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"I don’t care if people don’t think feminism is important because I know it is…other people can think whatever they want. My problem is when people get in the way of feminism…because they don’t understand it. If they don;t want to care about it or believe in it, that’s totally fine but they should have to stay out of my way"
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"It upset me and made me worry that there are people out there who are interested in feminism but don’t want to label themselves as one because they feel like they don’t qualify. Feminism is not a club, it’s not something you have to audition for or get an A+ in. It’s something really super cool and awesome. For me it’s about battling sexism, encouraging and supporting girls and women and fighting for equality. There are loads of different types of feminists. You can be any race/religion/age/sex. You can be straight/gay/bisexual. You can have a big hairy bush from the 70s or a vajazzle and a bald fanny. You can be a housewife, a stripper, a virgin or a prostitute, you can like lipstick, books, you can be a riot grrrl fan or a jazz flute player. You don’t have to be anything but yourself."
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I think that I would die. on We Heart It.
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finding a lot of ammo for weapons you don’t use
With: 223,871 notes
Rape culture is when I was six, and
my brother punched my two front teeth out.
Instead of reprimanding him, my mother
said “Stefanie, what did you do to provoke him?”
When my only defense was my
mother whispering in my ear, “Honey, ignore him.
Don’t rile him up. He just wants a reaction.”
As if it was my sole purpose, the reason
six-year-old me existed,
was to not rile up my brother.
It’s starts when we’re six, and ends
when we grow up assuming the natural state of a man
is a predator, and I must walk on eggshells, as to
not “rile him up.” Right, mom?
Rape culture is when through casual dinner conversation,
my father says that women who get raped are asking for it.
He says, “I see them on the streets of New York City,
with their short skirts and heavy makeup. Asking for it.”
When I used to be my father’s hero but
will he think I was asking for it? (will he think)
Will he think I deserved it?
Will he hold me accountable or will he hold me,
even though the touch of a man - especially my father’s -
burns as if I were holding the sun in the palm of my hand.
Rape culture is you were so ashamed, you thought it would
be easier for your parents to find you dead,
than to say, “Hey mom and dad,”
It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t ask for it.
I never asked for this attention, I never asked
to be a target, to be weak because I was born with
two X chromosomes, to walk in fear, to always look behind me,
in front of me, next to me, I never asked to be the prey.
I never wanted to spend my life being something
someone feasts upon, a meal for the eternally starved.
I do not want to hear about the way I taste anymore.
I will not let you eat me alive.
Rape culture is I shouldn’t defend my friend when
an overaggressive frat boy has his hand on her ass,
because standing up for her body “makes me a target.”
Women are afraid to speak up, because
they fear their own lives - but I’d rather take the hit
than live in a culture of silence.
I am told that I will always be the victim, pre-determined
by the DNA in my weaker, softer body.
I have birthing hips, not a fighter’s stance.
I am genetically pre-dispositioned to lose every time.
Rape culture is he was probably abused as a child.
When he even has some form of a justification
and all I have are the things that provoked him,
and the scars from his touch are woven of the darkest
and toughest strings, underneath the layer of my skin.
Rape culture leaves me finding pieces of him left inside of me.
A bone of his elbow. The cap of his knee.
There is something so daunting in the way that I know it will take
me years to methodically extract him from my body.
And that twinge I will get sometimes in my arm fifteen years later?
Proof of the past.
Like a tattoo I didn’t ask for.
Somehow I am permanently inked.
Rape culture is you can’t wear that outfit anymore
without feeling dirty, without feeling like
you somehow earned it.
You will feel like you are walking on knives,
every time you wear the shoes
you smashed his nose in with.
Imaginary blood on the bottom of your heels,
thinking, maybe this will heal me.
Those shoes are your freedom,
But the remains of a life long fight.
You will always carry your heart,
your passion, your absolute will to live,
but also the shame and the guilt and the pain.
I saved myself but I still feel like I’m walking on knives.
Rape culture is “Stefanie, you weren’t really raped, you were
one of the lucky ones.”
