A highly circulating AP article on the increasing number of women with DUI charges sends mixed messages about women who mix drinking and driving. In the wake of a tragic car accident that killed eight people, four of which were children, media attention has focused on women who drink and drive--especially if they're mothers.
Diane Schuler was found to have consumed alcohol and marijuana before driving onto the the wrong lane of traffic. According to some studies, in recent years women have been drinking more and have been arrested more for DUIs. But troublesome quotes seem to direct attention off the problem at hand and more to why it's all of a sudden women are getting caught drinking.
"Younger women feel more empowered, more equal to men, and have been beginning to exhibit the same uninhibited behaviors as men," said Chris Cochran of the California Office of Traffic Safety.
It does seem to be coded language for "Feminism drove Diane Schuler to drink and then to drive," an anti-feminist myth with dangerous repercussions.
I fully support an end to drunk driving and alcoholism, and my heart goes out to everyone who has ever lost someone to drunk driving. My beef is with the way the media is approaching the issue of women (and mothers) who drink. It's as if it takes the unthinkable for attention to turn on how to address women and alcoholism (this is in addition to the fact that the statistics don't quite tell the same story). Barbara Ehrenreich got it right when she said "Gender equality wouldn't be worth fighting for if all it meant was the opportunity to be as stupid and self-destructive as men can be."
Sarah Mirk's post last month, Beat the Majority - Name a Female Scientist, reminded me of an ad I saw several years ago for a Women in Film festival here in Seattle. In it, a dominatrix flanked by muscle men is asking a man in an interrogation chair if he can name five female directors – five female directors who weren't actresses first. Of course, he can't, and the dominatrix proceeds to list all the directors included in that year's festival line-up. While many accomplished actresses have also directed – Barbara Streisand, Jodie Foster, Ida Lupino, Sofia Coppola, Penny Marshall, and Diane Keaton – to name but a few; it could be argued that it was their acting that helped them break into directing. This should in no way belittle any of their accomplishments, but what about women who set out to direct in the first place, without the benefit of already being recognized?
Hi Bitch blog readers! I'm a sometime blogger (under an assumed name, mostly, but my sorely neglected personal blog is here) and I can't tell you how excited I am to be associated with Bitch even briefly. I am incredibly honored to get to talk to and with you for the next few weeks about women and television, a subject about which I am embarrassed to say I know entirely too much.
It's hard to be a consumer of media these days and not encounter the work of author and multi-media journalist Farai Chideya. She founded the online journal Pop + Politics in 1995 (practically a lifetime ago in online years); authored three nonfiction books that chronicle some of the most pressing social justice issues of our time; appeared as a political analyst on CNN and other media outlets; and hosted NPR's "News and Notes," a daily program about African-American issues that ended too soon in a rash of budget cuts by the organization.
Now Chideya has published her first novel, Kiss the Sky, which is the story of Sophie Maria Clara Lee, a "book-smart black girl from blue-collar Baltimore" who graduates Harvard, achieves rock stardom, and then struggles with love, the music business, family, alcohol, and her own stubborn melancholy.
Page Turner talked with Chideya about her journey to publishing a novel, the autobiographical connections between herself and Sophie, feminism and personal accountability, her decision to talk more openly about her depression, and a crucial question for the next generation of feminists.
Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" could be heard 'round the world this week, commemorating the untimely death of writer/director/producer John Hughes, whose films shaped many a feminist mind during the 1980s (Molly Ringwald was one sassy teen, after all). Well don't worry John Hughes, we won't forget about you, and to prove it, this installment of feminizt LOLz was created in your honor.
If you've got some feminizt LOLz lying around to send us, or if you want to make a few, you can do just that by visiting the I Can Has Cheezburger LOL builder and sending your creations to us here. Now go watch some John Hughes movies, and have a great weekend.
My fellow bitches, let's talk about sex! Welcome to Bed, Bitch and Beyond, a frank and wide-ranging look at sex and relationships from a positive, feminist, non-judgmental, liberal--and liberated--viewpoint. And we welcome your viewpoint and experiences too. As we say in my native South, "y'all come visit, hear?"
"Rave On" is the Page Turner series that asks feminist writers, artists, musicians, activists, leaders, and scholars to talk about a book that completely rocked their world. Today we feature FBomb founder and teenage feminist Julie Zeilinger on Full Frontal Feminism, by Jessica Valenti.
Many books have shaped my feminist identity. Gloria Steinem's Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions really helped shape my feminist voice and helped me understand where the movement had been before my generation even existed. Other books, such as Listen Up: Voices from the Next Feminist Generation, showed me that youth has always been a part of feminism, recognized or not.
But the book that really prompted me to begin my own feminist journey was Jessica Valenti's Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters.
Thank you all for a great conversation this week regarding the question “Is Quentin Tarantino a feminist?”
Responses were as varied as could be expected and ranged from expressions of the power and strength one may feel after watching Zoë, Abernathy, and Kim, and a desire to adapt Beatrix Kiddo’s better qualities; resilience, confidence and physical prowess.
In response to a Gold's Gym marketing campaign that declared July "Cankles Awareness Month" (WTF, douchebags?!) Imagine Today deemed August Self-Esteem Awareness Month. To celebrate, I've put together a few songs about standing up for yourself, being yourself, celebrating that self and flaunting it. And for the record, I think your calves and ankles look fantastic.
We've got a new internship opening up here at Bitch Media this month and would LOVE it if you all could help us spread the word - we are seeking to fill the position as soon possible.
The "Publishing Intern" works with our Operations Director and other staff on the nuts and bolts of running a non-profit media organization. The intern gains in-depth knowledge of independent media operations, non-profit business management, as well as valuable computer and financial administration skills.