In honor of International Street Harassment Awareness Week, the Council of Feminist Thought focused in on harassment in both male and female situations. Writer Britt Julious and WBEZ executive producer Justin Kaufmann joined hosts Molly Adams and Brian Babylon for the conversation. The council looked at different types of harassment; the kind that women are familiar with (intimidating words, gestures, and actions) and the harassment some men are familiar with (stop and frisk).
"I’m not bossy, I’m a boss," says Beyoncé in a new campaign from LeanIn.org encouraging parents and educators to drop the word “bossy” when describing headstrong girls. But the AMp’s Council of Feminist Thought has convened to wonder if “bossy” is all that bad and what kind of effect banning a word can have.
Even though this campaign may have been well-intended, it does not cover the REAL issues facing young women, particularly young women of color as discussed by the Council: According to the African American Policy Forum, black girls are suspended at a higher rate than all other girls and white and Latino boys. Sixty-seven percent of black girls reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness for more than two weeks straight compared to 31 percent of white girls and 40 percent of Latinas. Single black women have the lowest net wealth of any group, with research showing a median wealth of $100.
“Some people have argued that boys don’t have models of male readers but again, what we found, it was that it wasn’t that they didn’t like reading. It’s that they would be more apt to read comics or sports pages. Not the books that schools tend to want them to read […] We found that both boys and girls were more avid readers of these marginalized genres that we studied. It was an interesting departure for us. […]Although the texts that they have read were different, they both got the same kind of pleasure reading them.[…] If you stigmatize the kind of reading a kid does, they don’t adopt the role of reader.” - co-author Michael Smith
When you were a kid, were you a bookworm or did you think reading was for nerds? Perhaps your experience had to do with what kind of books were given to you. Authors of the book Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want—and Why We Should Let Them, Michael Smith and Jeffery Wilhelm have found that when kids can pick what they want to read in school, they become more engaged in their studies. This morning Mr. Smith joined the AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams by phone to share his findings and answer our questions.
Writer Britt Julious drops in to talk about whether white men can be discriminated against as a class, what makes a “fit” parent, and what exactly it mean when scientific studies say men and women are “wired differently.”
What happened in Maryville? A case with echoes of Steubenville (drunk young victim, popular jock perpetrators, whole small town gets involved) has reignited a lot of passions as the case was closed and charges dismissed against the alleged rapists. Now the Lt. Gov. of Missouri is calling for the state’s Attorney General to re-open the case. The Council of Feminist Thought, which consisted of the AMp’s Molly Adams, guest co-host Ernest Wilkins, regular panelists Audra Wilson from Practically Speaking and Cassandro Gado from the Step Up Women’s Network discussed the story.
It is now scientifically proven that there is a subset of haters who are always going to hate. So what do we do with that information? Mariam Sobh, WBEZ host and the writer behind lifestyle blog Hijab Trendz, joined the AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams this morning has she offered a few pieces of advice for the winners and some choice words for the haters.
This week the AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams were joined by WBEZ pop culture columnist Leah Pickett and culture critic, writer, and Internet mean girl, Michelle Kendallas we got out all the feelings about the Baby Veronica case and went into different perspectives on adopting international children and the controversy behind the system.
This week the AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams were joined by WBEZ pop culture columnist Leah Pickett and culture critic, writer, and Internet mean girl, Michelle Kendall to talk about designing gender-neutral cities, a terrible, terrible book of marriage advice written by reality TV house wife star, Melissa Gorga. In the book, there were excerpts where Melissa insisted that women should perform sex with their husbands with or without their own consent and regardless of mood. She also made the point that women secretly want to be taken control over, dominated, and bossed around. Outraged and horrified, the Feminist Wednesday panel discussed her motives for these claims and whether or not they are publicity stunts to keep her career going.
The AMp’s Molly Adams and Bryan Babylon join forces with Cassandra Gaddo from the Step Up Women’s Network to form the Council of Feminist Thought. The council, along with Vocalo listeners and callers, discussed the “Stop Asking Women To Smile” campaign by delving into first hand accounts and observations with the help of Brian’s male-input and perspective.
“I think that what we’re seeing now, and it does certainly seem like we’re seeing a lot of these [celebrity] over shares. I think this kind of reflects the natural progression of what researchers call the ‘parasocial relationship’ and that people are increasingly having these one sided kinds of relationships: isolation, living alone, being single are actually bigger, increasing problems in our society. And as that advances, we have a need for living through celebrities.”
- Reyna Jaqueline Peña on parasocial relationships in today’s society
Is the recent trend of celebrities sharing their deeply personal stories an effort to shine a light on issues everyone faces? Or is it more about lining their own pockets? The AMp’s Feminist Council Member Emily Heist Moss said that it can be both. Along with Reyna Jacqueline Peña of Gozamos, AMp hosts Molly Adams and Brian Babylon spent some talking about how celebrity gossip and media coverage affects how we see them world.
“They were so victim-blaming…They made it seem like my assault was completely my fault.” - UNC sophomore, Landen Gambill, on UNC’s handling of her speaking publicly about her rape.
University of North Carolina sophomore Landen Gambill is being sent to the school’s “Honor Court” and may be expelled for speaking publicly about her rape. Legal expert Audra Wilson joins The Council of Feminist Thought in the studio to talk about how the school is handling this case.
Molly, Brian and this week’s Council of Feminist Thought discussed the case of Savita Halappanavar, a Indian national working in Galway, Ireland who died from a blood infection after doctors in Ireland refused to remove her miscarrying fetus until the heartbeat had stopped.
We get into the ins and outs of this case and why “exceptions” in abortion laws can end badly, since pregnancies can manifest other medical issues, but also in the outcry of organizing the end of Savita’s life has lead to in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Our man in the room, Brian, saw that in this case, issues concerning women shouldn’t just be women’s issues, they should be seen as human rights issues. Cassandra Gaddo of the Step Up Women’s Network and Audra Wilson, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, wholeheartedly endorsed this view.
It was Erin Ryan’s last Council of Feminist Thought as a Chicago resident! Wah! Luis brought us cupcakes to celebrate and mourn. Follow her NYC antics on Jezebel.com as she continues to cover women’s health, politics, and teaches you how to do a lot of smart things, like break into your own apartment, as Lady MacGyver.
And thanks Alison Cuddy of WBEZ for jumping in last minute!