Friday, January 29, 2010

Hot feminist date? You betcha

Happy Friday!

Every so often, a feminist may find herself in a committed relationship, which may then necessitate the occasional date. And Valentine's Day is fast approaching, for better or worse.

As a particularly humorless feminist, I take to heart the motto that the personal is political. So I thought I would submit for your reading pleasure some ways to add feminist overtones to your love life. DC, watch out.

You are what you eat

Look up woman-owned restaurants in your area. If they serve organic/local/vegan fare, even better. I recently went to Johnny's Half Shell, a seafood joint in DC started by Ann Cashion. Cashion, who won a James Beard award for Best Chef in the MidAtlantic in 2004, regularly receives critical praise and is a self-described feminist. The oysters and shrimp were good, the atmosphere and live music fun. My only quibble was I felt rushed by the wait-staff, which was off-putting.

Observe the Bechdel test

I am constantly searching for feminist films to round out my weekends, but want something that won't totally bore BF. He's feminist but likes ye olde action thriller as much as the next guy. What's a feminist breeder to do? After much hair pulling and stomping around my video store, I was relieved to rediscover the Bechdel test, which eased my moviegoing anxiety.

This rule originated in the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, written by Alison Bechdel. In the 1985 strip The Rule, one of the characters selects films to watch based on three criteria: 1) At least two women are in it, who 2) talk to each other, about 3) something other than a man. Remarkably few films pass this criteria. Poke around your local indie video store, ask the staff for recommendations, or visit your small local theater (See also: FMF staff reviews of Whip It!, 500 Days of Summer, and Vera Drake).

I recently watched Revolutionary Road, which stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as a stifled fifties couple who plot their escape to Paris. This film narrowly passes The Rule, though Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates don't discuss much of substance. Still, the film does portray abortion as a viable option for women in the pre-Roe era facing unintended pregnancies. This is a far sight better than the way abortion has been dismissed in Juno, Knocked Up, and other pregnancy-related comedies.

Sing it, sister!

Live performances are a good solution for most things, particularly feminist dates. I'm pretty pumped for the Girls Rock! DC benefit show this Saturday afternoon at Comet Ping Pong. Woman-fronted local bands and artists are raising money and promoting this feminist rock camp, so what's not to love? Bonus points: Comet and its fancier neighbor Buck's Fishing & Camping are run by Chef Carole Greenwood, who draws on local ingredients.

Nothing say erudite like a trip to the theatre, and this can appeal whether you are bourgie or broke. If you love Russia, try the Constellation Theatre Company's production of Chekhov's Three Sisters, directed by the company's founding artistic director Allison Arkell Stockman. DC theatergoers should also be sure to catch one of Molly Smith's Arena Stage plays. I have yet to be disappointed by the feminist-friendly fare they offer.

So there you are. I'm sure you, fellow feminist, have no shortage of weekend plans too. Would love to hear what feminist recreational (legal) activities you get up to! Comment below with your recommendations and reviews, and have a fab Friday!

No comments: