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For many of us, it’s hard to fully grasp the reality of what happened during the U.S. presidential election last night.

The entire world was watching, because the political and cultural effects of this election – perhaps more than any other election in recent history - will send shockwaves across the globe.

And as the world was watching, we lost. The results of the election were a stark reminder that we still live in a white supremacist, patriarchal nation. Progressivism, economic equality, and human rights took a beating. Racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia won, as Americans affirmed white supremacy and patriarchy and hate. Hate for Muslims, refugees, people of colour, the poor, the queer community – sadly, the list seems endless. Now is not the time to mince words. The real-world impact of negative images and reactionary words has never been more clear.

Waking to a new day after a long and sleepless night, many of us are still in deep shock and in a state of mourning. And we must give ourselves permission to grieve. But once we grieve, then we must fight. We must be organized and strategic. We cannot let hate win because this isn’t just about us; this is about the world.

And to the world, we say: we refuse to surrender to the forces which seek to silence women. We will not stand idly by and allow the continued intimidation of people of colour, non-Christians, LGBTQ+ folks, and all those who exist at the intersection of multiple identities. We can and will participate in the mobilization of our communities. We will resist the hate. And in the end, we will win.  

It’s only through collective action that social justice can prevail. Stand in solidarity. Get involved. Join us.

In grief and solidarity, 
Anita Sarkeesian and the entire Feminist Frequency team

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes
—  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Capitalism is about freedom for everyone, especially when it comes to the freedom to live off of other people’s labor and get obscenely wealthy in the process.”

“If you don’t like the way a business treats its employees, shop somewhere else; ethical consumerism will shift attention away from those who treat their workers like shit and onto the individual consumer.”

“The right to voluntarily enter into binding contracts should never be abridged, especially when those contracts carry implicit power and class imbalances with them.”

“Corporations participate in philanthropy every now and then, thus alleviating the structural theft they participate in every day.”

“Poor people just need to find jobs and prove that they can be profitable to me, all so they can demonstrate that they deserve to gain access to the life necessities I have so much of that I could wipe my ass with them.”

If you have only gotten to know me in the last 8 years, let me make something clear to you. I have never been quiet about my political, economic, and religious views. My stance as a humanist, atheist, progressive, democratic socialist is not a secret. I am not afraid to discuss these topics, as I deeply believe that open, frequent, fact centered debate is the highest hallmark of our democracy, and one of the most reliable forces of peaceful change available to us. My dedication to human rights, social justice, and economic equality should be no surprise to you.

But if you have only known me in the last 8 years, you have only known me during a democratic presidential term, and that means my opinions and dialogue has been tempered by the successes of progressive leadership. Youve never seen me while a republican was in charge.

In short, yall aint seen nothing yet.

Advertisers must convince young women that they are in need of constant improvement largely to get and keep boys’ attention without threatening young women’s views of themselves as intelligent, self directed, and equal. Buzzwords like “empowerment,” “self-determination,” and “independence” are sprinkled liberally across their pages. But this seemingly progressive rhetoric is used to sell products and ideas that keep girls doing gender in appropriately feminine ways, leading them to reproduce, rather than challenge, gender hierarchies. An ad for a depilatory cream, for instance, tells girls that they are “unique, determined, and unstoppable,” so they should not “settle… for sandpaper skin.” Feminist demands for political and economic equality - and the refusal to settle for low-wages, violence, and second-class citizenship - morph into a refusal to settle for less than silky skin. Pseudo-feminist language allows young women to believe that they can “empower” themselves at the checkout counter by buying the accoutrements of traditional femininity. Girls’ potential choice to shun make-up or hair-removal disappears, replaced by their choice of an array of beauty products promising to moisturize, soften, and smooth their troubles away.
—  Amanda M. Gengler, “Selling Feminism, Consuming Femininity” (2011)
I AM A FEMINIST

“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of all genders, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, ability and sexual orientation.”

