The other day I posted this picture on my tumblr which I found on Post Secret this week with the question: do you think having your husband/partner/significant other(s) take out the garbage is unfeminist?
All of the answers that I got were of the “hell no” variety.
What I found interesting about this “secret” is that the sender felt it necessary to qualify the statement with “I’m definitely a feminist” as if having your husband take out the garbage would make this person not a feminist.
This got me thinking about why having your husband/partner/etc. take out the garbage might possibly be considered unfeminist. Chores are traditionally, stereotypically thought to be the woman’s territory. But stereotypically men take out the garbage and mow the lawn. So this is maybe why this person thought that having her husband take out the garbage was unfeminist…
But I don’t think that it has to be unfeminist, and neither do the people who responded to my question. I think that the important distinction is that it could be unfeminist if someone assumes that the husband will take out the garbage because he is the man and that the wife will do all the other chores around the house because she is a woman. I think that it is important to discuss what is expected of each person in the relationship when it comes to household duties and why each person should be doing those duties. The important thing is the communication about what is expected.
For example, if someone does the cooking, then maybe the other does the dishes. This doesn’t have to be the case, but discussing what is expected of each partner for the household duties is, I think, an important part of a feminist relationship. It shouldn’t just be assumed that one partner is going to do certain chores because that is what is expected of women and men. And it also shouldn’t be expected that one person will do all the chores, household duties should be shared, even if it is on a rotating basis. Taking care of the space that you live in together as a communicating team, I think, is important to building and maintaining a strong relationship.
*I should note that I have never been in a relationship where we have lived together, these observations are more from looking at my parents’ relationship and the experiences of friends and their families.
Womanist Musings: Emily Blunt Makes Disability Fashionable
Crutches are not a fashion statement; they are a mobility aid. There is nothing chic about crutches because they help to mark a persons body as faulty to the outside world, due to our understanding of disability. Crutches mean limited access, and exposure to disableism, therefore the idea that they can enter a fashion shoot in the same way as a pretty dress or a nice pair of shoes is highly offensive.
Autostraddle: Why Taylor Swift Offends Little Monsters, Feminists, and Weirdos
However, before I brought it up again (especially this late, as the backlash-to-the-backlash part is over and we’re now in the Valley of WhoCares, which is clearly where I “thrive”), I knew I had to do my Taylor Swift due diligence. After reading that MTV article I did it: I listened to her music, read her blog, and watched her videos.
And I finally figured it out.
Taylor Swift is a feminist’s nightmare.
Women & Hollywood: Pondering the Bigelow Nomination in Larger Context
The reason why I want to talk about it is because I think that no matter how much Ms. Bigelow doesn’t want to talk about the gender implications in her nomination, they are everywhere. I heard them when I was listened to the Oscar Talk podcast when Kris Tapley called her “hot” and Anne Thompson said that she’s not 100% convinced she will win because the Academy is “overwhelmingly male and she just doesn’t trust them.”
Clarissa’s Blog: Why I Dislike Third-Wave Feminism
Unfortunately, the excellent intentions of third-wave feminists are completely undermined by the statement (from the same blogger I quoted before) that “third-wave feminism respects the choices of everyone.” After a very short discussion, it always comes out that these feminists do not really support any kind of choice on the part of everybody. People who abuse others, racists, chauvinists, ableists, and xenophobes make all kinds of vile choices, and obviously third-wave feminists do not support those choices.
As some of you may have noticed, I had a little problem this weekend. My blog was hacked and I couldn’t even get into my dashboard. But thanks to the amazing meloukhia, my blog is back and almost entirely squared away. I still have to work on the sidebars a little bit and address some minor things here and there. But all in all, I’m back.
And I know I didn’t get to do a Wednesday link love this week as I was busy on Wednesday in addition to not feeling too well. So here’s an extra long link love for the entire week!
Zero at the Bone: The Thirteenth Carnival of Feminists
Equality 101: Thoughts on the “Politics of Correction”
“How can I help kids gain fluency in Standard English – the language of power – without obliterating the home language which is a source of pride and personal voice?” – Linda Christensen
Gender Across Borders: Welcome to the Hip Hop, Resistance, and Feminism Series
This series focuses on hip hop and its interactions with patriarchy, racism, and other forms of oppression — both within and outside the mainstream pop world. From Nicki Minaj and gender-bending to resistance movements in Mali, this series reveals the varying faces and voices of hip hop.
I’ve really enjoyed this series from Gender Across Borders and this “welcome” post has links to all of the posts in the series, so make sure to check them all out!
