You know: a lot of people have problems with Madonna. In fact, pretty much the entire history of Madonna has been the history of people having various problems with her! I first learned of her existence when a news channel reported on one of her concerts. I was maybe five or six. It was her "crucifix as fashion accessory" phase; possibly, also, her "pretending to masturbate on stage" phase. And my mother turned to me and said, "you know, it's important to realize that not everyone likes her.
It's almost Halloween, which means I'll be a little anxious trying to figure out what the hell to dress as this year, as I do every year. Yet, were I to go to a Halloween costume store and try to find something, I wouldn't really be able to find anything that exciting. Scary, sure. But not in a Halloween scary way. I'd find a lot of ridiculous outfits of all kinds that require garter belts, knee-high boots and close-to-nothing tops but that are somehow "different characters". Yes, it's true that the contention for Halloween costumes for ladies is not a new beef: it's been quite awhile since "sexy" Halloween costumes have been all the rage. But when did Spongebob become sexy? Is Pocahottie seriously a choice? And Strawberry Shortcake in thigh-highs? This week's Douchebag Decree is dedicated to Spirit Halloween Store because if you don't want to bear your bosom in the name of dress up fun, well sister, you're shit out of luck.
The fourth season of Dexter premiered this Sunday, and I was rather more excited about it than I would like to admit. I started watching back in the day because it was Michael C. Hall, and I was a Six Feet Under fan from waaaaayyy back, and I made it my business to ensure that the wonderful actors of that show continued to be employed for the forseeable future. As it turns out, Dexter was about as different a role from David Fisher as one could hope for, and I still loved Hall anyway. And then Dexter turned out to have a fallible narrator, which is a favorite literary device of mine. And then, also, it turned out to be bloody. And it had Julie Benz (Darla from Buffy and Angel)! Also there were Latino actors who were not total background characters! I've been hooked ever since. It's camp, and camp can be thoroughly enjoyable when it's as well-written and acted as Dexter is.
But that aside, I tend to have a lot of difficulty justifying my love of Dexter to myself in feminist terms. The macabre is not terribly woman-friendly, after all. Horror movies tends to feed on the startling contrast between blood and really hot blonde chicks, and there's more titillation in it (pun intended), one supposes, than anyone would like to admit. I don't know what makes us morbid; I do notice, though, that the ratio of men to women of my acquaintance who hate horror, and don't like "dark" themes in their arts and entertainment, is roughly 1:1. So perhaps it's an experience that's less gendered than I might otherwise be inclined to say.
Late summer in Portland is characterized by the days-long indy jam extravaganza Music Fest NW. This year's lineup had something for everyone- from Tara Jane O'Neil to Japanther- but Bitch librarian and contributor Danny Hayes and I went to just one show: Erase Errata and Team Dresch. Life goals #473 and #291 achieved! Read more after the jump!
Born and raised in Copenhagen, and influenced by reggae, disco, rock, R&B, and then some! No news of an album release in the US, but if you're in Denmark look for it in February. Til then you'll have to tide over with her first single, "Deep Sleep" about staying in bed, which is ironic, cause it's a song that makes you want to get up and dance! It's a got a boppy sort of teenage feel but there is a really great interlude that incorporates a Malian lullabye.
Elly Jackson is half of this duo who've established themselves in England but have yet to make it big in the States. Between her lungs and Ben Langmaid's synth they are makings some impressively infectious electronic pop! (And she's cited David Bowie, Madonna, Annie Lennox, and Molly Ringwald as influences.) When I heard "Bulletproof" it reminded me of the Gossip(!) at first, but and then it made me think of Ace of Base (!!), and then and by the time it over I realized that La Roux is awesome on their own was and striking out to make their own sick version of synthpop.
This trio started out punk, but bassist Shingai Shoniwa had too powerful a voice to play London's warehouse-squat scene forever (so I'm told by the New York Times. Also check out Venus Zine's 2007 interview with them!). You might recognize the dance-y "Don't Upset the Rhythm" but they've got a whole album of pop-electro-punk that just got released in the US last week (which hopefully means they'll be heading back here soon for a tour!).
I wanted to let readers get the last word on the "Is No Sex Sex-Positive" post--between Bitch, Facebook, Harpyness and e-mails I received, it was clear that everyone had an opinion about not having sex, and why/whether conscious celibacy is an inherently feminist or sex-positive decision. Once again, people thought of aspects to the debate that I hadn't, including discussion of non-intercourse sex acts and asexuality. There was much back-and-forth over what constituted "sex" and "being sexual." What about all that fun non-penetrative stuff? Are you really celibate if you're giving/receiving oral sex? How about mutual masturbation? It was clear we all had just as many opinions about the feminist implications of NOT having sex as we do about the many different ways we have it.
In a world where feminism means a zillion different things to a zillion different people, there is really only one thing that it seems we feminists can agree on these days. That thing? That Mad Men is f#@$ing awesome. We love it. Feminist blogs that typically have nothing to do with television are falling all over themselves to review each episode, and this feminist right here sets aside each Sunday night for a little quality time with Sterling & Cooper. (You do too, right?)
That being said, in the midst of all that Mad Men love, there is a burning question that remains: How on earth do the employees at Sterling Cooper drink so much during the workday? Did people really used to do that? Well, the staff at Slate's Double X decided to find out what happens when completely sane and sober women drink like Mad Men. Check out the video results: