shelter in my ribs, darlings, here into my arms the salt of my sweat and the salt of your tears combine to fool the sea dissolve into the sea until safety, (or victory) when we stand on the beach, us and Huda run into the waves and scream, Huda shelter in my ribs this white skin stretched absorbs shrapnel shelter in my ribs white saviour tendencies take the longest time to die.
Huda Ghalia, all those that she lost, Sufa Hamad who used her body to shield her children Mohammed Bakr, 9; Ahed Bakr, 10; Zakaria Bakr, 10; Mohammed Bakr, 11; who were legitimate targets for playing on the beach in summer
i was sexually assaulted on thursday when i was dancing. on friday i danced with these flowers in my hair with people i trusted and who kept me safe. i stamped down the pavements of the street that the night before i had been crying into, my boots asserting my right to walk down that street without fear and without violence.
these streets were made for walking. these streets were made for dancing.
facial diary // diary of facial acceptability // fourteen days of face, diary documentation
ps. look mum, i’ve been taking my makeup off properly
thyme growing at the window sill
today i am very much missing singing and having access to people who show me how to find places of beautiful resonance in my body.
i’m probably happiest in the world when i can feel resonance in my mouth and head and face supported by open lungs and sturdy feet, when i feel air escaping underneath sounds from my mouth.
it’s shit that this is for people with money.
my voice is in my body and is my body, there must be something in there about reclaiming our voices and reclaiming our bodies together, reclaiming resonance… classical singers against capitalism?
the above is a link to an interview with the mum of a disabled girl/ young woman whose armpits were shaved at her school ostensibly as “part of the curriculum”.
so obviously this is shocking and horrid, specifically because the person this happened to is a disabled girl and it was done to her by a person in significant position of power who represents an educational institution (specifically for disabled people) and who claims its part of the curriculum.
we should all be completely disgusted by the violence that was done to this person simply because they are a girl/ woman and they are disabled.
but we also need to recognise that this happens in every school, in every playground, in every workplace- often not as explicitly- but this happens everywhere that women and girls are, everywhere we are, so is body policing.
i came home from a school disco aged 12 feeling miserable and asking my mum to show me how to shave my armpits because people had commented- my best friends had commented- i don’t think i had ever ever even thought about it until that night, there was a tiny bit of fluff.
in our sex ed classes i remember videos that showed how our bodies would change through puberty and how we grew hair and then we shaved it.
i wasn’t allowed to dye my hair even a slightly different colour at school because i would “distract the boys”.
people made comments about the hair along my “bikini line” (my thighbrows, as i now like to call them) when we got changed for PE so i spent what feels like half of my time at high school shaving, using creams, attempting to wax and even attempting to painstakingly tweeze each hair out. every single method i tried made me uncomfortable, gave me rashes, and bloody hurt, but because i was too ashamed of my body for being so disgustingly hairy i wouldn’t even go to the doctors or ask my mum for any help.
i’ve went home from pubs and clubs because men were commenting on how you could see my un bra-ed nipples through my top, and i felt literally unsafe.
i have friends who have been told they HAVE to wear a bra in their workplace, i had a doctor a while back who told me she had been told she had to wear tights with skirts because patients didn’t want to see her leg hair.
do i need to go on?
the violence against this one girl, the denial of her right to bodily autonomy, was enacted particularly brutally against her, and this teacher should be fired, but we need to also recognise that THIS IS VIOLENCE AGAINST EVERY WOMAN AND EVERY GIRL, it is a violence that we will all, in some way, to varying degrees have been subjected to, and will be subjected to again.
to cheer us up, here’s a picture of me drunkenly voguing on my first night out wearing no sleeves after deciding two and a half years ago to stop shaving my armpits. the amount of hair there was feeble and stubbly, but now it’s a glorious mane of sometimes pink RIGHTEOUS PIT HAIR OF FEMME-ANGER
thinking about men, and how liberatory they might find it not have to perform their masculinity.
This is how you deal with exam stress. Ace of base and being rolled.
reflections on the police’s attitude towards the bodies of people who have periods and women.
i’m struggling so much to read feminist interventions into art history, because no matter how much good things these ostensibly wonderful minds are saying, it takes me half an hour to get through all of the unnecessary extra words, all of the unnecessary power play of academia, the convoluted sentences which can- when the writer wants- be explained perfectly simply.
the ideas are certainly feminist, no one can accuse Griselda Pollock or Amelia Jones of not being feminists. but is this academia feminist? when myself, a privileged middle class person half way through a degree, who’s always loved reading, who’s read lots of theory for fun, who was being applauded by her teachers for her “attempts at more challenging literature” throughout school, when I find it this difficult to get to grips with what we’re talking about it makes me wonder what about all of the people who didn’t grow up with my easy access to books, or my middle class confidence, or my family’s cultural capital and ability to write letters into school when i wasn’t being “pushed enough” or to tell off teachers who weren’t teaching us well enough, or whose mums weren’t as supportive as mine was, or whose visual impairments meant they couldn’t read books late into the night with a torch under their duvet, or who had to drop out of uni in the first year because of the cost of living, or who never made it to the first year of uni because the prospect of student debt was too much of a threat for them, or they didn’t get the grades to go to uni because they had to work while at college because EMA was axed.
feminist (interventions in) academia should be having the opposite effect on us, whoever reads these essays and articles should come away feeling inspired and empowered, not disillusioned and as if they’re not good enough.
i refuse to accept that academia has to be this way, there’s no reason that a sentence which could be ten words should be stretched to 25. it’s masculinist nonsense, power play, trying to make sure that everyone around you knows that *the person writing knows things, big worded things, big worded confusing things*
feminists- especially our wave of feminists who draw so much inspiration from Intersectional theory (Kimberle Crenshaw’s, not the nonsense white appropriation of intersectionality into a tick box exercise or oppression top trumps)- should be actively fighting against the elitism of academia and academic language. we don’t need to do away with writing academically, we need to do away with the idea that to write academically is to write difficultly or confusingly. it’s perfectly possible to write an academic article or essay in a way that is accessible to people of a wide variety of “abilities”, i would argue that’s a mark of a good bit of writing. if you can put across your argument and thoughts and explanations of them succinctly and clearly and in a way that people come away understanding what you’re saying then you’ve done your job, and hopefully in some small way you’ve contributed to widening access to “education” and “academia”
our academia seems to be operating in the same way that left wing men who are obsessed with the theories of DWEM (dead white european/ american men) behave at public meetings after STUC marches, instead of discussing the actuality of universal credits and bedroom tax and zero hours contracts they stand on tables and bang on desks and make grand proclamations about “rolling over torys like tanks” or by starting sentences with “a great revolutionary once said” these are both things that have genuinely GENUINELY happened. all this does is make them look like arseholes and alienate people who don’t have handy wee Gramsci quotes just tucked up their sleeve.
the effects are the same, maintainance of a shitty patriarchal, white supremacist, anglo-centric KYRIARCHY in which people are denied access from everything from academic and educational institutions- even just ideas- to access to campaigns and movements which claim to be in their name, beaten away by beardy middle class university educated socialists, with their worn out and semen stained copy of das Capital who parachuted into community meetings by whichever dodgy trot sect they happen to be a part of.
i’d really like it if we could put all of the extra words, all of the power play, all of the wanking ourselves off over how much DWEM’s stuff we’ve read, all of our reactionary ideas about what education and academia and knowledge and ideas should be in a drawer, and we lock that drawer up, and we only open it again when we need to put something else in it, or when we’re showing future generations how messed up everything used to be.
away and look at pictures of Yves Klein dragging us about like mops again, we all know that’s the only art you really like, then maybe after that you can find a feminist artist’s blog and say mean things about her work, because she really really gives a shit.
bizarrely inspired by Barbara Bush who said “women’s lib made me feel inadequate and useless” as quoted in Women’s Day in 1990 as part of a right wing “family values” attack on feminism.
it made me consider the sometimes problematic relationship i have with feminism and liberation, in that while it will be my- and our- liberation, it fucking hurts too.