Latest Articles

Visi(bi)lity: Biphobia Bingo! A Look at Basic Instinct

Full disclosure: I love Paul Verhoeven's movies. I'm a fan of RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers...and, yes, even Showgirls. (Stay tuned for more about Showgirls later in this series.) These movies may not be cinematic masterpieces, but they are entertaining, escapist fun. So when I decided to give Basic Instinct a try, I was actually...

Political Fictions: Power Corrupts Women Like Whoa

There aren't all that many fictional depictions of women in politics, at least compared with fictional portrayals of women in domestic service, women in trouble with the law, women in the porn industry, and women in some stage of being attacked and killed by a psychopath. Parsing through characters to search for patterns in these portrayals of politicians has led me back through decades, which...

"Become a Porn Actress": Sasha Grey's Equal Pay Day PSA Misses the Point

March 20 is Equal Pay Day in Belgium, and to draw attention to the country's 22% wage gap for women, zij-kant (a women's group organizing the equal pay efforts) has launched an awareness video and corresponding campaign starring porn actress Sasha Grey. It hinges on the fact that, according to the video, porn is one of the few industries where women are consistently paid more than their male...

School's Out: Giving Our Schools Some Homework

I just read an article in the most recent Curve magazine issue (which was themed around the concept of lesbian families) called "Back to School: How to Choose an LGBT-positive school for your child." This article was mostly written from the perspective of queer parents choosing a school for their child of whatever gender or orientation, based on the priority of finding an...

Required Reading: Aya de Yopougon

Although she has some great comebacks for street harassers, our hero Aya is otherwise as problematic as your typical Disney heroine. Luckily, the graphic novel "Aya of Yopougon" is really about Aya's lying, fighting, partying friends: Bintou and Adjoua. They're not role models; they're just teens in the Cote d'Ivoire, where virginity is paramount, but so is being "saved" by a man. A...

On Our Radar

Links for your weekend!

  • Bitch contributor Alyx Vesey explores trash talk in Azealia Banks' "212."
  • The postfeminist notion that female empowerment can be achieved through any choice a woman makes—no matter what it is—gets the Onion treatment.
  • Feminist conference hoppers! The submissions deadline for both the Allied Media Conference and Geek Girl Con are...

Project Runway All Stars: Not Quite Ready-to-Wear

It was penny-pinching time last night as our All Stars took on a ready-to-wear challenge with budget constraints—and Nanette Lepore!

Actual attitudes not shown.

#BlogforIWD: An International Women's Day Round-Up!

The sun still hasn't set on International Women's Day here in Portland. Here's a brief round-up of some blog reading from around the web celebrating IWD and this year's theme, "Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures." Make sure to leave any more recommended readings in the comments!

  • Monica Roberts reflects on the achievements of trans women worldwide at TransGriot.
  • Al Jazeera...

Visi(bi)lity: Cynthia Nixon and the Politics of Labels

As I've read through the comments on my first two posts (thank you for those, by the way!), I've noticed an interesting trend that relates to what I want to talk about today: A lot of folks seem to have mixed feelings about the word "bisexual." Some are uncomfortable using it because of the way others react to hearing it; some prefer other words to describe non-monosexual attraction, such as...

School's Out: Frank Sex Talk

Discussions around sex and sexuality can sometimes be dignified by being medicalized or being couched in the terms of education. But sometimes that very frankness makes these discussions culturally unacceptable, even alongside completely normalized images of sexualized bodies, themes of promiscuity, and genres of "romance" that serve as thin excuses to repeat a hackneyed story about sexual...

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