PJ Harvey is no stranger to this blog. She has consistently distanced herself from feminism as such, but our love for her is inescapable. Her music is about independence—from marriage ("The Pocket knife,"), from judgement ("Who the Fuck?")—and her vision for her autonomous career has never faltered in 20 years of music-making. Now she's got a new album, Let England Shake, coming out February 15th, and a short film to be released with EVERY SONG on the album! If you, like me, believe there is no such thing as too much Polly Jean, this is the B-sides for you.
We were big fans of Jenny Hagel's last video series Feminist Rapper, so you can imagine our delight when she tipped us off to her latest work, the short film Tech Support, directed by Erik Gernand. If you've got nine minutes to spare this afternoon, why not spend them watching a lesbian comedy about women finding love over a tech support hotline? (Warning: This video may be considered mildly NSFW, especially around the time that one of the women starts tapping out "In Your Eyes" in Morse Code on her stapler. Seriously.) Check it out:
Any moment in time is the history others might look back on. I want to look to the writing happening, and the reputations being shaped, right now. Who do you think are going to be today's feminist literary icons in future eyes, and who ought to be? And what is the point of having icons?
I can't predict the future—no, really, it's true!—so I can't tell you who are going to be recognized as great writers with feminist consciousness or consciences. I can, however, tell you who I like, and who represents the kind of expression I'd like to see more of in time to come.
What do these three actresses have in common? They've all played roles that fit into the black best friend archetype, otherwise known as BBFs. These characters exist to comfort the white heroine when she's down, to egg her on when she needs motivating or to tell her off when she loses integrity. Sometimes, though, these characters aren't black, but other women of color. Think Keiko Agena's character Lane Kim on Gilmore Girls or Mindy Kaling's character Shira in the new film No Strings Attached.
We've mostly talked about established icons of feminist interest, but now I want to look to a legacy that hasn't quite taken shape yet. Over the course of this week, we're going to talk about the how icons get to be icons, and Sookie, with her world of glitter, wisps of the unknown, and pushing boundaries, is the perfect character with which to start. The protagonist of the Southern Vampire Mysteries throws up a number of questions around the kinds of characters one sees represented, and what one might be looking for in a feminist character.
Oprah seems to seek constant validation—in Australia she surprises a pregnant mom super fan and says, "It's me! It's me! It's Oprah!" to the shocked woman—and creates frequent situations that allow her to have those validating moments, which she then broadcasts to millions of people. You know, the usual.
Via What Tami Said, The Fat Body (In)Visible is a neat, new, 25-minute independent documentary about fat acceptance and fashion featuring Keena Bowden and Jessica Jarchow. Keena and Jessica share their experiences of people judging their mere existence just because they're fat, becoming empowered through fashion, the intersection of race and fatness, and finding community. Oh yeah, and there are tons of cute outfits!
Last year a Latina friend of mine who's unhappily single outlined what she's looking for in a mate. She wants a man who's college-educated, socially conscious, speaks Spanish and is Latino. "It's not that I'm against interracial dating or anything," she explained self-consciously. You see, I'm in an interracial relationship, and she didn't want to offend me.
No Piers, I'm not calling you out because you routinely dis audience favorites on America's Got Talent (although seriously, dude has built his career makingpeoplecry). No no, you are hereby declared an epic D-bag for interviewing one of the most intelligent, politically savvy women in the world and asking her why she's not married and what she'd cook you for dinner.