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The evolution of Halloween costumes for girls…

this is really important

This is why I get upset about the sexy costumes at Halloween.  Not because you don’t have the right to be sexy—you absolutely, absolutely do.  But because while you might be able to find costume #3 in a tween size in each of these rows, I can guarantee that in almost all cases, you will not find costume #2 in a teen or adult size.

Babies/toddlers get to be cute.  Kids/tweens get to be fun and spooky and still have modesty, if they want it.  Teens who aren’t on the small end are already getting the sexy, even if they really just want fun, spooky, and a skirt that goes below mid-thigh.  And adults?  LOL nope it’s sexy or nothing.

Everyone who is of an age to want sexy should be allowed to have sexy.  But “not sexy” should always be on the table as well, because sometimes you just want to be warm and cozy and filling a pillowcase with strangercandy.

Oh geez. It’s that time again. Last year we put together this list of feminist Halloween costumes to try and counteract the whole you-must-be-sexy costume trend. 

(via thefeministpress)

It’s a strange time to be a nerd. Recent conversations—ranging from responses to the UC Santa Barbarashooting earlier this year and recent reexaminations of such key texts as 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds to the increased visibility of misogyny in gamer culture—have called nerds’ seemingly intrinsic “underdog” status into question. In all these conversations, the nerds are by definition male. Their self-proclaimed rank as society’s pariahs, despite the dominance of the tech industry and the increasingly mainstream success of everything from comic books to MMORPGs, allows them to see women at best as plunder to be won from enemy alpha males, and at worst as poseurs and saboteurs bent on destroying the industries and narratives nerds hold dear.
Perhaps more than anything, this conversation should serve as a wake-up call that there is no faction or fandom so downtrodden that its members cannot find excuses to exclude or victimize women. For nerdy girls who grew up in these subcultures, of course, none of this is really news. But we also know that, beyond Revenge of the Nerds, there are nerd icons any boy would do well to emulate. Here’s a collection of nerdy men that geek dudes these days should look to as role models. 
1. and 2. Chris Knight and Mitch Taylor, Real Genius
If you’re searching for a perfect antidote to Revenge of the Nerds—in which the titular nerds seek revenge on their “jock” enemies by selling nude photos of popular sorority girls and date raping one of the jock’s girlfriends—then Real Genius is it. Released in 1985, the year after Revenge of the Nerds, it concerns a group of brilliant young student scientists as Pacific Tech, a CalTech stand-in. In particular, it follows the antics of carefree genius Chris Knight (played by Val Kilmer at the height of his toothsomeness) and his tense new roommate, Mitch, who at age 15 is the school’s youngest and most naïve student.
Mitch looks more than a little like a Girls Just Want To Have Fun-era Sarah Jessica Parker (and a perfect world she would have won the part), but his biggest problem is the fact that his intelligence only seems to make him miserable. The movie’s first half is largely about Chris’ attempts to help him loosen up, and use his intelligence to help him enjoy life. They prank other students and throw parties that doubtless put CalTech’s to shame, and Mitch falls for Jordan (Michelle Meyrink, a Revenge of the Nerds alumna), a girl who is just as brilliant as he could ever hope to be. (She’s also an icon for all girls who take pride in never sleeping, i.e., uh, me.) In the movie’s final act, however, the nerds of Pacific tech use their smarts not to pillage sororities or punish imagined enemies, but to reroute the plans of a deadly laser and make the world a more peaceful place—complete with plenty of popcorn. 
3. Brian Johnson, The Breakfast Club
In a movie about stripping away your layers of defense, no one was more defenseless than Brian Johnson. As the “brain” of the group, Brian is laughably naïve and sincere (“I’m in the math club, that Latin club, and the physics club…uh, physics club”), until suddenly he isn’t. He may be a couple of grades behind than the movie’s other characters, but he looks almost a decade younger (maybe because, in the case of actors like Judd Nelson, he actually was). Anthony Michael Hall plays the role with a puppyish kind of vulnerability that comes partly from his abilities as an actor and partly from his appearance alone: his hands and feet are still too big for his body to grow into and his wide-eyed stare suggests that he doesn’t really mind if the joke is on him, so long as he gets to be included.
