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Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3
Some updates from us: Cara is continuing to shock Britain with her football prowess — her team has moved up to a higher league. While Anouk’s trampolining classes have unfortunately been canceled, her terrifying cat is still very large. Gigi is going through a housing crisis, so she’s very tense, but going to the movies a lot — to continue the pussy theme, Cats has been her (un-ironic) favorite. Also, Cara and Gigi both have birthdays this month, so wish us happy birthday.
[Also read our previous issue: Byte Me #10: Very old dildos, deadly lipstick, and a tanned asshole]
Each month, our gloriously gifted designer, Saïna, illustrates a weird comment or tweet we receive from one of TNW’s misogynistic, or just funny, readers. Here’s the latest:
… here’s Saïna’s artistic interpretation:
Not to brag, but every month we get numerous shows of admiration from people writing in or tweeting to tell us how much they love this newsletter, and by extension, us. Shout out to Madisen, Nadia, Vanessa, and Paul <3 We agree that we’re great. Now onto the news!
the bloody news
- MEL Magazine published a story on why no one accuses men of ‘fucking their way to the top.’
- The New York Times: Iran’s only female Olympic medalist defected over ‘lies’ and ‘injustice.’
- Aeon questioned whether artificial-womb technology could be a tool for women’s liberation.
- There has been a huge amount of incredibly sexist and racist discussion over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back from royal life. A few articles that unpacked this well include “Black Britons know why Meghan Markle wants out” from The New York Times and “Harry and Meghan were meant to embody post-racial Britain. So much for that…” from The Guardian.
“Meghan Markle and her husband”
content we love to see. https://t.co/p7hUrtRB1U
— Mimi 🏳🌈 (@sa_vvy_) January 8, 2020
- These scientists developed #MeTooBots to fight workplace sexual harassment — but we shouldn’t rely on it.
- From Medium: “I now know why my mom hated ‘The Simpsons.'”
- NPR reported that a female arctic fox walked 3,500km from Norway to Canada.
Ugh, what can’t women do?
- New gender research shows how tech failed to fix its gender disparity problem over the past decade.
- From The Atlantic: How the early internet can be explained by one weird Celine Dion fan site.
And here’s a video of her telling Drake not to tattoo her face on his body.
- The latest from Code Word: The team from Immerse wrote about how we can protect users from harassment in social VR spaces. Code Word is an exploration into if — and how — we can protect people from harassment. Check out the rest of the series here!
- Buzzfeed reported on how Instagram model, ‘Naked Philanthropist,’ raised $750K for Australian fire relief with nude photos before her account was deleted.
choose your fighter pic.twitter.com/19n1euu4r8
— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 12, 2020
She donated more money than Jeff Bezos.
- The popular Dutch makeup artist and YouTuber, NikkieTutorials, has just come out as transgender after being blackmailed by people who threatened to leak her story to news outlets. Insider profiled her here.
- Airbnb admitted to owning AI technology that targets and discriminates sex workers. (XBIZ)
- This year’s male-dominated Brit awards have an issue with women, according to The Guardian (and us).
- According to HuffPost, you can now make your home smell like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina!
Just kidding, you can’t, cos her muff candle is sold out.
that’s what she said: is it feminist to use your sexuality to get ahead?
Because we’re all magical and unique snowflakes who don’t always agree on feminist issues — and subsequently feel like we’re “bad” women — we’re going to discuss something we found online in each newsletter.
For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing using your sexuality to get ahead at work, the “Naked Philanthropist,” and slut-shaming. We’ve linked to our full discussion here, and included the TL;DR below:
Georgina: Is it feminist for a woman to use her sexuality to get something?
Anouk: I think that when men/women use sex to better their position, it fucks up the whole dynamic within an organization, and others are affected too.
Georgina: True, but that might be the goal? By “fucking up the dynamic” you could be fucking up patriarchal organizations… that seems to be a common reason why women do it, like, to get on the same power playing field as men.
Anouk: But adding sex to the mix (at least for women) doesn’t really level the playing field — I think it actually sets both groups apart more.
Georgina: But saying it’s anti-feminist is also blaming women a bit for the situation they’re in.
Cara: Yeah the responsibility of changing a ‘boys club’ culture shouldn’t fall on women, but it usually does.
