The site Jezebel is worried about feminism becoming fashionable, citing 2013 as the year young female celebrities were falling over themselves to identify as feminist. Model Charlotte Free fretted feministly on her Tumblr: "feminism is not an accessory or a phase u can grow out of dont get me wrong, im way stoked that more people are admitting to be, or becoming feminists but i wish it didnt take it being 'trendy' to get where we are now. [sic]" Feminism might not be an accessory but it is cool now and we want you to know that we were feminist before feminism was cool. Now we have had to come up with a new movement to identify with, or at least new names for feminism...
I believe it was the too-brilliant-to-induce-envy Tavi Gevinson who introduced us to 'resting bitch face'. Even going as far as to create a guide for those who struggle with furrowing their brow in a dismissive expression to demonstrate levels of high bitchnosity. Since this guide was published girls and women across the world have been able to express their displeasure with the flicker of an eyebrow and the crinkle of a forehead. Then two or so years later Taylor Orci wrote the script for a short film drawing attention to "Bitchy Resting Face" in a plea to the general public not take BRF personally. It's just their face! However, many members of the general public do seem to take it personally and believe women in particular should tread the streets with a smile in their face and maybe an upbeat Taylor Swift song in their heart. I'm willing to bet most women's first taste of mild street harassment (for it is street harassment) was being told to smile. Or cheer up. Smile! you live in a patriarchy.
Dare to Use the F-Word is a new monthly podcast series created by and for young feminists. Street harassment, food activism, body image and slut-shaming are among the diverse issues discussed in the series, which is produced by Barnard College and the Barnard Center for Research on Women and aims to spotlight contemporary issues and activists. The podcast is available for download on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to the series.
In a recent episode, Barnard President Debora Spar, author of Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, talks with feminist media activist Jamia Wilson about how the drive for perfection affects young women today. Following the interview, President Spar shared her thoughts on the direction of feminism for the next generation.
People often appear to be under the impression that feminism is but a question of who opens the door. And who gets to grow a moustache. But mostly door opening and holding. Nobody questions the odd omission of any BAN ALL DOORS or CAMPAIGN FOR REVOLVING DOORS IN ALL BUILDINGS from any feminist projects or slogans. Which is perhaps indicative of how much thought people who think feminism is about misandry have given to the subject. The death of chivalry is regularly mourned and/or celebrated by male and female columnists depending on what publication they are writing for. Why the decline in chivalry? Apparently it's never a question of people being increasingly selfish or thoughtless and therefore bad mannered. It's feminism.
Since the dawn of the teenager adults have been moaning about how the new teen idols aren't as good as the old teen idols. James Dean could kick Mick Jagger's ass. Lionel Richie's Hello was better than Kurt Cobain's. Take That are no wild boys like Duran Duran were and the Spice Girls had nicknames, what do you call Lil Mix? And why doesn't anybody enunciate any more! Time was you could hear every word... Robbie Williams complained the Brit Awards had become dull over time and most people find themselves in the odd position of agreeing with him. So, to save a load of executives having to gather round the board room asking each other "what would Jarvis do?" we have come up with some suggestions for the Brits 2015...
What makes a successful relationship? It's up to the people involved, obviously, right? Yeah, right, as if that wouldn't put thousands of columnists and commentators out of a job. And I mean I had nothing to write about right now. So let's talk about sex, baby (and all the good things...). The Guardian wanted to celebrate valentine's day by asking if equality kills sex. There's some compelling stuff there - it would certainly seem that (heterosexual) couples who have a more equal distribution of labour have sex less often. But it also sounds from everything cited as if the people in these arrangements are generally happy with them. That having sex one time less a week is a decent tradeoff for spending your life with someone you actually like and not growing to hate them for never putting the damn rubbish out or putting the kids to bed.
The smart phone and social media explosion in recent times mean that everybody - but especially Generation Y or Millennials - is increasingly involved in a constant exercise of self branding. What's your brand? Do you regularly post selfies of you pulling an expression that shows you're unimpressed with your current situation (but also totes hot)? Or maybe you think we all want to know what you're eating right about now. Perhaps you're a young man in his late teens or early 20s and you need us all to know what a cynic you are - nothing fools you, nossir because you live your life with #nofilter, if you will. By the way what are you wearing right now?
According to Cosmopolitan magazine's agony aunt Irma Kurtz women are continuing to set themselves up as rivals rather than sisters. Speaking to Stella magazine Kurtz said: "Now there is less about sex, less 'she's trying to flirt with my bloke' and more anxiety about competition on the office floor. 'who does she think she is' - that sort of thing...I call envy 'the sisterly vice' and it's one we are more open to than ever now we have more areas in which to compete." Is it really a change in the nature of the competitions we can take part in, or a lack of change in the way we compete that's preventing women from forming sisterhood?
I wrote only yesterday about how, while portraying a wonderful sisterly female friendship on Parks and Recreation with Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones lapsed into this 'sisterly vice' with Hadley Freeman in an interview. The trouble with the sisterly vice is it is often the only visible way in which women are shown to bond.
I think if someone is part of a project or show you love it's hard to separate them from it. If they happen to air opinions that are similar to yours your fandom grows. They say they like cookies, omigoodness you like cookies. They call themselves a feminist, you call yourself a feminist. They say they don't like dressing the same as a set of women they disapprove of, you don't like dressing the same as a set of women you disapprove of. It's easy to get carried away and a recent interview between Hadley Freeman and Rashida Jones seems like a good case for this. The talented and intelligent Rashida Jones of the hilarious Parks & Recreation recently tweeted the hashtag #stopactinglikewhores with regard to how starlets dress and whether or not they have pants on.
There's a set (sect?) of One Direction fans who do it, lots of people who write fan fic do it and now JK Rowling is doing it.'Shipping. JK Rowling once again prodded the dead horse that is the Harry Potter franchise by saying Harry and Hermione should have ended up together, not Ron and Hermione. While many might suggest the only ill-paired couple here were JK and her editor we were prompted - what with it being Valentine's Day (there, we said it) to think up some other pairs we'd like to 'ship.