Episode 40: Non-Compliant

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Rocket Raccoon #6, Sex Criminals #9, Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1 and Bitch Planet #1 | We talk two debuts from TWiL favorites this week; Kieron Gillen goes back to Asgard with Angela and Kelly Sue DeConnick goes where no man has gone before with Bitch Planet. Gillen does some pretty solid table setting in Angela, but KSD sets the table and then flips that shit. Damn, girl. Please read Bitch Planet. You will not regret it. You will also not regret listening to our interview with Kelly Sue in episode 21, in which she talks about Bitch Planet.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Unusual Historicals | This week we talk about historical fiction with unusual settings, both in place and time, and unusual characters. Some of our favorites feature suffragettes (The Firebrand and The Suffragette Scandal), assassins (Grave Mercy), and a young girl named Shirley Temple Wong (In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson). We also talk about the horror of historical fiction set in decades during which we were alive. If you're looking for further evidence of the Becca-Allison mind-meld, listen to this segment. We're clearly on the same page. (See what I did there? PAGE. BOOK REPORT. You like it.)
  • Real Ladies: Spies
    Continuing the mind-meld theme, we both chose lady spies of the Civil War to discuss in this episode. Elizabeth "Crazy Bet" Van Lew, a Richmond landowner, spent years pretending to be mentally unstable so that her Confederate neighbors would underestimate her. As a result, she was given access to places from which she would otherwise have been barred, including a Union POW camp, Libby Prison. Sarah Emma Edmonds had been living as Frank Thompson for years before the war broke out, but used her disguise to her advantage to enlist in the Union Army as soon as possible. In addition to completing several missions as a spy in enemy territory, Edmonds was a battlefield nurse and mailman. To learn more about these non-compliant ladies, check out picture book biography Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss (Edmonds) and listen to this episode of The Memory Palace (Van Lew).
  • This Week in Shit You Should Be Listening To
    "Wine Lips" by Lydia Lovelace (h/t NPR Music's Favorite Songs of 2014)

This Week in Links 40

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • Why Should Anyone "Respect" the Law? Max Read at Gawker gets at something I'm thinking about a lot these days: How can you ask people to respect the law when the law does not respect them? How can you remind them of the importance of the process when Missouri and New York are reminding us the process is hopelessly broken?
  • We already knew Terry Crews was a gift unto us, but he is on fucking point about the toxicity of masculinity.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Ferguson and American history.
  • At STFU, Parents, Blair Koenig has a really thoughtful piece on social media in the face of tragedy: Social media is still pretty new to us. We don’t always have the language to describe how we feel about a tragedy, or a monumentally important decision made by a judge or jury, but social media compels people to talk. It prompts us to point to the elephant in the room and comment on it.
  • Maya Dusenberry has a piece up on Feministing about the Rolling Stone article about the rape crisis at the University of Virginia, the security fact checking brings to reporters AND sources, and the limits of the kinds of truth journalism can tell. It's long, and you should read the entire thing.
  • Liz Burns on princess shamingSo the first thing that princess culture does is it gives a girl a world where she, as a female, takes center stage. She is the main character, the lead, with the men providing supporting roles. 
  • 12 Female Characters Who Keep Shaving Despite Constant Peril
  • You've probably already read the Vulture interview with Chris Rock, but if you haven't, take the time to do so: The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.
  • Read Jacqueline Woodson on the watermelon joke at the National Book Awards.
  • It turns out, lots of what we know about wolf packs -- and by extension, dogs -- comes from studying wolves in captivity, who behave very differently from wolves in the wild.
  • One of the damn few bright spots in the news lately has been the truly fantastic work being done by the Ferguson Public Library, and the generosity they've received in return. They've gotten huge donations of money and books that enable them to provide much needed services to their community: "When there's a need, we try to find a way to meet it. I have a very broad definition of librarianship." (Director Scott Bonner had better be just fucking showered in professional awards this year.)
  • Let's close it out on a high note: A Brief History of Star Wars and "Jizz."

