“And now Klaus is apparently running off to go and save Sunny. In the books of course it is Violet, but I know that Hollywood prefers its female actresses to do very little.”—Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events audio commentary (via literatureloveaffair)
I mean, yeah, they jiggle and wobble and don’t sit high up on my chest. But that’s normal.
Like what do you think I should do about it? I mean
My boobs just do normal boob things. They’re A-okay normal healthy boobs.
Moral: Boobs are really diverse. Do your boobs sag? Normal. Do they have hair? Normal. Do they have stretch marks? Normal. Do you get pimples on them? Normal. Are they different sizes? Normal. Big nipples? Normal. Puffy dark areola? Normal. Not facing dead ahead? Normal. Small? Normal. Big? Normal. Normal Normal Normal.
And they’re your boobs. If you can change any of those things and you want to, go ahead!
But don’t let people tell you that your breasts are wrong just because they’re affected by gravity.
you know how much pressure there is on girls to be good at every video game they play, because if they fuck up once there’s going to be a heck of a lot of people saying how girls suck and how they shouldn’t play video games
I asked myself what style we women could have adopted that would have been unmarked, like the men’s. The answer was none. There is no unmarked woman.
There is no woman’s hair style that can be called standard, that says nothing about her. The range of women’s hair styles is staggering, but a woman whose hair has no particular style is perceived as not caring about how she looks, which can disqualify her for many positions, and will subtly diminish her as a person in the eyes of some.
Women must choose between attractive shoes and comfortable shoes. When our group made an unexpected trek, the woman who wore flat, laced shoes arrived first. Last to arrive was the woman in spike heels, shoes in hand and a handful of men around her.
If a woman’s clothing is tight or revealing (in other words, sexy), it sends a message — an intended one of wanting to be attractive, but also a possibly unintended one of availability. If her clothes are not sexy, that too sends a message, lent meaning by the knowledge that they could have been. There are thousands of cosmetic products from which women can choose and myriad ways of applying them. Yet no makeup at all is anything but unmarked. Some men see it as a hostile refusal to please them.
Women can’t even fill out a form without telling stories about themselves. Most forms give four titles to choose from. “Mr.” carries no meaning other than that the respondent is male. But a woman who checks “Mrs.” or “Miss” communicates not only whether she has been married but also whether she has conservative tastes in forms of address — and probably other conservative values as well. Checking “Ms.” declines to let on about marriage (checking “Mr.” declines nothing since nothing was asked), but it also marks her as either liberated or rebellious, depending on the observer’s attitudes and assumptions.
I sometimes try to duck these variously marked choices by giving my title as “Dr.” — and in so doing risk marking myself as either uppity (hence sarcastic responses like “Excuse me!”) or an overachiever (hence reactions of congratulatory surprise like “Good for you!”).
All married women’s surnames are marked. If a woman takes her husband’s name, she announces to the world that she is married and has traditional values. To some it will indicate that she is less herself, more identified by her husband’s identity. If she does not take her husband’s name, this too is marked, seen as worthy of comment: she has done something; she has “kept her own name.” A man is never said to have “kept his own name” because it never occurs to anyone that he might have given it up. For him using his own name is unmarked.
A married woman who wants to have her cake and eat it too may use her surname plus his, with or without a hyphen. But this too announces her marital status and often results in a tongue-tying string. In a list (Harvey O’Donovan, Jonathan Feldman, Stephanie Woodbury McGillicutty), the woman’s multiple name stands out. It is marked.
Sure, I was stompin,’ and I know guys were like, ‘Woo, look at Tyra,’ but I know that my body being thicker on that runway meant something. A lot of the things I did in my modeling career as a woman of color was part of that feminism — of expanding the definition of beauty and making women feel beautiful, no matter what color their skin is.”—
Check out the new SPARKpiece on the Shade(ism) of it all!
"It took me a minute to process what she had just said. It was pretty straight-forward, but I struggled to really wrap my mind around it. She paused, and then repeated herself: “I want to study outside, but I can’t afford to get any darker. This is as dark as I am willing to get.” One of my classmates, someone who seemed so confident in herself, seemed genuinely afraid of a darker shift in her complexion. I wasn’t even part of that conversation–I just heard it in passing–but her reaction stuck with me for the rest of the day, despite its brevity. Then as the days passed, I began to notice the same attitude in other exchanges between classmates, especially my fellow black women.”
