Blog Archives

Only Virgins Can Be Sexually Assaulted

Indians protesting the way rape survivors are treated.

Indians protesting the way rape survivors are treated.

Once upon a time in America only virgins or married women could be raped, people thought. In some places people still think so.

The problem comes from failing to see the world through the eyes of victims.

And so an article from the 1952-53 Yale Law Journal explained that sexual assault is illegal because,

Women’s power to withhold or grant sexual access is an important bargaining weapon… it fosters, and is in turn bolstered by, a masculine pride in the exclusive possession of the sexual object… whose value is enhanced by sole ownership.

Even though this is the crime women most fear, outside of murder.  Read the rest of this entry

Game of Thrones ‘S Us

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen

Set in some mythical time and place reminiscent of Paganism meets Christianity here on Earth, the mirror that is Game of Thrones reflects both our gender bias and our rising equality.

In this patriarchal world the virtuous Daenerys Targaryen and her evil brother, Viserys, march to take back the Iron Throne they were born to, but are now exiled from. While Daenerys is clearly the wiser of the two, she has no right to rule — at least not while her brother lives. Instead, she is used as a pawn —  sold off as a slave, really, to buy her brother an army.  Read the rest of this entry

Real vs Cartoonish Sexuality

Real sexuality? Or just cartoonish?

Real sexuality? Or just cartoonish?

I believe we should afford our daughters and ourselves a right to our own authentic sexuality. Not the cartoonish MTV kind, but the kind where we respect ourselves enough to listen to what our bodies and hearts feel is right for us.

Paraphrasing psychoanalyst and author Joyce McFadden, there.

What is authentic sexuality? In my last post, I suggested it is neither shameful nor a crutch for powerlessness or low self-esteem. But what else?  Read the rest of this entry

Authentic Sexuality v Dressing Like Prostitutes

Hello Kitty thong

Hello Kitty thong

Why do moms let their daughters “dress like prostitutes?” asked Jennifer Moses in a Wall Street Journal piece that got people talking a while back.

Moses thinks it’s because the moms had a sexually free past, which they now regret. “Not one woman I’ve ever asked about the subject,” she declared, “has said that she wishes she’d ‘experimented’ more.”

Well, wouldn’t you want your daughters to NOT look like prostitutes, then?  Read the rest of this entry

Your Pain: A Small Price for My Pleasure

scarsPolice in Salinas, California conducted a home welfare check after three children, ages 8, 5, and 3, didn’t arrive for an unspecified appointment. What they found was gruesome. The isolated children, who were ostensibly being homeschooled, were malnourished and bruised.

But the eight-year-old girl seems to have gotten it worse than her brothers. She was periodically locked in a closet or chained to a wall, 4 feet off the ground. She was sometimes shackled by the ankle, and other times by a collar around her small neck. And starving, she resembled a concentration camp victim.   Read the rest of this entry

Grandma and Susan B Anthony

Queen of the Platform by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Queen of the Platform by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Imagine having a great-great-great-grandmother who fought for “votes for women” alongside Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Poet, Laura Madeline Wiseman’s great-great-great-grandmother, Matilda Fletcher Wiseman did just that.

Collected letters and newspaper clippings inspired a book of poetry that Ms. Wiseman calls, Queen of the Platform.

What prompted Matilda Fletcher Wiseman to join the lecture circuit? Luck, opportunity, the death of her only child, and a need for income. Talent and hope for the future, too.

It’s interesting to see the portrait Matilda Fletcher Wiseman paints of Susan B Anthony in her up-close-and-personal brushes with the icon:

Read the rest of this entry

How I Overcame My Misogyny

misogynyBy Laura Wolff

I was a pre-teen bitch.

I wasn’t exceptionally mean or catty — in fact, I was an anti-bullying advocate. But my deeply internalized sexism led me to disdain anything and everything considered “girly,” from “Twilight” to dresses to teenybopper Disney stars. And the girls who enjoyed them.  Read the rest of this entry

Why Don’t Women Like To Be Ogled?

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS EYEING UP LONG LEGGED GIRL AS SHE WALKS PASWhy do women dress sexy so people will look at and desire them but get mad when people look at and desire them? And then they call men who look at them “creeps” or “perverts” for looking at the skin and other body parts they are showing?

A lot of men, like him, are confused. Women dress sexy, go out and strut their stuff, and then act insulted when they get a compliment?

What’s up with that?  Read the rest of this entry

Who You Calling a B–?

bitchBy Paola Hernandez

I think every woman has heard it at least once in her life. “Bitch!” Whether or not we were “acting like one.” Men say it. Women say it. I’ve said it more than once.

It starts early.

The first time I heard it was on the school playground, waiting my turn at the monkey bars. A girl cut me in line, so I told her I was next. She called me a “bitch” and walked away.

I was surprised. I knew it was a “bad word” but I didn’t know what I had done wrong or “bitchy.” I would come to wonder, many more times, why I was called that name.

Usually, it was when I stood up for myself. Sometimes it targeted my reproductive system: “Why are you being such a bitch? Are you on your period?” Because I can’t be angry or upset unless it’s that, right? Other times the word ridiculed me just for being female. Maybe that’s why our reproductive system seems especially “bitchy” — it defines us as women.  Read the rest of this entry

Downton Abby Ends in Feminist Dystopia of GIRLS?

downton-abbey-season-4-castDownton Abbey and HBO’s Girls seem to be talking to each other, says Anand Giridharadas in a New York Times piece

The early 20th Century world of Downton’s British aristocracy knew “there is a way to do everything, from cleaning spoons to dressing for dinner.”

But then World War I unleashes its chaos, confusing notions about who is independent and where one stands. Thus,

The family driver, believing in equality and marrying for love, runs away with the family daughter; thus the men wear black tie instead of white to dinner one night; thus a new generation of servants is less servile, more willing to question.

HBO’s Girls yields the fruits of that push a century later — and it isn’t pretty, he says — as four young women navigate the stresses and opportunities of New York City: a world that “says you can be anything but does not show you how.”  Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: