The Makings of the Modern Heroine: Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth

Bitter in the Mouth cover

Like so many outsiders, Linda(mint) Hammerick is a synesthete. Unlike Vladimir Nabokov, who, as Linda discovers, saw color in letters and sounds, or Wassily Kadinsky, whose paintings evoke the colors he heard in music, Linda tastes words as she hears and speaks. Linda is the heroine of Bitter in the Mouth, the new novel by […]

Global News Roundup: Iran, Afghanistan, Jamaica, Pakistan

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

This week, the Iranian woman facing stoning allegedly “confesses” on state-run TV; the Taliban executes a pregnant Afghan widow; a gay Jamaican man is granted asylum in Canada; and a maternal health hotline in Pakistan offers some questionable recommendations. IRAN: Amidst international media coverage condemning the stoning sentence of Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, Iran […]

Global News Roundup: Kenya, Iran, Malaysia, Sudan, Zambia

Iranian Women

In this week’s global round-up, Kenya gets a new, woman-friendly constitution; Iran’s Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani death sentence saga continues; Sudan punishes its gender-bending pioneers; and more! KENYA: A new era begins for Kenya as the country inaugurates its new constitution, passed more than two decades after reform was first proposed. The constitution includes some exciting […]

Global News Roundup: Bangladesh, Israel, Malaysia, Rwanda, the UN, Zimbabwe

Rainbow Flag

This week, the world’s lowest-paid garment workers get a raise; Israel convicts for rape by deception; women remake Rwanda; the UN finally goes gay; and more. BANGLADESH: Globalization grows more equitable–slightly–as Bangladeshi garment workers, the lowest-paid garment workers in the world, receive an 80 percent wage increase, from about $25 to about $45 a month. 4,000 […]

A Feminist Focus at the International AIDS Conference

HIV Map of Africa

The six-day International AIDS Conference,  ended today. At the annual conference, people working to stop the pandemic as well as persons living with HIV gather to assess progress, evaluate scientific discoveries and plan more efforts. Coverage has ranged from condemnation of the U.S. War on Drugs to researchers’ efforts to develop a safe, effective vaccine […]

We Spleen: Hugh Hefner, Civil Rights Hero?

Playboy Bunny

Last night on Larry King Live, King interviewed the original Playboy on his pioneering civil rights activism. But there was barely a mention of Playboy’s “pioneering” work in making sexist soft porn mainstream. Hefner reminisced on his collegiate activism, his progressive upbringing and his racially integrated TV show and clubs. He attributed racial discrimination to “fear of […]

Global News Roundup: Africa, England, France and the World Wide Web

Zambian Women

AFRICA: As Drew Hinshaw reports in “No Turning Back,” his piece in the summer Ms. issue, the adoption of parliamentary gender quotas in transitioning African governments has “changed southern and eastern Africa into regions unparalleled for women politicos.” In Zambia, though, electoral processes still limit the election of women. The Zambia National Women’s Lobby Group (ZNWL) is […]

The “Mad Men” Effect: Bringing Back Sexism with Style

Classic Girl

Simple, provocative, to the point: the ad to the left is one Don Draper of Mad Men would’ve adored. This signature ad in American Apparel’s summer campaign could just as easily be from 1962 as 2010. As Aviva Dove-Viebahn explains in “Feminism in a Mad World” in the latest issue of Ms. magazine, the show […]

No Comment: Goodbye ‘Got Milk,’ Hello Gendered ‘Mootopia’?

Mootopia

Eager to outdo itself–or finally bored with milk mustaches–the California Milk Processor Board has devised a new ad campaign centered around Mootopia, “a perfect land of beautiful hair, healthy nails and strong muscles.” These milk-marketing masterminds have decided milk = breasts = beautiful women. The TV ads and online fairy tale depict a fertile paradise where […]

Global Roundup: Vatican, Argentina, Guatemala, Scotland

Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican has deemed the ordination of women priests a crime comparable to heresy and even sex abuse by priests. The Church still isn’t doing too well on the latter front, as the head of a U.N. panel has said that the Vatican’s report on child rights is nearly 13 years overdue. Attempting to […]