Last night was the Academy Awards, which means my Facebook feed was awash in comments from high school acquaintances along the lines of, "WTF was up with Kristen Stewart!?!? She was totally frowning and had some kind of bruise on her arm!!! What a slut!!! #TeamEdward."
In my opinion, there were lots of moments last night more notable that Kristen Stewart's facial expression. Here's my list for best and worst moments from the interminable broadcast:
Loved It: Quvenzhané Wallis. The 9-year-old star of Beasts of the Southern Wild was the youngest Best Actress nominee to date. Not only did she rock a stuffed puppy dog handbag on the red carpet, she was unabashed in the fact that she was damn proud of herself. When they announced her name along with the likes of Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva and Naomi Watts, Wallis spared viewing audiences the false modesty of batting eyelashes, shrugged shoulders and downcast eyes. Instead, she flexed her arms like a champion and grinned.
Hated It: So many of host Seth MacFarlane's jokes!
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, how to be the perfect feminist by accepting you're not the perfect feminist.
Dear Ms. Opinionated,
As a feminist I am always trying to stay up to date on news, research and blogs like Bitch. Lately, though, I have been feeling very muddled. I vocally criticize objectification of women in TV and movies, yet I am a huge fan of artists like Beyoncé and Rihanna who are marketed as sex symbols. I go on about the lack of coverage and opportunities for female athletes but I rarely watch women's sports myself. I tell my friends not to worry about their weight, but I get upset when I put on a few pounds. I confront sexual harassers on the street yet my sexual fantasies often involve domination by men. I tell myself that everyone is feminist in their own way, but it also seems that most activists and websites espouse a "right" way to be feminist. I can't help feeling that I am doing it wrong or not enough. How do I (and other women reading) reconcile all of these contradictions?
Hi there everyone and welcome to another installment of RetroPop, the guest blog in which I provide mashups of thematically similar female-performed Billboard charting radio tunes and great feminist works from the past and say, "WOW, you're both making some nifty and sorta related social commentaries! How about that?!"
Today I'd like to spread my arms in a big bear-hug embrace for two of my favorite artist ladies hot on the manhunt (different kinds) and ask another question: "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!"
Last post I looked at those for whom playing with racialized imagery in kink is too close to the bone. Today I'm turning my attention to the the black artists and performers who refused to be silenced in their desire to push boundaries.
As with the issue of female sexual submission, racial imagery in a BDSM context is an issue apt to cause heated debates, so I want to include both sides of the argument. Today, I'll examine the objections to the use of racialized imagery in kink, and in my next post I'll look at the responses by those who defend it.
Last post, I looked at how BDSM can be used to work through abuse. But what of those who want to use BDSM to move on from, not replay, traumatic pasts? Today, I'm thinking about the difficulty of shedding the "victim" label when an abuse survivor chooses to be kinky...
Dominant, submissive, top, bottom, masochist, sadist... What if your kink preferences don't fit one of these labels? Does popular culture have no time for fence-sitters, or as Jay Wiseman called them, "switch-hitters"? Or does it regularly represent them without acknowledging their existence?
"There is no separation between me and what I photograph," said the artist Nan Goldin. This has never been truer than with the self-portrait that captures her injuries caused by an abusive boyfriend. Domestic violence is never an easy subject to talk about, but this image speaks volumes.