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#54077 - 01/08/04 06:29 PM Bitch magazine
Reni
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Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 186

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I know we've been talking about this a little in the Announcements area, but I didn't see a thread in Pixels and Periodicals. Is anyone else reluctantly disappointed by Bitch magazine? I'd only read it a few times until I was hooked by the subscription drive this summer, and though I really want to like it I kind of don't.

It's not that I disagree with them, usually, or that I don't think it's useful for people to point out how sexist pop culture is. But it gets repetitive fairly quickly, and somehow it just doesn't seem smart enough. I think when I was buying it on the newstand I could wait until I was in the mood for some bitching about the dominant paradigm, and now that I read it when it comes in the mail its more likely to fall flat.

Anyone agree? Any Bitch defenders? I'm still not totally sure why it is that I'm so not into this magazine.

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#54078 - 01/09/04 10:29 AM Re: Bitch magazine
Marya
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Registered: 12/23/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Kentucky

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I have always enjoyed Bitch magazine, myself. It is a feminist response to pop culture, after all, and not a magazine with a focus on global feminist concerns or politics that are not "personal." That would be Ms. magazine, I would think. It certainly has more substance than Bust, which I faithfully bought for years until it became glossy and rather like a Maxim magazine.

I have always liked how the magazine has a theme for each issue such as The Friendship issue, the Maturity issue, the Religion issue. There are times I don't pick up an issue if it looks like the over-all theme may not be something I am interested in.

Bitch consistently interviews good authors, which I respect and look forward to. I was introduced to Ruth Ozeki and Sandra Tsing Loh through this magazine, two authors whose works I adore.

I am sure Bitch blunders every now and again, but to me the ranting appears to be even-tempered, sensible, yet humorous and sharp. I don't feel so alone when I read this magazine. I feel like there are women out there who feel the same as I do on certain issues.

Edited for stupid spelling mistakes.
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"I just want them to know that they didn't break me" - Andi Walsh, Pretty in Pink

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#54079 - 01/09/04 01:53 PM Re: Bitch magazine
AltoidsAddict
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Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 129
Loc: Denver, Colorado, USA

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I've always looked at Bitch's ranting as not so much that they're angry about everything (or, as one letter this issue put it, raving feminazi lesbians who prove that we need Rush Limbaughs in this world), but that, flipping through the magazine, you're probably going to find someone who's as annoyed by x as you are. I think The Man Show is making fun of the very people some think they're lauding, going so far into sexist territory that it's a parody (like the petition to "End Women's Suffrage"). Others think it's actually sexist, that there's an earnestness and hatred in last night's Wheel of Destiny where a female audience member had to powder and diaper a 500-pound grown man. Some people like Ally McBeal and Carnie Wilson, but I can't stand either and how they use feminism to justify being neurotic about losing weight and trying to trap a man. Purely personal interpretation, of course. So it's not that you have to agree with everything in Bitch, and you don't always see yourself in the magazine. (Or, as one letter this issue put it, women who are resentful against stay-at-home moms and nuclear families because there are so many lesbian families profiled, and for Pete's sake when are married straight people with children and the traditional family structure ever going to get a break in this harsh world?) At least they question what they see and what they're told, and encourage me to do the same.
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#54080 - 01/09/04 02:14 PM Re: Bitch magazine
listersgirl
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Registered: 12/10/00
Posts: 341
Loc: Toronto

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I've found that I like it more with each issue. I love the themes, and enjoy seeing how they stretch those themes, and the articles always make me think. No, I don't always agree with everything that is said, but I don't ever feel that it's just someone spouting off without thinking.

And I particularly love the book reviews. I get wonderful stuff from there, especially in the area of non-fiction, where I don't read much.

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#54081 - 01/09/04 02:55 PM Re: Bitch magazine
kari
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Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 129
Loc: Orange Co NY

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I have been thinking about bitch lately - I like the premise and I read most of the magazine cover to cover, but I end up skimming a lot of the longer articles. They remind me of high school thesis papers. I don't know why, they're certainly well written, but I just can't seem to plough through them.
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#54082 - 01/09/04 03:45 PM Re: Bitch magazine
TraceyB
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Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 1483
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

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I enjoy Bitch, too, although I don't agree with everything. I got pretty annoyed with the new issue when one of the articles seemed to imply that it's anti-feminist to consider Jessica Simpson an idiot. I understand that MTV doesn't exactly have feminist credentials, and that all reality shows are edited, but that doesn't make JS any less of a moron.

I still like seeing the magazine's take on things, though. Sometimes I get a "where did that come from?" reaction, and sometimes a "thank the deity, I'm not the only one who thought that!" one.

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#54083 - 01/09/04 04:44 PM Re: Bitch magazine
xenopi
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Registered: 10/06/03
Posts: 254
Loc: Paradise City

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I like it every now and then, but to me, Bitch is stimulating but not necessarily entertaining (except the letters section), and I kinda want both in a magazine, so I usually pick up Bust. I know I'm silly but I like to read about how some random girl makes her own clothes out of thrift-shop pillowcases and about new breakthroughs in vegan lipgloss. I have my own feminist responses to pop-culture, and a lot of the articles in Bitch leave me thinking either A) well, ok, you're entitled to your opinion or B) yeah! I noticed that, too. Which gets boring after a while.
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#54084 - 01/09/04 08:42 PM Re: Bitch magazine
AltoidsAddict
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 129
Loc: Denver, Colorado, USA

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xenopi, what I like to do is switch off. I didn't renew Bust because I got a little tired of the whole Hello Kitty vibrator feel of the mag, and felt it was a little too sex-obsessed. Perhaps I'm getting too old and curmudgeonly. I stopped Ms. because I felt it too stodgy, besides which I noticed an immediate change in content once they started accepting ads again. (From worthwhile organizations, to be sure, but they'd touted their triumphant return to ad-free for so long that I felt it was a) hypocritical no matter how necessary, and b) certain articles were immediately less inclusive of feminist viewpoints which might be contrary to an advertiser's viewpoint.)

At some point I may, well, not exactly tire of Bitch, but I might add Bust back again. Or I might give a gift subscription to my husband, since he's been making noise about missing it and he always did like it more.

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#54085 - 01/09/04 09:53 PM Re: Bitch magazine
Marya
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/23/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Kentucky

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[QUOTE]I didn't renew Bust because I got a little tired of the whole Hello Kitty vibrator feel of the mag, and felt it was a little too sex-obsessed. Perhaps I'm getting too old and curmudgeonly

Super. Thanks so much for saying what I wasn't sure how to say. I certainly feel sexuality is an integral part of my life, but it is not the ONLY part of my life and not always the one I am most interested in reading or thinking about. I felt reduced to a receptacle for a vibrator with BUST. It was too sex-obsessed for me as well. It sometimes made me feel like I was looking at a dildo catalog, and that is not necessarily what I meant to purchase.

At least with BITCH there is sex, but also some mention of spirituality, aging, parenting, etc. I need spirit and flesh to feel whole. BUST felt like too much of one but not the other.

I also don't like how BUST has "stars" on the cover of their magazines such as Juliet Lewis.

I am not making the claim that Bitch is a perfect read - its far from it - but I feel more comfortable with it than I do with BUST or Ms.

If I could design the perfect magazine for me, I would take elements of Bitch, Sojourners (is that still around? It was sort of a political/theological magazine?) Poets and Writers, and Magnet. That way I get spirit, flesh, and art to nourish my soul.
_________________________
"I just want them to know that they didn't break me" - Andi Walsh, Pretty in Pink

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#54086 - 01/09/04 09:57 PM Re: Bitch magazine
zinemama
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Registered: 03/04/02
Posts: 131

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I've always really liked Bitch, had a sub for a while, but lately...I've been feeling a little less enthusiasm somehow. I know that it's feminist response to pop culture, and it's absolutely unreasonable of me therefore to complain about this, but it I find there is way too much criticism about TV shows. I don't own a tv, and while I know it's a huge part of our culture, must so many pages be devoted to it?Aren't there other aspects of pop culture to criticise as strenuously?
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Miranda: a zine about motherhood and other adventures www.mirandazine.com

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