"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Friday, September 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

Tina Fey, on playing Sarah Palin for SNL:

"I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5. So if anybody can help me be done playing this lady Nov. 5, that would be good for me."

(Via Women and Hollywood)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Women's Studies is Bitchin'

You know you go to an awesome school and have the coolest major when you're walking across campus and you see faculty members from your department standing outside with clipboards getting students registered to vote.

So cool.

And speaking of registering to vote, you can do that here. (Or request an absentee ballot or check your polling place.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Bechdel Test Movie List

I'm putting together a mini-lesson on The Bechdel Test, I and stumbled on this awesome site I wanted to share: The Bechdel Test Movie List.

It lists tons of movies, each with an icon indicating which -- if any -- steps of the test it passes. You can submit films to add to the list, and for folks like me who can never be trusted to remember and re-visit a site, it has a feed!

In related news, NPR just did a segment on The Bechdel Test at the beginning of this month.

Click here to see the original Bechdel Test comic.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And it Begins...


I've got my my mailbox, my copy code, my teaching assignment, and my $370 worth of books for the classes I'm taking this quarter. Grad school is officially here.

I have no idea yet how my classwork, lesson planning, and grading are going to affect this blog. I do know that I'm already keenly aware of how few blogs I'm going to have time to regularly read from now through December, and I'm sure the frequency of posts will wane for a bit. But please don't unsubscribe or stop checking for new content! I'm still around, even if there are large gaps in posting.

Also, thanks for SAVING BITCH!

Now, consider continuing to donate, and make sure you're subscribed to the magazine. They get their money quicker that way than if you buy from the newsstands and you cut out the middlepeople.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Things You Can Do To Save Bitch

Aside from DONATING,

you can add banners to your websites and blogs,

and you can join the Facebook group.

Spread the word!

Save Bitch Magazine

Just saw this posted at the Bitch Blog and wanted to pass it along.

Bitch is highly responsible for kindling my interest in feminism. I started reading it over seven years ago when the TA to my Into to Women's Studies course recommended it, and I haven't missed an issue since.

Donate here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best Campaign Slogan Yet: "Coat Hangers for McCain"

Deborah Siegel of Girl With Pen blogged today about an Anti-Palin protest in Anchorage, Alaska. We've already heard the soap-opera gossip about how even some of her closest girlfriends may not be able to bring themselves to vote for her ticket, and now here's a closer look at just how controversial a figure Palin is, even in her own state. The Washington Post coverage of the protest includes a list of slogans seen on the signs there:

Pro Palin Signs:
-Sarah Palin Is My Hero
-We Luv Our Lady Guv
-I Love My Alaska Girl (I wanted to interpret this as anti-Palin. As in, "I love my Alaska Daughter, and I don't want Sarah Palin controlling her reproductive freedom", but it's most likely in favor of her.)

Anti-Palin Signs:
-Bush In A Skirt
-Palin: She Be Failin'
-Jesus Was a Community Organizer
-Palin: Thanks But No Thanks
-Smearing Alaska's Good Name One Scandal @ a Time
-Candidate To Nowhere
-Rape Kits Should Be Free
-Voted For Her Once: Never Again!
-Community Organizers are the Real Patriots
-Barbies for War
-I Shall Not Be Pandered To
-Give Palin Your Vote AND Your Draft Age Child
-Sarah Palin: So Far Right She's Wrong
-Coat Hangers for McCain
-Sarah Palin, Undoing 150 Years of American Feminism
-Hockey Mama for Obama (on a hockey stick)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today in Double Standards:

Rachel at Rachel's Tavern:
What strikes me about baby boys clothes is how much they promote activity and paid labor force work. Even as infants, we start to socialize baby boys into occupations. You rarely find occupation themed clothes for girls. Little girls clothes often have flowers, frills, and some animals (i.e. butterflies), but they don’t have occupational themes. They also rarely have activity themes outside of shopping or cheerleading. In fact, to me the worst subset of little girls clothes are those that say princess or diva. Diva is oftten used in a derisive way to indicate that the girl is overly demanding, and unlike the fireman or construction worker a princess doesn’t earn her title–she’s born with it or marries into it. Princess themed clothes also seem to play up baby girls looks–looking like a princess means looking pretty. I’ve seen a few shirts that have messages about boys being handsome or cute, but those are much less common.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On Putting Politics Before Feminism

This commenter on a post at Feminist Philosophers, hopeful about the prospect of the first female vice president, asks rhetorically if refusing to vote for McCain/Palin is "putting your politics before feminism".

I'm going to break the rules of rhetorical questions and give an answer, because the answer is simple: ABSOLUTELY NOT. You can't separate my feminism from my politics. My politics are feminist, and feminism is political.

While I agree that seeing a woman rise to a position historically filled only by men is generally a good thing, it sure isn't the only issue here, nor is it the most important. Any and all benefit of that sort of feel-good feminist tokenism is completely negated when that same woman has politics that are inherently anti-feminist and the power to find ways to enforce those politics on millions of other women.

Electing an anti-choice, anti-gay rights, anti-science, war-mongering woman as our first female vice president will not be a victory for feminism. It won't make me feel warm and fuzzy about how far women have come, and I do not feel torn about my decision to vote against her ticket. Not in the least.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I am sooo not okay with this:


I just heard about this mess at TheF-Word.org, and the photo is from the Washington Times article to which Rachel links there.

I have yet to scroll through the other blogs in my feed-reader today, but I won't be surprised if I see some rants about it more than a few places. I recommend reading Rachel's post, though. It discusses how even though the image above can produce a visceral insulted feeling in feminists like me, the idea behind it is "not so historically far off". Here's my favorite part of her post:
The McCain camp was only half-right when it distorted Obama’s innocent lipstick on a pig adage. Palin isn’t the pig; she’s the lipstick on the sexist pig that is the GOP. Palin has aligned herself lock step with a party that, had it gotten its way, would have made the PTA her last stop, not her first. These are people who have inveighed against the reproductive freedom that has allowed Palin to be both a mother and stateswoman. These are the same people who insist a literal translation of creationism be taught in schools from the very Bible that firmly establishes man’s authority over women. These are the people who, for many years, sought to reverse the very gains that led Palin to the Alaska Statehouse. Conservatives are not threatened by the specter of Palin taking on a man’s job, because hers is the brand of faux-feminism that doesn’t threaten antiquated gender roles.

In Case You're Interested

Remember the post a few days ago about the banned movie poster for Zack and Miri Make a Porno? Well, they replaced the poster in the U.S. (the old one wasn't banned in Canada), and here's what they came up with:


Via SlashFilm

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Even if reality TV (especially reality TV about models) isn't usually your thing, if you're at all interested in trans-rights and anti-racism, you should be watching this season of America's Next Top Model.

There is some juicy discussion material going on in this show, from the way the other models react and relate to Isis (the show's first openly trans contestant, about whom Monica Roberts posts all the details here, here, and here), to the cool and confident Sheena, to the shitstorm on tonight's episode in which some of the woc models called out Hannah on her not-so-subtle racism and she responded by storming out of the room, sobbing, and comparing their criticism to being gang-raped. Rrrright. I was cringing so hard I thought my face might freeze that way.

Next Day Update: That last part I mentioned is on YouTube today. Check it out starting at 3 minutes and 20 seconds in:

Support Marriage Equality

Via Queers United. Go read the whole post there to learn about California's Proposition 8 and what is being done to fight against it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting Head

Both SlashFilm and the Entertainment Weekly blog Popwatch reported last week about the MPAA's decision to ban the first poster for Kevin Smith's upcoming film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. (There was already a controversy in which Smith had to challenge the MPAA to downgrade their original rating of the movie from NC17 to R.) Here's the poster the MPAA found so offensive:


And here's a poster the MPAA didn't ban:


So, an unclad, satisfied-looking Dane Cook receiving a blow job from a faceless, nameless woman functioning merely as a prop is somehow more appropriate than two fully (even conservatively!) clothed characters getting the same treatment from each other with quirkier, less "pornified" expressions on their faces?

Popwatch mentions that simply the word "porno" could be partly to blame for the poster's banning. Dan is convinced it's because the MPAA has a long-held grudge against Kevin Smith. Those reasons may be totally true, but I'm going to weigh in with an additional reason that this particular poster might have been banned while the even raunchier Good Luck Chuck poster was given a free pass.

The biggest difference I notice between the two posters? In the one for Zack and Miri, the dude and the chick are BOTH gettin' oral sex.

It's well-documented by double-standard experts that while we're quick to welcome female nudity over male nudity (that whole male gaze phenomenon), we prudish Americans are WAY more uncomfortable with female sexual pleasure than we are with male pleasure. The former is considered dirtier, non-traditional, or deviant; the latter is regarded as run of the mill. And if you've ever seen the movie This Film Is Not Yet Rated, you'll remember that particular bit about how the MPAA has always been more inclined to slap a higher rating on films that show women receiving oral sex or having orgasms than on films in which those gender roles are reversed. Based on sexuality content alone, a film with a violent rape scene is likely to have a more lenient rating than one that shows a woman actually enjoying herself.

When I look at these two movie posters side by side, one of them is OBVIOUSLY offensive and inappropriate, and it's not the one the MPAA banned.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I pity the fool who gets caught in the background of my TMZ video clips at the airport!

In the screengrab below, look past Mr. T's shoulder at the fuzzy little couple I've circled for your viewing convenience. You're looking at me and Dan.


That's right. Mr. T was on our connecting flight from Chicago to LA a couple of weeks ago, and even though he was far ahead of us in first class during the plane ride, he came to baggage claim just like everyone else to wait for his luggage. We had no idea why he was being interviewed by someone with a camera until we happened to be flipping through the channels at the hotel and see him (and OURSELVES) on TMZ.

The TMZ guy was interviewing him about the commercial I blogged about back in July, and even though he fails to really say anything interesting about it in the clip, you still may want to watch my television appearance. The video can be found here. I'm riveting as The Girl in the Red T-Shirt.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Advertising to the Laydeez

Knowing I would find it just a little bit ridiculous, Dan forwarded me this spammish e-mail he received, which advertises a seminar going on soon at a local car dealership:


Click here to see the full ad.

Even the big version is a little hard to read, so here's what it says:
Car Solutions for Women

Who understands a woman's car question better than another woman? Judy Hansen has been in the automobile industry since 2004 and is top in her field. She is a teacher/trainer and a mother of four. She atrtributes her success to her commitment to excellent customer satusfaction. Judy brings laughter and inspiration to all who attend her seminars empowering YOU in making the right choices for YOU!

Call your friends and let them KNOW!!

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with the premise, here. I actually sort of like the idea of teaching women more about cars and empowering them to feel more confident about buying one. I could just do without the condescending language, pink design, and the stereotypical imagery of laydeez gabbing on the phone.

Gotta Love Samantha Bee and Sarah Haskins

I saw this hilarious clip the other night, and I noticed that Jender at Feminist Philosophers posted the link to it. Enjoy:

The Daily Show: Bristol Palin's Choice

And then there's this home run:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hopefully Back in the Swing

So, I never really found the time to blog while I was in LA, although I did spend some time formulating a post in my head about how many more ads there are out there for plastic surgery than there are here in the Midwest, and how much I think those "before and after" images (along with all the strangely too-beautiful people) started to seep into my subconscious mind and make me feel worse and worse about myself as the week went on. And I was only there for a week!

It totally creeps me out how if something has enough advertising, it's easy to completely normalize it. It's easy to think of "aesthetic foot", eyelid, and vaginal tightening surgeries as completely ridiculous when you've only heard of them in passing, but when there are ads for them on every other page of LA Weekly, TV commercials for chin lifts and liposuction during every break, and giant billboards with photos of nice-looking and trustworthy cosmetic surgeons and their phone numbers, it suddenly seems as run of the mill as going to the dentist.

While we were there, Dan kept saying things about how great the weather was and how beautiful it was and how much he would like to move there. And while I agreed with him about the weather and the novelty of palm trees, I was also secretly ready to go home to Ohio and be free of those superficial influences (well, a little more free, anyway).

I've been back for almost a week, but now that I'm not chained to my computer for eight hours a day like I was at my old job, I haven't felt as motivated to read other blogs or write about much. My feed-reader is bursting with thousands of posts I haven't gotten around to reading -- posts about Biden and Palin and conventions and change and choice and all sorts of news I've missed over the last couple of weeks -- and I have this mental block that makes me feel like I can't post until I'm caught up on all that reading. We'll see what the next few weeks bring as far as posting while I'm starting classes and whatnot. It might be a weird time for the blog while I figure out a new routine.

In the meantime, I'll just post this awesome cartoon I spotted on the blog Beyond Feminism:


MaryTracy, you said it.