Longtime Bitch contributor Jake Anderson-Minshall and Rebecca Nay are co-hosting a new radio show called Gender Blender, which aired this week on KBOO, our local community radio station here in Portland.
Since today is Father's Day, I want to take some time to reflect on my dad, and try to start giving voice to some ideas and pain and anger that have been simmering in my mind.
My dad died this past winter after a shitty and long battle with cancer (he was a life-long smoker). He was 67. Now I know this might seem like a particularly loaded way of bringing politics down to the level of personal (and thus emotional), but here's the thing. I've been doing a lot reading lately. Of books, of blogs, of zines, magazines, chapbooks, of vision statements and organizing principles of self-described radical organizations and people... I've also been doing a lot of listening. And struggling to find the language to pull these ideas and feelings out of my head/heart, thoughts about identities and experiences. Critiques of which ones are validated/politicized and which ones aren't, and which others aren't even considered as possibilities for political analysis. And I've been struggling to even speak because, who knows? Maybe I haven't considered enough. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I haven't been as thoughtful as I think I have. Maybe I haven't searched hard enough.
I knew I was close to home when I started hearing corn crop fungicide commercials on the radio.
I got into Minnesota a day early, because I took a wrong turn leaving Chicago and by the time I called the folks I was supposed to meet up with, they laughed (kindly) and told me to keep heading West, as it would've taken another two hours of backtracking to get there.
Here in Northeast Portland is a place called In Other Words Women's Books and Resources, a nonprofit bookstore founded in 1993. I've only lived in Portland for a year, so most of what I know I've learned from talking to people and reading news articles, like this.
A few nights ago I went to a screening of a short documentary called Moving In: A nonprofit feminist bookstore and the politics of place. The documentary, created by Dawn Jones (who's on the board of Bitch; photographed below), examines the bookstore's 2006 move, which resulted from being economically displaced from their original neighborhood, to a historically African-American neighborhood. The film is fantastic; you should see it if you have the opportunity.
....check out this lecture by the awesome Jennifer Pozner, Executive Director of Women in Media & News:
Even though the human, environmental and economic impact of Hurricane Katrina are all still deeply felt throughout the regions that were ravaged by the disaster, the ongoing personal and political tolls of Katrina have fallen away from the headlines and out of public debate. This is just one of many ways media have failed the American people their treatment of one of the worst natural disasters in the history of our country.
In this era of social conservatism, the so-called mommy wars, and renewed cultural clashes about gender, work, and “family values,” it’s hardly surprising that nanny narratives are making a comeback. Faster than you can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” nannies have popped up in movies (Uptown Girls) and bestselling novels (The Nanny Diaries, I Don’t Know How She Does It), as characters on tv shows (Friends, Kevin Hill, Desperate Housewives), and even as a subgenre of reality tv (Nanny 911, Supernanny).