Best of the Interwebs. Supersized!

I was still trundling through all my google alerts! So my recap is both what you will see below, and what has happened in the last few weeks. Links included in the recap are not likely to be below, but are just proving what I am asserting!.

Happy 5th Anniversary to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum (and congrats on the 7 figure donation!). The Hunger Games are continuing to generate a lot of conversation (and I am still working on my contribution!) – mostly surrounding female representation and arguing whether or not Katniss is a feminist Character. Demi Lovato has spoken out against television and movies, stating that they glorify unhealthy body image, and put pressure on young girls to attain a specific look. People are STILL talking about the research which found Facebook contributes to body issues as women feel the pressure to be camera ready at every moment, and one too many of us have been tagged in bad angle photos. The premier of HBO show Girls is receiving both acclaim – for its honest portrayal of 20-something women – and criticism – for everything else. Best Seller Fifty Shades of Grey is being debated due to .. well many reasons. Australian company IAG rewards new mums with 6 weeks double pay upon returning to work after maternity leave. Social Network sites are struggling with Thinspo and Pro-eating disorder issues, with Pinterest actively seeking to prevent it – In fact public discourse regarding thinspo is quite prominent at the moment. Commentators everywhere are starting to discuss female competitiveness encouraged in women that ensures we remain suspect of each other at all times. It looks like Russia is set to Release Pussy Riot. Vogue Italia editor has stands up against pro-ana websites, and thinspo images – though her magazine would suggest otherwise. Some American lady told dudes not to date feminists – probably because we are too awesome for them to handle (though, I did read what she said.. I just chose to read between the lines). Samantha Brick waxed eloquently about how it is a hard life to be really really ridiculously good looking – and then the internet weighed in. The US Masters Golf Club refused IBM chief exec Gina Rometty membership because she is female. They are still talking about Ashley Judd slamming the media for its catty treatment of women. Public and media criticism of celebrity bodies and appearance has been beyond reproach recently. Tallulah Willis (Demi Moores youngest) said her mum (and dad) promote healthy body image. Kelly Osbourne spoke in Glamour about her body confidence… and why its OK for her to call Christina Aguilera fat -.- .

Who Needs Feminism? – New Tumblr Promotes Gender Equality. Matt Petronzio. Follow the  Tumblr here (though, to be honest… I am not really loving it. It has its moments of amazingness, and then…. yeah.)

Gloria Steinems still going strong. Kristin Tillotson. Another interview with Gloria Steinem? YES PLEASE!

On Female Role Models and Islamic Feminism A Conference Overview. Rasha Dewedar

Islamophobia in Transnational Feminist Discourses. Sharrae.

FEMAIL – Meet the women making people laugh on male dominated stage. Charu Soni.

But how much of it is male driven and do women get to say their bit? Do Indian men think women are funny and do women even have a sense of humour?  ‘I don’t think Indian women would be married to Indian men, if they didn’t have a sense of humour,’ says Vasu Primlani, a standup comedian. Her joke draws laughs from us because it touches a common cultural nerve. And it’s not about laughing at men alone. In a patriarchal country like ours, women are not given much room to express the bold and funny side of themselves. They are urged instead, to be gentle, feminine and submissive. This was true in 1950s India and its true even today. You simply don’t crack a dirty joke in a family gathering. Nor in public either. And if you do, you must be a slut or a feminist.

War, With a woman’s touch. Igor Studenkov. The US National Veterans Art Museum has put together an exhibition that showcases the work of eight US female veterans. Women’s experiences in the military are often overlooked. That right there is a very interesting subject. Who wants to take it as a Ph.D? – Why are women’s experiences in the military largely ignored?

Guerrilla Girl Talk- The masked Art Radicals on Their New Research, The Art Market, And Occupy Wall Street. Alanna Martinez. I LOVE the guerrilla Girls, so this interview was a real treat – even if I did find out they are currently in Melbourne at MEYERS ART SPACE, and I did not know, and a quick trip down is out of the question as I am going to Paris in a few months (first world problems). *sadface*

Meet Contemporary Arts Bad Girls of 2012 (Photos) @Huffington Post. This project – reviving Marcia Tuckers 1994 Bad Girls show, asks what does it mean to be a bad girl in the art world. If you dont know the 1994 art show, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the catalogue.

Some People Enjoy Being Prostitutes… Get Over It. Kitty Stryker. I really enjoyed this.

Abbott needs Personal Politics Lesson. Colin Brinsden. Tony Abbot put his foot in his mouth again (and of course, I am assuming it comes out occasionally), when he publicly agreed with Germaine Greer’s comments over the size of Prime Minister Julia Gillards Bottom, and that her jackets are unflattering (Why is her body/ clothing even a topic of conversation in the FIRST PLACE???).  I like that Opposition Treasury Spokesman Joe Hockey – a member of Opposition Leader Abbott’s OWN party – stated “Frankly when you pass comment about someone’s weight or something like that I think it says more about you than it does about them.”

Portraying and Pushing Female Competitiveness. Lisa Wade. There is this thing that is played out in movies, and on magazine covers, and on tv… and everywhere else. Its the way women interact with each other, and we are often portrayed as being in competition with each other, constantly vying for the attention of men. On Tabloid Magazine covers, women are actively pushed into this competition, and it assumes that women need men to somehow validate that they are better than all the others.

AMA ads anger over sexualisation of kids. Clare Kermond. The Australian Medical Association is renewing pressure for the government to “crack down on ads that sexualise children”.

Olympic Athlete Amamda Beard Reveals Bulimia, Proving How Bad Media Is For Body Image. Deborah Dunham.  When the media focused more on Amanda Beards looks (and weight gain) than her successes as an Olympic athlete, it took its toll.

Can We Please Stop With The Fat Shaming Already. Julia Gazdag. I am not going to lie… I have kind of fallen in love with Julia Gazdags writing, and plan to read through her hellogiggles back catalogue. This is a great response to the quizzical issue that has women wish that they were sick so they could lose weight, and the public shaming of fatness so the rest of us dont catch the fat…

Alexa Chung forced to remove photo from Instagram after barrage of criticism sees fans brand her as disgustingly skinny. Olivia Fleming. I am not sure in what universe it became OK for people to openly insult somebody in a public forum – because the Internet is just that. This is becoming an increasingly alarming trend – though it has been going on for YEARS. Perhaps what makes it so transparent now is that finally the stars are standing up to the detractors and stating they will not put up with this kind of abuse and Mean Girls-esque snark. This article shows that this sort of criticism towards a celebs appearance isn’t just limited to the media – but carried out in the public sphere as well. But the media should be held accountable, because they perpetuate these discussions on a daily level with continued dissections of celebrities appearance. For Shame.

Thinterest? When Social Networks and Body Image Collide. Megan Gibson. Pinterst bans Thinspiration content.

Pinterest bans thinspirational and other pro-anorexia images from site. @Mother Nature Network.

The Bitchin Table – When Did Shaming Become a Healthy Motivator. Internationalcupcakebandit and Katie O. Im just going to take their intro to this piece verbatim, and this is honestly one of the best discussions I have ever seen on Thinspo. It carefully scaffolds the discussion, explaining what thinspo is, how so many of these images work on shaming, and why it is wrong.

Katie O. and internationalcupcakebandit are pissed off about the “thinspo” trend, where women are encouraged to be unattainably skinny and shamed for even thinking that they might want to eventually eat something. Coupled with an emphasis on fake baking until you’re a creepy shade of Oompa Loompa orange, we’re wondering why the standard of beauty for women is targeted to make us sick and unhealthy, and why, regardless of whether we’re skinny or curvy or happily fat, we will never be good enough.

Franca Sozzani Gives Speech On Thinness & Body Image at Harvard, Misses Point. Ashley Cardiff.

Blame Facebook Photo Tagging for Your Weird Body Issues. Erin Gloria Ryan.

Yes, Samantha Brick Is Obnoxious, But the Daily Mail is Trolling Us All. Lindy West. Ok, so you might remember a couple of weeks ago this chick wrote an article where she lamented the fact that life is HARD when one is as attractive as she is. People hate you, and you get free stuff. What struck most people though, wasnt just that this was coming from someone most agree is quite average looking, but the sheer obnoxiousness of it all!  My personal favourite part was where she said she rarely succumbed to a piece of chocolate- as if this in SOME WAY makes her far more superior than other women who don’t mind a piece (or block) of chocolate. I chose to say women, because she is openly acting superior TO other women. Maybe I am just jealous that she can eat chocolate, but refuses too.. whereas I just cant eat it. Women hate me because I am so attractive and they think I will steal their partner. Someone bought into the female competitiveness ideal a little too much, I think. This caused Lindy West over at Jezebel to pen this incredible article which asserts that by allowing Ms. Brick to publish this piece, The Daily Mail is simply being a troll. This is a must read.

Samantha Brick weighs heavy on beauty debate.

Raised Mormon, Ryan Gosling keeps on saving, even feminists. Charisse Van Horn. This is an example of a very poorly titled article that I almost didnt read. It SHOULD read, Why are Americans obsessed with celebrity, and so apathetic to real issues that have an effect on their everyday lives – Because essentially, that is the point of Van Horns clunky article.

The Grimm Truth About Romantic Comedies. Chloe Angyal. As a sidenote, I cannot wait to read her book. Angyal examines romantic comedies, and looks at the fairy tales they appropriated to bring us banal stories of true love and transformation (I am glaring at you Pretty Woman). But its this part that I love –

The moral of the Beauty and the Beast story, we tell children, is that looks can be deceiving. A man who is outwardly ugly might actually be a handsome prince in disguise, and the power of requited love will melt his hideous exterior to reveal the true self within. That is a fine and valuable moral to be teaching kids.

But in its romantic comedy incarnations, the Beauty and the Beast story – and that moral in particular – get twisted. In popular contemporary rom coms like The Ugly TruthAs Good As It GetsYou’ve Got Mail, we stop teaching girls to look beyond beastly appearance and start teaching women to look beyond beastly behavior.

Why We Need to Keep Talking About the White Girls on Girls. Dodai Stewart. Girls might be a more relevant sex and the city, however the tropes and lack of diversity make it hard for many to swallow.

Videos (sorry, there are links today!)

Ideas at the House – F-Word Forum at Sydney Opera House feat. Naomi Wolf, Germaine Greer, and a forum. watch in that order =) each vid is around an hour.

Rick Santorum Aborts Presidential Campaign – what happens when reproductive rights meet termination of political campaigns. This is so entirely clever! It features Ashley Judd, Michelle Trachtenberg, and more!

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