In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

Penis Soup

Spotted in the Hamburg Kunsthalle Art Gallery:


For some reason, I saw it and thought of all of you.

Posted in Art

Photo of the Year


The UNICEF photo of the year is indeed heartbreaking. The 11-year-old girl in the photo is about to be raped by the man sitting next to her — a 40-year-old who purchased her for marriage. It’s a painful and provocative image, and UNICEF certainly chose well.

But, as usual, I’m disappointed by some of the responses to the choice — specifically, this one, titled “How a UNICEF Photo Makes the West’s Heart Ache.”

As if everyone in the “East” promotes child marriage, male dominance and rape.

As if no one in the “West” does.

The author is right when he says that cultural relativism takes us down a dangerous path; he is right that we must draw lines. But he’s wrong when he presumes that people in the “East” are backwards child-marrying barbarians, while people in the West are enlightened and feminist. He is wrong when he argues that it is Westerners, and only Westerners, who can go in and save these backwards desert-dwellers. He is wrong when he presumes that none of the “Eastern” people are doing the work themselves.

Barbarity breeds barbarity and inhumanity breeds inhumanity. The Middle East, North Africa, and the other regions that the author is ostensibly referring to are full of countries scarred by repeated wars and choked by colonial pasts. Does that justify child marriage and rape? Of course not. Should we criticize those practices? Absolutely. But not at the expense of silencing and ignoring the on-the-ground work being done by human rights activists in their own countries. Not by drawing an increasingly thick line between “us” and “them.” Not while pretending we are so morally superior.

Read More…Read More…

Celebrating Resilience

This sounds like a fantastic event:

Young Women’s Empowerment Project is Proud to Invite you to the First Art Show (In Chicago!!!)
Featuring the Original Works of our Youth Membership and Youth Staff

Join us Friday, December 14th for Wine and Hors d’ouvers at the Mekhanskhen Gallery 5459 S. Drexel from 8pm to 11pm

We will exhibit pottery, wood prints, oil paintings, collage, sculpture, textiles, drawing, graffiti art & embroidery.

Made by 12 different YWEP artists. Art and Prints will be available for Sale.

Our Artist Statement:
We titled this art show “Survival of the Artist…” to show how we are resilient to oppression and how we stand up and fight against it every day. Art is one method of resilience we use to show that we are multi-faceted and that what we do isn’t who we are. We are de-humanized by those that say we are “prostitutes” and “criminals.” YWEP doesn’t believe in these terms. We rebel against them.
We believe all girls are priceless.
We support all girls who do what they have to do to survive.

The group has a wonderful mission, and a great website chock-full of resources:

Our mission as the Young Women’s Empowerment Project is to offer safe, respectful, free-of-judgment spaces for girls and young women impacted by the sex trade and street economies to recognize their goals, dreams and desires. We are run by girls and women with life experience in the sex trade and street economies. We are a youth leadership organization grounded in harm reduction and social justice organizing by and for girls and young women (ages 12-23) impacted by the sex trade and street economies.

As for ticket info:

Tickets $25.00
To purchase tickets go to our website and follow the instructions
or Get them at Women and Children First 5233 N. Clark St.
Want to come to the show for free?
Sell 10 tickets and you can!
Contact Cindy for more info:

If you can’t make it, consider donating.

Fangirl time!

I’ve written here before about how much it sucked that Kat Von D. got fired from Miami Ink. In retrospect, I’m just thrilled that she got her own show, based around her own shop in LA, because she’s amazingly talented, and cool, and a rock star her own self.


And I’m even more thrilled that the new show not only features a shop full of women, but tackles issues of women’s empowerment, women in male-dominated fields (there are three female artists in the shop, and it was the first time any of them worked with other female tattoo artists), the perception of women in certain fields, and the sociality of women, even the choice whether or not to have kids (in an episode dealing with Corey Miller, the only guy in the shop, and his struggle about whether to have a vasectomy, Kat let drop that she’d done a lot of research on sterilization because she’d told herself that when she was 25, she wanted to get her tubes tied. Corey, unfortunately, did a little of the “But what if you change your mind?” business, but Kat just smiled through that). And all in prime time, with a bigger audience (at least initially) than Miami Ink, which is all-guy.

Plus, all the artists do amazing, amazing work, at a level that puts pretty much everyone on Miami Ink but Chris Garver to shame. I would fly all the way to LA to have any of them do a tattoo for me, but as good as Kat is at portraiture, I’d really want to seek out Hannah Aitchinson for color.

I am getting a tattoo

This guy? Totally loose.

I wanted one before, but now that I know it confirms my total whoredom, I’m doing it. This one’s for you, Debbie.

Just one thing: I don’t want the tattoo on my lower back. If I get it somewhere else, can we still call it a tramp stamp? Can I still be a big ol’ slut? Please?

I’ve written a lot about tattoos over the years. And while I know quite a few of my readers have them (I guess they are the exceptions to my generalizations), you still gotta wonder about why anyone would put permanent marks on themselves. I’m glad my religion forbids me from getting one.

In my view, they’re more forgivable on men. But, as I’ve written, a woman who doesn’t take long to agree to repeatedly put a needle in her body, generally doesn’t take long before she acquiesces to putting other things into her body. In other words, she’s easy.

Because, well, men are men and they’re forgiven all sins. Their tattoos aren’t indications of slutitude, or evidence of their desire to be penetrated by other men. They’re just tattoos. But for women, the willingness to put a needle in your body is an indication of a willingness to put a million penises in all of your orifices. Diabetics must be the sluttiest chicks ever!

It also takes a very special person to be glad that their religion forbids them to do something that they claim is really awful — because, what, otherwise Debbie might accidentally trip, fall, and end up with a rose on her ankle if it wasn’t for God telling her not to?

You know, I think murder is really bad. Thank goodness my Bible tells me its wrong, or who knows what could happen!

The comments are even better:

there is NOTHING pleasent about seeing a tatto right where the slut’s dirty ass in. I’m sorry, but any lady who has a tatto in the area and wears low rise jeans is a mark that says she’s a slut. How do we know if a guy is really looking at the tatto, or it’s just there as a distraction to really make the person see her dirty unattractive butt? Or…is it there to give the slut an excuse to ether have a belly ring or wear thigh (not hip) hugging jeans in the first place?

Look, I’m sick of having to see an asscrack from some slut sitting near me. And the sad thing is, this trend even goes as far as girls in the MUCH YOUNGER age range. And you wonder why pedophilla is going up?

That’s right: Dirty little girls are to blame when they’re raped or molested by pedophiles. Especially if they’re part of the legions of six-year-olds who are running around with lower back tattoos. Also, women with lower back tattoos have dirty butts.

It’s so bizarre that I almost don’t believe it’s for real. But yes, these people are serious. And ladies, in case you weren’t aware, social conservatives hate you. And they’re always looking for new excuses to hate you even more (abortion! the Violence Against Women act! sex without pregnancy! equal pay! low-rise jeans! lower back tattoos!).

I did get my bellybutton pierced when I was 16. It’s since been removed, but now I have a nose ring — how many whore-points does that score me? Is my ass dirty, or squeaky-clean?

Wonder Woman, interpreted

While I’m not a comics expert, and never did any reading of DC Comics (when I read comics, it was the X-Men, it was the 80s, and can I tell you how much it amuses me that the movies were based on plots I was reading in high school, which themselves called back to late 70s/early 80s plotlines?), I did grow up in the 70s, which meant that I watched a lot of Wonder Woman on TV. Played a lot of Wonder Woman in the backyard, and at the Mudhole with my friend Ellen (invisible submarine!). So I find this (via John Lucid) to be very interesting. It’s a number of drawings of Wonder Woman by various artists, and I have to say, they really run the gamut. Everything from human-proportioned and fierce, to strong and fierce, to caricature-goofy, to Greek-warrior-with-sword (and, thank God, straps) fierce, to strong and pensive, to fierce with porntastic giant breasts, to a suburban mom with a passel o’kids (patronizingly entitled “The Real Wonder Woman”), to, well, this.

Read More…Read More…

The Power of Cliche

A great event happening this weekend in NYC:

The Power of a Cliche: Representing Iranian Women
Hosted by Iranian Alliances Across Borders and ArteEast
Saturday July 21
4:30 – 6:30pm
The Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery)
New York, NY

Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) and ArteEast are proud to present an afternoon of spoken word performance with Haleh Anvari, photographer/writer from Iran. Haleh’s performance will look at the ways in which Iranian women are represented both in the West and in Iran, focusing on the icon of the chador. Through her performance, she deconstructs the black chador as the preferred icon of the Western media and the Islamic Republic of Iran:

“Both camps use me as the icon for the clash of civilizations. One wants to protect my soul, the other wants to rescue it…so you see me in my total blackness on books and magazines. I sell copy, I sell an idea, and in the folds of my black chador I sell in one place two violently opposed ideologies which are set on an ugly collision course.”

The performance is part of simultaneous art exhibitions this summer in Washington, DC and Tehran entitled: TRANSFORM/NATION: Contemporary Art of Iran and its Diaspora.

For More Information
Bowery Poetry Club – 308 Bowery, NYC