Tag Archives: marisa meltzer

My 90s Dream

I always complain that I didn’t know any feminists growing up in Buffalo. But these days, you can join a feminist club that is spending a few weeks reading Marisa’s book. Then you can go to an Ani DiFranco concert with your new friends. Almost jealous.


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Super-Special Summer Concert Report: Lilith Fair, Kelis, Robyn

Marisa and I in heaven listening to the Indigo Girls perform "Closer to Fine."

Last October, Marisa emailed me the press release to Lilith Fair with the message “We’re obvs going to this together. Maybe Jon will come.” I responded “OH MY GOD I am dying of excitement. Excitement that I didn’t feel about Lilith in the 90s. SO PSYCHED!”

We spent the last 10 months preparing for the day that, according to Marisa, would be “somehow really important for both of us.” I listened to a lot of Sarah McLachlan. Marisa talked up Lilith in interviews for her book, Girl Power, and pondered her clothing options, noting, “it might be a matter of how much tie dye I want to wear in one outfit.”

On August 1st, we went to the Lilith in Hatford, Connecticut. Jon has already had his say about it. Here, Marisa and I kinda, sorta give our own review as we chat about the allure of free tampons; how selling condoms isnt very 90s; Amy Ray’s hotness; and more.

Marisa: So Lilith. Where to even begin?
Kara: We could begin with the tailgating Connecticut lesbians who warmed our hearts upon entrance. Our cargo-shorted sisters.
Marisa: I only wish I had played beer pong with them. Confession: I have never played beer pong.
Kara: After we admired the tailgaters we went and walked around and came across the Lilipad.
Marisa: Omg, the Lilipad. Sponsored by ob, stay free and one other… carefree?
Kara: Maybe. I was mostly interested in ob, my favorite. You were pretty psyched. We left Jon outside so that we could go gather up free tampons.
Marisa: Why aren’t tampons always free? If men menstruated, would tampons be free?
Kara: Whoa. That is a really deep and important thought. That reminds me of the flavored condoms that Planned Parenthood was selling.
Marisa: Selling condoms is not very 90s, in my opinion. I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay for condoms once during the 90s. There were free condoms everywhere. Was that a college town thing?

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We Don’t Need Lilith Fair, But We Want It Anyway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9VVGOuaIz4&feature=relatedSo, Ada, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a question that *everyone* has been asking this summer: do we really need another Lilith Fair?

I get why people are asking that question, but for me, it’s not really the relevant one. I don’t need Lilith. I want Lilith.

I was reminded of exactly why today when I was listening to Marisa debate this issue on Soundcheck. She made a lot of excellent points about why it’s great that Lilith is back.

But what really brought the point home for me was when callers started calling in. SO MANY of them were dudes.

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More on the Sluttiness Question

Tracey Emin Says Everything Best

Ada, I read your post first thing this morning and these lines about your personal 90s sluttiness really made me want to cheer:

But as far as whoring around? I wish now that I’d done it MORE. For me sex was tied up with adventure.

Your words reminded me of this poem, “Drowning in Flowers,” by Rita Dove, I’ve loved since college, which gets at one of the major reasons that girls have sex that no one ever talks about: CURIOSITY.

So I was thinking about that, and my own lack of regret for my own 90s sluttiness, when I was looking at Marisa’s Tumblr and saw that she reblogged Lesley’s dating advice column. And it struck me that we should stop telling girls to not have sex, since sex doesn’t seem to be the real problem. Instead, we should tell them to follow Lesley’s advice, which is:

Let’s do what we want and go for what we want, and if it doesn’t work out, let’s promise ourselves we won’t take it for personal. Most of the time rejection is protection.

Totally, right?! I was thinking about how this is basically the ultimate truth of dating life, and we should just tell this to as many teenage girls as we can, as I started clicking on links to some of Lesley’s other dating advice columns. And I came to one in which she admits:

For me, I cannot have casual sex. I can lie to myself and think “Whatever! Who cares?” but before you know it, I’m shame spiraling in fetal posish, and newsflash: I CARE.

And my celebration ended.

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I Saw Courtney Love and It Was Amazing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RzKaGZXnpoAda. It was so good. So good! Last night, I went to see her with Marisa, Doree, Emily, and Elizabeth. She sang “Violet” and “Miss World” and “Doll Parts” and “Celebrity Skin” and “Malibu.” She also sang some songs from her new album, “Nobody’s Daughter,” which I am pretty into. Doree and Marisa recapped the night for The Awl and I’m not sure I have that much more to add at this particular (personally exhausted from staying up writing papers) juncture. Just that I have seen Alanis Morisette, Liz Phair, Julianna Hatfield, and the Spice Girls (!!) among other 90swomen in concert, and I think seeing Courtney was actually the most satisfying. Her screaming sounded great. (As Marisa said, hard living really works for her particular singing style.) Her lacy black dress and flowy white dress and pageboy and red lipstick all looked amazing. She’s got some custody issues going on that I refuse to know about, not to mention some Twitter feuds, etc., but I still find her the 90sest of 90swomen in the best possible way. By which I mean: She’s bitchy and funny and feminist and femmey and doesn’t take herself too seriously. And her life is seriously not boring.

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In the Girls’ Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture

From left: Ada, Marisa, Kara. Photobomb guy in back: music fanatic who in conversation with Neal name-checked 85 bands in 7 minutes.

Back from EMP!

For our panel at the pop music and technology conference out in Seattle, Neal did a reenactment of the Alanis Morisette “Thank U” video. As he was naked for it, security guards carded everyone entering the auditorium and we were locked in the room for those three minutes. It was eerie, moving, funny and the perfect performance to open a panel about pre-internet teen bedroom culture. Continue reading

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90s Woman Is Off To EMP in Seattle!

ALL of 90s woman plus Marisa Meltzer and Neal Medlyn will be on a panel at the EMP Pop Music Conference in Seattle talking about “Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture.” We will be wearing plaid dresses and doing our nails while we talk. Also, glitter and nudity will be involved in our presentation. For more info see the EMP site.

Roundtable: In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture

Venue: JBL Theater

Dressed in 90s-appropriate plaid tunics from the Miley Cyrus / Max Azria Wal-Mart collection, Marisa Meltzer, Kara Jesella, and Ada Calhoun will present a panel on the pre-Internet age girl’s bedroom, and how it shaped Generation X. At the conclusion of the panel, Neal Medlyn will do a recreation of the controversial video for the 1998 hit “Thank U” by Alanis Morissette that will illustrate pre-internet pop culture in all its wonder and cringe-worthiness.


Marisa Meltzer, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

Kara Jesella, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

Ada Calhoun, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

Neal Medlyn, “In the Girls” Room: Pre-Internet Teen Girl Bedroom Culture”

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