The astronomically high pregnancy rate in majority black Shelby County, which includes Memphis, has sparked public outcry as well as an initiative called "No Baby!" run by Girls Inc. For decades, Girls Inc. has aimed to help Memphis girls improve their self-esteem. But its "No Baby!" campaign—slated to kick off Jan. 20—may do little to curb the high teen pregnancy in the Memphis area. Why? Because the campaign promotes abstinence only, according to AOL's Black Voices.
Baby drama, first year medical students, marriage equality, and tough medical decisions on this week's Grey's Anatomy! After a winter hiatus, the show is trying to reconnect us with the characters and their storylines. Is it working? All this and more, after the jump!
This week was a big one for those of us interested in recently published young adult literature (especially the feminist and queer kind). Since it's the beginning of yet another year, lots of task forces and round tables have been meeting to decide which of the books published in 2010 deserve to be must-reads. Let's take a look at two of the awards and book lists that we were super excited to see released this week. It's time to start our impossibly long lists of books to read in 2011.
Danielle Corsetto is the artist behind the hilarious daily strip Girls With Slingshots (GWS). GWS focuses on the lives of twentysomethings Jamie and Hazel and their social circle. The strip is a lot of lighthearted fun served up daily, much like Jeph Jacques' Questionable Content, with a wide and charming cast and a slightly skewed universe. Though the strip isn't political and isn't perfect, its focus on female friendships places the strip high on what I call the Bechdel spectrum, and makes it popular in the webcomics world.
Danielle lives in West Virginia and works full-time as a cartoonist and illustrator. She's a really friendly and lovely lady, and I had a great time chatting with her. Read what she had to say after the jump!
Since the violence that took place in Arizona over the weekend goes beyond the term "douche-y", and since it would be much too obvious to award the Decree to Sarah Palin for her crosshairs graphic and "blood libel" comment (let's just call her an honorary Douchebag for life), I thought I'd do a roundup of some of the most interesting and the douchiest discussions of violence, rhetoric, and totally inappropriate anti-semitic references that have come up over the last few days.
Four days after the Wall Street Journal published Amy Chua's essay, "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior," it continues to spark controversy. The piece itself has garnered more than 3,500 comments on WSJ's website and bloggers from Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man to Maureen O'Connor of Gawker and Danielle Belton of The Black Snob have taken Chua to task for claiming that Chinese mothers raise highly successful children by berating their young, withholding affection from them, or denying them meals and sleep until the little ones manage to meet mom's expectations in academia, music, and beyond.
My personal reaction to the piece is mixed. I absolutely agree with Chua that parents should have high expectations for children, shouldn't praise kids for mediocre work or prioritize athletics over academics. That said, I also agree with Chua's detractors at the previously mentioned blogs who say that the tactics the Yale Law School professor uses on her children may lead them to suffer severe emotional distress down the line, if not currently. But rather than debate the pros and cons of Chua's childrearing strategies, I'd like to examine a major stereotype running through her piece: Mothers of color are cruel.
I like the conversations American Apparel inevitably starts whenever it comes out with a new advertising campaign. I'm not being snarky—some of the most radical (meaning at the root of) discussions about feminism I enter into start because American Apparel can't seem to stop. Well (and here comes the snark), guess what? AA still can't let go of its naked-ladies-trying-to-sell-me-the-clothes-they-used-to-be-wearing style, and new campaigns (banned in the US so far) are adding pubic hair to the already fraught mix of issues involved in these ads. So let's get to talkin'. (Assume that pictures and some links in this post, including those after the jump, will be NSFW.)
I wanted to write about at least one writer from the Southern Hemisphere for you. (I was going to also write about New Zealand's Katherine Mansfield, but then Lindsay pipped me to the blog post!) I thought to myself, I've never read My Brilliant Career (1901), and that's supposed to be one of the best feminist works to ever come out of Australia. An excellent topic on which to write, I surmised! This plan did not quite work out as I had expected. So let me tell you a little bit about Miles Franklin, and some other Australian women writers you, readers, may find of interest.
A piece of advice for those who are interested in reading Am I Blue?, an anthology of YA short stories about gay, lesbian, and questioning characters: don't read it on the bus. I tried several times, and always missed my stop by many blocks without fail. The collection is engrossing to a plan-canceling degree; editor Marion Dane Bauer has put together funny, poignant, compassionate, impassioned stories about teenagers supporting each other, by authors dedicated to both advocacy and entertainment.