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This one’s simple. Be aware of the physical space you take up in public: on trains, in coffee shops, at the library, on airplanes.
Be aware of how much you’re talking, and if you are talking a whole bunch, step back. If you notice that men are dominating the conversation, step up simply to point it out and to call men to reflect on that.
A simple way to do this is not to harass women on the street. And not all street harassment is a lewd comment about a sex act yelled at a woman. Street harassment can be leering. Street harassment can be asking a woman to smile. Street harassment can be hitting on a women with whom you have no context or relationship.
Sexist language really is pervasive. From the common usage of bitch to referring to a woman as crazy, there are endless ways that sexist language makes its way into our vernacular.
A simple thing we can do to push back on sexist entitlement in public is to keep our damn clothes on (yes even if we’re hot).
How do I need to change my behavior to be more Trans* inclusive? Here are a few ideas: Don’t assume people’s gender pronouns until they tell you, opting to use gender-neutral ones instead; make sure to call people by their preferred gender pronouns and preferred name, even if it’s hard for you to remember.
Need to slide past a woman in a public place? Don’t just put your hand on her back. Ask to slide by. Ask before you hug someone. Ask before you pick up that little kid or tickle them. Ask before you kiss your partner.
Party spaces tend to be some of the most overt areas where men exert entitlement. Ask any woman whether they’ve been groped by a dude on a dance floor and you’ll understand what I mean.
Whether it’s a call out or call in or a public conversation with your bros about the ways that men express entitlement, naming the problem can help you identify allies you never thought you had and help men consider a problem that far too often is invisible to us.
What’s the best way to end male sexist entitlement? Keep it from spreading to the next generation! Pointing out to boys and young men the ways in which they are exhibiting entitlement and helping them understand why it is wrong is key to ending the entitlement that far too often leads to violence later in life.
Check out the full article here.
Check out the full article here.
There are few things better in life than a strong, empowering female character. So, let’s take some time and honor these awesome female heroines.
The obvious reasoning here is that Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, is a vampire slayer. She kills vampires in her spare time, when she’s not busy with school or her friends or her dating life. But here’s the thing: She’d be on this list even if she didn’t kill monsters. She’s strong physically and emotionally, she refuses to be underestimated, she’s the protector of her friends and family (and also, the world), and she’s dedicated to her principles.
When we were younger, Phylicia Rashad’s Clair was the ideal mother; now, she’s just the ideal woman. Brilliant, compassionate, strong-willed, and social-minded, this lawyer is the boss at home and on the job.
You don’t want to cross Nicole Beharie’s Abbie Mills, the real hero in Sleepy Hollow’s fight to save the world. It’s not that she’s fearless as she takes on the demons looking to bring the apocalypse; it’s that she shows remarkable strength in the face of that fear. And she’s got the best quips in town.
Veronica Mars, played by Kristen Bell, is similar to Buffy in that her accomplishments are made even more impressive for her age. The quick-witted teenage detective starts out searching for her best friend’s murderer but her talent leads her on a trail toward the darkest secrets of her hometown. She’s wise beyond her years but still undoubtedly a teen, with all of the crushes, school drama, and occasional naiveté that come with it.
Nichelle Nichols originated the role of Chief Communications Officer Uhura — groundbreaking for a black woman in 1966 — and continued to portray her through the first six Star Trek films (as seen above). She proves herself a canny and heroic leader, manning the helm when necessary, and rises through the ranks to ultimately become a commander.
Yes, Tina is technically voiced by a man (the hilarious Dan Mintz), but we’re glossing over that detail because she is currently one of the most empowering depictions of a young woman on television. She oozes a confidence that doesn’t rely on external approval, she’s self-actualized as a pioneering writer of erotic friend fiction, and she’s a self-proclaimed “smart, strong, sensual woman.” Our collective new mantra should be: “What Would Tina Do?”
We’ve seen the highly motivated Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, achieve her goals — both in her relationships and her career — and, more importantly, we’ve seen her jump back when she’s come up against failure. She’s an ally of all women everywhere, an incredibly loyal friend, and an overall unstoppable force.
Rue McClanahan’s Blanche is ahead of the curve when it comes to sex positivity, celebrating her sexual appetite and refusing to be ashamed. She’s passionate, confident, open-minded, and the best friend a girl could have.
