Aside

Call for submissions! And my first Williamsburg show

I’m going to submit a proposal for this essay project described below, and you should, too! But beforehand, yesterday’s recap (boys, look away): I got my bikini line THREADED. Don’t worry, it’s not gross. They use what looks like floss to remove hair. I have no idea how they do it, I just know that it’s a thing here. Like, they have threading bars in the same way they have dry bars (which is not a bar for recovering alcoholics, as I initially thought. No, it’s a bar where people blow-dry your hair for $40).

Also, I went to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see Nicolas Jaar, who’s an avant-garde ambient musician. I was also a little nervous, this being my first foray into the holier-than-thou Brooklyn concert scene. Sure enough, when I rolled up in my American Indian-patterned coat with a faux-fur hood (yes, it’s from Urban Outfitters, and no, I don’t give a shit), some guy snickered and said audibly, “Are we in Alaska?”

Fortunately, everyone I interacted with inside the venue was really friendly, including the bartender and two guys I met in line for coat check. We bonded over the idiots in back of us who talked about how the coat check lady was “high as a kite,” how they were part of the 1%, and how one of them was “moving away from democracy.” They also talked about the Occupy movement but their conversation was so offensive I blocked it out.

And the show itself? Really, fucking phenomenal. Jaar pulls an expertly timed bait and switch, knowing just when to release the tension. He sounds completely different live than recorded, and if you get the chance, try to catch him live.

Please submit to my fun/painful zine/book project, and also reblog.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

It’s Complicated: Feminists Write About the Misogynist Art We Love
ed. Judy Berman and Niina Pollari

“Listening to the Sex Pistols, trying to figure out if ‘Bodies’ was really an antiabortion song, I discovered that it was something even worse. It was an outburst of loathing for human physicality, a loathing projected onto women because they are babies and have abortions and are ‘a fucking bloody mess,’ but finally recoiling against the singer himself: ‘I’m not an animal!’ he bellowed in useless protest, his own animal sounds giving him the lie. It was an outrageous song, yet I could not simply dismiss it with outrage. The extremity of its disgust forced me to admit that I was no stranger to such feelings — though unlike Johnny Rotten I recognized that the disgust, not the body, was the enemy. And there lay the paradox: music that boldly and aggressively laid out what the singer wanted, loved, hated — as good rock-and-roll did — challenged me to do the same, and so, even when the content was antiwoman, antisexual, in a sense antihuman, the form encouraged my struggle for liberation.” — Ellen Willis, 1977

Feminists have never hesitated to dissect and attack art whose misogyny offends and repulses us. But what happens when we fall in love with the work of a musician, writer, or painter we see as anti-female? Do we rationalize our cognitive dissonance away, turn our back on the offending artist, or find a way to embrace the film or story that moves us while acknowledging what disturbs us about it? How does our attraction to misogynist art complicate our relationship to both the artist and to feminism itself?

It’s Complicated: Feminists Write About the Misogynist Art We Love is a zine and potential book project that seeks contributions by self-identified feminists. Essays of 1500-2000 words should analyze the writer’s appreciation for an author, musician, artist, filmmaker, or other cultural figure — of any gender — who the writer also views as somehow misogynist. Glam rock, John Milton, Drake and Egon Schiele are among the topics that have already been approved, which should give a good idea of the project’s breadth. As this anthology is intended for a general readership, academic papers will not be considered, and contributors should avoid field-specific jargon of all kinds. Proposals for non-essay contributions will also be considered.

If you are interested in contributing to the project, please email a short pitch no later than February 29, 2012 to itscomplicatedbook@gmail.com proposing a subject and briefly summarizing the content of your essay. We encourage writers of all genders, backgrounds and experience levels to submit ideas.

About the editors:

Judy Berman is an editor at Flavorpill. She has written on music, film, TV and pop culture for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Salon and The Believer.

Niina Pollari is a writer and translator. She has written two poetry chapbooks and contributed to the Brooklyn Rail, Bitch Magazine, Jezebel and other venues. A translation of Finnish poet Tytti Heikkinen is forthcoming from Action Books in 2012.

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