Best Reads of March: Pop Feminist Edition

Award MarchThe month of March brought us a wealth of thought provoking articles on gender and pop culture. I’ve compiled a list of what think are the very best 10.

These were the articles that made me pause and reflect, some made me chuckle and all of them made me think “damn! I wish I wrote that!”

So sit back, get comfy and prepare to get your pop feminist read on!

10. CNN Reports On The ‘Promising Future’ of the Steubenville Rapists, Who Are ‘Very Good Students’” from Jezebel (March 17)

Best quote:

It’s perfectly understandable, when reporting on a rape trial, to discuss the length and severity of the sentence; it is less understandable to discuss the end of two convicted rapists’ future athletic and academic careers as if it were somehow divorced from the laws of cause and effect. Their dreams and hopes were not crushed by an impersonal, inexorable legal system; Mays and Richmond raped a girl and have been sentenced accordingly.”

9. “Chris Brown Wants Everyone To Know That He Holds The Deed To Rihanna’s Pussy” from Dlisted (March 9) 

Best quote:

 I would say that RiRi should evict Fist Brown from her pussy and change the locks, but she’s probably creaming over this. And she’s the one who pays the mortgage and maintenance bills on her pussy!”

8. “Let’s get ratchet! Check your privilege at the door” from Feministsting (March 28) 

Best quote:

Remember when people who weren’t actually from the ghetto started to use the word ‘ghetto’ to describe everything from their friend’s booty to a broken blender (real life examples)? The same phenomenon is happening with ratchet, even for those who do not use the word itself. It is super easy to borrow from the experiences of others as a way to be “fun,” or stretch boundaries on what is ‘acceptable,’ without any acknowledgement of context or framework.”

7. Mila Kunis, Jennifer Lawrence, and the Delicate Formula for Becoming America’s Best Friend” from the Vulture (March 7) 

Best quote:

Apparently it’s not enough for a woman to be smart and likable and humble. Audiences presumably don’t crave [Lena] Dunham as their best friend because they already have a best friend just like Dunham. They want an upgrade. The key is to act just like average humans, but not to look remotely like them.”

6. “Justin Timberlake and the Male-Celebrity Hall Pass” from the Vulture (March 13) 

Best quote:

If we held the omnipresent Justin Timberlake to the same standard as these women, he’d be a pariah — a self-aggrandizing sell-out like Beyoncé (Bud Light Platinum, anyone), a cloying fake like Hathaway (Serious Actor glasses?Instagram filter? Check), a self-indulgent nuisance like Dunham (an album of seven-minute space jam sessions and a love song about himself?), and a vengeful brat like Swift (that Joey Fatone joke had nothing on the Britney sketch. Also: “Cry Me a River”). “Instead, we call him charming.”

5. “Confessions of a Former ‘Sex and the City’ Fan” from Flavorwire (March 8) 

Best quote:

We loved it because Sex and the City was a coming-of-age show that just happened to be about women in their 30s and 40s.”

4. “Bigger than Rick Ross: an industry that glorifies rape and drug culture” from The Root DC (March 29) 

Best quote:

Still, there are many black men who seek to remain within the margins of the dominant hip-hop culture. Many of these men have bought into limited definitions of masculinity and are scared to be “outed” as weak, a hater, or – God forbid – gay if they speak out. There are, of course, even many women who fight endlessly to prove that the lyrics are about ‘those’ women and not ‘me’ or ‘us.'”

3. “The Finkbeiner Test” from Double X Science (March 5) 

Best quotes:

Campaigns to recognize outstanding female scientists have led to a recognizable genre of media coverage. Let’s call it “A lady who…” genre. You’ve seen these profiles, of course you have, because they’re everywhere. The hallmark of “A lady who…” profile is that it treats its subject’s sex as her most defining detail. She’s not just a great scientist, she’s a woman! And if she’s also a wife and a mother, those roles get emphasized too.”

“To pass the Finkbeiner test, the story cannot mention

  • The fact that she’s a woman
  • Her husband’s job
  • Her child care arrangements
  • How she nurtures her underlings
  • How she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field
  • How she’s such a role model for other women
  • How she’s the “first woman to…”

2. “Rape Is Not Inevitable: On Zerlina Maxwell, Men and Hope” from The Nation (March 12) 

Best quotes:

Here’s the thing—when you argue that it’s impossible to teach men not to rape, you are saying that rape is natural for men. That this is just something men do. Well I’m sorry, but I think more highly of men than that. (And if you are a man who is making this argument, you’ll forgive me if I don’t ever want to be in a room alone with you.)”

“And when you insist that the only way to prevent rape is for women to change their behavior—whether it’s recommending that they carry a weapon or not wear certain kinds of clothing—you are not only giving out false information, you are arguing that misogyny is a given. That the world will continue to be a dangerous and unfair place for women and we should just get used to the fact.”

1. “Feminism’s Tipping Point: Who Wins from Leaning in?” from Dissent (March 26)

Best quotes:

Sandberg assumes instead that the feminist question is simply, how can I be a more successful worker?”

“Sandberg has penned not so much a new Feminine Mystique as an updated Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.”

“… as a manual for navigating the workplace, it teaches women more about how to serve their companies than it teaches companies about how to be fairer places for women to work.”

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