Hello, gentle readers. The good people at Bitch have made a terrible and now, I fear, irrevocable mistake, having hired me to write for you for the next eight weeks. There is an upside, however. I'm going to be writing about the greatest thing in the whole world: literature!
So, welcome to this here series called Iconography. We're going to look at the formation and celebration of feminist literary icons, both characters and creators.
PETA has long been known for offensive, weirdly sexist, and lazy advertising. Their sexism-is-OK-because-it's-for-animals tactics are tired as can be, yet they seem determined to stay the course. Case in point: Their latest campaign revolves around the much-reported-on new TSA screenings, and it is chocked full of sexism, misinformation, and size discrimination (surprise! but not really). First, the video, which apparently PETA is lobbying to play at airports during the holiday travel season:
Well, Thanksgiving's over and the holiday season has officially begun. No matter what you celebrate this time of year, chances are you're going to need to buy a gift for someone, and that's where our "Bitch in a Box" series comes in! Between now and the end of December, we (Bitch HQ staff and interns) will be taking turns writing themed gift guides designed to please even the scroogiest feminists on your shopping list. To kick things off, here's my guide to gifting for the pet lovers in your life—be sure to add your own suggestions in the comments!
As 2010 draws to a close, it's the time of year that nonprofits ask for donations. Bitch Media is no different; we need ongoing financial support. Usually, we would ask you to make a gift after telling you why you should support us. However, Bitch Media is lucky. We don't need to tell you why Bitch is important because we can let our supporters tell their own stories. This week, Everett Maroon, esteemed Bitch Blogger, explains why he ♥s Bitch.
I came out of a cultural studies program with new eyes. We know these moments: we can't read the newspaper anymore. Television is riddled with offensive stereotypes and harmful messages for women, people of color, transgender folks, queer people, and of course, many of us occupy more than one of these communities. Our favorite books, when reread after consciousness raising, disturb us because we hadn't noticed how chocked full of lies they are. We ask to see cultural deconstructions in media. Why aren't there feminist analyses of popular culture?
Although you can count her published works on one hand, Nella Larsen's achievements went beyond literature. She was a head nurse at the Tuskegee Institute, and the first African-American woman to graduate from library school as well as the first to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Today we encounter perhaps the most difficult entry of the series. While "important" and "palatable" are not always mutually exclusive descriptors, there's no denying the cultural significance of writer-director Julie Dash's hypnotic and elliptical 1991 debut feature Daughters of the Dust, which apparently was the first nationally released film by a black female director. In 2004, the Library of Congress' National Film Registry accepted it in its canon. Its distributor, Kino International, has a close relationship with Janus and thus is similar to the Criterion Collection in its commitment to film restoration and definitive DVD packaging. However, it's a slippery movie to review, not the least of which because this critic is a white woman with a shaky grasp on the folkloric traditions represented and referenced herein.
We took a long gander at the 2010 midterm elections, and I'm grateful we've had this time together, even if electoral politics often seems like an unworthy issue to spend quality time examining. For me, assessing the rhetoric from politicians and the press who cover them is telling because it outlines the parameters of debate across a range of issues and by illuminating what gets spotlighted, we can ask discursive questions about where the silences are and what effects stem from that silencing. With this general method as context, let's take a look at the next two years, as we gear up for another presidential election.