(with less books) [trigger warnings for sexual assault / rape / racism apply to many posts here]

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Trouble is just like love, after all; it comes in unannounced and takes over before you’ve had a chance to reconsider, or even to think.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, page 68

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Trac Changes post: On Coverflipping, Misogyny, and, Oh Yeah—How You and I Are Part of the Problem

"When we put blood, guns, and chains on a the male version of a coverflipped jacket for a book that has nothing to do with violence, we are not only misrepresenting the way in which gender bias is usually carried out, but we are also perpetuating the harmful idea that violence, anger, and toxic masculinity are things that are of men, by men, and for men. When we put flowers, kissing, and frills on the female version of a coverflipped jacket that has nothing to do with romance, flowers, and fashion, we are not only making a parody of the gender bias from which many authors suffer, but we are also perpetuating the harmful idea that love, friendship, and frivolity are things that are of women, by women, and for women. The coverflip examples that arbitrarily assigned objects and images from gendered categories in order to create a coverflipped look told me less about publishers’ biases in determining a book’s audience, and more about the coverflip creators’ internalized biases and assumptions about gender and what constitutes “maleness” and “femaleness.””

And more:

"Why is it easier to focus on which covers we like and want to buy than it is to talk about the overall, insidious mis-categorization of books and authors on the basis of sexist ideals? Because owning up to the fact that we have all internalized problematic beliefs and are playing an active role in perpetuating them is hard. Because it puts the responsibility on all of us to unlearn those problematic beliefs and behaviors.”

Oh just go read it all, it’s amazing:

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Marriage as a marker doesn’t depend on how both parties feel; it depends on a ritual and a day when suddenly sex goes from “bad” to “good.” And if you’ve had little or no sexual experience up until that point, I imagine that sex is foreign and sort of exciting but largely scary. If the expectation is to have sex on your wedding night, there’s no long lead-up. Not to get too crass here, but there aren’t the years of heavy petting and handjobs and non-penetrative naked time that accustom you to how your body works and how other bodies work and what feels good and what doesn’t and when to know when to say “no” and when to say “yes.” There aren’t even months or days or hours of getting accustomed to all of that. There’s just the expectation of “yes, all of it, right now.” Zero to 60.

A really great article and thoughts on sex and marriage and virginity on Feministe:

Also highly recommended, the interview that made the author of the post think on the topics:

Lastly, a fascinating and really great piece on the moral case for sex before marriage:

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The brain and female sexuality are extremely complicated — and reducing them to simplistic formulations that deny women their humanity fails to do justice to either feminism or science. Properly contextualized, neuroscience can add to our knowledge of sexuality, but not if it’s twisted to support sexist ideas about women as “animals” who are so addicted to love that they become zombies.

Read more:

I’m soooooooo glad I didn’t pick up this book…

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While the idea of multiculturalism can force us to think of opportunities for change and dynamism as we figure out new ways of being conscious and living together, it all too often permits us to lazily inhabit the realms of stasis. What I mean by this is that ‘culture’ often stands in for the more antiquated, discredited and odious pre-occupation with biology. Culture is understood to be as genetically determinant as race once was. It operates in a similar way to racism; although of course theoretically we can immerse ourselves in ‘different’ cultures and adopt them. This is still limited though by the cultural heritage that runs through our veins, like blood

An article about the Toronto zoo in Africa Is A Country.

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{UnWinona}: I debated whether or not to share this story.


So when people (men) want to talk about “legitimate” forms of assault, tell girls they should be nice to strangers and give men the benefit of a doubt, tell them to consider it a compliment, tell them to ignore the bad behavior of men, I want them to be forced to feel, for even one minute, what it feels like to have so much verbal hatred and physical intimidation thrown at them for nothing more than being female and not wanting to share

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The latest available figures show that only 48 percent of voting-age women with ready access to their U.S. birth certificates have a birth certificate with their current legal name. The same survey showed that only 66 percent of voting-age women with ready access to any proof of citizenship have a document with their current legal name.

Ultimately, these measures make the voting process more confusing and place additional burdens on groups who each had to struggle to obtain the right to vote and the right to access quality & affordable reproductive health care.

What are leaders in the movement saying?

“If you can’t access the ballot box, how do you ensure access to reproductive health care?” — Aimee Thorne-Thompson, Advocates for Youth

For reproductive justice advocates, voter suppression is a reproductive justice issue. Many groups like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights (RCRC) and NYC Reproductive Justice Coalition (NYC RJC, formerly SisterSong NYC) and Advocates for Youth work year-around to educate communities on the issues and mobilize them to vote for progressive candidates and ballot measures.

Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Justice Director at RCRC, Angela Ferrell-Zabala says voter suppression has the potential to affect down ballot measures and local races in states like Florida.

“Down ballot issues like Amendment 6 will open the state’s constitutional privacy laws and make it very difficult for women to seek abortion care’’ Ferrell-Zabala states.

If Amendment 6 is passed, politicians will be allowed to intrude on personal medical decisions and take away access to healthcare that many women who are Florida public employees currently have.

There is much at stake and “we have to look at the repercussions, it all leads back to reproductive justice. Accessing healthcare and education — making informed decisions about your sexual health and family planning.” Ferrell-Zabala explains.

This is about agency and the power to transform communities.

“To limit the agency of women and youth who are disenfranchised by the social conditions of our race, gender, age and socio-economic status is unacceptable at best, and a direct violation of our human rights at its worst.” says Jasmine Burnett, NYC RJC lead organizer.

Gloria Feldt, author and past president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America argues that “the young, the poor, the women struggling to make ends meet for their families are most vulnerable to disenfranchisement yet have the most to lose if right-wing perpetrators of voter suppression succeed.”

The power of the women’s vote can only be effectively leveraged if every woman who is eligible to vote is able to enter the voting booth and have her vote counted. If they are not counted in 2012 then, “reproductive rights, health, and justice would be among the first freedoms to go, and economic justice not far behind.” said Feldt.

Charlene Carruthers, “The Right To Vote Affects the Power To Choose: How Voter Suppression In 2012 Will Erode Reproductive Rights,” RH Reality Check 7/13/12 (via racialicious)

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“But feminism is about CHOICE!” No. Feminism is not about choice – at least not insofar as it’s about saying “Any choice women make is a feminist one and so we can’t criticize or judge it.” Feminism isn’t about creating non-judgmental happy-rainbow enclaves where women can do whatever they want without criticism. Feminism is about achieving social, economic and political equality for all people, regardless of gender. It’s not about making every woman feel good about whatever she does, or treating women like delicate hot-house flowers who can’t be criticized.

Fantastic article, I highly recommend the take on feminism and choice and motherhood.