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Misogyny and porn culture are SO FUCKING IRONIC, say hipsters. Also, fuck hipsters

Though I occasionally find a good article in Vice, mostly I just find really terrible writing and misogyny/efforts at popularizing pornography. I mean, I like reading about drugs as much as the next person, but I just can’t stomach the constant objectification and glorification of porn (because I’m too fucking uptight or stupid to ‘get’ how objectification is actually artsy and ok if hipsters are doing it). The magazine has really nailed the whole ‘irony masks racism and sexism‘ thing. It’s also spawned a whole faction of idiot hipsters who think that their writing is deep because it makes no sense. It’s the emperor has no clothes redux. NOBODY SAY ANYTHING JUST SMILE AND NOD AND PAT YOUR BUDDIES ON THE BACK BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL THE RIGHT HIPSTER...
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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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On 'sex-positivity' and misunderstandings

The Pervocracy published a post on Friday, intended to set all us feminist critics of ‘sex-positive’ discourse, language, and arguments straight. According to the author, who, strangely, avoids referencing anyone or using any specific quotes to back up many of her claims, argues that feminists who critique ‘sex-positivity’ A) don’t understand what the term ‘sex-positive’ means, and B) generally are just hating on women “who wear high heels and shave their legs and…giggle and… act all flirty and give blowjobs…” We are, apparently, “disgusted” by these women and therefore we are not only “obnoxious, elitist, sexist, and counterproductive,” but our criticisms are straight up wrong. This is a common rebuttal made by those who identify as ‘sex-positive.’ Charlie Glickman, in response to Robert Jensen’s critiques of the language and discourse of ‘sex-positivity’...
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Progressive objectification: American Apparel's Next Big Thing

American Apparel has never been progressive. It has never been pro-woman and it has never made much of an effort to hide it’s founder, Dov Charney‘s, pervy ways. Last year, Melanie Klein at Feminist Fatale outlined the myriad of ways in which the company has long been a terrible place for women. Charney has been accused of sexual harrassment a number of times and their consistently pornographic advertising speaks for itself. The imagery is often defending as being ‘artsy’, as though objectification is ok when it is ‘provocative’ (like we’ve never seen women’s bodies represented in this way before, like if the photos are grainy they instantly become ‘artistic’). It’s interesting how badly we want this kind of imagery to be ‘ok’. How badly we want to justify ads...
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Of course pornography is a prisoner's right. Because women aren't actually human beings.

Last week, Feministing linked to a news story about a 21 year old prisoner in Michigan who filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan because, get this, he had been denied access to pornography. Yep. The nerve! I mean, isn’t objectifying women the God given right of every man in America? AND, don’t civil and human rights really only apply to men, seeing as men are the only real humans? The answers to these sarcastic questions can be answered with a less sarcastic and more somber ‘yes’. Men (particularly white men) have long been viewed as the only true human beings who are deserving of rights and freedoms. White men have been the standard to which all other living things must measure up. And, unfortunately for all other...
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Feminism, Porn, and SlutWalk: part one of a conversation with Hugo Schwyzer

Originally posted at Hugo Schwyzer’s blog. Hugo Schwyzer is a gender studies professor at a college in Southern California, a writer, and was an organizer of Slutwalk LA. Though our opinions and positions diverge significantly in some areas, in an effort to engage in civil debate and have an honest conversation, Hugo and I have asked one another 5 questions, posting our respective responses here and at hugoschwyzer.net My responses to Hugo’s questions will be posted on Wednesday. I look forward to hearing readers thoughts and comments on these conversations. Hugo and I will respond to one another the following week and I would like to be able to include some of your comments in this response. Thanks to Hugo for his interest in and willingness to engage in...
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Slutwalks, sex work, and the future of feminism

If this is the future of feminism I am afraid. This is not intended to slight Jessica Valenti’s recent article in The Washington Post and this is not to say that  Valenti isn’t right about the power of grassroots organizing and the way in which it can be incredibly inspiring to watch young women get together and fight for their lives. Protest is good. Conversations are good. And MAN has all this Slutwalk stuff started a conversation. So it’s not so much that I think the protest is bad, or that all these conversations have been bad. This many people talking about feminism? Pretty neat. What scares me is where that conversation has headed. What scares me is this image, taken from Slutwalk Las Vegas’ Facebook page: While, as...
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Slutwalk: A critical note around coverage of criticism.

There have been, as I’m sure, at this point, you’ve all noticed, many, many critiques of Slutwalk. For a brief, but thorough, summary, check out the Feminist Frequency’s Link Round Up: Feminist Critiques of Slutwalk. Critiques have ranged from questioning Slutwalk’s authority or ability to ‘reclaim’ a misogynist and gendered word like ‘slut’ and whether, in fact, such a thing is possible or desirable, to the marginalization of people and communities of colour and ignorance around how class and privilege might play into both the event as a whole, as well as factor into the assertion that ‘slut’ has been reclaimed and now means something awesome/compulsory-sexuality-for-everyone!, to the reinforcement of mychoice feminism (FUCK YEAH) in so much of Slutwalk discourse, which represents individual choice and personal empowerment as, somehow,...
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We're Sluts, Not Feminists. Wherein my relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky.

It would appear that, through lack of clarity, something has finally become clear: Slutwalk has lost me. I have been following the media coverage, the blog posts, and especially, the threads on SlutwalkTO’s Facebook page, with vigour over the past month or so, since the original walk took place in Toronto on April 3rd. I think it’s safe to say that my relationship with Slutwalk has been a little bit of a feminist rollercoaster ride. One moment I feel like YEAH! WOMEN GETTING MAD. Because, hey, women should be mad. Victim blaming is one of the most insidious, abusive, and traumatic experiences a woman can go through. Not only have we been assaulted, had to come out and admit/describe the assault (terrifying in and of itself), but then we are...
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Where have all the radicals gone? When feminism gets moderate.

I’ve decided to post this podcast as part of a blog in order to encourage discussion and dialogue around the topic. I wonder what others think about the state of feminism, or 3rd wave feminism today? Are we in need of a re-radicalization? Are we too focused on making feminism palatable? On making sure we don’t scare anyone off? We sure do seem to spend a lot of time trying to make feminism seem ‘fun’….And, of course, feminism is fun. To me. But it is also difficult. Everyone is not going to like it. Are we ok with that? Or are we trying so hard to make feminism ‘fun’ that we are re-framing sexism as empowerment, instead of actually challenging that which is oppressive? This podcast was created, not...
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