Category Archives: feminism

January 4, 2014, 7:37 pm

AHA Day 3: Remember the Women

marriedPartly because I was blogging yesterday’s panel and doing a lot of important business, I missed the morning digital history panels I had planned to attend. I then blew off the afternoon DH panel to go to Generations of Women’s History, which was pretty full. Of women. The one I was sitting next to whispered “I have counted about ten men here.” (Um -HMMM. And three of them were gay.)

As you can see from my Storified account below, I did have a few problems with the panel (see tweets below about the dominance of a heteronormative trajectory in some of the reflections.) I actually was called on, and did ask the question, about how the panel might have looked different had it included a lesbian, but it didn’t gain much traction.

That said, the panel had many high points. Darlene Clark Hine and Crystal Feimster were fantastic on the project of contemporary African-American women’s…

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November 6, 2013, 10:54 am

Too Busy to Blog: Feminism Around the Web

Mercury Welcomes Brittney Griner

Today’s “It” Girl, Brittney Griner

You know those days you are too busy to blog? This is one of them. But to celebrate Chirlane McCray, the first African-American lesbian feminist to become the First Lady of New York, how about some feminist shorts?

  • @Crunkfeminist CollectiveDe-Tangling Racism: On White Women and Black Hair. Love this piece, in part because when I was at Zenith young African-American women in their first year used to report the offensive obsession that newly-acquired white acquaintances had with touching their hair. Whenever I brought it up to administrators,however, they claimed it was an urban myth. Apparently not. And, according to this piece, white women are now obsessed with their obsession with African-American women’s hair. Go figure.
  • @Elixher: Brittney Griner says no to WNBA’s…

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September 20, 2013, 11:47 am

When Tennis Was King: An Interview With Historian Susan Ware

gamesetmatchToday is the fortieth anniversary of the Battle of the Sexes, Billie Jean King’s legendary 1973 victory at the Astrodome over former tennis champion-turned-hustler Bobby Riggs. In Game, Set Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports (University of North Carolina, 2011), Susan Ware, biographer and women’s historian, used the match to tell a bigger story about the role of feminism in sports and the role of sports in popularizing feminist ideals about women’s equality. Here’s a segment she did on MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki on Sunday, September 15.

Susan and I had the opportunity to see the women’s semi-final matches at the U.S. Open this year. At this prestigious tournament,  women’s prize money has been equal for almost four decades because of King’s leadership in women’s professional tennis, and (more…)

August 13, 2013, 4:24 pm

The Five Big Lies About Campus Rape


From Project Unbreakable, encouraging healing from sexual assault through art.

I was reading Frank Bruni’s New York Times column, “Tackling the Roots of Rape” this morning and had two thoughts. One is that it is progress for a man to be interviewing a man about how to prevent sexual assault. Too much anti-rape activism is focused on lecturing women on how to protect themselves and too little on the largest potential pool of rapists and their destructive ideas about sex. Furthermore, men talking to men about rape, cutting through the myths about sexuality and masculinity that enable sexual violence, is an effective strategy.

My second thought was how glad I am that I no longer teach at a residential campus. (more…)

July 13, 2013, 5:02 pm

After the Dinner Party: An Evening With Judy Chicago

999028_10201725809293616_2040513223_nOne of the nice things about moving back to New York City is that every time you turn around something interesting is happening.  So it was that I found myself in the Rubin Lobby, a huge glass enclosure at the Brooklyn Museum, on an exceedingly warm evening. Institutional air conditioning was more than welcome.Jane Gerhard, an author in the book series I co-edit, was there with Judy Chicago to do a book launch for the latest volume in our series, The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism (University of Georgia Press: 2013).

