Author: Eileen E., author: sarah q, boshemia magazine, film, long read, pop culture, satire

Computer Love: Sexbots in Cinema

Part I

Notes on the Contemporary Gentleman

Classic conundrum for the gentleman readers: have you ever gotten the chance to get down and dirty with a lady, only to be sorely disappointed that she’s not a robot? Relatable, I know. Robots are just like women, but better! Robots never get periods or migraines; they never ask you to do the dishes, you never have to buy them dinner. Plus, you can play out all your fantasies with a robot. Perfect if your fantasy is straight up rape, you’re not supposed to do that to a woman, and they get all funny when you do.

I mean, if only there were a way that you could get sex without trying. You wouldn’t have to worry about minor setbacks like your personality and appearance. You won’t have to worry about making a good impression, tidying the place, setting the mood, foreplay, lube, romance, intimacy, connection; none of that bullshit; all you gotta do is plug it in and plug it in, am I right?

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art, Author: Eileen E., bodies, boshemia magazine, Boshemia Staff, feminist art, interview, long read, photography, Q & A

Brazilian Women Tell Their Stories of Illegal Abortions in Camila Cavalcante’s “Nós Por Todas”

Camila Cavalcante is a UK-based Brazilian activist and photographer who has dedicated her career to documenting the lives of women who have been impacted by restrictive abortion laws. Camila’s recent project, Nós Por Todas, (Portuguese for Us For All), explores the idea of the female body as a confrontational space and challenges the stereotypical narrative of women who receive abortions. By photographing the bodies of women who have had illegal abortions and sharing their experiences, Nós Por Todas works to bring urgency to the debate around women’s reproductive rights in Brazil.

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art, Author: Eileen E., feminist art, photography

Women in the Workplace in Caroline Russell’s ‘corp.’

Caroline Russell is a Washington, D.C. artist exploring feminist issues while pushing the boundaries of the materiality of photographs. Her latest project, corp. explores how young women are hypersexualised in the workplace. Inspired by her experience at a summer job in college, when a coworker told her that her appearance was “distracting the men,” Russell was moved to investigate this sexist attitude through her art. corp. is an experiment that coalesces pornographic images with stereotypes of women in the workplace. The resulting series is confrontational and hauntingly beautiful.

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Author: Eileen E., current events, historical, LGBT+, politics

The Rainbow Wave // Women of Color & LGBTQs Who Won the Midterms

by E. Photo by Mario Tama.

I woke up at 4 am London-time to check the results. Scrolling through the news in the pale dark of almost morning, my face lit up as I read the headlines declaring historical firsts. The youngest woman ever elected to Congress. The first openly gay representative. The first Muslim women elected. The first Native American women elected. At that moment, I felt a beaming, near-euphoric pride for my country—a feeling that had previously been all but consumed by the misery of Trump’s dystopian administration.

There were, however, a significant smattering of grave losses for the Left last night—Beto O’Rourke was defeated in the Texas Senate race (#Beto2020 please), Stacey Abram’s landmark gubernatorial race in Georgia is still too close to call, Florida unsurprisingly elected the openly racist Ron DeSantis, and my own home state of West Virginia passed a deliberately confusing ballot initiative to eliminate access to abortion.

Despite these setbacks, although substantial, there are many wins to celebrate. The Democrats won the House, and a record number of women, people of color, and LGBTQ folks have taken seats in the halls of the US government. Bolstered by the progressivism of the new elects, a renewed priority will be given to immigration concerns, the environment, preventing gun violence, and protecting reproductive rights. There are bold, new voices to challenge the president.

They’re calling it the Rainbow Wave: a younger, queerer, more racially diverse Democratic party. The Rainbow Wave is a culmination of two years of activism, grass-roots efforts, and no small amount of righteous anger that led to the upset of the Republican-controlled Congress.

Here are some Rainbow Wave midterm highlights that have me feeling optimistic:

Letitia James (D) became the first woman in NY elected as attorney general and the first black person to be attorney general.

Veronica Escobar (D) and Sylvia Garcia (D) are projected to be the first Latinx Congresswomen from Texas.

Rashida Tlaib (D) of Michigan and Illhan Omar (D) of Minnesota became the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

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Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib via AlJazeera

Deb Haaland (D) of New Mexico and Sharice Davids (D) of Kansas became one the two first Native American women (with Davids being openly gay as well!) elected to Congress.

Ayanna Pressley (D) became Massachusetts’s first black congresswoman.

ayanna pressley for congress

Ayanna Pressley for Congress / YouTube

Chris Pappas (D) will be the first openly gay representative in Congress to represent New Hampshire.

Jared Polis (D) of Colorado is the first openly gay man to be elected as governor. (Remember the major Supreme Court case that ruled in favor for the homophobic Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple? Polis now governs that state. I’m looking forward to many more gay wedding cakes, personally.)

Gerri Cannon (D) and Lisa Bunker (D), both of New Hampshire will join Danica Roem (D-Virginia) in being the only transgender women representation in the House of Representatives.

And my personal favorite candidate of this election cycle: working-class, Bronx-born democratic socialist, red-lipstick-wearing goddamn Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. At 29 years old, she is now the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. (We featured her shade of lipstick in a fashion profile in Issue 04, by the way.)

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Ocasio-Cortez / CNN 

As America watches her sunrise, I hope even more firsts have been counted. Learn their names; they will lead us into this rainbow era of more diversified and progressive American politics. Let’s keep this momentum all the way until the 2020 presidential election. And please, remember what a difference was made last night with your voice, your energy, your vote. To quote Beto, I’m as hopeful as I’ve ever been.

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Author: Eileen E., poetry, Uncategorized

Blood Memory

CW: sexual assault, rape. Photography by Claudia Soraya.

 

I could not open like a flower

I clenched, unblooming

I writhed

 

A kind relic from days of glass thermometers

and mercury medicine

squeezes my hand, holds my wrist

the attending doctor bracing herself

on my inner thigh, her head between my legs

as she props me open with a speculum

 

I am opening

I try not to watch her hands working

instead studying the surgical lamp

beside the examination table

I trace the edge of the lamp

between waves that radiate

from in between my legs

and into my gut

 

I try to isolate the sensations of my lower body

I feel a wetness on my inner thighs and smell iron

 

I am bleeding

 

I can feel every centimeter I expand

I cannot open any further than this

the hollowness gaping

I am a cavern, a cavity, a wound

 

Suddenly I am aware of my internal organs

and feel disgusted at my exposure

At the intersection of my in and out

I am moving backward up the examination table

the doctor following me with her cold hands

 

Just imagine you are a flower unfolding in timelapse

 

My knees knock inward in protest

my body has not forgotten the cruelties of this pose

 

The doctor tries to slide the small plastic T into my cervix

while I shoot my hips to the ceiling

and arch my back in protest

I’m sorry, I promise I want to do this

I assure the medical staff

as they grow uncomfortable, impatient

 

I did not know this would feel like him

like all of them

 

I am fourteen

shivering in the tent when he tries to take me

unzips my sleeping bag and crawls in

he smells like sour beer, foul intentions

he grabs me, whispers in my ear

words that will never leave me

my legs shake shut

and I watch the snow fall on dead leaves

through the slits of fabric

 

I am seventeen and wine-drunk

there is a tapestry before his bed

some dark pastoral scene

I taste the gold chain around his neck

as it falls into my mouth

while he pries my legs

I opened, and slept while he took me

 

I am nineteen and pressed against the painted cinderblock

in the room across from my dormitory

I am so close to safety

but his hands are clasped around my throat

and I force out a scream between his fingers

I will not open

 

Now I am twenty-five

and I am straining against my past and present

folding and unfolding with each wave

with each push deeper into me

I can feel the cold of her instruments behind my belly button

in my teeth, in my eye sockets

my entire body is a knot

 

When the nurse lets go of my hand and the doctor stops

I don’t think we can finish this

the pressure in my womb like a burning hollow

and I know it is done

 

When I remove from the surgical gown

and slip into my cotton dress

I feel the same old shame

for every night I have ever lost

 

And for a moment

I am sorry for squeezing the nurse’s hand too tightly

digging in my nails

and for looking her dead in the eye as they worked

 

I wonder how many others’ faces

how many tragedies played through another’s iris

she has seen like this

 

And how these nightmares that live between our knees

after all these years

come to find us in examination rooms

 

Will ever they leave us

and when will we forget them?

 

That morning

I released them in my blood

a solemn rite

and left.

 

For more poetry by E, see Oh, New York and Who We Were There.
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