August 2010

Congo Rape Crisis

Here's something that makes me lose all faith in humanity.  Recently in the Congo, "rape capital of the world," 200 women and four baby boys were gang raped over the course of four days within miles of a United Nations peacekeeping base.  

It's easy sometimes, being a woman living in the west, to get caught up in the minutia of everyday life.  In discussions over what is and is not misogynist, over problems like the sorry state of women in the high tech world.  Why aren't there more women in tech?  Why do girls suddenly start losing interest in math and science at around age 11?

Palin's "Feminism" Restricts Women's Rights

I had a genuine question recently: In what sense is Sarah Palin a feminist?  In what sense does she work to support the rights of women?  No one was able to answer that question.  Telling, no?

I did some digging, and here is what I have learned: Sarah Palin's feminist theory has two planks:

1.    Vote Republican!
2.    Overturn Roe V. Wade and make abortion illegal

To give her credit, Palin talks a good talk.  She uses phrases like "Moms just know."  Empty meaningless jingoist phrases which may as well be hawking peanut butter or breakfast cereal.  But when you get right down to it, you've got those two things.  Vote Republican; down with abortion.

Sarah Palin Still Not A Feminist; Wishes Still Not Horses

Apparently when I recently decried Sarah Palin's use of the word "feminist," I gave some people the mistaken impression that I kill and eat babies for dinner, from the remote sleek black confines of my underground lair where I use men as coffee tables and laugh maniacally - HA! HA! HA! - while shaking a bottle of barbecue sauce over said babies.

Honestly, people.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I love babies!  They go great with fries!  OH CRAP OKAY YOU GOT ME.  

Women in Kenya Face Rape During Toilet Use

As a mom, I can tell you that I have mastered the art of holding it. In fact, I used to hold it even before I became a mother. I remember standing in lines at amusement parks, getting that nervous/excited pre-rollercoaster feel while in line that made me feel like I’d have to pee, and I’d tell my then-boyfriend, “I have to pee!” and he’d roll his eyes, knowing that A. I wouldn’t stop to pee and B. I would say the same thing in the next rollercoaster line. Maybe I’m just weird like that.

"How To Be Alone" Is Anti-Feminist?

You may already have seen, and presumably been charmed by, Tanya Davis' video poem titled "How To Be Alone."  It is a step-by-step guide to re-entering the world as a single person after a break-up.  And, frankly, it's adorable.

But not to The Globe And Mail columnist Russell Smith, it's not.  

He calls it "pair-bonding-obsessed weepiness," which confused me.  Did we watch the same video? 

The Environment is a Feminist Issue

I'm an inclusive "Big Tent" third wave feminist, which is why I recognize that there's an entire segment of feminism that is, shall we say, not environmentally active.  But there are a lot of environmental issues that directly impact feminist ideals. 

Things that, in the immortal words of Sarah Palin, make me "stand up on my hind legs and growl."

Most recently there has been a lot of media attention to the issue of the increasingly early age of the onset of puberty in little girls.  On average, girls are now reaching puberty while their age is in the single digits, between 8 and 9 years old.

Eat, Pray, Love – Women in Charge of Their Lives

Women have always been thought of as “the weaker sex." Now the world is finally becoming aware that women are no longer weak and are also taking charge of their lives.

In the book and the movie “Eat, Pray, Love,” one woman takes an enormous risk by getting a divorce and traveling the world alone in search of herself. Traveling worldwide may seem extreme to some, but to really find herself this woman felt that she had to gain distance from all that was comfortable for her.

Clinical Trials: A Sausagefest

A great Slate article this week about the way that women have traditionally been excluded from medical trials.  Not out of an institutionalized sexism, but from a combination of laziness and fear of harming theoretical fetuses.  The upshot being, we don't really know - from a clinical perspective - what a lot of drugs and surgical procedures do to the female body.

This is a bit of a problem, no?

It should be pretty obvious to all concerned that a woman is not just a man who lacks a penis.  There are significant hormonal differences, and nothing interacts with a drug like hormone levels!  Women and men are different right down to the genetic level.  (Reading about the significant genetic differences between women and men always makes me a little surprised we can even reproduce successfully.)