Women on Web is an online service that helps women in countries where abortion is restricted or illegal. The website will refer patients less than 9 weeks pregnant to a doctor who can provide them with a medical abortion.
WoW is associated with Women on Waves, an organization that sails a ship to countries where abortion is illegal. Setting anchor in international waters, Women on Waves can provide legal medical abortions on their ship. Women on Waves has sailed to Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.
Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.
Tell me again, what did you say about representation not being important?
Reblogging this because I think this is a good example of the power of the narratives we grow up absorbing (& still absorb now as adults) and how that affects the way we see the world, how we place people (and ourselves) in the world, and who we expect to see (and thus write into our own stories) in certain roles. This is similar to another post I’ve reblogged about how people write certain tropes and narratives because “that’s just what you do”. And it extends to other creative expressions too, like how you portray characters in illustrated or interactive media (comics, video games).
To put it in the context of what’s discussed on this blog, if you grow up on women being portrayed in a certain way, you’re going to not think twice when you write your own story about portraying them that way because that’s just “what you do”, that’s just what seems “natural” and “right” to you. It’s why there’s so much midriff-baring armor for women out there, or high heeled boots on female warriors, or boobs and butt battle poses. It’s also why the “average” woman portrayed in fiction is so far from average that it’s skewing our own internal idea of what “thin” and “thick” women look like. Sometimes it’s a conscious effort (by the illustrator or their editor) to sexualize them, and sometimes it’s just what we’re used to, so we do it. It’s just how we’re used to seeing women fighters, so when we draw them we do what we’re used to seeing.
And it’s the same with the representation of other groups (and remember, these groups overlap). The way we write and draw trans people is influenced by how we’re taught to think of trans people, and those narratives are usually informed by the media. The same as how “western” nations think of Asia, or Africa. What we imagine those places are like in our mind’s eye. We “know” what these places are like, what queer people are like, what heroes are like, who fights dragons, who gets rescued, etc, because of how the media portrays these things. It’s all around us, and we don’t have to subconsciously want to do these things to do them, because it’s just what seems “right” and “natural” and “automatic”.
That’s why it’s also important to challenge ourselves in our growth as consumers of product, and as creators of future product. Why do we “know” what we know? Is this actually the only way to do things, or just the way we’re used to seeing it done? And it’s important for us to actively seek out for ourselves, different ideas, different narratives, and different perspectives, and to consider what kinds of messages we want to send with our own work. Because, just like we grew up with the narratives that taught us “how things are” in a certain way, future children will grow up with the narratives we contribute to, and it will affect what they “know” about their place in the world, what roles they get to be and don’t get to be, whose stories are being told, and who only matters as an object or gimmick within that story.
Project for my Social Psych class last semester. This poster series was created to 1) challenge these internalized stereotypes by bringing them to the viewer’s attention and 2) expand the range of role models by including a diverse group of women. Each poster follows the same basic pattern: a woman who has demonstrated her competency in a particular area refutes the stereotype that appears above her in the form of “Girls can’t …”. While the posters target girls ranging from children to young adults, I expect the message would also cause people outside that demographic to question their own beliefs about women and power. I designed each aspect of the posters with several principles of social psychology in mind:
The Trouble Between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement
Segregated Sisterhood: Racism Politics American Feminism
Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism
Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism
Feminism Is For Everybody: Passionate Politics
The Womanist Reader: The First Quarter Century of Womanist Thought
Black Feminist Voices in Politics
Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980
[[trigger warning: rape]]
In response to the Steubenville, Ohio teen rape case, West Virginia U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld is launching a program to teach high school athletes not to post evidence of rape online.
It’s called “Project Future,” and his goal is to teach teens how to avoid getting in trouble with the law by using cell phones, cameras, and social media “responsibly.” Instead of teaching teens not to rape, the U.S. Attorney wants to teach them not to get caught.
This is rape culture at work: The very people who are in charge of enforcing our laws look at a cruel, brutal attack on a young girl and think, “If only the teens hadn’t posted photographic evidence online.”
