Feminist Friday: PBS takes a look at independent women in primetime, Yale takes a look at women in porn

Welcome to Feminist Friday, where we highlight a week’s worth of stories we think you’ll be talking about over the weekend.

Sexual assault among the 99 percent — Remember last week when I mentioned Sarah Seltzer‘s article in The Nation about offensive behavior by some dudes at Occupy Wall Street? Well, this week The Wall Street Journal reported that a male protester had been arrested for sexually assaulting two female protesters, which led lots and lots of people to speculate about the way sex crimes are being handled within the protest. New York Magazine‘s “Daily Intelligencer” blog shook down the problem like this:

DiGioia’s alleged attacker — who groped and tried to flip her over while she was sleeping — was arrested earlier this week, prompting Mayor Bloomberg to criticize the protesters’ preference for self-policing via shaming. In this instance, it didn’t work — the guy was still hanging out at the camp two days after the assault, and that’s why she finally went to the cops. But as DiGioia’s stance makes clear, that preference for self-policing has a lot to do with the hostility between the protesters and police.

She said police kept her waiting for hours, and told her it was her fault for sleeping outside.

“I’m a perfect example of somebody who went through the process. I followed all the steps of the law, and I felt victimized by it. I felt like I was a criminal, too,” DiGioia said.

I have a feeling this is only the beginning of the discussion about sexual assault and self-policing within the Occupy movement.

Empowered dudes empowering ladies — This week Feministing.com featured a fun excerpt from The Guy’s Guide to Feminism.

FIND OUT IF YOU’VE CAUGHT FEMINISM!

Do you believe that women should have the right to:
• Vote?
• Go to college?
• Drive a car?
• Open bank accounts in their own names?
• Enjoy sex?
• Work in whatever occupation they might choose, and get paid the same as men when they do the same work?

Did you answer yes? Then you better lie down … You’ve probably caught feminism.

Click through to read the full expert and Feministig.com’s review.

Playboy bunnies and porn — This week Jezebel commented on a new Yale University study that found that porn doesn’t necessarily lead to female objectification. According to the study, most men who were shown images of women in varying degrees of undress didn’t view women  as objects as much as they viewed them as animals. According to the study: “We seem to be getting something that might be called animalification-treating a woman as though she lacks the capacity for complex thinking and reasoning, but at the same time, treating her as though she was even more capable of having strong feelings and emotional responses.”

But, like Jezebel says: Interesting, as sexualized women are, quite often, referred to as animals: Playboy bunnies, sex kittens, vixens, cougars, hellcats, tigers in the sack, foxy ladies. Even if it’s not exactly objectification, isn’t it still problematic? Yes.”

All the Women! Who Are Independent!Bitch magazine took issue with the PBS documentary segment “Independent Women” which aired this week. The doc is part of PBS’ America in Primetime series, and while it featured plenty of fresh interviews from women like Mary Tyler Moore to Roseanne Barr, Bitch wishes the documentary had featured a more critical look at female representation on TV through the decades:

Women’s changing roles in the workforce and the family got some screen time during the 52-minute episode, and they spent about five seconds talking about the ways class issues and physical appearance are portrayed (because Roseanne was there, kicking ass), but there was absolutely no discussion whatsoever of race, age, sexuality, or ability when it comes to what kinds of women get to be — and see themselves represented — on TV. WTF? I understand that a single episode in a documentary series can’t accomplish everything there is to accomplish ever when it comes to this topic, but it would have been nice to hear at least one person interviewed acknowledge that when we’re talking about TV’s “Independent Woman” we’re actually talking about TV’s “Independent Straight White Young Pretty Wealthy Cisgendered Able-Bodied Woman.”

I actually really enjoyed the documentary, but Bitch makes some really good points.

That’s all for me this Friday. Pardon my brevity. I’m out of town with a cold. Next week we’ll talk about this Herman Cain debacle — if he’s still around.

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