Most people feel overwhelmed when they hear that six major conglomerates own 80% of the world's media products. And while I'm pretty certain that anyone of us could take Rupert Murdoch or Summer Redstone in a cage match, when it comes to besting them in the corporate marketplace it feels, well, like an unfair fight. Much of my work revolves around railing against the ills of big media. No matter how many shocking figures I can quote or how many examples of how corporate media products facilitate and sustain sexism, racism, homophobia, and classism, it always ends with the same question: "What can we do about it?"
Last week, we had our first-ever Mad World Book Club meeting, and it was great! As many of you know, we discussed Jean Kilbourne's Can't Buy My Love, and everyone had lots to say about gender, persuasion, advertising, and fried dill pickle chips (we met at Bernie's Southern Bistro). However, as many of you also know, most of our readers don't live close enough to meet us in person for pickle chips, which is why we're hosting this virtual version of the Book Club.
Don't pack up your jerseys yet folks! Don't you put that vuvuvuvuzazula on eBay! The next World Cup is just one year away! In fact, it'll be the twentieth anniversary of the first FIFA Women's World Cup.
Think back just a couple of years, and you'll return to the tail end of the Bush Administration. For some, it marks the terminus of the good times: when America didn't look to allies in order to make foreign policy, when we were on the right road against "abortionists," and abstinence-only education got boatloads of money to save our children from certain sexual promiscuity and queerness. For others of us, it was like waking up from an eight-year nightmare.
Hot Pantz provides readers with an understanding of anatomy, recipes to conquer yeast infections and hormonal imbalances, an extensive glossary of self-healing herbs, a list of aphrodisiacs, and it provides instructions on how to give foot massages that will alleviate cramps! I can't tell you how often I consult this zine, or how excited I've been to share information from this zine with a friend in need.
Is it already Friday?! We're rounding up some of the most interesting things we read this week in another edition of On Our Radar.
Johannes Mehserle, the ex-BART officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Speaker's Corner offers a succinct round up of the mainstream media's (non)coverage.
Tasha Fierce has a call for submissions up for an anthology entitled "Occupied Bodies: Women of Color Speak on Self-Image" on Red Vinyl Shoes.
Shelby Knox offers Google some suggestions of accomplished women that the search engine could honor with doodles. Over the past 11 years, Google has featured 109 "innovators, artists, revolutionaries and creators" on their front page, only 8 of which have been women.
Over at Broadsheet, Stephanie Hughes highlightsfeminist summer camp. The program, started by activists Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards four years ago, brings young feminists from all over the country to New York City for a week of networking, workshops, and, of course, bonding!
Chloe Angyal writes on "lady tool kits" on Feministing.
Spoiler alert?! Sady Doyle Garland Grey reviewsTwilight: Eclipse and offers some much-needed "distinction between Twilight fans and Twlight, Inc."
On Shakesville, Melissa McEwan pans FatBooth, the new iPhone app that allows the user to upload a photo that magically makes you (assuming you're thin, of course!) look fat.
Maya Dusenbery of RH Reality Check roots for the abortion on tonight's episode of NBC's Friday Night Lights, one of the first abortions on television since the 1972 episode of Maude.
For those in Los Angeles, there will be a panel by MAGNET (Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Trans People) on negative representations of trans women in the media on July 15th. Details are at Transgriot.
Find something that piqued your interest this week? Leave it in the comments section!