Because my body wasn’t penetrated by a penis,
but fingers instead, that I should feel lucky.
I should get on my hands and knees and say, thank you.
Thank you for being so kind.
Rape culture is “things could have been worse.”
“It’s been a month, Stefanie. Get out of bed.”
“You’ll have to get over this eventually.”
“Don’t let it ruin your life.”
Rape culture is he told you that after he touched you,
no one would ever want you again.
And you believed him.
Rape culture is telling your daughters not to get raped,
instead of teaching your sons how to treat all women.
That sex is not a right. You are not entitled to this.
The worst possible thing you can call a woman is a
slut, a whore, a bitch.
The worst possible thing you can call a man is a
bitch, a pussy, a girl.
The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl.
The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl.
Being a woman is the ultimate rejection,
the ultimate dismissal of strength and power, the
When I have a daughter,
I will tell her that she is not
When I have a daughter, she will know how to fight.
I will look at her like the sun when she comes home
with anger in her fists.
Because we are human beings and we do not
always have to take what we are given.
They all tell her not to fight fire with fire,
but that is only because they are afraid of her flames.
I will teach her the value of the word “no” so that
when she hears it, she will not question it.
Don’t you dare apologize for the fierce love
you have for yourself
and the lengths you go to preserve it.
I am alive because of the fierce love I have
for myself, and because my father taught me
to protect that.
He taught me that sometimes, I have to do
my own bit of saving, pick myself off the
ground and wipe the dirt off my face,
because at the end of the day,
there is only me.
I am alive because my mother taught me
to love myself.
She taught me that I am an enigma - a
mystery, a paradox, an unfinished masterpiece and
I must love myself enough to see how I turn out.
I am alive because even beaten, voiceless, and back
against the wall, I knew there was an ounce of me
worth fighting for.
And for that, I thank my parents.
Instead of teaching my daughter to cover herself up,
I will show her how to be exposed.
Because no is not “convince me”.
No is not “I want it”.
You call me,
“Little lady, pretty girl, beautiful woman.”
But I am not any of these things for you.
I am exploding light,
my daughter will be exploding light,
better cover your eyes.
With: 261 notes
every girl is a riot grrrl
Alien She ♀ Bikini Kill || Oh Bondage, Up Yours! ♀ X-Ray Spex || Cherry Bomb ♀ Joan Jett & the Runaways || Cool Schmool ♀ Bratmobile || Chick Habit ♀ April March || Nanny Nanny Boo Boo ♀ Le Tigre || Celebrity Skin ♀ Hole || Boys Wanna Be Her ♀ Peaches || Rebel Girl ♀ Bikini Kill || Rip Her to Shreds ♀ Blondie || Supervixen ♀ Garbage || Strawberry Gashes ♀ Jack Off Jill || Deceptacon ♀ Le Tigre || Bruise Violet ♀ Babes in Toyland || Bitch ♀ The Plasticines
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With the release of Kathleen Hanna’s new album, Run Fast, by her new group the Julie Ruin occasioning multiple profiles by publications far and wide, including our cover story from early last month, we thought it might be an appropriate time to spotlight some lesser-known facts about the Riot Grrrl pioneer.
1. She was a karaoke host.
"In Olympia at a gay bar. My hostess song was the Clash, and another one to [Kool and the Gang’s] ‘Celebration’. It supplemented the Bikini Kill income, and other stuff I did. Like, living in Olympia, you only paid $100 for rent. So, if you made $100 karaoke hosting or DJing… rent’s covered! And then Bikini Kill paid for food. For my mozzarella sticks, which were my primary, go-to meal."
2. Kim Gordon accidentally spoiled her birthday surprise.
"My 30th birthday was a surprise party, and the whole day I was crying because my mom didn’t call me, and I was just like, ‘She’s such a bitch, I hate her.’ And then I walked up the stairs to this sushi place and my mom and my aunt were there, and I realized she didn’t call me because they were on a plane. Adam [Horovitz] flew them in. But Kim Gordon kinda ruined my party because her and her friend were walking up the stairs to the sushi restaurant and they were late. I was like, ‘Oh, this is really weird, this is such a random restaurant, why would you be here?’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, it’s a surprise party!’ But I feel like that happens at every surprise party. Five seconds before you walk in, you’re like, ‘This is a surprise party.’"