Episode 39: Witchjack and Wanderer

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Lumberjanes #8, Thor #2, Batgirl #36, Sheltered #13 and Ody-C #1 | The Lumberjanes and the power of friendship save the day in the wrap up of their second story arc, Thor punches out Frost Giants without revealing her identity, and Batgirl...fights crime with anime? I don't know. Issue #36 was leaps and bounds better than #35, but still not great. Sheltered barrels toward its inevitably bloody conclusion with an interesting and troubling look at the bureaucracy of law enforcement. Ody-C is the new genderbent, Greek mythology based comic from Hawkeye and Sex Criminals writer Matt Fraction. It was tl;dr for Becca, but that doesn't stop us from discussing the utter toolishness of Odysseus at length.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Audiobooks | We discuss where and why we listen to audiobooks and share with you some of our favorite books and narrators. Looking for more recs? Check out the Audio Publishers Association annual awards and the ALA Odyssey Award.
  • Food in Popular Culture
    This week, we talk about food in popular culture. Allison talks about Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Hunger Games, and The Bell Jar, while Becca recommends Bob's Burgers and Chef, and her (and everyone else's) new obsession, MasterChef Junior. Grab a snack, you might need it if our discussions of food poisoning and food fetishism don't totally turn you off first. (You can watch the scene we discuss from Tampopo right here, but seriously: we warned you.)

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 39

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • It's the 25th anniversary of Steel Magnolias. Mental Floss has a collection of interesting facts about the movie (#20 is so, so touching), and Entertainment Weekly looks at some of its early reviews, including, my favorite, from People's review: There is literally not one strong male figure in the movie.

  • If you have to read a list of recommended books for your A/S/L, make it Lisa Simpson's 25 Books Every Woman Should Read.

  • Captain Awkward -- proprietor of one of the very best advice columns on Earth -- has a gorgeous piece for Medium on believing Christa McAuliffe was her birth motherHow tempting it is to think there is some force, guiding us irrevocably toward the people or places that will make us happy. How close we come to never existing at all.

  • You've probably seem something about the Computer Engineer Barbie fracas that's happening this week, but you should read Pamie's original post that kicked it off.

  • If you think a New York Times story about computer passwords isn't going to make you emotional, well, guess again.

  • People has crowned Chris Hemsworth the Sexiest Man Alive. Mental Floss points out that this is, linguistically, an odd construction. And over at The Toast, national treasure Mallory Ortberg lifts the curtain on the ceremony involved: "Why can’t he just…retire, or go away, or…why does the new Sexiest Man Alive have to kill the old one at all?"

  • TIME wanted to ban the word "feminism" for 2015, which is obviously a problem, but really, their whole list of suggested words to ban was a problem: it was very heavy on words used by/originating with women of color. Not cool, TIME, not cool at all.

  • #feministprincessbride"Ethics in game journalism"? I do not believe that phrase means what you think it means.

  • Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Nail 11 Celebrity Impersonations in a Minute. (Though, hmm, I would say he DOES eleven in under a minute, and nails maybe eight.)

  • I Nearly Died. So What?

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bill CosbyIt is hard to believe that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist because the belief doesn't just indict Cosby, it indicts us. It damns us for drawing intimate conclusions about people based on pudding-pop commercials and popular TV shows. It destroys our ability to lean on icons for our morality. And it forces us back into a world where seemingly good men do unspeakably evil things, and this is just the chaos of human history.

  • You've probably seen the photos of Solange Knowles' wedding, but you should also see the dance she and her son performed at her reception.

Episode 38: I Was a Teenage Murdernerd

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies! Our episode title this week is stolen straight from a joke Matt Fraction made on Twitter

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #2, She-Hulk #10, Rocket Raccoon #5, Captain Marvel #9 | Hawkeye vs. Deadpool shows us the softer side of Deadpool, but only for a minute; our lengthy She-Hulk mourning period continues; Skottie Young gives us his version of a functionally wordless comic; and Captain Marvel underwhelms.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    This week we talk about web content that makes the leap to print. Becca shares her taxonomy of blogs/websites that are most likely to get book deals, with additions by Allison, and we both share some of our favorite examples. They include Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, featuring this amazing essay that will stay with you forever (No, really.); Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit; and Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown.
  • Television Shows Based on Comic Books
    This season has seen a deluge of comic book adaptations on television. We restrict our conversation to shows based on Marvel and DC comics airing on network television--Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Constantine, Gotham, and The Flash. Hawkeye writer Matt Fraction sums up Gotham pretty succinctly on his Twitter feed here, here, and here. As for the others, tune in to find out just what we think of voice-overs, love interests, and cockroaches. Check out Wikipedia to find out what TV adaptations DC and Marvel have in the pipeline.

