Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yr Critique

My EMP Jem paper is in the new issue of Bitch (Fall '06, #33). The theme is Hot & Bothered but it's basically a sex issue, Bitch style, which makes it smarter and more nuanced than the average tri-yearly Mademoiselle "How to Give Great Blow Jobs!" yawner.

Not so smart and nuanced? Deborah Solomon's interview with Andi Zeisler in the NYT. Solomon's line of questioning wavers from probing to antagonistic to hostile:

Solomon: You can’t say Chloe [of the TV series 24] is a feminist. She is more of a postfeminist who instinctively takes control in a world mismanaged by men.

AZ: I don’t believe in postfeminism. The media love to trot out the idea that feminism is dead, and every so often it will be the cover story in Time or somewhere else. But feminism is as alive as ever.

S: Is it really? It seems as if its original vision of social equality has been undermined by third-wave feminists like yourself, who limit your critiques to, say, Tori Spelling’s breasts. Doesn’t the obsession with pop culture risk trivializing feminism?

AZ: I think that could be a risk. But if you are going to be working in feminist activism, you have to look at pop culture, because that’s what everyone else is looking at. Young women today have more day-to-day contact with “Desperate Housewives” than with the radical feminist writings of Germaine Greer or Shulamith Firestone.


Thoughtfully criticizing the third wave is one thing, but is anyone else having flashbacks to that 1998 Talk of the Nation condescend-a-thon? The one that Le Tigre turned into "They Want To Make A Symphony Out of the Sound of Women Swallowing Their Own Tongues"? At least Andi doesn't swallow her own tongue here--she holds her ground and holds it well.

1 comment:

tali said...

hi, i just came back from borders, where i was reading your jem article on bitch mag (really good, by the way!). i wrote down your blog address and just found out you're in ann arbor too. truly outrageous indeed!
would it be okay if i link you from my blog?