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Global Feminist Link Love: August 2-8

August 9, 2010

Hey Global Feminists!

Here are a list of links about what other global feminists were up to this past week. We also want to know: What have you been reading/writing this week? Don’t forget to spread your own link love in the comments!

Posted after her confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan was sworn in yesterday as the fourth ever female justice on the US Supreme Court.


Sexual and Reproductive Health Situation Report: Gestational Surrogacy in India

August 9, 2010

The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Situation Report is a monthly column devoted to examining policy changes and issues around these critical rights around the world.

This month’s column focuses on so-called “reproductive tourism,” the growing trend of women in the U.S. finding gestational surrogates in India.  Gestational surrogacy is the practice of implanting a fertilized egg in another woman’s uterus.  Through the miracle of modern science and hassle-free air travel, western women are traveling to India, where the medical infrastructure is good and most of the doctors speak English, to find a surrogate to carry their baby.  Medical tourism has been around for a while, complete with travel agencies that set you up with the doctor and the spa/hotel where you’ll recoup after your nose job.  This new twist, however, brings up a lot of problems. Read more…

HIV and Witchcraft in Papau New Guinea

August 9, 2010

Women in Papau New Guinea

Earlier this week, Papau New Guinea apologized before CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) for its inaction against the torture and murder of women suspected of witchcraft. Government officials did not deny that those alleged to practice witchcraft have been tortured and killed. According to the Center for Independent Studies, more than 500 women have been attacked. In 2009, there were more than 50 murders of those accused of practicing black magic, including one woman who was burned alive. Why are the people of this South Pacific island nation accusing women, and some men, of practicing black magic? They are blamed for the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, which is devastating the country’s population. Read more…

When/Should feminist theatre have to define itself?

August 7, 2010

Photo via Summerworks Festival (Aug 5-15 in Toronto, ON!)

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through the extensive Toronto Fringe Festival catalogue in search of some plays I might consider checking out. In the middle of my search, I remember coming across a particular review, which I unfortunately cannot find to reference, that made a remark on the inclusion of ‘feminist descriptions’ in the show’s blurb. Now, this got me thinking.

When I’m looking for shows to see, whether at a theatre or film festival, I’m normally the worst person when it comes to picking blindly from a list (I always seem to choose the dud). Hence, I rely on best-of-festival picks or good reviews to aid in the decision making process. Am I drawn to plays that use the word feminism (or similar) in the show description? Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not.

If I were looking for something to review for GAB though, a feminist mention in the description would certainly prod my attention. And this brings me to our titular question—should a theatre production that can said to strive to be a feminist production hint at this in the program (or other forms of promotion)? Or should it just be inherent?

Read more…

Toilet, Humor & Art: Lady Dada Style

August 6, 2010

Amid all of Lady Gaga’s gender-bending and hot topic love affairs (most recently, her Phoenix concert appearance in which she bore writing on her body in protest of AZ SB 1070), a work of art was made found. I mean, made. Found…well, here it is:

Lady Gaga. Armitage Shanks. 2010. Image courtesy of

In an act of art historical savviness, Lady Gaga has again aligned herself with a historical figure-Marcel Duchamp. For anyone that is not familiar with the Dadaist object, known as The Fountain (1917)-let me recap:

1. Duchamp denounces the regime of “high art” objects and proposes his own work of art-a urinal inscribed with a name, “R. Mutt,”

2. The gesture goes down in art history, and introduces the public (and many, many art students) to “readymades,” and

3. Art’s repertoire is substantially broadened thanks to the clever artist.

What has Gaga added to the almost century-old dialogue about art? How does it relate to our culture in 2010? In her latest work, now on display at the London art space SHOWstudio, she inscribed this note to the public:

“I’m not f***ing Duchamp, but I love pissing with you.”

Based on her inscription, she is not trying to outdo Duchamp but she gets the joke. Yet, the comparison remains. Perhaps a better question would be, “How has her appropriation disrupted our notion of her, Duchamp, or art?” To begin with, consider this quote on the site, which explains her version of Duchamp’s statement:

Read more…

What do YOU think about global feminism? Live chat transcript here #globalfemchat

August 6, 2010

Last night the GAB editorial board got together and talked about global feminism; what it meant to us, in respect to social media, and what it meant to us as a blog. We had some of you (readers) join us and participate in the discussion! Look below for the transcript. We hope you can join us for our next chat!

Emily H.: Hello and welcome to the Gender Across Borders live chat on global feminism! We will be starting in just a moment.

Emily H.: Hi everyone! I want to welcome you to the first Gender Across Borders’ live chat! Today’s topic will be “global feminism” as we just finished up our series on global feminism this past Friday. The goal of this talk is to discuss what “global feminism” means (after all, Gender Across Borders is “a global feminist blog”). As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, we want to be true to our tag line and do not want to misrepresent ourselves to you as most of us are white, able-bodied and privileged. At the end of this discussion, we hope to get a better understanding of global feminism, not only what it means to us GAB editors, but also to you as readers.

Emily H.: Without further ado, we will briefly introduce ourselves.

Emily H.: I’ll first start with myself: Hi, my name is Emily Heroy, I’m from Chicago, Illinois, and I am the Executive Editor of Gender Across Borders. Having many experiences traveling and living around the world while working with underprivileged women and children, I identify as a global feminist because I believe in equal rights for men and women everywhere. I am currently going to school to get a master of education and am interested in equity in education. I also acknowledge my role as a white, privileged American woman living in the U.S. and hope to help and provide space for the voices of underprivileged women and men.

Emily H.: Next, we will have the GAB editorial board introduce themselves in this order: Amy, Kyle, Carrie, Colleen, and Maria Guzman, who is our moderator this live chat and newly appointed Senior Editor of Gender Across Borders.

Amy Littlefield: Hi! I’m Amy Littlefield, from Providence, RI, I identify as a global feminist because I believe in the struggles of women and all people against sexism, racism, imperialism, capitalism, and all forms of global oppression. I became radicalized as a feminist through my work with survivors of sexual assault and my research into Mexican women’s movements. I also think being conscious of my privilege as a white, middle-class woman is central to my role as a global feminist, and my goal is to support and stand in solidarity with marginalized women everywhere. Read more…

Global feminism live chat has ended. #globalfemchat

August 5, 2010

Our live chat on global feminism has finished. Stay tuned tomorrow for a transcript of the chat.

To learn more about our series on global feminism, click here.

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