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 38

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

Also, tomorrow is Veteran's Day, so thank you to all the men and women who serve (with a special shout out to Becca's dad).

  • Hey, wanna feel as furious and powerless as you have in a really, really long time? May I recommend the New York Times op-ed "Pregnant, and No Civil Rights." Once you're done screaming, crying, and stabbing pillows with kitchen knives, please consider both a strongly worded letter to your representatives, and a donation to an organization that fights for reproductive justice.
  • Let's switch gears to something happier: T-Pain did a Tiny Desk Concert. This is real life.
  • What a country calls itself is its endonym (don't you just feel so great knowing that's a thing and that's what it's called???), and Mental Floss has a super cool map of countries' endonyms. 
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education asks, Which Marvel Superhero Could Run a University? God, I love nerds.
  • We here at TWiL HQ are no fans of Daylight Saving Time, for reasons best illustrated by this fake movie trailer.
  • The Daily Dot has a thoughtful piece on catcalling, the #dudesgreetingdudes movement, and where we get our emotional comfort from: But let’s grant for a moment that it really is just about saying hi and connecting with another human being. Let’s grant that it is earnestly important to these men to be able to greet random strangers on the street and receive their attention. As both research and data show, it can be difficult for men to reach out to other men for things like that. When a guy is bored on the subway or while walking down the street and wants someone to brighten his day, chances are, he’s going to ask a woman.
  • This week is the "reunions" issue of Entertainment Weekly, and they have a piece by Ernie Hudson on his bittersweet relationship with Ghostbusters (race is never explicitly mentioned, but it's the elephant in the room here).
  • Austin Light removes one letter from movie titles and illustrates the results. These are pretty freaking great, and I would see all of them.
  • Anita Sarkeesian was on The Colbert Report and did a great job explaining why video games could be, you know, better.
  • Anne Helen Petersen has a piece on the cult of Connie Britton over at BuzzFeed, and how her career, iconic role as Tami Taylor, and hair have become so important to so many people (me very much included): She’s still thin, white, beautiful, and straight, but she’s the thing that the vast majority of mainstream media pretends doesn’t exist: a woman over 40. More specifically, a woman over 40 whose image combines the sexual and the maternal, the ambitious and the empathetic.

Episode 37: Too Old for Tights

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    She-Hulk #9, Saga #24, Sheltered #12 and MCU: Phase Three | She-Hulk gets cancelled, we get outraged; Saga goes on hiatus on a high note; and Sheltered thankfully doesn't end with issue #12. After we talk comics, we share our feelings about the announcement of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They are many. Our feelings about this clip? Also many. Shout out to Chris Sims for this perfect response to the announcement of Black Panther.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Interpretations | In this week's book report, we discuss books that are interpretations of earlier works, a conversation reminiscent of our discussion of adapted fairy tales, though some of the best examples of "interpretation vs. adaptation" come from film (think My Fair Lady and Clueless). The frequently re-interpreted include Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Homer. And we know there are a lot of takes on the Cyrano de Bergerac story, but could only come up with one, so help us out and write in with more examples!
  • Spin-offs: Play it Again, Dick and more!
    Inspired by the Veronica Mars meta-spin-off Play it Again, Dick, we discuss great TV spin-offs (believe it or not, we don't dwell on the not-so-great ones); the difference between spin-offs and franchises; and which minor characters we'd love to see with their own shows. (We're in complete agreement that the wrong BtVS boyfriend got his own show.) In our discussion of franchises, we briefly preview our next show, in which we're going to talk about this season's comic book shows, leading to Becca's introduction to the Flash Gordon theme. You're welcome.

