We’re so sorry. We make great bourbon, but we let the country down.
We didn’t get rid of Mitch McConnell.
Last year, I was asked to write a preface to a forum that my former graduate students, now successful teachers and writers, had put together for the journal Frontiers. It was published in March 2019. Now, in December 2020, as I’m struggling with pandemic weight-gain, I thought others might identify. So, encouraged by Facebook friends, I’m publishing here. Please do tell your own stories in response!
One of us is “pro-choice” and Jewish. One of us is a “pro-life” Christian. We put these labels in scare quotes because we believe it’s time to get beyond labels and move forward on our common humanity. Branding others is Trump territory. We refuse to go there. And we refuse to let our differences blind us to our shared commitment to defeating Donald Trump — a man who violates both of our traditions. Bill Clinton recently said, of Ruth Bader Ginsberg: “She was not a woman to be labelled.” She was clearly not a woman to label others, either. Following her example, we have looked beyond each other’s labels and discovered that despite the political rhetoric that would thrust us on opposing sides of a divide, we share a great deal.
en(gender)ed podcast: Episode 120: Susan Bordo on sex and femininity in politics and its intersection with sexism and misogyny
On this episode of the en(gender)ed podcast, our guest is Susan Bordo, cultural historian, professor emeritus, feminist, and author of the books, The Destruction of Hillary Clinton and Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman. We speak with Susan today about her work to deconstruct woman as a cultural category, its role in the 2016 election, and what it means to be a woman today in public life. Our conversation explores the ways in which the same behaviors exhibited or embodied by men are treated differently by the media when we observe them in women, how society is complicit in reinforcing these cultural norms, double-binds, double-standards, and what it communicates to the girls (and boys) we raise.
How did an extraordinarily well-qualified, experienced, and admired candidate come to be seen as a tool of the establishment and an untrustworthy and untalented politician? How could she possibly have lost the election to the likes of Donald Trump? Susan Bordo unpacks the Right’s assault on Clinton, how the Left provoked suspicion and indifference among young voters, James Comey's interference, questions about Russian influence, and media malpractice in covering the candidate.
Edited with M. Cristina Alcalde and Ellen Rosenman. The first collection of its kind, Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought is historically organized and transnational in scope, highlighting key ideas, transformative moments, and feminist conversations across national and cultural borders. Emphasizing feminist cross-talk, transnational collaborations and influences, and cultural differences in context, this anthology heralds a new approach to studying feminist history.
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history’s most infamous relationships.
A fresh, unconventional look at the male body and contemporary notions of masculinity. The male nude is everywhere now, from mainstream movies to magazine covers. What do we see when men take off their clothes, in public and in private? Is the male body truly exposed? In this candid cultural analysis, Susan Bordo speaks to men and women alike, scrutinizing the images and experiences of everyday life.
Contributors are Susan Bordo, Stanley Clarke, Erica Harth, Leslie Heywood, Luce Irigaray, Genevieve Lloyd, Mario Moussa, Eileen O'Neill, Adrianna Paliyenko, Ruth Perry, Mario Sáenz, Karl Stern, Thomas Wartenberg, and James Winders.
Considering everything from Nike ads, emaciated models, and surgically altered breasts to the culture wars and the O.J. Simpson trial, Susan Bordo deciphers the hidden life of cultural images and the impact they have on our lives. She builds on the provocative themes introduced in her acclaimed work Unbearable Weight—which explores the social and political underpinnings of women's obsession with bodily image—to offer a singularly readable and perceptive interpretation of our image-saturated culture.