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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Update from the road on our last tour of 2009


Silence is Violence at Lafayette!

Josephine Baker writes…

We performed this evening in Easton, PA at Lafayette College and what an awesome and fun show it was! We kicked off the night with my wig flying off. No worries, though. I caught it in mid air!

We had the best student volunteer to help us out. His name was Chris, but he later chose Frida Kahlo as his Guerrilla Girl On Tour name. During rehearsals he was amazing! He knew all his lines and was game to learn the improv that we threw at him. What was really funny, though, was that when we called him onstage it was obvious that he wasn't really expecting it. He had gotten quite comfortable in his audience chair. When we began our first improv, he sort of stood there, waiting for us to give him some clue as to what should happen next. It was apparent that he was a little shaken by the rousing welcome he received from the audience and so had forgotten a lot of what we rehearsed. After a few nervous minutes, he relaxed and fell completely into his stage persona as Frida. Chris/Frida was by far one of my favorite volunteer's to date!

All in all I won’t forget Lafayette….it was a great show, volunteer and audience. I can't wait to hit the road again.

Julia Child
writes…

Whirlwind tour to Easton, PA. We hopped in our rental car, threw on the tunes, sped through the Lincoln tunnel to what we thought would soon be Pennsylvania. After about forty-five minutes of driving, we found ourselves at the Holland Tunnel. It wouldn't have been embarrassing if I wasn't publicly posting this diary, but I am and it is so there's a little lesson about staying humble. They say, "well-behaved women rarely make history," and we disobeyed THE RULES OF THE ROAD to make this mistake. trailblazers I guess.

Nafis our gracious host, welcomed us with hands ready to carry prop bags and bottles of water for thirsty soldiers marching through the deserts of sexism. I wish we were marching through the DESSERTS of sexism! It would have been a more fun story for the grandchildren, but as they say, "you can't live life through the eyes of the grandchildren." Too much candy from the floor, I guess.

The crowd was totally into our student volunteer, Chris--- as were we. He was a fabulous actor and game for ridiculosity. A total double whammie. Our tech folks were quick on the draw, and for that I was grateful--thanksgiving style. My favorite moment of the show was pretending to be a drunk co-ed in the date-rape intervention skits. Pretending to be drunk is actually more intoxicating than actual drunkenness. None of that pesky nausea and memory loss. It's like being your own stunt woman.

Lafayette
treated us like queens and I wouldn't have it any other way. We left with the sweat of catharsis on our tongues and the bulge of college tortilla wraps in our bellies and headed back to the Lincoln Tunnel. We tried not to make eye contact with the Holland Tunnel.

Anne Sexton writes…

After taking the scenic route through the industrial back alleys of Jersey City (why do Josephine Baker and myself always find ourselves there?) we finally made it to the sprawling, picturesque campus of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Aphra Behn was busy developing the play-writing genre, but we knew she she was only a tweet, text, blog or page away.

What did we GGOT's find at Lafayette?

Liberal campus? Check. Astoundingly equal ratio of male to female faculty members? Check. The feminist uproar caused by a PA Representative Joe Pitts, co-author of the Stupak Amendment in the Affordable Health Care for America Act? Check.

No one seemed to protest when we voiced our disgust over Pennsylvania's own Representative, Joe Pitts. The amendment encroaches on a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion by putting several road blocks in her way. Namely, by making the woman purchase riders--supplemental policies that would cover abortions--on a private insurance program if she accepts federal affordability credits from the new insurance plan, which may lead many back to the days of back alley abortions. Joe Pitts, we know you're a member of the Pro-Life Caucus and a chairman of the Fatherhood Promotion Task Force (Huhh?!), but how about joining the "Freewill Motherhood Promotion and Women's Rights Task Force?" (If someone does start said group, please let us know!)

And there were several men in attendance who nodded in agreement at our ideals and raised their hands loud and proud when asked if they were feminists, which always make me happy and hopeful that feminism is losing it's "dirty F- word" reputation of late.

There was so much love at Lafayette, including a standing ovation (go girls!) that one of the questions in the post-performance talk back stood out to me. "Do you feel like you're preaching to the choir at most of your college campus shows?". Well, no, actually. Quite often our shows are mandatory assemblies during women's history month or violence against women week where we are met with a barrage of scowls and stoicism. At those times we roll-up our sleeves and become the Rosie Riveters of Feminism, breaking down stereotypes and building awareness one block at a time. But Julia Child answered this question best with "That's great; we love preaching to the choir!". It's true, we love rallying the troops with the latest statistics and political hot topics so people will become even more inspired to make change.

Thank you Lafayette College for being such gracious hosts and being our choir of feminism!

Oh, and for the record, Rep. Joe Pitts was actually born in Kentucky.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

HAVE A FEMINIST HOLIDAY


As the end of the year approaches, Guerrilla Girls On Tour look forward to our tours on the feminist holidays in 2010.

February 14- celebrate loving, committed lesbian and gay couples day. We tour New York State.
March 8--International Women's Day. We tour the Midwest with our brand new show If You Can Stand The Heat: The History of Women and Food.
April 8--National Pay Equity Day. We tour Tennessee.
April 26--Take Our Daughters to Work Day. We’ll take our little GGOT’s (see photo) to our tour of Florida.
September 20--Love Your Body Day. We take our tour overseas to Croatia!

SEE YOU ON THE ROAD!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ROOFIE BOMB EXPLODES!


Here is a story of an action that met with great success. Thanks to all who responded to Erin L’s action against the Wild Wing Café (for promoting and listing a drink on their menu called the “roofie bomb”.). She/We did it!. The drink is officially off the menu and an apology from Wild Wing Café has been issued. I hear that Erin L is graduating from UNC Charlotte this month and is heading for the jungle to become an official member of Guerrilla Girls On Tour!!!!

Here’s the letter Erin (and Guerrilla Girls On Tour) received from Wild Wing Café.

Erin,

Let me start with a sincere apology for this distasteful mistake. Our NE
franchisee picked this drink menu & recipe off the internet. It was part of
a large file which they sent to the corporate office for their drink book.
The verbiage was then transferred in a word document and sadly escaped our
review. We are appalled that anyone thinks this is remotely funny. As a
female, founder, Vice President and marketer of this company it offends me
personally and it belies our corporate philosophy and our personal values.

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I would appreciate it
if you would forward this response to the people you have contacted. You
can be assured that all menu books have been immediately removed and new
drink menus are being created.
If you would like to contact me personally
to further discuss this situation I can be reached at 843-216-0616.


Sincerely,
Dianne Crowley
Vice President
Wings Over America

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Roofie Bomb on the Menu


Here's a photo of the "Roofie Bomb" on the menu at the Wild Wing Cafe. Apparently it is only on the menu in the Charlotte, NC Wild Wing Cafe franchise. How about a wild protest, feminists of North Carolina and beyond.

Roofie Bomb


Here’s a great action by feminist Erin L. of UNC Charlotte who has started a campaign against the Wild Wing Café for promoting a drink they call the “Roofie Bomb”. Who’d a thought someone could come up with something so exploitive, offensive and supportive of violence against women? Let’s all join Erin’s cause and write to the the Wild Wing Café at contactus@wildwingcafe.com and ask them to pull the “Roofie Bomb” off the drinks lists. Here is a part of Erin’s letter to Wild Wing Café.

“…I went to the Charlotte University Wild Wing Cafe about a month ago. I had never looked at your drink menu (I usually just drink beer) prior to my last visit, but I was waiting for my food and bored so I flipped through it. I came across a drink offered in your menu that absolutely disgusted me and left me feeling angry and sick to my stomach: a "Roofie Bomb".

