Watching Bristol Palin's teen pregnancy PSA the other day and reading reactions to it (including Bitch's own Kelsey Wallace), I was reminded of a question that I've been turning over in my mind lately, namely who has the authority/credibility/legitimacy to speak to issues of class and privilege?
"Now when I listen to a really good song, I start nodding my head like I'm saying yes to every beat. 'Yes! Yes! Yes, this rocks!' And then sometimes I switch up with 'No! No! No, don't stop a'rockin!'"
Give it up for the power of yes! And the power of no! Give it up for choice!
Read My Bitch is a brand-new audio segment that features Bitch Magazine readers and subscribers sharing one of their favorite articles from the archives by reading it aloud and discussing it afterwards. For our first episode, Kristin reads aloud "Harriet and Claudia, where have you gone? Notes on the gender divide in children's literature," by Monica T. Nolan, which was printed in Issue 15, Winter 2002. Kristin reads aloud a sizable excerpt from the piece, and, being in the publishing industry herself, discusses how she relates both personally and professionally to the article, which covers how independent, young female protagonists are unfortunately few and far between. You can subscribe to Read My Bitch on our iTunes channel, along with other Bitch audio programs.
If you've been watching 30 Rock this season, you might be familiar with Kabletown, the fictional media company that is in the process of purchasing NBC on the show. If you've been paying attention to media news recently, you might be familiar with Comcast, the real media company that is in the process of purchasing NBC in real life. Art imitates life! Even when life is in a Brave New World state controlled by media monopolies! In an added twist, NBC has launched a Kabletown website that contains some jokes that are so over-the-top they would be hilarious, if they weren't describing a dismal media future that is all too imminent for NBC/Comcast. Looks like a fake website is covering a real merger in a more effective way than most news outlets. Thanks, Tina Fey?
No one likes to be pigeon-holed into any kind of stereotypical box, but the long history of colonization and oppression of Indigenous people has shoved us so far from mainstream public view (and blogosphere, I might add) that it's no wonder there exist these warped, outrageously wrong ideas about who we are. No, we don't all live on reservations (more than 140,000 urban Natives live in LA alone!) and yes, we are currently one of the fastest-growing populations. With over 750 First Nations in (what we now call) the United States and Canada alone, it's unrealistic to think that we're all the same. Well I'm here to make the record clear, and encourage you to fiercely challenge what you think you already know.
Get your barf bags ready, 'cause this one's a doozy. GameCrush is a douchetastic new web service wherein men pay women to play video games with them. Don't even bother clicking on that link - the beta version has been down almost since the day it went live earlier this week, crushed (har har) by the overwhelming user response.
Say what you will about Lady Gaga (she's important for feminists, she's anti-feminist, she's just downright confusing, etc.) but you have to admit that she knows how to put it out there. Her whole existence in the public sphere reads as a giant performance piece (the costumes! the bizarre behavior! the rumors! the extravagant videos!) so it's no surprise that she considers herself a performance artist. Well, Klaus Biesenbach, MOMA and P.S. 1 curator, has news for her: She isn't one. (Yes, apparently it is up to him to decide.)
Update! Margaret Doyle at MOMA sent me an email titled, "correction on Lady Gaga story"! Read on for the rest.
One thing you'll notice if you spend any time following youth issues in the media is that coverage comes in waves. The Pew releases a report, new employment stats for the quarter come out, etc. and all of the mainstream outlets take a turn at reinventing the wheel via their own spins on the story du jour. In the last few days, the illegal and, in some quarters, unethical nature of unpaid internships has been on the front burner.