January 31, 2006
Sexual Harassment - Not A Zero-Sum Game
The always thoughtful and articulate Hugo Schwyzer has a great post below regarding the arguement that women sexually harass men as much as men sexually harass women, so resources should be gender-neutral. This discussion started with a news report on CNN concerning a study that could be misinterpreted and lead one to believe the above arguement. Hugo posted a response to this report and received a ton of comments from Men's Rights Advocates. This is his response to them:
via Hugo Schwyzer - Not A Zero-Sum Game
January 30, 2006
Sexism in Language
The Language Guy has a very interesting two-part post on the ways that lanuage reinforces sexism and is possibly a root-cause. This is more than the usual "fireman/fireperson" issue (though he does refer to this, too).
January 27, 2006
Parts of the "blogoshpere" are alive with discussion about the Newsweek article and the widening education gender gap. The post from this blog - Majikthise - looks at the difference in proposed responses from the time the gender gap favored boys to, now, that it favors girls.
via Majikthise - Gender Gap
January 26, 2006
World Cup, Prostitution in Germany - An On-line Petition
There is an on-line petition to protest the importation of women to "sexually service" football fans at the World Cup this year. The petition is sponsored by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
BUYING SEX IS NOT A SPORT
SAY NO TO GERMANYâ€™S PROSTITUTION OF WOMEN DURING THE WORLD CUP GAMES IN 2006
From June 9 - July 9, 2006, 12 German cities will host the World Cup Games. Approximately 3 million football fans â€“ mostly men â€“ will attend. It is estimated that 40,000 women will be "imported" from Central and Eastern Europe into Germany to "sexually service" the men.
Germany legalized pimping and the sex industry in 2002. However, it is predicted that the legal red light districts will be too small for the thousands of sport/sex tourists in attendance. In preparation for this influx, the German sex industry has erected a massive prostitution complex for the "booming business" expected during the games.
"Football and sex belong together," claimed the lawyer of the newly opened 3,000 meter mega brothel in Berlin, built next to the main World Cup venue to accommodate 650 male clients. Wooden "sex huts" called "performance boxes" that look like toilets have been built in fenced-in areas the size of a football field, with condoms, showers and parking for the buyers and a special focus on protecting their "anonymity."
January 25, 2006
Boys And The Education Gender-Gap
Newsweek has a thorough article about boys under-achieving in education. They offer several potential reasons for this: the biololgical difference between boy's and girl's brains and that education systems focus on learning that favors girls; "misguided" feminism that put lots of attention in the 1990s to closing the education gender gap by focusing on girls, but leaving boys behind; and the effects of a generation of boys who are growing up without biological fathers present or male-mentors of any kind.
via Newsweek - The Trouble With Boys
January 24, 2006
Ten Reasons Gay Marriage Is Wrong
I picked this up from Alas (A Blog):
Ten Reasons Gay Marriage Is Wrong
1. Being gay is not natural. And as you know Americans have always rejected unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because, as you know, a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. The sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.
7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
January 23, 2006
Roe vs Wade - 33rd Anniversary
Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Below is a link to the Wikipedia entry, which gives a great overview and details about this important supreme court decision:
via Wikipedia - Roe vs Wade
Youth Violence Conference in San Antonio, Texas
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Center for Violence Prevention, Medial School, and the School of Nursing Continuing Education Department in collaboration with Our Lady of the Lake University are co-sponsoring the 6th Annual Southern Knowledge: Youth Violence Prevention Conference to be held March 30-April 1, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas at the Historic Menger Hotel on the Riverwalk.
January 20, 2006
White Privilege Shapes The US
...the ultimate white privilege: the privilege to acknowledge you have unearned privilege but ignore what it means.This is why it is often difficult to talk about white privilege with some white people. Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the Univeristy of Texas - Austin. His article below demonstrates how he changed his teaching style - he decided to stop focusing on how white privilege affects white people in general, and focus on how it affected - helped - him, specifically. White Privilege Shapes The US
January 19, 2006
Father's Rights Manual
Over at the weblog The Countess, Trish Wilson takes a look at a father's rights manual and illustrates how hateful of women it is. Scary material that is out there for upset fathers:
via The Countess - Yet Another Fathers' Rights Manual On How To Keelhawl "The Bitch"
January 18, 2006
No Porn Pledge
The issue of pornography has been much debated in feminist circles for a while now. Recently, the struggle between anti-pornography activists and the "mainstreaming" of porn has been more apparent.
The No Porn Pledge is a joint project of the AntiPorn Activist Network, Through The Flame, and one angry girl designs. It is an attempt to gather the voices (and names) of anti-porn activists in one place.
Here is what you are pledging when you sign on:
"I will not use pornography in any format (including internet, video, magazines, strip clubs, escorts)".
"I will not knowingly enter into any intimate relationship with a person who uses pornography in any format".
January 17, 2006
Why I Am A Feminist
Two of the contributors to the blog Lawyers, Guns and Money have answered the question - why are you a feminist? What I appreciate about their responses is that they are based on personal reasons - mostly reflections on how patriarchy affected their families. It reminds that, while political motivation is a strong motivator, it is often personal experience that drives people to fight oppression.
