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.
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. ”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.