In Sixteen Candles, released the year before, Hall’s character—known simply as “The Geek”—was a caricature used largely for laughs: he danced, he strutted, he yearned for “fully aged sophomore meat,” he made martinis, he crashed a car, and he talked himself up as a playboy so much that, miraculously, he woke up as one, a sleeping prom queen by his side. In the end, The Geek was the bluntest and most regrettable kind of nerd fantasy figure, and enjoyed a victory well within the Revenge of the Nerdsmodel: humble the popular kids and claim their poster girl as your prize.
But in The Breakfast Club, Hall’s Brian Johnson ends up alone. Instead of winning a girl as a trophy, he brought the group together with his childlike belief that they all really could find common ground and would all be friends on Monday. That congratulatory little punch in the arm he gives himself in the arm at the end of the movie? Completely earned—and not just because his dance moves had improved so much since Sixteen Candles.
4. and 5. Sheila, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, and Mark, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
This one’s a twofer, partly because the standard Nightmare on Elm Street character template of a nerd/troubled girl/babe/soft-hearted jock friend group yielded too many additions to winnow down to one—not to mention a vision of the kind of morning-after-The-Breakfast-Club social dynamic we all yearned for as high schoolers. 
Mark, the comic book nerd who loves his teen-model best friend pure and chaste from afar until Freddy kills her in an all-too-real depiction of the adolescent female headspace (filet de Barbie, anyone?), seems to get his haircut ideas from nine-year-olds and his fashion cues from Ya Kid K. Yet the futility of his love is reflected not in ironic distance and passive aggressive comments, but in hisvaliant—and, of course, doomed—attempt to avenge her death.
 Speaking of doomed love, I sometimes think about all the things I want to do with my life—my plans for books written, degrees earned, journeys undertaken, and dogs bandanna’d—and think of tossing it all aside in favor of spending 40 to 50 years writingfanfiction about Sheila, the shrimpy, sarcastic nerd of A Nightmare on Elm Street Four, and her best friend Debbie, a hardcore weightlifter, soap-watcher, and Lita Ford lookalike. They may have just been friends, but their relationship—Sheila does Debbie’s trig homework, and Debbie mercilessly insults anyone who dares harass Sheila—surely could have blossomed into love, if not for the whole obligatory death count thing. Boys seeking to catch the eye of a Lita Ford lookalike, take note: do her trig homework, and the rest will follow.
6. Neil, Todd, Charlie, Knox, and all the other boys of Dead Poets Society
Show me a movie more tailor-made for bookish adolescent girls and I will retreat into a blanket fort and spend the rest of my life watching it. As it is, I have a hard enough time emerging from the house once in a while when I know I have a VHS of Dead Poets Society at the ready. The boys of this movie are dream material for every fourteen-year-old girl who once spent a lunch hour swooning over Keats: earnest, passionate, wide-eyed, thoughtful, and profoundly virginal (with the exception of Charlie “Nuwanda” Dalton, who at the very least has done some passionate necking with a ‘Cliffie he met while visiting an older brother at the Harvard-Yale game). 
Yet the very best thing about these characters—and the quality that keeps me coming back long after my fetish for navy blue blazers and tartan dressing gowns has been sated—is the fact that they are not just the boys we bookish girls once wished we could have dated, but the boys we identified with. Finally, here was proof thatboys and girls, those groups apparently rendered total opposites by adolescence, had far more in common than we might have guessed. We could both be ardent without irony. We could both be gentle with our friends, and with the selves we saw emerging as we grew into adults. And we could both know that we were not just the hormonal beasts society wrote us off as, but able to appreciate all the poetry life held, and, occasionally, the poetry of our hormones—which would be best appreciated, of course, in a cave in the woods just outside a New England prep school.
Though all the boys of Dead Poets Society were wise, it was perhaps Nuwanda Dalton who best spoke for the movie’s female viewers, when he said: “Mr. Nolan? It’s for you. It’s God. He says we should have girls at Welton.” 
I’m still waiting for my acceptance letter to arrive in the mail.
This article by Sarah Marshall was published on at BitchMedia.org. High-res

