no less care and education than that which Catherine Middleton is entitled to as a British subject, if nothing more than as a start.  

An opportunity is being wasted here.  A terrific opportunity is being wasted here.