Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

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"Sometimes I go into a room and do this."


Philip Galanes: There’s another aspect, too. As a gay guy, for instance, I often act differently in a room full of straight men — to make them more comfortable. As women, do you do things to make men more comfortable with your power?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: No, they’re just going to have to get used to it. Wait! Nancy’s standing up. I like this!

Nancy Pelosi: [She flips her chair around and straddles it, like Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”] Sometimes I go into a room and do this.

HOW did anyone in the room live through this moment, this moment would have killed me with a joy unparalleled.


(via somethingchanged)

It only takes one person. Support Elena Rossini and The Illusionists.

I first met Elena Rossini a little shy of four years ago, when I first moved to London. An Italian feminist filmmaker living in Paris, I had read about her work (on Feministing, I think), and thought she seemed like exactly the kind of person I would like to meet.

And she was. Like me, Elena was then two years into the creation of her first magnum opus. In my case, my book The Sex Myth, “a consciousness-raising exploration of how sex has come to define who we are and how we fit in”; in her case, her documentary The Illusionists,a damning critique of the marketing of unattainable beauty standards around the world.

In the years that have followed, Elena has been an inspiration to me. I have a huge admiration for her tenacity, for her sense of what is possible, her big picture thinking, her ability to draw people into her projects and make them feel involved – and, of course, her skill as a filmmaker and storyteller.

Elena and I are now both six years into our respective projects. Mine is currently sitting with my publisher, with only a couple more rounds of edits and polishing to go. And The Illusionists is hitting the festival circuit, looking for a home that befits its message and Elena’s formidable filmmaking skills. But this has proved to be as much a challenge as creating the film itself. In order to get her film seen and maximise its impact, Elena needs support from someone who is already a big name in the industry. Which is where you come in.

This week, Elena is launching a campaign based around the idea that it only takes one person. She is reaching out to five people whom she believes could turn The Illusionists around, whether as an executive producer, an ambassador, a voiceover narrator, or a mentor - Lena Dunham, Stephen Fry, Geena Davis, Michael Moore and Alex Gibney – directing them to a sneak preview of the first four minutes of the film on her website, and encouraging her legion of Twitter followers and supporters to get involved.

It would be great if you could get involved, too. I think you will really like the film. And if you know of anyone else who might be able to help The Illusionists make the impact it deserves, please reach out them – or Elena – over Twitter. 

You can watch a short of The Illusionists above, and read more about Elena’s journey here.

Hey :) Basically I read that you attend the occasional feminist campaign/talk and was wondering whether you think men are more inclined to exploit women on an emotional level in order to bed them?! Or, do you think both sexes do so as often as the other? I know it's hard to generalise, and you might disagree but I feel like a man will readily exploit a woman, in the formative months, emotionally for sex. Whilst a woman would exploit a man emotionally once he is attached, to get what she wants.

Asked by



I don’t really see the world in terms of exploitation. Or rather, I don’t think that most people, male or female, enter into relationships with the intention of exploiting other people. 

Isn’t generalizing by sex something that feminists work against?

^^ That too.

Calling London-based feminists

So, I have some news! After nearly four years in London, I am leaving for New York City in a few weeks. More on this later, but one of the things this means is that I’m looking for a new, awesome London-based feminism to co-facilitate the monthly discussion group I run with Lucie Goulet.

We meet on the first Monday of every month at different locations around central London to talk about current and classic feminist issues, and are particularly interested in taking challenging online feminist debates offline. Over the past 15 months we’ve talked about everything from #Solidarityisforwhitewomen, to corporate feminism, pornography, and the role of men within feminism.

We’re looking for someone who is full of great ideas for future discussion topics. Pays attention to feminist debates online and in the news. Can commit to attending the meeting each month (exceptional circumstances permitting). Has good facilitation skills. And who knows how to make people feel welcome.

Sound like you? Drop us an email at with a bit about yourself, and three ideas for future discussion topics, by Thursday March 20th.

The truth is that these groups aren’t trying to make feminism popular; they’re trying to make it theirs. Attempts to “revive” a movement that’s alive and well is about wresting and keeping control away from the activists who made it what it is. This is especially true now, when the move to redefine and rebrand feminism coincides so closely with the increased power and influence of online activists and insurgent younger feminists, specifically women of color.

Jessica Valenti tackles the “rebranding feminism" question.