Maybe the summer only seems quiet, free from the stresses of the holiday season, the doldrums of mid-winter, and the frantic fervor of spring. Maybe this is when we're lulled into complicity and we acquiesce into a false sense of comfort. Because fall is just around the corner, and it's not just any fall this year: it's the 2010 Midterm Elections. The world is ending, and so far, nobody cares.
We're rounding up some of the most interesting things we read this week in another installment of On Our Radar!
On Salon, Madeline Holler writes on the downsides of radical homemaking.
Amanda Hess of The Sexist breaks down the creepy manipulation of television personality Olivia Munn during her Playboy photo shoot. Munn writes in her memoir about the photographer and stylists' attempts to coerce her into posing nude.
In the wake of the election of women heads-of-state in Finland and Australia last week, Haley Cohen offers up a neat little round-up of the world's female leaders.
Over at Womanist Musings, Renee Martin makes an excellent case for why the public, black women in particular, shouldn't forgive singer and domestic abuser Chris Brown.
On Shakesville Melissa McEwan starts a discussion thread on the new Bravo TV show, Work of Art. The most recent episode saw the artists creating "controversial" works.
Nisha Chittal expands on The Awl's post on the differences between men and women's writing pitches on Feministe.
Find something that piqued your interest this week? Leave it in the comments section!
This week marks the first From the Bitch Library post that examines the history of female librarianship as well as the relationship between feminism and libraries.
Image: Melvil Dewey
Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal System, is oftentimes praised for having created a new job field for women in the US. In 1883, Dewey was hired as the head librarian at Columbia College (which later turned into Columbia University), and he soon convinced the trustees to let him open a library school. At the time, Columbia College only allowed women into a special women's college, so Dewey's plans to invite women to join the library school were controversial. His first class was comprised of 20 people, 17 of whom were women. While many have focused on Dewey's success in educating and opening up jobs for women, attention is rarely paid to why he felt women would make great librarians. Spoiler alert: he held some pretty sexist beliefs.
The most boring exhibit I ever saw in any of the Washington, DC Smithsonian museums was, without a doubt, the gowns of the First Ladies. Oh, how I could not have cared less. But my mother preened over them like she'd just found some rare bird egg sitting under her window. Helen Taft? Grace Coolidge? Elizabeth Monroe? I didn't care about their dresses, and I certainly didn't know who they were as women. On top of that, weren't First Ladies just... housewives in a really nice house?
To be fair, based on the above image alone, I did not fully appreciate the outrage. It appeared Wonder Woman's ass kicking capabilities did not seem diminished despite the lack of star spangled panties and glamorous accessories. However, when I saw this picture of the new costume, then the ire made a lot more sense. The new Wonder Woman looks like an extra on the 90s version of Melrose Place with her small hair and velvet choker.
As many of you Internet fans know, I'm the web editor here at Bitch Media, which means I concern myself mainly with what goes on in this series of tubes we're working in right now. However, today I'd like to talk about Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, the best print magazine in the whole world. (OK, I'm biased, but it is seriously awesome.) And now you can get a subscription or renew your existing subscription to the magazine for the limited-time price of $19.96!
You know how in Gattaca doctors used hormones to control the personalities of fetuses, ensuring a creepily uniform generation of "perfect" people, like the guy who plays Ethan Hawke's brother in the movie? Well, now there is a doctor who is attempting to do something similar by eradicating non-"feminine" traits in female fetuses—an "abnormal" disinterest in babies, not wanting to play with girls' toys or become mothers, "career preferences" that are deemed too "masculine"—and she's this week's Douchebag Decree recipient. Dr. Maria New, come on down!
OK, so this video may have come out last month, but I swear I just noticed it for the first time today (and a quick office poll confirmed that I am not alone). How did this slip under the radar? The first Broken Bells music video and it features Christina Hendricks in a "Ray Bradbury does The Valley of the Dolls" plot that has her selling her android body parts in the hopes of meeting a man on a resort planet? There's a lot going on here.