Feminism and the media

Hello, I just thought I'd share a debate I had a few weeks ago with a 'friend' (or rather , an unsavoury aquaintance who in his words believes feminism is "an excuse for women to hate men" and is constantly arguing the toss over everything I say about, well, anything)  on the way womens magazines seem to alienate the 'single woman'.

I am single out of choice and extremely content with that - however, I feel women are pressured into feeling that a relationship is a commodity. I'm aware this also happens in mens magazines, but the message is that to be in a relationship is to be happy. If you are not in a relationship you are bombarded with articles on '10 ways to get a man/please a man/find love/flirt' etc. which may all be in good fun, but in my own opinion, I personally don't feel like life should revolve around girls trying to 'have it all' by finding a partner.

The amount of young women i know who feel inadequite or have low self esteem because they don't have a partner is quite absurd, and a little sad. These are girls aged 15-25 who can't enjoy life with friends, family, work, university, college etc. because they feel a man/boy is what is missing in their lives - all at such a very young age.  

I don't feel like the so-called feminist ideals behind 'Sex and the City' have contributed to any sort of liberation - all they have indicated is that in the end, all the single women within the programme have wanted/ pined for is a relationship -  but  that if they haven't, they are entitled to sleep around 'like a man' . I agree that is entirely a personal lifestyle choice people are entitled to. Yet for all the berating of cheating husbands and the grief male promiscuity allegedly causes, I'd say two wrongs will certainly not make a right.

Once more is the assumption is that if you ARE single, I find the general idealogical consensus  is that the reason behind it is because you are

A) unnattractive
B) Psychotic
C) A 'bitch'
D) A 'slag'
E) A lesbian
F) A 'man-hater'
G) Overtly neurotic
And whatever else

For all the theories about mens magazines degrading and exploiting women, there is an equal amount of such thing in our own reading material. Why do certain media outlets like to generalize that all women care about is "clothes, make up, chocolate, having the odd baby or two and getting a boyfriend"? Even from an early age in teen magazines we are plied with pin ups and boyfriend advice.

I agree, relationships are a part of life, but it leads people to feel that there must be something severely wrong with them if they are single.

Any thoughts?

your body is a battleground

academic/career advice?

hi everyone

i'm writing because i'm confused as to what career path to take regarding my two main passions in life: women's rights and animal rights. what i've done so far is get a BA in literature and gender studies (in the U.S.). what i want to do eventually is work to affect social change via some sort of activist/political work in the states (and by extension/eventually i hope to affect change worldwide).

so, to do this, what are my options? i thought i could get a JD and be a lawyer for an NGO such as Planned Parenthood or the Humane Society of the United States. i want to work to change laws that oppress women and non-human animals. lately i've been thinking law school might not be the way to go, though. so which MA or PhD programs would be useful? an MA in public policy with a focus on women's/animal rights (a friend suggested this)? what would provide me with the most power/qualifications to affect social change in the fields i'm interested in?

any words of wisdom will be highly appreciated.


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i just wrote this today
like 10 min.s ago
and in 10 min.s

so uhm yah
i was trying to find a writting community to post it on.
and i thought it seemed kinda feminist.
so ill just post it here

tell me what you think?


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(no subject)

Hi, I’m new here and I thought I’d bring a clip to spark conversation.

I’m very concerned with the severe lack of education girls in our country are receiving regards to their own rights and the history of the feminist movement. Of all the girls questioned, only one knew what “suffrage” was. This clip is funny, but it’s frightening to think that these girls have no clue. =(

(no subject)

Although I am new to this community I have come across an issue I want to share. I suppose I’m still very young and I’ve always seen the world in black and white. Especially when abuse was the issue. I’ve always thought that the abuser was always in the wrong, while the abused was always the victim, who had to be rescued. Although, my views haven’t changed on this first point, but the second one had to be altered to accommodate a situation, which seemed too bizarre for me to believe. It is a situation of “voluntary victims”.

