Portlandia – The Feminist Bookstore


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It’s hard to talk about the show Portlandia without mentioning feminist bookstore, Women & Women First, where Candace and Toni are not-so-helpful owners or ‘imagineers’ who guide their customers into a non-misogynist way of thinking and maybe – just maybe – customers will be allowed to purchase a vagina candle or attend a meeting such as the Radical Elders Discussion Group.

While the characters portrayed by Fred Amisen and Carrie Brownstein are fictional, the bookstore itself is not.  The location for filming was a real bookstore in Portland called In Other Words (www.inotherwords.org).  I say ‘was’ the location because in a real life imitating art kind of way, In Other Words has kicked Portlandia to the curb.  The sign in their window is clear:

On September 30, 2016, it seems the new board members and owners had had enough of the show.  A blog posted to their website entitled “F*** Portlandia” (in case the storefront image wasn’t clear enough), states in part, “The Women and Women First segments that are filmed at In Other Words are trans-antagonistic and trans-misogynist and have only become more offensive as the show goes on. ‘LOL Fred Armisen in a wig and a dress’ is a deeply shitty joke whose sole punchline throws trans femmes under the bus by holding up their gender presentation for mockery and ridicule. In a world where trans femmes – particularly Black trans women – are being brutalized and murdered on a regular basis for simply daring to exist, dude in a dress jokes are lazy, reactionary, and actively harmful. They’re also just straight up not funny.”

While I disagree that the show isn’t funny (and dare any of you not to laugh at the air conditioning episode found here), it seems Toni and Candace with Women & Women First will need to find a new home for their wares, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

Portlandia airs on IFC with the first episode of Season 7 available now.  For further information and free access to the shows, visit http://www.ifc.com/watch-now#portlandia.



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Last modified: February 22, 2017

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