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Quick hit: Riot Grrrl Manifesto

6 Dec

by Kathleen Hanna/Bikini Kill

BECAUSE us girls crave records and books and fanzines that speak to US that WE feel included in and can understand in our own ways.

BECAUSE we wanna make it easier for girls to see/hear each other’s work so that we can share strategies and criticize-applaud each other.
BECAUSE we must take over the means of production in order to create our own moanings.

BECAUSE viewing our work as being connected to our girlfriends-politics-real lives is essential if we are gonna figure out how we are doing impacts, reflects, perpetuates, or DISRUPTS the status quo.

BECAUSE we recognize fantasies of Instant Macho Gun Revolution as impractical lies meant to keep us simply dreaming instead of becoming our dreams AND THUS seek to create revolution in our own lives every single day by envisioning and creating alternatives to the bullshit christian capitalist way of doing things.

BECAUSE we want and need to encourage and be encouraged in the face of all our own insecurities, in the face of beergutboyrock that tells us we can’t play our instruments, in the face of “authorities” who say our bands/zines/etc are the worst in the US and

BECAUSE we don’t wanna assimilate to someone else’s (boy) standards of what is or isn’t.

BECAUSE we are unwilling to falter under claims that we are reactionary “reverse sexists” AND NOT THE TRUEPUNKROCKSOULCRUSADERS THAT WE KNOW we really are.

BECAUSE we know that life is much more than physical survival and are patently aware that the punk rock “you can do anything” idea is crucial to the coming angry grrrl rock revolution which seeks to save the psychic and cultural lives of girls and women everywhere, according to their own terms, not ours.

BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-heirarchical ways of being AND making music, friends, and scenes based on communication + understanding, instead of competition + good/bad categorizations.

BECAUSE doing/reading/seeing/hearing cool things that validate and challenge us can help us gain the strength and sense of community that we need in order to figure out how bullshit like racism, able-bodieism, ageism, speciesism, classism, thinism, sexism, anti-semitism and heterosexism figures in our own lives.
BECAUSE we see fostering and supporting girl scenes and girl artists of all kinds as integral to this process.

BECAUSE we hate capitalism in all its forms and see our main goal as sharing information and staying alive, instead of making profits of being cool according to traditional standards.

BECAUSE we are angry at a society that tells us Girl = Dumb, Girl = Bad, Girl = Weak.

BECAUSE we are unwilling to let our real and valid anger be diffused and/or turned against us via the internalization of sexism as witnessed in girl/girl jealousism and self defeating girltype behaviors.

BECAUSE I believe with my wholeheartmindbody that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can, and will change the world for real.

I love my body.

21 Nov

This is something I have to remind myself of frequently. My body is beautiful. My body is a masterpiece – both aesthetically and functionally. My heart beats and pushes blood through my limbs. My bones hold my entire body up. My legs push me (and sometimes pull me) through each day. My skin is soft. My stomach is round and warm. My mouth is full of smiles.

The background picture on my computer screen says “Start a revolution – stop hating your body.” I really do believe that loving my body is a revolutionary thing to do in this day and age, when so many people are trying to convince me to spend my money making better what is already so incredible.

This post is happening now for a few different reasons. First, I’ve been incredibly stressed out lately – with school, friends, work, and soon, travel. A lot of stuff has been happening which I have no control over, and that scares and upsets me sometimes. I like to be in control, and it frustrates me every time I get reminded that I can’t necessarily control the grades I get or the actions of people I know. My instinct, instilled in me over the course of a lifetime of being told my body isn’t good enough, is to turn to controlling the part of my life which will always respond to what I want. My instinct is to target all my frustration at my body instead of constructively examining what is bothering me and attempting to fix it or at least find a new way of looking at the situation so that it feels less stressful.

I have never had an eating disorder, thanks mostly to the confidence my mom instilled in me. But I have hated my body. I have cried about it. I have been angry with it. I have berated it and compared it and fought with it. Those were all things I did with and to my body when I didn’t have enough other important things to think about. I find that, now, when I start to worry about events and people that don’t matter, I also start to worry about my body. So, with the stress of the past couple of weeks, I started to look at my body more critically. I started to berate it again.

The second reason this post is happening now is because one of my classes just began a unit on the beauty myth, and how it is perpetuated in our country. Although I’ve read the book before, we read a passage from The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf – a book that literally changed my life. I realized I had begun to forget what I learned from that book: as women gain strength and power socially, politically, economically, society seeks to bring us down in other ways. The more time we, as women, spend hating our bodies, the less time we will spend running companies, Universities, the country. We lose our power when we choose to hate ourselves. I don’t say “choose” because I believe we are free to make a decision without the influence of culture. I say “choose” because I believe that, with enough reinforcement, all women would choose to love themselves, and I believe that it’s possible.

I love myself. I love my body. This post is the way I recenter my relationship with my body. This post is the way I come back to what matters – my friends who consistently show me how much they care, my family who will always love me, my plans to travel abroad next year.

I hope this post helps you recenter, reexamine, or consider for the first time your relationship with your body.

Peace.

lyrics lyrics lyrics

31 Oct

These are my favorite lyrics from the new Taylor Swift album. The lyrics at the top are my very very very favorites.

So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep
And I’ll feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe

“I love how you walk with your hands in your pockets
How you kissed me when I was in the middle of saying something
There’s not a day when I don’t miss those rude interruptions

[Last Kiss]

 

Do you remember, we were sitting there, by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time”

[Mine]

 

I run my fingers through your hair
And watch the lights go out
Just keep your beautiful eyes on me
Gonna strike this match tonight
Lead me up the staircase
Won’t you whisper soft and slow
I’d love to hate it
But you make it like a fireworks show
Drop everything now
Meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me on the sidewalk

[Sparks Fly]

 

So this is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you saying, “I’m sorry for that night”,
And I go back to December all the time.
It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you.
Wishing that I realized what I had when you were mine.
I’d go back to December, turn around and make it all right
I go back to December all the time.”

[Back to December]

 

“you held your pride like you should have held me”

[Story of Us]

 

“Now go stand in the corner
And think about what you did”

[Better Than Revenge]

Music

19 Sep

gets me through life. I literally could not survive without it. I’ve been playing piano since I was 5 years old (that’s about 13 years) and I played viola for 9 years (I stopped when I graduated high school). My mom and dad sang me to sleep almost every night when I was little. It’s just always been there around me and inside me. I still listen to it every day, as much as possible. I listen to a great variety of music. I love the stuff that makes me want to dance, the stuff that puts me to sleep, the stuff that makes my heart swell with joy, the stuff that makes me bust out my air guitar.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. Reaching – Jason Reeves

2. Always On My Mind – Willie Nelson

3. How Deep is Your Love – The Bird and the Bee

4. Sky – Joshua Radin

5. Early April Morning – Brendan James

6. Vienna – Billy Joel

7. Red Right Ankle – The Decemberists

8. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

9. Tallahassee – The Mountain Goats

10. White Blank Page – Mumford & Sons

11. Slow Show – The National

12. All Fired Up – Interpol

13. Soundtrack 2 My Life – Kid Cudi

14. Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meatloaf

15. Breakfast in Bed – Train

I could literally go on and on, but I hope you enjoy these. Have a good start to your week ❤

Random small thoughts

9 Aug

Desiring feedback on them, though.

1. I’ve noticed, at least a few times, that when person A disagrees with person B online, and expresses their disagreement by responding to person B’s original blog post/comment/etc, person B has a tendency to get very offended and say things like “you don’t even know me, how can you say anything about me?” I have a serious problem with that argument. I think that when you voice your opinion anywhere, including online, you are opening yourself up to a debate of the issue. If I (or other people) respond to your views/position, we are not attacking you, but we are attacking your opinion. I get that there are some beliefs/opinions/ideas held so dearly to someone that any disagreement with them might feel like a deeply personal attack, but that’s not what it is. I’d like to be able to hold a healthy debate (online, or anywhere) where people don’t automatically assume that just because I disagree with one belief they hold means I disagree with their entire existence. I am not disregarding a person’s experiences or life choices because I disagree on one idea. It’s not personal.

2. There are a lot of people who believe that we (LGBTIQ and allies) should be spending less time on gay marriage and more time on other pertinent LGBTIQ issues, like trans rights. I don’t disagree with that. I think there are a lot of things that need to be addressed, both within the LGBTIQ community, and with the way that community relates to society at large and vice versa. But I hesitate when people justify this by saying “why are we always trying to match up our values with straight values, and trying to lead the same kinds of lives straight people lead? that’s not what’s most important.” I don’t believe that marginalized groups should have to adapt to the majority’s lifestyle in order to gain rights, but I do believe that, in some instances, especially in the short-term, it can be a good idea. For example, although I believe that people who aren’t married should be allowed to do things like visit a sick familiy member in the hospital, or share healthcare benefits with their long-term partner, I don’t think those things are likely to be available to non-married people anytime soon. So shouldn’t we, in the mean time, make sure that someone (anyone) who wants to get married should be able to in order to be afforded those rights? In other words, many gay couples wouldn’t be able to have those rights unless they were married, so while we’re waiting for those outdated ideas regarding the necessity of marriage to fade away, shouldn’t gay people be allowed to (work for the right to) get married?

Another reason

6 Aug

Bones rocks:

Jack Hodgins: I thought women liked it when we fought over them

Cam: “Women” is an unacceptable generalization

Yes.

4 Aug

Yummy things on my tumblr recently:

1. “here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)”

e.e. cummings is always wonderful, and I believe Jessi has posted some recently.

2. “Although born identical twins with matching DNA, Tom and Ryan were two immensely different children. As toddlers, Tom entertained himself with toy trucks while Ryan fawned over his girl cousin’s Barbies and Little Mermaid dolls. Photo after photo of them at that age show Ryan with a t-shirt wrapped around his head, mimicking long, flowing hair. At age 4, he asked his mom, Cecelia, a heartbreaking question: When do I get to be a girl?… Ryan is now 12 and goes by the name Sylvia… Tom, who says he always felt like his twin was a girl, isn’t surprised by the twists their lives have taken so far. “I do wonder what it would be like to have a brother,” he says, smiling at Sylvia mischievously, “But I guess a sister cuts it.” (via genderqueer)

3. “On Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked, ‘What God do you pray to?’ (Bloomberg’s voice cracks here a little as he gets choked up.) ‘What beliefs do you hold? The attack was an act of war, and our first responders defended not only our city, but our country and our constitution. We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights and the freedoms that the terrorists attacked.”

Michael Bloomberg, you’ve never made more sense.

4. Yep, that’s definitely yummy.

Thoughts re: The Kids Are All Right

3 Aug

There are already myriad reviews of this movie floating through the internet, including this one by Daisy Hernandez at Colorlines: News for Action. She speaks to the racial component of the movie, and the fact that, even in a movie which breaks some boundaries (there are two moms in this family, instead of a mom and a dad), there are still troubling statements being made about “where the gay movement has been headed for some time now: white suburbia, Mexican gardener included.” Read more of her thoughts at the link above.

What I’d like to touch on, however, has less to do with the movie on its own, and more to do with the way I (and the friend who accompanied me) interacted with the movie.

My first instinct, as the movie started, was to characterize one of the women as the “mom” and one of the women as the “dad.” It’s pretty obvious how those characterizations are troubling, which I realized right away. Although I come from a family with a mom and a dad, mine is still less than “conventional,” as my parents are divorced, my dad remarried, and before he died, my dog was considered an active and important member in my household with my mom, brother, and I. But, the bottom line is: I don’t have parents of the same sex, and I can’t necessarily relate to what it’s like to have parents whose relationships (and sexualities) are anything but cis- and hetero-sexual. This means that, upon viewing a family, I tend to automatically pick who I think fills the “mom” role best, and who fills the “dad” role best.

Although most people who know me and are reading this already know this, I’d like to say that I am fully supportive of relationships between members of the same sex, different sexes, trans people, intersex people, whatever kind of people. As long as the relationship makes both people happier and healthier, and does not contain any kind of abuse, I believe it is a beautiful thing.

With that said, I’d like to acknowledge my tendency (despite my feelings about the legitimacy of any kind of relationship) to assign people the roles with which I am most familiar. Because a family with a mom and a dad is most familiar to me, it is my instinct to assess other families in the same way, and to attempt to determine who fills what roles in each family. This is ignorant for multiple reasons.

First, no family is exactly the same. My friends’ moms act and are completely different than my mom. My friends’ dads act and are completely different than my dad. And the relationships between each of my friends’ parents are different than the relationship between my parents. So there’s no way that I can possibly assign roles to families that aren’t mine. They will never be the same.

