“Baby Lips”: Thanks for the Infantilization, Maybelline


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

herman cain

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” […]

Contrarian Views on Sex Harassment: Dangerous, Not Funny

coke cans

Herman Cain’s campaign has raked in donations even after a handful of damning sexual harassment allegations have surfaced. Penn State students rallied and rioted on behalf of their coach, even after it was revealed that he failed to report a witnessed child rape to the police. Our rape culture, our misunderstanding of the way assault […]

Watch “Gloria,” Support Ms.!


In the terrific new HBO documentary running this week, Gloria: In Her Own Words, we see some priceless early footage of Ms. cofounder Gloria Steinem in the first New York offices of the magazine–a cramped space in which editors seemed to be working elbow-to-elbow. But the dormitory-like conditions just seemed to add to the sisterhood […]

Michelle Obama’s Milkshake and Other Non-Stories About Women


Want to know how women politicians accessorize? How many calories they consume? Us neither. And yet that’s exactly the kind of hard-hitting journalism we’ve been seeing from major news outlets this month. A few weeks ago, Washington Post reporter Natalie Jennings hit us with the investigative scoop, “Michelle Obama Orders 1,700-calorie meal at Shake Shack“: […]

Warning: Models in This Image May Not Be as Thin as They Appear


This week, the American Medical Association denounced the use of digital manipulation and retouching on models and asked advertising agencies to consider imposing stricter guidelines for manipulating photos before they are sent to press. I, for one, say it’s about time. But should the U.S. go a step further? In England and France, lawmakers have […]

Do We Really Want a Matriarchy?

granta f word

While many discussions of the F word–feminism–have taken place in the feminist blogosphere and in magazines such as Bitch and Ms., it’s nice to encounter smart responses in a surprising venue: GRANTA, a journal dedicated to new literary writing. The summer issue of GRANTA, titled The F Word, showcases well-known authors such as A.S. Byatt, […]

Censored Cover Raises Question: Why Are Breasts “Obscene,” But Not Chests?


The cover of this month’s Dossier Journal magazine has caused a great stir. In a matter of a few hours, I’ve received five emails about it. Here’s what all the fuss is about: Featured is an androgynous male model named Andrej Pejic, with hair and make-up usually seen only on women, sliding his shirt off his […]

Photoshopping Women’s History

Original image by The White House

When Brooklyn-based Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Judaism) newspaper Di Tzeitung published the now-iconic photograph of President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the U.S. national security team watching the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, something was missing: images of the two women who were present in the White House […]

The New York Times Puts Another Alleged Rape Victim on Trial


Last month, The New York Times stirred massive controversy by implicating an 11-year-old girl in her own brutal gang-rape, reporting that she “dressed older than her age [and wore] make-up.” This week, they’re blaming the victim yet again. In 2008, a 29-year-old woman was out celebrating a job promotion with friends when she had too […]