Saturday, April 19, 2014

Theme: Women

  • For many the term postfeminist might call to mind the vanilla pleasures of metrosexuality, webcams, online soaps, and blog culture, but, for me, a 40-something cyberfeminist scholar, curator and some time activist, the politically-minded feminist texts I work with are in fact dyed-in-the-wool postfeminist ones that occupy a different place on the postfeminism continuum from those more loudly-lauded, lighter confections.Read more
  • On the morning of November 14, 1889, John Brisben Walker, the wealthy publisher of the monthly magazine The Cosmopolitan, boarded a New Jersey ferry bound for New York City. Like many other New Yorkers, he was carrying a copy of The World, the most widely read and influential newspaper of its time. A front-page story announced that Nellie Bly, The World’s star investigative reporter, was about to undertake the most sensational adventure of her career: an attempt to go around the world faster than anyone ever had before.Read more
  • It's a truth universally acknowledged, and confirmed by VIDA, that, though women read more books than men, and female authors are published in comparable numbers, they are more easily overlooked: a smaller presence in literary journals both as reviewers, and the reviewed, they also account for fewer literary translations.Read more
  • Nineteenth century New York City lawyer and diarist George Templeton Strong was a man of intensely felt opinion. Charitable, and on some issues progressive, he nevertheless could not abide the idea of women entering his beloved profession of law. He heartily approved when, in the late 1860s, his alma mater, Columbia College (today New York City’s Columbia University) refused to admit women law applicants. But a small group of women dared to imagine themselves lawyers and defeated the George Templeton Strongs of the legal profession.Read more
  • A clip from AMC's Mad Men, showing the power of the female gaze.Read more
  • I am not the first person to notice that Lean In does not propose any concrete changes to corporate or public policy in order to accommodate women in top jobs, with a single exception. When she was at Google, Sandberg had trouble finding a parking place at the company headquarters one day. Heavily pregnant, nauseous, she barely made it to her meeting. The next day “I marched in—or more like waddled in—to see Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in their office.” Finding Sergey “in a yoga position in the corner,” she announced that the company needed pregnancy parking, “preferably sooner rather than later.” He agreed immediately.Read more
  • Although her novels were well-received and regularly published from 1950 to 1963, and although she continued to produce high-quality work at a steady pace between 1963 and 1977, Pym was devastated by her inability to publish at all throughout the latter period. Her friends, family, and former publisher assured her that her work was rejected during this period not because its quality had declined, but because its subject matter was out of step with the times—the world of her novels was insulated from the sex, drugs, and social revolution then capturing the public’s imagination. Read more
  • While straitened budgets and shrinking resources present difficulties for all of us within the university system, some of the most vulnerable people affected are graduate students. Occupying a liminal space as apprentices within the profession, students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs often find themselves facing a situation in which opportunities for professional development have become occasions for exploitation.Read more
  • If an essay on Criticism were a serious matter; for, though this age be emphatically critical, the writer would still find it necessary to investigate the laws of criticism as a science, to settle its conditions as an art. Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions. Read more
  • Femen’s April 4 protests in response to death threats against Tunisian nude blogger Amina Tyler have prompted much debate. How do we reconcile the need to defend free expression with the ambiguities of using nude women to market feminism?Read more
  • Any identity, even a Latina identity, can be very limiting. When I speak on panels with other women, you wouldn’t believe how much slut-shaming there is, which is why this work is so important to me. I think it’s ignorance and a lack of understanding. Read more
  • The apocryphal story of Phyllis and Aristotle is captivating for a number of reasons. For one thing, it recalls for us a period in the history of culture in which philosophy, and philosophers, were implicated not just in elite disputation, but also in popular lore and moral instruction. The tale of Phyllis and Aristotle is an exemplum, that is, a stock lesson telling you — and here, 'you' is not a subtle follower of philosophical arguments, but a simple fellow influenced by memorable stories accompanied by vivid images — what you ought not to do.Read more
  • Last week I emailed Laurie Penny's article "Steubenville: This is rape culture's Abu Ghraib moment" to my mother. We talked about it. She called it "sexual fascism." She always has the right words. I asked her how it is possible to raise human beings who are capable of things like this. I use the word "human" loosely here. Human, first and foremost, may not even be the point, as evidenced by the media’s and the public’s response to the rape.Read more
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