Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, infamous for legislating against “non-citizens” and denying organ transplants to people who were previously approved for them, wants to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. This image appeared on her Facebook page this past week.
I’m trying to figure out where my outrage should begin and where it should wrap up. I already had good cause to despise this woman, but she seems determined to not only continue to do wicked things, but to do them in the most public and ballsy fashion she can.
To recap: Jan Brewer became governor of Arizona after Obama selected then-governor Janet Napolitano to serve in his administration. Brewer made national headlines when she signed a law in April of 2010. Essentially, the law granted police the ability–nay, the obligation–to ask anyone, anytime, if they have paperwork proving they’re in this country legally. It’s clear this is directed at illegal immigrants of Hispanic origin, which Arizona has plenty of. Despite the public uproar, Brewer has remained unapologetic.
More recently, Brewer cut funding to a state program similar to Medicaid. Nearly 100 low income patients have now been denied vital organ transplants. Brewer has gone on record as calling these “Cadillac” surgeries.
So you see why Brewer is not my favorite person. Now she posts this image.
This is the third part of Alissa’s interview. In this segment, we discuss the larger context of her work, and how it relates to the mission of our site. We asked her questions pertaining to gender and personal artistic decisions. She answered us — as always — very honestly. As we wind down this interview, we’d like to thank Alissa once again for her participation and for the chance to talk about her amazing work.
What does “feminism” mean for you, and would you consider yourself a feminist?
Overall, I do believe in what feminism stands for. Everyone wants equal rights. I think feminism has gotten a bad rap, really; growing up the first thing I thought of when I thought of a “feminist” were the extremists who burned bras and were avid “man haters”.
As we brainstormed questions for Alissa’s interview, both of us wanted to address the inspired quality we found in Alissa’s art. We found traces of this inspiration everywhere, from the elegant Grecian forms of her Greek gods and goddesses series, to other complex mythological characters.
Alissa wrote us insightful — and often surprising — answers to these questions, and we are happy to share them with you in our second installment.
Where do you get your inspiration? Who are your muses?
As a kid, I read a lot of comic books, watched a lot of anime, and I surround myself with Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino films. I also read A LOT, see a lot of movies and am an iTunes junkie. I constantly surf the net, admiring other artists’ work. I really just look for inspiration anywhere and everywhere I can get it.
A simple search for “subterfuge” under Google Images produces some amazing graphics. None of these, however, are more stunning than the artwork we found by Alissa “Lissy” Jo Rindels.
Her piece, (obviously titled “Subterfuge”) features a woman whose voluptuous body is splattered with blood. Though her subject wears little else but an arresting glare, she points a sanguineous arm to the right.
F found the picture through an impulse search on Google Images. Mesmerized, F showed D the image. Together they clicked through to the rest of the website to see many examples of women in positions of power and strength. These pieces provoked questions and thoughts and ideas about the subjects and the positions they found themselves. We knew we had to write about them — and their creator. D and F drafted a series of emails in trepidation.
This was the first time we’d ever done an interview, and we needed to make a plan of action.
The process of coming up with questions was an intimidating one. We wanted to ask about the art itself. We wanted to ask about her inspiration. We wanted to ask about her muses and sources of strength. We wanted to ask her about the life of a spectacularly talented artist. Most of all, however, we wanted to ask her about the irresistible female force behind her work.
We finished writing the questions over the course of a few days. (We had many.) Alissa responded promptly. She was gracious, kind, and willing to answer whatever questions we had for her. We corresponded over a short period of time. Soon, we had our answers. We — F and D — would like to thank her very much for her hard work and her patience.
Over at An Attitude Adjustment, Staying At Home For Now mom Jana feels like a kindred spirit. She’s an English teacher, but layoffs coincided with the birth of her second child so she’s decided to make the most of it. While she cherishes the opportunity to spend time with her young children, she also feels the need for something more than that. The blog is her outlet. As she says, this period in her life won’t last forever, but she’s in it now and she’s going to take advantage of it.
Her latest post has been recognized by the WP selection staff. The title caught my eye: Women in Aprons.
Jana points out that cooking is In. Everyone’s going organic, everyone wants to be healthier and feed their families good food. She’s all for that. What she objects to is the insidious implication that women are failing in their ‘roles.’ Everything is directed at women, not men.
This post made the Freshly Pressed board for a reason.
I have a huge girl crush on Tina Fey.
In November she was awarded the Mark Twain Award for American Humor.
The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
That is a whopping commendation if ever I heard one. Tina Fey stands in great company: Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Bob Newhart, George Carlin, Bill Cosby… Oh, and Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg. In the prize’s 13-year history, Fey is only the third woman to receive it.
PRINCESS WEDDING FEVER!
I can see it coming on the horizon, and I want it to stop before it even starts.
When Prince Charles of Wales became engaged to Lady Diana Spencer, the world swooned. The crown prince, marrying a might-as-well-be commoner! And wasn’t she just so beautiful and gracious? What a kind heart! She became a media darling, and their wedding–a lavish affair by any standard–was watched by 750 million people worldwide. It was a fairy tale come true.
Well, we all know how that turned out. It was essentially a marriage built on rocky ground that went against Charles’ prior affection for another woman, and the marriage ended in divorce–SCANDAL! The world was so terribly sad–but they did so love Diana! That adoration didn’t do much to help Diana herself, though. And it all ended in tragedy, the princess dying in a car crash in France. (Conspiracy theories abound, but it was probably just alcohol.)
Everyone loves a good story, and we love to romanticize anything with a hint of fairy tale. We turned Diana into Cinderella though true love evaded her. What will we do with Kate Middleton, who has had eight years of love and friendship to solidify her match with William and decide for herself whether or not she is ready to take on the role of princess–perhaps someday queen.
The wedding will be this coming spring or summer and already people are speculating. What will Kate wear? Where will it be held? How big will it be? What flowers? How much will it all cost? Will her shoes be a gift from a designer? Will she wear jewels from the royal collection? (Her engagement ring was Diana’s engagement ring and jewelers are already inundated with orders.)
You know what? I DON’T CARE (that much). I’m interested, I admit. I will look for the wedding photos after the event and ooh and aah with everyone else. But I DO NOT CARE enough(!) to spend the next 6+ months daydreaming, obsessing, and hunting down every tidbit of rumor the internet has to offer.
I have one rule for gifts, both given and received. The person receiving should want it.
This week I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. We were talking about this guy she knows, and how she was hoping he’d do something nice for her birthday. She wasn’t entirely sure he’d figure it out, though. He has a bad track record. In the past, he’s given his girlfriend… a cookbook, and… a vacuum cleaner.
Pause and think about this. A cookbook and a vacuum cleaner. Different years, not at the same time.
My friend contends that this is never, ever an appropriate gift, especially for a birthday.
I can think of a number of excellent reasons why they’re damn well shitty birthday gifts:
- Household appliances are a household expense. Don’t act like you’re doing me a favor.
- Don’t think I’m some 1950s housefrau who swoons at the sight of a new set of tupperware.
- There is always the subtle implication that I should use these items. Hint, hint.
In the particular case we were discussing. #3 is very relevant, as the girlfriend is allegedly very lazy and does nothing to help out. Giving her these things is a highly insulting passive aggressive way of saying, “You need to do more for this household.”
Hark! A Vagrant is one of my all-time favorite webcomics. It’s by K. Beaton, who is clearly a giant history/literature nerd, and one rocking chick. Her comics are always delightfully madcap, often playing on historical figures, events, or famous books.
This past week she riffed on Dracula. Perhaps the best part?
You NEED to go read the whole set of Dracula strips (Mina, you vampire-baiting slut!) and the entire H!AV archive. (Anyone who does and sends me links to more we can feature will get a shiny sticky.)
You mad, liberated women, you.