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 37

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • Lance Bass was on My Drunk Kitchen. That is a whole lot of charming blond gay people making fish, right there.
  • Julieanne Smolinski tried out the "Uber for manservants" service in San Francisco, and it was, perhaps unsurprisingly, deeply weird: In fact, you don’t get to see any pictures at all — you only get to specify hair color, facial hair preference, age, and body type. I found the last category particularly lacking in diversity: your choices are “Lean,” “Toned,” and “Jacked.” I prefer a physique in the range from “just now sort of giving up” to “fanatical devotion to the outdated food pyramid.”
  • It seems like we still have to talk about fucking GamerGate, I guess, because this shit does not end. Over at TIME, James Poniewozik knocks it out of the park on why you -- yes, you -- should care about this, even if you don't know a joystick from whatever is another kind of thing you play video games with.
  • And Deadspin has a great piece on how GamerGate is the future of the culture wars (lucky us!), and how it ties in with past movements in American history: All culture wars strike these same chords, because all culture wars are at bottom about the same thing: the desperate efforts of the privileged, in an ever-pluralizing America, to cling by their nails to the perquisites of what they'd thought was once their exclusive domain.
  • NPR is no longer using the name of Washington's NFL team because it violates their policy on offensive language. We here at TWiL HQ also hate that name (fuck you, Dan Snyder, for claiming it "honors" Native Americans), so good job, NPR. Here's hoping more news outlets (and the FCC!) follow suit.
  • Women In Eagles Songs, In Order Of TrustworthinessThe Eagles are, fundamentally, a band of the West and its people. How can you trust a woman from the East?
  • Here is a weird and charming story about BLARPing, or roleplaying working in a generic office, complete with passive aggressive reply alls and Comic Sans notes on the fridge.
  • The Guardian has a fascinating, complicated profile of John Carlos, the 1968 Olympic bronze medal winner in the 200-meter dash -- better known for the famous photo of him on the winners' podium, giving a black power salute with gold medal winner Tommie Smith (and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is wearing an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in the photo; they told him what they were planning to do and he borrowed the badge to support them).
  • Writers and their dachshunds. Man, E.B. White. (My favorite of his many writings on dogs: The Russians, we understand, are planning to send a dog into space. The reason is plain enough: The little moon is incomplete without a dog to bay at it.
  • You smell nice today.

Episode 36: Vaya Con Dios, Brah

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Captain Marvel #8, Sex Criminals #8, Ms. Marvel #9, Rocket Raccoon #4, Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #1, Lumberjanes #7 and Batgirl #35 | I hope you'll listen to our commentary, but for the very best insight to "Sex Criminals" #8, you really must get the scoop straight from the horse's mouth (wherein Matt Fraction is the horse). Overall, this week's comics were pretty good, with one notable exception. We might give it a few more issues, but it seems like "Batgirl," with its horribly overwrought "kids these days" gimmickry, is not for us. We're pretty confident, though, that the gimmickry of the Ryan North-penned "Unbeatable Squirrel Girl" is going to be right up our alley. Stay tuned!
  • This Week in the Book Report: Judging a Book By Its Cover
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, we have a lot to say about book covers. In short: it's not only what's on the inside that counts. We talk about the headless white woman phenomenon, which is included on this list of book cover trends that should die, along with other trends we're ready to see go (and one we're OK with). We conclude that you actually can tell a lot about a book from its cover, but neither of us is quite ready to make the commitment one brave Book Riot blogger did when she spent several months reading books based solely on their covers. For more on book covers, check out these blog posts that pull back the curtain on the book design business from romance author Courtney Milan and Anna from Door Sixteen. You can find our favorite book covers at our LibraryThing page!
  • This Week in "You Haven't Seen What?"
    Allison watches Point Break. Here's what Chris from A House of Lies has to say about it in his "Quest for the Most 90s Movie of All Time." Read Film School Rejects' "6 Scenes We Love From Point Break" to find out which scene was deemed impossible by the Mythbusters (wait, there's just one?). And finally, the late, lamented Fame Tracker Fame Audit of Keanu Reeves is a must-read.

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 36

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • On Twitter, Mallory Ortberg invited her followers to share their dads' most Dad Moments. The results are truly a gift unto us.
  • Speaking of gifts...Do you like books? Did you go to high school in the Nineties? Then the A.V. Club has a gift for you: a list of all 57 books mentioned on Daria.
  • Speaking of links for people who like books and went to high school in the Nineties...There's a lot of interesting stuff in this interview with Ann M. Martin, but the teaser about Martin revealing her favorite Babysitter's Club member was all I needed to click and it's all I'm giving you. You know you want to.
  • Speaking of babysitters...No, just kidding. That gag is over now.
  • Pour one out for that late great American institution: Saturday morning cartoons.
  • Vox looks at Playboy's online rebranding attempts in light of falling sales, and the way they're turning to feminism as a possible business savior.
  • We've discussed before on the show how it's great that Marvel is adding more and more female characters to their roster, but it'd be even better if they'd add more real women to their payroll. NPR's Mallory Yu reports that they know and they're working on it, but "the change is going to take some time." *sigh*
  • There was never any chance I was going to watch the new sitcom Manhattan Love Story, but that did not stop me from enjoying the hell out of Vulture's very critical review of it: And then she gets the hiccups, a personal quirk so oppressively cutesy, even Taylor Swift's cat is looking at it and thinking easy does it.
  • There's a lot of concern and confusion over California's new "yes means yes" law. Over at GQ, Lindy West has a handy guide to signs your partner still wants to bang you (1. Your partner just said, "I want to bang you!"), and at Vox, Amanda Taub looks at the ways the default assumption of consent takes its toll on women: That status quo puts women in the position of having to constantly police their own behavior to make sure that they are not giving the appearance of passive consent. That's not only exhausting; it's limiting.
  • The folks over at Forever Young Adult have started a new series called "Superhero Sundays!" Not only do they offer up analysis of the week's superhero television and comic book highlights, they also name the hero, villain, and abs of the week. Yes, you read that correctly. These ladies are providing an important service and I, for one, am thankful.
  • Aretha Franklin covers "Rolling in the Deep," and all is right with the world.

Episode 35: Wonder & Mystery Hunter

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Saga #23, Lumberjanes #6, Rat Queens #8, Hawkeye #20, Sheltered #11, and Thor #1 | Saga keeps on keepin' on with the "oh shit!" moments, Kate Bishop leaves LA in her dust, and Thor is totally lady, but just which lady remains a mystery.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Magazines | We love magazines, particularly in physical form, particularly when on a plane. We talk about the ones we read for the articles and the ones where we're just here for the porn.
  • Real Ladies: Math
    Every fifth episode, we talk real ladies. Today, we're joined by special guest Dr. Eileen McGinnis to talk about Countess Ada Lovelace, mathematician and "poetical scientist." Find Ada Lovelace Day events near you! (Austin's event is hosted by Art.Science.Gallery, a seriously cool place.) Check out the webcomic 2D Goggles, about the crime-fighting adventures of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage (plus her forthcoming book!). Eileen also recommends this collection of Lovelace's letters ("Enchantress of Numbers" is a pretty sweet title.) And as a sidenote, there was recently a dustup over an underwear company using female tech CEOs as models for their Ada collection.
  • This Week in Shit You Should Be Listening To
    "Mesmerism" by Emily Howard

