Five Family-Friendly Feminist Fights


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Let’s talk about family values, y’all. I’m not talking about the so called “family values” pushed by the religious right. This isn’t some anti-marriage-equality Focus on the Family nonsense that keeps families from accessing legal rights. And it’s not about pressuring hetero couples to maintain gender norms for the good of the children, nor is it about taking reproductive choices away from people. No, the anti-feminists have falsely laid claim to the political realm of the family for too long.

Families are important, and family values, real family values, are feminist values. To prove it to you, here’s a list of five family-forward policies feminist are pushing for and taking action on–and way that you can join in the work.

It's a cute baby in a ruffly dress, kinda sad or confused facial expression, tongue slightly out of mouth

Please enjoy this marginally relevant stock photo of an adorable baby.

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Disrupt for Planned Parenthood


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Hello Dear Disruptors,

A lot of fun things happened this past week.  The U.S. Congressional House’s decision on Friday to stop funding Planned Parenthood for a year was not one of them.  That funding enables approximately 2.7 million people to access free and affordable healthcare, enabling both women and men in low-income areas to control their reproductive health, as well as providing other needed healthcare services.  Infuriatingly, the move to deprive these people of access to these services was grounded in a slew of inaccuracies, and the claim that low-income individuals can readily access these services elsewhere is simply not the case.

That brings us to this week’s Promote a Petition.  Except instead of just a petition, we’re calling on our community of disruptors to step up to the plate and promote Planned Parenthood in whatever way we can.  This issue — all people’s right to reproductive healthcare regardless of gender or income — is at the heart of intersectional feminism.  It gives women and people with gestational anatomy the rights to their own bodies, provides healthcare to people who cannot afford it, and promotes upward mobility by preventing girls, women, and people with gestational anatomy from having to choose between parenthood and their education / financial stability. Further, it helps prevent survivors of sexual assault from having to deal with further trauma as a result of the violence that they have already experienced.

Even though each of us individually may feel that our efforts don’t matter, when we band together, they most assuredly do.

Planned Parenthood Logo. Slogan reads "Care. No matter what." Continue reading

Musings of a dead salmon


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Soooo it’s happened again.  There’s another pop science article arguing that there are “real differences” between “female and male brains” and citing hormones as the root of gender differences in cognitive ability.  There are so many of these that I usually just scowl at them as they go by, but every so often there’s one so blatantly terrible that I can’t help but swing at it.  This recent Slate article was one such doozy.  Get out your baseball bats.

The Synopsis

According to the initial report of the study that the Slate article is writing about, these researchers took pictures of the brains of 18 trans individuals undergoing hormone therapy as part of their transition to living as male.  Over the course of 4 weeks, these researchers found statistically significant decreases in the gray matter of two brain regions involved in language processing.  They also found significant increases in the white matter connecting with these areas, which they say they found “surprising” — translation: “does not support our conclusion.”  Their conclusion, of course, is that hormones, specifically testosterone, may contribute to gender differences in verbal ability. The pop science article extends this to imply that hormones could totally explain all such functional gender differences.

We’ve got great stuff to work with here. Continue reading

Walking the Walk

I’m on the diversity committee at work and am basically a walking diversity yelling machine outside of work too, so I take keeping my own mind open (and my cultural humility robust) very seriously.

It’s relatively easy for me to work on certain prejudices I have within the context of the social justice movements I’m involved in–race, sexuality, size, gender, class, etc…these are commonly discussed, and I am constantly engaging with people from these communities. However, there is one noticeably absent group of people in my social justice world: people with cognitive disabilities.

Superman figure standing next to a megaphone with text “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”

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We’re Back!

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Models Amber Rose (L) and Blac Chyna attend the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 30: Models Amber Rose (L) and Blac Chyna attend the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

And just in time to shower Amber Rose and Blac Chyna with praise and adoration for their utter fabulousness!

As you might have heard, the 2015 MTV awards were basically a shit show of anti-blackness. There were white dreads, police brutality jokes, and Miley Cyrus referring to Snoop Dogg as her “Mammy.”  But in the midst of all that nonsense Amber, Chyna, and their entourage were here to give us life with bold a reclamation of sexist epithets:

“We have… pretty much every derogatory word you can call a woman on our outfits. We’re embracing the negativity because no matter if we’re out with our sons, or out with our moms, or got a new boo, we’re labeled a slut because we’re sexy and we’re sexual beings…. and we’re just over that.”

GO OFF! While Miley was on stage derailing Nicki Minaj’s critiques of anti-blackness in the industry, and just generally exemplifying peak white feminism, these two fly women of color were giving us feminist gospel on the red carpet. If you’re in LA, check out the website for the upcoming Amber Rose Slut Walk.

Disrupting Dinner Parties Sabbatical

Hello dear Disruptors!

After much deliberation, DDP has decided to take a temporary sabbatical.  As a blog based entirely upon volunteer writers and editors, and the administrative work that goes on behind the scenes, we decided that we could use some R&R to rest, take care of some blog restructuring, and ultimately get back to providing you all with awesome content.  We’ll still be posting from time to time, and we will check in to let you know once we are getting back to our regular schedule.  In the meantime, please hang on to any guest submissions that you may have for us – we look forward to reading them once DDP is back in full swing!

All the best,

The DDP Editors’ Circle

The loneliness of being a feminist


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This guest post was written by Suzannah Weiss and originally published at her blog, DWF (Dating While Feminist). It is republished with permission here because we think it’s awesome.  For more cool posts, check out more of Suzannah’s work here!

After Scott Aaronson’s confession of the isolation and shame he felt as a male nerd and Laurie Penny’s response about the social isolation of female nerds, I thought I’d add something to the discussion about the isolation of being a feminist.

As I’ve gotten surer of my feminist beliefs and feminism has become a greater part of my life, I’ve felt a progressively stronger need to censor myself. When coworkers ask what I’ve been doing outside of work, I leave out anything about my feminist book club or other feminist organizations I’ve been involved with. If my writing comes up in conversation with someone I don’t know too well, I say something very vague about what topics it addresses. I am always on guard, fretting over how much information to give out and how to spin it to avoid being coined the Feminazi.

Let me tell you how I developed this fear of the Feminazi label.

I developed this fear over the course of many scarring interactions that made it clear I could not expect my relationships to be the same after I expressed my feminist sympathies.

It comes from the college friend who told me “You’re not going to become an angry feminist now, are you?”

It comes from the boyfriend who told me feminists have an anger complex that usually comes from being abused.

It comes from an extremely liberal friend I assumed was a feminist until she said “No, I’m a people person, so I don’t want to associate myself with a group that antagonizes anyone.”

It comes from the boyfriend who told me I was “aggressively wary” for pointing out a double standard in a movie.

It comes from the Tinder user who responded to my unsuspecting “hello” with “Are you feminist? That’s mean. Do you not like boys?”

It comes from the OKCupid user who said, “You don’t want a man with balls, do you?”

It comes from the commenters who left threats when I published an article about sexists on online dating sites.

It comes from the coworker who turned to me and said “Come on” when I called out another coworker for advocating pickup artist tactics.

It comes from the coworker who said “I’m not having this conversation” and left the room when I tried to point out that something he said objectified women.

It comes from the crush who laughed when I told him about my feminist book club.

Cumulatively, these experiences have taught me I am not safe expressing my views. They have taught me to bite my tongue. And they have taught me to be careful about the people I trust and the people I choose as friends and romantic partners. When I was younger and less developed as a feminist, I could befriend or date anyone reasonably progressive. Now, I need people I can be myself around – and that’s not everyone.

It has been comforting to hear from others whose feminism has distanced them from people they once depended on.

As feminism gets more important to me, I’m learning how to craft a community intentionally rather than following whoever recruits me to their friend group. I’ve sought out meetups, clubs and organizations where people share my values. It’s less convenient but ultimately more rewarding.

If you’re experiencing the loneliness of being a feminist, know that others are feeling the same way, and maybe reach out to them. So many of us are feeling this loneliness, you wouldn’t think we’d be lonely. But the people who have cut off the reach of our feminism have also made it harder for us to reach one another. It’s difficult for feminists to meet when we don’t identify ourselves.

The best solutions I’ve found are to be deliberate about who I spend my time with, to treat this collection of people as my support system, and to listen carefully for others who might want to be a part of this community. It may take a while for the topic to be broached, but if I slowly ease into the conversation, listen for signs of feminist sympathies, and get increasingly specific as these signs accrue, a huge wave lifts when I finally feel safe to use the word “feminist” and the word is met with welcoming and acceptance rather than shaming and rejection.

National Museum of Women in the Arts



NMWA pic

Nothing is as invigorating, inspiring and delightful as an art exhibit. For me growing up, each museum trip was a chance to explore the world, across time and cultures. One of my favorite museums in DC – 1250 New York Ave, NW to be exact – is the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Founded in 1987, the museum has committed itself to representing and displaying solely the art of women. The collection includes over 4,500 pieces. From classic – Mary Cassatt – to contemporary – Chakaia Booker – there is an artistic appeal for everyone.

 And the best part…every FIRST Sunday from 12pm-5pm, the museum is FREE!!

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Lessons Learned from a Diabetes Prevention Class

I teach a class (part of a year-long program) that’s a combination info-session and support group for people trying to reduce their risk of developing diabetes. It’s been an interesting experience trying to inject feminism into this class without straying from the curriculum or alienating my participants, but I try!


This is exactly what we look like every class.

Interestingly enough, I’m learning some things from my participants that I don’t encounter often, if at all, in the online feminist communities I’m a part of. My participants are generally local, generally Vermont-born, and mostly women between 40 and 80.

Here are a few of my favorite new pieces of wisdom:

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Appreciate a Female Comic Friday: Cameron Esposito



I don’t even know where to start with how much I love Cameron Esposito.  She is hilarious.  She is out.  She has a fabulous sense of humor and applies it to the serious challenges that queer folks deal with in a way that makes it feel funny and more bearable.

Did I mention that I’m obsessed?  Here is some of her awesome standup work (content note for street harassment):

And here is one of my favorite videos of hers, part of what we can only hope will become an infinite buzzfeed series. Now go watch everything she’s ever made. You’re welcome.


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