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Lyric Interventions: Feminism, Experimental Poetry, and Contemporary Discourse
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Through this film, the surveillance cinema mode has instigated a rarely-sought feminist commentary by prioritizing the complexities and concerns of a woman as she assumes the powerful position of surveillance viewer. In conclusion, while these examples serve to illustrate how surveillance cinema possesses tendencies when the act of surveillance concerns female subjects, the defining aspects lie in the differences between each film, thus they must continue to be explored and fleshed out.
Burr, Ty. Accessed March 28, Accessed July 8, David Lyon, Kevin D. Accessed March 17, Thomas Y. Wolfson, Andrew. Accessed March 19, Zimmer, Catherine. Producer Robert Evans has said that William Baldwin stated in his contract that he refused to be shown completely nude. And there isn't a leading lady who won't.
One must consider to what degree Camgirls are financially and sexually exploited even though they consent to being broadcast and viewed. Some dystopic films, namely Minority Report, address this notion more directly by narrativizing how the technology has evolved to where it can predict future crimes—it is imagined as a preventative mechanism. As in Red Road, although Jackie is not a policewoman, they enforce and surveil from a markedly gendered perspective and often sting criminals involved in child abuse, those controlling women through prostitution rings, in addition to perpetuating other forms of sexual violence.
Another Mary, Our Lady of the Snows, is also obliquely referenced in the second-to-last stanza. He for Man's comfort and she for Man's care; give her a hand for her hands are bare, washed of her self with the dishes and dirt and the knowledge of blame staining her shirt as the cry of her infant stirs up her shame, she feeds him bitterness along with his Name, her only Creation, her only Word, another desire becoming her Lord.
Windbent, twisted, spare, a lone tree beckons. Its bark is rough. Her cheek is scratched. She melds to root, trunk, branch. Pu blicatio n an d Rh e to rical Practice s o f On e Fe m in is t N e w s le tte r Tiffany Kinney Throughout the s, women frequently learned about the Radical Feminist Movement through the publication of small, unassuming newsletters they received during social gatherings such as consciousness- raising sessions, protests, or group meetings.
In addition to its readership, this text is historically and rhetorically significant because it raised the consciousness of many women, and recruited them into the radical feminist movement— a movement that functioned to end gender inequity by critiquing and rebuilding the fundamental structures of society.
Compared to other newsletters, it is unique because it was frequently published and had a visually coherent format throughout the course of its publication.
Lyric Interventions: Feminism, Experimental Poetry, and Contemporary Discourse
Although other radical feminist newsletters share the same characteristics, there is no other publication that possesses those traits to the same degree as Voice. It is important to note that while Voice may have expanded its page count and included writings that were not strictly political prose during its two-year span, it did not alter its original format or content in any substantial way that could re-characterize this text as anything but a newsletter. While newsletters produced by other social movements and historical accounts of activism are well documented, the Second Wave feminist newsletter is often ignored.
Here, she recovers radical feminist texts for the study of composition and argues that examining these texts can inspire resistant ways of teaching composition. Building on the work of Rhodes, my article involves historiographical research to further recover the specific genre of radical feminist newsletters for rhetoric and feminist studies.
I work toward recovering this genre by situating these newsletters inside a historical context, and closely analyzing the linguistic devices used by one feminist group as demonstrated in their newsletter, The Voice. Historical Context of Radical Fem inist N ew sletters: Before completing a close reading of the language published in radical Second Wave feminist newsletters, it is important to properly contextualize these documents, including a full view of these newsletters produced in the late s-early s and situating them into the history of feminist participatory media.
This contextualization is important because it proves this genre was not a one-time creation, but is instead part of the continuum of feminist literature. From the First to the Third Wave, feminists have routinely experienced exclusion from traditional forms of publication i.
In response, they have cultivated a space — literally — for their feminist ideas by designing, creating and publishing their own form of participatory media. During the early s, women and girls would compile scrapbooks by gathering collections of personally significant memorabilia such as calling cards, newspaper clippings, and photographs and assemble them to effectively function as a record of their daily lives and interests.
These First Wave feminists were contributing and commenting on public life within a genre scrapbooks that was accessible to them. With the advent of printing technology such as the photocopier and the mimeograph machine, Second Wave feminists were able to forgo hand- making their publications and instead create documents by machine.
Furthermore, the publications that came out of the three waves of feminism shared a common objective to continue the discussion of feminist ideology—as each question and critique the subordinate role of women in order to promote gender equality. These feminist publications give women an intellectual and embodied community where they can exchange their ideas. Each of the genres function as a public outlet for women to self-publish their ideas when these ideas do not fit a traditional script and do not conform to established modes of publication.
Placing these Second Wave, radical newsletters inside the continuum of participatory feminist media offers a dynamic view of the history of sustained feminist resistance. It resembled an alternative newspaper with its simple design containing two columns, date, issue number, and title.
The first edition was free and small enough that readers could slip the copies into their handbags and distribute them with little trouble. All text conformed to the expected 12 point, Times New Roman font, yet the content of the first lines was unexpected. We left it blank. Suggestions for the [banner title] will be printed in the next issue.
Please send yours in. If you can pay nothing, and still want to receive this newsletter, write us a letter claiming poverty. Here, both pieces of textual evidence engage the audience in unique ways by asking them to participate in the publication of the newsletter, even if their resources are slim. Ultimately, the first page of the first edition of Voice is characterized by a writing style that is sincere, fair, direct, ambitious, and empathetic, that arguably reflects the shared values that initially brought these radical activists together.
Like most media produced by a group as part of a social movement, radical Second Wave feminist newsletters were published to recruit new members into their group and inspire political action among the established membership. What is interesting about these texts is not their motive—that is simplistic and easy to derive from their historical moment—but the methods they used to accomplish their objective.
The writers of Voice employ polarizing rhetoric to garner support and inspire political action among their readers. For readers who were already part of the movement, this attitudinally polarizing rhetoric solidified their commitment to the radical feminist cause and inspired a specific form of political action. Separating the Com m itted from the Am bivalent by Em ploy ing Polarizing Language: The content within the first edition of Voice, which is specifically analyzed in the following pages, was heavily saturated in polarizing rhetoric.
By design, this polarity forces the reader to take sides— to either agree or disagree with the arguments made. For many radical feminist newsletters, the polarizing language was so hyperbolic that it not only forced its readers to commit to a side, but it also inspired readers to re-articulate this language and to engage in action that would bring these ideas to fruition. Polarizing language permeates the radical feminist newsletter and is exemplified by a rhetorical device showing up on the opening page of its inaugural issue.
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This articulation does not consider other ways to facilitate change, such as using the legal system, as advocated by liberal feminists, or a redistribution of wealth, as promoted by socialist feminists. Mere equality is not enough. Equality in an unjust society is meaningless. Again, this selectivity highlights the polarizing rhetoric employed in radical feminist newsletters because Joreen presents a fair explanation to bolster one solution as absolute, instead of more fully attending to competing, alternative solutions. In continuing to read the first edition, the reader becomes one of the group— her membership solidified in the next page with a call to action.
Initially, the reader goes from encountering polarizing rhetoric to, if she finishes this text, to considering herself a radical woman who solidified her commitment to the cause — a cause for which she would entertain planning and performing feminist activism. Conclusion: Radical feminist newsletters deserve more critical academic attention, specifically as it relates to the unexplored arenas of feminist media production and the rhetorical devices used to persuade audiences that consume these communicative products; some of these unexplored products include other radical feminist newsletters such as N otes from the First Year, Lilith and Cell Outside of the newsletter form, attending to feminist media products such as the manifesto and dictionary would further our understanding of how its producers employed rhetorical devices that were widely used in newsletters to build a coalition i.
The Bitch Manifesto and the S.
This attitudinal polarization functions to separate those who were genuine radical feminists, ready to sacrifice for their cause, from those who were more ambivalent. It solidifies a coalition of readers who, in turn, work to support a radical analysis of social issues, participate in activism that opposes the fundamental roots of gender discrimination, and create a space for women.
Bowers, John Waite and Donovan J. Charles E.
Newsletters are typically published by many groups, including clubs, churches, businesses and organizations. Yet one can infer from the issues and concerns raised in Voice, the demographics of those writing for Voice and even those photographed participating in the radical feminist movement during this time, that these readers were primarily white, middle-upper class, heterosexual women. From the length of Voice and its rhetorical moves one can also safely assume that these women had leisure time and were well educated.
