It's taken me more than a decade to come around to Lucinda Williams. When I was in middle school, my dad came suddenly into my room and put a CD in my stereo with no explanation. I set down my alg/trig homework and watched him carefully. He finally said, just before the music started, "Listen to this song, Kate. I've never heard anything so...gripping." And then he sat with his eyes closed until the song was over. And that was the first time I heard Lucinda Williams. I'm not even sure now what the song was, but that's the thing about Williams' music: many of her songs could be the most gripping song my dad (or anyone) has ever heard. I did not agree at the time, but remembered her name in association with her affect on my father. Now, on the event of her 10th studio album being released, I finally get it.
This is the last week to catch the Portland International Film Festival, which the Northwest Film Center has been running since February 10th, screening several films a day in venues around Portland. One of the films on our radar here at Bitch was Pink Saris, a British documentary about a gang of women in Uttar Pradesh, India who wear hot pink saris to demonstrate their revolt against tradition and patriarchy. See the trailer and read what we thought after the jump...
If we're going to talk about voluntary sterilization—or even the simple act of opting to have few or no children—we've got to get everyone on the same historical page. While I tend to take for granted that people understand the history of forced sterilization in the U.S., as well as countries such as China that mandate single-child families as part of population control, it may not be a given that everyone understands the connections between modern eugenics, race/class/ability privilege, reproductive justice, and the struggle for voluntary sterilization. Much as I know loads of folks use it as a jumping off point, skimming the Wikipedia entries for compulsory sterilization and eugenics in the United States only gets you so far.
Somehow I feel like Fox's new sitcom Traffic Light pulled one over on me. This is likely my own fault, because the warning signs were there. Three dude main characters in various stages of romantic entanglements? Check. Jokes made at the expense of the women in their lives? Check. Cohabitation without any mention of domestic responsibilities whatsoever? Check. Yet I still had high hopes that this show was going to be (at least kind of) funny and refreshing and (maybe?) offer a more nuanced portrayal of masculinity and relationships than your typical run-of-the-mill network comedy. Maybe because I recognized some of the actors from The Office? I don't know. Well the joke's on me, because two episodes in I'm not finding much to love about this sexist snoozefest.
Another week, another roundup! Here's what caught our eyes this week around the Internet:
In the "Beyond WTF" file, Mother Jones dissects the proposed law in South Dakota that could have legalized the murder of abortion providers. Fortunately, Feministing announced Thursday morning that it's already been shelved.
There's a lot of misinformation around the web about sex and fat people. Particularly when it comes to the sexual skills fat people possess. I thought we'd have a little tongue-in-cheek fun by breaking down these myths and getting to the truth of the matter.
Is Beyoncé Knowles' bleached blonde hair and light skin reason enough to accuse the singer of racial treason? Yes, says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who just penned a piece in the Daily Mail about how Beyoncé is betraying black and Asian (meaning South Asian) women with her exterior.
As someone who writes about choosing to not have children, what I seek are equitable conversations about honoring and giving space to all sorts of reproductive options—in a way, I suppose I want "choice feminism" to extend to us all. In the end, I simply want Bill McKibben's Maybe One to have a shot at being even half as popular as What To Expect When You're Expecting. (I know, a pipe dream, but a gal can hope.) I want every option put on the rhetorical table, for every issue to be given equal consideration when we set out to make decisions about how we live. Just because people claim to not have a bias against something doesn't mean room is made at the table to share those ideas or validate opinions. How can we talk about private, personal decisions related to fertility, childbearing, adoption, family, and love without squashing each other's values and opinions? How do we navigate this rocky terrain?