Allegorical Figures

The local commuter paper ran an interview today with John Currin, a painter who deals in explicitly physical and sometimes pornographic images of women. (The first picture on the linked slideshow, actually, is NSFW.) I find his work interesting, if sometimes (deliberately) disturbing; I wouldn’t exactly count him among my favorite painters but I have no beef with the guy. However, I found this bit of the interview rather telling:

Express: The majority of your work is of the female figure. Why is that?

Currin: The simple answer is that I enjoy looking at women more than I enjoy looking at men, but the more pretentious answer is that I find it easier to think of metaphors and allegories when I’m using women in paintings.

This got me thinking. Part of the reason we show such public interest in — and sense of entitlement to — women’s bodies is that they’ve historically been used to represent things that are at once greater and smaller than “individual woman.” When we’re accustomed to women’s bodies signifying virtues and values and cultural mores — instead of signifying, you know, a woman’s body — it’s no wonder we start to feel they’re public property.

Imagine walking into a museum room containing representative samples of figures in the history of Western art. Some of the female figures you see will be representing Venus, the Madonna, and so forth — but many will be allegories of love, virtue, chastity, poetry. Think of the Graces: three women usually represented from front, back, and side, a 360-degree view of the female form. That’s what “grace” is. Think of the Muses. Think of the Sistine sibyls (not to mention Brittania), who are not just qualities but places. Male figures appear in these paintings too, but almost always as gods or Biblical figures, people with names. Men are characters, women are symbols.

They’re still symbols today. The female bodies used in advertising rarely stand for actual people — they mean “smooth,” “tasty,” “appealing,” “sexy,” “expensive,”  “new and improved.” Half the time they don’t even have faces, just a flank or a bust being used as a backdrop — the Nymph of the Liquor/Aftershave/Cereal/Beer. That repugnant series of Bacardi ads got one thing right: they gave their female images names and characteristics (at the expense, of course, of dignity — can’t have them getting too uppity). Most advertising bodies and body parts don’t even get that far. The much-maligned Headless Fatty is the other side of this coin, of course; she’s not a real person, but a metaphor for gluttony or ill health or consumerism or the downfall of society (if not all of the above).

Is it any surprise that women’s bodies are treated as a public concern? The entire culture is accustomed to seeing them used as metonymies for our highest (and lowest) values. The long historical pedigree of anti-woman sentiment means that the fact that women’s bodies contain women’s minds has always been elided, in favor of metaphorical elevation or degradation. We always have to stand for something, and what we stand for is  everyone’s business.

This is why objectification isn’t just the province of misogynists, by the way. Often you’ll hear Nice Guys protest that they don’t objectify women — no, they worship them! So instead of just being sexual receptacles, women stand for all that is good and beautiful in the world. How original. How healthy.

In some ways we’ve come far from Elizabethan sonnet cycles where the beloved is Virtue and Wisdom Personified, but in other ways the female body is still being treated like Humpty Dumpty treats words — it means whatever people want it to mean. How do you get people to get their figurative thought off your actual figure? That’s probably a long and complicated process involving, more or less, overthrowing the patriarchy. As we get back control of our bodies and images, we’ll regain control over what they signify. Until then, just remember that you don’t have to be somebody’s metaphor. Don’t stand for just “standing for” — your body deserves more than a symbolic existence.

Douchehound of the Day

I just sent the following comment to spam:

I wish you huge obese would stop complaining and talking.

(Linkage mine.)

Because it’s not good enough that you can, you know, just not read our fucking blog. We need to actually become silent.

As usual, we don’t douchehound people because they piss us off; what pisses us off is otherwise smart progressive people acting fuckheaded, not dipshits being dipshits. Constitutional dipshits range from hilariously pathetic to just shrugworthy — you can’t stop a scorpion from stinging, and you can’t stop a person with no resources or capabilities beyond hostility from being randomly hostile. We douchehound when people clearly illustrate, usually unconsciously, some particular nasty and often unacknowledged characteristic of the brain trusts we’re dealing with here.

In this case, what usually gets glossed over is this: what they object to is not what we’re saying but the fact that we’re talking. We don’t just have the audacity to fail to live up to this guy’s standards of beauty — we also have the nerve to persistently not disappear! What kind of women ARE  you people? Sure, I could go somewhere else and not have to deal with scary scary critical thought, but I’d still know that somewhere, women were flapping their gums! FAT women! OBESE WOMEN are MAKING NOISES! LANGUAGE NOISES! SOMEWHERE! Oh why won’t they simply be quiet? Can’t you please shut up and restore order to my world?

The flip side of this, of course, is that you can rankle the hell out of these kinds of guys just by continuing to operate in the world as though you were real people and not just big fat walking vaginas. If you’re worried about being too inarticulate, too inexpert a speaker or writer, too much of an imperfect ambassador for fat, remember that some folks find it plenty subversive that you’re daring to speak at all. You don’t even have to talk about fat; just be a fat woman talking. That oughta get their goats.

Vigils and rallies for Dr. Tiller: Chicago/DC/Boston

Shapeling Epiphenomena, who is a member of Medical Students for Choice, passes along info about events planned for today.

Chicago: Monday, June 1st, 4 pm rally and march at the State of Illinois Building (Thompson Center – Corner of Clark and Randolph).

DC: A vigil to honor the life of Dr George Tiller, an American Hero, will be taking place from 6:30pm at the White House (LaFayette Park side) on Monday, June 1st. We will honor Dr Tiller and all that he has done providing safe, legal abortion for thousands of women.

Boston: Monday, June 1st, 6 pm, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 38 Tremont St., Boston, Across from the Park St. T stop

R.I.P. Dr. George Tiller

I am so sad and furious about the murder of Dr. George Tiller, I don’t even know where to begin. This shit is domestic terrorism, pure and simple. Its purpose is to frighten doctors and women into bending to the will of fundamentalist ideologues. And if you think it was just the work of a lone nutcase, as opposed to the logical consequence of a focused and relentless campaign of hatred aimed at Tiller — which led to his being shot once before and his clinic being bombed — please do have a look at all of the sick fucks joking and celebrating on Twitter, or in the comments on pretty much any article about Tiller’s assassination. Or at the statement of Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, which begins like so:

George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions.

Most pro-life organizations, including Operation Rescue, have tried to distance themselves from the assassination, and of course the vast majority of pro-life people would and do condemn murder. Nevertheless, the reality is, words have consequences. Publishing the home address and church of someone you call “America’s doctor of death” has consequences. The very rhetoric Randall Terry is so worried about protecting has consequences.

Some tweets just from the last few minutes:

Tiller was a baby killer. Condolences to his victims.

death ratio tiller 1 innocent babies 100000

I am furious that the death of a ghoul like Tiller receives more attention than the deaths of the scores of babies he has killed.

A good way to prevent what happened to Tiller the baby killer is stop killing babies.

for all the libs that are blaming the cons for the murder of Tiller— remember, we are PRO-LIFE.. try to remember that

OK. I’ll try. But a whole lot of people who identify as “pro-life” are making that awfully difficult. This is your movement. Words have consequences.

Via that same Twitter stream, I just learned that the suspect in custody is reportedly a man named Scott Roeder, who posted on the Operation Rescue website:

Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp.

Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.

I really can’t think of anything to add. My condolences to Dr. Tiller’s family and friends.

Update: Check out this story from someone who, tragically, had to use Tiller’s services. This is the reality of late-term abortion. (Via Bitch Ph.D., where you’ll also find lots of links to other posts on the subject. Hoyden About Town has a good round-up, too. And Ann has suggestions about what you can do.)

It’s not easy being MeMe

What is there to say about MeMe Roth that isn’t obvious to the point of boredom? A new Guardian profile calls her “the woman who hates food,” and I think that’s about right, if you add “fat people, women, and herself” to the end of the phrase. (Check out that article for the “I don’t have an eating disorder even though I obsessively exercise and don’t eat” anecdote at the end, but be warned that there’s some obesity panic in the article itself.) But just when you thought Roth couldn’t get any more a) offensive, and b) wrong, she goes and says this:

“The defence has been made in the case of sex criminals that there is pleasure on the part of the victim. The same is true with what we’re doing with food. We may abuse our bodies with food, but it’s incredibly pleasurable. From a food marketer’s point of view, when your quote unquote victim is so willing and enjoying of the process, who’s fighting back?”

