August 10, 2005


In case yr picking up the Chicago-lit/zine special issue of UR Chicago that came out, in case, I would just like to contextualize something that came out of my big mouth regarding Venus zine, Hit it or Quit it and home made coin purses:

What I was trying to say about Venus is that I think their editorial steez is much aligned with 1975-era feminism, where the struggle was very much focused on women finding liberation via making money (as money was coming with newfound fullfilment of full-personhood through work and self-support). That economic freedom was getting women free, it was getting men free from the burden of sole-providership. A powerful ideal that is now a pretty widely accepted ideal, one that is still unfolding and should not be underestimated -- natch.

BUUUUUT I feel like the whole aspect of Venus that is centered around people making money off crafts, or female bands getting popular and making money off that, or that we alliege ourselves with "feminism" by buying Sleater Kinney records and selling coin purses we made out of felt is dangerous and lax at best. It is us reacting to the post riot girl back lash, "quiet support" -- we stopped writing RAPE on our bellies and knuckles, stopped getting so much heat for forcing an issue that a lot of people did not want to address and settled for lining the coiffers of indie labels and buying pillows that looked like records. Because it is a lot easier. And no one gives you shit when you are just living yr politics by going to the Le Tigre show, and dating a dude/girl who sends you Stella Mars postcards from tour, or making your room look cute. (Hi. I'm not hinting here, it's a hxc style call out.)

The quote about the SK/coin purses appears as if i am saying that everyone who writes for HIOQI owns Sleater Lps and makes coin purses .Which is almost true, but I was using air-quotes over the phone, so this did item did not translate. Anyhowzzz, While us/girls/punks supporting each others art/non-mass manufactured items/our friends handiwork is CRUCIAL to our community, and being mindful of how and where we spend and make our money, I feel that that party-line towed by Venus and magazines like it -- is not pointing us towards real liberation. It's way way too late in the 2005 Capitalism Afterparty to be so Helen Gurly Brown style, because orgasms and a pair of Jimmy Choo's with a peacock feather on them and disposable income ARE TOTALLY NICE, and yes that is progress, but shoes and cash and vibrators are not the light at end of the tunnel. THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS YOUR SCENE ON FIRE.

Lest we forget: It's capitalisms trick to sell you on the prizes. Feminism is a powerful idea that can liberate both ladies and the dudes, it can liberate all people, and so we have to make the ideas, the life of the life of it, accessible. We, as people who believe that feminist revolution is TOTES POSSIBLE IN EVERYDAY LIVING --- If we make feminism be about having these things, a. we sell it short, as well as ourselves b. we keep it from being accessible to people who will never have those things -- people who are alienated by cosmopolitanality, people who will never have fancy shoes or access to good jobs, and those are the people that need liberation-ideas most -- and we are indebted to those people c. we are then celebrating normative white/middle clas privaledge right -- which is bullshit and fundamentally hurts the cause of feminism as a whole.

All the art we make as feminists is a little billboard of possibility that we are showing to each other and the world, and that possibility, that light at the end of the tunnel has everything to do with our hearts and our hands and conditions we each live daily -- and I think we have to mind that message and mind it fierce.

Thats what I was saying. Thats what I meant about that.

Posted by Jessica at August 10, 2005 08:38 PM | TrackBack