About

Who We Are

Crysta Jarczynski lives in Miwaukee where she splits her time between comedy and public health. At any given time, she might be found giving brewery tours, performing improv with the GoodLanders, or working to address sexual violence in the city of Milwaukee.

Favorite Fictional Character: Lyra from His Dark Materials. She’s strong, clever, emotional, and unapologetically sharp tongued.

Helen Sharma lives in Boston (for the time being) and spends most of her time eating peanut butter and working with Strong Women, Strong Girls to mentor and empower girls in Greater Boston. She enjoys true crime, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and learning fun facts in the vain hope that she will one day win bar trivia.

Favorite Historical Female Badass: Joe Carstairs, British powerboat racer and tragic gender-bending heroine.

Listen To Us Talk About This Thing

Or Read It

In 2017, we will only consume entertainment media made by and centering women and gender nonconforming people. That means that we will not read/watch/listen to any books, movies, TV, podcasts, etc. that are written by cisgender men. And, because it’s the future, we’ll be documenting the whole project via this blog and our podcast.

There are a lot of reasons to do this project; primarily, we hope to highlight the powerful, inspiring, and all-around awesome work being done by women and gender nonconforming folks. Throughout most of history, our stories and therefore our expectations of ourselves and one another have been dictated by men–Mental Dam is an effort to immerse ourselves in the diverse, powerful narratives that women/gender nonconforming folks write for themselves. And, also, to watch some good TV and talk about it with each other and with you.

The Parameters

  1. We will only watch movies and TV shows written by women/gender nonconforming folks where the protagonist is a woman/gender nonconforming person.
  2. We will only read books written by women/gender nonconforming folks where the protagonist is a woman/gender non-conforming person
  3. We will only listen to podcasts created by and hosted by women/gender nonconforming folks (male guests are okay).
  4. If the show, movie, book, or podcast has an ensemble cast, it has to be half women/gender nonconforming folks.
  5. If the show, movie, book, or podcast is written by more than one person, the writing group has to be half women/gender nonconforming folks.
  6. This only applies to media consumed for entertainment. We’ll consume educational media (news, articles, etc.) created by anyone.