Portland's annual women-centered arts fest Siren Nation is back, from November 5-8! This three-day festival is packed with women musicians, filmmakers, artists, and craftsters. Siren Nation's mission is to showcase and support women in the arts--and inspire other women to make their own. This year's festival promises to be as great as ever! The film lineup alone is awesome: four documentaries on four strong women, including Ahead of the Majority on Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American woman to run for president, and Ridin' and Rhymin' on cowgirl-cum-poet Georgie Sicking. As for music, check out this rundown of lineup, including Lovers and Tender Forever:
Northwesterners, get your tickets now! For non-Portlanders, it's worth it to check out the line-up for unknown artists you didn't know you were missing.
Etsy, as we all know, is a "female ghetto" – appropriately, there are a lot of vagina-themed products for sale. A lot of people are grossed out by vaginas, women included (I know of a girl who literally vomits at the sight of one and grows nauseous at the mere thought); if you're in the opposite camp and want a way to promote body-positive images that doesn't involve Eve Ensler, read on for a handy guide to the wonderful online world of handmade vagina products! (NSFW)
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a uterus! Super Hero Uterus Plushie from VulvaLoveLovely
I get quite a bit of surprised responses when folks find out that I'm an avid sports fan. An incredulous "You really know your shit," says someone, or maybe, more derisively, "Where did that come from?" Or else, I get a well-meaning affirmation that I'll make some guy very lucky (presumably because the guy will get to share his presumed sports fandom with his girlfriend).
These are the reactions that come from folks who simply don't expect females to know much about sports. But there's another kind of surprised response that I get from progressive friends who don't buy into sports and, especially, sports culture. They will point out that the sports world is saturated with macho posturing. It frequently excuses the bad behavior of its heroes; it celebrates brute force; it's history is poisoned by cheating and drug-use; and it is often actively and explicitly hostile to women.How, these friends wonder, can I get into it? How could I possibly reconcile my feminism with it?Well, folks, I do, and quite passionately so. (Though of course I have my eyes wide open; it is because of my love of sports that I intend to not ever justify the worst of it).Why that love? Consider ...
love electronic music—a genre that had its mainstream heyday in the 90s
with a small resurgence in the form of electro-clash in the early
naughts. Throughout my years listening, I've gathered quite a
collection with my favorites including: Aphex Twin, Plaid, µ-Ziq,
Boards of Canada, Bogdan Raczynski, Venetian Snares, Squarepusher and
on. Guess how many of those musicians are women? Zero. Sure. I like
Mira Calix and Ellen Alien...but they are rare in their field.
So when a friend posted a mash-up
on his Facebook page featuring one of the early innovators in
electronic music, who happened to also be a woman, I was intrigued.
Crime novelist and book reviewer Jessica Mann isn't going to take it anymore. In yesterday's Guardian she was quoted as saying that she will no longer review crime fiction that features "sadistic violence" against women. And guess what? That seems to eliminate a sizable chunk of the genre.
Oh, and it doesn't stop there. The New Yorker posted a piece on this topic as well yesterday, pointing out that the reaction to Mann's decision not to review books she finds offensive has pissed off a lot of people, most of them women who love themselves some misogynistic crime fiction.
The success of Senator Al Franken's anti-rape amendment is one step towards greater culpability for sexual assault and sexual harassment on the job. This week's Feministory is another case involving labor, sexual harassment, and Minnesota: the first sexual harassment class action lawsuit.
Psst! Hey you! In the Bitch gear! Yeah, you. What if we told you that you could go down in history as a feminist-merchandise wearing legend? You'd be into that, right?
Good. In the interest of spreading the gospel of Bitch as far and wide as possible, we're holding a monthly Bitch Mart photo contest and YOU, with your snappy Bitch gear (you have some of that, don't you?), could be a winner!
To enter our "The Bitch Stays in the Picture" photo contest, just send us a snapshot (digital is preferred) of you (or your friend, or your dog, or whomever) wearing your Bitch merchandise (apron, shirt, hat, whatever). The more eye-catching the setting, the more likely you'll be to win eternal fame, glory, and a sparkly new Bitch tote bag.
In yet another entry in my one-person attempt to override the portrayal of women/queers/everyone else in dumb tattoo magazines like "Inked," I present Ana Maria Ventura, a totally awesome San Francisco high school teacher who has many incredible tattoos. The description that follows, in her own words, is in regards to a fantastic piece on her arm and involves Spain, big questions about home, and bats.
So, Halloween is upon us once again. Or, as I like to call it, "The Night of a Thousand Gagas."
You guys! SO MANY PEOPLE are going to be Lady Gaga! You can find tips on how to be the Gaga of your choice; you can design your own Gaga; a close friend of mine is getting into the spirit by manufacturing multiple Gaga costumes for a Gaga-themed party.
The appeal of the Gaga costume is undeniable. For one thing, it is easy. It goes (a) blond wig, (b) sunglasses, (c) the most absurd thing you can think of. Do you have a leather jacket? Would you consider wearing it with a swimsuit? Lady Gaga sure would! BLAM, Halloween costume achieved. But then, there's another factor: the fact that the entire "Lady Gaga" concept is, basically, a Halloween costume already. Gaga just wears it all year round.