Time’s Hillary Clinton cover: Will our next president be a pointy heel trampling an emasculated dude?

Hillary Clinton has again made the cover of Time magazine. This time, instead of appearing in typical human form, she is presented as a photo illustration Frankenstein’s monster—she is a navy pantsuit leg, a modest black pump, and a bizarre accessory: a diminutive man in a suit flailing from the point of her gargantuan heel. It’s time foranother round of “is this media representation of a female politician sexist?” Let’s play!

First: An impassioned defense of the choice. The illustration evocatively conveys the content of the accompanying story, which examines how Clinton and her supporters are navigating the will-she-or-won’t-she period before the 2016 presidential campaigns are officially underway. TheTime piece is about how Hillary has such immense power and recognition in the political arena that going about her “private” life seems practically indistinguishable from launching a campaign in earnest. Portraying the candidate with simply her first name and a gigantic iconic pantsuit leg is a nod to her untouchable icon status. Clinton has, in fact, paired a navy pantsuit with 1-inch black pumps, and she’s effectively parlayed the mocking backlash about her sartorial choices into her own badass brand. At the 2013 Council of Fashion Designers of America awards, she jokingly pitched Bravo a “Project Pantsuit” series; in her Twitter bio, she calls herself a “pantsuit aficionado.”

And characterizing her competition as comparatively powerless men is not off-base. “Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a hero of the left, has repeatedly said she would not challenge Clinton in the primary,” David Von Drehle writes. “Likewise, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota—who might otherwise vie to be the first female President—have said they would support her candidacy. ‘I think if another woman ran against Hillary, she would bring down the wrath of women around the country,’ said one veteran Democratic strategist.” The only Democrats who have publicly toyed with the idea of taking on Hillary in 2016 are dudes. And those men—like former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer—do appear puny in comparison to Hillary’s clout. Clinton is not exactly required to “run” for president like lesser candidates; she appears to be strolling casually into the nomination, trampling her potential competition with ease. (Though, side note: We thought that last time, too.)

On the other hand: A giant woman trampling over a measly businessman suggests a form of power beyond the political. The cover trades in the imagery of several sexual fetishes—macrophilia, in which (mostly) male fetishists get off on images of (mostly) female giants; trampling, in which (mostly) female dominant parties walk all over (mostly) male submissives; and the common foot fetish, which also looms large over the image. As psychologist Helen Friedman told Salon in a story about macrophilia in 1999, the fetish often appears so gendered because “We live in a patriarchal culture … Women already see men as larger and more powerful. They don’t need to fantasize it.”

The image of a towering heel squashing a tiny man is sexualized in certain subcultures, but it’s also used by the mainstream media to connote female power in general. As Jessica Valenti and The Cut have cataloged, stock-photo searches for “feminist” and “businesswoman” regularly turn up images that look indistinguishable from the Time cover; Valenti calls this the “Mean Feminists With Shoes and Poor Emasculated Dudes” look. The depiction doesn’t show high-powered women competing against male rivals, fair and square; it suggests that the very existence of the feminine in business and politics constitutes a threat to men. It’s both sexist and hacky. In turn, trample fetishists mine these “feminist” stock photos for masturbatory material. (You have learned something new.)

 

Clinton’s presumptive bid to become the first female president does position her as a powerhouse poised to stomp through the patriarchal status quo. But when publications like Time frame that feminist pursuit with images of women in pointy heels that leave feminized male “victims” in their wake, they undermine the female politician’s power even as they attempt to acknowledge it.

Time’s Hillary Clinton cover: Will our next president be a pointy heel trampling an emasculated dude?.

4 Stupid Ads That Had No Goddamn Clue How to Appeal to Women

Every now and again, a company decides to seek marketing ideas from people who have apparently never talked to an actual female. That’s the only explanation we can think of for bafflingly misguided pieces of “woman-friendly” advertising like …

#4. Hoover Creates a ‘Game’ Where You Iron Your Date’s Clothes

Hoover knew exactly what every woman’s idea of fun is when they created an online ad in the form of an interactive game for their new iron. The object of the game? Ironing a dude’s clothes before you go out on a date with him, of course. First, you’re prompted to pick one of three distinct types of douchebag:

hoover-ironspeed.com
“Can I just use the iron on my skull?”

