This enthusiastic Sunday New York Times article on the enduring influence of riot grrrl takes the movement and its influence seriously, and heralds the era’s re-examination: “Two decades after its heyday, riot grrrl is beginning to formally take stock of itself,” writes Melena Ryzik. NYU, MoMA, now the New York Times… how much more crazy mainstream can ’90s feminism get?
Tag Archives: New York Times
Ada, Check it out! Today’s most important female performance artists take on female-perpetrated violence. I hope the New York Times likes it.
Ada, you are so totally right: Fatal Attraction is not so much an artistic rendering of the real problems confronting American women as gender roles evolved in the 1980s as a male-written-and-directed revenge fantasy against women who dared to have career aspirations and extra-marital sex lives.
Much like Sam Tanenhaus’ article on the failure of female artists to be attuned to premeditated female violence is not so much a thoughtful investigation of the relationship between female artists and female perpetrators of violence as it is a revenge fantasy of a powerful man who seems super-pissed at uppity women in general and particularly women who probably don’t give a shit about what a New York Times journalist thinks they should engage with in their art.
Tanenhaus’ piece is obviously not really about female artists not engaging with female violence. Because at the end of the article, he names a whole bunch of female artists who, in fact, have.
But it’s oh-so-instructive to see how he manages to try and support the thesis that he finally disproves. He does it by making the kind of issues that both feminism and some female artists are engaged with seem cliché, uncool, boring.
But if violence against women is really as old hat as Tanenhaus manages to make it seem, then how come the lead story on the NYT’s home page right at this very moment is about Governor Patterson’s domestic abuse scandal? And if body image issues are such a yawn, then how come the NYT’s other baby boomer reactionaries, David Brooks and Maureen Dowd, can’t stop writing about the hidden meaning of Michelle Obama’s arms? (Which I once wrote about, here on Salon.)
Hi Kara! Did you see the Sam Tanenhaus article “Violence That Art Didn’t See Coming” yesterday in the NY Times? I am dying to talk to you about it.
Tanenhaus writes of serial killer Amy Bishop: “When she reportedly discharged her 9-millimeter handgun, she also punctured longstanding assumptions, or illusions, about women and violence…”
This is a topic close to my heart because I contributed an essay about Abu Ghraib, zine culture and Inga Muscio’s Cunt (like ya do) to an anthology, One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers, which was incidentally reviewed by the NY Times Book Review. (As you know, Tanenhaus runs the NYTBR, and I have written for it a bunch.) Continue reading
Did you just write that post about parenting to invite me to mention my book? Cause, you know, my book Instinctive Parenting: Trusting Ourselves to Raise Good Kids is coming out March 16th! Please buy it on Amazon, everyone! It is blurbed by the 90s-est of 90s women, including Lisa Carver, Kathleen Hanna, and Lili Taylor.
Anyway, I agree with you that 90s women and men are all over this equality shit, and I agree with Gail Collins (who I quite like) that Hollywood, etc., have been super slow to recognize it. And I agree with you that David Brooks is super obnoxious. He wrote something not long ago about how, like, America’s Vitality and Creativity is threatened by people having healthcare. Continue reading
Ada, we’ve talked a lot on this blog about 90swomen making more money than their male partners. We have not talked about how the NYT‘s David Brooks is a total un-90s-ish reactionary. Here he is talking to Gail Collins about what young men should do given the sad state of jobs in the current economy.
Gail Collins: I think they should also be encouraged to stay home with the kids. In fact, we should celebrate it. In the grand sweep of American lifestyle choices, stay-at-home fatherhood is possibly the only one that doesn’t get eulogized in our popular culture. I want to see the Bachelorette questioning her suitors on how many years they’d be willing to set aside for full-time childraising. I want a movie in which Matt Damon stays home while Beyoncé goes out to work. He can capture an escaped terrorist during the hours when the kids are in preschool.
David Brooks: In theory, I agree with you. Men should be staying home more. But I do think for many working-class men, we will find ourselves running into some pretty stiff headwinds. I come back to evolutionary psychology, which suggests that women are just more nurturing. Continue reading
Wait, Ada, are you publicly shaming me? That is so 90s!
Well, my main thought while watching these commercials was, “No wonder college guys can be jerks! They are getting the message that they only have a few years before they are consigned to this kind of domestic dystopia.”
That’s because I was thinking about the college guys in a NYT article by my former colleague (disclaimer) Alex Williams. The thesis, articulated by Kathleen A. Bogle, the author of “Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus,” is that “on college campuses where there are far more women than men, men have all the power to control the intensity of sexual and romantic relationships.”
According to the women in the article, this means girls often go further than they want to, sexually, in order to “lock it down,” in the words of one girl; girls nakedly (almost) compete for guys, who can just sit back, drink a beer, and wait for attention to be lavished on them; and girls let male behavior that they don’t like slide because they don’t want to be single.
As someone who, back in the 90s, went to a college with a huge imbalance of men to women and a more depressing dating scene than my all-girls high school, I would like to say: I concur with Bogle that this is true and I concur with the girls in the piece that this situation totally sucks.
And also that the kind of sexism that manifests when 19-year-old guys know they have the upper hand isn’t contained to the romantic realm. Especially at schools where a lot of these guys are already really privileged.