Georgina: I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s an idealized version of feminism, where we’re all educated, and we’ve read the right articles and books, and we know what’s right and wrong, black and white… but there are cases where women are just without any fighting power and trying to make a living. I can’t blame them for using whatever they can, even if it is not necessarily beneficial to the greater good.
Cara: There are so many different realities of feminism, so the middle ground is hard to find. You’ll probably find it’ll be the white, middle-class feminists saying ‘sleeping your way to the top is wrong.’
Anouk: That’s true — but still, even those who might not have other choices, while I don’t think they deserve to be slut-shamed and I do have compassion, that doesn’t make it feminist.
You can check out our full discussion here.
Feel free to comment on the document with your thoughts, or send us an email!
the best and the worst
In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. This week we asked Hallie Lieberman, who holds the world’s first PhD in the history of sex toys, and is the author of ‘Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy’ — a look at humanity’s favorite plaything explaining how a cold, stone penis became the hi-tech vibrator it is today, and what hurdles it jumped on the way.
“The best was from my dad who always encouraged me to pitch my writing everywhere and ask anyone for an interview by telling me, ‘the worst they could say is no.’ As my favorite filmmaker John Waters likes to say: ‘a no is free.'”
“The worst advice I received is from a professor who told me to wait to write about sex toys until after I got tenure because it was too risky. My response was, ‘No! I’m writing about sex toys now! I’ll never get tenure! And if I can’t get an academic job, Chili’s Bar and Grill told me they will always take me back as a waitress.'”
tweets of the month
after successfully logging into my appleID on the third try, I whisper to myself “a woman in STEM”
— 𝖗𝖆𝖈𝖍𝖊𝖑 𝖗𝖆𝖇𝖇𝖎𝖙 𝖜𝖍𝖎𝖙𝖊 🎡🎟 (@rabbitwhite) January 14, 2020
My favorite part of being a girl is saying “sorry” as I hold the door for another woman as she replies sorry”
— god gives me top (@zoe_dubno) January 9, 2020
I always think it’s sweet when a guy writes a little article. Good job with the spelling baby
— Rachel Sennott (@Rachel_Sennott) January 9, 2020
mrs bucket made all those sacrifices to raise her son and grandpa joe is the one who gets to take him to willy wonka’s factory? i don’t fucking think so!! that movie shouldn’t even have been called Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory that movie should’ve been called Mrs Bucket
— rax king (@RaxKingIsDead) January 6, 2020
men be like I’m bilingual I speak English and over women
— Arely (@arelygabriela_) January 13, 2020
Love these tweets and want more? Follow @byte_me on Twitter for clear skin!
word of the month: brofanity
To true bros, some things are better left unsaid.
Language is a funny thing. Words like “cunt” or “fuck” can make certain people cringe, while others — us included — gloss over them without much further thought.
But which words make a bro’s neck hairs stand on end? Which phrase will never leave a bro’s lips? In short, what qualifies as brofanity?
In the first category of brofanity: Latin names for female body parts. Vulva. Vagina. Has any bro ever whispered “Let me caress your labia,” to you in the dark? No? Our point, exactly.
[Fun side note here: Many parts of the female reproductive system have been named by, and after, bros. Yet they WON’T SAY IT? AND PROBABLY DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE ANY OF THESE REPRODUCTIVE PARTS ARE? Thanks a lot, Gabriel Fallopian.]
Second category: Bros aren’t keen on feminist lingo, either. Words like ‘patriarchy’ and ‘gender fluidity’ can be crossed off the list. They don’t exist to them, anyway.
The final, more complex category consists of language used by bros to hurt other bros: The deadliest sin of bro-dom. It’s perfectly illustrated in this comment:
Dear bros, don’t ever call your bros ‘bitch.’ Not in a bar. Not in private. Just don’t. It’s totally OK when describing your new girlfriend, though.
How to use in a sentence:
- “Oh, the brofanity!” Nate exclaimed when accidentally catching a glimpse of some female armpit hair.
- “Excuse my brofanity here, but she said ‘all men are trash.'”
- “Us white men just can’t say ANYTHING anymore, while feminists have normalized brofanity,” Chad sighed.
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<3 The TNW shrews