As your suitor waits patiently by an ironing board, you must help him correctly pick the setting to put the iron on, because you have a vagina so you must know this shit. You also control the iron for him, since he’s too busy wagging his finger at you.

hoover-ironspeed.com
“This is also how we will have foreplay.”

The shitshow continues until your date is down to his underwear, as music befitting a porno smoothly jangles in the background. If you fail to finish your task within three minutes, you’re rewarded with an image of your date shrugging and giving you a “Whelp, now you have to fuck me” look.

hoover-ironspeed.com
In the DLC expansion pack, you have to show him how to fold his laundry.

#3. Credit Union Offers ‘Loans for (Insanely Stereotyped) Ladies’

NZCU Baywide, a New Zealand bank, created a program designed to give financial help to women who have been stuck in a time warp since the 1950s. Their “Loans for Ladies” website is decked out in a headache-inducing teal and bright pink, with cartoon ladies setting society back decades with phrases like, “Cinderella is proof a pair of shoes can change your life.”

loansforladies.co.nz
Meanwhile, the other lady is thinking, “That bitch jacked my style.”

They even encourage you to apply online by “taking your bra off” and “pouring a glass of pinot,” because apparently the unemployed Sex and the City writers have been making ends meet writing bank ads. But nothing on the site, not even the transparently fake testimonials, is as insulting as the part where they expect women to pay a 13.95 percent interest rate for buying shoes and clothes.

loansforladies.co.nz
OK, except maybe this part.

#2. Samsung Thinks Women Are Completely Baffled by Technology

In an internal ad for their new SSD, Samsung shows us how three different people use their computers: a businessman in an office, a savvy gamer dude, and a woman in a kitchen wearing fashion that would be considered modest in an Amish community.

Samsung
We’re pretty sure that collar is cutting off her air supply.

The men say they use their computers for work or file-sharing, while the woman adorably adds that she only uses hers for uploading pictures of her family (and probably looking for great deals on credit loans). They are then presented with a screwdriver and told that they can replace the drive themselves, at which point the female seems completely mystified by the alien object in her hand:

Samsung
“Screw-driver? Oh, no, I’m not allowed into the front of the car.”

The story has a fairy-tale ending as the woman is somehow able to replace the drive all on her own, a fact which seems to surprise her most of all:

Samsung
“I did it! I need to go lie down now, because my thinking parts are hurting.”

She is also excited about how quickly her computer starts up now, so she doesn’t have to leave it on while she does chores. Oh, Samsung. You’re adorable.

#1. Microsoft Helps You Convince Your Woman to Let You Buy an Xbox

To accompany the launch of the Xbox One and all the insanity that came along with it, Microsoft presented the “We Got Your Back” promotional gimmick — a form letter intended for a male to give to his significant other, if he wanted her to hit him in the head with a Kinect. We start with whimsically insulting lines like, “I know, I know. You’d rather knit than watch me slay zombies, but hear me out on this.”

Microsoft
“On the other hand, if she dumps you you’ll have more time for gaming. Win-win.”

Other parts of the letter mention you can “Skype with your favorite sister” and remind the recipient of how beautiful she is:

Microsoft
“When was the last time Sony called you pretty? That bastard takes you for granted.”

 

When users pointed out that this was kind of sexist to assume that only males wanted the new console while their wives knitted in disdain, Microsoft replied that you could easily change the highlighted words to make the letter address a dude — fair enough, so they wanted to insult everyone, we guess, not just women.

4 Stupid Ads That Had No Goddamn Clue How to Appeal to Women | Cracked.com.

Jennifer Lawrence Body-Shames You More Than You Might Realize

Here are some quotes Jennifer Lawrence has made over the years regarding her weight:

“I’d rather look chubby on screen and like a person in real life.” — Mirror

“In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress, I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach.”– HuffPost

“I eat like a caveman. I’ll be the only actress that doesn’t have anorexia rumors.” —Entertainment Weekly

“I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner!’ […]I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.” — Entertainment Weekly

“If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet,’ I’m like, ‘You can go f- yourself.” — The Gaurdian

“What are you gonna do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”– The Daily Mail

Tumblr celebrates her in .gif as a paragon of quirk and body acceptance, but one thing that may have escaped your notice in the orgiastic celebration of JLaw realness that is the Internet, is that Jennifer Lawrence is a fit, attractive, 20-something woman.

