Photographer Hannah Price lives in Philadelphia where she takes photos of men who catcall her in public places. Her work is thoughtful and noticeably un-angry:
... she says she doesn't know how the project will affect the behavior of the men depicted: "I don't think it makes them re-think catcalling. 'Cause I'm just one person and we're all different people and we come from different places. I don't know in their experiences if they've had any luck with their catcalls. They probably have, depending on the person, so I don't think my one instance ... makes them re-think about what they're saying."
Price's process went like this: Someone—a man—would catcall her, and she would either snap their photo at that instant or she would ask to make their portrait.
Price says that taking photographs of the catcallers was a way to address and confront the people who catcalled her. "I'm in the photograph, but I'm not. Just turning the photograph on them kind of gives them a feel of what it's like to be in a vulnerable position—it's just a different dynamic," Price says. "But it's just another way of dealing with the experience, of trying to understand it."
The series also tracks with themes common in Price's work. The photographer, who is Mexican and black, gravitates toward photographing subjects whose ethnic identities overlap with hers.
The internet is a dumping ground for strong emotions and reactions—I'm most often compelled to blog about misogyny when I read or experience something that causes steam to shoot out my ears, and I'm certain that others are, too. What I like about Price's interview, and her work, is that the topic is familiar and uncomfortable (most women can recall their own experiences and emotions with being catcalled by looking at the portraits) but Price holds back on the details that might inform our stronger reactions to her work.
We only know that each photograph is the result of unwanted attention from a stranger. We don't know if that stranger said something overt like "I'd like to fuck you," or something subtler, like "Where are you going and can I offer you a ride?" In fact, we don't even know if the unwanted attention manifested in words, whistles, or gestures. Her experiences, and the resulting portraits, rest in a gray area that makes me to think about my everyday interactions with strangers—the guy who complimented my dog and then asked where I lived, the guy who said he liked my tights, the guy who said, "I like what you're wearing—I'd like to be wearing you," which was creepy and hilarious and somehow didn't manage to offend me.
In other words, it provokes me to think about nuance—the mundane borders of an inflammatory topic, and where those borders lie in my own brain. I like it.
A Texas A&M student says she was lectured by her doctor for having a hickey and asking for birth control. >:(
Now, thanks to the implementation of the state's new anti-abortion laws, her only recourse is to drive hours out of her way to acquire birth control and non-shamey healthcare:
Athena Mason’s first doctor’s visit as a student at Texas A&M was a bit awkward. She had gone in for a basic checkup, but the physician noticed something else.
“I had a hickey and the doctor was just like, you shouldn’t be doing that," Mason said. "I’m like, 'it’s a hickey, it’s nothing major.' But I got a big lecture, [he said] my boyfriend was abusive and all of these things. And then I asked for birth control. I did not hear the end of that. So I said never mind, I’ll go someplace else.”
That experience led her to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan. But on August 1, that clinic closed. Mason now drives three hours to her hometown of Fort Worth to see a doctor. She knows she’s lucky to have that option.
Go read the whole article, which includes this awful gem:
Anti-abortion groups argue there are still plenty of doctors and clinics available to help women find a new provider. The group called Pro-Life Aggies ran a full page ad in the Texas A&M newspaper offering alternatives to the closed Planned Parenthood clinic. But many weren’t taking new patients. Or they didn’t deal with women’s health at all.
“There’s a long list of providers here in town," said [Bryan resident Cadence] King. "They consist of podiatrists and optometrists. And my eyes and my feet are fine.”
Word of this came through at the last minute, but if you're sitting at a desk wishing you were working for yourself instead of someone else, or if you just wish you were working period, you may want to alter your happy hour plans. The Oregon Entrepreneur’s Network is hosting a panel discussion from 5:15-7 at Backspace this evening, specifically by and for female entrepreneurs. (Fun fact: Portland was rated the fifth best city in the nation for women entrepreneurs by the financial company with the cutest name, NerdWallet.)
They've got Ivo Lukas from the PR firm 24Notion; Jennifer Ferguson, who started the Handful sports bra company; and Pacific Light Technologies' Juanita Kurtin, with Chez Marie food company/Castor & Pollux pet company's Shelley Gunton moderating. It could be just the ticket if you're pondering your next career move, and besides Backspace has your wine and vittles, too.
