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P&G Invites Indian Men to Clean Their Own Underwear

The Editors
February 29, 2016 9:00 AM

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

This App Splits the Check by Race and Gender
Picture this: You're at the end of a delicious meal with 10 of your friends; you even splurged and got dessert. Then the check comes – and with it, the dreaded task to split it. Luckily your smart phone has a calculator, or you might even have an app that tells you how much tip you should leave. But comedian Luna Malbroux has a better solution that might make your friends wish they ordered more (or less). Her newest app idea, Equipay, divides your bill with adjustments for race and gender income inequalities. Malbroux explains, "We're talking about a general system of inequality where for the same job, people of color and women make less than men. And what's the most common occurance where this could come up? Going out to dinner with your friends and splitting the bill." Simple enough of an explanation – even high-schoolers could wrap their penny-pinching heads around this. If she dishes up this kind of comedy with her business ventures, imagine her stand up routines!

Dinner never tasted so good. 

P&G Invites Men to Clean Their Own Underwear
Procter and Gamble’s laundry detergent brand Ariel launched a new commercial in India last week calling out the gender disparities in household chores (and totally owning the world of gender-biased household ads). The commercial features a woman arriving home from work to her father, son, and husband. While she simultaneously takes a work call and begins household chores, the men do important manly things like watch TV and wait for their sandwiches. The woman’s father leaves her a letter apologizing that he never stopped her from playing house and never helped her mother, thus setting a bad example along with every other dad. (Nicholas Sparks – take note.) The video ends with the hashtag #ShareTheLoad, because newsflash: if men are as smart and capable as everyone thinks they are, they can surely figure out how to separate colors and whites without a “To Do” list written by their wives.

Folding fun for everyone! 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Dr. J. Marian Sims, the “father of modern gynecology,” has been applauded for his inventive surgical methods to repair vesicovaginal fistula for 150 years. But we don’t often hear about the enslaved women whom he experimented on. Last week, NPR brought us the stories of three of these women – arguably the mothers of modern gynecology: Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey. Their bodies, props in Dr. Sims’s journey to scientific discovery, were operated on without anesthesia and in front of others while completely naked – because of a myth that Black people could not feel pain as White people did (especially Black women). As enslaved women, they were unable to consent – their White owners used their bodies as property for work, sex, and reproduction – and were likely forced to undergo the experiments. Today, Black people and especially Black women are still treated worse than their White counterparts in hospitals – they’re not believed about their pain, given less anesthesia than White patients for the same condition, and treated as drug addicts. You'd think by now that more would have changed. 

“In my life, it has become abundantly clear to me that there is no way for me to end the constant barrage of unwanted conversation and touching and sexualization of my body. There is nothing that I can do to stop giving tiny pieces of myself and my time on this earth to the men who demand it because there is nothing that I can do to stop the demand. That’s not on me."

– Hanna Brooks Olsen


WHAT WE'RE READING

Most of us agree that blaming women for the everyday behavior of men (at least conceptually) is ridiculous. But as author Hannah Brooks Olsen points out, more often than not, there exists a disconnect on what we might conceptually agree with and how we might actually act. In a recent post, Hannah explores incidents where "good" men, AKA "feminist allies," blamed her for unwarranted sexual harassment because she was simply being too courteous to the perpetrators. Choice of fashion, presentation, and “vibes" do nothing to invite a man’s leering and sexually aggressive language and behavior, but even the best of men direct their discomfort at the victim, pleading them to just do as they say; ignore the perpetrator; be quiet. (As if they, who don't experience gendered harassment on a regular basis, know better.) Hannah shares countless instances where she was attacked by men for ignoring them, explains why she responds the way she does (to protect her own safety), and debunks the belief that the mere presence of a man will "protect" her (and other women) from harm. Rather than blaming and silencing women, she says, we need to focus on the bigger problem.

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