I am extremely disgusted at your company's decision to name a drink a "roofie bomb". I'm saddened to no end because rape and violence against women is such a serious issue that we, as a society, should be trying to stop NOT condone. I'm sure you have a sister, a mother, a female friend, or (depending on your sexual preference) a girlfriend. How would you feel if someone tried to take advantage of someone you love by slipping them a roofie and attempting to rape them? I can't imagine how I would feel if I was a rape victim and I read your drink menu. It's the subtle messages, such as naming a drink a "roofie bomb", that make sexual violence a little more accepted in our society. One in every six women will be a victim of rape or sexual assault. I don't know about you, but that's a scary number to me. Even worse, college women are four times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault and your University Area establishment is only a few miles from UNC-Charlotte.

You are knowingly promoting rape and date rape drugs. Is that really the image you want your establishment to have? You are normalizing something that greatly affects our society every day. A "roofie bomb" might sound innocent, but what is it really saying about Wild Wing Cafe's views on rape and date rape? Rape is not a joke, but your drink is making it one and downplaying the seriousness of the issue. Your choice of language, as small as it may be, has HUGE implications for our society.

I ask you as a human and as my sister or brother to remove the drink from your menu. Until that is done, you can guarantee that I will NEVER pay another penny to and Wild Wing Cafe nor will I promote your company ever again. I may be one person, but as a college student I have a huge network and I will not go silently. I will continue to express my disgust to anyone who will listen. Please, make the right choice….” - Erin

Guerrilla Girls On Tour just sent our letter to contactus@wildwingcafe.com
Join us and send one off today.

Go bananas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sexual Assaults on Campus



Last week UND student Josh Brorby wrote a horrible op-ed piece for the online Dakota Student in which he described how to rape a woman. It was printed and responses have been extreme. It was horrible and disgusting but what also bothered me is the number of negative responses to the article about equal the positive ones.

There was a great piece by Kristen Lombardi yesterday describing how sexual assaults on campuses are always shrouded in secrecy. She reports on one student’s efforts to pursue her rape complaint via the college judicial system.

Roughly one in five women who attend college will become the victim of a rape or an attempted rape by the time she graduates. A recent study found that more than 95 percent of students who are sexually victimized do not report to police or campus officials.

Rape culture abounds on the UND campus, on college campuses across the US and the world. Rape culture is writing about how to rape a woman, getting it published and applauded.

Guerrilla Girls On Tour’s past three performances have been of our show “Silence Is Violence” that addresses date rape and violence against women. There are women and men on college campuses who realize the need to address a problem they face and bring it to the forefront. Let’s hope UND is next on our tour list.

Link to Sexual Assault on Campus Shrouded in Secrecy by Kristin Lombardi http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/campus_assault/articles/entry/1838/

Link to One-night standing: the Method by Josh Brorby
http://tinyurl.com/UNDrape

-Aphra Behn
December 2, 2009
New York City

Sunday, November 29, 2009

TAKE BACK THE NIGHT!



Guerrilla Girls On Tour's Diary
(from our tour to Rochester Institute of Technology's annual Take Back The Night!

I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than to perform “Silence Is Violence” at RIT’s annual “Take Back The Night” rally with Julia Child and Edith Evans. Yes, the morning I turned none-of-your-business (as Julia would say) I was boarding a US airways flight to the beautiful and chilly city of Rochester with my two BGF’s (best guerrilla friends). After checking into our hotel and singing a few musical theatre medleys we head off to the RIT campus – a huge sprawling brick conglomerate of gianormous buildings and winding roads. We find the theatre and meet our fabulous hostess, Susanne, who greets us with veggie wraps and coffee…the sure fire quick way into our hearts. After a tech rehearsal that was interrupted by a constant changeover of the tech crew we go over our posters, DV stats and improvisations on date rape and bystander intervention. We meet our fearless student volunteer, Nevin, who takes the name of Frida Kahlo as an honorary member of Guerrilla Girls On Tour for a day. Backstage it’s all warm ups we recently learned at Upright Citizens Brigade (yes, we are all trained in long form improv techniques) and we’re off on the first show of the season.

A few hilarious mishaps both planned (Obama dances al la Saturday Night Fever) and not planned (Julia’s wig flies off) later Julia and Edith surprise me when the audience sings a loud “Happy Birthday” to me at the end of the show. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Yes, we had the audience practicing chanting all though the performance so that by the end and the beginning of the “Take Back The Night” rally we’d all be in fine voice for our march around the gym. As a survivor of domestic violence it was particularly poignant and touching for me to be doing this on my birthday…god knows there was many a chance that I would not have made it past my 27th! A fine Q and A ended our two-hour show and we headed off to the nearby coffee shop which is also a bar for some celebratory cocktails to end the night. I got carded….no longer flattering, just plain ridiculous at my age, and the nice barkeep bought me a birthday pint. Now that’s hospitality Rochester style. I fell asleep like a baby in my heavenly bed dreaming of tours to come.

-Aphra Behn
October 1, 2009
Rochester, NY

Edith Evans here, just back from upstate New York, Rochester to be exact, where the leaves are all ready turning, the temperature is all ready dropping, and the students are all ready involved, chanting and marching, for 'Take Back the Night.'

For those of you like me who skipped the college culture and went directly into bohemian artistic employment - 'Take Back the Night' started in the late 1970's as a way to raise awareness to sexual violence and support those who have been victimized. The goal of these gatherings is to help women achieve a feeling of safety and empowerment. Many events are women only, but now men are also standing up as survivors and some events are becoming co ed. (takebackthenight.org)

Julia Child, Aphra Behn and I started our day together at the airport drinking coffee and eating delicate, beautiful, little cupcakes in honor of Aphra's birthday. What a nice treat!

Aphra and I also got to experience a little culture shock while buying some disposable camera's in the local Rite Aid. The cashier was so friendly. We had a long lengthy discussion with her about heat and our new friend wanted so much to continue the conversation she walked us to the door on the way out. Being from NYC we confessed to being afraid she wouldn't leave us but would follow us right into our car.

Off to campus. It is a big campus. Once again though, a friendly security guard drew us a map of where we needed to go. And he was right!

Susanne was there to greet us and set us up (and got us some much needed coffee too, thanks Susanne!) and tech began. And many hours later tech ended. Show time!

The audience was really responsive. There was almost no need for Julia to encourage them to get into the spirit and rock the house out with their voices. Our student volunteer Nevin did a fine job as a chest bumping, subway sub eating male student. And after marching around the campus 'Sentinel' the students came back for a Q & A.

Afterwards, we went to a local bar (and got carded, would you believe!) and had a beer once again in honor of Aphra's birthday. We slept on the delightful heavenly rest mattress, and came home on time thanks to the most efficient flight attendant ever. Yeah baby.

It's nice to be back on tour,
Edith Evans

www.ggontour.com
www.twitter.com/GuerrillaGsOT
© 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

BEST BOOKS OF 2009


Guerrilla Girls On Tour breaks from our policy to not comment on living artists in light of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2009 Top Ten List that contained ZERO books by women and an almost total absence of books by people of color. HERE, for the first time, is GUERRILLA GIRLS ON TOUR's BEST BOOKS OF 2009. Except for plays and some non-fiction entries, this list is courtesy of the WILLA list compiled by women working together to chronicle Great Books by women 2009. If you have a book to add or to view the complete WILLA list go to http://willalist.wikia.com/wiki/The_WILLA_List_Wiki. Thanks to all who wrote to us re the great work WILLA has done in capturing and maintaining this vital list. Drum roll please....

PLAYS
Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo
Blasted by Sarah Kane
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza
The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson
Ruined by Lynn Nottage
Or by Liz Duffy
This by Melissa James Gibson
Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker
Killers and Other Family by Lucy Thurber
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Rebeccca Gilman
In the Next Room the Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl
Let me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith
After Miss Julie by Sienna Miller
The Wonder by Susanna Centlivre
A Lifetime Burning by Cusi Cram
The Night Watcher by Charlayne Woodard
Happy Now by Lucinda Coxon
FICTION
Megan Abbott, Bury Me Deep
Marguerite Abouet, Aya: The Secrets Come Out (Graphic Novel)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck
Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood
Margo Berdeshevsky, Beautiful Soon Enough
A.S. Byatt, The Children's Book
Amina Cain, I Go To Some Hollow
Chelsea Cain, Evil At Heart
Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
Mary Caponegro, All Fall Down
Emily Chenoweth, Hello Goodbye
Farai Chideya, Kiss the Sky
Inger Christensen, Azorno
Jennine Capó Crucet, How to Leave Hialeah
Randy Sue Coburn, A Better View of Paradise
Lydia Davis, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Rachel DeWoskin, Repeat After Me
Elissa Elliot, Eve: A Novel of the First Woman
Erdrich, Louise, The Red Convertible
Janet Evanovich, Finger Lickin' Fifteen
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places
Ru Freeman, A Disobedient Girl
Amanda C. Gable, The Confederate General Rides North
Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone
Mary Gaitskill, Don't Cry
Mavis Gallant, The Cost of Living: New and Uncollected Stories
Meg Gardiner, The Memory Collector
Kate George, Moonlighting in Vermont
Amelia Gray, AM/PM
Lauren Groff, Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories
Tina May Hall, All the Day's Sad Stories
Masha Hamilton, 31 Hours
Samantha Harvey, The Wilderness
Elina Hirvonen, When I Forgot
Joanna Howard, On the Winding Stair
Michelle Huneven, Blame
Tania James, The Atlas of Unknowns
Holly Goddard Jones, Girl Trouble
Toni Jordan, Addition
Stephanie Kallos, Sing Them Home
Laura Kasischke, In a Perfect World
Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna
Deidre Knight, Butterfly Tattoo
Laila Lalami, Secret Son
Dylan Landis, Normal People Don't Live Like This
Glenda Larke, The Last Stormlord
Stacey Levine, The Girl With Brown Fur: Tales and Stories
Laura Lippman, Life Sentences
Sophie Littlefield, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY
Sheila Lowe, Dead Write
Li Yiyun, The Vagrants
Lisa Lutz, Revenge of the Spellmans
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Juliet Marillier, Heart's Blood
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
Jill McCorkle, Going Away Shoes
Jen Cullerton Johnson, Seeds of Change
Maile Meloy, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It
Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault
Marie Mutsuki, Mockett Picking Bones from Ash
Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs
Nami Mun, Miles From Nowhere
Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness: Stories
Antonya Nelson, Nothing Right
Bich Minh Nguyen, Short Girls
Audrey Niffenegger, Her Fearful Symmetry
Sara Paretsky, Hardball
Ann Parker, Leaden Skies
Gaile Parkin, Baking Cakes In Kigali
Victoria Patterson, Drift
Samantha Peale, The American Painter Emma Dial
Lydia Peelle, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing: Stories
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, There Once Was a Woman Who Tried to Kill
Gin Phillips, The Well and the Mine
Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
Naomi Pringle, Ginga' Root Tea
Amy Reed, Beautiful
Sarah Rosenthal, Manhatten
Joanna Ruocco, The Mothering Coven
Preeta Samarasan, Evening is the Whole Day
Lisa See, Shanghai Girls
Nicole Seitz, A Hundred Years of Happiness
Heather Sharfeddin, Windless Summer
Brooks Sigler, Five Finger Fiction
Emily St. John Mandel, Last Night in Montreal
Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Jean Thompson, Do Not Deny Me
Laura Van den Berg, What The World Will Look Like When
Kate Walbert, A Short History of Women: A Novel
Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger
Jennifer Weiner, Best Friends Forever
Tracy Winn, Mrs. Somebody Somebody
POETRY
Carrie Olivia Adams, Intervening Absence
Kim Addonizio, Lucifer at the Starlite
Deborah Ager, Midnight Voices
Rae Armantrout, Versed
Jessica Bozek, The Bodyfeel Lexicon
Ana Bozicevic, Stars of the Night Commute
Brigitte Byrd, Song of a Living Room
Teresa Cader, A History of Hurricanes
Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Apocalyptic Swing
Kara Candito, Taste of Cherry
Andrea Cohen, Long Divison
Norma Cole, Where Shadows Will
Gillian Conoley, The Plot Genie
Rita Dove ,Sonata Mulattica
Kate Durbin, The Ravenous Audience
Robin Ekiss, The Mansion of Happiness
Sarah Gambito, Delivered
Amy Gerstler, Dearest Creature
Kate Greenstreet,The Last 4 Things
Marilyn Hacker, Names
Leslie Harrison, Displacement
Brenda Hillman, Practical Water
Janet Holmes, The ms of m y kin
Julie Kane, Jazz Funeral
Bhanu Kapil, Humanimal
Jesse Lee Kercheval, Cinema Muto
Myung Mi Kim, Penury
Amy King, Slaves to do These Things
Ish Klein, Union!
Noelle Kocot, Sunny Wednesday
Jennifer Kronovet, Awayward
Rachel Levitsky, Neighbor
Rachel Loden, Dick of the Dead
Dana Teen Lomax, Disclosure
Barbara Maloutas, The Whole Marie
Sabrina Orah Mark, Tsim Tsum
Jen McCreary, :ab ovo:
Karyna McGlynn, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl
Nicole Mauro, The Contortions
Helena Mesa, Horse Dance Underwater
Chelsey Minnis, Poemland
Mel Nichols, Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon
Hoa Nguyen, Hecate Lochia
Lisa Olstein, Lost Alphabet
Alicia Ostriker, The Book of Seventy
Gaile Parkin, Baking Cakes In Kigali
Carol Peters, Sixty Some
Kiki Petrosino, Fort Red Border
Marie Ponsot, Easy
Lisa Robertson, Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip
Sophie Robinson, a
Kim Rosenfield, re: evolution
Lee Ann Roripaugh, On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year
Lisa Samuels, Tomorrowland
Laurie Sandell, The Impostor's Daughter (Graphic Novel)
Sarah Sarai, The Future is Happy
Sandra Simonds, Warsaw Bikini
Carmen Gimenez Smith, Odalisqued in Pieces
Pamela Sneed, KONG
Alison Stine, Ohio Violence
Terese Svoboda ,Weapons Grade
Stacy Szymaszek, Hyperglossia
Michelle Taransky, Barn Burned, Then
Eleanor Ross Taylor, Captive Voices
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Open Interval
Catherine Wagner, My New Job
Anne Waldman, Manatee/Humanity
Liz Waldner, Trust
Susan Wheeler, Assorted Poems
Dara Wier, Selected Poems
Allison Benis White, Self-Portrait with Crayon
Rebecca Wolff, The King
Karena Youtz, The Shape is Space
Rachel Zucker, Museum of Accidents
NONFICTION
Julie Abraham, Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities
Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End
Nancy Balbirer,Take Your Shirt Off And Cry: A Memoir
Carlene Bauer, Not That Kind of Girl
Helen Benedict, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq
Eula Biss, Notes From No Man's Land
Rebecca Brown, American Romances: Essays
Lily Burana, I Love a Man in Uniform
Ashley Butler, Dear Sound of Footstep
Gwen Cooper, Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale
Mary Cappello, Called Back: My Reply to Cancer, My Return to Life
Staceyann Chin, The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir
Jennifer Culkin, A Final Arc of Sky: A Memoir of Critical Care
Jenny Diski , The Sixties
Hope Edelman, The Possibility of Everything
Lise Eliot, Pink Brain, Blue Brain
Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive
Terry Galloway, Mean Little Deaf Queer
Michelle Goldberg, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future
Temple Grandin, Animals Make Us Human
Debra Gwartney, Live Through This
Duchess Harris, Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton
Lyanda Lynn Haupt,Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
Jane Jeong Trenka, Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee's Return to Korea
Diana Joseph, I'm Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing but True Story
Mary Karr, Lit
Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor,Traveling with Pomegranates
Hermione Lee, Biography: A Very Short Introduction
Sara Maitland,A Book of Silence
Brenda Miller, Blessing of the Animals
Eileen Myles, The Importance of Being Iceland
Maggie Nelson, Bluets
Rebecca K. O'Connor, Lift
Lilian Pizzichini, The Blue Hour: A Life of Jean Rhys
Dawn Potter, Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton
Ruth Reichl, Not Becoming My Mother: And Other Things She Taught Me
Harriet Reisen, Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
Robin Romm, The Mercy Papers
Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities
Helen Thorpe, Just Like Us
Spring Ulmer, The Age of Virtual Reproduction
Andrea Tone, The Age of Anxiety: A History of America's Turbulent Affair
Rebecca Walker, One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory
Lauren Weber, In Cheap We Trust: The story of a misunderstood American
Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti, Yes Means Yes
Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decition
Susan Strange, States and Markets
Martha Finnemore, The Purpose of Intervention
Frances FitxGerald, Fire in the Lake
Kathryn Sikkink and Margeret Keck, Activists Beyond Border
Samatha Power, A Problem from Hell
Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons
Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions
Beth Simmons, Who Adjusts? Domestic Sources of Foreigh Policy
Valerie Hudson and Andrea Den Boer, Bare Branches
Kim Neilsen, The Teacher and the Student
Margeret Randall, To Change The World
Kirstin Downey, The Revolutionist
Jennifer Ring, Baseball is War


