In the wake of Sassy and as an alternative to the more staid reporting of Ms., Bitch was launched in the mid-nineties as a Xerox-and-staple zine covering the landscape of popular culture from a feminist perspective. Both unabashed in its love for the guilty pleasures of consumer culture and deeply thoughtful about the way the pop landscape reflects and impacts women's lives, Bitch grew to be a popular, full-scale magazine with a readership that stretched worldwide. Today it stands as a touchstone of hip, young feminist thought, looking with both wit and irreverence at the way pop culture informs feminism—and vice versa—and encouraging readers to think critically about the messages lurking behind our favorite television shows, movies, music, books, blogs, and the like. BITCHFest offers an assortment of the most provocative essays, reporting, rants, and raves from the magazine's first ten years, along with new pieces written especially for the collection. Smart, nuanced, cranky, outrageous, and clear-eyed, the anthology covers everything from a 1996 celebration of pre-scandal Martha Stewart to a more recent critical look at the "gayby boom"; from a time line of black women on sitcoms to an analysis of fat suits as the new blackface; from an attempt to fashion a feminist vulgarity to a reclamation of female virginity. It's a recent history of feminist pop-culture critique and an arrow toward feminism's future.
This often mind-stretching, occasionally predictable and generally entertaining collection of articles from Bitch magazine has something for every feminist, postfeminist and reactionary. Bitch was founded in 1996 in response to "post-feminism" by "freshly minted liberal arts graduates with crappy day jobs and a serious media jones." With refreshing depth, literacy and humor, these essays explore questions surrounding puberty, gender identity, sex, "domestic arrangements," beauty, pop culture and mainstream media, and media literacy/activism. Tammy Oler examines menarche and female puberty in horror films; Gaby Moss analyzes the media's obsession with "mean girls"; and Lisa Jervis gives a rundown of sex scenes and pride in YA lesbian novels. Leigh Shoemaker puts down Camille Paglia's contention that males are superior due to their urinary "arc of transcendence" by evoking the Virgin Mary's breasts squirting milk through the air into Jesus' mouth. Audry Bilger protests the use of "guys" as gender neutral. Conspicuously absent is any discussion of women and aging. Maybe we'll just have to wait for Bitch's 20th anniversary, when its editors will be pushing 50.
It changed me :o
A must-read for both men and women. You think there's no more sexism? This book will give you a new outlook on life!