Although Voice mentions women involved in the Socialist revolution in Cuba and suggests that women-loving-women could be a short-term strategy to free women from heterosexual sex, there is no substantial examination of issues which were outside the experience of white, middle-class, educated, heterosexual women. The novel revolves around Camille Preaker, an emotionally troubled young journalist whose return to her parochial hometown of Wind Gap in the wake of the murder of two young girls, Ann Nash and Natalie Keene both found strangled and with their teeth pried out , results in a destructive family reunion.
Sometimes they come out. In winter time, they leaked streaks of tears whenever she went outdoors. How confusing to live in the shadow of a shadow… [she had] a penchant for doing and seeing nasty things. Burning on my left hip: petticoat. Camille, of course, writes for a living, and her continuing presence in Wind Gap is ostensibly due to a professional obligation.
As she becomes re-immersed in the town-wide cycle of passive-aggressive conflict, her self-destructive urges intensify, and she is tormented with violently intrusive thoughts. Her ability to literally weaponize language is a perverse rejoinder to the unspoken caveats of female rivalry her words cut in the most literal sense. She is careful not to reveal this narrative of disfigurement in its entirety to those around her, and even the reader is only permitted momentary glimpses of her mutilated skin.
Camille observes similar patterns of behaviour in their younger counterparts. You have the control. Like watching a rape and saying nothing. Their gestures toward self-destruction are indicative of a conflicted consciousness — these women are unable to properly assimilate the violent and destructive impulses which they believe are an affront to their femininity, and so they attempt to direct these impulses inward instead.
Violent physical conflict is traded for silent hostility, public displays of aggression are replaced with covert victimisation often confined to the domestic sphere. They have neither the energy for it, not the desire… unlikeable women refuse to give in to that temptation. They are, instead, themselves.
Ribbons of moist, pink flesh dangled from strings… the walls were covered with photographs of naked women… [women] held down and penetrated. One woman was tied up… I could smell them all in the thick, gory air. The women visible in this tableau are submissive, opened up, as vulnerable as the butchered rabbits strung from the ceiling. Pigs are extremely smart, sociable creatures, and this forced assembly-line intimacy makes the nursing sows want to die. While both are adept at the intricate power-plays and unwritten edicts governing female hostility, they seem to value the comparative honesty of such male cruelty — this is tangible violence; it leaves a mark and a stench and requires no craftiness or duplicity; it is violence that may be owned, by both victim and perpetrator, neither of whom can abjure the repercussions of such violence.
As she begins to investigate the local murders, she becomes increasingly invested in the perverted power dynamics of her family and the town as a whole and is forced to confront the violent reality of her past and her own potentially inherited capacity for malice. She is unable to psychologically separate her yearning to inflict pain from her socially inscribed role of nurturer, and so her transgressions are couched in maternal benevolence. Jameson is very masterful and kind… said that I was an angel, and that every child should have a mother like me.
This wilful contradiction in terms indicates the extent to which these women have internalised the dynamics of female power and victimhood; they are so inured to the ephemeral hostility of half-truths, indirection and nonverbal conflict that the prospect of one girl using physical violence to subjugate another evokes little more than revolted awe; to discuss the possibility of unambiguous female aggression would be to approach a truth that they cannot acknowledge for fear of relinquishing their own appropriated vulnerability and the inverse power it grants them.
I have known so many sick women all my life… women get consum ed. Tampons and speculums. Cocks, fingers, vibrators and more, between the legs, from behind, in the mouth. We were wild. I could never have anything to myself. Adora is constantly feeding or trying to feed Amma and Camille — during her final interaction with Camille, she forces her daughter to ingest a poisoned meal. Just as she insists that they absorb her tainted sustenance and submit to her lethal mothering, she attempts to impart a kind of learned helplessness, a self-conscious system of malevolent co- dependence.
Most of her victims are older women, paragons of the kind of femininity which threatens to curb her ferocity and render her toothless literally, as it turns out. These small ministrations initially misinterpreted as repurposed tenderness, of the kind practiced by Adora are part of a ritual of sorts, a spiteful indoctrination into the cult of femininity which looms large over these girls and heralds the end of their youthful liberty.
In death, their complexities are reduced to shallow anecdotes, their sharp edges made smooth, the perpetual interplay between victimisation and victimhood simplified by the ultimate act of physical domination. These girls share her craving for bloodshed and domination, and her decision to enact their destruction in order to satisfy her own craving while ensuring that they are adorned with certain aesthetic signifiers of normative femininity is a surrender of sorts to the status quo, the excision of those parts of her self which can never be understood or accepted.
