women’s bodies

Recent posts

Comparing “Real Food” And “Real Women” Rhetoric

We’ve all seen the “real women” memes: “Real women have curves,” and so on. There’s been some pushing back against these ideas, which I think is useful, since holding up one category of womanhood as more “real” than another is ultimately essentializing and harmful. This intriguing blog post, Real Food, draws a parallel between the “real women” meme and arguments about “real food,” arguing that this logic is problematic on several levels. First, the “real food” rhetoric tends to be very judgmental: I’ve met very few people who make personal choices of the “real food” persuasion without also pressuring those around them…without also proclaiming that the foods most people rely on to survive are inherently inferior…without also implying that the reason the rest of us are fat, or poor, or don’t have shiny hair, or don’t walk around perpetually bathed in magical sunbeams of happiness, is entirely because we eat the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad food — the food that is not Real. The same thing goes for femininity and “real” women. Continue Reading →

Word of the Day: Cliterate

If you’ve seen the hashtag “cliterate” circulating around on Twitter but have yet to discover its origin, you’re in for a treat. I recently came across a fabulous profile on New York artist Sophia Wallace and her latest project on “Cliteracy”. But what exactly does the project entail? Simply put: It’s a campaign designed to educate the public the only female body part that exists solely for pleasure. (Yes! Continue Reading →

Learn To Love Your Body At A Korean Spa

This week, while I was visiting my family in Los Angeles, some of the female family members took a trip to a Korean spa. One of my relatives had done it before, and spoke glowingly of the experience. She warned us to prepare for a bit of culture shock (we’re Jewish-American, not Korean), but it was hard to prepare for the actual experience. I’ve written in the past about nudity in Estonian saunas, and how I acted like an atypical American by being totally okay in that context. The Korean spa experience was similar and different in certain ways. Continue Reading →

Women On Fantasy Novel Covers

Fantasy author Jim Hines makes this amusing point about how women are depicted on fantasy novel covers (including one of his own, as he’s an author) in stereotypical and downright uncomfortable poses, by striking those poses himself! The post includes a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, griping about muscle cramps, and ruminating on gendered depictions of women who are narratively strong but posed as though sexiness is their main concern (which is irrationally common). Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Tampons While Traveling: Female Bonding Experiences

Some of our readers may already read Feministe, but I loved and wanted to pass on this essay, Traveling While Female. In addition to great safety advice, the author passes on the advice to always bring a tampon: you never know when you might need it, and mere discussion of said topic might lead to bonding with other women (though personally, I prefer the re-usable diva cup, pictured in the middle). My own rule is to always travel with a scarf (which is also mentioned in the post), because you never know when it might get sunny or rainy, or when you might need a cover-up. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Why Getting Pregnant On TV Is A Bad Idea

And yes, obviously it’s a bad idea to get pregnant if you are on TV at the moment of conception… but what I want to talk about here is how when female characters on TV shows get pregnant, things tend to go badly for them, in ways that seem influenced by misogyny and a fear of women’s bodies. I just discovered a brilliant Youtube series called Tropes Vs. Women, about how TV and movie themes depict women in very stereotypical and sexist ways. My favorite so far is about “The Mystical Pregnancy,” which is when “writers use to create drama and terror by invading, violating and exploiting women’s reproductive capabilities.  Often these female characters have their ovaries harvested by aliens or serve as human incubators for demon spawn.  Sometimes they are carrying the Messiah and other times Satan himself.” Continue Reading →