Summer round-up: Feminism takes center stage

21 Aug

To help break in the new site, let’s do a quick review of this season. The summer of 2012 has been a hotbed of soaring temperatures and wildfires, but also of searing sociopolitical debates and shocking issues that concern even the most conservative feminists. Here is a quick round-up of some of my personal favorites.

1.

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic. Slaughter paints a compelling portrait of the state of gender (in)equality in America’s professional spheres.  If you are in academia, business, politics, or are all engaged in the world outside your darkened cave, this article concerns you.

2.

The “Who Needs Feminism?” campaign, started at Duke University. This grassroots campaign solicits people’s opinions on the importance of feminism in their lives. It has a strong internet presence that has created some serious backlash, criticism, and outright sexist outbursts.

3.

Although not directly related to women’s roles in academia, Todd Akin’s debacle of an interview is a telling reflection of current issues of trust in and respect for women. If you haven’t watched the video yet, do yourself the favor.

Favorite response to Akin’s comments #1: Amy Davidson of The New Yorker.

Favorite response #2: Eve Ensler, award-winning playwright and activist, in The Huffington Post.

For me, the striking commonality in these three media events is the lack of education on women’s issues. It seems that the public has a vague sense that sexism is bad and gender equality is good, but that’s where the American attention span disintegrates. To make it simple: the understanding of feminist issues in this country SUCKS.  Major backlash to the “Who Needs Feminism?” campaign seems to be in response to the bra burners of the sixties, while Akin’s theory on female reproductive biology is apparently based on the authority of some medical magician. You only need to scratch the surface of each of the three media events above to realize that there are some serious education needs that must be addressed.

On that cheerful note…

Until next time, folks.

– Danielle

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