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Kool Thing: Kim Gordon on her divorce from Thurston Moore and breast cancer
04.23.2013
10:45 am

Topics:
Feminism
Music
Punk

Tags:
Sonic Youth
Kim Gordon


Vintage shot of Kim Gordon via Suicide Watch

There’s a fascinating must-read short profile of Kim Gordon in this month’s Elle by Lizzy Goodman. In it, the Sonic Youth co-founder discusses being single again at the still Sonically Youthful age of 59, divvying up those pop culture treasures she and Thurston Moore must’ve amassed over the years and her breast cancer treatment:

“We have all these books, records, and art and are getting it all assessed; that’s what is taking so long,” she says after ordering a glass of rosé. But both have moved on. Among her suitors are a restaurateur, an architect, and an actor. “It’s just weird,” Gordon says of navigating new romance. “I can’t tell what’s normal.” And Moore has regularly been seen with the same woman, fueling the rumor that his affair helped doom their marriage. “We seemed to have a normal relationship inside of a crazy world,” Gordon says of her marriage. “And in fact, it ended in a kind of normal way—midlife crisis, starstruck woman.”

Some years ago, a woman Gordon declines to name became a part of the Sonic Youth world, first as the girlfriend of an erstwhile band member and later as a partner on a literary project with Moore. Eventually, Gordon discovered a text message and confronted him about having an affair. They went to counseling, but he kept seeing the other woman. “We never got to the point where we could just get rid of her so I could decide what I wanted to do,” Gordon says. “Thurston was carrying on this whole double life with her. He was really like a lost soul.” Moore moved out. Gordon stayed home and listened to a lot of hip-hop. “Rap music is really good when you’re traumatized,” she says.

The first few months were rough. “It did feel like every day was different,” she recalls. “It’s a huge, drastic change.” But slowly things improved. She adjusted to the framework of semisingle parenthood. (Coco, their only child, is now a freshman at a Chicago art school.) Gordon kept their colonial filled with friends—a musician, a poet, and Moore’s adult niece, with whom Gordon has remained very close. “Sometimes I cook dinner and just invite whomever,” she says of her improvised family life. “Everyone helps out a bit with the dogs. It’s a big house. It’s nice to have people around.” Things were stabilizing. Then Gordon was found to have a noninvasive form of breast cancer called DCIS. “I’m fine; it’s literally the best you can have,” she says of her diagnosis, which required a lumpectomy. “I didn’t do radiation or anything, but I was like, Okay, what else is going to happen to me?”

Read more at Elle.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Conspiracy of Women: Lydia Lunch’s Post Catastrophe Collaborative Workshop


 
Lydia Lunch sent me this post about the upcoming Post Catastrophe Collaborative Workshop that she’s curating in Ojai California on May 24-27.

I should think if there was anyone you’d want in your corner post-catastrophe, it would be Lydia!

To question why women artists need a workshop by and for each other in 2013 is to ignore the damage done to the sensitive psyche by the brutarian policies of kleptomaniacal plutocrats in their race for global domination.

From the imperialist profiteering of endless war, to the justification of the psychosis of bloodlust in the name of God, oil or natural resources, from austerity measures as punishment against entire nations for the fraud perpetrated by greedy corporations and their criminal finance ministers, to the blatant arrogance of corrupt politicians who do their bidding with utter disregard for the health of the planet or the life of its inhabitants, we as women demand a safe place in which to create from the ashes of this man-made destruction.

We are seeing in these times a striking attempt on a global scale to redress economic and social imbalance by sheer physical presence—the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement in the US. Pervasive ecological imperatives have been won (and lost) by indigenous-led groups in South America and Africa. This consensus is essential for large-scale change, and yet, the foundered promise of the movements of the 1960s and 1970s indicate the depth to which transformation must but has not yet occurred in the way we live.

The dominator model continues to run the world, and in so doing affects us in both obvious and unconscious ways.

Indeed this bespeaks a need for the attention to the microcosm, to the immediate community. In the West where we are not bound by blood tribe or homeland, we come together in kindred passions.

What is absolutely necessary is the fostering of environments, which we must learn together how to more adeptly create, in which the existing hierarchical, dominator paradigm can be further and further subverted by the constant intention to transform our learned ways of relating to ourselves and one another within this powerful action of collaboration/co-creation.

