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Tropes vs. Women: #6 The Straw Feminist

The Straw Feminist trope is a deliberately created, exaggerated caricature of a feminist that is used to undermine and ridicule feminist movements.

Links and transcript after the jump!

Pop Pedestal: Donna Meagle of <em>Parks and Recreation</em>

The day is finally here! Parks and Recreation is back! In honor of tonight's season premiere (seriously I can't wait until 8:30), today's Pop Pedestal is for the one and only Donna Meagle, played by the hilarious Retta.

She told you so.

Douchebag Decree: TV Guide Declares Taraji P. Henson Not a "Person of Interest"

Oscar-nominated actor Taraji P. Henson stars in the new CBS drama Person of Interest, but you wouldn't know that if you asked TV Guide.

Preacher's Daughter: "We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest" in Wake of Troy Davis' Judicial Lynching

One might have hoped that, by this hour, the very sight of chains on black flesh, or the very sight of chains, would be so intolerable a sight for the American people, and so unbearable a memory, that they would themselves spontaneously rise up and strike off the manacles. But no, they appear to glory in their chains; now, more than ever, they appear to measure their safety in chains and...

We're All Mad Here: How Pop Culture Influences "Real Life"

The decision to continually portray mental illness in pop culture for cheap, scary thrills and to avoid giving motivation for villains beyond "the crazy" has consequences. Those consequences are primarily felt by us, our loved ones, and our communities. When people tell me I'm "reading too much" into the number of times I've seen a mental health condition as the only motive...

Bibliobitch: The Beginners

"Our life here is just like an old horror movie," muses the loquacious, inscrutable Raquel Motherwell near the end of Rebecca Wolff's debut novel, The Beginners. "It's like the skeleton of the horror novel hanging in the closet with all the suits and dresses that we never wear. Young couple moves to small New England town. House drafty, locals suspicious. Strange friends, omens of doom....

Isn't He Lovely: Five Signs of Masculinity in Crisis, Brought to You By the Fall TV Lineup

I realize that I'm the umpteenth blogger to toss in a couple pennies on the gender dynamics of the fall TV lineup, but I couldn't resist. Since "Isn't He Lovely" is examining social attitudes like "What Men Should Like Look Like" and "How to Perform the Tap Dance of Masculinity with Aplomb," the handful of male-in-crisis sitcoms debuting this season fit right into the narrative. For all the...

Preacher's Daughter: Q&A with Lesbian Christian Singer-Songwriter Jennifer Knapp

In May, Religion Dispatches published my first interview with former darling of the Christian contemporary music scene, lesbian singer-songwriter Jennifer Knapp. Then over the summer, I got to meet and interview Knapp in person while covering the Wild Goose Festival, an event that celebrated (predominantly Christian) spirituality, justice, and art. We talked a bit about the...

B-Sides: Sybris

Sybris is a lady-led melodic rock band from Chicago, the kind of band that pairs well with true grit and imaginings of standing tiptoe on top of the highest summit wearing nothing but goosebumps. But it's been a few years since their last album, and quite frankly, it's due time for the next. Sybris, the rock world needs you.

Sexual Inadequacy: Bisexuality Comics!

The first panel of the third row is by far my favorite, contrasting the dominant culture's reaction to two forms of sexual attraction. From private conversations I've had with gay men in the past I know that some of them believe that this is evidence that same sex attraction is easier for women than men, but both reactions are harmful and disgusting. In the second, the sight or idea of...