“If a girl is lucky enough to receive any sex education, she will be taught the biological basics. She’ll learn that men have penises and testicles and produce sperm and women have vaginas and uterii and produce ova. She’ll learn that when a man and a woman have sex, the man inserts his penis into the woman’s vagina until he ejaculates. She’ll learn that the semen in the ejaculate will render her vulnerable to pregnancy so she will have to protect herself by using a hormonal or a barrier contraceptive. Hormonal contraception is preferable because barrier methods such as condoms, while safer for women, apparently reduce sensation for men which is obviously a no-no. It’s much better that a woman take a pill every day for her entire reproductive lifespan, or get a painful injection every 12 weeks, or have a copper rod inserted into her uterus, or a silicone rod implanted into her arm. She probably won’t learn that 3 out of 4 women never orgasm from vaginal intercourse. She almost definitely won’t learn how women do achieve orgasm. She’ll learn her place as a receptacle.”—
“Nobody is saying that Lena Dunham doesn’t deserve critique. Debate and discussion is part of the life of a piece of art, particularly when it comes to episodic television, which has replaced film as the dominant medium of collective storytelling. What is curious is that no male showrunner has ever been subject to quite this sort of intense personal scrutiny, this who-are-you-and-how-dare-you. No male showrunner has ever been asked to speak to a universal male experience in the same way, because “man” is still a synonym for “human being” in a way that “woman” is not.
Men do not experience the personal being made universal. When men direct honest, funny television shows about young men living their lives, it’s not “television that defines the young male experience”, it’s just television. When men write “confessional literature”, it’s just called “literature”. Male artists and writers produce deeply personal content all the time, but as Sarah Menkedick once wrote at Velamag, for them “it’s called ‘criticism’ or ‘putting yourself in the story’ or ‘voice-driven’ or ‘narrative’ or ‘travelogue’ or ‘history’ or ‘new journalism’ or simply a ‘literary journey’”.
Forbidding any woman simply to be an artist, forbidding us from speaking about our experience without having it universalised and trivialised, is the sort of broad-brush benevolent sexism that undermines the real threat that a multitude of female voices might otherwise pose. It comes from a culture that puts up endless barriers to prevent women and girls expressing ourselves honestly in public and then treats us like fascinating freaks when we do. Is still so rare, so unbelievably, fist-clenchingly rare, to see young women depicted in the mainstream media with anything like accuracy, as human beings rather than pretty punctuations in somebody else’s story, that as soon as it happens we want it to be more than it is. So Girls is asked to speak for every young woman everywhere, and then torn apart when it inevitably fails to do so, because nobody can, because nobody ever could. And that’s the problem.”—Why Lena Dunham’s Girls can’t represent every woman - and why it shouldn’t have to (via brutereason)
"But a female dummy didn’t become a mandatory part of frontal crash tests until last year. For all this time, the average American guy stood for us all.
That may have had a substantial impact on women’s auto safety. If airbags are designed for the average male, they will strike most men in the upper chest, creating a cushion for their bodies and heads. Yet small women might hit the airbag chin first, snapping their heads back, potentially leading to serious neck and spinal injuries.
In some cases, according to tests with female mannequins, small women were almost three times as likely as their average male counterparts to be seriously injured or killed. A study of actual crashes by the University of Virginia’s Center for Applied Biomechanics found that women wearing seatbelts were 47 percent more likely to be seriously injured than males in similar accidents.”
“Shows like Girls, Orange Is the New Black and Enlightened are not trying to portray unlikable women, but rather are trying to show that women are human beings, and therefore are sometimes self-obsessed, petty, childish, navel-gazing and in a constant struggle with morality. There’s no easy Cosmo-quiz answer to “Which Girls character are you?” because the show offers no glossed-up version of ourselves to relate to and in whom we can find escapism. In fact, it gives us the opposite: women who remind us all too much of ourselves.
Women are socialized to be likable, and when we see TV characters who make no attempt to seem genial, charming, sympathetic, desirable or any other quality we’ve come to associate with femininity, there’s a disconnect — something that has grated on many viewers and critics. But such characters have also resonated with many others precisely because they reflect real qualities of women, and depict women who don’t care whether they’re likable or not.”—Why Critics Can’t Handle the Female Anti-Hero - PolicyMic (via brutereason)
“Occasionally I’ll be sitting somewhere and I’ll be listening to someone perhaps not saying the kindest things about me. And I’ll look down at my hand and I’ll sort of pinch my skin to make sure it still has the requisite thickness I know Eleanor Roosevelt expects me to have.”—Hillary Clinton (x)
“Changing the way we talk is not political correctness run amok. It reflects an admirable willingness to acknowledge others who once were barely visible to the dominant culture, and to recognize that something that may seem innocent to you may be painful to others.”—