We love feminist mystery novels. We love them so much that we decided to devote three months of book clubs to them. In November we read Gaudy Night, Dorothy Sayer's 1935 book that has been called the first feminist mystery novel. In January we're reading Everything You Have is Mine by Sandra Scoppettone. And in February we'll be reading Laura Lippman's To The Power of Three. (Are you in Portland? Come to our book clubs. Not in Portland? Read along and we'll keep discussing these books on the blog.)
If you're like me, you've been staying up all night to read these novels and you just can't get enough. After finishing our book club books, I started scouring library shelves for mystery novels with feminist detectives. Mystery novels with complex female characters that analyze and protest sexist culture. I've been pleased to find that feminist mystery novels aren't as hard to find as one might think, and that some independent bookstores have huge Gay and Lesbian Mystery sections. If you finish the book club books and want to keep knocking back the mystery novels, here are a few more that feature kick-ass girl gumshoes...
No matter what you celebrate this time of year, chances are you're going to need to buy a gift for someone, and that's where our "Bitch in a Box" series comes in! Between now and the end of the month, we (Bitch HQ staff and interns) will be taking turns writing themed gift guides designed to please even the scroogiest feminists on your shopping list. After the jump, my guide to making and gifting the ever-popular sock monkey.
In the wake of critical interest over Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, a comparison between Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock and Dario Argento's Suspiria, two mid-70s features about how young women escape a Victorian-era boarding school and a European ballet conservatory.
As 2010 draws to a close, it's the time of year that nonprofits ask for donations. Bitch Media is no different; we need ongoing financial support. Usually, we would ask you to make a gift after telling you why you should support us. However, Bitch Media is lucky. We don't need to tell you why Bitch is important because we can let our supporters tell their own stories. This week, Andi Zeisler, Bitch Media co-founder and editorial/creative director, explains why she ♥s Bitch.
Asking me to talk about why I love Bitch is sort of like asking a pre–health kick Cookie Monster to explain why he loves cookies. As a cofounder and staff member since 1996, I feel like Bitch is so much a part of who I am that I might not be able to adequately (or, for that matter, objectively) answer the question. But I'll try.
I'd be lying if I said that when I heard about a reality TV casting call asking "Do you bend gender roles? Do you go against the norm?" I truly believed a show was going to focus on folks who reject prescribed ideas of gender and sexuality. But just in case there was a show that wanted to feature, to make visible, people who go against the grain when it comes to gender and sexuality (dare I say...gender outlaws?), I investigated.
I don't have to tell you that this week has been a total Wikileaks shitshow. But would anyone have guessed that the honoree for Douchebag Decree: Wikileaks Edition would be famed power feminist Naomi Wolf?
Me neither. After all, plenty of media have taken the low road in theorizing about the convenient timing of Interpol's arrest warrant for Wikileaks head Julian Assange on two incidents of, as the official charges read, "rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion." From using facetious quotes around the word "rape" to referencing one accuser's CIA connections to making creepy jokes about the Swedish rape dismissal/descriptor "sex by surprise," it's a veritable douche parade out there in blogland.
But Wolf's supposedly humorous Huffington Post piece, "Julian Assange Captured By World's Dating Police," proved that, despite not knowing any more about the series of incidents that led to Assange's Dec. 7 arrest by Interpol than the rest of us (and perhaps knowing significantly less, seeing as how the sole source she linked to in the piece was Britain's Daily Mail), she was all ready to assert her feminist cred and use it to trivialize what could indeed be valid, actionable incidents of sexual misconduct.
No matter what you celebrate this time of year, chances are you're going to need to buy a gift for someone, and that's where our "Bitch in a Box" series comes in! Between now and the end of December, we (Bitch HQ staff and interns) will be taking turns writing themed gift guides designed to please even the scroogiest feminists on your shopping list. Here's my guide to edible gifting—be sure to add your own suggestions in the comments!
I've always liked Eleanor Roosevelt because, unlike a lot of other first ladies, even in my dude-heavy history textbooks she was portrayed as having an identity beyond political wifehood. Why, then, did I decide to read a biography that is specifically not about Eleanor on her own, but instead focuses her relationship with that other important person she was married to? A biography that doesn't even list her name first? To be totally honest, I was convinced by the advertising. I heard a review that hailed Hazel Rowley's Franklin and Eleanor as a "crackling" account of the Roosevelts' "radical" marriage, written by an author who'd detailed other unconventional partnerships in the past. I never knew much about the Roosevelts' marriage before I read this book (other than the fact that the two were distant cousins who were both related in some way to Teddy) so the idea that their relationship was somehow "radical" was intriguing to me.
The reality of the book is a little disappointing.