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Demystifying Feminist Sex Work

I knew that starting graduate school would change my lifestyle, but I never predicted I’d be spending a Sunday evening standing with my legs open over a man’s face, aiming my urine into his mouth. But here I was, a queer women’s studies major and sex-critical feminist who wrote countless undergrad papers critiquing the commodification of women’s bodies, doing sex work. How the hell did that happen? Before last year, I usually viewed sex workers

Demystifying Herstory: A Closer Look at Feminist Historical Recovery

In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf makes a startling claim about woman, writing that “she pervades poetry from cover to cover; she is all but absent from history.” Examining the shelves of history, Woolf finds them empty of female voices, a fact with which she struggles to grapple in her text. When we as women in the twenty-first century peer back into History – that is, our canonical understanding of history – it

Demystifying Gender Expression

For 22 years living as a straight, cis-gendered, white woman in Wisconsin, I experienced varying degrees of pressure to adhere to the dress-code of my employer. At age 16, my first job was as a waitress at a drive-up burger joint. Employees had the choice between a T-shirt or a tank top with the restaurant’s logo. I was encouraged to opt for the tank top because I would “get better tips.” When dressing for professional

Demystifying Ageism

When exactly did being “older” become bad? As the fifth child of eight, being older was always better than being younger. For example, during summer vacation, we younger ones had to go to bed early, while the older ones could stay up.  The older ones also received choice opportunities. We were a football-obsessed family and had season tickets to the New York Jets for several years in the late 1960s and 1970s. Each Sunday, my

Demystifying Making a Feminist Film

As an female actor, aka actress, I was tired of a lot of the female roles out there. I was tired of being typecast as “blonde, female victim” (actually the name of a role I was asked to audition for) and of women being secondary, inactive characters often reduced to the sum of their parts. I recently saw a notice for a role where “on a scale of 1 to 10, she’s a 12” was