But is she a feminist? This is our favorite question to ponder about female celebrities, and particularly female pop stars. Is Lady Gaga a feminist (even though she makes offhand comments about how she doesn’t eat)? Is Beyoncé a feminist (even though she conforms to patriarchal standards of beauty and tells other women to “bow down, bitches”)? Is Lana Del Rey an empty-headed male fantasy or a stealth, radical-feminist performance art project? … Read More
One hundred years ago, suffragette Emily Davison died throwing herself in front of King George V’s horse at Epsom Derby.… Read More
As you’ve probably gathered, we really, really like The Knife’s new album Shaking the Habitual. We’ve also very much enjoyed the interviews they’ve been giving of late, mainly because they’ve been talking a lot about all the stuff they were reading over the course of the album — basically, a whole lot critical theory in the fields of gender theory, postcolonialism, and intersectionality. These are fascinating topics to investigate further, although perhaps somewhat daunting if you don’t know where to start. But never fear, we’ve got your back with this essential reading list! … Read More
Zooey Deschanel’s recent declaration that she is indeed a feminist, Peter Pan collar and all, inspired us to take a look at a few of the different reactions the controversial term has gotten from contemporary cultural icons over the past few years. Here, a selection of famous women on feminism, their comments ranked from our favorites to our, um, less-favorites. Do you agree?… Read More
Forget binders full of women… The hottest election accessory should be these cozy, subversive art pieces by Los Angeles-based feminist and bike activist artist Lisa Anne Auerbach! Oh. Eh. Sorry that we just did that. Seriously, you can forget the binders, but these sweaters are still awesome. Auerbach, who received an MFA in photography from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, started creating these deliberately provocative pull-over pieces back in 2004, when she no longer had access to her school’s darkroom. “Knitting was a way I could continue to make art,” she told The New York Times last year. “It’s portable and I can do it anywhere. Now that I’m teaching photography at Pomona College, I knit on the train during my commute, and it’s a great way to pass the time in faculty meetings.” Certainly being pro-bike, anti-monogamist, and gleefully atheist aren’t necessary mutually inclusive philosophies, but browse this closet and see which of her incredible statement sweaters matches you. Ride on! … Read More
Today marks the 49th anniversary of teen idol Lesley Gore’s American Bandstand performance of “It’s My Party” — a chart-topper with a catchy, melodramatic, but unmistakably girl’s-eye view. Followed by the similarly spirited “Judy’s Turn To Cry,” “She’s A Fool,” “You Don’t Own Me” and “That’s The Way Boys Are,” Gore’s early singles are often considered as proto-feminist in emphasis. “You Don’t Own Me” is a potent statement in itself — an attitude that was to burgeon later in the decade.
Throughout the centuries, women have accented popular song with resistance, resentment, and outright revolt against oppression. The history of popular music reveals that it’s far more than a man’s, man’s world.
While genres like blues allowed a remarkably femme-centric candor, rebellious notes can be perceived throughout numerous eras — and even within the hit parade. It’s true that often these songs frequently concentrated on romantic themes, but their strong female perspectives, assertiveness, and attitudes denote them as feminist forbearers. Here’s a selection of pioneering vocalists’ music dating from the twenties to the mid-sixties to remind us that empowered girls have been with us for longer than pop culture often cares to remember. … Read More
We’ve admired this year’s glamorous Cannes Film Festival poster — featuring an intimate, mythical moment with screen legend Marilyn Monroe — and we’ve been readying ourselves for the latest news streaming from the French Riviera city, but the prestigious film fest is already seeing its share of controversy before the gala kicks off on May 16.
A letter recently published in Le Monde signed by a group of women — including Baise Moi director Virginie Despentes, filmmaker Coline Serreau, and actress Fanny Cottençon — have condemned this year’s Palme d’Or nominations. The shortlist of 22 directors for 2012 are all men, prompting the group to point out that, “Men love their women to have depth, but only when it comes to their cleavages.” … Read More
Most of us read “serious books” about feminism in high school and college, but how many of us have gone back and read The Second Sex as adults? Stephanie Staal recently revisited the writers that made her start thinking differently about the world when she decided to take a college course on feminist theory at Barnard. She even includes the reading list in her book, Reading Women: How the Great Books of Feminism Changed My Life and will deliver excerpts from it tonight at Book Court in Brooklyn. The following are some of the books Staal explores in her studies, as well as a few others worth considering. … Read More
A sweeping survey of one of the most influential female artists of the past 50 years, Christopher Lyon’s Nancy Spero: The Work packs a powerful social and visual punch.
A feminist art movement pioneer, Spero promoted the notion of woman-as-protagonist, exposed the horrors of the Vietnam War, gave birth to expressive text-and-image art, and investigated issues of pain and torture in her innovative works on paper and daring installations. Mining the past while addressing her time, Spero put history into art and women into history. … Read More