BITCHfest : ten years of cultural criticism from the pages of Bitch magazine / edited by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler.

by Miya-Jervis, LisaLooking glass; Zeisler, Andi, 1972-Looking glass.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.Description: xxiii, 372 pages ; 23 cm.ISBN: 0374113432.Other title: Bitch fest.Uniform titles: Bitch (San Francisco, Calif.).Subject(s): Feminism -- United StatesLooking glass | Popular culture -- United StatesLooking glassNote: All of the essays were previously published, in somewhat different form, in Bitch Magazine from 1996-2005.Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 353-360).
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan London College of Fashion
Main collection
Printed books 305.4 ZEI (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 54063526
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In the wake of Sassy and as an alternative to the more staid reporting of Ms . , Bitch was launched in the mid-nineties as a Xerox-and-staple zine covering the landscape of popular culture from a feminist perspective. Both unabashed in its love for the guilty pleasures of consumer culture and deeply thoughtful about the way the pop landscape reflects and impacts women's lives, Bitch grew to be a popular, full-scale magazine with a readership that stretched worldwide. Today it stands as a touchstone of hip, young feminist thought, looking with both wit and irreverence at the way pop culture informs feminism--and vice versa--and encouraging readers to think critically about the messages lurking behind our favorite television shows, movies, music, books, blogs, and the like. BITCHFest offers an assortment of the most provocative essays, reporting, rants, and raves from the magazine's first ten years, along with new pieces written especially for the collection. Smart, nuanced, cranky, outrageous, and clear-eyed, the anthology covers everything from a 1996 celebration of pre-scandal Martha Stewart to a more recent critical look at the "gayby boom"; from a time line of black women on sitcoms to an analysis of fat suits as the new blackface; from an attempt to fashion a feminist vulgarity to a reclamation of female virginity. It's a recent history of feminist pop-culture critique and an arrow toward feminism's future.

All of the essays were previously published, in somewhat different form, in Bitch Magazine from 1996-2005.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 353-360).

