Laurie Penny’s Saudade
There are more of us than you think, kicking off our high-heeled shoes to run and being told not so fast
The best minds of my generation consumed by craving, furious half naked starving-
Who ripped tights and dripping make up smoked alone in bedsits bare mattresses waiting for transfiguration.
Who ran half dressed out of department stores yelling that we didn’t want to be good and beautiful
Who glowing high and hopeful were the last to leave the gig our skin crackling with lust and sweat and pure music
Who wrote poetry on each other’s arms and cared more about fucking than being fuckable
Who worked until our backs stiffened and our limbs sang with the memory of misbehaviour that was what it was to be a woman
Who dared to dance until dawn and were drugged and raped by men in clean T-shirts and woke up scared and sore to be told it was our fault
Who swallowed bosses’ patronizing side-eyes stole away from violent broken boys in the middle of the night and vowed never again to try to fix the world one man at a time
Who slammed down the tray of drinks and tore off our aprons and aching smiles and went scowling out into the streets looking for change
Who stripped in dark rooms for strangers’ anodyne dollars because we wanted education and were told we were traitors
Who sat faces upturned to the glow of the network searching searching for strangers who would call us pretty
Who bared our breasts to hidden cameras and fought and fought and fought to be human
Who waited in grim hallways with synth-pop crackling over the speaker system for the doctor to call us clutching fistfuls of pamphlets calling us sluts whores murderers
Who crossed continents alone with knapsacks full of books bare limbs clear-eyed vision running running from the homes that held our mothers down
Who filled notebooks with gibberish philosophy and scraps of stories and cameras to prove we were there keeping our novels and the name of out children close to our hearts
Who were told all our lives that we were too loud too tisky too fat too ugly too scruffy too selfish too much too and refused to take up less space refused to be still refused refused refused to be tame
Who would never be still. Who would never shut up. Who were punished for it and spat and snarled and they shook the bars of our cages until they snapped and they called us wild and crazy and we laughed with mouths open hearts open hands open and would never not ever be tame.
Sara, I’m with you in hospital, in the narroe rooms where you have put off your veil to count your ribs through your T-shirt, short hair and secrets and quiet defiance crying together that we don’t know how to be perfect-
Lara, I’m with you in mandatory art therapy, where we draw pictures of weeping cocks and are told we are not making progress-
Lila, I’m with you in a north London bathdroom, watchhing unreal maggots crawl in the cuts in your arms and listening to your girlfriend drunk and raging through the wall-
Andy, I’m with you in Bethnal Green where you love ambitious angry women with heart brain pen fingers tongue and you have a line from Nietzche tattooed over your cunt-
Adele, I’m with you in the student occupation, with your lipstick and cloche hat and teenage lisp drawling that there’s not enough fucking in this revolution and we must take action-
Kay, I’m with you on the night bus, half drunk and high dragging bright-eyed boys home to our bed, where we watch them worn out sleeping and whisper that we will never be married-
Katie, I’m with you in Zuccotti Park, where a broken heart is less important than a broken laptop is less important than a broken future and we watch the cops beating kids bloody on the pavement for daring to ask for more-
Tara, I’m with you in Islington where you have thrown all your pretty dresses out of the window and flushed your medication so you can write and write-
Alex, I’m with you and a bottle of Scotch at two in the morning when you tell me that no man will make us live for ever and we must seduce the city the country the world-
We are always hungry.
There are more of us than you think.
Laurie Penny’s Saudade, from Fifty Shades of Feminism (via mollycrabapple)
[lupe fiasco - bitch bad]
Disclaimer: this rhymer, Lupe, is not usin’ “bitch” as a lesson
But as a psychological weapon
To set in your mind and really mess with your conceptions
Discretions, reflections, it’s clever misdirection
Cause, while I was rappin’ they was growin’ up fast
Nobody stepped in to ever slow ‘em up, gasp
Sure enough, in this little world
The little boy meets one of those little girls
And he thinks she a bad bitch and she thinks she a bad bitch
He thinks disrespectfully, she thinks of that sexually
She got the wrong idea, he don’t wanna fuck her
He think she’s bad at bein’ a bitch, like his mother
Momma never dressed like that, come out the house hot mess like that
Ass, titties, dressed like that, all out to impress like that
Just like that, you see the fruit of the confusion
He caught in a reality, she caught in an illusion
Bad mean good to her, she really nice and smart
But bad mean bad to him, bitch don’t play a part
But bitch still bad to her if you say it the wrong way
But she think she a bitch, what a double entendre
oh beyonce i think i love you more and more each day
why more people dont pick you as their feminist icon i’ll never know
I’m crying. This is my life in a gifset.
There is a sea of female celebrities who slut-shame, say shit like “I’m not like other girls” and “all my friends are guys,” and then there is Beyonce.
casually reblogging this again because I had such an awesome night last night with my girlfriends, at two separate parties and an impromptu slumber party. Spending time with the woman in my life who care about me and understand me is the absolute best way to feel good about myself. I just love my girlfriends.
Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, in case you hadn’t heard. How dare she remove those ticking time bombs from her chest, amiright? Like, hasn’t she learned by now that her body is public domain and we all get to vote on what she does with it? Sheesh, how selfish can ya get.
For the record, I honestly don’t give a fuck how much cock you suck. Suck a thousand cocks. Suck a million cocks. There’s no such thing as a slut. That’s just a lie they told you born out of male anxiety. Anxiety about adultery and misattributed paternity.
Sex isn’t sinful either, though you can trace a lot of sexual repression and misogyny back to the Abrahamic religions. Before Emperor Constantine tried to replace the pagan religions with Christianity, they used to have sex in church. Sacred prostitution. Happened a lot in Mesopotamia, for example. And the Mesopotamians weren’t stupid either. They invented the fucking wheel.
It’s your body to do with as you please. If anyone tries to dictate a dick limit to you, they’re trying to take ownership of your body. And that’s slavery. If they call you a slut, that’s slavery. And I refuse it. Suck an infinite number of cocks for all I care. Just enjoy it.
uggggh this is like the 30th time i’ve seen that goddamn ‘i dressed my daughter up like real female role models and not princesses to take her fifth birthday pictures’ post on my dash and i am DONE being quiet about it.
not only is that entire attitude so internally sexist and the mother’s approach so second wave and i could go on
one of the women she dressed her daughter up as?
is coco fucking chanel.
you know. the legendary fashion designer who it has now been proven that she didn’t merely hold nazi sympathies (BAD ENOUGH, i would say), but was in fact, thoroughly anti-semitic and literally a nazi agent herself.
WHAT A GREAT ROLE MODEL.
okay no i think people think i’m joking when i talk about dropping out of school and just dedicating myself to vanity or whatever and i guess i 50% am, but
like, part of the reason i am so fucking protective of people like the girls that get labelled ‘scene queens’ or, like, teenage girls in general is that growing up, i was told, constantly and repeatedly, that i could be one of the rare ‘smart ones’, that i was better than all that frivolous girly stuff, that i was a step above for being intelligent so why should i even want to be feminine or goofy or into clothes and makeup and boys and all the things that our culture tells us girls should like?
and for a while i believed it. and for a while i didn’t even realize how miserable i was.
not everyone would be, of course. not everyone’s gender expression is essentially femme, but mine is, and believing all that pressure led to a really bizarre fracture within myself that i guess i’m still working on piecing back together. i still struggle within myself, and with others’ reactions to me, with the seeming divide between being really intelligent and, basically, liking pretty things.
sometimes i joke that i’m a really terrible socialist because i will always put feminism first, but it’s true. and sometimes there is a lot of power in a tube of lipstick or a bottle of hair dye. our self-presentation matters on a really fundamental level, particularly for people who don’t fit into the white male ideal, because it can be anything from comfort to confidence to a weapon. and besides, capitalism’s not going anywhere until the patriarchy does.
anyways, i fiercely laud and support the females out there who do choose to devote themselves to presenting themselves as fun, as hyper-feminized, who choose to occupy that space that is so looked down on by our culture. because there’s nothing wrong with being a girl.
again: there is nothing wrong with being a girl.
whether you were assigned that gender at birth or you realised later that you should have been, there is nothing wrong with feminity, and choosing to embrace it doesn’t make you less. glitter and lipstick and pink hair and heels don’t make you any less intelligent, any less worthy of love and respect; only the people who judge you for how you look need to worry about that.
