Welcome to the world, Caitlyn Jenner!

“For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.”

It was just two months ago when Jenner sat across from Diane Sawyer and identified as a trans woman.

And now, Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, has introduced herself to the world triumphantly and with class.

What an entrance!

What an entrance!

Her cover was met with an explosion of support from family, other celebs, and fans alike.

Of course not everyone was so supportive.

Ignorant.

Transphobic jerk.

But hey, Caitlyn Jenner is not only a gold-winning Olympic athlete, but now an inspiration to people worldwide. And Drake Bell is well… a yesterday’s news Nickelodeon has-been with a penchant for rude comments on twitter.

Don’t let the haters get you down, Caitlyn! And again, welcome.

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Charged With a “Woman’s Crime”, Jailed With Men?!

Here’s a daily dose of bullshit.

Ashley Del Valle, a transgendered woman from New York, was arrested in Savannah, Georgia, for allegedly exposing her breasts. When a nurse examined her and found she had a penis, she was classified as “technically” a male and thrown into the holding ward of a men’s prison.

So. Charged with a crime only women can be convicted of, exposing our nipples, but thrown in jail with men. What?!

“First off, Ashley is still a man,” said chief deputy Roy Harris to the ld GA Voice. “I think he’s had some surgery, breast implants. But technically he is still a male which poses a problem. We do have a policy in place. Typically we put them in isolation.”

Isolation is usual protocol when it comes to putting a transgendered individual behind bars, which has it’s own issues. Isolation is a common punishment.

Del Valle has been living her life happily as a woman for over 20 years. She was accused of a crime she said she did not commit (she says she was just wearing a sheer top), was misgendered, and thrown in jail where she felt very safe and not treated “as a human being.”

It seems to me the police had two options: If Ashley is a man to them, she could not be jailed for exposing her nipples, because it wouldn’t be considered “indecent exposure”. If she is a woman to them, she would be brought to a woman’s jail. They fucked up big time.

I’m happy Del Valle is pursuing legal action.

Future of Feminist Opinion Blogging

I’ve been presented with a question that is not an easy one to answer. What is the future of feminist opinion blogging?

Feminism is definitely becoming less of a “dirty word” thanks to the help of celebrities like Beyonce and Amy Poehler, and websites like HelloGiggles and Refinery29 that post feminist content in addition to everything else they talk about. When popular culture websites regularly reference feminism, it means that feminism is part of the everyday thinking. How awesome is that?

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I think we can definitely expect to see more feminist writers, starting at younger and younger ages. When women start to realize the issues in our world when it comes to gender earlier, they will grow up pushing against it. This will also be aided by the fact that there is more movement towards feminist parenting and raising children to be conscious of these issues and to not be quiet about them. I can see more organizations hiring on a feminist consultant, which would be an awesome way to make money (Bud Light could have used one, amiright?)

I think in the near future we will see more of a crack-down when it comes to online threats and harassment, something feminist writers see a whole lot of. These online attacks aren’t ever about a writers content or opinion, it’s about her body, her sexuality, her intelligence, or threatening her safety. When the law really catches up with online harassment, everyone, including feminist writers, will feel much more comfortable with laying their opinions and stories out.

That internet hate is real. “‘In 2006, researchers from the University of Maryland set up a bunch of fake online accounts and then dispatched them into chat rooms. Accounts with feminine usernames incurred an average of 100 sexually explicit or threatening messages a day. Masculine names received 3.7′” says Amanda Hess in her eye-opening piece, “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.” Imagine what those numbers are now, with how much the internet has expanded?

Speaking of the internet changing, that’s another big factor that will impact feminist opinion blogging. With net neutrality a hot topic that is up in the air, it’s hard to say where the internet will be in five, ten years. Without net neutrality, it’s possible that feminist opinion writing won’t be a thing anymore. Other online communities would be at risk, too (Minorities, LGBT groups, etc).Without net neutrality, those calling the shots can do away with what they consider unfavorable speech. Open internet means that people have the opportunity to forge these online communities and can get their voice out there, when it might not be heard on mainstream media.

