I wanted to start something like "Feminist Fridays" for this blog, but I'm not sure that I'm reliable enough to have weekly features with alliterating titles -- so, I'm just going to post these whenever I feel like it. I hope you'll find these essays and images as inspiring as I do.
Trigger warnings for discussions of rape, sexual assault, stalking.
"Schrödinger's Rapist" by Phaedra Starling on KateHarding.net
An amazing essay, written as "a guy's guide to approaching strange women without getting maced" on why it's important to respect a woman's body language and space -- but also a powerful piece that made me aware of all the risk assessments and precautions I make/take that were so normal for me I didn't even think about them. This is the first thing I read that helped me understand that I live in rape culture.
I love that RMJ of Deeply Problematic challenges popular culture subjects that aren't the usual targets -- these aren't essays about women on reality TV shows -- RMJ challenges characters from traditionally female friendly stories that maybe don't always get a closer look because we're busy basking in their general positivity. Like Hermionie's over-zealous efforts with and unchecked privilege over house elves. OR Parks and Recreation repeatedly framing stalking as cute and harmless:
"... Andy's entitled attitude towards Ann is worse than Parks and Rec wants it to be. His pattern of behavior reaffirms the often-romanticized image of a nice guy as one who doesn't respect clearly set boundaries; Andy's stalking is seen as affection rather than menace, as stupidity rather than disrespect. It's shown as annoying and silly and goofy, and that does not reflect Andy's serious violations against a woman he professes to care about. It's not rape, but it's part of the conditioning that creates rape culture - it suggests that women should see continued harassment and monitoring from ex-lovers as romantic rather than threatening, and that these actions are nothing to get really concerned about."
From Slutwalk Ottowa
"How to Say No: The 'B' side to Self Care" on CrunkFeministCollective.com
Yes, yes, yes. I've been given this advice so many times before but it's hard to follow.
"I realized that saying yes to everyone else was in essence saying no to myself. No, my personal time and space wasn’t important. No, sleep was optional and it was reasonable to expect me to accomplish multiple tasks in a day. No, I don’t deserve a moment to breathe or a moment of reprieve. No, I’m not important—everyone else is."