Posts tagged punk feminism
Posts tagged punk feminism
If you haven’t seen this new video from Pussy Riot yet, watch it now. Start the Pussy Riot and never stop. Please re-post.
I want to clarify that I am not advocating that women allow themselves to be labeled in terms they find offensive. Nor do I seek validation in the form of another person’s sexual attraction to me.
A human being is a complex thing, but we don’t always need to relate to all aspects of an individual. A casual sexual relationship does not necessitate a relationship with the total me. To quote Camille Paglia, “Perhaps eroticism has a right to live without intimacy and may in fact be most free in that state.” I am a multifaceted individual, but when I teach, I don’t expect my students to relate to my sexuality. By the same token, when I fuck I don’t always expect emotional or spiritual intimacy, or even an acknowledgement that there’s anything more to me than sexuality. In fact, I am not concerned with my partner’s thoughts at all during that time because I would rather focus on our desire and pleasure than on whether there is respect involved in what we’re doing.
My sexuality is not an inferior trait that needs to be chaperoned by emotionalism or morality; nor does it need to be intellectualized. Sure, love and sex are great together, but sex for the sake of sex is good too. Sex is not a reward I hold out for those who understand me or who agree with my ideology.
We must speak for those whose voices have been silenced. #FREEPUSSYRIOT
My place was never accorded to me by others - I just did what I wanted to do. I still do.
Excerpt from Manifesto by N. Tolokonnikova 05/04/2012
“Those who judge the activists of the punk-group Pussy Riot (P.R.) assess their activity from the height of a non-critical understanding of truth whereby they assume that there exists only one truth and that only they who are bringing judgment to bear have the right to establish this truth. I call such truth patriarchal, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, traditionalist, and fundamentalist.
They are not ignorant. But unfortunately they prefer that most Russians remain ignorant…
Let the Orthodox Church of Russia continue to postulate, to its heart’s content, its gender and ethics assumptions. But for an ethical consensus in society, it is not enough to have just one point of view. It is not possible to speak of consensus while the other side, which supports the idea of gender equality, is devoid of access to television channels and the paper media, to representatives in the higher echelons of power… I don’t mean to accuse anyone, but this manner of putting your opponent behind bars with the threat of 7 years of minimum security colony and then, standing next to the cell, speaking about ethical consensus – doesn’t this just smack of cowardice?”
Nadia Tolokno, SIZO 6, 5 April 2012
Scanned version of hand-written original in Pussy Riot live-journal: http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com/22967.html
RUSSIA EXTENDS JAILING OF PUSSY RIOT BY 6 MONTHS
By Gabriela Baczynska
MOSCOW, July 20 (Reuters) - Three members of female punk group Pussy Riot who derided President Vladimir Putin in a protest in Moscow’s main cathedral had their spell in jail extended by six months on Friday in what their lawyers called a show trial dictated by the Kremlin.
The women, who have been held in pre-trial custody for almost five months, face up to seven years in jail on charges of hooliganism for storming the altar in multi-coloured masks to sing a “punk prayer” to the Virgin Mary to “Throw Putin Out!”
Pussy Riot’s brazen act was part of a protest movement against Putin’s 12-year dominance of Russia that at its peak saw 100,000 people take part in winter demonstrations in Moscow.
The Feb. 21 protest, which offended many believers in the mainly Orthodox Christian country, exposed deep divisions over the church leadership’s backing for Putin and the scale of punishment faced by the women, two of whom have young children.
Defence lawyer Mark Feigin said the court’s acquiescence to a prosecution request to hold Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich until Jan. 13, 2013, showed Russian leaders had given orders for their conviction.
“Today’s decision only proves again that our role as defendants here is a pure formality,” Feigin told reporters after the hearing, which was closed to the media.
“There is a lot of evidence that the judge will disregard justice in favour of a pre-set instructions on how to rule, which have been handed down by the authorities. They want to find them guilty… to punish them with real jail time.
“It is not a process but a judicial reprisal,” he said.
Putin and the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, are among more than 30 people Feigin and his two colleagues want to call to testify as witnesses in the trial.
After the Pussy Riot performance, Kirill said the Church was “under attack by persecutors”. The patriarch has often praised Putin and in February likened his 12-year rule to a “miracle of God”.
Though neither the president nor the patriarch is likely to testify, defence lawyers said the request pointed to those they believe were pulling strings behind the scenes.
“They are trying to make it look like an attack on Russia by some dark powers. It is just a theatre of the absurd, not a real court,” said Nikolai Polozov, another defence lawyer.
Court spokeswoman Darya Lyakh said a date would be announced on Monday for the start of the high-profile trial, which has drawn comparisons to the jailing of former oil tycoon, billionaire and Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The Pussy Riot hearing on Friday took place in the same Moscow where Khodorkovsky’s second trial took place.
Outside, Orthodox Church faithful mingled warily with Pussy Riot backers, some of whom wore T-shirts emblazoned with the band’s trademark brightly coloured balaclavas.
A church activist read Bible passages out loud, while one of the women’s supporters unfurled a banners “Throw Putin Out!”, raising chants of “Freedom, Freedom!” before he was detained.
“Believers’ feelings are not worth a prison sentence,” read another sign held aloft, before rain dispersed the crowd.
The three women’s arrest has drawn widespread outrage among human rights groups and opposition activists already fuming over the church’s backing of Putin in a presidential election he won in March. Amnesty International has urged Russia to free the trio, criticising the severity of the response by authorities.
“The authorities have again chosen to take the toughest measures against Pussy Riot,” said Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov. He added that this would “only provoke more outcry in society and provoke more support for the girls.”
But some Orthodox believers have called for tough punishment for an act they regard as blasphemous.
“I was really upset at what happened,” said Vadim Kvyatkovsky, a member of an Orthodox Christian youth group. “This was no act of art. If it was happening anywhere else, in the street, we could discuss that, but when it is in a cathedral then it just violates our freedoms.”
Half of Muscovites surveyed this month by the Levada Center, an independent pollster, said they had negative views about the prosecution of Pussy Riot members while 36 percent said they welcomed the criminal case.
SUPPORT PUSSY RIOT! PUNK SOLIDARITY!
“Although I never considered myself a regular member of Castration Squad, I ended up doing quite a few shows with them. It was an interesting collaboration, to say the least. I would say it was a bit ahead of its time in espousing militant feminism and I use the term feminism loosely because Shannon considered herself to be post-feminist. She believed that gender stereotypes were damaging to both male and female, so Castration Squad was really not about castrating men but about castrating the system that perpetuated debilitating stereotypes.” - Alice Bag, 2011 interview with Jenny Woolworth.
Castration Squad lineup, 1980. Photographer unknown.
L-R: Tracy Lea, Alice Bag, Tiffany Kennedy, Dinah Cancer, Shannon Wilhelm, Elissa Bello.
I think I’ve always intuited the importance of surrounding myself with women I admire who can inspire me and I also try to be there for women who need my strength, especially now that I’m older. I feel like a very powerful crone.
Shannon Wilhelm, Trudie Arguelles and Allison Buckles at the Canterbury in 1978. The Punk Bunnies.
Photo by Alice Bag.