If the open internet really does go to hell in a hand-basket, I can see a bigger revival of zines, which would be pretty awesome. I think feminists would also be subscribing more to things like Ms, Bitch, Off Our Backs, and  Make/Shift. The hard part about that though is the number of people who wouldn’t have the money or resources to access a subscription to these publications. An amazing part about the internet is how easy it is for someone to access information from wherever they are.

We should all read 'zines anyways, they're badass.

We should all read ‘zines anyways, they’re badass.

So I guess when it comes down to it, I don’t know where feminist opinion blogging is going. There are so many factors, most due to the fact that the internet is at the same time a newborn invention and the wild, wild west. All I can do is hop on and come along for the ride.

Stuff About Vaginas.

Not a lot of words hold power like “vagina.” People think it’s obscene, gross, uncomfortable. But people sure like to talk about them. With things like labiaplasty, vagazzling, and vaginal steaming, it seems society thinks they need to look a certain way. With the rules and regulations we put on them society also wants to tell vaginas what to do.

Here’s a couple of interesting, vagina-related things I’ve found among my internet travels for your enjoyment.

1. Check out this video where gals from Buzzfeed are taught by sex and life coach Kim Anami about vaginal weightlifting. They learn how to insert a yoni egg into their vagina and lift stuff with it! Do I know all the science behind it? No. Would I try this? Definitely. I think you would too after seeing how much fun they have. Gabbi has a good point when she says, “Dudes are always like ‘oh my dick’s so big blah blah blah’ why aren’t we like, ‘my vagina is so strong!’

2. Here’s an interesting narrative about a woman who is a GTA. That stands for gynecological teaching assistant, not grand theft auto. She is essentially a live demonstration model for learning gynecologists. How cool is that? Personally, I once had a gyno put a speculum in me without any warning and it was a very dehumanizing, upsetting experience. It’s great this woman is part of teaching these future docs not only the basic anatomy, but sensitivity.

"The dreaded speculum."

“The dreaded speculum.”

3. Speaking of different ways to use your vagina- Melbourne’s Casey Jenkins, artist and self pronounced “craftivist,” is hoping to normalize vaginas in her performance art called “Casting Off My Womb.” She is sitting in a studio space, knitting with wool coming out of her vagina. This is an interesting, unique, and surprisingly adorable video.

4. Did you know it’s possible to have two vaginas? Neither did I.  YouTube personality Cassandra Bankson found out she had two vaginas after going to the doctor for kidney pain. Despite the fact that she was bleeding around 28 days per cycle (rather than the usual 3-5), Bankson is endlessly positive and an awesome role model.

 

P.S Don’t forget- your vagina is perfect just the way it is.

20 years in prison… for miscarrying?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until my face turns red; putting restrictions on and criminalizing abortion does not stop it.

In the case of Purvi Partel, we don’t know if she had a miscarriage, as she says. We don’t know if she intentionally ended her pregnancy. All we know is she is going to serve 20 years in prison for feticide and child neglect.

Purvi Patel

There’s a whole lot of fuckery going on here. The use of the 17th century “lung float” test, which is widely discredited and sounds like it’s left over from the Salem Witch Trials. The contradiction of charging her for killing the fetus…and for abandoning a living child. The charge of using illegal abortion pills that weren’t detected in her or the fetus’ blood. The fact that police started questioning her and gathering evidence against her while she still lay in a hospital bed- no rights read to her, no attorney present.

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Even if Patel self-aborted, is this something we want to jail women for? Jail them for decades? Patel needs support, not punishment. This is what happens when we set up barriers for women to get safe abortions and stigmatize it.

If her pregnancy was intended, no one would question her whatsoever.

Imprisoned for a miscarriage sounds like some sort of fucked up dream some anti-choice loony came up with. Sadly, it looks like it’s now a reality.

