"The girl and the woman, in their new, individual unfolding, will only in passing be imitators of male behavior and misbehavior and repeaters of male professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions, it will become obvious that women were going through the abundance and variation of those (often ridiculous) disguises just so that they could purify their own essential nature and wash out the deforming influences of the other sex. Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully, and more confidently, must surely have become riper and more human in their depths than light, easygoing man, who is not pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of any bodily fruit and who, arrogant and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity of woman, carried in her womb through all her suffering and humiliation, will come to light when she has stripped off the conventions of mere femaleness in the transformations of her outward status, and those men who do not yet feel it approaching will be astonished by it. Someday (and even now, especially in the countries of northern Europe, trustworthy signs are already speaking and shining), someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only life and reality: the female human being." Rilke
Awesome. Amanda Hess comments on Lena’s interview with Playboy and the reasons Lena would prefer the heat she takes for her body to the judgments and commentary that more model-y bodies receive.
“If she were Victoria’s Secret hot, she’d have to deal with another type of body policing. The constant attention over her dimensions would be coded as praise, but it would remain dehumanizing. The same men who take to message boards to complain about Dunham’s nudity would still be angry, but their aggression would be channeled into commentary on how they’d like to have sex with her. She would be asking for it for “flaunting” her body on TV. Her nudity would be viewed as pornographic, not artistic.”
I hope lots of women feel what I feel when they see Lena confidently romping around HBO with her curvy, human body: 1) some shock at the image on the TV screen that we aren’t used to; 2) elation and giggles at the freedom of it all; 3) pride in this woman who matches up media images to our own mirrors; and 4) one awesome measure of “duh. that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
"What the women actually showed during the evening was that they worked a lot harder, and a lot smarter, than Seth MacFarlane. Shirley Bassey sang “Goldfinger,” and Adele sang “Skyfall”…and Barbra Streisand was mesmerizing with “The Way We Were.” Either by dint of age or body type or simple strength and craft, none of the three were what the Oscars had been telling women that they had to be—a reminder that it’s best not to listen to guys like MacFarlane."
"Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately."
As a feminist Math, Science, and Robotics teacher, I have this exact problem. Not only do our society’s strict gender roles affect who signs up for my classes (1 girl in a each class of 15-19 boys), but the boys in the classroom dominate the conversation the entirety of my classes, even when I am constantly trying to check on the girls to make sure they feel included. It’s exhausting.
This woman floors me. She writes about her journey to find and expose the good in human beings as a form of revenge for the brutal murder of her husband, Danny Pearl.
“So I embarked on this journey in search of light. It couldn’t be a divine light—it had to be human, as I believe only people can undo what people have created. And I chose to focus on women. Why women? Will all due respect to the other half of humanity, I have found that women are the most courageous, tough and determined agents of change around—that’s just the way it is on every continent.”
Regulatory chiefs are often market experts or academics. But Ms. White spent nearly a decade as United States attorney in New York, the first woman named to this post. Among her prominent cases, she oversaw the prosecution of the mafia boss John Gotti as well as the people responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. She is now working the other side, defending Wall Street firms and executives as a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.