This by its nascent nature requires a protected space—here by and for women—in which to listen and share the deep language of the body; the creative impulse; the desire to collaborate and the methods to invoke; the experience of time, space and accomplishment unfettered by the anxieties of funding and recognition. This last is extremely important.

Our current model of success for everyone, artists included, remains competitive and largely solitary in the West.

Women who create and attempt to move within established systems find themselves indentured into the necessary sales pitch to self-promote, furthering the continuance of the established pattern, which fosters alienation and dissociation rather than community.

A workshop by and for women can provide a haven of inspiration, encouragement and a sense of community in these extremely trying times. The burden of often deeply traumatized women constantly having to manage their emotions and warp themselves to adjust to social situations that adhere to linear, rational, productive values is soul-killing.

Art has the ability to act as salve to the universal wound. It gives voice to the silent scream within us all.

It rebels as pleasure in times of trauma. It brings a sense of beauty and joy by rising up in celebration of life, a direct contra-diction to the widespread brutality of socio-sadistic bullies who seek to divide and conquer.

A space of protection and clarity to explore the strengths and weaknesses women possess, along with their innate neural capacity for emotional imprint and communal feeling; concurrently with the research and practice of creative techniques together can foster tremendous healing along with powerful work.

This is an essential contribution toward the continuance of the species and its shift away from trying to dominate the planet toward the recognition that it is simply part of all life.

This workshop seeks to bring together a diverse and multi-generational collection of women artists who comprehend the importance of community, collaboration and creation as an inspirational weapon in the war against divisiveness, division and death. 

—Lydia Lunch /Vanessa Skantze

Lydia Lunch will be curating the second Post Catastrophe Collaborative Workshop in Ojai California May 24-27, 2013

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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1959 Miss Universe judging criteria
03.19.2013
07:01 am

Topics:
Feminism

Tags:
Miss Universe

Miss Universe
 
For anyone under the impression that yesteryear was kinder and more accepting of the variability in female form, take a gander at this 1959 chart used by the judges of the Miss Universe pageant.

ALL FIGURED OUT–This chart is used by judges as [a] guide in picking Miss Universe. First six show figure flaws, seventh is perfectly proportioned. (1) Shoulders too square. (2) Shoulders too sloping. (3) Hips too wide. (4) Shoulder bones too pronounced. (5) Shoulders and back hunched. (6) Legs irregular, with spaces at calves, knees, thighs. (7) The form divine, needs only a beautiful face.

There you have it! Women have always been subjected to absurdly rigid standards of beauty, the trends waxing and waning like the inconstant moon!

So fuck it, and pass me the Cheetos!

Via the Society Pages

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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The Rules Aren’t Broken, They’re FIXED: Time to Rewrite Them


 
This is a guest post by UK blogger and leftist activist Scriptonite Daily

A new ad campaign hit the streets of London two days ago, drawing attention to a surprisingly unrecognized state of affairs: the City of London is the tax haven in our own backyard.  While the British government is busy protecting banker’s bonuses, a global grass roots campaign has set up to take on the rules which create the institutionalized inequality which sees 0.1% of the world’s population owning 81% of the world’s wealth, while 8 million people will die this year because they are too poor stay alive. It’s time to help make The Rules.

The Way it Works Isn’t Working

The 2005 United Nations World Summit, before the bloated banking sector crashed the global economy, revealed the system was well broken before the crash;

Half the world lives on less than $2 a day
30,000 children die every single day due to poverty
2 billion people have no access to electricity
20% of people in the highest-income countries consume 86% of the world’s resources. The poorest 20% account for a minuscule 1.3%

 

 

A recent study showed that the neoliberal policies of the last thirty years have seen such a decline in social mobility that capitalism’s so called “meritocracy” delivers results no better than the medieval oligarchy. In fact, the top 1% of earners now pocket 10p in every £1 earned in Britain – an increase of 7% in the last fifteen years. The poorest half of the population taking home just 18p – dropping 1% during the same period.

The story in the US is similar. Robert Reich, former US Labour Secretary under Bill Clinton commented:

“Income inequality and wealth inequality even more so, are worse in the United States since the 1920s, and by some measures since the 1890s. Most of the economic gains in the past 25 years have gone to the top 15-20 percent of Americans, but more recently, in the past six to seven years, most of the economic gains have gone to the top one percent. . . . The average CEO is making about 380 times more than the average worker – a huge gap relative to what it used to be 40 years ago – it was about 30 times.”

Whilst wages, working conditions and social security for the majority of the world are being undermined, the conditions of the 1% continue to improve as the rules which govern the world are bent in their favour.  It is time we stopped living in a fantasy land of “trickle-down economics” and “anyone can make it if they try” fairy tales.

The Rules – A Campaign We Need to Get Behind

The campaign, which encompasses phone boxes (60 in all across the capital), a mobile billboard, viral video, postcards (and more) will run from the 11th to the 24th of March, is being brought to the UK by new anti-poverty initiative – The Rules  - on behalf of people from the majority world who have signed a petition by people online and via a new mobile innovation called Crowdring, which enables people to sign a petition via dialling a “missed call.” This is a similar mechanism to Indian anti-corruption campaign of 2011, which became the biggest petition-type campaign ever seen, allowing people to participate without internet access and at very low cost.

The Rules invites all comers, anywhere in the world, to join a global movement to rewrite the rules in the interests of the majority of the world, rather than the minority:

“Our world has never been more connected or more prosperous than it is today. Yet right now, one in every three of us alive today does not have access to the most basic needs for a decent life – food, education, medical care, a safe environment.

The good news is that for the first time, ordinary citizens like you and I have the power and ability to change the rules that are creating these injustices. Technology and the shift of global power mean that we can now demand our say in decisions that have traditionally been made by elites behind closed doors. But the truth is, these things will only change if we demand it.”

The campaign operates as a decentralised network with several campaign hubs around the world, including in Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York and Rio. The focus of these hubs is to identify issues, opportunities, technologies and regional strategies for each campaign.

The ‘engine room’ for their campaigns is the Working Group, which is made up of more than 70 people from around the world. Members come as individual volunteers, not as representatives of their respective organisations. They come from a broad range of organizations – from civil society, to grassroots advocacy groups, to policy think tanks, to technology providers.

The sole objective of the Working Group is to help create campaigns for viable, alternative rules that serve the interests of the world’s majority, with disproportionate benefit to the poor, vulnerable and marginalised among us.

There will be a day of action on 16 March, where representatives from the majority world, The Rules and UK activists from groups such as Occupy and UK Uncut will all come together to transform a space in the City of London into a “tropical tax haven.” Pete the Temp has been confirmed to MC.

So, spread the word and join the campaign.  It is time to stop complaining about the rules, and start rewriting them.

Take Action

Join The Rules campaign and be a part of the solution

This is a guest post from UK blogger and leftist social activist Scriptonite Daily. Follow Scriptonite Daily on Facebook and Twitter.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Dirty Girls’: 13-year-old riot grrrls don’t give a shit what you think of them, 1996
03.08.2013
10:35 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism
Heroes
Punk

Tags:
feminism
Riot Grrrl
Zines


 
Fascinating amateur documentary about some spirited and independent-thinking 13-year-old riot grrls who publish their own ‘zine. They’re the outcasts of the school and they just don’t give a shit.

When you meet their classmates, it’s easy to understand why…

Everyone in the schoolyard held strong opinions about these so-called “dirty girls,” and meanwhile the “dirty girls” themselves aimed to get their message across by distributing their zine across campus.

This was posted on YouTube just a few days ago and hasn’t had too many views yet. I wonder if these girls—well, they’ll be nearing their thirties now—have seen it?

If I was one of these self-possessed young women, I think I’d watch this today—it’s International Women’s Day, of course—with great pride. I wonder what became of them?

Shot in 1996 by Michael Lucid, when he himself was a high school student, and finished in 2000.
 

 
Via World of Wonder

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Broomsticks: Creepy, rape-y vintage ad from the 1960s
03.06.2013
12:10 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Feminism
History

Tags:
WTF
Broomsticks


 
Apparently the “game” was:

“Ring Around Rosie. Or Carol. Or Eleanor, etc. Fun. But you can only play if you wear Broomsticks slacks.”

Broomsticks, huh? Okay, sure, but what about what she’s wearing? I’ve seen my fair share of sexist ads, but just… wow.

What the hell was this advertising agency thinking? Who approved this shit?

