Wednesday, December 17, 2008

National Vapidity

Nicole is in charge of music round 'here, but this is so gaggilicious you're all gonna love it...

Billboard's top ten this week consists of T.I., Britney Spears, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kanye West, and Ne-Yo.

In "Circus", which is at spot #3 on the Billboard chart, Spears asserts, "There's two kinds of people in this world, those who entertain, and those who observe" -- well, what about those who actually have something worthwhile to say other than mediocre poetics such as, "I'm like a firecracker, I like it hot"? Congrats to the teacher who taught Spears' lyricist the power of similes. I understand she's trying to make a comeback, but donning diamonds and dancing around with pasties on her boobs while giving the camera come-hither eyes isn't exactly the pinnacle of regained dignity.

Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" comes in at #7 where she spews out some great stereotypical piss, but hey, she's a woman and she's shooting that shit at a man, so it's cool, right? Her lyrics contain gems like "You PMS like a bitch I would know" and "You change your mind like a girl changes clothes"... yep, we're all menstruating fashionistas. Thanks, Katy, this totally tops your radical "I kissed a girl and I liked it." If she really wanted to be rebellious, the song would be "I licked a cunt and I liked it" but that totally wouldn't jive with the party-bi, preppie audience to whom she's packaged and sold.

Maybe if I heard mainstream rap hits calling guys dicks and cocks as much as I hear women being called hos and bitches I'd be more amicable toward women shaking their asses to a pop beat under the guise of art.

Gotta love the patriarchy's pop princesses; they're doing a grand job keeping us bitches in our proper place.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New year, new Polly Jean

PJ Harvey is one of the best female musicians to come out of the 90s and she's already releasinig new material! White Chalk, which is haunting and lovely, just came out last year so I'm somewhat surprised that her latest endeavor, A Woman A Man Walked By, will be out March 2009 (according to
For the record, I am not at all bothered by the closeness of the releases. The album is a collaboration with John Parish who regularly works with Harvey.

As for me, as stated by Laura I'm heading to the pacific northwest in a mere twenty days, it was a sudden decision so I've spent all of my free time this semester planning that... hence no posting. But there will be lots from me in the new year! As for this month, I'm getting to work on an end of the year list so look for that.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Buy Me a Cake & I'll Have Sex With You

For the last two years I have been preoccupied with one lover or another, constantly trying to attach myself to that so-highly-prized ‘other half’. I cried myself to sleep often. I was hung up on. I dealt with women answering my boyfriends’ phones. I said “this is good-bye” often but always returned. I apologized for feeling hurt or offended, de-legitimizing my emotions. I cleaned up piss and vomit. I ditched friends to take care of these much older men whom I loved. I hated myself. I got fucked a lot. And I got fucked over more.

I finally managed to extricate myself from imprisonment, from my self-imposed patriarchy, and what did I do after that fateful “break-up” morning? I ran to the dating pool, seeking out some other form of completion. I hadn’t loved myself for two years running, but somehow I thought I was going to find what I couldn’t give myself in a complete stranger.

I’ve been on ten dates within the last two months, and this is what I learned: *

Dima called me on the phone. He sounded far more foreign than I had expected. I think I wanted to meet up with Dima because I felt nostalgic for my first lover, a Dutch law student. I told Dima, “I’ll just meet you at the restaurant” but he refused to let me drive myself anywhere. “I’ll drive you; this is the Russian way. In Russia, the men drive.”

Lesson One: Decrepit American me must have forgotten that having a vagina means I can’t navigate through traffic.

But, I was willing to sacrifice my pride to meet anyone new. He brought me flowers and a box of Driscolls strawberries. A bit much, but sweet. We had sushi and watched “Burn After Reading” after which he confessed he only laughed because other people were laughing; he had no idea what was going on in the movie. Good times. After the first date, Dima must have assumed he had some possessive power over me because I couldn’t go 24 hours without seeing him in my “Missed Calls”, nonetheless hearing his accented pleas, “Allo, Samanta, where are you? Who are you with? Why you no call me?”

Lesson Two: If a man buys you Driscolls, beware the tracking device subtext.

A month passes, and I’m so beaten down by his calls that I finally give in to having a date number two. (He’s driving, of course.) He brings a strawberry-laden cake and another big, beautiful bouquet of flowers. We have Chinese. Over shrimp and broccoli, he admits that he’s married, has two daughters, and a litter of kittens at home. But, hey, he still hates his wife, so it’s OK for him and me to be intimate.

Lesson Three: If you buy a woman enough shit, she won’t even notice your wedding ring.

My second experience was with Matt, who was a working lawyer. We had great conversation, gorged on sushi, and went back to his place to continue the conversation. We smoked a bowl on his couch, talked about art, had a glass of wine, and wham, he’s kissing me. We make out a little and then I stop him, and tell him I don’t want to go farther since we’ve just met. He says, “Ok” and then shoves his tongue down my throat again. I stop him again, and repeat my wishes. He puts his hand on my crotch and tries kissing me again. I stop him for a third time, and by this point I’m frustrated. I tell him I should probably get back home, and he gives me a good guilt trip, “I drove you all the way heeeeree…”

Lesson Four: If a man drives you all the way to his abode, he expects to get laid. A woman’s integrity = a gallon of gas. Simple economics.

Lastly, I want to mention Ryan, who ten months ago, let me sob my guts out on his bed because he had slept with me for a month under the pretext of a “connection”, a “relationship” and when I brought commitment up, he told me he had just wanted to sleep with me. When I started to cry, he told me he didn’t feel comfortable with me sleeping with him that night, and wanted me to leave. It was 2AM. I refused, popped a couple of pills, and passed out. Worst of all: I had brought a book of my favorite writings to share with him that night.

Well a couple of days ago he e-mailed me saying how much he regrets it all. I challenged him, telling him I wanted to hear it face-to-face, and that I deserve it. He said he can’t see me face-to-face because he feels too vulnerable. He’s 27. I’m 19. He fucked me for a month, and then told me he wanted nothing to do with me and to go home as I sat there crying. What does he know about vulnerability?

Lesson Five: Men, you can fuck ‘em over young, if you make up for it later with a half-assed, typo-ridden e-mail. Women go crazy for that sort of thing.

And that’s not the least of it, unfortunately. I used to think “objectification” was a bogus, out-dated theme of fogey feminists from the 60s, but at this point, I’m feeling it through-and-through and I’m fed up.

I’d rather be single than be disrespected. So until a man’s reading my poetry before he’s reaching between my legs, I’m going solo.

And I’m damned happy about it.

(*Names were changed for privacy.)

RiGIDcast: Now four grrrls strong!

I am thrilled to welcome our newest contributor, Samantha, to the RiGID family. You may remember her from earlier this year as my cohost on RiGIDcast's podcast on pornography and masturbation. The founder of Baltimore's Liberal Literati book club and the co-creater of the performance duo OVA, Samantha lends her unique perspective on relationships, sex and feminism to our already fabulously diverse blog. 

Another note: soon RiGID will be a presence on both coasts! Our resident music expert, Nicole, is shipping out to Olympia, Washington this month. We will miss her here on the east coast, but secretly can't wait to hear about the music she encounters at the alma mater of the Riot Grrrls!

Stay tuned for RiGIDcast episode two sometime within the next month or so.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dan Savage Said What?!

picture via
If anyone's been following the blogosphere, you've probably seen something about this. To summarize, Dan Savage, one of my all time favourite bloggers, did a post titled Black Homophobia. He then goes on to say that recent polling showed that 70% of African Americans voted for Prop 8, which is far more of a margin than any other ethnicity noted in polls. Savage then wrote than the gay community, by and large, consistently support African American rights, while not recieving support in return. To quote Savage, "Finally, I’m searching for some exit poll data from California. I’ll eat my shorts if gay and lesbian voters went for McCain at anything approaching the rate that black voters went for Prop 8."

Now, personally, I don't feel like he said anything racist here. It seems to me that what he said means that African Americans should still have equal rights, and its not as though he's removing his support of them, he just thinks this should be a two-way street. The main problem with what he's saying here comes from that quote. When people, including the gay community, voted for Barack Obama, they were not voting for African American rights, and most usually they were not even voting for an African American! We voted for the man because we wanted him to be president, not his race.

This whole thing brings me back to the first Palin SNL skit. The one where Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton delivered the line, "No! When I was running for president, I didn't want a woman to be president, I wanted to be president!"

It is absolutely amazing and fantastic that we have elected our first African American president, but I think we need to remember what seemed so prevelant during the election process: we did not elect him or choose not to vote for him based on the colour of his skin.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

anything is possible.

I took my "Bush Quotes" poster down from my wall this morning. Reading over all of the dumb things the *still* president has said, I began to think about how we dealt with the past eight years. We created biting and hysterical political satire. We created feminist dance music. We made potent documentaries and films. We wrote. We built. We drew. We survived, and many of us came of age in a time where dissent and creativity went hand in hand. We should be proud of what we did, even when we were silenced and marginalized. Our efforts paid off yesterday, and culminated in the greatest victory we could have possibly imagined: Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.
So what happens to creativity now? Do we still need dissent? Conservatives seem to have the idea that liberals are nothing without something to complain about. I don't think anyone needs to worry about a lack of things to bitch about, quite frankly; after all, Fox News ain't going anywhere and California's Prop 8 is looking like it may very well become law. But even if these and other things weren't so, I can't imagine that we'd lose our spirit. Barack Obama is not George W. Bush, not remotely, and won't label you a terrorist if you disagree with him. He does not think artists are creepy culture vultures (fellow rigid bloggers, did either of you keep that gem of an editorial?). I don't think I can say it any better than Michael Moore, who told me in an email (ok, it was from a mailing list, but I like to imagine that he and I actually correspond) this morning:
"We may, just possibly, also see a time of refreshing openness, enlightenment and creativity. The arts and the artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will be explored in order to discover the greater truths. When FDR was ushered in with his landslide in 1932, what followed was Frank Capra and Preston Sturgis, Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Orson Welles. All week long I have been inundated with media asking me, "gee, Mike, what will you do now that Bush is gone?" Are they kidding? What will it be like to work and create in an environment that nurtures and supports film and the arts, science and invention, and the freedom to be whatever you want to be? Watch a thousand flowers bloom! We've entered a new era, and if I could sum up our collective first thought of this new era, it is this: Anything Is Possible."
Jay Smooth warned us a week ago not to get complacent about the prospect of Obama's likely victory. Now that we have it, we still can't afford to sit on our asses. We still have much to fight for, but as we fight, lets continue to create. We hear this constantly, but it's true: now is our time. I encourage you to start a project, anything creative. A novel. A painting. A movie. Use what you have, and make it as big and bad as you can. Share it with the world, and let yourself grow through it. We may never see a better time than now, and to reference illdoc again, we want to be able to tell our children:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Geeks for Obama!

