As the year winds down the media stream is inundated with lists of political accomplishments, policy and presidential reviews and all of our hopes for 2010. Amid this maelstrom, I continue to remember that it was still in the last century that women were given the right to participate in the political process by voting and that the coming year's contests of candidates and legislation can, and should, be part of a modern feminist dialogue. In that light, today's Feministory focuses on a woman who worked tirelessly and radically through much of the twentieth century to secure equal rights for women: Alice Paul.
One of the things that drives me just a little bit up the wall about disability in pop culture is when creators want to have a disabled character, but don't want that character to have any of the actual consequences of being disabled. This plays out in one of two ways: Either the disability is just there, without any of the attending difficulties, or the disability has been turned into a Super Power. Sometimes, we get both.
I've never seen wheelchair-using Professor X have to actually deal with stairs. He uses his psychic powers to make his wheelchair float.
The sad news came down just a few weeks ago: It Takes a Team, the pioneering project of the Women's Sports Foundation dedicated to challenging homophobia in sports, has been canceled due to budget cuts. An educational program founded in 1996, It Takes a Team was based on four powerful facts ...
Mixing classics with covers, the Bitch staff has put together some of our favorite Christmas songs that span decades, genres, and levels of corniness. From the Loretta Lynn to Kristy MacColl and from Kinks to David Cassidy, you're sure to hear something you'll like. Plus, our mix contains a fair amount of songs that emphasize the not-so-jolly aspects of the season, like if you're heartbroken. Or in prison (see: John Prine). Enjoy, and we hope your winter celebrations are swell!
A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, has become a Christmas classic. Chances are high that most of us have read it, read adaptations, seen it performed on stage, or seen it on film. In some households, people make A Christmas Carol a family tradition, and it's supposed to be a feel-good, inspiring moral tale which brings the family together for the holidays.
Dating can be confusing -- especially when one or more parties links emotional milestones to consumerist signifiers. And yet ... somehow, the solution is probably not to buy cheap accessories at Target.
Give yourself the gift of an L&O:SVU marathon. In a TV landscape where women are routinely shown as hyperemotional and unprofessional, watching the no-nonsense Detective Olivia Benson is a cool, calm drink of water.
Whenever someone starts talking about "crip-drag" - the slang term that basically means "currently non-disabled actor playing a disabled character" - the conversation tends to eventually (usually sooner, rather than later) turn to this:
But but but! We shouldn't accept a less-than-stellar actor just because they're disabled. That's, like, Affirmative Action GONE MAD!!!!!! No, you just have to accept that they always, totally, without fail, and without any influence by ablism or assumptions about what stories they can tell about disabilities, the casting directors chose the best person for the job. And it's just a wild coincidence that the best person for the job is almost always someone who doesn't have a disability.
Here's something I learned today: Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the U.S., gave a series of lectures in 1859 that emphasized the importance of physical
activity in the lives of girls-going so far as to define the first law of life as the law of exercise. Blackwell argued that a society that neglects that activity of girls-or, as the case may be, provides obstacles to it-denies girls "both happiness and life well lived."
It's 150 years later, and still, the freedom of American girls and women to live active, strong, healthy lives is still not on par with their male counterparts. Luckily, we have
another strong voice that is taking on Blackwell's legacy by taking the physicality of females seriously -- and without body-size hate.