Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick links: dating for dogs and anti-burqa talk in Denmark

by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

Just a few links for your perusal:

Denmark has jumped on the bandwagon with France - a leader of the Conservative Party has called for a ban of the burqa or niqab, which require women to cover their faces in public. After the infamous cartoon incident of 2005, when a series of political cartoons in a Danish newspaper featuring the prophet Muhammad caused riots worldwide, I'm really not surprised. In fact, I lived in Denmark for a year when I was younger, and experienced vague xenophobia because I was American, so I can't imagine what it's like for people who actually look different. In any case, it will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.

There was a really bizarre article in the NYT yesterday about pet matchmaking. Yes, apparently this happens in India. They are also crazy for male rather than female dogs, to the extent where it is extremely difficult to find girlfriends for these purebred pets. Breeders say that this is part of a societal penchant for Y chromosomes in some parts of India.

Mad Men came back on Sunday night, and there's a good commentary on the first episode on Feministing. If Betty Draper's comment that her daughter was a "little lesbian" (Sally had been caught bashing her father's suitcase with a hammer) is any indication, there's going to be lots of gender commentary in this season, even if it's mildly out of place.

There was an article in the NYT on Sunday about the increasing role of women in the military. I thought that it was actually very skewed and ignored the threat of sexual assault and discrimination that women still face. Thoughts?

And this just made me mad: according to the NYT, it's now hip to have a beer belly. But only if you're a man.

This made me even madder. PETA has gone too far. Look at their latest ad, and tell me that this isn't blatantly offensive and fat-hating. And frankly, going vegetarian to lose weight is possibly the worst reason to become vegetarian that I can think of. For more reasons to dislike PETA, see my post from earlier this summer - they don't have a good track record with these ads.

But, to finish on a happy note, I read a great book last week. A Short History of Women, Kate Walbert's latest, details the lives of four generations of women in an exquisitely written novel that travels from England at the turn of the twentieth century to post-9/11 Manhattan. I really can't recommend it highly enough - the book ties threads between the lives of the characters subtly and beautifully, showing us the ways that women's lives have changed and remained the same. And seriously, how can you not love a book that begins with the sentence "Mum starved herself for suffrage, Grandmother claiming that it was just like Mum to take a cause too far." The book will demand your full attention, but it's an intensely rewarding read.


At August 19, 2009 at 5:46 PM , Anonymous TEV said...

As a white American feminist, I do not feel comfortable making statements or judgments about other cultures, especially statements that suggest one culture is more sexist and repressive than another.


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