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.
This is the second time I've had the pleasure of interviewing the delightful RJ—you can check out my two-part 2010 interview with them here and here. After the jump, you can read their thoughts on the present and future of Riot Nrrd.
As Nadra put so well yesterday, it's likely few Americans actually spent the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday engaging in civil rights activism or even reflection. And like Nadra, I spent part of the day watching The Oprah Winfrey Show and her retrospective on the program's most memorable discussions on race. So much was discussed during the episode that we thought it deserved more coverage, which hopefully compliments her terrific Race Card series post.
The first time I read of a queer critique of gay marriage was in the article "Queers on the Run" in Bitch #47, the Action issue. Maybe this position has not gained much media coverage (or maybe I was just guilty of not thinking critically of the movement around gay marriage) but activist filmmakers Eric Stanley and Chris Vargas's argument that same-sex marriage should not be the ultimate goal for the queer community was deeply illuminating to me.