"I blame feminism and Facebook for the death of the American automobile." So said NPR's PJ O'Rourke on NPR's Morning Edition earlier today. According to O'Rourke, feminists are to blame for the auto industry's decline because at some point in the 70s we stopped putting out in the backseats of cars and starting going to work instead. WTF, PJ?
Now, before you get your unisex underwear in a twist, I realize that PJ O'Rourke is a humorist (I do listen to Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! after all). His next sentence was "I'm a Republican, so I blame everything on feminism — or commies." So yeah, he's kidding -- somewhat. But he's still getting laughs at feminism's expense, and I personally don't think that he is 100% joking here. Let's discuss it further, shall we?
Bitch is proud to announce our new book lovin' blog, Bibliobitch! To kick off our foray into the land of literature, here is an interview with author Kate Walbert by Bitch contributor Sarah Seltzer. Stay tuned for more, you bitchy bookworms, you.
Kate Walbert's new novel "A Short History of Women" follows the women in a single family down through the generations. The official synopsis of the book is: "From a lecture delivered to suffragettes in Victorian England to a playdate on Manhattan's Upper West Side, this provocative work chronicles four generations of women, their aspirations, the limits imposed on them, and the sometimes startling choices they make in the world."
Walbert's fictional family history begins with Dorothy Townsend, who starved herself for the British suffrage movement, and continues through to today. As Dorothy's name reappears in different permutations among her children, nieces and grand-nieces, so does her struggle with "the problem that can't be named," or the problem of how women can find fulfillment in an obstacle-filled environment. Dorothy's daughter devotes herself to science and shuns intimacy, even while serving as a role model for younger women. Her grand-nieces contend with an emptiness and lack of purpose and take that feeling out in myriad ways: trespassing on military property, blogging their feelings, drinking and moving through life as best they can. Walbert has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and the "playdate" chapter of this novel appeared in the New Yorker.
A few months back, Publishers Weekly published my interview with Walbert. However, I also asked her a few extra questions that were near and dear to my heart: namely, about the F-word. Here are her answers.
The other day, a friend of mine challenged my claim that Peaches is brilliant. This launched us into a debate on her lyrical soundness in comparison to other artists who are characterized by sexual explicitness and why her raunchiness is different than theirs. We bounced around a few choice lyrics and ended upon "Azz and Tittiez" by Three Six Mafia, a song whose refrain slurs those three words along with the pejorative-packed "big booty bitches". Would I appreciate those lyrics more coming from Peaches? You're damn right. Lyrics, though, are just part of the Peaches puzzle, lending themselves to her progressiveness above and beyond their similarities to other hip-hop/electro/dance-pop groups. Her brilliance comes through in her live show.
We talk a lot here at Bitch about the ways in which certain products are marketed to women, and with good reason (there are some weeeeird lady products out there). However, for every product that bizarrely targets women there is one that bizarrely targets men as well. Here are a few that have come to our attention as of late:
While the racecars and Danica Patrick indicate that this is a product for dudes, it is surprisingly gender-bendy (what with the gynecomastia and the woman athlete signing fans' breasts and all). Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? On paper it seems like it shouldn't be offensive, and yet...