Yes, Liz Lemon's evoking of the name Anna Howard Shaw made for some big laughs on the most recent episode of 30 Rock. But did you know that in addition to being funny (at least by association, and probably in real life as well), Shaw was also the first woman ordained by the Methodist church, a medical doctor, a published author, a decorated member of the National Council of Defense, a social justice activist, and a pioneer for women's suffrage? It's true!
Celine Dion stares at us from the front page of People this week. 'My Private Hell' the headline shouts, without a hint of irony. There's been nothing private about Celine Dion's IVF treatments in pursuit of a second child. 'Daily injections, painful tests' - we can know it all, if we want to. Looking at this cover, I wonder, 'How does this make women going through IVF treatment themselves feel?'
CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is wrapping up its 2010 conference in DC today. It's kind of like the Coachella festival of Conservative politicians. (So Mitt Romney's on stage 2 right now, but then at three we have to pick between Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft!)
But these riveting speakers aren't the only exciting draw this year. Nope--there are some fly honies at the conference, and The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson's conservative news site, has put this video together (equally poor in editing as in taste) documenting the earth-shattering revelation that there are women at CPAC who aren't named Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann.
He basically goes up to women and proceeds to have a conversation like this: Daily Caller: What brings you to CPAC? Women: ...You mean besides the obvious fact that I'm interested in conservative activism?
Most of the art our culture celebrates is the same type of art that makes me yawn. See, I enjoy art that gets my blood racing. For me, good art needs to be both aesthetically appealing and make my brain hurt. Because of my intense predilection for this type of provocative eye candy, I was exceedingly pleased recently to discover the Visibility Project—a female, Asian American, Queer portraiture project by Bay Area Photographer Mia Nakano and Los Angeles collaborator Christine Pan.
For a while, it really seemed like Rachel Maddow was respected. While conservatives surely disagreed with her, most of them would give her an interview on her show, or seem to acknowledge her as someone to watch out for. She had an educated opinion, and she was eerily intelligent and well-spoken. (To some, I'm sure, that ignored Air America, she "came out of nowhere.")
Suddenly, Rachel Maddow has become a target. Andrew Breitbart, just yesterday, told the press what he'd say to Maddow, if he ever has the pleasure of meeting her:
I hope to see you and give you a lovely hug because you validated my hopes and aspirations and my business model because you're so bad at what you do.
"Sexual anorexia - have you heard of it?" Glamour coyly asks us this month. In the world of Glamour we all want sex, all the time -- and if we don't, we should do it anyway as it makes men happy and validates our existence as women. It's not a world in which women might have a 'preoccupation with the avoidance of sex,' as this problem is described by sexual health expert Dr Patrick J Carnes. 'Like self-starvation with food or compulsive dieting or hoarding with money, deprivation with sex can make one feel powerful and defended against all hurts,' he explains.
Ida Hammer has been writing The Vegan Ideal for several years as a way to examine and deconstruct overlapping oppressions. Her work centers on undoing transphobia in vegetarian and ecofeminist communities. Ida was kind of enough to speak with me recently about how cissexual privilege undermines a lot of ecofeminist writing and how she has carved safe space for herself in a sometimes very anti-trans movement.
Flicking through the pages of this month's Company magazine - diets, fashion, celebrities, diets, fashion - what's this? The word 'period' in a women's magazine? A feature entitled 'It's 2010 - so why are we still having periods?' Good question, according to the rest of the articles we're meant to have stopped eating by this point, so why not give up on another, far less enjoyable, natural bodily function?
As a television watching feminist, I was shocked when I found out Steve Ward was asked back to do another season of his dating show, Tough Love. After all, the first season was full of all kinds of problematic messages about women and dating. At least as the season went on, his dating advice became challenged more and more. But by the second season, this dynamic has evaporated and the women on the show generally do not challenge Steve on his edicts. Season two also brings a new pet challenge in for Steve - reforming a sex worker.