Archive for September 16th, 2010

September 16th, 2010

The New Blinderism


Do I believe that sexism exists in modern workplace? Yes. But I don’t worry about it, because if someone actually decides they don’t want to work with me simply because I’m a woman, they’re saving me the trouble of working with an idiot. It’s an automatic moron screener. And in the long run, those people will find that their careers and their lives have suffered for never having worked with talented women.

But it won’t hurt me.

Now that I’ve found blinderism, I can also stop worrying about that extra $.33 on the dollar that men make! Or, say, racism—I mean if a manager doesn’t hire a candidate simply because that candidate is black, the manager is saving that person of the trouble of going to work at all! And that won’t hurt Elizabeth Spiers! Win-win.

September 16th, 2010

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

The brilliant Marjorie Ingall tracked down Marguerite Waller, the National Merit Scholar and Seventeen covergirl from a few posts back. Ms. Waller has gone on to be SUPERAMAZINGFANTISTICO!! I should not even say “Ms. Waller,” because she is Professor Waller, having gotten an Ph.D from Yale in 1978.

Check out her goddamn bio—I highlighted some awesome parts, which is not to imply the other parts are sub-awesome:

Marguerite Waller’s interests include film and media, Renaissance comparative literature, transnational feminism, and globalization. Her articles on Dante, Petrarch, Wyatt, Surrey, Shakespeare, Italian and Hungarian film, new media, border art, performance,and theory, globalization, and transnational feminist dialogue are widely published. She is the author of Petrarch’s Poetics and Literary History (1980) and co-editor of Federico Fellini: Contemporary Perspectives (2002). Over the course of three co-edited volumes—Frontline Feminisms: Women, War, and Resistance (2000), Dialogue and Difference: Feminisms Challenge Globalization (2005), The Wages of Empire: Neoliberal Policies, Resistance, and Women’s Poverty (2007), and a special of Social Identities, she has been committed to facilitating communication and collaboration among feminist projects around the world. She has co-organized three international feminist conferences at U.C. Riverside, and convened a transnational feminist Resident Research Project at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

Her teaching interests include feminist discourses, human rights, peace studies, film and media studies, critical theory, and Dante’s Commedia. She is also a firm believer in study abroad. She did graduate work in Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship and has held two Fulbright professorships, one in France and the other in Hungary. In 2007-08 she served as Director of the U.C. Rome Study Center.  In the early nineties, she was a member of the women’s art-making collective Las Comadres, active in the San Diego/Tijuana border region.

Professor Waller’s current research focuses on transnational and postcolonial filmmaking, and on Dante.

How fucking cool is that? Of course back then Gloria Steinem wrote for Seventeen—although she did again in 2003 when I was there—and at present the world of magazines and popculture has been so thoroughly transformed that I can’t imagine a National Merit Scholar ever being on the cover of Seventeen again. It’s an even slimmer chance than seeing a fat woman or a woman of color.

But back to Professor Waller! These are a few of her publications!

“One Voice Kills Both Our Voices: “First World” Feminism and Transcultural Feminist Engagement” in Dialogue and Difference: Feminisms Challenge Globalization, edited with Sylvia Marcos.  New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

“Is It a War Crime?  Sex Trafficking and Forced Prostitution in Post-Conflict Bosnia and Kosovo/a, in Mulheres em conflito: presences e ausencias. Ed. Barbara Kristensen, Joam Evans Pim, Oscar Crespo Argibay.  Observatorio sobre Mulher e Conflitos Armados. Santiago de Compostela, Galiza.  Torculo Artes Graficas S.A. 2007.

Dialogue and Difference:  Feminisms Challenge Globalization, co-edited with Sylvia Marcos. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Translated into Turkish as Farlilik ve Diyalog: Feminiszmier Kuresellesmaye Meydan Okuyo. Istanbul, Turkey: Chiviyazilari-(Nemesis Kitapligi), 2006.

It is all extremely, very rad.

September 16th, 2010

A Winning Proposition

Can’t Lose

Inside the Life of a Mega Millions Lottery Winner

While the American myth is about pulling oneself by one’s bootstraps, the American dream has always been money for nothing. Hence our obsession with the lottery. We gripe about tax increases while happily funneling our spending money into state-run lotteries to fund government services. (Why has the IRS not just instituted a system in which one taxpayer from each state will be chosen at random to never pay taxes again?) The lottery is Prince Charming, the ship coming in, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the Holy Grail.

And yet, there is a dark side to winning. Instant millionaires commonly suffer from depression, anxiety, paranoia, drug abuse. Several have committed suicide. Many go through their winnings rapidly, returning to lives with lower prospects and bitter memories. Friendships become suspect, lovers require extensive vetting, and long lost relatives come out of the woodwork expecting handouts.

In Can’t Lose, I will explore the world of the insta-rich by living as a lottery winner and chronicling my experience, weaving in the interactions I have with other winners along the way.How will I manage the tensions between my old, poor writer-friends, and my new friends who have several homes and at least one boat? Two birthday parties? As I drink from my favorite coffee cup, I wonder if it would really suit a rich person. Nearly every part of every day becomes fraught with significance.

I am willing to do this for a very modest advance. However, I will need $10-$20 million for authenticity and expenses.

September 16th, 2010

"why isnt there any vag art?"


“is it because most of this work is from the permanent collection?” 

mikki asked this smart question last night while contemplating some of the tamer works by hannah wilke and judy chicago at shifting the gaze. maybe the jewish museum is kind of conservative in their acquisitions? sort of like the mother who told her daughter that women needed to excel in painting if they were ever to be taken seriously as artists, even though the arts were in the midst of a performative turn? regardless, it was cool to see paintings by jewish feminists who were involved with the redstockings or heresies or other second wave art/activist groups. it was cool to meet elisabeth subrin and see shulie again. and it was cool to see this joan semmel, which is so super 70s, maybe a kind of painterly equivalent of the kind of work that barbara hammer was doing in film?

the new york times was definitely very into the show.

To be clear, I believe I said, “Where’s the vag?”