Politics

Something of a dilemma...

When a supremely evil corporation takes some steps to mitigate or change its evil ways, does that change the fact that the corporation is evil? Can corporate responsibility ever be anything but a PR-motivated sham? Can we appreciate the actual changes for workers and the environment even as we... Read more »

An "arrghhh!" end to a "gaaaah!" week

Wow, was this a bad week to be in the midst of production on the new issue of Bitch. As we all know, it was Super Super Tuesday, which will now be remembered as the birth of the Crying Jag Heard 'Round the World, and it was impossible to keep up with the avalanche of press necessitated by what was... Read more »

When icons attack

In yesterday's New York Times, Gloria Steinem declared that "Women Are Never Front-Runners," and evoked an image of a female Obama who would never be considered a viable presidential candidate because of her gender. I'm sorry—what? Hillary Clinton has been the consistent front-runner right up... Read more »

Abortion: the "shmashmortion" of 2008?

In a tiny bit of synergy, I read this excellent piece by Katha Pollitt only an hour after sitting at my ob-gyn's office next to a pregnant teen gabbing on a hot-pink cellphone. In other news, all the abortion discussion that was nowhere to be found in 2007's trifecta of unplanned-pregnancy films... Read more »

Unionizing 101

Unions today have their share of problems. Among other things, many replicate the same corporations they’re trying to fight—they’re enormous, top heavy, and not responsive enough to workers or the changing political and economic climate. But they still remain one of the best forms of... Read more »

Board of Education

Each semester in my American popular culture class, my students and I spend a night playing board games. I start them off with games for small children, like memory cards or Strawberry Shortcake adventure games. They play self-consciously, giggling at the losers who can’t master a game for... Read more »

Laughing All the Way to the Polls: Do Female Politicians need a New Punchline?

Once upon a time, politics was serious business. These days, however, presidential merit is measured as much by frat-house standards as by traditional approval ratings (apparently, American ­voters would rather have a beer with Bush than with Kerry), and a well-timed joke can sometimes sway public... Read more »

L in a Handbasket: Kate Clinton's Politics of Funny

Kate Clinton has been called the lesbian Jon Stewart. Her fans, however, prefer to think of Stewart as the straight Kate Clinton. Her career as a political humorist spans several White House administrations, but the current regime has offered her, like most liberal comedians, endless material for... 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 »

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 »

Pages

Douchebag Decree: Anti-Choice Hidden Camera Edition

Tool-in-pimp's-clothing James O'Keefe's laughable costume and douchebag seduction methods have mostly discredited his conservative... 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 »

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 »

The Dramatic History of American Sex-Ed Films

In 1948, in a seventh grade classroom in Eugene, Oregon, a teacher dimmed the lights and flipped on 16mm projector. A film called Human... Read more »