Let’s concede the point here that she is, perhaps, a size or two above the accepted Hollywood norm. It’s admirable, being the star of a movie franchise aimed at teens, that she is concerned about the effect a too-svelte appearance might have on her audience, who are already bombarded with negative body messages every day. But how her statements are being delivered — and how zealous and adoring fans have interpreted her words — only reinforce our cultural standards, and perpetuate the myth that only one type of body is acceptable.

I’m not going to cover the fact that it’s messed up that a girl like Jennifer Lawrence has to justify her perfectly gorgeous body to every single media consumer in the world. We all know that’s messed up. Let’s focus instead on the fact that in order to appease our own self-doubt about our weight, we, the Internet, have decided to ignore how body-shaming the entire image of JLaw, “Spirit Animal” to fat girls everywhere, really is.

First of all, consider her quotes. She would rather look chubby on screen, but like a person in real life? This is a message of positivity only for people who consider themselves chubby, and it comes at the expense of women who are thin. Maybe they’re thin because they’re sick. Maybe they’re naturally slender. But when someone says they would rather “look like a person” than look thin, the message between the lines is that thin people don’t look like people.

I want to know, Internet: at what percentage of body fat does a woman earn the right to be a person?

I’m certain that some of my fellow fatties looked at that quote and rolled their eyes. We know that weighing more doesn’t grant one personhood, because our alleged lack of self-control and dignity are directly linked to that body fat percentage. Fat people are not people in our culture. They’re “fat people.” So, what does that quote do? It’s not empowering to anyone but women who look like Jennifer Lawrence. And it’s not a coincidence that she just happens to be the Coke-bottle standard we’re told men should prefer.

I can’t help but think of the .gifs floating around Tumblr, the ones where Lawrence talks about how much food she eats, how she loves McDonald’s fries. Would the Internet have embraced those quotes coming from a larger actress? Someone like Melissa McCarthy?

I’ve noticed a funny thing about Melissa McCarthy. Well, besides the obvious, that she’s funny. But I’ve noticed that when Jennifer Lawrence talks about her weight, she talks about how much food she eats, and how she’s never going to diet to be thin. And when Melissa McCarthy is quoted about her weight, this is what she says:

“I don’t know why I’m not thinner than I am. I don’t really drink soda; I don’t have a sweet tooth, and we eat healthfully at home. We’re all weird for broccoli and pureed-vegetable soup, which we almost always have a big pot of in the fridge — it’s so good!” —Fox News

“I just don’t lose weight easily.” — People.com

“Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give it a single thought.”– Us Magazine

Because Melissa McCarthy actually is a fat woman, she isn’t allowed to make brash statements about body acceptance. She has to apologize for her body. Every single one of those quotes might as well have just said, “Sorry I’m fat and you have to look at me, everyone.” But it’s all she’s allowed to say, in the confines of our culture. If Melissa McCarthy had said, “If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet,’ I’m like, ‘You can go f- yourself,” the response will most assuredly not be, “How brave! How strong! What a good role model!” The response will be, “What a bad example, encouraging people to be unhealthy! We have an obesity epidemic! Open your eyes, fat is not healthy, sexy, or acceptable! How very dare she!” Even the mild statements she has made about being comfortable with herself and her body are greeted with backlash from armchair internet physicians bleating about health and lifestyle choices.

Imagine if Melissa McCarthy had made so many public comments about food and McDonald’s. It wouldn’t be cute or funny, it would be schtick. Look at the fat woman, being human and hungry for something bad for her! How grotesquely humorous it is when fat people eat! When Jennifer Lawrence makes these comments, it’s acceptable, because her body is still pleasing to our cultural expectation of voluptuous, slim-waisted, long-necked female beauty.

When Jennifer Lawrence says it’s “dumb” to go hungry to make other people happy, she’s saying it with the carefree attitude of a woman who probably will never have to make that choice to conform. Yes, she’ll be asked to diet for a role, and she feels the same pressure to meet cultural expectations as everyone else. But a woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t have to shop for her clothes in online stores because no physical storefronts carry her size. A woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence probably isn’t going to have a stranger try to stage an impromptu intervention in a Pizza Hut because they’re so, so concerned for her “health.” If a woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence goes to her doctor to complain of an ailment, she’ll be offered diagnostic tests instead of a diet plan. Jennifer Lawrence can say it’s “dumb” to go on a diet, but Jennifer Lawrence might not be facing weight-related prejudice or illness. Jennifer Lawrence may never be forced to make the choice between going hungry to lose weight versus having a knee and hip replacement at 35.

