"France’s former first lady Carla Bruni thinks feminism is outdated."
David: I need a haircut, Maria. I look like a duckling right now.
Maria: And a stiff drink, if you listened to that radio interview with Caitlin Flanagan, like we were supposed to. Evidently the women of America had calmed down too much since her last book, To Hell With All That, caused such a ruckus over what was widely perceived as the author's throwback and essentialist anti-feminist ideology. So not content to get people in a stir with Atlantic Monthly and New Yorker appearances, she's written a new one, Girl Land. Even the cover of which is pretty provoking.
All these moms are fine [...]
"This fall, nobody’s more in touch with their inner Lisbeth Salander than the women of Brooklyn, terrorized by more than 20 sex attacks in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington over the past eight months…. And now, in an appropriately Swedish turn, regular women can channel their outer Lisbeth, too. H&M’s 30-piece Dragon Tattoo line was created by Trish Summerville, the Fincher film’s costume designer, and distills the essence of her character into slightly less S&M-y threads." —Take back the night, it belongs to H&M. (via)
"The story spends the requisite time on Elizabeth’s man-baiting and chomping ways, but it’s her relations with these women that help make Bad Teacher into something more than the latest in big-screen giggles and flatulence…. A funny woman with too many unfunny movies on her résumé, Ms. Diaz was born too late for the kind of rich Hollywood career she deserves…. It’s painful, though, watching her slum through What Happens in Vegas, playing off an unworthy foil like Ashton Kutcher, another reason it’s a relief to see her surrounded by the talent packed into Bad Teacher. —This Manohla Dargis review is a great case of criticism as advocacy [...]
Here's a long look at some of the studies and expert testimony behind the Prop 8 ruling. (Unsurprisingly, the science suggests that gay marrieds have disagreements about tidiness and money, just like straight marrieds, so therefore, I guess we're all the same.) This is funny somewhat because we're still working on the idea that men and women are even similar or equal-including in the brain. In a review of Delusions of Gender, a look at neuroscience (and neurosexism!), the Times makes a reference to the paper's own publication, in 1915, of a letter by neurologist Dr. Charles L. Dana. His contention was that women's "upper spinal [...]
Perhaps you've heard that there's been some… disagreements between certain feminist blogs and The Daily Show recently. If not, let me recap! A couple of weeks ago, Jezebel's Irin Carmon (a hand-to-God Real Journalist, with non-blog bylines!) wrote a piece examining what she termed The Daily Show's "Woman Problem." She largely defined the show as being a hostile environment for women as evidenced by the perennially low number of female correspondents and the testimony of some named and unnamed sources. The piece didn't really go too far, other than apparently being widely linked on Facebook. Olivia Munn, the Daily Show's but-one-month-old lady correspondent may or may not [...]
There are several puzzling parts in Suzanne Venker's article "The war on men" from this weekend, not least this paragraph: "In a nutshell, the women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs." Here's a sentence-by-sentence reading of what it all might mean.
I am going to have to reread Jenny Turner's "As Many Pairs of Shoes as She Likes" at least seven more times before I can even engage with it simply on the level of comprehension, but even the first pass has left me exhausted. Every paragraph explodes with an almost impossible number of issues with which to contend. Perhaps (and probably so) you are brighter than I can get the whole thing in one go, but if not you'll want to get started now, right here.
That thing we used to laugh about has finally come to pass, with the nuptials of Lauren Bush (the daughter of Neil Bush, who is brother to Jeb and George W.) and David Lauren (son of Ralph Lauren, formerly Ralph Lifshitz): "The bride will take the name "Lauren Bush Lauren."
The Decemberists' new album, The King Is Dead, takes the band in a new direction: tamer, more pastoral lyrics and a pared-down, bluegrass-tinged sensibility (with guest vocals from the always-excellent Gillian Welch). Critics have taken note, and the reviews have been mostly positive—people seem relieved by the band's turn away from the melodramatic subject matter and overwrought musical stylings that have characterized their last couple albums. But the most notable difference from the band’s older music—and one I've yet to see a critic mention—is that there's not a single rape or abduction to be found on the entire album.
I started listening to The Decemberists eight years ago, when [...]