Just wanted to put a up a few of my favourite Obama supporters before I go vote (omg, yay!)

First of all:

Wizard rockers and wrock fans have been signing up voters and encouraging the youth vote for longer than I was even aware of! For those of you who are unaware, wizard rock, or wrock, is music based on The Harry Potter series. It all began with Harry and The Potters, followed by Draco and The Malfoys. There are now tons of bands, and a documentary on the phenomenon. Check it out sometime, its actually really good music, and just generally fun. My favourite is The Remus Lupins!

Wizards for Obama has both a facebook group and has taken over on Harry and the Potter's myspace page, if you'd like to check it out.

While I'm at it, here's a video Alex Carpentar of The Remus Lupins put up on YouTube.

I absolutely love these guys!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tegan & Sara - October 2, 2008 - Baltimore

This show was pretty fantastic. I'm not very eloquent when it comes to talking about live music as I'm usually seeing a band I love. I persuaded Laura to join me at the last minute so I'm sure her review will be less gushy.

Opening Acts: The opening acts were Girl in a Coma and City and Colour. I've heard of and heard Girl in a Coma before but I've never been too into them. I know that being an opening band is a bit of a weird place to be in, especially if the crowd is unresponsive. I don't know how the crowd took to them, to be honest. But I know I felt they put on a good show, tons of energy. City and Colour, which is just Dallas Green, he was good. But! I felt he was a bit out of place. He was an acoustic act with a bit of harmonica and it just did not fit in between the energy of GiaC and the louder songs T&S kickoff with. But that's just my take, as I said he was good and they crowd loved him and obviously as OC about mood and theme as I am.

Songs: The setlist was ace. They kicked off the show with "You Wouldn't Like Me" which is from their album "So Jealous" and ended with the ever popular "Back In Your Head." Sandwiched in between was a good mix of popular songs, old fan favorites, a cover, and even two "new" songs. The biggest "surprises" of the night (surprises in quotes as I'm a sneak and I tend to look at what artists have been playing at shows before the one I'm attending. I also read movie synopsis' before I actually view the movie, figures.) were "Superstar" and "The First."

These were both surprises as Tegan (who wrote and performed both) is pretty vocal about her dislike of these songs. Which makes sense, she wrote them before she could legally drink in the US and she has just turned 28... just like I don't connect with the person who wrote my 7th grade diaries. But, they are fan favorites and have been shouted out at shows for quite awhile. I guess the only way she could play these songs was to retool them, and that she did. She only played the "chorus" and a verse of "Superstar" with "Hop A Plane" as a lead-in (they share the same chord, one minored) which was a pretty good segue. With "The First" she totally changed the feel of the song. I say she but it was in fact Dallas Green who opened as City and Colour and used to be in the band Alexisonfire. He joined her onstage for a mellowed out "boy-girl vocals" version of the song. It was good, technically, but I think it was put in a weird place in the show as it felt a bit too mellow at the time.
The two "new" songs were "One Second" and "Give Chase" which were, again, Tegan songs. The songs are not technically new as "Give Chase" was written quite awhile ago and Tegan apparently soundchecks it at most shows. Serious fans have been wanting to hear it since someone recorded Tegan soundchecking it earlier this year. As far as I know there are no plans to make a studio release. As far as "One Second" goes, it's on their E.P "I'll Take the Blame," which was released digitally last year. I really wish they would play Sara's song from that E.P as well but we can't always get what we want! Anyway, "One Second" is an excellent song, it's a bit synthy which is always good for me as someone who is perpetually stuck in the 80's.

Looking back at what I've written this seems like it was The Tegan Show. Sara did perform less songs but she did great ones. Her shining moment was probably the cover of "Umbrella," both girls sing on this song but I always get the feeling that it's more of a Sara thing. Aside from that (which is a fan favorite, by the way) Sara did some songs of hers that I love. Aside from the obvious hits like "Walking With A Ghost" and "Back in your Head," Sara also did "Burn Your Life Down," "Floorplan," "Like O, Like H," and "Love Type Thing." The latter was Sara's surprise of the show as it's not really a usualy in their setlist. My favorite Sara song of the night was definitely "So Jealous," guess what album that's from.