Clearly, MeMe Roth is a one woman army of failure. Everything is wrong with this statement, on both a factual and rhetorical level. Let’s make a list.

  • Classic straw man: “The defence has been made.” Oh yeah? By whom? Nice passive voice.
  • More passive voice to defend rape as not-rape: “there is pleasure on the part of the victim.” Roth is saying that people like being raped. Only she’s too chickenshit, or possibly too stupid, to say it that way. And of course, the rapist is disappeared from this sentence.
  • Also note that she is claiming that we should use, as the logic behind deciding the single most crucial thing we do every day of our lives—i.e., eating food—the kind of logic that would let rapists stay out of jail.
  • Ill-defined terms: “We may abuse our bodies with food, but it’s incredibly pleasurable.” If it’s incredibly pleasurable, MeMeMeMe, that means it’s not abuse.
  • Victim blaming: “quote unquote victim.”
  • Again with the victim blaming and the complete fucking misunderstanding of what sexual assault is. Hint to MeMe: if someone “is so willing and enjoying of the process,” that person is not being raped. That person is having sex.

So in using rape as her metaphor for what happens when you eat an Oreo, MeMe Roth demonstrates yet again that she literally has no idea what she’s talking about. If we stick with her horribly ineffective metaphor, what she is suggesting is that when you are having an “incredibly pleasurable” time having consensual sex with someone, MeMe should break in and yell “Rape” to save you from your quote unquote victimhood.  MeMe Roth wants us all to live the plot of Atonement.

Note to journalists or anyone else who would ever consider consulting Roth as an “expert”: this woman believes people like being raped, just like you like to eat a cookie. She is the wrongest person who ever wronged. Please, do us all a favor and just leave the woman to her self-loathing.

Next they’ll print one about airplane food

Ah, the New York Times. The old gray lady, the paper of record, the practice workshop for standup comedians. If the latter strikes you as out of place, just check out this article (title: “What’s the Skinny on the Heftier Stars?”), which basically amounts to the author, Michael Cieply, saying “Fat actors! What’s the deal with that?”

Honestly, I have no analysis of this one; I’m just here to mock it. It was apparently written by a man who has literally never once thought about body size before in any context, much less film. We start off with obligatory fatphobia, which Cieply assumes is shared by all his readers:

Two men. One notebook. Four chins.

Hollywood’s pool of leading men is getting larger — and not necessarily in a good way.

Four chins?!? My god, has a double chin ever disgraced the screen like that?

Cieply goes on to note that some male film stars, like Russell Crowe, John Travolta, Hugh Grant, and Denzel Washington, now appear to be bigger than they once were. It’s crazy because they’re only around 50! How could this happen? Tom Hanks was totally skinny in Castaway when he was playing a man stranded on a desert island, but now he looks different! He doesn’t have a beard or a volleyball or anything.

My absolute favorite sentence of this article is about The Ladies.

Hollywood’s women may have weight issues of their own. But it is somehow less noticeable, possibly because actresses who expand do not often get roles to showcase that growth.

This honest to god made me LOL. This right here is a stunningly great example of the male gaze and how it is founded on male privilege. There are two parts of this sentence that are more or less factual: 1) “Hollywood’s women may have weight issues of their own” (depending how you define “issues,” of course), and 2) “actresses who expand do not often get roles to showcase that growth.” But it’s the hinge of these facts, that wonderfully clueless phrase “But it is somehow less noticeable,” that makes me want to put this article in a textbook under “Male Gaze 101.” See, there’s a phrase missing from this sentence, an important one. The sentence should read: “It is somehow less noticeable to me.” I guarantee Michael Cieply that the absence of fat women, or even size-6 women, or even very thin women who are not shockingly beautiful, onscreen is eminently noticeable to women moviegoers. To girl moviegoers. To fat moviegoers. To anorexic moviegoers. To flat-chested moviegoers. And so on. Behold the grammar of privilege: it rests in the absence of the phrase “to me” and the presence of the word “somehow.” The “somehow” is the male gaze. If you are a straight man, women onscreen are selected for your visual pleasure, and the camera acts as a proxy for your point of view.

