Way back when I was but a young feminist in a WGS 101 class, my professor asked the class to describe our Thanksgiving traditions as a way of further explaining the notion of gender norms. As more and more students told tales of men sitting on the couch watching television while women basted turkeys and mashed potatoes, light bulbs turned on around the room. Aha! Gender norms! Men and women are both expected to play certain roles, even during such great American holidays as Thanksgiving!
Holidays can bring out the best and worst in all of us (especially when you've got an uncle that likes to play "bartender" by pouring shots for everyone the way I do). So what are your Thanksgiving traditions? How do you negotiate gender norms when you get together with your friends and families in the kitchen? What about the racism inherent in Thanksgiving? What are you going to cook/eat this year? Oh, and do you remember THIS?
I get asked all the time to evaluate some work or another on whether or not it does disability "right". This is a bit of a problem, of course - despite having opinions (a lot of them, according to someone in my thesis course), I haven't always seen the work in question. Also, my tastes don't run mainstream - if I've liked a movie, it probably tanked at the box office, and not because it was arty and pretentious.
After a few times of being asked what made disability in pop culture look "right" to me, I made a short list. This list isn't about acting, but on writing and presentation.
Last night, Adam Lambert kissed another guy on live television — network television. He also pushed a dancer's face into his crotch, which makes this is his most daring performance ever. Having only come out as gay post-American Idol, he has maintained a fairly straight-acting demeanor until now, including a sexualized photospread co-starring a woman in Details and Out magazine taking him to task for only appearing on the cover of the Out 100 issue if he didn't look "too gay" and a straight woman was also on the cover.
On The View this morning, Elizabeth Hasselbeck predictably said she thought it was over-the-line and was glad ABC censored Adam's performance for West Coast viewers, who weren't able to watch the late night performance live. Barbara Walters said she was disappointment in the network for making the decision, but recanted after she heard about the face-in-the-crotch.
By now you've probably heard that Oprah has announced her daytime talk show, which has been on the air for a staggering 23 years, will end in September 2011, and already there's clamor over how the daytime talk show void could possibly be filled.
With Top Chef boiling down to its final two episodes (go Jennifer, go!) now seems as good a time as any to delve into the history of the fancy world of professional chefs. From Top Chef (yes, a television series, but fancy nonetheless) to the James Beard Award, there are tons of impressive accolades out there for ambitious chefs to get their knives on, and we love to watch it happen. So how did this culinary world come about? And is it true that a woman is behind it all? (Spoiler alert! Yes, a woman is behind it all!)
Since my last post on the Bitch Social Commentary blog was a (rather long) analysis of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" video and the problematic representation of disability issues contained therein, I thought I'd take this post to focus on some popular songs that get disability and representations of persons with disabilities (mostly) right. There are, of course, some issues with these songs, but overall, I'm of the opinion that the musicians profiled in this post are doing something right with their respective songs. One caveat: This is by no means a complete list of songs that portray disability and people with disabilities in a positive light.
My girlfriend gets called sir a lot. Every time a stranger refers to her as a guy (sir, buddy, "him"), we give each other a smirky look, and can't help but feel bad for the person once they realize their mistake, as they most often do once she opens her mouth.
There are still times, however, they just can't tell the difference, either because they don't care to look beyond a customer if they're serving us in some way, or they would rather assume she's my boyfriend than believe we're lesbians. I look "too straight" and she, apparently, must be a guy in a T-shirt and shortly coifed haircut. (I call it the lesbian triangle.)
Independent webcomics are, generally speaking, a lot more interesting than the comics you can read in the newspaper – they have the space and the freedom to experiment artistically and tackle controversial or niche subjects, and women aren't as underrepresented. After the jump, a few current comics written and drawn by women that are worth checking out.