Tag Archives: #feminism

Quote of the Day

11 Oct

So no, I am not Troy Davis. I am not a slut. I am not an occupier of Wall Street or any street. The fights are my fights, but the current methods and analyses are not mine.

Stephanie Gilmore, via Racialicious

Being a Boy Feminist

15 Aug


(Thanks to Chloe for sharing this!)

What Mr. Weiner’s weiner (maybe) says about feminism

8 Jun

“In five decades, we’ve moved from the pre-feminist mantra about the sexual peccadilloes of married men — Boys will be boys — to post-feminist resignation: Men are dogs. And there’s no point in feminists wasting their ire at women being objectified because many women these days seem all too ready to play along.

We’ve traded places with France. There, after D.S.K., a spirited feminism has blossomed, an urge to stop covering up seamy incidents of droit du seigneur. Now we’re the world-weary ones, with little energy to try to reform relations between the sexes: Is there any point, really, in trying to fix men?”

Maureen Dowd

REVIEW: Bridesmaids

1 Jun

I went and saw Bridesmaids last night.  It’s a type of film I only intermittently enjoy, but the web buzz was enough to get me out to a theater.  Even my favorite mainstream feminist film critics gave it resounding praise, with Dana Stevens even writing,

Hallelujah and praise the Lord for Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids (Universal), a movie we’ve been awaiting for what feels like forever. At long last, we have a smart comedy with dumb jokes—a giddy feminist manifesto that responds to the perennially circulated head-scratcher “Can women really be funny?” with a whoopee-cushion fart. I loved virtually every minute of Bridesmaids and forgave its few missteps the way you forgive your best friend for being a good-hearted klutz.

I saw pieces on whether or not it was a feminist film all over the place: feministing, zunguzungu, The AV Club, Salon, Alternet, The American Prospect.  It seemed that this was not just another piece of pop culture that was getting coverage because of its ubiquity (Twilight, Transformers) that my friends were seeing merely to debunk.  This was something they were embracing and adopting as their own.  After two weeks, I gave in and bought a ticket.

My first reaction to the film was disappointment.  Was I missing something?  Was I a bad feminist??

Continue reading

Letter From the Editor: Angry Feminists

27 May

Yesterday, we published a rebuttal from Tom, who wanted feminists to calm down and chat reasonably.

We were happy to publish his post, mostly because we’re interested in talking with everyone we can about what feminism means to different people. As Tom’s post shows, lots of people think feminism means anger, and we appreciate and understand where that comes from.

BUT. But, dear Tom, that’s the reason we named this blog Mislabeled. In our minds, Mislabeled tries damn hard to be reasonable, to chat calmly, to give everyone a place to weigh in. And besides, we’re not always angry. We’re actually pretty happy people! We like puppies, and Hump Day, and Fancy things, and we write about them all the time.

When we are pissed off, (and we admit, it happens) we try to channel our anger through sass and sarcasm. The world can be frustrating, and we have a right to be frustrated, to relay that frustration. But we don’t’ want to open our mouths just to see people tune out and walk away. Continue reading

“Weddings. Minus the insanity, plus the marriage”

26 May

I spent last weekend at a lakehouse in Georgia, jumping off docks and tossing Bocce balls. It was a great vacation.

The 25-guest house was the venue for a bachelor/bachelorette weekend getaway at the lake – designed to let the bridal party get to know each other a couple months before the wedding over sunshine, drinks, tons of food and lots of water sports. Needless to say, it was a blast.

One of the best parts of the weekend was hearing the group recount memories from the weddings of others in the group – simple, outdoor affairs with vegetarian meals and live music by this New Orleans brass band – vintage dresses and ring settings. It was all so romantic.

I’d like to say here that I am not a girl that has always dreamed about her wedding day. Sure, I’ve thought about it, but it is definitely not an aspect of life that I have obsessed over*. I know all about the wedding industrial complex and have talked it to death. That’s exactly why it was so refreshing to be amongst married and soon-to-be married couples talk about their weddings in a totally simple, romantic, practical, and smart way.

Enter A Practical Wedding.   Continue reading

INTERVIEW: A mother talks gender roles, child-rearing, and feminism

7 May

For this Mother’s Day Eve post, I interviewed my cousin Megan, who will be celebrating her very first Mother’s Day with adorable baby Kai Alexander and husband Jeremy.

MISLABELED:     How has motherhood made you more or less appreciative of the female form?

MEGAN: I have become more aware of what my body is capable of – being able to create and give birth to a child as well as to breastfeed that child has given me a whole new respect for my body.

MISLABELED:     What motivated you and Jeremy’s decision to wait until Kai was born to find out his sex?

MEGAN: A large part of the motivation for me was I didn’t want to have a lot of boy or girl themes to the nursery and all our baby’s clothes. I don’t mind him having clothes that are obviously for a boy but I didn’t want that to be solely what he had. I also loved the idea of being surprised at birth and just loving this baby for who they were regardless of the gender.

Continue reading

Consciousness-raising: Is it really real?

26 Apr

New York Times’ columnist Stanley Fish writes an excellent piece about consciousness-raising and how our brains deal with opening up to be sympathetic to different groups, be they racial or socioeconomic or whatever. Here’s the part that really got us:

And I say this even though each movement on the intellectual left — feminism, postmodernism, critical race theory, critical legal studies — believes that the thesis generates a politics of liberation. It doesn’t; it doesn’t generate anything. Consciousness-raising has always been a false lure, although changes in consciousness are always possible. It is just that you can’t design them or will them into being; there is no method that will free us from the conceptual limitations within which we make invidious distinctions and perform acts of blindness. The best we can do is wait for a tree to talk to us.

BONUS: There’s a ton of Wizard of Oz references in this piece, so maybs you should read it just for those….

This post is brought to you by Rachel, who may be in love with Mr. Fish and/or liberalism.

The Real Bull Honkey on Campus Sexual Assault

5 Apr

Listen all you crazy loud-mouth feminists: all this jibber jabber about the ‘rape epidemic’ on college campuses in America is total bull honkey invented by a bunch of sluts who are blaming innocent men for women’s deplorable, alcohol-induced self-degradation.

April Fools? Please? Continue reading

I got no strings on me

22 Mar

Picture this: a fat five-year-old with a frizzy mane of curly hair, strapped into the backseat of a dinky Toyota, shouting “I’m sayin’ I’m not ready for any person, place, or thing to try and pull the reigns in on meeeeeeeeeeee! Sooooooooo! Goodbyeeeee….”.

It must have been hilarious for my mother, who, to appease my young musical taste, was relegated to only  listening to Pittsburgh’s Oldies music station. (She also taught me to love and sing along to nearly every Billy Joel and Elton John song- shout out to Uptown Girl, my other fave at the time!)

I didn’t really know what decade I was in; my favorite musicians included Lesley Gore, the Four Seasons, Aretha, the Shirelles (damn, I should have just made a playlist, eh?), and many more regulars on 94.5, but by far, Different Drum stands out as an all-time favorite song of mine and one that speaks to my development as a feminist and the evolution of feminism in America.

The 60’s of course were a turbulent time, in which society was learning to fully realize its laws.  On paper, men and women, black and white were equal and free, recognized citizens of the USA.  But old habits die hard. Soon those pesky social norms that kept inequality alive and well became the target of second wave feminism and the civil rights movement, both of which have come to characterize the time period.

Different Drum, first performed by Linda Ronstadt in 1967, can be understood as a pop culture representation of the sexual revolution, the movement coinciding with second wave feminism, which began the slow process of allowing women the freedom to enact their ‘equality.’ Different Drum’s lyrics portray a fiercely independent woman who refuses to compromise her dreams for the sake of a man, a woman who refuses to abide by the tired old relationship standards that would confine her.

In my opinion, one of the best things about this song (besides that fucking ill harpsichord solo!) is that it was originally written and performed by men, yet only became a hit once being picked up by the Stone Poneys.  I think this small fact has a lot of relevance – if you think about Different Drum coming from a man’s perspective the lyrics are representative of traditional gender norms and assumptions — they portray a man who must free himself from a clingy, self-conscious, weepy woman who wants to condemn him to marital doom.  That this song climbed to the top of the charts when sung by Linda is a testament to  growing acceptance of female empowerment in this country and a growing willingness to redefine gendered boundaries.

