Posts by Allison Martell

  • Web Features

    The Sisterhood: Are sororities feminist organizations?

    April 24th, 2010     by Allison Martell     Comments

    It’s a September evening, and a small classroom at the University of Toronto holds about 30 young women. They might be more conventionally attractive, a bit better dressed than average, but mostly they look like any group of undergrads. A lone guy settles in to wait for the lecture to start. After an awkward minute, someone tells him that he is in the wrong room. After all, this is an information meeting about sororities. Many students … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Beyond Barbie

    July 7th, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Slate has posted a conversation between a few of its female contributors about American Girl, the doll superpower, on the occasion of their first major motion picture. American Girl dolls are, they suggest, the very opposite of Barbie. Or are they? While some dolls represent different periods in American history, coming complete with their own historical biographies, the “just like you” dolls come in a wide variety of hair, eye and skin colours. Yes, that’s right … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Documentaries on demand

    May 28th, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    My taste in movies is a little eccentric - most of the time, I like documentaries better than “fiction film.” So a few days ago I was thrilled to stumble on Freedocumentaries.org, a website that streams hundreds of short and feature-length documentaries. Documentaries are divided by title, region or theme. There are a few weird ones thrown into the mix - 9/11 conspiracy videos and the like - but also a lot of big name … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Women in prison

    May 21st, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Feministing’s recent series of guest posts from Justice Now, a women’s prison justice group, has really got me thinking. The poster at the top of this most recent post lays it out: Increase of Women in Prison, 1980s to present: 14,000 to 140,000. Female offenders, mostly black women, are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. 80% of them are imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses. I’m no expert, but my guess would be that much of … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Shameless Self Promotion: EconomicWoman.com

    May 21st, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    A couple months ago, I launched a blog about my first love, feminism, and my current intellectual passion, economics. I’m doing my best to make EconomicWoman.com accessible to economists who haven’t encountered much feminism and to feminists who haven’t encountered much economics, without boring those who are already interested in both. My site now has a bit of an audience, so the comment threads are more lively every day. Despite the fact that two very different … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Worst of Both Worlds

    April 30th, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    “Are you trying to find naked pictures of Miley Cyrus?” asked my girlfriend yesterday, glancing at my Google image search results. Needless to say, I wasn’t. I was trying to find those Vanity Fair photos to judge this ridiculous controversy myself. < p>Today I think I’ve got a better handle on the whole thing, thanks to Nancy Gruver’s post on Stockholm Syndrome in the Media. Gruver has done a lot of thinking on girls in the media. … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Abstinence only one option

    April 16th, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Poking around Feministe’s shameless self promotion open thread yesterday, I found this interesting discussion on things that girls need to know about sex. Here are the first few: 1. There are reliable ways, besides abstinence, to prevent pregnancy. 2. There are reliable ways, besides abstinence, to prevent STIs. 3. Abortion is safe (safer than carrying a pregnancy to term, in fact) and there’s a wide range of legitimate opinion as to when and whether it is … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Show Me Girl Meets Girl

    March 21st, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    I do love a good romantic comedy. And there are so few fluffy romance movies with queer couples - on the big screen, nearly every lesbian love story ends in murder or suicide. Until recently, my mental list of happy queer romance movies included (1) D.E.B.S., (2) The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, and… well, that was it. I’m adding another film to my list. Show Me Love is about two girls in … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    House of Blues

    March 7th, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Like seemingly everyone I know, I watch House MD. I love House - both the show and the character - for their wit and intelligence. So when I heard that David Shore, the show’s Canadian creator, was going to be interviewed on CBC’s Q, I stuck around on my couch to listen. Then Shore started talking about Cutthroat Bitch. Okay, so maybe this requires a little background. One of this season’s new characters is a young … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Charlie Wilson’s Sexual Conquests

    January 4th, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Is lecherous trash more or less excusable when it comes wrapped in witty dialogue? I saw Charlie Wilson’s War last week, and I laughed and enjoyed myself plenty. But in this “literate, wryly sophisticated parable of American politics” about one Texan congressman’s campaign to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan, nearly every shot begins with an extreme close-up on cleavage or tightly-clad ass. And let’s talk about characters. The men of this movie are politicians, spies, … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Overworked and underappreciated

