I'm having one of those days. The type that can't be improved by consuming ridiculous amounts of caffeine or chocolate. (I tried.) Lately, each time I turn on the news, my stomach begins to ache and I feel like I'm gonna hurl. It's days like these when the slumping economy, plastic television pundits, and big bank bonuses really bum me out.
Are you like me? Mainstream media got you down? Sick of Edwards? Tired of Tiger? Need a break from the shallow, male dominated 24-hour-blab-fest? Do you crave provocative remarks from women who can lift you up and make you feel good (the kind of healthy escapism that won't result in substance abuse or an std?) Well don't despair, because I've got a few media feel-better-band-aids...
No matter what those time/date sticklers who don't think it's over 'til 2011 believe, according to us, tomorrow marks the end of the '00s. And though we'd hate to say "Good riddance" to the decade that brought us a bunch of kickass feminist blogs, a bevy of thought-provoking books, and a multitude of female-focused movies, coming up with a list of positive feminist moments in '00s pop culture was no easy task. As it turns out, there were a lot more not-so-feminist moments this decade than feminist ones. (Too bad we'd already decided we wanted to keep the list positive – We're starting our New Year's resolutions early this year.)
Maybe we are better off saying "Sayonara" to the decade that came in like Britney Spears and went out like Bella Swan, but that doesn't mean the past ten years didn't give us anything to be happy about. So before you get gussied up and head out the door for New Year's Eve, take a minute to celebrate the good feminist times from this decade in pop culture.
Comics haven't always been a bastion of feminist values, but they have given readers some fairly positive examples of characters with disabilities over the years. I've pulled together a brief list of characters who are more than just tropes meant to teach a Very Special Lesson.
Most of us have that album in our lives, the one that's the instant open doorway to our core. (Mine is Joni Mitchell's Hejira…or is it P.J. Harvey's Dry? Never mind—what's that album for you, Bitch readers?)
Our ardent devotion to that watershed CD is the theme of the new anthology Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives, edited by Peter Terzian. The collection includes fine essays by Sheila Heti (on the Annie soundtrack), Stacey D'Erasmo (on Kate Bush's The Sensual World), Asali Solomon (on Gloria Estefan's Mi Terra), and Colm Tóibín (on Joni Mitchell's Blue).
It also includes Alice Elliott Dark's stunning essay, "The Quiet One," which chronicles her obsession with the Beatles' Meet the Beatles! and George Harrison that intensified at a pivotal, tragic point in her girlhood. Page Turner interviewed Dark about writing "The Quiet One"; truth-telling in fiction versus nonfiction; sexism and the boy bands; Beatle wives; and why she abandoned her belief in pop culture.