Category: Feminism

Weekend Links

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
― Oscar Wilde

Woof. I compile these posts throughout the week, updating it to make sure that news links are as current as they can be, and that notes of levity and enjoyment are liberally scattered throughout. I know things have gotten a bit heavy around here lately and I had every intention of a links post thick with Fashion Week highlights and apolitical links to lighten things up. I’ve got those too, but it’s also been a big week for news, which led me towards doing separate post on the big story.

Thus far I still haven’t put words together to speak intelligently about the presidential press conference–apt, since neither did the president in many ways. To date, he’s sowed the seeds to blame one branch of government if something terrible should happen (if committed by a Muslim of course, white people shooting up mosques seems to be fine), a second branch of government seems to be in some kind of grim Faustian pact to go along with him as long as he signs their legislation, and he’s on a tear of a campaign to delegitmize the fourth estate who scrutinizes his actions. So things are going great, guys!

To make up for the emotional roller coaster that is Western democracy at the moment, here is an extra large dose of links for you, kittens. Never say I don’t do anything for you!

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This piece by Andrew Sullivan for New York Magazine is important reading and discusses the unfortunate fact that we have a president who seems to throw out countless lies and mistruths weekly–usually in the face of empirical evidence–and thus far does not seem to have retracted or apologized for any of them. He is not being held accountable in any way. He also gave an interview to CNN that’s worth viewing. When, “No error is ever admitted. Any lie is usually doubled down by another lie — along with an ad hominem attack,” what is at stake for government and the citizenry? His position, somewhat daringly, is that the president is outright mentally unstable, which is the source of a decent amount of debate-including whether or not it’s even appropriate for people to speculate on the matter. This letter, for instance is a nice and effective rebuke. To the comments, kittens, and lend me your thoughts.

After all the hullabaloo about privacy and securing information on Secretary Clinton’s part, this is just ridiculous.

Well, now we’re totally safe… To be clear, there are plenty of images of past “football” carriers. But none that I’m aware of that have posed for pictures.

This is a pretty good breakdown of the legal quagmire that is the executive order on immigration as it stands at time of writing. (Things may change. As should be abundantly obvious by now.)

For heaven’s sake, we must avoid hurting his feelings!

This twitter feed is hilarious and heartbreaking. It envisions an alternate reality where Secretary Clinton won, the news is not wholly ridiculous, and First Gentleman Bill is sent on a lot of errands.

History and the rise (and fall?) of facts.

This woman makes my Money Month project look like amateur night at the roadhouse.

I loved this piece at The Everygirl about Beyonce and Adele at the Grammy’s last weekend, which speaks bluntly about black artists losing to white ones consistently and how what could have been a twitter war between the stans was prevented by the genuine positivity of women loving and supporting other women.

NPR has a deeper read into race and the Grammys that’s well worth a look in.

It took less than a month for a scandal to bring down a major player in the administration which, while in line with my predictions, does not bode well. All I will say is that given the layers to the Gen. Flynn story (most notably the fact that now-former Acting Attorney General Yates apparently alerted the White House to the potential threats and was fired only days later due to her stance on the immigration ban, and the fact that timelines being put forward by various staff simply isn’t matching at time of writing), I expect the press, government officials, and voting public to give at least as much scrutiny and attention to claims of foreign interference in our government as they did to Secretary Clinton’s emails.

Pantsuits on women was a major trend this NYFW. Cannot imagine why.

After all the shouting and bluster about security privacy and Secretary Clinton’s emails, to see national security policy play out as dinner theatre is completely beyond the pale.

How are our feelings about death, lately?

This is a thing?! My theory of dating (granted I’ve been out of the game for a decade) was that s/he who asks, pays. Full stop. Have the rules changed that much?

A piece from the New York Times about the rise and fall of celebrities at fashion week shows.

This interview with Kelly Cutrone on the state of the fashion industry is also a great read.

Gorgeous photos of a movement that I, for one, need to know more about.

NOPE. Also, if I’m a “host,” does that make any potential fetus a parasite? Careful what words you choose, people.

Into the Gloss tracked some of the best beauty looks from NYFW. I didn’t know I needed neon eye shadow, but suddenly I do. Intensely.

One of my “ones that got away” in terms of vintage or second hand buys is a leopard print coat that I to this day deeply regret not snatching up. Jenna Lyons is not helping my nostalgia.

All things considered this week, this news seems super not great.

The story of the assassination of North Korean dictator’s Kim Jong-un’s half brother gets more bizarre every day.

This post by the great and good Caroline Hirons is a nice catch up to some of the latest beauty launches, but her final paragraphs on blogging and having an opinion really caught my eye.

Here’s a nice, completely apolitical tale of humans being nice.

Album of the week: Life Will See You Now, by Jens Lekman

The Woman Card We’ve Been Dealt

“We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.”
― Margaret Atwood

Still processing my thoughts, and I’m trying to stay classy about it but the honest to god first thought I had the morning after was, “Wow. America really doesn’t like women.” Do I mean everyone? Of course not. Do I mean explicitly? No. Next to no one in this country is running through the streets with “Down with women!” signs or stroking cats evilly in a dark room somewhere, contemplating wrapping us in burkas.

I mean that as a culture, women are often instinctively reacted to as unworthy of being believed, supported, or followed. From rape survivors and wage equality to work leadership and our own health and care, we are not considered trustworthy in making decisions, telling truths, or seeking advancement. Suspicion and wariness are often the default. Our narratives are questioned before they are listened to much less believed.

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I did not vote for Secretary Clinton because she is a woman, though goodness knows I found the idea of the first female president breathtaking. I don’t think most people who voted against her did so because she is a woman. But I do think the culture and undercurrents about and towards women played a significant role in how she was perceived and treated by media, her opponents, and a lot of the electorate.

As women, almost every day, we see examples and stories of how our ambitions are threatening and (worse!) unattractive, our stories of victimization are suspect, those of us needing help are lazy or manipulative or moochers, our desires for control over our bodies are antagonistic or selfish, our expectations of work life balance are unreasonable, our emotions are unstable. We are not trusted. And I cannot help but see much of this inherent distrust in how Secretary Clinton was viewed and treated in this election. Her ambitions were unseemly, her cautiousness weak, her outspokenness offensive, her experience invalid, her whole candidacy insufficient and suspect.

Am I partisan? Yes. I have seen examples of sexism throughout my personal and professional life, and in the lives of women and girls I know and respect. These experiences of course inform my point of view and my politics.

But I don’t necessarily think that means I’m wrong.

*This post expanded on comments left on a Broadside post

Incendiary Monday: Lady Rage and Internal Conflict

“Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.”
― Neil Gaiman

I don’t know much about the history of assault allegations against President Bill Clinton (though I’m trying to research it to be informed) but my opinion, my experience at a police department, and my own persuasions around women’s issues tells me the right thing to do is believe a woman who comes forward with a rape or assault claim until evidence proves otherwise. Period. And so, until I read enough creditable reporting to convince me otherwise, I’ll accept these allegations as truthful.

The allegations that Secretary Clinton threatened Ms. Broaddrick or others are trickier for me as what I have seen has been largely reported on a platform that is quite literally hand in hand with her opponent’s campaign. I’m unsure if/where propaganda and spin begins, or even if it’s ethical for me to try and parse between the allegations against one person and another. I don’t think this allegation is as credible and I’ve not seen nearly enough to back it up yet.

(Usual disclaimer: I’m always open to my mind being changed here and I admittedly don’t know a lot about the allegations of threats against victims. Send me your links or suggestions of where I should seek out creditable reporting on this to be better informed.)

However.

There is a long, ugly history of trying to make women culpable for the actions of men. Whether blaming skirt length as a provocation to rape, questions over consent, or–no biggie–Biblical narrative, this is a problem that goes way back. I cannot help but see this in attempts to make Secretary Clinton culpable in her husband’s actions and it makes me angry.

I am angry that in 2016 in the developed world, the best way to attack a woman is still through sexuality. I’m even more angry that the double standard is such that you can still effectively attack a woman through someone else’s sexuality.

I am angry that Mr. Trump can make explicit remarks about his own alleged actions, and Secretary Clinton is expected to account for an entirely other person’s actions in response.

I am angry that the sort of language heard on the released tapes by Mr. Trump has been deemed “locker room talk,” as if that somehow makes the idea of sexual assault okay or more acceptable–at least in conversation. His history is being reviewed and some unsurprising parallels to his language are starting to emerge, but more importantly, it doesn’t matter if men do talk like this in private (and I don’t for one minute believe most do), it’s still repugnant.

