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Guest Blogger Starling: Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced

Phaedra Starling is the pen name of a romance novelist and licensed private investigator living in small New York City apartment with two large dogs. She practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu and makes world-class apricot muffins. Gentlemen. Thank you for reading. Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. So far, so good. Now, you want to become acquainted with a woman you see in public. “But wait! Well, no. So when you, a stranger, approach me, I have to ask myself: Will this man rape me? Do you think I’m overreacting? I don’t. When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Fortunately, you’re a good guy. To begin with, you must accept that I set my own risk tolerance. The second important point: you must be aware of what signals you are sending by your appearance and the environment. This means that some men should never approach strange women in public. Are you wearing a tee-shirt making a rape joke?

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Every Street Should Be a Safe Space Whether it's getting catcalled or being told to smile, almost every woman deals with street harassment. But it took until this summer to stage the first-ever international conference on street harassment, which took place over the weekend of July 25th at New York University. Grassroots anti-street-harassment group Hollaback organized the event, welcoming community organizers, nonprofit members, and just plain angry folks to share histories and to air out grievances about everyday sexual harassment. It's clear that at the end of the event that street harassment is all about ownership of space. Victoria's Secret model Cameron Russell gives TED talk on why girls SHOULDN'T want to be supermodels AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY Cameron Russell walking the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York Cameron Russell, the catwalk superstar and lingerie model for Victoria's Secret has taken to the stage at a TED event in Washington DC.

Vigilantes Are Tagging Egypt's Sexual Harassers with Spray Paint Despite worldwide publicity and campaigning, the approach to actually solving the sexual harassment epidemic in Egypt has sadly been a pretty apathetic one, with police giving less than a gram of shit about the situation, leaving street perverts to grope away until their hands are content. So it's perhaps no surprise that anti-harassment groups in Cairo have gone vigilante, taking what’s left of the law into their own hands and patroling the streets to fight the harassment epidemic themselves. We first heard about "Be A Man," one of the more radical anti-harassment campaigns, from a story on NPR. The members of the group patroled during the recent Eid al-Adha festival celebrations, armed with cans of black and white spray paint, attacking, pinning down, and scarlet-lettering the shit out of grabbers and gropers with the words "I Am a Harasser." Mostly men themselves, the activists wore matching fluoro jackets with "Harassment Prevention" scrawled across their backs in Arabic.

The Feminist Summer Reading List Last week, an interview with Senator Al Franken inspired a list of feminist fictional heroines in books and movies that sparked quite a debate. But it’s summer now, and lots of people are looking for good books to wade into while they relax, vacation, or take in some sun. We’ve compiled a list of good feminist reads from the members of Women Action and the Media (WAM!), who had enough great reads to keep us busy summer after summer for the next few decades at least.General Feminist Non-Fiction:Backlash: the Undeclared War on American Women – Susan FaludiThe Body Project – Joan Jacobs BrumbergCatfight! – Leora TanenbaumClick: When We Knew We Were Feminists – Courtney Martin and Courtney SullivanEnglightened Sexism – Susan J. Love This?

Five problems with Dr. Phil’s tweet Trigger warning: discussion of sexual violence and rape apologism. Last night, Dr. Phil sent out a quickly deleted — but more quickly screen-grabbed — tweet about sexual violence and alcohol. The Difference Between Sex Appeal and Sexual Objectification by Lisa Wade, PhD, Feb 11, 2013, at 12:00 pm Over at Feministing, Maya Dusenbery made a great observation about the conservative response to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show. Conservatives widely criticized her for sexually objectifying herself.

On Raising Girls in a 'Boys Will Be Boys' World First, a confession. I’m writing this angry and thus violating one of the rules by which I try to live my life: Speak when you're angry and you'll make the best speech you ever regret. So, I suppose I will eventually regret this. But not today. Six words from my 5-year-old daughter brought me to the breaking point. "I want to be a boy." Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement - Duke Special Collections Documents from theWomen's Liberation Movement An On-line Archival Collection Special Collections Library, Duke University [ Subject Categories | Keyword Search | Links ] The materials in this on-line archival collection document various aspects of the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States, and focus specifically on the radical origins of this movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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