Muslim Teen To Kick Butt As Marvel’s Latest Superhero

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Ms. Marvel, a well-known character in Marvel comics, has come a long way since 1968, when she appeared as a muscular, sexualized blonde superhero in thigh-high patent-leather boots. The newest Ms. Marvel is a 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants from Jersey City. In February 2014, Kamala Khan will be the first Muslim woman character to […]

Turning Famous Women Writers Who Committed Suicide into a “Lookbook”

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VICE Magazine ignited a firestorm a few weeks ago for their controversial photo editorial featuring to the ladies of the literati in their Women in Fiction issue. In addition to stories by Joyce Carol Oates and Mary Gaitskill and an interview with Marilynne Robinson, there is also a spread by photographer Annabel Mehran celebrating the literary […]

A Literary Canon of Dudes

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I’m trying to lean in, Sheryl Sandberg, I swear, but this month–ironically, Women’s History Month–football players, military men, and popes have stricken me with patriarchy fatigue. March started out on a high. I got to attend the “best literary party ever invented,” as the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Vice President and 2013 conference […]

Women Are Animals Too, PETA

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I love animals, but sometimes I really dislike PETA. The organization has become more consumed with garnering publicity and money and doesn’t seem to care how much they offend people. (We’re animals too, you know?) The latest in what has been a long string of questionable ad campaigns by PETA features Dancing with the Stars‘ contestant, […]

Blackmail, Courage and the Truth: An Interview with Khadija Ismayilova

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“My career in journalism was accidental,” said Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova when asked how she got her start. “I was 21. I was a translator for the newspaper, and one day, they didn’t have a reporter to go out, so they asked me to go. Then, it just happened to me.” The next 14 […]

Choking and Couture? Vogue Fetishizes Gender Violence

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TRIGGER WARNING: post discusses topic of sexual abuse. Looks like choking women is in vogue now. Or at least it was in Vogue in their latest Hommes Internationale issue. The cover, which depicts model Stephanie Seymour being choked from behind by fellow model Marlon Teixeira, is causing a considerable stir. The image was taken by […]

A Black Eye is The New Black

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Treating women like dirt is hardly a new tactic for the fashion industry, with its long history of objectifying the female body, idealizing physically impossible beauty types and glamorizing violence against women. Bulgaria-based 12 magazine, however, has hit a new low with an inexplicable photo spread in its latest issue titled, “Victim of Beauty” [TRIGGER […]

What We Left Behind: Girdles, Silence and Illegal Abortion

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When I went to work at Ms. in 1972, I wore a matching pink skirt and blouse—and a girdle. I had just gotten married and was, therefore, not able to get a bank loan without my husband’s approval. I had given up playing basketball (half-court for girls) in college because no coach or court could be found. […]

“Baby Lips”: Thanks for the Infantilization, Maybelline

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Maybelline’s brand of lip gloss, “baby lips,” is a straightforward example of the infantilization of adult women: We should be worried about the infantilization of women for two reasons: First, it’s directly related to the sexualization of young girls. As I wrote in a previous post: …on the one hand, women are portrayed as little […]

Dear Newsweek Editorialist: I Perceive That You Are Wrong

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I would be shrugging about Kathleen Parker’s editorial (“He Says, She Says, We Shrug”) regarding the Newsweek poll on sexual harassment, but I am too busy cringing. When you lump together poll respondents who say they believe sexual harassment claims are unfair “some of the time,” “most of the time” and “all of the time” […]