Archive | Feminist Matters

Our Lunar Tides, Our Selves

I know menstruation is one of the few taboo topics on social media (cockocracy!) but today I cried over the Comey hearing, a late-’90s Julia Roberts film that will go unnamed (ok, Stepmom), a certain permakitten when she rested her chin on my toe, and the fact that my dress wasn’t ready at the tailors. Tonight’s potent full moon is not helping, nor is our massive Constitutional crisis. Overall, though, I just need to (insert verb, Mad Libs-style) already. Our periods are a blessing for which I am all the more grateful since I realized mine was an endangered species. But the period before our periods blows as hard as our alleged president–very, very hard.

The Happy Unhappy Ending

I adore this Emily Nussbaum take on Sex and the City, which, for all its micro-aggressive flaws, offered a realpolitik, pagan-spangled take on turn-of-the-millennium Manhattan and heterosexual, (white)lady congress. The final paragraph had me nodding like a banshee while also recommencing my book: “What would the show look like without that finale? What if it were the story of a woman who lost herself in her thirties, who was changed by a poisonous, powerful love affair, and who emerged, finally, surrounded by her friends?” Note to self: Living out most women’s worst fears brought out your best self. Tell your story, ladybird.

Georgia O’Keeffe on Our Mind

Though the painter Georgia O’Keeffe has been dead for thirty years, she is remembered best as an old woman clad in billowing robes and squinting against a Southwestern sky. This is more unusual than you might think, for once most people die, their oldest self is not what lingers in our memory. Instead, a younger iteration is restored to our consciousness, a la Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or “Thriller”-era Michael Jackson. Just the fact that it’s not preposterous to compare O’Keeffe to these two pop touchstones says a lot about the iconic status she actively cultivated in her later years. This spring, a Brooklyn Museum of Art exhibit, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern examines how she subverted conventional tropes of gender, age, and beauty with a dry eye still very much admired today – and how she served as both art and artist long before such a conflation of roles was common.

Curated by Stanford art historian Wanda M. Corn, the show (which later will travel to the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts) includes dozens of O’Keeffe paintings and a few of her sculptures, as well as key elements of the artist’s wardrobe, much of which she made herself. (Her boast of being a “wonderful seamstress” in her autobiography is not wrong, if characteristically immodest.) The show also includes nearly a hundred photographs of O’Keeffe by such twentieth-century heavy-hitters as husband Alfred Stieglitz, and Ansel Adams, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, and Irving Penn. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy