As Sesame Street turns 40, the media is brimming with think pieces about the groundbreaking show. From its educational impact to its unprecedented portrayal of racially diverse urban life, the show changed the face of not just children's TV, but the medium of television in general.
There's a lot to talk about when we talk about Sesame Street, and people are doing just that. Time magazine postulated that Barack Obama is the first "Sesame Street president," writing that "The Obama presidency is a wholly American fusion of optimism, enterprise and earnestness — rather like the far-fetched proposal of 40 years ago to create a TV show that would prove that educational television need not be an oxymoron." (The show's creator, Joan Ganz Cooney, is happy to support this theory, saying "I like to think that we had something to do with Obama's election). NewsweekponderedSesame Street's global reach, reporting that among the world's Sesame-friendly regions are Kosovo and the Palestinian territories; the South African SS features an HIV-positive character. And New York magazine revealed that 75-year-old Carroll Spinney, who has played Big Bird for all 40 seasons, spends his days with one arm raised above his head, manipulating the puppet's eyes and beak and not even once grumbling that he could be playing shuffleboard on a Carnival cruise ship.
And then there are the videos -- like "Women Can Be," a hilarious feminist ode to the world of beyond-nurses-and-ballerinas careers that I was reminded of this morning, courtesy of my friend Tina. (Rita Moreno, voicing the surgeon, is especially awesome.)
On Saturday night the House of Representatives narrowly passed a health-care reform bill, changing the way Americans will access health insurance. Included in the bill was an amendment from Bart Stupak (D-MI), which "prohibits federal funds for abortion services in the public option." Women seeking insurance coverage for abortions must seek a plan outside the enrolled companies. Sixty-Four Democrats voted to include the amendment.
We're FWD (Feminists With Disabilities), and we're excited to be guest blogging at Bitch, bringing discussions about the intersection between disability and feminism to a larger audience. Over the next eight weeks, we'll be talking about the depiction of disability in pop culture, how society relates to people with disabilities, and, of course, why disability activism should matter to feminists.
Read more about disability and feminism...
Today, over twenty organizations in eleven countries will hold "simultaneous events and public demonstrations on topics like protesting customary practices such as honor killings and FGM/C, overturning discriminatory and life threatening laws like stoning or lashing of women, and calling for LGBT rights, the right to sexuality education and the right to bodily and sexual integrity of all people." On the eve of the One Day, One Struggle campaign, I spoke to WWHR campaign coordinators Pinar Ilkkaracan and Irazca Geray, as well as Vizla Kumaresan from Malaysia's Women's Aid Organization (WAO), about the goals of the premiere advocacy event.
Matt Schmitt offers a love letter to Title IX--and the social transformation it ignited, far beyond what was originally envisioned. Schmitt's eight-year-old daughter catches on a Little League baseball team; she's the only girl on the team, she was voted Most Valuable Catcher by her coach last year, and she wants to play for the Major League someday. Because, she just discovered, there's not actually any rule or law to keep women from playing pro baseball. It just hasn't happened yet.
This weekend saw the long-anticipated premiere of The Wanda Sykes Show, which airs Saturday nights on Fox. (That's right, this is my second post in a row regarding an out [and outstanding] lesbian performer on the Fox network.) Wanda Sykes made a strong debut with her usual style of laid-back indignation and smart-assed digs. It's no surprise that she's great in a talk-show format. What is surprising is how much she gets away with. Sykes did a sketch about eco-friendly sex toys. She spoke up for gay marriage. She ripped on Fox News. Wait, what network are we watching again?
My time with you has come to an end. From the Man Pad to the G20; from RadioLab to the baby binary; from the amazing Stu Rasmussen to my (apparently controversial) exploration of transphobia; from interviews with artists to profiles of beautiful tattoos--it's been a fantastic journey. My goal was to look at representations of the body in space, time, and pop culture. I hope you have found our time together as illuminating and exciting as I have.
This next LOL animal is optimistic about the future of same-sex marriage legislation, inspired by the fact that a vote in Washington state this week not only granted the same rights to homosexual couples that heterosexual couples get (y'know, besides the whole "marriage" thing) but it marked the first time that legislation to dramatically expand gay rights has been approved by a statewide vote of the people anywhere in the US. Yay! Next stop, marriage!
Awww. You can always count on feminizt LOLz to be both cute and logical. Remember that YOU (that's right, we're talking to you) can send us your own feminist LOLz to be featured on this very blog. Just go to the LOL builder and send your creations to us via the blog tips page. We know you've got some adorable animal pics floating around that are just begging for a feminist caption. Have a great weekend, and let's go marriage equality!