Latest Articles

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 meaningful way to discussions about Tara; what exactly does it mean to be 'whiny'? What makes Tara 'boring'? Are...

Tube Tied: Sometimes the Real Housewives are a Little Too Real

I'm not one to guilt anyone for caring for lowbrow culture, not least because for so many years my bookish university friends made fun of me for watching television at all. (I've felt no small degree of satisfaction that The Sopranos, The Wire, and now Mad Men have had them eating their words more recently.) But every time I've tuned into any version of Bravo's Real Housewives franchise this...

Use your imagination: an interview with the women of Sociological Images

From PBR to Pampers, Lisa Wade and Gwen Sharp of the blog Sociological Images look at the cultural significance of the graphs, cartoons, and advertisements we usually take for granted. I spoke with Lisa and Gwen for our Mad World podcast about how the blog got started, how to "pull back the curtain" on advertisers, and why exactly the "mediocre male" is such a prevalent trope found today....

Have we come a long way? An interview with Jean Kilbourne

Jean Kilbourne made the first Killing Us Softly film in 1979. Now with several books under her belt and Killing Us Softly 4 out this spring, Kilbourne obviously hasn't stopped her activism in media criticism--whether it's following the increased sexualization of children in ads or calling out the alcohol and tobacco industry. Kelsey Wallace spoke to Kilbourne, a member of Bitch Media's...

Mad World: The Podcast

If you like reading our Mad World series on gender, identity, and advertising, you're going to *love* listening to the podcast! Click on the player below to hear interviews with the folks from Sociological Images, Jean Kilbourne, and much much more. You can also download the podcast from our iTunes channel or our archive page.

Transcript available here. (.doc) (Thanks JR and...

Size Matters: The Carrot and the Stick

Size discrimination is an unfortunate fact of life for many fat people working in a corporate environment. Fat workers are often passed over for promotions, denied raises, and told outright to their faces that they are undesirable to clients. Not only that, fat employees on average earn 1 to 6 percent less than employees whose weight is considered "normal." Fat people are also often the...

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 ideology that goes with it? I'd rather that people be doing feminist things and not recognizing them as feminist...

Adventures in Feministory: Norma Rae

Today is Labor Day, and while the most significant impact this has for many of us is on our wardrobes (see you next year, white pants) the holiday actually serves as a celebration of the contributions of American workers.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that women have had a significant impact on the history of American labor politics. From the Atlanta Washerwomen Strike in 1881 to...

Racy Thoughts: No Media Sensation Without Representation

I'd be remiss to begin a blog on the intersection of race, gender and pop culture without mentioning that, in reading various other blogs on all three topics, I've kept happening upon the same complaint: that pop culture and many feminist publications often exclude or oversee the unique perspectives offered by women who aren't white. So this blog, then, is a group effort, with your comments and...

Bitchtapes: Musicfest Northwest

Who needs overpriced beer and heatstroke when you can enjoy a music festival in the comfort of your own city? That's how I feel about Musicfest Northwest, taking place in Portland next week from September 8-11. Bitch Media will doing special daily blog posts on the upcoming acts. Don't worry--we won't flood the interwebs with any more updates on the Walkmen or The National, we'll be covering...

Pages