Happy first week of a new decade, y'all! Here's what we've been reading at Bitch HQ as we dive into the 20-teens.
Gender Focus has up a nice list of their favorite things of 2010. Like an NPR Top Ten list, but with more True Blood and trans rights!
Feminists With Disabilities (FWD) announced that it has ceased production, and will be maintained as an archive and blogroll site. Big love, FWD. We'll miss you!
Racialicious points out some...er...problems with the new Grouplove music video. Up and coming band? Yes. Lynching, warpaint, and headdresses? Not so much.
Yesterday was Nancy Pelosi's last day as Speaker of the House, and Ms. has a reminder to her replacement John Boehner that she's still on the feminist-agenda clock.
Taking a page from Kelsey's book, Sociological Images has a round-up of advertising that plays directly to close-minded, normative masculinity as a marketing tool for men.
Surprise! Teenagers are actually fabulous people that care about things! F Bomb wrote about "Teens and Technology," and how social media might not actually be the death of all that is good and proactive in the world. Rock on, F Bomb!
Douchebag Decrees around here are often on the tongue-in-cheek side, but every once in a while someone's actions are so heinous that even we can't make puns about them. This is one of those times. According to an independent study published by the British Medical Journal, researcher Andrew Wakefield's 1998 paper linking autism to the MMR vaccine was "an elaborate fraud." That's right; his study on autism, the one that thousands of hopeful parents have taken seriously over the past 12 years in an attempt to help their babies, was apparently a total fake.
Hello, and welcome to Bitch's new weekly series on webcomics, Beyond the Panel! I'm Rachel McCarthy James, sometimes known as RMJ. You may remember me from my previous guest-blogging stint here last summer, TelevIsm, or my blog, Deeply Problematic. This time, I'm here to write about webcomics and the people who create them by interviewing cartoonists and comic creators who occupy a marginalized position in society, and reviewing comics through a feminist lens. I'm kicking it off with an interview with Dorothy Gambrell, the writer and artist behind Cat and Girl.
I'm super excited for Of Lamb, the new book from poet Matthea Harvey and artist Amy Jean Porter, so although it hasn't been published yet I thought I'd share a sneak peek. The book is one long erasure poem by Harvey accompanied by beautiful and weirdly funny illustrations by Porter. More about erasure, plus illustrations from the book, after the jump!
Jane Austen has quite the hold over the contemporary imagination. Not only are her books still bestsellers almost 200 years after her death, but there's a veritable industry around adapting and appropriating her work. From The Jane Austen Book Club to Jane Austen's Fight Club, Miss Austen's influence reaches more widely than ever. So how did these books about young women searching for eligible gentlemen in the English countryside get to be so popular?
Since I frequently share the TV with someone who loves NFL football, I've been watching a completely different set of offensive commercials as of late. (Typically I see the offensive ads directed at women, you know, the ones that make us feel like even even our armpits aren't pretty enough? Football ads are much dudelier but make me just as stabby, as it turns out.) Though ads during NFL games run the hypermasculine gamut, from objectifying women to implying that junk food is the only reason men have to get up in the morning, the campaign that prompts me to throw the most stuff at the television is Miller Lite's "Man Up" series.
Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South (1855) and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda (1876) are two of my favorite novels. They're both set in 19th century England, and written by women, so those are two big ticks right there. But one of the main reasons I like them both so much is that they're not about navigating comfortable worlds of privilege so much as they are about the clash of experiences. 19th century England wasn't all garden parties and precisely angled fans, after all, but a context full of religious and political turmoil, the beginning of the end for a particular vision of England. In the minds of Gaskell and Eliot, those clashes sent up some sparks of brilliance.
Here is the semi-embarrassing circumstance that resulted in the more-than-semi-embarrassing-realization that I haven't yet written about Maya Angelou for this blog: I was watching the first day of OWN's (Oprah Winfrey Network, duh) new programming with my mom, (...nope. Can't even come up with a sarcastic parenthetical. I just was.) and saw that Dr. Angelou would be featured on an upcoming series called "Master Class." Actually, I saw that a new show on OWN would feature Maya Ang—, which is all I saw before I bolted off the couch to my computer and yelled back to my mom that we needed to figure out DVR recording before Sunday night at 10. She was surprised by my new enthusiasm for the Winfrey gospel, needless to say. And I'm surprised I haven't yet waxed adoring on this writer, this poet, this actress, director, dancer, professor, activist, this woman who more than any other artist makes me glad to be American, to be female, to be human at the same time as her.