Several of you saw the ultra cultural appropriation performance of performances from Ke$ha on American Idol last Wednesday night - who decided in all her infinite wisdom to come out half-way through her "blah, blah, blah" song in a headdress and her version of "war paint" (I think).
It's obviously racist, ignorant, and beyond silly, but it's also an interesting statement (that I definitely won't give Ke$ha credit for knowing) about mainstream society's imagery of Native women. Not that it's her first time donning Native gear - apparently it's something she does on the regular with different pieces.
In 2008 I wrote about Juliette Lewis and her continued decision to "dress up like an Indian" with her band and what this means in her attempt to appear strong, raw, and yes even "savage" with her music. There are some particular intersections to address when we see women dressed up like this - and it has nothing to do with the fact that these people are of course getting our actual culture, traditions, and teachings all wrong.
Are you counting down the days until Glee returns for a second season (23!) or are you groaning at the mere mention of a show you hoped would be wiped from the national memory once American Idol came back on the air and satisfied the public urge to see young people engage in petty competition and sweaty vocal gymnastics?
Whichever camp you fall into, you may remember the amount of controversy surrounding Glee's use and attempted subversion of various stereotypes, which was covered in some detail by our very pithy Transcontinental Disability Choir guest blog back in November.
File it under "Where have you been for the past 26 years?," and cross-reference it with "How on earth do you have a career in news?" (you have files for both of those, don't you?): Glenn Beck came out this week as being decidedly against Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA". Apparently, the song doesn't send the patriotic message he's always thought it did. Really, Glenn Beck? That song came out in 1984. You have had plenty of time to listen to the lyrics whilst hosting your tea parties and singing along at douche rallies (Sorry, Boss, but I think they play your music at their rallies). Well, we're pretty astounded by your incredible lyric-deducing abilities, and so is this kitteh:
"I want to shoot Iggy*," Ivan often tells me. He and his friends want to shoot Iggy, he says, because "we don't like princesses." Iggy is a boy in my son's preschool class who wears dresses to school – often bringing several, as he may want a new look by midday -- and likes to play princess with the girls.
Why does my son have violent fantasies about this kid? It's disturbing, to say the least.
I mentioned over the weekend that I was a little too miffed after reading the terribly myopic piece in the New York Times Magazine last weekend, "The Femivore's Dilemma," to write about it then. The internets move quickly, but I figure a few days late is better than never. Since my time here is quickly drawing to a close, I figured I'd revisit the piece because it really deserves some ecofeminist deconstruction.
First, the obvious: "Femivore" is a dumb word. Why? Because it implies a diet of women.
Leonore Tiefer is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine with an international reputation as a lecturer, author, activist and theorist in the field of sexuality. She has written widely about the medicalization of female sexuality and heads up the New View Campaign, which is a grassroots network challenging the distorted and oversimplified understanding of sexuality promoted by the pharmaceutical industry as a means to profit. In this interview she talks about her work and the race to produce a 'female Viagra.'