The reason Jennifer Lawrence is allowed to be a body-positive role model to young girls and “chubby” women is because she is representative of conventional beauty. Jennifer Lawrence’s public image has been built on a foundation of fat girl drag. She can say she’s “obese” by Hollywood standards, but the claim is laughable when women like Melissa McCarthy also make their living in the same industry and aren’t afforded the privilege of unapologetic expression Lawrence enjoys as a conventionally attractive person.

The message of body acceptance built on Jennifer Lawrence’s soundbites only empowers those who are willing to ignore the fact that her statements reinforce our current cultural views, rather than subverting them.

Jennifer Lawrence Body-Shames You More Than You Might Realize | Jenny Trout.

‘Men’s Rights’ Groups Are Spamming Occidental College With Hundreds Of False Rape Reports

Disgusting.
occidental

CREDIT: OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE

Occidental College has been flooded with over 400 false rape reports this week as internet trolls have attempted to prove a point about the school’s anonymous reporting system, according to college officials. Now, administrators are being forced to weed through the barrage of reports to determine if any real sexual assaults were reported during that time.

Members of the online communities Reddit and 4Chan, many of whom identify themselves as “men’s right activists,” started spamming Occidental after a user complained that it’s too easy to abuse the college’s anonymous reporting system. “Feminists at Occidental College created an online form to anonymously report rape/sexual assault. You just fill out a form and the person is called into the office on a rape charge. The ‘victim’ never has to prove anything or reveal their identity,” a user in the “Men’s Rights” subreddit wrote, and provided a link to the school’s form.

 

That spurred a flood of false reports, some of which claimed that assaults had been perpetrated by “Occidental College,” “feminists” or “Fatty McFatFat.” It was clear to administration officialsthat those reports “were clearly not made in good faith,” and the sheer number of reports — over 400 in just 36 hours — was also suspicious.

Occidental has recently made national headlines for its lackluster sexual assault policies. Some students say the university isn’t accurately reporting the number of rapes that occur on campus, and accuse administrators of inappropriately retaliating against the activists who have pushed for better systems. The college is currently subject to an ongoing federal investigation into the way it handles sexual assault — an increasingly prominent issue on campuses across the country.

But the Los Angeles Times reports that the anonymous reporting form in question isn’t actually a result of that recent push to hold Occidental accountable for its sexual assault policies. It was first implemented back in 2009 to encourage more victims to come forward. The allegations are reviewed by campus administrators and primarily used to track patterns, since the individuals who commit sexual assaults in college are typically serial rapists.

“The challenge for the college is not false reports,” a spokesperson for Occidental Collegeexplained. “Our experience is those are rare. The challenge for the college is getting the survivors to report, either to the college or police or both. Sexual misconduct is underreported everywhere, and we’re interested in providing as many options as possible.”

So-called “men’s rights groups” typically allege that efforts to crack down on sexual assault end up victimizing men, who they claim often become the subject of false rape reports. This isn’t the first incidence of these internet users trolling a campus. In October, after an Ohio University woman was photographed receiving oral sex in public and later filed a report saying she was assaulted, “men’s rights” supporters attempted to harass the women in question. They incorrectly identified her as a different Ohio University student, and posted that student’s contact information online. After she was flooded with messages calling her a liar, she withdrew from her classes and was afraid to leave her home.

Despite the fears fueling “men’s rights” supporters, false rape reports are very rare. Just 2 to 8 percent of reported rapes are based on false claims, and the women who file false claims often receive punishments that are far worse than the consequences for actual rapists. For instance, at Occidental College, some students who have been charged with rape have allegedly received punishments as light as being assigned a five-page book report.

Dr. Lisa Wade, an associate professor at Occidental who runs the Sociological Images blog, toldGawker that the flood of false reports is an example of a privileged class lashing out over losing some of that privilege. “The men targeting Occidental’s anonymous report form are mad that women are being listened to, that men’s voices are no longer given so much power that they can effectively drown out the voices of women,” Wade explained. “They’re mad because they’re not the only ones that matter anymore. I get it. To them, it really does feel unfair.”

