Feminist Friday 3.25


Follow SOAM:
~Participate here on SOAM.
~TIAW on Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~SOAM on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

In the SOAM community right now:
~Join in on our weekly photo project.
~Participate in our very special, collaborative ten-year anniversary video!
~Join our mailing list for the best way to keep up to date!

Weekly Awesome:
~Good morning, have some snarky feminist commentary that will give you the giggles.
~Love this beautiful photo series of working moms. <3 ~John Oliver on International Women’s Day last week. If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s golden.
~And don’t forget to check out the Mid Drift Kickstarter. They’re already almost halfway with more than half the month to go!

See something that belongs in the Feminist Fridays? send it to me either at my email address (theshapeofamother@gmail.com) or over on the Facebook page.

On Facebook and their community standards – Trigger Warning, y’all


(FYI, trigger warning for sexually inappropriate comments.)


So this woman has been the subject of controversy. Internet commenters (a.k.a. assholes) have accused her of lying, so she bared her stomach for all and showed the world the extra skin she has left from the weight she lost.

I applaud the fact that she had a desire, set a goal, acted on it, and was brave enough to stand up to bullies by exposing herself even further to internet trolls. Thank you, Simone. (Although I feel like I have to add that I don’t condone that rate of weight loss. I am NOT debating or questioning her actions – I don’t know her health history – I AM saying that it is an extreme action that should not be taken without careful consideration and medical attention.) She is an inspiration to women in that she is fighting back against body judgers in the most intimate way, just like we do here at SOAM. <3 But I'm not even really here to write about her. I'm here to write about Facebook's community standards. You know how they're always banning pictures of nursing moms but are totes okay with sexy bikini pics? So today I broke my cardinal rule of Never Reading Internet Comments (except the ones here, of course because you guys are amazing and supportive) and I came across this one: fbtos2

Ugh. It makes me sick to my stomach. (To “fap”, if you don’t know, is to masturbate to photos online.) Not only does this comment attempt to push the female body back into an archaic place of existing only for the pleasure of men, but I find it rather emotionally violent. And so I reported it. I was torn as to how to label it since general “harassment” wasn’t an option. It doesn’t directly humiliate me or someone I know, and it’s not exactly pornography. Maybe I should have picked “something else” but I went with porn based on Facebook’s own example of “sexual arousal”. This commenter was talking about his sexual arousal (or lack thereof) in regards to this photograph, no?


But Facebook replied thusly:


I don’t know what the best way to address this is. Do you think this should fall under Facebook’s current community standards, or do you think they should be adjusted to protect women from this kind of thing?

Either way, do me a favor and click here and report this picture, okay? And the other picture(s) like it in that thread. DO NOT comment on them because god knows we should never feed the internet trolls. But let’s stand together and let Facebook know this isn’t okay.

Single Momming and College (Feminist Friday 5.22)


You probably saw this photo of this professor last week on the internet. A student in one of his classes in Israel had to bring her baby to class, and when the baby started fussing, she made to leave, but her professor took the baby and soothed him and continued teaching. Which is amazing. I think at least six different people shared it with me on Facebook since the photo went viral. Because the opposite situation of this one happened to me just a few weeks ago.

I’m a single mom and I’m trying to finish my degree finally, years after putting it on hold for many complicated reasons. I don’t have many resources to turn to for babysitting and on one particular day I couldn’t find anyone to watch my 10 year old son. Rather than miss valuable information in a math class, I decided to take him with me. I won’t go into the whole boring, overly dramatic story except to say that I had planned very carefully how to keep him quiet for a whole two hours, I understood I may have to leave if he was disruptive, and yet my college broke their own policy protecting parents and refused to allow me to attend my class. It became a kind of a big deal, I wrote letters to about 20 different people in charge of the college and was given several good apologies almost immediately.

