In the last few weeks, almost 200 students – almost all of them female – at Tottenville High School in Staten Island, New York have been given detention over dress code violations. 

Something’s very wrong here.

Ask American women and children: poverty rates have shown little improvement. One in five US children live in poverty, a woman still makes $10,800 less than a man every year, and American paychecks are down to 1995 levels.

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"One male friend said that I couldn’t do it because my husband’s business partners would see, and one asked how my sons would feel when they grow up [they are seven and nine]. But both arguments were about the men in my life, and I thought they weren’t reason enough to stop me as an artist, a woman and a feminist."

United front: breasts without the airbrush »

Photos: Laura Dodsworth

Although 99% of American women have used birth control, most women don’t know what should be covered by health insurance.

A handy guide.

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“While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.

‘I was raped in my own bed,’ Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. ‘I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.’”
“It doesn’t much matter what line of argument you take as a woman. If you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It’s not what you say that prompts it—it’s the fact that you are saying it.”
— Mary Beard, speaking at the British Museum in February. Rebecca Mead profiles the Cambridge academic and “troll slayer” in this week’s issue. (via newyorker)

(via newyorker)

“Don’t get too high and mighty, ladies. Don’t step out of line. Don’t do anything to upset or disappoint men who feel entitled to your time, bodies, affection or attention. Your bared body can always be used as a weapon against you. You bared body can always be used to shame and humiliate you. Your bared body is at once desired and loathed.”

What I’d love to see is this new crop of celebrity feminists strongly coming out in support of social justice issues: using their newfound (or quiet but long-standing) politics to create change influenced by that gender justice lens.

Jessica Valenti: Beyoncé leads the way for other women »

“In 1986, Gloria Steinem wrote that if men got periods, they ‘would brag about how long and how much’: that boys would talk about their menstruation as the beginning of their manhood, that there would be ‘gifts, religious ceremonies’ and sanitary supplies would be ‘federally funded and free’. I could live without the menstrual bragging – though mine is particularly impressive – and ceremonial parties, but seriously: Why aren’t tampons free?”

jessicavalenti: We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.

Read more »

“Those boys took my body and they broke it. And so, when I ate, I got to make my body into what I wanted it to be, which is a fortress”

Roxane Gay, “the bad feminist”, is 39 now, and over the last 18 years she has published countless pieces of fiction and non-fiction, only to find herself described in recent months as an overnight sensation. This tickles her; she thinks of herself as a shy person, and when you praise her work, a self-conscious hand rises to cover her eyes and smile.

» Read the full interview