Links: Zombie Feminism Edition

10 Aug

So!  Welcome to another weekly thing I decided I’m going to do!  I read a lot of blogs, and I bookmark some of the articles I consider noteworthy on Delicious, so you can always check out that stuff.  But then I decided I can do more, and even further highlight a couple of the truly awesome things in a blog post.

Now, I generally don’t really read links roundups when I’m going through my Google Reader, so that’s why I’m only going to pick a few of them, and they are going to be accompanied by summaries and block quotes and awesome things like that.  Because I went to the trouble of reading them!!!  FOR YOU!!!!

Okay, without further ado…

Flavia Dzodan for Tiger Beatdown: Al Jazeera shocked because female politicians in Latin America do not identify as feminists. Here’s some context

First of all, Flavia Dzodan is someone you should pay attention to, regardless of what she writes.  In the feminist blogosphere, there isn’t exactly a dearth of young, white, middle class women getting their say (I am two out of three of those things!).  I will never forget the first time I read about womanism, and had to face the hard truth that feminism probably feels so amazing to me because of the privileges I have.  Flavia is originally from South America and her perspective is, sadly, pretty rare.

Second, she’s a fantastic writer, she’s really nice, and I admire the crap out of her.

This article does a really fantastic job of explaining why feminism can be exclusionary.  It’s thoughtful and measured and reasonable, and it’s well worth a read if you’ve ever wondered why all of the famous feminists you know are white USian women.  From the piece:

In Latin America, or at least in many parts of Latin America, feminism is a very disliked topic and, not for the reasons people might believe. It is not frowned upon because of machismo (ah yes, a word so many love to throw around uncritically when referring to Latin America) or because “Latinas are tools of the patriarchy“, but because feminism, at least the Western conception of feminism, is perceived by many, as inherently oppressive of minorities. Many Western feminists have gone to Latin America and have attempted to narrate Latin America’s history and realities with a lens that didn’t take into account the many vectors of violence affecting local women. Indigenous women, mestizas, women from rural areas, migrant women, etc, etc, all have been subject to gender violence that is pretty unique to our continent and when reading this violence, the Western feminist paradigm of non intersectional gender oppression does not necessarily apply.

Read the rest of this article here.

Hugo Schwyzer for The Good Men Project: Men and the Sexualization of Young Girls

Okay, this is a piece from several months ago, but the Good Men Project is a recent discovery of mine, and I love it.  Now, I experience a little anxiety surrounding the tendency to pat men on the back for agreeing with some of the main tenets of feminism (I, and others too, worry that this shifts focus off women – and feminism is about women, after all), but it’s also just so friggin’ awesome when dudes don’t say shitty shit.  Because dudes say shitty shit sometimes – shitty shit that makes you want to stop being their friend.  Shitty shit about how women are culpable in their own rapes if they were stupid enough to go out in public dressed like a slut.  Shitty shit like that.

So I’ll indulge myself in feelings of hallelujah when I read stuff like this:

More and more experts recognize that “princess culture” does great harm to girls. I don’t know how many GMPM readers also read Redbook, but it’s worth checking out this story: “Little Girls Gone Wild: Why Daughters Are Acting Too Sexy, Too Soon.” In it, Peggy Orenstein (the author of the new and important Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture), makes the case that a lot of the prematurely sexy behavior and dress we’ve all noticed is actually rooted in something we think is very innocent: the world of princesses.

Yeah, all of that stuff about “shitty shit” was kind of silly and tongue-in-cheek, because the real fact of the matter is that I don’t think I’ve ever read anything as concise and clear on sexualization and objectification than this article.  It’s well worth a read here.

Terrence Rafferty for NYTimes.com: The State of Zombie Literature: An Autopsy

I like books and I like zombies, and I like the way smart people like Rafferty link trends in horror (or any other genre fiction) to the anxiety du jour.  This is an excellent article in that respect.

In the case of zombie fiction, you have to wonder whether our 21st-century fascination with these hungry hordes has something to do with a general anxiety, particularly in the West, about the planet’s dwindling resources: a sense that there are too many people out there, with too many urgent needs, and that eventually these encroaching masses, dimly understood but somehow ominous in their collective appetites, will simply consume us. At this awful, pinched moment of history we look into the future and see a tsunami of want bearing down on us, darkening the sky. The zombie is clearly the right monster for this glum mood, but it’s a little disturbing to think that these nonhuman creatures, with their slack, gaping maws, might be serving as metaphors for actual people — undocumented immigrants, say, or the entire populations of developing nations — whose only offense, in most cases, is that their mouths and bellies demand to be filled.

Yeah, this kind of critical analysis turns my crank.  Read the full story here.

Be sure to leave your links to noteworthy articles (and also to stuff you’ve written) in the comments!

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