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The Dykes Next Door
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel has built an enthusiastic following with Dykes to Watch Out For. Now as dyke subculture hurtles toward the mainstream, Beachdel's take is changing with the times.
What You'd Never Expect When You're Expecting
Naomi Wolf was shocked, during her own pregnancy, to discover just how little power pregnant woman have. An excerpt from her new book Misconceptions.
Portfolio: Rites of Passage
Documenting the many ways in which girls mark the passge into womanhood.
Running With the Wolf
Guadalupe Beundia, known as La Loba (The Wolf) is a political leader from a destitute slum in Mexico. Her cutthroat tactics brought services to her town and made her one of hte nation's most powerful ward bosses — until the 2000 election changed everything.

Uppity Women
The Evolution of a Palenstinian Pacifist

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-Child of God, by Lolita Files
-Not in Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth, by Marjorie Heins
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Ursula Rucker
Supa Sista
!K7


Ursula Rucker is a bit of a legend in her hometown of Philadelphia, and any Roots fan will recognize her voice (she has contributed to the group's last three albums). But Supa Sista is Rucker's first solo album, and while not every song is a winner, the ones that work really move you. In "Womansong," a jazz- and soul-inflected hip-hop bea tbounces along as Rucker delivers a no-nonsense declaration of female power: "I ain't your doormat, your sugar tit/Your in-house supply of bliss/ Your own personal ass to kick." Another standout song is "What???," a rant against predictable, violent, misogynist rap lyrics. Supa Sista is both politically inspiring and danceable, a rare combination that makes you hope artists like Rucker, and that other Philly rapper Bahamadia (see Ms., October/November 2000), will continue their solo careers, rather than merely provide backup for bigger-selling acts.

Mikveh
Mikveh
TraditionalCrossroads


Mikveh made its debut as an all-women klezmer band in 1998 at a V-Day production of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues. Playing a combination of historical and original songs in both English and Yiddish (as well as familiar instrumental pieces like "Mazl Tov"), the four women of Mikveh bring a fresh, feminist voice to traditional Jewish music. "A Gutn Ovnt Brayne," an old folk song, tackles domestic violence, while "Yosemame/Orphan Mama" is an original song that explores the crushing sadness of miscarriage. A spirited version of the classic "Baleboste Zisinke" is enough to get anyone out of her chair and dancing, and the liberal translation provided in the liner notes ("Sweet Mama, Hot Mama, Fat Mama") will put an extra spring in your step.

Tori Amos
Strange Little Girls
Atlantic


Tori Amos has always been outspoken about gender politics, but this time she lets men do the speaking for her. Well, sort of. In Strange Little Girls, she covers 12 songs originally written by men, and though she doesn't change the words, Amos manages to change their meaning just because she's the one singing them. The most outrageous cover is of Eminem's infamous "'97 Bonnie & Clyde," sung from the point of view of a father explaining to his young daughter how he killed her mother. Originally rapped in a boastful, snide voice, Amos whisper-speaks her version, never showing emotion, even when describing "that little boo-boo on [Mommy's] throat." Backed by an eerie piano, the song becomes heart-stoppingly frightening, a far cry from Eminem's intent.Other songs on the album explore themes of love, violence, andmasculinity from a woman's point of view, and Amos ends with Joe Jackson's "Real Men," challenging listeners with the line "Now and then we wonder who the real men are."

Gillian Welch
Time (The Revelator)
Acony


If you find yourself hopelessly enchanted by Gillian Welch's voice, you're not alone. It's the reason the Coen brothers picked her to be the voice of one of the sirens in their film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? She brought the traveling George Clooney and pals to a halt on their odyssey, and Time (The Revelator), Welch's third album, will stop you in your tracks, too. Her gorgeous, twangy voice commands attention as it weaves in and out of guitar and banjo melodies in ten catchy folk, bluegrass, and country songs.

-Ann Marie Dobosz