It’s a strange time to be a nerd. Recent conversations—ranging from responses to the UC Santa Barbarashooting earlier this year and recent reexaminations of such key texts as 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds to the increased visibility of misogyny in gamer culture—have called nerds’ seemingly intrinsic “underdog” status into question. In all these conversations, the nerds are by definition male. Their self-proclaimed rank as society’s pariahs, despite the dominance of the tech industry and the increasingly mainstream success of everything from comic books to MMORPGs, allows them to see women at best as plunder to be won from enemy alpha males, and at worst as poseurs and saboteurs bent on destroying the industries and narratives nerds hold dear.

Perhaps more than anything, this conversation should serve as a wake-up call that there is no faction or fandom so downtrodden that its members cannot find excuses to exclude or victimize women. For nerdy girls who grew up in these subcultures, of course, none of this is really news. But we also know that, beyond Revenge of the Nerds, there are nerd icons any boy would do well to emulate. Here’s a collection of nerdy men that geek dudes these days should look to as role models. 

1. and 2. Chris Knight and Mitch Taylor, Real Genius

If you’re searching for a perfect antidote to Revenge of the Nerds—in which the titular nerds seek revenge on their “jock” enemies by selling nude photos of popular sorority girls and date raping one of the jock’s girlfriends—then Real Genius is it. Released in 1985, the year after Revenge of the Nerds, it concerns a group of brilliant young student scientists as Pacific Tech, a CalTech stand-in. In particular, it follows the antics of carefree genius Chris Knight (played by Val Kilmer at the height of his toothsomeness) and his tense new roommate, Mitch, who at age 15 is the school’s youngest and most naïve student.

Mitch looks more than a little like a Girls Just Want To Have Fun-era Sarah Jessica Parker (and a perfect world she would have won the part), but his biggest problem is the fact that his intelligence only seems to make him miserable. The movie’s first half is largely about Chris’ attempts to help him loosen up, and use his intelligence to help him enjoy life. They prank other students and throw parties that doubtless put CalTech’s to shame, and Mitch falls for Jordan (Michelle Meyrink, a Revenge of the Nerds alumna), a girl who is just as brilliant as he could ever hope to be. (She’s also an icon for all girls who take pride in never sleeping, i.e., uh, me.) In the movie’s final act, however, the nerds of Pacific tech use their smarts not to pillage sororities or punish imagined enemies, but to reroute the plans of a deadly laser and make the world a more peaceful place—complete with plenty of popcorn

3. Brian Johnson, The Breakfast Club

In a movie about stripping away your layers of defense, no one was more defenseless than Brian Johnson. As the “brain” of the group, Brian is laughably naïve and sincere (“I’m in the math club, that Latin club, and the physics clubuh, physics club”), until suddenly he isn’t. He may be a couple of grades behind than the movie’s other characters, but he looks almost a decade younger (maybe because, in the case of actors like Judd Nelson, he actually was). Anthony Michael Hall plays the role with a puppyish kind of vulnerability that comes partly from his abilities as an actor and partly from his appearance alone: his hands and feet are still too big for his body to grow into and his wide-eyed stare suggests that he doesn’t really mind if the joke is on him, so long as he gets to be included.

