Frances Catanio

News editor at Al Jazeera America digital. New Yorker. Film & chocolate lover. Traveler.
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As someone who is still learning to embrace my curly hair, I find this tip in the latest issue of InStyle Makeover to be kind of offensive and sad. Most of my profile pics are of me with straight hair, but seeing this “tip” makes me want to change them.

feministhemes:

So for those of us who want to have children one day, positive body image isn’t just about our own well-being, it’s about the next generation as well. It’s about making sure that our daughters, should we ever have daughters, don’t repeat our painful mistakes. It’s about remembering that our relationships with our bodies are inextricably tangled up with our most intimate emotional relationships. Eating disorders and poor body image are cyclical, and they are vicious. The solution, then, is to do everything we can to break the cycle ourselves, so that our daughters don’t have to relive it . (via Vicious cycles: mothers, daughters, eating disorders)

(via misswizzle)

latimes:

Yale’s five-year suspension of Delta Kappa Epsilon for crude sexual chants reflects an effort to eliminate fraternities.

I had to take about 10 minutes to breathe before I responded to this bs. 

Let’s start here:

[the five-year banishment of Yale’s DKE fraternity] is the latest salvo in a scorched-earth war against college fraternities being waged by militant feminists, PC campus administrators who despise the openly retrograde aspects of Greek life and, now, the Obama administration’s Education Department, which in late April announced it had launched a full-bore investigation of Yale over the Deke chant and other incidents that may have created a “hostile sexual environment” in violation of Title IX of the federal Civil Rights Act.

Clearly the author has no idea what a scorched-earth war is like—this certainly ain’t it. The investigation at Yale (my alma mater) is not simply about the disgusting chant by idiots in a fraternity. The investigation, as my colleague Kayla Webley points out in this piece, is about fighting against the sexual harassment of women at Yale—but not just at Yale. This kind of attitude, the one that Charlotte Allen perpetuates here, is widespread on college and university campuses all over the country. Of course Allen doesn’t try to enumerate the “other incidents” that led to the full-on investigation at Yale. That would have left her with less space to elaborate on how poor, helpless fraternities are being destroyed. And how “their culture” is in danger. I guess fraternity culture is more important to Allen than the safety and security and peace of mind of women on college campuses. Who are these “militant feminists” by the way? Me? Because I enjoyed feeling like I could walk around New Haven when I was a student there without being harassed and would like all women who attend Yale to feel the same? What a freak I am.

And here:

those who cheer this effort along should remember that when it becomes a near-crime to utter a silly or boorish chant on a college campus, everyone’s freedom of speech and association is at risk.

My freedom of speech will not be in danger. You know why? Because I don’t go around saying things in support of rape, harassment and oppression. “Silly or boorish” chant? As some other commenters have already mentioned, this is the same tired old “boys will be boys” mentality reignited here by a woman who seems to be worried about college fraternities everywhere being destroyed mostly because her husband was in a fraternity at Yale. I knew people at other fraternities at Yale. They, I know, would want DKE shut down just as much as this militant feminist does.

"In Saudi Arabia, where nearly every interaction between unrelated women and men is assumed to be illicit, whether I prefer thongs over briefs or the actual dimensions of my chest are not something I want to discuss with a strange male. But I have little choice. Lingerie shops, like most every other store in the kingdom, are staffed exclusively by men." (via Aryn Baker, TIME) 


“We are in the second decade of the 21st century, and the fight over poor women’s access to birth control I thought was finished,” said state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen).

"They wanted to teach us a lesson. They wanted to make us feel that we do not have dignity." Salwa Hosseini, a 20-year-old hairdresser and one of the women named in an Amnesty International report that accused military officials of performing "virginity checks" on women who were arrested during demonstrations this spring; Hosseini described to CNN how uniformed soldiers tied her up on the Egyptian Museum’s grounds, forced her to the ground and slapped her, then shocked her with a stun gun while calling her a prostitute.

theweekmagazine:

In an effort to draw more fans and sponsors, the Badminton World Federation has decreed that, starting this week, elite-level female players must wear skirts and dresses. The new rule has been slammed as sexist and offensive…

(Photo: CCBY: alainalele)

Ugh.

Of course this article oversimplifies why women more often buy the Nook Color than the iPad (and buy more magazine subscriptions on the Nook). As the article eventually goes on to specify, marketing is part of it and so is the fact that Apple has been difficult for magazine publishers to haggle with. So sentences like this: “Some women, at least, seem to prefer their electronic reading devices to be simpler, something they can read on. Tablets with Rock Band, GT Racing and high-res cameras? That’s guy stuff,” are just stupid.

This factoid: “Women also buy more books than men do — by a ratio of about 3 to 1, according to a survey last year by Bowker” gives me more information than this: “Even as the iPad remains the favorite son of the magazine business, publishers are discovering that the Barnes & Noble Nook Color is a very promising younger daughter.”

That last sentence (the lede of the story) in itself is just playing up the “women like Nooks because they’re colorful and shiny and easy to use” crap. We’re not high-tech neophytes. Sheesh.

The construction of Sadah as the pitiful child bride of Bin Laden reminds me of the language used in relation to Muslim women in Afghanistan after the attacks of 9/11. Such images risk provoking the problematic question of whether or not certain Muslim women need “saving”. For me, this takes away from one of the most important victories of the Arab spring – the shift in perspective regarding the coverage of Arab and Muslim women. Rather than focusing on stereotypes, media images of women playing an active role in creating social change have begun to paint a much more nuanced picture of the diverse struggles faced by women in the Arab world.