This Week in Links 35

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

  • In our last link roundup, we expressed our indignation at experiencing a significantly less interesting library school curriculum than Buffy the Vampire Slayer watcher and school librarian Giles. Now we've set our green-eyed gazes on the real-life students of the University of Baltimore, who can now enroll in "Media Genres: Media Marvels," a class in which they'll be studying...you guessed it: the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Duck Tales: great theme song or greatest theme song?
  • You've probably heard by now that Charles Blow came out as bisexual in his new memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones and in an adapted essay posted on the NYT website, but the essay is so much more than that. It's powerful and it's moving and, at times, it's heartbreaking. Trigger warning for a description of childhood sexual assault.
  • The New Yorker has a fascinating piece on the histories of Wonder Woman and feminism, which are more intertwined than you knew.
  • What If You Just Don't Know If You Want Kids? Separating your baseline personal desires from other factors, like the relationship you’re in at the moment or where your career stands, is a phenomenally difficult task. Not to mention the societal pressure. Despite the ever-increasing feminist influence on the mainstream, conventional wisdom still says that motherhood is womanity’s highest calling...At the same time, young women get a loud and clear message that parenthood is tough. Really tough.
  • Despite our shared name, I've never finished Rebecca. Carrie Frye at Gawker has shown me the error of my ways with this mic-drop worthy literary criticism.
  • Laura Miller of Salon says "[it's] OK to admit that H.P. Lovecraft was racist." We live in a culture increasingly dominated by fandoms, and while the enthusiasm of fans can be invigorating it’s not always conducive to critical thought. When we love a writer’s work...we often have an attendant and childish desire to idolize its maker.
  • On the subject of reactionary fandom: Have geeks become their own worst enemies? The essence of confidence is the ability to handle critiques and the existence of challengers with grace and security in your own position.
  • This piece on "fingerprint words" may make you self-conscious. Or, if you're like me, delighted. Of course, if you're like me, you may overuse the word delightful.
  • Photographer Sandro Miller has recreated iconic portraits using John Malkovich as his subject. Target audience: Becca.
  • The Toast's Mallory Ortberg takes us inside the Oval Office. Teddy Roosevelt's Oval Office.

sadface

Due to a collision of illness and scheduling problems, no new episode this week. We'll see you here next week for This Week in Links, and we'll be back in two weeks with a new episode. It'll be a great one, we totally swear.

This Week in Links 34

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

Episode 34: Postmodern Bro

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    She-Hulk #8, Saga #22, Lumberjanes #5, Rocket Raccoon #3, Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0, Sex Criminals #7, The Wicked + Divine #2, Cloaks #1, Hexed #1 and Trees | She-Hulk gets naked, Hawkeye and Deadpool team up, Sex Criminals gets better, and The Wicked + Divine gets worse. All that and more!
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Great Animals of Literature | We talk about our favorite dogs, cats and giant cockroaches from books. You can find the complete list of books we discuss at our LibraryThing page!
  • Bromance is in the Air
    We're joined by special guest and actual male human Eddie S. to talk bromance: What constitutes a bromance? How much do we hate that portmanteau? What are our favorite bromances in popular culture? Listen to find out!
  • This Week in "You Haven't Seen What?"
    Becca reports on Bridget Jones's Diary.

This Week in Links 33

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

  • When Kelly Sue DeConnick does events, if you want a picture with her, you have to make duckface with her. This reached peak amazing at Dragon*Con this past weekend, when she met Rep. John Lewis.
  • Look, what have you done for feminism lately? Not as much as Beyoncé, I'll tell you that.
  • Over at Slate, there's a fascinating article about the rules governing the order of adjectives in English language sentences: [T]hinking about how adjectives work may bounce you to an epistemological Zen state, wherein you can contemplate amid flutes what it means to partake of Redness and whether former child actress means something different from child former actress. Adjectives are where the elves of language both cheat and illumine reality.
  • Your guide to the literary Muppets. (Becca, however, wants her outrage documented: they left off the Muppet Frog Prince, the entirety of which you can watch right here.)
  • Comics Alliance looks at the competition between Marvel and DC for female fans: Young women are easily the single biggest growth market for comics publishers.
  • Playboy has a flowchart about whether you should catcall a woman, and we can find no disagreement. What is this world.
  • As you probably already know, someone leaked a number of famous women's private photographs, and our response has been super fucked up. Scott Mendelson at Forbes has it right: these photos aren't a "scandal," they're a sex crime. And at Vox, Kelsey McKinney has a great piece about being a woman with nude photos of herself on her phone: The response to these pictures is terrifying. It is a perfect, encapsulated reminder that your body can be used as a weapon against you. That slut-shaming is so prevalent and accepted in this culture that you could lose your job, or your boyfriend, or your credibility if a photo you once took was stolen from you — and then you will be the one blamed for it.
  • Look at this fucking amazing embroidery by Chloe Giordano.
  • This girl's stacking a mad bread motif all up in this text. Thug Notes takes on The Hunger Games.

Episode 33: I Would Never (Have Sex With You)

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Original Sins #5, Ms. Marvel #7 and Captain Marvel #6 | "Original Sins" opens the door for a new Young Avengers series (yes, please!), "Ms. Marvel" brings back a TWiL favorite trope with Wolverine reluctantly mentoring a teenage lady hero, and "Captain Marvel" "turn[s] the white savior complex on its ear." We also discuss the upcoming Spider-Woman solo title, which we want to be excited about, but... (See what I did there? Butt/but pun. Classy.)
  • This Week in the Book Report
    In keeping with the adaptation theme of our last couple of episodes, Becca reviews the new adaptation of If I Stay by Gayle Forman, which she had the opportunity to see early, courtesy of Penguin Teen and Forever Young Adult. Have tissues handy.
  • I Would Never (Have Sex With You): Mixed Gender Friendships
    In our main segment this week, we talk about mixed gender friendships in popular culture. We air some of our grievances about the portrayal of the male-female friend dynamic and cite some of our favorite examples of this relationship. Tell us: who do you think is a better opposite sex friend for Harry: Hermione or Luna?
  • This Week in Shit You Should Be Listening To
    Last night, we had the pleasure of seeing comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates live at the House of Blues in Houston, TX. (Check out the video evidence.) We recommend their entire discography, but in particular "Pregnant Women are Smug" (Becca's pick) and "Go Kart Racing" (Allison's pick).

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 32

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

This was a rough news week.

  • A lot -- a lot -- of good stuff has been written about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri this past week. There's too much to share here, so I'll just include Rembert Browne's piece for Grantland, which is raw and brave and heartbreaking.
  • The most recent episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver also had an excellent piece on the militarization of the American police in general.
  • Also, the Ferguson Public Library is doing an amazing job right now for their community -- among other things, the first day of school has been delayed, so they're hosting teachers at the library, all day, for kids who want to come in. They're also acting as an oasis for their community. The teachers and librarians of that community are heroes.
  • Amanda Hess over at Slate has a good description of ironic misandry, and why so many feminists are cheerfully using it: So young feminists have taken to deploying the claim of “misandry” like a parlor game, competing to push the idea of a vast, anti-man conspiracy to its most gleefully absurd limits.
  • The New York Times had a really lovely reminiscence of what it means to commit years of your life to taking care of a pet (in this case, a cat).
  • NYT also has a great look at millennials that is actually refreshingly free from the sort of handwringing you usually see accompanying pieces about us, and our general narcissism and need for praise.
  • Lev Grossman has written a pretty great piece at the Wall Street Journal about the way that Modernist complex writing and barnburning storytelling are coming together right now, and it made me excited about reading (even though I was, you know, already pretty jazzed about that, in general).
  • Over at TIME, James Poniewozik talks about what "hashtag activism" does well, using #IfTheyGunnedMeDown: But #IfTheyGunnedMeDown was a simple, ingenious DIY form of media criticism: direct, powerful, and meaningful on many levels. 
  • The #sharkweekreads hashtag is full of some great stuff. A Farewell to Arms, y'all. A FAREWELL TO ARMS.
  • Andrew W.K. has an advice column (?!) and he wrote an actually pretty great answer to a kid fighting with his right-wing dad.
  • Hey NBA: we're coming for you. The Spurs hired a female coach, and the players union hired a BAMF"My past," she told the room, "is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on."
  • I don't think I've seen even half of the Step Up franchise, but even I know Vulture nailed it with #1 on this list of its dance numbers, ranked. (Becca, who has seen them all, agrees.)
  • The U.S. Department of the Interior has a really quite stunning Instagram account.
  • The Academy's initial tribute to Robin Williams was beautiful and perfect.

Episode 32: This Is Why You Don't Have Any Friends

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    She-Hulk #7, Rocket Raccoon #2 and Hawkeye #19 | A famous friend of Jennifer Walters' stops by to help She-Hulk and Hellcat out of a jam, Rocket Raccoon escapes from prison (it's kind of a thing), and Hawkeye reads lips. In his last outing, Clint Barton lost his hearing in an encounter with The Clown, and in an issue that will surely win an Eisner in San Diego next year, Matt Fraction and David Aja depict his experience as a deaf person in a world by and for people who can hear. We talk about it, but for some really eloquent analysis, check out "A Deaf Comic Geek's Grateful Review of 'Hawkeye #19'" and the A.V. Club's "Big Issues." David Aja sums it up pretty well, too.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Successful Adaptations | After last week's discussion of the books we'd like to see adapted for film and television, we thought we'd share some of the more successful examples of book adaptations in our viewing histories. There are too many to list here, but tune in to hear how we feel about the various incarnations of Alice in Wonderland, the adapted works of Jane Austen, and the one movie that is perhaps too successful an adaptation as it far outshines its lackluster source material.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
    Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel are hitting it out of the park on their GotG press tour. Watch them braid hair, rap, speak foreign languages, take selfies and walk around on giant stilts. Spoiler alert for our GotG discussion: one of these guys is infinitely more charismatic than his onscreen alter ego. You won't be surprised to learn that we go on at length about the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in summary: We liked it, but it was no Avengers. Among its flaws is its "miasma of douchiness." Though, it is the first MCU movie written by a woman (and the last for a long while, given what's already been announced) and the story of how that happened is pretty interesting: Marvel's doing it up old-school with a writing program that resembles the old studio system of the Golden Age of Hollywood. And somehow, it's working for them, so okay.
  • This Week in Shit You Should Be Listening To
    "Girl in a Country Song" by Maddie & Tae, a sharp satire of, well, this.

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 31

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

  • BuzzFeed has a longread about Drop Dead Gorgeous, a movie that, in 1999, was both a critical and commercial flop, but has become a cult classic, and found a home in the hearts of those at TWiL HQ. There is a LOT of great insider baseball about the making of this movie (producers wanted Goldie Hawn to play Amber's mom?!). This could not be more crucial to your well-being: Success is always conditional. It’s not necessarily that good things happen to good people. This is a complete fucking accident.
  • In case you hadn't met your daily quota of "I'm not crying, it's just dusty in here," have some window washers dressing like superheroes at a children's hospital.
  • If your general health and well-being depend on not knowing what any American president has ever nicknamed his penis, well, the newly unsealed personal correspondence of Warren G. Harding is not for you.
  • The Bloggess has the best response to the whole Women Against Feminism thing, and frankly, a damn good definition of feminism in general: The point is that sharks, much like feminists, are awesome, and beneficial, and the world would be a worse place without them. 
  • Dear BookRiot, why couldn't you have published this literary tour of Maine when we did a piece on it for our Book Report segment?
  • The new University of Texas football coach, Charlie Strong, has released a number of players from the team as part of his cultural makeover. Every Day Should Be Saturday's Spencer Hall has some ideas on how he can take it even furtherRick Perry, those glasses look stupid. Get out of this state and come back when you've shot more than one dog and called it a coyote. Willie Nelson, walk it like you talk it and make another record with Julio Iglesias. It's been thirty years. You're off the team until I get my tender ballads.
  • Vulture takes us through all 38 #1 soundtracks of the last 30 years, and what they tell us about who we are as a people.
  • Stephen A. Smith has had a banner couple weeks with his comments about how women "provoke" domestic violence and Michael Sam. Deadspin has a great piece on how debating a topic legitimizes both sides of an argument even if they're inherently unequal, inspired by a "debate" on the ESPN show First Take.
  • Esquire has a dynamite profile of Dr. Willie Parker, the doctor performing abortions at Mississippi's last clinic (which conservatives in that state are desperate to close). This man is an American hero: "The protesters say they're opposed to abortion because they're Christian," Parker says. "It's hard for them to accept that I do abortions because I'm a Christian."