I'll admit that I only really tuned into Eastwick out of a sense of national duty - Paul Gross, like me, is Canadian, and I feel he is owed some serious cash for his talents, wasted though they might be on American network television. (Canadian television has no such riches on offer.) Gross was always a tall drink of water of an actor (he may be known to you as a Mountie), and yet he has what I would call a genuine edge, with a wonderful sense of humor, and there's something about him that for me just feels like home. So whatever he's in, I watch, and so, I watched Eastwick.
To give you an idea of what kind of objections the mere presence of Paul Gross can overcome for me, Eastwick is a loose adaptation of a movie that was a loose adaptation of a John Updike novel. And Updike, regardless of the adulation he sparks in male undergraduate English majors everywhere, hated women. There's really no way to say that gently. He just did. To wit, Eastwick (like the novel itself) is about three outcast women who are brought together by - who else - a dark, mysterious man who understands these women better than they do themselves. The women are, ostensibly, witches, in the sense that they have various powers available to them. These powers are nonetheless heavily rooted in what Updike understands as the bewitching nature of female sexuality - their ability to control men, to make men do as they want. In fact, in the novel, Gross' character, Darryl Van Horne, is the women's own conjuring of the perfect man - and which, apparently, they envision in more or less pure sexual terms.
Gwen and her mother Janine fell on hard times when her father lost his job; they later lost the house as they were unable to keep up payments. Soon after, Gwen's father left them and they became homeless...
Job loss? Homeownership kaput? Sounds like what a sizeable chunk of America experienced this past year! Looks like American Girl is very up to date with contemporary issues that girls (and their parents) can relate to, or at least recognize (see also: Chrissa vs. the cyber-bullies!). Color me cynical, but I can't help but feel this is just a marketing strategy by the Mattel-owned company.
A brilliant and counter-intuitive comment from reader jordanb in the "Rear Ended by Porn" comment thread is the inspiration for today's post. Check it out:
Becky I'm interested to know if you've ever thought about abstinence from a sex positive feminist type of perspective. I mean, in some ways it seems like "not having sex" is an option that has been completely co-opted by the abstinence only sex ed types, and exists only as a purely moral decision. I'm struck by the absence of discussion of abstinence from a sex positive feminist perspective. But isn't it also important to reframe not having sex in sex positive terms? In strange way,though, in all of these discussions you've started (at least on Bitch) about sex, it seems like you've revealed the most taboo option in the minds of many sex positive folks is not to have sex.
Can you be sex-positive and still choose or advocate celibacy? Or are the two things mutually exclusive?
Oh, hey, look at that! It's the weekend! THE WEEKEND, you guys! And, since it is the weekend, I am going to assume that a fair number of you will be drinking. Me, I like drinking; I can mix a decent cocktail, I'm not averse to beer, and I am nowhere near sophisticated enough to tell good wine from just-OK wine, so THAT usually works out pretty well for everyone involved. In fact, I am just going to go on the record, here, and say that I am a fan of drinking. Here's what I'm NOT a fan of, however: this video from Ke$ha.
Since my last Bitch Mix was all about country's feminine side, I decided to give punk the same treatment this time around. I tried to cover the spectrum of old to new, dance-y to hardcore, and personal to political. Enjoy!
You know what? I get it. The G20 is a symbol of everything that's wrong with globalized capitalism. Protesting their gatherings makes a lot of sense to me. This year the G20 is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and we are once again awash in apocalyptic images of police-state riot gear and angry college kids in bandanas getting arrested.