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Talkshows: TV's Culture of Categorization

Talk shows are the scariest thing on the planet today. You think I'm exaggerating, don't you? Think about it: not only are they the lowest common denominator of American pop culture, but they're also—because they're in the form of "real" people talking about their "real" lives—taken to be some measure of truth.

A talk show pretends to be a window opened by the host; the audience thinks...

Sassy Responds: Not to Us, Of Course...

... but to other perceptive and right-on readers who are as upset as we are about the changes. And guess what? The editors are defensive as hell.

Here's what the readers are saying in their so-called "hate mail": "I cannot tell you how much your changes SUCK!!" "I feel compelled to express my copious fascination/horror/disgust with your new and 'improved' magazine." "Don't you think...

Of Kegels, Kotex, and Kate Moss: A Look at February's Women's Glossies

Allure

Irony of the month: While the Editor's Letter says, "Shut up and eat," and bemoans the fact that women are always "self-surveilling" their caloric intake, the mag gives information about: "Aromatrim" products (you smell them and they make you eat less); a new diet pill; "liposhaving" (you can guess what that is).

But they also tell us about the negative effect of...

Mad As A Wet Hen #2: A Roundup of Media Affronts

"So now you can eat like one of the boys, but still look like one of the girls," says the male voice-over touting Baked Lays potato chips while supermodels stuff their faces on screen... Oh, boys, did you know—Twix bars are the new way to get rid of those pesky, materialistic, shallow, shopping-obsessed females in your life... Eating is a masculine activity, part two: Wendy's Big Eaters ads....

Whee! #2: Some Cockle-Warming Tidbits

Here's to Roseanne's succinct feminist history lesson...Seventeen is actually giving good advice these days. Question: "I masturbate often. Am I normal?" Answer: "Completely normal...3rd Rock from the Sun may be a wholly silly show that underuses the comic talents of Jane Curtin and overuses the familiar aliens-on-earth premise... We never thought we'd see a classic of...

Magazines We Hate

Esquire's annual "Women We Love" feature gives with one hand and takes away with the other. Hidden behind the premise of honoring them, the article puts women firmly in their place by using the traditional patriarchal tool of male approval—rewarding certain traits in the female while disparaging others.

This year's model is a morass of contradictory feelings about feminism and...

Bitch Male Objectification Rave of the Month: John Travolta

We here at Bitch are in thorough approval of the post-Pulp Fiction Travolta renaissance that has awarded our favorite 1980s cinematic cheese-king some new credibility. Back in our prepubescent days, we wished we could be Olivia Newton-John in Grease, J.T.'s disco-dancing partner in Saturday Night Fever, and Debra Winger in the god-awful Urban Cowboy...

Amazon Women on the Moon: Images of Femininity in the Video Age

Like some grizzled old-timer sitting on the porch of the homestead talking about the good old days, I think back to the first time I saw MTV and pity the prepubescents of today who didn't have the luck to see, as I did, the wonder of MTV when it first aired. I was eight years old, alone in my living room, and somehow I knew that I was witnessing a tremendous event: a connection with something...

Are You Ready for the Sex, Girls?: The Mixed Messages of Kids

Kids has been hailed as a film that breaks the teen-movie mold and shows a long-hidden side of young life. But, while it may be more graphic and harsh than other movies, it basically covers the same ground: voracious young male sexuality. The only innovative element of the movie—an honest portrayal of female sexual pleasure—is conflicted at best.

Two opposing dynamics of...

Bait and Switch Sassy

Back in March a horrible thing happened. After a few months of checking the newsstands for my beloved Sassy, wondering what the hell was up and why I couldn't find it anywhere, suddenly there it was—mutilated almost beyond recognition. Peterson Publishing (they also own Guns & Ammo) bought Sassy, replaced the entire staff, and gutted the editorial philosophy—and...

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