11/21/16 10:46am

Since the election, we’ve seen lots of calls to arms rallying writers, activists, artists and whomever to tap into their personal superpower to help oppose Trump’s plans to make America hate again. Yesterday, Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys called on people to “take what you’re good at and what you truly enjoy and lend your services to the causes you are most about.”

For our own managing editor Sam Corbin, that superpower is punning, so Sam — the current reigning Punderdome champion — and co-writer Ally Spier came up with a video that turns the names of 50 famous women into anti-Trump puns. And woah man, is she swinging for blood on this one: She warns “the election wasn’t the Gladys Knight in American history” and that though the future isn’t “Albright,” we all need to “Toklas about making the art and actually make it.”

In all my years of competitive punning I’ve never seen anyone pun with such a steely look in their eyes. We’re declaring a new trend here: puns for social justice. It’s a brave new word.  (more…)

10/11/16 4:35pm
Now all you need is a bicycle map for fish. Via NewYorker.com.

Now all you need is a bicycle map for fish. Via NewYorker.com.

All of human history is blurred by the dominance of the male gaze, and New York City’s subway map is no exception. It’s another hammer from history that pounds its beat throughout time, reminding women, through hallowed names of streets and parks, that they were considered the “other” for so long. Imagine a world where we could start fresh and replace those men with the names of women who lived, taught and made history all across the city. This “City of Women” map on NewYorker.com today pictures just that, swapping men’s names on subway stops with the likes of Twyla Tharp, Susan Sontag, Sojourner Truth, Xenobia Bailey, Terry Gross and, of course, Beyoncé (click through to the New Yorker for a closer look at the map). Rebecca Solnit writes:

“[N]ames perpetuate the gendering of New York City. Almost every city is full of men’s names, names that are markers of who wielded power, who made history, who held fortunes, who was remembered; women are anonymous people who changed fathers’ names for husbands’ as they married, who lived in private and were comparatively forgot­ten, with few exceptions. This naming stretches across the continent; the peaks of many Western mountains have names that make the ranges sound like the board of directors of an old corporation, and very little has been named for particular historical women, though Maryland was named after a Queen Mary who never got there.” (more…)

10/11/16 1:03pm
Via imgur.

Thompson Chemists, Via imgur.

For every step forward in gender equality — like eliminating the tampon tax — there always seems to be a step backward right around the corner, like making a joke out of putting birth control in vending machines. So we know pay gap didn’t budge much even under the Obama administration, and maybe President Hillary will be able to do more about it when she’s finished sentencing Donald Trump to the Phantom Zone, who knows. But one New York City pharmacy is taking the issue into their own hands. The Daily Dot reports that Soho’s Thompson Chemists has enacted a “man tax,” where anyone carrying the Y chromosome has to pay 7 percent more, while women shop tax free.

“We thought it’d be a great idea with all the political things going on — with Clinton being such a woman and the other guy and his womanizing,” owner Jolie Alony told the site. “We wanted to share that women deserve to get a break, and men deserve to be charged 7 percent more. Women are spending more in general and we make less, so we deserve to have a break.” (more…)

08/24/16 11:30am
Smash the patri-art-chy! A year-long feminist art exhibit is coming to Brooklyn Museum

The yearlong feminist art show will include Marilyn Minter’s Blue Poles, Via Brooklyn Museum.

Good news, everyone! We finally killed sexism. According to this Pew study out this week, most men thing sexism is over and thank god someone finally asked men about that, because both being in the patriarchy and trying to fight it is exhausting. So now that sexism is over, what are we all supposed to do with our time?

One idea is to take a break from the realm of Dead White Guy art and go to the Brooklyn Museum, which is kicking off a yearlong feminist art exhibit starting in October. According to DNAinfo, the “Year of Yes” will be stocked with female-centric artwork and programming with the goal of “reimagining feminism.” Luckily, they don’t mean reimagining it this way(more…)

06/08/16 4:27pm
Inside Grlcvlt, a secretive 3,000-woman network against Brock Turner and the patriarchy

Grlcvlt may be a secret, but they’ve still got merch. via @beckannephoto on Instagram

By now, you’ve heard about the case of the Stanford rapist, Brock Turner, and the absurd leniency of his recent sentencing — a mere six months in jail  — by the judge presiding over his case, Aaron Persky. And the case hasn’t stopped there. From the release of the powerful letter Turner’s victim read to him aloud in court, to that of the letter Brock Turner’s dad wrote in his son’s defense, to that of the band member’s misguided character reference of Turner that got her band booted from Northside Festival, news of the trial’s unfolding and its central players has occupied the unseen chyron of the internet this week, updates ticking across our Facebook news or Twitter feeds at an unrelenting pace.

What you might not know, however, is that there’s a 3,000+ member secret society in New York that’s working to unseat the judge who sentenced Turner.

An event surfaced on Facebook this week, titled “Grlcvlt’s ‘F**ck Rape Culture’ event to unseat Judge Aaron Persky.” It’s hosted by Bed-Stuy resident Remy Holwick, Ford photographer and model, and local leader of a secret online feminist group who currently goes by Grlcvlt.

Brokelyn spoke to Holwick to get a feel for her movement, its members, and what she hopes to inspire in today’s feminist Brooklynites.

“Rape culture is problematic, rape culture is being formed and maintained by the patriarchy,” she said. “And [Judge Aaron Persky] is an instrument of the patriarchy that we can unseat.”  (more…)

05/26/16 11:24am
Save your summer day by not paying a woman tax on a thing.

Save your summer day by not paying a woman tax on a thing.

