Culture

Scrambled Signals: Rivka Ketzel Solomon reflects on a childhood defined by her parents’ activism, Ms. magazine, and TV

When I was growing up in the '60s and '70s, it didn't matter that my parents were some of the earliest feminist leaders on the East Coast, that I grew up watching their activism from up close, or that I saw them live (not just profess) equality between the sexes. It didn't matter that I was a girl... Read more »

Editors' Letter: Puberty: Those Awkward Years

It's a refrain we're sick and tired of hearing: Feminism doesn't speak to young women. Girls just aren't interested in feminism. Self-proclaimed feminists lament it; non-feminists think it proves that feminism is not only unimportant, but outdated. This simplification of the concerns of girls may... Read more »

Bitch Reads #2

Reviewed in this issue: Defending Pornography, by Nadine Strossen; Gender Wars, by Brian Fawcett; Talk Dirty To Me, by Sallie Tisdale; Going All the Way: Teenage Girls’ Tales of Sex, Romance, and Pregnancy, by Sharon Thompson; and Unnatural Dykes to Watch Out... Read more »

Hail Harper's: An Ode

My arm fell asleep, I got so engrossed. This issue of Harper’s Bazaar is about as big as a bible—and just as full of prophecy. I fall in love with the models, their blackened eyes and plaster pigment, all pinched and compressed into vinyl and leather, looking hot hot hot and totally unfazed... Read more »

Looking for Girls in All the Boys' Places: An Unlikely Feminist Film Fest

Wish there were more kick-ass female characters in the movies? Enough with The Piano-esqe mute-is-powerful bullshit. Sometimes you can find feminism in the most unlikely places, like action movies and Freaky Friday-like comedies. Batman II Why isn’t this movie called Catwoman?In a classic... Read more »

Talkshows: TV's Culture of Categorization

Talk shows are the scariest thing on the planet today. You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? Think about it: not only are they the lowest common denominator of American pop culture, but they’re also—because they’re in the form of “real” people talking about their “real”... Read more »

Sassy Responds: Not to Us, Of Course...

… but to other perceptive and right-on readers who are as upset as we are about the changes. And guess what? The editors are defensive as hell. Here’s what the readers are saying in their so-called “hate mail”: “I cannot tell you how much your changes SUCK!!” “I feel compelled to... Read more »

Of Kegels, Kotex, and Kate Moss: A Look at February's Women's Glossies

Allure Irony of the month: While the Editor’s Letter says, “Shut up and eat,” and bemoans the fact that women are always “self-surveilling” their caloric intake, the mag gives information about: “Aromatrim” products (you smell them and they make you eat less); a new diet pill; “liposhaving” (... Read more »

Magazines We Hate

Esquire’s annual “Women We Love” feature gives with one hand and takes away with the other. Hidden behind the premise of honoring them, the article puts women firmly in their place by using the traditional patriarchal tool of male approval—rewarding certain traits in the female while disparaging... Read more »

Amazon Women on the Moon: Images of Femininity in the Video Age

Like some grizzled old-timer sitting on the porch of the homestead talking about the good old days, I think back to the first time I saw MTV and pity the prepubescents of today who didn’t have the luck to see, as I did, the wonder of MTV when it first aired. I was eight years old, alone in my... 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 »

Saying Goodbye to Maria and the End of a Sesame Street Era

Growing up, Sesame Street's Maria was one of the best Latina role models I had. Read more »

Tina Belcher's Sexual Revolution

Tina Belcher breaks all the rules of network sitcoms. That's why she's wonderful.  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 »