Reflecting on an entire year of pop culture is difficult business. Luckily, we have help from five fabulous Bitch contributors who call in to tell us about their favorite books, movies, TV shows, and graphic novels of the year. Grab a pencil—you’re going to want to write down some titles of work to seek out.
Then, we talk with the one and only Cheryl Strayed about what it was like to turn her memoir Wild into a film starring Reese Witherspoon. In this interview, Strayed talks about feminism, Hollywood, and her hatred of high heels.
Individual show segments and more ways to listen are below the cut!
• There has been a lot of activism on college campuses over the past year around getting school administrators to take sexual assault seriously. A new website called Know Your IX aims to be a resource to help students end sexual violence on their campuses. [Know Your IX]
What did I miss? Add what you're reading to the comments.
I wrote recently, on Twitter, that I was getting the word "feminist" tattooed on my ass. I was only joking, but I might as well have been serious. It's true that in all the most important things I am—mother, writer, hiker, wife, daughter, seeker—feminism is at the center. It's a descriptor so clear and permanent it seems to me it's inked on my ass whether it's literally there or not. I've been a feminist since before I knew what a feminist was. It's an indelible part of my identity and it informs everything I do.
"Who says women don't write serious nonfiction?" ask the editors at Creative Nonfiction, the largest literary magazine dedicated to publishing exclusively high quality nonfiction prose. The meaty essay section in their winter issue, titled "Female Form," happens to feature (surprise!) solely women writers. In a fortuitous coincidence, the release of "Female Form" dovetails with the most recent national count of the gender of media-makers, the VIDA count.
The VIDA count is a staggering annual statistical breakdown showing the rates of publication between women and men in several respected literary outlets. This year, the count reveals that men continue to have 70 percent of bylines in mainstream media. VIDA, a burgeoning organization of women in literary arts, conducted the first count in 2011, hoping to initiate a long overdue conversation about gender discrimination in the publishing world.
"We did not go into this thinking we knew the answer to something and this was going to illustrate it, because this is a complicated issue," VIDA co-founder, Erin Belieu, told Mother Jones last April. "But you can't deny the starkness of such an incredibly wide discrepancy."