"Another thing I want to talk to you about is this idea of learning. Basically, you have to keep on learning—it will distract you from all the bullshit that we’re talking about. Two years ago, I couldn’t produce [music]; I learned how to do it in literally two years. I found it really difficult to program when I started, then I had this leap of confidence to actually get in front of the computer and learn how to do it. It was a massive challenge, because I am not a very logical person at all. It’s about facing your fears. If you do that, you realize that you can actually do anything you want to do! It’s been the most liberating experience.
Last week, I bumped into a very famous music artist. She started talking to me about her nails and her hair extensions, and how getting this stuff done makes her feel like a woman, and she has to have so much money to get this stuff done because she’s a woman and that’s what being a woman is. I thought to myself,That’s very interesting, because what makes me a woman is when I know I’ve produced a song myself—when I’ve found an artist to work with, given him a beat to work on and told him what I wanted, and he’s given it back to me and it’s what I’d envisioned as a producer. Or when I’ve made a video and released it into the world. That’s what makes me feel like a woman. Like, fuck anything else—fuck how tall I am or how long my hair is! This is the absolute epitome of what makes me feel like an adult, and like I’m handling my business. I’ve sat in front of my computer at three o’clock in the morning and I’ve made something myself that I had to learn how to do that was very difficult. When you find something easy, that’s a talent, but when you find something difficult, that’s when you get to really work and push and challenge yourself. I’m not saying that [that artist’s] image is invalid, because that might be where she gets her power from. Everyone is different. But for me, there’s something about learning that makes me feel the most adult I’ve ever felt.”
"In every community across the globe, girls and women should have the opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve their full potential. All nations have a responsibility to protect the basic human rights of all people, and when they do — when girls and women are fully valued as equal participants in a country’s politics and economy — societies are more likely to succeed.
But throughout the world, too many girls and women are subjected to laws and traditions that serve only to oppress and exclude. Gender-based violence — from domestic violence and human trafficking to genital cutting and early and forced marriage — condemns girls to cycles of dependence, fear, and abuse. Harmful cultural norms and prejudices that tell young women how they are expected to look and act deny the dignity and equality we want for all our daughters. On International Day of the Girl, we stand with girls, women, and male and female advocates in every country who are calling for freedom and justice, and we renew our commitment to build a world where all girls feel safe, supported, and encouraged to pursue their own measure of happiness.”
“We could stop making shows about straight white men right now and there would still be enough to last until the end of time. Television and movies are all about recreating the human experience, and when you’re blatantly excluding certain types of people, the underlying message is “you aren’t part of this experience” which is bullshit.”—Brittani being a genius in this interview with SPARK (via bishilarious)
“When Google acknowledged SPARK’s DoodleUs campaign, they spoke of women being underrepresented in the Doodles, but didn’t mention other factors that SPARK took into account, namely race and region. So while the situation has improved significantly for white women, the problem of underrepresentation mostly remains the same for women of color. It’s a problem that we see repeatedly when large corporations and organizations try to improve their treatment of one identity (in this case, gender) without considering that one person can have several identities (for example, you can be a woman and a person of color at the same time).”—
Remember our SPARK DoodleUs campaign? Celeste Montaño (yourmindisagarden) gives a great update on how things have changed at Google Doodles since then (or stayed the same).
I’ve always had an issue with shoes. My feet are larger than I think they have any right to be—they remind me of the things people say about transgender women in order to invalidate our lives and identities. They remind me that, in many peoples’ minds, my body and I have no place in this world. I also want to re-iterate that I identify as a girl who sees herself as—did I say it before?—a goofy nerd.
But sitting in the women’s size 9 aisle were these perfect shoes. Blue velvet at the bottom, with teal and red straps intertwining like fighting serpents: they were Jennifer Lopez-brand stilettos with what must have been 6-inch heels. They were $10.
Loving this piece by Calliope Wong about consumer culture, being a daughter, and the struggle of finding yourself.
“Well I know that I, personally, as a director in the future, would absolutely love to create projects centered around black women. And I think there definitely needs to be more black women behind the camera. Those directors who are African-American women are so important to me, because representation is completely linked to inspiration and confidence within the African-American communities. I look up to those people and I hope that by being a director I can inspire and create representation by casting black women and sharing powerful stories. That’s the dream.”—Amandla Stenberg. We interviewed her and it was amazing and we can’t wait to see what she does next!
Welcome to the review and recap of what will hopefully be the first season of Words With Girls, a show created by our very own Brittani Nichols and brought to us here today by ColorCreative.tv, an initiative founded by Issa Rae and Deniese Davisto increase opportunities for women and minority TV writers in a white and male-dominated industry. The premiere of the pilot, which you can watch right now along with two other pilots on Color Creative TV, is a pretty big deal for all of us. The Words With Girls series premiered and was hosted by Autostraddle and we’re just super excited for Brittani! You can read her Comedy Crush interview about how it all went down here, go watch the pilot and then come right back here to talk about it.
“This dominant narrative surrounding the inevitability of female objectification and victimhood is so powerful that it not only defines our concepts of reality but it even sets the parameters for how we think about entirely fictional worlds, even those taking place in the realms of fantasy and science fiction. It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game worlds would feel too “unrealistic” or “not historically accurate”. What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend or break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection. We are perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons and items in a massive invisible backpack. But somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.”—Tropes vs Women in Video Games, Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 (via jdisapunk)
“Hate. It’s all hate. Because if you can look at the history of women being beaten and battered into silence and second-class citizenship, and still ask if they are at all to blame for the violence visited upon them, there’s nothing else to call that.
There is a tendency to judge the actions of those with the least amount of power the same as those with more power and then ask, “Isn’t that what equality means?” It’s a clever rhetorical evasion of the issue. Equality is the goal, but to pretend that we actually exist as equals right now is to ignore reality. Like it or not, we all carry history with us in our personal interactions. The history of violence against women is one where women’s bodies are a battleground in a struggle for power. Punches, kicks, weapons, and the threat of death have been used to assert dominance and deny women autonomy, at home and out in the rest of the world.
That’s why it’s not a matter of it being wrong for a man to hit a woman because he may be physically stronger than her. It’s not about women being delicate. That line of thinking is standing on the right side of the issue for the wrong reasons. It reinforces patriarchal thinking about a man’s duty being protection.
No, violence against women is a scourge because it establishes a hierarchy of power. It is a means of ensuring submission. It assures the persistence of inequality through terror.”—Mychal Denzel Smith, How to know that you hate women
“I always think with my heart first and then with my brain. If I want to cry, I cry. I am not afraid of crying. I am not afraid of saying how I am feeling. That is the kind of person I want to be, that is the kind of person I am trying to be.”—Iranian playwright Diana Fathi. Read the rest of our interview with her here
“When minor characters who are also ethnic minorities start talking among themselves in their native tongues, they sometimes take advantage of their invisibility to say things. Sometimes they break the Fourth Wall and start ranting about the movie director. Sometimes, they spout random obscenities or natter about their lousy lunch. It’s all in not-English, so whatever they say doesn’t matter! And the actual translations of their lines can be a secret source of hilarity in films where actors are instructed to use a Gratuitous Foreign Language (GFL) in order to make a scene sound more authentic. When some Native Americans cast in Westerns were told to speak their own language to add some authenticity, these actors took the opportunity to crudely editorialize about their director, which allegedly resulted in Native American audiences (in)explicably cracking up laughing during scenes that were meant to be dramatic.”—Minorities can be marginalized in film, but not silenced. (via salon)
“The term “tear gas” is a misnomer. For one thing, “tear gas” seems to imply something innocuous— you would think it’s just a chemical that makes you tear up. In fact, tear gas is a dangerous, potentially lethal chemical agent which is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention for use during wartime. As the Omega Research Foundation argues: “Less-lethal weapons are presented as more acceptable alternatives to guns. But these weapons augment rather than replace the more lethal weapons. Euphemistic labels are used to create the impression that these weapons represent soft and gentle forms of control. CS is never referred to by the authorities as vomit gas, in spite of its capacity to cause violent retching.” NGO Physicians for Human Rights believes that “ ‘tear gas’ is a misnomer for a group of poisonous gases which, far from being innocuous, have serious acute and longer-term adverse effects on the health of significant numbers of those exposed.””—What is tear gas? —Facing Tear Gas (via somethinglickedthiswaycums)
“As a child I never heard one woman say to me, “I love my body.” Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. No one woman has ever said, “I am so proud of my body.” So I make sure to say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age.”—