I am a feminist because I am too scared to walk alone at night.

I am a feminist because I got lined up in a classroom in order of who had the nicest arse, aged thirteen, by all the boys in the class.

I am a feminist because everyone asks me if I’m feeling OK on the days I don’t wear makeup.  

I am a feminist because a man I was managing was paid the same as me.

I am a feminist because every girl I know was sexually harassed before the age of sixteen.  

I am a feminist because women write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and they’re labelled chick lit. I am a feminist because men write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and get longlisted for the Booker prize.  

I am a feminist because 50% of the films nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards did not pass the simple Bechdel test.

I am a feminist because whenever I watch a movie, music video, or open a magazine, I feel instantly insecure about my body.

I am a feminist because my two-year-old niece pointed to a picture of a blue hat in a book and said, “Boy’s hat”.

I am a feminist because I am regularly interrupted by men whenever I dare to open my mouth.  

I am a feminist because when I do mixed-sex school visits, the girls never, ever put their hand up to ask a question. But, when it’s just girls, we usually have to leave extra time for questions.

I am a feminist because I feel I need to hide my tampon up my sleeve on the way to the toilet.

I am a feminist because teenage boys come up to me at events and ask if they’re “allowed” to read my books.

I am a feminist for all the boys I supported, working at a charity, who would rather harm themselves than cry.

I am a feminist because my wonderful, caring, brilliant feminist father has still never cleaned a toilet in his life.  

I am a feminist because this is only the tip of it. The tip of it in my privileged, first-world, pale-skinned, straight, fully-abled life.  

I am feminist for all the women for whom it is unimaginably harder than it is for me.

I am a feminist because I am angry and exhausted and terrified and frustrated and confused. And even though it’s so much harder to fight, so much easier to roll over, I am a feminist because… how can you not be a feminist?  

I am a feminist for all the things I’m damaged by that I don’t want to share here today.  

I am a feminist. And I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty and defensive. I’m not saying that because I think you’re a bad person. I’m not saying that because I hate half of the human population and want them all punished.  

I am saying that because I believe every human being should have an equal shot at a healthy and happy life, no matter what body they are born into. And that’s not going to happen unless we fight, unless we speak up, unless we occasionally make people feel uncomfortable, unless we – at the very freaking least – TRY.

That’s why #IAmAFeminist. Now, how about you?

“For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals” - Emma Watson

Democrats neither can nor should ditch “identity politics”

For as long as I can remember, white male left-of-center intellectuals have made opposition to “identity politics” a core part of their identity. When the Democratic Party wins some elections, this opposition usually takes the form of dark warnings that “identity politics” constitutes a form of creeping totalitarianism, whereas when the Democratic Party loses an election, it takes the form of a dark warning that identity-based appeals are the cause of the loss.

Mark Lilla, a humanities professor at Columbia University, has a very prominent entry in the latter category of essay out this weekend calling for “The End of Identity Liberalism” in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

As always with these essays, there is a profoundly true part, namely that you cannot effectively mobilize a political coalition for economic equality, environmental justice, or anything else unless you are able to secure the votes of a large number of white people. Which means, among other things, that even the cause of defending the rights and interests of ethnic minority groups requires political arguments that touch on other subjects and appeal to other groups of voters.

The reality, however, is that politics is not and will never be a public policy seminar. People have identities, and people are mobilized politically around those identities. There is no other way to do politics than to do identity politics.

But to win a national election, you need to do it well. In particular, to get 270 electoral votes or 51 Senate seats, Democrats are going to need the votes of more Midwestern white people than they got in 2016. But to think that they can do that by somehow eschewing identity is ridiculous — white Midwesterners have identities, too, and nobody votes based off detailed readings of campaigns’ policy PDFs. The challenge is to speak more clearly and more effectively to the identity of people who feel left behind in the 21st century as well as those who experience contemporary problems as part of a longer-term struggle to get a fair shake.

— Matt Yglesias