Fans of Bravo's Top Chef this season know there's been one "cheftestant" that everyone with a remote control and an appetite for snarkiness loooves to hate: Douche de la SemaineMike Isabella. And what's not to hate? Mike I. (not to be confused with Mike V., who is slightly less hate-able) is arrogant, sexist, annoying, loud-mouthed, and just not that funny. So, not to be left off of the "Mike Isabella is a Giant Ass" train, I am awarding him this week's Douchebag Decree.
Congratulations! You're a winner!
Read on for more, but beware: Spoiler (and Douche) Alert!
Irene Vilar's extraordinary and incendiary new memoir, Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict, is a potential launching pad for a discussion about abortion that is more personal than political. Having terminated fifteen pregnancies in sixteen years, Vilar turns her experiences into a reminder that the complexity of abortion extends beyond the scientific and political arenas.
When I first started watching How I Met Your Mother, Robin Scherbatsky was the last character I'd have thought to crush on. She was introduced as a sort of "perfect girl" for the main character, she's so generically pretty you'd think she stepped out of a box of hair dye, and for the first couple seasons most of her funny lines fell flat. Surrounded by the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, and Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders seemed out of her league.
But then something happened. Robin broke up with Ted because she wanted to put her career first. Ted, on the other hand, wanted a solid commitment. (How I love when network sitcoms turn the tables on traditional gender roles.)...
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.