January 5, 2014
- 2013: The Year of Female Friendship. Jenna Wortham’s ode to the last twelve months focuses on her love for her female friends. “Falling head over heels in love with women was a habit I thought I’d thoroughly grown out of in middle school… But rediscovering a special kind of female magic that is thick and all-encompassing, supportive and blunt in its realness that eventually gives way to a connection that goes beyond brunch once a month or obligatory catch-up drinks after work. This was real-deal friendship.”
- In the lead up to a talk on the subject of feminist art held this Thursday at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Hazlitt magazine asked why women artists remain on the fringes of the art world. “In 1989, the Guerilla Girls asked: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” On the cusp of 2014, the question still stands—what will it take to move women from subject to creator? During the last few months of 2013 alone, New York City’s prestige museums focused their big exhibitions almost exclusively on male artists.”
- Bitch Magazine’s top-ten feminist music discoveries of 2013.
- Melinda Chateauvert argues that sex positive feminism elides the material conditions of sex work. “Whorephobia remains pervasive in the social psyche, showing its ugliness even in sex-positive communities. The positive emphasis on sex work confuses ‘straights’ into thinking that sex work is about sex, not work.”
- Jia Tolentino was invited to eighteen weddings last year. Her articulation of the tension between marriage and feminism makes for a compelling read. “I understand easily why a man would want a wife; it’s harder to for me to grasp why a woman would want to be one. The language and semiotics of marriage are terrible: we’re still proposed to, our cervical fealty insured by a ring, our fathers give us away to our fuck buddies, we erase and replace our own names. The preferred aesthetic for “bride” is still very close to that of “princess,” a role so passive and empty that there’s not even anything there to subvert.”
- Legislators in the UK are considering changing inheritance laws to allow noble fathers to pass their titles onto their daughters. The new bill is popularly known as the Downton Law.
- The Guardian profiles Brooklyn-based comedian Adrienne Truscott. “The show, Asking for It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy, won her the Foster’s comedy award at the Edinburgh festival this year and dropped a lot of jaws. Truscott, whose background is in cabaret, walks on stage in heels, bra, denim jacket, platinum blonde wig and nothing else… Truscott’s nudity is not designed to be alluring. In fact, it is incredibly aggressive, a subversion of how women are conditioned to perceive and use their own bodies.”
- Badass Marxist Feminism (BAMF) extends its ongoing analysis of “the rise of the surveillance state” to the Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black. The show “addresses this new surveillance of women by examining it within the closed world of prison life, thereby revealing to a wide audience some troubling aspects of surveillance state capitalist patriarchy.”
- Last week President Obama committed to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), “which expands efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthens protections for victims.”
- Mary Mann reflects on the Lulu Lemon murder of 2011. Did the retailer’s culture of “greatness” spawn this brutal act? “In that moment, it seemed inevitable. As educators, we were pressed to be our best selves, treat life like a party, and never give up on greatness. If you were unhappy, angry, paranoid, just tell a different story. The idea that you could shape reality to look however you wanted suddenly seemed dangerous, easily abused, especially among my Type A co-workers, who exercised and worked and exercised and worked and ate so little that it was not really a surprise that someone, eventually, snapped.”
- Major government-sponsored oil sands initiatives will encounter a First Nations “legal onslaught” in 2014. “A total of 17 First Nations from around Alberta are trying to get legislation on access to public lands tossed out in a long-running case expected to go to trial this year.”
- The most recent episode of Talking Radical Radio features Audrey Huntley of the No More Silence network and Krysta Williams of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network discussing modes of organizing against the violence experienced by indigenous women.
- “Since 1994, thousands of fans of Bikram Choudhury—whose eponymous brand of heated yoga gained devotees including George Clooney, Lady Gaga, and Jeff Bridges—have flocked to his teacher-training program. Some women in his orbit now say that Choudhury sexually harassed and even sexually assaulted them, and five are suing him.” Vanity Fair explores the misogyny of Bikram culture.