Or, just watch the cute product video for Handful bras:
It reads like an Onion story: Successful male entrepreneur raises $6.5 million in venture capital to start a feminist website which, he says, he plans to "make a fortune" off of.
Sadly, it's not a joke.
Yesterday Bryan Goldberg, founder of Bleacher Report, announced that he has launched a new website called Bustle, which is going to do what "Jezebel, Refinery29, and PopSugar" do, but with a profit. He says he "aims to completely transform women's publishing" and has hired "talented women with experience at Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Daily Beast, and Seventeen" to lead the editorial team.
He says, "Are there many great women's websites out there? Absolutely. Are many of them attracting huge audiences and mainstream advertisers? No."
Is that what's been missing? Pop-up Tampax ads with dancing ladies in colorful dresses? Finally! A man has come to rescue the feeble feminist blogging industry with his cutting-edge concepts!
Don't worry, he's not going to be a voice on Bustle—he's leaving that to the women. Goldberg says:
My job, as CEO, is to hire the right people. My job is to know a lot of engineers, editors, venture capitalists, and salespeople — and to bring them together. Knowing the difference between mascara, concealer, and eye-liner is not my job.
Oh for fuck's sake, dude. Seriously? Do you want us to hate you? Saying shit like that will really make us hate you. To make him even less likable, Goldberg has also gotten a kick out of working in a female-dominated environment. He's taken to Twitter to express just how kooky these adult "girls" can be:
A Republican Super PAC prominently features a game on their website that allows users to slap former secretary of state and possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton across the face. The game is being hosted on the website for The Hillary Project, an anti-Clinton Super PAC that lists its address in Nashua, New Hampshire, according to FEC filings, and has Christopher M. Marston, a Republican campaign finance consultant and former member of the Bush administration, as its treasurer.
What's a little violence against women between friends? Har har har. You feminazis just don't know a good joke when you see it. Etc.
Looks like Time Warner is preparing their next big superhero for a TV series and an upcoming movie franchise. And it's...The Flash?
I really like The Flash. I think he's a character whose powers are well-suited to the comics medium, and he's had some great talent on his book over the last seven decades. But come on. Come on, people. The next choice for a superhero movie should be obvious: Wonder Woman. She already had a successful TV series. She's the most high-visibility superhero to not have a movie in the works. There's presumably a Justice League movie on the horizon. Why wouldn't Time Warner be putting her on the fast-track? Is it because the conventional wisdom dictates that female-led superhero movies don't succeed? The three superhero movies that I can think of off the top of my head that starred women didn't fail because they starred women. They failed because everything about the movies were terrible, from top to bottom. If you put top-notch writers, directors, and stars on a Wonder Woman movie, you'll make money. I assume that Time Warner wants to make money. So what's the problem?
We've all seen this adorable ad for HelloFlo, a new company that delivers tampons, pads, and candy every month.
But don't be dazzled by the tiny Camp Gyno: Local company Glad Rags has been hawking cloth pads and menstrual cups for 20 years, and tonight they celebrate two decades in the menstruation biz with a party at Holocene, promising music from The Suicide Notes and DJ Breakmode, swag bags for the first 50 guests, a photo booth, and cupcakes. (Of course there are cupcakes.) Tickets are $3 at the door; proceeds go to benefit Bitch Media.
Related: Any other couples have an emoji safe-word that means "honey, I think you're pre-menstrual"? Ours is this one:
I don't want this story to get lost in the crush of other (and more important) stories that broke this weekend: Erick Erickson—founder of RedState.com, paid talking head on CNN, huge fucking asshole—posted this to his Twitter feed early Saturday morning. The link goes to a page where you can order coat hangers. Because women are going to need coat hangers now, you see, since safe and legal abortions are going to be much harder to get in Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio—basically anywhere the GOP is in charge. (And birth control too; they're also making that harder to get.)
