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Karl Lagerfeld couldn’t care less what feminists think about feminism

Remember when feminism suddenly became relevant earlier this month? Thanks to powerful slogans like “Free Freedom,” “Make Fashion Not War,” and “Tweed is Better Than Tweet?” I really did feel freer that day. Especially after I decided to stop eating and also being so serious and ugly. Feminist icon, Karl Lagerfeld, responded to critics of his faux-protest, staged as part of the launch of his Spring 2015 Chanel collection during Paris fashion week, saying: “I couldn’t care less if people are for or against. It’s my idea. I like the idea of feminism being something lighthearted, not a truck driver for the feminist movement.” Who cares what feminists think about feminism! Feminism is his idea, after all. Also, lighten up! All I know is that when some pretentious fuck tells...
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Annie Lennox says the word ‘twerking,’ makes most controversial statement of 2014

Guys. Guys. Take a deep breath. Sit down. Pour yourself a strong drink. Annie Lennox said something marginally critical about Beyoncé and then said the word “twerking.” *Internet implodes* In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep yesterday, the singer had the gall to say that “twerking isn’t feminism.” WHAT. Hopefully Lennox is on Twitter so the really real feminists can tweetsplain to her that she’s “slut-shaming” or that she’s “sex-negative” or, like, that actually twerking is an expression of female sexuality and I do what I want fuck yeah. Ugh. If this the most controversial thing a woman can say about feminism, let’s shoot this zombie movement in the brain because, please. Here are two important facts: 1) Beyonce is “feminism lite.” Like, obviously. So what? Do you think even...
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Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years for murdering Reeva Steenkamp

Last year, on Valentines Day, Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius fired four shots through his bathroom door, killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was on the other side. On September 12th, Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa found him guilty of culpable homicide — essentially a manslaughter charge. The maximum sentence he could receive with a culpable homicide charge would have been 15 years. Today, Pistorius was given a five year sentence. Five fucking years. For murder. Oh. And he only has to serve one-sixth of his sentence in prison — 10 months — before he is eligible to be moved to house arrest. It’s clear from the evidence brought forth during the trial that Pistorius knew full well that his girlfriend was locked in the bathroom and that he was trying...
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Northern Ireland bans buying sex

Last night, members of the Stormont assembly voted in favour of a bill that would outlaw the purchase of sex in Northern Ireland. Buying sex is currently legal in Northern Ireland though activities such as brothel keeping, pimping, and soliciting a person for the purposes of prostitution are against the law. Research shows that about 17,500 men pay for sex in Northern Ireland every year. The proposal to outlaw purchasing sex is among a number of clauses contained in a bill aimed at amending Northern Ireland’s laws on trafficking and prostitution and was passed by 81 votes to 10. The Guardian reports that “While the legislation still has to pass further assembly stages, the significant majority support… means it is essentially now destined to become law.” This makes Northern...
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Columbus Day celebrates rapists and the enslavement of Indigenous people, FYI

I’m in Canada, not celebrating Thanksgiving because, 1) I don’t care about Thanksgiving, 2) I don’t like turkey, 3) My parents live in the U.S. and we have never much cared for such traditions in any case, 3) Colonialist holidays woooo! But over in America, where I know many of Feminist Current readers reside (as well as half of my family), it’s Columbus Day — the day to celebrate a man who enslaved and brutalized Indigenous people because, gosh, they were just so nice how could you not! They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…....
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‘Skinny’ or ‘curvy,’ our bodies are not our own: Why the ‘No More Skinny’ campaign doesn’t help

Glosswitch wrote an eloquent critique of The Sun’s “No More Skinny” campaign for New Statesman to which I have little to add. The campaign, led by “showbiz columnist,” Dan Wooten, is directed at the fashion industry, which Wooten says “has been guilty of hiring and promoting underweight, skeletal and, at times, sick models for far too long.” The aim, he says, is “to put pressure on the fashion houses to stop hiring unhealthy models using the support of celebrities of all shapes and sizes.” It sounds like an earnest and relatively harmless endeavour and Wooten seems genuinely perplexed by the backlash. But while men pat themselves on the backs for being so brave and bold as to like “real women” or “women with curves,” instead of simply the very...
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Buzzfeed: Whiskey is for men, being a dumb baby is for women

I am unreasonably angry about a video Buzzfeed posted on Monday, called “Women drink whiskey for the first time.” Here is the gist of the video: “LOLLLLLLL WOMEN ARE SO STUPID AND DON’T LIKE OR UNDERSTAND THINGS THAT ARE GOOD. (LOL WOMEN.)” – men Fuck you, Buzzfeed. All proper ladies drink whiskey. I love whiskey. Friday night may as well be called, “Jameson?” (It’s a “whiskey voice” not a “champagne cocktail voice,” k?). BUT HEY. GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO FIND WOMEN WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD OF WHISKEY BEFORE JUST TO PROVE THAT WOMEN ARE WIMPY IDIOTS WHO ARE ALSO LIKE CHILDREN. “Ew gross,” one lady says. “I can feel it burning in my stomach,” says another. That burning feeling is the feeling of  pure, undilluted joy, noob....
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Bill C-36 passes in the House of Commons

The Conservative government’s prostitution bill — Bill C-36 — passed in the House of Commons Monday night by a 156-124 vote. In 2007, a case challenging Canada’s prostitution laws as unconstitutional resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada throwing out the laws criminalizing pimping, communicating for the purposes of prostitution, and running a brothel. The federal government was therefore tasked with coming up with new laws. The new legislation, brought forth in June by Justice Minister Peter McKay, explicitly names pimps and johns as exploiters, criminalizing the purchase of sex while decriminalizing prostituted women. The bill states that the Parliament of Canada “has grave concerns about the exploitation that is inherent in prostitution and the risks of violence posed to those who engage in it” and “recognizes the social harm...
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Emma Watson’s speech isn’t the problem; the problem is liberal feminism

Emma Watson’s speech at the UN has made headlines worldwide. It wasn’t a bad speech. Like all women, Watson is doing the best she can with the information she has available to her. Several feminists have already addressed some of the problematic aspects of her speech. Like many, I am critical of the strategies employed by transnational organizations like the UN. I am also critical of liberal feminism. But as a woman who is most concerned with women’s liberation, I acknowledge that Emma Watson has created more awareness in ten minutes than I could in my lifetime. So you know what is more problematic, male-centric, and piecemeal than Emma Watson’s speech? Liberal feminist analysis. Let me give just a few examples: 1) The liberal feminist movement argues sexist objectification...
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You can thank Karl Lagerfeld for reminding us that fashion is ridiculous

On September 30, Karl Lagerfeld sent his models down the catwalk holding what we are to interpret as “feminist” “protest signs.” Too stupid to understand what feminism is and also what words mean, this is what he came up with:     OMG stoppppppp. Please. Make it stop. These signs read like something a ten year old came up with. Though, if a ten year old had come up with these slogans I’d be far more stoked… “Be different!” “Free freedom!” “Fashion not war!” “Be your own stylist!” The lone “He for She” placard held by a man at the back, we are to believe, is a nod to the UN campaign recently promoted by Emma Watson, therefore legitimizing Lagerfeld’s attempt at faking politics. Not buying it. I bet...
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The economics of consent: Why BDSM and consumer capitalism are closer than you think

Hidden in a passage of Douglas Adams’ 1980 sci-fi comedy novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of the most interesting cultural problems of our time. While eating at Milliways, the eponymous restaurant at the end of the universe (literally — it’s located billions of years in the future), the book’s characters are introduced to the Dish of the Day: a talking cow who walks to their table and happily requests to be eaten. The protagonist, Arthur Dent, finds the situation revolting. “I just don’t want to eat an animal that’s standing here inviting me to,” he says. “It’s heartless.” His tablemates are less reluctant, listening hungrily as the animal suggests cuts from its own body. One offers: “Better than eating an animal that didn’t...
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Celebgate: Why aren’t we talking about pornography?

The beginning of this month saw the mass theft and unapproved release of many female celebrities’ private nude photos in what has been obnoxiously labelled Celebgate. Now, as of last Saturday, a second post has gone up on various sites around the Internet with even more stolen images. The newest post adds Aubrey Plaza, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian, and others to a growing list of victimized women. The FBI claims to be on the case and looking for suspects, but thankfully men the world over have decided to lend a helping hand in finding out who is truly responsible: Women, of course. The three most common reactions from men seem to be 1) masturbation, 2) arrogant, self-righteous condemnation, or 3) masturbation followed by/occurring alongside arrogant, self-righteous condemnation. (Misogynists are...
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Laurie Penny, you’ve lost me

A much-revered excerpt from Laurie Penny’s most-recent book, “Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution,” is published over at Salon. The headline reads: “Mainstream feminism is tepid and cowardly: Work, sex, race, ‘having it all’ and true liberation.” Tips for newcomers: the hot and trendy thing to do in feminism these days is shit on it. Everyone is simultaneously too radical or not radical enough and no one’s really sure what radical means anyway. Since we aren’t quite sure what it is we are talking about and who “everyone” is, you can pretty much pick from a grab bag of labels, toss them around vaguely at no one in particular, and folks will pretend as though they know exactly what you are talking about and congratulate you for saying the...
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Agency is magic and so is twerking

Another day, another article arguing that criticism of sexualization and objectification is proof that men are afraid of women’s expressed sexuality and that women are jealous. What an innovative, groundbreaking notion. A recent article at Huffington Post defends a twerking video model, Amber Rose, posted on YouTube for her husband Wiz Khalifa’s birthday and Beyoncé’s pole-dancing at the VMAs, on the basis of “agency.” The author writes, of Beyoncé’s “sometimes provocative dancing”: ‘”What is she teaching her daughter?” some asked, pearls tightly clutched. I would answer, “Agency. Independence. Talent.” But others, it would seem, say watching her mother dance and sing in front of millions — while making millions — is teaching Blue not to respect and value her body. Even when married and a mother — the supposed safeguards against...
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Nick Jonas’ new song, ‘Jealous,’ declares: ‘It’s my right to be hellish’

Nick Jonas, for those who don’t care know, is a guy who sings songs for people who aren’t 80 years old like me — girls, in particular. The internet informs me that he has a new song out called “Jealous” that’s creeptastic. Written about his girlfriend, Olivia Culpo (former Miss Universe), it’s basically a defense of out of control, aggressive behaviour couched in what we are to believe is flattery. As we’ve discussed recently with regard to Oscar Pistorius and common behaviours displayed by abusive men, extreme jealousy is a red flag. The language Jonas uses in the song is pretty frightening, to be honest, referencing obsessiveness, possessiveness, and “hellish” behaviour, using his girlfriend’s “sexiness” as an excuse. I don’t like the way he’s looking at you ​I’m starting...
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Murderer, Oscar Pistorius, plans to publish book about how he isn’t a murderer

This week in Beyond The Fucking Pale, Oscar Pistorius, the man who murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013, plans to write a book about “his account” -- “his account” being a long list of bald-faced lies. On Thursday,  Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa found Pistorius, 27, guilty of culpable homicide, which means, essentially, she bought that the murder was an accident, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Pistorius claimed he shot Steenkamp four times through the bathroom door because he thought “an intruder” was in there. Pistorius’ history of abusive behaviour is well-documented, as are the indiscrepancies in his version of what happened the night Steenkamp was killed. Now, not only has he gotten away with murder (Pistorius was charged with the equivalent of manslaughter and will...
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Oscar Pistorius knew exactly what he was doing

On Thursday,  Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa found Oscar Pistorius, 27, guilty of culpable homicide, “a vindication for the athlete who vehemently protested his innocence during a trial in South Africa that gripped millions around the world,” reports The Guardian. Last year, on Valentines Day, Pistorius fired four shots through the bathroom door, killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, who was on the other side of the door, locked in the bathroom. “Culpable homicide” is equivalent to a manslaughter charge, meaning that Pistorius will get 15 years max. Max. There is no minimum sentence. It is unlikely Pistorius will serve 15 years. He could be punished with community service and fines. Pistorius got away with murder. He was not charged with murder because Masipa felt “It cannot be said that he...
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