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Responding to critiques of burlesque cheat sheet (crazy-making edition)

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of burlesque. I think it’s a boring, overplayed example of what you might call neosexism or retro sexism –  meaning that the “vintage” veneer and claims of “subversion,” “irony,” or postfeminism are meant to disguise the fact that it’s just the same old sexism that’s been going on for centuries. When it comes to burlesque, and, for that matter, anything that looks like sexism (see: pole-dancing classes, American Apparel ads, and “feminist pornography“) but is billed as not-sexist-because-women-like-it, the most useful tests to apply are these: 1) Are dudes doing it? 2) Are dudes trying to explain to you that it’s actually feminist? If dudes aren’t doing it but are simultaneously trying to convince you that it’s liberating, empowering, or...
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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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Is This Feminist? And Other Relevant Questions

This post was originally published on J.A. Martino’s blog, What a Radical Notion!, and was reprinted with permission from the author. Oh, FEMEN and your feminist boobs. Your uniformly thin, smooth-skinned, whole, mostly white, two-breasted naked torsos are just so subversive, and lard knows there’s no other way to get the media to pay any attention to you! Guh. But this post is not about FEMEN, necessarily, because lots of people have been saying whatever I would say about them for years now. Read here! And here! And here’s what I wrote about Slutwalk, and here’s what I wrote about hookup culture, in which you could just replace the actual subject with “FEMEN” and voila! Reconstituted. In the immortal words of everyone’s favourite spinster aunt: If the liberal peen...
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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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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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