I argued on the "Savage Lovecast" last week that anti-choice Republican governors, legislators, activists and fucksticks like Erickson want women who are seeking abortions to die. It's win-win for anti-choicers, just like LGBT youth suicide is a win-win for anti-gay rightwing Christian bigots. The Family Research Council points to LGBT youth suicide rates to "prove" that the "gay lifestyle" is dangerous and unhealthy while doing all it can to drive up LGBT youth suicide rates (encouraging parents to reject their gay kids, pushing "reparative therapy" programs, opposing GSAs, etc.). Likewise, anti-choice governors, legislators, and activists are pushing through laws in GOP-dominated states that make legal and safe abortions harder to get and when women inevitably die as the result of illegal and unsafe abortions—some performed with coat hangers—anti-choice pols and activists will point to those deaths to justify the anti-choice legislation that lead to those deaths. They'll demand more restrictions. They'll argue that these deaths prove that abortion must be banned.
Just like every dead gay kid is a win for the Family Research Council, every dead woman is a victory for Rick Perry and John Kasich and Scott Walker.
It's rare to see an anti-choice asshole basically admit that he's looking forward to women dying. So I'd like to thank Erickson for owning his homicidal misogyny so proudly and for proving my point with a single tweet.
Today is the cutoff for the Texas legislature's special session. It's also the final day of the session to pass a bill, which was jammed through by the Texas senate's large conservative majority, to severely restrict abortion rights. The bill would restrict all abortions after 20 weeks and place burdens that would effectively shut down most abortion clinics in the state. The senate will pass the by midnight. That is, unless Senator Wendy Davis can stop them with a nonstop, 13-hour filibuster.
On live stream, here she goes:
The Texas Tribune has a live blog.
GO, WENDY, GO!
This is big news, from the New York Times:
The Obama administration has decided to stop trying to block over-the-counter availability of the most popular morning-after contraceptive pill for all women and girls, a move fraught with political repercussions for President Obama.
The reversal by the government means that anyone, no matter how young, will soon be able to walk into a drugstore and buy the pill, Plan B One-Step, without a prescription.
The Justice Department had been fighting to prevent that outcome, but said late Monday afternoon that it would drop its appeal of a judge’s order to make the drug more widely available.
For fuck's sake, THANK YOU. Apparently Obama gave up the fight because "the Justice Department appears to have concluded that it might lose its case with the appeals court," the article says.
Maybe Obama was just calculating his chances—but whatever the bullshit politics coming from the right, he knows that over-the-counter access to Plan B is not about high-fiving sluts, kissing Jesus good-bye, and opening a new era of free love. It's about offering women and girls a little more control over their biology, which can seem like it's lying in wait to destroy your health/career/savings account/life goals.
This decision is one more step toward a world where your womb isn't such a liability—financially, emotionally, physically—that can alter the course of your life at any moment. It offers rape victims more security that they won't have to carry their rapist's child. This walking-around-with-a-womb thing shouldn't be such a factor in how much money you make, if you can keep your job, where your life takes you. But it is, it fucking is, and it's scary.
Twitter is very excited right now about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly calling Lou Dobbs and Erick Erickson on their bullshit anti-women views. Business Insider was the first to get the clip online, and it's really satisfying.
This is where the Republican Party is now: Megyn Kelly is their voice of reason.
Red State blogger Erick Erickson said what every conservative politician is secretly thinking on Fox News last night.
[Erickson said] female breadwinners are antithetical to biology:
“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”
He continued on to lament that “We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complementary relationships in nuclear families, and it is tearing us apart.”
He concluded: “Having mom as primary bread winner is bad for kids and bad for marriage.”
Somebody go tell this fuckwit that "liberals" don't just fearfully worship science the way he fearfully worships his conservative Christian God. First of all, and most importantly, his oversimplified perception of the male-female dynamic in nature is painfully wrong. Secondly, if Erickson suddenly believes in being "true" to science just because he thinks that science agrees with him, his emulation of the animal kingdom—non-monogamous sex, violence, truly disturbing bathroom habits—is going to get ugly very quick. I could spend all day on this—I've written and deleted whole paragraphs—but it's ultimately so stupid that it doesn't deserve a response. Go watch the full video at Mediaite.
The men behind Star Trek Into Darkness have thrown us ladies and boner-loving dudes a bone and released a deleted shower scene featuring a sinewy Benedict Cumberbatch in response to the completely justified criticism they've been getting over Alice Eve's gratuitous underwear scene.