Little girls in prison slacks and T-shirts hung on monkey bars and gym rings, under supervision of fat, angry female guards. Then she opened her mouth just slightly, took a tiny bit of flesh between her teeth, and gave it a little bite. The baby wailed. Her matriarchal role is one she seems intermittently bewildered with, as though she has sleepwalked into motherhood - Camille believes that she regards children with a resentful wariness, and is looking for an escape.
The small but shocking act of violence witnessed by Camille seems more instinctive than calculated, almost animal in nature. Like Natalie, she longs to consume rather than be consumed by her own performance of blinkered, gentle womanhood — such outbursts are a cathartic reminder of her true nature. In Wind Gap, female violence, although generally socially unacceptable, is doubly so when directed against a child.
Mothers are never callous they are not indifferent. To bear children. Even after she is found guilty of the first-degree murder of Marian, she is buffered by support from people eager to absolve her of her destructive agency and reduce her, once again, to victimhood. One of the only witnesses to the abduction of Natalie is a young boy, James Capisi, who describes the abductor as a ghostly woman, a spectre lurking in the woods. In conclusion, Sharp Objects skilfully examines and deconstructs the illusion of femininity as intrinsically soft, safe, and nurturing through its exploration of the often shockingly spiteful female interactions it depicts.
The imminent threat of female self-destruction is similarly invoked and manipulated, used to counterbalance the weight of potential psychological implosion. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its depiction of a kind of domestic slaughterhouse, in which the division between human and animal is made indistinguishable.
Amma is adjacent to this tradition in that her gender and socioeconomic position should facilitate a detachment from the horror of the abattoir Camille observes that the porcine stench and bloody clamour of the farm is so pervasive that it amounts to a multi-sensorial assault on the workers, most of whom have been drawn from the lower end of the Wind Gap social spectrum - she doesn't need to spend time in the brutalising milieu of the factory farm, she chooses to.
Like Amma, Rhoda offsets her sadism with a performance of girlish benevolence. She found peace in the expanding dark, the swampy blues of the crickets, the whip-poor-will. She was shocked— To be at ease, crouching in the dirt, marching, The Cause-Neglected grass cool on throbbing blisters. It came without thought, running into the mass of men, scattered like a kicked anthill, with no plan but to keep breathing, smells of dirty bodies, rotting men, that rebel yell. The way her body shuddered with her heart, but only before and after, How steady her hands, loading-loading-loading her musket.
Astonished— That it felt more natural to fight, than to roll bandages, to serve water to the wounded and listen to their stories. I chose to apply the photo to a wooden panel in order to mirror the blue shutter and the materiality of the Queen herself. This further creates a layered realm of materials and textures that exist in the moment revealed through the lens of the camera. The clouds, which begin at her throat, rise above her eyes and enhance her internal revere. The blurred text implies an outside rhetoric that is not truly part of her experience, but rather indicative of outside forces.
Ferret Queen, 20 Dione M. King Literature Dating violence is becoming a well-documented phenomenon among college student populations. According to Bannon, fraternity and sorority members compose a unique sub-culture on college campuses that have higher rates of both perpetration and victimization. Gender norms have been found to have a significant impact on the rate of acceptance of dating violence by fraternity and sorority members. A secondary analysis of data of five surveys questions indicated that student athletes held a higher acceptance rate of dating violence than members of Greek organization and the student body in general.
There were participants of which 65 were students affiliated with a fraternity or sorority and 14 were student athletes specific sports were not disclosed. Of the five questions analyzed, student athletes scored higher on all test items see Tables 1 and 2. The findings of the study supported the hypothesis that student athletes had a higher acceptance of dating violence than the general members of the student body.
Contrary to the secondary hypothesis, the data indicates that student athletes had a higher rate of acceptance than individuals with Greek affiliation.
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Due to limitations in the sample size, this study should be viewed as an exploratory work demonstrating the need for future examination into collegian athletic affiliation and a culture of dating violence acceptance. Table 1 Survey Questions and Answers Acceptance of General Dating Violence Scale Questions Possible Responses Q1 Violence between dating partners can improve the relationship Strongly Disagree Q2 There are times when violence between dating partners is okay Disagree Q3 Sometimes violence is the only way to express your feelings Agree Q4 Some couples must use violence to solve their problems Strongly Agree Q5 Violence between dating partners is a personal matter and people should not interfere 21 Notes.