I am angry that so many of the responses on the part of his supposed colleagues who were hastening to abandon him cited the feelings of their wives and daughters as reason for withdrawing support. Yes, it is admirable that these (mostly) men are putting themselves in the shoes of their loved ones. But if they wanted to make a moral argument, they should have been able to put themselves in the shoes of women who had no relation to them whatsoever long before this, in reaction to any of Mr. Trump’s decades worth of comments on women (and Muslims, and people of color, and…). Choosing to cry foul now holds no moral sway with me. Women shouldn’t be related to you in order for their experiences to matter.

I am angry that women still need to state this fact.

 

Weekend Links

“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ”
― Roseanne Barr

Hi, kittens. This week’s links post is short but brought to you mostly by a big heaping dose of Lady Rage. Sit back and let it wash over you.

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First and foremost, Trump. I’ve long been baffled by his candidacy, actively dismayed in fact. But the whole garbage fire situation boiled over this week when lewd comments that frankly should have surprised no one, given his decades long public personality/persona, found their way into the light of day. Shock, surprise. Writing this, the fallout is still coming down, but at the end of the day, I’m more disgusted that this is what’s getting people to publicly distance themselves from his campaign. Not his racist comments or other sexist comments, not his strongman attitudes or attempts (or success) at demagoguery, not his statements flat out contradicted by fact checkers, his own previous public comments, or other world leaders…but this is the deal breaker? Being lewd/about a married white woman? You could not have encapsulated all of the conversations and flaws about our current political cycle and society, from gender and race, to rank and privilege, better if you tried. Political America, check your priorities.

Utah stikes again, but the cheerleaders strike back. #supportyourlocalgirlsquad

I enjoyed The Girl on the Train, but it lacked the same punch for me that Gone Girl did. This piece on the genre of women hitting back violently against the world/patriarchy and why it’s not going away anytime soon is worth a read.

How on earth is one supposed to be a woman in public these days?

A dive into the psychology behind victim blaming.

Book art. Because we needed something pretty.

And lastly, a touch of humor because FINALLY the questions will be answered!

 

Feminism and Facebook Facepalms

“The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: “It’s a girl.”
― Shirley Chisholm

Facebook, your standards on acceptable depictions of the female body (as discovered when researching image regulations for a client’s social media posts) trouble me. I think we can all agree that bathroom selfies need to go, but out of the three (of four total) images depicting women, the bottom left image is the one showing the most inappropriate amounts of skin? Really?

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Friday Links (New York Times, Edition)

“I don’t think intelligent reports are all that hot. Some days I get more out of the New York Times.”
– President John F. Kennedy

It’s been a busy week, as you may have suspected. I’m afraid that makes for an even busier Friday, so here are your links. Share anything else worth reading, plus what you’re getting up to this weekend, in the comments and enjoy high summer!

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Had to wait an extra day to get it over here, though the original is currently winging its way to me thanks to friends.

Headline of the week.

Teri, over at The Lovely Drawer, has shared another design freebie: beautiful desktop wallpapers.

Interesting story about an unexpected sumo wrestler.

Marvel is changing the comic book character Thor to a woman and certain parts of the internet reacted to the news…internet-ish-ly. Luckily the blog Texts from Superheroes had the perfect response.

Art remixes where new and old subjects and pieces are mashed up beautifully. (Warning for pearl-clutchers, nude forms are present!)

This video of a person playing with a platypus is exactly what it says on the tin and much cuter than you’d think. Almost makes you forget those odd beasties have poisonous spines!

A giveaway I assume most US based minions will want to know about.

Interesting development from Amazon, what do we think about this? Janssen, our resident book aficionada needs to weigh in!

A Facebook friend, moderator of a freelancer forum I belong to, and a writer herself penned this hugely useful piece on the realities of how to do your taxes when you work for yourself.

I could never persuade Jeff to this, he’s all about lofts and modern space, but I’m currently house-lusting over this 14th century home.

And, the biggest news for me personally, in case you missed it, I wrote an op ed for the New York Times that was published on Tuesday. It contains my perspective on Kate Kelly’s excommunication, its place in the “Mormon Moment,” and what I feel to be the larger implications for the church. It was not easy to write, and it was very scary to share, but I’ve been really overwhelmed at the positive and sincere feedback I’ve received from it. A huge and heartfelt thank you to friend and Friend of the Blog Caitlin Kelly (unrelated to Kate) who urged me to write a piece after many emails on the subjects of Mormonism, feminism, and religion in general, and who helped me to place it.