Category: feminism

Where has the media been?

When I read the article “Women’s Support for Clinton Rises in Wake of Perceived Sexism” in the New York Times, I was kind of pissed. I was kind of pissed at the writer who acts like women are just waking up to the sexism that Clinton has faced.

Jodi Kantor writes:

“Now that Mrs. Clinton has gone from a solid lead to a tie with Mr. Obama in the latest national Gallup poll, some voters are thinking back to incidents that they say now seem suspect to them: the debate in which Mr. Edwards critiqued the bright jacket Mrs. Clinton was wearing, or the one at which Mrs. Clinton was asked, by a woman, if she preferred diamonds or pearls.”

Um, hello? We were there being pissed at this when it happened! I was on the couch with Jenny when they asked that jewelry question and I was stymied that such a question was allowed to be asked! (Incidentally, I forget who pointed out that diamonds vs pearls is a sort of homo litmus tests: diamonds=wedding ring, pearls=clitoris, which in itself is really stupid because it reduces heterosexual relationships to money and lesbian relationships to sex.) The point is, NOT ALL WOMEN were oblivious to the sexism in the campaign. And these acts are not SUSPECT, they are, in fact, REAL SEXISM.

Stupid media.

Bitchin on Victoria’s Secret

Because of some random glitch in my sanity, I meandered into Victoria’s Secret today. I haven’t worn a bra in forever (perhaps the only redeeming quality of being small-boobed) and, to my mother’s dismay, I have no plans of starting that up again any time soon. Yet I walked in any way, lured in by that pulsing Queer as Folk-esque beat and yeah, the bright pink panties. I got so caught up in the semi-annual sale – cute undies for $4! Underwire-free bras I actually liked and that were under $20! That I totally lost track of why I hate Victoria’s Secret in the first place. As I was standing in line to buy what I thought were quality undergarments, I snapped out of my haze and looked above the cash register. There were four HUGE blown up photographs of models – perfect, blonde, DD models – in tiny panties and boob-enhancing bras. I impulsively put all my stuff down and just walked out of the store, dazed.

So my questions to Batteniks are as follows: 1) What the fuck is up with Victoria’s Secret? 2) Do you feel shitty when you go in there, or am I the only who gets drenched in societally-induced body hate? 3) Most imporantly, if a girl wants a REAL WOMAN-friendly, comfy bra, where can this be purchased??

fight the power. stick it to the (wo)man?


What is a woman president?

I was waiting until after the NH primaries to post about the interesting incident yesterday in which Senator Clinton was nearly brought to tears by a question from the audience. The media has a lot to say about it, but her own explanation is so much more striking:  “In an interview on Monday night, Mrs. Clinton said she choked up at the Portsmouth event because the other woman had expressed concern for her feelings, after months when Mrs. Clinton was focused on voters’ anxieties. ‘It was just so touching when this woman said, ‘Well, what about you?’ Mrs. Clinton said. ‘I just don’t think about that, I think about what I can do for other people I have spent a lifetime trying to help others; I’m very other-directed. That’s maybe why people don’t get me in the political world” (read the whole article, and see a video of the incident, here).

This seemed like such a… motherly attitude, the idea that she is willingly shouldering some sort of quiet, difficult burden. Like righteous degradation, except more authentic? Idk, but I think it’s helpful to consider that particuar moment (and her reaction) when reading the compelling article by Gloria Steinem, Women Are Never Frontrunners. Whether or not you totally agree with Steinem’s stance, her insight into the politics of gender is almost undeniably dead on:  “…because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects ‘only’ the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman.”


Thoughts on Steinem’s article? On female presidents?

(ps, Mitt Romey cries too).

I lovvve the blog  feministing, and read this on it today. I haven’t looked at the book yet, but I’m interested to hear what Batten vegans have to say.

“Now I have been known to call some of my best friends skinny bitches, but usually it is a term of endearment or as a total joke. I know, totally tacky. But I have never thought of “skinny bitch” as a term of empowerment or reflective of girl power. Sure we know all about the reclamation of the word “bitch,” but I have yet to see an effective reclaiming of “skinny.” Of course it is OK to be skinny, it is more the pressure women face to be skinny or stay skinny or even being told they are too skinny, that frankly makes all of us, go insane. In a culture where being skinny is something held over the heads of young women and used to determine their social and cultural value, I am wary of its use in the politics of food.

So this piece struck a cord with me from last week’s NYT. It is about the new book by the author of vegan best-seller, “Skinny Bitch,” called “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.” It is a cookbook for politically conscious, weight conscious, vegans.

Despite its seemingly indigestible qualities, “Skinny Bitch” (Running Press) became one of the hottest-selling vegan books ever published. Now, the book’s peculiar combination of girl power, tough love and gross-out tales from the slaughterhouse has been translated to the kitchen. The authors’ new cookbook, “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch,” was published in December and reached No. 6 on the New York Times best-seller list in the paperback advice category last week.

Now it does not surprise me that this book is selling so much. There is a huge market for literature that calls women fucked up things and tells them they are stupid or fat and why they should buy this book and be svelte and will have men swooning after them. If they could just do this wonder thing that the book details. But similar to what Debbie Rasmussen from BITCH says in the article, I too am all for an assault on the food industry, but I have major issues with demanding that skinny is the end all goal for being a vegan. That is not “girl power” to me. It is tacky and a dated way of selling books.

Speaking personally, I used to be vegan and honestly, when done right and with support it can work really well. But then I started to realize one of the main reasons I was doing it was because it was keeping my weight down in a really extreme way (read: eating disorder) but I could cover it up in the guise of a political identity. So when young women tell me they are vegan, I am always inquisitive as to the method of their veganism. It is a very extreme diet that needs supplements to make sure you are not deficient in nutrients. It is frustrating, the lack of real nutritional information available to young women to teach us how to eat properly in a way that is healthy, maintains a healthy weight and keeps us happy. I certainly continue to struggle with it and I am almost 30!” -Samhita at feministing.


Fur House

m and k
Peta2, geared toward a younger set of anti-cruelty activists, has this new feature “Meet the Trollsen Twins” that criticizes “Hairy-Kate” and “Trashley” for wearing fur. You can send them a letter asking them to stop killing animals for their fashion sense or “play dress-up” and drag bloodied animal “accessories” to the scarily skinny, warty paper doll of each twin.

Is this a fair attempt at getting the attention of tweensters or just another way Peta uses (and attacks) women’s bodies for advertising?

From: Liz

Margaret Cho.

She is workshoping her new show Beautiful before she starts her tour in Australia.


If you are in the area, please go see her. She is amazing. I’ve seen her in concert and own three of her DVDs. (I’m even in one of them!) It looks like she won’t even be doing Beautiful in the US right away, but going back to performing Sensuous Woman (which I’ll def go see, but I have to wait til the summer).

I’m so jealous.

Scary ’50s Lysol Ads

The link between douching and cervical cancer has been established for years, but these Lysol ads carry a message that’s a different kind of forboding. Watch out ladies, the state of your marriage may depend on the state of your mucus!

lysol 1

More here and here

What’s better than some women artists to help you get through the middle of the week?

M.I.A. is the daughter of Sri Lankan activists and is majorly cool in her own right. Just check out the activist images in the background and the way she shakes it without just being a peice of ass. It’s also worth your while to google her lyrics.

Lady Sovereign is a white British rapper and the only white woman to have signed with Def Jam Records. I love how she gets a manicure (hint: she uses something very sharp) and wears baggy pants. Her accent makes me drool a little…

“His penis
“Everything a woman values most in life can be directly attributed to her husband’s penis.  I maintain that most women’s primary goal in life is to get married, and to a lesser degree, to have a family. I don’t care what feminists claim, study after study reveals that, given the option, most women would rather be housewives at home with their kids instead of out getting splinters on the corporate ladder. Most women harbour a desire for marriage and family from a very early age, and often panic when their career ambitions push them into middle age without having achieved these things. This is not sexist, it’s reality.”

Happy Weekend!

Nothing says AWESOME like Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox singing one of the top three feminist songs ever.