Recently, I received a letter from a Jehovah's Witness. From what I could surmise, the sender, a man, thought I authored "Why Women Bully Each Other at Work," which was not written by me but by the lovely and talented Olga Khazan. The letter included an article from the July 22, 1988, issue of Awake!, which is a Jehovah's Witnesses publication. "Even the Bible has not escaped the feminists' wrath," the piece reads at one point. "Millions of true Christian women today are finding the real liberation in filling their role described in the Bible," it concludes. The letter from the man ends: "I thought that you may find it interesting!" I recycled it.
Filtering by Tag: FEMINISM
Read Olga Khazan's "Why Do Women Bully Each Other at Work?" It's an interesting, insightful, and illuminating investigation of how women relate at work -- in ways that are not infrequently toxic.
Large surveys by Pew and Gallup as well as several academic studies show that when women have a preference as to the gender of their bosses and colleagues, that preference is largely for men. A 2009 study published in the journal Gender in Management found, for example, that although women believe other women make good managers, “the female workers did not actually want to work for them.” The longer a woman had been in the workforce, the less likely she was to want a female boss.
I liked "Atomic Blonde," but there's just something missing. What is it? Hm. Maybe ... backstory! Which, apparently, Charlize did. not. want. And maybe if it's a Charlize movie, Charlize gets what Charlize wants. I don't really get the Bond/Bourne comparisons, in a way, because this chick is a true cypher. Why so inscrutable, Lorraine? Maybe because a dude wrote her. Perhaps the sequel will be written by a woman! Here's hoping the box office returns dictate a "Lady John Wick 2." Read my review and thoughts on Forbes.
I saw "Wonder Woman" and am apparently the only woman in the country who didn't OMGLOVEIT. Confusing. I've been thinking about writing a post on my Forbes blog about it, but I haven't yet been able to figure out why it didn't entirely do it for me. Wonder Woman was a bit naive and one dimensional. The action was stagey. The plot was disjointed. I was underwhelmed by Gal's acting chops. I missed Lynda Carter. Chris Pine was canned. It made me long for something more like Emily Blunt's character in "Sicario." But she's no hero.
Susan Braudy has the scoop:
Almost as soon as I arrived in Manhattan to seek my fortune, I backed into a knuckle-bruising battle with Playboy’s Hugh Hefner.
My new city-slick literary agent Lois Wallace had signed me because she liked my articles in a zippy new Yale monthly called The New Journal. So after Playboy editors approached Lois about a piece on something called the new feminism, she lipped a smoke ring into her telephone and asked me, “How’d you like to be the first woman to write for Playboy?”
The year was 1969. I thought Playboy defined cheesy, but I was too timid to say so. Furthermore, I was afraid to admit I’d never heard of any new feminists.
Lois, however sophisticated, was a shouter: “You’re in New York, dammit, not in some ivory tower.”
Jim Goode, Playboy’s articles editor, contacted me that afternoon. Speaking more slowly than I thought a human could, he explained that Playboy wanted an objective account of the entire spectrum of the brand new “women’s lib” movement. “These women have important things to say, and I want our readers to hear them,” he said. “Let yourself go. Write anything you like but don’t pass judgment. Be fair.”
He concluded, “Write in a tone that’s amused if the author is amused, but never snide.”
There's a mention of me and my infamous True/Slant trigger warning post from 2010 in the Washington Post's "Columbia Students Claim Greek Mythology Needs a Trigger Warning."
Trigger warnings quickly spread to include discussions of everything from eating disorders to self injury to suicide. In 2010, sex blogger Susannah Breslin wrote that feminists were using the term "like a Southern cook applies Pam cooking spray to an overused nonstick frying pan." Breslin argued that trigger warnings were pointless or, even worse, self-defeating. A trigger warning is "like a flashing neon sign, attracting *more* attention to a particularly explicit post, even as it purports to deflect the attention of those to whom it might actually be relevant."
I pitched an op-ed piece to the NYT on the subject, but they didn't respond. Here's an excerpt:
Interestingly, the Columbia piece recounts an anecdote in which another student expressed to a professor a desire for a book by Toni Morrison to be included in one of Columbia's Literature Humanities classes. According to the student, the suggestion was brusquely dismissed. But the fact of the matter is that Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved would require a trigger warning, as well. Its main character, Sethe, an escaped slave, recalls her sexual assault at the hands of two white men who physically attack her and steal her breast milk. Therefore, it's entirely possible trigger warnings would stand between students and their reading Morrison's Beloved, Richard Wright's Native Son, Harriet Ann Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. All important works, all of which feature material that would demand trigger warnings.
Trigger warnings: still stupid.
Support my work! Buy THE TUMOR: "one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."
"Confessions of a Failed Slut blends personal reflections – 'How the Love Boat Ruined My Life' – with contrarian takes on porn (online and off), dating (ditto), 'slut shaming,' sex toys, 'robot hookers of the near future,' dinosaur erotica, the multiplication of genders and orientations, and what she calls 'the epidemic of beta male faggotry' plaguing the land."
