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 »

Period Pieces: The Last Taboo of Reality TV

Detailed discussions of diarrhea (Survivor). On-camera vomiting (The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser). Extensive cosmetic surgery (The Swan). Endless hot-tub makeout sessions (take your pick). On reality tv, no subject is too personal to reveal, no biological function too intimate to discuss—... Read more »

Full Frontal Offense: Taking Abortion Rights to the Tees

There's a new front in the battle for abortion rights—the literal front, that is, of a t-shirt designed by writer and feminist activist Jennifer Baumgardner that proclaims "I had an abortion." The shirt, initially for sale on Planned Parenthood's national website and now available on Clamor... Read more »

Kiss Me, I'm a Fashionable Bigot: Cashing In on Misguided Irony

Two years ago, the preppy mall staple Abercrombie & Fitch released a line of t-shirts that paired early 1900s–style caricatures of Chinese men (complete with coolie hats, big grins, and slanted eyes) with slogans like “Wong Brothers Laundry Service—Two Wongs Can Make It White” and “... Read more »

Editors' Letter: Taste & Appetite: Appetite for Deconstruction

From the ancient Greeks to the current Queer Eyes, the cocktail of knowledge, ideals, aesthetics, and manners that makes up the concept of taste has served as a tireless organizing principle for a class-based society (and really, is there any other kind?). Like all organizing principles, taste is a... Read more »

Beauty and the Feast: The Cosmetic Industry's Female Feeding Frenzy

The first thing you see is food. a breastlike dome of cake towers at the top of t­he ad, frosted pink with a raspberry on top. "It's like dessert for your legs," declares the text, and just in case this copy wasn't clear, below it a pair of cellulite-free gams balances a bottle of Skintimate After-... Read more »

The Queen's Gambit: The underhanded treatment of race in bringing down the house

Few would debate the fact that before the civil rights and women's liberation move­ments percolated into mass culture, representations of black/white relationships in popular media, particularly Hollywood, were thoroughly unbalanced. Viewed in retrospect, seemingly amicable duos like Uncle Tom and... Read more »

Bodies of Work: Lisa Jervis talks to philosopher Susan Bordo

"Analysis is hard, it's complicated, and it disturbs the comfortable simplicity of familiar worldviews." So writes Susan Bordo, professor of English and women's studies at the University of Kentucky. And she should know: Her incisive writings on a wide variety of topics cut through thickets of... Read more »

Rules of Play

To stroll the aisles of your local Toys "R" Us is to venture into the heart of gender darkness. Whether you believe that boys emerge from the womb with dump trucks clutched in their tiny fists or see toys as an early means by which kids are trained to hew to culturally determined gender differences... Read more »

Fan/tastic Voyage: A Journey Into the Wide, Wild World of Slash Fan Fiction

A journey into the origins of slash fanfiction.  Read more »

Pages

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 »

Oh Joy Sex Toy: How I Realized I'm Asexual

Artist Kiku H shares her personal experiences learning what it means to be asexual. Read more »

"Moonlight" is an Essential Work of Art for the Current Political Moment

Moonlight displays the kind of empathy and humanity that we desperately need right now. Read more »

In a Bizarre 1976 Comic Book, Spider-Man Fought the Villain of Misleading Sex Education

Last week, I came across a very strange comic book: in 1976, Planned Parenthood teamed up with Marvel to publish a one-off comic in which... Read more »