CHILDREN/YOUNG ADULT
Katie Alender, Bad Girls Don't Die
R.J. Anderson, Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter
Pam Bachorz, Candor
Cyn Balog, Fairy Tale
Eileen Beha, Tango - The Tale of an Island Dog
Lauren Bjorkman, My Invented Life
Molly Breen, Darkwood
Sarah Rees Brennan, The Demon's Lexicon
Leigh Brescia, One Wish
Jennifer Brown, Hate List
Ann E. Burg, All the Broken Pieces
Megan Crewe, Give up the Ghost
Kirstin Cronn-Mills, The Sky Always Hears Me (and the Hills Don't Mind)
Sarah Cross, Dull Boy
Kate di Goldi, The 10 PM Question
Erin Dionne, Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies
Deva Fagan, Fortune's Folly
Megan Frazer, Secrets of Truth & Beauty
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures
Matthea Harvey, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake
Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Breathing
Kerry Cohen Hoffman ,It's Not You, It's Me
Deborah Hopkinson, Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson
Mandy Hubbard, Prada & Prejudice
Jennifer Jabaley, Lipstick Apology
Stacey Jay, You Are So Undead to Me
Danielle Joseph, Shrinking Violet
Suzanne LaFleur, Love, Aubrey
Cynthea Liu, Paris Pan Takes the Dare
Malinda Lo, Ash
C. Lee MacKenzie, Sliding on the Edge
Sarah MacLean, The Season
J.E. MacLeod, Waiting to Score
L.K. Madigan, Flash Burnout
Lisa Mantchev, Eyes Like Stars
Nan Marino, Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man
Neesha Meminger, Shine Coconut Moon
Kate Messner, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z
Saundra Mitchell, Shadowed Summer
Jenny Moss, Winnie's War
Sarah Ockler, Twenty Boy Summer
Rosanne Parry, Heart of a Shepherd
Jackson Pearce, As You Wish
Diana Peterfreund, Rampant
Shani Petroff, Bedeviled
Aprilynne Pike, Wings
Cindy Pon, Silver Phoenix
Sarah Quigley, TMI
Amy Reed, Beautiful
Carrie Ryan, The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Sydney Salter, My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters
Fran Slayaton, When the Whistle Blows
Kristina Springer, The Espressologist
Jen Cullerton Johnson, SEEDS OF CHANGE: The Wangari Maathai Story''
Rhonda Stapleton, Stupid Cupid
Heather Duffy Stone, This Is What I Want to Tell You
Charity Tahmaseb & Darcy Vance, The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading
Jessica Verday, The Hollow
Lara Zielin, Donut Days
Michelle Zink, Prophecy of the Sisters

SHE WRITES DAY OF ACTION NOV 13, 2009


DID YOU KNOW THAT there are ZERO women (and almost total absence of people of color) on Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2009 list??
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6704263.html

Mad Yet? Take part in the first-ever She Writes Day of Action!
On November 13, 2009 please do three simple, but enormously powerful, things:

1) Post a blog on She Writes (http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/mad-yet-take-part-in-our)responding to the exclusion of women on PW's list. Make your own list, as many of you have done already, or take this opportunity to reflect more broadly the ramifications of its women-cook-the-food-but-only-men-get-Michelin-stars message, and share your thoughts with us all. (More ideas on this to come.)

2) Buy a book written by a woman in 2009. Take a photo of yourself holding it. Post its cover on your page. Tell us what book you bought, and why.

3) Invite five women writers you know to read your words and join us on She Writes.

Once you have posted your blog, send the link to kamy@shewrites.com. SHE WRITES will send these links to their entire community (5000+) on Saturday and will send out a press release then too. If you are a well-known writer, you know how greatly we need your response, your leadership, and your help in spreading the word. If you aren't, we greatly need your response and your leadership too. Use this platform as a platform of your own.

GO BANANAS!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

ROLL CALL ON HEALTH CARE BILL


1) Dems who voted NO #HCR
Kucinich, Kratovil, Kosmas, Kissell, Holden, Herseth Sandlin, T. Edwards, L. Davis, A Davis, Childers, Chandler, Barrow, Bright, Boyd, Boucher, Boren, Boccieri, Baird, Altmire, Adler, Markey, Marshall, Massa, Matheson, McIntyre, McMahon, Melancon, S. Murphy, Minnick, Nye, Peterson, Ross, Shuler, Skelton, Tanner, Tylor, Teaque, Gordon, Griffith.

For complete voting list: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/votes/house/healthcare/index.html

NOTE: Women Dems who voted NO #HCR Kosmas, FL; Herseth Sandlin, SD; Markey, CO.

2) DEMS who voted YES on STUPAK amendment to restrict women’s rights.

Altmire, Baca, Barrow, Berry, Bishop, Boccieri, Boren, Bright, Cardoza, Carney, Chandler, Childers, Cooper, Costa, Costello, Cuellar, Dahlkemper, A. Davis, Donnelly, Doyle, Driehaus, Ellsworth, Etheridge, Gordon, Griffith, Hill, Holden Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kildee, Langevin, Lipinski, Lynch, Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, Melancon, Michaud, Mollohan, Murtha, Neal, Oberstar, Obey, Ortiz, Perriello, Peterson, Pomeroy, Rahall, Reyes, Rodriguiz, Ross, Ryan.

3) DEMS who voted YES on STUPAK and NO on #HCR – what was the point???