"Lucy." Starring ScarJo. Written/directed by Luc Besson. It's no "Under the Skin," but it'll do. Lucy is an accidental drug mule in Taiwan. She ends up getting hyper-dosed with blue crystals that make you smarter than Bradley Cooper in "Limitless." Now, she's, like, superhuman, a superhero, some kind of superwoman. She gets chased my Asian mobsters, flirts with a French cop, and kills people because, why not? For some reason, the smarter she gets, the more she acts like a robot (???). Her boobs never change. Just her IQ. Best line: "I'm colonizing my own brain." YOU GO, GIRL. It's all very feminist, but in a way that doesn't make you want to vomit. Sadly, it lacks "The Fifth Element"'s happy happy joy joy. This is more grim. More French. More remorse. The special effects are questionable. The ending is absurd. Still, there are those ... lips.
It's hilarious, or ironic, or expected, really, depending on how you think about it, that feminists, or, should I say, "feminists," are those crowing most loudly that people shouldn't be seeking out those recently leaked photos of various nude celebrities. Jessica Valenti, of course, leads the charge, befitting her role as one of the most annoying, nonsensical, hateful female pundits of recent memory. Her assertion that looking at nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence is tantamount to rape is offensive and twisted, the sick-thinking born of a mind that has spent far too much time pathologizing sexual desire, that of men in particular and women increasingly. Obviously, we want to look at the photos, and we will, and we should remember that to long to see those who are everywhere and masked in private and unmasked at last is perfectly reasonable. It is human, really. Because that's what we see when we sees stars stripped bare: their humanity.
"But trigger warnings have come in for criticism and mockery even on the left. Jarvie concludes her piece with this sensible observation: 'Bending the world to accommodate our personal frailties does not help us overcome them.' She reports that the feminist website Jezebel, 'which does not issue trigger warnings, raised hackles in August by using the term as a headline joke: "It's Time To Talk About Bug Infestations [TRIGGER WARNING]."' And Susannah Breslin provoked outrage in 2010 when she 'wrote in True/Slant that feminists were applying the term "like a Southern cook applies Pam cooking spray to an overused nonstick frying pan."'" -- WSJ
"As the term grew increasingly ubiquitous online, it also began to acquire critics. In 2010, writer Susannah Breslin wrote that feminists applied the phrase 'like a Southern cook applies Pam cooking spray to an overused nonstick frying pan' and that 'the whole world is a trigger warning,' to which Feministing responded that she was a 'certifiable asshole,' and Jezebel, a site that has never used trigger warnings, claimed that the debate over the term 'been totally clouded by ridiculous inflammatory rhetoric.'" -- How the Trigger Warning Took Over the Internet
I don't do much anime, but I read about "Space Dandy" on Lauren Rae Orsini's blog: "Why Is the Media Covering 'Space Dandy' While Other Anime Get Ignored?"
"The New York Times. The Atlantic Monthly. The two last places you’d expect to see critical reviews on a show with 'breasturants' as a major plot point." [Otaku Journalist]
I haven't been to a lot of breastaurants. I think the only one I've been to is Hooters. I've been meaning to go to the Tilted Kilt, but I haven't made it there yet.
"So perhaps there’s also reason to be patient when 'Space Dandy' gets off to a rocky start in its first episode, the only one available for review. Particularly painful is an early sequence in which the pompadoured title character, an intergalactic alien hunter, travels through space to his favorite hangout: a cross between the 'Star Wars' cantina and Hooters, where 'zero G meets double D.'" [NYT]
It sounds hilarious. It's not surprising that a clever, surrealist take on sex comes from outside the US. In America, the gender wars turned the bedroom into a battleground.
"Ironically, Space Dandy’s campy style—there is a literal boob monster in one episode—begs to not be taken too seriously, but with his pop-culture sensibility and cinematic directing style, Watanabe may be anime’s greatest chance of getting the respect it deserves." [The Atlantic]
Reason's Cathy Young interviewed me for a story she wrote on whether or not the internet is "safe" for women.
"Blogger and columnist Susannah Breslin often writes about sex-related matters and readily admits to getting her share of sexually abusive online comments. In an email exchange, she stated that she feels sympathy for feminist writers who have been harassed and threatened, but also believes feminist behavior is part of the problem. According to Breslin, 'Today's feminism by and large defines itself in relation to men. It's about obsessing over how men are keeping women down and about attacking men for all the wrong they do. This feminism promotes reverse sexism.' Moreover, she argues, 'Feminists are the new thought police online, self-appointed cops for what men can and can't say on the Internet. And when you establish that as your methodology, men are not going to respond well.'"
Famous-for-being-crazy working mommyblogger Penelope Trunk has found the competition. It is male, unburdened, and married to a yoga teacher. The blogger gender war has driven her to drink, apparently.
"And here’s another fear I have: Fear of competing with middle-aged men who abandon their family and marry someone younger. Really. I am sick of it. James Altucher married his yoga teacher. He has two kids he does not live with. My fear is that I am the one living with my kids and I’m competing with men who left their kids behind with their mothers."