Weekly Girl Crush: Podcast Edition

If you’ve had even a passing acquaintance with me, then you’ve likely already determined my Homeric epithet: I’m clearly podcast-listening Anna. It’s not just that I begin approximately 85% of my sentences with “I was listening to this podcast that said…”, but I also rarely walk more than four feet without reaching for my earbuds. I’ve started measuring all train rides not in minutes passed but in number of podcasts consumed. And, what’s worse, I’ve recently changed my iPhone settings so that I now listen to all podcasts at 1.5 times the speed and, thus, can ingest even more delightful knowledgeable goodness.

I know: It’s a problem.

But in the midst of all this witty chatter and educated analysis, I’m constantly surprised by the limited number of feminist-themed podcasts available over at iTunes. Feminists on the Internet are certainly not a rare breed, but the ratio of feminist bloggers to feminist podcasters is about the same as the ratio of people who watch House of Cards to the number of people who can name the current majority whip. But, thankfully, a few brave ladies have sorted out their business, set up a microphone, and begun righting this imbalance. Continue reading “Weekly Girl Crush: Podcast Edition”

Leave Lena Dunham Alone!

Image Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue
Image Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

Wasn’t it only last week that Lena Dunham was the Internet’s favorite body-positive darling? When she calmly responded to a television critic who objected to the presence of her insufficiently titillating body, she was lauded in a hundred feminist think pieces championing her rejection of television’s no-thigh policy. But apparently all that good will was shot when she had the audacity to have the bags under her eyes digitally removed. The horror!

After Dunham’s rather pretty Vogue spread was published on Wednesday, Jezebel posted a $10,000 bounty for the release of the unretouched photos. Was it because they didn’t believe she could look that glam? Of course not! Was it because they thought she’d look heavier in the originals? Certainly no! Was it because Dunham haters would flock to Jezebel in order to see unflattering images? Never! See, Jezebel was just trying to attack the harsh beauty standards propagated by the fashion industry and promote body acceptance. Clearly, because nothing screams “love yourself!” like pointing tiny arrows at the “flaws” in a woman’s face and figure. Continue reading “Leave Lena Dunham Alone!”

Why I’m a Picky Single Woman in Brooklyn

Image Credit: New York Observer
Image Credit: New York Observer

Should we believe the recent New York Post assertion that Brooklyn women are the nation’s pickiest? I’m suspicious if only because this claim manages to cram three of the trendiest of all trend topics—single women, online dating, and, of course, Brooklyn—into a 250-word article. I was shocked that they didn’t manage to squeeze Miley Cyrus in there as well. That was a missed opportunity. But the brief article does offer the standard picture of outer-borough dating with entitled women, lazy men, and the obligatory use of the word “artisanal.” Lurking beneath this generalization is the assumption that single women are a problem and that this problem is the result of our heightened expectations. Why won’t we just respond to the dudes sending us unsolicited dick pics on OKCupid? Why won’t we be chill and engage in a commitment-free non-relationship with a guy who takes voting advice from Russell Brand? What’s wrong with us? Don’t we know that our ovaries aren’t a renewable resource? Haven’t we read the statistics about marrying after 40? Yes we do, and yes we have. But, perhaps, shockingly, some of us would still rather be happy than be married. Continue reading “Why I’m a Picky Single Woman in Brooklyn”

We’re All Dating “Sleepless in Austin”

Image Credit: Gregg Segal for Time
Image Credit: Gregg Segal for Time

Nothing sets the feminist Internet abuzz quite like sexism presented in a bulleted list. Whether it be the Craigslist “worthy gentleman” with his fondness for misplaced quotation marks, the New Jersey surgeon who went to five—count them five—universities, or the newest entry, the racist, sexist gem known as “Sleepless in Austin,” these troglodytes are comic gold. We make fun. They go away. And everyone is happy. Because we assume they are merely an aberration or an unfortunate throwback to the days when people thought reading made women infertile. But these entitled men with their laundry lists of physical requirements keep popping up because we’ve raised a generation of men who believe that it’s totally acceptable for a man to dictate how a woman should look. Sure, most men have a bit more self-awareness and empathy than this unfortunate Austinite. But they’ll still tell their girlfriends exactly how much pubic hair they’re allowed to have. So “Sleepless in Austin” isn’t a joke. He’s like 75% of the unmarried men in New York City.

Humans, both male and female, have always had physical preferences, but heterosexual young men suddenly feel that it’s socially acceptable to voice these predilections to the women lying naked beside them. Although I‘m normally opposed to blaming every 21st-century ill on Internet porn, I’m making an exception in this case. Because porn, and media saturation in general, is clearly a big part of this problem. When a young man spends countless hours a day directing one nondescript girl after another to perform at his command, it shouldn’t be surprising that he considers it reasonable to tell his girlfriend that her upper arms are flabby. When 99% of the women he encounters in the media have been curated to meet his specifications, why wouldn’t he expect his girlfriend to follow suit?

Continue reading “We’re All Dating “Sleepless in Austin””

Weekly Girl Crushes

Image Credit: David X. Prutting / Newscom
Image Credit: David X. Prutting / Newscom

1. Icona Pop

Icona Pop’s anthem for millennial female badassadness clearly should have been the song of the summer. But, alas, we were all too busy listening to Alan Thicke’s douchy son being a douche. But we can now make up for this by listening to our favorite Swedish duo’s newly released album. It’s catchy, witty pop featuring yet another lady anthem, much lesbian innuendo, and not a single reference to anyone from the cast of Growing Pains. Fall 2013 is winning.

2. Messy Nessy Chic

Who wouldn’t want to spend hours looking at old-timey photos of abandoned Victorian tree houses, vintage sass, and the real Jessica Rabbit? People who hate fun, that’s who. Normally, whimsy is something I actively avoid, but I’ve been obsessed with the Messy Nessy Chic website ever since I happened upon their post about Hilda, the forgotten American pinup—who perfectly encapsulates everything that’s right about this site. It’s twee. It’s quirky. It’s beauty before Photoshop. And it’s totally destroying my productivity in the best possible way.

3. Lorde

Pop music is supposed to celebrate three things: excess, poor judgment, and inexplicably expensive spandex. So if you try to listen to any type of pop “music with a message,” you’ll likely give it about 45 seconds before switching back to Kanye. Pop isn’t supposed to take itself too seriously. But then here comes some 16-year-old Kiwi to prove us all wrong. Lorde’s single “Royals” is an ode to anti-materialism that somehow manages to be fun. That’s no mean feat. And she makes spare videos featuring random, dancing New Zealand teenagers. And she’s holding a rat on the cover of her album. And she has big 80s hair. I like this chick.