‘Outlander’ Episode 12 Recap: “Lallybroch”

Attention, lads and lassies: there are no sex scenes in this episode. I repeat: there are no sex scenes in this episode. As a public service, I am putting this disclaimer above my recap. But that doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had (okay, there’s a little less fun to be had). If you watched… Read More

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How Shakespeare’s Heroines Evolved From One-Dimensional to Feminist

It’s the Bard’s birthday! Some celebrate the day by inserting “thee”s and “forsooth”s into their speech, and others by gathering Shakespeare’s quips and aphorisms. But there’s another way to honor his legacy, and that is to take a look at his treatment of women, which might be very instructive to some of our more boorish and misogynist culture creators today. Shakespeare was once just like them, but he evolved into something far greater. … Read More

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“Woman” Is Not a Genre: Why the New, Female-Led Rock Revolution Is for Everybody

Every few years, music fans are asked to mourn rock ‘n’ roll’s death. Apparently the genre is in worse condition than Keith Richards himself. The eulogies often bemoan the so-called lack of great rock bands these days — a scenario Forbes described two years ago as amounting to there being “no Led Zeppelin for the current generation of music fans.” But from where I stand, rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well. It just doesn’t look or act like it used to. From Courtney Barnett to Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis to Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield to Torres’ Mackenzie Scott to Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, young singer-songwriters who lead their own rock bands have released, or will soon release, some of the year’s best albums. They all also happen to be… Read More

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Activists to Twitter: New Abuse Protections Don’t Go Far Enough

It’s openly acknowledged, even by the company itself, that Twitter is the pits when it comes to protecting users from abuse. In February, a leaked internal memo quoted CEO Dick Costolo as saying, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years… It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.” An official op-ed last week reiterated the point. “Freedom of expression means little as our underlying philosophy if we continue to allow voices to be silenced because they are afraid to speak up,” wrote Twitter’s general counsel Vijaya Gadde. … Read More

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Three Women Walk Into a Half-Naked Comedy Show About Rape…

Adrienne Truscott’s one-woman show Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else! is part burlesque performance-art, part stand-up comedy act, part feminist conversation-piece. But if there’s one thing the self-described evening of rape jokes is not, it’s shy. … Read More

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‘Outlander’ Episode 11 Recap: “The Devil’s Mark”

Outlander‘s historical time-travel fantasy got pretty darn real last night given that almost the entire episode was devoted to a terrifying witchcraft trial, but at least (spoiler alert) there’s some fireside canoodling after the thrilling courtroom denouement.

Claire isn’t thrilled about her companion defendant, moon worshipping… Read More

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Equal Pay Day: How Women Get Stiffed in Media and the Arts

Today is Equal Pay Day, and you don’t have to approve of Patricia Arquette’s poorly considered Oscar-night comments to get behind her push for gender pay equity, which is far from a realized goal in America. The pay gap directly or indirectly affects most workers and their families: women in the US working full-time make only 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, while it gets worse when compounded with racial inequality: a Latina woman earns only 56 cents to that dollar. … Read More

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Why We Should All Be Spinsters: Writers Take on a New Feminine Mystique

Over half a century ago, Betty Friedan called suburban kitchens “comfortable concentration camps” in the pages of The Feminine Mystique. Friedan and her fellow (largely affluent, white, and narrowly defined) second-wave feminists believed that loosening household strictures and upending the power dynamic of intimate relationships should be a primary goal of feminism. … Read More

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‘Outlander’ Episode 10 Recap: “By the Pricking of My Thumbs”

How far from pleasure into pain can one feisty heroine tumble in a mere 58 minutes of cable television? This question was answered in last night’s episode of Outlander, which we can safely say has roared back from its mid-season break with oomph and vigor. “By the Pricking of My Thumbs” begins with Jamie Fraser roaming enthusiastically from his… Read More

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