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Issue 59, June 2013

BROAD :

Artist: GrĂŠgoire Guillemin

A Feminist & Social Justice Magazine

#feminism


A feminist is a person who answers “yes” to the question, “Are women human?” Feminism is not about whether women are better than, worse than or identical with men. And it’s certainly not about trading personal liberty--abortion, divorce, sexual self-expression-for social protection as wives and mothers, as pro-life feminists propose. It’s about justice, fairness, and access to the

BROAD

range of human experience. It’s about women consulting their own well-being and being judged as individuals rather than as members of a class with one personality, one social function, one road to happiness. It’s about women having intrinsic value as persons rather than contingent value as a means to an end for others: fetuses, children, the “family,” men. ~ Katha Pollitt

broad | brÔd | adjective 1 having an ample distance from side to side; wide 2 covering a large number and wide scope of subjects or areas: a broad range of experience 3 having or incorporating a wide range of meanings 4 including or coming from many people of many kinds 5 general without detail 6 (of a regional accent) very noticeable and strong 7 full, complete, clear, bright; she was attacked in broad daylight noun (informal) a woman.

broad | brÔd |

slang a promiscuous woman

phrases broad in the beam: with wide hips or large buttocks in broad daylight: during the day, when it is light, and surprising for this reason have broad shoulders: ability to cope with unpleasant responsibilities or to accept criticism City of broad shoulders: Chicago synonyms see: wide, extensive, ample, vast, liberal, open, all-embracing antonyms see: narrow, constricted, limited, subtle, slight, closed see also broadside (n.) historical: a common form of printed material, especially for poetry


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BROAD Mission: Broad’s mission is to connect the WSGS program with communities of students, faculty, and staff at Loyola and beyond, continuing and extending the program’s mission. We provide space and support for a variety of voices while bridging communities of scholars, artists, and activists. Our editorial mission is to provoke thought and debate in an open forum characterized by respect and civility.

WSGS Mission: Founded in 1979, Loyola’s Women’s Studies Program is the first women’s studies program at a Jesuit institution and has served as a model for women’s studies programs at other Jesuit and Catholic universities. Our mission is to introduce students to feminist scholarship across the disciplines and the professional schools; to provide innovative, challenging, and thoughtful approaches to learning; and to promote social justice.

#feminism

Y

This issue explores the topics of mass media, popular culture, feminist reflections on popular culture, women in the rap industry, how women are stereotyped in media outlets, the representation of women in comic books and graphic memoirs, the reckless appropriation of cultures in music, feminist music icons, diva culture, and much more! Look for the [#f] symbol for contributions on our theme!

BROAD People:

Emma Steiber

Contetnt and Section Editor

Karolyne Carloss Co-Editor in Chief

Katie Klingel

Co-Editor in Chief

J. Curtis Main Consulting Editor


CONTENTS FROM YOUR EDITOR by Karolyne Carloss

[#f] Visiting Editor Bio

Emily Taft

[#f] Defining #feminism

Emily Taft

[#f] Between Beats, Rhythm, and a Hard Place Wynn Coughlin

WORDS ARE USELESS Ready to Rise

by Cassandra Magana

[#f] Infringing on the Bar Scene

by Janna Payne

WLA RE-ANIMATED 1948: “Character Introduction” BOOKMARK HERE Cinderella Ate My Daughter MIDDLE EASTERN MUSINGS

Feminism in Shattered Palestinian Words by Abeer Allan

QUEER THOUGHTS A Game of Genders

by Emma Steiber

[#f] Our Voices, Our Bodies: A Quick Look at Women in

Mainstream Graphic Memoirs

Angelica Krejewski

[#f] In Defense of Manic Pixie Dream Girls: A Rejoinder to Monika Bartyzel

Jimmy Goodrich

FEMINIST FIRES Alison Bechdel QUOTE CORNER Laurie Penny BROADSIDE Diva Poetry 1&2 by Angelica Krouwer

BROADSIDE Diva Poetry 3&4 by Angelica Krouwer


BROADSIDE Diva Poetry 4&5 by Angelica Krouwer

BROADSIDE Diva Poetry 6&7 by Angelica Krouwer

BROADSIDE Diva Poetry Analysis by Angelica Krouwer

INSIDE R OUT

Turn off your Brain, Engage your Agency, and Enjoy Redefining Pop Culture

by J. Curtis Main

QUOTE CORNER Kate Bornstein WORDS ARE USELESS BROAD by Gayle Carloss

ALTSTYLE Katie Klingel

The Gay Pride Parade: What It’s Really About

WORDS ARE USELESS Strength Knows No Limits by Cassandra Magana

EX BIBLIOTHECIS Women in Print Media- Women in Vogue by Jane P. Currie

MADADS Women, Sex, & Advertising in Popular Culture [#f] Moving Back in Time by Michelle Aldrich

TALK TO ANDIE by Andie Karras

Nicole Georges

[#f] Revolution Grrrl Playlist by Nina Berman

QUOTE CORNER Andi Zeisler [#f] Women in Comics by Dominic Cioli

CONTRIBUTOR GUIDELINES


BROAD A Feminist & Social Justice Magazinee

l a b Glo

s e v i t c e p s r e P

Seeking submissions on the topics of: globalization, international relations, access to education, foreign relations, fear of the “other”, islamophobia, internationalism in the news, the media’s depiction of foreigners, immigration issues, privatization of water, neocolonialism, international health care, women in politics, revolutions, environmental activism around the world, and the application and/or imposition of feminism worldwide. Send your poetry, artwork, and reflections to broad.luc@gmail.com by July 24th


BROAD A Feminist & Social Justice Magazine

The Green Issue Seeking submissions on the topics of: environmentalism, eco-feminism, environmental activism, alternative fuel options, fracking, reducing, reusing, recycling, regulation, respecting nature, vegetarianism, veganism, the intersection of class, race, and environmental issues, social/economic/environmental sustainability, and how our bodies are related to the earth.

! w o n y l p p A

Send your poetry, artwork, and reflections to broad.luc@gmail.com by May 24th!

1) Diversity & Outreach Editor

Responsibilities include assessment and implementation of diversity and outreach in BROAD magazine’s content, staff, contributors, themes, sections, and more. This position will serve a special role to the editing team by constantly and consistently offering feedback regarding BROAD’s mission, successes, and weaknesses in inclusivity and reaching fringed voices and populations. This person must have a strong sense of self and commitments to social justice movements, in addition to a broad and detailed understanding of cultural competance and outreach to new and underrepresented areas and people.

2) Website & Archive Coordinator

Responsibilities include management and input of website and archives as they relate to housing BROAD in not only the Women Studies and Gender Studies website, but also in other mediums, such as Issuu, backup hard drives, the Women and Leadership Archives Collection, and LUC organizations and departments, among others. This position will serve an important role in maintaining BROAD’s presence and future in digital formats. This person must have excellent organizational skills and technological abilities in web design and navigation, digital storage, knowledge in transferring digital files from one form to another, and a passion to present and archive BROAD magazine to the public in a variety of ways, including finding new avenues to broaden BROAD magazine’s reach.

DUE Monday, August 5

Email Curtis Main (jmain@luc.edu) your cover letter and resume in addition to any other materials you would like to be reviewed for your candidacy. Positions are eligible for LUC course credit in WSGS and COMM classes with approval. Interviews will be conducted after applications have been received. Positions start August and run until May 2014.


From Your Editor

Dear Our Today, One Day, Someday Children,

By: Karolyne Carloss

We know that hard times are ahead. Times that will make you feel self-conscious, doubtful, and alone. Days that will make you want to burrow deep under your covers and take a rain check on everything that’s keeping you down. We know because we’ve lived them, suffered through them, and are always afraid that they’re living just beyond tomorrow’s bend. One of these

days, our today, one day, someday children, popular culture is going to rush you from behind. You’ll know it by its glossy stare and often contemptible intentions. It’ll want to change you, make you like the cutouts they convince you are real. We promise you that they will be seductive in their ways. The advertisements are bright and convincing, and they will color your thoughts so boldly that you might start to forget your own. But


there are so many more bright colors to be had, love! Making a fort with your best friend, rocking glitter nail polish, getting lost in the creative corners of your mind, and getting down on some pancakes at 11 at night are just a few of the many wonders available to you! Darling daughters, we know that beauty ideals are tough...really tough. Society is going to make you feel that being waxed, plucked, and highlighted are the only roads to beautiful. And it’s okay to wander down them sometimes. But dear daughters, we also want you to know that you can always turn back! Each hair on your beautiful body is perfect and lovely, but most importantly it is your own to manage exactly as you please! To our sweet sons, we know that you’re going to soon be bombarded with models of masculinity. Society is going to tell you that strong, sinewy bodies are something to be sought after at all costs. But know it is the conviction in your heart that makes you strong, not the size of your biceps. If you’re teased for being slight, take heart. Those muscle supplement fanatics crowding your school hallways are headed towards serious health risks and a potentially defunct libido. Dear Our Today, One Day, Someday Children, I wish that I could put every parental control on your computer so that your sweet eyes may never land on a chat rooms with titles like “bloodhoardersRus” or “jailbaiting”. I wish that every video game you play will feature avatars that look just like you- ones that are as competent, fierce, and as fully-clothed as you are! I wish that every woman and man on the silver screen will have nuanced personalities, and that the male and female gaze will soon be a thing of the past. I wish that henceforth, every movie or TV series will be demanded to pass the Bechdel test and that your entertainment is packed full of racial, ethnic, gender, religious, bodied, and sexual diversity. I wish that I could steal away notions that your sex, gender, race, or ethnicity should dictate your dreams. Hear me when I say that you can be anything you want to be! This world is big, and

your hands may seem small- but they are capable hands. Seek out challenging topics, ask questions, look around, and feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done! Do not be beaten down with a bad grade, a critical review, or a snide comment. The only person that can make you feel inferior is you, love. You are strong and noble and so much more powerful than you know. Dear Our Today, One Day, Someday Children, You deserve happiness. You deserve to be loved, respected, and showered with warmth and tenderness. Keep that lightness about you and let your joy for life rattle your bones. Delight in small pleasures, say the courageous thing, live with purpose. Confront the unfamiliar, find common ground with those different from you. Familiarize yourself with your own privilege, and should you look over your neighbor’s fence- may it only be to make sure that they have enough. But if you should find things getting more difficult the harder you try, harden not. For this has been the way of things for all those who have come before you and will continue to be the way for all those that come after. And sweet one, should there ever come a day when we are no longer by your side- always remember that you are lovelier, stronger, smarter, and more capable than you know. All of our love, Your today, one day, someday parents


Visitng Editor Emily Taft

Emily would not be (intelligently) involved with #FEMINISM were it not for her hodgepodge Chicago family of radicals, feminists, question-askers, and answer-seekers who push her to think more than any academic work ever has. And she recognizes that she wouldn’t have been drawn to such incredible people in the first place were it not for her family roots (back in Kansas City, MO) in public service and an inclination toward social justice that wasn’t clearly labeled as such until she found herself at Loyola. She is now about to start her senior year at Loyola, double majoring in French and Communications with an emphasis in Advocacy and Social Change. During the school year, Emily works each Saturday morning with a grant-funded program called Target New Transitions, with which she travels to one of the largest Chicago Public Schools to work with high school freshmen on homework, study skills, and their overall transition into high school. This fall she will also be a Peer Advisor through Loyola’s office of First and Second Year Advising, assisting in the freshmen seminar classes for the class of 2017. She was lucky enough to spend her fall semester last year living in Toulouse, France with a program entitled Language, Community, and Social Change. She lived with an amazing host family, traveled around the south of France, lived with 25 kids in a huge house in the Pyrenees for two weeks, worked with immigrant populations, and learned about everything from the French school system to the country’s hip-hop culture to cheese making. It was, of course, magical and she hopes to go back after graduation next year to soak in a little more of the French mode de vie (and eat a lot more French food). Emily is enjoying her summer in Chicago working as a communications intern with A Just Harvest, a nonprofit organization that addresses hunger issues in our community and their root causes. She is absolutely loving the opportunity for some hands on learning, growing, and giving. Her work has taken her into the crazy tangled web that is the Internet to try and find the intersection between social justice and social media. (Yikes.) She is also a regular blogger for the Morgan at Loyola Station, profiling local Rogers Park businesses and keeping residents up to date with many different ongoings in Chicago. She is really enjoying getting to know small business owners in her neighborhood as well as having an excuse to write each week. Emily is excited to be joining BROAD for the first (but definitely not last) time this issue. She is glad to be involved in such a creative, open, and diverse project.


#feminism

Definining #feminism

By Emily Taft

#feminism is the anger some women feel that they did not get to grow up to be a Disney princesses and that men should just give them stuff Is it wrong that I find Robin Thicke more attractive because his new song is “rapey”? #feminism Considered prostitution today #skint #jobs #banter #topbird then I realised I am actually classier than that #respect #feminism #girl #girls

I think I just asked this cute guy on a date...? He said yes... Win! #feminism

I don’t even like pink, but when you say feminists shouldn’t wear it, fuck that noise. I’m wearing pink. #feminism #pink #choice

Get in, loser, we’re going to start a revolution. #FEMINISM


“I don’t mind demeaning myself a little to get men to carry things for me.” #phoebe #feminism Killed a spider with a box of tampons. #feminism imagine citing “1 in 4 men have sexually assaulted” stats instead of “1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted”...hmmm. #feminism #vaw being a feminist is like speaking a language that only three people understand, and those people live inside a volcano on mars. #feminism I desperately need to get me a dishwasher and washing machine.... Or as feminist call them, a woman #feminism Why can’t more movies pass the Bechel test, I mean it is such an easy test! Oh wait, I forgot, patriarchy #patriarchy #feminism #sexism We are women, not objects. We’ve had enough of history, now it’s time for herstory <3 #feminism Why is everyone assuming it’s “North West” and not “North Kardashian-West”? Women deserve respect too. #feminism Confession: I knit. In public. I also bake/cook, sew & random craft. I am a feminist. I don’t care if you agree. #feminism ‘You think I’m just a booty call? Well I’m not’ #feminism Read through all of the above tweets. Take mental note of your reactions to each one. What’re you feeling as you read them? Who do you imagine typed them? Do you agree with them? I would call myself a passive tweeter. I have slowly come to an understanding of the value and potential impact of the 140-characters. I respect Twitter. But that doesn’t mean that I feel

confident using it. I am a big fan of retweeting. And favoriting tweets. But when it comes to actually composing a tweet of my own… I’m overwhelmed. I over-think it. Seriously. The last purely original tweet I have is from an entire month ago. (Am I even relevant anymore?) But I read so many tweets. I love finding articles, seeing pictures, and hearing about the mundane and the profound (and watching the mundane often become profound). I marvel at people’s ability to compose witty quips in real time or their boldness and bravery in their public conversations. But one of the things I find most fascinating about the Twittersphere (which, by the way is an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary now) is that people can label their thoughts and ideas. I have spent the past few days following the “#feminism” conversation on Twitter. I have scrolled through pages and pages of tweets. I have read tweets that are angry, curious, frustrated, strong, informative, disheartened, empowered, hopeful, sarcastic, brave, doubtful, weak, dismissive, aggressive, exasperated, challenging, and funny. I saw trends like the Who Needs Feminism? project (check it out at whoneedsfeminism.tumblr.com), buzz surrounding Wendy Davis’s filibuster in the Texas Senate, celebrations or frustrations surrounding the Prop 8 outcome. I read articles, watched videos, looked at Instagrams, and followed dialogues between users. In exploring this huge soundboard and collecting the tweets, I found myself naturally categorizing them into groups. But what I initially viewed as a practice of convenience, I quickly realized was becoming lists filtered by my own judgments and opinions. When I read the tweet “Note how spooning is organised so girls get the best view of the movie #feminism #winning” I put it under in a list I had called “mislabeling”. In my highly esteemed and apparently superior view of feminist thought and philosophy, I had decided that this was not feminism. When I read “Men simply cannot be trusted #feminism” I decided that was “wrong” and started a new list titled as such. I was much more impressed by tweets like “A woman literally pushed you out of her


vagina and you still think you’re better than Pearls is exactly a feminist act, it is important to them? #equalrights #feminism” or “spreading recognize (and not categorize) the validity of the rape culture and victim-blaming is completely author’s statement. What can we learn from her unacceptable #disneyrape #feminism”. These labeling? Was she simply feeling empowered in were “intelligent” and “correct” additions to the that moment and linking that to feminism? online conversation around feminism. But then I came across this: “People who are In this issue, as we are looking at the threatened by or frightened of #feminism really intersections and overlaps between pop culture have no idea what it actually is.” And I got stuck and feminism, I would ask the question (to on this tweet for awhile. Because it was then which I do not entirely know the answer), does that I tried, mentally, to actually define what #feminism need a formal or official definition? Or feminism “actually is”. And I started reciting can we leave that up to the Twittersphere and the definitions from classes: “the radical notion that rest of pop culture? women are people”, “complete social and economic equality of the sexes”, “political theory and Just as we talk practice to free all women”, etc. etc. etc. And the definitions are all about “waves” well and good but are they defining in the classroom, #feminism? Can they define #feminism?

we can see the ripples on the Twittersphere where people are defining feminism for themselves in real time.

And it wasn’t until I started imagining each tweet as being spoken aloud as a piece of a larger conversation that I realized how ridiculous, exclusive, and, frankly, oppressive I was being. Who am I to tell one person that their input is less valid than that of her or his neighbor? Who am I to silence the voice of another trying to engage in the discussion? That’s when I realized that no one person can define #feminism because it is each individual tweet that builds the trends. What it means one day can quickly change the next. And is that not the story of feminism as a movement? We have had to add labels to different times and trends of the movement. Just as we talk about “waves” in the classroom, we can see the ripples on the Twittersphere where people are defining feminism for themselves in real time. By adding #feminism to their posts, they are doing the labeling themselves and the “conversation” becomes a more accurate and holistic representation of what people view as feminism. Their input is important and relevant because it is honest and intentional. So while I may not agree that smashing a spider with a box of Tampax


#feminism

Between Beats, Rhythm, and A Hard Place By Wynn Coughlin The continual struggle of contemporary Feminist practice lies in reconciling our ideals and theories with the often contradictory phenomena that defines our everyday lives. These elements are not just those that can often invite criticism from others (Feminist-identifying or not), but perhaps more importantly that which makes us continually examine and defend our Feminism

to who can often be the most ruthless critic: ourselves. Now, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made more than my fair share of mix tapes in my day. Sharing music can be a genuine experiment in trust, kinship, and identity. But, between one Feminist to another, there is always a sense of something (dread? fear?


disappointment?) that is inevitably summoned before I click ‘burn CD.’ Will I be asked to justify why I included a song that features a verse or two by IamSu? Or nearly anything that’s been touched by anyone in Tyler, the Creator’s LA HipHop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA)? * I’ve been known to include disclaimers on songs that I feel may warrant an explanation to their inclusion on a ‘best of’ list.

to critique everything that has the potential to have cultural significance. I will never make the claim that there are a lack of misogynistic or homophobic themes that permeate through all kinds of media outlets. You only require the internet and even the most basic Feminist compass to understand that. However, there are also very real phenomena (racism and classism being the biggest repeat offenders) that perpetuate the ways in Ultimately, all music Can I be a Feminist and listen to which we identify misogyny, is a four-minute music that contains themes that violence, and hate in pop are at best disrespectful and at culture. This understanding polaroid of a frameworst misogynist? is not meant to excuse of-mind, an identity, those themes when they In that spirit of socratic, critical do present themselves, but and a life lived up reflection, I offer one white, rather to contextualize a until that moment. middle-to-upper-middle class broader societal curriculum Feminist’s reflection between that perpetuate some groups beats, rhythm, and a hard of people as more damaging place. This is not a defense than others. of the misogyny that is continually disguised, consumed, and perpetuated in the contemporary I am positive that, for some Feminists and music media landscape. Rather, this is an exercise in consumers, this can be identified as shifting reconciling the contradictions that continue to blame from individual artists to larger faceless challenge Feminist ideals in daily life. entities. That belief is not inaccurate, although more precisely, I believe in understanding the “How can you listen to that shit? It’s degrading.. I rootedness that is an essential producer in all thought you were a Feminist.” art. On a personal level, I fundamentally resent being told how to feel by anyone, including Ultimately, all music is a four-minute polaroid of musical artists and the labels that back them. So a frame-of-mind, an identity, and a life lived up the ultimate journey for me as a Feminist and until that moment. In other words, life generates a music enthusiast is to find anything that feels art. This does not mean that everyone will be able remotely real and that can honor any experience, to understand what is in the picture or appreciate even if it is not one that I can understand on the process through which it was developed. a personal level. The crux of my personal But regardless of my own position in response Feminist ideology seeks to challenge any system to the song, the album, or the music video, it that promotes that there is only one way to does not change the experience that is posited do anything. Reinforcing the concept of an within it. I can sincerely critique the fact that a idealized Feminist (what she says, what she looks song may reduce a woman to her orifices while like, what she listens to) in essence continues acknowledging that an artist with recognizable to generate the hegemonic Feminism for which talent may be writing within the context of his white Western middle-to-upper-middle class own experience in a larger society that devalues Feminist have been critique for nearly fifty years. women on the daily. I can also understand that, There is no such thing as ‘the perfect Feminist.’ on some level, I may never be able to understand Assuming so inherently continues to privilege a the experiences of many artists that frequent very limited criteria of Feminist identity formation my playlists. There is an important distinction and excludes the very real forces that influence to be made here that is is crucial and necessary us in subtle and profound ways.


“How can you listen to that shit? It’s degrading...I 3D Na’tee, Rapsody, and Invincible, have been thought you were a Feminist.” After I was asked utilizing lyrical talent to describe complex this question by a high school peer a few years narratives like pros. ago, I stumbled in awkward silence to defend myself and my Feminism. I didn’t have the tools then as a fifteen-year-old that I have now as **At this point, I need to make the (what should a twenty-year-old. I would have asked if her be obvious) disclaimer that although I’ve listed white girl contemporary love songs accurately rap artists, there are numerous artists across every reflected the agency that young woman are genre that contain themes worthy of critical continuously told to forget they have in an Feminist pause. These are artists that I’ve included effort surrender to the upper on the most recent mix middle class Prince Charming that I made for a fellow As a fan of ladyfantasies. I would have asked Feminist. if those paradigms were less made music heavy damaging than encouraging on themes of womenwomen to be financially Wynn Coughlin is a independent in any way that rising senior at Loyola, empowerment, I’m is available to them. I would majoring in Social overjoyed to see a have challenged her assumption Work and minoring in that “that shit,” whatever Women’s and Gender new class of female overgeneralized phenomena Studies. She is a artists gaining some she meant to describe, was not Gannon Scholar, active as inherently worthy of critical in producing the Vagina recognition in a game examination as whatever fit her Monologues, and has drowning in overplayed criteria. But I didn’t do any of dyed her hair every those things. I will never regret color. testosterone. being challenged, nor will I ever deny the opportunity to discuss this topic with fellow music enthusiasts. We have to continually be asked to understand our choices within the context of others in order to remain rooted in the reality of daily life. On that note, there is reason to also be incredibly excited about about Feminism in contemporary music. As a fan of lady-made music heavy on themes of woman-empowerment, I’m overjoyed to see a new class of female artists gaining some recognition in a game drowning in overplayed testosterone. Iggy Azalea, the first woman to make it onto XXL’s Freshman Class list in 2012, Angel Haze, the only lady who made it onto the list in 2013, and feud maven Azalea Banks have all carved out a serious slice of the game for themselves. But other up-and-comers like Brooke Candy and Honey Cocaine have been making their names through lyrical reclamation of traditionally derogatory words. Others, like

[#f]


Words Are Useless Artist: Cassandra Magana

Ready to Rise

Biography: Cassandra Magana is a Freshman at ChiArts. She loves drawing, photography, capturing images, writing stories, and singing. Cassie likes the way that art always has a message in it, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good or bad. You always have to look closely to see what is image is trying present. Cassie is inspired by creative drawings and wise color choices. She is inspired by the animated series called Legend of Korra, especially their drawing skills and the animation in the show overall.


#feminism

Infringing on the Bar Scene By Janna Payne


“I have goody bags and a pony in my bedroom,” about control top panties or dating mishaps, I bantered with a stranger, “Did I mention the refused to take on tragic labels or narratives, and cotton candy machine? Free cotton candy if you wholeheartedly encouraged one another. hook up with me.” While I have since found other outlets, like Parading as a campy spectacle of myself, I used poetry journals and academic conferences, to dress up, have a few drinks with friends for expressing authentic parts of myself, I look and head to a local bar for some pro bono back on my bar star days with gratitude. I’m entertaining. At 6’3”, I made grateful for taking on ridiculous offers in jest, twirled the role of artist: tapping I grew more shorter men on the dance floor, into my transgressive comfortable with flirted with abandon and reveled side, crossing boundaries in the absurdity of it all. of appropriateness, my body, with introducing alternative rejection, and with Toying with being a cultural agent, imaginaries, and using the I improvised, entertained and took erotic realm to fuel the occasional social interior risks. Sometimes the risks led to the political realm. penalty that comes well-meaning men shuddering, I’m grateful for realizing “Eww—are you playing footsies that self-growth, like a with being an artist with me?,” and sometimes the night at the bar, hinges on or with having a few risks led to meaningful dialogue, freedom, vulnerability and random make out sessions or one the occasional cotton candy too many. night stands. inspired joke. Looking back on my mid-twenties, I can’t convince myself I was miserable, insecure or looking for Janna Payne is a Canadian something more. I can’t convince myself it was poet and former party girl, who currently writes a weak point or an unfortunate phase. In fact, I from Cork, Ireland. She holds a Masters from have come to see my participation—or perhaps Loyola University Chicago. To check out her infringement—in the so-called ‘degrading’ bar poems, rants or one-liners, visit www.facebook. scene as a stage of renewal in my ever-unfolding com/jannaspeaks personal journey. Honest to God. In and through bar culture, I navigated, negotiated, experimented and exchanged different parts of myself. I wrestled with tension, grappled with meaning, and shied away from rigid self-understandings, from being dependent on others for spiritual truths, and from being a politically transparent woman who needed to be led. I developed a knack for making offers, buying drinks and claiming space while asserting my identity, telling my story and constructing the self. I grew more comfortable with my body, with rejection, and with the occasional social penalty that comes with being an artist or with having a few too many. I learned a lot from strong, feisty women, who spoke with brutal honesty

[#f]


WLA Re-Animated Artifacts from the vaults of the Women’s & Leadership Archives 1948: “Character Introduction” Description: The first page of Mercedes McCambridge’s published script for All the King’s Men. Commentary: Carlotta Mercedes McCambridge was an Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning American actress of radio, stage, film, and television. Orson Welles called her “the world’s greatest living radio actress. She graduated from Mundelein College in Chicago before embarking on her acting career. For her contribution to television and motion picture industry, Mercedes McCambridge has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures and one for television. WLA Mission Statement: Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects, preserves, organizes, describes, and makes available materials of enduring value to researchers studying women’s contributions to society.


First Published: 2011

Current Publisher:

Bookmark Here

HarperCollins

MSRP: $14.99

Genre:

Non-fiction

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein

Summary:

“Sweet and sassy or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somewhere between the exhilarating rise of Girl Power in the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as the source of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message faster and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages. But how dangerous is pink and pretty anyway? Being a princess is just make-believe; eventually they grow out of it… or do they? In search of answers, Peggy Orenstein visited Disneyland, trolled American Girl Place, and met parents of beautypageant preschoolers tricked out like Vegas showgirls. The stakes turn out to be higher than she ever imagined. From premature sexualization to the risk of depression to rising rates of narcissism, the potential negative impact of this new girlie-girl culture is undeniable—yet armed with awareness and recognition, parents can effectively counterbalance its influence in their daughters’ lives.” (From the back cover) Orenstein draws heavily on her own experiences as a mother raising a daughter and cleverly guides readers through her own questions and concerns about the pink culture in which her daughter is growing up. With the introduction of each topic, Orenstein presents the case and then asks the question “but is it really that bad?” and takes readers along as she consults doctors, psychologists, marketers, mothers, researchers, and girls themselves in search of the answer.

Pros:

Orenstein examines today’s girlie-girl culture with a critical, yet realistic eye. She steers clear of melodrama by thoroughly exploring each phenomenon on which she is reporting, starting often at the source before consulting research and “expert” opinions. She is quick to admit when her initial assumptions were wrong or misguided, but also quick to explain why. Her writing is personal, honest, and relatable (even if you are not a mother).

Cons:

While Orenstein gives scores of great advice for parents (the book is more targeted toward mothers) on how to guide their daughters through today’s girlie-girl culture, she does not always offer much guidance on how mothers (or readers) can simultaneously navigate these same influences (which by no means end with puberty) for themselves.


by Abeer Allan

Middle Eastern Musings A Dive into the Dead Sea

Feminism in Shattered Palestinian Words...


Feminism is a term which has recently spread widely in the Middle East, or let me say, spread with more bravery nowadays.

aspects of life, not calling for putting themselves above men or degrading them.

In the Middle East, feminists are presently being judged to be man haters, atheists, men imitators, and a whole host of other stereotypes. Fortunately, Introduced in 2005, however, feminist groups are standing up for their rights, no Shashat now also matter what they face and in spite screen in Gaza of the names that they are called. Because of this stand, Middle under the title, “I Eastern society now seems to be Am a Woman From more at peace with understanding feminism. A recent music video Palestine”, attracting was made by the Palestinian rap an audience of band, DAM, and the Palestinian singer, Amal Murkus, under the hundreds of women name “If I Could Go Back in activists and ardent Time”. The video depicted the sad reality of honor killings, defenders of women’s arranged marriages, and violence rights. against women. “Shashat”, an Arabic word meaning “Screens”, is a yearly Palestinian women’s festival, focused on screening different short films that were produced by Palestinian women, reflecting a female perspective on Palestinian politics and social issues. Introduced in 2005, Shashat now also screens in Gaza under the title “I Am a Woman From Palestine”, attracting an audience of hundreds of women activists and ardent defenders of women’s rights. Showing the creativity of women and their deep insight on certain social issue, the screening hosts films centered on arranged child marriages, women and legal rights, divorced women, and more social and patriotic stories. Shashat has become only one of many other feminist movements that support women in freely expressing freely their thoughts and minds. Throughout the Middle East, media and people have grown to form a better understanding of feminism, accepting and realizing that feminism is simply asking for equality in all different


By Emma Steiber

Queer Thoughts A Transgressive Approach

A Game of Genders **Characters and events in Game of Thrones are mentioned.** In order to understand gender, it is important to look at gender over time. When I speak of gender, I speak on its growing arbitrariness

in the present westernized culture. Yet this is “gender” we speak of now, presently, currently. Gender extends way back in a time where it was a significant word-- a word one may contest retrospectively, but, nonetheless, a word that was formerly a signifier of one’s roles, assets, and


empowerment or objectification. However, in order for anthropologists, sociologists, cultural relativists, and the like to interpret or destabilize gender in today’s society, one has to go back to the source of gender’s creation of and connection to the physical self.

Additionally, Khaleesi was forced to be queen of another kingdom, but women sometimes gained power through these marriages. And now Khaleesi is her own ruler, her own queen. That was power for women. A sad reality, yes, but a historically significant and gender accepted role as well? Yes.

When reading feminists critiques and reviews on period If one challenged pieces, a point is often made Being a feminist, though, on roles, primarily on the shouldn’t place one just roles and switched objectification of women within on the female-critique over, it was seen as a these roles. In regards to the side because that is still popular book series and HBO gendering and dividing challenge or an program, Game of Thrones, society. In order to affront to the these gender critiques have been destabilize degradation made, even within the very based on gender, one must masculized men, pages of this magazine. I have look at, in addition to from rulers to guards. no qualms with those who raise observing retrospectively such questions. The feminine the historical realities, the and what defines femininity is masculine roles alongside not transhistorically fixed. In the feminine roles. The our westernized present time, males within Game of gender and fixed identities are Thrones are still subjected being attacked and destabilized, to pressure through their and, thus, should lead those to ask critical masculinities, are forced into marriages in order questions. However, it frustrates me that the to bind relationships between kingdoms, and argument stops at the surface. Historically, gender are disempowered and shamed if born with a is significant in its degrading history. Nonetheless, seemingly abnormal physicality or trait. The should one retrospectively judge historical result if one goes against these societal rules? A accounts, although admittedly fictionalized in possible “red wedding” for all involved. some fantastical elements, of women’s roles? To me, the answer is no. Do we expect a cartoon fantasy to sweep us into imaginary ponderings of what if? That’s completely fine if so, but, through this, we are taking an empowering and somewhat presumptuous stance on women in an era that is relative to that time and place. Within Game of Thrones, Arya must dress as a boy to survive. However, if she had not done so, there could have been possible consequences. Death, rape, shame by the enemy? Or when Brienne of Tarth, after being captured, was forced out of her armor and into a dress within the walls of another kingdom. Women, in the time that this show is modeled after, had no authority in these matters. If one challenged roles and switched over, it was seen as a challenge or an affront to masculinized men, from rulers to guards.


#feminism

Our Voices, Our Bodies: A Quick Look at Women in Mainstream Graphic Memoirs

By Angelica Krajewski


When Comics and feminism have had an recognizable name is Allison Bechdel’s in regards interesting relationship, to say the least. DC to the “Bechdel Test” from her comic strip Dykes Comics, Inc.’s recent relaunch of their superhero to Watch Out For, which asks whether a film 1) books, the New 52, is enough proof of that. has at least two women in it 2) who talk to each Though Batwoman is depicted as a lesbian other 3) about something other than a man. All as a conscious effort on the part five of these women of DC to diversify its characters, have rightfully gained she is undoubtedly sexualized. repeated recognition While her male counterpart Batman confronting issues changes in and out of his superhero of violence, politics, All five of these costume from one panel to another, and sexuality head Batwoman’s dressing and undressing on. In fact, it seems it women have is unnecessarily drawn out through is their underground rightfully gained entire pages. It is no surprise that many roots that provide people are critical of major comic these women with repeated recognition publishers like DC where female the flexibility to fully confronting issues of creators, as Laura Hudson describes express themselves. in her Comic-Con 2011 article, only violence, politics, and make up 1% of the creative team. This While the sexuality head on. figure doesn’t change much as we shift underground comics from superhero to autobiographical scene seems to be a comics. (It’s important to define great place to find the word “comics,” and I take my definition feminist texts, it’s important to wonder about the from Scott McCloud’s text Understanding mainstream. These bigger publishing companies Comics: although the word is plural in form, maintain trends within the comics form; any topic it acts as a singular noun and should be taken or theme worth repeating in multiple texts is the to mean “juxtaposed pictorial and other answer to something audiences are or seem to be images in a deliberate sequence, intended looking for. Additionally, readers can more easily to convey information and/or to produce an access materials published by a company like aesthetic response in the viewer.”) Although Vertigo and creators are privileged with a larger autobiographical comics may not be as popular reading audience. It is for this reason that two as superhero comics, they have become a visible autobiographical comics by women stand out: part of the form, commercially and academically. Cuba: My Revolution and Marzi. Within a little over a year, Vertigo published these two graphic Part of the visibility of the autobiographical memoirs about women’s lives in communist comic book is due to the major publishers taking countries. Cuba: My Revolution features Sonya as an interest; in particular, DC’s imprint Vertigo an avatar for writer Inverna Lockpez. Illustrated has published several autobiographical works by Dean Haspiel (who has worked with other that, like most other comics, are dominated by writers in creating other autobiographical works male writers, artists, editors, and perspectives. As for Vertigo), the work follows Sonya as she Hillary Chute, a University of Chicago professor, studies medicine, joins the army, and becomes notes in her groundbreaking text, Graphic an artist in a quickly changing Cuba. The story Women, “women’s work… is distressingly begins with Fidel Castro’s victory and chronicles underrecognized in the emerging field of literary personal and political obstacles for Sonya, her comics.” Nearly all of the artists examined family, and friends. Marzi, written by Marzena in Chute’s text have underground publishers: Sowa and illustrated by Sylvain Savoia, tells Aline Komisky-Crumb, Phoebe Gloekner, Lynda the story of Sowa as a young girl, maneuvering Barry, Marjane Satrapi, and Allison Bechdel. her way through the world of adults while Most readers are probably familiar with Satrapi’s communism begins to crumble in Poland in the Persepolis, even if only in name. Also, another 1980’s. Between playing with friends in stairwells


and dealing with her father’s absence as he participates in a factory strike, Marzi grows from a curious troublemaker to a thoughtful critical thinker.

to have sex the way he is with Sonya if she was a mermaid. Sonya describes the change from human to mermaid as “decid[ing] to become someone else.” Deciding is an active process and while Sonya has agency in this way, it is clear that she is physically and economically in a situation that does not fully allow her to be decisive.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these texts is the way bodies are represented. Unlike Batwoman, Sonya and Marzi are not overtly sexualized in picture or words. Rather their Marzi’s anxieties manifest themselves differently bodies are sources of anxiety. As mentioned than Sonya’s due to differences in age and earlier, Sonya is an avatar for writer Inverna culture. These differences are showcased in Lockpez: by giving the character the fact that much a different name, Lockpez of Marzi’s feeling Perhaps the most inevitably separates her from the uncomfortable within interesting aspect of character. This separation points her own body comes to a distancing of one’s self from from her being these texts is the way one’s body on the page. It may perturbed by bodily bodies are represented. functions such as going allow Lockpez more creative liberties in her storytelling, yet Unlike Batwoman, Sonya to the bathroom. She the connection between Sonya admits that she would and Marzi are not overtly like being a robot and Lockpez are unmistakable. In fact, a photograph following because she “wouldn’t sexualized in picture the text of the novel depicts need to take a bath, or words. Rather their a young Lockpez in a black or pee, or poop.” bathing suit, an image strikingly While this admission bodies are sources of similar to the way Sonya is may be interpreted as anxiety. depicted in a scene with a man only a childish wish named Eduardo. Interestingly to save time, Marzi is enough this scene is one in truly embarrassed by which Sonya feels uncomfortable the entire process. In in her own skin. In the scene one of the vignettes, Sonya, desperate to borrow money to pay off “Some Poetry in Rolls,” she and her family go her family’s debts before they can leave Cuba, to the store to buy the toilet paper that was meets with Eduardo, a family friend who offers just delivered to the store, which was rare in Sonya money in exchange for sex. Prior to the communist Poland. Marzi “find[s] this whole act of sex itself, Eduardo takes pictures of Sonya situation extremely embarrassing... [She] hate[s] in her bathing suit. Readers are left wondering being exposed like this. [She] feels humiliated.” whether the photograph of Lockpez is a tangible Her shame and humiliation again stem from reminder of that day; suddenly, the cartoon making such a private bodily function public. body becomes real. In the sequence of frames Marzi expects her body to be considered private immediately following the photo session with but she feels that it is continually examined Eduardo, Sonya has sex with Eduardo and goes publicly. Marzi finds solace when she has to from being depicted as human in one frame change a baby’s diaper and Aunt Stasia “explains (using muted tones such as gray and pink) to that all babies poop a lot. That it’s all they do in “maybe a mermaid, this time. Swimming deep fact”; however, this consolation is short-lived into the ocean, shifting, changing, always beyond once she hears her father’s story about when the reach of men” in the next (using a harsh red she pooped at a family friend’s home as a baby. and black). It is important that Sonya chooses Marzi remains humiliated, re-emphasizing to be a mermaid: a mermaid’s lower body is the how, in a communist system that is supposed tail of a fish. It would be impossible for Eduardo to emphasize community, the individual person


feels exposed. This tie to communism is more apparent when readers realize the bathroom stories are juxtaposed with criticism of the government. At this point, it is interesting to note Scott McCloud’s claims that comic book characters become reflections of ourselves, the readers. Marzi and Sonya’s discomfort with their bodies alienates us as readers. We are unable to feel comfortable experiencing these communist societies through these characters when they are not comfortable themselves. At the same time, while Sonya’s family escape from communism leads her to prostitute herself and Marzi’s humiliation comes from a socialist invasion of privacy, sex trafficking and body image issues are prevalent problems around the world. These moments of discomfort exist in the experience of people living under various political systems; they are just exacerbated by communist politics as experienced by Lockpez and Sowa.

Angelica Krajewski is a 2013 Loyola alumna. She is now pursuing her Master’s in English Education at UIC and facilitating adult ESL classes for Head Start parents. Angelica drinks a lot of espresso, reads a lot of Eve Ensler, and spent a lot of her toddlerhood thinking she was a dog.

The complexity of these characters and their agency in telling their own stories should not be considered remarkable, but rather should be expected by audiences. Unfortunately, the reality is that women, racial/ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community, and working/lower classes are all underrepresented in mainstream media, whether we’re discussing comics or television and film. Though underground forms of media, such as the comics mentioned by Chute, and online media (Check out Danielle Corsetto’s Girls with Slingshots, a humorous, but well written online comic which deals with topics like asexuality, cancer, and talking cacti!) function as outlets for rarely heard voices, audiences should put pressure on mainstream publishers to continue creating print media like Marzi and Cuba: My Revolution that give women an authentic voice. And maybe DC should consider bumping that 1% of female creators up a few percentage points.

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#feminism

A Reflection About Feminism and Superheroes

By Jack Ciolli

When you think of superheroes, a few obvious characters come to mind. Superman, Batman, Spider-man. Making a list of the most recognizable superheroes in the medium, you’d find yourself with a list comprised of mostly men. The comics industry (here referring to the “mainstream” industry, represented by Marvel and DC’s predominantly superhero comics) has always been run by men and because of that, its heroes tend to be almost entirely male. These past two weeks, I’ve helped run a superhero art camp for kids, ranging from third grade to sixth grade. Over the course of four days, myself and three other instructors lead

the kids through the steps of creating their own superhero and a comic book of one of their adventures. Of the thirty-seven students enrolled in the camp, twenty were girls. That’s over half of the group, girls showing up to talk about and draw superheroes. And how many characters do we have catering to this large portion of the audience? Not a whole lot. On one of the days of the camp we showed a PowerPoint with slides depicting well-known characters from comics and cartoons, discussing what they looked like, how they were different, what trends appeared in their designs. The goal


was to get the kids thinking about what they Another aspect of this discussion was to bring wanted their hero to look like, but the added up each hero’s back-story, so that the kids could bonus was for them to think about aspects of begin thinking on what their own origin story superhero fiction that were potentially negative. would be. I was shocked when the question of In the first week, one of the female students Wonder Woman’s origins was met with a wall of pointed out that most of the slides silence. This is a character were men. Only two slides, one everyone knows, and yet depicting the Powerpuff Girls no one knows. Her image and the other depicting Wonder is clear, but to the general Woman, represented female public, particularly to the A hero is anybody heroes. This was an intentional generations of kids who who stands against choice by the teacher who created grew up without the Justice and ran the camp, Brittany League cartoon of my evil, regardless of Schwarck, an art education major childhood or the Wonder whether they happen at the Ohio State University. Woman television show starring Linda Carter from to be boy or girl, The following week, the same my parents’ time, not black or white, gay PowerPoint sparked different much is known about who discussions. One astute young girl she is, what she stands or straight. pointed out that Wonder Woman for, or even what she can wore significantly less clothing do. That’s why superhero then her male counterparts. The movies are so important notion that we need to change right now. They have the how women are portrayed in fiction isn’t new, opportunity to educate a massive audience on but it became all the more apparent to me the large body of fascinating characters that when children were the ones making these exist in comic books. Wonder Woman is an observations. Children who like superheroes incredibly important figure in superhero comic and want to be caught up in the excitement and book history, and it’s about time she led the way adventure. But we’re teaching them that men again, helming a female-led action/adventure are more likely to be heroic then women are and film franchise. that to be a hero, women need to show more of their skin then men do. That’s a pretty big issue, Superheroes are more popular now then they especially when kids between eight and eleven had been for a long time. They’re reaching years old notice it’s happening. wider audiences then ever before with megasuccessful summer blockbusters and comic book But it’s not just girls we need to fix the industry sales themselves are even steadily increasing in for. Boys are being negatively affected too. reassuring numbers. What better time to start During the second week, when images of the affecting the way kids see gender differences? Powerpuff Girls and Wonder Woman appeared We have their attention, we can show them that on-screen, several boys scoffed at the idea of a hero isn’t determined by his or her gender, or female heroes. It may be tame now, even a bit how much their costume covers up. A hero is comedic to see a little boy throw his hood on in anybody who stands against evil, regardless of mock disapproval at the idea of girl superheroes, whether they happen to be boy or girl, black as if they might have super cooties or something, or white, gay or straight. A hero is just a hero. but it’s a precursor to a scary event, where those Period. boys grow up thinking girls are inferior to boys. Jack Ciolli graduated this past Spring from the You don’t need me to tell you how that can go Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree wrong pretty quick. in Sequential Art. Lover of superheroes and comics of all kinds, he’s currently pursuing a career as a

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#feminism

In Defense of ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girls’ A Rejoinder to Monika Bartyzel By Jimmy Goodrich

In a well argued and thought provoking article, Monika Bartyzel launched a much needed critique of the term ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’. While I will register agreement with many of the concerns she raises, I wish to defend the usage of the term as a useful piece of rhetoric for the

critique of misogynistic narratives. Accordingly, I recommend that the term not be stricken from our vocabularies so easily. For those who don’t know, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is that all too familiar empty female


Unfortunately, the problems with conflating character who “...exists solely in the fevered ‘quirkiness’ with ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach don’t end there. The conflation is harmful to broodingly soulful young men to embrace life actual women who are perceived as ‘quirky’. and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” The This is certainly a most bizarre and repugnant term was infamously coined in Nathan Rabin’s inversion of the feminist attitude. Suddenly, rememberable and damning review of the women perceived as forgettable Elizabethtown; in the ‘quirky’ or different review, he condemns Kirsten Dunst’s become marginalized character as a Manic Pixie Dream and alienated by the Girl. The term’s most worrying pejorative use of the problem stems directly from its Accordingly, if the ‘Manic Pixie Dream source. Rabin doesn’t carefully Girl’ label. As Bartyzel discriminate between what is bad term is to be saved, notes, this divides or absurd about the Manic Pixie we need to be careful women and forces Dream Girl and the quirky features social norms to be a of Kirsten Dunst’s character. Thus, to resist the idea constitutive feature of both the quirky characteristics and that quirkiness has the ‘positive’ perception the negative features of the character of women. Clearly, we are seemingly lumped together anything to do with must condemn this under the heading ‘Manic Pixie the usage of ‘Manic and any use of ‘Manic Dream Girl’. The words constituting Pixie Dream Girl’ the term itself seems to reflect the Pixie Dream Girl’. that conflates it with disdain for the quirkiness of the quirkiness. Accordingly, character. if the term is to be saved, we need to be This is ultimately what leads to the careful to resist the problems addressed by Bartyzel. idea that quirkiness has She believes the term is applied anything to do with the usage of the term ‘Manic in a lazy fashion that dismisses all female Pixie Dream Girl’. characters perceived as ‘quirky’ or unusual. She certainly has a point. After all, by ‘quirky,’ we To accomplish the aforementioned task, we just mean someone who, either intentionally must identify what was actually so seemingly or unintentionally, fails to conform to social insidious about the paradigmatic Manic Pixie conventions and norms. In this way, ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girls in the first place. This is tantamount Dream Girl’ has become a pejorative version to asking the question of “Why do we find these of ‘quirky female’. This of course has led to character so bad?” So, we know the answer has some harmful misappropriations. Kate Winslet’s nothing to do with quirkiness. There is nothing character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless bad about quirkiness. It is just often implicitly Mind or Dianne Keaton’s character in Annie Hall correlated in the minds of bad writers with the are not Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Bartyzel seems Manic Pixie Girl of their dreams. I contest that to agree, and yet they are sometimes labeled the answer to the question also isn’t that they are as such. Bartyzel innumerates the examples unbelievable. I think that the essential, uniquely further and in effect, argues that these lazy constitutive negative feature of a Manic Pixie misappropriations are harmful to valuable female Dream Girl must be the role the character plays characters. Once again, she is certainly right. in the narrative. Manic Pixie Dream Girls are That being said, we can still ask what makes those characters whose value is all and only the aforementioned characters different than instrumental to the betterment of the protagonist. characters like Kirsten Dunst’s in Elizabethtown These characters don’t seem to have any intrinsic and Natalie Portman’s in Garden State. final value in the way they are portrayed or in the narrative itself. Often, quirky features are


used to dress up the role in an attempt to make the character interesting or appear as more than just serving the merely instrumental role. But, wearing a meat dress doesn’t make a mannequin interesting. The meat dress is just kind of interesting. Not realizing this is what I think most contributes to the conflation of quirkiness with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

character in Annie Hall do not clearly fit into this merely instrumental role is defensible. In both cases, the romantic relationship between the two characters in each narrative seem to be the protagonists. The male protagonists don’t walk away with a contrived vague lesson about life and the female characters each have their own thoughts, beliefs, and don’t submit everything to their male lovers.

