Page 5 of 6 « First<23456>
Topic Options
#54117 - 08/01/04 02:11 PM Re: Bitch magazine
GingerCat
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/12/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Philadelphia

Offline
Amy Richards has been a feminist activist and author for many years, and her pregnancy (according to her recent essay in the New York Times magazine) was unplanned, so I can understand that she might have a lot of different feelings and ideas about being a stay-at-home mom, some of them conflicting. I did think she made a few interesting statements in the article, but as you all have already said, she didn't actually back up any of her statements, and the whole thing was a disorganized mess. I have liked Richards' work in the past, so I was looking forward to reading the article, but, like the rest of you, when I finished all I thought was, "Huh?" I'm very surprised because usually Bitch is so well edited. I'm sure they'll get plenty of letters about this article.

I also enjoyed the Diane DiMassa interview and the chick lit article. Regarding the article on The Swan, I agree it's obvious that the show is making the claim that only beautiful women are loveable. However, the show was so inexplicably, depressingly popular that I was happy to see criticism of it, obvious or not. I wish more people would boycott these shows on principle, although I guess that's a topic for another thread.

Top
#54118 - 08/01/04 07:08 PM Re: Bitch magazine
JetGirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 219
Loc: NY, NY USA

Offline
 Quote:
Here's the thing: Life is work.
This really struck me for some reason. So true!

portuguesa_nova, I agree with everything you wrote, so at least yours isn't the only brain that's getting soft. I thought The Swan looked appalling, and not in a fun way, so I went all subversive and . . . didn't ever watch it! I know lots of television isn't tasteful. How is this shocking news?

Top
#54119 - 08/01/04 08:31 PM Re: Bitch magazine
portuguesa_nova
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 40
Loc: Chicago

Offline
I'm glad to hear I'm not alone, JetGirl.

I did like the article on chick lit, and was utterly shocked that they didn't attack it completely.

Top
#54120 - 08/02/04 11:39 AM Re: Bitch magazine
megancita
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 126
Loc: texas, usa

Offline
I'm believe the Amy Richards discussed above recently caused some controversy by disclosing her decision to abort two of the triplets she was carrying. See the article here: When One Is Enough
Top
#54121 - 08/02/04 08:17 PM Re: Bitch magazine
Exxie
Ching Shih


Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 147
Loc: Chicago, IL

Offline
And that's very interesting when you consider that her entire Bitch article is based upon the idea that raising children isn't much work - that her friends only choose to have children when their careers aren't fulfilling. If having children is so easy, why was she scared of having three? Something about this just doesn't feel right to me. I'm not posing an argument on abortion itself, but the idea of selecting which children you carry to term, after you've made the decision that should you become pregnant you would have the children, and then belittling stay at home mothers? It doesn't jive.
Top
#54122 - 08/03/04 12:31 AM Re: Bitch magazine
wordie
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 10
Loc: Seattle, WA

Offline
It's fascinating to see the different reactions to Bitch, to which I've subscribed for a couple of years. I'm consistently excited by the idea, but disappointed by the execution, of Bitch. I think a feminist response to pop culture is vital to understanding how pop culture is entwined with the political zeitgeist, but I think that the writing in Bitch is rarely rigorous or insightful. Entertaining, yes, and sometimes cogent--but I guess I'm in the minority in that I don't think it's academic enough. If the magazine's purpose is essentially an analytical one, then its use of rhetoric should be fine and accurate. Articles like Richards' are poorly argued and undermine the magazine's goals. I always look forward to Bitch, but after reading an issue I often feel like I've read a lot of dashed off term papers. I do usually enjoy the shorter pieces, such as some of the profiles of different occupations in the current issue.

I do love me some Bust, though! It has a totally different aim, but I think it's far more successful at achieving it.
_________________________
The universe is made of stories,
not of atoms.
Muriel Rukeyser, "The Speed of Darkness"

Top
#54123 - 08/03/04 01:00 AM Re: Bitch magazine
F E Mae
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 145
Loc: USA

Offline
I eagerly read the article about weddings in Bitch, and found it rather disappointing, too. Yeh, celebrity weddings are over the top--I guess I felt that was all she was saying. And then she admits to wanting just such a wedding herself, poor gal. However, I do agree that some of the celeb wedding nonsense has filtered down into the middle class in the form of things that were just not done a generation ago. I recall the simple little wedding of my youth...one or two attendants, coffee and cake afterwards at tables hung with crepe paper bells and dotted with pastel pillow mints...ah, those were the days, never to return. My advice: Just elope, OK? That would solve lots of problems.

But, in general, I like Bitch and other than the baby article mentioned earlier and the wedding one, I enjoyed this month's issue and read it from cover to cover. And I get a kick out of the reaction of the males in my family, too! And am always hoping that my evangelical neighbor will come over sometime and see it on my coffee table...LOL!

Top
#54124 - 08/03/04 07:10 AM Re: Bitch magazine
dazey
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 941
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland

Offline
Exxie, to be fair to Richards, if you read the NY Times article, most of her concerns about having triplets were about having a high-risk pregnancy, losing earnings through enforced bedrest, and the risks of disability in the babies. It wasn't all about how difficult raising the children would have been.
Top
#54125 - 08/03/04 08:13 AM Re: Bitch magazine
GingerCat
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/12/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Philadelphia

Offline
In her book Manifesta and her subsequent work, Amy Richards has always been a big supporter of the idea that women should share their stories. She thinks too many women live under a cloak of shame and secrecy, and that sharing their experiences can help them as well as other women who are experiencing something similar. In Manifesta she talked about being sexually assaulted as a junior high school student, and (if my memory serves) about an abortion she once had. I looked at the NY Times article as being in the same vein--I'm sure there are other women in her position, and she's broken the silence about what they go through.

Bringing this back around to Bitch, maybe that's what she was trying to do with the motherhood article--be honest about what she's feeling rather than just accepting whatever received wisdom exists on the subject, in order to help women who may be having some of the same feelings. But, as has been said before, that goal was undermined by the shoddiness of the piece itself.

Top
#54126 - 08/03/04 11:01 AM Re: Bitch magazine
Masha Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA

Offline
It took me a while to pick up this issue, and I've still only read bits of it, but what struck me in reading Richards's article was that it wasn't really about motherhood--it was about how we evaluate work in a culture that's still struggling to make sense of products that don't come from getting one's hands dirty. The discussion of parenting was just a way in to beginning to talk about why some of us cover the guilt of a flexible, creative life by calling ourselves "lucky."

This topic isn't sustained, however, and the argument that surrounds it is, indeed, awkward and poorly framed. But it's one that I would have like to have seen pursued, because it reminded me that when I've been asked what I'm doing this summer, I make a little self-deprecating move and sheepishly admit that I've been watching baseball and napping, because my feeling is that the work I do (I'm a graduate student in English) is so non-work-like normally that taking a break from it is a ridiculous indulgence. This phenomenon seems to be a worthwhile topic for a Work issue, and I'm sad that none of the articles seems to address it.

I did, however, like the reply to the letter that snottily implied that the Bitchlist is paid ad space. I get really frustrated with those who write in complaining that because some writers like things different than some readers that someone's not properly feminist.

Top
Page 5 of 6 « First<23456>


Moderator:  Masha 
Hop to: