I don't go looking to video games for entirely accurate depictions of reality. It is an escapist hobby for a reason, as I think it is for most people. I enjoy getting away into a world of possibility and imagination. It probably explains my tendency towards RPGs. I want to enjoy myself. I want to be immersed in a story. Sometimes I want to be the hero. Sometimes I want to raze the ground behind me. Sometimes I want to slay the dragon. Sometimes I want my revenge on the character who really pissed me off.
This past March, Women, Action, & the Media held several "WAM!-It-Yourself" satellite conferences in various cities exploring feminism and media. One component of this decentralized conferencing was spreading the conference ideas via the internet. Nist.tv (which I cleverly called "Feminism's YouTube") did a series called "Feminism in Focus: Interviews with Feminist Video Creators," which features interviews with seven awesome feminist filmmakers, including Bitch contributor and Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian! You can watch all the segments online, and there's more content coming! Here's one with filmmaker Tiona McClodden, who talks about her film black/womyn, using social media for social change by posting her movie on National Coming Out Day, how short-form film is great for collaborating with like-minded organizations, exploring representation through filmmaking, and more:
When I was in college, I decided to try my hand at being one of those too-cool-for-cars biker girls who dons a punk rock sticker-clad helmet and a rolled up right cuff—the phase lasted approximately two weeks. A friend I had a jealousy-crush on had gone out of town for the summer and when she mentioned that she needed a place to stash her ride, I heartily volunteered to keep it. I'd hoped I would become as hip as I thought she was, all critical mass and tattoos. But like most attempts at fitting in made in haste, this one wasn't entirely thought through.
You know the fury that comes over you when you're affected by other people's prejudice? The coldness, shock, or devastation when they put you or your loved ones down over race, sexual orientation, age, gender, size, class or ability? Maybe you felt it when your folks wouldn't let you bring your partner to a family celebration, when a white woman crashed your MLK event to announce that she deals with racism too, or when a classmate blocked your path to stare at your walking aid. Despite what a lot of defensive apologists might try to tell you, these incidents do matter: They're called microaggressions.
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On Facebook today, Marilyn Wann shared an article on CNN.com about the health benefits of touch. She added "If being fat makes a person 'untouchable,' then that's a powerful confounding variable for claims about weight and health." I definitely agree, and of course media don't present fat people as worthy of physical contact particularly of a sexual nature. However, I think we do need to recognize that sometimes we shield ourselves from anticipated rejection by shunning the desire for touch, which is in and of itself unhealthy. It's not always that no one wants to feel the tactile pleasures of your body. We have to open ourselves up to receiving the sensory experience of intimate touch, which requires us to feel safe not only with a partner but with ourselves. Unfortunately, society doesn't make this an easy job.
On 29 April, the streets around Westminster will be crowded with people eager to get a look at the happy couple and be part of what is being billed as an historic event. The guest list includes celebrities, politicians and six of their former flames, but there's one group of people who won't be welcome.
With the extra amount of cultural pressure placed on women to discipline our bodies, it's unsurprising that some female artists would use the vocal effect to make their art and critically reflect on their relation to technology. Plus, and I can't stress this enough: Vocoders sound cool.
Meg Wolitzer's new novel, The Uncoupling, has an intriguing premise, in a Joanna Russ-meets-Kelly Link kind of way: a spell is cast over the women of Stellar Plains, New Jersey, that makes them stop wanting sex. They all turn away from their male partners for reasons very mysterious and mystical and altogether unclear to everyone (articulated in the novel as "a cold wind"), and though most of them sure did like getting it on up to this point, they suddenly begin to feel that sex with men is generally not such a desirable thing.