Social commentary

Female Bonding

Female Bonding
Article by KL Pereira, appeared in issue Hot & Bothered; published in 2006; filed under Social commentary; tagged Amazon, bondage, comics, heroes, heroins, lesbian, sapphic, superheroines.
The Strange History of Wonder Woman

“Bind me as tight as you can, girls, with the biggest ropes and chains you can find!” The woman is smiling in ecstasy, plastered against a large wooden beam, ropes and chains taut against her body, as she begs her captors, a group of jubilant, scantily clad young women, to pull her shackles just a little bit tighter. The girls taunt their captive: “We are, Princess, even you can’t escape these bonds!”

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Feminism But Were Afraid to Ask

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Feminism But Were Afraid to Ask

It’s a natural, normal part of life. But people hesitate to talk openly about their needs, their desires, and their concerns because they are so fearful of what others might think. But we all have urges, and we all have questions, and the more we can talk about them, the happier and more fulfilled we all will be. It should be a joyful, tender, and esteem-building part of life, not a source of confusion or shame. Yet it’s hard to get a handle on it, because although there’s a lot of information out there, much of it is judgmental, misinformed, or quite simply false.

The Accidental Jock

The Accidental Jock
Article by Monica Nolan, Illustrated by Aya Kakeda, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged athletes, competition, games, play, She's Got Game, sports, stereotypes.

I’m not an athlete. I’ve always disliked team sports, with their conformist, vaguely fascist associations. While as a child I longed to be a tree-climbing tomboy, I had to admit a preference for tea parties, dress-up, and long afternoons at the library.

Then one summer night, three years ago, I played my first game of bike polo. It’s an elegant game: With mallets in their right hand, players ride their bikes up and down the field trying to whack a grapefruit-size ball between two orange cones. It was instant love.

Sims Like the Real Thing

Sims Like the Real Thing
Article by Tish Parmeley, Illustrated by Aya Kakeda, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged games, play, She's Got Game, sims, video games.

The Sims is a game that consists of little more than creating characters and pushing them through the day, making sure they eat, sleep, stay clean, make friends, advance in a career, and buy stuff. The bodily functions are tedious and the rest is everything I hate about life in a capitalist society. So how to explain why I own all seven expansion packs for the first game, as well as Sims2 and its expansion pack, University?

Board of Education

Board of Education
Article by Jackie Regales, Illustrated by Aya Kakeda, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged capitalism, competition, games, play, She's Got Game.

Each semester in my American popular culture class, my students and I spend a night playing board games. I start them off with games for small children, like memory cards or Strawberry Shortcake adventure games. They play self-consciously, giggling at the losers who can’t master a game for preschoolers, but loosen up enough to start looking beyond the activity for the deeper meanings.

Muddy Daughters

Muddy Daughters
Article by Andy Steiner, Illustrated by Aya Kakeda, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged children, games, independence, parenting, play, She's Got Game.

The year my oldest daughter turned 4, her little sister was born, and that spring, in desperation, I let her play more or less unsupervised in the neighbors’ yard. When I came up for air from the endless diaper changes and nursing sessions, I’d catch a glimpse of her through the family-room window. Sweaty, dirty, and wild-eyed, she ran behind the neighbors’ pack of crazy, good-natured, and mostly unsupervised boys.

Laughing All the Way to the Polls

Laughing All the Way to the Polls
Article by Audrey Bilger, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged female politicians, funny, gender roles, Hillary Clinton, humor, jokes, politics, power, presidents, voters.
Do Female Politicians need a New Punchline?

Once upon a time, politics was serious business. These days, however, presidential merit is measured as much by frat-house standards as by traditional approval ratings (apparently, American ­voters would rather have a beer with Bush than with Kerry), and a well-timed joke can sometimes sway public opinion more effectively than a reasoned argument.

Alpha Mom, Omega Journalism

Alpha Mom, Omega Journalism
Article by Juliet Eastland, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged breeding, children, media, motherhood, parenting, procreation.

With all the world in strife, one might think the moms of New York would cut each other some slack.... That motherhood, in short, would serve as a safe house where civility and mutual respect rule. Think again. Motherhood, for all its well-documented joys, has become a flash point for envy, resentment, and guilt.

Ralph Gardner Jr., “Mom vs. Mom,” New York, October 21, 2002

"One might think,” in other words, that mothers could comport themselves in a more seemly manner. Because if we don’t get ourselves under control, we’re going to explode.

Cornering the Market

Cornering the Market
Article by Lisa Katayama, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged activism, art, politically incorrect, race, racism, slavery, stereotypes, tokenism.
Damali Ayo and the Business of Race

When Damali Ayo was 12, her parents sent her to day camp with 20 white kids. The kids were fascinated by the way Ayo’s hair maintained its texture in the pool. Even after she deliberately dunked her head in the water, they were convinced that black hair doesn’t get wet.

This experience stuck with her as she launched her art career in the predominantly white city of Portland, Oregon. Ayo often felt she was the token black person relied upon for opinions and advice precisely because of her skin color.

Holy Rollers

Holy Rollers
Article by Tammy Oler, appeared in issue Fun & Games; published in 2005; filed under Social commentary; tagged competition, riot grrrl, roller derby, sexualizing, sports, violence.
Is Roller Derby the New Burlesque?

Talk about old school. In skating rinks around the nation, saucy dames are getting together and strapping on old-fashioned quad rol­ler skates to jam, block, and pummel each other. The roller derby revival is on. More than two dozen leagues operate across the country, with an average of 30 to 40 active skaters each (some leagues even boast as many as 60), and many more are in the works.

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