One of the most thought-provoking movies I saw in 2009 (okay, I didn't see it until 2010) was Up in the Air. Even months later, I'm still not sure whether I actually liked it or if it's the kind of movie that's even meant to be liked. I do credit it with rekindling my love for the word meta and spurring me to pronounce things to be zeitgeisty at the drop of a hat.
I was reminded of Up in the Air the other day when I was pondering the relationship people have to their work, a subject that has come up in conversation (both online and off) a heckuva lot in recent weeks. In the movie, George Clooney's character fires people for a living and, naturally, most of these people don't take the terminations well. In many cases, their reactions betray an anguish and anger that goes beyond a loss of guaranteed income and benefits. Their jobs represented their identity, their self worth, the means by which they defined themselves in the world. Take away the title and what's left?
Susannah Breslin reared her post-feminism head again when she published a post explaining her "discovery" of trigger warnings on feminist blogs, subsequently dismissing them as "if you are EASILY UPSET, if you see a TRIGGER WARNING coming, you can look away REALLY FAST, or click elsewhere, so you won't, you know, FREAK THE F*CK OUT."
Not surprisingly, reactions came quickly.
OK, so I guess I was sort of under a rock the past few days, because I kind of missed the Tina Fey mega-freakout that blew up all over the feminist blogosphere. I have only watched a few clips from the episode, and I think I've yammered on (in blog form as well) about Tina Fey enough already, so I won't say anything about SNL here. (Except that I thought the Brownie Husband skit was kinda funny. There. I said it.)
Anywho, getting to the point, all this Tina Fey jibber jabber has me thinking: What DO we want from a feminist comedic actor? What ARE our expectations for our fellow funny feminists? Because of course we don't want to see ladies bashing other ladies, and we don't want to see ladies objectifying themselves in order to get laughs, and we don't want offensive humor that caters to the lowest common denominator (hell, we don't want to see dudes do that either). But what is it that we do want? And is anyone currently giving it to us? Let's discuss.
If you were feeling like this hump day was going to go on forever without anything fun happening, take heart: There is a new episode of Feminist Rapper! In this installment, our Women's Studies professor uses rap to inspire a woman who doesn't think she can stand up for herself against men. Well guess what, lady? Women can, and do, fight back! And they can even do it while rapping and poking fun at academia! (Seriously, I can't wait until I can use the "for the full answer to that, read my master's thesis" comeback.)
The laundry machine breaks, your bike gets a flat, you have to cover a shift for your co-worker (who you think is faking being sick since you know her boyfriend is town)...What I'm trying to say is, sometimes you aren't always able to catch the Oprah Winfrey Show. And if you didn't catch it yesterday, you missed the one and only Mary J. Blige speaking with the big O about giving back to the women of her Yonkers neighborhood. You know what else happened? She covered Led Zeppelin, and it ruled.
According to a study by the London School of Economics, British women with degrees are 86 percent more likely to drink frequently and to report having a drinking problem than those women without post-secondary education. The more education a woman has, the more likely she is to hit the bottle. As a graduate school educated young woman who had to do some quick mental math to remember when she last imbibed (spiked eggnog at Christmas?), I couldn't help but find find this story fascinating.
Photo by jawcey
On Friday, Kjerstin Johnson forwarded me Vulture's post on the music video for Kiely Williams's "Spectacular." Once a member of the girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls, Williams has been working on solo projects since 2008, and first tried to dispense with her Disney-friendly image with 2009's "Make Me a Drink." The instrumental version of "Spectacular" was released in October 2009 and the music video was posted on her Web site back in January. The clip was re-released earlier this month and . . . ugh (the video can be viewed here). Now, I don't want to judge folks' sexual proclivities. But there's that and then there's "Spectacular," which is basically a dance track that extols the sexual prowess of a date rapist. No, no, no.
Ladies and... ladies, welcome to the wonderful, bewildering world of eco-chic vagina cleaner feminine care products. Canadian company I Love My Muff offers products that are good for the environment, possibly but probably not that bad for you, definitely unnecessary AND, as an added bonus, with a host of conflicting positive and negative messages about the acceptability of vaginas!
Left: partial screenshot from ilovemymuff.com. Right: "pure spray"
Two upcoming films about gay couples feature big name celebrities. Is mainstream film becoming more queer-friendly or are the white, mostly monogamous characters and the straight actors that play them anything but revolutionary?