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Everyone is an idiot: A brief tirade regarding Robyn Doolittle’s ‘sexiness’

Robyn Doolittle, the journalist who helped break the Rob Ford crack video story last year, is promoting a new book about Toronto’s grosso mayor. As such, she was featured in Flare magazine recently and, for her photo shoot, wore a dress *gasp,* heels *gasp,* and red lipstick *gasp gasp.* The nation is now all abuzz trying to decide whether she is “too sexy” or Next Top Feminist. OR IS SHE BOTH. Everything is boring, I know. Doolittle says she received some angry emails from women over the shoot (it sounds like it was mostly people expressing “concern” about how if she looks too hot it might “undermine her career“), angering the good people of the internet. As a result, a lot of people are having Strong Opinions about things...
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Woman-hating by any other name…

There’s this fun thing we’ve been talking about for months and years and decades now, and despite continued conversations and critiques of this behaviour, it rages on… We call it trashing or tearing down or sometimes we call it a witch hunt. And it seems particularly popular in feminist circles. It’s not only a successful way to silence women, but the behaviour is sure to go unchallenged by the masses. (Misogyny never goes out of style!) If you’ve been the focus of said trashing, you’re likely familiar with the ways in which others readily and willfully misrepresent your words, thoughts, arguments, and life in order to silence you and beat you (virtually, verbally, metaphorically) into submission. An odd preoccupation for the “feminist” movement, to be sure. Feminist blogger, Glosswitch...
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Dear Citizen Radio (and the rest of those grandstanding on my back)…

Hi there, I listened to one of your recent shows wherein you reference me and my piece, “The Trouble with Twitter Feminism.” I’m disappointed that you chose to misrepresent my background, my article, my work, my arguments, and my statements, to be sure, but I’m more disappointed that you misrepresented the entire conversation and the issues at hand. I suppose it’s easier to build a strawman to tear down than to form a real critique, but what’s easy isn’t always what’s right. My article was not about women of colour or about race. It did not reference any of the hashtags started by women of colour this year and was not even about hashtags, specifically. It was about toxic behaviour on Twitter — mostly behaviour I’ve witnessed from white...
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Femen was founded and is controlled by a man. Exactly zero people are surprised

Femen, aka, CLASSICAL FEMINISM IS DEAD ALSO LOOK AT OUR BOOOOOBS, turns out to have been founded and controlled by a man named Victor Svyatski. Outed by Australian film-maker Kitty Green, she says: “It’s his movement and he hand-picked the girls. He hand-picked the prettiest girls because the prettiest girls sell more papers. The prettiest girls get on the front page… that became their image, that became the way they sold the brand.” I swear I don’t want to go all “I TOLD YOU SO SUCKERS” but seriously. We talked about this. We talked about the fact that the whole point of Femen was to capture the male gaze, thereby capturing the attention of the media. We talked about the fact that we should be skeptical “anytime anyone makes...
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There is a wrong way to do feminism. And Femen is doing it wrong

I was grateful to have been invited to join a conversation about the future of feminism that looked specifically at the tactics of Ukrainian protest group, FEMEN on Al Jazeera English‘s show The Stream last week. Inna Shevchenko, the leader of Femen International and Chloe Angyal of Feministing.com were guests on the show and the producers invited feminist bloggers Chrissy D, Ariana Tobin, Sara Yasin, (who are all the best, fyi), and myself to bring in critical perspectives and questions. You can watch the show in it’s entirety here: The show was pretty packed, discussion-wise, and the producers did a great job of trying to include a wide variety of perspectives on FEMEN’s tactics. That said, there is A LOT more that could be said around some of the...
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The new face of feminism is boobs

I’m sorry but I am so freakin done with Femen. I mean, to be real, I was done with Femen the moment Femen’s boobs were plastered all over the media by horny young Occupy enthusiasts, but this quote really solidified the fact that these ladies are little more than a clueless distraction: “We’re the new face of feminism,” Shevchenko said. “Classical feminism is dead. I think French feminism needs our new feminism.” Look. I KNOWWW y’all are excited about whatever you think feminism is. I know you are stoked on all the attention you’re getting. I believe that you care about women’s empowerment (whatever that is) and the causes you are fighting for. But, seriously.  What the fuck is this? Diversity of tactics, ok. But “classical feminism is dead”...
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Liberal feminists realize that feminism is a movement after all. Confusion ensues.