“Desire […] is a property of men, property in both senses of the word: something men own, possess, and something that inheres in men, like a quality.” –Teresa DeLauretis, “Through the Looking-Glass: Woman, Cinema, and Language”

The reason it is “somehow less noticeable” to you that there are no fat women onscreen is that the entire history of cinema is designed to reassure you that you don’t have to look at fat women. Thin women are the default; they are how the cinematic world is populated, so they look normal to your eyes. You don’t notice the absence of fat women; you notice their rare presence, when the camera deviates from your point of view long enough for you to say “Whoa, fattie!” But every single woman who sits in a movie theater is forced to inhabit that male gaze, too, forced to watch how the camera treats women of rare beauty and slenderness as the only kind of women who exist. This is how it is possible for women as small as Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Simpson to be “Hollywood fat.” For women moviegoers, the “weight issues” of “Hollywood’s women” are one of the *most* noticeable things about movies — sadly, for some of us, the primary fact of movies.

(This matter of gaze and representation, incidentally, is why so many fat people and fat allies were angry about Wall-E. Here is one of the very very very few instances where the world is not populated only by very thin people… and it’s the dystopic future of the human race.)

Okay, it turned out I had some analysis in me after all. Back to mockery!

Cieply points out that the male actors of yesteryear, like Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable, stayed skinny well into middle age. Of course, they smoked like chimneys and also survived the Great Depression… but seriously, you didn’t see them letting themselves go! That Denzel, he just needs more self-discipline.

Cieply saves the biggest laughs for the end, though, like any good comic.

He might want to get some diet advice from Jason Segel.

Mr. Segel, 29, was fairly hefty in “I Love You, Man,” a comedy released by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks in March. But his face looked surprisingly thin on billboards advertising the film.

The advertising photos were done some weeks after the film shoot, with a slimmer Mr. Segel, said Katie Martin Kelley, a publicity executive with Paramount. “There was no retouching done,” Ms. Kelley said.

There is nothing I can say about this that would be funnier than it actually is. No retouching!

Since Mr. Cieply and his editors at the NYT clearly need a lesson in human biology as well as rhetoric, feminist theory, and film studies, I am offering myself up as an object lesson. Shapelings, I, like poor John Travolta, have gotten a lot bigger in the last 20 years. A LOT. It’s like my whole body has just ballooned outward in every direction, and I can’t control it, and no matter what I eat or how much I exercise, I just can’t get back to my old shape. I think you can see what I mean. (Edited to include funnier picture.)

Sweet Machine 20-ish years ago

Sweet Machine 20-ish years ago

Sweet Machine today

Sweet Machine today

There was no retouching done.

Happy International Women’s Day!

From the IWD website:

IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970′s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

I still think the world can use a whole lot of reminders about the negatives — especially since the “great improvements” above apply mainly to white, middle-class western women — but I suppose one day of optimism is unobjectionable.

In terms of celebrating the positives, then, the first thing that springs to mind for me (as, of course, a white, middle-class, western woman — more on that in a mo) is that, for as much as people still do judge women’s parenting choices right and left, and as frustrating as it can be to be single, I’m 34 years old, childless (possibly childfree, though the jury’s still out) and only very recently married, and for the most part? Nobody ever said boo about it. I mean, not the way they would have to an unmarried, childless woman in her late twenties — let alone early thirties — in my mom’s generation, even. Forget about the generations before. 

There have been some nasty remarks, both well-intentioned and not, over the years. Lots and lots and lots of things in this culture still tell women that marriage and babies should be their primary focus. But since we’re focusing on the positive today, I will take a moment to marvel at the fact that I never actually felt like a pariah for being unmarried and childless well into my thirties. I didn’t have to deal with anyone telling me directly that I was approaching (or past) my sell-by date, so I should settle for any dude who would have me, stat.

And though a lot of my friends got  into long-term committed relationships before I did, and a lot of them have kids already, I’ve never felt like an out-and-out freak for not taking that path on the same schedule. I have never-married friends my age, friends who have already been married and divorced, legally married gay friends in Canada and gay friends who fucking well ought to be legally married here. I have a handful of friends who don’t plan on ever having children, and lots of mom friends who work outside the home. When my mom was my age, on the other hand, her girlfriends were in heterosexual marriages and staying at home to raise children, period. No matter if they had incredible minds for business or no real interest in being mothers. No matter if they were gay, or their husbands were, or they were being abused or had otherwise just married entirely the wrong people, way too young. She had friends who eventually got divorced for nearly all of the above reasons, but none who simply opted out in the first place — and the ones who did get divorced mostly waited decades, until the kids were grown, no matter how much it sucked. (Wait, I can think of one friend of hers who never married and went straight into a career. And smart money’s on her being a lesbian who never felt comfortable coming out to her oldest friends, so she’s still not a great example of someone feeling free to be her authentic self in that generation.) 

