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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Yoga, Flow, and Aunt Flo: Toward a Feminist Yoga Practice (Guest Post by Margaret)

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Welcome back, Margaret, fellow professor and yoga practitioner:

I love cults, reading about them, writing about them, even joining them—how else did I become an academic? Unfortunately, fellow members of my latest cult, yoga, have a few habits that strike me as deeply sexist. Most stem from the treatment of menstruation, commonly referred to in the yoga studio as “moon time.” Using this euphemism, however grounded it may be in a mostly mythological understanding of the body, gives me that yucky am-I-living-in-a-tampon-commercial sensation that made me avoid yoga for too many years. So first of all, please don’t call it moon time.


What else? Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do on my period. When was the last time a woman choked on her own menses after too many moontime headstands? I think it coincided with women losing their uteruses mid-marathon. If women can’t handle inversions while menstruating, then there would be a regular exodus of lady astronauts from the international space station. Look it up, it doesn’t happen.

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Small Feminist Acts: My Letter to Entertainment Weekly

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In my feminist theories class, we talk about how to do everyday acts of feminism in order to make greater change. We can’t change the world individually, but if we all step up and take action when we can, real change happens. So with that in mind (and remembering Lisa’s act to write to Barnes and Noble last year), here’s what I emailed to Entertainment Weekly this morning:

“As a longtime reader of Entertainment Weekly, I often applaud your writers’ choices to question sexism in all areas of popular culture. Given this, I am so often dismayed and angered by the Bullseye’s continual use of sexism and transphobia in its reporting. Almost every week has an example of a person on the far outside of the bullseye being mocked for his or her refusal to adhere to a sexist performance of traditional gender. You can be creative about how you call out people like Justin Bieber for their performances of fame without gender shaming them. As for transmen like Chas Bono and gay men like Johnny Weir, either put them further into the Bullseye and praise their efforts to be their authentic selves, or leave them off altogether. Entertainment Weekly is better than this.”

Whether the letter is published or not remains to be seen, but either way this issue has been bothering me for some time and I wanted to take action. What small feminist actions have you taken lately?