There's a scene in the original Carrie that made me tear up the first time I saw it, at age 12 or so. It's not one of the movie's famous scare scenes—not the ones at the prom, not the pants-peeingly unexpected shock ending, not even the senseless murder of a pig—but it's one that resonated for being profoundly upsetting in an entirely different way.
• Three 6 year old girls in California started their own skateboarding group: Pink Helmet Posse. The girls write on their website, "We know it can be intimidating, but we're here to show you that skateboarding is not just for boys." Awesome! [Huffington Post]
Every year on Halloween, evangelical religious groups set up hell houses: horrific theatrical events that showcase sins like fornication, abortion, and same-sex relationships—sounds like a scarring experience for those who don’t take shame in these ‘sins.’ Yet for the participants in these hell houses, their artistic efforts are a form of activism. This year, Toronto-based feminist artist Allyson Mitchell, along with a crowd of community members, constructed and performed Kill Joy’s Kastle: A Lesbian-Feminist Haunted House. Outlining the horrors of feminist pasts and presents, the hand-made installation and queer-crafted performance exorcised from the grave things which scare those both outside and inside of Mitchell’s artist, activist, and academic community.
I took a trip to the lesbian-feminist haunted house to experience the spookiness.
Lizz Winstead is a prolific comedian. First off, she's the co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show. She left months before Jon Stewart became the host (but not before discovering Stephen Colbert) and went on to co-found Air America Radio and hosted the show Unfiltered with Chuck D and Rachel Maddow. In May 2012, she published a book of biographical essays, Lizz Free or Die, that chronicle her life growing up in a Catholic family in Minnesota, getting an abortion at age 17, becoming a stand-up comedian, and moving to New York to revolutionize the way Americans see the news.
Winstead is coming to Portland, Oregon this Saturday to speak at NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon’s Annual Choice Gala. She took time to talk with me over the phone on Monday about her history, Twitter fights, and how comedians have become the watchdogs of media.
• The "pink-washing" of breast cancer awareness campaigns simultaneously masks the real experiences of breast cancer survivors and contributes to social expectations that women minimize their own pain in favor of continuing to care for those around them. [Feministing Community]
• Street harassment doesn't always stop after a few catcalls—sometimes it escalates to physical and sexual violence. Here are three ideas about how to stop harassers and call out behavior that expresses entitlement to women's bodies. [Ms.]
• Unfortunately, we still haven't found a suitable solution to the "revenge porn" trend. Women often have no recourse when photos of them appear online, and criminalization doesn't seem like it will offer an answer either. [Mashable]
• More and more young people in Japan are choosing not to date, marry, or have children. Many see this as a cause for alarm, but the people interviewed in this Guardian article sound pretty happy. Is tech-driven modern culture depriving us of relationships, or destigmatizing singledom? [The Guardian]
Let us know what we missed in the comments section.
“There’s a coldness even in the name of our band to sort of balance the fact that we are going to pour our hearts into it. The whole thing is protection,” says Emily Haines, the singer and songwriter behind Metric, as we spoke just as she was prepping to leave on the electro-harmony band’s latest tour. “You know we can’t be called, like, The Hugs. Although that might be closer to the actual spirit of the four people that are in the band.”
Marissa Alexander is a mother of three, a Black woman, and a survivor of abuse. She is currently sitting in a Florida prison for firing a warning shot into the wall of her house to dissuade her abusive husband from attacking her. Last month, an appeals court overturned her conviction, ruling that the jury received flawed instructions on self-defense.
Marissa Alexander’s case illustrates how abuse survivors are often criminalized and further abused by the legal system.
Here's all the feminist news on our radar this morning.
• First, the NSA spied on American citizens. Then it spied on French citizens. Then it spied on the Mexican government. How much more ridiculous can this get? [Al Jazeera]
• When "Think Pink" is really more like "Think Profit": The NFL makes a ton of money off selling breast cancer awareness promotional pink merchandise this month, giving only a small slice of profits to the American Cancer Society. [Philly.com]
Roll Jordan, roll Roll Jordan, roll I want to go to heaven when I die To hear ol' Jordan roll
A rising tide. This is the closest feeling and image I can give to describe the impact of watching Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years A Slave, based on the true narrative by Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was captured and sold into slavery in 1841. It is a tide that hits, even when you’re not ready, recedes, then comes back with a force more powerful than the last.
This tide keeps coming, and you keep anticipating it, but nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming fear and loathing that fill your body when slave owner Master Epps (Michael Fassbender) enters the frame, and Solomon’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) face falls heavy with an aquatic force.
This Friday's mixtape is curated for Bitch from the folks behind the Feminist Playing Cards deck. "Queens of my Feminist Heart" features songs by the hearts of the project, a deck of cards featuring 56 feminist musicians illustrated by 14 feminist artists. The deck showcases musicians who have made strides towards women's equality, whether through their music, career, personal achievements or activism.