Ida Hammer has been writing The Vegan Ideal for several years as a way to examine and deconstruct overlapping oppressions. Her work centers on undoing transphobia in vegetarian and ecofeminist communities. Ida was kind of enough to speak with me recently about how cissexual privilege undermines a lot of ecofeminist writing and how she has carved safe space for herself in a sometimes very anti-trans movement.
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?
As a television watching feminist, I was shocked when I found out Steve Ward was asked back to do another season of his dating show, Tough Love. After all, the first season was full of all kinds of problematic messages about women and dating. At least as the season went on, his dating advice became challenged more and more. But by the second season, this dynamic has evaporated and the women on the show generally do not challenge Steve on his edicts. Season two also brings a new pet challenge in for Steve - reforming a sex worker.
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.
NPR did a segment on break-up songs. Tigerbeatdown devoted a week on the subject. And Thao Nguyen has written an article breaking-down the break-up song for Bitch. But I got to thinking about the break-up songs are good for you, the ones that are less about the blues and more about kicking-ass.
"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!
I'm having one of those days. The type that can't be improved by consuming ridiculous amounts of caffeine or chocolate. (I tried.) Lately, each time I turn on the news, my stomach begins to ache and I feel like I'm gonna hurl. It's days like these when the slumping economy, plastic television pundits, and big bank bonuses really bum me out.
Are you like me? Mainstream media got you down? Sick of Edwards? Tired of Tiger? Need a break from the shallow, male dominated 24-hour-blab-fest? Do you crave provocative remarks from women who can lift you up and make you feel good (the kind of healthy escapism that won't result in substance abuse or an std?) Well don't despair, because I've got a few media feel-better-band-aids...
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.