Banter: If you know the slightest thing about Tegan & Sara you know a big part of their live show is the banter. People ask me how I can see them live a few times in a row* and a big part of it is the banter! It's like a comedy show AND a music show. Of course I love the music but the banter is what really sets each show apart, you know you'll get different and amusing banter at each show. As I expected, tonight was pretty political (all in attendance were missing the VPs debate in favor of seeing TnS). Lots of jokes about what's going on in our country right now. The best probably being when some girl threw her bra at Tegan (which, btw, she brought an extra bra just for tossing) and Tegan insisted she take it back as "bras are expensive" and "you're in a recession right now." Sara also made a few amusing remarks there. I'm not going to try to quote them as I'm bad at retelling stories/jokes in person, I imagine it would be a trainwreck typed. It'll be on Youtube by the morning, I'm sure.

Overall, a fantastic show. Next stop: Philly @ The Electric Factory.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

urgent! save BITCH!

This is big. Bitch is, quite simply, the best feminist publication out there today, and we can't afford to loose it. We can, however, afford to spare 10 or 15 bucks to do our part to keep it alive. Please please pleeaaasse donate!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Republican National Conventions on you guys, don't adjust your screens, the crowd really IS all white people!

The Republican National Convention, I think, is enough to draw any blogger out of the wood work. A few geeky rants:

  • Go to the RNC website. Do not click any ads, do not let them collect $200. Now, take a look at those icons being used in the sidebar. WTF?! Are they 80?? Well, yes. But are they running Windows 98 or something?? Ok, that seems pretty likely too. Their use of shitty clip art boggles the mind. Also, who decided that McCain was best represented by a nautical star? That seems a little out there to me.
  • As a 4-H geek in West Virginia, as a feminist, an American, and human being, I was disgusted by Palin's speech. When I say as a 4-Her, it is because she used the term 'community organizer' as if it was a synonym for 'useless potsmoking hippy.' An irony, considering how many community organizers are conservative Christian church groups. As a West Virginian, I just found it painful to hear the name of my beautiful state in her mouth. Incidentally, both her and Obama say they support 'Clean Coal Technologies.' If you want to know more about the issue I can blog or you can wiki mountain top removal sometime. Moving on, as a feminist, I am disgusted at the use of chromosomes to try to bolster a campaign. Yes, thats right, us silly women will ignore the issues and vote for who looks most like us, because really, our tiny girl brains just can't handle all those politics. And math is hard. Every American and human being should be offended by her slanderous, misleading, and generally fucking ridiculous speech.
  • I watched Obama's appearence on the O'Reilly factor on YouTube, naturally, and during the video you could hear the person recording this recieve a text message on AIM. Just figured I'd throw that in as a really annoying thing to a geek. Also, YouTube it, its awesome.
  • My favourite vlogger has some excellent points to make about the RNC. Subscribe to illdoc1, he's hilarious and brilliant. Right up there with my Niel Cicierega and Feministing subscriptions as most exciting to see new posts from ever.

Ok, so I guess this is a bit of a stretch as a geek blog, but what's a member of the 'angry left' to do? If it helps any, I'm going to check out some podcasting software and then play The Sims 2, while thinking very longingly about Spore and The Sims 3. Also, let us not forget that I made a really lame Monopoly reference here, I'm pretty sure that gains me at least a few geek points back.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

RiGID news/blog roundup

-First and foremost: Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. Feministing has a great in-depth piece about what this means for abortion rights, marriage equality, and other feminist issues. I'm disappointed, but it won't change the way I'm going to vote this fall. What do you think?

-It's old news at this point, but last weekend talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi got married in a small private ceremony at their home in California. Best wishes to them. Can I haz Arrested Development Movie now?

-Australian feminist Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch) recently made some waves in the feminist blogosphere with her essay, "On Rage", which suggests that domestic violence towards Aboriginal women is "understandable". Jezebel has more.

-Bjork sounds off on sexism in the music industry.....and Laura blares "Army of Me" on her laptop.

-Racialicious has a fabulous post on the portrayal of Muslim women in comic books.

-And Sarah Haskins continues to be awesome.

Local Baltimore Feminist-y Events:

-NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland and the Creative Alliance will be hosting Choice Avengers!: A Variety Show for Superheroines on Sept. 5 at 8pm. There will be music, comedy, a drag king, and lots of sexy feminists in spandex.

-Samantha Manchester recently established the "Anti Apathy Alliance" and will be hosting an I-VAWA letter writing campaign night on sept 13 at 6pm. Check out the Meetup page for more info.

Am I missing any upcoming Baltimore events? How about Shepherd or Marshall?


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Intro Post

I'm Nicole, latest addition to RiGID and resident Obsessor of Music. And music is what all of my posts around here will be about.
I'll be posting anything and everything related including book reviews, concert reviews, album reviews, tour dates, artist news... you get the idea.
Luckily this blog focuses on women so my posting won't get out of hand, hopefully. I'll also try to include more than just artists I like, everyone should be well-rounded musically.
So, that's that!

Rather than putting a real update in here, I'm going to toss in a couple of new music videos for your enjoyment. Or loathing, that's cool too!

This is Juliana Hatfield's video for "This Lonely Love" from her new album "How to Walk Away" (August 19th). If you know anything about the Boston music scene of the late 80s/early 90s you probably know of Juliana Hatfield due to her involvement in the indie scene there. She broke away from the band Blake Babies (they were given the name by Allen Ginsberg which is pretty awesome) and had mild success as a solo artist.
Her solo music has two main categories loud and kind of angsty vs. melodic sort of folky numbers. I love both. I can't make a judgement on her latest stuff as I don't have it yet (though, it's out there) but this song is okay.
Not my favorite but I can see it popping into my head.
I don't know about the video, I think it's a recording of a photoshoot as some bits look like her latest promo shots. But, I've never thought of Juliana as a video-centric artist so it's okay.
Even if you don't like this song I highly suggest you check out her other stuff. Every album has some really choice songs. I'll also be reviewing her book "When I Grow Up" (September 22nd) when it comes out.
(I don't know why the border is green. It makes me sad.)

Moving to a completely different sound.

This is Uh Huh Her's video for "Not A Love Song" from their album "Common Reaction (August 19th). The album was supposed to come out in May and I already have it but I'll do a proper review when it is officially released.
UHH is led by Leisha Hailey (Alice Pieszecki if you must) and Camila Grey.
Leisha fronted The Murmurs in the 90s so it's not really another case of "actor turned musician" and Camila was previously in the band Mellowdrone and has worked with artists in a range of genres.
But none of their previous work sounds like UHH which is pretty infectious electro-pop. I love this song, I saw the band back in May and this was definitely the song of the night. Enjoy!
ps. I don't know about the unicorn, either. Mythical creatures need love too.
pps. I hope the MTV embed works. I've never used it before but the video quality is so much better than on youtube.

Coming up (this does not mean SOON, just in general):
Tori Amos' "Comic Book Tattoo" review
Female bass player retrospective
Concert Reviews: Tegan & Sara, The Kills (October)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the tyra banks post.

I'm a tv addict and there is no way around it. In addition to the 5 or so shows I watch religiously (Weeds, The L Word, Jon Stewart, Colbert, The Office) I engorge myself on long marathons of the Simpsons, King of the Hill, Seinfeld, and Arrested Development. I consider these shows to be the cream of the crop, which normally makes me something of a functioning addict in society. The problem arises when these shows aren't on and I'm jonesin' for a tv fix. At this point I will watch nearly anything, and this is how I came upon the Tyra Banks show.
Now, it's not that Tyra Banks isn't qualified to host her own talk show, because all it really requires of a person is that they are already famous. Talk show host "greatness" comes later, obviously. And it's not that her show functions much like most women's magazines do, with show titles like "What men really want you to wear" and "Just how hot are you?", because fine, there's a place for that.
What sets Tyra apart from all the others is her willingness to address women's sexuality. Good for her, right? Not quite. It would be a good thing if she knew what the hell she was talking about, but she doesn't.
I don't know if it started with those girls gone wild videos or that infamous Britney -Madonna kiss.....but when it comes to bisexuality, it seems to be everywhere these days!
Riiiiiiight, Tyra, because bisexual women are magical creatures that spontaneously appear only when cameras are around.
For this episode, she had Tila Tequila on as a guest. You know Tila; the tiny, obnoxious myspace mogul-cum-reality starlet? As you may or may not know, she speaks for all bisexual women everywhere. She's an expert, because she can tell you that women kiss differently than men. And way to go for framing bisexuality as a fad or a phase, because all the bisexuals I know totally dig that.
Then there was the infamous Violet Blue fiasco.
Now, if anyone knows anything about women and porn, it's Violet Blue. As a former sex educator for Good Vibrations, sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and blogger for Fleshbot and her own Tiny Nibbles, Mizz Blue constantly has her finger on the pulse of the adult industry, and Tyra's staff couldn't have chosen a more eloquent or knowledgeable person as a guest for her show on pornography. If you saw the interview , though, it was incredibly disappointing. Appearing within the last 10 minutes of the program, Violet Blue appeared from the audience and was interviewed quickly and sloppily. But that's not even half of the story, for you see, Violet had been told that she was going to be the porn "expert" for the show when in fact she was to appear after longer and more in-depth discussions with performer Nina Hartley and filmmaker Candida Royalle, famous for her brand of romantic porn marketed towards women. The entire show for this day did nothing but re-affirm old ideas about pornography, ideas which would have been refuted if Violet Blue had been allowed to speak at any length. Violet was also treated horrendously backstage and it became pretty clear that Tyra herself was not interested in hearing that women's taste in porn is as varied as men's, as she was caught up in this idea of women responding more to romance than to sex.
(As a side note, why is everyone so mean to Violet Blue?)
Tyra continued her sketchy stance on pornography in another episode, in which she talked to teenage sex workers, specifically, a 14 year-old prostitute and porn performer Sasha Grey, who was 18 years old at the time. I didn't get to see the entire interview with the first young woman, but I could discern that the tone was of deep shame and judgment. This tone was carried over into her interview with Sasha Grey. The first thing that got under my skin about this segment was Tyra's constant reiterating that Sasha looked like a child. Sasha vlogged about her experience on the show as well, and reported that her "look" for the show was deliberate on the part of the wardrobe department. After showing up at the studio wearing her own clothes, she was told she looked to mature to be 18 years old and was promptly thrown in a pink t-shirt, making her look not unlike the little girl Tyra persistently insisted she was. The interview was edited to make it look like Tyra was just talking at Sasha. Tyra asked her questions and looked shocked and offended by her answers.
Do you do anal? (I found this one funny. Christ. Anal is not the most explicit thing people do in porn)
Were you abused as a child?
Are you mentally ill??
Do you have AIDS?
Has your family disowned you?
Why are you really in the adult entertainment industry?
Tyra ended the segment having decided for herself that Sasha needed to do some "soul searching", but it's pretty obvious that Miss Grey isn't the one who needs to expand her mind.
Now I come back to the idea of a person being qualified to be a talk show host. Her being a supermodel is not the reason she is bad at what she does. She is bad at what she does because she is close-minded, judgmental, and treats any guests that may have beliefs at odds with hers (like sex-positive feminists Blue and Grey) like shit.
You wanna be the next Oprah? Then shape up.

