A selection of interesting links from the past fortnight chosen by the F-Word team

It’s a bumper round-up this week where we share (what we see as) the most interesting and important articles from the previous fortnight. We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the issues covered in the articles we’ve picked.

As always, linking to articles does not mean endorsement from the F-Word and certain links may be triggering. We welcome debate in the comments section and on Facebook/Twitter but remind readers that any comments containing sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or disablist language will be deleted immediately.

If you notice that we’ve missed out any important articles from the couple of weeks, feel free to let us know.

The arts world sees working-class people as a problem to be solved (The Guardian)

From the article: “The arts world has turned working-class people into a problem to be solved rather than audience members or artists to be developed. Focusing on the poorest in society also dodges the main question we should be asking: why is it not only the super-exploited but the majority in this country who do not engage with subsidised theatre or arts? These are people who fill out football stadiums, comedy clubs, gigs and commercial theatres, often paying more for tickets than is charged by state-subsidised productions. Folk who can afford a big night out, but don’t want to spend it with us. ”

Abuse is daily reality for female garment workers for Gap and H&M, says report (The Guardian)

From the article: “Jennifer Rosenbaum, US director of Global Labour Justice, said: “We must understand gender-based violence as an outcome of the global supply chain structure. H&M and Gap’s fast fashion supply chain model creates unreasonable production targets and underbid contracts, resulting in women working unpaid overtime and working very fast under extreme pressure.”

The Wild Life of Suze Randall, Playboy’s Legendary Photographer (VICE)

From the article: “Staffers at Playboy’s Chicago office told her that photographing nudes is difficult, and a serious business – the implication being: leave it to the men. “So then I said, ‘Oh damn, then I’ll have to sell the pictures to Penthouse because I’m broke.’ Then they had to [buy the photos],” she laughs…At the Playboy Mansion, Suze photographed Lillian for the magazine’s cover, making it the first full-frontal Playboy spread to be shot by a woman.”

Samira being left until last on Love Island shows how the world perceives black women (iNews)

Scores of UK sexual offence cases stopped over evidence failings (The Guardian)

From the article: “The findings of the review, which only looked at one type of case – sexual assault – and from a small time period, triggered concerns that more errors may have occurred… Angela Rafferty QC, the chair of the Criminal Bar Association, said: “For the CPS to question the reliability of not just a few but dozens of live rape and sexual offence cases out of a limited sample size of a few thousand will inevitably cause great consternation that some innocent people are already in prisons and many guilty may be walking free.”

New Zealand Sex Work Activist Is Now an Official Goddamn Dame (Jezebel)

From the article: “So, she co-founded the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, a sex worker rights organization. The group was instrumental in passing the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act, which decriminalized sex work in the country. Research has shown that, post-decriminalization, the country’s sex workers feel more empowered to negotiate safer sex and refuse clients, and are better protected from violence.”

Film puts spotlight on Scotland’s female pop and rock stars (The Scotsman)

From the article: “The film will look at the obstacles faced by female musicians and singers, how they have been sexualised by the music industry over the years, and the difficulties faced in being in a band and bringing up a family at the same time. The documentary will focus on the acts to emerge during a number of key eras, including the early girl-group boom in the 1960s, post punk and new wave in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and “Riot Grrl” in the 1990s, including The Fizzbombs, Lungleg, Bis and The Shop Assistants.”

How feminism can help in the fight against transphobia (The Independent)

From the article: “Women have been fighting for their rights for centuries – and feminists are calling on others to add their voice to the struggle that transgender people are experiencing. Otherwise, it’s no feminism.”

The new ‘Male Pill’ is a reminder medicine is still a feminist issue (Huffington Post)

From the article: “For women everywhere the news of a male contraceptive will be encouraging, but marred with reminders of how significantly birth control options are currently lacking. Safe and reversible options for male contraception are not expected to be on the market anytime soon, and current trials bring into focus a lack of comparable concerns with the side-effects of oral contraceptives aimed at women.”

Women know the difference between bad sex and rape, sure Germaine Greer does too (The Guardian)

From the article: “When Greer talks of having got over her own rape, it seems the experiences of other women do not live up to her standard of femaleness. Trans women. Younger women. All other women. We all fail. The only woman who can scale the heights and dine on the lofty buffet of ideals that Greer generates appears to be Greer herself.”

This year is a significant moment for queer black women like me (The Pool)

Body Positivity is a Scam (Racked)

From the article: “The cultural narrative about women’s bodies was so bad that simply identifying the problem would get Dove full credit and move plenty of product, but the urge to talk about a broad cultural problem while refusing to name a bad actor left the blame squarely on the shoulders of the women who had the temerity not to love themselves sufficiently.”

