No matter what those time/date sticklers who don't think it's over 'til 2011 believe, according to us, tomorrow marks the end of the '00s. And though we'd hate to say "Good riddance" to the decade that brought us a bunch of kickass feminist blogs, a bevy of thought-provoking books, and a multitude of female-focused movies, coming up with a list of positive feminist moments in '00s pop culture was no easy task. As it turns out, there were a lot more not-so-feminist moments this decade than feminist ones. (Too bad we'd already decided we wanted to keep the list positive – We're starting our New Year's resolutions early this year.)
Maybe we are better off saying "Sayonara" to the decade that came in like Britney Spears and went out like Bella Swan, but that doesn't mean the past ten years didn't give us anything to be happy about. So before you get gussied up and head out the door for New Year's Eve, take a minute to celebrate the good feminist times from this decade in pop culture.
I saw Ginger Brooks Takahashi's work in the art auction for the Lesbian Herstory Archive. Although her work spans illustration, multimedia, wall hangings, and music, the themes of sexuality, gender, and community run throughout. (Rabbits also seem to be a motif).
Whether it's her involvement with the Mobilivre Bookmobile, where a super cute a 1959 Airstream Overlander trailer, interior-redecorated as a mini-zine and book arts store toured the country, or Butch in the Bog, a collaboration with Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, it's clear that aesthetic is as important as community building to her. As she told the New York City News Service, "As an artist, I like to create situations for people to come together and to have an encounter."
Comics haven't always been a bastion of feminist values, but they have given readers some fairly positive examples of characters with disabilities over the years. I've pulled together a brief list of characters who are more than just tropes meant to teach a Very Special Lesson.
Oh the things that make up New Year's Eve: chintzy eye-glasses, countless top ten lists, nosiemakers...emergency contraception? According to the National Institute for Reproductive Health, sales for emergency contraception more than double in the first days after the New Year. The Back Up Your Birth Control Campaign has made a short vid reminding you that if things don't go as planned--as they often don't--you have options. And it's a cute vid (love you, Grandma!) that really works year-round.
So if you don't want a New Year's baby of your own, don't drop the ball! Plan ahead and tell your friends to too!
The Revival gives a candid glimpse into the first meeting of legendary Hip-Hop pioneer Roxanne Shante and veteran Philly emcee Bahamadia, as they trade stories of their struggles and triumphs in the industry over their long careers. It also shows the exchange of lessons between them and up-and-coming artists DJ Shortee, Eternia, Stacy Epps, and Invincible. This short documentary, a collage of performances and behind the scenes footage, was filmed and directed by Invincible while on the road in Europe as part of We-B Girlz all women in independent Hip-Hop tour. The largest all female Hip-Hop tour of its kind, it spanned over three weeks, six countries, and featured dozens of female artists who performed for tens of thousands of supporters.
How awesome does that sound? Decide for yourself by watching the film!
When it takes shows explicitly set on other planets, in other universes and in alternate realities to consistently bring us complex female characters not hemmed in by sexist narrative conventions, it is time to take a look at what's going on in shows set on this planet.
As the year winds down the media stream is inundated with lists of political accomplishments, policy and presidential reviews and all of our hopes for 2010. Amid this maelstrom, I continue to remember that it was still in the last century that women were given the right to participate in the political process by voting and that the coming year's contests of candidates and legislation can, and should, be part of a modern feminist dialogue. In that light, today's Feministory focuses on a woman who worked tirelessly and radically through much of the twentieth century to secure equal rights for women: Alice Paul.
One of the things that drives me just a little bit up the wall about disability in pop culture is when creators want to have a disabled character, but don't want that character to have any of the actual consequences of being disabled. This plays out in one of two ways: Either the disability is just there, without any of the attending difficulties, or the disability has been turned into a Super Power. Sometimes, we get both.
I've never seen wheelchair-using Professor X have to actually deal with stairs. He uses his psychic powers to make his wheelchair float.