Welcome to the 19th edition of the Carnival of Feminists! It has really been a pleasure to read all of the nominations and to discover some new blogs we knew nothing about.
Our theme for this Carnival is “Feminism and Career” and we definitely came across some exceedingly interesting posts on the subject. This happens to be a topic that we here at Figure: Demystifying the Feminist Mystique hold near and dear to our hearts. However, we also wanted to recognize that a career does not necessarily have to be an office job…
Meloukhia at This Ain’t Livin took our theme to heart in her piece We are the Borg. Now, as a girl with a pretty committed Trekkie boyfriend, I appreciate the reference, and find her piece on generalizing about the sexes being more dangerous than perhaps it seems to be refreshing!
“We are not the borg: we are all beautiful and unique snowflakes, damnit.”
Shark-Fu at Angry Black Bitch takes a similar stance to the homogenization of feminism. In Because It Made My Afro Hurt, poster responds to an NBC News report on “What Women Want” (and by women, NBC apparently means wealthy white women.)
Also angry is Female Science Professor at Science + Professor + Woman = Me. In 4 Months Too Young, she chronicles being passed up for a promotion, despite her qualifications. In many fields women still hit the glass ceiling, frustratingly (Larry Summers comments on Women and Science certainly showed us that ignorance is still alive and well in the hallowed halls of academia) and this personal battle is admirable.
In the reverse of that situation (and no, I do not mean reverse discrimination, a phrase not in my vocabulary), Afrofeminizta in Kenya writes about the Problem with Male Gynecologists. I liked this take on feminism in career; her personal musings show that perhaps there are situations where one gender is preferred to another in a profession and begs the question: can we always be gender blind? Do we want to be?
Gretchen at Girls Can’t WHAT? in The Right Time of the Month to Race shows the complexities of gendering professions. She writes in defense of Danica Patrick, a NASCAR driver who is breaking boundaries left and right. Gretchen takes on the inane male defense used so often to keep women back about getting emotional during their time of the month. At the Happy Feminist, PMS is the issue as well in PMS a Laugh Riot. Some might be surprised to read how frequently that excuse is still used.
Another woman who made her name in an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession is the inimitable Frida Kahlo. Explore Sharanya Manivannan’s Invoking Frida. In honor of the famed artist’s 99th birthday, the blog is full of rare, intimate photos of the artist who to this day will be the first woman many will think of in the art world.
For a fresh career perspective, see Britt Bravo’s post on UNIFEM and Women-Owned Businesses in Rwanda at Have Fun and Do Good. Women make up over 90% of microfinance clients worldwide and are starting their own businesses everywhere.
For advice from an entrepreneur herself, check out Jory des Jardines post at Blog Her on Lynn Broadwell. She interviews Broadwell, a wedding planner, mom, and business woman and offers some practical tips for women trying to make a career for themselves. While her words may be more relevant for some than others, I find some universal themes for whatever your career may be.
TJ Geiger at the Academic Texan also provides a feminist peek into the life of a snitch (or an informant). In addition to this being an interesting insight into a profession I knew little about, this post also shows how valuable it can be to apply a feminist curiosity to any situation.
Andrea Rubenstein at Official Shrub.com Blog in Embracing Your Inner Skeptic provides another interesting career examination – this time of evil women playing the villain in comics. The post provides an analysis of a UPenn Study and Article; a good reminder that a healthy dose of skepticism, or at leas the ability to question the status quo, is critical to any feminist analysis.
No less valid of course is the job of housework. While this topic and the surrounding intersections of race and socioeconomic status are volatile and contentious, Natasha at Feminish provides a humorous and fantastic personal entry on how the gendering of housework begins in childhood.
“I remember being strangely confused that my little bro had to be shown how to use the washing machine age 16 - how on earth had he got away with not knowing?"
Then there’s the “world’s oldest profession.” Witchy Woo at Well, I’ll go to the foot of my stairs has a message to all pro-pornstitution 'feminists' out there. She takes a stand against those in support of porn and prositution – the post is unabashedly opinionated and great starting point for discussion.
Or actually, isn’t acting the world’s oldest profession? Natalie’s review of Antony and Cleopatra, now showing at Shakespeare’s Globe, in My London Your London, ponders a stage full of male actors.
And, for another type of job entirely, see two posts making up an ongoing debate about the hypocritical nature (or not, depending on who you ask) of women criticizing other women. Responding to a Village Voice article, Bryan McKay at Les Faits de la Fiction and R. Mildred at Punk Ass blog provide an interesting point counterpoint about freedom and the right to choose.
Additional Topics: Intersectionality
The blogosphere has been buzzing this month with some excellent posts on intersectionality, many as a response to popular media and culture. In Boys Just Wanna Have Fun, Claudine Zap at Dame Nation comments on the recent New York Times series on the gender divide in higher education.
Carlos at the Naked Gaze also reflects on the pieces on the challenges faced by girls and boys and education. In his post, Surfing a Tide of Weirdness, he also takes on Heading South, a film that takes a fictional view of women’s sex tourism. This post explores the intersection of race and gender, as does Grappling Out Loud by Liz at Granny Gets a Vibrator. The latter post provides a fresh perspective by looking at the debate through the eyes of young women enmeshed in Creole culture.
Two other posts look at the intersection of race, gender, and culture in exciting ways: Roba from …And Far Away deconstructs an ad campaign for skin lighteners in the Middle East. And R.E. Ekosso at Enanga’s POV looks at the intersection from an African woman’s perspective. Both critically analyze the tropes of feminity of their specific cultures in relevant and compelling ways.
Baraka at HU and Megha at Days in a Wannabe Punk’s Life both look at gender as it intersects with religion. Baraka writes on misogynstic interpretations of the Qur’an; Megha on Hinduism and pre-vedic rituals. As Megha says, “A part of my feminism is intertwined with religion.” Both posts remind us the immense power that those interpreters of religious texts (a job often closed off to women) wield.
Finally, dear Carnival readers, I want to leave you with a post from Barbara Ehrenreich’s blog. The author of Nickel and Dimed a MUST read on the intersection of class, race, gender and work in America, asks for that Old Fashioned Feminism. The post provides some interesting musings on the place of feminism for today’s career women:
“Most women today want to smash through the glass ceiling, run for the Senate, and buy contraceptives at will (not to mention abortions, at least if the fetus they’re carrying turns out to be “defective.”) But feminism? It’s just a bunch of hairy-legged, man-hating, harridans screaming slogans that were already obsolete in the era of Charlie’s Angels.”
Well, there you have it!. The next Carnival will be hosted by Super BabyMama
Thanks so much to everyone who nominated a post and to Natalie, the tireless Carnival Master of Ceremonies!