Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged feminist

Vag Magazine

I didn’t think it was even figuratively possible to shoot yourself in the foot while disappearing up your own behind, but the characters in Vag Magazine have proven otherwise. This eerily well-observed sketch show from the women of the Upright Citizens Brigade is watchable and rewatchable by third wave feminists and those who love them—or who love to laugh at them—especially since every episode is available on the web.

Women’s Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean: Engendering Social Justice, Democratizing Citizenship

One of the aims of the groundbreaking work Women’s Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean is the diffusion of the ideas of these mostly Latin-American scholars to a larger audience, thus the original 2006 Spanish-language volume’s translation and subsequent adaptation and expansion into English. However, it seems contradictory to the spirit of the project to start reviewing it without mentioning the authors here.

Living and Loving in Dos Lenguas

Janet Romero-Leiva is a queer, feminist, Latina visual artist and writer whose work explores immigrant displacement, denied aboriginality, queer and of colour existence, living and loving in dos lenguas, and the continuous intersection of identities that shape who she is and how she moves in this world. Janet immigrated to Canada at the age of seven and has since been trying to find her footing between America of the north and America of the south.

Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War

The stories of eight women’s lives, four Iraqi and four American, establish the framework for an examination of the gendered phases of war. Nimo is a beauty salon owner in Baghdad who keeps her business open through blackouts and listens to what the women there really think. Emma is a mother in Texas, urged to let her second son join the military during wartime. Maha, Danielle, Safah, Kim, Shatha, and Charlene all have stories that in telling offer a deeper look into not only their circumstances, but into the state of the world and of the ravages of wartime.

O Fallen Angel

Mommy, Maggie and Malachi may be the first to give Mrs. Dalloway a real run for her money. In O Fallen Angel Kate Zambreno deconstructs stream of consciousness and successfully reworks it for the twenty-first century. The inner most thoughts of Mommy, a homemaker in Juicy pants with more than a feminine mystique; her adult daughter Maggie, the product of nature and nurture with a penchant for penis and depression; and Malachi, a mysterious prophet of sorts, are interwoven into a story less about the inner workings of a family and more about commenting on everything from therapy to grandparenting.

Feminist Technology

On the cover of this book, a silhouette of what resembles a hand holding a speculum, above the words feminist technology, prompts questions. Whose hand holds the speculum? Is it just me, or is it kind of shaped like the letter “F”? The image hints at Feminist Technology’s project: to look at technologies in the context of the hands that design and use them, and to consider how they might or might not facilitate feminist social relations.

make/shift: feminisms in motion (Issue 7)

make/shift is a satisfying thing. Describing itself as "feminisms in motion," it is a much-needed breath of fresh air for both our minds and our movement. Deep, political roots give way to a body of thought-provoking content and are topped with flexible branches of ideas, encouraging discourse and change. The magazine itself has full-color front and back covers. The entire inside is in black and white. It's heavy on text, and I like it that way. The layout is easy to read; no "continued on page seven" nonsense here. Pictures are scant, but clear and artful.

UK Feminista Summer School (7/31 - 8/1/2010)

UK Feminista was started by Kat Banyard, the author of The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Men and Women Today, who gave a particularly inspiring speech during the first panel, "The Importance of Feminist Organising." The enormous strength of the first day of summer school was its focus on practice.

Colonial Metropolis: The Urban Grounds of Anti-Imperialism and Feminism in Interwar Paris

Interwar Paris conjures up images of romance and renewal. From the ashes and rubble of the First World War, families reunite and rebuild under what seemed to be the end of the most dire of circumstances.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Bella Swan has never been a character I’ve related to. She’s frustratingly timid, overwhelmingly insecure, and apparently has no interests or hobbies aside from her obsession with Edward Cullen. Sure, she’s had her redeeming moments, and yes, it was Bella who saved Edward from exposing himself to the Volturi in New Moon.

In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun: The Autobiography of a Japanese Feminist

In the beginning, woman was truly the sun. An authentic person. Now she is the moon, a wan and sickly moon, dependent on another, reflecting another’s brilliance. _ _... The time has come for us to recapture the sun hidden within us. These lines launched Seitō, a women's literary journal, in 1911 Tokyo. Hiratsuka Raichō was one of the founders, and she poured her emotions into this opening editorial.

Le Tigre: On Tour

“What’s the status of Le Tigre?” an eager—albeit slightly angst-ridden—fan asks Kathleen Hanna during the Q&A session after the screening of Le Tigre: On Tour. I, too, had been wondering the same question—because this band, who has proven so formative to women young and old everywhere, seems to exist only in our collective lesbo-feminist consciousness at the moment.


A few weeks back, Sabrina Chap (born Chapadjiev) contacted me to see if I wanted to review her new album, Oompa! Never one to turn down a free meal from female musicians, I obliged and she mailed me a copy (with a handwritten letter, no less — thanks, Sabrina!).

Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists

Seeking inspiration for a novel she was writing a few years ago, J. Courtney Sullivan sent an email to several friends asking them, “What was the moment that made you a feminist?

Reclaiming the F Word Book Launch (6/3/2010)

I went to the launch event for Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune's book Reclaiming the F Word at The University Women's Club.

Taking Women in New Directions: Stories from the Second Wave of the Women's Movement

Paula Kassell's Taking Women in New Directions is not what it sounds like. Rather than being stories about the women's movement in the '70s and '80s, it is primarily a collection of articles that Kassell wrote for the feminist newspaper, New Directions for Women (which she also co-founded and ran out of her own home for seven years).

Robin Hood

Being the rabid Ridley Scott fan that I am, last week I went to go see his new movie, Robin Hood, at the theatre.

Was That Supposed To Be Funny?

One can never truly pinpoint what feminism looks like. Sometimes it’s the faces of celebrities, proudly claiming the F-word; sometimes it’s a swarm of protesters gathering on the National Mall. And sometimes it’s a crown of broccoli asserting its dancing ability to a bullying stalk of asparagus.

Tillie Olsen: One Woman, Many Riddles

Part of Panthea Reid’s title seems to allude to Tillie Olsen’s 1961 collection of short stories, Tell Me a Riddle. It also seems to highlight the layers of complexity in a woman hailed as an iconic writer and feminist. Reid doesn’t idealize Olsen.

Motherhood and Feminism

I doubt any role is more judged than mother. Add sexuality, class, and race into the equation and, for some of us, we will never be a "good" mother. But what are we really comparing ourselves to? We are trying to live up to a myth. A myth of Biblical proportions that has been around for less than sixty years.

Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out!

Courtney Trouble, the creator of Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out!, is one of the hottest new directors of queer porn. After creating No Fauxxx in March 2002—a website with 150 models, twenty videos, and a free social networking community—Trouble started making full-length queer porn videos. She has also been in a few porn films herself, which she says adds to her respect for those in front of the camera.

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (10th Anniversary Edition)

Ten years ago, my concept of feminism consisted of white lesbians with unshaven legs and armpits who hated men. Fast forward ten years later–past many existential crises, a couple of college degrees, and a hard drop from blissful ignorance–and my feminist tendencies have even leaked into my chivalrous desire to open the door for men.

Unfastened: Globality and Asian North American Narratives

In a similar vein as Caroline Rody’s The Interethnic Imagination and Rocío Davis' Begin Here, the monograph Unfastened has been a treat to read for the simple fact that author Eleanor Ty foref

A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Arts, Politics, and Daily Life

A Decade of Negative Thinking is a collection of essays on feminism, paintings, and feminist art history. As a teacher of graduate students, Schor’s experience provides us with practical and theoretical background to an artist’s commitment to contemporary art. The main theme of the study encompasses the ideas and images from Schor’s earlier life that were significant in influencing her artistic direction.

No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism

As an undergraduate, my major was Women’s Studies, so I’ve read my fair share of feminist texts over the last several years. It’s hard to find one that offers a new perspective or, at least, a perspective different enough to satisfy both the expert and the novice.

King Kong Theory: A Manifesto For Women Who Can’t Or Won’t Obey The Rules

King Kong Theory is most easily my favourite read so far this year; it packs a punch and voices everything I feel about our oppressive patriarchal society. This work is completely free of any hesitation to say what is really going on in the Western world today. Virginie Despentes blew me away with her fresh and honest analysis of what women (and men) struggle within their half-baked, destructive gender roles.

Get Opinionated: A Progressive’s Guide to Finding Your Voice (and Taking a Little Action)

A few years ago, my uncle, the family’s token conservative, sent me a copy of Dinesh D’Souza’s Letters to a Young Conservative, probably to irk my mother. Despite my inclinations, I decided to give it a try. The first chapter of Letters is masterful, beginning with a lecture D’Souza gave at Columbia University, at which he was greeted with crowds of angry, rioting, liberal students bent on silencing his conservative point of view.

How to Train Your Dragon

As a feminist mother of a young daughter, I am always on the lookout for movies with a positive message. As a mom who is a geek, I'm always looking for sci-fi and fantasy movies that are kid-appropriate. As an intelligent woman, I'm always looking for entertainment that has good storytelling.

Leading the Way: Young Women's Activism for Social Change

When I read Leading the Way, I felt the same way I did the first time I read Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards or Listen Up: Voices from the Next Feminist Generation by Barbara Findlen. I felt inspired, challenged, and optimistic about the future of feminism. I felt I had a road map of feminist ideas I could apply to my own life, and I knew I had incredible, real-life examples of women creating social change in their lives.

Briarpatch Magazine (Jan/Feb 2010)

Turning through the pages of Briarpatch Magazine, I was offered a glimpse into Canada's progressive social movements. Reading the Responsibility to Protest issue, which is also available online, gave me a crash course in several progressive ideologies I wasn't familiar with, and I was able to explore some familiar issues that are close to my heart as well. Briarpatch covers a lot of ground.