There is a wedding scene at the beginning of Andrew Dosunmu's Mother of George that exudes such richness, visual beauty, magic, and love, that I wanted to be in it. At a traditional Nigerian wedding ceremony in Brooklyn, main characters Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaach De Bankole) forge a union that's blessed by elders, Orishas and full of lively music, hennaed hands, and shimmering gold fabric.
Big news, everyone! According to Slate's Hanna Rosin, the patriarchy is dead. Like really dead. Super deceased. She has no idea why feminists won't stop banging on about inequality and stuff, because she's just not seeing it. Ladies in Congress exist, y'all! Feminist pundits sometimes get airtime! White ladies with books to sell, like Rosin herself, feel totally equal! So in honor of patriarchy's cool new dirt nap, let's read a roundup of all the news that's on our radar that we might call "feminist" but that Rosin would probably just label "victimy whining."
• We'll miss you, patriarchy! Kinda odd that many of your fruits (vajazzling! rape culture! no mandatory maternity leave!) seem to be sticking around, though. [The Cut]
• A group of more than 100 Latina activists who traveled to Washington to advocate for an immigration-reform bill that recognizes the need for family support and reproductive justice were arrested after a peaceful protest on Capitol Hill. [National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health]
• What do the tech-bro events of this past week have in common with Riptide, the new history of how the rise of new media disrupted the old status quo of journalism? Both almost completely ignore women's participation in shaping the culture of digital technology and information. [LinkedIn Today]
• Remembering Chien-Shiung Wu, the female physicist who along with two male coworkers disproved The Parity Law in the 1950s. Her male coauthors—but not Wu—were awarded the Nobel Prize. [American Association of University Women]
• Bitch has written before about the conservative Catholic phenomenon of "stay-at-home daughters." This week brings a new video by one man who wants to warn others about the dangers of sending young women to college. Among them: learning, independence, and autonomy. Wow, it's a really good thing that the patriarchy doesn't exist anymore; otherwise this could seem like a textbook example. [Jezebel]
• Big Brother is a crappy show, but we should definitely listen when its host, Julie Chen, talks about feeling pressured to have eyelid surgery when she was younger to better conform to Western notions of beauty. That would never happen now, of course, what with patriarchy and all its beauty imperatives being totally dunzo. [Angry Asian Man]
• The candy chain It'Sugar is selling a classy little baby onesie emblazoned with the words "Hung Like a Preschooler." If you're interested, you can sign a petition asking the chain to stop sexualizing babies' bodies. (Don't use the word "patriarchy," though, since everyone knows that has nothing to do with penis size as a measure of masculinity.) [Change.org]
• Anyone who takes public transportation is no doubt familiar with the phenomenon of men taking up more than their fair share of space while women are expected to crunch up all their limbs to accomodate them. A new Tumblr documents some of the most egregious examples, including one that appears to be Robb Stark of Game of Thrones. It's not patriarchy, though! It's biology. You know, because testicles need air. That's just science. [Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train]
Sorry about that Red Wedding, guy, but your comfort is not more important than others'.
It's Friday! Finally! Here's all the feminist news on our radar from the end of the week.
• The announcement yesterday that Private Bradley Manning would now be known as Chelsea Manning and should be referred to as female instantly highlighted the varying media outlet policies on trans issues. While GLAAD encourages all media to use a person's preferred pronoun, places like NPR refuse to switch pronouns until a person's "desire to have his gender changed actually physically happens." [New York Times]
• Our border with Mexico has become more and more militarized, with the number of border patrol agents quintupling over the past 20 years and the agency's budget swelling to $18 billion. In 2012, the Border Patrol used that money to arrest 364,000 people—mostly harmless migrants, not a single one of them a terrorist threat. [New York Times]
• The biggest movie at the box office this weekend was Lee Daniels' The Butler, about a black butler who served seven presidents. [Ebony]
"What woman here is so enamored of her own oppression that she cannot see her heel print upon another woman's face?"
– Audre Lorde
As I write this, two undocumented activists have spent 104 out of the last 108 hours in total isolation. Twenty-four-year-old Lulu Martinez and 22-year-old Maria Peniche are in solitary confinement at Arizona's Eloy Detention Center. It has been reported that Peniche is currently on suicide watch.
• Writer Olivia Messer details the widespread, daily sexism that's part of the culture of the Texas capitol. [Texas Observer]
• A four-part series in the Cleveland Plain-Dealerdigs into unsolved rape cases from the city and finds that not all rapes were investigated equally—whether police took each case seriously depended a lot on race and age. [Cleveland Plain-Dealer]
• No surprise, but abstinence-only sex-ed cirricula are full of gender stereotypes so bad that they would be hilarious if they weren't actually being taught in schools. For example: "Women need affection while men need sexual fulfillment; women need conversation while men need recreational companionship." [RH Reality Check]
• To kick off Pride Week, Vancouver, BC installs permanent rainbow crosswalks in one of its fanciest neighborhoods. Some LGBT advocates say that's great, but it might be better to put rainbow crosswalks in affordable neighborhoods, too. [Straight]
What did I miss? Add what you're reading to the comments.
• "Still Marginalized": The Root interviewed activist Janet Mock about the discrimination trans people still face in the wake of DOMA's undoing. [The Root]
• In more trans activist news, the Media Literacy Project created an ad to counter the images used in a Chicago teen pregnancy campaign, and it features the slogan: "Trans Men Have Babies Too." [Media Literacy Project]
• The first-ever international event on street harassment, HOLLA::Revolution, is taking place in New York at the end of the month. The conference will include discussions on tech, feminism and street harassment. The facebook page has more details, including a speaker lineup and information on how to purchase tickets. [HOLLABACK]
• The D.C. City Council is trying to pass a "living wage" bill that would force major employers to pay their employees a whopping $12.50 an hour, and Walmart is whining. [Think Progress]
• Today is a big day in Texas, where Governor Rick Perry called a second special session of the legislature, just to take another vote on a bill (now called SB9) that will restrict abortion rights in the state and shut down many clinics. Here's information on the protest at the Capitol, plus background on the bill. [Jessica Luther]
• A Tumblr has been made in recognition of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's awesomness—The Notorious R.B.G. (which includes the comic at right) [Notorious R.B.G.]
• Speaking of abortion restrictions, here's a report on what the huge turnout of protesters to support Wendy Davis in Texas says about the future of the state: "They were the Texans that national observers rarely see—and they are helping to plant the seeds of a progressive revival in the state." [American Prospect]
• What does "cooling-off period" mean? Natasha Vargas-Cooper explains the language of abortion restrictions and how it negatively affects women. [Buzzfeed]
• The People's Record reports on the "invisible American workforce: prisoners." American inmates are paid almost nothing to make a wide variety of products—from chicken to college dorm furniture. [People's Record]
Ding-dong, DOMA is dead! Let there be much rejoicing.
As we break out the champagne and cupcakes, though, it's important to recognize how overturning the federal "one man-one woman" definition of marriage is not the end point for making America a more equal union.