Last month, I sat in a darkened Los Angeles theater filled with the anticipation of seeing a new film. Jill Soloway’s Wifey.tv has begun hosting Girl on Girl, a series of screenings at Cinefamily in Los Angeles, in which a cultural icon interviews a female filmmaker. The series kicked off with one of my favorite writers, Roxane Gay, hosting a screening of Love & Basketball, with the writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Prince-Bythewood is the almost universally beloved writer and director of Love & Basketball. She followed that up with directing the HBO movie Disappearing Acts, then writing and directing the adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s critically acclaimed novel The [...]
Back in June, Slate published a piece about adults reading books meant for kids, making the case that we should read more sophisticated, age-appropriate material. Three days later, Medium published a response entitled “Why Criticizing Young Adult Fiction is Sexist.” If irritation were fatal, I’d have perished where I sat.
But my patience around other purportedly feminist issues had been tried in smaller ways. Like last year, when Sheryl Sandberg declared that the word “bossy” needed to be reclaimed. #BanBossy, the moms on my Facebook feed chorused, bragging about how they were going to teach their daughters that being bossy was actually great. Now, there is a reasonable conversation to [...]
If there’s a genre of song more insidious than the Song For Women, it’s something like the Song For Men About Women. The Song For Men About Women is a song that tells men what is wrong with female behavior, in language that the majority of men, one would hope, would never dream of using in front of the woman whose behavior is being criticized.
In this week’s New York Times, music critic Jon Caramanica takes on The Song For Men About Women, in a piece that admittedly tries to go beyond the Man Explains trope, but ultimately falls victim to it. (Criticism of The Song [...]
"If your vagina could talk, what would it say?"
This question, from Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, has probably been heard by hundreds of thousands of women by now. The play has been performed so often that an entire generation of feminists knows it by heart. It's been staged in far-flung countries, and helped raise millions of dollars for women's anti-violence groups.
I first heard the talking vagina question when it floated through the open window of the ground-floor office where I worked on a large university campus. Outside was a tree-shaded courtyard—a peaceful place, its atmosphere somewhat subdued by a brooding statue of Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston. But a plucky [...]