Altmire, Boccieri, Boren, Bright, Chandler, Childers, A. Davis, Gordon, Griffith, Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, Melancon, Peterson

For complete list: http://www.openleft.com/diary/15915/dems-who-voted-for-the-stupak-amendment-to-restrict-womens-rights

A public service message from Guerrilla Girls On Tour!

Monday, October 19, 2009

If You Can Stand The Heat: The History of Women and Food


Hungry?
Here are some nibblets Guerrilla Girls On Tour discovered on the internet in the last 10 minutes:

• February 4th marks the 27th anniversary of Karen Carpenter’s death via anexoria nervosa.
• The major motion picture Julie and Julia is moving into it’s 2nd month of release.
• The Biggest Loser is currently in it’s 9th successful season on NBC.
• 18% of the world’s population is starving, and they’re not doing it on purpose.
• May will mark the 2010 annual James Beard Awards Celebration.
• Paula Deen has 45,000 followers on twitter.
• Fat Camp The Musical debuts at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival this month.

Are you confused? So are we.
Every time we open the refrigerator.

Jamming food into our mouths is the way our major organs continue to function. It’s a good thing, but it’s an awfully loaded act, isn’t it? We think so too. This is why we are booking the first tour of our newest production: If You Can Stand The Heat: The History of Women and Food. In the show, we will address women’s consistent anxiety around food and the body, we’ll feature a handful of lady culinary heroes who contributed to the menus of our daily lives, and we’ll investigate what responsibilities we have as surplus-food American citizens to the under-nourished nations in our global community. The show is a hilarious, flour-dusted, theatrically surprising stage conversation meant to dissolve fears of food borne from obliviousness and encourage freedom of the fork.

As we’ve toured across America, we’ve noted that the most pervasive issue young women want to tackle in our poster-making activism workshops is around BODY IMAGE. We realized we have a lot to talk about, a lot of work to do, and a lot of bread to knead while we do so.

Still hungry?

The show involves 3 performers, a photoshopped chorus of satirically charged images (per usual), and live food preparation. Spoiler alert: I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody got a pie in the face.

We’d love to come to your town and get the dinner party started and the word out. We’re touring If You Can Stand The Heat: The History of Women and Food January 2010 through May 2010. Of course, we’d be happy to head your way anytime, but scheduling performances as we tour will help reduce costs associated with the performance.

Come visit us: www.ggontour.com. We tour a variety of different shows and workshops. You can check it all out there!

Trick or Tweet us: www.twitter.com/GuerrillaGsOT

We can’t wait to dine with you.
Oh, and by the way, we chew with our mouths open! Don’t tell our moms.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS – SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPTS NOW!


An interesting part of Emily Glassberg Sands' analysis of gender bias in theatre focused on four plays she submitted to 250 theatres across the country. Each play had two pen names attached, one a male and one a female. Both women and men read and rated the scripts in terms of quality and economic prospects. Emily found that men rated plays the same regardless of gender, while women rated the plays by women lower when the script bore a female pen-name. However, the quality of a play was divided into different sections. While women rated plays by women lower re the chances of it winning a prize, having likable characters and whether the play would fit into their theatre season, women did not report personally believing that a script with a female pen-name was of lower quality.
The playwright responsible for inspiring Emily’s analysis, Julia Jordon, sent me an email last night regarding these stats. Here is part of what she wrote: “…women are predicting their audiences and the critics to be discriminatory, probably more discriminatory than they actually are, and are therefore not putting forward or producing the plays by women. All in an effort to protect their own and their theater's success and financial well being. They need to learn that the audiences in fact discriminate IN FAVOR of work with female protagonists and appear to not care at all the gender of the person who wrote the play.”
This is true. Emily Sands found that plays with a female protagonist were preferred by audiences and that they didn’t care who wrote the play. She also found that on Broadway plays written by women were significantly more profitable than plays by men.
Plays by women have a higher audience appeal!

Are you reading this producers? Are you listening female playwrights? A producer is waiting for a script penned by a woman to drop onto their desk so get up and run to the post office. CALL TO WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS - send your scripts out NOW!

-Aphra Behn
© 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gender Bias In Theatre


Edith Evans and I headed down to Playwrights Horizons to hear Emily Sands present the conclusions of her year long study on gender bias in theatre. Entitled “Opening the Curtain on Playwright Gender: An Integrated Economic Analysis of Discrimination in American Theatre”, the 45 minute lecture was both an affirmation of what Guerrilla Girls On Tour has suspected all along and an eye opener. First of all, Emily presented evidence gathered from Doolee that there were more male playwrights than women playwrights. Doolee is a free site for playwrights in the US, UK and Canada that lists writers and their work. This stat I suspect is off. From our research via the Dramatists Guild playwrights are split 50% male and 50% female. Next Emily explained how she enlisted the help of 4 women writers (Pulitzer prize winner Lynne Nottage was one) to write spec scripts for her. She then sent these scripts out with one half bearing the by line of a man and the other of a woman. The plays that bore male names were rated higher. No surprise there. But the scripts with women’s by lines were rated lower more often by female literary managers and artistic directors. Shocker to most but when Emily revealed that fact Edith and I just looked at each other and smiled knowingly. Q: What’s the biggest obstacle to feminism? A: Other women. Guerrilla Girls On Tour has used this line for the past 7 years in our performance piece “Feminists Are Funny”, which dramatizes the disparity for women in theatre (i.e. less than 18% of all plays produced in the US are written by women). While most of the feedback we receive on our work is positive, the small percentage of hate mail comes from, you guessed it, women. Emily Sands’ findings in her year long study on gender bias in theatre reconfirms what we have suspected all along -- it's our own sisters who have been marginalizing female playwrights. We think it’s because women have to claw their way to the top in the theatre world and by the time they get there they are not only exhausted, but threatened by any other woman who may attempt to replace them. As theatre women we need use our energy to mentor each other and stop feeling jeopardized by each others successes. Read the NY Times article on Emily’s presentation here. See you in the jungle.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/theater/24play.html?_r=1
-Aphra Behn
© 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

2009 TONY AWARDS


No woman is nominated for a 2009 TONY in the following 10 categories:

Best Book of a Musical
Best Revival of a Play (no plays by women nominated)
Best Revival of a Musical (no musicals by women nominated)
Best Orchestrations
Best Scene Design in either play or musical categories
Best Lighting Design in either play or musical categories
Best Sound Design in either play or musical categories

The good news is that two women are nominated for best direction of a musical - Kristin Hanggi for "Rock of Ages" and Diane Paulus for "Hair" and that press agent Shirley Herz is being honored for Excellence in Theatre and Phyllis Newman is the Isabelle Stevenson Award honoree.

MORE BROADS ON BROADWAY- Guerrilla Girls On Tour
www.ggontour.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guerrilla-Girls-On-Tour/49259246907
http://www.twitter.com/GuerrilaGirlsOT
© 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

University of Hawaii, Hilo Tour Diary



Aloha Diary,
Sometimes flying is not about freedom. Sometimes it's about sleeping with your head on the tray table and moving so people can go to the bathroom in the appropriate locker-sized room in the back of a collection of steel vessels that somehow gets me from East Brooklyn to Northern Hawaii. Josephine Baker and I both elected to function on no sleep en route to the Big Island. We could have attached little anchors to our eyelids as we walked through the Phoenix airport, but we decided it would get in the way of the lost cities of Atlantis we were dragging from our eyelids, and we didn't want to mix our metaphors too early in the day. There's appropriate and then there's inappropriate, and Josephine Baker and Julia Child know the difference. (As if I really had to say that to YOU, diary.)