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword (p. xv)
  • Introduction (p. xix)
  • Chapter 1 Hitting Puberty (p. 3)
  • Amazon Women on the Moon: Remembering Femininity in the Video Age Winter 1996 (p. 6)
  • Rubyfruit Jungle Gym: An Annotated Bibliography of the Lesbian Young Adult Novel Winter 1998 (p. 11)
  • Stormin' Norma: Why I Love the Queen of Teen Winter 1998 (p. 19)
  • Sister Outsider Headbanger: On Being a Black Feminist Metalhead Fall 2001 (p. 26)
  • Bloodletting: Female Adolescence in Modern Horror Films Summer 2003 (p. 31)
  • The, Like, Downfall of the English Language: A Fluffy Word with a Hefty Problem Summer 2003 (p. 38)
  • Teen Mean Fighting Machine: Why Does the Media Love Mean Girls? Winter 2005 (p. 43)
  • Chapter 2 Ladies and Gentlemen: Femininity, Masculinity, and Identity (p. 49)
  • Urinalysis: On Standing Up to Pee Fall 1997 (p. 52)
  • The Collapsible Woman: Cultural Response to Rape and Sexual Abuse Winter 1999 (p. 56)
  • The Princess and the Prankster: Two Performers Take on Art, Ethnicity, and Sexuality Fall 2002 (p. 62)
  • What Happens to a Dyke Deferred? The Trouble with Hasbians and the Phenomenon of Banishment Fall 2002 (p. 71)
  • On Language: You Guys Fall 2002 (p. 76)
  • Skirt Chasers: Why the Media Dresses the Trans Revolution in Lipstick and Heels Fall 2004 (p. 81)
  • Fringe Me Up, Fringe Me Down: On Getting Dressed in Jerusalem Winter 2005 (p. 90)
  • Screen Butch Blues: The Celluloid Fate of Female Masculinity BITCHfest 2006 (p. 96)
  • Dead Man Walking: Masculinity's Troubling Persistence BITCHfest 2006 (p. 101)
  • Chapter 3 The F Word (p. 106)
  • And Now a Word from Our Sponsors: Feminism for Sale Fall 1998 (p. 111)
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Feminism! On the Feminists Who Aren't Spring 2002 (p. 116)
  • Celebrity Jeopardy: The Perils of Feminist Fame Winter 2003 (p. 125)
  • Unnatural Selection: Questioning Science's Gender Bias Spring 2004 (p. 134)
  • On Language: Choice Spring 2004 (p. 144)
  • Laugh Riot: Feminism and the Problem of Women's Comedy Bitchfest 2006 (p. 148)
  • Girl, Unreconstructed: Why Girl Power Is Bad for Feminism Bitchfest 2006 (p. 155)
  • Chapter 4 Desire: Love, Sex, and Marketing (p. 162)
  • In Re-Mission: Why Does Redbook Want to Keep Us on Our Backs? Spring 1997 (p. 166)
  • Hot and Bothered: Unmasking Male Lust Fall 1997 (p. 170)
  • I Heard It Through the Loveline: And Misinformation Just Might Make Me Lose My Mind Spring 1998 (p. 175)
  • The New Sexual Deviant: Mapping Virgin Territory Winter 2000 (p. 179)
  • Envy, a Love Story: Queering Female Jealousy Summer 2001 (p. 186)
  • Fan/Tastic Voyage: Rewriting Gender in the Wide, Wild World of Slash Fiction Spring 2003 (p. 192)
  • Hot for Teacher: On the Erotics of Pedagogy Spring 2004 (p. 198)
  • Holy Fratrimony: Male Bonding and the New Homosociality Summer 2004 (p. 207)
  • Chapter 5 Domestic Arrangements (p. 217)
  • The Paradox of Martha Stewart: Goddess, Desperate Spouse-Seeker, or Feminist Role Model? Fall 1996 (p. 221)
  • Double Life: Everyone Wants to See Your Breasts-Until Your Baby Needs Them Fall 2002 (p. 227)
  • Queer and Pleasant Danger: What's Up with the Mainstreaming of Gay Parents? Fall 2003 (p. 232)
  • Mother Inferior: How Hollywood Keeps Single Moms in Their Place Fall 2003 (p. 240)
  • Hoovers and Shakers: The New Housework Workout Winter 2005 (p. 247)
  • Chapter 6 Beauty Myths and Body Projects (p. 252)
  • Plastic Passion: Tori Spelling's Breasts and Other Results of Cosmetic Darwinism Fall 1998 (p. 256)
  • Vulva Goldmine: The New Culture of Vaginal Reconstruction Winter 2000 (p. 261)
  • Are Fat Suits the New Blackface? Hollywood's Big New Minstrel Show Winter 2002 (p. 267)
  • Busting the Beige Barrier: The Limits of "Ethnic" Cosmetics Fall 2004 (p. 270)
  • Your Stomach's the Size of a Peanut, So Shut Up, Already: An Open Letter to Carnie Wilson Fall 2003 (p. 272)
  • Beyond the Bearded Lady: Outgrowing the Shame of Female Facial Hair Spring 2005 (p. 276)
  • Chapter 7 Confronting the Mainstream (p. 281)
  • Pratt-fall: Ten Things to Hate About Jane Winter 1999 (p. 285)
  • Marketing Miss Right: Meet the Single Girl, Twenty-First-Century Style Winter 2000 (p. 291)
  • The God of Big Trends: Book Publishing's Ethnic Cool Quotient Spring 2002 (p. 299)
  • The Black and the Beautiful: Searching for Signs of Black Life in Prime-Time Comedy Summer 2002 (p. 307)
  • I Kissed a Girl: The Evolution of the Prime-Time Lesbian Clinch Winter 2004 (p. 313)
  • XXX Offender: Reality Porn and the Rise of Humilitainment Fall 2004 (p. 318)
  • Bias Cut: Old Racism as New Fashion Fall 2004 (p. 322)
  • Chapter 8 Talking Back: Activism and Pop Culture (p. 328)
  • Please Don't Feed the Models: A Day in the Life of an Urban guerrilla Fall 1998 (p. 331)
  • Refuse and Resist with Jean Kilbourne: How to Counteract Ad Messages Winter 2001 (p. 335)
  • Full Frontal Offense: Bringing Abortion Rights to the Ts Winter 2005 (p. 337)
  • Meet Anne: A Spunky, Adventurous American Girl Spring 2005 (p. 342)
  • How to Reclaim, Reframe, and Reform the Media: A Feminist Advocacy Guide Bitchfest 2006 (p. 344)
  • The BiTCHfest Resource List (p. 353)
  • About the Contributors (p. 361)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 371)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This work represents an alternating mix of the most hilarious, alarming, and unexpected essays from Bitch magazine's first ten years. Over three-quarters of the works come from the last five years and, with the exception of an approving pre-scandal profile of Martha Stewart, retain cultural currency. About-Face founder Kathy Bruin journals on the eve of her celebrated 1998 "Don't Feed the Models" postering campaign. Keely Savoie presents a brilliant journalistic brief on the 400-plus animal species documented in homosexual relationships. Shauna Swartz turns out an indelible account of the severe life of reality porn actresses. BITCHfest writers, a mix of thought leaders and unknown activists, share a talent for asking thorny questions: how can Westerners distinguish between American cosmetic labiaplasty and African genital mutilation? Why can't female Cosmo readers admit they're attracted to, rather than jealous of, waifs on the glossy covers? Readers new to this feminist quarterly will find the articles, almost without exception, original, intelligent, and well written. This compilation has staying power. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/06.] Elizabeth Kennedy, Oakland, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

This often mind-stretching, occasionally predictable and generally entertaining collection of articles from Bitch magazine has something for every feminist, postfeminist and reactionary. Bitch was founded in 1996 in response to "post-feminism" by "freshly minted liberal arts graduates with crappy day jobs and a serious media jones." With refreshing depth, literacy and humor, these essays explore questions surrounding puberty, gender identity, sex, "domestic arrangements," beauty, pop culture and mainstream media, and media literacy/activism. Tammy Oler examines menarche and female puberty in horror films; Gaby Moss analyzes the media's obsession with "mean girls"; and Lisa Jervis gives a rundown of sex scenes and pride in YA lesbian novels. Leigh Shoemaker puts down Camille Paglia's contention that males are superior due to their urinary "arc of transcendence" by evoking the Virgin Mary's breasts squirting milk through the air into Jesus' mouth. Audry Bilger protests the use of "guys" as gender neutral. Conspicuously absent is any discussion of women and aging. Maybe we'll just have to wait for Bitch's 20th anniversary, when its editors will be pushing 50. (Aug. 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Lisa Jervis is publisher of Bitch and a regular lecturer on media and feminism. Andi Zeisler is Bitch 's editorial/creative director. Both women write regularly for newspapers and magazines nationwide.