Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jessica Valenti, Tobi Vail, and Kathleen Hanna talk about feminism and strategy.

So I had a really major, massive blog post planned for today. I was really excited about it...and then I got sick. Sadly, the constant coughing, sneezing, and drowsiness effectively prevented me from getting my post written.

So instead, I am going to post some of the things I've read and watched over the past few days. I humbly offer a window into some of the literature that has been influencing my thinking recently, and some of the issues that have managed to stay on my mind despite my runny nose, foghorn cough, and laryngitis. Enjoy!

1.Breaking news from Jessica Valenti:
One of my heroes and favorite Feministing writers, Jessica Valenti has a killer column up on the Washington Post's website:For women in America, equality is still an illusion.

I'll admit that this article is kind of a downer, but at the same time, there is something oddly empowering about it. It's nice to have someone articulate, without self-pity or apology, just how difficult it is to be a woman in the United States, even as we become more empowered and figure out the best ways to win real equality for ourselves.

2. A provocative quote from Tobi Vail:
I read this fantastic quote over at Suck My Left One:

"The book made me think a lot about documenting history from a strategic perspective. How could this story be told to incite participation in girls?"

It's from Tobi Vail's review of Marisa Meltzer's new book, Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music. And it cuts straight to heart of why history, and why documentation, are so important. History is used strategically by those in power on a near-constant basis; that we don't tend to notice it kind of shows that it works. Can punk feminist musicians, writers, historians, artists, etc. use their history strategically, and directly incorporate it into their activism? I think some of us already are. Today's thwarted post will get finished, eventually, and get more into that.

3. Kathleen Hanna and her glasses do an interview.

There is so much good stuff in this interview that I can't even remember exactly what I wanted to put here. (I blame my medicine, it's making me spaceyyyy.) But I do remember that she talks about being obsessed with archiving, which hooks right into Tobi Vail's comments on using history strategically.

In general, I love how Kathleen talks about feminism in the present tense. I love how she addresses both personal and general problems within the movement, and seems to speak from the perspective of both a leader and a follower, if that makes sense.

But as she herself admits, Kathleen has made mistakes. Some of the things she's done have certainly been criticized by other feminists and activists. But again, that's something we'll have to get into later, when I finally recover my health.

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