BECAUSE Apparently I need to say something

In the past week I have seen young women (several of them, of different age groups, social groups and backgrounds) do the following:

  • Blame a victim of abuse for her abuse, because she may have done something at some point to anger her abuser
  • Claim that certain kinds of women “deserve to be raped”
  • Fawn over a convicted criminal who is flirting with his fans from behind bars, saying that it’s so sweet that he called his female fans “hot.”

This is the tip of the iceberg of the things I see from young women these days. And by that I don’t just mean all you young ‘uns running around Buzznet, I mean from my own age group as well. I see this disturbing trend where-in women are more than willing, even eager, to blame our own gender for problems, to call ourselves weak and stupid, to find ourselves incapable of surviving on our own, to turn on each other over body image or boys and to “put each other in our places.”

In other words: the patriarchy can sit back and relax, they’ve trained us to rip at each other’s throats enough that they don’t have to work to maintain the status quo of “social norms.”

And girls, it hurts me. It seriously hurts me. Because being a girl is something that seriously kicks ass, it’s fucking fantastic, and the fact that it almost seems that we’re being taught that it’s something shameful, or something that you can only do in a “particular” way…that’s messed up. It’s selling ourselves short.

And yes, yes, before any of you start screaming “OMG, BUT THINK OF THE BOYS! BOYS HAVE IT BAD TOO!!!! IF YOU DON’T THINK OF THE BOYS, YOU’RE OPPRESSING THEM!”: you don’t think social norms and gender roles hurt men, too? You don’t think the same sort of stereotyping that feminists fight against isn’t anti-male? Because feminism, as I’ve ranted before and will rant again, is about equality. No matter what propaganda you’ve been handed otherwise, no matter how the media has portrayed it, no matter how many female supremacists masquerading as feminsts you’ve met. Feminism is about equality.

And so I did some thinking. And while I was looking up information on women in music, I came across a bunch of information on the Riot Grrl movement. It was women who were sick of the sexism rampant in the punk scene who took matters into their own hands. Via their own bands and home printed ‘zines, these girls called for a movement, for a literal girl riot. The “grrl” spelling is meant to refer to a growling sound: the sort of vocals you hear in punk music and/or the sort of growling that needed to be done about the situation.

One of the things published in these underground ‘zines was a Riot Grrl Manifesto. After looking it up, I found a few points made in it that all of us girls, even if you’re not into the Riot Grrl music, really can and should take to heart:

  • 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 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.

And now, if I might add one of my own:

BECAUSE the girls of the past, the girls of the present and the girls of the future are worth it.