Latest Articles

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, ‘I’m going to marry whoever I want.’ No. The father has 
the ability to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, that has to be approved by me.’”...

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 late-summer Manhattan breeze and, fresh from an appointment with celebrity stylist Garren, her perfectly...

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 different!"), Lustroware plastic wastebaskets ("Love its elegant beauty"), and articles worrying that comic...

Tube Tied: In Which I Praise Six Feet Under

My life has been unusually stressful lately, for a variety of reasons, and my personal strategy to get through such times has always been to devour certain television shows as though they were comfort food. The advent of the show-on-DVD has been a great comfort to me in that respect, because when I'm down and needing to spend some quality time with my cat and my couch, I can get lost in these...

Music Matters: A Time for Horror

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, "Tupelo" (click for lyrics)

On election day I was cheerily envisioning a future beyond hate and war with Robyn and Janelle Monae. Yesterday and today I woke up and the future looked impossibly angry and male and white, surging up from the past, all grudge-guns firing.

Bibliobitch: Daddy's by Lindsay Hunter

As a big fan of the strange short work by writers like Gary Lutz and Lydia Davis, I was drawn to Lindsay Hunter's new book, Daddy's, nestled next to an anticipated Lutz rerelease in the small press section of Powell's Books. Many of the writers in this section are faithful upholders of the short story, a form that can be hard to market and is often thought of by more commercial writers...

A Message to Verizon: Libera el Aire!

Remember those weird Verizon ads that seemed to empower young women with statements like "air does not transmit the opinions of a man faster than those of a woman"? Really, they were co-opting feminism to sell phones from a company that is fighting against net neutrality—the idea that people and organizations should be charged more for access or speedier connection to certain sites and...

Bechdel Test Canon: Spring Breakdown

Monday's inaugural entry focused on a Palme d'Or winner. Thus it seems only appropriate to switch gears today and discuss a movie that was shelved for three years before it went straight to DVD in 2009.

Tube Tied: On the Legacy of Ally McBeal

As you've probably heard by now, the actress Portia de Rossi gave an interview on Oprah this week about the eating disorder she struggled with in her twenties. One of the exacerbating factors in her illness, she says, was her role on Ally McBeal.

(In case any of you are too young to know the reference [OH GOD AM I THIS OLD], Ally McBeal was a mid-nineties David E....

Political InQueery: The Blame Game

Much of the rhetoric in the 2010 midterm elections focused on anger, and the GOP candidates who will take control of the next House session spent a lot of campaign messaging time expressing how they felt connected to voters' anger. Which begs the question: were the candidates or the voters the angry ones? Why did Election Day turn out the way it did? And what does it mean, going forward?