(and calm the fuck down....)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm gonna shit my pants!

Because posting a video totally counts as blogging.

Also because I'm getting pretty tired of all this Sex and the City/Lifetime/yogurt/faux-women's culture shit. Stay tuned for a long post on why Tyra Banks is the antichrist sometime this weekend.

PS, be sure to check out our youtube channel!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Polyhedral Die and You

I've decided its time to get into some hard-core geekery here. That's right – D&D. This is a level of geek that I mocked and feared for years, and I certainly had to have some help sliding into it. That's why I think a little nudge in the RPG direction can only do some good. Let me start by begging anyone reading this to throw out every notion they have about RPGs. I do not dress in medieval garb. I do not have particularly greasy skin or hair. I do have a social life. Actually, I'm going to stop at that one and explain a little more. The idea of a bunch of geeks sitting around playing Dungeons and Dragons and never talking to anyone outside of their basement is as false as the idea that only these same anti-social geeks ever chat online or use a compter at all. People who love playing with other people and have a creative outlet, as a general rule, are pretty cool people. Most people who actually play person-to-person, rather than online, just happen to have started out a campaign with some close friends. My dungeon master is my Brother-in-Law. Also, if you have every played house as a kid, or barbies, or the high-tech version of barbies, The Sims, then its too late for you anyway. Welcome to our world, you are a Role Player. Also, the idea of girls not fitting in in this world is about the most ridiculous misconception of all. Every little girl I ever knew invented brilliant worlds and songs and stories with talking dogs and dancing trees... do you really think all of that creative power just dissappeared? We still have it, and utilizing it can be incredibly liberating, stimulating, and fun as hell. Alright, so hopefully I've defended D&D well enough. Now I'm going to share my story of coming into it and my character creation in hopes that it will maybe show a door into a place that's built up some high defenses to outsiders.

As I mentioned, there was a time when, despite my love for comic books, my playing through Baldur's Gate (and secretly pretending I really was a drow elf), I would never be caught dead with a D20. At least I wasn't that bad, I reasoned. But my brother-in-law had always been an RPGer. Hell, he'd been addicted to Magic: the Gathering, once. My sister had been part of a role playing campaign or two in her day, though never D&D. As it turns out, there's this crazy thing about marriage where people will start sharing ideas and hobbies. It's pretty trippy. Since I happened to be living at their apartment at the time, it was not long before a few 3rd edition Monster Manuals and Player Handbooks started showing up in the living room. Character sheets came next. I specifically remember my sister sitting there, designing her elf-ranger, and asking if I wanted to too. I remember this because it involves me turning around from whatever video game I was playing and responding with the classic, 'uh, no. At least I'm not that bad.' Beck, my sister, went on to discuss races and their advantages and personality traits with Chris, her husband. I become intrigued.

“So, if you can play a half-orc, whats the other half?”
“Oh...but does it half to be? I mean like, could you make a half Elf half Orc?”
“...theoretically, but they are really different races.”
“So...what would that be like?”
“...Conflicted. Remember that episode of Star Trek with Warf's girlfriend, the half human – half klingon? It would be like that.”
“Ok I'm playing.”

At the time, I felt that my decision was based largely what would give the most creative oppurtunity to explore a personality withing. Also, I wanted to play a bad-ass. Looking back on it now, I actually feel that the bad-ass is the more significant part of my who I decided to play. A lot, I'd be willing to bet most, gamers choose characters that are who are what they wish they could be. I had just started a new job where I felt out of place and uncomfortable most of the time. I had previously spent most of my time inside reading, so this is the most human interaction I'd had in ages. On its own I think I could have handled this, but at the time, I happened to be attracting a lot of unwelcome attention. To put it simply, I was getting hit on. A lot. I'm only 18 and I have had a boyfriend through all of this (a steel dragon mascarading as human who we saved from a giant spider web,) but none of this seemed to help out with the...attention. I used to go on walks by the river front, then some guy fishing started yelling at me. I don't go there anymore. I stopped walking city streets alone. I walk to the library from a specific direction, walking fast and watching the ground.

