Thirsty for a Fresh Take on All Things True Blood?

WELCOME! Thirsty for a fresh take on all things True Blood? Pull up a virtual barstool at the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern where sisters Rachel and Rebecca are serving up juicy feminist analysis with a twist and opening a vein of thoughtful sociocultural dialogue on HBO's hit series.

Like the epic literary salons of eras past - theaters for conversation and debate which were, incidentally, started and run by women; where the spirited debate about the issues of the day ran as copiously as the actual spirits did - but updated for the digital age, the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is a fun forum for exploring questions ripe for discourse about the human condition & today's most crucial social issues through the medium of True Blood.

Your salonnières are not peddling liquor per se, but they are offering up new and alternative ideas informed by such diverse influences as pop culture, art, music, cultural history, Goddess studies, transformative theory, literature and poetry, and archaeomythology, filtered through the sieve of their own lived experiences as feminist women of a particular age, background, and culture.

This is a space where you - patrons and passersby alike - can view and engage with these perspectives through the lens of True Blood and contribute your own thoughts. So, no matter if you're a Truebie or a more casual viewer of True Blood, or your drink of choice is a pomegranate martini - one of Rachel's favorite cocktails to drink and Rebecca's to mix - an herbal tea, a frothy double mocha latte, or a can of Fresca (wink, wink) you're invited to join the conversation on the show's complexities in a way that can spark transformation.

Hopefully you'll find something to sink your teeth...err...straw, into! PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY ;-)


The Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is dedicated to exploring social issues and more through the lens of True Blood. As such, you may encounter:

related to the often provocative and adult themes presented by the show

If you choose to enter and participate in this virtual salon, please be prepared to do so in a thoughtful, respectful, and mature fashion with the above in mind. Click here to check out our comment policy. Thanks!


No copyright infringement is intended, all rights to True Blood belong to HBO, credit is ascribed to sites where images appearing here were originally found.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Raise a Glass to Real Grrrl Power: Women in Solidarity Part I

I know, I know, the title of this post probably tickles your nostalgia bone, conjuring images of those indie, grunge, and Riot Grrrl women musicians who rocked your socks (or frocks, as it were) in the '90's...

Lilith Fair performers

Bikini Kill

Lilith Fair performers

We're borrowing from these groundbreaking ladies' punk DYI ethic to tackle the issue of what happens between women When the Claws Come Out...and to ponder... Must It Be This Way?


Rebecca said her last post was an impromptu one, but I think it was really more like a sharp, if unrehearsed, articulation of certain notion that's been scratching at the surface of her consciousness for a while now; the idea of female rivalry and conflict. Since this has been the topic of a few of her last entries, it looks to me as though the cat is out of the bag!

Instead of trying to de-claw this contentious kitty of an issue, we're taking a more generative approach here at the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern, the one Naomi Wolf recommends in her October 14th, 2010 Harper's Bazaar piece GIRL VS. GIRL which Rebecca referenced in her last post - we've got to face it if we hope to transcend and transform it:
I trust that in looking closely at this darker side of our own psyche, we will learn enough about ourselves to stop being held at the mercy of it...if you drag it, protesting, into the light, that is the first step toward integration and perhaps a more real empowerment.
Wolf's essay posits a key question which we can use to guide our interrogation of what she calls "girl-on-girl combat" (female feuding that falls anywhere on the continuum of hostility from emotional treachery and betrayal, gossip, and exclusion to bullying, cutthroat competition, and all-out eviscerating aggression); the likes of which permeates the media and often bedevils our lives:

  • Are women destined for lives marked by power play and conflict with each other? In Wolf's opinion, perhaps so. In fact, she seems to argue for the possibility of a sort of genetic determinism in this regard. 
Her choice of Darwinian language is revealing; for example; in her recounting of the bullying a friend's 15-year-old daughter endured at the hands of alpha girls in two successive schools, she muses that "It was almost as if the new group had some unconscious primate ability to sniff out the injury and punish her all over again for her vulnerability".

Shifting her gaze to this dynamic as it presents itself among adult women, she writes:
I have seen the exclusion of one woman or group accompanied by so much glee from the others that it seems almost like a visceral behavior. I have even wondered if this reflex is evolutionary. Perhaps on the savannah, females had to form close, trusted groups to successfully gather food and rear children; perhaps they also needed to be able to brutally exclude a female outsider and her offspring—or a female perceived as threatening the group's survival—without regret, or recourse, when times were tough.
The idea that women are hard-wired for backbiting and emotionally devastating struggle with one another is but one way of interpreting a complex problem. Only by wrestling with the subtleties of antagonism and discord between girls and women...
  • Is it inborn (I hope not, otherwise, in light of our exceedingly close connection to each other Rebecca and I must be freaks of nature!); or are we socialized to be at each other's throats (vampire pun intended!)?
  • Are there alternatives or other ways of being?
  • What kinds of social conditions would have to exist for different relations between women to emerge?
  • If this dynamic is based more in nurture than nature, who suffers most and who stands to gain by the way women are acculturated to be in fierce competition at all times? And the flip side of this coin is, if women's relationships are distorted in the media and pop culture to insinuate a higher prevalence of rancor and social sabotage (i.e. Real HousewivesJersey Shore, and every other "reality show" that portrays women as being ever ready to rip each other's hair out), who is getting their kicks at our expense?  
...can we hope to, in Wolf's words, "draw back the curtain on this painful, unflattering subject"; both True Blood and the rich interdisciplinary field of women's studies extend helping hands with which to pull.

There's More Than One Way to Skin a Catfight

Women are complex, so a one-size-fits-all treatment of what defines us and our relationships to one another just won't do. There are numerous and multi-dimensional ideas and perspectives with which to deconstruct and open fresh vistas on the matter of female acrimony

True Blood (Season 3 in particular) offers us several vantage points on this - we see representations of women's relationships on the show that speak to their inherent nuance. Also, there are patterns of how women have related to each other which are revealed in the art, myth, and history of times past as well as in living traditions that endure both within and outside of the prevailing cultural context which we can look to for other views on the topic.

In the next part of this "Real Grrrl Power" series I will present images from True Blood intertwined with material from humankind's deepest cultural history and diverse life ways from around the world, contemporary fiction, and art that can kick start our further exploration of womanhood, strife, and solidarity.

So Stay Tuned!!!

~ Rachel

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