Elizabeth Wurtzel published an article in The Atlantic on June 15th, arguing that women who choose housewifery are ruining feminism for everyone else. She gets close to making some good points about women’s independence from men being largely dependent on their ability to be financially independent as well as the idea that OH GOSH YOU KNOW WHAT? Just because a woman makes a choice to do something, it doesn’t automatically make that choice a feminist one. Jill Filipovic over at Feministe picked up on the piece and added all sorts of things that I agree with, such as the idea that feminism is actually a movement, not just a fun time lady party that’s all about making ourselves feel good as individuals. She says: Feminism is not about choice...
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30 things that will make you want to kill yourself whether or not you’re 30; courtesy of Glamour

HAY LADIES! Turning thirty? Time to crawl into a hole and die. That is, of course, unless you have a man, a sexy bra, and tons of cash. That’s right! Ever helpful, Glamour and Huffington Post have teamed up to squish women down, down, down just a little further and reinforce heterosexism and classism while they’re at it. Because what was popular and relevant fifteen years ago is important news today, Huffington Post has reprinted a list of thirty things that EVERY woman should have and know by the time they are thirty. The list was originally published by Glamour and apparently “became a popular chain letter” — because you know how popular is it for women to hate themselves! Not only will you never be good enough but...
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Safer strolls: A new, progressive way to blame the victim?

You want to talk victim-blaming? Ok. Let’s talk victim blaming. The Toronto Sun published an article on March 11th entitled: “Helping Hookers Stay Safe” which looked at a project called the safer stroll project. According to the article, this project is an “innovative mentorship program…designed to educate sex workers to deal with high-risk and violent situations.” The reporter interviews one sex worker for the piece, who describes various horrific situations within which she was subjected to violence at the hands of johns. This violence, it is fair to assume, is not limited to one individual but is something many women and, particularly, many prostituted women are at risk for. But rather than addressing this violence in the most obvious way, that is to go to the root, this particular...
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It's International Women's Day; are our foremothers rolling over in their graves?

It’s hard not to heave a big ol’ feminist sigh on International Women’s Day. But, in many ways, I think that’s just fine. International Women’s Day isn’t intended to be a celebration, from my perspective. Rather, it is a reminder. A reminder that we still need an International Women’s Day. Across the world women are fighting for their rights. They are fighting for equality, for workers’ rights, for reproductive rights, they are protesting poverty and raising awareness about violence against women. Strangely, many Westerners like to imagine that we inhabit an egalitarian society. I’m not sure where they’re looking, but from where I’m standing, we still have a lot of work to do. On Friday, Jarrah Hodge covered the Vancouver and District Labour Council’s annual International Women’s Day Dinner....
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This week in faux-feminism (or, a week of douchebaggery, summarized)

This week’s faux-feminist round-up is not so much a round-up of faux-feminism as it is a round up of feminist responses to a, now notorious, douchebag who pretends to care about the status of women. Like, beyond his own penis. Steven Greenstreet, this list is all about you (is that your ego I hear exploding from your chest? Or just your tiny brain working overtime trying to figure out WHY O WHY THE LADIEEZ ARE SO GROUCHY!). In reality, this list is more for my own referencing convenience, as well as for anyone who needs a convenient way to source the numerous explanations of the science behind the extreme ignorance, self-righteousness, and sexism of Greenstreet. The following links provide an excellent summation of the particular ways in which the...
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A lesson in how *not* to be an ally

Remember the douche-festival who created the ‘Hot Chicks of Wall Street’ tumblr and video? Well, surprise, surprise! The dude (Steven Greenstreet) who thought that pointing out all the ‘hot chicks’ protesting at Occupy Wall Street was a great way to celebrate the “dedication and political strength” of women, is claiming that he has ‘empowered’ the women and refuses to apologize! BECAUSE…wait for it…. He’s an ally, women! So shut up and listen.   You know how to tell if a man is an ally to feminists? 1) He doesn’t refuse to apologize when called out on sexism 2) He doesn’t defend said sexism by claiming it is ‘empowering’ 3) He also doesn’t defend said sexism by claiming he chose to use sexist language because “it might catch more attention”...
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This week in faux-feminism (or, seven days of rage)

  Such a busy week! So much to do, so much to say. Too much to say, in fact. The rage, it is almost paralyzing. So instead of writing a real blog post I made a list!   This week’s faux-feminist round-up: 1)  Article at The Huffington Post explains why, if we don’t join Slutwalk, we are ruining feminism for everyone. 2)  Blog posted at Feministing explains that anti-exploitation, anti-violence, anti-misogyny, anti-oppression, and anti-rape actually equals ‘anti-sex.’ 3)  Feministing commenter explains that radical feminism is “not true feminism” and that it “does not belong on college campuses or anywhere” because of “frequent racism.” So like, in comparison to our completely free-of-racism friend Slutwalk? Possibly the least radical ‘feminist’ ‘movement’ ever? Got it, folks? Liberal feminism = good-thing-we’re-all-so-awesome-let’s-keep-patting-each-other-on-the-back-while-explaining-to-women-of-colour-that-the-n-word-isn’t-actually-racist/offensive,  radical feminism...
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