Tag Archives: Feminist Friday

2015 Publishing Retrospective: Feminist Bloggers – The 2014 Collection

The first volume I published last year was a free eBook that gathered the several Feminist Friday posts that had been written by multiple authors during the year 2014. It is available for free on Smashwords in multiple digital formats.

This collection of 20 feminist essays by 8 authors, covers a broad range of topics from feminism as a political label, to rape culture, to various perspectives on education. This volume also includes several pieces about how marketing addresses women and how mass media represent them. Every essay was originally published as part of a blog series hoping to generate a discussion.

If you’d like to find out more about the Feminist Friday discussions, you can find all links on this page on Part Time Monster.

feministbloggersSMALLVERSION

Cover designed by Jennifer Miller.

June Recap

Here are the highlights of this month’s blog content, in case you missed anything! Happy July!

cropped-main1.jpgBlog Series

New Weekly Feature

Feminist Friday Discussion

Contributions to Other Blogs

Feminist Friday: A French Perspective on Sex Education and Birth Control

In the past years, I have learned a lot about sex education, birth control and abortion situations in other countries than mine, including the USA. Since I joined a group of bloggers discussing feminist topics, I have been exposed to even more information about this, and it led me to discuss my French point of view on these topics.

In France, sex education isn’t something commonly provided by schools. It is normally up to the family, or a doctor, to educate and answer questions. We have several mandatory medical examinations during our school years. I remember that the one in first year post high school, brought up many topics related to sex and birth control. I remember how the female doctor thought I wasn’t knowledgeable at all because I was virgin and had no problem admitting it. I shocked her by showing how much I knew about all of this, though I wished not to be sexually active.

When I hear people say that if you know much about sex, you’ll risk being promiscuous, I see red. By such backward standards, I would have had a harem since puberty! I have helped many friends who weren’t as educated on sexual matters since I was a teenager.

Information poster about different birth control methods (including official website to learn more). This poster is commonly displayed in GP's waiting rooms in France.

Information poster about different birth control methods (including official website to learn more). This poster is commonly displayed in GP’s waiting rooms in France.

My first exposure to any sort of scientifically based (which has been the information I have received) was when I was like 4 years old. My parents gave me a book for children with simple drawings to explain anatomy and conception.

The same way, I didn’t freak out when I got my period years later, because me being a curious child, I found out about it and my mother had a perfect explaination so I wasn’t concerned by sight of menstruation. She told me that ‘every month a woman makes a nest for a baby and that when there is no baby, the nest just goes away’. Up to this day, I remember the story!

The first time I heard of ‘abstinence only’ sex education, I didn’t understand how it could exist. I attended Catholic school, from last year of elementary to end of high school. We never heard a word against abortion (which was legalized in 1975 thanks to the amazing Simone Veil) or against birth control. Sex education didn’t really happen though, save for one class in first high school year. And even during this, it was in science, so all information was anatomically accurate.

When I see some description of sex education, patriachal expectations and even dress codes, I can’t help thinking that my Catholic school looks like a bunch of hippies in comparison. I loved my years spent there and it taught me a lot about compassion, hard work and tolerance. To me, there was a real spirit of charity and respecting Jesus’s message there.

I have nothing against abstinence as a personal choice, but it shouldn’t be something imposed on you. Everyone should be taught about sex to be able to make informed choices. Whether someone engages or not in sexual activity is their choice, and theirs alone. The same way, a woman who chooses to terminate a pregnancy should be the one in charge of her own body.

The more informed (with correct information) people are, the better they are prepared. This also counts for sexual matters.

Is France a perfect country? No, it isn’t. We have mysogynistic issues. There is domestic violence and sexual assault. Yet, I don’t feel threatened as a woman when it comes to my rights to access birth control or even abortion.

By now, I have been on birth control (of various kinds) for more than a decade. I have never been on birth control for contraceptive reasons, always health related ones. This proves once again that birth control’s name is problematic because of the vast panel of reasons women can choose to use it.

I have never been confronted to a pregnancy, so if I ever was to an unwanted one, I have no idea whether I would choose to terminate it. Yet, knowing that I have the legal right to get one is extremely important to me. This is why I have always been pro-choice. I also believe that birth control should easily be accessible and covered by health care. In France, many methods are covered by national health care, but not all. When I switched to the implant in 2012, I was surprised to find out it was 100% covered, while the patch wasn’t at all.

