Special guest report from friend of Bitch Kyla Wagener...
I have yet to read Tim Wise'sWhite Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son (Soft Skull Press) or Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White (Routledge), but have heard tons of praise for his work. So I was excited for his appearance at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland earlier this month, an event sponsored by Speak Out!. I was a little wary when he took the mic and started speaking; his manner initially conjured up memories of some egotistical, "Check me out, I'm one of those aware white folks—I'm down!" types I've run into. But he ended up being sharp, funny, and—most important—aware of his role as an ally rather than a leader in the antiracist movement, acknowledging that the majority of his sources for information about race have been people of color. He was loud, but in a good way—not arrogant-bratty-white-boy loud.
During the mid-'80s, my political education came almost entirely from Bloom County, to which my brother introduced me and to which I immediately became attached. Really, what's not to love about a preadolescent Bob Woodward type, his feminist elementary-school teacher, and a neurotic penguin with an unhealthy Caspar Weinberger obsession?
Much as we wanted, we at Bitch were unable to attend the V to the Tenth celebration in New Orleans last week. So I asked Bitch friend Annie Lipsitz to write up a quick report-back. Here it is...
NOLA feminism's big, but not always easy
By Annie Lipsitz
On Saturday, we spent the morning at an ACORN affordable housing fair in the Ninth Ward and in the afternoon we went to the Superdome for Superlove and the V to the Tenth celebration. Over a week later, after leaving New Orleans, I've been struggling with what to write for this post. I so so so badly wanted to stick it to Eve and Oprah and Donna and Jane, and Victoria and her secret, but I must admit that I've come off my high horse. I'll say it; I think V to the Tenth was great. I think it celebrated women from the Gulf South who've had a helluva time putting their lives back together. Who am I to say these women didn't want a massage or a makeover after their years of hard work before and after the storm? It was the feel-good, celebratory, vagfest it set out to be. I do, however, still have some complaints.
Bitte Liebling ("Please darling" in Deutsche). As the subtitle, Hot Queer Action, suggests, it's a porn zine, so if you're not into that kind of thing, move on to the next one. But for others, the latest issue (#4) includes a very special photo essay in which Bitch magazine is, uh, prominently featured. Curious? Contact Frau Carissa to fetch your copy.
Shortly after WAM, Andi and I made a quick trip to Philly. A very gracious Bitch supporter (with two incredibly charming dogs, photographed below of course) had offered to host a fundraising house party for us. An unfortunate snafu with our invite system meant that most of our Philly supporters didn't even know about it. But lucky for us, our host had lured a whole slew of her own friends and neighbors to come out, meet us, and hear about our work.
Sorry for the terrible photo quality—I took this with my phone out the window of a car on the way to my acupuncture appointment the other day. I wanted to stop on the way back and get a better shot, but I was late getting the car back (I don't have my own but use the awesome City Car Share program when I can't bike or get somewhere on pubic transit), so I couldn't.