Books

Pumpkins in Philly

On the subway this morning, I sat next to a man reading, Why Men Marry Bitches. Somewhat comically, the woman sitting on the other side of me was reading Che Guevara's essays on How to Change the World. Lisa and I met again at Penn Station, where we boarded our train to Philadelphia. This city... Read more »

Bitch in Brooklyn

Perched on a Brooklyn patio in still-perfect weather, Lisa and I mapped out our time here. Then it was off to our first fundraising house party, hosted by Jennifer Baumgardner—who's interviewed in our current issue about her new book, Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics. Apparently, the wording on... Read more »

Desert Hearts: In a New Crop of Romance Novels, It's Always Midnight at the Oasis

The average romance-novel hero hasn't changed much since the genre's development in the late 19th century—he's dashing, arrogant, commanding, hopefully rich, possibly even a prince. But is he an Arab? More and more commonly, the answer is yes. It seems that an Arab man can now get on the cover of a... Read more »

Feminine Protection: An Interview with “Whipping Girl” author Julia Serano

We should focus our energies on challenging the rather arbitrary meanings and values that get placed onto our sexed bodies, gender expressions, and sexualities. Read more »

Mom's the Word: Yummy mummies, alternadads, and other literary offspring

At the turn of the millennium, Bridget Jones and the Sex and the City girls heralded a new era of fun, fearless singledom. Chick lit, accompanied by memoirs and anthologies about single womanhood, made it whimsical for an otherwise-capable woman to be vain, proud of her missteps and mistakes, and... Read more »

The Cold Shoulder: Saving Superheroines from Comic-book Violence

There's a new Bat in Gotham City. Like Bruce Wayne, she's a rich socialite by day and a black-clad vigilante at night. And, also like Bruce Wayne, in both incarnations she's apt to sweep the ladies off their feet. Kate Kane, the new, revamped Batwoman, isn't the first lesbian character to debut in... Read more »

Hog Heaven: Ariel Levy on Female Chauvinist Pigs and the Rise of Raunch Culture

You'll recognize the female silhouette that leans against the title on the cover of Ariel Levy's new book, Female Chauvinist Pigs. She's the girl who in recent years has made the move from the mud flaps of big rigs right into pop culture, gracing trucker caps, baby tees, and gold... Read more »

Outside Neverland: Female Writers Reinvent Peter Pan

When the curtain rose at the London premiere of the play Peter Pan in 1904, it unveiled a drama of flying children, fairies, and pirates that would soon become a classic—and inspire countless spin-offs, adaptations, and reinterpretations. On the cinematic side, these began with the 1924 silent-film... Read more »

We Were Here, We Were Maybe Queer: New Historical Biographies Tell Us to Get Used to It

Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers—and most infamous tyrants—were getting down with other men. Or so some folks would like us to believe. Historians and posthumous biographers have of late been venturing into the relatively uncharted territory of sexual historiography, exhuming some... Read more »

Jail Bait: Rethinking Images of Incarcerated Women

It is not my pleasure to remind anyone of the 2001 teen flick Sugar & Spice. Teetering between the black humor of Heathers and the girly glitz of Clueless, it achieves the success of neither, and I bring it up now only because of a single scene. The movie follows a group of cheerleaders who... Read more »

Pages

A Look at How Media Writes Women of Color

Nearly every Saturday morning, feminists of color hold Twitter discussions taking a deeper look at issues, such as gender violence. It’s the... Read more »

Hot Under the Bonnet: The cooptation of Amish culture in mass-market fiction

Dubbed “Amish romance novels,” “Amish fiction,” or the more waggish “bonnet rippers,” these novels just one entry point into the varying images of Amish communities in U.S. popular culture. Read more »

Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens

What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That's exactly what happens... Read more »

Know & Tell: The literary renaissance of trans women writers

For so long, the people who wrote about us were not us. Finally, that is beginning to change. Read more »