The state assembly voted yesterday to toss the tampon tax — an unfair holdover from an era of creaky patriarchy that is fading out of view — into the trash bin, and the governor has pledged to approve it. It’ll take effect next tax quarter, so that means as soon as June 1, the 4 percent tax for regular things a human body does once a month could be no more. Here’s some things that were exempt from the tax already btw, according to the Daily News: Rogaine, foot powder, dandruff shampoo, ChapStick, facial wash, adult diapers and incontinence pads.  (more…)

03/04/16 3:26pm
But WHEN will bearded white guys get their shot in Brooklyn? Via screenshot

But when will bearded white guys in Brooklyn get THEIR shot? Via screenshot.

See if you can guess where this story goes: A bunch of NYC comedians disappointed by what they see as the still-lingering lack of gender, sexuality and ethnic diversity in the entertainment world decide to set up their own comedy event called the Cinder Block Comedy Festival. To encourage diversity, they instituted a discount for people of color, women and LGBT folks, jokingly referred to as “wage-gap pricing,” charging 77 cents on the dollar to submit to the festival. So did you figure out what happened next? The same thing that happens anything on the internet becomes slightly less accessible to white men: the hateful comments started.

“The negative feedback is coming from, as you would suspect the usual suspects: it’s almost primarily straight white men who are angry at this,” Elsa Waithe of Bushwick, one of the festival’s organizers, tells Brokelyn. “Strangely most people who are upset have nothing to do with comedy. They are just people who have heard what we’re doing and are upset.”

But they also got a lot of support, and the organizers recommitted themselves to the wage-gap discount this week, issuing a statement saying they wouldn’t be deterred by the haters and are working on building out a diverse festival for September. They’ve now opened the discount to people with disabilities of all types, and extended the deadline to the end of the month. Bonus: When the fest does come around, it will be arranged like a bar crawl, so you can laugh your way from one Williamsburg venue to the next. And laughing is open to straight white men too.  (more…)

02/16/16 11:48am
Feminist editors hard at work. AGO / Wikimedia Commons

Feminist editors hard at work at the Toronto Edit-a-Thon in 2015. AGO / Wikimedia Commons

The modern feminist’s greatest frenemy is the internet. Despite a wealth of feminist content and support — not to mention Google’s policies designed to bury hate speech — the world wide web still suffers from a pervasive, and seemingly unsinkable, demographic of misogynists.

Among the most widely-attended virtual tea parties for these misogynists stands Wikipedia, bastion of information sharing (and arguably the closest thing we have to the sum of all human knowledge). Wikipedia’s page on its own gender bias cites a 2011 study that found only about 12% of the site’s editors were women. In a recent article covering the digital encyclopedia’s implicit sexism, The Atlantic described Wikipedia as an “Internet Oligarchy.”

But for the past few years, a burgeoning collective called Art + Feminism has sought to change the game by hosting annual feminist war rooms known as Wikipedia “Edit-a-Thons.” In cities all over the world, women and LGBTQ individuals and their allies come together once a year to edit Wikipedia articles, chipping away at misogynistic censors and censure alike.

This year’s Edit-a-Thon even has two nodes in Brooklyn! The first is at the Silent Barn on Saturday March 5, and the second is at The Interference Archive on Sunday, March 6. Head to either one with your laptop next weekend, and help smash the patriarchy — one Wikipedia entry at a time. (more…)

01/26/16 11:37am
These amendments came too late for Elaine, but you can still use 'em. via Seinfeld Tumblr

These amendments came too late for Elaine, but you can still use ’em. via Seinfeld Tumblr

Gird your loins, chauvinist bosses and creepy male co-workers: the New York Women’s Equality Act took effect Jan. 19, and it has a whole bunch of new protections for women in the workplace. It amends the New York State Human Rights Laws with new language that makes it much harder for employers to wiggle out of pay disparity and sexual harassment lawsuits, and also increases the rights of pregnant employees.

Below are five key changes that will improve women’s rights in the workplace. We’ve explained what the old laws were, and how the new Act changes each of them. We’ve also cited the legal jargon directly, in case you ever have to bring up the specifics of the Act with your boss. (Here’s hoping you never have to.) (more…)

08/13/15 9:46am
Mm hmm yeah thanks for the advice. Glockabelle photo by Nate Dorr.

Mm hmm yeah tell me more of your opinions. Glockabelle photo by Nate Dorr.

My mom was a drummer in a 90s girl band, which played everywhere from my hometown of Baltimore to CBGB to Woodstock ‘94 (I was five; I stayed with my grandparents and got the chicken pox. It was almost exactly like seeing Trent Reznor covered in mud). At one gig, two roadie dudes waited eagerly to meet the band’s drummer. “Where is he?” they asked. Instead of correcting them right away, my skinny blonde mother, set up the drum set as dudes looked on confused. They had just had it when she asked them to scamper down to Rite Aid to grab her a box of maxi pads. When she finally went on stage, their jaws dropped as they realized they’d been helping the drummer the whole time. (Also, pro Brokelyn tip from mom: maxi pads make great low-budget drum mufflers).

So this was back in the 90s; you may think women’s visibility in music has improved, but, no — even here in New York City, one of the most progressive cities in the world, women have to wade through the daily muck of harassment, especially as they’re first getting their start on stage. Hell, even Bjork and Solange have to wade through the bullshit, often not getting credit for their work the way a guy would. We rounded up a sampling of the best local (and people who play locally a lot) lady musicians to collect musings on trying, and failing, to be taken seriously as a musician and a woman.

Here’s some shit people have said to lady musicians, and what they had to say back. (more…)