In Sixteen Candles, released the year before, Hall’s character—known simply as “The Geek”—was a caricature used largely for laughs: he danced, he strutted, he yearned for “fully aged sophomore meat,” he made martinis, he crashed a car, and he talked himself up as a playboy so much that, miraculously, he woke up as one, a sleeping prom queen by his side. In the end, The Geek was the bluntest and most regrettable kind of nerd fantasy figure, and enjoyed a victory well within the Revenge of the Nerdsmodelhumble the popular kids and claim their poster girl as your prize.

But in The Breakfast Club, Hall’s Brian Johnson ends up alone. Instead of winning a girl as a trophy, he brought the group together with his childlike belief that they all really could find common ground and would all be friends on Monday. That congratulatory little punch in the arm he gives himself in the arm at the end of the movie? Completely earned—and not just because his dance moves had improved so much since Sixteen Candles.

4. and 5. Sheila, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, and Mark, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

This one’s a twofer, partly because the standard Nightmare on Elm Street character template of a nerd/troubled girl/babe/soft-hearted jock friend group yielded too many additions to winnow down to one—not to mention a vision of the kind of morning-after-The-Breakfast-Club social dynamic we all yearned for as high schoolers. 

Mark, the comic book nerd who loves his teen-model best friend pure and chaste from afar until Freddy kills her in an all-too-real depiction of the adolescent female headspace (filet de Barbieanyone?), seems to get his haircut ideas from nine-year-olds and his fashion cues from Ya Kid K. Yet the futility of his love is reflected not in ironic distance and passive aggressive comments, but in hisvaliant—and, of course, doomed—attempt to avenge her death.

 Speaking of doomed love, I sometimes think about all the things I want to do with my life—my plans for books written, degrees earned, journeys undertaken, and dogs bandanna’d—and think of tossing it all aside in favor of spending 40 to 50 years writingfanfiction about Sheila, the shrimpy, sarcastic nerd of A Nightmare on Elm Street Four, and her best friend Debbie, a hardcore weightlifter, soap-watcher, and Lita Ford lookalike. They may have just been friends, but their relationship—Sheila does Debbie’s trig homework, and Debbie mercilessly insults anyone who dares harass Sheila—surely could have blossomed into love, if not for the whole obligatory death count thing. Boys seeking to catch the eye of a Lita Ford lookalike, take note: do her trig homework, and the rest will follow.

6. Neil, Todd, Charlie, Knox, and all the other boys of Dead Poets Society

Show me a movie more tailor-made for bookish adolescent girls and I will retreat into a blanket fort and spend the rest of my life watching it. As it is, I have a hard enough time emerging from the house once in a while when I know I have a VHS of Dead Poets Society at the ready. The boys of this movie are dream material for every fourteen-year-old girl who once spent a lunch hour swooning over Keats: earnest, passionate, wide-eyed, thoughtful, and profoundly virginal (with the exception of Charlie “Nuwanda” Dalton, who at the very least has done some passionate necking with a ‘Cliffie he met while visiting an older brother at the Harvard-Yale game). 

Yet the very best thing about these characters—and the quality that keeps me coming back long after my fetish for navy blue blazers and tartan dressing gowns has been sated—is the fact that they are not just the boys we bookish girls once wished we could have dated, but the boys we identified with. Finally, here was proof thatboys and girls, those groups apparently rendered total opposites by adolescence, had far more in common than we might have guessed. We could both be ardent without irony. We could both be gentle with our friends, and with the selves we saw emerging as we grew into adults. And we could both know that we were not just the hormonal beasts society wrote us off as, but able to appreciate all the poetry life held, and, occasionally, the poetry of our hormones—which would be best appreciated, of course, in a cave in the woods just outside a New England prep school.

Though all the boys of Dead Poets Society were wise, it was perhaps Nuwanda Dalton who best spoke for the movie’s female viewers, when he said: “Mr. Nolan? It’s for you. It’s God. He says we should have girls at Welton.” 

I’m still waiting for my acceptance letter to arrive in the mail.

This article by Sarah Marshall was published on at BitchMedia.org.

Last week, a young man calling himself “Matt the Lone Woof” removed All Jane No Dick’s posters in one neighborhood and replaced them with his own, poorly doctored fliers. His new fliers advertised the “The 3rd Annual Male Hate Convention, where all men will have their dicks severed onsite” hosted by the “Feminazi Association of Oregon.” He also placed a weirdly-tepid craigslist ad inviting others to join him in silent protest of this “sexist event.”

Faced with often-hostile, overwhelmingly straight, male comedy environments, women and queer comedians are carving out relative safe spaces for themselves onstage.

Some comedy fans, like the Lone Woof, see this as being exclusive. But they’re wrong. What these alternative, diversity-geared comedy events do is make comedy better for everyone. Comedians who would never have been able to break into the comedy scene due to rampant sexism are able to get onstage, work through jokes, and hone material.

Keep reading about women-run comedy nights on BitchMedia.org.

Lady is the stage name for 25-year-old Shameka Brown, a black female rapper from Talbotton, Georgia. When she was 13, Lady formed a rap group with two friends and was the “main attraction” of her school’s lunch room concerts. In 2010, she signed with music label Big Gates Records, and since then her music has appeared on TV shows like HBO’s Girls, Showtime’s Ray Donovan, and the BBC show Skins. It is on her 2010 album Bitch From Around The Way 2 where you can find one of the most frank songs about a woman’s sex game you’ll ever hear: “Yankin.” (If you’re unfamiliar with the word, you might want to read the Urbandictionary definition of yankin). The song goes:

I can’t even lie, I fuck better when I’m drinkin’
Ride dick like a pro, throw the pussy like I’m famous
Pussy feels so good, feels like the rubber off, ain’t it?
You ain’t gotta tell me, I know this pussy be yankin

The most telling lyric and what makes it a stand-out in the “sexually liberated woman” song catalog is that final line of the chorus: “You ain’t gotta tell me, I know this pussy be yankin.” Although Lady is proud of the “hypnotic” powers her pussy possesses, she doesn’t need anyone reminding her. In an age where Cosmopolitan-style magazines continue to prey on women’s insecurities and ply them with sex advice centered on pleasing men, it’s refreshing to see a woman safe in the knowledge that she is good at having the kind of sex she enjoys.
Not only does Lady not need the validation of her male partner, she also advocates safe sex without pandering to the listener. In “Yankin” Lady makes the claim that her pussy “feels like the rubber off, ain’t it?” and commends her partner for using a Magnum condom (“the perfect size”). For Lady to normalize the use of protection during a sexual encounter and assure the wearer that they will still have a good time together is a pretty huge deal.
Continue reading “An Ode to Lady, My Favorite Brazenly Sexual Rapper" at BitchMedia.org. High-res

Lady is the stage name for 25-year-old Shameka Brown, a black female rapper from Talbotton, Georgia. When she was 13, Lady formed a rap group with two friends and was the “main attraction” of her school’s lunch room concerts. In 2010, she signed with music label Big Gates Records, and since then her music has appeared on TV shows like HBO’s Girls, Showtime’s Ray Donovan, and the BBC show Skins. It is on her 2010 album Bitch From Around The Way 2 where you can find one of the most frank songs about a woman’s sex game you’ll ever hear: “Yankin.” (If you’re unfamiliar with the word, you might want to read the Urbandictionary definition of yankin). The song goes:

I can’t even lie, I fuck better when I’m drinkin’

Ride dick like a pro, throw the pussy like I’m famous

Pussy feels so good, feels like the rubber off, ain’t it?

You ain’t gotta tell me, I know this pussy be yankin

The most telling lyric and what makes it a stand-out in the “sexually liberated woman” song catalog is that final line of the chorus: “You ain’t gotta tell me, I know this pussy be yankin.” Although Lady is proud of the “hypnotic” powers her pussy possesses, she doesn’t need anyone reminding her. In an age where Cosmopolitan-style magazines continue to prey on women’s insecurities and ply them with sex advice centered on pleasing men, it’s refreshing to see a woman safe in the knowledge that she is good at having the kind of sex she enjoys.

