The psyche of the political wife in the modern era - which is to say, post-defining oneself by one's husband - is the kind of thing I sort of wish feminists talked about more often. And when I say that, I mean talk about in a way that does not ultimately devolve to Hillary, Hillary, and also Hillary, who has become the sine qua non of political wife-fights. In fact, I'd be cooler with these chats being all Michelle, Michelle, Michelle, and Judy Dean, Judy Dean, Judy Dean, each of whom present different models of how to deal with being, in essence, a necessary accessory to your husband's career when you in fact have quite the career of your own. And you aren't, you know, a robot. The frankly far too frequent infidelities of political men (and oh I could go on about this ultimate exercise of male privilege, this "I am important and I shall PROVE THIS WITH MY VIRILITY" and the non-apologies about "what happened" that inevitably follow, but I shall not) throw these issues into sharp relief.
So when I heard about The Good Wife I was kind of excited. I was also excited that someone was handing Christine Baranski a paycheck, and there was even the small bonus of seeing Julianna Margulies though it disturbed my fantasy of her living a secret life with George Clooney and the twins in Seattle. Margulies is in some ways perfect for this role: gravelly and serious. The shoe of a professional woman whose life and priorities were eventually subordinated to that of her husband fits her pretty well, because there's something vaguely dissatisfied in her demeanour too. And do I like that Chris Noth is embracing his slime post-hot-L&O-detective and in the shadow of supposedly-dashing Mr. Big? I do. I really do.
The forthcoming Kanye West and Lady Gaga tour/collaboration/alliance/bizarro-pop-Voltron makes sense for so many reasons. Primarily: Kanye and Gaga are both famous because they do weird things in public. Do you like their music? Do you not like their music? It doesn't matter! What did you think of the weird thing? Did you think it was weird? Because, if so, they have succeeded! And even I, an earnest unpacker of Meanings for lo these many blog posts now, have to admit that I enjoy Kanye and Gaga primarily because they make Meaning effectively useless.
I have an exciting piece of news for you: Britney Spears has been making music for ten years, because you are getting old and will die someday. True, scientists have not yet discovered a direct causal link between Britney Spears having been around for ten years and the fact that time marches ever forward, bringing you with each moment closer to the grave! I am fairly certain, however, that this "mortality" thing is more or less directly her fault.
"My responsibility as an artist is to work, to sing for my supper, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the rooftops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specificity of our historical moment."
That incredible statement is by Carrie Mae West, who began taking pictures in 1960s San Francisco to document the political, and grew to make her photographs the political, taking on historical construction of race, gender, and representation.
Today, Oprah will be airing an interview with Mackenzie Phillips. Who is that, you say? She is a former child actress who also, coincidentally, happens to be one of the many children of the late John Phillips of The Mamas and Papas. Like most former child actresses, her personal life has been a slow-moving disaster of epic proportions - just last year, at 48, she was busted for cocaine possession. At an airport. This being more or less par for the course in former child actress terms, one might wonder why she is getting the entire hour of Oprah to herself. Wonder no more; E!Online is reporting that Phillips will reveal that she was raped by her father at 19. Phillips also calls the relationship "consensual" at some point, which Anna North at Jezebel neatly deconstructs here.
I'm not so much interested in the horrific details of what happened to Phillips, personally - I wish her excellent therapy and hopefully some peace since justice for these things isjust a word and not a realistically attainable goal. But I am filled with seething anger that these traumatic events are being turned into yet another ratings/YouTube bonanza for Oprah. Oprah thrives on this stuff, of course, even though nowadays her show lies somewhere in a no-woman's land between 20/20 and infomercials. It's the big confessional interviews, though, that are her particular specialty. She just got done with that huge Whitney Houston bonanza, and is currently "interested in" Jaycee Dugard (cringe). She gets them because she's Oprah and she milks them because she's Oprah and good goddamn it annoys me.
Like many feminist blog readers and pop-culture junkies, Kelsey and I have been following the hype on Jennifer's Body , starring Megan Fox as a cheerleader-turned-flesh-eating-demon and Amanda Seyfried as her loyal but mousier (Hollywood mousier) BFF, since we watched the preview way back in July. We finally got a chance to see it this Monday, and while hate is a strong word, there was one too many WTF? moments ("867-5309"?!) for us to get a feminist buzz off this flick (especially after being surprisingly touched by Whip It preview). So like the vlogging pioneers we strive to be (did you know we have a video page?) we sat down moments after the credits rolled to give our impressions, which include a primer on Diablo Cody's latest vernacular additions (:30), why we were disappointed (1:13), and of course its redeeming qualities (What? Unlike some people--JENNIFER!--we're not all filled with black bile and bloodlust. 4:19)! Check 'er out and share your own spoiler-filled thoughts on the movie! Transcript after the jump.
How do you listen to Canadian music?
With your ears, eh? Silly…
Sorry, must have been the feminist jokes post from earlier today that inspired that one.
Anyways, we are indeed heading to the Far North for today's B-sides as we rock out with Nova Scotian and lady tune-weaver Leslie Feist.
Performing as Feist, the woman who made counting fun again ("1,2,3,4"…) has been on hiatus since her last album, "The Reminder" came out in May 2007. Come back!? Please?!
The reader response to "Rear Ended by Porn" was big and vocal, and frankly, pretty awesome, with plenty of you bitches bringing up aspects of the debate that I didn't write about in the original post. There was hateration, too, but I chalk that up to the fact that when you encourage women to take a critical look at their sexual behavior, they're going to resist. Our society feeds us a constant diet of shame and negative messages about sex, so a lot of women automatically default to feeling judged as soon as you suggest that their sexuality might be influenced by something other than their own very special personal free will. But I loved (nearly all) of the responses that I got, especially the one from our righteous feminist sister Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon. Read on...