I knew the Little House on the Prairieseries from my mom reading it out loud to me over the span of many many months. As an idealistic Midwestern youngin', I felt a connection to the Ingalls family, romanticizing the debilitating diseases, crippling crop failures, and other completely unrelateable nineteenth-century pioneer ailments they experienced throughout their homesteading and pioneering. (Did I take a family vacation to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri? Yes.) And as an only child, I was delighted to learn Laura Wilder's only daughter aided with the completion of the books. But Judith Thurman's recent New Yorker article "Wilder Women" explores the lives and politics of both Laura Wilder and her daughter, removing both the series and the women behind it from the rosy lens of American lit-lore.
How did hormone replacement therapy become so popular for American women going through menopause? Well, it turns out that pharmaceutical giant Wyeth helped write many of the supportive scholarly articles about its own hormone replacement drugs. The New York Times revealed this morning that the manufacturer of drugs like Premarin and Prempro paid ghostwriters to pen research articles about the hormone replacing drugs, which were then signed off on by a doctor and printed in reputable places like The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Sales of Wyeth's female hormone replacing drugs have fallen by 50 percent since 2001, when a Women's Health Initiative study linked menopausal hormone treatment to an increased risk of cancer. But before that damning study, the company sold more than $2 billion worth of hormone drugs to thousands of American women.
Love Sarah Haskins' hilarious critiques of media aimed at women? Check out comparably witty Bryan Safi's analysis of homosexuality and media in another infoMania segment aptly titled, That's Gay. In this one, Bryan examines gay and lesbian characters in TV commercials...
You see, if I was a guy, and I was sitting here with a cigarette in my hand, grabbing my crotch and talking about how I make music 'cause I love fast cars and fucking girls, you'd call me a rock star. But when I do it in my music and in my videos, because I'm a female, because I make pop music, you're judgmental, and you say that it is distracting. I'm just a rock star.
Are you also a feminist?
I'm not a feminist - I, I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars...
Thea Lim at Racialicious started an open thread to revisit this spring's feud between Eminem, Mariah Carey, and her husband Nick Cannon. What seemed like another petty celebrity feud has turned ugly with Eminem's new single "The Warning," which features personal attacks on Mariah Carey that make his other misogynistic crap look tame...
Not to give you an excuse to expand your carbon footprint or anything, but did you know that every time you forget your cloth bags at the grocery store you're probably making use of a woman-invented product? That's right; the flat-bottomed paper bag was invented by none other than feministorical innovator Margaret E. Knight, seen here in sketch-drawing form (unless this is how people actually looked in the 19th century):
Image courtesy of the children's book Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became An Inventor
Though her life began as a child laborer in a cotton mill factory, Margaret Knight made a name for herself through engineering ingenuity. Read on for more!
After several years, a lot of script work and much trademark frenetic verbosity, writer/director Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited Inglourious Basterds – his "bunch of guys on a mission" film set during the Second World War – finally premieres on the 21st of this month.
With a nearly all-male cast it's arguably a return to the tough-guy roots of his earlier movies Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994), where manly-men bantered over such topics as the meaning of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and the global appeal of hamburgers – regardless of whether they're measured in imperial or metric units.
Though they often repeat the contradictions inherent in representations of women in Exploitation films, and thus come from already problematic source material, the kick-ass heroines of Jackie Brown (1991), Kill Bill (2003 & 2004), and Death Proof (2007) still show visceral examples of female power that women can get excited about.
So this week we'll take an in-depth look at these characters and Tarantino's work, and hopefully have a discussion regarding the question: "Is Quentin Tarantino a feminist?"