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Rah! Rah! Roundup

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Artist Alyssa Boni has been doing the Lord’s work for Elle UK, photoshopping men out of photos of politicians to prove what should be an obvious point: we need #MoreWomen in politics. For example:

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Black Girl Magik As Feminist Formation (& A Valentine’s Day Well Spent)

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It was a cold day in Brooklyn, one of those days that’s so freezing you want to kiss a stranger on the subway just to warm your face. It was Valentine’s Day, after all, so maybe this would have been permissible but I kept my lips to myself as I chugged along on the L train. I went to Love Potion #5, a Black Girl Magik workshop, alone and without knowing a single person in the room. All of us introverts and socially awkward types know about those parties where we feel weird and lonely because we don’t know anyone. And the very thought of trying to start a conversation sounds like a day at the dentist. I strolled into Love Potion teary-eyed from the cold and a half an hour late from getting lost. When I walked in, the first people I saw was a group of young white hipsters who took one quick look at my befuddled face before saying, “It’s over there.”  Continue reading

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Why Take the Risk? More Drugs to Take “Just in Case”

New CDC guidelines intended to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in children have been causing quite the firestorm in feminist circles lately! The confusion probably began when women didn’t understand the CDC’s helpful infographic, which recommends that all women who are thinking about becoming pregnant abstain completely from alcohol, and that all trollops women who do drink alcohol make sure they’re on birth control:

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The CDC actually removed the top part of this infographic last week, probably in response to all the confusion and anger. But since much of the information on the image, such as the implication that women who drink alcohol are responsible if someone else assaults or injures them, is still part of the CDC fact sheet on excessive alcohol use by women, many women are still really confused. For one thing, the infographic could do a lot more to help us completely eliminate the risk of accidentally getting drunk and pregnant. In fact, it could do more to help us figure out how prescription medications might completely eliminate the risk of a lot of other problems we might encounter in our lives. Don’t worry, though! WEIRD SISTER is here to help. Just follow these simple steps to figure out which prophylactic prescription drugs you should start taking, just to be safe! And if you finish this article and you’re still confused, make sure you’re taking hormonal birth control. That way, any damage you do to your own health won’t be inflicted on your millions of potential innocent babies! Continue reading

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Why Hillary Clinton = Courtney Love: 2 Important Charts

You guys, did you realize that Hillary Clinton is the Courtney Love of the 2016 Democratic primaries? And that that makes Bernie Sanders Kurt Cobain?! Read on & I’ll show you two infographics that totally prove it. Plus, they’ll help you registered Dems out there decide how to cast your vote!

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Rah! Rah! Roundup

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Alexis Clements wrote an essay for Hyperallergic about her experience attending the Poetry Project’s live event, “White Room,” a conversation dealing with how to dismantle white supremacy among American poets. Among many other observations, she notes: “People have been walking away from and refusing the white room, the male room, the straight room, the able-bodied room, all the rooms, for a long time. Alternative spaces and radical political movements did not get “killed” in this country. Narratives of failure around radical politics often look at too short a time span, too little of a sweep of history.”  

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The Blank Space (continued), or, Night Fell in the Hole: A Comic

“The Blank Space (continued), or, Night Fell in the Hole” takes up where our last installment of “The Blank Space” left off. Read part one here, browse part two below, and stay tuned for what happens next in the non-linear, monthly serialization of a project known in its entirety (as it inches toward bookhood) as The Conditions of Our Togetherness.

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How to Sound Like an Asian Female Poet

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Image via Angry Little Girls, Lela Lee.

I wrote/recorded (click here to hear) the following in reaction to recent events. Also, our fabulous Weird Sister Soleil Ho wrote a related post (which you should also check out if you haven’t already)…

[Procedure: Have an actual Asian female poet silently mouth “take my face take my voice take my face take my voice” throughout this entire audio recording]

Are you a cis-white male poet who’s been rejected over and over for the same shitty poem? Do you want this same shitty poem to be selected for the Best American Poetry anthology?

Then look no further–just adopt an Asian female voice! Continue reading

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Feminist Halloween Costumes for 2015

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Last year there was the Sexy Bunch of Grapes. This year it’s the Sexy Pizza Rat. The more things change, the more you need a list of feminist Halloween costume ideas. In honor of WEIRD SISTER’s upcoming first birthday (!!!!) I’m updating last year’s hoary old list of literary feminist costume ideas with some Totally Topical Feminist Costumes for 2015, including plenty of references drawn from WEIRD SISTER’s first twelve months! (Don’t forget to review last year’s list of Feminist Halloween Do’s and Don’ts to make sure your Edgy Feminist Halloween Costume is feminist fun for everyone.) Continue reading

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The Universe Doesn’t Know You Exist : An Interview with Meghan O’Neil Pennie of Super Unison, ex-Punch

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Super Unison, photo by Matthew Kadi

There’s this tree growing behind my apartment that took me five years to really notice. It’s huge. Twenty feet taller than our three-story building, with dense leaves, a squirrel’s nest, and a rotating cast of birds. I don’t understand why I took it for granted for so long. Maybe I needed to live in New York City for a few years before I realized how special it was to have an epic, dynamic, vital being growing in your backyard. Anyway, Meghan O’Neil Pennie, the lead singer and bassist of Super Unison, and former lead singer of PUNCH, is like that for me too. Meghan was the big sister of the drummer in my high school punk band. She was always lurking when we practiced in his parent’s living room. In college she was my best friend’s roommate, so we would often cook dinner together and hang. She felt like a family member who had always been around and always would be. So when she started singing for PUNCH, I hardly noticed. I feel stupid about that now. Her vocals on  the five(!) PUNCH records released by 625, Deathwish, Discos Huelgas, are so fucking ferocious and unrelenting it hurts my throat and heart to listen. Meghan also has this incredibly powerful stage presence. I’m watching old  YOUTUBE videos and found one of her performing at a festival in the Czech Republic and she’s leaping about stage with one broken foot while people stagedive around her. Meghan derived the title of PUNCH’s last record, “They Don’t Have to Believe” from the Kathleen Hanna documentary, The Punk Singer, in which Hanna says “she doesn’t expect everyone to understand or believe in feminism or her personal battle with illness, but they should have to stay out of her way.” Meghan’s work in her new band, Super Unison, continues in this lineage. Her vocals are upfront and unapologetic, slightly more melodic than before, a little less thrash and a little more riot grrrl. Here, Meghan and I talk about her new band, her lyrics, and how she became the musician she is today. Continue reading

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28 LESSONS LEARNED FROM A YEAR OF ‘BEING UNREASONABLE’; FOR BROWN AND BLACK POETS & OUR CHOSEN FAMILIES

a status report on my piece from earlier this year: “To Being Unreasonable in 2015”

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LESSON #1:  Embrace your hostility. Be angry. Be a stain. Be what others call a “negative” person.  Create a “zone of hostility so large it creates a forcefield of care for yourself and your kin.”* Pick every last fight. Learn the words “go fuck yourself.” Wake up each morning and say: “Our mothers didn’t bring us here to shut up.” Those who do not want to hear your anger do not want to hear you at all. Those who wonder why you are so negative all the time don’t realize how vocalizing this anger publicly and loudly might, in fact, be part of your survival. 

LESSON #2: As a result of lesson 1, your inbox will become an unsafe space; don’t check it in public or late at night or too early in the morning. Or at the bar. Or on the train. Or before work. Take special care with emails from well-meaning white friends who have been confused by you: Are you referring to me in that tweet from 2 weeks ago???  2PM is the best time to check e-mail—far enough into the day that you can still make it through.

LESSON #3: Learn that your first English words, at the age of four, were HI! & PLEASE! & THANK YOU!—and that you were taught these words before you really knew what they meant. Learn that you performed them like a parrot to try to pass as American at an airport in Texas. Learn that from the moment you’ve entered this country, you’ve been excelling at passing, so this heartbreak you are feeling now, this unlearning that feels like death, this feeling that you’ve been a phony your whole life, is actually somewhat real, because, who are you? who have you been? Continue reading

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