Orange Is the New Black is filled with tough and inspirational women, so it takes a lot for just one to stand out. And yet Laverne Cox does, as transgender inmate Sophia who refuses to allow the state to govern her body. She’s complicated for sure, as are her fellow inmates, but she’s brave enough to stick up for the new girl, confident enough to run for a position on the Advisory Council, and strong enough to maintain a sense of self in the face of rampant transmisogyny.
Detective Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, is a voice for the victims and an advocate for women everywhere. She’s experienced her own trauma, and channels it into the often demoralizing fight to bring down criminals as a Special Victims officer. She’s brave, empathetic, resilient, and would make you feel safer than even her partner Stabler could.
Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys starts as a pawn in her brother’s power play, but she becomes irrepressible when she decides she that wants that power for herself. She proves herself a powerful, rebellious, yet compassionate leader with an army of thousands (and three very loyal dragons) behind her.
Who doesn’t want to be Donna? Played by Retta, she is confidence embodied, casting an irresistible spell on everyone she meets. She’s smart, steadfast, more empathetic than she lets on, and she isn’t afraid to indulge in the occasional fine fur.
Jennifer Garner’s Sydney is almost a machine — a highly trained, kickass spy machine. She’s a master of martial arts, can transform herself into any identity, speaks dozens of languages, and is a real danger to anyone dumb enough to be her enemy. But the best part is that she isn’t a machine. She’s a human being with real relationships, emotional depth, and relatable humanity.
Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon is a victory for the everywoman, showing that you don’t have to be a superhuman master of your career/love life/closet to be a badass boss. She struggles as creator and head writer of The Girlie Show, just as she struggles in her dating, but it hardly ever gets her down. She’s tenacious, sympathetic, hilarious, and — most important — ever unapologetic.
Played by Kerry Washington, Olivia is a high-powered political problem solver with the weight of the country on her shoulders and a team of gladiators behind her. She’s complicated and flawed — in other words, human — but still strong, confident, and decisive. She’s also got killer style.
Freema Agyman’s Martha spends just one season as the companion to Doctor Who, which makes sense since she hardly seems the “companion” type. She meets the Doctor when she’s already found success as a medical student, and after leaving him because she finds their dynamic unhealthy, she finishes her degree and lands a job for a paranormal military organization.
Katee Sackhoff’s Starbuck is as tough as they come, a cocky captain fighting bravely for the survival of humanity. She’s also an impressive example of personal growth, though; the abrasive and nihilistic pilot whom we meet at the beginning opens up to those around her without ever losing her edge.
In the brutal, ruthless universe of Game of Thrones, young Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, has it particularly rough. She battles gender expectations from the beginning, pursuing her interest in swordsmanship and battle over needlework, and it’s these skills that have allowed her to survive on her own for as long as she has. She’s got her sights set on vengeance, and she’s bound to get it.
Jessica, played by Gina Torres, is the boss, heading a law firm that’s in charge of some of the country’s most influential clients, and she runs the show with apparent ease. She’s quick-witted, cutthroat when she needs to be, and demands the best out of those around her.
Check out the full list here.
When you think about feminism, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t men. But it’s strange that most of us perceive gender equality as only uplifting ladies, when the women’s liberation actually had a lasting impact on all of us.
According to Fox News, the empowerment of women is a “threat to national security“, causes boys’ utter failure in school and has turned men into “weeps and wussies” as well as “slackers.” Female breadwinners are also apparently a “problem.”
While that’s one way of seeing it, another is to look at the host of ways that feminism has actually made the world a nicer place to live for everyone. Since Zerlina Maxwell so brilliantly explained how the movement has helped women, let’s look at 23 ways it impacted men.
According to the Economist, the empowerment of career women is one of the most defining changes in the industrialized world: “Goldman Sachs calculates that, leaving all other things equal, increasing women’s participation in the labor market to male levels will boost GDP by 21% in Italy, 19% in Spain, 16% in Japan, 9% in America, France and Germany and 8% in Britain.”
Research shows that men who share domestic tasks with their wives report being happier and have more sex, so it looks like liberating women from the shackles of the double-day burden ain’t so bad for men after all. Men who date feminists also report better relationship satisfaction and better sex, which means that contrary to anti-feminist wisdom, feminist women aren’t boner shrinkers after all.
In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to treat women and men differently under the law. The case, Craig v. Boren, was filled by a plaintiff in Oklahoma over its gender-specific drinking age policy, which prohibited men from drinking before age 21, but allowed women to drink when as young as 18. This implied that men are inherently more reckless and women are more responsible. After the law was struck down, the drinking age became 21 for all.
Over the course of their lengthy legal careers, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband joined forces only once, to advocate for single men. The case, Moritz v. Commissioner, challenged the fact that not all men could request dependent care deductions. Although tax deductions were given to women, widowers and divorced men, single males slipped through the cracks. Ending this discriminatory policy was one of Ginsburg’s many victories using the 14th Amendment to end the enshrinement of gender discrimination into law.
Last time I checked, men enjoy sex, and many of them enjoy having sex with women. The sexual revolution affected women as well as men: It gave women the ability to pursue sexual activities much more freely, which naturally altered sexual dynamics in this country. If more dudes knew that women’s ability to have sex with them was dependant on the accessibility of birth control, maybe everyone would stop calling it a “woman’s issue.”
That’s why NARAL organizes events like Men for Choice, where men can coalesce around issues of reproductive justice. According to Samantha Gordon, director of public affairs at NARAL, they’ve been “a huge success.” Men have showed up and raised money towards helping families get access to the services and information they need. Gordon told PolicyMic that it’s a priority for NARAL to “reach out to men and really makes them feel involved, so these types of fundraisers have become a perfect way to do that.”
Did you know that until recently, the FBI’s definition of rape was as old-fashioned as the horse and buggy? That is, until feminist activists decided to change that. Thanks to the “Rape Is Rape” campaign launched by the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. magazine, more than 160,000 emails were sent to the FBI pressuring it to change its archaic definition of rape. The old definition, “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will,” hadn’t been changed since 1921. It meant that many types of sexual assaults, including the rape of men, weren’t counted as part of the bureau’s annual Uniform Crime Report.
Prior to the Family and Medical Leave Act, workers in the United States didn’t have any protection under the law for family or medical-related leave. That meant that your boss could legally fire you for taking time off to care for your kids, yourself or a sick relative.
Despite the fact that most of the concerted efforts to eradicate sexual assault in the military has come from female politicians such as Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), laws intended to curb sexual assault affect men just as much as women. Women may be more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than be killed through enemy combat, but overall the majority of military sexual assault victims are male. That’s why organizations like Male Survivor or Men Can End Rape are so important, to make sure that men have a chance to make their voices heard.
When the U.S. Department of Defense decided to end the discriminatory policy of banning women from combat roles in the military, it didn’t only help female soldiers, it benefitted their male peers too. Allowing women on the front lines in 2013 opened up 237,000 military jobs that were previously off-limits to females, which gave relief to the male members of the military. Charles Clymer, a PolicyMic columnist and army veteran, said that everyone benefits from women entering combat roles.
Women of color didn’t only participate in the the civil rights movement, they were at the forefront of it. Without their sweat, blood and tears, the movement wouldn’t have been successful, and yet their participation is often understated. Even the role of iconic figures like Rosa Parks have been diminished in popular culture. Although we often remember her as a single-cause activist (refusing to give up her seat to a white person in a bus), she dedicated her entire life to racial justice. Among many other things, Parks spent many years serving as an officer of a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was intensely involved in the Scottsboro Boys trial.
Anti-sexual violence efforts don’t just benefit women, they often provide accountability and services for male victims of rape as well. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, spearheaded by prominent feminist activist Lovisa Stannow, advocated for the 200,000 inmates who are sexually abused in U.S. prisons and jails every year, most of whom are men. The organization she heads, Just Detention International, also helped draft and get the bill through Congress.
That women can bring home a pretty big chunk of change through paid work means men can work less and spend more time with their kids, something that’s good for both children and their fathers. The time fathers spend with their children is not only rewarding, it’s also more purposeful, and contributes to happiness more than time spent working. Thanks to feminist activism, paternity leave exists, and more men are taking advantage of it.
The National Organization for Women, along with many other social justice organizations lead the efforts to change the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed in 2009 in Congress and expanded the scope of what counts as a hate crime. Before this law, only unlawful acts on the basis of race, religion and national origin were included in the category. Expanding what is considered a hate crime has offered well-deserved protection to the LGBTQ community under federal law.
