Here's the feminist news we've got on our radar today.
• Friday was National Coming Out Day. Jayson Flores asks what it means when we celebrate "straight-acting gays" for coming out while mocking those who are more gender non-conforming for telling us what we already presume to know. [PolicyMic]
• After receiving criticism for its "buy one, give one" business model that fails to address systemic causes of poverty and displaces local shoe producers, TOMS announces plans to begin manufacturing some shoes in Haiti starting in 2014. [Public Radio International]
• When urban scientist Dr. Danielle N. Lee turned down an offer to write for Biology Online, its editor called her an "urban whore." Then she wrote a blog post about it for Scientific American and they deleted her post without informing her. [Slate]
• Christina Aguilera traveled to Rwanda with the World Food Program to feed children, continuing a long legacy of white American celebrities "saving the children" in Africa. [Africa Is A Country]
• Viceinterviewed Petra Collins about her controversial American Apparel vagina t-shirt, feminism, menstruation, and pubic hair. Collins says, "Women are supposed to be submissive, we’re not supposed to be in control of our sexuality, so I guess it’s scary when a woman goes through puberty and gets hair and is able to take control of herself and her body." [Vice]
Let us know what's on your radar in the comments section.
• As if we couldn't get more exasperated with Robin Thicke, the artist of "Blurred Lines" fame believes that his objectifying music video is actually sexist in a good way and even claims that he has started a feminist movement. [PolicyMic]
Each week, intrepid artist Erika Moen digs into some aspect of sex and turns her experiences into a comic. This week's Oh Joy Sex Toy: The Mooncup! If you've ever wondered about what it's like using a menstrual cup, read on!
Since it debuted in 2011, the U by Kotex brand of pads and tampons (aimed at pre-teens) has made its mark with funny commercials and frank talk about periods. But recently, Kotex has decided to launch a part of their site that addresses period myths and the general lack of awareness many pre-teens have about their bodies. Their latest campaign, Generation Know, offers a site where girls can anonymously ask questions about periods and get answers from experts, peers, and moms. And holy cow, are these girls misguided.
I mean...there are no "wrong" questions when it comes to the complexities of the female body, and a lot of the questions are pretty basic (like "what happens during a pelvic exam?"). But some are a truly frightening demonstration of the absolute lack of information that young girls get when it comes to matters of their own health.
There are a lot of simple ways to try and prevent toxins from being absorbed into your body. Everything from new clothes to drugstore make-up to regular deodorant carries toxins, and your skin, which happens to be the largest eliminating organ your body has, absorbs all that it comes in contact with. But fear not; much can be done to avoid these contacts (wearing organic materials or thrift clothes that have been washed numerous times, wearing natural or no make-up, using a deodorant crystal or another homemade product are a few examples). One of the simplest things you can do (if you don't already) is to stop using conventional menstruation products.
Tired of that worn-out trope that women are impossible to work with or aren't creative when they are "on the rag"? Well these five artists/projects are defying this belief, using menstruation as fuel for empowerment and art.
I know I've spent a lot of time on this blog looking at subtle forms of feminist art, but it's only fair to consider the more direct approaches, especially when they're as thought-provoking as Red Is The Colour. Be prepared to embrace menarchy, or menstrual anarchy...
As one of the most controversial artists of modern times, Tracey Emin has generated serious column inches for her overtly personal work, including the installation My Bed (complete with condoms) and her series of autobiographical appliquéd blankets, littered with swear words. David Bowie called her "William Blake as a woman." But is she standing up for women everywhere with our shared life experiences, or is she only interested in using herself as subject matter?
In my last post I discussed with Elizabeth Kissling the anti-advertising campaign produced by Kotex to promote their neon-bright range of tampons and pads. There has been a delay on these commercials airing due on the use of the word 'vagina' - with some networks asking that it be replaced with the term 'down there.' Meanwhile in the UK the makers of the Mooncup have sent out posters to be displayed on the London Underground proclaiming 'Love Your Vagina'.