speaking of celebrity crushes, i also totally have a strange sort of half crush/half fascination with audrey kitching, that’s been particularly reunited lately thanks to me finding her tumblr through ryn.
someone remind me when i’m in a more critically thoughtful brain-state to try to cohere and articulate all my thoughts about ‘scene queens’ and girls in the ‘emo’ scene in general and vanity and vulnerability and ‘internet fame’ and being young and female and angry and navigating all these spaces that are extremely male and what happens when men take typically female expression tactics, and then what happens when females try to take them back.
aaahhh, no, this is a very good question anon, and so politely worded! there are several levels of my answer to it, so here we go:
as jess/tash (i’ve not decided for sure on her name, yet) points out herself in this outtake i posted earlier, the music industry is still a heavily male-dominated place. not only would a band with an all-female line up find it harder to succeed to the extent that i want their band to, it would be extremely unlikely that they’d have the independence/creative control that i want this band to have. and if they did, they’d all be reactionary and explicitly feminist, and i want jess/tash to stand out somewhat in her anger.more than that, though, the type of characters and relationships i want to write call for there to be male characters involved. i, personally, think that societally-formed notions of gender roles and gender behaviour are bullshit, but that doesn’t mean that everyone agrees, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t still exist within them. so, to write the type of friendships and experiences in this novel that i want to write, it makes sense for there to be boys in the band as well.
when i first came up with the concept for this novel, it was in a fevered rush of images and thoughts in the middle of the night right after having put down gray. i was enamoured with the idea immediately, and i want to stay true to that.
as sad as it may be, there are plenty of female-identifying people who aren’t feminist, and who see nothing wrong with the status quo. likewise, there’s no reason a male-identifying person can’t be feminist. when jakes stops immediately when jess/tash says ‘no’, that’s a feminist action, as much as it shouldn’t have to be (it should just be a non-dick move, but in our current rape culture, to listen to a female’s desires, to hear her voice, to realize that no means no and not feel entitled to fight it, that’s still very feminist). really, in a subtle, also it-shouldn’t-be-feminism-anymore-but-it-kinda-is way, just the way that she interacts with her bandmates is feminist: they don’t see her as a girl they need to protect or coddle, they just see their guitar player, who they’ll defend to their dying breath but because that’s what you do for your friends, and they’d all do the same for each other.
i am very interested in breaking down gender roles and stereotypes as far as we possibly can, but i’m just not sure how much of that will fit into this novel.
i am not, tbh, particularly interested in feminism as a personal tool for self-improvement. that feels very second-wave white women stepping all over less privileged people to me. feminism, as far as i’m concerned, is about far more than gender. it’s about race and class and sexuality, and it’s about questioning and fighting the capitalist patriarchal society in which we live.
which, granted, doesn’t have very much to do with the ‘hot mess’ that i’ve described jess/tash as being. nor does it, seemingly, have much to do with the idea of carving out a space for teenage girls to feel free to be themselves - particularly since i am, personally, extremely wary of ‘female safe spaces,’ as they too often turn out to be trans- and often homo-phobic ‘vagina safe spaces,’ and that is so far from cool.
but, at the same time, as anyone who isn’t a cis white middle-to-upper class dude can tell you, patriarchy is enacted every day onto our bodies and minds, onto our actual selves. so to try and create something with the message that hey, we’re all a little fucked up and there’s probably good reason for a lot of it, and it’s okay to be angry and messy and feel like you don’t fit? i feel like that’s less a personal thing and more a very powerful idea that can be embraced on a wide, solidarity-style scale.
jess/tash is messed up, jake is messed up, they’re far too wrapped up in one another, one of them’s gonna commit murder, they and the other boys in the band are bored teenagers and young adults looking for a way to make their dreams come true, they’re all utterly in love with music, and, well, how many of us can claim to find that the world truly makes sense?
i’m interested in the idea of being scared and desperate and nowhere near the ideal depiction of a protagonist or hero, and how that affects our readings of characters. i’m interested in creating someone that makes terrible mistakes but isn’t meant to be moralized. i’m interested in kids being idiot kids. i’m interested in friendship. i’m interested (some would say too interested) in ‘pop punk’ music and culture. i’m interested in what happens when your entire life is wrapped up in someone else’s. i’m interested in the terrible, awesome power that love can have.