At Feminist Camp, there's no bug juice, no panty raids, and no singing around a campfire, but that doesn't mean it's not an experience you'll remember forever. Soapbox, Inc., the speakers' bureau and training organization founded by activists and Manifesta authors Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, hosts two camps per year, and registration is currently open for the Winter 2013 session (previously known as Feminist Winter Term). The weeklong camp immerses attendees in feminist advocacy, policy, art, and more, spending each day meeting with organizations like Third Wave Foundation and Sistas on the Rise, as well as individuals who have made feminism integral to their careers.
Former Camper NC Eakin, who attended in Winter 2010 and now works at a feminist nonprofit in New York City and blogs at Genderqueer Fashionista, has a rundown of what made the experience so worthwhile.
Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Teri Fahrendorf, who started the Pink Boots Society in 2007 after a road trip to check out breweries all over the country. Again and again, she said, she encountered women who worked in craft breweries who had never before met another female brewer, let alone one with a couple decades' worth of experience. Immediately, they wanted to know who and where the other female brewers were, so the Pink Boots Society – named for the boots Fahrendorf wore on her road trip – was born as a list of women brewers throughout the country.
"They weren't getting something they wanted, which was communication with a woman in their field," Fahrendorf said. "The fact that I had been a brewmaster for 19 years opened their eyes. Watching them get inspired by my story in turn inspired me to want to mentor all of them. I can't mentor all of them, as much as I try."
I'm reliably informed that the poster (right) grandly named L'Enfant but more commonly known as Man and Baby wasn't a phenom in the United States like it was in the U.K. Here, it capitalized on the worldwide success of Three Men and a Baby and perfectly captured the sensitive man zeitgeist of the late '80s, becoming one of the country's top-selling posters of all time.
Honestly, I never understood its popularity. Sure, the guy was hunky in that Levi's ad beefcake way, but what was the baby adding? Even as a kid, I associated having children with stress and domesticity; I didn't yet understand that a man caring for his child was considered a novelty.
In both a national and global context where the rates of domestic violence against women are consistently soaring (according to the United Nations Population Fund Report, more 55 percent of women living in India face violence within the home), awareness campaigns and messages which seek to address this particular manifestation of gender-based violence are incredibly pertinent. Calling on women to recognise that they are not alone in what they experience, and highlighting the ways in which this violence manifests itself and affects other facets of a woman's life are key components of such outreach.
"Suffocation is the worst kind of abuse"
"It always starts with the little nicks and cuts"
"Respect the space you really deserve"
"How much longer will you adjust?"
These taglines, part of a far-reaching poster campaign, seem to fit the bill. Or they would, if violence against women were their subject. In fact, they're being used to sell bras.
Taking a cue from feminist art-world culture-jamming collective the Guerrilla Girls comes Australia's Bolshy Divas—anonymous disability activists "in the style of feminist masked avengers, exposing and discussing discrimination, unmet need, and issues which affect people with disability and their families."
Attempts to rid British newspaper The Sun of its topless 'Page 3 Girls' have always failed in the past, with feminists' concerns dismissed as prudery and jealousy. Could a new campaign be about to succeed where others have failed? And what issues does this raise for feminists?
Leroy Moore is a man of action: poet, community activist, artist, feminist... the list goes on. Spend any time in the crip community and his name will inevitably surface, which should come as no surprise. Moore is a walking archive of disability art and history with a gift for broad networking, highlighting artists and activist projects from the Bay area to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He can school you on disabled musicians from the days of yore, but it must be noted that this man has his finger on the pulse of the vibrant disability art scene- a scene that has blossomed in no small part due to his dedication to spotlighting the intersections of race, social justice, art and crip culture. Additionally, he can wear the hell out of a tuxedo.
Ah, marriage. It's a preoccupation with Republicans: the destruction of it, sex outside of it, the redefinition of it. Promoting marriage was a significant part of the Bush administration's domestic-policy agenda, presumably in an attempt to protect women from the horrors of birth control, single motherhood, abortion, and illicit sexual activity. Whether it's correlating single motherhood with gun violence or railing against the destruction of the sacred institution by the gays, the right wing has a deep-seated jones for getting (straight) couples to the church on time.
As the saying goes, "If you hate hipsters, you probably are one." This is because, while many of us are familiar with the term (especially if describes us), it is obnoxious and has been used to identify numerous non-trends, from mustaches to homesteading to beer to bellies caused by beer. These things exist whether hipsters claim them or not, and drowning them in irony does nothing to change their nature. More usefully though, hipsterism has also been called out in conjunction with other isms like racism and, in a New York magazine piece from earlier this week, sexism.
Welcome to Lady Liquor, where, for the next two months, I'll be writing about the relationship between, well, ladies and liquor. Primarily. I'm interested in the ways women's attitudes about drinking -- and society's attitudes about women who drink -- have shaped history and pop culture. But it's pretty much impossible to talk about those things without also talking about other mind-altering substances (I'm looking at you, War on Drugs); I'd also be remiss not to talk about the relationship between booze and other social justice movements -- like the gay rights movement, which actually started in a bar.