Schwabsky on Gurlesque Anthology

by on Nov.08, 2010

[In this review Barry Schwabsky positions in some ways the Gurlesque anthology as a kind of counter argument to e Susan Faludi essay in Harper‘s, in which she criticizes young feminists of not being properly feminist (most explicitly Judith Halberstam, who blurbed the Gurlesque anthology):]

“… But the fact that Greenberg, Glenum, and their posse don’t want to be the kind of feminists their mothers were doesn’t mean they don’t want to be feminists at all; they want a feminism of their own, with an in-your-face aesthetic that encompasses, as Glenum says, “burlesque and camp, girly kitsch and the female grotesque.” Or, as Tina Brown Celona writes in one of her prose poems: “For a while I hushed. Then I started up again about my cunt. Some said it was a vicious swipe at feminism. Others said it was a vicious feminist swipe.””

4 comments for this entry:
  1. megan

    oh yeah, i love that moment in tina brown celona’s poem. here’s the link to jack/judith halberstam’s response to faludi, in which she resists the mother-daughter/generational framework for thinking feminism that faludi adopts, and that schwabsky (and to a certain extent greenberg in her quote) invoke (and in the comments, faludi’s response to halberstam’s response):

  2. Johannes

    Thanks Megan.


  3. Barry Schwabsky

    I hadn’t seen that article by Faludi–as I mention in the piece, I was thinking of Mira Schor’s recent book, which is well worth reading for anyone interested in these matters especially but not only as they bear on art–but the parts I could read online chime in with Mira’s thinking. Halberstam’s response unfortunately seems to bear out that there is a dialogue of the deaf going on, even if the people who take up antagonistic “generational” positions are from the same generation.

  4. Johannes

    I didn’t mean to suggest that your article was a direct reference to the Faludi piece. Just that it seems that there’s a similar dynamic involved. When I read the Faludi I kept thinking: When will Lady Gaga come in? And then both Halberstam and Gaga in the span of a sentence or two.