In Other Words, the Northeast Portland feminist bookstore parodied on Portlandia, is close to closing down forever, thanks to bad business choices and a loss of relevance.
In Other Words is sliding toward financial collapse. The Women’s Community Education Project, which runs the bookstore, ran $18,743 in the red last year. This month, the store laid off its only two employees. Annual sales are down 73 percent from where they were four years ago.
The number of feminist bookstores nationwide has dropped to nine. In Other Words’ board members acknowledge the store may be headed for closure—and the next-closest bookstore dedicated solely to women’s issues is in Austin, Texas.
But In Other Words also struggles because it’s lost its relevance to a new generation of women—a reality that suggests feminist bookstores are simply out of date. “People don’t see it as urgent anymore, because feminist issues have been mainlined into many different areas,” says Bren Murphy, associate professor of communications and gender studies at Loyola University Chicago.
Read more at Willamette Week.