I am totally dying over this thread in which people are mocking the drawing of Spiderman's Mary Jane. (Which, huh, I did not know Mary Jane was supposed to look like… that.) I believe it all started here, four days ago: "Pro tip for comic book artists: No human being alive sits like that as a way of relaxing. This is beyond ridiculous." I'm trying right now!
It's not even December, but the "aggravating trends in holiday commercials" list is already filling itself out quite nicely, and right behind the chart-topping scourge of twee that is Pomplamoose has to be the surge in ads for diamond merchants like Jared, Zales, and Kay, all of which have decided that the best way for a man to celebrate the season is to put a sparkly ring on his intended's finger. But all these ads are doing for me, a red-blooded American female, is solidifying my belief that that I never want someone in a relationship with me to feel like they have to "propose."
To talk about gender and its impact on art in 2010 is to lower yourself onto a playing field strewn with lots of dead and injured (or just plain exhausted) culture warriors. Franzenfreude! The pastiche of Gaga! And don't forget Paglia on Gaga! It's a total combat zone-which is fair enough, given how long, and how unthinkingly-slash-purposefully the whole culture scene has been dominated by the straight white male outlook.
And yet, at the close of many an IM chat or comment thread, you will frequently see some throwing up of hands. As if to say: yes, we've processed this new event, its gender consequences [...]
DC Comics has given Wonder Woman a makeover just in time for her 69th birthday, and a storyline in which Wonder Woman is out to avenge the destruction of Paradise Island. So the overall vibe given off by her is darker, more serious, "designed to be taken seriously as a warrior" — not to mention, more ready to be franchised into a tie-in clothing line for similarly disaffected female fans. (Think American Apparel, not Underoos.) After the jump, a side-by-side comparison of the old Wonder Woman costume and the new one.
Look at these ladies! Ladies just stone cold writing books, report The Beast and The Times. Like, within a whole month of each other! Two ladies! Let's compare and contrast: Yup! These are definitely both books about being alive and a human being while, incidentally or not, also having a vagina. Also, don't forget, you know who else has a vagina and also lives in a city? That's right: Meghan Daum. N.B.: I am solely complaining about the editorial assignments here, not their authors or the writing of these assignments. I reserve the right to complain about any of that (or not!) at a later date!
"Stuff You Can Say About Soup That You Shouldn't Say About Girls," an illustrated guide. [Via]
As a horror icon, the Wolfman gets no respect. In theory, he's the embodiment of a great horror concept-the literal manifestation of the Beast within, who busts out every other fortnight to rip the shit out of Victorian aristocrats or horny teens in Oldsmobiles-and yet in American cinema he's given the strict Michael J. Fox treatment. In order to get a werewolf taken in any way seriously, American directors have to send them to various catacombs and ossuaries in London or Paris, and even then, they're just not scary. In fact, the scariest werewolf movie to come out in the last 15 years was about a heavily ax-wounded [...]
Late on Friday night, I joined a lot of other white people at the Highline Ballroom to see Odd Future. At the door, a girl in a Juicy sweatshirt handed out paper masks of Tyler, The Creator’s face. The image was borrowed from his self-designed Goblin album cover. There were eyeholes punched out, so that you couldn’t see the milky black irises he’d Photoshopped onto his own face, and so that every person there could resemble Tyler while they chanted “swag,” “goblin,” and “Free Earl," who needs no freeing, at the 20-year-old with a microphone and a record deal who claims not to care for his own music.[...]
The problem with making the Internet safe is that it would necessarily make the Internet the same. That's the reason Facebook creeps people out: it tries to impose a uniform user interface on the existing heterogeneous online experience to make it appear homogenous, and in so doing actually transform the culture into one where everything is the same. In an op-ed in today's Times, Julie Zhuo, a product design manager at Facebook, goes further, proposing that non-Facebook content providers standardize their approach to anonymous commenting to rid the Internet of trolls. (Or hey, maybe they could just use the Facebook commenting system!) But what would the Internet be [...]
â€¢ One myth that arose from some proponents of the women's liberation movement is that a terminated pregnancy doesn't change a person. The idea that it does was reasonably considered fodder for the other side-that this view enhanced the notion that not caring for a child conceived in your body is an abandonment of biological and moral responsibilities. In reaction then, a PR move has often been adopted into an unconvincing pro-choice ideology: a woman can go through a pregnancy without some lasting change to her psyche and system. The enlightened woman, the idea was, could go through terminating a pregnancy or putting a child up for adoption without [...]
"Women in other parts of the world go to the beach topless. We think New Jersey women are just as beautiful as any women anywhere in the world." — That's Asbury Park, N.J., deputy mayor John Loffredo, as quoted by this Daily News story about his jurisdiction maybe allowing women who are soaking up the sun's rays on the local beaches to bare their breasts, just like their Vitamin D-starved counterparts across the Hudson can. The city council will vote on the matter next week. As always, the comments are quite the hoot, with someone by the name of "kitty62862" saying, "Well, ladies, if you're flapping them [...]
Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer, is on Monday, so we asked some folks to publish on that topic throughout the week. This is: Here Comes Summer!
It was summer, friends, when I was punched in the face by a complete stranger in Times Square. Summer, when a nice middle-aged lady from whom I apparently stole a much-coveted seat on the N train called me a "wretched little bitch" under her breath for several stops. Summer, when a man stole a cab from my mother and I responded, after a failed attempt to point out that we had been the ones to flag it and open its [...]
Last night I caught a very strange commercial for Playtex's 18-Hour Bra — "strange" because it didn't focus on the lifting and separating ability of the undergarment (i.e. its most important assets) (at least to this potential bra-buyer), but its cooling properties. A parade of brassiered ladies stood in front of a white background and recounted stories about excessive breast-borne heat, with one woman going so far as to try and stick her chest into a freezer. (I don't know about the other members of the bra-buying demographic in the Awl audience, but I have never had this problem, at least not outside of the context of normally sweaty [...]
Wait, the vaguely Asian-looking werewolf kid from that gay vampire movie is hosting Saturday Night Live?, asked the small percentage of America watching TV on Saturday night. As ridiculous as the Twilight phenomenon is, it's no secret that teenage consumers and their Orange Julius and baby-sitting paychecks are fueling the entertainment industry these days. And yet, Twilight's two main stars are about the world's least-accessible actors. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart could give a fuck about anything besides skinny jeans, vintage band t-shirts and looking so over it. Both are highly uninteresting and seem to be teetering on the edge of a fame-induced nervous breakdown. So as "obscure" as 17 [...]
How many movies passed the Bechdel Test this year so far? Yes, sure, it's a black/white, pass/fail set of criteria, which means that plenty of unconcerned products pass. So this year: From Prada to Nada and Bridesmaids both pass, which… might be sort of besides the point, or might be a related but more capitalist point? Jane Eyre squeaks under the wire. Briefly, Red Riding Hood too, which, uh. On a technicality, Paul. And Sucker Punch—though it's also castigated as the most misogynist film in ages. Also The Last Lions, I think, if you count lady lions talking to other lady lions, I think, but maybe they are [...]
It was a real meeting of the minds, apparently: yesterday, professional opinion-havers Sally Quinn and Deborah Tannen "met for a morning summit at Georgetown waterfront restaurant Sequoia to discuss the state of women." You simply must read this whole thing. It will make you feel terrible, these 20 notable quotables from their conversation. It is like a guide to the retrograde. They may be in the Taliban. Here, sample just one, from Ms. Quinn! "At the beginning of the feminist movement, it was women taking power back and it was really heady stuff… then it got out of control, as all revolutions do. They got militant… there [...]
In light of CNN talking head-to-be Kathleen Parker taking a brave stand on how Obama does things in "a woman's way" (and she's not saying that as "evidence of deficiency, but rather" that it "suggests an evolutionary achievement"! No, She swears!), I've been looking at our inbox with gender in mind. Right now, we're getting a lot of emails from writers about our "submission policy." (Thanks, Time. Also, I guess our submission policy is: let's talk?) But they all have something in common. The emails from men are pretty direct. The emails from women are often kind of… apologetic!
The feminist ladies at Tiger Beatdown make note of what currently holds the title of World's Worst 911 Call. Warning: it may upset you, and perhaps you've just had a relaxing lunch.
The flurry of trend stories about the imminent release of the ode to consumption Sex And The City 2 will not cease until this movie really fulfills its Ishtar… For Chicks potential, will it? Today's New York Post has yet another profile of four women who are Living The Lifestyle, as it were, only there's a crucial twist: The ladies profiled are not friends, but they are all, by the punishingly youthful standards of Post trend stories, ancient. Or, sorry, as the Post puts it, "living proof that the Big Apple is still the sexiest city of all – for women of all ages." (Like 40! Gasp!) Each [...]
"The real reason, and I mean the REAL reason why we all want largest available ROCK is to because we want it as a weapon. A social weapon. We want to able to scratch with ethernal jelousy [sic throughout] and envy the heart of our current future female friends and enemies, so, even when we will turn into a fat, ordinary, ugly and old woman in the next 60 years, we could always, always make an subtle movement with the hand, reach something, wave good bye, just anything, so the light catches an edge, deflects on one or two faces of the stone, just make a sparkle or bling, just [...]