Culture

Is Mercury in retrograde?

I'd been looking forward to interviewing vegan author Isa Chandra Moskowitz all week. We met up at the Vox café in Brooklyn. But the technical problems persisted. I'd given up on the mini-disc recorder and borrowed a friend's cassette recorder. I'd also asked Isa to bring a recording mechanism in... Read more »

Jarred brains and Boston chill

Last night's cranberry salsa was delicious, but after four days of party food, we both felt like an infusion of vegetables was in order. So we ate salads, kale soup, and carrot juice for breakfast.  And I took one last pumpkin photo. We had some down time this morning, so upon the suggestion... Read more »

Multiply & Conquer: How to Have 17 Children and Still Believe in Jesus

When she was presented with the state of Arkansas's Young Mother of the Year award in April 2004, Michelle Duggar was 37 years old and seven months pregnant. A USA Today profile on the award ceremony noted her current reproductive status by describing with notable amusement how she "waddled" into... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Egos Without Borders: Mapping the New Celebrity Philanthropy

You can't turn on the television or flip open a magazine these days without encountering an image of a star promoting his or her latest cause célèbre: Oprah handing out makeup kits at a women's hospital in Ethiopia; Angelina Jolie visiting refugee camps (alone or with Brad Pitt); George Clooney... Read more »

When Tyra Met Naomi: Race, Fashion, and Rivalry

One of the last places I expected to hear an engaging antiracist and feminist critique of the fashion industry was on The Tyra Banks Show. But on a January 2006 episode, there was Banks, sitting couch-to-couch with supposed arch­nemesis and fellow supermodel Naomi Campbell, discussing the forces... Read more »

Tree So Horny: Can Sex Sell Environmentalism?

What you think about Fuck for Forest, a Berlin-based website that lets subscribers watch videos of environmental activists doing the nasty, depends in part on what you think about porn as a whole. If you think it's liberating, empowering, and fun for the folks involved, then you can feel good about... Read more »

Female Bonding: The Strange History of Wonder Woman

"Bind me as tight as you can, girls, with the biggest ropes and chains you can find!" The woman is smiling in ecstasy, plastered against a large wooden beam, ropes and chains taut against her body, as she begs her captors, a group of jubilant, scantily clad young women, to pull her shackles just a... Read more »

Pages

Eat, Pray, Spend: Priv-Lit and the New, Enlightened American Dream

Even as reports on joblessness, economic recovery, and home foreclosures suggest that no one is immune to risk during this recession, the popularity of women’s wellness media has persisted and, indeed, grown stronger.  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 »

Where My Girls At: Meet Two of Ferguson's Black Queer Activists

Amid national discussions of police brutality and systemic racism, Black women have been the loudest and most consistent voices demanding change. Read more »

All Hail the Queen?: What Do Our Perceptions of Beyoncé's Feminism Say about us?

The policing of feminist cred is the real moral contradiction. Read more »