Faiza Elmasry’s article discusses the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, and the impact that the book and Women’s Rights Movement has had since it’s publication. The article explains the Friedan published the book in 1957 after attending her 15th college reunion , and learning that many of her female classmates were unhappy with their lives. These women had good husbands, nice homes, and beautiful families, so why were they unhappy? Friedan decided that she needed to articulate this feeling of being unfulfilled so she attempted to publish it as an article. When it was rejected by all journals, she instead turned it into a book. That book ended up awakening a generations of women, and helped propel the second wave of feminism. The article then goes on to discuss how real life women have been influenced by this book and movement. Stephanie Ortoleva is an human and women rights activist that read the book in the 70′s as a law student. She speaks of how even though her school was progressive, women still had to work harder to be noticed and thus the book spoke to her generation. She feels women have made a lot of strides since the time it was published but still have a far way to go. She also discusses how feminism really has begun to move forward on the global scale. The president of Washington DC’s NOW chapter, Susan Mottet says she thinks the younger generation is still involved in this movement, utilizing new avenues to spread their message such as social media. The younger generation had a somewhat differing opinion. 23 year olfd grad student Katayoun Kishi said she and her friends don’t consider themselves feminists because she thinks they don;t face the same discrimination as the women who came before them. How do you feel about the movement? Do you think it has made great strides? Do you think it is important for the younger generation to still identify as feminist? Do we still have far to go?
I like this article for several reasons but mainly because Zerlina Maxwell, rape survivor, handles herself beautifully in this interview with Sean Hannity from Fox News and her responses in the interview with Amy Goodman are insightful. I suggest reading the transcript of the Fox interview and than reading Goodman’s interview of Maxwell.
Basically, Zerlina suggested that gun protection is not the answer to solving the rape problem especially when so many women raped in the United States know their offender. She suggests emphasizing teaching men not to rape because to suggest that if women carried more guns there would be less rape is putting the responsibility of the rape on the woman.
What was really interesting was that after the conservative-audience focused interview with Hannity, Zerlina received extremely hateful and threatening comments with someone even suggesting she deserved to be raped. This is very frightening because viewers of this show either resented the fact that she was not supporting the right to bear arms or because she suggested that males and not women are responsible for rape. Either way, it is embarrassing to our country and scary that viewers may have missed the entire point of her interview.
When you read the title, “Teaching Men Not to Rape” what are your initial thoughts and after reading the article have they changed?
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?
Sarah El Deeb’s article discusses the opposition that a UN Women’s document has received from the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt. The group has opposed this document because of clauses within it that they consider incompatible with the tenants of Islam. Actual details of the document have yet to be released pending negotiations. Officials are remaining optimistic that the document will pas, but there is speculation that Egypt will seek the choice to opt out of sections of the document before passing it. Libya has also publicly rejected the document. Egypt has called for an amendment to the document before they would approve it. Issues lie in the differences in interpretations of ideologies of Islamic law. The rise in Fundamentalist groups as a result of protests and political upheavals in the region has led to more traditional interpretations as well as an increase in violence against women. Women activists have responded on both sides, some agreeing with the document and others with those who have challenged it. Issues between differences in interpretations have created contention amongst Politicians and activist who have called for stronger protection and enforcement of rights for women. Shannon
In this Harvard Business School article, researches ponder the question why there are so few women holding board seats at the 1500 S&P businesses (only 14% of board seats are held by women). The results of their research are very interesting in some aspects (the similarities in how men and women in business think) and was completely not surprising in other aspects (men don’t think there are enough qualified women to fill board seats while women think the board seats are often filled by ultra-traditional methods). I definitely think this is an interesting investigation of women in business and the perceptions of women in business.
In the article below author, Lochana Sharma, describes the cultural practices of several villages in the Western Region of Nepal near the Tibetan border. The men literally steal or abduct their wives which brings the men a sense of honor and pride. This article brings up the notion of cultural relevance. When should you intervene on someone’s cultural traditions? When (if ever) should the line be drawn in regards to telling another culture what they can or cannot do?
The senate today passed the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. All of the women senators voted in favor, as did all of the democrats and not surprisingly those who were opposed were republican men. Some very important changes were that Native American women, GLBT women, and immigrant women were all included. I am glad the Senate finally got it together to renew and expand the act. Women across the United States are grateful.
Maggie Frelang’s article YouTube Star’s Video Ignites ‘Slut-Shaming’ Reaction , discusses how Youtube star Jenna Marbles’ (aka Jenna Mourey) recent video, “Things I Don’t Understand About Girls Part 2: Slut Edition” has resulted in a backlash from viewers for slut-shaming other girls.
Frelang reports that in the video Jenna discusses how she feels that while it is ultimately up to the women, sex should be between two individuals who are in love and committed to one another. She even likens monogamy to being more highly evolved. This has resulted in a backlash from the viewers who accuse Mourey of slut-shaming girls and judging them based upon standards of the past. Viewers commented that sexual activities of an individuals are nobody’s business, and have nothing to do with how respectful or good of a person a girl is. Not all comments were against Mourey’s stances, as many viewers agreed with her, and some even commented that the backlash must be coming from “sluts” themselves.
Response to Mourey’s video has also come in the form of other Youtuber’s response videos. Youtubers Laci Green and Franchesca Ramsey both criticized Marble’s video and its attack on women’s sexual freedom. Ramsey’s video and many viewer’s comments also connected the issue of slut-shaming with that of victim blaming in cases of sexual abuse. Frelang explains that victim-blaming often occurs in cases of sexual abuse, in which defendants try and find some aspect of the victim which led to their attack such as what they drank, wore, or said. This has resulted in a movement called “SlutWalk”, an annual event in which both men and women protest victim blaming and slut-shaming.
Frelang discusses how the internet and social media had provided individuals with the organizational tools to join together and form tactics to fight slut-shaming and victim-blaming. Social media is both the tool for perpetuation of and backlash against these issues, as individuals are reaching a sort of fame from the videos and blogs they post on the internet which gives their voices power. She concludes her article by including the remarks of one blogger, Melissa Fabello, on how individuals with a following online must accept responsibility for the messages they are perpetuating to those followers.
With these new found followings, do you agree that those who have a voice on the internet must assume responsibility and caution for the opinions they are putting out to their viewers? What’s your opinion on the topics of slut-shaming and victim blaming?