Furthermore, the protagonist typically never We can consider a more interesting case than acknowledges that a Manic Pixie Dream Girl the ones previously is valuable apart from how they discussed. What are affect the protagonist. Sometimes Sometimes the male we to make of Zooey the male protagonist may protagonists may Deschannel’s Summer acknowledge some of the quirks if in 500 Days of they are present, but as previously acknowledge some Summer? She certainly remarked, this is a less than of the quirks if they did serve a heavily clever way to avoid addressing instrumental role to the actual character and relies on are present, but as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s the assumption that the viewer Tom. He is revealed as is lazy. In turn, the immaturity of previously remarked, immature and selfish the protagonist and perhaps the this is a less clever than in the film and learns writer-director of said character is usually made prevalent. This way to avoid addressing from Summer. She is dressed up as explains many’s repulsion with the actual character and certainly quirky. I think whether Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Due to the subservient, instrumental relies on the assumption or not Summer is a Manic Pixie Dream role they play, they perpetuate that the viewer is lazy. Girl hinges on how an adolescent misogynistic merely instrumental view of the axiological status she was to Tom. That of women. One which enforces is, the film is certainly and entertains male adolescent about Tom, and Summer is certainly instrumental fantasies that are counterproductive to gender to the narrative, but is her final value merely egalitarianism. instrumental? There may not be an easy answer here. I’m inclined to say that she had more I think it would be easy enough to mount a features than just the quirky properties to dress defense of how Natalie Portman’s character in up a merely instrumental role she played in the Garden State and Kirsten Dunst’s character in narrative. If I’m wrong, I think we may be able Elizabethtown serve merely instrumental roles to to identify some valuable features of Summer the male protagonists. Portman’s character can’t despite her heavily instrumental role. even seem to define her own self worth apart from Zach Braff’s self-interested assholery. Of Time wouldn’t be well spent discussing more course, if this was part of the surface narrative films here. What I have said about these films has and Portman’s character was some how able to been flippant. The analysis of particular films is surpass this, we may be convinced that she has less relevant to my purposes than the articulation more intrinsic value. But, this definition of her of why Manic Pixie Dream Girls are bad own self worth seems its most prevalent at the characters. Perhaps all or none of the characters end of the film. Additionally, I think the claim I mentioned fit the merely instrumental role that that Kate Winslet’s character in Eternal Sunshine I believe is the uniquely constitutive feature of of the Spotless Mind and Diane Keaton’s


Manic Pixie Dream Girls. We can certainly agree or disagree about this, but if we focus on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope as I have defined it, we may be capable of a productive conversation. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Manic Pixie Dream Girls are bad characters in virtue of the merely instrumental role they play. This doesn’t mean that they cannot be valuable in other respects. So even if the label of Manic Pixie Dream Girl over shadows other positive features of some characters as Bartyzel argues, in theory, we needn’t commit ourselves to dismissing the character completely. If we use ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ to identify and shame all and only those female characters that are merely valuable to the narratives insofar as they are instrumentally valuable to male protagonists, then the term can be useful. Recognizing that quirkiness can sometimes be used as a slide of hand meant to distract us from the fact that some female characters are hollow sexist plot devices and not that all quirky female characters are to be abhorred is essential to making the term ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ a usable tool of critique. If we follow these rules in our usage of the term, then I’m confident we can avoid the real world social implications that could potentially divide women.

James Goodrich is an undergraduate philosophy and political science student at Rutgers University. His main academic interests lie in ethics, the philosophy of economics, and the philosophy of action. He’s the Editor-in-Chief of Arete, the Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Rutgers University for the 2013-2014 academic year and is a vocal supporter of the Effective Altruism movement. In his free time, he enjoys long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, and the Wu-Tang Clan.

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Feminist Fires Alison Bechdel, Graphic Novelist/Cartoonist and Author Major Works: “Dykes to Watch Out For ” (2006) “Fun Home” (2009) “Are You My Mother? ” (2012) The Bechdel Test (2006) Inspired By: Bechdel seems to be inspired by Virginia Woolf and her works. Bechdel read about how Woolf told and observed her real life experiences through her fiction. Additionally, the Bechdel test is partially influenced by Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own, in which Woolf discusses the roles of women in literature. Edward Gorey, Art Spiegelman, R. Crumb, and Norman Rockwell are a few of the multiple authors and cartoonists that have inspired her. In regards to Bechdel’s memoirs, they are heavily focused on her family life and her relationships with members of her family.

Is An Inspiration to: Bechdel is an inspiration to queer society, especially to queer writers. She has also influenced film critics, who see the Bechdel test as important to analyzing gender biases within films and other media outlets. Personal Life: Born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, Bechdel was raised by teachers. In her late teens Bechdel came out as a lesbian. Her belief that her father was gay and may have committed suicide by stepping in front of a truck, and the growth of her sexual identity around that time, influenced her in producing Fun Home. Importance to Feminism: Bechdel’s creative avenue has allowed her to express her relationships with her family, her lovers, and herself in many different ways. Using psychoanalysis discourse, literature, and art, Bechdel has created an intersectional and interconnected approach to the self-discovery of the female and her sexual identity.


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Quote Corner Laurie Penny, Columnist, Blogger, and Author

It is vital that we There are a lot of people who think either understand that sexism is populist feminist or the other extreme is not just one more naughty nonsensical, who want to demean sex workers thing that the tabloids or to protect their rights, and what the internet do. Sexism is the dirty means is that we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ignore each oil in the engine, the other. It also means people juice that makes the are a lot more educated than they were in the whole shuddering 60s and 70s when sleaze-machine consciousness was run smoothly. about finding The eyes that each other; the are drawn to internet makes that faster. the topless teenager Sexism is on page becoming three skim more apparent lightly over to girls at an page two, where ever young age. propagandists on the The sexual violence Murdoch dollar peddle torrid justifications for the in schools is astonishing and the waging of wars and the internet is making that more apparent. slashing of public sector But feminists have a way of coming jobs and call it news


Broadside Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style

Diva Poetry 1&2

By Angelica Krouwer

But I am not

I’m Janis, man!

“My hands are my own My face is my own… But I am not.”

Fuck the lines man! What are they there for anyway? To be crossed! Lines are there to be crossed. Or to snort.

Mold me Move me Shape me Touch me Push me Bend me Twist me Break me

Catch me

Save me

All you fuckers wait in line, Without realizing you are the line. Push the line. And rock on out.


Diva Poetry 3&4 By Angelica Krouwer

Fame Fame slithers beneath my doorframe Uninvited but welcomed just the same She circles my feet and flirts with Power and Conceit

D-I-V-A

With treacherous guile The three cloak me and I snidely smile

Diva. D D.D. Delicious. Delectable. Delicate. Domineering. Dark. Daring. Demure. Difficult. Demanding. Diva.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is there no escaping you?â&#x20AC;? I shout Knowing I could never do without Fame is my air Power my sustenance and Conceit my everlasting snare

I. I. I. Inviting. Insatiable. Indescribable. Intelligent. Intense. Instinctual. Not you. I. I. I. Introspective. Imperious. Impossible. Diva. V. V. V. Vivacious. Vital. Victorious. Vicious. Vain. Vigorous. Vile. Virgin. Vulgar. Va-VaVoom. Diva. A. A. A. Astonishing. Amazing. Ambitious. Aggressive. Angelic. Agent. Admired. Admonished. Alluring. Alarming. Diva. Diva. Diva.


Broadside Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style

Religion

Diva Poetry 5&6

By Angelica Krouwer

I don’t believe in Jesus I don’t believe in Mary I don’t believe in heaven But god dammit, I believe in Madonna. I don’t believe in angels I don’t believe in mass I don’t believe in rosaries But god dammit, I believe in Madonna. I don’t believe in hymns I don’t believe in church bells I don’t believe in communion But god dammit, I believe in Madonna. I don’t believe in purgatory I don’t believe in hell I don’t believe in confession But god dammit I believe in Madonna.

Time those little hands on that little face teeter back and forth to and fro in ceaseless motion these little lines on my little face are etched and carved and can’t be erased.


Diva Poetry 7 By Angelica Krouwer

Impresario She sits atop a pristine pedestal Her fluttering ebony lashes Gently frame the eyes of innocence Her perfectly pink pigmented lips Never before kissed Her pure porcelain skin Untouched and unmarred Lifeless yet living His little doll.


Broadside Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style

Analysis of Diva Poetry By Angelica Krouwer When I began my anthology of diva poems, I approached my writing from a variety of perspectives. I wanted to convey the vast array of people that the diva affects by being who she is- including the diva herself. I ended up really delving into the mindset of the diva- what she would think, how she would feel, and four of my seven poems ended up focusing on different emotional states the diva might encounter in her lifetime. They are not long, epic poems, but rather consist of short, powerful words-each with deliberate meaning. I’ve never written poems of great length because I feel there is a certain power in the succinct. My first poem was inspired by one of my favorite lines in Robert Creeley’s poem, A Form of Women. It reads, “My hands are my own/ My face is my own/But I am not.” This line prompted me to think of how a diva must feel at the pinnacle of her career- being pushed and pulled in either direction by people claiming to have her best interests at heart. She is not truly a person anymore, but rather a commodity. She becomes paradoxically more than herself and less than herself with each turn. By using a two-

syllable rhythm, I attempted to demonstrate the exhausting life of the diva when she transforms into a piece of malleable clay that is molded and shaped by her surroundings. The final two phrases of the poem, “catch me” and “save me” are deliberately spaced out to slow down the rhythm and showcase a sense of desperation a diva must feel after being incessantly poked and prodded by others- both physically and mentally. My second poem, “I’m Janis, man!” is an obvious tribute to Janis Joplin. This poem once again takes on the perspective of the diva herself, but I narrowed the scoped by having Janis speak in the first person. I wanted to play up her carefree vulgarity, her infamous drug use, and her rejection of anything considered to be within the realm of societal constrictions. The final line of this poem is one of Janis Joplin’s famous sayings, “Rock on out,”- paying homage to both her music and her spirit. My third poem is about a diva’s relationship with fame and the qualities that subsequently follow. I personified “fame” as something that sneaks into the diva’s presence and befriends “power” and


“conceit.” It is clear that their relationship with the diva is one of dysfunctional appreciationmuch like an addiction. The diva shouts, “Is there no escaping you?” knowing that is it a rhetorical question because she couldn’t survive without any of them to be who she is. The idea for my fourth poem stemmed from my desire to play with sound and adjectives. It is a poem that is meant to be read out loud, much like a spoken word performance. By combining all of the multi-faceted elements of a diva, both positive and negative associations, I constructed a sort of acrostic sound poem, the intensity of which is supposed to build as you progress with the reading for dramatic effect. My fifth diva poem is a fan’s tribute to Madonna. I wanted to construct the idea of diva adoration as a religion. The irony is that the fan rejects traditional (Catholic) religion throughout the poem- (the lowercase letter on the word ‘god’ is deliberate to signify the word as an expression rather than paying reverence to a divine entity). The poem constructs a dual irony in the fact that Madonna, herself, was a practicing Catholic. I liked the idea of juxtaposing a rejection of religion with a resolute devotion to a diva, as a way to fill the void of religion itself. The sixth diva poem speaks to time and age as inevitability in a diva’s life. Although this poem could be applied to anyone thinking about the passage of time and growing older, it somehow seems more poignant and defeating when applied to a diva. I think of Margo Channing in All About Eve, and remember her struggle with growing older and the diminishing roles that were available to her as a woman her age. However, there is a comfort in the inevitability and universality of time- that not even a diva can escape it, and she bares the lines of age with permanence just as anyone else. In contrast with the previous poem, the seventh diva poem offers a haunting glance into the mind of an obsessive impresario. It is meant to be told from his perspective when he first begins his rapport with the diva. He sees her as a perfect, untouched specimen- similar to how Britney Spears was first seen- a young, virginal girl with

exceptional talent. To the impresario, the diva is like a doll- a perfect thing, that isn’t truly human. Though this anthology only scratches the surface of what could be said about a diva and the roles she plays, I attempted to give a well-rounded representation of the complexity of the diva. Angelica Krouwer, a senior at Loyola, is a political science major that loves writing poetry, eating sushi, snuggling with her German Shepherd, Riley, and traveling to far off lands. She has no idea what she’s doing with her life after she graduates, but hopes to keep her idealism alive in whatever avenue she decides to take.


by J. Curtis Main

Inside R Out? White? Male? Feminist? YES.

Turn off your Brain, Engage your Agency, and Enjoy Redefining Pop Culture

Late Saturday night, I finished the fourth season of Drop Dead Diva. I started watching it because Margaret Cho was in it, but now, I adore the series. I think it’s a good example of blurring the lines between my activism and beliefs and what pop culture has to offer. It’s often vapid, silly, extravagant, childish, and heavily stereotyped, yet overall and most importantly, it’s fun. I can turn my brain off and enjoy grinning for awhile. Which, considering the magnitude of injustice and violence in the world, seems both terrible

and necessary. Terrible, because someone as privileged as me is kicking back and watching something like Drop Dead Diva when there are clearly messed up things happening right in my neighborhood that I could do more about. But also necessary, in that, like anyone who often makes efforts to be a good person and try to help change the world to be better, it’s nice to relax into fun enjoyment. If you have social justice and race relations and other issues on your mind that pop up everywhere all the time, escaping the tension and upset these can cause can prove


I try to do the same in other ways, such as music. I’ll save money by not dropping $80 for more mainstream artists, which will allow me to purchase CDs from Imani Coppola, MIA, Zee So for my column this week, I wanted to offer a Avi, and other lesser known artists who often different take on pop culture and how it intersects have more to say and less concern for profit and with our lives as activists. I believe there is a fame. Not that I really enjoyable way to kick back into am shaming putting pop culture AND still not lose our cool money toward big, when experiencing popular media. rich artists; that can But we always be fun! I do that with Do you like movies as much as I do? have the choice to Madonna concerts. Are you sometimes left scratching But we always have your head at the level of violence, put our money and the choice to put our racism, privilege, and disconnect many attention elsewhere, money and attention American movies depict? And how elsewhere, and it is whitewashed, misogynistic, pointless, and it is easier easier than one might vapid, and offensive many can be? than one might think. think. Plus, we can As a viewer, you do have more and surprise ourselves more agency in helping decide what with new forms of is popular. Since popular culture is entertainment outside as simple as something being popular, the realms of more well-known, and wide-spread, we do popular culture. not have to feed into something highly offensive; there are often less offensive and at times even We can do similarly with books, magazines, liberating options increasingly at our fingertips. video games, cosmetics, improv, stand up Thus, rather than pay $8-14 a ticket to see the comedy, poetry, and so on. Our smartphones latest superhero movie or Disney flick, save and other media devices are more and more your money for something else, for efforts that allowing us to find lesser known artists and are more in line with your beliefs. Or, perhaps expression, which, again, gives every person even spend that same money on a movie that more agency to choose what is popular. So tries to depict people and their lives in fairer, less if ever you are feeling constricted, angered, harmful ways. minimized, left out, offended, and so on by popular culture, remember that there are options So, I can try to use myself as an example. I don’t all around you all the time, and these other frequent movies anymore, partly for financial options could often use more support. reasons, but mostly because I don’t want to support them. What I do enjoy, however, is I will leave you with an example. Think about putting the saved money toward movies and the last 5 movies you put money toward, perhaps television that more align with my politics. Each on Hulu or Netflix or in theaters. Now in your year I like to purchase Ru Paul’s Drag Race and head do a quick snapshot of the number of lead American Horror Story. Sure, these both have characters who were of color, women, queer, their issues, but for the most part, they are a hell older, poor, unofficially educated, and so on. of a lot more progressive than Friends or Iron If you find that what you are putting money Man 3. I could not pay the $25 to watch them towards replicates white, affluent, educated, on Amazon, since I can stream them for free. wealthy, heterosexual men as the standard and But, putting my money toward shows with lead valued expression of our lives and art, or a mix of characters such as Ru Paul and Jessica Lange, these, consider other ways to spend. For decades well, feels good. Plus, these shows make me feel the standard has been waning, but we have so good anyway. much more work in redefining popular culture, difficult. How does one take their mind off of it all?


Quote Corner

Kate Bornstein, , Author, Playwright, Performance Artist, and Gender Theorist

I see fashion as a proclamation or manifestation of identity, so, as long as identities are important, fashion will continue to be important. The link between fashion and identity begins to get real interesting, however, in the case of people Drag queen is a gender like no other, and with who don’t fall clearly practice I’d learned to into a culturallyrise to it. recognized identity Disney will never We have make a movie looked for about my life myths that story, and that’s include a shame--I’d us in great make a really novels, cute animated music, the creature. latest comic book, or even …gender some stupid is not sane. advertising campaign. It’s not sane to call a We’ll look anywhere for a mythology that embraces rainbow black and white. people like ourselves.


Words Are Useless Artist: Gayle Carloss

BROAD

Biography: Gayle Carloss is a professional artist and beloved art teacher in Sugar Land, TX. She received her B.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Texas and has sold a number of her works in galleries and auctions across the Houston area. Gayle specializes in oil and water-based paints as well as pastel. She has taught in the Texas school system for 15 years and has four wonderful daughters. Gayle believes that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women should reveal their talents. Art is mine and I cherish it, as it has given me that area of life that knows no true boundariesâ&#x20AC;?.


by Katie Klingel

AltStyle Musings of a Non-Normative Kitty Puncher

The Gay Pride Parade: What It’s Really About Reasons why I don’t want you at the Chicago Pride Parade: - You don’t really support multiple forms of love, you’re just there for the show - You’re a straight guy who attends solely for the purpose of picking up straight/bisexual girls who are there with their “Gay Best Friends” - You don’t acknowledge that for many, this is a family event For those who have never been to any sort of

Pride event, in any city, it’s truly an amazing celebration, promoting inclusivity, support, and a hell of a lot of fun. In Chicago, it has become one of the biggest festivals of the summer, completely taking over the East Lakeview neighborhood with rainbows, skimpy outfits, and yes, lots of body glitter. While these images are standard for any Pride event, it’s important not to forget that Pride, for a lot of people, means a lot more than just a day of dressing up, drinking, flirting, and losing all sense of personal space.


Lastly, while this is an event celebrating sexuality Granted, many people go to Pride with these and relationships in all their forms, it’s also about intentions, which is completely fine, provided the families. It’s an event where gay couples can you are still there to support, commemorate, and feel comfortable bringing their kids to a summer celebrate. This is the part of Pride that gets lost in parade without being judged. It’s an event where pop culture, the part that is not stressed, when it LGBTQI youth bring their parents to help them is the reason that Pride came to be. If you ask any better understand Joe Schmo, who has never attended gay culture. It’s Pride, walking down the street what an event where they think of the Pride Parade, I’m The reason that straight parents sure that many would respond with bring their something along the lines of “gay Pride is so successful kids to expose men... tight clothes... dancing... is because everyone them to nonrainbows” or any other visual symbol heteronormative associated with gay men. there supports relationships, and each other, it would to tell them that it’s So here’s the problem: Pride has okay. Pride, while become incorrectly known as an not work if it was any a celebration, a event where gay men (and sometimes other way. public display of women) can fly their gay flag and be support, and a as open as they like, while everyone place to let loose, else is there to see the show. Well can also be educational, as well as a safe space let’s break down this schema. Firstly, there are for those who are discriminated against. more than just gay men at Pride! This is lesson number one: Pride is an incredibly inclusive So yes, Pride is about having fun, an aspect that event, and celebrates anyone and everyone under must always be a top priority. In that sense, the the LGBTQI umbrella. It can also be supportive popular representations of Pride are correct. But of ethically non-monogamous relationships, we must not forget its real purpose, and what it especially people who identify as polyamorous. means to many people who attend. My advice So yes, contrary to what the name might suggest, for attending Pride is to respect that others might Gay Pride is about more than just gay men. have a different understanding of what Pride means to them, and that’s okay. The reason that Secondly, yes, you can be a straight, cisgendered Pride is so successful is because everyone there person and go to Pride, as a matter of fact, we supports each other, it would not work if it was want you there! Provided you adhere to a couple any other way. This is the side of the Pride Parade rules: you truly support the LGBTQI community that I wish was better represented in pop culture, and their efforts, you don’t judge the open the side that celebrates love, support, and displays of affection, and, for straight men, you’re solidarity. not there solely to pick up straight/bisexual girls. If you don’t think this is a common occurrence, just search “Straight Guys Getting Laid at Gay Pride” on the internet. You will soon find a step-by-step guide for straight men interested in Katie Klingel is a Senior at Loyola University finding straight girls at Pride to have sex with. Chicago, studying Anthropology, Women and Yeah, it’s that bad. Tip number four, “be sensitive Gender Studies, and French Literature. Originally around gay people,” while it sounds promising, from the South Florida area, she first discovered her boils down to knowing that gay men only drink passion for feminism when she moved to Chicago, diet coke, and that you shouldn’t mention Lady and dove right in as any suddenly liberated, queer, Gaga. kinky, poly, 18 year-old girl would.


Words are Useless Artist: Cassandra Magana

Strength Knows No Limits

Biography: Cassandra Magana is a Freshman at ChiArts. She loves drawing, photography, capturing images, writing stories, and singing. Cassie likes the way that art always has a message in it, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good or bad. You always have to look closely to see what is image is trying present. Cassie is inspired by creative drawings and wise color choices. She is inspired by the animated series called Legend of Korra, especially their drawing skills and the animation in the show overall.


Ex Bibliothecis

Women in Print Media—Women in Vogue

Vogue, founded in 1892, is America’s most influential fashion magazine according to scholar, writer, and book critic Caroline Weber. Of Vogue’s combination of “editorial excellence and visual panache” Weber wrote in a New York Times book review* that it “honors our craving for fantasy, glamour, and change.”

Vogue serves as a lens through which we can see social change, historical events, gender roles, and the use of images and words to reach women. Now you can browse Vogue from its first issue to the most current one using a searchable digital collection called The Vogue Archive.* High resolution color photographs begin with issues published in the 1930s, just as Vogue introduced

them. The covers, photo displays, articles, and advertisements are all intact.

Learn more about the history of Vogue through books in the library’s collection and available through interlibrary loan. Research databases will locate a wealth of articles on Vogue’s history and influence. For assistance with any of these sources or suggestions, please write to jcurrie@ luc.edu. * This resource is accessible on-campus or offcampus to students, faculty, and staff after log-in with a Loyola Universal ID and password.

By Jane P. Currie

From Loyola’s Libraries to you. Assisting you in your search for information.


#feminism Busted Advertising, Bustling Economy

Women, Sex, & in Popula

Are these advertisements seeking to commidify women as objects to be bought, like the retail products for sale? What do these advertisements say about the power relations between men and women? Are womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bodies dehumanized in these advertisements? Are these advertisements also derogatory to the men that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hypersexualizing? What heteronormative ideals do these advertisements perpetuate? What do you think?


& Advertising ar Culture

MadAds contributed by Katie Klingel


#feminism

Moving Back in Time

By Michelle Aldrich

“Thank you, woman. Now back to your fornicating.” An episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon portrayed a parody of the hit HBO show, Game of Thrones. The show has received a lot of criticism for the way it portrays gender roles. Female characters are usually sex slaves. More importantly, female characters mostly exist to provide offspring for the male leads. The two stronger females, Arya and Khaleesi, are also subservient: Arya has to pretend to be a boy to survive, and Khaleesi comes to power through marriage. So, Jimmy Fallon makes a point in his parody when he tells the only female shown to simply go back to having sex.

As a recent college grad, I am in a “transition” phase of life. I’m trying to figure out what to do, who I want to be, and how I want to get there. Pop culture is a huge part of my life, too—Twitter, T.V. shows, music, etc. The media that’s geared for my age, however, doesn’t give young females a totally empowering example. It can seem like Jimmy Fallon at all corners, telling us that we are mostly just good for external, physical gain. Female celebrities that are around my age paint a glum picture as well. Selena Gomez was supposed to be a strong role model for younger girls, an inspiring Latina actress and singer. I honestly can’t listen to her most recent song,


being closed down. I interned this past semester with a lobbying firm in Austin, Texas, during the legislative session. Thus, the events are important to me, but not just to me—over 1000 protestors were at the Capitol during discussion of the bill, a large percentage being students from the University of Texas. These people stayed for days, while supporters from all over the state were sending pizza and coffee. They even seems that in attempted a citizens’ filibuster. I watched reality, young the online streaming Taylor Swift also used to be a person women truly are of the House until most females wanted to emulate. Now, people tend to regard her as annoying progressive, fighting 3:00 in the morning a few times. It and whining about how a boy broke her for gender equality, seems that in reality, heart. Any news stories about her are young women truly concerned with who she is dating. “Girls respect for women, are progressive, who are defined by the men in their life” and fighting feminist fighting for gender seems to be a theme coming from every equality, respect for medium of pop culture. Other authors initiatives. women, and feminist agree that Taylor Swift, as well as Katy initiatives. So why Perry, are hurting feminist ambitions. are Selena Gomez, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ Taylor Swift, and article-2244573/Are-Taylor-Swift-KatyKaty Perry acting like Perry-killing-feminism-Author-Camillecharacters on Game of Thrones? Maybe their Paglia-slams-singers-insipid-bleached-personas. values aren’t rubbing off on their listeners. html. It’s true--Katy Perry is 28 years old, and still sings about partying, being embarrassed around I am a 21-year old woman who just graduated boys, “teenage dreams,” etc. Are Selena’s and from the University of Texas at Austin. I went to Katy’s lyrics, however, really reflected in young parties, I was in a sorority, and I dated boys in women’s lives today? fraternities. I saw girls I could have sworn were just “boy-crazy” Taylor Swifts, or “party girl” Katy @Feministtswift is a spectacular Twitter account, Perry. Those same girls, however, ended up at created by Brown University senior Clara Beyer. top law schools, selective PhD/MD programs, She mashes up Taylor Swift lyrics with “feminist” NYC banks, etc. Their exteriors may look like quotations. For example, a past tweet of hers just pretty faces, good for nothing but pleasing reads, “Loving him was like changing your mind men. The insides of young women, however, are / Once you’re already flying through the free fall a force with which to be reckoned. We are going / ‘Cause you can withdraw consent at any time.” to be CEOs. We are going to change the world. So here is a female my age, that seems to be a We will stay up all night in our state capitols to much better representation of the modern female. speak for our rights. And we will look beautiful, A woman not going backwards in time, undoing inside and out, doing it. everything feminists have worked for over the years. no matter how hard I try to block out the lyrics: “When you’re ready come and get it…you ain’t gotta worry, it’s an open invitation. I’ll be sittin’ right here, real patient. All day, all night, I’ll be waitin’ standby.” So Selena is telling boys to go do whatever they want, and when they’re ready, to come find her patiently waiting, an open invitation. I could even argue this to be borderline prostitution, but I’ll refrain. What are girls really supposed to get from It this?

The Texas Legislature is another “body of work” moving backwards in time. The House and Senate are attempting to pass the most rigorous anti-abortion bill in the nation—a bill that would result in 80% of abortion clinics in the state

Michelle Aldrich attended the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a BBA in International Business and a minor in Spanish. As of this past May, Michelle is officially a UT alum!

[#f]


by Andie Karras

Talk to Andie My 77 Cents with Feminist Favorites

We spoke with comic book artist, feminist, ‘zine extraordinaire, and Portlandian resident Nicole Georges, author of the recently published graphic memoir Calling Dr. Laura. 77: First, congrats on the book! I read it cover to cover in the lobby of my library! Can you tell us about the process of getting published and what that was like? NG: Thank you! The idea for the book started to germinate in 2007. It took me 5 years from it being an original short story to a quick blog for fun on live journal to book proposal and agent. In total, I have been doing comics for 15 years. 77: Are you self-taught? Where did you go to college? NG: Yes. I didn’t go to college. I got my GED, and was trying to go to Antioch College in Ohio (which I think is now defunct). I was in a car accident and I never went back. I moved to Portland, and go so busy with Portland life and publishing. Everything I have is from consistency and hard work.

77: And what about the New York Times best seller lists. Why only men? NG: I feel like women get a little freaked out. It’s presented to us as a limited resource. There are only a few spots, and we must compete with each other because there are only 2 women who get to be 77: Wow! I think a lot of times, we’re taught, especially cartoonists? It can dampen your spirits, but it can also force you to be tenacious. My work is not clean or students, that college is the answer, that there’s almost one road to take, and if we veer off that “normal” path, computer-y. It’s raw and emotional, and I think that appeals to women. It’s okay to say I can be anything we’re not going to be successful. without worrying about my eyebrows. The moment I NG: Everything you do is a little piece, a little stopped giving a sh*t about what men thought about reconnection to building your career. I think right my work was a really liberating point for me. I would now it’s a good time to see so many strong women have worked on comics a lot sooner, I would have kept represented. my fire. I do have male comic book artist friends, but I am an artist, and I’m just going to have to be an artist. 77: Can you say more about that? How do you see the It’s not even a choice to grow it. comic book genre changing? I know after the success of Alison Bechdel’s Funhome, it seemed as if this space permanently opened for other women comic book artists 77: I went to a small publishing fair recently, and I saw a men’s publishing house, a kind of “for men by to come through. NG: The thing is Alison (Bechdel) worked for so long – men.” I was like haven’t men been telling the stories over 20 years – before the New York Times recognized for thousands of years? Aren’t high school curriculums her. Alison’s book had just come out and my story was already dominated by men? interesting and sellable at that exact moment. I always NG: (laughing) Men’s fiction? Isn’t that just called took for granted that I had anything interesting to say in fiction? 300 pages.


Nicole Georges Calling Dr. Laura

77: And the lack of diversity in comics. Can you say a little bit about that, too? NG: There are never enough women in comics. When I was in middle school, x-men superheroes were only drawn by men. Women were drawn super sexy. People of color have existed before white people. Women have existed just as long as men. Just now we’re getting represented? It’s like women are drawn alternative, but it’s always The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or Angelina Jolie in leather just kicking ass just like a man would. 77: Tell me about your early influences. NG: I love ‘zine (self-published work). I wasn’t into Riot Grrl when it first came out because I was a punk feminist. In retrospect, Kathleen Hanna and Phoebe Gloekner (Diary of a Teenage Girl) had a huge influence on me. I gravitated towards girls who wrote about trauma very freely, that was a genre, trauma ‘zine, when you have angst versus listening to Nirvana and saying “I’m Angry” versus doing a ‘zine and sending it out to strangers. I also am drawn to comics from the 70s. You can see the white-out and tape. I still cartoon that way! I just took my students to the traveling art show about Jewish women doing comics. Is there a connection between being outspoken and doing comics?

77: Ooo.. I’m going to have to check that out. (Later, I learned the exhibition is: Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women http://www. portlandmonthlymag.com/events/confessionalcomics-by-jewish-women) 77: What do you want our readership to know? NG: I think it’s really important for women to have female role models. I volunteer at a Rock N’ Roll camp for girls. It’s all expressions, all body types. I think it’s important for young girls to see “A fat woman who loves themselves” to “A Punk Bike Mechanic” to a “Soccer Mom.” 77: I think a lot of women grow up afraid of embarrassing their families so it prevents women from telling the stories they need to tell. How has your family reacted to the book? NG: A lot of thought and consideration went into the process. I just had to do it. Women gravitate towards memoir and I would love to see more. The bottom line is it’s not meant for them, but for me. I was in charge of getting it out there. You should write with the door closed. Edit with the door open. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to be fair to them (family members)? You should write as if your family is dead. Okay, they’re not dead, so how can I be fair to them? 77: Finally, who are your favorite feminist influences? NG: Well, I love animals, so Jane Goodall. It wasn’t bell hooks. I like her way. I like how she embeds herself in with the animals. I have a logical fear of chimps ripping my face off and I really admire her methods. She’s focused on the place and the surroundings and the primates. She’s not just this random white person who lives there. Andie Karras is forever a graduate student and student loan repayer. She is also an Adjunct Instructor of English at a few different colleges around Chicago. She holds office hours on the redline. She hopes to teach her daughter to not be afraid of nail fungus or sharks or of anyone on the playground. She loathes the gender binary, and agrees that she’ll be a post-Feminist when there’s a post-patriarchy.


#feminism

Revolution Grrrl Playlist By Nina Berman 1. Bikini Kill—Rebel Girl Bikini Kill was arguably the epicenter of the Riot Grrrl movement; a movement of politics, feminism, art, and music of the early 1990s. “Rebel Girl,” quickly became an anthem of the movement with its playful homoeroticism, strong bonds of female friendship and support, and heralding the girl revolution.

the boys club of punk music in LA by being badder than the boys. They were louder, raunchier, bigger and cooler. They flaunted their sexuality, their jailbaity ness, being every parent’s worst nightmare. They never made it big here in the US of A but they were huge in Japan. Their songs all dare their male listeners to see if they can stand up to the teenage rage of The Runaways, opening up the different kinds of modalities.

2. The Runaways—Queens of Noise 3. Bratmobile—Cool Schmool Late 70s LA all girl rock and roll band of teenagers, The Runaways, dealt with

Mixing surf and garage rock plus Riot


Grrrl activism and attitude, Bratmobile’s song “Cool Schmool” proclaims proudly that they don’t care how thin you think they are, or how cool you think they are. They don’t want to be thought of as cool girl objects, but demand that you take a look into what they’re thinking, saying, writing , singing. The thing is, if you listen to what they’re saying, it really is pretty cool. 4. Kate Nash—Sister Kate Nash’s newest record, Girl Talk, came out this year and wears its influences proudly. On the song “Sister,” Nash invokes Riot Grrrl bands like Sleater-Kinney sound-wise and Bikini Kill with her attention to mixing friend crushes and real crushes in the song. She asks sarcastically, “Am I being too dramatic?” not caring what the answer is but instead pointing out how women are pigeonholed as over-dramatic for expressing emotions. Nash is one of the inheritors’ tradition of loud, brash women musicians, carrying on the legacy of women who didn’t care if they were “too dramatic.” 5. Heavens to Betsy—My Secret First generation Riot Grrrls, Heavens to Betsy epitomize a core Riot Grrrl sentiment in their song, “I Want You Dead.” They make rampant sexual assault a speakable crime; a singable crime. The secret, though, in the song, is not only that the singer and her friend have survived sexual assault as children but that the singer is full of hate and anger about it. The secret is that she

wants her assailant dead—a kind of rage that women are not supposed to feel, let alone express. 6. The Slits—Typical Girl Mid ‘70s British band, The Slits sing about the demands placed on “typical girls.” They don’t rebel, they feel like hell, they buy magazines and are still totally confused about what exactly a “typical girl” is, who decides what’s typical and who enforces these ideas. This song could totally be on a syllabus alongside Foucault and the Panopticon—power is diffused, confusing, overwhelming, and doesn’t come from one place. 7. Delta 5—Mind Your Own Business Started in the late 70s as a lark, Delta 5 quickly became an important member of the British post-punk scene, combining funk and feminism. This song could be the anthem for any one of us who has dealt with annoying catcallers (also “That’s Not My Name” by The Ting Tings is a good option). This song was included in an excellent compilation entitled “Grlz: Women Ahead of their Times,” cataloguing some important pre-Riot Grrrl, post-punk women’s bands. 8. Kleenex—Hitch Hike In case it seems like the only radical girl music was coming out of Olympia, Washington or England, we have Kleenex (also known as LiliPut) comin’ at us straight out of Switzerland. Post-punk girl group working in the same vein as The Raincoats (with whom they frequently toured), Delta 5, The Slits, and ESG, Kleenex tossed the


‘tude and “Hitch Hike” includes a sports whistle for extra percussive energy and fun. 9. The Raincoats—Life on the Line You might only remember The Raincoats from that scene in Ten Things I Hate About You where Heath Ledger references them to get in Julia Stiles’ good graces (sidenote: I’m realizing now that Heath Ledger from that movie might be my dream date). But The Raincoats are so much more than that—they were a super cool post-punk band started by art students in England. “Life on the Line” speaks to anyone who feels watched, claustrophobic, like her movements are monitored. It speaks to the confinement and limitations placed on ladies, women, and girls. 10. Lois—Shy Town Lois Maffeo was part of the Olympia, WA music scene as both twee and Riot Grrrl were erupting. She was prolific: performing under many monikers and in many bands including just plain Lois, Cradle Robbers, Tommy, Lumihoops, and a band called Courtney Love with no connection to the person named Courtney Love. Lois was one of the artists who proved that you didn’t have to rage or shred your guitar to make yourself heard and your emotions felt. Her brand of heart-on-her-sleeve emotional lyrics was a new kind of bravery and fearlessness in the face of swaggering, cooler-than-thou punk and rock.

11. The Softies—I Can’t Get No Satisfaction Thank God Two girls, two voices, two guitars, a world of feelings. The Softies, like Lois, pushed back against mainstream music by being totally raw about their gentlest feelings about their crushes. This song is a cover of a Talulah Gosh song (British twee as fuck band from the mid 80s) which is itself a takeoff of the Rolling Stones song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” What you see here is Talulah Gosh taking a funny little dig against the macho dude cool rock schtick and then The Softies paying homage to Talulah Gosh, carrying on the legacy of this (mostly) girl band.

12. Cub—My Chinchilla Cub, out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was yet another band that pushed against the rock and roll requirement of being cool and mature. But instead of getting serious about their feelings, they reverted back to the most charming and childlike kinds of music, singing songs about bobsleds and cute furry animals that take ash baths (look it up and squeal with delight). Cub reminds us that girl bands don’t always have to be tough to prove themselves or to be worthwhile—they can be as silly and charming and sweet as they want. Nina Berman, aka Penny Dreadful, is the music directress at Loyola’s student radio station 88.7 WLUW and is as always looking for people to be in her fake/real Riot Grrrl band, The Feather Underground. No talent necessary.

[#f]


Quote Corner Andi Zeisler, co-founder and creative/editorial director of Bitch magazine

[W]e can talk about doing it [surgery] for us until our high-end lipstick flakes off, but we should also keep in mind that we probably wouldn’t even be thinking about what life would be like with a new nose or perkier breasts or shapelier inner thighs if it weren’t for a longstanding cultural ideal that rewards those who adhere to it with power that often doesn’t speak its name, but is instantly recognizable to those who don’t have it.

The central problem in getting the word out about feminism was that an effective feminism needed to critique commercialism and consumerism; it needed to pull no punches in calling out the beauty industry, women’s magazine, Wall Street, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue as perpetual realms of oppression. But it also needed a commercial, consumer approach to appeal to all the people it hoped to reach—it needed to get reviewed in newspapers that people read, TV that everyone watched, books that Oprah talked about….The eternal question—can you dismantle he master’s house with the master’s tools?—was more puzzling than ever now that the master’s house seemed riddled with booby traps


#feminism

Women in Comics

By Dominic Cioli


than one of his strongest allies. It is pretty clear Superheroes are enjoying a boom the likes of which that she was designed by a man to sell comics they have never seen. Every summer has two or to 14-21 year old white men. Even worse, when three movies, Hot Topic has been transformed DC rebooted Wonder Woman in 2010, Jim Lee from a goth store to pretty much a superhero redesigned her costume so that she was wearing merchandise store, and it is getting harder and pants…and people were outraged! That’s not harder to go a day without seeing someone wearing Wonder Woman, they said. God forbid a female a superhero shirt. Despite all this, however, only superhero wear pants. male superheroes are reaping the benefits from this renaissance. Female Even worse, however, is Supergirl’s superheroes have always costume. Kara Zor-El, Superman’s had the deck stacked against Come on! They older cousin, is an incredibly them, primarily due to the interesting character with a lot lack of female input in the literally have two of emotional depth. She and creative process and the target teenage Superman share an origin except she audience being comprised left Krypton when she was sixteen mostly of young white superheroes and, for space-related reasons, males. Female superheroes upskirting a reached Earth thirty years after her face a number of problems younger cousin but in suspended and hurdles to gaining fifteen year old in animation, maintaining her young mainstream acceptance on a real comic book. age and all her memories of friends the same degree as their male and family on her now dead home counterparts. That happened. planet. But her costume makes it COSTUMES incredibly awkward to read her books. She wears a long-sleeve The most obvious problem midriff exposing shirt and what can generously be with female superheroes is their portrayal; described as a very short skirt. Not that it would portrayal in this sense meaning their costumes. be okay otherwise, but the fact that she is a minor Costumes are the most recognizable aspect of a even makes it more uncomfortable. Supergirl can superhero, to the point where it almost becomes fly and does so a lot. It’s pretty easy to see how their entire identity. You could pick off a shirt with an incredibly short skirt can become the polar a Superman “S” on it from a mile away, same for opposite of practical for a female flying superhero. Batman’s logo and Captain America’s shield. Most In fact, this was even exploited once by the writer good superhero costumes are pretty simple and in the absolute worst way possible. Supergirl practical. Spider-man’s costume, in my opinion, is and Starfire (another female superhero with an really the prototypical superhero costume. It gets unfortunate costume) are floating in the air talking the identity of the hero across via the spider-web while the rest of the Teen Titans are on the ground design, conceals his face to protect his identity, below. Kid Flash leans over to Beast Boy and and doesn’t have any features which an opponent whispers, “Nice view,” to which Beast Boy replies, could take advantage of in a fight *cough* cape “Ain’t it the truth.” Come on! They literally have *cough*. Female costumes, however, are not two teenage superheroes upskirting a fifteen year particularly as tasteful. old in a real comic book. That happened. To begin with the most visible female superhero, While the costumes themselves can appear Wonder Woman has a pretty bad costume. questionable, the primary problem with them is the Wonder Woman is one of the heaviest hitters in execution by artists who often attempt to appeal the DC Universe, being able to hold her own in a to the target audience, exposing and contorting fight against Superman. Her costume, however, the female figure in exploitative ways. This trend is essentially a strapless one-piece swimsuit with is brought to attention by the Hawkeye Initiative, knee-high boots. Honestly, sometimes she seems a Tumblr account which takes overly sexualize designed more to be Superman’s ‘sexy’ girlfriend


images of women in comics and redraws them with Hawkeye as the subject. This works to great comic effect while also showing the wide array of incredibly sexploitative poses which comic artists put women into. ROLE One of the largest problems with women in superhero comics is their role in non-titular books. It is easy to give Batgirl a leading role in Batgirl because, well, you have to. Choosing to put a female character or characters in the starring role of a group book is a choice which many writers do not make; whether this is because the writer believes the female characters are less interesting or because they want to appeal to comics’ main target demographic, 16-25 white males, is unclear, although it is probably the latter. Three ongoing titles, however, buck this trend. Three current Marvel X-Men books, All-New X-Men, X-Men, and Ultimate Comics X-Men, all put female characters in the leading role in a believable and genuine way. All-New follows the original five X-Men (Angel, Iceman, Beast, Cyclops, and Jean Grey) after they are transported through time from the 1960s to the present-day. The series draws most of its drama from tensions between the young-Cyclops, idealistic about human-mutant relations and fiercely loyal to Professor Xavier, and the present-day’s Cyclops, who has lost his faith in a peaceful coexistence and who murdered Professor Xavier, and from young-Jean Grey’s attempt to come to terms with a future in which she is long dead. While these two are the leads, another lesser-known (and my personal favorite) character exerts a significant influence on the story: Katherine, or Kitty, Pryde. Kitty is one of the smartest members of the X-Men (usually put second only to Beast) and in this title she volunteers to take the original X-Men under her charge. She helps them adjust to the present day, get control of their growing powers, and ease tensions within the group. The simply titled X-Men, a new series launched in May, follows a team comprised entirely of female characters. Rogue, Storm, Kitty, Psylocke, Jubilee, and Rachel Summers all share the spotlight in

a series whose first issue featured only one (1) speaking male part. There is no gimmick which makes the team pure-female and it works fine. An additional important feature of this book is its title. The real purpose of the book would be lost if it was called something like Women of the X-Men or X-Women. Other than their power-set and backstory, there is nothing inherently different between Rogue and Cyclops, or Storm and Captain America. These are heroes doing their job, their gender doesn’t matter. My favorite of all these books, Ultimate Comics X-Men, does something even more ambitious than the others. Set in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe (a separate entity than the majority of Marvel’s publications and separate from the other two X-titles mentioned), Ultimate Comics X-Men follows a young Kitty Pryde leading an independent mutant nation after a civil war in the United States. She led a violent resistance against mutant oppressors in the American Southwest and eventually led the mutant nation to independent status. The problems she faces are not cheap “women” problems that a lazy writer would throw at her; instead, Brian Wood puts her up against the stress of leading a young nation, dealing with dangerous divisions within mutant society, and maintaining an uneasy peace with the anti-mutant United States. OTHER MEDIA Female superheroes suffer from a lack of publicity that is quite frankly a little alarming. Superheroes were born on the pages of comic books but now reach audiences primarily through television shows and movies. While live action television shows have usually not done their characters much service (’66 Batman almost destroyed comics, Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman was incredibly campy and the WB’s Smallville was a questionable interpretation of Superman. The only ongoing live action superhero show, CW’s Arrow, portrays Green Arrow as less of a hero and more as a serial killer), animation has done wonders. The Batman animated series of the early 1990s brought kids a serious Batman and is widely regarded as one of the greatest animated series of all time. The X-Men and Spider-man cartoons of the same era


tried to make it more attractive to the target (young white male) audience. Batman/Superman: Apocalypse is a movie which is almost entirely about Supergirl, but you sure wouldn’t know that from the title. Additionally, Bruce Timm, a god at Warner Brothers Animation, and Lauren Numerous awesome female characters gained Montgomery, who has directed the majority of exposure through these shows. JLU brought DC/WB’s animated movies, attempted to film an dozens of new DC characters to broad awareness, animated adaptation of including Black Canary, Hawkgirl, the amazing Batgirl: Year Huntress, Stargirl, Supergirl, and Zatanna. One graphic novel but Teen Titans introduced Starfire and Raven, DC killed the project. I Young Justice introduced Miss Martian, The animation don’t know why, but I Artemis (an original character created by renaissance think we can all take a the show), Wonder Girl, Cheshire, Rocket, which female pretty safe guess. and Bumblebee, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes introduced the Wasp and Ms. superheroes The publicity problem Marvel. All these characters are terrific and have been going deserve their time in the sun. facing female superheroes is cause through has not That being said, cartoons only penetrate for much concern. translated to film. so far. The animation renaissance which My parents have four female superheroes have been going children. One of them through has not translated to film. A movie just graduated art school can do wonders for a character’s exposure, to become a comic book a fact proven by Iron Man and Thor. Both artist (my brother Jack), of these characters were important in the one loves superheroes, Marvel Universe, but generally unknown outside especially female superheroes (my sister Gina), and of regular comic readers. Each gets a movie one writes a blog which routinely features articles and BAM, Thor and Iron Man merchandise is about superheroes and comics and also writes a everywhere. Marvel and Paramount took the risk comic series (that one is me). Despite this, my making those two films because the characters are parents honestly asked us the other day if Wonder interesting and marketable. But then why have Woman is the only female superhero. These are there been no female superhero movies? Because two fifty year-olds who know Iron Man, Spiderstudios think that they wouldn’t sell, that people man, Superman, Batman, Captain America, Thor, wouldn’t line up to see a Wonder Woman feature the Hulk, and Wolverine. At the end of the day, film. There is no reason for this other than the studios don’t have to convince our generation to belief that consumers could not buy into the go see a superhero movie, they need to convince concept of a woman as a hero. my parents’ generation. If they don’t even know any female superheroes, how are they supposed to The marketing conundrum exists within the realm get interested in them? of animated movies as well. DC/Warner Brothers is home to an incredible animation department CREATIVE which not only made most of the aforementioned television shows, but some amazing animated The root cause of all these problems is the same movies as well. Despite this, they have only made which plagues the portrayal of women in movies one movie with a woman in the title, Wonder and television shows: the lack of female creators. Woman, in 2009. While this movie was lauded The vast, vast majority of all comic book characters by critics, DC has only made one other femalewere created by men. The vast, vast majority driven movie since then and it’s clear that the of comic book writers are men. The vast, vast marketing department got their hands on it and majority of comic book artists are…well, you can brought more and more characters to the eyes of children. Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, Young Justice, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have all continued this trend.


take a guess. It’s a real problem.

Dominic Ciolli is a junior at Loyola University Chicago, majoring in Political Science. In his free time he writes two blogs and a comic series which will likely never see the light of day.

Supergirl’s monthly series has run off and on for thirty-nine years. It has had ten writers, exactly zero of them have been women. It has had ten artists, only one of which was a woman and she drew for a limited series which lasted only four issues. It’s hard to find concise writer/artist data for a much longer and continuous series like Wonder Woman, but one can easily guess that the trend stays true for most books. If the The best way, by companies rarely let women write far, to stop negative books about women, what are the stereotypes and odds that a woman will ever write for Spider-man? portrayals of

The same goes for a big screen characters is to give adaptation of Wonder Woman, creative control to Supergirl, or any female superhero. the people being How can we expect a woman to direct or write one of those projects portrayed. when there are hardly any female directors or writers in the first place? The best way by far to stop negative stereotypes and portrayals of characters is to give creative control to the people being portrayed. The same goes for all media and all types of stereotyped characters. These problems will not go away overnight. Not to use a heavy word, but like all societal ills, education and the passage of time are the best ways to effect change. The camp which my brother Jack describes is one good method. Girls are already very interested in superheroes, it’s a fact easily noticeable by any trip through a mall. But they need to get involved in the creative process and the reviewing process. I was more than happy to write this article because it’s an issue which is very important to me and most comic book fans I know, but really it should have been written by a woman. Read comics, critique comics, make your voice heard and change will come.

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