Monthly Archives: June 2007

Book Tour Blog: Women's Studies Gets Hip

The National Women’s Studies Association meeting in St. Charles, IL has been one long feminist party. Jessica Valenti, co-founder of feministing and author of Full Frontal Feminism, and I did a presentation on how to incorporate new media (blogs, video etc.) in the women’s studies classroom yesterday, and then today we did a little one-two punch on how to attract non-feminist types into the fold.

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Filed under Court's Book Tour

The Comraderie of Extreme Sports

Parkour: Throwing Yourself Against the Wall

Had a piece in the Times today about parkour, a form of urban gymnastics. One thing I was surprised about was how all the practitioners were so supportive of each other and not competitive. But my editor wasn’t, saying it was the same in skateboarding, trick biking, etc–all those “extreme” sports.

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Filed under Gender, Relationships, Sports

National Pastimes: RIP Hip-hop, Joe Torre and John Edwards

Hip-hop died last week from shock when it realized people actually took what it said seriously.

The death of hip-hop, as announced most recently by Nas, (his last album titled “Hip-hop is Dead”) became real for me this past week. Foxy Brown, after having discovered her new man was a pimp, broke up with him. As pimps are never ones to take female independence lightly, a few days later he had his girls f*** Foxy up. They ripped out her weave and stole her hearing aide. Yes, her hearing aide. Hell hath no fury like a man who controls violent women scorned.

I don’t mean to make light of Foxy’s situation, I wish the best for her. But can an art form really be considered cutting edge when its artists are having their hearing aides forcibly taken? More to the point, this seemingly trivial incident says a lot about hip-hop’s long burdened paradox. You can’t talk gangster s**t and not get treated like a gangster.

Foxy was stunned her boyfriend was a real pimp. Has she listened to a rap song in the last ten years? Or even her own lyrics? So who the playa? I still keep you in the illest gators. How long could hip-hop get away with promoting pimps, whores, gangsters and cocaine while trying to be mainstream?

There will still be some great and catchy songs. Pop music will absorb the beats. Dance clubs will play the music, beside their reggae set and disco set and eighties set. But as far as the active creation of the art form, I’m sad to say it’s all over but the crying.

Joe Torre’s Yankees were finally pronounced dead this week from blood loss due to massive head trauma, which has been slowly bleeding since 2004.

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Book Tour Blog: Chi-Town

marqueeThough Deborah Siegel and I had a sparsely-attended reading last night at Women & Children First, it was truly an example of quality trumping quantity. My favorite comments came from Liz, a gorgeous red head college student, who is just discovering feminism. As a marketing and communications major at Purdue, she is already hatching how to “rebrand” feminism for a new generation. I love this girl.

And I love this store! (The other side of the marquee was Harry Potter. You can see I’ve officially hit the big time.) If you are ever in the Chicago area, be sure to check it out. The staff writes recommendations on note cards that are taped up next to the creatively displayed books. Chelsea, the young woman who introduced us, had actually read our books and had some powerful reflections about them. She also asked a great question about the distance between theory and activism. Man, the future is in safe hands!

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All the World: Boots Made for More than Walking

CowgirlJust before a tragic parting at a seemingly unoperational airport in the dry Yampa Valley, I took our good friend Florian to F.M. Light and Sons, knowing that he would appreciate a store packed with John Wayne-style Americana, which boasts that they’ve been “Outfittin’ the west for 100 years.” We stood in line, bearing souvenirs such as flourescent bandanas and a bouncy ball containing glitter and a plastic pony, while a much more serious purchase was made in front of us: leather boots with spurs for a cowgirl no more than 4 years old. Her sister, who must have been about 7, had her thumbs hooked in the belt loops of her dusty jeans, while their mother stood tall in her own cowgirl boots, writing a check which she didn’t have to provide identificiation for. (Yeah, women still love their checks in Colorado).

The little one was rocking back and forth on her new spurs, slightly off balance, when her mother informed her, “You better figure out how to walk in those boots, because you’re riding in them tonight.”

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Filed under All The World, Career/Life, Gender, Movies

Pussy Power

This past Sunday I went to Jennifer Gandin Le’s graduation. Not your typical graduation. First of all, it was women only. Second, the women weren’t wearing black robes or stiff hats. They were wearing pink boas and beautiful, sparkly dresses. And as they walked down the aisle, they didn’t stand at attention, shoulders back, in proper form. They moved their hips, gyrating with pleasure, yelling out the word “Yes!”

It was Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts Mastery graduation, and let me tell you, there was enough “pussy power” in that room to fill an ocean.

I was a little apprehensive about going. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure if the women were going to show us their vaginas or try to bedazzle mine. All I knew is that I had watched Jennifer blossom over the past few months, and I wanted to see the source of this transformation.

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Filed under Education, Gender, Health, Therapy Thursdays

Kidz Today: The Darkest Side of Being Black Today

Please allow me to introduce you to 16-year-old Blair Holt. He’s the handsome kid in the picture below, who is described by the Chicago Tribune as a “sharp dresser…popular among his classmates” and as having the “ability to make friends across social boundaries.”

It seems that everyone’s talking about the murder of Jessie Davis and her 9 month-old fetus or how wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his wife and seven-year-old son before committing suicide this weekend. And these tragedies deserve a certain amount of media coverage because they are criminal, horrible and senseless.

But there are tragic crimes going on all around us that never get talked about. Do you know what happened to Blair Holt just a few months ago?

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Filed under Class, Education, Race