As someone who writes about choosing to not have children, what I seek are equitable conversations about honoring and giving space to all sorts of reproductive options—in a way, I suppose I want "choice feminism" to extend to us all. In the end, I simply want Bill McKibben's Maybe One to have a shot at being even half as popular as What To Expect When You're Expecting. (I know, a pipe dream, but a gal can hope.) I want every option put on the rhetorical table, for every issue to be given equal consideration when we set out to make decisions about how we live. Just because people claim to not have a bias against something doesn't mean room is made at the table to share those ideas or validate opinions. How can we talk about private, personal decisions related to fertility, childbearing, adoption, family, and love without squashing each other's values and opinions? How do we navigate this rocky terrain?
This week on Grey's Anatomy, high drama in the ER, and a reminder that lives can change in an hour. Lots to chew on this week as our characters continue vying for the role of Chief Resident and fracture lines appear in some of their relationships. Who is going to become chief resident? Do you really think a bunch of doctors would leave a drunk dude and his buddy alone in a treatment room to get into mischief? And who else is falling in love with Bailey all over again?
Reality TV tends to focus on and highlight extreme behaviors and choices—sometimes with the intention of normalizing them. For me, nothing has been such an obvious statement about our culture's obsession with parenting and procreation as the "we have a million kids" shows that have sprung up over the last few years—and there are quite a few, particularly for U.S. audiences. I'm referring specifically to 19 Kids and Counting, Kate Plus 8 (sorry Jon), Raising Sextuplets, and Table for 12, all of which celebrate the chaos of having 8-plus people in the house. (You can also lump in TLC's Sister Wives, since though they have 3 mothers and no sets of multiples, they also have more than 10 kids.) Why are all of these shows so popular? What do they tap into that makes them worth watching? Do people secretly long for the chaos advertised in this programming line-up, or is it simple one more way to make an easy buck by exploiting a family who can likely use the cash?
Now that word's spread about the assault she endured, Logan is being re-victimized by those who say that an attractive white woman with blonde hair should've known better than to make her way through a mob of brown, Muslim men. Why didn't Logan realize that all Arab men are misogynistic beasts who haven't the slightest respect for their own women, let alone Western women—all of whom they regard as whores? Yeah, that about sums up the message on sites from the Los Angeles Times to the New York Times to Salon.
Tomorrow night in Portland (Thursday, February 17 at 7:00 PM), renowned artist Carolee Schneemann will give a free performance lecture at PCC's Performing Arts Center on the Sylvania Campus. A product of the 1960s-70's New York art scene, her work challenged, shocked, and forced her audience to think about their reaction to women's bodies and feelings about physicality, often with her own body as part of the composition.
Outside the world of runway models, a degree of fatness is desirable--but only in certain places. We talked about desirable fat body configurations, but what about that gray area dividing thin women from fat known as "voluptuousness"? Society is willing to accept fat body parts, but distribute it throughout your entire body and watch folks retreat.
Coming to a mailbox near you! The new issue of Bitch! (Not a Bitch subscriber? You still have a few hours become one and save five dollars!) To get you excited about our spring issue while February still rages outside, here's three articles available for your reading pleasure online! First is an interview with author Peggy Orenstein on her new anti-princessification book Cinderella Ate My Daughter ("Pink Slip" by M. M. Adjarian), an assessment on so-called "Daddy" blogs and what it means to be a stay-at-home-pop in the digital age ("It's Hard Out Here For a Pop" by Rachel Fudge), and musings on why it's seems so uncool to like Tori Amos ("Birth of the Uncool" by Sady Doyle).