TV

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 »

Weighing Reality: Who's Really the Biggest Loser?

"Obesity," declares Charlotte Cooper, author of 1998's Fat and Proud: The Politics of Size, "is just a word used by people to medicalize fat." Extra weight, once considered a genetic short straw, is increasingly characterized as a crisis threatening the physical, political, and moral health of our... Read more »

Period Pieces: The Last Taboo of Reality TV

Detailed discussions of diarrhea (Survivor). On-camera vomiting (The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser). Extensive cosmetic surgery (The Swan). Endless hot-tub makeout sessions (take your pick). On reality tv, no subject is too personal to reveal, no biological function too intimate to discuss—... Read more »

Compromising Positions: Gender by design on <em>Merge</em> and <em>Mix It Up</em>

Mass media, particularly so-called family television, from Bewitched to Everybody Loves Raymond, has long portrayed the home as women's domain, an ultra-feminized realm in which housewives bustle and cluck while their hapless husbands do little more than hand out spending money and retreat to the... Read more »

Fan/tastic Voyage: A Journey Into the Wide, Wild World of Slash Fan Fiction

A journey into the origins of slash fanfiction.  Read more »

O is for the Other Things She Gave Me: Jonathan Franzen’s "The Corrections" and contemporary women’s fiction

As every tabloid reader knows, it’s a short step from a celebrity marriage to a publicity-filled divorce. When Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, The Corrections, was published this fall, critics waxed hyperbolic over its wedding of character-driven family drama and up-to-the-nanosecond cultural... 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 »

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 »

Pages

Eat, Pray, Spend: Priv-lit and the new, enlightened American dream

Priv-lit and the new, enlightened American dream. Read more »

Tina Belcher's Sexual Revolution

Tina Belcher breaks all the rules of network sitcoms. That's why she's wonderful.  Read more »

What I Learned About Gender and Power from Sailor Moon

My life began in 1995 — the year I turned eight and became a divorced kid.    Read more »

Films and TV Portray Abortion as More Dangerous Than It Is

Films and television shows tend to present a skewed portrayal of abortion—when fictional movies and TV shows include a plotline about abortion... Read more »