We made it to Hilo sans Aphra Behn, who was sitting on the tarmac in Atlanta. God was punishing her for being hopeful about an upgrade to business class. The stunning Myhraliza greeted us with leis and a ride to our glorious accommodations next door to Coconut Grove, where we drank Hawaiian beer and pretended to be awake in paradise.

Love,
Julia Child
April 5, 2009


Aloha Diary,
Today we gave a poster-making workshop to the folks in the Hilo Theatre Department, as well as to their radiant Chair, Jackie. They were masters at theatre warm-up games like the name game, which we retitled "I'm Jumpin' Julia." (But of course.) They were also quite adept at silently granting one another permission to take each other's places in a game called "yes." Sadly, we had many false starts when we started to play Big Bootie, but I can't say I didn't contribute to our collective failure to have rhythm we could all be proud of.

Then we wrote down all of the issues we're extra passionate about in Hilo, and got down to the business of making posters. Three groups made brilliant, powerful collections of taglines and images about Drugs/Peer Pressure, Domestic Violence, and the ever-complicated Hawaiian Identity and it's political implications. Applause to the
charismatic geniuses in the Hilo theatre department.

We also took a stab at rehearsing our show, "Silence is Violence," but we were pleasantly distracted by some traditional hula rehearsal in the outdoor halls on campus. We sat and watched the nuanced gesturing of 40 or so folks in sarongs for more than an hour. Could have been days. We were entranced.

Then we couldn't find any restaurants open past 8:00. Yummy!

Goodnight!
Julia Child
April 6. 2009

Aloha Diary,
Today we hung out in Downtown Hilo and I got the raddest airbrushed shirt from Auntie Beth's. She put a piece of lace over the shirt and airbrushed the pattern with purple paint. I keep trying to wear it in New York with flip flops, but every time I go outside it's absolutely frigid. So I put my Quebec sweatshirt on instead. (Remember what I
said about appropriate?) I also patronized Bear's Coffee while I was downtown, and they made a fab soy latte. Though I have to say, it did out price a NYC soy latté at $4.50. I must have looked like I would pay that much for a soy latte. I would and I did.

Then we performed for a nearly full-house in the Hilo cafetorium. The audience was so generous with their laughter and applause. Sometimes we weren't even saying funny things and they were in stitches. Mayhaps I was sporting a "kick me" sign I wasn't aware of? Lei'a was our student volunteer, and she was a fabulous improviser. Sure to be a force to reckon with in the world of political theatre in the future. Lola and Myhraliza kept bringing us the yummiest selections from the beautiful buffet, steamed buns with
pork inside, fried tofu, the freshest pineapple this side of heaven, the works!

Then we went to the only bar open in Hilo, Shooters, and had the bartender make us the only touristy drink he could think of: The Rock Bottom. Karaoke was a dollar a song and even though it's a recession, 10 dollars pretended like it wasn't. I enjoy being a girl.

Mahalo and Aloha,
Julia Child
April 7, 2009

_______________________________________
Day 1: April 5, 2009
Julia Child and I arrived on the Big Island today. I have to admit, I was a little taken aback by the very rainy weather. It wasn't cold, but a little chilly, and not really what I was expecting from Hawaii. But seriously, after the very unspring-like temperatures in New York, I'd take it!

Upon arriving, we found out that Aphra had been having trouble with her flight, and were instructed to meet up with Myhraliza instead. Aphra would be in later that evening.
Myhraliza was amazing from the beginning. She greeted us with beautiful lei's, drove us to our hotel, and made sure we got in safely. Needless to say, after a 12 hour flight, we were pretty exhausted, and thankful for her hospitality. Without it, we would have had to wait another 2 hours in the airport for Aphra!

We settled in, and the first thing I did was take a shower. I had to get that airplane funk off! Dinner was a salad from the hotel restaurant. And let me tell you, the bed was welcome!

Day 2: April 6, 2009
Today was workshop day! It went great. They were theater students! Theater students are full of great ideas, and aren't afraid to be silly and outgoing during warm-ups.

This group was pretty enthusiastic, although there were one or two who were having a hard time letting themselves go completely, and not over-thinking everything. It was also apparent that the group was having a hard time understanding the more internal and specific aspects of free association.

By the end, though, there were 3 great posters. After all of the ideas that were thought up, they were narrowed down to Domestic Violence, Peer Pressure, and Hawaiian Commercialization and Stereotypes. The domestic violence group did the best at collaboration and their poster had a fantastic and compelling image.

We were also able to find an amazing volunteer from this group! Her name is Lei'a. I could tell immediately that she would be great.


Day 3: April 7, 2009
Well, it's show day. I have to admit, I'm kind of nervous. I always am before donning the mask and taking on my Guerrilla Girl On Tour identity. Stay tuned….

The show went great! They loved us! There was no need for me to be nervous. They laughed where they were supposed to and we got in some awesome adlibs. The improvs turned out perfect. I'm glad we worked on them so much. I think that made all the difference. Lei'a was great, as predicted. She was an instant Guerrilla Girl On Tour, and slipped right in to the parts we gave her.

Now, I know I say this every tour, but this one was my favorite tours. OK, it was in Hawaii and I definitely needed to get away. But U of Hawaii at Hilo was so hospitable, and the audience was amazing. I had a fabulous time! Thanks Hawaii. I can’t wait to return.

Mahalo,
Josephine Baker

Sunday, May 3, 2009

When you’re a Jet you’re a rapist?


I saw the revival of “West Side Story” on Broadway last night. Directed by book writer Arthur Laurents who is quoted in interviews stating that his revival would be “…radically different from any other production of West Side Story ever done. The musical theatre and cultural conventions of 1957 made it next to impossible for the characters to have authenticity. Every member of both gangs was always a potential killer even then. Now they actually will be.”

Sitting in the darkened audience I never believed any of the members of either the Jets or the Sharks gang was a “potential killer” while watching the mostly (except for the dancing) mild production. The closest they came to bloodthirsty was the frenetic moves sung to “boy, boy, crazy boy, just keep it cool. But in Act II scene 4 Anita is taunted by the Jets gang when she comes to their hangout to find Tony and give him a message from Maria. In the Broadway revival the scene turned violent as the Jet’s gang threw and pinned Anita to the ground then held her dress up so that actor playing A-rab could unzip his pants and force himself on top of her before being stopped by the entrance of Doc. Well, that’s where the show ended for me. The Jet’s aren’t potential killers they are potential rapists.

Not being able to shake the memory of that scene I went straight to the libretto on my bookshelf when I got home to see how the original scene was written. Here is the stage direction from the published libretto; The taunting breaks out into a wild, savage dance with epithets hurled at Anita who is encircled and driven by the whole pack. At the peak she is shoved so that she falls in a corner. Baby John is lifted up high and dropped on her as Doc enters and yells “Stop it!”. I am not sure how it was played in the original Broadway production but it is clear that assault, not rape, is the direction described in the libretto. The racist epithets Anita experiences make her the victim of a hate crime. Yes the gang picks up one of their own members and drops him on Anita but everyone keeps their pants on.

I next went to youtube and watched this scene in half a dozen amateur productions of “West Side Story”. Each one of them suggested that rape was what the Jets intended (and, by the way, were entitled “West Side Story Rape Scene). Could it be that in the over 50 years since West Side Story first opened nothing has changed in how our culture views rape? I’m not against showing rape scenes in theatre but in West Side Story rape is presented as acceptable, everyday behavior. OK, so maybe in the 50’s things were different. But I’m disappointed that the production didn’t break through any of the old ideologies of our culture or of how this scene has typically been staged. The Jets are an average gang of teens who smoke, smack each other around and rape women. When you’re a Jet you’re “the swingin'est thing, little boy you’re a man, little man you’re a king.” On Broadway when you’re a Jet you’re a rapist and that’s definitely not cool.