Investing in scientically accurate sex education (including about LGBTQIA+), accessible birth control, medically safe abortion procedures, is a wise societal choice. What about you? What do you think is important in terms of sex education?

Next Week on the Blog

Background by Rose B. Fischer.

Background by Rose B. Fischer.

If you missed it this week, I wrote about Star Wars Rebels at Comparative Geeks. Next week is going to be filled with special posts and an event! On Tuesday, Rose B .Fischer returns with the third installment of her series Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the lighter side of Fanfiction). From Wednesday to Sunday, Ask the Digital Quill will be the opportunity for you to ask me questions through several social media. On Friday, I will host the Feminist Friday discussion (we are back!) and will talk about my French perspective on sex education and birth control. Have a great weekend!

International Women’s Day: #Feminist #Bloggers #MakeItHappen

Since last year, a group of bloggers have been hosting a series of Feminist Friday discussions, and the series has returned in 2015. I have been lucky to be part of this group and am glad to see how far this project has come. I am looking forward to seeing it continue to grow in the months and years to come.

Last month, I thought that we could turn the 2014 posts into an eBook. Everyone involved was on board and we started working on it to make it happen. Feminist Bloggers: The 2014 Collection is available for free on Smashwords (digital formats include Kindle mobi, epub and pdf), as it was our idea to make it available as such. (It is also available on Amazon for $0,99, since Amazon refused to align its price with Smashwords. All benefits made from sales will go to a feminist friendly charity, on which all authors will agree in the near future).

Feminist Bloggers is a collection of twenty feminist essays by eight authors, covering a broad range of topics from feminism as a political label, to rape culture, to various perspectives on education. This volume also includes several pieces about how marketing addresses women and how mass media represent them. Every essay was originally published as part of a blog series hoping to generate a discussion about the topic at hand.

Foreword by Gretchen Kelly, Afterword by Gene’O. Other contributors are David B. Cox II, Diana Gordon, Hannah Givens, Leah Zoller, Sabina Leybold. Cover was designed by Jennifer Miller (using a background by Rose B. Fischer).

Thank you to everyone who was involved in this book project, as well as to everyone who contributed to the discussions and helped spread the word!

Cover designed by Jennifer Miller.

Cover designed by Jennifer Miller.

Feminist Friday 2014 Finale: All Good Things . . .

I am so glad for having been able to take part to these Feminist Friday discussions, both as commenter and host. I am happy to see all that happened over the past months and am looking forward to what 2015 will bring!

Part Time Monster

These Feminist Friday discussions are the coolest thing I have ever done on the Internet. We’ve written 23 posts on 8 blogs. I’ve lost count of the responses we’ve prompted. Some of these discussions ended up with comment threads of 50 or more. At least a couple of threads ended with more than 100. We’ve had discussions that started on Friday and didn’t end until Tuesday. Sabina’s post questioning the value of the Bechdel Test post was Freshly Pressed. Not bad at all for a project that started with three bloggers talking on a discussion thread at blog that was barely a month old. Rather than try and prompt a focused discussion this week, I’ll talk about what the success of this enterprise has meant to me and where I hope it goes from here.

Even though I am stepping away from the organized discussions for a while, I’m not…

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Is It Time For Dress Codes To Grow Up? A Feminist Friday Discussion

Drifting Through

53a06b3416e9d_-_cos-01-leggings-xl Getty Images

School is fraught with all kinds of issues. Standardized tests to pass, social and behavioral issues to navigate. Bullying. And clothes. Don’t forget the clothes.

Apparently clothes are a big danger to our children. Specifically our boys. Well, not just clothes. But the girls who wear them. Their bodies and the clothes that they put on them are a distraction to our boys.

This is what the dress codes in many schools imply. It’s also what is frequently cited as justification for singling out girls in violation of dress codes.

Some girls are fighting back. A group of middle school girls from Evanston, Illinois protested when their school banned leggings. More than 500 people signed a petition and students showed up for class wearing leggings and yoga pants carrying signs that read “Are My Pants Lowering Your Test Scores?” Another group of middle school girls from New Jersey…

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