Flicking through the pages of this month's Company magazine - diets, fashion, celebrities, diets, fashion - what's this? The word 'period' in a women's magazine? A feature entitled 'It's 2010 - so why are we still having periods?' Good question, according to the rest of the articles we're meant to have stopped eating by this point, so why not give up on another, far less enjoyable, natural bodily function?
Transphobia and anti-trans sentiments are not uncommon among ecofeminist writers and activists. It's a disgusting and painful reality. Feminists working on all sorts of issues know that transphobia and anti-trans sentiments are not uncommon among radical groups of any kind that nevertheless label themselves as open and tolerant. What's particularly disturbing to me is not that this happens in any one place—context aside, oppression sucks—but that in a movement of people working on issues around valuing all life, human and non-human alike, there are still vocal opponents of trans rights and inclusion. How completely bewildering and shameful.
"Really? No! I mean, is this story for real?"
This was my reaction to finding out that, after four centuries (yes, centuries), Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London will hold its first-ever play penned by a woman. Nell Leyshon's Bedlam will begin showing in September, and "it's about damned time" doesn't begin to cover it!
Last week, I got a message in my inbox: Starbucks is now selling vegan cookies!!!! Vegan revolution OMG!! And my cynical first thought was, "What? And why the hell should I patronize an organization I lovingly refer to as Starfucks?" Maybe I'm an anomaly as a vegan, or maybe I'm just an idealist, but I care about liberation for all, not just the animals. We shouldn't have to sacrifice one set of rights for another.
Billboards proclaiming Black Children Are An Endangered Species have appeared across the city of Atlanta in the last couple of weeks. The poster was created by activist groups Georgia Right To Life and the Radiance Foundation. They claim that black women have three times the number of abortions in comparison to white women in the state and that this is indicative of a eugenics-based conspiracy to deplete the African American population. A conspiracy, they argue, that goes right back to the agitator for birth control, Margaret Sanger, who, they say, would have been happy to hear that 40% of African American women's pregnancies are aborted.
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen gave birth recently. Usually the gossip magazines will move from reporting the baby's name to detailing the mother's baby-weight shedding exercise and diet regime in the course of a week, but this time a pit-stop was made in the storyline for Gisele to announce that the birth had been painless.
Makeup giant Maybelline has a newsletter of sorts in which consumers answer a few questions and get tips on choosing products most suitable for their look. An Asian-Canadian blogger who uses the moniker Rasilla was happy enough to answer Maybelline's questions about her appearance. But after choosing "brown" for eye-color, Rasilla was asked to select the shape of her eyes. Her options? Close set, wide set, hooded, Asian, almond, down-turned, deep-set, prominent and centered. Let's backtrack for a moment. One of the options was Asian. That's right, Asian. Rasilla wasn't too pleased about this.
People often think about vegetarianism or veganism as an ethical framework or intentional life choice, but in her new book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism, Dr. Melanie Joy posits that eating meat comes from the same type of belief system. Dr. Joy, a professor and psychologist who works to promote empowering relationships between humans, animals, and the earth, spoke with me at length last week, and our talk is split into two parts here this week.