Wednesday, March 23, 2005

call the doctor

i am so pissed off at ms. right now i can barely breathe. i've been a subscriber since high school ... maybe even junior high. the magazine has had its ups and downs -- i remember my pop-culture professor in college being infuriated by a mid-'80s cover story about rich women, dismissing the message she snarkily described as "we need to be more understanding toward our rich sisters." it's changed ownership, went through a period of being ad-free -- which was great, but didn't last. over the last couple of years it's been revived by the feminist majority foundation and moved to beverly hills.

yep. beverly hills.

so maybe i should've seen this coming, the cover of the spring 2005 issue, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday. emblazoned on its simple red cover was the burning black-and-white question that's foremost in the minds of feminists everywhere: "'desperate housewives' -- do we hate it or secretly love it?"

seriously? fuck you, ms. here our world is going topsy-turvy on a daily basis, women are being assaulted from all angles, and THIS is what you choose to make your cover issue?? after all, whether or not we are secretly (read: shamefully) enjoying this tv show is of paramount importance. not, say, the health-care crisis and how it is becoming increasingly dire for poor americans (most of whom are children, most of whom are cared for by women). and not, perhaps, the ramped-up assault on our rights. and certainly not, it would seem, the constant offensives against alternative families and their right to even exist.

let me be clear. i'm not saying there's no room for an analysis of the show in ms., or for a lively debate over it, which is what the package of articles includes. but putting it on the cover? what is this, entertainment weekly for feminists? feh.

the show is watched, according to the articles, mainly by white women over 35. some of the womyn over at the feminist rage page would quickly point out the issues of "privilege" this raises. ms. has been criticized off and on for having essentially a white middle-class viewpoint; different editors have attempted to redress this, but apparently it either didn't take or they really don't care anymore. ginmar often rants that she has little patience for "college feminism"; this gets me feeling a little bruised, although i really can't explain why, since i became a feminist long before i went to college, and i didn't take even one women's studies class. and in fact i often feel impatient with the "theory" aspects of feminism ... whatever. i digress.

i don't watch desperate housewives and don't care to. to me it just sounds stupid and boring. i have no interest in watching even a "satire" of suburban housewife life -- and its creator, a gay republican man, has insisted in at least one interview that the show isn't intended to be "satirical" as in making fun of suburbia. so what? a lot of people have no interest in watching a loopy drama about castaways on a mysterious island, either. to each her own. my objections to this cover presentation have nothing to do with my rejection of the show as entertainment ... like i said, it's a matter of perspective. here comes the bloody fucking cultural apocalypse, and ms. has its head up its ass?? we are all fucking doomed.

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