I couldn't not go to work. Elven half-orc Vola, however, would chop a motherfucker's arms off. She did once, actually, and let me tell you, ogre magic is no match for a good barbarian rage and my orc double axe. I really do think knowing that, in one world at least, I was--am--capable of this kind of power has helped me immensely. “Attention” died down at work after the first couple of months. Most of those guys having been 'let go' in one way or another since then. Still, it's nice knowing I've created an alter ego like that. I feel safer and stronger and certainly more confident. Vola's greatest traits are her bravery, her wisdom, and her compassion. Looks are not on this list. She has tusks. Violet eyes can only do so much for a gal's appearance. She takes a -2 to all charisma related rolls. We coined the word charistard when this character was being developed. Having a Vola under my skin certainly makes the everyday assholes count less. Plus, I haven't found a fun yet as good as staying up all night playing pretend with a group of equally imaginative and crazy friends.

Monday, June 30, 2008

destroy everything you touch

I promised you all a summer music show but it looks like it's not gonna happen any time soon, considering my $20 microphone broke and I'm waiting for my next paycheck. At this point I'm not entirely sure when RiGIDcast's next show will be, or what it will be about, but you know that I'm always open to suggestions and ideas, so please please please leave me a comment. Leave me a comment even if you don't have a suggestion; I'm just curious as to who's reading this blog. Because you won't be getting a summer music podcast, I figured the least I could do would be to start a weekly (or daily or really, whenever I feel like it) music post.
I thought I'd start off with Ladytron's latest dance-pop offering, Velocifero. I'll admit, it took me awhile to appreciate Ladytron. I discovered them during a time in my life when Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls were on heavy rotation on my ipod and really wouldn't bother listening to anyone unless they were a lesbian with dreadlocks and an acoustic guitar. Or Fiona Apple. Anyway, Ladytron definitely did not fit this profile. I have to credit Le Tigre for opening my ears to how good dance music can be, and once I finally let myself enjoy it, I couldn't get enough.
What I loved about Ladytron was the brightness, the energy, and the shameless urge it injected into you to just get up and jump around like an idiot, despite their dark and cynical lyrics. The energy is still there in Velocifero, but it's decidedly less fun than their previous endeavors. Mira's flat vocals deaden otherwise upbeat tracks. The band's growth is hard to track because it feels like they are afraid to stray from the formula or do anything remotely innovative with their sound.
Seeing Ladytron perform live was something of a disappointment, to be completely honest. It's not that they aren't good musicians, it's that they aren't good performers. I know the deadpan, stiff delivery is part of their shtick, but they seemed genuinely unhappy to be where they were. It's understandable, I suppose. They were playing the so-called "Outernational Festival" in Columbia, MD, billed after two shitty no-name acts and before TV on the Radio, who were clearly the main attraction, despite Thievery Corporation headlining. Helen and Mira seemed involved in their own little worlds on stage, and when they did look out into the audience, where practically no one was dancing, the disappointment and frustration were obvious on their faces. Yes, the audience was incredibly stiff(the tall douchebag standing in front of me was texting through their entire set), but I don't think their attitude did anything to help the situation. The set was poorly chosen, allowing Mira to sing on more than a few songs from Velocifero, and leaving old, reliable favorites behind.
Now don't get me wrong, I do like them. They are wonderful for what they are, and when they get the formula right, it's glorious. They don't belong in an outdoor music festival. They belong in a club, under blacklights, with their devoted fans. They played at Sonar in Baltimore the night before and I can only imagine that's exactly what they had to work with, which makes me glad, because they do deserve appreciation.

Download: Ghosts, Burning Up

What I Want for New Year's

Sometimes I see things that are just too perfect not to let more people know about. I'll post a proper blog later, but I wanted to pass this along first.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Late Beginning

First off, I'm going to apologize for having my first blog be about two weeks after I was introduced by Laura. I am a shame to the geek world as I have yet to get the internet tubes hooked up in my new apartment, so I'm blogging this from the public library, ie: where I would live if they let me. Now, on with the actual blog topic...

I'm a geek. I'm a girl. This can be a problem, and this has been considered a myth for a great deal of my life. On the other hand, this is becoming more and more accepted, common, and generally wonderful to actually live with. I find that half the geek things out there have been pretty feminist minded for a lot longer than you would think. For instance, Star Trek The Next Generation has long been regarded as the first TV show to really break racial stereotypes, partly by creating something else that was long considered unrealistic, a black geek. The show creators certainly did not stop there. I'm not going to say the show was perfect, Riker was a bit of a womanizer, but I am quickly reminded of episodes where gender bias was mocked and condemned. One of my favourites being when the crew of the Starship Enterprise went to a world where men were seen as stupid sex objects, and only women could participate in government. They showed them the error of there ways and explained that they got over such idiocy centuries ago. Another favourite involves a character whom I generally refer to as 'Warf's Girlfriend.' She was half clingon, half human, constantly conflicted, and an altogether powerful and well fleshed out character. Actually, she is the basis for my D&D character, but thats the basis for a later blog.

