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From the Library: Our Book Club Reads (and Loves) Gaudy Night

On Tuesday night, the Bitch Book Club got together to discuss Gaudy Night, a mystery novel by Dorothy Sayers that was first published in 1935. While snacking on cinnamon rolls and apple rosemary scones donated by Dovetail Bakery, we talked about this smart and witty book that has gained a reputation as the first feminist novel of its genre.

Music Matters: Sex, Guns'N'Roses, Nine Inch Nails, and My Misspent Youth

There always comes a point, when someone asks me to write for them, that I decide it's time to write about sex.

When it comes to a column about music, that's not as difficult as you might think. Sex is everywhere in pop music—rock 'n' roll, hip hop, r&b, they're full of it. From the moment Elvis shimmied his hips on television, there's been something not just sexual, but...

Are your grandparents feeling down? Try superhero therapy!

If your grandma seems out of sorts at Thanksgiving dinner next week, ask her to consider Superhero Therapy. That's the solution French photographer Sacha Goldberger came up with when he discovered that his 91-year-old Hungarian grandmother Frederika was feeling lonely and depressed. To cheer her up, he suggested that they shoot a series of outrageous photographs in unusual costumes, poses, and...

Douchebag Decree: Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

This week the douchetacular group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, whose name invokes vague ideas about democracy and justice while its agenda promotes hate and intolerance, basically awarded the Douchebag Decree to itself. AFTAH encouraged the Transportation Security Administration to actively discriminate against LGBTQ workers and ban them from doing security screenings in light of...

Sm{art}: Austin Unbound

Wif-pdx (Women in Film-Portland, natch) is part activist organization, part information network, and part event sponsor. This very week, for example, they are joining up with NW Documentaries, another kick-ass grassroots film center in Portland, to screen an as-yet-unfinished documentary called Austin Unbound. And if you're in town, I think you should go see it.

Bristol Palin and The Situation Bring Us the World's Most Awkward PSA

In one of the weirder zeitgeist-y mashups we've seen in a while, Bristol Palin and The Situation have teamed up for a "Pause Before You Play" PSA for Candie's. While well-intentioned I'm sure, the result is painfully awkward to behold:

Bechdel Test Canon: Frozen River

Given mainstream Hollywood's fondness for glamorous actors and happy endings, it is a wonder 2008's Frozen River's lead actress Melissa Leo got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and first-time writer-director Courtney Hunt a nod for Best Original Screenplay. Surprising none of its fans, both women went home empty-handed.

Political InQueery: Covering Women Politicians

According to some political pundits, Barbara Boxer faced the most challenging opponent of her Senate career in Carly Fiorina. Any advantageous position she'd had in previous elections as a female Democrat was at least partly erased by the fact that this time around, the GOP candidate was also a woman. And Fiorina had deep personal pockets that she could use to bolster her campaigns financial...

Music Matters: Your Department of New Rock and Sweeping Declarations

(Wild Flag cover the Rolling Stones' Beast of Burden. Genderbent covers=some of my favorite things...)

The big exciting announcement in music this week was supposedly that iTunes now has the Beatles catalogue. Well, in news that may shock some of you—I was A. unaware that they didn't already, as I'd never looked for it, and B. unconcerned, as I don't actually like the Beatles.


Mad World: Toy Ads and Learning Gender

I recently watched afternoon cartoons on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and I was shocked to find a flood of highly gendered toy commercials. These ads not only market toys to children but they also promote and encourage gender-specific values that are very limiting to boys and girls in different ways. The values and skills promoted in these commercials can play a critical role in the...