5 Feminist Movies to Watch This Summer.

One of my favorite things about summer is I can finally catch up on all the movies I’ve been meaning to see. I’ve compiled a list here of awesome feminist flicks for you all to binge on. I know I’ll be watching most of these on my porch while enjoying the nice weather 🙂

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

You had me at

You had me at ” hijab wearing, skateboarding vampire who preys on men that disrespect women.”

I just saw this, and man oh man, is it a good one. Even if you’re a scaredy cat like me, this is a horror movie you’ll be able to tolerate.  Ana Lily Amipour takes a lot of movie elements, modern and from the past, and blends them together into something I’ve never seen before. Plus, it’s got a killer soundtrack.

Obvious Child

Jenny Slate, you wonderful human being, you.

Jenny Slate, you wonderful human being, you.

I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again, watch this movie! This is a romantic comedy that has tackles the topic of unplanned pregnancy and abortion in a way that’s honest, open, and realistic. Plus Jenny Slate is freaking hilarious. This is a  wonderful, feel good movie.

Big Eyes

Amy Adams as the lovely and talented Margaret Keane.

Amy Adams as the lovely and talented Margaret Keane.

I can’t wait to see this recent  Tim Burton flick that explores the life of a woman he calls “the most quiet, under-the radar feminist you’ve ever met.” Big Eyes tells the true story of artist Margaret Keane, who suffered through years of abuse from her husband who made her let him take credit for her paintings.

Belle

The costumes look incredible, too!

The costumes look incredible, too!

Here’s another inspired by a true story flick. This movie is about Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. For her protection she is sent to live with her aristocratic Aunt and Uncle, where her privilege is stunted by the color of her skin. It looks like it not only has the beauty of period pieces but strong social commentary and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Thelma and Louise

Roadtrip!

Roadtrip!

I know so far I’ve put all recent movies, but I had to throw in a classic. A class I somehow have not seen yet.  Reading Tracy Moore on Jezebel say about it “there are radio sing-alongs, drinks, a line-dancing sequence, excellent sunglasses, windblown road hair, hilarious witticisms, sweet ’90s denim, a hardcore paean to female friendship — while still offering a fucked-up, scathing, serious movie about rape and trauma and loss and the crime of living in the world female.” sold me.

This is just a list of movies on my mind right now, but there are so many interesting, moving, wonderful feminist films.

P.S Don’t forget about documentaries, too! Anita Little of Ms.Magazine put together a great little list of feminist documentaries currently on Netflix. I can only speak for It’s a Girl and Miss Representation, but they’re really good and will make you angry/motivated/inspired. I’m looking forward to seeing the others.

Bud Light is Nasty Anyways.

Bud Light, also known as watered down piss, decided to call their product “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” Who thought that was a good idea?!

A spokesperson admitted they "missed the mark" with the slogan. You think?!

A spokesperson admitted they “missed the mark” with the slogan. You think?!

Democratic congresswoman Nita Lowey,  from New York summed it up. “This grossly shortsighted marketing tactic shows an epic lack of understanding of the dangers associated with excessive alcohol consumption, such as sexual assault and drunk driving. We need responsible companies to help us tackle these serious public health and safety problems, not encourage them.” she said. You said it, Nita!

Do I think they were trying to promote rape culture? No. But they definitely were promoting reckless drinking, which is not what you want to associated with and did so in a way insensitive, especially during the high profile campus rape cases going on right now. What happened to just saying  “Please drink responsibly?” Oy vey.

Comments online I think highlighted a very real issue. The minute people online are offended by something, especially something having to do with feminism and sexism, people are mad at them about it. Why? If you’re not offended, just move on. Go away. But don’t minimize a persons experiences that have led them to feel a certain way. Half of sexual assaults have alcohol involved.

Like some guy named Yanique Bansi that commented, “I think if a dude is going to rape you, he doesn’t need a beer to convince him.” WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! Comments really are great at just highlighting the worst of humanity. Like this fuckboy’s comment below.

I'm sure Isaac's mother would be very proud.

I’m sure Isaac’s mother would be very proud.