French President Emmanuel Macron has fulfilled an election pledge for gender parity in his cabinet. Obviously, this is a good thing. Unless you read the Huffington Post who credit Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, with the phrase ‘pulls a Trudeau’ in the headline.
Because no one ever thought about gender parity before Justin Trudeau. Who is now a God among men: what with his constant photo ops with pandas and taking his kid to work. Obviously, Trudeau clearly spent the entire day balancing childcare and being Prime Minister. And, had no help whatsoever from anyone.
The constant referencing of Justin Trudeau as a feminist superhero is so beyond tedious that I can’t quite understand how many people believe this. For the record, having gender parity in your cabinet does not make you a feminist; nor does taking your kid to work when you are the boss in a building full of staff capable of caring for your kid.
Before you start banging on about how feminist Trudeau is, it’s worth checking out his environmental record. After all, Trudeau wouldn’t have joined the protestors at Standing Rock, he’d be with Trump signing off on yet another environmental disaster that is destroying the lands of Indigenous Peoples.
Using Trudeau’s name as a signifier for feminism erases the real work of women globally to end the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. It ignores his sale of arms to the Saudi government and his full support of pipelines and the Tar Sands. Trudeau is a hypocrite. Not a feminist.
* Clearly, I always knew this. And, did not come across this information in a comment on twitter.
What’s your number is a typical asinine rom-com starring Anna Faris as Ally Darling and Chris Evans as Colin Shea. The simple premise is Darling discovering that the number of sexual partners she has had (19) makes her a slut – as evidenced in a “women’s magazine” she read after being fired from her job. So, with the help of deeply slimy neighbour Shea, Darling tracks down all her ex-boyfriends to see which one should be her partner for life. Because there is a magic number of men that having sex with would make her even more of a slut than she actually is. Shea is an unemployed musician who has sex with a different woman every night and spends his mornings hiding in Darling’s apartment so the (many) woman will leave his apartment without anything creepy like having a conversation. Strangely, at no point do we ever hear Shea’s sexual history being as being slutty.
And, yes, by know you are all wondering why I continued watching the film. As did I.
But, somewhere in this film about a woman freaking out over other women calling her a slut, believing she is a slut, an unpleasant mother whining about her daughter not having enough ‘class’, and the useless father, there is seen involving consent discussed appropriately. Obviously, and this needs no spoiler warning, Shea falls in love with Darling (and eventually she with him once she gets over silly things like being able to pay the rent) and they end up almost having sex. Despite being an utter shite in his treatment of women as sex objects, when Darling says no Shea accepts it. There is some silliness about how much of a penis in a vagina constitutes sex but that is a clearly a joke.
There is no coercion. No attempts to convince Darling. She says no. He stops.
The director chooses to ruin this demonstration of consent but having some dude from 20 years rock up to tell Darling they never had sex so actually she’s not really a mega slut having gone over 20 partners (and no recognition that sex she cannot remember will have made her too drunk to consent).
The film is pretty much the essence of shaming women for having sex with multiple partners. Yet the only actual sex scene in the film involves a discussion of consent that is real and clear. It is a weird juxtaposition.The film is utterly tedious and probably shouldn’t ever be watched ever again. By anyone.
There has been a plethora of feminist texts and anthologies published on motherhood and feminist mothering in the past ten years, but there has been very little published with a radical feminist perspective on feminist mothering, the patriarchal institution of motherhood, the advent of reproductive technology and the backlash on single mothers. Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born is the quintessential radical feminist text on motherhood and feminist mothering and its influence is clear in numerous modern texts, but not from within radical feminist communities. Radical feminist writing has been relegated to online communities – such as the powerful collective blog Motherhood is a Feminist Issue – where debates have raged over the question of mothers having more privilege over non-mothers and whether or not it is possible to be a radical feminist within a heterosexual relationship.
Much of these debates have become polarised into two camps: mothers vs. non-mothers reinforcing the very patriarchal systems radical feminism was created to overthrow by policing women’s bodies to reflect political positions. Even fewer of the numerous anthologies and online writing has examined the issue of reproductive justice from within a radical feminist framework.
(Re)Writing the Margins is a collection of radical feminist essays, personal experiences, poetry and short stories on reproductive justice and radical feminist mothering within a white supremacist capitalist-patriarchy. We welcome submissions from researchers, activists, artists, mothers, children, grandmothers, and community members; we encourage submissions of both scholarly chapters and creative works that explore radical feminist theory and practise in relation to reproductive justice.
The anthology will examine the following topics:
Compulsory heterosexuality, heteronormativity and child-rearing
Reproductive Justice for Whom? The impacts of racism, classism, disablism, homophobia on abortion, birth control, miscarriage, caring, mental illness etc.
Male violence and the ‘children need fathers’ rhetoric
Infertility and Reproductive Technology
Remaining childless as a choice.
Raising sons as a radical feminist.
Raising children in a pornified world
Defining gender – on whose terms?
Abstracts: Please send a 250-word description of the proposed paper, including a tentative title to email@example.com. Along with this, please include a 50-100 word biography and your full contact information.
Deadline for abstracts is April 30 2016
Full Manuscripts: Please ensure that the manuscript conforms to Chicago style, and is 15-20 pages (double-spaced) in length. Final acceptance of the manuscript for inclusion in the collection rests upon its fit with the rest.
Deadline for full manuscripts is July 30 1016
To Submit: Please direct all submissions and inquiries to Louise Pennington at firstname.lastname@example.org