Did you know that women were deeply involved in demanding justice for AIDS victims in the 1980s? Princess Diana, for instance, was hailed as a feminist icon for her involvement in “radical” causes like HIV. She was the also first high-profile figure to be photographed touching a person with the disease and to have HIV/AIDS charities among her patron charities, something that had a pivotal impact on the public perception of AIDS. And if Princess Diana’s commitment to helping men with AIDS isn’t enough to convince you, the major AIDS-fighting drug was actually also invented by a woman.
“Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care for men, including testing and treatment of STDs, including HIV testing, and sexual health information and education. In fact, in the last 10 years, Planned Parenthood has more than doubled the number of male patients we see nationwide for health issues that affect men,” Ferrero told PolicyMic.
You may not be aware of it, but the feminist pop icon Beyoncé has helped men, and not just because she encouraged their girlfriends to believe they “woke up like dis.” The singer has gone out of her way to put her support behind the LGBTQ community, and gay men in particular. When Queen Bey’s not crushing the patriarchy, she’s crushing heternormativity by ensuring that her products don’t reinforce stereotypes about who we’re supposed to love.
Next time you get a huge hit down there, you should thank precious womankind, because the inventor of the jockstrap is one of them. Without feminism, female inventors would have never been able to leave the kitchen to create things that many men use every day. While we’re on the topic, women also invented TV dinners, the first computer and Jell-O. In other words, your best Friday ever is basically brought to you by feminism.
One of the most fascinating side effects of the women’s lib is that it correlated with a decrease in female life satisfaction, partially due to the fact that the expansion of women’s roles didn’t come with an appropriate shift in the amount of work they do in the home. What often overshadows these findings is that men’s happiness actually went up as a result of women’s empowerment. The happiness gap could be due to many factors, one of them being that women sharing the burden of bread-winning has helped men worry and spend less time at work, while leaving women with the double-day burden.
Increasing media literacy and challenging the stereotypical representations of men and women on television and film helps all genders develop the skills to think critically about the representations we see in our everyday life. With growing pressure on men to be strong, muscular and abs-olutely flawless, many feminist organizations have been dedicated to drawing awareness to how stereotypes impact all genders.
As more and more research examines the causes of gender segregation in the workplace — such as how textbooks reinforce gender stereotypes about teachers being female — there’s hope for a more equal distribution of gender across occupations. Men and women should be free to chase any career aspirations they like, and the debate surrounding the gendered barriers in the workplace can help everyone pursue those goals.
“At a political level, various feminist movements’ pragmatic lessons about how to organize, communicate and collaborate have been profoundly educational for me in trying to be a good citizen and community member,” he told PolicyMic. “The tradition of being supportive while also being self-critical, welcome while also setting high standards, practical while also being principled — those are all things I was first taught by the feminists in my life, and they’ve made me a better, more committed advocate for the baby issues I care about.”
Women’s groups like We Belong Together and feminist leaders like Gloria Steinem have been instrumental in demanding comprehensive immigration reform. Although women are disparately affected because they make up most undocumented workers and are less likely to be granted visas than men, men gain from greater awareness and attention to immigration policies. The fight for immigration reform benefits entire families, and feminist players are critical part of that fight.
Check out the full post here.
How often do you hear “some women like that” when you tell a friend about a time you were street harassed? What about “If he was cute, you wouldn’t call it harassment” or even “you can’t blame a guy for trying”.
Every woman has a story like this and it’s not okay. When you tell a friend you’re story it’s because you’re looking for support, not blame.
That’s why we’re here Cleveland! To let everyone know that street harassment is NOT okay! Do you have a story to share? Share it here. You are not alone!
Check out the original article here.
I was walking back to Tower City after marching in Pride with Hollaback when I passed two men selling cheap rainbow flags and boas out of a grocery cart. A group of young women decked out in Pride finery walked by them. One of the men called out, “Hey, buy something. They [the tchotskies] are beautiful, like you.” One of the women said “Thank you” and kept walking. The other man said, “They’re cheap, too, like you.” The first man then said, “Bitch.” I turned around and glared at them. One of the men said, “I guess we better shut our asses up around here.” So disappointed this happened literally ten minutes after the march.