The week is already winding down, and so much has happened in the world of topics related to gender and feminism. As always, there have been events related to the difficulties of the struggle (Fortune wrote an in-depth article about the "woman tax"), but this week, it feels right to focus on the uplifting and empowering messages we received from women writers, about topics ranging from entertainment to methods of refuting abortion-shaming arguments. We're always going to see stories that are discouraging, and while it's important to pay close attention to instances of oppression, sometimes it can be great to focus on the most empowering feminist stories we can find, and let ourselves recharge our batteries and be encouraged by informative and uplifting messages.
Already this week, we've seen myriad stories about women lifting one another up, which is always an amazing thing to celebrate. I always feel a greater sense of confidence in myself and in the feminist movement when I see, hear about, or am a part of any one of the ways in which we can build each other up and work creatively and collaboratively together. Hopefully, these stories about women empowering others (and in turn empowering all of us) will put a little pep in your step as we head closer to the weekend. Here are some of the best articles and essays from the femisphere so far this week.
Jo Brand's Tribute To Stay-At-Home Mothers Puts A Smile On My Face
In a brief essay this week for The Guardian, writer Vanessa Olorensaw sang the praises of English comedian Jo Brand, who recently had some awesome words of validation for stay-at-home mothers — who often go incredibly underappreciated for their work and efforts. In a Q&A session earlier in September, Brand was asked whom she admired most. She answered: "All women who slog their guts out every day, quietly getting on with bringing up their families." As a stay-at-home mother herself, Olorensaw wrote how refreshing and uplifting this comment was for her. If you are or know a single mother, this essay will brighten your day.
"You Should Keep Your Legs Together" — The Shaming Women Can Expect When They Open Up About Abortion
In an empowering and brutally honest essay for Salon, Valerie Tarico goes over some of the very common shaming messages women can expect to hear when they speak up about having had an abortion. Tarico has spoken publicly about her own abortion, and details the derision she has experienced from people who oppose the practice. But she also goes a step beyond and discusses different ways that women can respond when they're faced with such arguments. Tarico offers thoughtful responses and discussions around objections like "If that embryo is human, it's a person," and "A person who is capable of abortion is capable of killing anyone."
The All-Female Dance Festival That Takes Aim At Bro Club Culture
Examining the sexism that persists across music genres, specifically in the world of electronic music, Josie Thaddeus-Johns wrote for Broadly this week about a festival that seeks to showcase women who are making waves in dance music. As a response to the underrepresentation of women in electronic music, an international collective of female DJs and electronic musicians called female:pressure created a Tumblr to showcase women musicians at work. This month, female:pressure is also holding the second Perspectives festival in Berlin. Thaddeus-Johns writes about the frustration women feel in this subculture, which prides itself on being outside of the mainstream but doesn't seem to attempt to promote female musicians. The festival is a radical resistance to the male dominated electronic scene.
More People Are Identifying As Bisexual — And That's Great!
September 22 was Celebrate Bisexuality Day, and to take part in the celebration, writer Emily Zak published an interview with bisexual and genderqueer writer and activist Shiri Eisner for Bitch. Eisner is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, where several stabbings had occurred at Tel Aviv Pride just a few weeks before the interview. Eisner discusses the need to have more nuanced conversations about bisexuality, and how the bisexual and trans communities are natural allies to one another, but often fail to understand and properly support one another. The interview is an excellent, in-depth read for anyone looking to learn more about bisexuality from a view outside the mainstream.