Feminism

Here is a long-list of my posts relating to feminism.

How to check your privilege: some thoughts on allyship, intersectionality and privilege

I’d like to call you in to this conversation by inviting you to check your privilege (or, analyse the injustices you’ve been spared). Educate yourself: don’t expect marginalised people to explain their oppression to you.

Downloadable quiz: check your privilege

Sell-by Date: Fertility and F**kability

A woman’s perceived value is tied up in her fertility and her physical appearance. The biological clock has supposedly ruled women’s lives for generations. In many industries, a woman’s sex appeal can equate to her recognition and success. So how does the notion of a “sell-by date” affect real women’s lives? For generations, the average woman has lived her entire life with the overpowering idea that one day, her eggs will suddenly run out and she’ll be immediately infertile. Thankfully, the biological clock is a myth.

Words and Women: Shelley Winters

I have bursts of being a ‘lady’, but it doesn’t last long. Shelley Winters (b.1920 – d.2006) was an American film, television and stage actress. Her career spanned over 50 years, and her first movie was What a Woman! in 1943. Winters won Academy Awards for The Diary of Anne Frank and A Patch of Blue, and received […]

Words and Women: bell hooks

If feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression, and depriving females of reproductive rights is a form of sexist oppression, then one cannot be anti-choice and be feminist. A woman can insist she would never choose to have an abortion while affirming her support of the right of women to choose and still be an […]

Stop Telling Women To Smile: Visual Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

    Visual artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh spoke recently with Jessica Valenti about public art, the pressure to produce political pieces and how artists will survive. Listen to their interview on the latest episode of Guardian podcast, What Would A Feminist Do? You can see more of Fazlalizadeh’s work on her website and more about Stop Telling Women To Smile […]

Words and Women: Barbra Streisand

Why is it that men are permitted to be obsessed about their work, but women are only permitted to be obsessed about men? Barbra Streisand (b. 1942) is American singer, songwriter, actor, and filmmaker. In a career spanning six decades, Streisand is among the ten best-selling female artists of all time in the US music industry. She […]

Words and Women: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made… It shouldn’t be that women are the exception. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (b. 1933) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Clinton, took the oath of office on 10th August 1993, and is still serving today. […]

LGBTQ+ in China: a quick introduction

In China, the LGBTQ+ community face severe discrimination. Many LGBTQ+ people’s families and communities refuse to accept their sexuality or gender identity, and therefore find themselves in compromising situations like ‘fake’ marriages to fulfil their filial duty. Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder until 2001, and some private Chinese clinics still offer ‘electroshock’ gay conversion therapy. […]

Words and Women: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In the face of the proposition that feminism has become too mainstream, that feminist activism has become an empty marketing tool, Adichie responds: This idea of feminism as a party to which only a select few people get to come: this is why so many women, particularly women of colour, feel alienated from mainstream western academic […]

Ovaries: Putting Reproductive Health on the Line at Work

I’ve vowed to myself that my body is my public, political sphere as well as my private, personal sphere. It’s my mannequin on which to display my beliefs, my vehicle in the fight for gender rights, my pathway to strength and to weakness. I’m not afraid to bare the truth to the world. What doesn’t help is feeling that the system is pitted against me because I speak a different language, because I am a foreigner, and because I am a woman.

Embracing Labels: Small Steps Toward a Big Goal

Guest Post | Alexandra Sieh  Looking up from my book, I scanned the crowded subway car, eager for some good people-watching. But as a new group of folks clambered on, I cringed at some of the actions and attitudes I saw. Boyfriends pushing (excuse me, “guiding”) their girlfriend onto the train, or speaking to them […]

China’s International Women’s Day in Pictures

A quick rundown of how International Women’s Day looked from the perspective of women in China – in pictures. Global Times, a daily newspaper owned and published by the state-affiliated People’s Daily, decided International Women’s Day (known as Women’s Day in China), was an appropriate time to remind readers of International Men’s Day. Apparently, Global Times […]

I say ‘gender equality’; you say ‘women in power!’

There are a bunch of ways to measure gender equality. While some believe that giving women the right to vote solved that problem long ago, women are still a long way from equal representation in politics. Why’s equal representation important? Women politicians are far more likely to hold women’s best interests at heart. Without women’s participation in […]

Protesting on International Women’s Day? History is on Your Side

International Women’s Day began as a day of women’s protest in Europe and the United States. Celebrating this socialist holiday largely died out in the US, while communists in China have been commemorating Women’s Day annually since 1922. The tables have turned this year. Women in the US are striking today, while working women in China are enjoying a half-day off work.

Words and Women: Vera Nazarian

A woman is human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative, or more responsible than a man. Likewise, she is never less. Equality is a given. A woman is human. ― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration Words and Women is a regular feature that spotlights short quotations from influential women activists, […]

Emma Watson’s Vanity Fair Photo is Exactly What Feminists are Fighting For

British actor and pioneer of the UN’s HeForShe campaign, Emma Watson has faced criticism for the publication of a photo in which her breasts are partially exposed. The image is one of a series taken by acclaimed fashion photographer Tim Walker, with styling by Jessica Diehl. It accompanied Watson’s recent cover story interview for Vanity […]

Suffrage

We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half. Emmeline Pankhurst I shall never while I live forget the suffering I experienced during the days when those cries were ringing in my ears. Emmeline Pankhurst Read on ‘1908-1917 Imprisoned suffragettes’, mashable

Words and Women: Adrienne Rich

The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet. Adrienne Rich was an American poet, essayist and radical feminist. She was credited with bringing “the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse” (Flood). Responsibility to yourself means refusing to […]

How did gender, culture and politics balance out in 2016?

2016 was characterized by sexism across the board, from President-elect Trump and Duterte to the Olympics and the music industry. But the world has made some serious strides towards equality and liberation in 2016, with female heads of state taking power worldwide, and women standing strong together in the face of adversity.

Words and Women: Louisa May Alcott

The emerging woman … will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied … strength and beauty must go together. ― Louisa May Alcott, from her 1869 novel An Old-Fashioned Girl. Alcott is best-known for her novel Little Women, which was published in 1868. Some of Alcott’s works were published under the pseudonym A. M. Barnard. If she were still alive, […]

Words and Women: Ursula K. Le Guin

You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change.

Downloadable copy of Le Guin’s 1974 novel The Dispossessed.

Ms Foreign Friend

There’s no need for a name when you’re ‘Ms Foreign Friend’ in China.

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