The best stories are the juicy ones. This episode of our feminist pop culture podcast is all about pulp (timely, right?). We talk with best-selling thriller writer Chelsea Cain about how her pregnancy inspired her to get started writing gory stories and she reads us a horrific short story about a hungry zombie baby. Then, we feature a sneak-peek excerpt from Monica Nolan's new lesbian erotica pulp, Maxine Mainwearing: Lesbian Dilettante. Finally, we talk with everyone's favorite mystery writer Laura Lippman about love, money, and reality television.
All that, in just 20 minutes. Listen in!
Read on for the transcript of this show and other listening options.
But recently, rhetoric has taken the issue even further. Current public education campaigns imply that we have a civic duty to tell women when they should get pregnant and reinforce the idea that pregnant women’s bodies are public property.
Last week, novelist Benjamin Percy was interviewed on the TODAY show about his experience of being "man pregnant." Percy wore a Japanese-engineered pregnancy suit for nine weeks in an effort to be a better father by gaining an understanding of what women go through when they're pregnant. When I saw the story (and the smug interview), I was uneasy. Not only was the interview tediously unfunnny, Percy's pregnancy suit struck me as a rude, half-baked attempt to figure out what the hell women have been complaining about since the beginning of time. But Percy's story, originally written for GQ's humor section, isn't the first "dude tries to approximate pregnancy" experiment we've seen lately.
In my last post, I wrote about (relatively) recent moral panics and the way they fixate on the foolish, experimental or wholly fabricated hedonism of teenagers or young adults. For this post, let's take a brief look at some of the notable, intoxication-related moral panics of the past.
Welcome to the latest installment of Ms. Opinionated, in which readers have questions about the pesky day-to-day choices we all face, and I give advice about how to make ones that (hopefully) best reflect our shared commitment to feminist values—as well as advice on what to do when they don't. This week: When is it a "good" time to have a baby?
A man gestating and giving birth to a baby! Can you even imagine? Well, yes. But 1994 was a different time. A time when men having babies was science fiction but Emma Thompson snogging Arnold Schwarzenegger was all too real. I couldn’t write about dads as primary caregivers without considering a movie in which a (cis) man literally has a baby. Junior isn’t the only example of this, but it’s probably the best known.
It starts when the FDA decides not to approve the development of a new drug, Expectane, that scientist Dr. Alex Hesse (Arnie) and OB/Gyn Dr. Larry Arbogast (Danny DeVito) have been working on. The medication reduces the risk of miscarriage in chimps, and the men want to trial it with women. But having failed with the FDA, Hesse’s university withdraws his lab funding and installs Dr. Diana Reddin (Emma Thompson) and her ovum cryogenics project in his place.
AskMen.com, an online lifestyle magazine, enjoys a larger readership than Maxim, GQ, and Men’s Health, with 15 millions visitors each month. According the their website, AskMen’s readers are "confident, successful and interesting men," and AskMen’s mission is to "help guys become Better Men."
Becoming a Better Man doesn’t have much to do with knowledge about pregnancy, apparently—even though AskMen.com is clearly meant for straight, cisgendered men interested in sex with straight, cisgendered women—because there are only five articles on the topic (notwithstanding news on celebrity pregnancies), two of which are exclusively about sex.
Nothing instills a fear of pregnancy more than watching childbirth scenes that take place during the Medieval period.. or the Renaissance... or during the Enlightenment... or any time, really, before the twentieth century. Screaming mistresses/courtesans/queens/princesses lay flushed in their canopied doily beds as frantic women flutter about the room, dipping cloths in hot water. Onscreen stories from the olden days are generally about royal or famously wealthy and powerful families, so the message we get is that childbirth was a horrifying pursuit, even for the always-beautiful progeny of the upper classes.
Tropes vs. Women is a six-part video series by Feminist Frequency that explores the reoccurring stories, themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows.
The Mystical Pregnancy is a trope writers use to create drama and terror by invading, violating and exploiting women's reproductive capabilities. Often these female characters have their ovaries harvested by aliens or serve as human incubators for demon spawn. Sometimes they are carrying the Messiah and other times Satan himself.