Hooray for the Prop 8 ruling! Sure, we have to wait to see what the Supreme Court says, but in the meantime I thought we could celebrate with a special BitchTapes (the way all important political events should be celebrated, obvs). A mix filled with fun songs about weddings, complete with some same-sex marriage jams! So, without further ado, I now pronounce you feminist and mixtape. (Track list after the jump!)
During the summer of 2007, while on a residency with Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre/The Artel, I worked on an art project with the women in The Isabel MacNeil House (the only low security federal prison for women in Canada). For three weeks I met with the women three times a week to paint and draw with them with the intention to eventually create an animation with their artworks (no cameras are allowed in the facility). The final project was put to the music of "We become our own wolves" by Rae Spoon. Upon completion, there was a screening for the women and each received a copy of the DVD.
Have you been jonesin' for your very own subscription to Bitch, yet still haven't found the time to subscribe? Well friends, the time is now, because if you subscribe by the end of this weekend you'll be one of the first feminists to get a copy of our new issue, Make Believe!
This is not the cover of the Make Believe issue, but you get the idea.
While there are endless examples of fat female characters portrayed in an unappealing light on television, fewer and farther between are positive portrayals of female fatness. When you come across one, even if it's on an otherwise dull show, it's refreshing to see. I'd like to take in a few of those breaths of fresh air here, for your reading pleasure.
In the past year, rapes in the city of Dallas have increased 25.3%. Seriously. Such a huge increase of reported rapes would be shocking anywhere, but in a city where crime of all sorts is down 6.3%, a 25.3% jump in rape is astounding. At a Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday, though, Police Chief David Brown came up with a brilliant solution to decrease the number of rapes in the city. Not really though.
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
What are your thoughts? What have you been reading?
The conflict between proud statements about viewing things intersectionally and actually being an intersectional feminist is at the core of many problems within the feminist movement right now. Including the feminist pushback to critiques of pop culture that focus on issues other than the depiction of cis, nondisabled, heterosexual, white women.
Mary Elizabeth Williams doesn't want to be sold pants by an ugly person. In her recent article for Salon, Williams maintains that the appearance-centered hiring practices and employee regulations of retail giants American Apparel and Abercrombie & Fitch are just, you know, logical and unproblematic corporate tactics to uphold brands. They're not lookist, they're not racist, and they're not sexist. Based on the evidence, though, we can't give her analysis that much credit.
If you're on a site about feminist response to pop culture (spoiler alert: you are), you have probably heard of the Bechdel Test for movies. Conceived in Alison Bechdel's Dykes To Watch Out For, the test is simple: to pass, the movie in question must feature a conversation between two named female characters that is not about a man. It's a good indication of whether or not a film is at all concerned with women, or if its focus is entirely on men. It's deceptively simple; upon hearing this for the first time, I thought "well, surely almost every film must pass!" But no.
While I am not the movie writer in residence here (check out Snarky's archive for that!) I've found that it's easily applicable to other forms of media, including television! It's not a standard I apply to every single episode of every single television show I watch, but more of something that occurs to me while I'm watching. "Oh," I'll think while watching Tami and Tyra talk about college on Friday Night Lights. "This episode clearly passes the Bechdel test! Awesome!" The Bechdel test is not a way to tell whether or not a show is feminist—that depends on the viewer's interpretation of the show and their definition of feminism—but it's a good way to gauge the development and value of female characters on the show.