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The Real Life Women and Women First Gets All Indignant

so embarrassing… so so so embarrassing…

Hilariously, the bookstore in Portland where the Portlandia ‘Women and Women First’ bookstore skits take place has now decided to stop letting Portlandia be filmed there… and naturally they wrote a blog post called “Fuck Portlandia”.

In the TV comedy version of Portland, Ore., the bookstore is called Women and Women First. In real life, it’s In Other Words — and the shop is using frank terms to say the Portlandia show is no longer welcome to film there. The feminist store and community center faults the show’s depiction of men dressing as women, its treatment of store staff, and its role in gentrification and race relations.

The staff of In Other Words made those claims in a blog post that shares its title with a sign that was placed in its window when the store’s relationship with the show soured. The title is straightforward: “F*** Portlandia” (asterisks ours).

The store’s staff say that by featuring Portlandia co-star Fred Armisen in a wig and a dress as Candace, one of the owners of Women and Women First, the show “throws trans femmes under the bus by holding up their gender presentation for mockery and ridicule.”


The fact that the staff at In Other Words do not understand that it is the ridiculousness of the extreme reactions to perceived slights that makes the Women and Women First skits funny… is hilarious. They are engaging in the very behavior that led to the skit being created in the first place. (I would link you to the actual blog post, and discuss it, but it’s childishly written and the comments section is like an echo chamber of indignation. Too exhausting.)

What’s more, I do not remember a single episode of Portlandia that focused on Fred Armisen’s wig and cross-dressing as being humorous. The humor always comes from his attitude and the situations in the skits. And you know what, I think Fred Armisen looks brilliant in those skits. I see no mockery of appearances. I see no mockery of gender.

I certainly don’t always find Portlandia funny, and I’m sure some people get offended by its humor, but who cares? You can choose to not watch it. You can even blog about it. Go off into the wonderland that is the internet and spread your hatred of Portlandia! Just hopefully be insightful about it… and you know, don’t prove the point of the skits you hate. Because that’d sure be ironic.



The store says that none of its current board and staff members were involved in the original decision to allow Portlandia to film inside the store six years ago, and that the “small flat fee per episode filmed” doesn’t cover its lost profits.

That’s hard to believe.

Unless we’re talking about a fee of like $50, or the episode taking like 12 hours to film, I don’t see how an apparently small bookstore could be losing money. It’s a bookstore… when’s the last time a bookstore was making oodles of money to begin with? The early 90’s???



The store also says it has undergone changes in the past two years, saying that it now hosts meetings of Portland’s Black Lives Matter group and that “the last time the show filmed in our space, the production crew asked to us to remove the Black Lives Matter sign on our window. We refused.”

Removing the sign is an understandable request… as is refusing the request. I find it hard to believe that grown ass adults couldn’t find a compromise to such a simple thing though.

Again… hard to believe.

The bookstore’s reasoning for not allowing Portlandia to continue filming there honestly sound more like half-baked excuses more than anything else. It sounds like somebody got upset over Fred in a dress and needed to convince everybody else that Portlandia is all the bad.


Anyways, to sum up… Art, Portlandia, imitated reality… and now reality is imitating art. Sad!

Update (9/30/2016) – In Other Words Doesn’t Need Portlandia

Do you know why In Other Words doesn’t need Portlandia to make jokes? It’s because In Other Words made itself into the very joke that Women and Women First were making!

By entering In Other Words and/or participating in our events, discussions, and activities (both on the physical space and online), you agree to abide by the following guidelines:

  1. Cishetero-patriarchy exists, white supremacy exists, ableism exists, racism exists, colonialism never ended, capitalism is bad. This is not a space where we argue about the basics of the situation. We learn and grow together, we do not gaslight each other and we do not minimize or deny experiences with oppression.

We can learn and grow together but only if you believe exactly what I believe first!!!

I poke fun, and maybe I shouldn’t, but In Other Words seems to be amazingly oblivious? Childish? I’m not sure what word is appropriate but anyways I’ll leave you with that.

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