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.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Here's your first taste of the GUEST BARTENDING feature that will be on the PPT's menu for season 4's analysis and commentary...


The Pierced Pomegranate Tavern will be setting up shop from October 6–9, 2011, at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa in Vail, Colorado!

Rachel will be giving a talk at the Sirens conference; a networking retreat and academic conference dedicated to women in fantasy literature, providing perspectives on fantasy books by women, female characters in fantasy works, and how to support women in fantasy literature.

Within its focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2011, the theme is "monsters"! Conference programming will examine and dissect monstrous characters and themes of monstrousness. As the Sirens site points out, women have too often been decried as "monsters," and examples of monsters and questions of monstrousness pervade fantasy literature. Sirens honored guests for 2011 are Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laini Taylor, each of whom has written of female characters who may—or may not—be monsters.

Here's an overview of Rachel's presentation:

Title: Annihilating HER Again: How Eroticized Rage Against True Blood’s Vampire Lorena―Avatar of the Monstrous Feminine―Resurrects the Forgotten History of Goddess Culture's Suppression

 300-500 word abstract for 50 minute talk

This visual, multimodal and experiential talk revolves around the now infamous final scene of True Blood Season 3, Episode 3 entitled "It Hurts Me Too" which drew the ire of the National Organization for Women for what NOW called a “messed up depiction of women, men, violence, and sex”, prompting its call for feminists to deliver a “thanks but no thanks” message to HBO. 

When it aired on June 27, 2010 I watched—eyes wide and jaws agape—as during what some call an act of “hate sex,” vampire Bill Compton hurled his maker Lorena to the bed, tore off her clothes, and twisted her neck, turning her face to the floor as he forcefully thrust into her. Despite his contempt and brutality—and with blood dripping from her mouth—Lorena told Bill that she still loves him. This explicit rendering of eroticized rage shocked me at a gut level akin to the way feminist scholar Vicki Noble describes women’s response to the obscene prevalence of rape: “We experience our collective annihilation repeatedly, psychically and physically as a woman is raped every thirteen seconds in North America…”.1

And yet, I can’t condemn or denounce this deliberately unsettling scene; in my view it raises vital issues that are better addressed through thoughtful dialogue than censure and several questions ripe for discourse spring immediately to mind: 

o    If Lorena is as NOW suggests the classic “bitch” archetype; the monstrous Feminine—a characterization that reduces her to a monolith—how might this comment on our culture which has long fragmented and demonized the Feminine? What kind of cultural context would need to exist for us to think differently?

o    Why does this scene disturb us so? Is it too hard to reconcile the genteel and romantic Bill Compton with his willful despoiling of Lorena; his determination to utterly ruin her—and harder still for us to place such a rapacious mindset not at the margins of dominant culture, but at its center?

o    Could Bill's pillage and defilement of Lorena be seen as a visceral rearticulation for a contemporary audience of mythologies depicting the slaying of the Great Goddess by the warrior god as peaceful, egalitarian society was supplanted by patriarchy some five millennia ago―the collective memory of which still pulses in our modern psyches?

Drawing upon 800,000 years of art, myth, histories and poetry and amplifying leading voices in feminist thought, archaeomythology, women's studies, and Goddess scholarship not often heard in mainstream discourse, we will explore these charged concepts and more. Tracing the intriguing parallels between the difficult-to-digest imagery “It Hurts Me Too” confronts us with and the mythologies of Goddesses dismembered, slain or made subordinate to male gods which represent the rupture from a Goddess-centered world to “dominator” world of today, we will open a discourse on contemporary issues like gender relations, sex and sexuality, attitudes towards autonomous women, and rape as a dominant social and cultural metaphor for behavior. We will identify new models for a “partnership” social structure. 

1.      Vicki Noble, Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World (New York: HarperOne, 1991), p. 3.

Any thoughts?

I hear the host resort, which combines the conveniences of a modern hotel with the laid-back, friendly atmosphere of a mountain retreat, is amazing, and with its great room rates during the beautiful fall season in the Rocky Mountains, as well as a discount on most services at their acclaimed spa, maybe that's enough to lure you to Vail to join us?

~ Rachel  

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