I've been supporting my homegirl's project Feminist Enough from the sidelines for a while but I finally got an opportunity to jump in front of the camera myself. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad the project has rebooted with new content, a new look, and hopefully a new reach. Feminism is NOT a dirty word. It's NOT just for white women or old women or old white women! Our Feminism does not play well in boxes and through multimedia projects like Feminist Enough, we're telling the world how we view our feminism and color outside the lines of what others want it and us to be. Check out this and more of the series at Feminist Enough
I joined the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence for a discussion around hip hop/pop culture on youth and relationships for Teen Dating Violence Month. Check it out, only 30 mins long.
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When Salt-N-Pepa famously sang “Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be,” in 1991 they were doing more than being cheeky and provocative to top the charts – they were revolutionary. Even in the decade of the Independent Woman, getting real about sex was still seen as a radical act. Women openly talking about sex has been taboo for far too long and the effects have been devastating. Subjectified: Nine Young Women Talk About Sex, a new film by Melissa Tapper Goldman, seeks to counteract the negative effects that our silence around sex has wrought. Through candid interviews with nine young women, Goldman provokes the viewer to answer the film’s central question: What is the cost of shame?
Ladies, I’m sorry to have to inform you that the War on Women persists and you have been drafted into the fight whether you like it or not. The latest battleground to see action is the American college campus – a space that is supposed to foster our educational and personal growth, preparing us to be the leaders of tomorrow. Instead, colleges across the country are increasingly in the news for the sexual assaults occurring on their campuses. While campus sexual assault is nothing new, the complicity by college administrations in downplaying, mishandling, or covering up these crimes has fallen to a new level of shamefulness.
Remember last summer when it was announced that, thanks to the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), women across the U.S. would have access to free birth control? Did you run into the streets armed with buckets and nets hoping to catch birth control pills, Nuva-Rings, and IUDs raining from the cargo-hold of government planes? Did you head to your nearest pharmacy expecting sample Depo shots to be handed out like bourbon chicken at the mall food court? Or did you, like many more sane women, call your insurance provider to find out what this truly meant for your pocketbook and your health? Turns out no matter which avenue you chose you likely found that birth control is not free today and won’t be free anytime soon.
Yo. There’s a war on women. I know that sounds so 2012 because that’s when politicians and interest groups of all kinds beat us over the head with that phrase, “War on Women,” at every turn. I’m a woman who proudly wears the labels of feminist and activist but even I tired of the term during the last 12 months. I was especially turned off by the language of war being tossed around so cavalierly in some instances, when we have Americans and foreign civilians dying in actual wars right now. But (wo)man, there really is a war on women out here! How so? We’re barely out of the first month of 2013 and already we’ve been inundated by rhetoric, policies, and very bad blogging that attack women’s health, safety, sanity, and rights. Let’s review a few:
Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal is an undeniable hit thanks to the cast’s star-power, a killer wardrobe team, the salacious and secretive backdrop of Washington, D.C. politics, and perhaps most of all, the steamy, high-stakes relationship between President Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope. While I’ve participated in the edge-of-my-seat, self-fanning, “OMG!”tweeting that predictably follows each sexy encounter between the two lovers, the portrayal of this relationship has become increasingly uncomfortable to watch. Fitz and Liv’s relationship is looking a lot less like porn for women (horrible stuff, btw) and more like a textbook unhealthy relationship. Yes, yes y’all. Pull the fabulous cream-colored pantsuit from your eyes and see that what Fitz and Liv have isn’t something to be emulated, but something to be eyed with caution.
Is it just me or are a lot of prime time television shows airing episodes where a female character is struck deaf and dumb by the loud ticking of her biological clock? Has this always been a go-to plot contrivance or am I’m just noticing it now because I’m 31 and at least one of my peers is posting a birth announcement to Facebook every other month? The mass influx of baby shower invites aside, I find it rather offensive that TV shows are slamming this narrative down our throats. While there are real and significant concerns about fertility as we age, I see the media playing a role in the hysteria, desperation, and ultimate “settling” that a number of women engage in whether intentional or not. Think about it, what sparked the last conversation or serious thought you had about fertility, your Ob-gyn or the hens on Basketball Wives?
A recent op-ed in the Canadian paper, the National Post, literally made me LOL and say ‘Ooh, somebody’s salty’ aloud to no one in particular in my office. You can read it for yourself, but to summarize, writer Joe O’Connor asserts that couples who choose not to have children are “just plain selfish” because they’d rather spend their lives taking vacations, buying white furniture and plugging things in without first having to remove a safety cap from the socket or whatever. O’Connor pines for the good ol’ days when, he writes:
Pro-choice advocates all over can breathe a tepid sigh of relief. U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan has extended a temporary order to allow Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic to stay open, despite efforts by that state’s government to close it’s doors. It’s not a total win – we won’t really be able to relax until the judge completes his review of how Mississippi plans to administer the law. Fingers are crossed that the ultimate ruling reflects the fact that this law, House Bill 1390, imposes undue burdens upon the state’s only abortion clinic and by extension, the women of Mississippi. Had things gone the other way, Mississippi would have become a shining example to anti-choice forces in similarly-situated states looking to ban abortion by targeting the sole facilities providing that service within their borders. Since that’s still a possibility, you should understand what this is all about?
“I am, I was, and I will always be a catalyst for change,” said Professor Anita Hill, paraphrasing Shirley Chisholm last week at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Hill was honored as Woman of the Decade along with nine other “Justice Warriors” at Girls for Gender Equity’s (GGE) 10thanniversary celebration. In 1991, the world came to know Anita Hill as a catalyst for change when she stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee with allegations that (soon-to-be) Justice Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her during his tenure as head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Beyond the controversy of those hearings, what has withstood the test of time and touched women so deeply has been Hill’s dignity, elegance and intelligence in the face of unrelenting public scrutiny and pressure. It’s no surprise that Girls for Gender Equity, a youth-development organization committed to “remov[ing] barriers and creat[ing] opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives” would recognize Hill with this honor.