Here's a screenshot of Cumberbatch showering (you can find the full clip over here):
Thanks for the pecs, but sexism doesn't work that way. Nakedness doesn't simply cancel out nakedness, and we have no context for the above shot, so we don't know where it fit into the film or why. But what any reasonable viewer who's seen Star Trek Into Darkness does know is that Eve's underwear scene doesn't make sense, even knowing its context. It was gratuitous hot naked lady flesh, pure and simple.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP.
It's amazing how all the GOP outreach to women...
...can be undone by one Republican representative at a just-us-boys congressional hearing on abortion.
ThinkProgress.org grimly illustrates what happens when state and local municipalities lose revenue and have to slash vital services, like law enforcement, primarily at the expense of vulnerable populations, like women and children.
Last August, a woman in Josephine County called 911 and pleaded with dispatchers to send police—“my ex-boyfriend is trying to break into my house. I’m not letting him in but he’s like, tried to break down the door and he’s tried to break into one of the windows.” The woman had good reason to be afraid of this man, as she told the dispatcher on the other side of the phone, this same abusive ex had put her in the hospital just a few weeks before. But the dispatcher has no one to send. Because the local sheriff’s department recently lost millions in federal funds, it laid off 23 of its 29 deputies and limited their availability to eight hours on Mondays through Fridays. The woman’s call to 911 took place on a Saturday.
With no deputies available, the 911 dispatcher transferred the woman to the state police—but they would not come rescue the woman either. In the words of the state police dispatcher, “I don’t have anybody to send out there. You know, obviously, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away? Do you know if he’s intoxicated or anything?”
The woman's ex-boyfriend later plead guilty to kidnapping, assault, and sex abuse.
Josephine County, the county where this woman lives, is overwhelmingly conservative; its voters have twice rejected property tax levies to fund more law enforcement (the most recent vote was held yesterday). ThinkProgress notes that after the first round of cuts, law enforcement sent out a press release encouraging victims of domestic violence to move, noting that they would no longer be safe in Josephine County. But what's one woman being raped by her ex-boyfriend if it saves homeowners a few bucks every year, right?
Sometimes—not every time, mind you, but sometimes—the best way to demonstrate how a piece of art is sexist is by employing an equal amount of sexism in the other direction. The story of Bro-sie the Riveter is an example of a time when that tactic worked perfectly.
Which is why it's only fair to post this wonderful video of Beth Ditto, offering advice via the website Rookie, an online publication for teen girls. This is part of their "Ask a Grown Woman" advice series, kind of like Amy Poehler's "Ask Amy" video series, in which grownup ladies answer questions from the site's young readers.
In this lengthy and thoughtful video (
sorry, I don't know how to adjust the aspect ratio fixed!), Ditto answers questions like "Why do people ruin good things?"—in particular, a young girl's questions about coming out to her parents. What Ditto has to say is beautiful, and well worth a listen.
Holy shit, this is great news, via Reuters:
A federal judge in New York on Friday declined to temporarily halt a court order directing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraception available over the counter to girls of all ages.
... [U.S. District Judge Edward] Korman ordered the FDA on April 5 to lift age and point-of-access restrictions on all levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after" pill or "Plan B," to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The FDA has appealed that ruling.
"In my view, the defendants' appeal is frivolous and taken for the purposes of delay," Korman wrote in Friday's decision.
In less great news, Judge Korman gave the FDA until May 13 to ask a federal appeals court to stay the order, which prolongs this fight into next week.
But! In terms of satisfying public humiliation, Judge Korman declared in his Memorandum and Order that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius decision to block young women's access to the time-sensitive drug was "politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent" and "so unpersuasive as to call into question her good faith."
The Order also calls the Obama administration's argument "largely an insult to the intelligence of women."
Man oh man, I'm going to be basking in the glow of Judge Korman's scathing words all day.
This bit of horror arrives courtesy of Wired.com:
An Air Force brochure on sexual assault advises potential victims not to fight off their attackers.
“It may be advisable to submit [rather] than resist,” reads the brochure (.pdf), issued to airmen at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, where nearly 10,000 military and civilian personnel are assigned. “You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon.”
The brochure, acquired by Danger Room, issues a series of guidances on “risk reduction” for sexual assault. Among others, it advises people under sexual attack in parking lots to “consider rolling underneath a nearby auto and scream loud. It is difficult to force anyone out from under a car.” A public affairs officer at Shaw, Sgt. Alexandria Mosness, says she believes the brochure is current.