So, a PS3/Xbox 360/PC version of Assassin’s Creed: Liberation came out recently. Speaking as someone who wants to see more diversity in gaming, allow me to be very clear about this:
It is an entry in a major franchise starring a female POC.
PLEASE BUY THIS GAME!
I was previously only available on Vita, which not many people own, so I understand if it didn’t do great sales-wise there. But now it’s on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Hundreds of millions of people own these systems. If you play games, chances are you own one of these consoles. And it’s on PC! There are 75 Million Steam Users! Chances are, you own something that can play this game.
PLEASE. BUY THIS GAME!
I want to see more games with diverse protagonists. I want to see more games where a protagonists fights for the downtrodden. I want to see less games about short-haired, grizzled white dudes fighting for ‘Murica or (if the game is sci-fi) Space ‘Murica.
PLEASE BUY THIS GAME.
It’s a new release, but it’s only twenty dollars. You can probably afford twenty dollars. Have spaghetti one night instead of going out. Make coffee at home for a few days instead of going to Starbucks. Save up the twenty dollars and…say it with me now…
PLEASE BUY THIS GAME
I follow games closely, and there were only three (major release, non-indie) games I can think of last year that had female protagonists: Tomb Raider, Remember Me, and Beyond: Two Souls. Tomb Raider, despite being a big brand, only broke even after being out for eight months and was considered a sales disappointment. Remember Me did terribly in sales (I’m having trouble finding official sales figures, but the scuttlebutt puts it around 140K). Beyond: Two Souls sold a million units, which is not bad for a PS3 exclusive with non-standard gameplay, but was good enough to do better, in my opinion.
PLEASE BUY THIS GAME
The reason we get a bunch of Call of Duty clones is that Call of Duty sells a fuck ton. I’m not holding it against the game developers. They are businesses. They want to make money. I understand that. So tell them by buying this game. It’s a digital download. You can log on to your PS3, Xbox, or Steam and purchase this game. Please do so. I’m going to do so. I want more games like this.
Female protagonist! POC protagonist! Fighting against slavery! $20! Go get it!
In contemporary usage… the words ‘crone,’ ‘witch,’ ‘bitch,’ and ‘virgin’ describe women as threatening, evil, or heterosexually inexperienced and thus incomplete. In prepatriarchal times, however, these words evoked far different images. The crone was the old woman whose life experience gave her insight, wisdom, respect, and the power to enrich people’s lives. The witch was the wise-woman healer, the knower of herbs, the midwife, the link joining body, spirit, and Earth. The bitch was Artemis-Diana, goddess of the hunt, most often associated with the dogs who accompanied her. And the virgin was merely a woman who was unattached, unclaimed, and unowned by any man and therefore independent and autonomous. Notice how each word has been transformed from a positive cultural image of female power, independence, and dignity to an insult or a shadow of its former self so that few words remain to identify women in ways both positive and powerful.
"It's hard to be an up & coming female rapper nowadays because people don't know what to do with us. Like, they don't know what to do with women in Hip-Hop, so the best thing to do is to pit them against each other and it's like, 'You are gonna be better than her because she's the only one doing it right now,' and there are so many male rappers now that no one says that about."(x)
Girls are trained to say, ‘I wrote this, but it’s probably really stupid.’ Well, no, you wouldn’t write a novel if you thought it was really stupid. Men are much more comfortable going, ‘I wrote this book because I have a unique perspective that the world needs to hear.’ Girls are taught from the age of seven that if you get a compliment, you don’t go, ‘Thank you’, you go, ‘No, you’re insane.’
Sociologists use the term “androcentrism” to refer to a new kind of sexism, one that replaces the favoring of men over women with the favoring of masculinity over femininity. According to the rules of androcentrism, men and women alike are rewarded, but only insofar as they are masculine (e.g., they play sports, drink whiskey, and are lawyers or surgeons w00t!). Meanwhile, men are punished for doing femininity and women… well, women are required to do femininity and simultaneously punished for it.
I think the ‘women are required to do femininity and simultaneously punished for it’ bit sums up 90% of sexism in one sentence. (via shashirosa)