Femslash has a completely different ideology, because it’s almost exclusively written and consumed by the community it portrays. Unlike a straight girl writing about two boys having sex (and I guarantee that they’re two conventionally attractive white boys whose female love interests have been deemed either worthy of death or asexual by the fandom), femslash is written by those whose identities and personal narratives are reflected in the stories themselves. Maybe the writer of that erotic scene hasn’t had sex with a girl yet, but damn, she has thought about it a lot. That queer author has two girls fall in love with each other in her story even if they’re straight in the original work because two girls falling in love means something to her and to so many people like her, and it’s important that she sees herself in a work of media whose canon forgets she exists. One of the great frustrations of LGBTQ media is the fact that so little of our representations end up coming from LGBTQ-identified creators, and thus we see inaccurate portrayals with limited diversity. Femslash exists because we were sick of being told we didn’t exist, so we wrote ourselves into their stories.
—Kate from Autostraddle advocates for more ladies loving ladies in fanfiction
Some people love to shut down people who talk about trans and intersex issues by saying that they’re “only 1% of the population” and thus can be ignored since they “aren’t statistically significant enough.”
"[My editor] said you should write more like Hemingway. I wrote back that was impossible, I did not have the experiences of Hemingway which I considered to be not basically human, or spiritually enriching. My experiences were not primarily Fishing, Fighting, and Fucking."
In the age of “leaning in” and “having it all,” the superwoman model for female living persists with a vengeance. Feminism is supposed to be a refuge from all that perfection-seeking, but even there, it’s easy to feel bested, lured by things that are bad for women but great for entertainment: Cue your guilty dancing every time “Blurred Lines” comes on the radio.
In her new essay collection, Bad Feminist, out August 5, author Roxane Gay wrestles with this conundrum. “When I drive to work, I listen to thuggish rap at a very loud volume, even though the lyrics are degrading to women and offend me to my core,” she writes. “I am mortified by my music choices.”
Gay—literature professor, novelist, prolificTwitterer, and blogger who imparts life wisdom couched in cooking advice—is best known for her deeply personal essays about everything from politics to pop culture. Most of the writings in this collection have been published at various outlets, including at The Rumpus, where Gay is essays editor.
Bad Feminist reads like an autobiography, segueing from elements of Gay’s life—her Nebraska upbringing, her Haitian-American family, her cooking—into smart critiques of everything from reproductive rights to the Sweet Valley High andTwilight books. It’s a mix of the somber and the hilarious; Gay aptly quotes both Judith Butler and the Ying Yang Twins. “I am flawed and human,” Gay writes. “I am messy.” And capital-F feminism could do with a little more messiness.
I caught up with Gay a few weeks after the release of her latest novel, An Untamed State, as she prepped for back-to-back summer book tours, to discuss her survival tactics for social awkwardness, her Scrabble obsession, and why she never shows her writing to her parents.
Feminist porn champions the feminist ethos and the emotional aspect involved in sexuality. It’s not about capitalizing on a product or commodifying a woman’s body. Think of it as authentic pornography, free of directors yelling, “1, 2, 3, cum!”
And feminist porn isn’t just for women or made only by women. People of all genders create, watch and enjoy feminist porn — it’s not solely a women’s movement.
According to Madison, in fact, there is a significant rise in the trans community’s involvement, with more transmen and transwomen picking up the camera and participating. Young would “like to see more men involved” but finds all the recent mainstream attention very encouraging.
This article is a fantastic rundown of what feminist pornography is from the perspective of someone who had never heard of it before.
Read the book that helped start this conversation, The Feminist Porn Book—if you purchase it from the Feminist Press’s website for today onlythere will be free US. shipping
and remember that nothing is ever, 100% good or evil
“Growing up, I didn’t read novels by women. It’s not that I didn’t want to. It’s almost like I didn’t think that I needed to or, I guess, I didn’t know that I needed to. I was perfectly happy in a world contained by men. I adopted the posture of the brooding male as my own. I was Salinger, I was Kerouac, I was any male protagonist in a novel that one of my boyfriends recommended. I didn’t know that there was a specific female sadness so I was content with relating to a generalized one. And in a way, reading these novels was less of a way to relate and more of a way to learn how to be the type of girl that these male novelists liked. One of my first ambitions wasn’t to be a writer – it was to be a writer’s muse.”—
“A white college student from a private college goes into a poor neighborhood and volunteers four hours a week and that’s considered exemplary. [Whereas] a poor kid who lives in that community and takes care of all the kids in that neighborhood four hours every day is not seen as a volunteer.”—Patricia Hill Collins (via ethiopienne)
“Because we don’t speak about sex, there is no socially acceptable language surrounding it. So the language of porn has jumped in to fill that space, and that’s an issue, because in a male-dominated industry the language of porn is all too often male-generated. The person who coined the term “finger blasting” didn’t have a vagina. The person who coined the term, “getting your ass railed” never got their ass railed. Pounding, hammering, banging… And language matters, because when the only language you have available is abusive and one-directional, in terms of having things done to you, it creates a very weird view of how sex works.”—Porn Is Dead, Long Live Sex | VICE United States (via sinshine)
"We write what we know, and this is what we do know," says Ana Castillo — novelist, essayist, poet, teacher, truth-teller, and, as she has come to be known, one of the first generation of highly visible Chicana writers.