Via Copyranter and Jezebel

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Adult ‘Parlour Games’: Exclusive new drawings by Sig Waller (NSFW)

rellawgisxesrolrapsemag1.jpg
 
Artist Sig Waller has given Dangerous Minds an exclusive preview of her latest work—3 drawings that form part of her Parlour Games series. The drawings are adapted from 18th century engravings (used to illustrate books by the Marquis de Sade), which are drawn in ink directly onto vintage napkins and antimacassars.

See more of Sig Waller‘s work here or, follow Sig on Facebook.
 
More of Sig’s art, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Anaïs Nin on her feminist heroes (and LSD)
02.25.2013
06:10 am

Topics:
Books
Drugs
Feminism
Sex

Tags:
Anaïs Nin


 
Characteristically serene and sweet, diarist and erotic writer Anaïs Nin waxes poetic on some of her favorite rebellious women, including psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé (who could hold her own against Freud and Nietzsche) and Caresse Crosby, the infamous libertine, anti-war crusader and publisher of Joyce, Kay Boyle, Hemingway, Hart Crane, D. H. Lawrence, René Crevel, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound.

Nin expounds on her penchant for female rabble-rousers, as well as peacemakers, leading into her LSD experience (the drug was administered by Dr. Oscar Janiger) “a world accessible to the poet, accessible to the artist,” in which she “became gold.”
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Dear Abby: ‘Why not let God plan your family?’
02.19.2013
11:50 am

Topics:
Belief
Feminism
Heroes

Tags:
Dear Abby


 
Dear Abby’s thoughts on God and Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the date for this.

I did find another article from The Miami News dated March 1, 1978 . The question posed to Dear Abby by “Helpful in Orlando” was:

Even though Planned Parenthood does an excellent job, you do your readers a disservice when you refer them ONLY to Planned Parenthood.

There are only 190 Planned Parenthood affiliates in the United States with approximately 650 clinics, so obviously not all communities are served by Planned Parenthood offices.

To read more of Helpful in Orlando’s question and Dear Abby’s response go here.


 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Happy 80th Birthday Yoko Ono
02.18.2013
09:35 am

Topics:
Art
Feminism
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Yoko Ono


 
A very, very happy birthday to the very, very wonderful Yoko Ono who turns 80 today!

I was introduced to Yoko Ono (I mean the concept of her; her work) when I was a little kid, probably 6 years old, and I found a copy of her book Grapefruit at a church rummage sale for like a quarter. I’m not trying to impress anyone with how smart or sophisticated I was when I was a small child, Grapefruit was something I stumbled across. All I knew about her then was that she had something to do (I didn’t know what, exactly) with the Beatles, who I was all into because I’d recently seen Yellow Submarine.

Grapefruit, a tiny book of the short, simplistic, whimsical and often hilarious artistic aphorisms Yoko is known for, is not exactly beyond the comprehension level of a precocious child. Here are some examples:

Carry a bag of peas.
Leave a pea wherever you go.

or

Steal all the clocks and watches
in the world.
Destroy them.

or

Imagine the clouds dripping.
Dig a hole in your garden to
put them in.

It helps if you imagine Yoko’s voice reading it. For me it was love at first sight. I have always been in love with Grapefruit and with Yoko Ono. There has never been a time in my life when I wasn’t. I grabbed her albums from cut-out bins and garage sales throughout the 70s. Yoko was awesome and made music like no other!

I never got the whole “Yoko sucks” thing. It seemed so idiotic to me, then as now (I can see someone thinking that in 1975, but after post-punk showed just how ahead of her time she was? There’s no excuse anymore!).

Yoko Ono is a charter member of my pantheon of personal heroes. I even own a “Box of Smile,” her conceptual art piece that was mass produced in 1971 (It’s a small plastic box with a mirror inside. I have never—and I repeat NEVER—seen someone fail to crack a smile when they open it, not once).

When Yoko Ono announced on her Twitter feed in 2009 that she would answer some questions, she answered mine in the first batch. Keeping in mind what I wrote above, here’s what I asked and her reply:

@RichardMetzger
Do you find that children “get” your conceptual art pieces better than adults?

@yokoono
Not necessarily. There are kids who think they are grown ups and don’t want to know anything that smells like kids stuff. And there are grown-ups who are still kids at heart who clearly get my work.

That made my day, I can assure you.

An excerpt from Yoko’s “Mind Train”:
 

 
Below, Yoko tells interviewer David Frost, in 1967: “My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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