I have a friend who is smart, sexy and beautiful. Even though, she is often careless, I’ve never imagined that she could get mixed up in a situation like that. Since she is a very attractive girl I’ve always thought that she would find a cool, smart, nice boy, so when she chose a guy who was the complete opposite I was baffled. I mean, if a girl can choose pretty much any guy in school and out of school why would she choose one who is neither cute nor smart, earns money in a dodgy way and has a criminal record? But I thought that maybe there is more to him than meets the eye, and if my friend was happy why should I complain? But very soon abuse began. My friend would call me up and complain how he called her horrible names, ignored her during their time together and then accuse her of sleeping with his friends. Abuse progressively got worse. He started getting physical with her. Once he even tried to strangle her. All my attempts to point out how dangerous this relationship was were ignored. When I tried to point out that “what if in a drunken range he managed to hurt her badly or worse” she just waved my comment aside and said that it would never happen. She wasn’t trying to defend him; she just thought that the things you read in the papers could never happen to her.

You read tones of articles about wives being abused by their husbands or girlfriends by their guys, but some how it has always seemed like a distant echo of a thunder. Something that happens, but not to you or anyone you know. The scary thing was that in this situation there was nothing solid to make my friend dependant on this guy. A wife might be materially dependant on her abusive husband, and a girl might claim that she is in love with an abusive boyfriend. But my friend had nothing to gain from this relationship and she even admitted that she felt nothing for this guy. Yet she was with him! My smart pretty friend was with a man who constantly tried to submit her to his will, humiliate her or even physically hurt her. She seemed to me to be a voluntary victim. She consciously subjugated herself to obscene demands of a man who gave her nothing in return. She never denied that he was abusive or stupid or a leech, but those things didn’t seem to bother her enough to leave him for good. She would complain to her friends and make scenes, but she willingly came back to him. Is that sane?

It made me think, how many women actually accept abuse with this good-humored teenage drama queen attitude? I come from a country where generations of women sweetened up bitter abuse with proverbs like “if he beats you – he loves you”. In my culture female abuse is almost part of our national heritage. We never even had anything even remotely resembling feminism. What is beyond my understanding is the fact that out women who grew up abroad continue to take male abuse as a sign that they are desirable and loved. And I find even more bizarre when western women with their education and feminist heritage willingly submit to abuse. When girls claim that their boyfriends are abusive and they don’t know what to do since they love them so much and could never leave them, I just feel like I walked into the Twilight Zone.

How can we explain to them that a rapist or an abuser will never love them and they shouldn’t even desire their love?

HPV vaccine meets (ridiculous) opposition

So, there is a new HPV vaccine. Yea! It is so rare that we get such solid advances in women's preventative healthcare, especially something so important to women's sexual health. Surely such an important advancement will be met with nothing but happiness. You'd think so.

Conservatives Oppose New Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Why? Because they think it will encourage young women to be more sexually active, or that it will encourage girls to become sexually active sooner. (Notice no one cares whether boys become sexually active sooner. ::rolleyes::)

Sometimes I want to bash my head against a brick wall. Sure, instead of using a safe and effective vaccine to eliminate one of the most common STDs, let's use fear of STDs to suppress women's sexuality. Great idea.

I'm going to make an appointment to get the vaccine. The vaccine is licensed to be effective in any young woman between the ages of 9 and 26 years old, and there is improved efficacy in younger women because of stronger immune responses. Pre-teen and teen girls would have the best immune response, and they should all receive the immunization, regardless of when they plan to become sexually active (or when their parents plan for them to become sexually active-- not often the same time frame, if you know what I mean). This vaccine protects against a disease that is widespread and for which asymptomatic carriers are relatively common. Even if a partner has the lesions, women may not know what to look for, or their partners may not be very forthcoming about having an STD. The absolute best way to eliminate a disease is prevention. We cannot count upon abstinence education (which doesn't work anyway) or condoms (which, let's face it, often don't get put on in time to prevent all fluid exchange) to prevent any STD. The only way that we can hope to beat STDs is to develop effective, safe vaccines. Once vaccines such as the HPV immunization are developed, it is important to support these vaccines by getting the immunization. Once drug companies see that the vaccine for this STD is successful (i.e. it makes money), they will be more interested in development of vaccines for other STDs.