Stacking the Shelves: August 2016

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

2016-08-16 - New Comic Books - 0002 [flickr]

2016-08-16 - New Comic Books - 0008 [flickr]

It’s been a rather shitty month (literally and figuratively, hardee har har!; no but really, the new fosters introduced a worm into the pack, and everyone’s had varying degrees of diarrhea, yay!), so I decided to treat myself to a few comic books from my wishlist. Also: A Helena Pop, because 1) it was on sale and 2) Helena is easily the best character in one of the best shows on television, so.

2016-08-19 - Kaylee Pop - 0001 [flickr]

2016-08-19 - Jayne Pop - 0002 [flickr]

…aaaand of course, once you buy one Funko Pop, you can’t stop. My next two purchases were Kaylee and Jayne, in honor of my little ladies, may they rest in peace. Kaylee looks scrappy as heck – wtf is up with that hairline!? – but there’s no way I can return her. Besides, my Kaylee was pretty funny-looking too, so I guess it evens out.

2016-08-19 - Kaylee & Jayne Pops - 0010 [flickr]

Pictured here with our 2011 FSMas card, which featured some pretty hardcore cosplay. (We leave a laminated version on the fridge year-round, because how could we not?)

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: We Were Feminists Once, Andi Zeisler (2016)

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

A smart, funny look at the commodification of feminism.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Within a very short span of time, feminism has come to occupy perhaps its most complex role ever in American, if not global, culture. It’s a place where most of the problems that have necessitated feminist movements to begin with are still very much in place, but at the same time there’s a mainstream, celebrity, consumer embrace of feminism that positions it as a cool, fun, accessible identity that anyone can adopt. I’ve seen this called “pop feminism,” “feel-good feminism,” and “white feminism.” I call it marketplace feminism. It’s decontextualized. It’s depoliticized. And it’s probably feminism’s most popular iteration ever.

“The vote. The stay-at-home-dad. The push-up bra. The Lean Cuisine pizza.”

— 4.5 stars —

When We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement first crossed my radar, I was intrigued but also worried; the book’s description sounded like it could easily devolve into a chiding of Millennials by their older, second-wave sisters for not doing feminism right. (Think: Gloria Steinem’s recent statement that young women’s support of Bernie Sanders is merely a ploy to meet boys and get laid.) Then I saw that Andi Zeisler is the author, which mostly put my worries to bed: I’m a longtime subscriber of Bitch Magazine, which Zeisler co-founded, and it’s pretty trenchant, on-point, and welcoming of diverse voices. As is We Were Feminists Once which, as it turns out, is a smart and funny look at the the commodification of feminism, both in recent times and historically.

Bolstered by capitalism and neoliberalist policies, “marketplace feminism” is the repackaging of feminism as something that’s solely personal vs. political. This “feminism” is decontextualized and depoliticized, made soft and nonthreatening for mass consumption. It is a feminism “in service of capitalism.” With an emphasis on personal choice as opposed to equality and liberation for all, this feminism asserts that all choices are equally valid; a choice is feminist as long as a self-proclaimed feminist (or any woman) is the one making it, as though the choice to wax one’s body or take your husband’s surname or even to marry at all is made in a vacuum. (Enter one of my favorite references: Charlotte York’s desperate declaration, “I choose my choice!,” upon quitting her beloved gallery job after marriage.) Values and ideology become so much products to pick and choose from, as if they were different brands of conditioner. Worst still, feminism itself is presented as a product in need of branding.

(More below the fold…)

Pitch Bitch your vegan feminist article ideas! *

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

2011-09-21 - Mags is a BITCH! - 0011 [small square]

Calling all vegan feminists!

Bitch magazine recently announced its next five issue themes – Habit(at), Pulp, Micro/Macro, Gray, and Food – for which it’s currently accepting submissions. Habit(at) and Food (Winter 2012 and Winter 2014, respectively) seem especially ripe for vegan discourse … but I bet you crafty people can work a little vegan magic into any one of these topics, don’t you think?

(More below the fold…)

I thought you were a bitch.

Friday, June 8th, 2012

2011-09-21 - Mags is a BITCH! - 0011

On the season finale of 30 Rock, Kenneth Parcell redefined the term “bitch” in a way that tickled my vegan feminist funny bone. (Yes, vegans and feminists have funny bones too!)

“And to think I thought Hazel was a bitch. Friendly and loyal, like a well-trained female dog. She isn’t a bitch. She’s a meanie pants.”

30 Rock, “What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?” (Season 6, episode 22)

The part about being “well-trained” aside – ambitious and outspoken, bitches are anything but – I’d say that this is pretty spot on. Given that the observation comes from the “backward hick” character – famous for his nonsensical, fundamentalist Christian / quaint agrarian brand of “wisdom” – I’m not sure whether the audience is supposed agree. Whatever. Some of my best friends are bitches. Exhibit A: Mags, above, sunbathing on a copy of Bitch magazine.

On related note, this little tidbit from Texts from Last Night – re-purposed for Texts from the X-Files – also made me smile.

null

For those who can’t view the image, it’s still of Dana Scully speaking to another woman; her back is turned to the camera, so I can’t identify her, but she’s a tallish brunette. The texts reads, “(716): I’d call her a cunt, but she doesn’t seem to have the depth or warmth.”

