feminist hulk

by marjorieingall on July 7, 2010

This is old news but I just read this Ms. Magazine interview with Feminist Hulk. GEEEEENIUS! Feminist Hulk, as you probably know, is on Twitter. Here are a few typical missives:

HULK USE ALL-CAPS. HULK CHOOSE NOT TO IMPOSE HIERARCHY ON LANGUAGE. PLUS, BIG HULK FINGERS MAKE SHIFT-KEY PROBLEMATIC.

HULK MAKE CAPITALIZATION EXCEPTION FOR bell hooks.

HULK STOP FOR QUICK SNACK WHILE SMASHING GENDER BINARY. ACCIDENTALLY SPILL HUMMUS ON TINY PURPLE SHORTS.

HULK THINK TWO-GENDER SYSTEM WORK EVEN WORSE THAN TWO-PARTY SYSTEM. PLUS, SMASHING GENDER BINARY LEAD TO COOLER OUTFITS.

I swoon. And it’s a brilliant interview, a three-way among Ms., Feminist Hulk, and gender theorist Judith Butler, FH’s literary life-partner. Dreamy.

This piece made me really happy for Ms. When I was at Sassy, in the early ’90s, Ms. was right down the hall. I did a few stories for it. I really liked some of the women there. I appreciated its important history. But veyizmir that rag [sic] was disappointing. It always seemed afraid of its readers — any hint of  humor or play made the staff worry that the audience would get angry. (READERS SMASH!) Sadly, the fear was justified: I remember one cover that portrayed men as wolves — it was a snazzy piece of art to accompany a piece on bad male behavior — triggered outraged letters about speciesism.

Ms. went advertising-free when I was there; that first ad-free issue (and Gloria Steinem’s awesome essay on Sex, Lies and Advertising) was thrilling. But soon I felt that Ms. had really only exchanged one master [sic] for another. Now that the magazine was entirely reader-supported, it wasn’t beholden to stupid car and cosmetics companies…but it quaked in fear of offending its own readership. (Who, granted, got offended really easily.)

So this piece delighted me beyond all measure. Hilarious! Pointed! Perfect! Yay!

Sadly, I haven’t looked at Ms in a while…but I’d love to think that today it manages to balance humor, outrage, advocacy and celebration. If it pisses some feminists off, that’s OK. We are not a monolith. We need both bread and roses; we deserve to laugh and SMASH.

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