The second reason my assessment of other families is ignorant is because not every family will have a “mom” and a “dad”. Sometimes, there are two moms; sometimes, there are two dads; sometimes there is just one parent; the possibilities for families and caregivers go on and on. Choosing to push the heteronormative standard of a (married) family with one mom and one dad on every family marginalizes those that are different. The idea that every relationship has to have a man and a woman, and that the man and the woman must fill specific, inflexible roles, is homophobic and oppositionally sexist (the belief that female and male are rigid, mutually exclusive categories, each possessing a unique and nonoverlapping set of attributes, aptitudes, abilities, and desires, as defined by Julia Serano in Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity).

I think I, the friend who accompanied me, and many other people need to break the habit of presuming that every relationship needs a man to fill a stereotypically male role and a woman to fill a stereotypically female role. It’s pretty obvious to me, given the friends I have, and the variety of their sexual orientations and gender roles, that not every relationship (and not every person) fits the molds society has made for them.

I liked The Kids Are All Right. I thought the movie was thoughtful and funny, if a bit predictable. I liked even more that watching it helped me recognize my (heteronormative family) privilege.

Reasons Bones rocks

1 Aug

1. The relationships are stellar. Booth/Bones, Angela/Hodgins. Perfection.

2. More importantly, the show brings up important issues, and looks at them through the eyes of both a scientist and an FBI agent (depicted as “the normal guy”). For example, there have been several episodes addressing the way women feel the need to manipulate their bodies to fit cultural standards. At various point, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan is forced to identify a body that has been drastically changed by plastic surgery, dental work, etc. She wonders, somewhat devastatedly, how anyone could hate themselves enough to change the basics of their core structure: their bones. She points out how horrific it is that women are compelled to fit a societal standard, even to the point of what she believes is self-mutilation.

3. In another episode, Booth and Bones are called out to Las Vegas to identify the bones of someone found in the desert outside the city. The agent who meets them in LV tells Booth that they discovered the skeleton because of a tip from a call girl. Booth seems indignant, and asks why they had him fly the world’s foremost anthropologist from Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas on the word of “a prostitute.” Booth’s dismissal of this woman’s word based on her chosen profession is not at all rare, and might actually be the most common response to any claims made by sex workers, in regards to sexual assault, murder, or any other situation in which a “credible” witness would be necessary. Bones, however, immediately jumps on Booth’s comment, saying, “What difference does her profession make?” Ever the feminist, Bones. Ever the feminist. She recognizes that this woman’s choice of profession has nothing to do with whether she should be believed.

4. Booth: God does NOT make mistakes

Angela: Hmm, I don’t know. Putting testicles on the outside didn’t seem like such a good idea.

major win kthxbai

More

28 Jul

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/07/28/aint-i-a-mama/#comments

I’m not sure how I feel about this post yet. I do not have a problem with people who don’t identify as feminist, and I don’t have a problem with people who express issues with the feminist movement. There are many issues, including cissexism, ignoring trans rights, white privilege, etc.

I think the way she speaks about “mama” is beautiful, because that’s what I call my mom, and that’s what I hope to be called one day. I think it’s important that she point out that we can work for women without necessarily calling ourselves feminists.

What concerns me is her general hostility toward the entire feminist movement. I think she will find there are groups of people, organizations, and individuals that agree with her issues with feminism, and still choose to call themselves feminist (see: Incite! Women of Color Against Violence). I think that if she has a problem with the feminist movement, she might consider changing it from the inside. She might consider becoming a feminist, so that she can (slowly, but surely) change the face of feminism. Maybe?

“i throw a side eye at folks who call themselves feminists, especially without an adjective in front of the word.”

I am not sitting around waiting for you to approve of my feminism. I want you to challenge it and ask me questions and provoke thought and reconsideration. But just because you are not a feminist doesn’t mean you’re better than those who are, and I am not waiting for your approval. This sentence demonstrates the same “obnoxious entitled bullshit attitudes” that you say feminists possess. You don’t have to be a feminist, but don’t group us all into one category and throw us out with the trash. You’re more thoughtful than that. It shows here:

“these movements center mamas, overflow with mamas, because mamas have been at the center of every major movement in the world for change. we give birth to and nurture, in various ways, revolutionaries everyday, whether or not that has been acknowledged in the ‘official’ records. being a mama is not a description of one’s biology or genitalia. it does not describe how many children we have nestled in wombs. it is not a description of age or even male/female gender.

it is who we are. it is what we do. it is love by any means necessary.”

Yes, please.

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