Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte is the executive editor of and the author of the book, It's A Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Recent Articles

Don't Blame Feminism for Your Bad Sex Life

Why is the new HBO show Girls treated as symbolic of its generation and not other shows?

Courtesy of HBO

I didn’t get to watch the premiere of HBO’s new series Girls before witnessing the amazing amount of hype that managed to create a backlash before the show even aired. Having now watched it, I really wish I could have gone back in time and done so without reading so much about what the show says about TV, women, Brooklyn, education, the economy, and sex. I think I would have liked it more being free to watch it as I do shows about a group of male characters—a show about unique people doing stuff and being relatable because they are individuals. 

"Hillz" Clinton Was Always Cool

What's behind the former First Lady and current Secretary of State's image rehabilitation?

(Texts from Hillary/Adam Smith)

Texts From Hillary Clinton, a Tumblr that imagined the Secretary of State smacking down fools by way of smartphone, may have set a new speed record for the lifecycle an internet meme. The Tumblr went up, went viral, went big media, and then ended within a week after Clinton herself entered a submission, making it literally impossible for the blog to top itself any longer. Unless the internet changes its ways in the near future, this record will likely be topped by the end of the year, but at least one legacy of the whole experiment will live on. The whole thing neatly demonstrated how much Clinton’s reputation has morphed in the past four years, turning her from the frumpy mom figure to an icon of D.C. cool. 

Peter Dinklage Is a Baller

The producers of Game of Thrones succeed in writing a disabled character who is more than his disability.

(AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

Confession: I only recently started watching Game of Thrones. Despite all the hype from people whose taste I trust, the swords-and-dragons thing just doesn’t appeal to me, even as much as horror or sci-fi. I must now admit I was wrong in my prejudice. The show’s deft characterization and careful plotting have overcome my native hostility to anything with a Ren Faire vibe. Of particular interest is the character of Tyrion Lannister, brother of the deceitful queen and a Renaissance man stuck in a medieval world. He’s also one of those rare characters in Hollywood: someone who has a disability but is not defined by it.

The '90s Are Back!

At the South by Southwest music festival, Millennials and Gen X unite.

(Flickr/Stan D. Payne)

I’m still recovering from my week and a half stay in Austin, Texas, where I attended South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual mega-conference covering film, online life, and music, of which music is easily my favorite portion. Observers might mistake attendees like myself for people on a music-snob vacation, indulging ourselves with free beer and rocking out to some of the hottest bands in the country. Rest assured, many of us are hard-working cultural critics, imitating the rock-star lifestyle for four long, music-filled days so that we can come back and report on the latest trends, and what’s about to move from the margins to the mainstream. This year, the conclusion is unavoidable: The ’90s are back, in a big way.

Mad 21st Century Men

The world of Mad Men still feels familiar despite the show's long hiatus.

(AP Photo/Rex Features)

I’ll have to work this in quickly before it becomes a cliché, but despite the show's title, female characters have eclipsed male characters in audience sympathies on Mad Men. Identity is the show’s primary concern, putting the rapidly changing gender roles of the '60s at the center of its plot developments. And, the face showrunner Matthew Weiner gave post-'60s America is a female one. One thing seems certain to pass, despite the show’s unpredictability: Peggy Olson will eventually eclipse Don Draper, her mentor.