"The average age of entry into prostitution today in the Untied States is 13 years old." The stories of some of the girls whose lives bear out this disturbing statistic are told in Very Young Girls, one of three documentaries in recent years that examine the lives of black girls and women.
WARNING: What you are about to see will amaze, delight, and possibly cause you to make a closet full of gem sweaters. Straight out of the Midwest, the following artist has been sweeping the nation, rapping about everything from zombies to gold pants, breaking down the barriers that divide us by turning people of all types into Junior Gems. Blog readers, meet Leslie Hall!
Leslie Hall is more than just a rapper, singer, dancer, crafter, fashion designer, and curator of the world's largest Mobile Museum of Gem Sweaters; she is also an inspiration. Through her unique (and always glamorous) style, catchy party jams, and midwestern diva attitude, Leslie and her friends (the LY's) have created a new style of music and living that the aspiring MC and feminist in all of us will be able to appreciate. Come with me and let's explore the wonders that are Leslie and the LY's.
To whet your gem sweater appetite, here is an amazing video and song about making crafts:
More shining, midwestern glamour after the jump, of course!
Those of you who, like me, have been hooked on VH1's Rock of Love Bus this season (perhaps against some of your better feminist judgment), may have found last night's finale a bit unfulfilling. Not only was it a challenge to care whether it was Taya or Mindy (the two final contestants) who won Bret's cowboy-hat loving heart in the end, but the episode broke some new and unsettling ground when it came to reinforcing sex and gender-based stereotypes. (You thought they had already broken all of the available ground and then some, didn't you?)
This season of Rock of Love Bus kicked off with some vagina shots on top of a bar, so it shouldn't surprise us that it ended with some sex and gender weirdness as well. What is surprising, to me at least, is that the show's finale managed to both promote and condemn female sexuality AT THE SAME TIME. How is this possible, you ask? Read on and let's discuss!
It's been a long, bizarre, offensive battle, but the results from last week's Offensive Commercial Showdown are in! With 27% of the vote, which ad reigns supreme as the most offensive? (Drum roll sound here, please...)
From the department of last minute self-promotion, Bitch is proud to announce we've been nominated for the Best International Feminist Blog in the 2009 Canadian F-Word Awards! We found out today, which is lucky since the polls are open until...tomorrow! Show us some love by visiting the F-Word Site and voting for us!
As your feminist reality TV blogger, I've got the standard (short) list of complaints about The Amazing Race to run through: why hasn't an all female team ever won in the 14 seasons the show's been on, are the women being unfairly edited to look moreshrewishunderpressure than the men, etc etc., but I've got a new one for you: looks like we're going to have a discussion over the impact of the word "bitch" next week!! You can hear the wholestaffnow: "AGAIN?" [Note: I would have linked to Andi's awesome CNN snippet on the same topic with Rick Sanchez, but I can't find it on YouTube! Well worth watching.]
Porn may well be one of the most divisive issues among feminists today. Personally, I have an incredibly difficult time deciding where I stand. Like most feminists, I am all for the healthy expression of sexuality, which may manifest itself in a variety of forms. However, it's pretty darn hard to conceptualize a hierarchical sexual interaction as 'healthy,' particularly when it eroticizes violence and/or humiliation.
Anyway, no matter your take on porn, it is an undenaiably feminist issue and definitely worth examining as such...which is why I'm super-excited about the Media Education Foundation's new documentary The Price of Pleasure, which takes an in-depth look at the porn industry. The film includes voices from critics and supporters alike, from Female Chauvinist Pigs author Ariel Levy to award-winning pornographer Joanna Angel.
Here's the (strangely short) trailer (contains some explicit material)...
According to a recent Entertainment Weekly article:
'''Tyler Perry understands that much of his audience is African-American women — the most ignored group in Hollywood — so he's doing movies that speak to them,' Bogle says. 'You could see these films as parables or fables. There's a black prince figure who shows up for black women who've been frustrated, unhappy, or abused.' That's the real reason critics don't like Perry's movies, says Nelson George: They're made for churchgoing, working-class black women, not urban hipsters (or tenured professors)."
I'm neither an urban hipster nor a tenured professor, but I'm not a fan of Tyler Perry's movies either. Are you?
I've been feeling kinda stressed lately—and it shows with my BitchTapes mix. I collected a group of tracks about the external pressures we deal with day-to-day. You know, stuff like: Am I pretty enough? Tough enough? Smart enough? and on and on. The genres I've chosen are each so different, but the themes all come back to same stuff we all deal with at some point in our lives. Have a listen: