Feminism and “Real Men”

[See Update at bottom] Can men be feminists? Absolutely. But recent media maneuvers and blogosphere blow-ups have put this confident answer to the test. For those outside the feminist bubble, here is the nutshell version: One self-identified feminist man with a history of confused intent and mental illness hijacked an extraordinary amount of attention. That […]

It’s a Dress, Not a Yes

“It’s a dress, not a yes,” is a rallying cry at the SlutWalk marches, which demand an end to rape and victim blaming. The movement started in January 2011, when a Toronto constable warned students that to avoid getting raped they shouldn’t dress like sluts. Within months, anti-rape activists began taking to the streets in […]

Misogynist T-Shirt Removed Thanks to Online Activism!

In December 2010, Ms. Blogger Caroline Heldman reported on a galling T-shirt sold by Tilly’s, the popular surf and skate clothing chain. The LRG-brand T-shirt, as Heldman explained, features a woman, nude from the shoulders up, with tape over her mouth, captioned “enjoy the silence,” and, below in parentheses, “drawing of girl with tape on […]

Silence and Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Last spring I was hired by Drake University to provide recommendations about their campus sexual assault prevention and response policies. Today I face a moral dilemma. In August 2010, Drake University student Anthony Bertolone was charged with third-degree felony sexual abuse for assaulting a Sigma Chi fraternity brother. According to police reports, the victim was […]

Own Your Power To Make Change: Ms. Interviews Gloria Feldt

Women must be fearless in wielding power. This is the point of Gloria Feldt’s new book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change the Way We think About Power and Leadership (Seal Press). “The most confounding problem facing women today,” Feldt writes, is that doors of opportunity are open, but “not enough women are walking […]

Is Pornography Racist?

In her new book Pornland (Beacon Press) author Gail Dines argues that our sexuality is hijacked by the multi-billion-dollar-a-year porn industry. (See my three-part interview with Gail here, here, and here.) Dines also argues that pornography is racist. But not everyone agrees. In the Pornland chapter titled “Racy Sex, Sexy Racism!” Dines writes that women […]

Porn: Pleasure or Profit? Ms. Interviews Gail Dines, Part III

This third installment of Ms.’s interview series with Gail Dines continues the conversation with the Wheelock College professor of sociology and women’s studies and chair of the American Studies Department. Dines recently briefed members of Congress on the harms of pornography, arguing for greater enforcement of existing obscenity laws. Staunchly anti-porn, she argues that this […]