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Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine

In Feminism, Nonfiction on January 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm
BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine by Lisa Jervis, Andi Zeisler, and Margaret Cho

BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine by Lisa Jervis, Andi Zeisler, and Margaret Cho

Title: Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine

Author: Lisa Jervis & Andi Zeisler

Genre: Nonfiction/Feminism/Magazine/Pop culture

Rating: ***/****

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The price of the book alone is worth the stunning introduction by comedienne Margaret Cho. She’ll give any woman enough reason to declare with sincerity that she is a bitch without the least bit shame & if she’s called it, she’ll know to carry it as a banner of pride. Of course, those who are unfamiliar with this magazine may not realize that ‘bitch’ is not used in a way that degrades women or encourages meanness & insensivity towards other people. It’s just declared the label that society gives women for standing up for themselves & demanding equal treatment. So, from one bitch to another, this book is for you.

It has topics ranging from the absence of positive African American women on tv to a feminist’s take on the use of ‘guys’ to include women. I do not necessarily agree or understand all of the ideas expressed in this collection, but it did cause me to think over what I see on the tv. We like to pretend that popular culture has no inherent value, but as spelled out in the pages of Bitch, we see that our culture’s ideals & perceptions of us are portrayed in pop culture for all to see. Why are commercials for domestic cleaning products almost always featuring women? And why are they so happy to be cleaning? I don’t mind cleaning or doing the laundry, but I’ve never been that cheerful about it.

What I love about this book & about Bitch magazine itself is that it tries (& doesn’t always succeed) to reach out to us on the fringes who are sitting
there, remote in hand, wondering what the hell has happened. Didn’t the feminist movement take place? So, why are females so ashamed to call themselves feminist anyway? Do they want equal treatment or not? Why does tv seem so vanilla when we’re in an era that supposedly celebrates diversity? There are plenty of questions left unanswered & reading this, you’ll be thinking of your own to add to it.

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http://www.bitchmagazine.org

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