Links of the Week 10/05/2012

1. Viewpoint: Are Africa’s women on the rise? [BBC World News]

Research clearly illustrates that the principle of male supremacy is the engine of the oppression of many African women.

For women to be on the rise, the ideology of seeing men as people who are superior to women has to be brought to an end.

Another factor that is crucial to remember is that right now, only two out of 54 African countries are being led by women.

This pathetically imbalanced proportion is being read by some as women being on the rise.

2. When Will The Media Start Portraying Black Women Without Betraying Them? [Racailicious]

Kanye West once famously said, “If it wasn’t for race mixing, there’d be no video girls.” While I shouldn’t be quoting West as a wise philosopher, his comment revealed the rampant colorism and objectification of women seen in the entertainment world, where light-skinned women are privileged but then utilized as props. And such sentiments don’t seem to be going anywhere. This year, we saw the release of Eric Benet’s ode to light-skinned women, “Red Bone Girl,” where he recalls his experience with a light-skinned woman whose “reputation ain’t squeaky clean.” Benet, surprised by the outrage this caused, said “You can talk about having an experience with a dark-complected person but how dare you talk about having an experience with a light skinned person.” The fact of the matter is too much has been afforded to and denied of black people based on skin color to claim that a song celebrating a woman’s fair complexion is a simple matter of attraction. If her skin color was irrelevant to him, the song wouldn’t have been written.

3.The Myth of Male Decline [The New York Times]

Much has been made of the gender gap in educational achievement. Girls have long done better in school than boys, and women have now pulled ahead of men in completing college. Today women earn almost 60 percent of college degrees, up from one-third in 1960.

Domestic violence rates have been halved since 1993, while rapes and sexual assaults against women have fallen by 70 percent in that time. In recent decades, husbands have doubled their share of housework and tripled their share of child care. And this change is not confined to highly educated men.

Among dual-earner couples, husbands with the least education do as much or more housework than their more educated counterparts. Men who have made these adjustments report happier marriages — and better sex lives.

ONE thing standing in the way of further progress for many men is the same obstacle that held women back for so long: overinvestment in their gender identity instead of their individual personhood. Men are now experiencing a set of limits — externally enforced as well as self-imposed — strikingly similar to the ones Betty Friedan set out to combat in 1963, when she identified a “feminine mystique” that constrained women’s self-image and options.
4. A Culture Confused by Fake Boobs [ Tracee Ellis Ross]
I believe our bodies are sacred and wise and beautiful. I’m drawn to anything “natural,” and so, I love boobs of all shapes and sizes: big, small, sloppy, raisins, tits, milk-duds, fake, real, flat, bra or no bra. I call my breasts “boobs,” but if I was looking at my breasts from the outside I would probably refer to them as tits. I think my tits are quite pretty and I like where God placed them.
I have, on numerous occasions, been confronted by other people’s discomfort with my breasts (and not just online). I had a horrid audition experience where the casting director actually made someone in her office take off their own push-up bra for me to wear because she did not like where my breasts were sitting. Apparently, the whereabouts of my breasts were key to my acting skills!
Let’s also remember that we all come in different shapes and sizes, and that beauty cannot be defined by a single category. And let’s remember that the drop and movement of a natural breast is wonderfully sexy.

3 thoughts on “Links of the Week 10/05/2012

  1. I’ve read a few articles about the rise of women in developing nations, and one common theme is that the single greatest factor in achieving that rise is educating girls when they are young and continuing it through the teen years. The problem, according to those same articles, is that there are so many obstacles to getting an education for most girls. It’s amazing what we take for granted here in the States.

    Tim

    • Hi Tim, Thank you for your comment. Definitely I believe that education is a vehicle for self-empowerment. However, I also believe that besides educating girls there needs to be a cultural shift. One in which men begin to see women as their equals. I recently conducted an interview with one of my schoolmates who is originally from Uganda (http://browngirlinaring.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/what-is-life-like-for-a-working-woman-in-uganda/) and she spoke about the challenge of being a manger because men do not like to take orders from women. In developing nations and like everywhere else we need men to come a long side women. Thanks again for your comment. :)

  2. wow i really like these view points that you’ve shared. this is a man’s world and as much as I’d like to see more progression , black women have come a long way but it does seem to take quite a while to get there.

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