This Saturday in… Feminists Behaving Badly

Good morning everyone, Wonk the Vote here. I am having a holiday week from hell and laptop troubles to boot, so my Saturday offerings are going to be on the breezy side as I try to bypass the big-item news stories going on right now. It’s all so depressing, and I need to detox from my own stress. I doubt I’m alone in that!

First up… from Julie Bindel via The Guardian (this past Sunday): Why feminists are using their eyebrows to celebrate December… We’ve had Movember, but now it’s time for Decembrow – a fun way for feminists to grow a ‘unibrow’ to raise money for charity.”

More from the link: “What do Ava Gardner, Frida Kahlo, Jodie Foster, Keira Knightley and Brooke Shields have in common? You’ve got it – beautiful bushy eyebrows. And now you can too. A campaign led by Feministing, an online feminist community, has proposed growing a “unibrow” this month for a charitable cause of your choice.” Wonk sez: Bindel left out one of my Bollywood favorites from that beautiful bushy brows list–Kajol.

As for the feministing unibrow campaign, much as I love Frida and Kajol, I think I’ll pass on this one!

More power to Bindel, though, who says she’ll be popping down to [her] local fancy-dress store and buying a stick-on monobrow to show solidarity with [her] sisters.” Also, I think she makes a nice retort in response to the predictable “hairy feminist” taunts from the Concern Trolls Concerned Women for America. (Bindel writes, “Well, considering how often the words ‘hairy’ and ‘feminist’ appear in the same sentence, we may as well live up to the stereotypes for a good cause.”)

So what do you think? Is this just another ineffectual awareness-raising effort… or ’tis the season to sport a Frida-brow?

Alright, next up… The AFP/Herald Sun reported Tuesday that Ukraine feminists ‘urinate’ in protestDOZENS of Ukrainian feminists staged an unusual protest against the country’s all-male cabinet, pretending to urinate to show the government had turned into nothing more than a men’s room.” Way to take that Ulrich quote on “well-behaved women seldom making history” and run away with it!

The article continues: “The members of the Femen group – known for its brazen feminist stunts – squirted bottles of water and yellow liquid from their groins outside the government headquarters as a bemused line of police looked on... ‘To urinate standing is not a privilege,‘ said a banner held by one of the estimated 30 protesters. The police did not prevent the protest but also did not allow the women any further towards the government.

Stand up and… pretend to pee for your rights?

Well, I will say this…the protest certainly did get my attention focused on the Ukraine’s all-male cabinet. So I think this may have a little more sticking power than the Decembrow campaign. But, that’s just my two, heh.

Moving on to something a little less uncouth, but no less threatening to the status quo– from Deutsche Welle: Women’s publisher focuses on forgotten texts with feminist undertones… Newly established in Germany, the edition fuenf publishing house has a specific focus: books for women, written by women, published by women. Its founder is hoping to satisfy the needs of intelligent female readers.”

…which brings us back to the constant conundrum of whether having a separate category for women’s this, women’s that, or women’s anything is the solution — or is it just perpetuating the problem?

I personally think this “edition fuenf” undertaking sounds intriguing. I hope they publish some English versions.

Okay, now for my two “heavier” links for the week.

Serious read number 1…

If you click on any link in this roundup, I hope it’s this one, from last Friday in the Toronto Star, by Mona Eltahawy: “Let me, a Muslim feminist, confuse you. The entire thing is too wonderful to quote just one part. Read it. Now! (Or, as soon as you get a moment to yourself on this penultimate X-mas weekend.)

Serious read number 2…

Published Wednesday in the Independent Weekly, Carolyn McAllaster’s “Elizabeth Edwards: A feminist, a thinker. This roundup is already top-heavy, so I’m not going to excerpt. But, if you’re like me–still thinking about Elizabeth–and would love to hear about her feminist work back in her UNC Law School days, click on over and read for yourself.

Before I start wrapping this post up, a mini- Wonk rant (re: the Toronto Star link)…

Though I’m not Muslim, Eltahawy’s words mirror the thoughts that often go through my mind while watching the right wing’s paternalist, self-righteous and singular obsession with “defending” women of color from a certain side of the world. I’m an American Desi woman, a liberal, and a feminist. I oppose misogyny anywhere and everywhere. The right/left/whatever-wing hacks who don’t oppose the same can kindly go shove it. (Nope. I am not a well-behaved woman, Frida-brow or not. End Rant.)

Now for your weekend trivia. This Saturday, December the 18th, in feminist history (click on the links for their bios)…

1814: Josephine Sophia White Griffing was born.
1849: Henrietta Muir Edwards was born.

If you have a half hour to spare somewhere in your weekend, here’s a youtube of a neat interview with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

I’ll close with a light and fluffy feminist link from earlier in the week. Via the Patriot Ledger: EVERYDAY FEMINIST: Find time to savor the season Back by popular demand … On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … twelve guests expected, eleven last-minute presents, ten family dramas, nine kinds of cookies, eight more pounds on my butt, seven sticky-note lists, six nights of no sleep, fiiiiive hungry kids …Four bill collectors, three pairs of high heels, two twisted ankles, and one woman does it all again!

So what are you reading and ruminating on this Saturday? Let’s have a listen in the comments.

Oh, and Happy Holidays to anyone who made it all the way to the end!


Crossposted at Let Them Listen, Sky Dancing, and Taylor Marsh.

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2 Responses

  1. This is from a few days ago. Our stateswoman Hillary, speaking of the late statesman Richard Holbrooke (CNN has the embedding disabled, so you’ll have to watch it on youtube):

  2. Sorry that you’re having a bad week.

    I can’t get behind the unibrow thing as much as I love Kahlo.

    Happy Holidays!

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