January 16, 2006
Gains For Women's Right Around The World - 2005
From the weblog Feministing, a glass-half-full look at political gains women made around the world in 2005 (go to the site to find links to news sources):
Liberia elected Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, making her the first female president in Africa.
68 Afghan women won seats in the 249-member legislature.
Angela Merkel became Germany's first female chancellor.
Two women in Saudi Arabia's were elected to the chamber of commerce board, making them the countryâ€™s first female elected officials.
The Japanese government is submitting a bill to parliament this month that will allow women to ascend the throne.
The number of female members of parliament worldwide reached an all-time high of 6,960 (16.1 percent).
via Feministing - Half Empty, My Ass
January 13, 2006
Women's Rights, African Customs
In some African Countries, women's rights laws have been passed. But at the same time, they often go unenforced. The issue of ending such culturally-embedded practices as virginity-testing and genital mutilation is the focus of the piece below.
via New York Times - Women's Rights Laws and African Customs Clash
January 12, 2006
Brokeback Mountain and Masculinity
Homophobia and the film Brokeback Mountain are inextricably intertwined in the media. Then Larry David of Seinfield and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame wrote a brief piece about why he wasn't going to see the film, which sparked a realization in Leonard Pitts, a syndicated columinist. In his piece below, he reflects on something that many of us who have thought about men and masculinity are aware of - a gay relationship on film not only stir-up fears about homosexuality but it also stirs-up fears about masculinity (the two, of course, are woven together).
January 11, 2006
Chivalry Should Be Dead
In my pro-feminist work I don't hear men or women about chivalry too often these days. But when I do hear about it, it is usually by an anti-feminist who uses it to dismiss feminists as being too petty or trying to ruin romance. Below is an excellent post by Andrea on the blog Official Shrub - a good response to those detractors.
via Official Shrub - On Chivalry
January 10, 2006
Female Hormone Key to Male Brain
Anything that can point the way toward less polarization between men and women is very important in my book. The idea that we each hold "female-ness" and "male-ness" within us, is a belief that points in that direction. The article below shows that research on mice may indicate that neurologically this may be true (for humans, too):
Estrogen--the quintessential female hormone responsible for regulating the reproductive cycle--turns lady mice into wannabe male mice when it is allowed to penetrate the brain during development, according to new research.
via Scientific American - Female Hormone Key to Male Brain
January 09, 2006
The Boston chapter of the National Organization of Men Against Sexism has a great internet resource page. Lots of links to numerous programs and organizations doing similar work. Worth checking out...
January 06, 2006
The Root Of All Oppression?
Over at Alas, A Blog there is a very interesting conversation going on about the question - is sexism the root of all oppression? Here's how it started:
The best way to evaluate the way male supremacy works is by comparing the situations of men and women who are similarly situated. A rich white woman, for example, is never going to be as well off as a rich white man, because she is or was still vulnerable to rape, objectification, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, molestation, in ways which the rich white man is not, in ways which affect her or have affected her from the time of her birth. A homeless man on the street is still better off than a homeless woman for the same reasons. And in between these two extremes, if we look at men and women, doesnâ€™t matter the ethnicity, class standing, age, so long as we are talking about men and women who are similarly situated, we see across the board that men fare better in this world than women do. And thatâ€™s because the world is a male supremacist world.
via Alas, A Blog - Is The Oppresion of Women The Root of All Oppression?
January 05, 2006
The article linked to below is an interesting look at how men who are "stay-at-home" or "work-at-home" dads have learned from women who have struggled with the work/parenting world and how women have learned from men, too. What I like about this article is how there seems to be a coalescence of men and women trying to negotiate how to put parenting first and work second - a much needed cultural shift. Here is an interesting stat to underline this point:
A survey by American Demographics revealed that 80 percent of male respondents ages 18 to 39 said a flexible job to accommodate kids takes a higher priority than doing challenging work or earning a high salary.
via Boston Globe - Women's Struggles, Men's Aspirations Combine to Redefine "Stay-At-Home Dad"
January 04, 2006
International Marriage Broker Act And Immigrant Battered Women
VAWA passed at the final hour....yay! But you may not know that attached to VAWA was the International Marriage Broker Act. This act will help "mail-order brides" have some legal recourse when in the United States, especially if they are the victims of domestic violence. The post below at the weblog Cool Beans is an overview of the act and at some of the gaps it may not cover.
via Cool Beans - The International Broker Act and U Visas
January 03, 2006
Pornography - A Left Issue?
Here is a very thorough response to those who say that pro-feminists who are anti-pornography are anti-sex and prudish. Gail Dines and Robert Jenson argue here that to be leftist and to be anti-pornography is to be consistent in your analysis of oppression. They make a particularly apt analogy in regards to media analysis and pornography: "pornography is to patriarchy what commercial television is to capitalism".
via ZNet - Pornography is a Left Issue