Last week, the FBI named former Black Panther and member of the Black Liberation Army Assata Shakur as the first woman on its Most Wanted Terrorist List. This dubious milestone occurred 40 years to the day after she was, as she describes, unfairly convicted of shooting and murdering State Trooper Werner Foester in New Jersey on May 2nd, 1973.
Welcome back to our weekly recap of Mad Men. This one had everything we love about the show—gripping office drama, hilarious fantasy sequences, righteously angry women, and Pete Campbell incurring bodily harm. Kelsey couldn't join us this week thanks to a wedding in Arizona, but we've got plenty to say regardless. So grab a drink—sorry, Bert, we don't have any spirits of elderflower—and settle in.
Some books are easy to read, yet stay with you long after you've finished the last chapter. Nivedita Menon’s Seeing Like a Feminist (Penguin/Zubaan, 2012) is a timely work that explains a complicated subject without over-simplifying it.
This morning in the doctor’s office waiting room, I leafed through a copy of Ladies' Home Journal and landed on an article called,“The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Cleavage.” The article pairs tips for covering up your cleavage with a sidebar of celebrity’s “buzzworthy boobs.”
This is a real article. And it would be perfect fodder for the new women’s magazine parody website Reductress. Just launched last week, Reductress takes aim at media stuffed with “buzzworthy boob” profiles the way The Onion spoofs 24-hour newspapers.
Among all the comedy online, Reductress stands out as genuinely fresh and funny. Just look at these headlines:
When I first heard about a book called Titters: The First Collection of Humor by Women, it could be conservatively stated that I just about lost my frickin' mind.
Published in 1976—smack in the middle of the both the height of second wave feminism and the golden years of “Saturday Night Live”-- Titters collected parodies, comics, and humorous writing from some of the biggest female humorists of the era, like “Saturday Night Live” performers Radner and Laraine Newman, “Saturday Night Live” writers Rosie Shuster and Anne Beatts (who also served as the book’s co-editor), satirist (and other co-editor) Deanne Stillman, comic artist Aline Kaminsky, comedian Phyllis Diller, columnist Erma Bombeck…the list went on and on.
Susan Bordo is one of the most acute and lively chroniclers of our time. Whether she takes to task the male body (in her aptly named book The Male Body) or female body image (Unbearable Weight), Bordo is always a pithy observer of her subject matter, candidly disclosing her own biases and shortcomings. In her newest book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn, Bordo’s skills are sharp as ever as she compares narratives from history and popular culture, revealing the bits of truth we know to be for certain about one of history's most elusive characters: Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England from 1553-1556, when her husband King Henry VIII had her imprisoned and beheaded.