I mean, I’m sick of all the white cisgender bullshit. What’s the fucking point of reviving a movement if your gunna revive its flaws while you’re at it?
And don’t start with arguing for positive insular-ism, because that will NOT fly. So fucking WHAT if you’re doing good for SOME women, you need to be doing good for ALL women. And in this day and age, and on THIS platform with so much education at your fingertips, you have no excuse. That’s the reason I kind of stopped posting riot grrrl stuff, it’s beyond problematic.
If we continue to propagate all the problematic, offensive crap that the 90s did, then there’s no point. Kathleen Hanna is openly cissexist and transmisogynist and the original riot grrrl movement was ridiculously white and middle class, but there is NO reason for us to be that way now. We have the benefit of internet education and communication; we don’t need to rely on these figureheads, we can take it in to our own hands and create something beautiful and important.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that EVERYONE who is reviving Riot Grrl is doing this, or that Riot Grrrl as a concept is inherently like this. I’m saying the opposite. A lot of its fundamental principles are fantastic; I think a lot of the media would flourish tenfold now we have advanced technologically, and without losing any of its DIY aspects. I mean, just look at all the great zines that have been circulating here on tumblr. The art and self-expression of the movement is something that should be cherished and explored. I think it would really appeal to a new generation of potential feminists.
I want to start an INTERSECTIONAL RIOT GRRRL movement. Be it in zine, tumblr, whatever form. Because the revivals I’m seeing at the moment are guilty of all the same faults that the original movement was.
If anyone would be interested in starting such a thing with me, starting afresh, taking the good parts - the DIY, the loud anger, the separation of academia and focus on lived experience, the focus on creativity and outreach, etc - and abandoning the whiteness, the cissexism and the classism in the trashcan of history where they belong, then send me a message and let’s do it.
We need to stand up against those who are reviving these oppressive aspects of Riot Grrrl.
Because if your feminism can only succeed by subjugating or ignoring others, then it is bullshit.
"I don’t buy into the main projections of feminism. Namely, that it’s a white women’s movement, it’s a privileged movement and that it’s very academic. Just because you’re a feminist doesn’t mean that you’re not otherwise racist or oppressive. It’s great that people want to be part of equity-seeking movements, but I think there’s a fear within the movement itself of being not just critical, but honest and truthful. If I’m the only young person, and I’m the only person of colour, in the whole film—I think that’s kind of indicative, and that’s exactly where the movement is. Look at the first wave of feminism and suffragettes, in the early 1900s. There’s a statue of Emily Murphy in Ottawa, with the Famous Five, the group who argued that women were “persons” under the law. What they don’t tell you about the Famous Five is that they were really racist. Emily Murphy published this eugenics book called The Black Candle, which basically talks about how Anglo-Saxon society should rule and anybody who doesn’t belong to the Anglo-Saxon society is dangerous and shouldn’t be trusted. She simultaneously helped pass the Residential School Act and the Indian Act, and I’m supposed to thank her for gender equality? What she wanted was more white people to vote."
The feminist movement is generally periodized into the so-called first, second and third waves of feminism. In the United States, the first wave is characterized by the suffragette movement; the second wave is characterized by the formation of the National Organization for Women, abortion rights politics, and the fight for the Equal Rights Amendments. Suddenly, during the third wave of feminism, women of colour make an appearance to transform feminism into a multicultural movement.
This periodization situates white middle-class women as the central historical agents to which women of colour attach themselves. However, if we were to recognize the agency of indigenous women in an account of feminist history, we might begin with 1492 when Native women collectively resisted colonization. This would allow us to see that there are multiple feminist histories emerging from multiple communities of colour which intersect at points and diverge in others. This would not negate the contributions made by white feminists, but would de-center them from our historicizing and analysis.
Indigenous feminism thus centers anti-colonial practice within its organizing. This is critical today when you have mainstream feminist groups supporting, for example, the US bombing of Afghanistan with the claim that this bombing will free women from the Taliban (apparently bombing women somehow liberates them)."
"Men are allies. They are not the voice of this movement. A program like “Men Can Stop Rape,” where men work with other men (and teenage boys) to teach them how to become strong, respectful men who don’t harass, assault or rape women is a perfect example of how men can be involved in the feminist movement. I find their work admirable and wonderful, and Hugo’s work dangerous and desperate and co-opting and selfish."
That’s the real myth that holds us back — that making “patriarchy-approved” choices is somehow better or safer for women than choosing against them. It’s not. They both suck. Being a porno fantasy doesn’t make your life easier or better, and neither does being a Stepford wife. Rejecting the system is hard, but participating in it doesn’t win you any prizes either. The goal of feminism is to make life better for women, whatever choices we make.
And we can be trusted to make those choices. Because after “degrading,” the number one phrase I kept coming upon in my Googling on the topic was this: “Some women say they really like this, but I don’t believe them.” And discounting women’s stories, just flat-out rejecting them when they don’t fit your political narrative, is something I will never, ever get behind.
What’s that? No honey, the fact that the okimâwastotin (that headdress worn by clueless hipster girls all the time) is generally reserved for males in Plains cultures is not sexist or patriarchal. You can stop trying to ‘save us from sexism’ thanks.
In fact, we were centuries ahead of you in the gender equality department. There are of course a great diversity of socio-political traditions in our various nations, but one thing comes through loud and clear…our women held positions of power. Not merely over hearth and home, but politically as well. In some nations, women run the roost, and this without denigrating or subjugating men (in case you were worried).
Centuries of racist and sexist interference by European powers has taken its toll. We do indeed face sexism in our communities, to an extent unthinkable before Contact. It is sadly the case that the oppressed often internalise their oppressor, and the oppressor for us has always been racist, and sexist.
To combat this, we look to our traditions, which are egalitarian. Where men and women are respected and venerated. We do not fumble towards equality as sameness, as so many settler feminists insist we should (in our context only, as they often recognise this is a ridiculous approach otherwise). We revive equity. We acknowledge different gender roles, and recognise that the female is not subservient in our cultures.
When we discuss ‘women’s power’ and ‘women’s roles’, you hear echoes of your history. But your history is not ours. Our history speaks proudly of the strength of our women and our men. Gender roles were not created in our societies to elevate men and turn women into chattel.
You settler women have much to overcome. Your history is fraught with inequality and abuses. I am sorry that you come from such twisted traditions.
Do not attempt to transplant your historical circumstances into our Nations. You have no idea what the headdress means in our cultures. To claim that the restrictions on who can wear it are ‘sexist’ merely highlights this ignorance…your inability to see outside your own cultural norms, outside your own sad, sexist cultural history.
Colonisers always believe they have the right to define reality, particularly for those they have colonised. What kind of feminist are you, when you take part in these inequalities of power, and proclaim for us the meaning of our own symbols and traditions?
In case you’re not sure, it makes you a racist feminist.