-Aphra Behn
Guerrilla Girls On Tour
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© 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Florida State University


Julia and I were anxious about performing in a place called Club Down Under especially since it was on the campus of FSU Tallahassee, far away from the real down under in Australia. But our fears quickly dissipated for two reasons. The first was the sight of the place…a cool underground club with a small stage, couches, balcony and bar. Secondly, we noticed a set list in our dressing room from the show the night before – evidence that the Ting Tings had been there. Our new version of “Feminists Are Funny” is partly inspired by the Ting Tings and so we saw it as a sign from the Goddesses. It was pouring cats and dogs outside which might explain why the tech crew were no where to be found. Little by little in dribs and drabs some fabulous “event crew” wearing t-shirted techies showed up and we went through our show just in the nick of time for a 9PM opening of the house. This was the latest we’ve ever performed the show and I was not sure I could stay awake past my bed time but Julia rallied me by forcing me to eat handfuls of sun chips and a ham and cheese sandwich which tasted mysteriously like a hot dog right before we went on. Nicole and the board members of the FSU women’s center were on hand to give us support and Diana Alverez proved to be one of the best Chauvinisto’s we’ve ever had. I guess you can tell where I’m heading…the Florida Feminists filled the house and took it down. We didn’t go under in club down under, on the contrary, we floated to the top in spite of the pouring rain. I must say that Julia Child’s ad libs were in rare form….my favorite was when she body slammed me at the top of the show…this was her way of telling me my mike was off. It got a laugh which is all I ask for from fellow GGOT improv Goddess Ms. Child. After the show we found a cool bar that had 50 brands of great beer on tap and hung with the women and men from the Women’s Studies department. LNGS….late night; great show.

Good night from swampy blue state Florida,
Aphra Behn
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Penn State


8 hours on the road and we finally arrive in PA and find a fantastic Italian restaurant (A Taste Of Italy) where Julia and I unwind and bed down for the night. Next day it’s off to State College and our much anticipated return to Penn State. We are met by a great tech crew of Tom, Greg and Matt who take us smoothly through our now seamless show…well, except for the ad libs. Susan of the Women’s Center shows up with dinner platters and smiles and we are all set to go for our show in Heritage Hall.
Julia and I performed to a SRO crowd in Heritage Hall at Penn State. Fabulous feminist audience and the show rocks. Can’t ask for more than that. Here is excerpts from our review.

FROM THE DAILY COLLEGIAN March 18, 2009-04-05
“Feminist performers wearing gorilla masks and wigs threw bananas and bread at a full house Thursday night. A slide show of the women in their masks at various locales around the world played as attendees filed in. The show opened with a routine announcement to turn off all cell phones that quickly became humorous, saying that the Guerrilla Girls would pause for hot flashes, menstrual cramps and contractions that are two minutes apart. When the show began, two women ran onto the stage, wearing bras and control tops over their clothing and dancing like King Kong. They then tore off the bras while making loud monkey sounds, eventually throwing the bananas at the audience. They introduced themselves as Child and Behn, giving a mini-biography for each woman and explaining why they wear the masks and use alternative names. During the performance, feminist topics were pulled out of a hat by the women and then discussed. They began with "memories," which involved the performers showing pictures of the Guerrilla Girls On Tour at places around the world and with people from around the world, including a doctored photograph of them drinking beer with the Pope. The women asked the audience members if they considered themselves feminists. Both men and women alike raised their hands, proving the women's point that feminists come in all shapes, sizes and genders. Next, the performers read letters they had received over the years. Some letters complimented them; others were threatening. One was a letter from a boy who apologized for a fellow student who threatened to kill them. The performance took a more serious note during a discussion on rape. There was no laughter from the audience as the women displayed images of a marriage scene, a little girl holding someone's hand and a man's hand on a woman's thigh, all with the words "this is not an invitation to rape me" stamped across them. However, the moment didn't last long, as the women then put on President Barack Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden masks and blazers and danced to "Saturday Night Fever," ending it with a kiss. They also provided statistics about Obama's achievements for women, such as recently signing an act that now protects women from pay discrimination. The women also graded Pennsylvania and gave the state an F on its "reproductive rights report card" because 78 percent of communities in the state have no abortion providers, they said. They also informed the audience that only seven states guarantee a woman's right to birth control; pharmaceutical employees in the other states are allowed to refuse a prescription because of religious beliefs, they said. The performance ended with a skit about a woman who wanted to produce a play, but the theater owner only produced white men's plays. Penn State's own Serenity Ireland played the female playwright. "They're hilarious. I love it," said Ireland (freshman-theatre). "I might be a Guerrilla Girl On Tour in the summer."

XXXOOOO,
Aphra Behn
March 19, 2009

At Penn State there were crowds for days that stretched to the far corners of the ballroom. We gussied up our Guerrilla suits in an industrial kitchen while ambitious students put tupperwares of ziti in the fridge before the show. I thought about hanging out backstage the whole show and eating ziti, but then I remembered that only 12.6% of NYC theatre productions were written by women, so I combed my back hair and went onstage. I had a pretty big crush on the audience. They were cute and had good taste in entertainment, not to mention the fact that they were really into changing things round those parts. (and they gasped in a kind, concerned way when I tripped up the stage.) sweeties. We hurled bread
and bananas at them to their and our delight.. Bombs over Baghdad!

I had a fabulous time and hope to return soon!

Rubber chickens,
Julia child
March 19, 2009
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© 2008

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bridgewater State College


Driving to Boston early Tuesday morning Julia and I go over the news. AIG bonus disaster and what’s going on with the US banking system. We try to figure out how to work that into future shows. We eventually resort to our old driving game of making up short musicals about impromptu topics….like the hotel we’ll be checking into soon. At Bridgewater State College we are greeting by a group of students assigned to help tech our performance and we are glad that most are theatre savvy techies. The tech goes smoothly and we pour ourselves into the corsets, girdles and bras we’ve added to the beginning of the show. The enthusiastic audience claps and cheers us on and we end on a high note. Now off to Pennsylvania!


Aphra Behn
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http://www.twitter.com/GuerrillaGirlsOT
© 2008

Friday, March 13, 2009

Eastern Michigan University - Guerrilla Girls On Tour


The dozen students who participated in our street theatre workshop were all energized by the end of the day and created engaging 3 minute musicals about sexual assault, transgender issues and the destruction of art. There was a lovely reception at the art gallery on campus after (currently full of women artists in a show called “Women’s Work”).

Julia Child and I tweaked the new version of “Feminists Are Funny” the next morning and we were both pleasantly surprised when we stepped onto the Sponberg Theatre stage. It’s an intimate house with about 250 seats and a savvy tech crew of students…thanks to Josh and Lorenzo for a great tech. And to Michelle Hartung – pictured at right – who spent a year organizing our tour.

We played to a SRO house and the audience was rockin’ as Julia and I went through the issues – feminism, rape, Obama, “Saturday Night Fever” (you had to be there to get this).
Engaging questions from the audience post show. We both felt very satisfied and welcomed for our Midwest tour and leave with warm memories of the funny feminists in Ohio and Michigan that we will carry in our hearts as we head east.

See us in “Feminists Are Funny” at Bridgewater State College and Penn State next. It’s not a performance, it’s a party!

