While the blogosphere is still wrapping their head around the epic Telephone video, Out Magazine got a hold of Heather Cassils, whose prison-yard smooch with Gaga is one of the most talked about portions of the video. A long-time performance artist, Cassils went to the "Telephone" audition on a whim, and the kiss she and Gaga shared was completely unscripted. While her interactions with Gaga are worth a read, Cassils also speaks about her art ("I use the fact that the image is live to try to capture and transfix people, because people can walk away from a painting.") representation ("binaries are dangerous across the board"), about the co-option of queer identity for pop stars. ("That's been going on since the dawn of time.")
Someone should make a bumper sticker that reads So many douchebags, so little time. I'd buy it. Every week when the Douchebag Decree comes around, there are too many douches and it's almost impossible to determine who deserves the honor most. This week, we have two very strong contenders, which is why we need YOU to vote for your (least) favorite in a DOUCHEBAG SHOWDOWN. Two douches enter, one douche leaves!
Susan Douglas's seminal 1995 book Where the Girls Are: Growing Up with the Mass Media explored how woman see and are seen in pop culture, tracing feminism in
pop culture from the 1950s and '60s through the 1980s. Her newest book, Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done, revisits the subject of women's representation in the mass media, and finds a troubling series of mixed messages, empty "empowerment," and consumer imperatives masquerading as postfeminist power.
As longtime fans of Douglas's wit, irreverance, and spot-on critique, Bitch is thrilled to feature the epilogue of Enlightened Sexism. It's after the jump, as is an interview with Douglas by Andi Zeisler.
A lot of us working/breathing/organizing in feminist/humanist/womanist communities were running from event to event last week during International Women's Day (IWD) week, and I thought I'd share some of the deconstructing thoughts I've been having aloud about what I witnessed and participated in.
Many of you already know all too well the tokenization that happens when we Indigenous and racialized women get invited to things our own communities are not putting together, the envelopes we sometimes have to push, the chastising we get from both white people and people in our own communities who don't like that we're calling ourselves feminists/womanists/humanists, so on and so forth.
The first line of Virginie Despentes' King Kong Theory (written originally in French as King Kong Theorie and then translated into English) is:
"I am writing as an ugly one for the ugly ones: the old hags, the dykes, the frigid, the unfucked, the unfuckables, the neurotics, the psychos, for all those girls that don't get a look-in in the universal market of the consumable chick."
The female condom. No one talks about it, no one uses it - it's just one of that group of contraceptives, which includes the sponge and the diaphragm, that everyone sees as outdated and useless. Hormonal contraceptives are considered the high-tech, modern method of birth control and they dominate the market. But lately the male condom had been taking back its share of the conversation – the New York health department launched a new design for the condoms they distribute, Lady Gaga is pushing her own brand and President Obama has not only overturned the condom-hating actions of the last administration but put millions of dollars into research on men's attitudes towards them – and all this is paving the way for the female version to make a comeback.