‘Men’s Rights’ Groups Are Spamming Occidental College With Hundreds Of False Rape Reports | ThinkProgress.

An Artist Made A Bunch Of Hilarious Fake Posters That Advertise Photoshop As Though It Were A Beauty Product

These posters were put together by artist Anna hill.

These posters were put together by artist Anna hill .

Hill told BuzzFeed that she wanted to lampoon the unrealistic standards beauty ads have been following over the years:

 

The inspiration was from noticing beauty ads over the years looking unrealistically perfect, and thinking that they may as well be advertising Photoshop than what they sell. I just decided to make a fun, exaggerated parody of the ads and turn them around to make Photoshop the beauty product, instead.

She says that for the most part people have thought the ads were pretty funny.

She says that for the most part people have thought the ads were pretty funny.

Though there has been a few people who thought maybe the project had more to do with her own insecurities:

 

Most people have been awesome and supportive. I have seen plenty of negative comments, saying that I’m trying to make myself feel better by saying all models are ugly, which obviously was not the point. Most people have seen pictures of celebrities without makeup, with cellulite, and so on.

More than anything, Hill just wanted to point out that no one can live up to the unrealistic standard of Photoshopped images.

More than anything, Hill just wanted to point out that no one can live up to the unrealistic standard of Photoshopped images.

An Artist Made A Bunch Of Hilarious Fake Posters That Advertise Photoshop As Though It Were A Beauty Product.

Teach Your Daughters About Money

The other night, I was talking with a girlfriend about money. We talked about our jobs, what we wanted, and how we were going to make things work for ourselves over the next few years. I told her that, for me, the thing that had most tangibly changed my financial life was getting an accountant this year to handle my taxes and look at my finances for the first time. Because I was working for an American company, living overseas, and had multiple sources of income, it was essential for me at the time. Looking back now, I worry that, if I hadn’t been in those circumstances, I might never have gotten an accountant. I might never have asked all the questions — and gotten all the answers — that anyone my age should be asking.

It dawned on me, during our conversation, how rare it is for women to be brought up to talk about money. While my male friends might go to each other for career conversations or be more forthright when asking their bosses about all things money-related, finances were clearly one of those things that little girls never got the Big Talk about. My parents always taught me to be prudent, to save, and to prioritize things like health insurance, but I didn’t know what a 401K was. I didn’t know how to properly do my taxes (or, as my accountant was able to do, actually make them work for me). I looked at my work contracts, but rarely went over them with a fine-toothed comb and actually assessed my contributions. I had entered the professional world looking at things in strict terms of money earned versus money spent, and never considered what it meant to make financial decisions that would echo throughout the rest of my life.

Tipping the domino of finally having an accountant — whom I found, as anyone could, through his glowing online reviews — gave the impetus to do a thousand other things. I had a long, productive phone call with my banker and opened a new kind of account. I reached out to people in my life, both professional and friendly in nature, who were informed, successful, and had my best interests at heart. I started talking openly with my parents about my goals, and how I would reach them in the coming years. Suddenly, a whole world of foreign ideas for men in pinstriped suits became something I understood, and something I was determined to never be fooled by again.

You often don’t realize you have value until someone tells you, and from that moment on, you’ll never go back on yourself. You’ll never have a fear of negotiation, only a fear of someone else getting you for less than what you’re worth. You may not always get what you want, of course, but the shame or fear in being an advocate for your own financial future simply disappears. And no matter how much or how little you are earning, there is always a way to make what you have work more efficiently. There are programs like mvelopes — that I’d never heard of before someone told me — that can allow you to turn a shoestring budget into actual savings.

The more I learned, though, the more I resented the years I had spent being ignorant about money. While my parents were more thoughtful and open than most, I was still a girl. I still did not grow up surrounded by the kind of empowerment about money that many boys did. Some of it is generational, of course. Many of our teachers and influencers grew up in a world where women were simply not as present or as equal in the workplace. And we are still, every day, leveling out the playing field. But unless you actively break the spell in which you were raised — talking about money with girlfriends, having business brunches or book clubs where you read books about banking — you may never change things for the better.

