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.

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Someone please explain to me

2 Dec

how I got this lucky. All the people in my life are so beautiful and brilliant and full of joy and wonder. For those who aren’t in my life at the moment: you’re still in my heart, always.

Wishing you all peace and joy this holiday season.

Libraries

29 Nov

I love libraries. They are quiet and warm and full of stories. I am relaxed when I walk through the dark stacks of books on the third floor on a dark Sunday evening.

It feels kind of like a treasure hunt – looking for a book. When I finally find it, and open to the title page, I can smell the age. Older books have a musty, worn through scent. Newer books smell like fresh ink and paper. Covers tell me how many times the book has been opened, skimmed, read, loved, used.

If I could, I would just sit down in the middle of an aisle and read for hours, days, weeks. Reading feels like eating, and I’m so hungry lately. Hungry for new words, characters, stories. Hungry for anything that isn’t Sociology or Anthropology.

I think I’ll spend more time in the stacks. It’s quiet there, and smells like books. They make me calm.

Top 25 – Part 1

26 Nov

Part 1 of my top 25 songs on iTunes. These are the result of about four years of listening. I still love all of the songs on it. A lot of them are songs which were associated with certain people at one point or another, and that’s why they’ve been listened to so frequently. A few of them just make me feel good. I’m going to do this in installments, because I want to include my favorite lyrics. Here are the top six:

1. Stolen – Dashboard Confessional.

I watch you spin around in your highest heels
You are the best one, of the best ones
We all look like we feel
You have stolen my heart

2. Unsaid – The Fray

We’re both pretty sure
Neither one can tell
We seem difficult
What we got is hard as hell
A hundred thousand words could not quite explain
So I walk you to your car And we can talk it out in the rain
And we are leaving some things unsaid
And we are breathing deeper instead

3. Come On Get Higher – Matt Nathanson

I miss the sound of your voice
And I miss the rush of your skin
And I miss the still of the silence
As you breathe out and I breathe in
So come on get higher
Loosen my lips
Faith and desire
And the swing of your hips
Just pull me down hard
And drown me in love

4. Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band

Touch your lips just so I know
In your eyes, love, it glows so
I’m bare-boned and crazy… for you.

5. Realize – Colbie Caillat

If you just realize what I just realized,
Then we’d be perfect for each other
and will never find another
Just realized what I just realized
we’d never have to wonder if
we missed out on each other now

6. A Wish – Gregory and the Hawk

And I wish to feel smaller
under your sheets.
I wish for the whole truth
every time you speak.
And I’m thinkin’ about how you care half as much for me
As I watch you arrive, smoke cigarettes, sleep.

And I guess it doesn’t matter what I say or what I seem
You stuck what I felt for you in the pocket of your jeans.
Ignoring me the morning after isn’t enough
and I swear I’m going to cry.

I’m sick of tryin’ to be tough.

Thanksgiving

25 Nov

I feel that since it’s Thanksgiving, I must do the requisite “What I’m thankful for” post. See here for the basics I am thankful for. It’s a list of things people (especially those of us who live in wealthy countries) take for granted on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The list includes things like clean water, housing, parents, and food.

Today’s post, however, is more about the individual parts of my life for which I am thankful.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my mom and brother. They are my very best friends in the entire world, and they know me better than anyone else. No matter what happens in life, they will always be with me.

I am thankful for my friends, new and old. My friends are the people who get me through life on a daily basis. It has been said that friends are the family we choose. That couldn’t be more true in my life. Every one of my friends is part of a family I’ve chosen to create, and I couldn’t be happier.

I am thankful for music, which should be fairly obvious given the posts I’ve done on this blog regarding music. Anyone who knows me understands that music is a central part of my life. You won’t ever catch me without my iPod in or a song on my lips. One of my goals for the rest of the school year is to start practicing piano again, because it’s so close to my heart.

I am thankful for animals, especially dogs. I’m having two dogs stay at my house this Thanksgiving break, and I’m looking forward to some very necessary pet therapy. For whatever reason, dogs help heal emotional and psychological wounds. I think it’s probably because they are always hopeful, always happy, always excited to be around people. I can never feel bad when I’m around wagging tails.

I am grateful for books. Finding a good book is a great joy of life. I will never tire of exploring new stories, learning about new characters, inhabiting new worlds.

I am thankful for being alive and enjoying it. Many people do not live as long as I’ve been able to, and many people who are alive are suffering – emotionally, physically, psychologically. I am grateful and lucky to have a life which I enjoy.

I am thankful for all of you who are reading this. I’m so glad you think it’s worth it to read my thoughts, and I hope you will contribute some of you own.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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.