Not only does Lady not need the validation of her male partner, she also advocates safe sex without pandering to the listener. In “Yankin” Lady makes the claim that her pussy “feels like the rubber off, ain’t it?” and commends her partner for using a Magnum condom (“the perfect size”). For Lady to normalize the use of protection during a sexual encounter and assure the wearer that they will still have a good time together is a pretty huge deal.

Continue reading “An Ode to Lady, My Favorite Brazenly Sexual Rapper" at BitchMedia.org.

The US and Canadian national soccer teams face off in 2011. Photo by Brent Flanders.
Back in April, US national soccer team forward Sydney Leroux posted a picture of her torn-up, bloody legs on Twitter with the words, “This is why soccer should be played on grass!” Leroux was referring to the fact that she had just finished a game played on artificial turf. Her statement was part of a brewing controversy in women’s soccer: next year’s World Cup championship in Canada will be played on artificial turf instead of grass, the latter being the surface professional players prefer. Future men’s World Cup games, by the way, will be played on grass. That disparity prompted a group of the world’s best soccer players to file a lawsuit along with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the world governing body of professional soccer) and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA). The charge? That forcing women to play on artificial turf is gender discrimination.
Keep reading “Female Soccer Players Team Up to Fight FIFA’s ‘Second-Class’ Treatment" at BitchMedia.org High-res

The US and Canadian national soccer teams face off in 2011. Photo by Brent Flanders.

Back in April, US national soccer team forward Sydney Leroux posted a picture of her torn-up, bloody legs on Twitter with the words, “This is why soccer should be played on grass!” Leroux was referring to the fact that she had just finished a game played on artificial turf. Her statement was part of a brewing controversy in women’s soccer: next year’s World Cup championship in Canada will be played on artificial turf instead of grass, the latter being the surface professional players prefer. Future men’s World Cup games, by the way, will be played on grass. That disparity prompted a group of the world’s best soccer players to file a lawsuit along with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the world governing body of professional soccer) and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA). The charge? That forcing women to play on artificial turf is gender discrimination.

Keep reading “Female Soccer Players Team Up to Fight FIFA’s ‘Second-Class’ Treatment" at BitchMedia.org

The “distraction” theory behind public school dress codes is flawed on a number of levels. It interferes  with girls’ educational time and causes embarrassment. It also puts the burden of boys’ self-control on girls. But schools and teachers who are trying to protect boys from being allegedly “distracted” are making also erroneous assumptions about the effects of girls dress. If girls’ outfits do cause a reaction in boys, schools aren’t just getting their priorities wrong, they’re ignoring aggression, which is a different and more serious problem. Schools are putting resources and authority behind shaming girls instead of taking the opportunity to educate teenagers about consent and gendered intimidation.  
What exactly are adults assuming about “distraction”? Are they talking about boys being sexually aroused? Boys having romantic feelings? Looking at girls? Boys aren’t just passive sacks of hormones, magnetically thrown off course by female parts or pheromones. Young men and boys are responsible for their own arousal, attraction and attention span. Controlling girls’ dress assumes that boys are more frequently or severely distracted just by being around girls than any other source of distraction and that the only way to fix it is to control the girls.
I was sexually harassed when I was a student in a public high school. A group of boys followed me around the halls, asking if I wanted to fuck and shouting other abuse, particularly if I tried to ignore them. The one time I tried to physically fend one of them off when he got too close, he hit back at me. The vice principal said “that’s just what boys do.” At thirteen, I was confused about what it meant. Did it mean boys liked me? I wanted to be liked, but it made me feel like hell. What about the boy on the bus who ran his finger up my leg when I wore shorts saying “niiice”? I decided the best approach was not to wear shorts in public again for about the next seven years. But here’s the thing, when I was verbally abused and stalked in the halls, I was wearing jeans, an oxford button-down and a sweater vest (it was the 80s).  There isn’t a cause and effect relationship between sexual harassment and dress.
Photo source. 
Read the rest of this article by Elleanor Chin at Bitchmedia.org.  High-res

