What BinderCon Means for Women, Power, and Media — From Jill Abramson’s Divisive Keynote to the Push for Diversity

In my early 20s, I attended my very first women’s media conference completely solo. I imagined that as a sharer-of-the-ideology, I’d be befriended by strangers. We were all feminists, after all. Sisterhood is powerful.

Instead, of course, I spent the weekend sitting alone at panels. People were there to network and get a career foothold, to mob speakers after their keynotes, to catch up with colleagues. They were not there to hold hands and sway. I learned a lesson that seems obvious in retrospect: being only human beings, feminists have the personal ambitions, tendencies towards insularity, and insecurities that come with that territory. In fact, they may inadvertently replicate the cliquish and preference-ridden structures of “the man.” … Read More

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Emma Watson Photo-Leak Threat Seems to Have Been a Marketing Hoax

Following Emma Watson’s candid and

According to 

Of course, regardless of whether the attack was against a gender equality… Read More

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Why Are Honest Feminist Novels Like Brian Morton’s ‘Florence Gordon’ So Rare?

Brian Morton’s Florence Gordon is a rare thing indeed. It’s a rich book featuring a titular character that you may know exists now, at this moment in the world, but who happens to be basically a unicorn in literature: a 75-year-old woman, a public intellectual, feminist icon, and irascible New Yorker. … Read More

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Meghan Trainor Is No Feminist, But “All About That Bass” Has a Message Some Teen Girls Desperately Need to Hear

It takes two hands for me to count how many of my straight male friends have solicited my opinion on Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” currently the No. 2 song in the country, since its release three months ago. “Fifty million viewers can’t be wrong,” one such pal countered a couple weeks back, nearly five million views ago. Usually I would laugh off such justifications, pointing to the two billion views PSY racked up for “Gangnam Style” amidst his short-lived wheelie-poppin’ on the zeitgeist, but I am less certain of Trainor’s novelty status, despite her Diet Feminism approach to pop music.

… Read More

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In Defense of Taylor Swift’s Female Friendship Renaissance

Taylor Swift graces the cover of Rolling Stone once again this week, and the most striking thing about the Josh Eels-penned profile is its focus on Swift’s female friendships, as opposed to her previously active, now dormant dating life. Of course, Swift’s newfound friendships — namely those with supermodel Karlie Kloss and Girls creator Lena Dunham — have been pointed to again and again with a bit of head-scratching in the press, particularly Swift’s Dunham-inspired discovery of feminism and a style transformation that nods to Kloss’ own. Admittedly, it is slightly unsettling how Swift and Kloss have morphed into a single six-foot blonde monster with an endless supply of designer cutoff shorts, but the Rolling Stone cover takes it to new heights — and sheds some light on this new phase of the 24-year-old’s growing independence as she makes her first home outside Nashville, in a $15 million Tribeca apartment, no less. … Read More

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The Most Radical Films About Young Women’s Lives

Precious bodily fluids abound in Wetlands. We’ve been anticipating David Wnendt’s provocative adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s novel since the start of the year, and the film has finally arrived in American theaters. The sexually adventurous and confident Helen reclaims ownership over her body and life through a series of graphic reminiscences. As our own Moze Halperin wrote: “It’s not just a transcendentalist approach to things our bodies do that we try to keep hidden, but rather a love story that uses these things as its fuel.” Wnendt’s reimagining bares all from a female perspective—which is incredibly refreshing considering Hollywood’s woman problem. In support of cinema’s radicals, here are ten other movies about young women’s lives that push the envelope. … Read More

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Nude Selfies, Rape Nail Polish, and the Dumb Idea That Women Don’t Deserve Fun

Don’t want people to post your nude selfies on the Internet? Then don’t take ‘em, ladies! For once, that isn’t the prevailing response to the revealing celebrity photos circulating on the Internet, but it’s still one that’s well represented this week, from your irritating acquaintance on Twitter to the Times‘ irritating columnist on Twitter to the most irritating man in the entertainment industry (yes, also on Twitter, although Gervais has since deleted the tweet). I can see why men who have never had to worry about what a leaked dick pic might do to their career would make that argument: No one, celebrity or not, needs to take naked photos and store them on iCloud. Even those of us who don’t judge actresses for pointing cellphone cameras at their bodies have to admit that risqué behavior carries its share of risks. … Read More

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Between Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, Celebrity Feminism Is So Hot Right Now

The Taylor Swift pop machine is in full effect with the imminent fall release of her fifth album, 1989. She announced the album during last week’s live stream event, which also served as the debut of the single “Shake It Off,” (haters gonna hate, hate, hate, etc.) along with the Mark Romanek-directed video, which involved lots of awkward white girl dancing. She also said that the album was her first “documented pop album,” which in Swift-land, means that the former star of country radio has put together a suite of songs that will only play on Top 40 stations; and by my uneducated guess, will probably not get banjo-laden country station remixes, this time around. … Read More

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Why Contemporary Feminism Needs Roxane Gay’s ‘Bad Feminist’

If you have been reading The Rumpus, Salon, BuzzFeed, or the Virginia Quarterly Review in the past five years, it’s very likely that you’ve come across, read, and quite possibly shared as some moving truth at least one of the many, many essays by the writer Roxane Gay. It’s almost easy to take Gay for granted, as she can be such a strong voice of reason when the world feels half-mad, whether she’s analyzing Wendy Davis’ filibuster or the continued popularity of Chris Brown among girls who claim that they love him so much they would let him beat them. … Read More

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