If you were on Twitter last night during the 86th Academy Awards, you may have stumbled across a familiar feminist voice tweeting on #Oscars. No, it wasn’t IFC Portlandia’s feminist bookstore parody Women and Women First, but the next best thing: Portland’s real feminist bookstore and community center In Other Words.
This is the third time that one of the bookstore’s volunteers has live tweeted an event from a feminist perspective — the previous events were the 2013 and 2014 Super Bowls.
Former volunteer Kim Meinert is the woman behind the feminist observations. She’s now a graduate student at the University of Michigan, studying social policy, but In Other Words is still very much a part of her life.
“When I’m tweeting from the Portlandia account, I make an effort to speak through sarcasm,” Meinert says. “I don’t want people to read tweets from an angry woman. There’s a way to be funny and engage in critical discourse.”
The first live-tweeted event wasn’t planned: IFC had asked different parody celebrities to take over Portlandia’s Twitter handle for a week at a time. The following Sunday happened to be the Super Bowl. Meinert was at a party watching the game and said she thought some of the commercials sexualized women.
“Sexism in the media is something I definitely care about,” she says. “I thought ‘We’ve got to get a conversation going.’” Meinert still had the password and it was still technically the bookstore’s week.
“It was an impulse the first time. It was a surprise, but (IFC) found it very funny,” she says.
Meinert says the next live-tweeting she’ll do for Portlandia will be during a new episode, although she’s not sure which one yet. There may be other opportunities for the feminist critique on Twitter during the year, but Meinert says, “We haven’t talked about other events yet. It’s been evolving organically.” That’s a very Portlandia way to put it.