First, more work is needed to understand the gender norms of female athletes within the context of dating violence victimization. Thirdly, the existing scholarly literature that explores similar gender norms within Greek culture suggests that collegian athlete interactions should also be further explored to assess their perceived acceptance of dating violence. There is a growing body of knowledge related to the occurrence of risk factors for dating violence such as hyper masculinity, and unique female gender norms within Greek culture on college campus.
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Collegian athletes also possess similar factors but further research is needed to assess these risk factors. The utility of such analysis could foster stronger dating violence awareness and prevention campaigns targeted at the athletic population on college campuses. King, Dione, S. These homeless youth face a plethora of sexual and reproductive health challenges. These health challenges include sexually transmitted diseases STDs , sexually transmitted infections STIs , and a lack of access to reproductive health care, contraceptives, prenatal care, and maternal care2.
Homeless youth also experience decreased access to sex education and are more likely than their housed peers to undergo mental and physical health problems from sexual abuse and assault3. The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, established in , is a federal law that attempts to prevent initial youth descent into homelessness and to intervene with assistance for youth who are currently homeless. Funded by grants from the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, maternity group home programs are responsible for facilitating reproductive justice by providing sexual, prenatal, and maternal health services to pregnant and parenting homeless and runaway youth.
The term was developed further by a group of African American women who were caucusing at the Illinois Pro-Choice Alliance Conference in Chicago in In the twenty-first century, the concept of reproductive justice has been popularized by the grassroots organization SisterSong. Currently, the maternity group home program model resembles a traditional interventionist public health model. The intervenionist model is based on the idea that social policies and agents of the state that enforce social policies should intervene in the lives of citizens of a populace in order to protect their health5.
The interventionist model has been critiqued for being paternalistic, maternalistic, and lacking in its consideration of preventative measures for health care6. With the addition of evaluative methods based on the lived experiences of program targets and increased federal funding that illustrates that the lives of the program targets are valued, maternity group home programs have the potential to emulate the transformative paradigm established by the reproductive justice model of health care.
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act represented a major shift in policy. The act has expanded and evolved over time to reflect changing societal attitudes about homelessness, and to address the changing needs of homeless and runaway youth. Maternity group home programs serve homeless single parents between the ages of and their dependents. Fram ew orks for Analy sis This report investigates the ways in which the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act grantee organizations are incorporating or failing to incorporate the reproductive justice model of health care into their maternity group home programs.
It is imperative to examine the impacts of these grant-funded programs on their target population pregnant and parenting homeless and runaway youth in order to be able to suggest revisions to the policy This paper employs the intersectional framework for studying health policy that has been established by Schulz and Mulling for the purpose of applying reproductive justice models to health care interventions.
This analysis also draws on the theory of social constructions of target populations developed by Schneider and Ingram , and the work of Rhode on the sexual politics of teen pregnancy. The theory of social constructions of target populations explicates how various groups in society are framed in political and policy narratives, and how these constructions affect the social power, agency, and political capital of the framed group.
Too often, decision-makers have located the problem at the individual level, and faulted teens…insufficient attention has focused on the societal level. Policy Recom m endations In order to incorporate the ethos of reproductive justice into the design, implementation, and evaluation of maternity group home programs, it is necessary to consider four transformative policy alternatives and revisions to the present maternity group home program model. These four alternatives, revisions, and actions include: the utilization of the social enterprise approach in career development services; the addition of a mandate for specialized training in serving LGBTQI youth; the assessment of needs of maternity group home program participants; and the increasing of maternity group home program sizes.
The first suggested revision to the maternity group home model involves utilizing the social enterprise approach in the Economic Self Sufficiency and Life Skills program requirements of the model. Currently, the economic self-sufficiency, vocational, employment, and educational aspects of the maternity group home model place mothers in low-wage jobs, despite the emphases on educational attainment and empowering career services that are espoused by many of the grantee agencies.
Higher quality jobs lead to better health outcomes18, depicting yet another incentive for incorporating the social enterprise approach into the maternity group home model. The second suggested alteration requires amending the existing Runaway and Homeless Youth Act to include funding for specialized training for addressing the sexual and maternal health needs of LGBTQI youth in maternity group home programs. LGBTQI youth have different sexual and maternal health needs that affect their paths to independence, happiness, and well-being.
