On Our Radar: Feminist News Roundup

Lawless boom towns, Monica Lewinsky, and prayers from Louisville. Here’s what’s on our radar today: 

• First off, big news here at Bitch! We're excited to publish an awesome letter from Bitch reader Kathleen Hanna. "I don't want 'feminism lite," she writes. "I want the real deal." 

• “We’re still living in a world where women are defined by the sex they have,” writes Amanda Hess in her discussion of Monica Lewinsky’s Vanity Fair piece, “while men are defined by, you know, other things they say and do.” For her part, Lewinsky says, “I am determined to have a different ending to my story.” [Slate]

• Using new drugs in an experimental way for capital punishment is cruel and unusual—and very likely a violation of federal laws­ regarding human experimentation. Clayton Lockett’s botched execution is shedding light on yet another dreadful truth about the death penalty. [Think Progress] 

• By next year, the United States is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer. America’s new oil boom towns are already seeing collateral damage. Environmental concerns notwithstanding, the terrible toll includes a surge in domestic violence and human trafficking. [AlJazeera America]

• “When I was a little girl growing up in Louisville, I was looking up at the sky one night and I said, ‘God, please let my behavior always meet the exacting standards of a male blogger who doesn't really understand how to use babble as a noun,’ and at the moment, I swear, there was a shooting star.” Writer Sarah Miller steps into character as Jennifer Lawrence so she can obliterate a discourteous writer from Esquire. It’s less ridiculous than it sounds. [The Hairpin]

• Last year, police in Portland, OR, handcuffed a nine-year-old girl, hauled her off a police car, fingerprinted her, and made her pose for a mug shot—punishment for a fight days prior that had “resulted in apologies.” Now that the girl’s mother has come forward, the Portland Police Bureau is facing some seriously merited but way-overdue scrutiny. [NPR]

• The sort-of good news seems to be that people in power are paying attention at last. The bad news is that the kidnappings in Nigeria continue, and hundreds of girls are still missing. [Reuters]

• “How do we represent female pain without producing a culture in which this pain has been fetishized to the point of fantasy or imperative?” Do yourself a kindness and read an outstanding exploration of this and related questions from Leslie Jamison’s new collection of essays, The Empathy Exams. [Update: a reader requested we add an eating disorder trigger warning to this] [VQR]


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by Ellie Piper
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2 Comments Have Been Posted

Students organize NFL-style "Prom Draft"... again.

Total self-plug here, but the students at Corona del Mar high school who are organizing their annual Prom Draft for picking (read: buying) dates has been on my radar. Parents have shockingly come out condoning the draft, saying it's not about ranking girls.

My thoughts: "Sorry parents, but when your sons and daughters participate in an activity called the "prom draft," they are inherently engaging in a system specifically and explicitly designed to rank young women."


Trigger Warnings

Could you add a trigger warning for eating disorders and self harm to the tag for the Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain post? Excellent essay and thanks for posting, but it's really explicit.

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