But the whole thing taught me a really important lesson about being a woman, maybe especially a mother. You’re gonna have to struggle the whole way. Not only does the necessity of finding a babysitter for my children fall entirely on me, but there aren’t a lot of resources to help a mom through her education. (I also wonder how a father bringing his child to school would have been received – I suspect it would have been honored for being a responsible father. Honestly, the double standard there is just as harmful for dads as it is for moms. To be surprised when a man is a good father is an insult to men in general.)

So when this professor took that child and allowed that mother to continue her education he made a statement. He told her and all women that he values them, they they deserve the chance to learn, that he will help them succeed. He taught everyone in that class that kids are a normal part of humanity, that mothering is a normal part of humanity to be embraced and supported rather than shunted off, out of view of the world. I mean, really, when you look at it from a biological point of view, parenting children is the actual reason for the human race.

I get it that kids can be disruptive. Believe me. I get that. But think how much better the world could be if children were accepted and expected, if moms were supported in their endeavors to better their lives? We need more men like this. Standing ovation to you, Dr. Engleberg. Thank you.

Now. Onto other stuff this week!

Follow SOAM:
~TIAW on Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~SOAM on Twitter and Facebook.
~Participate here on SOAM.

~People can have misconceptions about miscarriage, and that can hurt. An article from NPR.org that I think too many mamas here at SOAM will relate to. Love you mamas, and your angels.
~This is such an important list I’m gonna save it and link to it permanently.
~Don’t judge people you see based on looks alone. You can never ever know the whole story.
~Learning to love our bodies can be complicated in so many ways. Sometimes they don’t look the way you want, but sometimes they don’t work the way they should.
~Check out the #girls with toys tag on Twitter. Awesome stuff.

See something that belongs in the Feminist Fridays? send it to me either at my email address (theshapeofamother@gmail.com) or over on the Facebook page.

Feminist Friday 5.8



So I know I’m behind the times on this (that’s how I roll) (as evidenced by my usage of the phrase “that’s how I roll”) but as I was going through my links for today’s post, I found this one by The Bloggess. She is my personal hero, of course. While silly, I also think this is really valuable to keep in mind in terms of body image. A thumb face selfie is one where you, like, try to make yourself look like a thumb with a face. It’s the thing these days for pretty girls to do, and not only are the funny faces funny enough to make you laugh tears, but it’s also a reminder that “pretty” is a weird concept applied to a very narrow ideal for women. So, basically, I took thumb face selfies FOR FEMINISM. YOU ARE WELCOME. And then, just for kicks, I uploaded them to how-old.net (be aware that this gives Microsoft the right to use your photos) just to see how old I am. As it turns out, my thumbiest face is that of a 22-year-old man. Because of course.


Follow SOAM:
~TIAW on Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~SOAM on Twitter and Facebook.
~Participate here on SOAM.

Interesting articles from around the Web:
~I LOVE THIS KID. I think it’s so important to normalize menstruation, but there aren’t too many teenage boys who agree with that. So here’s this kid and he’s just my absolute hero.
~Miss Piggy is going to receive a feminist award! Which. Well. I LOVE Muppets and I LOVE LOVE Miss Piggy so yay! But I have to wonder if this doesn’t distract from the hard work many feminists are doing this year? (I KNOW. I feel like I have to punish myself for even saying that Miss Piggy isn’t a hard-working feminist. BAD MUPPET NERD, BONNIE.) Perhaps they could have double up on the awards this year?

On a much more somber note:
~This is heartbreaking and nauseating. I just don’t even have words for how devastating it is.
~And this isn’t much better.

See something that belongs in the Feminist Fridays? send it to me either at my email address (theshapeofamother@gmail.com) or over on the Facebook page.

Feminist Friday Catch-Up on a Sunday

Found this on the wall at my doctor's office. <3 Found this on the wall at my doctor’s office. <3[/caption] Posting here at SOAM has been sparse lately for a number of reasons, not to mention the fact that we were hacked awhile back and it's taken a few weeks to get everything back to normal. In the process the site needed a design update which my friend Jen took on because she is amazing – isn’t it gorgeous now? I have some things planned coming up to celebrate Mother’s Day and the beautiful bodies that come with it so keep your eyes open for that, mamas.

~TIAW on Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~SOAM on Twitter and Facebook.
~Participate here on SOAM.

Around the Web:
~People who do not know how the female body works should cease to speak about the female body. Here’s a refresher course on what IUD’s actually are.
~A list of typical “well-meaning” statements aimed at overweight people and what they essentially translate to.
~I am here to ruin your life with the idea that Lloyd Dobbler was behaving totally inappropriately. I KNOW. My heart is also broken.
~Modcloth’s first trans model. LOVE.
~Rebel Wilson is amazing.
~And so is Pink.
~Looking for some ideas for painting your pregnant belly? Check these out!

See something that belongs in the Feminist Fridays? send it to me either at my email address (theshapeofamother@gmail.com) or over on the Facebook page.

Feminist Friday 4.3


~TIAW on Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~SOAM on Twitter and Facebook.
~Participate here on SOAM.

Around the Web:
~18 Inventions By Women that Changed the World
~This woman refused to remove her birthmark. And you know what? She’s gorgeous just as she is.
~This photo was removed from Instagram despite not breaking any rules. Why? Uteruses, man.
~There is a lot of controversy over the word “feminism” these days and most of the time I feel strongly that everyone should make a stand for feminism. But this comic has shown me that things are not quite as black and white as they might seem to me. I hope that someday the word “feminism” doesn’t alienate anyone it should protect.
~These nude portraits of women are stunning. Always remember that bodies come in so many shapes and sizes and all of them are amazing and beautiful.
~I love this.

See something that belongs in the Feminist Fridays? send it to me either at my email address (theshapeofamother@gmail.com) or over on the Facebook page.

Feminist Friday 2.20


So this is a thing I used to do over at TIAW (the now-defunct This is a Woman) and then for awhile over at Zebrabelly. I’d collect a bunch of links I found important for other women to read and share them. Sometimes it was uplifting stuff, sometimes it was angry-making stuff, sometimes it was deep stuff necessary for emotional growth, and sometimes it was just pure silliness, but always it was important (silly is important, mkay?). I’m going to start trying to bring this back here at SOAM every Friday. Let’s see if I can make this happen, huh? Feel free to send me any appropriate links you come across, either at my email address (theshapeofamother@gmail.com) or over on the Facebook page.

~TIAW on Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~SOAM on Twitter and Facebook.
~Participate here on SOAM.

Around the Web:
~There was this controversy (apparently) about an unretouched photo of Cindy Crawford that surfaced this week. It’s kind of a non-story now, but some really important things have come from this. These two quotes perfectly sum up my own feelings about this:

“Now that I know the image was leaked, it kind of changes my response to it,” said body image expert and author Leslie Goldman. “When we thought she had intentionally released that photo, it was different. We thought she was putting it out there to say ‘I’m not perfect either.'”

The Marie Claire photo may have been circulated under circumstances that were dubious at best, but according to Goldman, that doesn’t diminish the value of seeing a legendary supermodel with flaws. “Women everywhere are feeling empowered, relieved and grateful to her,” Goldman said. “I just wish it had come about under her control.”

~And in extremely similar news, Beyonce also had unretouched photos of her leaked without (I think?) her permission. You know what? Both of these ladies are beautiful, imperfections and all.

~One woman’s awesome response to online misogynist threats.

~And to elaborate on that point, this is why we need feminism.

~I love all these videos showing women’s fashions through the decades. This one is particularly interesting because it directly reflects the historical context of what was going on in Persia/Iran in each decade. Scroll down to read more about each decade.

~And, in case you missed it, SOAM was featured in a story a couple of weeks ago along with other body-loving sources. Go check it out!

Have a great weekend, you beautiful ladies, you!