The “hot mess”—someone, usually a woman, who is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered—is a well-known cultural trope.
Whether on the front pages of tabloids, on gossip news sites, or even among our circles of friends over after-work drinks, we seem unable to resist sharing vignettes and photos of their latest improprieties. Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Tara Reid, and Whitney Houston are just a few well-known women who have been subjected to such relentless ridicule, often at the expense ...
“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” Translation: “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Since the 1985 publication of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” this mock-Latin sentence has served as a feminist battle cry inspiring women to fight the oppressive powers-that-be—so much so that several have had it tattooed onto their bodies. As attacks on women’s reproductive rights grow more frequent and ominous uncertainty looms over Trump’s America, the Republic of Gilead seems like an even closer reality, charging this phrase and the novel’s dystopian premise with new meaning.
For some, science hasn’t always been a favorite subject. But in the current climate of “alternative facts” and dangerous misinformation from President Trump’s administration, appreciating science is now more important than ever. That’s why on April 22—Earth Day—scientists, researchers, educators, and others passionate about scientific truth and discovery will descend upon the National Mall during a march in Washington, D.C., as well as several satellite marches around the country. This rallying cry serves to protect and safeguard the vital role science plays in health, safety, education, and our future.
What traveler blogger Randi Delano discovered was life-changing. Traveling on a dime was easier and actually cheaper than her life in New York—so much so that she was able to turn travelling into her full-time job. Featuring photos from photographer Kristen Blanton's analog photography portfolio, this profile piece includes advice on everything from finding vegan-friendly dining options to using a menstrual cup while abroad.
Evangelists Jim Bakker and Billye Brim’s comments about women at the Women’s March on Washington being “possessed by demons” echo a long history of religious zealotry that's shaped American culture since the Salem Witch Trials. From novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" to film director Robert Eggers' "The Witch," we see how artists use Puritanism as a social critique, specifically of women's oppression, and how our Puritan past is the story of America itself.
By now, practically everyone has read about the criticism Emma Watson has faced for her Vanity Fair photo shoot where she was featured in a see-through bolero jacket. Based on the attention she’s received, I expected her to be fully topless or nearly naked. But in the photos, you don’t see any more cleavage than what some of Hollywood’s elite expose at red carpet events. As someone who couldn’t care less about how much or how little skin anyone shows, I was baffled by how many people immediately criticized her for an outfit most likely chosen for her to wear and how quickly this prompted questions about her feminism.
For many Americans, protesting Trump has been both a necessary and empowering weekly event in this otherwise bleak political climate. The Women’s March on Washington offered encouragement and a sense of solidarity for the millions of Americans who see Trump’s presidency as a threat to women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and many progressive ideas. But since then, it’s been difficult to find out about other similar mass demonstrations taking place shortly.
If I had a nickel for every time my boyfriend furrowed his brow, looked at me in utter confusion, then said, “Why are you worrying about that? How did your mind even get there…?” I’d be rich! Really, though, the amount I worry and stress over seemingly inconsequential things, possibilities that would only happen on a frozen tundra in some far off universe, can be both nauseating and paralyzing. And although both men and women experience anxiety—after all, we’re all human with our own unique genetic code of our own predispositions—women statistically are far more anxious than men in the day-to-day. There are countless reasons for this, but one that is blatantly obvious to many, many women in the workforce and not obvious enough to many of our male counterparts is how our position as women in a historically men’s world has us trying to get our footing just right on this slippery slope of corporate success.
Last Saturday, millions of Americans and people from around the world marched in protest of Trump and all that he represents on a global scale. We did it in small towns down main street, in droves on state capitols and other government buildings; on the streets of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago; across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; in London, Paris, Berlin, and Melbourne; and on Washington D.C., outside the White House. We came with signs airing our grievances about what Trump’s racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and downright fascistic legislations and personal tendencies have caused so far and what they mean for the future; we marched with banners in solidarity with other women and men who share our distress and fear, our anger and spiritual need to stop him and the growing global white nationalism rearing its head again.
As I read about Pat Summitt’s death over the summer, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the impact she had on me growing up. After all, sharing a hometown with one of the most inspiring women in sports history doesn’t happen every day. While many sports fans know Pat Summitt as “that Tennessee coach who always looked so intense in photos,” those like me who grew up in Knoxville, TN know her as the tough-as-nails basketball coach who changed women’s sports forever.
What began with one retiree’s dissatisfaction with the election results has grown into what could very well be the largest presidential inauguration demonstration in American history. Teresa Shook took to Facebook to start an events page for a march on Washington with a few of her friends not expecting it to explode to 10,000 attendees overnight, and then to grow to 200,000 and counting, but it certainly has. With millions of Americans outraged and deeply hurt by the legislations Trump and his team promise to set into law—not to mention the continued hateful, disgusting rhetoric they continue to use—this protest will function as kind of a catch-all for many different leftist causes, and a place for those opposing Trump to rally together en masse to send a powerful political message.
2016 has been a difficult year, one that’s seen a type of social and political heartache many would like to forget. With this in mind, it’s also been a year filled with strong female voices speaking out against racism, sexism and all types of discrimination white nationalism perpetuates. We, at A Women’s Thing, look to these women’s writings as a source of inspiration through what they teach us about how to persist in the face of tyranny, how to heal our pain and how to rally together to make our culture more accepting. These 6 2016 feminist books should not be missed—check them out!
While our society is coming to embrace women’s free sexual expression with a partner, we still tend to keep mum about self-pleasure. In our Play issue, we shared the history of the vibrator and the woman-oriented sex shop; for the Body issue, we thought masturbation warranted its own exploration.
When the topic of puberty comes up in discussion, most everyone has their fair share of embarrassing stories ranging from how their parents awkwardly gave them “the talk” to how they came to realize that their once-bare, odorless armpits morphed into a fuzzy, unknown place with a peculiar smell. And for girls, waking up to bloodstained underwear can be a panic-inducing and intense introduction to the many other hormonal changes patiently waiting to manifest.