Monday, November 4, 2002

BITCH: It's a noun. It's a verb. It's a magazine.

I bought my first copy of Bitch at City Lights books in San Francisco many moons ago. It was badly photocopied, stapled and simply brilliant. Now with a glossy colour cover, it's still the smart and funny quarterly Feminist Response to Pop Culture I've come to love and support. Read the latest issue on transformation today (it's actually one of the few things I read from beginning to end) and there was plenty good ;)

Take Lisa Moricoli Latham's Double-Life: everyone wants to see your breasts - until your baby needs them, which looks at tension between social approval of the size of a pregnant or lactating woman's breasts (Wow! You look great! Your husband must love this!) and social disapproval of the decidedly non-sexual, breast-feeding breast (Do you have to do that in public?) In a pop culture that relies heavily on boob imagery, have we really come to the point where it is difficult to fathom or appreciate a woman's breasts beyond their iconic sexual status? This reminds me of a Breast Cancer Awareness billboard campaign a couple of years ago, which featured an attractive middle-age woman covering one of her breasts, and exposing the mastectomy scar where her other breast had been - several major US cities refused to allow them on city property because they were too graphic. And when Ontario passed the law that allowed women to be topless in public, there were countless comments on how it would be okay, but only "if the girl is hot".

Karen Eng's article, The Princess and the Prankster, looks at the work of Kristina Sheryl Wong and Gennifer Hirano and how they play with the legendary Asian sex goddess stereotype. Resistance: Asian-American art-grrl-style.

The current website feature is about Jessica Abel's La Perdida comic and living as an expat (An American in Mexico) but should be interesting to anyone living away from their homeland.

And in the Shove it media column (only available in print): Pondering the naming practice behind Anorex and Stimulant-Sensitive Anorex, new prescription diet-aids. Soma Magazine's August fashion spread featuring raped and murdered corpses, er, models. And Gene Simmons' Tongue in which he declares "I am attracted to women as sex objects, as I suspect most men are. It's high time men and women were upfront about that. Complain to nature. Man has two heads. We just don't have enough blood for both." (I guess you never lose the charm that comes from being in a band like Kiss.)

BITCH indeed. These girls rock my world ;)


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