And it’s not about every woman ending up an executive, leaning in until she has climbed all the way to the tippy-top of the corporate ladder and has a money manager at her personal disposal. It’s much simpler than that, and much more essential. As normalized as it has become for women to trade tips and anecdotes about fashion or beauty or celebrities, it should be equally normal for them to have a frank discussion about the things they have learned about their financial future. They should all be looking at their statements and their contracts with a keen eye and an unflinching desire to remain self-sufficient. If, one day, they end up being supported by a spouse while they raise children, there’s nothing wrong with that. But there should always be a backup plan, there should always be a foundation of savviness and work ethic that buffers them against the financial surprises even the most comfortable life can bring.

Your daughters deserve to know about money. They deserve to be brought up with the same sense of autonomy and importance around money that your sons are. Even if they never end up businesswomen, the art of balancing accounts and making decisions for the future are things that they need to be comfortable with. Every time your daughter opens a magazine and asks herself if her waistline or her eyeliner are refined enough, she should be opening up her budget spreadsheet and asking herself if she will be better off at this time next year. Because one day the world will be asking her to sign on the dotted line, and only you can decide if she will know where to put the pen.

Mary Barra Will Become the First Female CEO of GM – Cosmopolitan

Mary Barra, executive vice president of global product development of GM, will become CEO in January, the company announced. She will be the first female CEO in the company’s history.

Barra, 51, will replace Dan Akerson, who moved up his retirement after his wife’s cancer diagnosis. She joined GM as a co-op student when she was 18 and is currently #35 on Forbes’ Power Women list.

“I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed,” Barra said in a statement.

Without naming names, Akerson hinted at the historic change in leadership in September when he noted that dudes wouldn’t always be the ones in charge of the country’s biggest automakers. “Someday, there will be a Detroit Three that’s run by a car gal,” he said.

Mary Barra Will Become the First Female CEO of GM – Cosmopolitan.

To The Women Who Choose Not To Have Kids

To the women who choose not to have kids, I have one thing to say: thank you.

You probably don’t hear it enough. In fact, you probably don’t hear it at all. What you do hear is an array of pro-childbearing responses, such as, “You’ll change your mind someday,” or, “Doesn’t your mother want grandkids?” or, “You’ll never find a husband if you never want to have kids.” All things considered, “thank you” is probably on the opposite end of what you hear.

But seriously: thank you. Thank you for recognizing that childrearing isn’t for you and being true to who you are. It doesn’t mean you hate kids. It just means that raising one is not part of your path in life.

Thank you for not succumbing to the societal pressures. I’ve known far too many parents who had kids because that’s what was expected of them. Working in childcare, you see more of this type than you wish to see. The resentment is almost palpable. They love their children — at least, they have no choice but to love their children — but every single movement seems to scream, “I wasn’t meant for this.” I’ve known too many people who grew up with at least one parent who harbored that resentment, who let that resentment dictate how they parented. I’ve seen how that influenced the way these former children are now as adults, or even as parents themselves.

Thank you for not trying to compromise who you are in an effort to keep a partner around. Thank you for being honest and open and refusing to apologize for who you are. Everyone has different values. Everyone wants something different in life. It takes a lot of guts and confidence to say, “This is what I want in life. It’s not the orthodox way, but it’s my way.”

Thank you for not trying to silence that feeling in your gut as a means to validate your life. There are too many people in this world who cannot figure out their path — or have stumbled while walking down said path — and decided that maybe having a child could provide that meaning and definition instead. You understand that down this path lies vicarious living and hurt emotions and you recognize that there are so many other ways to find love and meaning and joy in your life.

Raising children is a difficult, onerous, frustrating, and disappointing gig. It’s tough enough for those who want it. It is a rewarding and loving gig as well, but it’s not something one should go into while focusing only on reward and love and societal acceptance. In this day and age, with a booming population in almost every country, it makes no sense to pressure every person to have a baby. But we’re sticklers to tradition, ritualistic to a fault.

So thank you. It’s not easy to stand firm with your belief. Honestly, truly, and genuinely: thank you.

To The Women Who Choose Not To Have Kids | Thought Catalog.

12 Female Authors Every Woman (and Man) Must Know

Esquire just posted a list called “12 Authors Every Man Must Know.” With entries like Stephen King and Philip Roth, it was the most phoned-in list I’ve read recently. I mean, really: Norman fucking Mailer? Shakespeare? The only woman chosen was Zadie Smith, which is legit but still, kind of obvious. It’s like someone did a Google search for “good authors” and picked the first ones they saw.

I’m not trying to discredit the authors chosen for the list; I’ve read something by most of them. I think each has his place in the literature canon. I was just a bit disappointed by the predictability. Maybe they could’ve included Tom Robbins? Michael Chabon? Junot Diaz? Or you know, maybe more than one woman?

A few friends and I put our heads together and made a list of the female authors that everyone needs to be aware of and the best places to start if you’d like to become more familiar with their work.

Alice Munro

Alice Munro is the master of the short story. She just won the Nobel Prize, for Christ’s sake. Her stories are written in a simple, clear tone but so layered and complex that you could spend a whole day just visiting and analyzing one. I love Alice Munro’s heroines. They’re sometimes plain, sometimes pretty, sometimes young, sometimes old, but always feel real. (Start here: “Runaway,” which began my love affair with Munro.)

Judy Blume

Don’t discredit JB because she is primarily a young adult author. Her books dealt with real shit young girls were going through: sex, periods, parents divorcing … Where would pop culture be without “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” Her forthright tone generated controversy in the ’70s and ’80s, but her books have since been published in over 31 languages. And if you’re anything like me, reading her adult novel “Summer Sisters” taught you a lot about sex when you were like, 12. (Start here: “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” Seriously! Read it.)

Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron is my personal favorite on this list. I just chewed my way through “The Most of Nora Ephron” and loved every second of it, especially her novel “Heartburn.” The late Ephron was a screenwriter (“When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” etc.) but also a director (“Bewitched”), essayist, blogger, playwright and all-around brilliant wit, sort of a modern-day Dorothy Parker. I miss her. (Start here: “The Most of Nora Ephron“)

Joan Didion

Eternally cool, eternally influential. Joan Didion is famous for her pointed, sharp essays on culture and history. She’s also written two devastating memoirs, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” about her husband’s death, and “Blue Nights” about the death of her daughter. She’s so smart it’s scary. (Start here: Essay collection “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” and memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking.”)

Mary Karr

Mary Karr defined the memoir genre with her groundbreaking, earth-shattering “The Liars’ Club,” which details her Texas childhood with a crazy but lovable mother. She went on to write two more: “Cherry,” about her teen years, and “Lit,” about her life as a young mother, writer and alcoholic and her eventual conversion to Catholicism. She’s razor-sharp both in prose and poems. I interviewed MK in person a few years ago and I was insanely nervous. She was perfectly lovely. (Start here: “The Liars’ Club“)

Margaret Atwood

Canadian author Margaret Atwood likes to inject a bit of sci-fi into her fiction. Consider “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Oryx and Crake,” which deal with alternate worlds, often in a restricted nation, that could actually take place in our modern-day society. (Kind of like the “Hunger Games,” yes.) She calls it “speculative fiction.” Atwood has also written several volumes of poetry and is active in politics, environmental issues and now, Twitter! (Start here: “The Handmaid’s Tale.”)

Amy Tan

The relationship between a mother and daughter can be complex, and Amy Tan captures the dynamics perfectly in “The Joy Luck Club.” “The Joy Luck Club” is her most famous novel, and it’s been adapted for sale all over the world as well as made into a film. She often writes about Chinese-American immigrants. Tan also writes award-winning children’s books and nonfiction. (Start here: “The Joy Luck Club“)

Joyce Carol Oates

Oates deserves a place here simply for her incredible output. She has written 40+ novels, plays, short stories and non-fiction works. I became acquainted with Oates via her imaginative biography of Marilyn Monroe, “Blonde,” for which she was nominated for a Pulitzer. Oates is famous for her fastidious work ethic; she writes in longhand! She somehow finds time to teach creative writing at Princeton. (Start here: “Blonde.”)

Jhumpa Lahiri

London-born, American-raised Lahiri grew up in Rhode Island, but her parents made sure to teach their children about their Bengali culture. She grew up to receive several writing degrees, publishing her first story collection in 1999. She writes often about Indian-Americans like herself. “The Namesake” was turned into a movie in 2007 and “Unaccustomed Earth” debuted at no. 1 on the NYT Bestseller List. (Start here: “Unaccustomed Earth.”)

Toni Morrison

Have you ever read anything as devastating as “Beloved?” Probably not. (If you haven’t read it, I’m not going to spoil it for you!) Morrison has both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize under her belt. Most of her oeuvre centers on black women, from “The Bluest Eye” about a little girl who wants nothing more than blue eyes, to the aforementioned “Beloved,” which is about slavery. Morrison is an inventive writer and her prose hits you right in the heart. (Start here: “Beloved.”)

Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis is another noted short-story writer. Her work is never boring; several of her stories are only a sentence or two. Some toe the line between fiction and poetry. She toys with the idea of a conventional short story and reforms it to her own liking. Tao Lin cites her as an influence. (Start here: “The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis.”)

Danielle Steel

Who cares if she writes romance novels? She’s the bestselling author alive right now and the FOURTH BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF EVER. That’s of all time, since books were made. That’s insane. Now 66, Steel has written hundreds of books and continues to churn them out. And guess what? All of them are bestsellers. I mean, they’re not high art, but there’s something to be said about someone who excels so wonderfully in the realm of mass-market literature. My grandma has to read too, you know. (Start here: I’ve always quite liked “Zoya” and “Palomino.” “Palomino” is my personal fantasy: inherit a ranch, fall in love with a hot ranch hand.)

12 Female Authors Every Woman (and Man) Must Know | Thought Catalog.

Fox Guest Encourages Female Host To Quit, Get Married, Have Babies

You DO Need A Husband!

Fox News ran a segment entitled “You Do Need A Husband!” on Sunday. Their guest, founder of the site ‘Women for Men’ Suzanne Venker, was on to argue that women are trying too hard to reduce their reliance on men. Her appearance followed up on her article “Why women still need husbands,” published Friday on Fox’s website.

In the piece, Venker argues that women won’t find fulfillment trying to balancing a relationship and family with full-time work. “Financial independence is a great thing,” she writes, “but you can’t take your paycheck to bed with you. And there’s nothing empowering about being beholden to an employer when what you really want is to have a baby. ” She uses this opinion to advocate for women having less of a role in the workforce, and letting men be the breadwinners. “Unlike women,” Venker writes, “a man’s identity is inextricably linked to his paycheck.”

During the segment, hosts Clayton Morris and Tucker Carlson lavished praise on the piece, thanking Venker for writing it and saying “I’m confused why this controversial.” But Fox correspondent Anna Kooiman seemed a little more skeptical of Venker’s argument, pointing out that, “some critics have said it’s a little bit too broad to say men are this way and women are that way.”

Kooiman then got personal with Venker, asking her for “some words of wisdom:”

KOOIMAN: I fit into that category perfectly. I’m single. I’m 29 years old. I’m very career-oriented. What is your advice in just a couple sentences?

VENKER: My advice is, as the years go on and you find that you want, if you do, to get married and settle down, to understand time is going to be your greatest enemy. Not your husband, not men, not the government, not your employers. It’s time, there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything. So if you learn to embrace that side of yourself that isn’t about work — in other words, the nurturing side, the motherhood, all of that — it’s okay to let your husband bring home that full-time income so you can have more of a balanced life. And we should really be thanking men for this, not saying they’re in our way or not doing enough.

Venker has previously argued that, as women become major breadwinners and stop acting like “traditional women,” they are becoming increasingly more annoying and less marriageable to men.

But no matter what prescriptive ‘answer’ Venker thinks is right for all women, she’ll have to get used to the fact that women are bringing home the bacon. In May, a Pew report found that a record-breaking number of families are relying on women’s income. And if women are feeling taxed and burnt out by that, it’s only because, while they grow as a share of the primary breadwinners in the country, they are still largely responsible for all the housework that goes into keeping a family.

 

Venker’s solution — that women need to stay home — ignores the structural inequities that make it so hard to balance this family and work. Outside of expectations, like Venker’s, that stick women with the housework, there’s also the problem that employers don’t adequately meet the needs of balancing family with work life. The United States lacks guaranteed paid parental leave, making it one of the least accommodating countries in the developed world for new parents. On top of that, a lack of guaranteed paid sick leave in most of the country means a lot of parents (and particularly mothers) are forced to make the choice between earning their wages and taking care of their kids.

Fox Guest Encourages Female Host To Quit, Get Married, Have Babies | ThinkProgress.