From the editºr
What are the unspoken things you are devoted to and, more importantly, what do they reveal? In this issue, we reach under the topsoil and grab at the roots of our cultural beliefs. Devotion isn't just about loyalty; it's an examination of habit—a mixture of internalized superiorities and inferiorities, ideologies, and obsessions that influence our identity and choices as media consumers and pop cultural enthusiasts. What we are devoted to dictates our priorities and decisions—parenting, the Netflix series worth a weekend binge, a new album drop, protests, and podcasts. Devotion speaks volumes.
We’re not here to tell you what to be devoted to; these pages were created so you can lose yourself and/ or find yourself in feminist media that pushes you forward onto new ground. These days, attention is a commodity so it’s critical to reflect on to what and whom we are most devout, who and what is most deserving of that attention—and whether we include our own selves in that consideration.
Ruminate on the devotion of Dr. Willie Parker in his mission to provide marginalized women access to reproductive care and abortion. Or behold Jordan Mcdonald’s marvel, “We
Are Not Yours: Black Women Are Supreme but Not Godly,” a critical exploration of what is lost in the deification of Black women. What do we make of Jay-z’s newfound devotion to vulnerability and what it says about masculinity, as examined by Fredrick Salyers in a review of 4:44? Or perhaps you feel like being worshipped along with Randa Jarrar in “Both
Slave and Pharaoh: Finding the Divine in BDSM” and exploring the healing and release in her personal transformation from lover to goddess. In this
issue, we also point to problematic devotion: Samantha Ladwig calls out Hollywood’s devotion to heteronormativity during the golden age in “Cover Story: How Hollywood Closeted Queerness for Capital.” And in “Dressed for Protest: Remodeling the Quinceanera for Immigration Reform,” Emilly Prado introduces us to devoted youth in action in Texas.
And there’s more. So much more. Devotion isn’t just one story, but we have one message:
Bitch Media is devoted to creating a space where marginal communities not only matter, but are covered and represented as essential contributors and consumers of media, politics, and pop culture. It’s time to pause, take a breath, and trace where cultural and spiritual devotions lead.
I hope you find that the trace leads back to yourself. —LISA FACTORA-BORCHERS
ABOUT THE ART
Read about all of the illustrators, comics creators, and designers featured in this issue, including their pop culture devotions, at bit.ly/art-devotion.