If you've been following my work on here, I mainly write about rape culture, general angst and the feminist implications of Miley Cyrus -- serious stuff that's undoubtedly important to discuss and dissect. Perhaps it's just the holiday season, and in no way am I invalidating what I've written, but I've been feeling a bit more cheerful, definitely happier and lighter, and I figured I might as well talk about a few of my current favorite things instead of a current societal issue. (Am I even licensed to discuss that? Like, does anyone care about my opinion? Oh well.) Here they are:
This trio of Los Angeles-based sisters has been on everyone's lips lately, especially after they performed on the Nov. 23 episode of Saturday Night Live with Josh Hutcherson. They have it all: the sisters Haim (Este, Danielle and Alana) possess perfect hipster hair parts that are reminiscent of Michelle and Amanda Babin from Cycle 7 of America's Next Top Model; their debut album, Days Are Gone, was praised by Stereogum and The A.V. Club as one of the best of the year; their music is part Fleetwood Mac, part Michael Jackson, part early Madonna, an amalgamation that results in the coolest sound and makes me wish summer was still here. Ugh, why am I not a teenager growing up in the sweltering suburbs in 1981? Check out their song "Don't Save Me," a current jam.
2. Aberrance Quarterly
A new Louisville-based online magazine started by Alexa Pence, Aberrance Quarterly is part-Vogue, part-Jezebel in its examination of fashion, urban culture and feminist interests. It just recently extended its reach to New Jersey, the Atlanta metro area, California and Kansas, and as the new managing editor of the Atlanta branch, I'm particularly excited for next year's huge issue. (Wait, self-promotion is bad? Oh, sorry. You know what isn't bad? Fashionable feminism. So you should check out their most recent issue and/or like them on Facebook.)
3. Interviewers no longer asking the question, "Are women funny?"
I am literally so tired of this. And that usage of "literally" was intended -- like, this question fills me with such exhaustion I need to sleep for days to simply answer it. It seems like interviewers always have to drop this question, a question that they assume is "loaded" and "edgy" but in fact is just "dumb." Yes, women are funny. Women are hilarious. Women with differing ethnic backgrounds (Mindy Kaling), body types (Lena Dunham, Aidy Bryant), and senses of humor that range from shocking (Amy Schumer, Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman) to relatively tame and self-deprecating (Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey) are all funny, fresh and doing important work. What interviewers don't seem to realize is that in asking this question they're merely repeating a cycle of gender division.
Sarah Silverman told this to a writer from Vulture who asked her if there was "any value in being asked about being a female comedian":
What I say to that, and I don't mean this to shame you, because I think the question being asked lets this come to light, but to me the last relic of the whole "women in comedy" issue is that interview question. That's like the last thing left of it. I mean, women run comedy. I mean, it's Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Chelsea Handler. Women run comedy. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. Women have had to be undeniable in order to come to light, and they have, so there's a real force now. It's an undeniable force. Is anyone better at hosting awards shows than Amy and Tina? I mean, it's nothing. All that's left is that question that is always, always, always asked. I'm glad you asked, because then I get to say that.
4. This article by Emily Nussbaum
There's a huge problem with Top 10 lists. I won't say much (mainly because Nussbaum says it so succinctly), but those lists produce a "numerical violence" (seriously, though) that is so outdated that we should simply throw it out and move on.
5. Winona Ryder circa 1990
In need of a role model or someone to understand the hot mess that you are? Winona Ryder circa 1990 is there for you. This was after Heathers, during Mermaids and Edward Scissorhands, but before The Age of Innocence, Little Women, and Reality Bites. 1990 Winona Ryder has the best hair, the best public persona and was kind of shameless is her attempts to figure out who she was and what kind of trajectory she wanted her career to follow. She's dark, strange, and her role in Mermaids may or may not have changed my life.
So, there you have it. Thanks for letting me vent on a public platform. God, I feel like an orator! Happy holidays!