It’s easy to keep our focus on high profile national politics, especially with the circus that is the 2016 presidential election happening before us. But given the mess that is Congress right now, a lot of the real policymaking action is in the states. Conservatives have recognized this for a long time, and have invested time and money into stacking state legislatures with right-wing politicians. With the help of groups like ALEC, they’ve spread horrible laws like stand your ground and targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) laws. (more…)
As the idea of affirmative consent gains in popularity, there are still many people who stubbornly refuse to recognize the importance of changing the way we teach people about sex. Many of these are the same people who want to focus on telling women to stop drinking and wear different clothes to protect themselves from sexual assault, rather than focusing on the perpetrators of the crime and fighting back against rape culture. (more…)
Carly Fiorina is being hailed as the winner of last week’s Republican presidential debate (a dubious honor if there ever was one). She certainly came across as more polished and articulate than many of her bumbling opponents. But the New York Times is giving way too much credence to Republicans’ argument that she could help the party appeal to women:
With a debate performance that was steely and at times deeply personal,Carly Fiorina appears to have improved her standing in the race to be the Republican nominee. But even if she falls short, she took a big stride toward filling a role her party badly needs: a credible antidote to the gender gap and the Democrats’ claims of a Republican “war on women.”
Carly Fiorina isn’t an antidote to the war on women. She’s a soldier in it. (more…)
The internet has been abuzz about Nicole Arbour’s offensive “Dear Fat People” video. Before I wrote this post, I thought I should actually watch the video I was writing about, but I only made it through about 30 seconds. It was all I needed to get the point. It was fat-shaming (which she dismisses as a concept), lazy and unfunny. Arbour puts on a show as though it’s a brave move to heap criticism on people who are overweight. Our society has a made a lot of progress in pushing back against fat shaming, but she is still expressing the dominant viewpoint, if in a more blunt way than most.
So, instead, I want to pull back and say this, to all the Nicole Arbours of the world: You know what, Nicole? I fight for you.
Whether you like it or not, whether you realise it or not, your life is tangibly better because of fat women who live unapologetically, who wedge the gates of acceptance open wider every day. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who wants to be more than just a body. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman whose body is scrutinised and policed every moment of your life. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who wants to be taken seriously in comedy. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who wants to be heard, not blamed, when she reports a sexual assault. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who will eventually age and be told you are without value. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman vulnerable to any number of emotional and physical maladies that could, to your surprise, make you as fat as me. I fight for you in your capacity as a complex, fully formed human being with the right to autonomy over your body, even if that body gets fat.
I fight for you even when you are cruel, even when you are making money off the back of fat people’s pain, even when you refuse to fight for me. Because I know that it is hard to have a body, that insecurities make us mean, and that male approval can be a comfortable harbour while it lasts.
But you will eventually be kicked out of the club, and when that happens, you may find yourself grateful to those of us who have built a new one. Safe journey.