Baton Rouge has a new radio station: 103.3. Well, not a new radio station, but an old station with a new format. The new format is “Music for Generation X.” The old format was “Divas.” It’s quite a Frankenstein’s monster of genres, playing everything from Nirvana and Guns-n-Roses, to C+C Music Factory, with pit stops at Salt – n- Peppa, and REM, not to mention mid to late 80s disco, hip hop, rock, and the weird, bad music everyone forgot existed. Funny, though, because I recognized every song, which demonstrates the way that music in the 80s and 90s was homogeneous despite the generic differencesRead More →

Over Thanksgiving I had a conversation with my mother-in-law about women doctors. She explained that she had to see a woman eye doctor because her regular doctor was unavailable and that this made her uncomfortable. Some people are uncomfortable with women doctors even today. Comfort with a doctor is an emotional thing, not something you can necessarily address rationally. With each generation this discomfort will lessen. Still, when I play the very old doctor riddle with students in class, most can’t solve it. Here’s the riddle: A man and his son were in a car and had an accident on the highway. The boy wasRead More →

Google doesn’t allow abortion providers to advertise. Fair or not, that’s beside the point. The result, unfortunately, is that the google metrics or whatever it’s called elevates Christian pro-life clinics. Today, I was looking up examples of arguments for pro-choice and pro-life positions to bring to class. I Googled “pro-choice+arguments” and got an astounding number of hits that were Christian, anti-choice sites providing counter-arguments. Then I Googled “pro-life+arguments,” and I got the same thing. There were some pro-choice sites, but overall the hits favored the pro-life position. Certainly, the recursivity of Google’s search engine, combined with their choice about advertising, has caused this depressing result.Read More →

The latest Rolling Stone has an offensive retrospective on Madonna. Although Madonna’s iconic look is always the subject of dispute, lately, the media has treated her like a clown. The only explanation is that she’s over 50. Fifty year old women, they say, shouldn’t prance around on a stage and spread their legs. It’s unbecoming. Rolling Stone frequently participates in this mistreatment even though they’ve helped turn Madonna into an icon.  Many of their pictures deliberately show her in an unflattering light. In this retrospective, they do put a handful of pictures of her in her 50s, but they fill the pages with the youthful,Read More →

I have always loved kd lang. I liked her country-punk performance-art style back from Angel with a Lariat. She caught my eye in the 80s with her spiky hair, Buddy Holly glasses, and country-western wear; she was a genre-bending artist as much as a gender-bending one. Somewhere in my Texas life, where I was raised by a family of genuwine wannabe cowboy poets, I developed a secret, half-assed appreciation for the older fiddle-and-banjo country sound. Probably at the roller rink. I didn’t pay much attention to Lang’s music until Shadowland, though. I played the heck out of that CD because it harkened back to aRead More →

Today I visited the gynecologist’s office for my annual exam. The visit reminded me intimately of why I’m a feminist, and why feminism is still necessary today. Times have changed since the emergence of the women’s health movement in the 1960s (see Into Our Own Hands by Sandra Morgen), and since I read and studied Mary Daly’s Gyn/ecology and the early versions of the Boston Women’s Health Collective’s Our Bodies, Ourselves. Or, perhaps not. My visit was utterly..well…disheartening – even if you pretend all the problems about women’s reproductive freedom, the medicalization of women’s bodies, and women’s health were off the table. I waited anRead More →

Sam Hurt’s Eyebeam comic was one of my favorite things about UT – Austin. It started in the college paper, The Daily Texan. I think it went on to syndication, but I’m not sure. When I left UT, people mailed me the strip. My favorite character in the comic was Peaches (Queen of the Universe), the main character’s niece. Peaches eventually got her own comic, but that didn’t last for long. Peaches was .. well .. precocious. I just found an Eyebeam strip with Peaches that was on my office door for a while. It’s old (1988), torn, and flimsy. Peaches is standing on aRead More →

I am making steps toward my goal of cleaning my office this summer. Yesterday, I tackled one of my bookshelves and encountered my 1929 edition Oz book, Ozma of Oz. I’ve always loved the art by John R. Neill, and I especially like the 1929 art nouveau cover. Finding this book raised many fond memories for me. I learned to read with the Oz books, starting with my father reading them to me, and then me slowly taking over and reading ahead. I’ve always loved Baum. Not many people know that he wrote a whole series of fourteen Oz books, as did several other authorsRead More →

An email I sent to reporter Lynn Sweet in response to a post she made on Politics Daily on why Obama should appoint a woman to the Supreme Court: I’m writing to you about a phrasing that you wrote in the lead to your SCOTUS post. The lead to your article reads: “So a new Gallop poll shows “no clamor” for President Obama to select a woman or minority to the Supreme Court vacancy being created by the departure of Justice David Souter.” Your lead calls to mind an old book entitled _But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All theRead More →