The Fish
for 26 March 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


[the fixin' pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
and Drink Taster


Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Copy Edit]
Copy Edit

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker


[yes, it's a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

New Girl Order

Nice piece about the women.
Especially the connection
with the 11-year-old consumer
of bygone days. And the
notion about freedom being
the source of personal power.
And the part about orgasms in
urban apartments taking on a
new, post-pomo meaning. I
never thought of orgasms as
having any meaning at all!
And yet, there they are.
Fundamentally freeing.
Morphing culture when taken
in a new context. As if
instead of being defined by
culture, they define culture
themselves. McLuhan reified:
"The orgasm is the message?"
Oh, we are all animals after
all. OK by me!


You would say that. Animal.

Hypatia -

Fish With Letter Icon

DAMN fine essay! You put your
finger on the trigger of a
point-of-view for which I've
been searching for some time
now. Outstanding. It's a sad
society in which the only
sanctioned goals of women
seem to be Prize and Loser.
I'm a male (and
gender-content, thanks), but
I've been seriously disturbed
by what I see to be a failing
of the American Male. For
years I've labored under the
delusion that I'm an average
model of AM. Circumstances
occurring recently, however,
have dashed that belief; most
guys are still prehensile in
their attitude toward gals.
Having had two daughters at
an early age, I can tell you
this is terrifying. And as
you point out, an external
aura of Sweetness and Light
won't be changin' the fact
that it's only Ol' Madison
Avenue come knocking at the
door to sell us a Panacea.

What a bitter viewpoint. What
a horrible truth.

MISTER (w/ my name + views,
I'm really touchy @ that)
Inness Asher, struggling
doctoral candidate Lafayette,

Bitter viewpoints and
horrible truths are our

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Waaaait a second!

Viz Suck 3/13/98 (New Girl
Order) ...

Mother? Mother sees magazine
on floor? You don't still
LIVE with your mother, do
you? Female empowerment means
moving away from Mom. (Male
empowerment means learning
how to be a decent human
being instead of a jerk.)

Still, it is good to see
reference to one's mother as
a sensible person. Huzzah to
you for such a rare
perspective. Anyway, all this
talk of boob power reminds me
of something I read that was
attributed to Helen Gurley
Brown, which said that most
women care more about how
they look because they know
most men aren't very capable
of thinking. Sigh.
Thankfully, Suck showcases
femme talent that is, at
times, quite brilliant.

Furthermore, here in the
late-20th-century, in this
most-privileged country,
surrounded by miraculous
technology, a shelf of books
that just hints at the
offerings of the millennium
of human culture, I have to
admit, it looks like some
people, somewhere, sometime,
must have done a lot of
thinking. That we are
continually bombarded by
contrary evidence should not
dishearten us, but rather
assure us that there are
challenges to be met and
folly to be exposed! Here's
to Suck for rising to the
occasion; cheers!

Some of them might even have
been women!

But, either way, let's be
thankful that they did lots
of thinking so we don't have
to. Cheers!

P. S. Suck, rising to the
occasion? Sounds like you
need more boob power in your

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: New Girl Order

Interesting article.... I
just recently was exposed to
Bust magazine (actually the
day before your article
appeared on Suck) and,
although oddly attracted to
its devil-may-care
insouciance and
empowerment, I did notice a
couple of problems. You
articulated my worries well,
but another issue you didn't
address was the a priori
assumption that all men
approach sexuality exactly
the same. We are battling
against a male populace that,
without exception, is
interested in fucking women.
Game over. But I feel this
assumption shortchanges men,
much in the same way the
assumption that all feminists
are angry, bisexual women
shortchanges us.


Well, Bust's attempt to
imagine male sexuality, even
(let's say) a white boho
straight male sexuality, is a
start. There are habits and
forces (having skin and an
imagination, reading about
sex, being admonished by
religion, dealing with other
people, falling in love) that
stimulate and shape that
sexuality. In order to
imagine a more powerful and
aggressive female desire,
Bust reflects on and
fantasizes about this male
sexuality, which is itself
the product of fantasies made
concrete. The result is a
vision of male desire that
seems intense but feels
weird, sick, and hollow;
would anyone want to fuck the
inhabitants of a world like
that? Are we somehow their
mirror image? Is this really
the way it is?


Fish With Letter Icon

You are amazing. I think the
piece on the Bust "fanzine"
was absolutely fucking
amazing. It was poignant, and
right on the money about
something most people don't
want to touch with a 10-foot
pole. Is Suck content
exclusive? Can I reprint this
in an upcoming issue of a
friend's fanzine? That column
was so dead on the money as
to what's being $old as the
happily marketable image for
women. It's as dehumanizing
as it is unempowering,
allowing women only to
express themselves, as you
said, "in an instantly
accessible language of
liberation for these 'sexual
revolutionaries.'" I think it
goes (almost) just as far to
ignore the problem of
existent inequalities to deal
with them in this manner. Why
aren't there any 'zines that
say "I like myself, and I'm
capable of being entertaining
without having to 'work it'
in a male-dominated system"?
The guerilla tactics of
makeup (not to mention
foundation!) are not
empowering! I think it is
bullshit that 'zines like
this always have to paint the
"strong, 'you go girl'" woman
as having a sexually
voracious appetite and that
they couch every argument in
traditionally heterosexist
terminology. It's as if they
say, "Go on, show what a
strong person you are by
fucking and leaving HIM" in
the morning," as if that is
some way to teach a lesson.
Fuck that shit! You rock! I
run a small record label -
would you want to have a
column on our Web site?
Whatever. Regardless. An
amazing, succinct piece that
doesn't pander to the
audience, male or female.
Bravo (consider this praise
and admiration for a job well

Cheesesteak Mike

Glad you liked it! I guess
I'm wondering how makeup and
a lot of sex could be an
option without aping the
worst of het culture;
Rollerderby and Maxine offer
some answers. Oh, and Suck
pieces are copyrighted but
feel free to rip off the
ideas! Here are a few more
hints: Susie Bright, Laura
Kipnis, Pat Califia.

Fish With Letter Icon

I really enjoyed your article
on Bust ...

When I picked Bust up for the
first time last month (the
very same issue you
discussed), I was torn
somewhat by the magazine's
take on things and found
myself growing frustrated
with it, but for reasons
somewhat different than
yours. At first I found
myself cheering and hoorahing
for the late '90s feminist
bad girls, but slowly but
surely my stomach turned.
Instead of feeling
emancipated, I felt creepy
and yucky. I understand the
it was the SEX issue and
hence about SEX. However, it
I ended up thinking the whole
thing was a shade irritating.
Some of the free-lovathon's
sounded suspiciously like
rape or damn near close ...
the casual, fun-loving
attitude about porn made me
fairly sick to my stomach,
and the dreamscape about male
strippers was idiotic and
putrid. I certainly
understand where the women
are coming from and agreed
with many of their
sentiments.... BUT just
because I am not going to
start picketing adult video
stores any time soon does NOT
mean that I think that most
pornography isn't offensive.
And just because I don't
think exotic dancers are
"sluts" does not mean I
fantasize about going to the
indie Chippendales. And just
because I don't think women
and girls who are promiscuous
"get what they deserve" if
they are raped or assaulted,
does not mean I would suggest
that it would be very modern
and sexually liberating to
drink a bottle of Wild Turkey
and offer myself to get
handcuffed to a kitchen
appliance by a stranger.

After reading "New Girl
Order," I found even more
important reasons to be
disappointed with the
magazine. Bust is definitely
only liberating for the
white, hetero, middle-class
"girl" population. The
feminist issues it discusses
hardly encompass most women
either globally OR
nationally. To even have the
free time to worry about who
one WANTS to fuck is a
privilege most women don't
have. The magazine caters to
the "girl" with the most free

By the way, I wonder if you
agree with my opinion that the
girl-this and girl-that thing
has gone way overboard. In a
society that is already
obsessed with you, I don't
need one more reminder that
I'm NOT a GIRL by calling
myself a "GIRL."

Thank you again for the
provoking article, Hypatia.

Bianca Galladora

My guess is that the people
at Bust understand your
viewpoint and are trying to
offer an alternative that
takes sex seriously. In
comparison to the stunningly
powerful (negative and
positive) images of popular
sexual culture, feminism
sometimes offers nothing but
moralizing - it's not enough
to go out and tell people to
have "real" sex or to just
"empower" themselves, and
Bust does address this. That
they end up reading like a
slightly rougher version of
Cosmo means they still
haven't answered your

Fish With Letter Icon

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