A Galaxy of Our Own: Searching for black women in science-fiction film

In the '90s, the black man suddenly invaded the blockbuster science-fiction and fantasy film. African-American males found expanded roles for themselves in a genre that had previously been blindingly white. We finally have a celluloid landscape in which Will Smith and Wesley Snipes get to... Read more »

Sex, Lies, and Videotape: An Interview with <em>The Center of the World</em>'s Molly Parker

Reviewers have likened it to a dot-com Pretty Woman, but The Center of the World, the latest film from director Wayne Wang (Smoke, Blue in the Face, The Joy Luck Club), is a far more complex rumination on the intersections of sex, love, and commerce. Set in southern California, the story follows... Read more »

Bad(ass) Brains: An Interview with Filmmaker Marina Zurkow, Creator of the Web's Freaky, Fiesty Cerebelle du Jour, Braingirl

I met Marina Zurkow in 1986 on the set of a horror film called Matt Riker: Mutant Hunt. I was the art director. She was hired to be my assistant. It was an entirely inappropriate crewing decision, typical of the low-low budget B-movie genre. I’d never studied art, never been on a film set,... Read more »

Solid Gold Dancer

gina gold is a writer and filmmaker who spent five years in San Francisco's sex industry, starting out as a phone sex operator, then becoming an exotic dancer at the Lusty Lady, the Market Street Cinema, and the Mitchell Brothers' O'Farrell Theater. Her first film, Do You Want Me to Stay?, grew out... Read more »

The Buffy Effect: Or, a tale of cleavage and marketing

In the early 1990s, vampire mythology, horror revival, teen angst, and kick-ass grrlness congealed in a new figure in the pop culture pantheon of the paranormal: the vampire slayer. Not just any vampire hunter, mind you, but Buffy, the Valley-dwelling teenage slayer. Before Buffy, vampire stories... Read more »

Editors' Letter: Issue 10: "How Do You Feel About Porn?"

When we put this question into our reader survey, we expected a wide variety of responses. And we got them. 
 "I write it/act in it": 6 percent
 "I like to look at it": 36 percent
 "It's ok for other people, but it's not my bag": 30 percent
 "I don't like it, but what other people do is their... Read more »

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 »

Backlash in Action: The Supposedly Feminist Murphy Brown

Murphy Brown’s a feminist show, right? I know it seems pretty old hat by now, but featuring a successful single mother and criticizing the Vice President is big stuff—for a sitcom, that is. Sometimes we have to take whatever we can get. Murphy even identifies as feminist. None of that ridiculous I... 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 »

Pages

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 »

Game Changer: Why Gaming Culture Allows Abuse... and How We Can Stop It

You're a Bolshevik feminist jewess that hates white people… and you expect to be taken seriously when you're “critique-ing” ...

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Kelly Link Discusses the Feminist Fairy Tales of Angela Carter

The new cover for The Bloody Chamber and Kelly Link, who wrote the introduction for the latest edition. A reluctant... Read more »

The Forgotten History of the Women Who Shaped Modern Advertising

Long before Peggy Olson fought to be a copywriter on Mad Men, women were pioneering advertisers in the new age of mass media.... Read more »