Feminism | Posted by Zoe G on 06/7/2011

Cat-Calling In The Australian Senate

The date: 1st of June, 2011. The place: The Australian Senate.

Senator Penny Wong, Federal Minister for Finance and Deregulation, was speaking when she was interrupted. ‘If I could finish?’ she snapped with justified annoyance, glaring across the room. Immediately the room broke into a chorus of “oooh”, like a bunch of sniggering schoolboys.

Then Opposition Senator David Bushby made a meowing noise.

Gotta give props to Penny Wong – she let him have it: ‘It is just extraordinary. The blokes are allowed to yell but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It’s not schoolyard politics, mate!’

The issue had been hotly debated in the Australian media. There is no doubt it was inappropriate, but there is argument over whether it …

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Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 06/2/2011

Running In Heels: Why Should Women Leaders Have To Look Like Barbies?

After recently attending an awards ceremony for a women’s political organization in Washington DC, and experiencing what some have coined a wardrobe malfunction, I’ve realized to an even further extent the lengths women are forced to go to appear effortlessly put together. Women politicians are constantly being picked apart for what they wear, whether it’s Michelle Obama’s election-night dress or Hillary Clinton’s “cleavage.” Women in general are expected to come off like they’ve somehow woken up in the morning looking like Barbie, but women in leadership have to seem like they floated out of bed looking like Senator Barbie—and I can tell you from the experience I had last week, that looking like Senator Barbie can take a whole lot of effort.

As an alumna of the Running

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Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 05/16/2011

10 Things Hillary Was Thinking When Osama Was Shot

Osama Bin-Laden’s death a week ago has caused speculation, excitement, relief, concern, and yet another totally uncalled for hyper-examination of Hillary Clinton’s body language. This time it’s not her cleavage or her tearing up…it’s her hand.

A photo of the situation room released shortly after the raid on Osama Bin-Laden’s compound has everyone talking about our Secretary of State’s hand—was she gasping? Stifling an allergy-related cough? Showing signs of feminine weakness? Hillary’s position in the photo has been scrutinized more than anyone else’s (big surprise), including Joe Biden, who is holding a rosary.

I haven’t heard any murmurs about Biden’s position (was he clinging to religion? Feeling nervous? Feeling regret?), but all anyone can talk about is Hillary’s “gasp” and what it “means.” So, for all the talking heads …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 05/5/2011

Your Feminist History Lesson For The Day: The ERA

When people are being really annoying about the whole “do we still need feminism” thing, I find it less effective to start listing the thousands of reasons why we do, and more effective to slam whatever ignoramus I’m talking to with one solid reason…backed up by those other reasons, of course. That’s right: I break out the ERA.

Now, young feminist grasshoppers, as your resident feminist sensi, I feel that I must pass down the defense of the ERA to all of you, especially since it’s something that even the greatest of young feminists don’t really know about or understand (blame the dumbass history textbooks/courses/teachers who feel it’s more important to get on to Reagan than it is to talk about women’s history).

Here’s the deal: the ERA (the Equal …

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Feminism | Posted by Danielle B on 04/7/2011

“Hello, Ms. President.” (Is That So Hard To Believe?)

The Yahoo! Homepage is literally one of the first things I see when I get up in the morning, and whenever I see a featured article about a woman who’s made an impact for reasons other than parading around on some reality show with a puke-orange tan (ooh, am I bitter?), I feel a jolt of excitement and curiosity. Click!

Last week, a Yahoo! Homepage featured article was about Geraldine Ferraro, “who in 1984 became the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket [in the United States].” She passed away two Saturdays ago.

I’ll be the first to admit that I abhor politics.

I know, I know, as a liberated woman I should want to educate myself about this stuff, but . . . I don’t …

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Feminism | Posted by Rosamund C on 03/15/2011

Why Do We Still Need International Women’s Day?

A week ago today (March 8th), countries around the world celebrated the hundredth anniversary of International Women’s Day. But surely, one hundred years after its conception, women don’t need their own special day anymore? What about an International Men’s Day, hmm?

The answer is that the 364 other days of the year belong to men. It’s more important than ever that a day specifically for women is celebrated: to see how far we have come, and to see how far we have to go.

No one can deny that in one hundred years, huge amounts have been achieved. When I woke up on Tuesday, I was proud to be an independent woman, able to live, work and travel freely, able to study at a university and be awarded a degree …

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Feminism | Posted by Valentina V. on 02/18/2011

Silvio Berlusconi and Italian Women

You may have heard about the private behaviour of Silvio Berlusconi – the male chauvinist politician that opened his door to protégées and lovers. Add this to Italian culture of degrading media and the poor opportunities women have for careers and the world must be wondering how we can accept all this madness. A lot of Italian women are trying to find the answers to the complicated question (our reality), “Why do women always have to find a solution to excesses of male privilege? Why do we put up with it?”

For a young woman like me, who was born in and has always lived in Italy, the recent political incident that has shocked society seems to be the last chapter of a long tradition of a corrupted generation. I’m …

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Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 11/8/2010

Are Chivalry and Feminism Incompatible?

This summer, I had doors opened for me, was ushered into rooms ahead of my male counterparts, and was even offered a spot in line ahead of the boys. I attended an amazing international program where I met teenagers from thirty-two different countries, and I learned that in many parts of the world chivalry is not, in fact, dead.

Apparently, my international friends (who came from countries ranging from Kazakhstan to the Netherlands) share a belief that women ought to be treated differently in certain situations. Maybe it’s just automatic behavior, but these boys acted differently from the seventeen-year-old boys I know, who would never think to say “You first.”

I grew up in New York City, where people rush through their daily routines, scarcely pausing to allow others to …

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