Not that I would expect post-modern, transnational feminist film work to come out of the slimy "it's not misogyny/racism, it's ironic!" Vice-magazine's video site, VBS.tv, but the thirty-minute documentary "Prostitutes of God," on devadasi sex workers in India, is dangerously western-centric, anti-sex work, and completely misrepresents the sex workers it focuses on.
Only there's a twist to this one-sided voyeurism--the film subjects are taking the filmmakers to task for misrepresenting their lives. Enraged about the compromised representation of their gods, their work, and their lives, the sex workers made a response video.
The conventional wisdom is that women don't want to be scared—or enjoy scary movies only insofar as the terror gives them the opportunity to snuggle up to male companions, as Entertainment Weekly pointed out in a 2009 piece. This strikes me as bizarre. Women bleed, after all, regularly and sometimes very heavily. We push human beings out of our bodies. We deal with constant threats to our safety. So it only makes sense that women can portray fear, terror, and gore onscreen in ways only those who've experiences it up close and personal can.
But I can't blame the general public for the assumption that women just don't make horror films. How would anyone really know, when the films that do exist are routinely ignored and diminished? This disturbing and irresponsible invisibility is why I founded Women in Horror Recognition Month in February 2010—a tradition that will hopefully continue until we are respected, visible, and included as both creators and fans. And right now, I'd like to introduce you to five women among the many who are working hard to be seen and heard in this scarily sexist genre.
There's a three-way race for the US Senate in Florida. An unemployed veteran who lives with his father is up against an almost-certain opponent in South Carolina. A candidate in Delaware gets more press for things she said in 1999 than in this race. Two long-time Republicans are running as independents. Two years after the message of "hope" carried in a sweeping victory for Barack Obama, what on earth is going on with the midterm elections?
This week's Douchebag Decree goes to a man who used his post at CNN as a platform to rage against "illegal aliens" to the American public. If that wasn't douche-y enough for you, it has now come out that this same man has been employing undocumented workers for years to tend to his prized horses and mansions. Who is this hypocritical douche, you ask? Lou Dobbs, come on down!
ABC Family has cancelled one of my favorite shows of the last year—Huge. (On the chance you missed it, I highly recommend watching it online on ABC Family's website. Hopefully they'll leave it up awhile.)
It's sad, though not surprising. Huge had the kind of pedigree that often spells network doom. It was created by Winnie Holzman, whose other most famous achievement is the also-one-season critical darling My So-Called Life. It was also a summer series—rarely ratings bonanzas—and it only aired on a niche network. Still, that considered, it averaged about 1.9 million viewers over its run, which doesn't sound like a lot until you realize that the third season of Mad Men, for all its critical adulation, only averaged about 1.8 million viewers during its third season. It's true that the math is different on a network than at a cable channel, in terms of an acceptable amount of viewers, but still.
In keeping with our current Make-Believe issue this week's BiblioBitch features A Child's Life and Other Stories by Phoebe Gloeckner. A Child's Life is a riveting collection of illustrated stories (or comics or comix or graphic novel depending on who you talk to) that merge the fantastical with the realistic.
Regular readers of Bitch know by now that Glee, while addictive and entertaining (if you try and tell me you didn't make a heroic attempt at recreating the choreography from "Safety Dance" alone in your room, I'm going to straight up call you a liar), is imperfect. This week's episode, which tackled religious belief (or the lack thereof), was no different.