Push(back) at the Intersections: Centering Concerns

This domination of narratives with one narrative, one story, one set of concerns, is an incredibly destructive dynamic in feminism. And it plays out in discussions about pop culture in a major way. When people in nondominant groups challenge much-beloved popular culture, they encounter a lot of... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: Lady Gaga and Feminism

It’s impossible to escape the appropriative aspects of the Gaga persona, though. The feminist aspects of her work are deeply tangled with the anti-feminist parts. We probably... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: Sick of This: Mental Illness in Pop Culture

One area of pop culture where really problematic and questionable depictions of people come up is that of mental illness. The way that mental illness is depicted, whether it is within the context of a celebrity scandal; the characterization of a person in a film, comic, or television show; a book;... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: 'I Just Don't Like That Many Female Characters'

As I read discussions about pop culture and see responses to female characters, I see a lot of hate for female characters, but not a lot of basis for that hate. Take Tara on True Blood. People say she’s ‘whiny’ and ‘boring.’ These aren’t really criticisms that add in a... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: Veronica Mars and the Straw Feminists

I feel like people watching the show who haven’t really been exposed to feminism were internalizing some feminist messages until they got to the actual feminists, at which point they learned that feminists are bad. What’s more important, the delivery of the message, or naming the... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: You Said What?! About Lady Gaga?!

The silencing of trans people, and trans women in particular, in feminist spaces isn’t just limited to discussions about pop culture, unfortunately. Cis voices are centered over trans voices consistently, and sometimes very dangerously, while trans folks are denied autonomy, identity, and... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: Hello, Appropriation!

Appropriation is often done in the name of a supposedly greater cause. Those in power tell us that we should wait our turn. They are working on extending a helping hand, it’s OK for them to speak for us, because they need to speak for us to help us achieve liberation. Even speaking up about... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: I Think You Dropped Your 'T'

We need better representation for trans folks on television. Starting with more roles, a greater diversity of trans characters, avoidance of stereotypes, and, critically, getting transgender actors in these roles. There’s absolutely no reason we shouldn’t have empowering, awesome,... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: Stieg Larsson, Feminist Hero?

What makes a work feminist? It’s worth answering that before we begin. In some circles, depicting strong female characters resisting sexism is feminist. That’s not enough for me. To qualify as a feminist work, I think that something actively needs to include an anti-oppression message,... Read more »

Push(back) at the Intersections: The Structure in the Critique

I view pop culture criticism as a vehicle to talk about structural issues. And so, it seems, do a lot of feminists. A lot of discussions about pop culture in feminist spaces bring up the fact that the messages in our media can be harmful. People internalize what they use as entertainment. When a... Read more »


Sojourner Truth, Unveiled

The leaders of the [women's suffrage] movement trembled on seeing a tall, gaunt black woman in a gray dress and white turban,...

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