School's out for summer, and I'm feeling antsy. I want to throw garbage cans at mailboxes, drink warm Budweiser in the back of a pick-up truck, and smoke cigarettes in front of the arcade. I want to drive around the neighborhood with the windows down so everyone can hear the brilliance of Suzi Quatro.
You know how every once in a while someone comes into your life–be it in person or in book, music, film, or some other form–and totally blows you away because they're saying everything you've been thinking, but in a way that is smarter and better than you've been thinking it? Like they took what was inside your brain and made it make sense? Jean Kilbourne is one of those people for me. As a young feminist beginning my academic career in media studies, no one hit more nails on more heads for me than she did. I am sure I'm not alone in feeling this way about Ms. Kilbourne and her work, which makes it all the more exciting that her book, Can't Buy My Love, is our first Mad World Book Club selection!
June is LGBT pride month, commemorating the multi-day standoff at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, 1969. When I've marched through the sticky heat of Washington, DC's pride festivities, I find myself wishing we were commemorating something in April, but the Stonewall riots are probably the best touchstone to choose, so June it is.
As commercialized as Pride festivals are these days—and here I note the full inclusion of a Frito-Lay truck having an actual float in this year's DC parade—it's easy to forget the moments that have been hard fought in the last 41 years. When I first came out in 1991, I thought gay marriage would never happen in my lifetime, and as of today, it is legal in five states and the DC. We have progressed further than I thought possible, and in other ways, we have barely moved an inch. [More]
2. Even female action stars must submit to the Makeover trope.
The trailer for the hotly anticipated Salt finds Angelina Jolie rocking the mess out of a pencil skirt and taupe heels, only later to revamp her exterior with some snug black clothes and Miss Clairol's bluest black. While it certainly makes sense for a person to alter their looks when being chased by the CIA, I'm not sure if why the trailer evoked films like Clueless, Pretty Woman and 13 Going on 30. More importantly, it's possible the audience can take for granted that Jolie has altered her appearance without being shown every detail of her transformation. The makeover trope is utilized for men, but often–even in action films–it's played for comedic effect. Harrison Ford might have grimaced his way through an application of Just for Men in 1996's The Fugitive, but it was clearly meant to be an amusing respite from all that heart pounding action. Yet Jolie's transformation feels like a rite of passage rather than a necessary element of survival.
Image: A seafoam green television from the past, the Braun HF 1. From Wikipedia.
TelevIsm is a series about currently airing television shows. I imposed this parameter on myself so that I would not post endlessly about shows that I love that are gone, like Battlestar Galactica and King of the Hill (an excellent show that the brilliant Snarky's Machine and I turn the discussion to in a few comment sections round these parts.) But today, I thought I'd shift the conversation to the future: the 2010-2011 network television season.
The title of this zine comes from an old Irish expression that says, "There will be white blackbirds before an unwilling woman ties the knot." The zine features interviews with 11 women who all have something to say about why they don't want to be married.
Speaking of interviews with internet phenoms, Jeanne Sager talks to Jamie Keiles, the high school senior undertaking a month-long project wherein she follows all of the advice offered by Seventeen Magazine.
Tracy Clark-Flory writes on the "powerful message" about domestic violence UK Border Agency officials sent when they denied singer Chris Brown entry into the country.
Latoya Peterson responds to a New York Times article on the impact the geography of colonialism and the transforming acceptance of women of color have on fashion model scouting in Brazil.
Sociological Images' Lisa Wade takes us back to a time when men's magazines promoted masculinity through "tests of strength, cunning, and fighting ability" rather than consumerism.
In a world where "pop is feminine" and "rock is for dudes" Sarah Jaffe writes on coming around to the former on Feministe.
Steve Haruch investigates the difficulties faced by the 5% of music engineers and producers that are women for the Nashville Scene.