Women being loud during sex doesn’t mean they like it (MEL via Medium)

‘I love what human voices do together’: An interview with with Neko Case (Longreads)

Evelinn Trouble uplifting new song ‘Hope Music’ (YouTube) [95% subtitled on YouTube. Just the first 30 secs or so isn’t]

The rage of the incels (The New Yorker)

From the article: “Incels aren’t really looking for sex; they’re looking for absolute male supremacy. Sex, defined to them as dominion over female bodies, is just their preferred sort of proof.

If what incels wanted was sex, they might, for instance, value sex workers and wish to legalize sex work. But incels, being violent misogynists, often express extreme disgust at the idea of “whores.” Incels tend to direct hatred at things they think they desire; they are obsessed with female beauty but despise makeup as a form of fraud.”

While women clashed over the issue of sex work, Stringfellow just thrived (Zoe Williams, The Guardian)

From the article: “All the moral and modesty arguments against lap dancing and nudity have disintegrated, and the 00s saw the first fully nude licences and sexual entertainment venue licences (of which Peter Stringfellow was the first UK beneficiary, in 2006). But feminists’ arguments have ossified into a stance where they cannot listen to, let alone accommodate the views of sex workers and strippers, because they’re still – in a 70s second-wave style – considered victims by definition, and therefore anything they say that doesn’t give expression to that victimhood is false consciousness.”

Jameela Jamil Calls Out Emile Hirsch’s Abusive Behavior Following Tarantino Announcement (Lisa Ryan, The Cut)

Björk, St. Vincent and more on the trailblazing women whose music you need to hear (Emily Mackay, BBC)

White Women Are Not Our Beauty Standard: Reporter Asks If Serena Is Intimidated By Maria Sharapova’s Looks (Veronica Wells, Madamenoire)

Anthony Bourdain, Celebrated Chef and TV Host Who Opposed Racism and Xenophobia, Dies at 61 (catherine lizette gonzalez, Colorlines)
[Standfirst: People of color remember the award-winning chef, tv host and author who advocated for immigrants, supported the #MeToo movement, and fiercely opposed racism and colonialism.]

Intersectional Suffrage: The Women Who Didn’t Get The Vote In 1918 (Google Arts & Culture)

I Dress Terribly on Purpose (Medium)

From the article: “As minor as it is, my ugly shoes and my spiteful jumpsuits feel that same pleasure center, that hungry furred-animal part of my brain that seeks sisterhood above all else. Passing me on the street, you wouldn’t know that my khaki romper contains such a complex message, but you don’t have to. Although on the surface, a pink velvet thong has little in common with a yellowish utilitarian garment, they are both items that speak to my evolving relationship with womanhood.”

It’s official: universal credit is a colossal, costly, hellish catastrophe (Polly Toynbee, The Guardian)

I’m queer and asexual. If that’s a problem, by all means, revoke my membership (Ray Finch, Let’s Queer Things Up!)

As a kid I only related to girl characters. But when you’re a boy, people think that’s weird or funny… (comic strip from Damian Alexander on Facebook)

Artificial concern for people in pain won’t stop suicide. Radical empathy might (Richard Morgan, Washington Post)

From the article: “Empathy is not a pro-forma answer to some social problem, to be dispensed in the appropriate dose but otherwise withheld. Amid all those permeating cliches of joy and woe, empathy is too discrete, too intentional. We perform empathy like a child learning to box-step for a school dance, one-two-three, one-two-three. It’s a performance we don’t really care about.”

Drawing women in post-apocalyptic world settings… (extract of wlwaffle Tumblr thread, collated by Vellum and Vinyl on Facebook)

In relation to the above Facebook post, also see: http://wlwaffle.tumblr.com/post/154936230182/draw-women-in-post-apocalyptic-world-settings-with

Quoted response: “I find it completely plausible that some women would go to incredible lengths to maintaining their appearance, because they’ve been socialized all their lives to caring about it, because it’s a part of their identity. So show me how that part gets negotiated with once the world has gone to hell.”

‘Why my daughter wants a hysterectomy at 15’ (BBC News)

Is an “Ungendered Fashion Utopia” possible? (The Mary Sue)

Carers Save Britains Billions Every Year. They Need More Support (Frances Ryan, The Guardian)

From the article:”No one ever talks about how we should be radically redistributing more resources to disabled people and their families. No one uses the important push for workers to get a living wage to ask why carers don’t need the same … Any of us may need to be cared for, or care, unexpectedly – be it for an elderly parent developing dementia or falling ill ourselves. The long-term undervaluing of caring labour – because it’s “women’s work”, in the home, and isn’t profit-driven – is hurting millions of families. If politicians wish to show they value carers, it’s going to take hard cash, not platitudes.”

The image is used under a creative commons license with thanks to Tom on Flickr. It shows a person with long hair in shadow and with their back to the camera. They appear to be looking ahead at a scene that is not quite clear, but could be the beach. The sun appears to be setting and has bathed the scene in an orange light.