Feminists have never hesitated to dissect and attack art whose misogyny offends and repulses us. But what happens when we fall in love with the work of a musician, writer, or painter we see as anti-female? Do we rationalize our cognitive dissonance away, turn our back on the offending artist, or find a way to embrace the film or story that moves us while acknowledging what disturbs us about it? How does our attraction to misogynist art complicate our relationship to both the artist and feminism itself?
When we asked these questions earlier this year in our call for submissions for It's Complicated, we received an overwhelming response, both from contributors and those eager to see the project come to fruition. Although we originally intended to publish a single anthology of feminists' personal essays on loving misogynist art, it soon became clear that the potential subjects were endless and the range of approaches to them broad. Many writers told us they'd spent years thinking about their fraught relationship to a particular artist or work.
In kicking off the project with a series of handmade, themed zines culled from the excellent submissions we received, we hope to start an ongoing cultural conversation about the uncomfortable yet influential role that misogynist art plays in our lives. Over the next several months, our plan is to expand It's Complicated into a book and create a website where even more contributors can publish their writing and readers are invited to participate in discussions on the topic.
The money we raise from this Kickstarter will fund the creation of two limited-edition zines: Totally Crushed Out, themed around the writers' teenage love of a problematic artist, and Identity Crisis, focused on contributors whose appreciation for a certain artist leaves them torn between their feminist values and some other aspect of their identity.
To design the zines, we are working together with Birds of Lace, a small feminist literary publisher. After they are designed, the zines will be printed by the DIY-minded printer 1984 Printing using quality materials.
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR IT'S COMPLICATED #1 and #2:
It's Complicated Zine #1: Totally Crushed Out!
- Gina Abelkop on Nick Cave
- Nona Willis Aronowitz on Eminem
- Brooklyn Copeland on Marlon Brando and Stanley
- Elisabeth Donnelly on The Afghan Whigs
- Nina Mashurova on Charles Bukowski
- Tom Ribitzky on the men of Ayn Rand
- Angela Veronica Wong on Tupac Shakur
It's Complicated Zine #2: Identity Crisis
- Julia Furlan on samba music
- Rohin Guha on gay TV writers
- B. Michael Payne on The Mountain Goats' "No Children" and the way we interpret non-misogynist art in misogynist ways
- Arianna Stern on Woody Allen
- Susannah Young on Southern hip-hop
Following this, we will publish additional zines as the book project seeks its home.
It's Complicated is edited by Judy Berman and Niina Pollari.
Contributors include: Gina Abelkop, Nona Willis Aronowitz, Lauren Barbato, Diana Barnes-Brown, Claire Basarich, Kat Bee, Elizabeth Blackford, Harley Brown, Megan Burns, Jill Coneys, Brooklyn Copeland, Elisabeth Donnelly, Sady Doyle, Margaret Eby, Lindsey Eichenberger, Amanda Farah, Julia Furlan, Roxane Gay, Ezra Glinter, Emily Gould, Sara Gray, Rohin Guha, Mikki Halpin, Nicole Kubon, Sammy Lifson, Greg Lindberg, Nate Logan, Bonnie MacAllister, Nina Mashurova, Valerie Paschall, B. Michael Payne, Jenn Pelly, Tom Ribitzky, Kathleen Rooney, Robert Rubsam, Katherine St. Asaph, JD Scott, Rachel Somerstein, Rachel Steele, Nicole Steinberg, Arianna Stern, Heidi Vanderlee, Kate Wadkins, Carissa Wagner, Angela Veronica Wong, Caitlin Yates, Susannah Young, + more TBA.
ABOUT OUR KICKSTARTER REWARDS:
The picture that will go on the Venus de Milo "I'm An Object" tote bag, drawn by Minna Pollari:
How will this design look on a totebag? Kind of like this. (Not the actual tote, but just so you have an idea.)
The Bananarchist Cookbook by Jane Gish. Click here for more info:
Learn more about Super Foxy Sweets, who will provide the vegan, gluten-free truffle sampler reward, here.
Samples of Sean Ruch's video work are available at his Vimeo page.
- (30 days)