Girl W/Pen: POP GOES FEMINISM: Deciphering Island Patriarchy: Finding Feminism in Lost
Lost has often presented ‘gender outside the box’ characters, suggesting being human is more important than being a masculine man or a feminine woman. After all, when you are fighting for your life, ‘doing gender right’ is hardly at the top of you priority list.
Small Strokes: On Body Image: Men and Advertising
Men suffer from body image issues just as women do, often as a direct result of the bombardment of images from the media. You’ve got your total binary here: men in commercials, movies, and TV shows are either super awesome ladies’ men with washboard abs and sweet sports cars or doofy husbands incapable of doing much of anything.
this ain’t livin’: Feminism and Veronica Mars
I recently re-watched Veronica Mars, and happened to mention that I was doing so to Anna, and she said something along the lines of “all I learned from Veronica Mars was feminists who fake rapes.” Which, to be fair, cuts at a very serious problem I have with the show: The depiction of feminists and feminism.
Sociological Images: Are the New Disney Princesses Feminist?
One of the compliments aimed at the new Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog, is that the heroine isn’t just a pretty face, but in fact an entrepreneur who wants to open her own restaurant and is uninterested in catching a man. This observation was made to me, for example, when I was interviewed for a story by CNN reporter Breenana Hare, who suggested that this new princess was making a break with the old princesses in more than one way.
Booze. Tv. Food.: A SLAT Drinking Game
I have had a wicked cold the past week or so, which has prevented me from one of life’s greatest joys: pairing booze with Secret Life of the American Teenager. So in lieu of actually boozing along to this week’s episode, I’ll just have to fantasize about it. But feel free to take my suggestions, and if you live through the experience, well, mazel, your liver is impressive.
Clarissa’s Blog: The Economist Invents Its Own Feminism
Who would go to The Economist to find out about the latest trends in feminism? Nobody in their right mind, of course. When this kind of magazine comes up with its own perspective on feminism, the result is hilarious.
feministhemes.com: Liz Lemon: Feminist or Not?
I had revered Tina Fey as a feminist role model until I started doing a little research and kept getting stuck when trying to put together a 10 Reasons for her. I’m willing to admit that I’ve made some stretches in the feature before in finding quotes to support the theory that so-and-so is a feminist role model, but Tina was tough. I found (and continue to find) myself wondering why I had been operating under the assumption that Tina was a feminist – because she’s intelligent? Because she isn’t overtly and constantly sexual/ized? Because she wears glasses? I’m still not sure, but I’ve had trouble finding enough evidence to convince myself she’s a strong feminist role model (not that she needs to be one).
Gender Across Borders: Thoughts on covering up, slut-shaming, and the nature of masculinity
This is just another horrid example of blaming the victim. For example: “How does one not expect to get raped if she wears a mini-skirt?” Because, of course [insert sarcasm], when a woman chooses to wear revealing clothing, she is basically saying to the world, “Hey, please sexually assault me today!” WRONG. In other words, should a man be victim-blamed if he wears short, tight pants and then gets sexually assaulted?
Glossed Over: Bazaar: Bare Your Body to Boost the Economy
What is this “sexification,” and how do we know it’s occurring? I’ve read his article three times and I’m not exactly certain. But it has something to do with Megan Fox earning a lot of money as the face of Emporio Armani Underwear, Jenna Jameson wearing a tasteful blue frock on Oprah, and pop stars like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Shakira merely existing.
this ain’t livin’: Yes, Actually, I Can Make An Informed Choice
And it’s a trend which bears some exploration, because I think that it says a lot about feminism and the issues within the feminist movement.
It’s the idea that certain women don’t know what’s good for them. These women need to be told in no uncertain words about how to take care of their bodies, how to live their lives, how to interact with medical professionals, how to make decisions about their medical care. And, by extension, how to handle their disabilities.
a shiny new coin: Farwell Ten, allons-y Eleven
If you’re a terribly geeky Whovian like myself (if you want proof of exactly how geeky a Whovian I am: as I type this I’m wrestling with my kitten Gallifrey who wants to type too) you’ve already watched David Tennant’s finale in the role he was born to play, despite it not having aired in your country yet. Welcome to the online world BBC, what did you expect? (Oh, and ABC: three months?! You’re a bunch of wankers.)
Bitch Blogs: Jennifer Hawkins poses nude, “flaws” and all
Australian beauty queen and model Jennifer Hawkins appears nude and un-Photoshopped on the February cover of Marie Claire magazine. According to Hawkins, the photo shoot is meant to inspire confidence in women and raise money for an eating disorder support organization. Though her heart may be in the right place, Hawkins’ cover shoot just is diong the opposite of what she intended.
fbomb: The Lovely Bones
I read the book The Lovely Bones a few years after it came out. I was about fourteen and I couldn’t remember having ever read a book where the protagonist reminded me so much of myself, or at least somebody with a voice I could relate to. The protagonist, Susie Salmon, was the same age as I was, but all the other fourteen year olds being portrayed in books that I had read were usually vapid (uh, The Clique books, anyone?). The character of Susie Salmon was smart, compassionate and observant.
Well, it’s Christmas Eve and I’ll be running around all day. But here are some favorite posts from other blogs. Sorry that I’ve just been doing link love lately, but hopefully that will change after my work schedule calms down a little bit and I have some time to focus on posting.
PopMatters: When TV Became Art: What We Owe to Buffy
TV has become art, but that was achieved well before the first episode of The Wire and even before the advent of this decade. TV became art when what should have been the antithesis of art, a teen drama about a cheerleader who against her wishes was forced to become a vampire slayer, redefined what could be done in the context of popular television.
Feministing: Top Ten Wins for Women in 2009
Sometimes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the bad news about women’s issues we hear on a daily basis. From large to small, this past year has definitely seen its share of setbacks and sorrows. But 2009 has also been a year of victories and successes, progress and growth for women and women’s movements internationally.
this ain’t livin’: The Magicians
I’m always excited to read adult books like this, where the author acknowledges and plays with the idea of magic and doesn’t do it in a self conscious or pretentious way. I love the fact that Grossman built on prior worlds to create an entirely new sort of world for us to enjoy; reading The Magicians felt like getting to the end of the garden, opening a gate, and realizing that I had actually only been in a tiny corner of a much larger garden than I ever could have imagined.
Broadsheet: Carrie Bradshaw: Feminist Icon?
Today, the “Sex and the City” protagonist was declared an icon of the decade by noted feminist author Naomi Wolf. And just this past weekend, the make-believe Manhattanite was blamed by Camilla Long of the Times for kicking off a revolution that has made women increasingly unhappy. To recap: As the decade comes to a close, a fictional sex writer is being credited with both improving and ruining things for real, live women.
Welcome to the week leading up to Christmas…aka retail hell. So while I’m spending my days making sure people are happy while shopping for their loved (or not-so-loved) ones, enjoy some posts that I have found intriguing.
FWD/Forward: On Speculation and Boundaries
Brittany Murphy died today.
It took exactly five seconds for the speculation to start up about why she would die of cardiac arrest at the tender age of 32, and not quite double that for the snarky comments to seep out of the woodwork. Because certainly if she had an existing heart condition we all would have known about it, since we have that right to her privacy.
What we have, much like the public consumption we have of celebrities, especially women, is a perceived right to make snap judgments about their lives and their health.
Genderbitch: Prescriptive Feminism is Patriarchy Lite
Well, except for prescriptive feminism. And therein lies the problem. Prescriptive feminism is feminism wherein women try to tell other women what to do. Not only prescribing how to be a feminist but even attempting to deny other women our self determination, agency and will. Sound familiar?
FWD/Forward: Glee: The Halfway Point: Women and Race on Glee
Glee’s core message about women seems to be that they are all manipulative, evil, lying sneaks. The show includes not one but two deceptive pregnancy plots, interspersed with numerous depictions of women as nags, from Quinn pressuring Finn to get a job to pay for the baby to Terri trying to force Will into buying a house they cannot afford. The women of Glee are so troped that they almost seem like caricatures of themselves.
Professor, What If?: What if Santa brings out the fat-haters?
Hope you can ignore all this fat-hatred Santa. Seems like your body size should be the last thing people focus on. But, when you’re fat, doesn’t seem to matter what you do or what kind of person you are, the thing people will focus on and shame you for is fat. Just imagine if you were (an out) female — then you’d likely see a load more fat-hatin and fat-shamin!
FWD/Forward: Guest Post: Future of Portrayals of Disability in Movies? Cameron’s Avatar
My doubts started forming, however, when I looked more closely at two sources: the movie’s dialogue and the movie’s synopsis. I want to start with the synopsis. Through about the film’s box office numbers, I understand that Avatar is quite popular with audiences. This synopsis contains profoundly ableist language in the way it describes the protagonist Jake as “confined to a wheelchair.” I don’t use a wheelchair; nevertheless, I was very offended when I read that. We’ve been trying to eradicate terms like “confined to a wheelchair” for a while now, and to see this demonstration of ignorance on such a large scale, since it is mainstream, is distressing
Now that most tv shows are taking a break until after the holidays, I’m going to have to find something else to write about…which will be hard as I work everyday til Christmas. But we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, check out these awesome posts!
feministhemes.com: SyFy Original Alice
SyFy’s Alice takes it to a new level. Alice is now a young adult teaching karate classes and navigating the dating world. When her new boyfriend Jack gives her a special family ring, she finds herself falling through the looking glass into Wonderland. Here she sets out (with the help of the Hatter) to rescue Jack and escape back to her world. Although Hatter really wants to be Alice’s hero, she often ends up using her karate skills to help them escape and really holds her own throughout the movie. Hatter just wants to save Alice, but Alice is set on saving Jack (a nice twist on the “damsel in distress” trope).
FWD/Forward: Glee: The Halfway Point: The Introduction
One of the most common criticisms leveled against people who critique television is “relax, it’s just a television show.” This is frustrating and curious when it comes to Glee because many people are praising the show for “breaking boundaries” and “drawing attention to social issues.” Fans apparently want to have it both ways; they want to be able to defend the show on the grounds that it’s “just a television show” while patting themselves on the back for watching such a progressive, insightful, inspiring television series.
Hugo Schwyzer: Ten Firsts for Feminism in 2009
For the second straight year, let me offer my own entirely unofficial “ten great firsts for feminism in 2009? list. These come in no particular order, and you’re welcome to add your own in the comments section (or at your own blogs).
Women & Hollywood: The Nancy Meyers Effect
But what Nancy Meyers does better than anyone is make these women relatable to other women, and those women go out and buy tickets to her films. That’s why she gets paid the very big bucks and has final cut of her films. (According to the article she makes $12 million a movie not including movie she makes on the grosses.) Of course I know that I won’t be able to write a play in the throes of a breakup and then have it produced on Broadway…but knowing that didn’t make me like the film (Something’s Gotta Give) any less. I think it made me like the film MORE because Diane Keaton’s character was so competent.
The Observer: It just feels scary…all the time
He’s been voted the best Doctor Who ever, but David Tennant’s rule as the Timelord is coming to an end. So how will he cope with life outside the Tardis? Johnny Davis, who has spent the past year trailing him, talks to Britain’s most popular actor.
Just because I love Doctor Who and David Tennant and I’m excited and sad at the same time to see his last episodes as The Doctor.
Blizzard ’09 is underway! And by blizzard, I just mean continuous snow. It’s not really a blizzard but that’s what I’ve heard on the news. And I don’t care if it’s not a blizzard, the roads are still bad and I have to drive to work soon. Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading in the comments!
The Undomestic Goddess: 9th Feminist Blog Carnival
Hello, all! I’m Amanda, aka the Undomestic Goddess, and I’m your ringmaster for this here 9th carnival of feminists. Thanks to all who submitted, and to Lindsay for her guidance. And now, grab yer popcorn and step right up – the carnival has begun!
Small Strokes: On Body Image: How Confidence Affects Body Image
I never thought that something like this affected my body image, but now that I’ve been thinking about it pretty much constantly since my original post a few weeks ago, I realized that it had more of an effect than I thought. Since the issues with my thesis came to my attention, I came home every day and put on my pajamas and crawled under the covers, not wanting to be seen by anyone. I didn’t want to blog or tweet or answer my phone. I went to work in bulky sweaters, and there was no way Tim was getting me out of the apartment this weekend. I just didn’t want to see anyone. I didn’t feel worthy of seeing anyone.
Womanist Musings: Feminism is not a dirty word but it is exclusionary
The issue with feminism is that by locating gender as the singular site of oppression in the lives of women, it ignores the ways in which class, sexuality, disability and race also form the basis of marginalization.
FWD/Forward: Needs Are Not Special
“Special needs” is one of those phrases that just kind of irks me.
I see it most commonly used in reference to children or developmentally disabled adults; the implication in both cases is that the “special needs” individual can’t function without someone else’s help. That this person is totally dependent. And it carries, to my ears, a subtle note of disability-as-tragedy and hardship. Because, of course, if someone is “special needs” that means that someone else must need to meet those “special needs,” right? And that person must be sacrificing so much to get those “special needs” met.
Women & Hollywood: Women, Hollywood and Money
Women are second class citizens in Hollywood and the best way to illustrate it is to look at the money — how it’s earned and how it’s distributed.