It reminds me of the “bike to work” movement. That is also portrayed as white, but in my city more than half of the people on bike are not white. I was once talking to a white activist who was photographing “bike commuters” and had only pictures of white people with the occasional “Black professional” I asked her why she didn’t photograph the delivery people, construction workers etc. … ie. the Black and [Latin@] and Asian people… and she mumbled something about trying to “improve the image of biking” then admitted that she didn’t really see them as part of the “green movement” since they “probably have no choice” –
I was so mad I wanted to quit working on the project she and I were collaborating on.
So, in the same way when people in a poor neighborhood grow food in their yards … it’s just being poor– but when white people do it they are saving the earth or something.
”—comment left on the Racialious blog post “Sustainable Food & Privilege: Why is Green always White (and Male and Upper-Class)” (via meggannn)
“The fact that colonialism is so central to science-fiction, and that science-fiction is so central to our own pop culture, suggests that the colonial experience remains more tightly bound up with our political life and public culture than we sometimes like to think. Sci-fi, then, doesn’t just demonstrate future possibilities, but future limits—the extent to which dreams of what we’ll do remain captive to the things we’ve already done.”—Noah Berlatsky’s Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People (via gaywitchesforabortions)
She remained true to her art but she also knew that the politics of struggle gave energy to her art; she was born on the other side of the colour line, but she built bridges across it. Speaking truth to power was the real power of her art.
She may have passed on, but her 90 years among us were a blessing. Her presence and energy are forever alive in my memory. She remains a kindred spirit for, beyond the writing and activism, she was an unwavering supporter of writing in African languages.
It was our first one-on-one encounter, but it was as though we had known each other all our lives.
”—From one treasured voice to another: Kenyan novelist and theorist Ngugi wa Thiong’o on how Nadine Gordimer inspired, supported, and influenced him, two distinct authors with shared histories of their books being banned in South Africa. Read his entire testimony on Gordimer’s life, and how the two met in a police car, here.
“I love America more than any other country in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one’s own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright.”—James Baldwin (via thefemcritique)
“If you’re telling a non-black person about something racist that happened to you, make sure you are not bitter. Don’t complain. Be forgiving. If possible, make it funny. Most of all, do not be angry. Black people are not supposed to be angry about racism. Otherwise you get no sympathy. This applies only for white liberals, by the way. Don’t even bother telling a white conservative about anything racist that happened to you. Because the conservative will tell you that YOU are the real racist and your mouth will hang open in confusion.”—Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (via daniellemertina)
I think that if I were a very good swimmer, I would be proud to be so, but being proud of being a reader, in my case, is like being proud you have feet. I don’t feel much pride when, on the way to somebody’s house for dinner, I stuff several books into my handbag for…well, for what? Can I really not manage a brief subway ride without textual support? Is that normal? Are there other people who, when watching a documentary set in a prison, secretly think, as I have, Wish I had all that time to read?
What I’m describing is a condition that might be termed “pathological reader syndrome.” My acquisition and digestion of books is, to be frank, absurd. Just get a Kindle, everyone advised me a few years ago. Yet here I am, packing for a short flight between London and Belfast, with my Kindle, certainly, but also with four or five hardback books jammed into my hand luggage, just in case. Just in case we happen to fly through a wrinkle in time in which an hour expands to accommodate infinity.
~Zadie Smith ponders her textual addiction at Oprah magazine
Because I think we can do a lot for ourselves if we can really begin to come together and figure out how to love ourselves and each other better and believe that we’re enough and that we’re worthy. For me, that is the work every single day, to believe that I’m enough and that I’m worthy.
Everyone is always pretty concerned that men accused of sexual misconduct will have their lives ruined, but it looks like these guys aren’t just avoiding the many consequences of those accusations – they’re actually flourishing!
Why is it – in a culture purporting to take allegations of sexual assault and harassment seriously – that victims suffer more social punishment than their accused attackers?
~ at the Guardian, the great Jessica Valenti wonders why society shames victims of sexual assault more than it shames their alleged attackers