Choking and Couture? Vogue Fetishizes Gender Violence


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

5759437054_131861c657_opt (2)

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


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


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, […]