Monthly Archives: March 2013

Amina Tyler, Topless Tunisian FEMEN Activist, Sparks Massive Controversy

In this article, Eline Gordits discussing how 19 year old Amina Tyler has created widespread controversy in her home country of Tunisia by posting topless pictures on Facebook. The photos were part of a  topless campaign by FEMEN and showed Tyler with “Fuck your morals” and ” My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honor”  written in Arabic across her chest. In reaction, Islamist hacked Tunisia’s FEMEN fanpage and replaced its photos with Quranic verses. Adel Almi, an Islamic preacher, also spoke out against Tyler stating she should be stoned to death or lashed 80-100 times. Threats to Tyler’s well-being have raised concern for her sacftey, and several news outlets reported her either missing or admitted to a mental hospital by her parents. Tyler however, was recently reported as safe. While Tunisia passed many laws which allowed for equality between the sexes, discrimination against women is still very much a reality in the country. Worries about the position of women have only increased in Tunisia after the rise to power of  the Islamist En-Nahda party last year. When asked why she posted the pictures, Tyler’s answered she wanted to ” make the voice of Tunisian women heard and protect them from suppression”.



Peng Liyuan Tiananmen Photo Shows China’s First Lady Singing For Troops After 1989 Crackdown

This Huffington Post blog caught my attention less for the implications of Communism and more for the practicing of gender in the political sphere. First lady of China, Peng Liyuan Tiananmen, who is often compared to First Lady Michelle Obama for her good looks and savvy fashion sense, is highlighted in this article for the hidden agenda not portrayed to China. A picture was recently released of her in army fatigue, singing to troops. It is indicative of the “old” China government entities do not want to portray. Instead, they would like her to be a “respectable” First Lady. One who is attentive to and dependent on her husbands arm. In other words, her gendered body is to be used as a character, fulfilling its rightful role and adherent to the goals of image campaign specialists.

We often witness occurrences as such in patriarchal societies, when men dictate the duties a “job” (in this case, First Lady) held by a woman should entail. This article is interesting to me, because it seems we might be getting a glimpse of who she is, and not the woman she forcefully presents to the rest of the world.


‘States’ Rights’ Is Also Code for Keeping Women Down

Doris Weatherfield, an historian, writes that state’s rights have long been used as a code for racism, and now they are being used to deny women reproductive rights like health care and privacy concerns. They are also at the front of the argument for Justice Kennedy that DOMA violates states rights. Just as the past has shown it is unconstitutional for the states to have the right to say who can marry, who can vote, and the right to legalize slavery. All of these issues for nonwhites are now protected under the Civil Rights Act and states are no longer permitted to racially discriminatory state laws.

Isn’t it right to agree that American’s who are female have the same rights as American’s who are male, yet the US has not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. Weatherford argues that in Colonial times when state governments came about women had no rights, they could not divorce and if they were divorced the court would grant parental rights to the father automatically. In the 1850’s women were not considered as reliable witnesses, and even into the 20th century women were excluded from state supported colleges.

Weatherford argues that states rights is really just a code for “fascism, legal terrorism, and keeping victims in their place”. Can’t we just agree that legal rights belong to all American’s and legislate that reality accordingly?


Obama Gives Secret Service It’s 1st Female Director**–politics.html

I thought that this article was important and intesting to gender studies. It relates back to the article that  we read in the “Feminist Reader” regarding women’s inability to be involved in politics in countries such as Egypt. This is a significant benchmark in US history as was the election of the first black president. The profounding part of Ms. Pierson’s accomplishment is that she wasn’t born into politics, but worked her way up from the ground. Although the United States has not made as much progress in gender equality and wage equality  as we’d like, we have at least given women the opportunity in our country.

Tiffany C. Moore

Prop 8 and DOMA Before the Supreme Court As Marriage Equality Gains Momentum

At the moment only 9 states have legalized same sex marriage. Despite this polls show that a majority of American are in fact in favor of equality regarding marriage rights. Now two bits of legislations regarding marriage equality are heading towards the Supreme Court. A victory for marriage equality in the Supreme Court could greatly help to bolster the gay rights activism on a national level

Cory Banks


Play “Half The Sky” on Facebook

In the article below, The New York Times reveals the launching of a new game promoted by Facebook that brings the book Half the Sky to virtual life in an attempt to expose the atrocities and challenges facing women around the globe.

Do you think the game will be successful in furthering the message?  Could gaming be the future of social justice?


An Immigrant Woman Could be your Boss

An Immigrant Woman Could be your Boss

Here is an article in the Huffington Post, by a blogger who interviewed me about immigrant women entrepreneurs. I have published 2 reports on this growing phenomenon with the Immigration Policy Center, and we have a chapter about it in our book, Immigration and Women.

It will be interesting to follow her coming series of interviews with each of these women.

As we argue in our book, the prevailing stereotype of the immigrant entrepreneur is that it is a man. Do you think that this image continues to be prevalent? Why do you think this is the case?

Susan Pearce

Isreali Gay Rights


This article discusses how the largest concern for the LGBT movement in Israel is not marriage, but surrogacy. Currently, many couples wanting children have to adopt from outside the country or use a foreign surrogate. It has been legal for straight couples in Israel to use a surrogate since 1996, however this is denied to gay couples.

According to the author “This paradox has pushed Israeli gay activists and their allies toward making surrogacy rights their top political priority, much as marriage equality is for American gays. And like marriage, surrogacy has become a lightning-rod for controversy, touching on some of the most loaded issues facing Israel today: sexuality, gender, demography, and religion.”

It is interesting to think that surrogacy would be a more important aspect of their movement (over marriage rights), but both speak to the LGBT community’s desire to have a family and raise children.


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