Female Genital Cutting, Sexuality, and Anti-FGC Advocacy

This post is a response to the increasingly heated thread at Feministe on Female Genital Cutting (FGC). Nearly every mention of FGC in our society elicits condemnation of the practices and the people who practice them as “bestial”, “barbarian”, “inhuman”, “uncivilized”, “heinous”, etc., which has a tendency to set me off. For a long time I’ve wondered about the incredible and disproportional response FGC incites in Westerners, feminists and non-feminists alike, responses which generally are very far removed from the reported responses and experiences of women who have undergone some form of FGC. [Continue reading]

Ex-Gay? Unhappy?

Parody billboard Justinsomnia posted this great parody of “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International’s recruiting billboard (original pictured below). Justinsomnia received a cease-and-desist letter from Exodus International. Screw Exodus International, parody is free speech. [Continue reading]

Bottoming from the Top, or: Do FemDoms Dream of Electric Toasters?

Twisty of I Blame the Patriarchy offers the flipside of my recent discussion of BDSM in two posts about the patriarchy-affirming nature of even the safest, sanest, and consensualist BDSM sexplay. [Continue reading]

Disability and the Male Gaze

Via Shrub comes this post by Mahlia Miles, a self-described “pretty woman in a wheelchair”, who writes of the way her physical condition feeds the male body, both as a physically limited female body (and thus simply an exaggerated version of the female body’s helplessness in general), and as a (with a nod to Sarah Jones) 3-foot blowjob machine, a twisted version of the “grateful ugly girl” whose mouth is forever set at groin-height: [Continue reading]

Elyce Elucidates: The Gender Politics of Housework

The Gender Politics of Housework

One key concept to understanding how housework is political is to grasp the concept, developed by sociologist Arlie Hochschild, that housework is work. It is valuable yet undervalued labor because it is unpaid. And the bulk of this unpaid labor, even in dual-career marriages, is done by women, without recognition of this fact.

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Chivalry and the Working Woman

On Chivalry [Continue reading]

Compliment-ary Strategies

I have a healthy dose of respect for Hugo Schwyzer, and find myself paying closer and closer attention to him as I enter a situation much like his, a male instructor in a Women’s Studies program. I don’t always agree with Hugo, but I’m always impressed by the way he deals with often sensitive and often highly personal topics. In this post, “But you’re pretty”: a pro-feminist musing on why compliments don’t help, Hugo responds to the targeting of Jill at Feministe on a bulletin board at her school, where students posted and then viciously attacked photographs of her. [Continue reading]

The Tyranny of Tiny Differences

The Y Files: Hyping sex differences Cathy Young of the Y Files has a fantastic post on the way that tiny sex differences discovered in research get inflated, by the media and often by the researchers themselves, into essentializing characterizations of men and women. “[T]he truth,” she writes, “is that on the popular level — and also among the anti-PC set — talk about sex differences often tends to lapse into unwarranted generalizations and rather egregious stereotyping.” These generalizations and stereotypes often tell us more about the political goals of the people describing the research than the research tells us about men and women. [Continue reading]