Feminism


I know how I should feel about Meredith Vieira’s sexual harrassment of a young, strapping Navy pilot who showed up on that-show-I-did-not know-still-existed, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  I should feel unamused.  Dour.  Embarrassed.  Wet willies came up.  Eeeewwww. 

Instead, I thought it was kind of hilarious.  Vieira may be horny as she admits, but she ain’t old, and Max Shuman (which I originally heard as Nat Sherman, with my cigarette brain, which was doubly-exciting!) handles the attention with aplomb and playful modesty.  My reaction was more along the lines of, “Getchusome, Vieira!  And then pass me a piece of that action.”

Yeah, yeah, if the sexes were reversed, it would be unbelievably icky.  But I can’t get riled up about it, because Mr. Shuman seemed quite capable of taking care of himself and, honestly, I do enjoy a little reverse exploitation in good humor.  Feel free to disagree, or share your own appreciation for Max or Meredith (looking fine herself) in comments.

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boy car

Hi, there!  My name is Tailfeather, and if you were wondering how not to pick me up, I have some handy tips for you!  Sometimes making kissy-face at me while I try to fill up my car with gas isn’t enough; sometimes it’s not sufficient to insult my accent and then try to grab my ass ten minutes later at a bar.  Sometimes, you really need to pull out all the stops in order to really, really not pick me up.  If you have no interest in intimacy, conversation, or sexual relations with me, here are some ways to go about it!:

1)  You can successfully not pick me up at 3:45 am on a night bus when I am going home from a club.  While it is creepy enough to slide into the seat next to me on a nearly deserted bus, it is even creepier to try to engage me in conversation when I am actively wrapping my arms around my purse (and my personhood!) and actually feigning unconsciousness.  This is a legitimate sign that I am unreceptive and will not be proposing that you accompany me home for intercourse.  Well done, especially if I have to feign waking up so that I can go stand beside the bus driver with my keys in my fist and a mobile phone in the other hand, in case you try to follow me.  You have done very well in not picking me up. (more…)

boy-toys-girl-toysOkay, not the whole country, but the Swedes continue to kick the rest of the world’s ass in terms of making gender equality a central issue.  On the extreme edge of a wholly worthwhile effort comes news of a young Swedish couple who have raised their child, “Pop”, gender-free, refusing to reveal the sex of the two-and-a-half-year-old.  Pop is allowed to wear dresses or pants, play with whatever toys Pop chooses, and is not referred to by either masculine or feminine pronouns.  As AOL reports:

Back in March, the parents gave an interview to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, saying they decided not to reveal their child’s sex because they believe gender is a social construction.
 
“We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mold from the outset,” said the child’s mother, “Nora.” (The paper used fake names for the entire family to protect their privacy.)
 
“It’s cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead,” the mother said.

 

 Predictably, a lot of people think this is a terrible idea and potentially long-term damaging to the child.  I’m not so sure.  First off, Pop’s well-meaning parents say that Pop’s sex will be revealed when Pop decides that it is time, and seem to accept that this will likely be at school-age when social pressures dictate.  They’re not enforcing a gender-free lifestyle on a kid going through puberty. (more…)

Jennifer Culp is a metal artist who creates striking and wearable art, with a strong focus on sexual health (so yeah, we’re big fans).  Here, Jennifer shows us some of her innovative stuff and answers questions about her work.

 Winky

(more…)

Feeling a little nauseated?  Maybe you ate a bad burrito, or that 8th Jack-and-Coke isn’t sitting in your stomach so well (you drunken whore).  Looking for something to tickle your gag reflex?  Then enjoy the trailer for the soaring epic “Come What May,” a story of one white boy’s brave battle to overturn Roe v. Wade, coming straight-to-DVD near you!:

If the trailer failed to spell out THE REAL ISSUES for you, here’s a plot summary from the film’s website: (more…)

steinem

In honor of ButtercupPunch’s one year anniversary, Ms. Gloria Steinem chose to turn 75 as a show of feminist solidarity.  To crib liberally (pun! Okay, by “liberally” I meant “entirely”) from Wednesday’s Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the birthday of Gloria Steinem, born in Toledo, Ohio (1934). Her father was an antique dealer and a summer resort operator who traveled all over the country in a trailer, looking for new business ventures. Steinem said, “He was always going to make a movie, or cut a record, or start a new hotel, or come up with a new orange drink.” She traveled around the country, never attending school, until her parents separated, and she moved in with her mother.

But her mother’s mental health began to break down, and Steinem had to take over all the cooking and cleaning and shopping. She said that her mother was “an invalid who lay in bed with eyes closed and lips moving in occasional response to voices only she could hear; a woman to whom I brought an endless stream of toast and coffee, bologna sandwiches and dime pies.” Young Gloria became obsessed with Shirley Temple movies, hoping to be rescued miraculously from poverty, just like the little girl on the screen.

She managed to get into Smith College because she scored so well on her entrance examinations. After college, she went to work as a journalist. She wrote celebrity journalism for a while, but she became more interested in feminism after she wrote an article about the prevalence of illegal abortions, and all her male colleagues tried to persuade her not to publish it. She was a founder of Ms. magazine, whose first issue came out in January 1972.

Gloria Steinem said, “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

ru486Anna Quindlen’s Newsweek column of February 7, 2009 addresses the “French abortion pill” RU-486 in America (which was approved for use in 2000) and what access to this drug might mean to the women who turn to it.  Essentially, she says that as the political battle over reproductive rights are so publicly waged, RU-486 allows women to take their choice home with them in what is rightly a private affair.

The pill works by interfering with the body’s production of progesterone, which builds up uterine lining for pregnancy and is usable for women up to seven weeks pregnant.  The first pill is administered in a doctor’s office, and the second (misoprostol) is taken at home a day or so later and induces uterine contractions.  Quindlen reports that half of the women eligible for medical abortion choose this method over surgical abortion at Planned Parenthood, and family practitioners and gynocologists may prescribe RU-486 when able rather than sending their patients elsewhere.

Quindlen writes (emphasis mine):

RU-486 flies in the face of anti-abortion orthodoxies, and not simply because some physicians who have never dreamed of performing a surgical abortion have no qualms about making the medication available. It counters the irresponsibility myth, which suggests that women who end pregnancies are thoughtless, feckless, and have not bothered with birth control or matrimony, despite the fact that many women who have abortions are married and were using contraception that failed. RU-486, which now accounts for 14 percent of all abortions nationwide, demands a high degree of responsibility. A woman has to ascertain early that she is pregnant and then take charge of the process herself, choosing to deal at home with the results. With every new political power shift the abortion issue arises again, with talk of a search for common ground and the future of Roe v. Wade. But change in party or philosophy cannot change this undeniable fact: women who do not want to be pregnant will try to end their pregnancies. They will do it because they don’t have enough money, or enough support, or they think they are too young or too overwhelmed by circumstance. They always have, and they always will. Rat poison, Lysol, ergot, bleach—oh, the historical list of desperate measures is long. Over the years some have died, leaving motherless children behind. (more…)

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