Seven years ago, Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler were working boring retail jobs when they decided to put their heads together and publish a magazine that would take a critical look at women in pop culture. The first issue of Bitch (tagline: "A Feminist Response to Pop Culture") had a print run of three hundred. Well, issue 20 recently hit the newsstands and the Oakland-based quarterly now has a print run in the tens of thousands. It's not always easy to get interviews with a name like that, but if that's the way you think, then you've got the wrong attitude. "When it's being used as an insult, 'bitch' is most often hurled at women who speak their minds, who have opinions and don't shy away from expressing them," proclaims the zine's Web site. "If being an outspoken woman means being a bitch, we'll take that as a compliment, thanks." Though the writing sometimes seems a bit academic, for the most part it's conversational and refreshing. The magazine features interviews with women in pop culture, from Margaret Cho to Erin Cressida Williams, who wrote the controversial film Secretary. One section, "Love It/Shove It," takes a razor-sharp look at ads, TV shows, magazine covers -- you name it. Nothing, from Jane magazine to Nutri-Grain ads to the SF Weekly, escapes the observant eyes of its editors.
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