3. Joan Jett surprised her, too.
"We convinced her to do ‘Crimson & Clover,’ so Joan Jett sang ‘Crimson & Clover’ to me, atmy birthday party. My aunt got a ride home from her in her Jaguar, or some crazy car. My aunt is still talking about the day the Joan Jett impersonator gave her a ride home. Like, in her mind, it’s impossible that Joan Jett sang ‘Crimson & Clover’ at my birthday party. Like, it’s not even an option that really happened. She’s like, ‘That’s so cool that Adam hired a Joan Jett impersonator!’ I’m like, ‘And she gave you a ride home, and she was really Joan Jett.”
4. She believes archiving is a vital feminist act.
"We get erased. It’s not like people are talking about Babes in Toyland everyday, and yet they were hugely important to my band, and to a lot of girls who came of age in the ’90s. When are they ever mentioned as influences? To think of a band like that, or Mecca Normal, that was so big and important to so many people, it’s so easy to get erased if you’re a female artist. I’m really lucky that I’ve read a lot of feminist texts. There’s one about the way women get talked about as writers, all about erasure, and not having female heroes because they’re erased. I think in the age of the Internet it’s gotten a lot better, because you can find all this early stuff if you want, it but you have to get people into it, who are looking for that type of stuff. That’s a different challenge; how do you bring people to that archive? It’s saying, ‘My life is important. I saved it. I’m not throwing it in the garbage.’"
5. She regrets how women of color were received in riot grrrl.
"The thing that’s really complicated when I look back on riot grrrl and race, was, one, we had a convention in D.C. and I worked with a woman of color to come up with a syllabus for a workshop about racism. There were women of color there, and there were white women there, and it ended up being a lot of white women talking about how they felt discriminated against. It was really awful. I was really disappointed at the level of education about oppression that people had. I worked at a domestic-violence shelter and they talked a lot about race and class and intersectionality, and so I really got this education working there, and I know it’s stupid to assume that other people were educating themselves, at least reading bell hooks. And these girls hadn’t. I watched a lot of women of color walk out. I remember that woman [I collaborated with on the workshop] being like, ‘Oh, fuck.’ And I was like, ‘At least we tried this, and it was a failure, and there needs to be other things to try.’
"But I left. I was on tour all the time, and at a certain point, I had to decide, am I gonna be somebody who’s involved with riot grrrl as a youth movement, or am I gonna do this band? And I was like, I’m gonna do the band. I choose my art; I’m not a political organizer. I’m really proud that we were a catalyst for it, but I can’t be the leader. I need to pull back so that other people can step into this leadership role. When I did go to meetings in the PNW [Pacific Northwest] or different places, it sorta would be white women arguing about who was more racist in an all-white environment. And I was like, this is not productive, this is bullshit. I didn’t wanna be a part of that. But at the same time, when people say riot grrrl was all white, that’s not true. In places like New York and California, that definitely was not the case. I don’t want to erase the women of color who were very much a part of shaping the identity of riot grrrl, and who questioned riot grrrl as a very white movement, and in that way shaped it, because clearly they cared enough to critique it. Was the face of riot grrrl white? Yes. Were a lot of the drawings in the zines white? Yes. Did I do them? Yes. Do I regret some lyrics like, "Eat meat / Hate blacks / It’s all the same thing"? Yes. Because that’s not a smart way of talking about intersectionality, and I regret it. I’m willing to publicly say that because I think it’s important to be like, you can change, you can get smarter, you can get better. If anything, I live with somebody who did that very much in the public eye, and I think that’s a wonderful thing, instead of being some static identity, to be someone who changes publicly. I wanna admit that I’m not perfect, that I’ve made mistakes. We put ourselves out to be criticized, and I hope that people criticized things that I said, because it’s all about the exchange. Again, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about opening the conversation."
With: 138 notes