While the brochure also explains that sexual assault is not always committed by people who “don’t look like a rapist”—attackers “tend to have hyper-masculine attitudes,” it advises—it does not offer instruction to servicemembers on not committing sexual assault. Prevention is treated as the responsibility of potential victims.
“Rapists look for vulnerability and then exploit it in those who: are young (naive); are new to the base, deployment, area, etc.; are emotionally unstable,” the brochure (.pdf) continues.
The quoted brochure is from SC's Shaw Air Force Base, one of the largest Air Force bases in the US, a base that includes its own self-contained town supporting around 16,500 military personnel and their families. (By contrast, the closest town, Sumter, has a population of roughly 40,500.)
So it's important to remember that in the scenarios outlined in this rape-prevention brochure, the rapists that are attacking servicewomen are likely servicemen. Yet these servicemen aren't given helpful tips or training on how to avoid physically and sexually assaulting their peers.
This brochure suggests that the Air Force—these servicewomen's bosses—still don't see rape as a man's issue. It's a woman's issue, one as natural and inevitable as your monthly menses, one women should just accept unless they're dykes or drama queens or some other troublesome kind of women who rolls under cars to avoid being raped by their peers.
Hey, look, Mom: It's institutions, clubs, positions, and honors of all kinds that just happen to entirely exclude women, and a hell of a lot of them, like:
• All incarnations of the Dalai Lama, ever.
• Every annual award given by the National Sportscaster and Sportswriters Association, ever, along with the entire board.
• Everyone to ever hold “the most famous academic chair in the world.”
• Every person on U.S. banknotes ever.
• All of the Master Chefs of France and the board of the American Culinary Federation...
Henry Decker at National Memo describes President Obama's address to Planned Parenthood from earlier today:
Obama, who made history by becoming the first sitting U.S. president ever to address the group, offered a spirited defense of Planned Parenthood’s mission. Noting that one in five American women has turned to Planned Parenthood for health care services ranging from contraception to cancer screenings, Obama said “when politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they’re not just talking about you, but they’re talking about the millions of women who they serve.”
“There’s nothing conservative about the government injecting itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor” Obama noted, in a shot at Planned Parenthood’s Republican critics.
Here's video of the speech:
A 28-year-old sailor enjoying a day-long shore leave in Dubai reportedly became the target of an attempted sexual assault when she got on a bus to get back to the port. Instead, the driver parked the bus in a lot, allegedly pulled out a knife, and reportedly tried to rape her. Here's what happened next, according to The National:
The woman, an off-duty US navy sailor, knocked the knife from his grasp, broke it in two, bit his hand, wrestled him to the ground and put him in a stranglehold between her thighs.
Having beaten him into submission, she left the bus and reported the incident to her commander.
Bravo, thigh master. Bravo.
But this Dove ad—in which an FBI sketch artist draws women first the way they describe themselves, and then the way a stranger describes them—plays to female insecurities in a fucking masterful way. "These women are prettier than they think they are, so maybe I am, too." 'Course, if they'd picked some less conventionally attractive women it would be a much more powerful message... but then they probably wouldn't sell as many soaps.
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Senate on Friday approved banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, sending what would be the most stringent abortion restrictions in the U.S. to the state’s Republican governor for his signature.
The measure would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The House already approved the measure. Gov. Jack Dalrymple generally opposes abortion but has not said whether he will sign the bill into law.
To put things in perspective:
If North Dakota Governor Dalrymple signs this bill into law, it'll basically ban abortion in North Dakota.
In case you missed this story over the weekend like I did, here's your morning dose of awesome parenting:
When Mike Mika saw the disappointment on his daughter's face when she realized Pauline wasn't a playable character in Donkey Kong, he felt a call to action. Thankfully Mika happens to be a competent developer, and after a few late-night hours spent hacking the NES version of Nintendo's classic, he accomplished the role reversal his daughter had wished for. Mario was now under Donkey Kong's control, and Pauline was tasked with rescuing the plumber in distress.
(WARNING: As is usually the case, if you want to continue feeling good about humanity, you shouldn't read the comments on The Verge post, as it has been hijacked by dipshit "men's rights" morons making dumbass false equivalency comments about replacing Lara Croft with Larry Croft for the sake of fairness and so on.)
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