Category Archives: feminism

April 18, 2014, 10:41 am

Chicano/a History Is Also Feminist History

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The grape boycott became an important model for later radical feminist boycotts of media companies like Warner Brothers.

Yale #Twitterstorian Stephen Pitti has tweeted the news that the University of California-San Diego has unveiled a new collection in a digital archive that documents the United Farm Workers Movement. Part of the Farmworker Documentation Project, the collection was curated by citizen archivist LeRoy Chatfield, who began putting his collection online in 2004 with the help of Jennifer Szabo.

And here’s a little hint for the historians of United States second wave feminism out there: we need to focus in on the links between the farm worker’s movement and West Coast radical/lesbian feminism. Interracialism and cross-class organizing in second wave feminism is as under explored on the West Coast …

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February 28, 2014, 11:05 am

Because the NY Times Can’t Print Everything….

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This cover illustration from 1867 was titled: “The First Vote.”

….sometimes Tenured Radical steps in.

On January 31, 2014, Columbia University’s Eric Foner reviewed a new book on Reconstruction by Douglas Egerton. The review elicited this response from Bonnie S. Anderson, professor emerita in history at Brooklyn College. Anderson is the author of many influential books and articles in European women’s history, including the two-volume A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present (Oxford University Press, 1999), co-written with Judith P. Zinsser. She writes:

It depressed me to see the generally enlightened historian Eric Foner perpetuate the Reconstruction era’s erasure of women in his review of Douglas Egerton’s The Wars of Reconstruction (Bloomsbury: 2014.) Foner asserts…

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February 27, 2014, 12:11 pm

Happiness is a Cold, Plastic Doll: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

rs_634x845-140213110818-634.sports-illustrated-barbie-swimsuit-021314It’s that time of year again: shaved pubes, barely (or not at all) hidden nipples, salt-stiffened wind-blown hair, pouty lips — that’s right, it’s the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, now celebrating its 50th Anniversary. And Barbie is on the cover.

I never knew about this phenomenon until I went to college (that would be Yale University, winter 1977.) All of a sudden, one day in the dining hall, there were gaggles of young men reading the thing (reading would be one way of putting it, I guess.) Women were supposed to pretend that a tits and ass festival was all in good fun, just like they were the following year when Playboy showed up to shoot “Girls of the Ivy League.”

My initial response upon seeing the Swimsuit Issue for the first time was puzzlement. I had no brothers, I went to an all-girls secondary school — so I had never seen one and couldn’t figure out the genre….

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February 21, 2014, 11:15 am

It’s Friday Night. Is Your Kid At A Frat?

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How can your kid be hurt at a frat? Let us count the ways. Graphic is from The Atlantic

Even if you are a Caitlin Flanagan h8ter, read her cover story in this month’s Atlantic about how dangerous college fraternities are, to your daughters, your sons, and to you.

There’s always a downside to a Flanagan article: the excessive gesture to whatever theory keeps her recognizable as a conservative. For example, it seems almost mandatory for right wing writers to assert that college is all play and no work, and that student leisure is an expensive, wasteful university marketing ploy. This works to obscure the fact that that wealthy donors would rather have their names on buildings than lower tuition anonymously. It neglects the fact government at all levels has Hoovered public dollars out of public and private…

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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

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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, and cutting through the myths about sexuality and masculinity than 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…)