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FAQ: What is “slut-shaming”?

Short answer: Slut-shaming, also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings. Furthermore, it’s “about the implication that if a woman has sex that traditional society disapproves of, she should feel […]

Focus On: Dating while Feminist

Amanda Hess has a great interview with Jaclyn Friedman about sex and the single feminist…Jill at Feministe responded to the idea of a conversation where other feminists are weighing in, and a great discussion is going on there.

Feed the FAQ: the policing of women’s sexuality and double standards

Crowd-sourcing time! From KellyK in the Suggestions thread: Can you add “slut-shaming” and/or “mother/whore dichotomy” to Clarifying Concepts? A classmate of mine posted something I found mildly offensive and I’m having trouble elucidating why it strikes me as sexist, and would really like something to point him to when he inevitably asks what I’m being […]

FAQ: vagina vs vulva and public “faces of feminism”

Q: A celebrity feminist said something about the incorrect usage of vagina vs vulva and I want you to explain every nuance of her thoughts to me and why feminism thinks that way.

A: “Feminism” doesn’t necessarily think that way just because that celebrity feminist does.
Possibly there is controversy about her opinion.
Possibly her opinion is highly unpopular.
Also, just a thought, possibly she didn’t actually say quite what you think she said?

FAQ: Rape Culture 101

But my correspondents—whether they are dewy noobs just coming to feminism, advanced feminists looking for a source, or disbelievers in the existence of the rape culture—always seem to be looking for something more comprehensive and less abstract: What is the rape culture? What are its borders? What does it look like and sound like and feel like?

It is not a definition for which they’re looking; not really. It’s a description. It’s something substantive enough to reach out and touch, in all its ugly, heaving, menacing grotesquery.

On the Mommy and Daddy Binary

Men are there to provide and discipline; women are there to care. This lie is the foundation for every damnable binary about sex and emotion in our culture—men are rational; woman are emotional—and it is on what we’ve based our pernicious refusal to regard the most destructive versions of emotions like anger, jealousy, possessiveness, vengeance, apathy, and selfishness as not emotions at all, but merely biological evidence of strength, as long as they emanate from men.

On Gendered Language

Pursuant to yesterday’s letter regarding the cessation of your use of the terms “man’s man” and “ladies’ man,” I would also like to request that you jettison the following from your vocabularies: “He’s all boy” and “She’s all girl.”

These terms are used to refer to children, anywhere from infancy to about 10 years of age, who are regarded as conforming nicely to the sex- and gender stereotypes prescribed by The PatriarchyTM. Sometimes, their use is only as pernicious as reinforcing an exclusionary narrative like all male humans like sports or all female humans like fashion.

On The Feminine as an insult

I had no reason at all to assume PatC was a woman, and I’m frankly not sure why I did; I’ve had female and male friends called Pat, and my email correspondents collectively skew slightly more male. So big wev to me: lol my gender assumptions.

What was more interesting to me was my reaction to PatC’s email: I was surprised, relieved, and grateful that he wasn’t insulted by having been presumed a woman.

And it was sad to me that I found it notable when his response wasn’t aggrieved.

How is asking the question “Why are there no fat elves in Dungeons and Dragons?” offensive to feminists?

It’s the idea that women’s attractiveness has any sort of inherent value or importance. Beauty as a value is a product of and a contributor to objectification. It doesn’t matter whether you say “thin women are beautiful” or “fat women are beautiful”, you’re still valuing them based on appearance.

Feminism Friday on Tuesday: Echidne’s “Need For Feminism” series

I know the site’s been a bit quiet lately – other things in life have been keeping me busy. Luckily, there’s still plenty of other strong feminist writing around, including this great series from Echidne of the Snakes: If you somehow missed my six-part (so far) series on the need for feminism, you can still […]

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