When a group of hairdressers called The Hair Bares phoned the Scottish Women's Aid (SWA) to inquire about making a £600 donation (that's nearly $100 USD), they received something of a shock. The organization refused to take it.
Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History is a memoir about one of the the more melancholy aspects of Danzy Senna's childhood: her relationship with her father. Senna's parents, an interracial couple, married in 1968 with dreams of being a part of an idyllic, multicultural family. This book is a complex blend of remembrance, internal exploration, and detective work, as Senna travels throughout the South to uncover pieces of her father's story she never knew as a child and young adult.
Though Senna does ultimately finds something that resembles acceptance and understanding, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? does not have a tidy ending, which only lends the book its charm. I talked to Senna about the challenges of writing such a personal story, and what she gained in the process.
There may be no one better to teach girls how to rock than music and culture critic Jessica Hopper. She's clocked massive amounts of hours as a tour manager, band publicist, DJ, touring bassist, Girls Rock Camp booster, and fanzine publisher. Her "music-is-my-life" credo and infectious passion for young women and feminism are evident from even a split-second glance at her work.
Now she's just released her first book, The Girls' Guide to Rocking. Heard of it yet? Perhaps you've seen the kick-ass promo. Read on for more!
Jean Seberg is one of those fascinating Hollywood stories that reads like the plot of a dark Hollywood movie. Her tragic story is lesser known than say, Marilyn Monroe's – though she was just as great a beauty. And her politics caused more damage to her life than that of her acting contemporaries – ultimately leading to her death at the all too young age of 40.
My Bitch Tapes mix this week is a celebration of the punkest women out there: the women of country music. While other genres largely excluded female musicians, women country singers back in the day were a dime a dozen (thank god!) Not even poverty, abusive husbands and managers, substance abuse issues, or a male-run music industry could keep these ladies away from the mic. It was hard to whittle my list down to eight of my favorite songs, but here it is.