Pink Scare: What's behind the media panic about "princess boys"?
Ever since the age of 2, when his hair first started growing in, my son Elijah has been mistaken for a girl. As he grew, so did his curls; they now frame his face and inch toward his shoulders, with every offer to trim them rebuffed. Elijah was 3 when he started painting his toenails; he had been... Read more »
Sealing the Deal: The wet and wild world of selkie romance novels
In 1972, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss published The Flame and the Flower. With this novel, Woodiwiss transformed the romance genre by making explicit what had previously been implied—that is, sex—and created a formula for success that romance authors would follow for decades. The archetypal... Read more »
Mothers of Intention: Five bloggers on race and erasure in the mommy blogosphere
Several months ago, Bitch published a piece on the vexing economy of mom blogs and the contentious personalities that have come to define their corner of the Internet, for better or worse. The discussion it sparked wasn't about whether mom blogs were, on balance, good or bad—it was about... Read more »
"The Africa That I Know": A Q&A with "Pumzi" Director Wanuri Kahiu
The setting is 35 years after World War III: The Water War. A society felled by ecological destruction has been relegated to a subterranean existence, and citizens' movements are strictly regulated by an authoritarian government propagating a single message: “The outside is dead.” Then a young... Read more »
Party Out of Bounds: Booze, the Pleasure Principle, and Party-Girl Pop
America, it would seem, is on a bender. From the shot-fueled mayhem of Jersey Shore (the most popular show in MTV's history) to a special booze-themed episode of Glee, to the blog Texts From Last Night immortalizing those crucial missives sent while sloshed, there seems to be no way to slake... Read more »
House Proud : The troubling rise of stay-at-home daughters
“Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope of their father. As long as they’re under the authority of their fathers, fathers have the ability to nullify or not the oaths and the vows. Daughters can’t just go out independently and say,... Read more »
Remote Control: Media activist Jennifer L. Pozner talks back to TV
I'm meeting up with journalist, media critic, and activist Jennifer L. Pozner at a chic West Village doughnut café. As Pozner strolls in on a pair of Marc Jacobs platform slingbacks, she casually tosses her Kooba tote over the back of the patio chair. Her floppy- brimmed Prada hat catches a... Read more »
Past Imperfect: The Feminine Mystique and the persistence of nostalgia
In a sweetly musty used-book-store, I recently bought a few thick, oversize issues of Good Housekeeping and Ladies' Home Journal. Dating from the early 1950s, they were full of ads for Del Monte fruit cocktail (serving suggestion: use it to top a loaf of canned ham, for something “really... Read more »
Top of the Pops: Justin Bieber's a lesbian hair icon--or is it the other way around?
Like any good lesbian, I care a lot about my hair. Sadly, as often happens with many a good lesbian, this hasn't always led to particularly good choices when it comes to my 'do. During my closeted high-school years, I sported the LHB (long-haired butch, for the uninitiated) before shifting... Read more »
Making Geek Chic: Can tech crafting outfit more girls for technology?
Wearable technology may feel like science fiction, but it's actually becoming a reality right before our eyes. Law enforcement, the military, and the medical industry have long sought ways to integrate technology with clothing to augment health and personal safety. More recently, high fashion... Read more »