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.
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.
Rites of Passage
Documenting the many ways in which girls mark the
passge into womanhood.
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.
The Evolution of a Palenstinian Pacifist
- Word: Alone
- Women to Watch
- Know Thyself: An Abuser Wrestles With His Demons
- My Line in the Sand
Page: Singing Praises
Everyone Reading The Red Tent?
Secret for Julia, by Patricia Sagastizabal
Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood,
by Sandra Steingraber
A Novel of Tiananmen, by Annie Wang
Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance,
by Rachel F. Moran
of God, by Lolita Files
in Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and
the Innocence of Youth, by Marjorie Heins
-Boldtype: Kim Chernin
The Naked Sell
Daisy Hernandez, Patricia Smith and Gloria Steinem
Sarah Jones Is Not Obscene
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 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.
Strange Little Girls
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."
Time (The Revelator)
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