Okay, so maybe it is the heat of the office making me unusually cranky on this Friday afternoon but I just have to write and ask, what is the deal with the Oprah phenomena, and particularly the magazine?
Now I know these may not be popluar thoughts to have these days, but I've got two questions (among many) that have been burning a hole on my mind that makes this whole love fest just not add up for me.
Before I leave the B-Word office to spend the weekend working in the air-conditioned, shades-drawn splendor of my own home, I wanted to hip you folks to two very cool projects that are looking for your input and support.
The first comes courtesy of Stacy Bias, a Portlander who many of you may have heard of because she's pretty much a one-woman dynamo of both fat activism and general creativity. Have you heard of Fat Girl Speaks? That'd be Stacy. Visited the TechnoDyke.com community? Stacy, again. Indulged in the sweet-smelling lippy goodness of Pussy Pucker Pots? All Stacy.
Anyhoo, her new undertaking is an oral, written, and visual history project called The Fat Experience Project. Here's what she's got to say about it:
Welcome to the first entry of sm[art]! As a visually-focused
person (I'm the art director here at Bitch), I decided it was
high time to devote a special spot to visual arts. I hope to spotlight
the works of artists of all kinds, who have some feminist, social or
political themes in their work.
I have promised Debbie, our fearless leader, that I will be posting at LEAST 3 times a week and I am feeling less intimidated than I had in the past with the blog (until my tenure at Bitch I had never read, nor posted, on a blog), so watch out Debbie!
The Bitch staff is off to our monthly Board meeting this evening......
This morning in my in box was an e-mail titled, "An Open Letter to the South End Press Community." I clicked right on it, before I read my daily-headlines e-mail or the note from Debbie asking my opinion on a Very Important Matter—and even before I read the note from the boy I am currently most crushed out on. Because I am a member of their Community Supported Publishing program, which means I get a copy of every single book they publish as a thank-you for my monthly donation, and that's how much I love South End, the publisher of some of the most important political books being pubished today. Just to make sure you know.
If you're not already familiar with South End, you should get to know them right now. They are, as their letter notes, "the nation's only unapologetically radical, feminist, mission-driven, and majority women of color publishing collective." Their list is tremendous: big names like bell hooks, Vandana Shiva, and Howard Zinn, plus less well-known but no less important books from Incite!, Andrea Smith, Kristian Williams, and many more.
Isn't our new website pretty? I'm really excited about it. Except that when I clicked on the blog page, I freaked out when I saw all of our staff/founder images, with little bits of information about us. In fact I freaked out so much that I called our web design team and begged them to take it down; it felt so exposing and self-important! They suggested I write a blog post instead and ask some questions to y'all, so here's a stab...
I often think about how to build community around the work we're doing without replicating (among other things) the cult of celebrity. That's a tall order in our culture, where even in progressive and radical communities, we often see the same few talking heads saying the same things. But if we're committed to real systemic change, I believe we have to reckon with this.
how much it shocks my heart to hear how often the expression "you guys" is used in everyday language, especially in social movement/radical community spaces.
I don't mean to be unsympathetic or humorless or heartless. Yes I understand how difficult it is to replace that phrase with something else. But I promise it can be done. And talking about love and revolution and radical politics and building a movement feels so much better once "you guys" is gone.
Please check it out, spread the word, and let us know what you think! What features do you like? What would you like to see? Comment away...
And please support our efforts if you can – we're very excited that our site is ad free and offers content free of charge. This publishing model only works if the folks who can support this work do. Plus then you can see the fancy rainbow donate button in action. Exciting...