Category Archives: feminism

Shana Tova, Pussy Riot.

This happened today in London. I’m psyched someone decided to use my stencil and I hope this global day of action will have an impact. Someone asked me why I care. I’m a feminist artist supporting other feminist artists.

Pussy Riot London demo poster inc stencil image of band in balaclavas.Since I knew I was going to be performing in Nottingham this evening, I made my contribution last night in the form of a piece at the 20×20 exhibition at Access Space. I used my stencil in kind of an unusual way – you’ll have to head over to check it out, and there are some great pieces on show (best responses to mine: “You know, I’ve just realised – Pussy Riot are totally OWNING Balaclavas right now – they’ve reclaimed them from the IRA” and “Wow! Wow! I love it! Wow! Yes!” Worst response to mine: “Well you can tell what it’s meant to be…”. Overall it’s a fab exhibition. A lot of synaesthesia. A lot of puns. I love a good pun. Access Space is awesome. It’s like a library for technology. And we know how I feel about libraries.

You can use my stencil too, if it’s not for profit and if you don’t take credit for it and let me know where you used it, so I can share your event and feel a little like I helped. Urban Outfitters can’t have it (this is the polite version of that disclaimer, UO…I’ve seen too many examples of stolen art…it is very disheartening). But you are different. You can trace or print it, cut out the white sections, and spray light on dark. It’s very low res because I did it using MS Paint while I had a cold and was a bit post fringe and too tired to find better software. Here it is:

And let’s hope they get their appeal. I’m off to Nottingham (I like Nottingham. It has a vegan burger bar, a lovely zine event put on as part of a Cultural Olympiad that I got to speak at and where I met lovely people and traded so many zines my bag was STUFFED full,  and it also has my friend Steve in it, who is putting on the show and who likes dinosaurs more than I do which is difficult) but tomorrow I will post the reason my 24 hour zine thing failed abysmally this year. It’s a good reason. Don’t worry.

Femcare doesn’t care, Part 1.

It doesn’t. Bottom line is that femcare products are products. They’re going to be sold, and they’re going to be advertised in order to convince a target market to buy them. It’s the whole ‘by hook or by crook’ thing that’s the problem. Femcare companies usually choose to sell their products using shame, frequently by perpetuating the stigma around talking about women’s bodies openly. If we’re not buying it, they’re going to have to think again. So in the case of  the latest Femfresh ads (which are not only unnecessary but potentially harmful, says the SMCR), here is my interpretation of what’s really going on. The ad copy matches the original from their facebook page (with a few alterations, of course): “Euphemisms, euphemisms, always with the euphemisms… Did you know that any femcare company who can’t accurately name your privates could strip you of your defences, causing shame and irritation? With its aggressive marketing, specially developed for perpetuating taboos, femcare ads are one of the most pervasive ways to control the public discourse about your vulva and vagina! Whatever they call it, they’re just trying to sell you something for it.” If you agree, please share widely. -Chella


Edited to post the original ad, since Femfresh have now taken down their Facebook page. (And re-edited to add that as of Monday 25th June, they’ve put up their page again, but only as a placeholder –  no comments, and the following statement:

“Welcome to the official femfresh facebook page. This page is suspended until further notice. It has come to our attention that fake femfresh pages have been created and we would like to assure everyone that this has absolutely no affiliation with femfresh.
This matter has been reported to the Facebook IP Infringement team and with legal authorities for further investigation. Please note that posts to this site will not be published.”

Leeds Part 1

I’m very excited to be doing a zine workshop in Leeds with Sarah later today (or tomorrow, in my head, once I’ve gone to bed and woken up again). After that we’ll be putting in a little open mic action at the Chemic for Riot Grrl.  If you’re in the area, you’d be very welcome.  

I’ve just stayed up far too late to watch Day of the Dead, so I may be speaking in zombie metaphors tomorrow. It’s pretty much par for the course at this time of year though. Before I get into a one-woman menstrual zombie representation debate, I’ll just say Annual Halloween party breakdown will go up Sunday, followed by a veritable opus of overdue posts.

Props to Leeds Uni Femsoc for hosting us again. We love those guys.


Every Day is International Women’s Day

Especially when you’ve partied all weekend and slept through the real one. Does it count that I partied in a foreign country? (The savvy readers among you will remember that I live  in a foreign country, so don’t answer that one too quickly.)

Anyway, here’s a great little piece from the Onion that popped up on our facebooks yesterday.

Girl Welcomed to Womanhood With Four-Page Pamphlet

from The Onion

Cheers to all the new facebook fans and new readers from over on Belle’s blog – you may notice that I don’t take a whole lot seriously.

But, in all seriousness, US readers should check out Elissa Stein and her book Flow on The View today. It is about time she got some more recognition!

Those of you who appreciate baking-related humour may love (or loathe, but they say that’s the same emotion, right?) this Cakewrecks feature. I’m giving that a not-menstrual-but-should be.

And finally, if you’re making yourself a stain for our Stains TM campaign, please send in a pic. We’ll post a few on here!

Happy day-after-international-women’s-day, particularly to all the awesome international women I know.


Blog for Choice Day 2010

The writing prompt for Blog for Choice Day 2010 is:

In honor of Dr. George Tiller, who often wore a button that simply read, “Trust Women,” this year’s Blog for Choice question is:

What does Trust Women mean to you?

I should admit now that I’m rubbish at writing to prompts. I was simply going to point you toward this outstanding protest on the plinth by comedian and compere extraordinaire Kate Smurthwaite, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading about after I met her at Feminism in London. It’d be pretty cool if that action ended up in this exhibition, actually (but since it’s opening tomorrow, probably not).

But now, back to that “Trust Women” button…

I’m a huge fan of badges, pins, one-inch buttons…whatever you call them, I like them.  I’ve got a badge that says ‘I Am The Face of Pro-Choice America’. It’s about 2 1/2 inches across. It’s still on the pinboard on my old bedroom door back home with a lot of other badges that made more sense in the US than in the UK. Maybe I’ll go get it next time I visit my parents, though, and put it on.

Would I wear a badge that said ‘Trust Women’? If the rest of the sentence is ‘Trust women enough to legally allow us to have a choice about the termination of a pregnancy.’ then yeah, I would.  For me being pro-choice is about asserting my right to take responsibility for my own well-being.  People that demand control over that seem to be projecting an awful lot of mistrust in my general direction. How about another badge that says ‘Go Trust Yourself’?