Over at the Guardian, Emma Jane Unsworth considers the apparent likeability divide between anti-heroes—as it turns out, a heavily gendered archetype—and their female counterparts. Why does it seem that readers have a more negative reaction to women behaving badly and having existential crises in fiction?...more
Posts Tagged: feminism
On Immunity author Eula Biss speaks to Suzanne Koven about mythology, personal freedom, and the history of vaccines....more
About twenty of us met in a Muir Woods parking lot on a cool, grey Thursday morning. We hiked up a hill for a mile or so, through Coastal Redwoods, ending up on a dusty road with only a mailbox as a signpost....more
Feminists and transphobic conservatives have found common ground in attacking Lena Dunham after the publication of her memoir revealed that her seven-year-old self had been curious about her sister’s vagina. Dunham creates trigger art, explains Sarah Seltzer at Flavorwire, intentionally igniting sensitive subjects....more
Feminism needs stronger language to combat violence against women, argues Jacqueline Rose in the Guardian. Fourth-wave feminism must confront the issue of male-on-female violence globally, crafting new language “that allows women to claim their place in the world.” She points to various forms of violent oppression women face regularly, from genital mutilation to rape as weapons of war....more
The Rumpus speaks to Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton about Women in Clothes, a new collection of essays and art on the intricacies of femininity and clothing choices....more
A feminist novel, then, is one that not only deals explicitly with the stories and thereby the lives of women; it is also a novel that illuminates some aspect of the female condition and/or offers some kind of imperative for change and/or makes a bold or unapologetic political statement in the best interests of women.
As I continue reading Gay’s book, I can’t help but think of how my definition of myself as a feminist has evolved over the years. Looking back over the past 15 years, in particular, I can mark this evolution by the feminist texts and magazines I was reading at any given time.
The Rumpus talks to contributor Thomas Page McBee about his new book, Man Alive, heteronormativity, getting mugged, living in New York City, and what it really means to be a man....more
Two years from now, Wonder Woman will appear in her first live action movie. But can a feminist superhero born in 1941 represent women’s issues in 2016?
Wonder Woman’s debt is to feminism. She’s the missing link in a chain of events that begins with the woman-suffrage campaigns of the nineteen-tens and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
Fight Club was never a fairytale. It’s a painful howl into a night that probably isn’t listening and that is more a cry of pain than a drive to hurt....more
A profile of classicist Mary Beard at The New Yorker describes how Beard’s career in Britain brought her into the public eye. Beard gave a well-known lecture titled “Oh Do Shut Up Dear!” about how women (in literature and in life) have been silenced throughout history....more
More than 5 percent of the messages a woman receives online will be abusive or derogatory in nature, on average. Piers Morgan, whom researchers rank as the No. 1 receiver of hate tweets per day, gets 8.4 percent negative comments — putting him not that far ahead of the average female journalist when it comes to fielding vitriol....more
I do know that job one is to keep writing and talking about the things that scare the trolls – not just feminism but race and LGBT rights and everything else that pisses them off. Filters and moderators and sign-in requirements will only get us so far.
Obvious Child is sweetness, swaddled in a dirty joke. It’s the delicate pastel world of Wes Anderson, where characters are imperfect but want to get better. Where every asshole, in the end, has a really big heart....more
The Other Side author Lacy M. Johnson talks about the experience of being kidnapped, overcoming trauma, and fighting the George Wills of the world....more
The overall theme of feminism, for me, is not about having it all. It’s about having what you want and being honest about who you are. It’s about respecting who you are and what you do....more
At the Los Angeles Review of Books, editor and founder of Bookslut.com Jessa Crispin writes on feminism in its contemporary incarnation by way of two recent critiques of 50 Shades of Grey. She draws a distinction between feminism (a discourse) and feminism (a table-turning form of social domination) wherein “The bullied become the bullies [and the] abused become the abusers.”
Any sort of societal critique is thrown at a patriarchal straw man, as if all we have to do is get 50 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs to be female and an equal number of female bylines at The New York Times to have a better world.
Sandwiched between fictions on one side and instructions on the other, a woman is often denied the breathing room necessary to find her individual sexuality. In a conversation at the Nervous Breakdown, Rumpus contributor Ashley Perez and author Cris Mazza discuss sexual pain (both mental and physical) and the damaging standards fabricated by literature and expected in life:
I want every woman who wrote [an unrealistic sex scene] to sit in a therapy group with me and describe her own sexual experience, so I can gauge these fictional ones.
The disparity in the number of male and female bylines might very well have something to do with the artwork featured on their books. Cover art informs readers of a book’s contents, and publishers certainly try to manipulate readers, as Eugenia Williamson explains at the Boston Globe:
Harbach’s all-text cover has a hand-drawn, cursive script (for ladies) on a navy blue background (for men).
The Believer blog has a great interview with avant-garde filmmaker Nina Menkes. Menkes provides some insight into her creative process, as well as her take on being a feminist filmmaker:
I am surely a feminist filmmaker, but not because I set out to become one, or am trying to make any kind of statement.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sits down for a discussion of her most recent novel, Americanah, interrogations of race, gendered expectations in the U.S., and the transformative power of hair....more
Writer and founder and director of New York’s Sackett Street Writer’s Workshop Julia Fierro talks about her debut novel, Cutting Teeth, reading with scrutiny, being able to edit your own work, and motherhood....more
Katja Jylkka, writing over at The Toast, looks at the working girl novels of Laura Jean Libbey—19th century love stories featuring “innocent,” “bewitching” heroines. Though these pretty young women were able to attract “the wolfish attention of every male in [their] vicinity” just like modern-day manic pixie dream girls, Libbey’s working girls differentiate themselves by exerting agency:
…the original Mary Sues tended to show young women and ethnic minorities in positions of leadership and power, where before they were relegated to minor roles.