Through Spectrum, you can rent or purchase — among more popular titles — the 2005 box office flop Aeon Flux (pictured), the 2006 box office flop Ultraviolet, the 2004 box office flop Catwoman, and the 2009 animated film Wonder Woman, which went straight to DVD. Good god, the ’00s were a tough time to be a lady hero.
Austin Jones, the 24-year-old musician and YouTube star, was arrested Monday and is facing two counts of production of child pornography. A criminal complaint alleges the singer asked two 14-year-old fans to send him videos; in some of those videos, the girls exposed their genitals.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the federal complaint against Jones says that one of the girls sent a video to the performer at his request through Facebook in May, noting that she was “only 14” when they were in contact. The complaint says he also knew the other girl was 14, the paper reported.
In 2015 a change.org petition circulated calling for Jones to be removed from the Warped Tour for soliciting such videos, alleging that he would ask young fans to send him inappropriate videos after chatting with them online. Alternative Press reported that he later apologized on Facebook for having “communicated with my fans in a way that I have come to fully realize was not appropriate. … Here’s the truth: I NEVER asked them to do anything more than send a twerking video. Nothing EVER went beyond that.”
Jones could face 15 years in prison.
Founded by filmmaker Madeleine Lim in 2000, the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project runs free filmmaking bootcamps; the work is then screened at an annual film festival in San Francisco. This year’s festival opened to a packed house at the Brava Theater Center on June 9. The shorts ranged in subject matter, from the humorous chronicle of “a woman’s struggle to get out of the house” to “trauma and healing,” as two directors put it.
Between bagels at a brunch for filmmakers hosted by author and artist Jewelle Gomez — who wrote the black lesbian vampire novel The Gilda Stories — and her feminist activist spouse, Diane Sabin, BuzzFeed News caught up with a film scholar and some of the writer-directors and asked:
“The modern view of Amazons as lesbians is just that” — a modern invention, wrote Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, a professor of comparative literature at Hamilton College who, despite being a serious academic, humored me.
Rebecca Flemming, a senior lecturer in classics at the University of Cambridge, told me: “The surviving texts, medical and otherwise, were written overwhelmingly by men, and are not much concerned with female sexuality except insofar as it serves male interests.” And University of Texas, Austin, professor Lesley Dean-Jones wrote in “The Politics of Pleasure” that one respected strain of ancient Greek medical thought allowed a husband to have sex with his wife whenever he wanted “for her own good,” because a womb needed to be weighted down with either semen or a fetus so it wouldn’t drift around her body wreaking havoc.
Thus, the idea that men are superfluous to women’s sexuality “is a reversal of the opinion generally expressed” in antiquity, said UCLA classics professor Amy Richlin, who described her research area as “the raunchiest kinds of ancient literature.” “The only renditions of chick-on-chick sex that I know of in antiquity, they seem to imagine … one of them has to be ‘the man,'” i.e., one of them has “a strap-on,” as she put it. (Rabinowitz mentioned dildos.)
Furthermore, female masturbation “is very, very rarely mentioned,” Richlin said, while male masturbation is frequently mentioned. “Among the people who wrote these texts, there’s just a massive disinterest in what gave women pleasure.”
But Richlin talked about Flemming’s research into vulva votives — some of which depict the clitoris! A votive in the shape of a body part would be offered to heal that body part, so a votive with a clit “attests to some level of loyalty to the clitoris as a body part among actual women who could afford a votive offering.”