Two twenty-something, upper class, educated, Jewish girls traipse around the United States looking for the feminism of a new generation, and once they find it, one of them kills herself. That's not exactly what the back cover of Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism reads, but that's one version of what happened. Best friends since 1997, Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein decided to take a road trip and talk to a cross section of young women about the F-word. They met 127 women—including a sex shop clerk, a Bible college student, a witch, a future nun, a former Air Force worker, and an anarchist—to find out why some woman love feminism with a fierceness and why others don't relate to it at all.
This week a query in the Bitch office got me thinking about John Hughes films. And that got me thinking in soundtrack mode. And that lead to the realization that many of my favorite (or at least memorable on some level) 80s films have title tracks or songs that always accompany any thought of them. Read on for the list, and listen with caution: these will get stuck on replay in your head.
The ACLU is suing this week's Douchebag Decree recipient for being a gigantic douche. OK, so Austin Couch, principal of Churubusco High School in Indiana, is actually being sued for free speech violation, but that's just lawyer speak for douchiness, right? At any rate, Principal Couch suspended two CHS sophomores from all extracurricular activities last month because they posted photos of themselves on their MySpace pages looking too darned sexy. He calls it principal-ing, but we (and the ACLU) call it slut-shaming.
You girls are officially suspended for having bodies!
The much anticipated Very Special Disability Episode of Glee, "Wheels" aired last night. And already the rave reviews are flooding in. It's "edgy," it's "a game changer," it's "controversial," it's "moving," it's "thought provoking." Twitter is aflutter with praise.
Did everyone else watch the same episode I watched?
In just six days 26-year-old Era Al-Sufri, a Diplomatic Officer at Brunei's Ministry of Foreign Affairs who loves math and is passionate about the environment, will embark on a dream vacation... of sorts. One of eight women from eight countries picked to participate in the Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition, Era (aka Polar Girl) and her cohorts underwent an intensive training in order to complete a 40-day, 900km ski through blizzards and subzero temperatures (up to -40 degrees) with the goal of arriving at the South Pole on January 1, 2010.
This Monday's episode of Gossip Girl stirred up controversy when a menage-a-trois was featured--the act was last on a list of fifteen things to do before you graduate from college. Teasers for the episode had the Parent Television Council ("Because Our Children Are Watching") up in arms, calling airing the subject matter "reckless and irresponsible." The scene ended up being pretty tame, but is still making OMFG waves where parents are concerned. But is there a right way to watch it?
Miranda July starts her recent Vice photo spread with the following note:
Do you ever feel like an extra in your own life? It seems like I'm
forever stuck in the background, watching other people say and do all
the things I feel inside. One day I'm gonna surprise everyone with my
talents. They will be laughing and crying and texting me so often that
I will be annoyed.
Ableism is a central concept in disability rights. The term was originally popularized by Thomas Hehir, a special education scholar who defined it as "'the devaluation of disability' that 'results in societal attitudes that uncritically assert that it is better for a child to walk than roll, speak than sign, read print than read Braille, spell independently than use a spell-check, and hang out with nondisabled kids as opposed to other disabled kids.'" There are many varied manifestations of ingrained ableism in contemporary society and pop culture, but I see it most often in uncritical use of language based on ableist assumptions - even by speakers or authors who are progressive and who are against ableism as a concept.