From Ass to Assinine

Having offered my two cents about the recent booty obsession before some tired reality TV star decided to Columbustle her way into everyone’s social media, I’ve been holding my remarks for Saturday’s JAWS panel. This article by Blue Telusma says a lot of what I’ve been thinking.

Kim Kardashian: The Butt of an Old Racial Joke.


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The Word Makers: Saturday


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November 12, 2014 · 10:45 am

The Booty Myth

Recent songs by Nicki Minaj, Meghan Trainor, and Jennifer Lopez with Iggy Azalea got me thinking …

The Booty Myth — Cuepoint — Medium.


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Who We Be: Jeff Chang Takes LMU

Writer/scholar/thinker/activist Jeff Chang spoke at LMU today about racial politics of the last 50 years and the return of the culture wars, topics covered in-depth in his new book Who We Be: The Colorization of America. His analysis was gentle, thoughtful, and extraordinarily timely. Highly recommended.

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A Semi Fictionaires Reunion

Jana Martin

Jana Martin by Jennifer May

In the mid 1990s, I became close to two amazing women who would change my life. Jana Martin and Vivien Goldman were both writers, musicians, and lovers of writing and music. Viv was already a legend, for her pioneering work as a reggae, punk, and Afrobeat journalist at Sounds and elsewhere in the ’70s and ’80s. Jana wrote acerbic but beautiful stories about women on the edge, and played bass in several bands, including one named after Mary Gaitskill’s book, Bad Behavior. We were all writing novels so began meeting regularly to share our work and push each other forward. We dubbed our writing trio the Fictionaires, and some two decades later, though we have all moved elsewhere, we are still good friends.

Jana and I are reuniting November 15 at 7 p.m. to read at Cornelius Projects in San Pedro. Or you can catch Jana November 17 at LMU; see flyer.  Jana Martin Flyer[1]

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Chelsea Handler’s Heroic Breasts

Chelsea Handler rides for topfreedom

Second up in my new Hero series: Chelsea Handler not only mocks Vladimir Putin’s machismo in this photo she has thrice posted on Instagram (and thrice had censored); the actor is taking a stand for topfreedom, aka women’s right to be as free to show their flesh as men are. Forcing women to conceal and bind their bodies while men are free to strut their stuff is just another way of shaming and containing us. Back in the heady, busty days of 3rd Wave feminism, I wrote about the topfree movement for The Village Voice: the proud feminists of Titi Liberation and Tribe 8 singer Lynn Breedlove. I became a bit of an activist for the cause myself. I’ll never forget the glorious feeling of marching down Fifth Avenue in New York with the Riot Grrrl NYC contingent of the Gay Pride parade, shirtless, with Slits-style mud smeared across my torso and the words “Media Slut.” It felt good to be able to shed confinements under the summer sun, just like men can do every day.

Anywaze, back to Handler: Kudos to her for letting her nipples fly free. At least she’s wearing a helmet.

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She Can Be a Hero: Kaci Hickox

Kaci Hickox wants to ride her bicycle. Photo from AP

I am so moved by the courageous, dare I say ballsy actions of so many women these days that I’m starting a new series here at Populism, saluting heroes. First of course is Kaci Hickox, and all the other nurses, doctors and health care workers who are risking their own lives and, apparently, their freedom to save sick people in Africa, and the world. The fact that politicians are demonizing these people, on the other hand, is pure ignorant cowardly catering to the power of fear, i.e. the opposite of leadership.

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