"Ben Weinberg first learned about feminism in high school, and he wasn’t impressed. [….] By the end of the semester, he opened up to the idea of fighting for equality and breaking gender norms—and he decided to take ownership of the F word.
“[Beforehand], there were a couple passionate women I was friends with, who somewhat deterred me from identifying as a feminist because their views seemed stigmatizing,” Weinberg said. “They said things like, ‘You wouldn’t understand, because you’re a man.’ It seemed like it was a female movement, for females only, so I didn’t really deal with it much.”
Ben’s previous outlook wasn’t—and isn’t—uncommon. And that’s thanks to the most obvious depictions of feminism in history and pop culture: women burning bras, aggressively rallying for the right to choose, for equal pay. Through it all, men’s voices have seemed drowned out. But today, that’s changing.
Starting with Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign, a movement that aims to engage men as agents of change in order to achieve gender equality. In the fall, she gave a 13-minute speech before the United Nations, noting that, errantly, “fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating,” and advocating for the breakdown of the harmful gender-oriented stereotypes that have caused this. “It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals,” she said. “If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer, and this is what HeForShe is about.” So far, 224,696 men have joined the movement.
Though male feminists are on the up track, there is still a lot of work to be done. Only about one-fifth of Americans Identify as feminists, and only 16 percent of these people are men, according to a 2013 YouGov pollThough numerous men do support equality, as well as other feminist issues, they shy away from adopting the actual label.
Jennifer Perrine, who’s been a professor of women’s and gender studies for nine years, doesn’t buy that feminism is negatively affecting young men, or any other group for that matter. She’s a proponent of “plural feminisms,” a combination of theories and practices that seek to prevent sexism, against both men and women. “Feminism can help young men just as much as it can benefit women: It expands our society’s capacity to shape different kinds of masculinities,” Perrine says. “In a feminist world, men aren’t forced into limited roles of the macho guy. They can be who they want to be, not who society dictates they should be.”
Perrine believes that educating people of all genders about what feminism really is the first step in diminishing the stigma around feminism. It’s exactly what worked for Ben Weinberg.
“It changed my perspective to realize that it’s not about putting men down to the level of women,” Weinberg said. “It’s about putting women up to [equality with men], and about uplifting every one. We should be passionate about the same issues.”
Danielle 18. Size 20/22, leaning more towards the latter. Boston, USA.
So in love with this body o’ mine. I hope everyone finds the peace that body positivity can bring them and with blogs like Chubby Bunnies around, we’re all one step closer. Love yourself, you cute fuckers.
"The pro-life political headway gained in 2014 has to be expanded in the next election, pro-life leaders told a standing-room-only session at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday.
“I think that abortion-centered feminism is dead,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, founder and president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which has now elected 100 pro-life House members and 19 pro-life senators to Congress.
Abortion-centered feminism may try to “crawl back,” she said, but the last election showed that voters respond to pro-life messages that abortions should be outlawed once fetuses can feel pain, and that taxpayer funds shouldn’t be used for abortion.
A priority for the new Congress, which now has a strong pro-life contingent in both chambers, is to pass a bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks gestation, when the unborn child is likely to be able to feel pain, said the panelists at CPAC’s session, “Baby Steps: The Pro-Life Success Story.”
Such a bill would be the first time Congress has acted to block abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, said Ms. Dannenfelser. Currently, abortions are legal throughout pregnancy.
Several states have enacted these 20-week, “pain-capable unborn child” abortion bans, she said, and the issue is likely to follow the same “zigzag path” that the partial-birth abortion ban took to the Supreme Court.
Other activities are to encourage abortion-clinic regulations and limits on webcam-abortions, said Ms. St. Martin.
Many members of the audience indicated that they were already active with pro-life groups on campus or in their communities, and a few more said they would be signing up too.
The 2016 presidential election is very important — it “will either set us back or set us forward decades,” said Ms. Dannenfelser.
“Be encouraged. We are making a difference,” said Ms. Yoest.
U.S. readers, they aren’t kidding - the 2016 election IS make or break for women’s rights, specifically reproductive freedom. It’s nearly inevitable that the next president will elect one or more Supreme Court judges - who make the most important decisions facing the country - FOR LIFETIME APPOINTMENTS.
The recent attacks -and wins - against reproductive freedom and women’s rights are backed by a Supreme Court elected by past conservatives. If we get a conservative president in 2016, the implications for women are horrifying.
"A Mighty Girl Celebrates Engineers Week 2015: Thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Dava Newman, the first humans exploring Mars will likely have much greater mobility than the astronauts of today. Newman, an aerospace engineering professor at MIT, has spent over a decade researching, designing and building a next-generation space suit, one that is sleeker, more resilient and will allow for greater freedom of motion and comfort for astronauts.
Newman’s spacesuit, which is called the “BioSuit,” is unlike traditional spacesuits in that it provides pressure mechanically rather than with pressurized gas. The tension lines on the suit help to keep the suit pressurized close to the skin and the use of active materials like nickel-titanium shape-memory alloys make the suit highly flexible. And, unlike today’s gas pressurized suits which, as Newman says, “it’s game over with a puncture,” the BioSuit can be repaired with a space-grade Ace Bandage. BioSuits can also be made to fit people of all statures unlike the current suits that only fit people 5’5” or taller, which would allow shorter men and women to enter the space program.
Newman, who is pictured here in her BioSuit, is also excited about the applications of her research beyond space. The same technology could be used to help boost athletic performance and in improving the mobility of people with cerebral palsy. “We’ll probably send a dozen or so people to Mars in my lifetime. I hope I see it,” she says. “But imagine if we could help kids with CP just move around a little bit better.”
With additional funding, Newman believes the suit could be ready in two to three years and is optimistic that the BioSuit will be ready for the first human mission to Mars. To read an article by Newman about the BioSuit in NASA’s Ask Magazine (PDF), visithttp://1.usa.gov/TaXdov — or watch a TED by Newman about the BioSuit athttp://bit.ly/18uUoXj