Feminist Fare Friday: Edition #24

Ah! May long weekend! I don't know about you, but for me, this marks start of me feeling the beginnings of summer (even though I live in Alberta and it did briefly snow for a bit last week). It's a weekend of clearing out the closets, figuring out who needs new shoes and rubber boots and finally packing away all of the winter gear and getting the box of summer and outside play things ready for use! Before you get into spring cleaning/gardening/going camping mode, what better way to start your weekend than with some wonderful feminist food for thought.

Enjoy!

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1. "Why aren't you happier?"  "You should smile more?"  "What have you got to be unhappy about?"

Ugh, so many questions. So many times directed mainly at women. Jessica Valenti breaks it down for us in this Guardian post about why women seem to be so "unhappy".

"Maybe the trade-off for having our eyes opened to inequality is feeling a little miffed about getting the short end of the stick. Dissatisfaction seems a fairly normal reaction to injustice."

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2. It is prom time once again. You know, that time when teenage girls all across North America beg their mothers for a custom made red taffeta strapless dress with layers & layers of tulle under it (or was that just me in the late 80's??). Seriously though, it's a special time of year for these students as they celebrate their scholarly achievements and a rather big transition in their young lives. And they get to dress up all fancy-like for it. For some though, what is supposed to be a wonderful night with friends can turn into a complete sexist shit-show, as it did for Clare last week when she was asked to leave her prom because of her non-dress-code violating sparkly dress and a bunch of ogling 45-year old dads who blamed a teenage girl for their own pervy-ness!

"I’m a tall and fairly curvy girl and you know something? I looked hot. Not trashy, but you definitely would look twice when I walked through a doorway. And you know what happened? I got kicked out of prom because of it."

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3. This week was not a great one for women in positions of power. Which begs the question? Is all this "leaning in" really working out or are we still just telling women to play a {male} role in a world not set up for them? Soraya Chemaly examines this phenomenon in this Ms. Magazine article.

"Reading yesterday about the abrupt firing of Jill Abramson, the first woman at the New York Times, along with theresignation of Le Monde’s Natalie Nougayrède, was like watching a ripple of misogyny move through the air in slow motion. Similar, in fact, to watching the slow, then fast, build to AustralianPrime Minister Julia Gillard’s removal from office. There’s no way to examine these situations and ask, “Do women fear power and success?” Instead, the question is, “Why are powerful and successful women so feared?”"

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4. The kidnapped Nigerian girls are still missing and the world is still talking about it (although the Solange V Jay-Z Elevator thing seemed to take centre stage this week). What the world needs to know is that Nigerian women, these African women are the reason, and will likely be the main reason, that these girls will eventually be found and rescued. Please read this powerful piece from Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gwobee.

"...the bravery of Nigerian women, who took to the streets to demand that the world pay attention. African women tend to be portrayed as victims — the raped, the suffering, the poor mothers of the poor girls. But across Africa, women are ending conflicts, reshaping governments and bringing attention to crucial issues. In this story, as in many others, they are the heroes."

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Have a wonderful and restful long weekend everyone. At least that's my plan.

natasha~