Aphra Behn
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guerrilla-Girls-On-Tour/49259246907http://www.twitter.com/GuerrillaGirlsOT© 2008

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guerrilla Girls On Tour U of Akron


For some reason the theatre at the Student Union at U of Akron where we performed last night had no idea of our tech needs or equipment even though we were booked by the women’s studies department last fall. Hence, our tech rehearsal was a combination of Julia Child and I going over the show with just props and people running in and out asking what we needed. We arrived at 1:30 in the pouring rain and didn’t really get started until 4:30PM.

Prior to that we had a lovely visit at the Akron Art Museum with Barbara Tannenbaum and the staff of the Akron Art Museum (www.akronartmuseum.org). They gave us a tour of the gorgeous and spacious new museum. My favorite was sculpture by La Wilson and standing in front of a painting by Alma Thomas and having our picture taken.

We finished our tech at 6:30, went up at 7:15 and I must say out of disaster came a fabulous show with an even more fabulous audience. Julia’s wig flew off at the end but other than that the two of us were in top improv form. On to Eastern Michigan University.

Aphra Behn
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© 2008

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Knee Jerk Feminist reaction


The film "Silent Light" diminishes the value of women in society.
The film "Silent Light" uses "God's" predestined order of life to allow a man to disregard his conscious and his responsibility to his wife and his family.
The film "Silent Life" justifies a man's decision to be a passive coward.

Upon further (positive) reflection and meditation....The film "Silent Light" allows an unfaithful husband to compliment his wife's ability to make good soap. Soap. Yes, soap. The film "Silent Light" allows that woman to stare blankly back and speechless at her husband after receiving the soap compliment. The film "Silent Light" ends with a scene which reminded me of "Jurassic Park" at least putting the behavior in the context of a time in which it may have been seen as more acceptable.

Hoping to see a sequel in which the women of the film "Silent Light" crawl out the back window into a life in which they are fully valued (spoiler alert - without having to die first truly or metaphorically).

Have a lovely evening - Edith Evans

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter._Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Musings on history from a sick GGOT who has been watching too much TV.


I write on the eve of history. I have been watching the television coverage as we inch closer to the Obama Presidency with a mixture of joyful tears and awe. This is really happening!

I have been recovering from a bad cold and been locked in the house with nothing to do but take cold medicine and watch TV. It has made my mind make strange connections.

There has been a lot of talk from the conservatives about the "Hollywood elites" and their "liberal conspiracy" and I think they might be right and it might be working!

It is natural for humans to become used to things they see around them. Before TV you only were familiar with those who lived in your town and what they looked and acted like. Then TV and movies came and create different realities and opened viewer’s eyes to different visions and views.

What am I talking about?? Well, take “24” - the TV show were Jack Bower saves the world every 4 years or so. Seems like a typical conservative show, rah, rah get the bad guys etc. However, they had not one but two African American presidents on the show. And they were well-loved, honorable presidents. The American eye is getting used to the idea of an African American president. Hey if it is good for Jack Bower, right?

And now in real America we are going to have an African American President! Could it have been in part to movies and television showing us that it would be OK? Daring to show a better world then we actually lived in at the time?

This season “24” has a woman president who seems like she will make a great president. Well, if it's good for Jack...maybe our next president (after a full 8 years of wonderful Obama presidency) will be a woman, just like on TV. (I am, of course, ignoring the rest of the content of “24” but I think you see what I am saying).

I think our “liberal” media really has helped open the minds of American's. Which only makes what we do in film, TV and theatre that much more important. With more voices writing, directing and performing from different back grounds, the more we become open to other ways of living other then what we see from our front porch.

More plays by women, more people see the women's point of view. More movies about gays and lesbians, the more people will understand and accept.

So go on out there American enjoy the new president. We can make this country a better place for all of us. Get out your box of tissues, sit back and enjoy the inauguration, be inspired, dare to reach for equality for all and go out there and celebrate.

And next time I expect we will have a woman president, or I will send Jack Bower out to get you.

-Gracie Allen
GGOT 10:05 pm
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Coco Chanel's resolutions for 2009


Coco Chanel:

In 2009 I resolve to quit smoking because it doesn't make me sexy or independent and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the US.
I resolve to wear pink and purchase items that have the pink ribbon because breast cancer is the second cause of cancer deaths among women.
I resolve to not obsess about my weight.
I resolve to be a better person and feminist, because you can't be one without the other.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Final Report From China


China was like going to another world. And they probably think the same thing when they come to the States. It was the first time in my life where I definitely didn’t look like I was from there. In Ireland, England and even Argentina (due to the large amount of European immigrants) I was at least able to walk down the streets and fit in. It wasn’t until I opened my mouth that it was obvious I wasn’t from there. In China though, I was a tourist and there was no doubt about it. I never felt like a tourist though. People were very kind and patient, except the people trying to sell me a knock off designer handbag that is. They were a little pushy.

Really the only problem I had was the language barrier as it related to eating. Although many people spoke English very well, they did not know the word for everything and spoke in general terms. For example, if some one tells you it is seafood that includes anything that lives in the ocean. There are many things that live in the ocean that other people eat that I am not accustomed to eating. Now at least I can say with confidence, I do not like to eat snails.

As Americans, especially living in metropolitan areas, like New York City I believe we feel very worldly. We have neighbors from around the world, we can get any nationality food, and purchase anything made anywhere in the world. A week in China has let me know that I am not very worldly or cultured or even cool. I have traveled much, and I feel that I am a tolerant person, but it is not until you are immersed in a culture not your own that you discover you have a lot to learn. It was difficult to go to another country and say, “Look, you have a problem with domestic violence. We do too and we hope that we can educate you a little on the subject.” I was afraid that people would be insulted and stand offish. I was totally wrong. People were curious, kind, and attentive. They took our information postcards are actually read them and didn’t just throw them to the ground. I feel that as Americans we assume Human Rights is an American thing. We as Americans think that it our responsibility to solve the world’s problems, but in truth everyone in the world wants a safe home, and a loving family, and the right to live a happy life. We don’t have to tell them that.

-Coco Chanel

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

JANUARY 19th



January 19th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Obama calls for Americans across the US to join him in a national day of service. Organize an event or find one at wwww.usaservice.org

In 1994, Congress transformed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday into a national day of community service to further commemorate a man who lived his life in service to others. As a tribute to that legacy and the very real needs of our nation, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have launched a national organizing effort on the eve of their Inauguration to engage Americans in service. This national day of service will fall on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 19, 2009 and, unlike past calls to service, President-elect Obama is calling on all Americans to do more than just offer a single day of service to their cities, towns and neighborhoods. He is asking all of us to make an ongoing commitment to our communities. Never has it been more important to come together in shared purpose to tackle the common challenges we face.

Guerrilla Girls On Tour vows to maintain our ongoing committment to the feminist community to continue to fight discrimination with smart humor and style.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Josephine weighs in for 2009


Josephine Baker

In 2009 I will focus on film and television.
I will begin dancing again.
I will collaborate with my mother, (another female playwright) on a new play….
…and, oh yeah, I will leave this country at least once!!

-Josephine Baker

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!



Eva Le Gallienne

In 2009 I will publish at least one book.
I will celebrate the accomplishments of fellow feminists- LOUDLY!
I will truly embrace life and my journey in it.
I will LOVE my sisters [and brothers] completely and passionately- show them through working, laughing and speaking out side-by-side!
And I will practice the five tenants of Peace, Love, Truth, Non-Violent and Right Conduct DAILY.

“…the real hope for the future of feminism: the sustained creation of communities of support, the continued bonds of sisterhood, and the never ending symbiosis between the personal and the political.”
-Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008)


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