In defense of Betty Hofstadt Draper Francis: "We all said we wanted Betty to get in touch with her anger, but we expected that anger to look admirable and positive and feminist. We didn’t consider that it might just be anger."
Last week, the New York Observer published a revelatory article about Gerry Marzorati's departure from the Times magazine. Staffers at the magazine indicated that Marzorati's recurrent promotions of an editor named Megan Liberman might have precipitated both their and his ultimate leave-taking. Described as Marzorati's "extremely close confidante" and "very close ally," Liberman's privileged position was viewed with suspicion or antipathy by the magazine's staff.
New York State may at last join the rest of the country in no-fault divorce-a bill has passed the state Senate, and the Assembly is dealing with two bills on the matter. There's a very helpful series of contributions, largely from actual people who know things, in the Times: an economist, a law professor, a sociologist… and then two policy people/lobbyists. Surprisingly, the most distressing of these contributions is from the president the New York chapter of NOW.
Why at this late date are we still reinforcing the idea that women are modest and fragile and in need of gender-specific accommodations? Lowder seems to suggest that the arrival of James Deen's mild-enough flavor of porn is some sort of victory for women. As I see it, the only thing necessarily lady-friendly about soft-core scenes is that they come with less stigma than the real stuff. Watching this vanilla variety of porn might feel, for some, like less of a betrayal of one's feminist values—because the sex depicted is a little gentler, not quite as rapey as what you might expect of, say, a typical S&M scene—but [...]
Mention Lindsay Lohan to me and you’ll be treated to an excoriation of the joy with which this culture greets your average female public breakdown. As such, I've surprised myself this fall with my absorption in the personal and professional unravellings of two female television characters: Carrie Mathison of "Homeland" (Claire Danes) and Amy Jellicoe of "Enlightened" (Laura Dern). If you've also been watching those shows, you might question my yoking them together. Carrie and Amy could not occupy (heh) two more different dramatic universes. “Homeland” is a taut, quickly paced thriller about terrorism whose signature gesture is to end each episode on the edge of a cliff; while “Enlightened” [...]
Ladies, do we have a problem? We kind of… do. Rebecca Traister weighs in on SlutWalk. I wanted to love SlutWalks, the viral protest movement that began this spring after a Toronto police officer told a group of college women that if they hoped to escape sexual assault, they should avoid dressing like “sluts.” In angry response, young women (and men) have marched in more than 70 cities around the world, often dressed in bras, halter tops and garter belts.
But at a moment when questions of sex and power, blame and credibility, and gender and justice are so ubiquitous and so urgent, I have mostly felt irritation [...]
Here's a story for you. It's an old story, and it goes like this: There's a place where we're in charge. You've never seen it. You can't visit. It doesn't exist—it's in the future, or it's in the past, or it's just sideways, outside our borders, somewhere no one has been. But us, the girls, we run everything there. There aren't any men. Or: There were men, but we kicked them out. Or even: There are men, but they answer to us. This place is always threatened. This place is always on the verge of being invaded. This place is always just about to change. [...]
"According to this theory, we can imagine each woman's life as a long plane ride. It is cramped, it is full of obnoxious strangers, and the snacks are always disappointing. Also, there are sexists in it. Flying it! Giving safety instructions in it! Handing out disappointing snacks! Pre-feminism is the point at which the woman comes to think, 'you know, I think maybe the arrangements on this plane are unfair? Maybe even sexist?' Feminism is the point at which she realizes, 'holy shit! This plane is full of sexism!' And then there is the 'post-feminist' stage of life, during which the woman announces to all and sundry, 'I AM SICK [...]
Really, you might want to tear yourself away from whatever you're reading about and read this essay on sexuality, privacy, IM relationships, "emotional affairs," the state of cheating and everything else. It asks the question: what is so "primally reassuring in these stories of male infidelity and wronged female virtue"? You know: "These tales of hookers and half-hookers and gold diggers and fame diggers and 'soul mates'-it all presents itself as censure, but the sheer volume of media, the obsessive attention to it, represents a kind of cheering on. 'We really want to believe that powerful men have harems or the equivalent,' as a prominent female West Village [...]