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'.
• Umme-Hani Khan, who was fired by Abercrombie for wearing a hijab, has won her discrimination case. Abercrombie argued to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that their workers are not employees subject to regular employment law but actually "living advertisements." Nice try, jerks. [Today]
• dapperQ tackled the lack of diversity at New York Fashion Week by co-producing their own fashion show, representing "queer owned and operated brands designing menswear for masculine presenting women, gender-queers, and trans* identified individuals." [Autostraddle]
On TV, there's a new guard of heroines calling the shots. From chipper Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation to fractured Carrie Mathison on Homeland to narcissistic Amy Jellicoe on Enlightened, we see women anchoring our favorite shows. So what makes these characters so often cringe-worthy?
In The New Yorker, TV critic Emily Nussbaum took note of this new small screen female archetype, the Hummingbird:
They're different ages; some are more manic, some sweeter or more sour...But they do share traits: they're idealistic feminine dreamers whose personalities are irritants. They are not merely spunky, but downright obsessive. And most crucially, these are not minor characters. On each show, the Hummingbird is a protagonist—an alienating-yet-sympathetic figure whose struggles are taken seriously and considered meaningful.
At first glance, this seems like a mere gender shift from the lauded male antiheroes whom TV audiences have embraced. Think Tony Soprano, Dexter, Don Draper, and Walter "Heisenberg" White. And to some extent, it's true: Contemporary audiences love to root for the bad guy, so why not the overwhelmingly eager woman?
Hi there! I'm Rachel McCarthy James. In most internet-type contexts I go by RMJ. I write and edit the recently-revived feminist blog Deeply Problematic, and I'm here to talk to y'all about some TELEVISION. Read on for some thoughts about Television, in general!