Carrying The Feminine Mystique in my purse (I’m baaaaaaack)

In light of recent events, I have felt compelled to begin writing once again.

A decent amount of things have changed since I last wrote about my feelings, opinions, or insights of the surrounding world- specifically those regarding feminism and women’s rights.

Right now, I am simply in disbelief. I cannot wrap my mind around what is happening in the US. It feels like some shitty movie, where we have gone back in time and reversed the progress that has been painstakingly made over generations. Hard fought progress. Progress that should not be reversed.

To be honest, I thought that my minor in Women’s Studies would become obsolete. I thought that I would no longer have to be an angry feminist or need to proclaim myself as a feminist at all. I felt that I no longer needed to explain to those I dated why my minor is relevant or important. I thought that people had finally figured it out.

I have been proven wrong.

Oh so wrong.

How foolish of me to assume that one step forward wouldn’t mean five steps back.

In reading The Feminine Mystique, Sister Outsider, Not That Kind of Girl, How to Be a Woman, Female Chauvinist Pigs, The Beauty Myth, and so many more, it had never occurred to me that I would have to fight the fight that so many women before me have fought. I assumed that the war had already been won, and we were just waiting to celebrate our victory. I didn’t understand why my female professors held onto their rights and beliefs so strongly. As if they could be snatched from them at any moment. Now I understand why.

Those iconic black and white photos of women protesting, marching, and speaking with such conviction; images that I thought would not and should not ever repeat themselves.

I thought, “Finally, a world that I would want to bring a daughter into.”


I have been carrying The Feminine Mystique around with me all day in my purse. Hoping that it wards off any misogynistic vibes, or aids me in smashing the patriarchy.

I just bought one t-shirt, and two tank-tops exclaiming, “Women are strong as hell” and “Smash the patriarchy” and “Riots not diets.”

Now, I parooze Amazon hoping to get my hands on all the feminist books I didn’t get the chance to read in college.

Frantically, my mind races about all the extreme lengths I might have to go to to protect my rights, and the rights of all women, people of color, my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and other minorities. But one thing I do remember from one of my women’s studies classes is this: women make up about 52% of the world’s population. We are the majority, NOT the minority. We cannot be divided anymore. We are female, we are strong, we are the majority, we are the resistance.

Stay woke my friends, stay woke.

 

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Pink Sari Revolution: A Tale of Women and Power in India by Amana Fontanella-Khan

My Book Self

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There is a female ‘gang’ to be reckoned with in India. This ‘gang’ is known as the Pink Sari Gang comprised of numerous women serving females in need of assistance and/or support. Their formidable leader and founder, the memorable Sampat Pal.

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The book explains the flagrant corruption in politics and law enforcement, the ill treatment of women, and the poverty suffered by provincial citizens. These deep rooted issues have been plaguing India for some time, nothing new to the reader or anyone aware of India.

Sampat Pal is memorable. We learn of her as well as her story in the creation of her ‘gang.’ She’s brash, lacking a filter and often resorts to physical means. Arrogant and fearless, she uses her position and power to help others but her vigilante tactics leave you questioning her approach. I am thrilled women are being heard in India, there is a loud voice…

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Rede Nami-“a Feminist Network using the Urban Arts to promote women’s rights”.

gab

10252182_10152323493085971_1609500249100221155_nDomestic violence against women was only made illegal in Brazil in 2006. Recent statistics show that every 15 seconds a woman is assaulted; every two hours a woman is murdered. Brazil has the seventh highest rate of violence against women in the world and according to estimates published by the Brazilian Institute for Applied Research, between 2001 and 2011, fifty-thousand women were murdered in Brazil, mainly as a result of domestic violence.

gab connected with a Panmela Casto, an art activist in Rio to delve into her world that demands equal respect and rights for women, challenging oppression of gender in personal, economic, political and social spheres.

Pamela’s personal work has autobiographical undertones, using the urban landscape as her back drop, to explore social issues/truths in ideas surrounding the construction of  being a women. Her visual language creates pieces in relation to the female body, power relations and sexuality using hot colours in dramatic dialogues…

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If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist)

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image courtesy Devil Doll image courtesy Devil Doll

Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.

Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.

Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.

Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow…

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The Trouble with “Natural Beauty”

BINARYTHIS

tumblr_ni42kbIse21u8oyeuo2_500 An image from the Tree Change Dolls’ tumblr site

Today a friend sent me a link to a new trend that basically caused me to have a rage blackout: dolls that have been “made-under”. Labelled “Tree Change Dolls“, these are generally hyper-feminine styled dolls (such as Bratz) that have been found at op-shops and transformed through changing their hair, shoes, makeup styles and clothing, to look more normal and natural. In the words of their creator, Tree Change Dolls involve “swapping high-maintenance glitz ‘n’ glamour for down-to-earth style”.

But before you all rush off to procure a Tree Change Doll of your own, it’s worth unpacking what it means to “make-under” a doll. Is it more ethical (as the subtext of the Tree Change Dolls website would suggest) to have a doll adorned with the natural beauty look, rather than the hyper-feminine aesthetic more commonly seen? And why…

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10 TV shows feminists should be watching (If you’re not already)

Fem Media

10. Scandal

BELLAMY YOUNG, DARBY STANCHFIELD, JEFF PERRY, TONY GOLDWYN, KERRY WASHINGTON, SCOTT FOLEY, JOSHUA MALINA, GUILLERMO DIAZ, KATIE LOWES

This is an obvious one that many of you are probably already watching. While yes the show revolves around a mistress there is just so much more to the women on this show. Also, they tackle issues like equal pay and the use of the word bitch to describe a woman. This show is juicy and addictive but does provide some valid points about feminism and Olivia Pope is a wine swigging, two man having powerhouse of a woman.

9. Jane The Virgin

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This hilarious dramedy about a virgin who gets accidentally inseminated is near perfect TV and the lead Gina Rodriguez who recently won a Golden Globe for her role is a revelation. Jane is a strong female who dreams of being a writer and manages to stay true to herself in a sex obsessed world, in short its definitely worth a watch.

8. The Mindy Project

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Mindy is…

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How to Smash the Patriarchy with a Small Book

BINARYTHIS

Perusing Yang Lin's new work Perusing Yang Liu’s new work

Book Review: Man meets Woman by Yang Liu
You often hear of blogsters of the new world gaining financial – and product – benefits from their blogging pursuits. I’m thinking here mostly of the fashion and makeup bloggers that have risen to stardom, who are no doubt constantly being sent designer threads and cool new stuff to put on their faces. Well, here at binarythis.com, I’ve finally reaped the first free thing of my blogging days: a book about gender stereotypes (yes, I have obviously officially made it to the big time). Oh the spoils of blogging about gender! But enough of my bragging – let’s cut to the chase and get on with a review of the thing.

Taschen asked me if I might like to review Yang Liu’s new conceptual book, Man meets Woman. Yang Liu explains in the preface that her work seeks to…

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