This week at Canonball, we took a few seasonal media staples — the holiday gift guide, and the traditionally dude-centric albums of the year list — and added a feminist twist. We also chatted about Carries, Mirandas, Bridgets, Liz Lemons, and the way that iconic representations of women often lead to lazy stereotypes that people apply to real women they know. As two brunettes who love snacks, Mia and I would like to think that there are elemental parts of our personalities that the Liz Lemon stereotype does not account for (for example, I don’t wear glasses). Speaking of Liz Lemonism, can I just say that Dot Com is my favorite feminist on 30 Rock? Remember that time Tracy was trying to be more female-conscious because he found out he was having a daughter and was all, “Dot Com! Do you even read books by women?” And then Dot Com looked up from his copy of Middlemarch and said, “Tracy, George Eliot was a woman.” Dot Com, for the love of all things good and holy, join our book club.
James Worsdale also gave us a dazzling piece about Burlesque (shout-out to The New Gay for reposting it!), in which he celebrated the film for its ridiculousness, its gratuitous use of Alan Cumming, and, above all things, its Cher. James brought up a lot of good points about camp and its role in allowing gay culture in particular to establish and embrace an “alternate canon.” He ended the piece with a question I’m still pondering: “Can camp be a feminist device or is it simply a way for gay men to manifest their sense of entitlement towards female objectification in a way that’s aesthetically and artistically pleasing to them?” In the comments, you all seemed to think that camp could be a feminist device: I liked Liina’s observation that “Camp usually portrays a non-normative femininity, and that’s almost always good.” I’ll add that camp gives feminism the opportunity to be funny (to think!) and, of course, as Katy put it, “it provides Cher with unlimited opportunities to smash in someone’s car with a crow bar.” Amen.
Can you think of any examples of Great Feminist Camp? I was racking my brain all night, all I’ve got is D.E.B.S., Born in Flames, and the immortal Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. Any other recommendations? I feel a slumber party coming on.
Oh, and lastly, this week we introduced a new feature called Dear Canonball. Ask us questions about anything at all, and we will respond with infinite wisdom! Either that, or we will just link to a video of Prince surprise serenading the ladies of The View.
Next week we unveil our fourth book club selection. Until then, have a great weekend!