The “distraction” theory behind public school dress codes is flawed on a number of levels. It interferes  with girls’ educational time and causes embarrassment. It also puts the burden of boys’ self-control on girls. But schools and teachers who are trying to protect boys from being allegedly “distracted” are making also erroneous assumptions about the effects of girls dress. If girls’ outfits do cause a reaction in boys, schools aren’t just getting their priorities wrong, they’re ignoring aggression, which is a different and more serious problem. Schools are putting resources and authority behind shaming girls instead of taking the opportunity to educate teenagers about consent and gendered intimidation.  

What exactly are adults assuming about “distraction”? Are they talking about boys being sexually aroused? Boys having romantic feelings? Looking at girls? Boys aren’t just passive sacks of hormones, magnetically thrown off course by female parts or pheromones. Young men and boys are responsible for their own arousal, attraction and attention span. Controlling girls’ dress assumes that boys are more frequently or severely distracted just by being around girls than any other source of distraction and that the only way to fix it is to control the girls.

I was sexually harassed when I was a student in a public high school. A group of boys followed me around the halls, asking if I wanted to fuck and shouting other abuse, particularly if I tried to ignore them. The one time I tried to physically fend one of them off when he got too close, he hit back at me. The vice principal said “that’s just what boys do.” At thirteen, I was confused about what it meant. Did it mean boys liked me? I wanted to be liked, but it made me feel like hell. What about the boy on the bus who ran his finger up my leg when I wore shorts saying “niiice”? I decided the best approach was not to wear shorts in public again for about the next seven years. But here’s the thing, when I was verbally abused and stalked in the halls, I was wearing jeans, an oxford button-down and a sweater vest (it was the 80s).  There isn’t a cause and effect relationship between sexual harassment and dress.

Photo source

Read the rest of this article by Elleanor Chin at Bitchmedia.org. 

There was a time when people had one answer to online harassment: “Don’t read the comments.” This week, it’s become painfully clear how harassment women endure online is not something we can fix by just ignoring it. Instead, in this era, online harassment can become a life and death issue. 
Yesterday, feminist cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian was forced to cancel a talk she planned to give at Utah State University after an anonymous person threatened to massacre her and the crowd. The threat came in an anonymous email, “This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it.” In a line reminiscent of Elliot Rodgers’ manifesto, the person claimed that “feminists have ruined my life” and then signed the note as Marc Lepine—the gunman who claimed he was “fighting feminism” when he murdered 14 women in Montreal in 1989. As she made clear on Twitter, Sarkeesian did not cancel the talk because of the threat—she has received many violent threats over the past two years—but because the school and local police could not adequately guarantee her safety. Utah law allows people to carry concealed weapons in all places—apparently even into a lecture hall where someone has threatened a massacre.
It’s absurd that Sarkeesian is facing any type of danger for criticizing video games. It’s absurd that those threats have been so numerous. It’s absurd that a state’s gun laws make it unsafe for someone to deliver a lecture on a college campus. All of this backlash demonstrates the significance of pop culture: pointing out sexism in male-dominated fandoms stirs up an astoundingly virulent response. It also shows that the culture of trolling online is largely about power—trolls who devote their apparently ample personal time to threatening Sarkeesian’s every move are seeking power over her and other women. Sarkessian’s experience pulls together many ugly strings of rape culture—trolling, male violence, sexism in pop culture—and the resulting picture of our society is horrifying. 
Keep reading this article by Sarah Mirk at BitchMedia.org.  High-res

There was a time when people had one answer to online harassment: “Don’t read the comments.” This week, it’s become painfully clear how harassment women endure online is not something we can fix by just ignoring it. Instead, in this era, online harassment can become a life and death issue. 

