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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.

Know Your Rights

23 Nov

Tonight I attended a Know Your Rights workshop. Ups and downs:

1. Up – The panelists were varied and knowledgeable. There was our Dean of Students, head of Campus Safety and Security, a G Police Officer, the County Attorney, and a prominent G defense attorney. There were two women and three men, one of whom is African American.

2. Down – Attendance was really low. I think if one, especially as a college student, is offered the chance to talk to those in power, especially those with legal/judicial power, one should always take it. A major flaw with this student body is the arrogance with which many people approach the topic of the law and police. Students complain about police, but don’t make the effort to know the appropriate and legal ways to deal with them. That’s ineffective. I can’t stand it when people opt for ignorance. There are no excuses, in this situation, for not knowing your rights as a student and a resident in G.

3. Up – The people who attended asked interesting and intelligent questions pertaining to on-campus guests, public intoxication, G Police in the dorms, no-contact orders, and more. I valued the curiosity and forethought of my fellow students.

4. Down – The defense attorney exuded white male privilege. Emphasis on the white privilege. Opening the panel by saying “you won’t need to know this stuff if you’re not breaking the law” is ignorant and disregards the oppression which young people, women, and especially people of color have experienced at the hands of those who are supposed to protect us – the police. Everyone should always know their rights, because not every police officer, lawyer, or judge is fair and impartial.

Overall, I think the panel was valuable, and I hope that, in the future, more students will attend.

Note: For those who know me, “G” represents the name of the town I live in/school I attend. I’d like to keep as much personal information as possible off this blog.

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.

Quick hit: GWSS reading

2 Nov

“Because emotional intimacy is about self-disclosure and revealing oneself to others, when people are intimate with each other, they open themselves to vulnerability. In the process of becoming intimate, one person shares feelings and information about her-/himself, and then the other person (if that person want to maintain and develop intimacy) responds by sharing too. In turn each gives away little pieces of her-/himself, and, in return, mutual trust, understanding, and friendship develop. Given the baggage of gender, however, what can happen is that one person does more of the giving away, and the other reveals less; one opens up to being vulnerable, and the other maintains personal power. The first person also takes on the role of helping the other share, drawing that person out, translating ordinary messages for their hidden emotional meanings, and investing greater amounts of energy into interpersonal communication. The first person has taken the role prescribed by femininity and the latter the role that masculinity endorses. The important point here is that intimacy is about power. Men who take on masculine scripts tend to be less able to open themselves up because of anxiety associated with being vulnerable and potentially losing personal power.”

– Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions by Susan Shaw and Janet Lee

privilege part three

11 Oct

One of the biggest debates in the world of Social Justice is how to deal with privilege. There are some who believe that those who have privilege should simply reject that privilege. For example, there was a journal published for a time – which has since been discontinued – called Race Traitor. The central idea behind this journal was that white people should reject “white” as a racial category, as well as rejecting their own personal “whiteness.” Another perspective is that those who are privileged must strive to understand their privilege and the ways their privilege oppresses others. Taking responsibility for and ownership of personal privilege is important to this perspective.

Which of these do you agree with? What are some other options?

One question to consider before answering the two above is what we hope to gain from an examination of privilege. Do we hope to eliminate privilege? Which advantages are inherently negative and which are negative unless everyone has them? Should we strive for certain advantages to be available to all people, and to eliminate others? If so, how do we distinguish between the two?

Race-related

8 Oct

Today’s links come from a couple of the race-focused blogs I check. Some are from Colorlines, while others were found on Racialicious. Enjoy.

Recently, LAUSD agreed to stop the “first hired, first fired” practices that make it difficult for lower-income schools to retain their teachers in the face of major, state-wide layoffs. This is because new teachers are usually those who get fired first, and are also more likely to be working in lower-income school districts. While this agreement is good for the kids who might otherwise lose their new teachers, while upper-class kids get to keep their seniority-protected teachers, it’s also harmful to those teachers who have been working long enough to deserve to keep their jobs. The situation has not been fully resolved, and many are saying that teachers’ unions need to find new ways to adapt to the education crisis in this country.

Lax Gun Control Laws Lead to More Crime, says Colorlines. Well, NO KIDDING. See my post about the book Lethal Logic which I read this summer. Anyway, it seems (not surprisingly) that stricter gun control laws, when not enforced correctly, disproportionately affect racial minorities. So basically, we need to get guns off the streets without being racists. That doesn’t sound that hard. Then again, this is the United States.

Hey bigots! Look what happens when you try to enforce your bigotry! It backfires.  Arizona Ethnic Studies Ban Makes Course MORE Popular.

Finally, former inmates are having more difficulty than ever finding work in this job market. That’s because having been imprisoned is a difficult reputation to escape, and makes employers less likely to hire someone. Black men are finding it especially difficult to get a job after being released from prison. This trend speaks to our country’s general inability to reincorporate people into society after they’ve been incarcerated, which is a really serious problem considering how many people end up in the prison system every year.

today’s links

26 Sep

FBI cites terror link in raids of local activists. Someone please explain to me what is happening to this country, and how I can make it stop.

These two readings are close to my life and heart because of the people I love who have struggled with and achieved great things because of attention-allocation afflictions.

New Study Shows Promise for Identifying, Reducing Reproductive Coercion. Reproductive coercion is a type of abuse that people don’t talk about enough, but occurs incredibly frequently. It’s a way to control and limit a woman’s choices surrounding her own life.

A piece from Change.org examining how this country has, slowly but surely, stripped away women’s rights over the course of the past year. You’d think, as we move forward in time, we’d become more progressive. But it seems like America putting it in reverse and taking us back to a time before Roe v. Wade.

Related to the post above, this is one of the consequences of limited/no access to abortion in certain parts of the United States.

Despite some of the incredibly depressing links above, there is some hope. I want to finish today’s links with a post from Feminists For Choice about the way Planned Parenthood is protecting a woman’s right to choose in one of the more unlikely states: Utah.

I hope you all have a wonderful pro-choice week.