Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mid-Week Memo: McCain Madness

In the last few days, a disturbing phenomenon has caught our attention: incensed Hillary supporters are pledging their support for McCain, refusing to jump on the Obama wagon. Collier, 23, (left) one of our childhood friends and a lady who's never afraid to speak her mind, is our personal political consultant and political-blog expert. She had some choice things to say:

"I don't think it's fair to say that this largely white and older block of women are being hysterical and irrational--necessarily. However, I do think that older, white women feel like they were owed something, that it was their time to shine. And this was a huge blow to their collective ego, that somehow a younger, swifter (maybe too swift) black man took their moment. But these same women were the ones who by and large support the right to choose. These are the same women who believe that every American deserves access to affordable health care. And they would be doing a disservice to Hillary Clinton (their presidential hopeful) and all of the work she did surrounding the preservation of a woman's right to choose and healthcare if they voted for McCain.

They are not hysterical but they want to be heard. This is their way of being heard. It's an empty threat. They will come to their senses, both because Hillary Clinton will remind them of McCain's increasingly conservative anti-choice record. He used to believe in abortions for rape victims and victims of incest but since he needs to bring in those uber-conservative voters, he has denounced all abortion. They will come to their senses because they themselves will remember all that they struggled for. I don't think this is something that upstanding feminists should be concerned about. If white women do stay home or vote for McCain, it's because they're insane."

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chicago: LAUREN

Back in April of last year, when I met up with Emma in Chicago to do a few sample interviews and test out GIRLdrive, one of the feminists we interviewed was Lauren Berlant (left), a professor of English at the University of Chicago and an influential feminist thinker. To this day, we still consider it one of the most important interviews we did, one of those long, meandering conversations during which you have several epiphanies. We remember one moment in particular, when Lauren addressed the issue of reconciling "work" (feminism, intellect) with "play" (happiness, sex). It's stuck with us ever since:

"As an intellectual, feminist or not, you are constantly being called to say what you are thinking and describe what you are doing all the time. Then there are these spaces for an interruption or a relief...the “appetite” spaces, like eating and fucking and watching TV and hanging out with your friends. What feminism hoped for was forms of pleasure that would also be about self-development, where your forms of self-cultivation would also be your pleasure. We have to admit that pleasure is not just about eloquence, culture, clarity. Its also fogginess and sex. Once you think about sex as a place where you lose control, it’s to some extent contrary to intellect and feminism as a theory. If feminism is about control, and sex is about losing control, how do you reconcile that?"


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Overheard in Chicago #3: Post-'Sex and the City'

On Saturday night, we eagerly went out to see the Sex and the City movie with a few of our friends. Over pizza and martinis (of course), we "couldn't help but wonder": did Sex and the City portray women positively or negatively?
*warning: slight spoilers below*

Matt: I found some of the portrayal of women in Sex and the City to be kind of offensive. The general impression I got from most of the characters (the redheaded lawyer one being the exception) was that women are vapid, self-absorbed, and capable of self-reflection only when pushed by others ...which isn't really self-reflection after all, is it? (Matt had a lot more brilliant things to say about this issue. Check out more of his thoughts here).

Antonia: I disagree. I don't think the movie was sexist. I thought Samantha's storyline especially was uplifting--that she chose to be independent in the end.

Emma: But what about all that overeating bullshit, the fact that they made such a big deal about Samantha gaining 15 pounds? That was lightweight offensive.

Antonia: Yeah...but it's realistic. Some women do turn to binge-eating to deal with stress.

Collier: I thought the movie was very materialistic, and stuck in the late nineties, 'First Wives Club'-status.

Antonia: I don't think the show is insinuating that ALL women are materialistic, and I don't think there is anything really wrong with materialism! (check out her full diatribe here)

For Nona's opinion, check out her review of the film for VenusZine.