feminist fare fridays: edition #3

Well, thanks the the VMAs last Sunday, there was no lack of fodder for everyone on the internet to write about this week. Slut-shaming, cultural appropriation, misogyny, the faces of the Smith family. It was a regular free-for all for anyone with an opinion and a platform with which to share it! Psst, we may also on the brink of a huge international conflict/war, but that doesn't seem to get as much airtime as a giant foam finger these days. So, in true hypocritical style, I give you your weekly round-up of Feminist Fare (not all of it is about the VMAs).


1. There seems to be a new thing going around on the internet. Steal someone's photo (from their website, Facebook page or Flickr stream) and make it into a supposedly disparaging "This is what a Feminist looks like" meme. I have seen it done twice in the past few weeks and both times, the victims of these cowardly and juvenile acts have responded with class and SASS and put these basement dwelling, high-fiving each other over their oh-so-witty-mysogynistic meme-making, {ahem} teeny-weenies, well back in their places.

The first was Kelly Martin Broderick whose picture was stolen, altered and then posted back to Facebook as a fat-shaming, anti-feminist meme. Read her story here on xoJane. I am sad to say that I not surprised at Facebook's lack of response to this and I LOVE what Kelly herself has done in response. Please visit her new We Are What Feminists Look Like tumblr page and if you like, submit a photo too! Feminism is not a fashion sense, it is not a colour, it is not a gender, and it is not backing down when someone thinks they can use mean words or memes to "hurt" you!

The second was a BRILLIANT response by John Scalzi to a "dudebro" who took a photo from John's website and made it into the not-as-terrible-as-he-thought "This is what a feminist looks like" meme. Scalzi took the time to address this issue and in doing so utterly schools the "dudebro" in what a feminist actually is, how to do a meme right and gives said "dudebro" an good kick in the pants all the way around his 5 acres of wonderfully manicured lawn! I am pretty sure that my feminist hero this week is a

"...slightly chubby, slightly balding, middle-aged dude in a mint green regency dress."


2. Blurred Lines. Yes, yes, I know, I have already posted about how I feel about this song and the artist, but I had to share this. After viewing countless parody videos about the song, I think Melinda Hughes has finally hit the nail on the hammer so to speak! By completely rewriting the song and rearranging the context, there should be no more blurriness here. It is about consent folks, and NO, you don't know if "I really want it" unless I say so!



3. I wrote last week about my worries with both of my babies being in school this year. I chalked up my misgivings and anxiety about school to my past and my own experiences and while those reasons are still true, this week I read a post on Everyday Feminism from Walker Karaa that made me really examine the concept of feminist parenting and the culture of gossip and the "double-binds" that exists on our schoolyards. And I don't mean with the kids!

"The small talk that women have with which to socialize with one another on the school yard is language of comparison and complaint, not connectivity or co-constitutive relationship."

The article is an interesting analysis of the parental school yard dynamic and has cleared up a few things for me. 1)Why I often feel like I don't "fit in" with some of the other parents at our school and 2) Why I don't ever want to!

*Of note: The only objection I have to the article is her take on home- or un-schooling and the reasons why families choose this form of education. None of the families I know who homeschool are doing it our of fear and mistrust.


4. I know you want to see something about Miley Cyrus here this week. Something about how awful her VMA performance was (it really was), how she is guilty of misappropriating black culture (Oh yes, she did, and not very well either), of being a terrible example to our children and of just being far too sexual a being for national television (all signs of Hannah Montana are GONE, gone, gone).

Well, here you go. I know, this is the second time "Blurred Lines" and Robin Thicke get a mention in one round-up, but I think you will all appreciate what Eric Clapp has to say on the subject.

"It starts with understanding that as men, our value does not come from how much power we hold over women. Our value comes from being respected and being loved as we respect and love the people who matter to us."

And if you want, you can click on all the links in his post to see what everyone else has been saying about this too.


5. And the winner of this week's  'Thing that happened that makes me weep for humankind' award, is by far the judge in Montana who technically sentenced a rapist to 15 years in prison and then suspended 14.936 of that sentence so that this 50 year old man, a teacher, who raped a 14 year old girl and was CONVICTED of this crime, will only serve 30 days in jail. His reasoning you ask? Because the victim (who later committed suicide) was "older than her chronological age", oh and just so you know, "It was not a violent, forcible, beat-the-victim rape, like you see in the movies."

Sigh... People, I can't even begin to say all the things that I want to say here. Luckily (and unfortunately at the same time), Emily at xoJane was brave enough to tell everyone WHY this is beyond wrong.

"The fact is, a 14-year-old girl may be capable of agreeing to sex with a 49-year-old man, but she doesn't have the emotional and mental maturity to consent.  I was 25 before I realized that every man I'd slept with as a teenager was a pedophile."



And on that note, I think we should all take a little break from the internet this long weekend. What say you?