My mom got married at 22, had 2 kids by the time she was 24, 4 kids by the time she was 38, and a grand total of 7 years of her adult life in which she didn’t have kids in the house. (She died when I was 25.) She had dreams of being a writer, but she followed the script for her generation, and her only real career was full-time mom. I’ve already had nearly twice as much time as she did without the daily responsibilities of a family, and in that time, I’ve worked in publishing, gone to grad school for writing, and co-written a book, among other things. Whatever snide remarks I got about being totally single for a lot of that time, living in sin with a couple of different guys when I wasn’t, and potentially letting my eggs shrivel into uselessness have been pretty damned easy to brush off, all things considered. For me, that shit was an annoyance; for my mom, that shit would have been a crushing, demoralizing constant pressure, had she not just caved to it from the get-go (and thus swapped it for the crushing, demoralizing constant pressure of resentment and depression, ahem). 

So that’s one form of real progress that’s affected me personally, and I am incredibly grateful to the feminists who fought their asses off for it — and to my mom, who was categorically not a feminist but nonetheless encouraged me not only to have a career, but to pursue writing seriously. (Yeah, she also made it clear from the time I was about 2 that she expected me to get married and have babies, because everyone gets married and has babies, duh, but at least I was supposed to be a bestselling author with a husband and babies.) 

Having said all that, there are millions of women in this country (let alone others) who still don’t have anywhere near the freedom I did to pursue their dream careers. I started off with a whole lot of privilege that meant removing the “you must marry and reproduce young” obstacle actually had an enormous effect. That wouldn’t have been true if I hadn’t had the money to go to college; if I hadn’t had white skin and a WASPy name invisibly opening doors for me all along; if I hadn’t had parents who valued education and valued their girl children just as much as boys; if I’d grown up in a community where women still did start having children very young, or where there was no expectation that the average kid there would go on to higher education and a white collar job; if I’d been gay and the marriage/babies issue had been a lot more complicated than “I’m busy with other stuff.” My example here is a grade-A prime illustration of how feminism has centered and benefited white, middle-class, straight women, while leaving other women behind — and thus a prime illustration of how feminism needs to change, and how much fucking work is left to be done.

But if today is about celebrating the positives, it’s worth acknowledging that it’s also a prime illustration of how much cultural values can change in a single generation, and how much one strain of change can make a difference for some women. I grew up with a shitload more freedom and independence than my mom did. And that is indeed worth a cheer from me today, before it’s back to all the battles left to be fought. 

Shapelings, what positives are you celebrating today? Or are you too frustrated by the negatives to even consider that?

Part Two

OK,  the second statement up my ass yesterday was Kenan Thompson’s commentary on Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna. Asked whether Saturday Night Live would ever invite Brown back, Thompson said:

It’s not up to me, but I’m sure we would if he had another hit single. We don’t care about scandal. We just care about what brings us ratings!

I don’t know if I’m more disturbed by the fact that he saw nothing wrong with saying that — because hey, what’s a little domestic violence, besides an embarrassing scandal? — or the fact that it’s probably true. I do, however, know what I’m most disturbed by, which is how he followed that up:

I don’t know the whole story, but I know how women can get when you get a text message from another female, so I’m just saying, you have to learn that you can’t put your hands on a female.

I don’t even have words. “You know, I understand how tempting it is to beat a woman when she’s acting all nutty because she found, you know, evidence that you cheated on her or something — but you just don’t do that, dude! LOL!”  

Not to mention the “I don’t know the whole story” part. YOU GENERALLY DON’T NEED TO KNOW THE WHOLE STORY IF YOU KNOW THE END OF THE STORY IS THAT A MAN BEAT A WOMAN. 