The moral of the story? Bitches and cunts are awesome.

Bitches, Zines & Lending Libraries – and Women, Food & Consumption (Oh my!)

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

2007-01-27 - Books! (and stuff) - 0013

Kaylee can’t decide between Jane Goodall’s The Chimpanzees of Gombe and Owen & Chiras’s Natural Resource Conservation, sixth ed. What’s a gal to do!? CC image via ME on Flickr.
——————————

Vegans, feminists and (especially) vegan feminists, listen up! Via Bitch Media and MP: An Online Feminist Journal come two shiny opportunities to contribute to feminist projects – and advocate for your nonhuman sisters at the same time!

First up: Bitch Media, which recently established a Community Lending Library in Portland. Currently boasting over 1,000 books, the project welcomes donations of feminist titles. Seeing as animal advocacy oftentimes dovetails with feminism, the Lending Library is a great way to get animal rights books into the hands of non-veg feminists. So if you’ve got a spare copy of The Sexual Politics of Meat or Sistah Vegan gathering dust on your bookshelf, why not donate it to this totally rad community project? (Those with BookMooch or similar accounts can also swap books to donate directly to the library…by which I mean “ship to,” as Bitch isn’t currently listed as a member/charity on BookMooch.)

But wait! There’s more! In its latest newsletter, Bitch announced that it would also like to build up its zine collection. Woman, feminist and/or vegan zinesters, read on for details on how to get a copy of your own zines (or your favorite zines) onto the shelves of Bitch. (Peace to All Creatures, anyone?)

Biblio-Bitches Rejoice! Zinesters Unite!

The Bitch Community Lending Library is open and ready for new and returning card holders to drop by. Open from 5-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Monday-Friday by appointment, you will have a chance to browse more than 1,000 titles of feminist literature, research and writing (and maybe even take a few home?). You can also take the time to meet Bitch’s library coordinator, Ashley McAllister, who has been hard at work adding new titles, filling the shelves and familiarizing herself with the subtleties of issuing cards.

One of the first things that Ashley wants to do in the library is start a collection of reader-donated zines. Bitch started its life as a zine and will always have a soft spot for the format, so we’re excited to honor self-publishing by creating a dedicated space for zines in our lending library. We’re adding a zine library to the 1,000-plus books already in our collection, and excited to share the breadth of self-published materials with our members.

If you’re either a zinemaker yourself or have a zine collection that you’re looking to either pare down or donate entirely, let us know! We’re looking for zines made by and for feminist thinkers, activists, and fans, though they don’t have to be “grrrl zines” per se. Whether your zines were Xeroxed back in 1992 or just last month, we’d love to have them. If you’ve got a large collection that you want to ship to us, please contact Ashley McAllister at ashley [at] b-word.org. Otherwise, just write “zine donation” on your envelope. And look for upcoming blog posts featuring zines that show up in our mailbox!

(More below the fold…)

I voted.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

2008-11-04 - This Bitch Voted - 0004

Mr. Bitch and I headed out to the polling place around 10:45. Anticipating at least an hour’s wait, I brought a copy of the latest Bitch magazine. We even parked a ways down the street from the courthouse, since we didn’t want to cruise around looking for a spot, and wanted to save the good parking for elderly and handicapped voters anyhow.

Alas, although the small room allocated for elections was crowded, there was no line to speak of. The whole process took all of 15 minutes, start to finish. The hardest part was penciling in my write-ins with a marker. (Ugh!)

Clinton County has paper ballots that you feed into a scanner; as it registers your ballot, it shows you what number voter you are. This bitch was voter #782 at her polling place. That sounds like a low number, but not so much when you consider that our county is only home to 18,979 people, including kids under 18. Given that there’s only one polling place for the entire county, and residents of different areas received different ballots, it’s possible that I was only voter #782 in my area. Either way, I hope the number reflects a high voter turnout this year.

Anyway, I prepared for a long wait – downed a bowl of pasta for lunch before leaving, brought some reading material, crated Miss Kaylee, the nervous pee-er – so now it looks like I have the afternoon free. I’ve been experiencing waves of nausea (zomg, what if McCain wins!?) and sadness (someone close to me passed away last night) all day, so methinks I’ll take the dogs for a walk (which means three rounds of walks, since I have five dogs and can only handle two at a time). It’s a gorgeous day out, and tomorrow a cold front’s supposed to come through and bring the first snow fall of the season. Better take advantage of the warm weather while I can. Plus, distractions – I needs ’em.

For those voting in Missouri: if you plan on writing in a candidate, you can find Missouri state regulations on write-in candidates here. I double-checked ’em on a whim before leaving; the write-in regulations, though a little stricter than I initially thought, didn’t affect any of my choices. (McKinney/Clemente, if you’re wondering, did file the necessary paperwork to be considered viable write-in candidates.) I mostly voted a Democratic ticket, though I did vote for one libertarian candidate and wrote in two candidates, one Dem, one Green.

And yes, I voted my conscience.

I’m not sorry.

(Crossposted from.)

—————–

Tagged: