Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bust(ed) Music

About a week ago, I finally received my copy of Bust Magazine. One I thoroughly enjoy reading for its DIY projects, recipes, feminist-friendly product advertisements, and its recommended books, movies, and music. As an admitted music addict (who has no intention of kicking her habit) I am constantly looking and listening for new music to add to my collection. I listen to a little bit of everything and Bust always provides a long list of new stimulating music from various genres and singers. Most of the songs on my iPod are considered “alternative rock.” Lot’s of things define a good song and/or band for me: the two most important things are the lyrics of the songs and the sound of the voice. I have to love both to love the band. Recently, I have been at a lost for most alternative music because there is a lack of diverse voices—I’m mostly disappointed that there still seems to be a lack of woman’s presences in rock music despite the Riot Grrrl movement. I have found Bust to provide many bands with women as the only members or the lead singers, thankfully restoring some of my faith in the alternative rock genre, one which is still ruled my men.

Here is a list of the many artists/albums in the most recent issue of Bust (Jun/Jul 2011). Every issue has the Bust Guide in it with paragraphs of descriptions of the albums.

Jun/Jul Bust Guide

Arctic Monkeys “Suck it and see”

**Art Brut “Brilliant! Tragic!”

Austra “Feel It Break”

***Le Butcherettes “Sin Sin Sin”

I don’t know how anyone couldn’t love Le Butcherettes with their alternative rock sound and frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s strong swaggery voice. I loved this album so much I purchased it off of iTunes (I’m telling you I’m an addict). My favorite song off the album is “New York.” I get up and dance to it every time it comes up on my playlist. Bust writes, “…they’ve created an album that both lives up to the legend of the live performance and also informs it. Imagine the innovation of the Locust infused into pop songs that clock in past one minute with a frontwoman who doesn’t give a shit if you like her politics…Teri Gender Bender has something to say. You should listen.” (April Wolfe, Bust Jun/Jul 2011, pg. 75).

Bachelorette “Bachelorette”

Beastie Boys “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two”

Cat’s Eyes “Cat’s Eyes”

***Cults “Cults”

I love this album, which was just released on June 7th of this year.

Death Cab For Cutie “Codes and Keys”

Gang Gang Dance “Eye Contact”

***K.D. Lang and The Siss Boom Bang “Sing It Loud”

This album brings me peace. I find the KD Lang’s voice to be relaxing and the lyrics to be relatable. I belt out in song as I listen to this album; it’s hard to pick a favorite song….but I have to go with “A Sleep With No Dreaming.

Sondre Lerche “Sondra Lerche”

Making Friendz “Social Life”

**Metal Mother “Bonfire Diaries”

“I don’t like fluffy music,” says Tara Tati, the woman who records as Metal Mother. I enjoyed this album because of the depth its music held. As described in the linked blog by J. Poet for SOMA magazine, Tati’s music uses different elements much like the Earth, embracing the deep qualities that are within the Earth and all women. My favorite songs from the album are “In The Bones” and “Vices.”

Mia Doi Todd “Cosmic Ocean Ship”

Thurston Moore “Demolished Thoughts”

Planningtorock “W”

Anni Rossi “Heavy Meadow”

Seapony “Go With Me”

Yacht “Shangri-La”

Other bands/albums are advertised:

Girls In Trouble “Half You Half Me”

Moby “Destroyed”

Vetiver “The Errant Charm”

Boniner “Boniner”

Amy Klein “I Know What You Want”

Arron Dean “MPLs”

Explosions In The Sky “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care”

Matthew Cooper “Some days are better than others”

Young Widows “In and Out of Youth and Lightness”

Grails “Deep Politics”

Cass McCombs “Wit’s end”

Austra “Feel It Break”

Wild Beasts “Smother”

Junior Boys “It’s All True”

Katharine Whalen “Madly Love”

The Mountain Goats “All Eternals Deck”

Amor De Días “Street of the Love of Days”

Times New Viking “Dancer Equired”

Destroyer “Kaputt”

The Ladybug Transistor “Clutching Stems”

Telekinesis “12 Desperate Straight Lines”

The Rosebuds “Loud Planes Fly Low”

Bust online has even more albums on their music review page (200+). I haven’t had the chance to look through all of them yet, but I intend on doing so in my free time. Music is a form of expression (like books as discussed in a previous blog) and it’s important for women’s voices to be heard (literally) in song.


~Katie, Oakland County NOW Intern

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pregnancy From Rape and Flat Tires...They're the Same Thing...

Well, according to Rep. Pete DeGraaf they are. In mid-May Kansas legislator approved a ban on insurance coverage for abortions as part of general health plans. The only type of abortion that is covered is one in which case the woman's life is threatened. DeGraaf also wanted to ban abortions of rape pregnancies. When his notion was challenged he responded that women should be prepared for pregnancy from rape just like they're prepared for flat tires. The full article written by Peter Rugg for Pitch.com is here.

Kansas NOW raised $4000 to deliver spare tires to DeGraaf at the capital building, they were stopped by police, but their state coordinator may deliver the tires to his house. I would personally like to mail this man a tire--let him know that women up in Michigan are offended by his remark and want him to have a spare tire from the metro city just in case he ever needs it.

The question I would like to ask DeGraaf is exactly how should women be prepared for rape pregnancy? Wouldn't having the legal option, support, and insurance coverage of an abortion be considered preparation for such a horrifying incident? Thank you DeGraaf for blaming the victim of rape for her trauma and for telling her she should have been more prepared. Heaven forbid the man that rapes the woman is held responsible for his actions. No one would want to experience the violent violation of their body and when they're blamed for it you're hurting them more. Again, I beg the question, how can a woman be prepared for a pregnancy from rape? If DeGraaf has an answer I would very much like to hear it...but as of now he is remaining silent in Kansas, probably hoping everyone forgets what he said.

Katie, Oakland County NOW intern

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fashion for girls “too pretty to do math”

I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this post on the About-Face blog. This tee shirt slogan goes right along with high heel shoes for babies and "spoiled" tee shirts. Just another way that society is telling girls their self worth rest with their appearance and not their opinions or emotions.



Fashion for girls “too pretty to do math”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I love to read. I don’t know when I started enjoying reading because it was a skill that I did not develop until the late years of my elementary education, but I remember reading my way through high school with books of fiction that inspired me to be a strong, independent woman. Most of the stories that made my life manageable were ones that had strong female protagonists, who solved problems by thinking through them and still managed to have fun while over coming personal struggles. Because I was so caught up in my fictional stories, I did not like reading non-fiction, especially theory—until I went to college and I took my first theory focused course: feminist theory.

Reading feminist theory was like taking a breath of fresh air. I found comfort and peace of mind in theoretical pieces that revealed gender inequality—something that I had always felt, even experienced, in my life but didn’t understand or know how to name. I had heard of feminism, but never truly knew what it was. I was uneducated on social movements of the 1960-70s. My idea of feminism was of women not shaving their legs and burning bras so that they could have the same rights as men. Feminist theory for me was like glasses; suddenly the blurry unequal world around me made more sense. Suddenly, the world was clearer.

As my college career has continued my exposure to different types of feminist theory and books has increased. I also have taken an acute interest in sociological theory, specifically dealing with gender, power structures, and social psychology. Below, I have listed the books in my feminist library (on the shelf right next to my fiction library). I haven’t even managed to read all of them yet. I wanted to share these books with you because they are important to me. These books have helped me understand the world we live in, made college courses very interesting, and struck up intense conversations; they have inspired me to think differently about all people, to have an open mind for inclusion and diversity; they have influenced my own feminist work; and have kept me company in the late nights when I can’t sleep.

What I’m Reading Now:

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards

Books I’ve Read:

City of Women: Sex and Class in New York 1789-1860 by Christine Stansell

Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism edited by Daisy Hernádez and Bushra Rehman

Different Wavelengths: Studies of the Contemporary Women’s Movement edited by Jo Reger

Diving Into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich

Feminist Methods In Social Research by Shulamit Reinharz

Flaunt It! Queers Organizing for Public Education and Justice by Therese Quinn and Erica R. Meiners

Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti

Gender Inequality: Feminist Theory and Politics by Judith Lorber

Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism by Alison Piepmeier

Listen Up: Voices From the Next Feminist Generation edited by Barbara Findlen

New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and The Politics of Menstruation by Chris Bobel

The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes From Home and Work by Arlie Russell Hochschild

The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild

The Wages of Motherhood: Inequality in the Welfare State 1917-1942 by Gwendolyn Mink

The W Effect: Bush’s War On Women edited by Laura Flanders

To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism edited by Rebecca Walker

Books I Haven’t Read Yet:

Daring To Be Ourselves Interviews by Marianne Schnall

Feminist Theory From Margin to Center by bell hooks

Gendered Bodies: Feminist Perspectives by Judith Lorber

He’s A Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know by Jessica Valenti

No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and The Future of Women by Estelle B. Freedman

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies edited by Sandra Harding

The Newly Born Woman by Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

To me, the beauty of feminism is that it comes in so many forms—theory, text books, personal narratives, herstories, poetry, case studies, research, subjectivity, objectivity, experience, everyday activism, art, music, expression, zines, blogs, websites, DIY, scrapbooks, theater, film, conversation, marches, rallies, politics, mentoring…the list could go on. These forms of feminist expression allow women’s stories to be told and that’s important. Every woman has a story. Every story has value.

Muriel Rukeyser said “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” My feminist expression is in books, theory and writing. What’s yours?

~Katie.

LGBTQ Pride

This weekend, June 3rd-5th, Detroit and Ferndale will be hosting Pride Festivals to celebrate and promote gay, lesbian, transsexual and queer pride. The festivals compose of many events, from rallies and marches to doggie drag shows and parades. The events are all peaceful with the simple intention of recognizing and accepting diversity in our world.

Pride events are planned each year in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion; On June 27, 1969 at a popular gay bar in New York, the Stonewall Inn, NYC police raided the bar to enforce an alcohol control law. Raids on Gay establishments were common at the time and were conducted with no resistance. But on this night, Lesbians and Gay men fought back against the police harassment for the first time. The violent resistance became known as the Stonewall Rebellion and served as a trigger for LGBTQ liberation movement today.

Michigan hosted it's first Gay and Lesbian march in Detroit in 1986, for two years the peaceful marches took place down Woodward Avenue. In 1989, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the Gay and Lesbian march was moved to Lansing with the hope of creating more political awareness. The same year, the first official Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival was founding by the Detroit Area Gay/Lesiban Council and hosted in Dearborn. In 1990, the event's name was changed to PrideFest and was relocated to Royal Oak on the campus of Oakland Community College. Through the next decade, the event would be renamed twice and in 2003, with the new name of Motor City Pride, the event was moved to Ferndale. This year, Motor City Pride is being held in Detroit at Hart Plaza and has been made into a two day event--or a pride weekend.

Motor City Pride will feature many events over the course of the weekend on three live stages and an underground dance area. Some of the events include: Drag Shows, a doggie drag show, belly dancing performances, and live performances by artists such as Eva Soul, Kimberly Cole, Kerli, Alexis Jordan, and The Killer Flamingos.

To complement the events going on downtown, the city of Ferndale is hosting it's own Pride Festival over the weekend. The pride weekend will beginning Friday June 3rd with a "We Are Family" Parade stepping off at 7pm, followed by an evening of rallies, marches, strolls and patio parties. Non-profit organizations and local businesses have partnered up to sponsor the event. The highlighted events of the Ferndale Pride Festival will occur June 3rd and early June 4th before the Motor City Pride Festival has began at Hart Plaza. There will be a shuttle to transport people between the two festivals on Saturday June 4th only.

On June 4th, the Second Annual Southeat Michigan Dyke March will commence in Ferndale as part of the Ferndale Pride Festival. The Dyke March strives to promote inclusion and equality of all genders and sexual orientations; it is also a grass-roots response to large scale pride events that tend to be male centered.

For more information and complete schedules for either event visit http://www.ferndalepride.com/ or http://motorcitypride.org/

Come visit the Oakland County NOW booths at the Ferndale Pride Festival on Friday and the Dyke March on Saturday!! Have an awesome weekend supporting and celebrating LGBTQ diversity!

~Katie