Weekly round-up and open thread
Lusana Taylor // 26 September 2016
Welcome to another weekly round-up, where we share (what we see as) the most interesting and important articles and essays from the previous seven days. We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the issues covered in our chosen links!
As always, linking to articles does not mean endorsement from the F-Word and certain links may be triggering. We welcome debate in the comments section and on Facebook/Twitter but remind readers that any comments containing sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or disablist language will be deleted immediately.
If you notice that we’ve missed out any important articles from the past week, feel free to let us know.
Longing for the Male Gaze (NY Times)
From the article: “I watch men on the street. I will watch a man visually or verbally harass women who pass him. I am invisible enough to do this. Sometimes men look at me, but the reaction is different. There seems to be some level of shame or confusion mixed with the lust in their eyes. Does this mean that I am lucky? Am I blessed to be sexually invisible and given a reprieve from something that has troubled women for centuries?”
The following is a response piece to the NY Times article above:
From the article: “Calling out the male gaze for erasing certain body types is crucially important. Pop culture loves to forget that being conventionally attractive — like being disabled — is neither your fault nor your achievement. But basing your body image activism on your personal insecurities earns you at best political solidarity and at worst pity. It doesn’t make people find you attractive.”
From the article: “When young girls are being married off at a heartbreakingly young age because it’s seen as their greatest chance of survival; when women are miscarrying on the side of the road in an unfamiliar country; when mothers are forced to send their children unaccompanied on dinghies in the dark, unconvinced they’ll ever see them alive again; when women are reaching the UK and being abused and degraded, or detained while pregnant for the crime of seeking refuge: these are feminist issues. Urgent, desperate, outrageous feminist issues. And, as feminists, we must act.”
One woman’s pain is not another woman’s joy (Harper’s Bazaar)
From the article: “The self-satisfied-Aniston memes might be funny, but they play into a concerning narrative about how we still portray women in these situations. Namely, that we are pitted against each other in an endless cat-fight for dominance and attention.”
From the article: “In some ways, I shudder at my youthful sense of entitlement. Yet, I wish my twenties had been more positive and optimistic, and I don’t think there was anything wrong with my original set of expectations. Every single person in the world should be able to look forward to job satisfaction and security, safe housing and starting a family, if that’s what they want.”
Fiona Vera-Gray has previously written for the F-Word. You can read her article ‘The hidden work of being a woman in public’ HERE.
From the article: “The 20-year-old had chosen not to shake hands with her male colleagues and instead preferred to put her hand on her heart and bow as a greeting. But when one of her male colleagues took offence, Ms Sakka was ordered to go to a meeting with the principal and told she must conform to the institution’s ‘core values’ if she wanted to remain working there.”
From the article: “‘I don’t want to sound bitter, but I’ll do a comedy, meet a guy who’s got two lines, and then see a show on TV by him. And it’s like, where did he come from?'”
25 famous women on being alone (NY Times)
No, White Women, Betty Shelby’s Manslaughter Charge Is Not Unfair (The Establishment)
From the article: “First of all, let’s be crystal clear here: Betty Shelby is not the first police officer to be charged in the killing of an unarmed Black person. Nor will this be the first indictment of its kind, should it even come to that. And this is a really important (and easily Google-able!) fact, because when white women take this lie and use it as an example of sexism, what they are actually doing is making Betty Shelby into a victim, whether they intend to or not.
To do so is a straight-up act of violence against Black people, and it’s a narrative that is sure to be scooped up by her most fervent and violent supporters any minute now. Again, let me be really clear: Betty Shelby is not the victim here, not by any stretch.”
Understanding the roots of sexual violence and lad culture on campus (The Conversation)
The numbers Labour did NOT want you to see on TV this morning – and why (The SKWAWKBOX Blog)
From the article: “It is the hundreds of thousands of people that make up the new mass membership of the party that can have the biggest impact. It is they, more than anyone, who now have the means to change the country. And they can get started on it straight away.”
6 Ways Your Social Justice Activism Might Be Ableist (Everyday Feminism)
From the article: “From ableist slang, to the nasty ableism of the anti-vaccination movement, to insensitivity around disability in right-to-die debates, there are countless arenas where activists accidentally show their privilege by ignoring or decentering those without it.”
From the article: “It’s easy to laugh at incidents like these. Too easy. Because while we’re having our fun – and I’ve certainly had much mileage from them both as IT writer and as stand-up – Facebook continues, out of sight, to impose its own version of middlebrow frat boy liberalism on the rest of the world, erasing minority and national cultures, with nary a squeak of protest from those who should be speaking up on our behalf. Take its ludicrous nipple policy. Male nipples are OK, female aren’t, and transgender – well, it depends how they identify! Or look at the company’s ongoing beef with breastfeeding. Or its obsessive categorisation of precisely what bodily fluids may be depicted and how.”
Jane Fae has previously written for the F-Word. You can read more of her writing HERE.
The image is used under a creative commons license with thanks to theaucitron on Flickr. It shows a landscape image of vibrantly blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Underneath is a field of golden corn.