Our 10 Most-Read Stories of 2021

A 3 by 3 image grid containing the nine images: Chloe Kardashian, Amy Winehouse, Elliot Page, Xander Harris, Meghan Markle, Armie Hammer, shrimp found in a Cinnamon Toast Crunch box, a screenshot from The Owl House, and crouching legs in silver heels

From the misogynoir Meghan Markle faced to people being weird about Elliot Page’s body, these were Bitch’s most-read stories from 2021.

Moya Bailey
Release Date: March 9, 2021

“Meghan and Harry’s highly-anticipated sit-down with Oprah is only the most recent reminder that misogynoir comes for all Black women, regardless of skin color and class privilege. Even Meghan, with skin so light her Blackness is debated on social media, says #MeToo when it comes to misogynoir. Over the course of two hours, Meghan discussed being hounded by the British tabloid press—and, more importantly, revealed that the Crown’s disinterest in protecting her from harassment set the stage for the prince and duchess’s eventual departure from their jobs as working royals.” 

(Photo credit: Joe Pugliese/CBS)

s.e smith
Release Date: March 29, 2021

“Within hours, the story had come full circle: Karp became a villain, joining the ranks of many felled viral stars before him. The arc of any Twitter virality is predictable and deeply rooted in our desire for rapidly delivered entertainment, but it would be a mistake to think the inevitable downfall has lasting consequences. That means the dastardly revelation is less vindictive, more depressing, and simply part of the ecosystem of the internet.”

(Photo credit: Twitter/Jensen Karp)

Oliver Haug
Release Date: February 9, 2021

“But the truth is that romantic love was killing us—to borrow a phrase from queer writer and theorist Caleb Luna’s essay of the same name—long before COVID-19. Luna points out that the politicized nature of desire inherently impacts the ways that care is distributed, both interpersonally and systemically. These ‘economies of care,’ as Luna calls them, leave those who do not or cannot fit the social mold of expected relationships without care.” 

(Photo credit: AllGo - An App For Plus Size People/Unsplash)

Michele Kirichanskaya
Release Date: August 8, 2021

“I thought I had trouble concentrating or following instructions because I was lazy and lacked discipline. I felt alone as a child because I didn’t see many narratives with kids whose stories looked like my own. Perhaps I might’ve had a different experience if I’d been able to watch The Owl House as a kid. Perhaps hearing what Luz said within the first episode, ‘So, you have a different way of doing things, a different way of seeing things. That might make you weird, but it also makes you awesome,’ would’ve made it easier for me to believe that about myself.” 

(Photo credit: Disney Channel and Netflix)

Natassja Schiel
Release Date: July 1, 2021

“During my first shift, a young man in the U.S. Air Force shared his story about Marine heroics in World War II, punctuating his anecdote with Jameson shots. He recounted a ubiquitous tale: Japan invaded and subjected the Indigenous Chamorro people to horrid abuses—slave labor, rape, starvation, and beheadings—until U.S. Marines saved the island. Many of the locals therefore believed they owed the U.S. military, which in turn increased their patriotism. In this Air Force member’s point of view, this was the reason American patriotism was as gauche as the G-Spot sign with a topless woman riding a giant red G.” 

(Photo credit: SOPHIE)

Nicole Froio
Release Date: January 19, 2021

“While the sexual revolution and sex-positive theorizations on sex have opened up avenues for women and LGBTQ people to live freer sexual lives, a lack of critical engagement with power dynamics, specifically in heterosexual relationships, have left us ill-equipped to gauge when sexual freedom language is being used to camouflage sexual coercion and abuse. As critics of Hammer have pointed out, the problem is not that he has a cannibalism kink; it’s the way he crossed boundaries again and again, coercing his victims into engaging with his fetishes.” 

(Photo credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Marina Watanabe
Release Date: February 18, 2021

“As Buffy fans gain a clearer picture of Whedon’s behavior behind the scenes, it’s ironic that a man with a track record of abusing his power over women and people of color on set would align himself with a character whose primary character trait is powerlessness. Why does a director and showrunner who weaponizes his power over his cast members to control them—and in the case of Charisma Carpenter, attempt to literally control her body and reproductive choices by pressuring her to get an abortion—get to hide behind a fictional facade of helplessness?”

(Photo credit: 20th Century Fox)

s.e. smith
Release Date: June 3, 2021

“Like other prominent marginalized people, their very existence is enough to elicit cruelty. Page wasn’t wrong to post a celebratory image, but the response to it shows that many cis people have a long way to go when it comes to thinking critically about talking about trans people and their bodies.”

(Photo credit: Instagram/Elliot Page)

Lexi McMenamin
Release Date: April 18, 2021

“It feels untenable to present oneself as someone who advocates for ‘body positivity’ or fights oppressive beauty norms when you uphold—and profit from—the same standards you critique. Kardashian and Beer’s messages to the public claim victimhood and suggest the scrutiny of their appearances is no different from that directed toward women the world over, but this disregards how influencers of their caliber and power have enabled the scrutiny of others.” 

(Photo credit: Screenshot from Instagram/KhloeKardashian)

Christine Estima
Release Date: July 22, 2021

“Winehouse often seemed torn between shutting out the tabloid paparazzi and letting them in—an understandable dilemma for a 23-year-old girl thrust into international stardom. But, as with Spears, those around Winehouse were willing to splash her private affairs on the public stage without concern for her mental stability. Did anyone stop to think that her husband spending more than half of their marriage in jail might have contributed to her struggles? Did anyone praise Winehouse’s music as a testament to her bravery in the face of extreme adversity, rather than dismiss it as a crass ode to her demons?”

(Photo credit: Inja Pavlić/Unsplash, Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash, Rama/2.0)

 

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