"We cannot continue because we know reform does not work."
The ultra-progressive bookstore that was famously spoofed on the IFC comedy "Portlandia" closed down Thursday, citing its own entrenched culture of "white supremacy."
In a statement last month announcing its shuttering, In Other Words mentioned financial troubles. But the store and "feminist community center" said the fundamental problem was that it could not shake the ideology instilled by its founders.
"We cannot continue because we know reform does not work," the statement said. "The current volunteers and board members stepped into and took over a space that was founded on white, cis feminism (read: white supremacy).
The store also blamed "Patriarchy, White Supremacy, Capitalism," saying the institutions "cannot be reformed and ever serve the people. Abolition is the goal."
The store then rebranded as a
In Other Words did not make life easy for its customers. It was only open a few days a week and was staffed by volunteers. Inside the store, seven "guidelines" dictated behavior, including:
Relevant cultural related controversies have recently included a feminist professor showing up to a Cambridge University function in a breast-revealing outfit, actor Zac Efron sporting dreadlocks, Scarlett Johannson playing a trans man, and a Utah high schooler wearing a Chinese dress to prom.
Politics have not been immune either. Democrats have been debating whether theirs is the party of democratic socialist congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or centrist Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania.
In its closing announcement, In Other Words put out a call for one last round of volunteers to come help. For those who could not be there in person, the store suggested making an online donation.