Breaking the Waves

Tracking feminism through generations.

From the start, then, participants in the second wave practiced the sort of dismissal and ingratitude of which they’d accuse later generations. Suspicion, rebuke, and hostility were commonplace among women who might otherwise be allies. “Here are the radicals, wanting to be heard,” Lear wrote in the Times article. “Out there are the mothers’ clubbers, waiting to be alienated.” In journals like Notes from the First Year out of New York, and Chicago’s Voice of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Vol. 1, feminists decried the January march as “futile,” “naive,” and too “moderate,” though it’s unclear what, exactly, they would have done instead. Tellingly, when they were put on the spot by disappointed participants who responded to their calls for more concrete action, they “missed an opportunity to do some valuable organizing” (Voice) and “were not really prepared to rechannel this disgust” (Notes).

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Charlotte Shane — Bookforum

Under the Hollywood Gaslight


Rose McGowan.

McGowan can’t be separated from the reality of an activism hierarchy, which privileges certain women over others. “If you’re someone like Meryl Streep or Oprah Winfrey or someone like that, you are in a really good place to speak out,” says Zeisler. McGowan, whose relevance was waning as far back as ten years ago, is not. Add to that her anarchistic approach to the #MeToo movement as a whole— attacking not only abusers but celebrity activists like Alyssa Milano and Streep who don’t fit her narrative—and she becomes a precarious voice. After McGowan called out Time’s Up activists for not supporting her memoir or her TV series, Amanda Hess wrote in The New York Times, “in Hollywood, where product and cause are inextricable, it makes a kind of sense.”

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Soraya Roberts — Hazlitt

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Simone de Beauvoir’s #MeToo


This dissatisfaction has arisen on the basis of moral objections to particular actions in particular situations. So to Colosimo’s claim that #MeToo feminism promotes a view of women as “victims and helpless objects of male desire rather than free agents” we need to ask two questions: first, if in other moral contexts free agency involves the freedom to denounce behaviour that we consider harmful, what’s different about this one? Second, what is this ‘male desire’, such that women are victims of it?

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Kate Kirkpatrick — IAI

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Today’s needull discusses why Wonder Woman’s theme is not the usual feminism.

The story of Wonder Woman, far from being a feminist fable, is actually the archetypal tragedy of the goddess who falls in love with a mortal man who must die while she lives on immortally. It’s a version of Eos and Tithonus in classical mythology—and of Arwen and Aragorn in Lord of the Rings. There is also, dare I say, a Christian theme. “They do not deserve you,” Diana’s Amazon mother warns her daughter before she goes off with Trevor to save mankind from more ghastly slaughter than even the historical World War I entailed. The film’s arch-villain, the war-god Ares, dueling with words with Diana in a fashion that can remind readers of the Gospels of Jesus’s verbal duels with Satan in the desert, reminds her that while he is the powerful tempter, it is human beings themselves, with their weakness, greed, vanity, and murderousness, who have brought on their own self-destruction. Like Christ, Diana makes the choice for humankind anyway. She sees that men and women, despite their capacity for monstrousness, are also capable of selfless love. Her own human lover, Trevor, sets the example: He sacrifices his life to bring at least a temporary end to the destruction.

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Charlotte Allen — First Things

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The Man Trap


The trials of modern men.

As these children grow older, boys will often go to punishing lengths to prove their masculinity to each other, whereas girls enjoy a much wider gamut of acceptable behaviour. “If we’re keeping score about who has it worse, girls actually have it much better when it comes to the definition of femininity,” says Lisa Damour, a psychologist who works closely with adolescents. “You can be a tomboy and that’s cool. You can be into make-up and that’s cool. But boys operate in an exceedingly narrow margin for what’s considered masculine.” When boys stray from this script, they typically get bullied or abused. Their status as men is at once so valuable and so precarious that it must be won over and over again.

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Emily Bobrow — 1843

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My First Virtual Reality Groping


A very interesting needull. This gives us a glimpse of the future. A future where people would live in virtual reality and laws would be needed to regulate life inside this society.

Remember that little digression I told you about how the hundred foot drop looked so convincing? Yeah. Guess what. The virtual groping feels just as real.Of course, you’re not physically being touched, just like you’re not actually one hundred feet off the ground, but it’s still scary as hell.

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Jordan Belamire — Medium

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The Comic Strip that Accidentally Created a Branch of Feminist Critical Theory


This is a very interesting article I found on Pricenomics.

“I only go to a movie if it satisfies three basic requirements.

One, it has to have at least two women in it, who,

two, talk to each other about,

three, something besides a man.”

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The women history forgot


Women achievers have been written out of pages of history time and again. Today’s needull talks about and looks at various instances when women with equal credentials and achievements were not given recognition at par with their men counterparts. I sincerely hope that things have changed for better.

That’s not an accident. Many historians deliberately washed these women’s names and deeds from the official records—their hands guided by distaste, disgust, dismissiveness, or a combination of all three. Consider Ireland’s pirate queen Grace O’Malley. While she’s since gleaned a speck of fame, she was, as one history magazine put it, “ignored by contemporary chroniclers.” They deemed her “a woman who hath imprudently passed the part of womanhood.” There is no mention of her in the country’s famous and lengthy tomes of history, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, even though she routed the English from Irish waters and met Queen Elizabeth twice. For centuries, she didn’t exist. Much of what is known about her comes from her own surviving correspondence, or Irish state papers. She is more legend than woman.

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Lauren McKeon — Hazlitt

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