RHY providers have cared for these particular young people with limited specialized support, which would include training, funding and other assistance. For example, LGBTQI youth who are experiencing homelessness are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to engage in survival sex, the practice of exchanging sex for shelter, food, or drugs. LGBTQI youth who are experiencing homelessness have a higher probability of committing suicide than heterosexual youth who are experiencing homelessness.
Training for maternity group home program front line staff on the challenges faced by pregnant and parenting LGBTQI youth should be mandatory. Furthermore, the guidelines governing maternity group home programs should include a mandatory community needs assessments before opening a new maternity group home. A needs assessment is a methodology that employs a set of procedures that are used to determine needs, examine their nature and causes, and set priorities for future action.
In an evaluation of maternity group home programs conducted by the Mathematica Policy Research firm in , researchers found that the location of the programs impacted the usage of the programs by runway and homeless youth. The researchers proposed the implementation of a comprehensive needs assessment before designing and approving a new maternity group home.
Anecdotal evidence suggests higher demand for maternity group home slots in urban locations…some staff noted that if there is no maternity group home in a teen's hometown, she typically prefers to move to a home in a larger city, where she may have a relative. In addition, maternity group home programs struggle to retain residents due to strict rules and operating procedures. For example, early curfews have been cited by residents as being overly stringent. Some residents have noted that early curfews and restrictions on visitors have provided barriers to employment and social opportunities.
Agreeing on acceptable and unacceptable rules, regulations, protocols, and procedures for maternity group homes at the national policy-making level will allow for less fluctuation and inconsistency in rules and regulations by state, county, and local social services agencies By increasing the size of maternity group homes, more pregnant and parenting teens will be served If this revision to the policy occurs in tandem with the revision of creating centralized standards for maternity group home rules and regulations to decrease strictness and retain more residents, then these programs will begin to resemble the reproductive justice model of health care.
Conclusion Incremental policy changes to the framework established by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act are more sensible than creating a new policy entirely because the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act is the only federally funded program that serves this vulnerable population. While vastly underfunded, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act does receive bipartisan support, so it would be unwise and unproductive to suggest eliminating this policy completely and starting the policy making process from the beginning. Instead, the aforementioned amendments should be carefully considered and the maternity group home program model should be thoroughly revised to better reflect the reproductive justice model of health care.
Bibliography Batko, S. Nutritional Issues. Kertesz, Ser. Boston, MA, Frechtling, J. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, Geiger, H. W hat Should W e Do? Schulz, et al. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, , Johnson, C. Duerst-Lahti, and N. Kerber, K. Graft-Johnson, Z. Bhutta, P. Okong, A. Starrs and J. Kruks, G. Lewis, J. Anderson, and L. Midgley, J. National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. CRS Report for Congress.
Runaw ay and Hom eless Youth: Dem ographics and Program s. Washington D. Nyamathi, A. Leake, and L. Solinger, R. Thompson, S. Bender, C. Lewis, and R. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Hulsey, R. Wood, and A. Mathematica Policy Research, Wenzel, S. Wiecha, J. Dwyer, and M. Wittrock, B. Peter Wagner, et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, In other words, there are more homeless and runaway youth that need MGH programs than are currently being served by the existing programs.
And, the number of homeless and runaway youth is increasing every year Bentley Kimberly J. The day I heard these words, my world changed. It was also the day I began to understand my life purpose as a teacher. I didn't quite know it yet in my 4-year-old mind, but I believe that my feminist pedagogical perspective was born that day. Like a newborn baby that could not walk, speak in sentences, or even negotiate life on my own, I stepped into the light of a day I had no frame of reference for or understanding of as a little kindergarten child.
That day started my conscious understanding that the White Supremacist world I lived in would force me to begin my education as a purveyor of social justice. Like many children of color, I faced my identity through the lens of the world that had an extremely skewed understanding of my humanity. How can a little girl negotiate with a world that held a perception that functioned as their reality? How can that little girl grow into a woman who simultaneously makes sense of that world while living between the tensions of her authentic self and the self- imposed by others?
Moreover, how does an African American woman use these pressures to lead the way for others? The answers to these questions provide a foundation from which to understand my journey as a human living my purpose as an activist-scholar. What may seem like a unique experience concerning my introduction to a dominant society-conceptualized identity and subsequent educational emancipation is not all that different from that of my elders. African American women have always used their lives in service to others as teachers, mobilizers, carriers of spiritual wisdom and creative forces propelling the fight for social justice in America forward throughout history.