Yesterday, feminist cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian was forced to cancel a talk she planned to give at Utah State University after an anonymous person threatened to massacre her and the crowd. The threat came in an anonymous email, “This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it.” In a line reminiscent of Elliot Rodgers’ manifesto, the person claimed that “feminists have ruined my life” and then signed the note as Marc Lepine—the gunman who claimed he was “fighting feminism” when he murdered 14 women in Montreal in 1989. As she made clear on Twitter, Sarkeesian did not cancel the talk because of the threat—she has received many violent threats over the past two years—but because the school and local police could not adequately guarantee her safety. Utah law allows people to carry concealed weapons in all places—apparently even into a lecture hall where someone has threatened a massacre.

It’s absurd that Sarkeesian is facing any type of danger for criticizing video games. It’s absurd that those threats have been so numerous. It’s absurd that a state’s gun laws make it unsafe for someone to deliver a lecture on a college campus. All of this backlash demonstrates the significance of pop culture: pointing out sexism in male-dominated fandoms stirs up an astoundingly virulent response. It also shows that the culture of trolling online is largely about power—trolls who devote their apparently ample personal time to threatening Sarkeesian’s every move are seeking power over her and other women. Sarkessian’s experience pulls together many ugly strings of rape culture—trolling, male violence, sexism in pop culture—and the resulting picture of our society is horrifying. 

Keep reading this article by Sarah Mirk at BitchMedia.org. 

The premise of Pride sounds like a slog: the film by British director Matthew Warchus follows a London gay and lesbian group’s fundraising campaign for mine workers who are in the midst of the nation’s longest-running strike. But instead of being a gray grind, the movie is a joyous parade. With a strong cast, a quick-moving script, and a fun soundtrack that beats through the film, Pride feels like an upbeat musical—even the most cynical viewer will find it hard not to get goosebumps as the unlikely allies pull off a rousing rendition of “Solidarity Forever.”
Pride lingers on the warm human moments of campaigning for an underdog cause. Meanwhile, all the hard work is done in montage. The hours of fundraising, the freezing cold picket lines, the scenes of a young activist coming out as gay to his angry parents, and mind-numbing strategy meetings alike are glossed over in lighting-fast flashes. That makes this film more of a go-get-em-tiger inspiration story than actually educational, but it’s also necessary for focusing down a story that could easily bloat with too many characters and complicated political drama. All the sex and violence happens off-screen too, making this a light, family-friendly movie that could easily be shown in junior high schools.
Continue reading Sarah Mirk’s review of Pride at BitchMedia.org. High-res

The premise of Pride sounds like a slog: the film by British director Matthew Warchus follows a London gay and lesbian group’s fundraising campaign for mine workers who are in the midst of the nation’s longest-running strike. But instead of being a gray grind, the movie is a joyous parade. With a strong cast, a quick-moving script, and a fun soundtrack that beats through the film, Pride feels like an upbeat musical—even the most cynical viewer will find it hard not to get goosebumps as the unlikely allies pull off a rousing rendition of “Solidarity Forever.”

Pride lingers on the warm human moments of campaigning for an underdog cause. Meanwhile, all the hard work is done in montage. The hours of fundraising, the freezing cold picket lines, the scenes of a young activist coming out as gay to his angry parents, and mind-numbing strategy meetings alike are glossed over in lighting-fast flashes. That makes this film more of a go-get-em-tiger inspiration story than actually educational, but it’s also necessary for focusing down a story that could easily bloat with too many characters and complicated political drama. All the sex and violence happens off-screen too, making this a light, family-friendly movie that could easily be shown in junior high schools.

Continue reading Sarah Mirk’s review of Pride at BitchMedia.org.