Activism

Grrrl, You'll Be a Lady Soon

Last fall, at a reading for Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, a 50-ish audience member questioned the thirtysomething authors’ ever-so-casual usage of the word “ladies.” To this woman (who turned out to be tireless second-­wave activist Laura X, creator of the Women’s History... Read more »

Sex, Lies, and Videotape: An Interview with <em>The Center of the World</em>'s Molly Parker

Reviewers have likened it to a dot-com Pretty Woman, but The Center of the World, the latest film from director Wayne Wang (Smoke, Blue in the Face, The Joy Luck Club), is a far more complex rumination on the intersections of sex, love, and commerce. Set in southern California, the story follows... Read more »

Sister Outsider Headbanger: On Being a Black Feminist Metalhead

“I wasn’t ashamed of my love for metal (well, except for maybe hair metal). I just couldn’t explain it to most people.” Read more »

Tea Time: Michelle Tea Likes it Caffeinated

Michelle Tea loves words, and it shows. Read more »

Solid Gold Dancer

gina gold is a writer and filmmaker who spent five years in San Francisco's sex industry, starting out as a phone sex operator, then becoming an exotic dancer at the Lusty Lady, the Market Street Cinema, and the Mitchell Brothers' O'Farrell Theater. Her first film, Do You Want Me to Stay?, grew out... Read more »

Go Forth and Multiply: Pronatalist imperatives on film

ah, movie magic. hollywood always manages to make difficult situations turn out well after two hours—and nowhere is this more apparent than with cinematic treatments of unplanned pregnancy.
 Unexpected conceptions occur onscreen with surprising frequency, but filmmakers routinely play it safe,... Read more »

Humor in the Heartland: Tales of a small-town feminist

Imagine the jolt to my feminist sensibilities when I arrived, ready to serve, at the local Taste of the County dinner event and was presented with a plastic apron that had housewife emblazoned under my name. Shame heaped upon humiliation when I noticed—slack-jawed—that a potted plant, needle and... Read more »

The Collapsible Woman: Cultural response to rape and sexual abuse

the collapsible woman—one model of mental health for an uncountable number of individuals. She is too weak to hear debate, too soft to speak openly about her experience, and too fragile to expect much from. This definition doesn't come close to accounting for the grit and character that can be... Read more »

My Cups Runneth Over

I didn't start out in the world a hard-ass, I swear. I was the nice girl, Little Mary Sunshine—turning the other cheek and searching for the good in all people. But you know what finally pushed me over the edge? I'll sum it up for you in one word: breasts. More specifically, my‑breasts. I am a... Read more »

Editors' Letter: Fighting Back

So there we were, ten hooting and hollering women clutching stacks of dollar bills. Well, nine hollerers (you didn't think I'd call my friends "hooters," did you?) and one thoughtful, if drunk, young lady. We were at my bachelorette party, and one of the revelers was suffering from a crisis of... Read more »

Pages

Mad Science: Deconstructing Bunk Reporting in 5 Easy Steps

British scientists have uncovered the truth behind one of modern culture's greatest mysteries: why little girls play with pink toys. Is it...

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A Conversation About Transgender Representation in Pop Culture

Janet Mock, on her MSNBC web show, is one of a handful of transgender people who has recently gained international visibility. Recently, we... Read more »

Politically Correct Language Isn't Just About Being Polite—It's About Survival

Photo by Phillipe Leroyer (Creative Commons). Two weeks ago, Jonathan Chait published the lengthy essay “Not a Very P.C.... Read more »

Will Filming the Police Keep Us Safe?

There’s a cultural idea that having someone looking over our shoulder makes us behave better. From fake security cameras to Elf... Read more »