It was a necessary response to the oppressive society we continue to face because we live black and female in America. Like Sojourner Truth, it is a role I was also born into by virtue of sharing the identical social location. Our journey does not just inform our feminist pedagogy; it is the foundation from which our feminist pedagogical perspective emanates. This essay examines my work as an activist-scholar.
In particular, I discuss two significant experiences that shaped the way I approach the significance of claim ing voice within my feminist pedagogical perspective of education as the practice of freedom. Oh, okay. Before that announcement from my new little blonde-haired, kindergarten friend, I thought I was just like all of the white children with whom I went to school.
It did not matter that I was the only African American child in the school. I didn't know I was different. I'd never heard the word nigger before. We never used it in my home. In my 4-year-old mind, I could only surmise one definition for that word: friend. I thought the little blond- haired girl wanted to be my friend.
We would go to school together, color pictures together, play on the monkey bars together and play duck, duck goose together. When I got home after morning kindergarten, I found out that the word nigger meant something terribly different from a friend. It meant I was different.
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I was different in a bad way. That day, I not only found out I was different, but I found out how my voice is heard in a different way. When I said something, the result was different than the other little children. I didn't fully understand that others felt what I said and did was an example of my race. Up until this time, I thought I was just a little girl. Now, everything about me to everyone around me was, in fact, different.
I was just the last to know. This mode of reading draws into question the whole apparatus by which theft is determined, a notion of criminality designed to sustain the powerful by condemning the sharing of patterns and ideas while protecting corporate theft of time, land, and resources through exploitative, polluting labor practices. In sharing and admiring this non-normative English we attempt to imagine the possibilities of reordering that can extend beyond aesthetics and language to challenge the configurations of global hierarchies. Shanzhai lyrics encourage us to enjoy and embrace a nonsense language that fosters unlikely collisions between different worlds and registers and destabilizes our notions of a correct, homogenous standard.
Shanzhai strategies are necessarily fleeting and slippery, but what they shed light on momentarily is a vital reorientation of values. We find the increasing desire for shanzhai products—and they might be considered more desirable than the original with higher prices that reflect this—to be an exciting development. Instead, we see shanzhai as a form of innovation rather than imitation that offers, through shanzhai lyrics, a poetic take on the empty and worn-out signifiers of high fashion.
How does bootlegging relate to the idea of ownership. Does it share a relationship to the internet and the way no one truly owns an idea? Shanzhai lyrics are written through poetic collaborations between human and machine. They can be read as recombinatory texts that allow for the deterritorializing of meaning, as analogue hyperlinks that allow for alinear and non-monolithic viewpoints to collide and intersect, extending and expanding in multiple directions.
Following Byung Chul-Han, we view shanzhai lyrics within the lineage of traditional Chinese scroll painting, in which value accrues via collectively-authored, ever-growing loci of inscriptions. This process reflects an alternate model of meaning-making generated through the expression of not just one but a multitude of voices. Such notions of radical collectivity and freedom of expression might be seen paralleling the utopian aspirations of the internet whose endless scroll ideally allows for colliding registers of high and low through a seamless, simultaneous, and ongoing transmission that, as the collective Critical Art Ensemble notes in their work on poetic plagiarism, ultimately renders the notion of a single, original author irrelevant.
It is only when companies seek to protect their assets and wield control over the flow of information for the sake of profit that the question of authorship and credit becomes a problem. We recently experimented with the format of the scroll in our installation at the Long March Space in Beijing by inviting visitors to access the Open Archive by participating in a collective translation exercise.
Shanzhai T-shirts could be taken off the rack and translated in as many ways as there were visitors to the space, and these versions were inscribed on an unfurling paper scroll that became an ever-unfinished document of the process of interpretation. How do we find space to write a strange poem together that never ends? Poetry refutes the logic of exchangeability and legibility. We babble and exclaim. A project of Display Distribute, Shanzhai Lyric is principally carried out by Ming Lin and Alex Tatarsky by gathering an experimental poetics found on garments manufactured in the Pearl River Delta and proliferating across the globe.
The work takes the form of writings, curation, poetry-lecture and installation-publications. Skip to main content. Shanzhai Lyric's Take the unpredictable trouble: a group poetry reading , presented as part of the Loud Bodies program at Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London,
Related Lyric interventions : feminism, experimental poetry, and contemporary discourse
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