About the Feminist eZine
The Feminist eZine collects and archives feminist articles, essays, editorials and writing on all sorts of topics for research purposes. If you have written an article or know of a good historical article we should have on here please contact the editor Suzanne MacNevin. All of our staff are volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering we WANT you.
The Feminist eZine has been active (in one form or another) since 2000. When it started it was known as "1001 Feminist Links" but some of the links died and we decided that we should start archiving the feminist articles we found (in addition to writing our own) rather than see them disappear over time into non-existence and be forgotten about. Thus our site has evolved over time so that by 2007 we registered as a .com, in combination with the Lilith eZine (a feminist / liberally minded general purpose online magazine).
The site is advertising and donation supported. Most people seem to prefer advertising, but both donations and advertising are equally welcome. Please enjoy your stay and feel free to send us comments and feedback on the site!
If you still want to support the Feminist eZine (but lack the funds to do so) please tell your friends about us, post links to us or better yet, volunteer and write for us. The Feminist eZine is a community for all feminists and we look forward to what you have to contribute!
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Commonly known as Double Jeopardy being both black and a woman exposes a person to racism, sexism and cross-racial sexism. We live now in an era of people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and we are sometimes forced to make decisions not based on race or sex, but on what we actually believe in.
Suggested Readings for Black Feminists
As technology expands our identities (both physical and virtual) change what it means to be a woman. We can present ourselves differently online and promote grrl power online in a way never before seen in history, but we can also modify our bodies using technology - becoming more and more like cyborgs. The cellphone in your pocket may not be wired to your brain, but its become part of your identity and the way you communicate.
The life of a homemaker is often fraught with confusion about the role women play in modern society. Who does the chores and housework? Who raises the kids? Is domesticity a type of slavery? What makes a good wife? The modern homemaker thus makes feminist decisions every day and forever questions their role in society.
"Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge."
Environmentalism and feminism unite when ecofeminism is introduced. Part science, part nature, part religion to some ecofeminism explores the way women relate to the natural world and the way women are naturally. Toss in some animal rights, tree hugging and veganism and you begin to see the bigger picture.
Nature = Woman?
Education & Feminism
When choosing an education and a career, women who go down the path of becoming a "working girl" make some interesting choices. Should they try and tackle a career and children at the same time they will have to make choices between traditional women's work and more male dominated careers like engineering. The only real challenge is having the guts to do it.
Working Girls, Broken Society?
Fashion can be both a tool and a lead weight to feminists. On one side we want to look professional and on the other side we still want to have our fun too. Its all about making choices and having the freedom to wear the pants when we want to and still have the choice to wear feminine clothing when we want to.
The Ugly Side of Beauty
"Never let the hand you hold, hold you down."
Activism is the avant garde of what feminism is all about. Activists push people's buttons, take controversial stands and raise awareness by forcing people to talk about women's rights.
Anarchists have a bad reputation, but its largely undeserved. Anarchy is all about freedom from oppression and rebelling against oppressors. Taken in that context George Washington was an anarchist for rebelling against the British. This doesn't imply lawlessness, merely that anarchists are rebels and freedom fighters.
Feminism and Anarchism
Featured Article - Suzy's Pepperspray Recipe
By Suzanne MacNevin - December 2012.
"If every woman in the world carried a secret bottle of pepperspray on her there would be a lot less rapes." - Suzanne MacNevin
I have a hunch that between 1890 and 1910 the number of rapes dropped a bit in various Western countries due to women wearing hats that required hatpins. The reason? Because in a pinch the hatpin could be substituted as a self-defense weapon. See my blog post Hatpins as Self Defense Weapon for Women for more details.
Over a hundred years later, when such hats have gone out of fashion, we may have changed our fashion sense, but rape statistics continue every year. Usually its someone you know, someone you thought was a friend, a co-worker or even a relative with a sick obsession. But sometimes it can also be a stranger.
Either way, when people go outdoors to go to work, go shopping, run errands they typically carry their wallet and other things with them. I personally carry a Swiss Army Knife with me and am confident in its use.
But I also carry a small bottle of homemade pepperspray, using the recipe found on the right.
And I live in a big metropolitan city (London, UK) so the chances of muggings, rape, etc are slightly higher... but in reality I am none too afraid of rapists. I don't look scared and mousey enough for them to see me as a target. No, what I am really doing is waiting for my chance to be a superhero (aha, Radioactive Girl strikes again!) with nothing more than Pepperspray (and the Swiss Army Knife, of course, but that is more of all purpose tool - I usually use it for slicing oranges when I am out hiking).
Call it my own personal fantasy, but I really want to be a crimefighter who appears and saves the damsel in distress. If guys can do it, why can't I?
