Barnard College President Spar on How Young Women are Embracing Feminism

This is a re-post, courtesy of Barnard College. The original can be found here. All words ©Barnard. 

Dare to Use the F-Word is a new monthly podcast series created by and for young feminists. Street harassment, food activism, body image and slut-shaming are among the diverse issues discussed in the series, which is produced by Barnard College and the Barnard Center for Research on Women and aims to spotlight contemporary issues and activists. The podcast is available for download on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to the series.

In a recent episode, Barnard President Debora Spar, author of Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, talks with feminist media activist Jamia Wilson about the drive for perfection affects young women today. Following the interview, President Spar shared her thoughts on the direction of feminism for the next generation.

jamia wilson and debora spar (©Barnard)

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“The Boss” in the Post-Patriarchy – Self-Promotion

Envers

“Sticking It To The Man? – The Crisis of Masculinity in the Post-Patriarchy” is the title of an article I wrote for the French journal on political culture Envers. The topic of their first edition is the concept of “the boss” (le chef), and my essay is approaching the subject from a feminist perspective. You can buy the visually stunning first edition at Amazon or Tituli.

Who are the real Child Abductors?

A police photograph took over the news last week: a tiny girl sitting between her parents, all of them staring blankly into the camera. It is not a flattering picture: the man and woman seem tired,old and dead-eyed, and the little girl looks squeezed uncomfortably between them, with questioning eyes and tangled hair – like a dishevelled version of Maddie McCann. But none of this would have ever sparked anyone’s interest, if it hadn’t been for the fact that the little girl looks white, and her parents brown. Something has got to be wrong with this picture!

Or so the Greek police must have thought, when they found this family in a Roma camp they were raiding. In this environment, being a pale-skinned child that cannot speak Greek is deemed suspicious and reason enough to take her away and submit her to DNA testing. The results seemed to confirm the fears: Maria and her supposed parents were not related, ergo, she must have been abducted. The media was quick to conclude: “Once again”, those criminal vagabond gypsies had stolen a white child! The police, the charity organization responsible for Maria, and the news media started frantically searching for her parents. Where could they be found? Scandinavia was suggested as Maria’s likely origin, because, well, look at her! Continue reading

What is Solidarity for Women of Color?

On Tuesday I attended an event organized by the National Organization for Women NYC chapter in response to the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen. The hashtag, as I understand it, incorporates a variety of complex, interrelated issues, but perhaps this interview with the hashtag’s originator Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) is a good place to start.

The event itself has already been briefly summarized by panel member Lori Adelman (@Lori_Adelman) on Feministing, so please read it and check all the links to get the relevant information on the speakers. I would just like to mention a few points that I gathered from the debate: Continue reading

Female Audiences and the Male Universal

I am immensely excited to see Gravity tomorrow night, the new science fiction movie by Alfonso Cuarón of Children of Men fame. Sandra Bullock plays the lead role in this picture, alongside George Clooney, and I am thrilled to see another sci-fi production featuring a female lead in an otherwise male-dominated genre. According to the director, however, not everyone was this excited about the prospect as I am. During a press conference in July he indicated that producers were pushing for a male lead instead, as “science fiction is a male-dominated genre, with a male audience that wants to relate to a male lead.”

image via shakesville

image via shakesville

This is funny, because the majority of Hollywood productions features male leads, and in my over twenty years of moviegoer experience as a woman I still managed to enjoy myself quite often. My preferences didn’t really matter; I had to relate to a male lead and managed to do so, sometimes more, sometimes less successfully. Though apparently this is an impossible exercise for some… Continue reading

Do Social Justice Movements need Mainstream Appeal? – The Problem with “Rebranding”

According to the findings of a new study, activists such as environmentalists and feminists tend to be viewed in such a negative light that they trigger resistance to social change rather than support of it. That, of course, contradicts the goal of many individuals who engage in political activism. But why are many people so offended by activists that they shut down and become defensive? Continue reading

Blachman – The Most Revealing Show on TV

I, like most people, love a good scandal, especially when it involves the media, but here is a headline I never expected to read: Is the Danish TV show Blachman the most sexist show ever? Well, I’ve had a brief look, and the answer is: No, but it certainly is revealing. Continue reading