Feminist Friday: Bacon, Fetish, and Tomato

This Week in Ladybits

How did you celebrate World Contraception Day? ThinkProgress reminded us of a few important facts.

And Ana Marie Cox pointed out in The Raw Story that choice is about much more than biology.

This Week in Thinky

The Daily Beast looked at bringing mobile technology to low-income women across the world.

MSNBC’s Krystal Ball spoke out against those creepy anti-Obamacare ads we featured last week—and against the lying and deliberate sabotage of the program by the very people who are supposed to make the government function well. I am such a fan of smart women who refuse to shut up.

This Week in Awful

Stacy Dean Rambold, the Montana teacher who was convicted of raping a 14-year-old student who later committed suicide, has been released after serving a whopping 30-day sentence. How nice that he wasn’t too inconvenienced.

This Week in Ugh

Lest we get too excited about Pope Francis, let’s remember that “kinder and more enlightened that the last Pope” is a pretty low bar. And that Pope Francis defrocked and excommunicated a priest who was in favor of gay marriage and female clergy. No, not a long time ago. In May.

Barilla pasta is facing an enormous boycott after chairman Guido Barilla decided to publicly be a dick about The Gay, and especially about same-sex couples who adopt. You know what’s really easy to find in this world? Other tasty pasta. And pasta substitutes. And low-carb eating plans. If you’re going to be a bigoted jerk in public, you should probably make sure your products aren’t incredibly easy to boycott.

Oh, hey. Could a bunch of scientists take time out of their day to be dicks to the women in the community? Thanks.

Speaking of total awesome not-insecure-at-all dudes, author (and not real professor) David Gilmour wants everyone to know that Serious Literature Worth Studying is written by straight men. The University of Toronto’s English department, to its credit, is already hastening to note that it finds Gilmour embarrassing.

There is nothing wrong with making a sandwich for the person you love. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say there is something wrong with making a sandwich for the person you love because that person bitched about it every time you were awake for more than 15 minutes and hadn’t made a sandwich. And there is something deeply messed up about fetishizing sandwich-making and engagement rings and whatever the hell else is going on with these clearly insane people.

Here’s the thing: It would have been a sweet story if it had gone more like this: He cooked and she didn’t and he’d maybe tease her, but mostly would talk to her in an encouraging non-scrotal-sacky way about starting to learn with something simple, like a sandwich. And then when she did, he was so appreciative that she discovered a love of cooking and creation she didn’t know she had, and now she experiments with sandwiches for her own enjoyment and for the simple fun of bringing them a little closer to each other through their shared history and it’s just one of the many ways these two have opened up worlds for each other. But no. Instead they took a trip to Discomfort City and brought plenty of baggage. And sandwiches.

It’s not the traditional gender roles that are the problem. You two both take pleasure in one of you doing something for the other? Go nuts, as long as it’s consensual and not resented on either side. But this is different. It’s the uncomfortable “teasing” with dominating make-me-a-sandwich-bitch overtones and then dangling a conditional engagement ring. And then her deciding that’s an awesome deal and going after a ring as a prize instead of, you know, a fulfilling relationship. It’s just super skeevy. Would it be OK if, instead of making 300 sandwiches, he had asked her to get pretty enough for him by losing 30 pounds before he’d get engaged to her? Or to prove her character by doing something good for 300 homeless people—providing he felt it was good enough? Why does this test freak me out so badly? And why does her “Aha! I just do this and I get the culturally approved winning-at-life prize of a ring!” reaction just as disturbing?

But it’s still not as disturbing as this other relationship! Melissa Gorga, who is one of the housewives on one of Bravo’s many let’s-make-women-look-awful series about housewives in places, released a super duper instructional book on how to have a marriage that’s as good as hers is. With the minor problem that her marriage seems to include emotional abuse, threats of physical abuse, and marital rape. And, indeed, her husband Joe Gorga thoughtfully takes a few pages to actually advocate marital rape himself.

To be clear: This is not a thing where two people who know and trust each other deeply have set up a pre-discussed scenario that’s fulfilling to them both and involves safe words and safe, consensual play. This is Joe saying:

If your wife says “no,” turn her around, and rip her clothes off. She wants to be dominated.

Awesome how no really means yes there, isn’t it? Funny thing, there doesn’t seem to be a scenario in his mind in which the wife doesn’t want to be dominated and simply doesn’t feel like having sex. Like ever.

Hey, Bravo—If you really care about the women you set up to fight in all these shows, maybe see if you can get Melissa into some counseling? Because continuing to film an abusive relationship while pretending that “hey, it’s no big deal, it’s just these lovable goombahs,” is pretty indefensible.

This Week in Good

Marissa Alexander is getting a new trial. Alexander had been sentenced to 20 years after firing into the air as a warning to her ex-husband, who she felt was threatening her. No one was hurt, and Alexander cited the same “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law that freed George Zimmerman, who, you’ll recall, actually killed someone. The Florida courts aren’t exactly admitting that this was hella racist, but the appeals court did rule that Alexander’s jury wasn’t instructed properly.

And George Bush the Elder served as a witness for a lesbian wedding.

This Week in Standing Up

The New York Times ran an interesting piece on women who are taking legal action against “revenge porn” sites.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend. By the way, registration is open for the National Conference on LGBT Equality.

Bisexual transgender Russian power attorney Masha Bast announced plans to run for President of Russia in 2018.

Watch the international news on October 26th. Saudi women are not planning a march—they’re planning a drive. At least 20 women are set to defy the nation’s driving ban for women, and thousands more have signed a petition of support.

Feministing put out this alert for survivors of campus sexual violence. An acclaimed documentary team is looking for people who are willing to speak out.

And Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot started a hunger strike to protest the brutal conditions in her penal colony. Meanwhile fellow band member Maria Alyokhina’s hearing for a less harsh detention during the last six months of her sentence has been postponed until October.

This Week in Awesome

She-Hulk is getting her own new solo series.

FF SheHulkImage courtesy of Marvel.com 

A lost Mary Pickford film has been discovered. The restored version should be ready to see next month. (Via The MaddowBlog)

I know that there is not a huge chunk of overlap in the Venn diagram of “feminists” and “lovers of ‘80s slasher flicks,” but I’m in that overlap, and I kind of love it that a 13-year-old girl is interested in making one. If you’re so inclined, you can kick in over here. Can’t wait to see it, Emily DiPrimo and I can’t wait to see where the rest of your career takes you.

These Lakota and Dakota women are not going to stand by and have neo-Nazis take up residence. Awesome.

And oh, you lucky Texans. Looks like Wendy Davis is going to run for Governor.

Rick Perry Calls Texas Legislature Back For Special Second SessionGetty Images

Have a great weekend. Get out there and lead your own charge.

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