One vintage ad warns women, “Don’t let them call you SKINNY!” while another promises that smoking cigarettes will keep one slender. If the task of morphing their bodies into the current desirable shape isn’t enough of a burden, women are also reminded that they stink.
The Do I Offend? blog chronicles such vintage body-shaming advertisements geared toward women, and the baffling shifts from one feminine ideal to the next.
• The Justice Department released new rules that aim to reduce unfair profiling among federal agents. Under the new rules, federal agents cannot consider religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations. [New York Times]
From Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Dirty Dancing, you can count the number of sympathetically-depicted cinematic abortions on one hand—leaving your other hand free to page through yet another one of those think-pieces about how filmmakers aren’tscared of showing abortions in movies, it’s just that abortions aren’t much of a plot line and audiences just don’t want to see abortions depicted on film. Oh, of course! Thanks for clearing that up, Hollywood masterminds! We’ll be sure to tell everyone who’s ever had an abortion that their experience has less cinematic merit than the 149thParanormal Activity sequel.
Two bearded ladies take a stroll at a Louisiana steampunk festival. Photo credit: infrogmation, via Creative Commons.
During the quarter century since novelist K.W. Jeter playfully invented the term “steampunk,” the neo-Victorian movement has grown into a full-blown literary genre and an energetic subculture. Steampunk is airships and corsets and bizarre glowing weapons. It’s gears and top hats and goggles and mechanical butlers. It’s no-nonsense pistol-toting female scientists and the oppressive cultural restraints that tries to shape them into proper ladies.
• Janelle Monae is going to sing a song on Sesame Street! I REPEAT: JANELLE MONAE IS GOING TO SING A SONG ON SESAME STREET! And, judging from this behind-the-scenes video, it will be great. [Colorlines]
Thousands of people attended weekly “Moral Monday” protests at the North Carolina state capital this year, speaking up against voter ID laws, for protecting abortion access, and for decreasing income inequality. Now they have a soundtrack: a group of North Carolina artists have put together an album inspired by the protests called We Are Not For Sale.
Ashley Wagner is a two-time national champion who missed qualifying for the 2010 Olympic team by a hair, a story that was emphasized by the background commentary in this year's Nationals. Her nerves were apparent at the Nationals, and her long program seemed irrevocably marred by two falls. But Wagner was a lock for the Olympic team for one crucial reason—what NBC, the network broadcasting the Olympics, needs more than champion skaters is a good story.
If you managed to abstain from social media and television last night, you missed the strange awards sideshow that was the Golden Globes. There were some great moments on stage—Emma Thompson was the coolest person in the room as she presented an award barefoot, holding her high heels in one hand and a martini in the other and hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had some genuinely funny jokes—but I came away from the night thinking more about who wasn’t on stage: many people of color.
Here's all the feminist news on our radar this morning.
• In the past few years, numerous states have instituted laws banning abortion after 20 weeks. A court ruled Arizona's version of the abortion ban unconstitutional—today the Supreme Court passed on hearing that case, so the ban will have to be changed or struck down. [New York Times]
• The idea of "food gentrification" was getting a lot of discussion Friday on Twitter. Read through the insightful and funny comments on the #foodgentrification feed, but here's one from Bitch contributor Soleil Ho, "#foodgentrification is using white faces to sell products picked and grown and invented by POC." [Twitter]