It is rare that a historian gets to share the stage with someone she has  just written a book about; although as Jane pointed out, her book is really about the iconic status of The Dinner Party (on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum) within popular feminism. Anyway, Judy Chicago does a great job speaking for herself.  ”What I like…

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June 11, 2013, 10:22 am

A Dinner Party with Pussy Riot and Judy Chicago

931371_10151495735323732_753159410_nTwo members of the Moscow-based feminist punk rock collective Pussy Riot have been spotted in New York City in the last week.  One of their destinations was the Landmark Sunshine Theater on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where they took in the premiere of the HBO documentary, “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.” Since members of the collective wear neon balaclavas when they perform publicly, the celebrity crowd — which included Patti Smith — did not initially know that they were there.  According to The New York Times, the pair also hit “the feminist bookstore Bluestockings on the Lower East Side,” met ”with leaders of Occupy Wall Street and receiving a guided tour of  “The Dinner Party,” Judy Chicago’s feminist installation at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.” (more…)

April 24, 2013, 9:26 pm

Report From The Post-Feminist Mystique

514_400x400_NoPeelIf you are not a subscriber to The Nation you may have missed author Deborah Copaken Kogan’s “My So-Called Post-Feminist Lit Life.” Riffing off the title of the  TV series about adolescent female angst that introduced us to Claire Danes back in 1994, Kogan rips the lid off what it means to be a female author in a literary world where men rule.

Kogan’s reflection follows her nomination for the Orange Prize, a British literary award given only to women, and is a reflection on the perennial (male) complaint that the time for “women’s” anything has passed. Because feminism finished the work — and anyway, if it’s for women it’s got to be second rate, right? Unlike things for men, like, say, Augusta National, the Joint Chiefs of Staff or President of the United States.

Revealing that she has not yet been allowed to pick a title for one of her four books (Shuttergirl, a 2002 memoir of…

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March 17, 2013, 10:29 am

The Feminine Mystique @ 50: A New School Symposium

Ephemera-I-ChooseBack in February, we had a two day symposium at my new intellectual home, the New School for Public Engagement. Since it is women’s history month, I thought I would make the edited tapes of the event available to the rest of you, with the events featuring Tenured Radical embedded in this post.

Here is a discussion of the documentary “Some American Feminists,” led by my colleague Tracyanne Williams, and shown courtesy of Women Make Movies (Hat tip to another colleague, WMM board member Michelle Materre, for making this possible.) Here is our first panel, “House/Wife: The Feminine Mystique at Home,” moderated by my colleague and co-organizer Laura Auricchio, which situated women in twentieth century kitchens designed for modern family life.

Our keynote speaker was Susan Ware, general editor of American National Biography, with an introduction from yours truly:

The first…

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March 3, 2013, 8:55 pm

We Don’t Need Another Hero: One Woman’s Disabled History

2235_regHarilyn Rousso, Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013), 224 pp., paper $24.95.

From its title onward, New York activist Harilyn Rousso’s Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back argues against the American romance with parables about everyday heroism and triumph over adversity. Instead, this book asks: what would a public that is welcoming to disabled people actually look like? An American Studies Association panel I attended last fall, riffing off of Dan Savage’s It Gets Better YouTube campaign for GLBT youth, put it this way: what if “it” doesn’t get better? What if there is no cure, no triumphant overcoming? What if the body you have is the body you get? Can we imagine instead narratives about rich and full lives with disability?

These are crucial questions, and it is is why you …

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February 22, 2013, 10:59 am

Why The Feminine Mystique? Why Now?

Today and tomorrow we are hosting a symposium at The New School for Public Engagement in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Betty Friedan’s popular feminist blockbuster, The Feminine Mystique (1963). A gathering of multiple generations of feminists in four panels and a keynote, the event was sparked by undergraduates at Parsons School of Design. These young women, who were over 25 years away from being born when the book first came out, planned an exhibit (which opened today and will be up until March 5) inspired by Friedan’s ideas as a class project. One thing led to another, and suddenly we have An Event, with a keynote delivered by feminist historian Susan Ware, who published a wonderful book on Billie Jean King and Title IX in 2011. See our fancy announcement in The Grey Lady here.

We who…

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