If there's a silver lining to the bizarre arrest of prominent Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, it's his newly-inspired interest in exploring and exposing the racism that exists in our nation's prison system. Police arrested Gates this past Thursday after a neighbor saw him trying to push open his jammed front door, assumed (ostensibly because of his skin color) that he was an intruder and reported him accordingly. The event was a reminder of our justice system's tendency to disappear minorities, which is one of the unfortunate consequences of advanced corporate capitalism that deserves to be examined under a microscope by as many brilliant minds as possible (Angela Davis can't do it alone, people!)
Gates says that his arrest was a huge eye opener for him, and he has declared his intent to research and film a documentary that deals with racial profiling. He told the Washington Post that the project will ask, "How are people treated when they are arrested? How does the criminal justice system work? How many black and brown men and poor white men are the victims of police officers who are carrying racist thoughts?" I personally can't wait to see it, but if I could make one small request to Professor Gates, I would ask him to not forget about the women.
I know in my day I've had my fair share of rock star fantasties. It'd be amazing to stand on stage and display your art to the masses. Whether "the masses" encompasses ten of your best friends or hundreds of strangers who want to be your best friend, it must be a glorious feeling to actually make it to the point of making music, and then after that, taking that music on the road. Sara Jaffe and Mia Clarke, of indy ladybands Erase Errata and Electrelane, respectively, recently released The Art of Touring, a photo heavy diary of sorts that chronicles the journeys of the vans of such bands as Times New Viking, Pit Er Pat and Le Tigre. Why does this matter as anything more than a kewl, voyeuristic glance into some of your favorite bands' knapsacks and polaroid collections? Find out after the jump!
Throughout recent history, society at large has stereotyped ladyfolk as demure and pure certainly not interested in The Sex (save for sluts, a shameful variety of the ladyfolk who *gasp* enjoy having sex, sometimes even before or outside of marriage). Well, the female musicians and bands that follow give tired sex-related gender roles a big ol' slap in the face with unabashed lyrics and straight-up badassness.
The Welfare Rights movement of the sixties and seventies rarely receives the amount of historical attention it deserves, and as a grassroots movement that addressed class, race, gender, and consumption issues all at once. Although made up of thousands of women around the country, Johnnie Tillmon was one of the main activists, who rose from a reluctant welfare mother to Executive Director for the National Welfare Rights Organization.
In 2008, 58 teenage girls published their take on body image, family, politics, and pop culture in the anthology Red: Teenage Girls in America Write on What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Page Turner caught up with five of them to talk about feminism, teen-girl falsehoods, and what's happened in their lives since their essays left off.
I promised that one of the themes we'd be exploring in this blog is bad movies with feminist potential. You see, in my research I've found that some of the most interesting female characters, particularly female action heroes and/or proto-feminists, are to be found in some of the most poorly-produced movies. Considering this, it is perhaps ironic that many better funded action films with A-list actresses have been flops.
Since I've been able to spend a lot of time with popcorn and a notepad, throughout the summer I'll share with you some of the most empowered (if all too often also problematic) women of the best low-budget classics of sci-fi, horror, blaxploitation, and action in a series of Grrrl on Film Cult Movie Posts!
Welcome to "Six Questions," a new Page Turner interview series with authors about their work. Today we talk with Jamaican-born writer, activist, and performance-poet extraordinaire Staceyann Chin about her new memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, a chronicle of Chin's childhood that includes her survival of parental abandonment, poverty, abuse, sexual assault, and her eventual coming out as a lesbian in her deeply homophobic homeland.
Page Turner talked with Chin about lessons of survival, otherness, the writing process, feminism, and her upcoming documentary on her quest to become a mama. Read on for the Q&A!
A landmark federal bill aiming to put $3 million into research and education about postpartum depression is gathering controversy as it heads to the Senate floor. Advocates of the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act (known as the Mother's Act) say it will save the lives of women and finally help develop decent education about a long-dismissed female health problem. Critics say it will cause more women to take pharmaceuticals unnecessarily. But recently the big debate has been not so much about the bill itself as media coverage of the bill.
Last week, Time ran an article about the Mother's Act which featured an interview with a mother who was prescribed Zoloft after giving birth. The drug made things worse, causing her to have violent fantasies.
Time's story ignited the ire of many who argue that the article intentionally left out pro-Mothers Act voices to push an editorial agenda.
Keep reading for more details!