Category Archives: sexism

Back When Abortion Was Illegal

Keep abortion safe and legal.

Keep abortion safe and legal.

The Ms. Blog asked readers to share stories of what it was like to get illegal abortions before the 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade that gave women the right to terminate a pregnancy. Read the rest of this entry

Men React to “Nude” Sly Stallone

Sly Stallone on Vanity Fair Cover

Sly Stallone on Vanity Fair Cover

I recently asked my students to write down their thoughts when looking at nude-ish pictures of Cindy Crawford and Sly Stallone.

Had attitudes changed since sociologist, Beth Eck, studied reactions a decade ago?

We’ve spent a lot of time with thoughts on Cindy. Now let’s turn to Sly. Read the rest of this entry

You Can Help Stop Super Bowl Sex Trafficking

Super Bowl sex trafficking

Super Bowl sex trafficking

By Courtney Cooper and Wesley Russell

This originally appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on January 20, 2016.

Sara Kruzan grew up with an abusive, drug addicted single mom. By age nine she was depressed and attempting suicide.

At age eleven she met an affectionate 30-year-old man who seemed to be the loving father figure she had yearned for. He said she was special. So special that people should pay for the privilege of having sex with her. Eventually, he had her walking the streets every night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. In between displays of affection he terrorized and raped her to keep her in line.  Read the rest of this entry

Casual Sex Distresses Women?

The double standard

The double standard

Women who do casual sex are, on average, more distressed than other women.

Men who do casual sex are, on average, more confident than other men.

That’s what sociologists, Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, found as they researched their book, Premarital Sex in America.

That means the double standard is neither good nor bad. It just is. They say. Read the rest of this entry

Notorious RBG, aka Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Notorious RBG

Notorious RBG

Notorious RBG — aka Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg — has been a radical just by being herself.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg had dreamed of being a first-rate lawyer, but that just wasn’t possible in 1959 — even though she had graduated from Columbia Law, tying for first in her class. Law firms just couldn’t wrap their minds around a woman being anything but a secretary or a mom, it seems.

That left her no choice but to burst bombshells. Read the rest of this entry

Loose Women Don’t Wear Corsets

The corset

The corset

Plenty of women’s fashions restrict them — intended or not — whether we’re talking girdles, spiked heels, bound feet, or wearing curlers to bed (who can sleep?!)

And how about that corset?

This ubiquitous pre-20th-century garment was so tightly laced that organs could be pushed around. And they promoted lung disease. Those things were not comfy!

Despite the health risks, some 19th century doctors believed that women’s bodies were too weak to hold themselves up, so they needed the contraption. (Scientists of the time also thought that education shrunk a woman’s womb!) Read the rest of this entry

Why Do Women Fight Their Interests

Women against feminism?

Women against feminism?

Growing up Mormon, it seemed like the women around me fought against their own interests all the time.

In the 70’s my Mormon piano teacher spent an hour post-lesson talking to my mom about stopping feminists from setting up battered women’s shelters! Read the rest of this entry

Is Male or Female Sexuality Better?

I heard so many of my friends saying, ‘Why can’t I have sex and feel nothing?’ It was amazing: that this was the new goal.

That’s what 25-year-old Lena Dunham told New York Times columnist, Frank Bruni as they discussed her Sex-and-the-Cityish HBO series,  “Girls,” which she writes, directs and stars in.

Dunham points out that numerous cultural cues press women to take on non-emotional, non-connected, “empowered” sexuality. Read the rest of this entry

Does Provocative Dress Ever Cause Rape?

Some friends were discussing the “Slut Walks” that keep popping up, and someone asked whether provocative clothing ever plays a role in rape. Interesting that “provocative” is used to describe a style of dress, suggesting that clothes actually provoke something. Attention? Desire? Rape? Read the rest of this entry

Dowry in Congo Objectifies Women

Bride Price

Bride Price


In my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, a bride is seen as merchandise or an object.

That’s because a suitor typically pays dowry to his future in-laws: cash and goods, such as clothes for the bride’s parents, cows, goats, beverages, blankets, kitchen utensils, refrigerators, radios, and televisions.

Some people call it a “sale.” Read the rest of this entry

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