31 March 2009

Katrine is back!

I get really excited when one of my favorite artists, perhaps my favorite artist ever, posts images of her new work. Katrine Kalleklev has been putting together her new show, and is at last letting us see some of the images. The piece at top is called "Mystery," and the bottom image is "Rabbit Girl."

30 March 2009

The latest in misogyny from Schick!

Some of us are offended by the commercial for the Schick Quattro shaver/trimmer. Of course, some are not. Do you think it's annoying that female hairy regions are being compared to wild and out of control plants that need trimming and containment?

It is always intriguing to me that so many women chime in with the "I shave/trim/wear heels/wear makeup/get plastic surgery because I like it. I do it for ME" mantra when it comes to body modification. There is an ongoing post over at Bust Magazine's blog about this commercial. Bust is a pretty cool magazine that tends to focus on third wave feminism. Judge for yourself!

29 March 2009

Sammy Harkham print

I love this image by Sammy Harkham. It is titled Golem in the Forest, and I wish I owned one. Too bad for me that the print run is sold out.

27 March 2009

Patriarchal sexual tension?

I just watched the movie version of Twilight last night. Very interesting. I will admit that the guy who plays Edward Cullen is very appealing in a disturbing sort of way. Here's my question: what is it about his character that is so damn sexy to so many young women? I know it's not just Robert Pattinson; it's the character of Edward Cullen that has so many young women slavishly and passionately devoted to him.

So what is it? I gave a brief talk about Twilight a few months ago to a group of high school students who were all big Twilight fans. One of the things we talked about was Edward's appeal. Universally they seemed to like his devotion to Bella. He says to her many times in the text that she is his life. He also wants to know everything about her--what she thinks, what she likes, doesn't like, everything. Of course this attention is appealing to many women who often spend lots of their time carrying the attention load in their relationships as women are well trained to do.

Recently, one young woman told me about her desire to be loved by an Edward-like young man, and her conflicting feelings about how wanting Edward to possess her diminishes her feminist ideology. In other words, she was wondering, can a woman still be a feminist and want to be taken by Edward Cullen? Is is somehow so contradictory to feminist values (such as being independent, assertive, powerful, self-possessed) to want to be swept away?

I think this is a very good question. It brings up the crucial feminist mantra of the personal being political--does what one does in her personal life, love life, romantic life, sex life, have to be aligned with her feminist political beliefs? Can a woman still be a radical feminist and want to be taken?

26 March 2009

Put it in me, Scott!

I don't know what this commercial is really about (Put it in me, Scott!) but I really like it. It's really weird.

I especially like the idea of a hot, fiery, toasting machine telling this hapless guy what to do. Awesome.

UPDATE: This morning (3-29-2009) I saw a vastly different version of this ad--he doesn't say "put it in me, Scott" and the whole thing is really toned down. Too bad. I wonder if we'll ever see the racy version again?

25 March 2009

Dance fever at WGN Chicago!

This lighthearted video is posted here for no purpose other than to entertain you. Apparently these anchors have been doing their commerical break dance routine for a while now. I love them! Don't miss the Dick Cheney moment halfway through, when they cock their rifles and shoot--

This hilarity makes me hopeful for the future of humanity. Sort of.

23 March 2009

Stop Shaving your legs! Shave your head instead!

Gloria Steinem will be 75 soon . . . Happy birthday, Ms. Steinem!
In this brief video she suggests performing an "outrageous act" and then, waiting to see what happens and how it makes the world a better place, one act at a time.

Some outrageous acts, suggested by Feministing , include:

Buzz cut your hair (my personal favorite)
Give someone a huge tip
Join a union
Come out at work
Tell an older woman she is beautiful
Stop buying/reading magazines that make you hate your body
Write to said magazine telling them why you're not reading/buying it anymore
Tell the person you're making out with exactly how you like it

I'd like to suggest a few of my own:

Try telling someone you're a feminist.
Stop shaving your legs.
Stop wearing makeup.
Stop criticizing other women on their appearance.
Don't let men interrupt you while you're talking.

I'll get back to you if I think of any more!

22 March 2009

Swedish Vampire Movie

Just watched this movie last night . . . I'm very sad I didn't see it in the theater. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It's not just a vampire movie. Really brilliant.

Let The Right One In: in Swedish Lat Den Ratte Komma In.

21 March 2009

Be the change you wish to see in the world . . .

Jorge Munoz and his mother, Luz Munoz, spend almost all of Jorge's paycheck as a bus driver to feed hungry, homeless, immigrant day-laborers in Queens, New York. Every night after working all day, Jorge delivers dinner to anyone who shows up. Their non-profit organization is called An Angel in Queens. I read about him on CNN.

What an amazing guy--he is an immigrant who became a citizen, and who has decided to help those less fortunate than himself. He feeds people seven days a week. Even on Sunday, his "day off," he hands out sandwiches because they count on him.

19 March 2009

go fuck yourself, folgers

Do you ever long for a simpler time, when all a man wanted was a "decent" cup of coffee? When all a woman had to do, or to worry about, was if she was making a good home for her husband?

Here's a lovely snippet of sexist americana, brought to you by Folgers and the patriarchy.

18 March 2009

Melanie Daniels is a slut! Peck her eyes out!

I admit it, I used to love Barbie dolls when I was a kid. But now they are making all kinds of nutty Barbies--check out this fabulous Melanie Daniels doll from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

Melanie Daniels is a wonderful character in this film. In so many ways Melanie is the catalyst for the bird attacks since she leaves "the city" to chase Mitch Brenner to dreamy Bodega Bay for nefarious (a.k.a. slutty) purposes. She wants him and lusts after him; but because she pursues him (taking on the masculine romantic role) of course she must be punished.

Although my students often think it's slow, The Birds is an incredible film and really challenges gender ideology. Sadly, by the end, Melanie's lust is quashed and she is forcefully returned to her appropriate subject position as a docile, submissive female. As they drive away, Melanie is nearly catatonic. So much for assertive women!

Radical Feminist blogging makes me happy

For some real time fire breathing radical feminist thinking I always get my fix from I Blame the Patriarchy . This blog is the sharpest, funniest, best-written, and most powerful feminist critique one might ever come across in the blogosphere.

Sometimes when I feel just a bit tired, worn out, or just plain blue, I read some of what Ms. Twisty Faster (above) has to say and I feel all revved up. Check it out. You will not be the same, ever again, I promise you.

17 March 2009

Obey your husband even if he is an idiot

It's spring break, I have tons of grading to do, so what am I doing for fun? Well, today I swept out my garage, raked part of the backyard, rearranged my shampoos, and then I went back to some light reading.

Right now I am reading a very well-written and researched but deeply disturbing book. The Quiverfull movement is a contemporary evangelical Christian sect of sorts that seeks to recreate men as the godly head of household as Jesus was the head of the church.

Here are some of the rules for women:

You must stand by your husband even if he fails. This includes cheating on you, beating you, and/or otherwise fucking up.

At the beginning of each day you should give him a list of what your plans are for the day so that he may approve (or change) the list.

You must home school all of your children.

You must not use any kind of birth control, ever.

Which means that you will have as many children as God wants you to have.

And I've only read 50 pages. Stay tuned for more Quiverfull updates!

16 March 2009

cats and dogs living together

Perhaps it is a true sign of spring that Marcy is now able to enjoy basking in the rays of the sun on the porch . . . even if her nemesis Jacks is also enjoying the same lovely sun.

out with the old and smelly, in with the new and shiny

Dahl's is a local grocery store chain here in Des Moines, Iowa. The Ingersoll location was the very first grocery store I entered when I moved here. Once I saw that they had a decent selection of vegetarian products and my very favorite soy creamer, I knew I could live here.

Anyway, the Ingersoll Dahl's is closing--being replaced on the very same lot by a bigger, brand new super-duper fresh and clean store. Today was the last day of the old store, so I took a few pictures for historical purposes. Note the sad and lonely cupcakes!

14 March 2009

what is the meaning of creamy?

For my 100th post, I thought I might combine my love of popular culture with a keen appreciation of kitsch by displaying this creepy soft core camay soap commercial from the 1970s.

Could she say "creamy" a few more times?

13 March 2009

Philosophers on parade

This promises to be an interesting film. Eight philosophers, walking and talking, each for ten minutes. Judith Butler is one of them! Directed by Astra Taylor. She's only 29. It's called Examined Life.

The ultimate question is will it be showing in Des Moines, Iowa? Who fucking knows!

12 March 2009

Non-breeders unite!

Marcy, the lovely Chi above, is my baby. I don't have a human baby. In many ways I have chosen not to have any children for what I consider ethical and social reasons.

Here's my gripe. Or question, rather. I have many, many dear friends who do have kids, and who lately seem to be having them more and more. I started this thing a few years ago (inspired by my friend Darcie) when my first local pal had a baby boy. I arranged a dinner delivery service for the new family by organizing myself and other friends to take dinner to said newbies every couple of days after the sprout comes out. I have done this now, either by organizing or participating, four times, for four different families. Four delicious dinners, made lovingly by me, for four very deserving new families. I don't mind that part.

What I mind is that there is no occasion when I am likely to get dinner delivered to me. Why is this? Why do we reward and celebrate reproducing, and not just life in general? Or some other non-reproductive achievement? It's much like Carrie's complaint on Sex and The City about supporting marriage (and not singlehood) with lavish parties and gifts. I object! Why do we celebrate only normative behaviors?

11 March 2009

The Vatican hates women

This morning, my wonderful mom (feminist inspiration that she is) asked me if I had heard the latest from the Pope. She wanted me to guess what the Pope thinks is the most significant cultural event in terms of women's liberation and independence. What is his holy Popester's take on this pivotal cultural event? Could it be the pill? Working outside the home? No--it's the automatic laundry machine.

Apparently The Vatican agrees with a 1950s Whirlpool vision of emancipated womanhood. Ladies! Girls! Bitches! All we really need is a washing machine!

Personally, I'd like a dishwasher and someone to rake my leaves in the fall.

10 March 2009

Hilarion candy review

Sugar Babies are a poorly designed candy. As far as I can tell: 1) They are essentially sugar with some brown flavor mixed in. 2) I can not stop eating them until I am physically ill and incapable of eating them again for at least eight months.

I'm not sure why I find the above candy review (brown flavor!?!) posted on Tiny Showcase so fucking hilarious, but I do. Jon Buonaccorsi wrote this one. In case you don't know about it, Tiny Showcase is a wonderful web site that releases a small affordable art print every week on Tuesday evening.

09 March 2009

Brazz Tree

Amazing music recommended by my friend Melisa. They're called Brazz Tree . You can purchase their disc at C D Baby.

07 March 2009

Jan in the Pan vs. Pre-pan Jan

One of my very favorite movies of all time is The Brain That Wouldn't Die . That's Jan in the pan up there--occasionally called "Pre-pan Jan" by my students during the brief time she spends with a body in the early parts of the movie. I love this movie for its campy ridiculousness as well as for its keen gender commentary.

It is worth watching for the stilted and terribly clunky filmmaking alone--but it also provides some amazing insight into gender and power relations in mid-century western culture.

My favorite line from the movie is when Kurt, Dr. Bill Cortner's intrepid assistant, says to Jan in the pan, "You're a freak of life, and a freak of death!" Soon after this statement the monster in the closet rips his arm off. Poor Kurt.

03 March 2009

Victory Dance FAIL!

Who ever knew a table tennis game could inspire such jubilent madness???

02 March 2009

More Mindsticker Madness!

Here's another mind-blowing Tab commercial. Mindsticker, indeed. After watching three of these mindsticker commercials again and again, I think I've figured out the main purpose of Tab. It makes you completely unable to DO anything except wander around aimlessly, tossing balls, picking up shells, traversing stairways in a jaunty fashion, and of course attending to your offspring. Tab is not designed to keep you thin--it's true purpose is to make women into listless creatures who pose no threat to society.

01 March 2009

Too many babies . . .

Although I can't say I'm a fan of our cultural obsession with reproduction, isn't it interesting that the MSM seems to adore families with multiples such as the Duggars and the Gosselins, but yet they are having a big old fun time harrassing the woman in California who had eight children at once?

Why the disparity? Why is she "octomom" and Jon and Kate are media stars? (Well, stars to some--here's an intriguing critical article about the Gosselins) Why are the Duggars "Eighteen Kids and Counting" and have a fucking TV show? The Duggars are members of the Quiverfull movement which advocates as many children as "God" wants you to have. I guess God also wants women to die young from wearing the body out after carrying so many pregnancies.

As much as I enjoy the machinations of the media I think their treatment of the woman in California is hateful, misogynist, and deserves a bit more scrutiny. What is it? Why do we celebrate certain overblown families and vilify others?

I think it's in part because she is single, has done what she wants with her own body, and resists our heteronormative fantasy of the traditional, patriarchal family. Maybe it's because she didn't conceive from intercourse--but then neither did Jon and Kate. Anyway, ideally we should all stop having children altogether--our planet can't take any more humans.

By the way--is his name really Jim Bob? Come on.