A friend of mine once speculated that if high schools taught a mandatory class in St John's Ambulance First Aid training that there would be a lot less people who die after an accident due to lack of medical attention, because the chances are more likely there would be someone nearby who remembers their training.
My concept of every woman in the world carrying pepperspray (and possibly another self defense item on their person, whether it be a taser, Swiss Army Knife, etc) would so discourage rapists that we could eradicate rape in a generation.
I also firmly believe that we could make a more foolproof lie detector test so that we can absolutely and truly determine who is lying and who is telling the truth. Combine that with higher prison times for rapists (or just sending them to a penal colony off the east coast of Greenland) we could eliminate rape.
And I think it is a realistic plan. Britain sent over 165,000 criminals to Australia during the 18th and 19th centuries. While it certainly speeded up the colonization of Australia, it rapidly decreased crime in an overpopulated and largely unemployed London. The plan worked. Crime dropped off dramatically because nobody wanted to be shipped off to Australia. Crimes of desperation still happened, but you get the idea.
Anyway until our governments get their act together and start finding ways to raise the conviction rate of known rapists, please share this Pepperspray Recipe with your friends.
Suzy's Pepperspray Recipe
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
Step 1. First you will need to put the 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper into a small glass and then pour in rubbing alcohol until it is about 2 cm (0.8 of inch) above the pepper.
Step 2. Stir the alcohol and pepper for three to five minutes.
Step 3. Add an ounce of baby oil to the glass and stir for two minutes.
Step 4. Place the small thin cloth over the top of the glass and pour the contents through the cloth into the 2nd glass, allowing the cloth to catch any large pieces of pepper that remain. This filtering will keep the spray bottle (or watergun) from becoming clogged.
What is in the second glass is your homemade pepper spray. See? Pretty easy to make, isn't it?
It is usually a dark brownish red color and doesn’t have a pleasant odor. Once you have completed this process you need to pour the liquid into an empty spray bottle. You can use an old perfume bottle or even a watergun if you have such a thing handy. Just make sure whatever you use it doesn't leak. Put the cap on and then you are ready to use your pepper spray whenever you feel the need to protect yourself.
This pepper spray recipe works well because it is not water based. Water based products generally don’t work as well as the cayenne pepper breaks down in the water. The oil and the alcohol ensure that this does not happen and also ensures that when the substance gets into the eyes of the attacker that it will sting bad enough that they will be stopped in their tracks. Water-based pepper spray recipes don't work as well and lose their effectiveness with time.
It’s important to take steps to ensure that you can not spray your homemade pepper spray accidentally. This is a substance that needs to be used only under the most extreme circumstances because when it comes in contact with the eyes, the nose and the mouth, it is very painful and uncomfortable.
Please understand that these effects can last for up to 45 minutes, even an hour.
Accidentally spraying yourself or someone else would not just be inconvenient, it could be painful. If possible, ensure that the spray bottle that you use has a protective cover or cap so that it cannot be discharged unintentionally.
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Art is the most basic form of visual communication because it is readily understood by the people seeing it. Thus feminist art has a direct and immediate impact on people and the ability to influence minds. In a world inundated with advertising selling sex feminist art takes a stand for women's rights and freedom of choice.
Feminist Art History Archive
"If all men are born free, how is it that
The right to 'Topfreedom' is fundamental. Regardless of whether you argue it using religion (God meant for us to be naked in the Garden of Eden) or flat out equality (If men can go shirtless, why can't we?) the fact of the matter being topless has nothing to do with obscenity and everything to do with how our culture views and treats the female breast.
Fight for Topless Rights
Women, Movies & Film
How women are treated in films like "My Fair Lady" versus films depicting kung fu vigilantes like "Kill Bill" is the subject of Feminist Film Theory. Because frankly Scarlet, men don't give a damn so its up to women to analyze these films for their feminist content.
"Most women are one man away from welfare." - Gloria Steinem
Women & Poverty
Being poor can bring anyone down and make it very difficult to find equality in a culture which despises the impoverished. Especially when you are a single mother because the father isn't there to help. Women suffering in poverty often have to make the most difficult choices because they have so few options.
Poor White Women
"How good does a female athlete have to be before we just call her an athlete?"
Women & Sports
It is true that women are physically smaller than men, but that doesn't mean we are weaker. Estrogen promotes muscles quality, not size like testosterone does. As such women are often stronger than they first appear. Women athletes therefore can often surprise you with their strength, speed and skill. (And contrary to stereotypes female athletes are not dykes. They're women with a strong backbone.)
Women's Magazines / Blogs / Journals / Whathaveyou
There are a lot of feminist magazines, blogs and journals out there. Here is a short list of some of the many websites we recommend checking out.
"I myself have never been able to find out precisely
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