    December 2nd, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Slate has a fascinating article up about women in politics. It looks at a study on the impact of female leadership on village councils in India. Guess what? Villages with more women in power have more and higher quality public services. There’s more: They were also less corrupt — villagers with female-headed councils were 25 percent less likely to report having to pay bribes to access basic services like getting ration cards or receiving medical attention. But … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Your Morning Coffee, With a Dash of Feminist Economics

    November 18th, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Slate reports on research by American economist Caitlin Kowles showing that women wait abot 20 seconds longer than men to be served at coffee shops. Check out the original paper here. Knowles has eliminated a few possible causes other than sexism - no surprise, it’s not because women order fancy drinks or flirt with the barristas. Tyler Cowen, over on economics blog The Marginal Revolution suggests that women are more indecisive, but doesn’t really dispute … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Jesus Camp

    November 16th, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    I’ve been catching up on documentaries lately, which is a mostly depressing activity. Most recently, I Jesus Camp, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s look at an evanglical Christian summer camp. This is no ordinary camp, and it makes for pretty disturbing viewing. Camp director Becky Fischer berates the kids for being dirty hypocritical sinners until they’re sobbing and speaking in tongues. Then she brings in a children’s entertainer to teach them that abortion is wrong, giving … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    High school sports and concussions

    October 2nd, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    The New York Times reports that Girls Are Often Neglected Victims of Concussions, though they don’t really manage to explain why. “Generally speaking, the medical profession does not do a very good job in recognizing that female athletes sustain concussions at an equal or even higher rate as males,” said Dr. Robert Cantu of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, one of the nation’s leading experts in concussion management. “It’s flying under the radar. And as … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    David Cox’s rape fallacy

    September 26th, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    The headline for this Guardian opinion piece (‘Feminism’s rape fallacy’) had me feeling a little nervous as I clicked over, but the stand first made me warm a little: “Imperfect though they may be, courts must retain presumption of innocence in rape cases.” Well yeah, of course. Unfortunately, things deteriorate from there. There’s a bit in the middle that got to me in particular. Yet, why shouldn’t women be encouraged to think twice before visiting footballers’ hotel … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Cindy Sheehan on Quitting the Peace Movement

    July 7th, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Belatedly, from The Killing Train - Cindy Sheehan’s letter of resignation. I haven’t really been following Sheehan since, let’s face it, she stopped being mentioned on The Daily Show. But as Justin points out, this piece is pretty brilliant. Check it out. … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Online Harassment

    April 6th, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    There’s an interesting piece in The Guardian about sexist harassment online, especially as experienced by female bloggers. (It’s also by the editor of Feministing, which we link to regularly.) I was reminded of the hate mail that I get for a site I built, about ad trucks. I put it up when I was probably seventeen, and unfortunately haven’t updated it much since. But instead of disappearing into internet obscurity, the site has steadily climbed Google … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Marking International Women’s Day

    March 7th, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    Next up on Allison Reads The Guardian… Check out a critical take on International Women’s Day. Zoe Williams takes issue with the way it is celebrated: What is not relevant is fun-packed dancing from around the world, spice workshops and fashion shows. Fashion is to international women’s rights as Agassi kitchen utensils are to gay rights. Yes, some women are interested in fashion; some gay men own more than one brightly coloured fish slice. But it … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Lynne Segal

    March 4th, 2007     by Allison Martell     Comments

    The Guardian reviews Lynne Segal’s memoir. It’s an interesting read on its own, especially if you’re interested in the history of feminism. … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    The Guardian on Montreal Violence

    September 15th, 2006     by Allison Martell     Comments

    I will be blogging from Edinburgh, Scotland for the next eight months or so, while I attend school here. Generally Canada is ignored by the UK media (and that is fine with me) but after this week’s shootings in Montreal we are on front pages internationally. I’m just posting to point out an article available online from The Guardian. It is mostly about the other Montreal school shooting, at L’Ecole Polytechnique, where Marc Lepine murdered fourteen … READ MORE

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