Ok, now I’d like to return to the aforementioned dirty Toyota. What meaning did this song have for a little girl in the early 1990s?  When I listened to Different Drum, I heard the echoing voices of the women’s movement telling me, “You can be anything you want — don’t let anyone or anything stop you!”  This message briefly resulted in a fantasy of becoming the first female Steeler (black and yellow! black and yellow!), but mostly, it encouraged me to dream of how awesome I would be when I grew up and inspired me to achieve such awesomeness all on my own.

So, happy Women’s History Month and thanks to Linda and the many other ladies whose influences lead me to a life fueled by pure girl power.

This post is brought to you by Alexa, who hopes her five-year-old self would be proud of her first blog post!

Final thougths on feminism vs. chivalry

7 Feb

Mislabeled is a relatively new blog. We are still figuring out the nooks and crannies of who we are and how we blog.

But if there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that feminists are not all alike; ditto strong women in general. We all have different ideas about feminism, how it can be discussed, and what it means for our daily lives.

It is in that spirit that we were thrilled to post Kendra’s thoughts on chivalry. I speak from personal experience when I say that Kendra is a strong and smart woman. I value her opinion, and I am glad to give her a platform, even while I personally do not agree with everything her post says.

Still, we wanted to be able to post an opposing view to further flush out some thoughts on chivalry. Enjoy.

This post is brought to you by Rachel.

Despite my vagina, I can pay for myself

7 Feb

I’ve said it before, but I’ll preface my reaction to Kendra’s chivalry post with this: I’m a feminist. I have no problem at all with respect and kind gestures towards other people.

What I do have a problem with is the idea that I deserve that treatment from men simply because I have a vagina. Sure, if I’m walking into a building behind someone else, it’s great if they hold the door open for me. I do that for people all the time. It’s common courtesy. But having a guy rush up to open the door for me is totally unnecessary. If that’s your thing, go with it.

I can pay for my own dinner. I get that the idea of a man paying for a woman’s meals has been romanticized, but honestly, I prefer the idea of a man respecting my wish to pay for my food with the money that I worked hard to earn.

The whole threat-of-rape issue that makes women feel as though they cannot walk at night by themselves is a sad truth in our society. But that doesn’t mean that I always need an escort home. The idea that women are the only ones at risk if they walk home by themselves is insulting to me. Guys can get mugged, assaulted, raped. Why can’t we just all look out for each other?

I don’t think there is such a thing as “necessity of chivalry.” I think there is a need for the respect and common courtesy that I mentioned earlier. We can all benefit from that, regardless of gender.

This post is brought to you by Dawn.

A stronger label

19 Jan

I’m Kelsey.

I’m another roommate of the critically acclaimed Rachel and Tara. And I’ll be honest. Before I moved into our group house, I didn’t know that people like the Mislabeled writers still actually existed. At least not under the age of 50.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – I think women should have the same rights as men and all that stuff, but really? You’re a feminist? Come on, that’s so 1960’s. Last time I checked I could vote, own property, and earn more than my boyfriend.  So excuse my ignorance.

But after having spent a considerable amount of time talking with my three fiery, feisty, and feminist roommates, I have to admit that I agree with most, if not all, of the beliefs and causes that fall under the category of the “f word.”

So why is it that I still can never see myself embracing, personally claiming, the feminist title?

The truth is, you all are mislabeled. Feminism carries a stigma, and I think it’s time for a brand refresh. Third-wave, schmird-wave; I’m talking something completely new and different here. Let’s start by getting that pesky “fem” prefix out of there; we’re alienating those critical, and I mean critical, male allies!

Next, focus in on the real goal: equality of both genders. No one superior, no one inferior, just different human beings living and working together. And what do you get? Gendequalism! Now, try that one on for size! Kind of a mouth full I’ll admit, but it’s really only four letters longer than feminism, and I have a feeling this is really going to catch on.

So spread the word! You make the buttons, and I’ll make the t-shirts – in men’s and women’s sizes for once.

This post is brought to you by Kelsey. Follow her on Twitter — @kelcoh.

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