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Interview: Meghan Murphy on the sex industry, individualism, online feminism, and the third wave

This interview was done for and posted (in French) on Isabelle Alonso’s website. Isabelle is a French TV personality and ex-president of the “Chiennes de garde”, a well-known feminist group in France. The interview was conducted and translated by Sporenda.     1)  The blog, Feminist Current, that you launched last year, is attracting quite a bit of attention. It won “Best Feminism Blog” in Canada and has quite a few followers. Do you explain this success only by the quality of your writing or by a increased  interest in feminism? M: Well, I can’t say for sure. I get the feeling, based on the climate in feminism these days and from connecting with other feminists online, from around the world, that there is a lot of frustration towards and...
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Breaking! Slutwalk is about spectacle, individual empowerment, wearing sexy lingerie, says everyone with eyes and brains

I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, cheer, or drink a bottle of wine and have a very long nap, but this recent post on Ms. Magazine’s blog about Slutwalk LA almost left me speechless. I can’t tell if the author is just being honest, at long last, about the apolitical, selfish, pointlessness of Slutwalk or if she’s just completely clueless.* After all the talk about Slutwalk supposedly being ‘a parody’ or ‘ironic’ (NO, NO YOU GUYS. YOU JUST DON’T GET IT. WE’RE SLUTS! …get it?), this post actually threw me for a loop. So, this is the parody thing y’all were going on about, yeah? Dressed in bras and underwear, fishnets and the occasional lace-up platform boot, we all had, according to comedian Luce Tomlin-Brenner, an air of...
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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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Grasping at Straws: Comparing Slutwalk and Occupy Wall Street

Recently, there have been a slew of articles written about women and Occupy Wall Street. Particularly, the need for a feminist presence in the movement and the recognition that women are often the ones who suffer the most under an inequitable economic system. In an unfortunate, but hardly surprising, male-centric lapse of judgement, some dudes decided that the best way to get folks out to protest was to turn women into sacrificial lambs, with a site and video called “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street.” I mean, why bother paying any attention to women if they aren’t turning you on? In fact, why bother doing anything at all if you can’t reinforce your male power by objectifying women? Though this kind of attitude towards women in progressive movements is...
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The Pornstitution* Debates: Some thoughts on civil debate with Hugo Schwyzer et al.

I wanted to call this post ‘Well, that was a big waste of time’, but am working on presenting a semblance of professionalism and making an effort against cynicism. I’ll keep working at it… While the purpose of these conversations was to, somehow, engage a civil debate between liberal and radical feminist strains of thought, I am having trouble feeling like this was anything other than a pretty big, fat, fail. Regardless of what was argued by myself, or by commenters, the responses from those who advocate for ‘sex work’ sounded eerily similar. These were some of the more common points made in response to my and/or some of the commenters’ arguments around prostitutution / pornography and misogyny: 1)    All men aren’t the same and therefore arguments around what...
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