To move on from Star Trek and get into some other great geekery, Joss Whedon most be mentioned. He is the writer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and enough other quick witted paranormal shows to fill a geek ladies DVD shelf. People who never really watched the shows tend to have a bad impression of Buffy in particular. Whedon actually created this character and many others like her specifically because he had no strong, independent, intelligent female rolemodels growing up. He has said before that he was a fan of horror movies and couldn't understand why every woman was a damsel in distress that happened to really love mini skirts. So he created Buffy, and Willow, and Zoe, and a ton of other brilliant women to kick-ass and let us know that we can do the same.

In later blogs I plan on exploring more comic book feminism (Friends of Lulu anyone?), but since this is mostly a TV themed look at geekery, I would like to touch on Batman the Animated Series. To be brief, there was once an episode where Harley Quinn, the Joker's side kick, was kicked out after severe emotional and physical abuse, and teamed up with Poison Ivy. Ivy spent the episode trying to explain to Harley how she was smarter and stronger than this, how she deserved her own life and respect. Keep in mind this was a children's cartoon that aired in the early 90's. Other episodes have centered around a young girl's struggle into the role of Robin, female supervillians that the viewer can't help but root for, and the debunking of racial, economic, and age stereotypes, to name a few.

So, to sum up an overly drawn out post, the geek world has a lot to offer anyone. Women, feminists in particular, are certainly no exception to this rule. You will find a lot of geeks out there who will be bastards to you because of what's between your legs, but I've certainly found an equal number that will be more willing to accept you as an equal because you, too, know the power that 20 sided dice can bring.

Until I do get internet I probably won't be blogging much, but I will certainly be back with blogs of geekery. I'm planning on doing a comic book/graphic novel blog, a D&D blog, a gamer blog, and an OS blog at some point. The OS blog is purely selfish, I can't stand Vista and haven't ever tried Linux. If there's anything else you want considered, geeked out, or added to the list, let me know! Comment away!

Friday, June 6, 2008

the most beautiful song i have ever heard.

I discovered the glorious CocoRosie yesterday while compiling music for next week's Summer Music show. Don't let the lo-fi "Hairnet Paradise" fool you; when they're not churning out twee harp folk ballads, they're rapping about Native American two-spirits ("Rainbowarriors") and layering their operatic voices atop dreamy orchestrations and drum beats("God Has a Voice, She Speaks Through Me"). And feminist super-crush Ellen Page loves them. I don't think a whole lot more needs to be said.

I've been at Rehoboth Beach all week now, and it's charm is beginning to wear thin on me. I had planned to spend the week on the beach reading the pile of (free) books I got at The Book Thing on saturday, but the sunburn I got on the first day and the wind and the rain prevented that from happening. I suppose it's been pleasant and relaxing, but I'm definitely excited to come home tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Next Show: Summer Music!

I'm pretty mad at the world right now. How come nobody told me that The Breeders released a new album? On my birthday, no less??!!??
Well, now I know, and I'm glad I do. I've been listening to "Mountain Battles" all day.
Here's "Bang On", my favorite track from it:

"German Studies" is a close second:

Whenever I listen to the awesomeness of The Breeders I want to injure Frank Black for holding Kim Deal back. That's not to say I don't love Pixies...I just feel like Kim deserves her time in the spotlight.

Our next show will be RiGID's summer music edition. Like I said before, I'd really like to get some local up-and-coming all female or female fronted indie bands on the show. I'd like to prove that Riot Grrrl truly isn't dead. C'mon people, Baltimore just had a Ladyfest, I know you're out there!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"The answer to bad porn isn't no porn, it's more porn!"-Susie Bright

After a frustrating evening of wrestling with various RSS feed host sites, we finally got our first episode, Pornography and Masturbation, online! You can listen to or download the entire program here.

Thanks to Sam for being a great guest host.

I'd also like to welcome my good friend Caitlin to the RiGIDcast blog family. She was actually a part of the family from the beginning, contributing music and designing an amazing logo for me at Shepherd University back when RiGID was on the radio. Caitlin will be blogging about feminism and geekery from Huntington, WV.

As always, I'm interested in hearing what you think of the show and open to suggestions regarding topics for future shows. Leave some feedback in the comments!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hey there, friends and fans! The first installment of RiGIDcast will (hopefully) be up within the next few weeks, but until then, I'd like to hear from you about what you'd like to hear. Whereas RiGID Radio had a very music-centric format, RiGIDcast will primarily be a talk show with some music highlighted at the beginning and end of the program. In the spirit of riot grrrl, I'd like to feature all-female or female-fronted unsigned or indie bands, preferably ones that are local to the Baltimore area (but I won't be too picky about that). If you're in a band, or know of one that sounds like this, please leave a link to your myspace or wherever else we can hear your awesomeness in the comments.
Listeners, I need your help, too. The first show will be about everyone's favorite topic to skirt around, pornography. I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts on the subject. Tell me what you think: does all porn degrade and objectify women? is "feminist porn" possible? ladies, do you watch porn, and under what circumstances? tell me about the best, and worst, porn you've ever seen.....etc, etc.
Of course, I'm always searching for new topics(relevant to young feminists) for this show, so comment with suggestions about that, too!