Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Trademark This Part II

The folks at the National Center for Lesbian Rights sent us a copy of the 2004 decision denying Dykes on Bikes' motion for reconsideration. Apparently, the US Patent and Trademark office has concluded that the word dyke is "considered vulgar, offensive and/or disparaging" and is therefore unacceptable as part of a trademark. For proof, they attached some links to online dictionaries, and to a list of Spanish to English slang that includes the word "dyke." The list also tells you how to say lots of other useful things in Spanish, such as "cunt," "asslicker" and "69." So bizarre that this is part of a government document! But did anybody think to check Google? Type in the word dyke and this is what you get. The first thing on there is a site called Classic Dykes, "a cybernetwork for lesbians in midlife and beyond." The other links relating to lesbians on the first page are all gay sites, like one for the Dynamo Dykes volleyball team in the UK. And the sponsor ads that pop up are all personals ads for people seeking "womyn" like them. Presumably, womyn who call themselves dykes. Google is a much more credible arbiter than some wackjob list of translations.

DTWOF: gURL's love it

Got an email recently from someone at gURL.com pointing out a mini-review of DTWOF on the site. According to their bio page, "gURL is a different approach to being a teenage girl," geared toward girls 13 and up. Which means that you can find a positive review of DTWOF and other comics, like Ariel Shrag's Potential, and you can find fast facts about abortion, abstinence, acne, dry humping, orgasms, etc. You can even get tips on hair removal methods. Yep, this is the newly plucked face of feminism. Here's what they have to say about DTWOF: "Alison Bechdel creates a tiny perfect world in her drawings, jam-packed with visual jokes and characters who grow up over time. When we say it's like watching TV, we mean that in the best possible way." Go figure.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Trademark this

The San Francisco Dykes on Bikes organization has been trying to register their name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and recently got their second rejection. The delicate sensibilities of these patent pinheads are offended by the word "dyke," despite the best efforts of the National Center for Lesbian Rights to explain it to them. The NCLR got a bunch of activists, scholars, and linguists, including yours truly, (I'm not sure which of those three categories I fall under, though I have been told I'm good with my tongue) to submit declarations outlining the evolution and significance of the word “dyke,” but to no avail. For what it’s worth, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” had no problem registering their name. Here’s a SF Chronicle article explaining the whole irksome affair in more detail.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Um...checking her for deer ticks?

I just got this email from a reader: "My 3 year old loves your strip. Unfortunately for him, his prudish parents agree we're not ready to be answering questions like 'what is Mo doing to Harriet's vagina?'" This thoughtful person went on to suggest that I might want to consider doing a series called Children of Lesbians and Gays to Watch Out For, presumably G-rated.

Friday, July 01, 2005



Originally uploaded by Alison Bechdel.
Here's a sneak preview of Madeleine (speaking to Sydney) from the next Dykes book due out in October. Thanks to Amazon.com's hellish spirit of unceasing industry, they already have Invasion of the Dykes To Watch Out For listed on their site. But don't order it from them. Order it from an independent bookstore like Powells.com, which is so mellow they don't have the cover art up yet.

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