teens are pushing back against sexist dress codes

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Eight days before Shelton High School’s prom, students were shocked by an announcement: backless dresses and those with cutouts would be unacceptable, according to NBC Connecticut. Of course, no amendments were made to the event rules for men’s attire.

As Shelton High School Superintendent Freeman Burr told NBC on Tuesday, administrators want girls “to be dressed appropriately — appropriately with class and dignity, and also dressed in a tasteful way.” But who exactly is the dress code meant to benefit?

“As is the case with most dress codes, scandalized school administrations are reserving their ire for the female students — there is curiously no code about how much skin male prom-goers can show,” the Guardian‘s Jessica Valenti wrote Thursday. “And like most puritanical nonsense directed at young women these days — the concern is not for the girls, but for the lust their dresses might inspire in others.” Continue reading…

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feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire

Just over a week ago, the Washington Post published this article on the kinds of threatening and pervasive backlash that online feminist writers face. Throughout the article, draws on several examples that showcase both the online barrage of sexist, racist, and highly sexualized threats leveled at women who choose to share their personal experiences and understandings as well as times when those threats manifested themselves outside of the internet. This struck a cord with me personally because even in my tiny, not-very-publicized feminist corner of the world I’ve faced several unpleasant smack downs that have left me asking what is perhaps the most telling question of the whole piece: “Are they not going to write a piece like that again because they’re afraid of the online hate?” Now of course, the argument can be made that it’s the internet and everyone faces some level of abuse when they go online. And while that’s true, why should it be acceptable for an article, no matter its contents, to lead to death and rape threats?

what is this, the 1940s?

‘Listen up ladies’: Fox News kids off New Year with absurdly sexist advice for ‘catering to your man’

Not that anything said on Faux New is at all legitimate… but it’s continually perplexing how anyone could think that advice like this, structured in this manner, directed as it is, could be construed as something that is okay to say – especially to a huge audience. Especially in a day and age when “wife” so frequently means so much more than stay-at-home domestic partner and women are frequently carrying more than their weight in family responsibilities. The only way I can think to show how ridiculous this stuff sounds is to change the pronouns:

Yeah, I do want to be a better husband.

When she gets her ego stroked, she’ll be more inclined to love you more.

One way a man could stroke a woman’s ego would be to “prepare her meals, draw her a bath and massage her feet every now and then.

Of course a healthy relationship is one that involves both partners taking care of each other without expecting anything in return because they love each other, as Earhardt points out. But women are always the ones on the receiving end of advice like this, bearing the brunt of keeping her partner happy and the relationship going. That’s not how real relationships work.

pastor wants women to shut up in church and quit being whores

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These articles are very short reads, coupled with footage from several rather conservative sermons this guy has given. Both the writer and the readers are justifiably outraged about his comments and the understanding of women and their “placement” that he demonstrates. It’s hard to swallow religious crazy.

But while most of the outrage seems to be over the fact that he’s talking about this super old-fashioned and extremely limiting understanding of women, my disgust is directed in a different direction. What he’s saying, he’s pulling from the bible, the actual holy book of Christianity. Yes, it sounds boorish, stupid and downright sexist. Guess what? That’s the holy book that any self-identifying Christian is upholding. And if you’re going to pick and chose which parts you want to follow, doesn’t that kind of eliminate the whole, “God wrote this book so it’s holy” thing?

This is a huge part of why I left Christianity as a teenager. This guy is a misogynistic jerk, but then so is the supposed god he gets his information from.

WC