There have been countless observations made here at Bitch and elsewhere about how the term "slut" has been used, abused, and reclaimed with varying degrees of success. In this post, I want to explore a topic that I've been having a lot of conversations about lately with a friend who works full time at my university. Her position happens to be managed by the undergraduates in the student government. She's said that while few undergrad students would raise their hands if asked "are you a feminist?," many more seem to feel like the work of feminism is done and what they've taken away from it is a message of sexual empowerment and freedom. What I wonder about is how much this message is a product of second wave feminisms and how much it is a reflection of the rampant oversexualization of women in the media. My friend hears this version of empowerment in watercooler talk about whose "number" is higher and who "got" whom after the bar last night.
There’s a new front in the battle for abortion rights—the literal front, that is, of a t-shirt designed by writer and feminist activist Jennifer Baumgardner that proclaims “I had an abortion.” The shirt, initially for sale on Planned Parenthood’s national website and now available on Clamor magazine’s website, has generated controversy among not only the antiabortion community but also pro-choice feminists.