Feminist spoken word roadshow Sister Spit has been sporadically criss-crossing the nation for 20 years now, building community around radical writing, poetry, and films. The group started in 1994 as a Bay Area open mic night meant to highlight the work of women artists who weren't getting enough attention. Since then, Sister Spit has become a traveling show and literary press. On this episode, we talk with three talented members of recent Sister Spit tours: essayist Beth Lisick, poet Dia Felix, and artist and musician Cristy Road.
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I grew up seeing certain images in fairy tales. These images depicted a European, Victorian world that I wasn’t a part of and didn’t come from: bouncy dresses, British aristocracy, long robes, sharp accents, castles, virtue, and power. We were taught to revere these images, to associate royalty with Europe, to learn the order of kings, queens, princesses, and lords. But rarely did these images reflect us. Until now.
• Military sexual assaults are up 50 percent in the last year as a result of increased reporting. The government is specifically targeting male victims who report at an even lower rate than female victims. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a recent news conference, "We have to fight the cultural stigmas that discourage reporting and be clear that sexual assault does not occur because a victim is weak, but rather because an offender disregards our values and the law." [AP]
• Speaking of diversity in literature, a group of people are running a campaign starting today called #WeNeedDiverseBooks to raise more awareness about the lack of characters of color and authors of color on bookshelves. [Facebook]
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Its a shame to paraphrase the recording that made Clippers owner Donald Sterling the first American professional sports magnate to be banned from the NBA for racist remarks—the full thing is a breathtaking thesis on race and sex in this country.
• Alas, rumors that Magic Johnson plans to buy the Los Angeles Clippers are false—but, like Magic, we were glad to see the NBA take stern and decisive action against the team’s current owner, ol’ what’s-his-name. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Sterling. Or, actually, do. [New York Times]
• Republicans in Congress gave the green light to $310 billion in tax breaks for businesses, but balked at a proposed spending increase of $1 million a year to help prevent sex trafficking of kids in foster care. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) called this turn of events “an incredible conflict in priorities.” I call it yuck city. [Huffington Post]
• On Saturday, Sarah Palin told a crowd gathered at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis, “If I was in charge, they would know, waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”Oh, Sarah. Just stop already. [Politico]
I was going to skip seeing Only Lovers Left Alive because the promotional blurb described the plot like this: “Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover.”
Each week, artist Erika Moen explores some aspect of sex and reports back on the result for her illustrated column, Oh Joy Sex Toy. This week, Erika and her husband get a little wild while watching Netflix.