Do you know what today is? It's Personal Life release day! If you're a Thermals fan (and you know I am), you've been excited for this day for a while now. And you won't be disappointed, because Personal Life delivers all of the energy, catchy hooks, and sing-along lyrics you've come to expect from these cuties. Check out their latest video if you need proof:
Pssst... You can also preview the new album at NPR First Listen, and if you live in PDX you can see The Thermals live this week at MusicFestNW (oh, and you can see us there too!).
I feel like people watching the show who haven't really been exposed to feminism were internalizing some feminist messages until they got to the actual feminists, at which point they learned that feminists are bad. What's more important, the delivery of the message, or naming the ideology that goes with it? I'd rather that people be doing feminist things and not recognizing them as feminist than doing nothing at all, or doing actively anti-feminist things (and sometimes calling them feminist), but I also wish that depictions of feminists in pop culture were not uniformly awful. Few shows are even willing to call characters feminist at all and positive depictions of feminists and feminism are thin on the ground.
I don't know if Thomas really thinks that this is what feminists are like, or was trying to make a commentary with the caricatures that just didn't resolve itself, but it left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Surely, a criterion for considering a show feminist is that if it contains feminists, they shouldn't be caricatures.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that women have had a significant impact on the history of American labor politics. From the Atlanta Washerwomen Strike in 1881 to Jane Addams' Hull House, women have always kicked ass and taken names in the name of workers' rights. However, this is a pop culture blog and I am a self-proclaimed pop culture addict, so I say we celebrate Labor Day 2010 with an awesome pop cultural representation of women and labor politics: Norma
I'd be remiss to begin a blog on the intersection of race, gender and pop culture without mentioning that, in reading various other blogs on all three topics, I've kept happening upon the same complaint: that pop culture and many feminist publications often exclude or oversee the unique perspectives offered by women who aren't white. So this blog, then, is a group effort, with your comments and experiences forming an integral part in fostering a thoughtful and inclusive discussion on feminism.
Who needs overpriced beer and heatstroke when you can enjoy a music festival in the comfort of your own city? That's how I feel about Musicfest Northwest, taking place in Portland next week from September 8-11. Bitch Media will doing special daily blog posts on the upcoming acts. Don't worry--we won't flood the interwebs with any more updates on the Walkmen or The National, we'll be covering queer and female artists who maybe aren't getting as much attention as the bigger acts. PDX-ers can be informed about which shows to catch and non-locals can look forward new music, mp3s, and videos from shows. This week's mix is emblematic of the Pac-NW unknowns and international stars playing Portland next week. From New-Orleans bounce to artsy-dance and folk rock, hopefully you'll find something you like! Track list after the jump.
It's become general knowledge that class influences weight. Working class families often don't have as much access to healthier foods as middle and upper class families do, and working longer hours means fast food can be an appealing option for those with little time. So if fat folks, and specifically fat women, are more likely to be working class, why does it cost so much to clothe yourself as a fat woman? Why are more fashionable clothes in larger sizes so damn expensive?
OK, so we can all agree that there is a lack of women in positions of power in the tech industry, right? Right. Well, according to Douche du Jour Michael Arrington, it's our own damn fault. In his piece for TechCrunch (charmingly titled "Too Few Women in Tech? Stop Blaming the Men.") earlier this week, he had this to say:
I'm going to tell it like it is. And what it is is this: statistically speaking women have a huge advantage as entrepeneurs, because the press is dying to write about them, and venture capitalists are dying to fund them. Just so no one will point the accusing finger of discrimination at them.
The silencing of trans people, and trans women in particular, in feminist spaces isn't just limited to discussions about pop culture, unfortunately. Cis voices are centered over trans voices consistently, and sometimes very dangerously, while trans folks are denied autonomy, identity, and even our own experiences.
Trans people are excluded from women's shelters. We are denied medical care. We are told that our opinions have no worth and value and are treated as 'fakers.' It's not just the mainstream media that misgenders trans people; I see it happening in feminist spaces all the time, along with prurient speculation about whether or not trans folks have had reconstruction surgery or what their 'real names' are.
"Death" fat, or "morbidly obese" people are going to experience more discrimination, more shaming and more insults than "in-betweenies" (those that fall somewhere between "normal" and "fat"). That's just the facts. There is privilege there, in being a smaller fat person, that must be acknowledged and interrogated. Words like "curvy, thick, chunky" are going to be applied to more smaller fat people than larger. These words are viewed as more positive than words that may be used to describe larger fat people such as "obese" and "blubbery." Of course, smaller fat people are not immune to the frat boy "fatass" drive-by shout out, but they're more likely to be viewed as sexually attractive (case in point: Sara Ramirez). Because of this disparity, there is sometimes dischord between different sized fat people, with the larger fat people accusing the smaller fat people of being privileged and not truly fat, and the smaller fat people lamenting the policing of fat identity. In a way, both sides are right.