I mean, if I thought people were saying shit like that just to cover their asses in the very unlikely event it’s proven that Brown’s violence was in self-defense, I could understand, even though it would still make me angry. But it’s clear that that’s not why. It’s clear that way too fucking many people, who are getting way too fucking much press, believe that there is an entire range of things women can do that would justify an assault. They’re not just acknowledging that a woman might, in some rare cases, physically attack a man in such a manner that the only way for him to protect himself would be to keep fighting back with his fists. They’re saying — openly and unashamedly — that sometimes, you know, women really deserve a beating. Period. And the implication is that guys who don’t give into that overwhelming temptation to attack their wives or girlfriends deserve a goddamned cookie.

Need another example? Jezebel provided a sickening one this morning. Ne-Yo, after noting that the leaked pictures of Rihanna “really hurt me to my heart, man,” went on to say:

I’m not going to crucify [Chris]. I’m not going to do that. That’s still my homeboy at the end of the day. For it to go to that level was wrong. I won’t say who was responsible. I won’t pick no sides. I’m just saying it was wrong it had to happen like that, and I’m praying for the both of them.

Emphasis mine. Remaining loyal to a friend who’s committed a crime is one thing. Acting as if it’s impossible to determine who’s responsible for a man assaulting his girlfriend is fucking perverse. ONE PERSON COMMITTED VIOLENCE ON ANOTHER PERSON. There is so far nothing to suggest that it was in self-defense — and you can bloody well bet we would have heard about it by now if anyone were advancing that argument, even half-assedly. Ergo, THE PERSON WHO ASSAULTED THE OTHER PERSON IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE. 

It is so profoundly sickening and infuriating to me that we keep seeing quote after quote from celebrity after celebrity suggesting that it’s impossible to know whether Chris Brown is truly at fault for committing a violent crime, because we don’t know how Rihanna acted leading up to it, or whether this had happened before, or what. As if there is some amount of anger, some amount of yelling, some amount of freaking out that could ever, ever justify assaulting another person. As if it matters whether this was the first time or the hundredth time, in terms of determining whether Brown is the kind of guy who would beat a woman, or a guy who just happened to beat a woman. As if a woman who goes and gets “how women can get” clearly bears some responsibility for a man attacking her.

As if we all agree that wanting to beat a woman is quite normal and understandable, but acting on it is… unseemly. “You have to learn that you can’t put your hands on a female.”

I’m out of words for this. Have at it, Shapelings.

ETA: While we’re on the topic, look what I just found at Feministing:

Wife-beaters.com, a Dallas-based business that sold wife-beater T-shirts, has been shut down after a San Antonio man complained to the company hosting the site.

…The Web site sold white tank tops, commonly referred to as “wife-beaters,”and gave a discount to anyone who could prove they were convicted of wife beating.

Yes Means Yes Virtual Tour Kicks off Today!

So hey, over the next couple of weeks, there will be a “virtual book tour” for Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, in which Jaclyn, Jessica, and various contributors will be dropping by various other contributors’ and friends’ blogs. 

It kicks off today at Feministing, with a live chat at 3 p.m. EST, featuring Jessica, Jaclyn, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Miriam Perez, and Cara Kulwicki. 

On February 12, I’ll be posting a Q&A with Kimberly Springer, author of the essay “Queering Black Female Sexuality.”

And on February 20, Jill Filipovic at Feministe will host the “grand finale conversation” with Rachel Kramer Bussel, Toni Amato, Javacia Harris, Stacey May Fowles, Hanne Blank, Heather Corinna, and yours truly. 

Other stops on the tour will include:

The F-Word - 2/3
Q&A with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

RH Reality Check - 2/4
Live chat with Julia Serano & Latoya Peterson

Our Bodies Our Blog - 2/5
Q&A with Brad Perry & Lisa Jervis

Shakesville - 2/9
Live chat with Jaclyn

Scarleteen - 2/10
Heather Corinna 

Angry Black Bitch - 2/11
Q&A with Tiloma Jayasinghe

Bitch Ph.D. - 2/16
Guest blogging with Jaclyn & Jessica

Shameless - 2/17
Q&A with Jill Filipovic

IMPACT - 2/18
Q&A with Anastasia Higginbotham

Radical Doula - 2/19
Q&A with Hazel/Cedar Troost

Please check it all out! And of course, buy the book!