Bitches Be Cray

An Anecdotal Field Guide to Contemporary Feminism

poems from greece

For some weeks now, you’ve suspected that she was growing ever more bored with being frustrated with you.

You texted her seven times asking if she would come over today, but while you drafted the eighth message, she replied, “Not today, sorry, but I’ll be round tomorrow by 3.”

A disappointing response. No, “I’m busy, cuntface.” Or, “Stop texting me, you psycho.” You long for the fires of old.

Still, she doesn’t seem to have any intention of breaking up with you. You don’t think you would want to break up either, of course. And, shouldn’t you love some who loves you despites being what many (therapists) might characterize as clingy, manic depressive, a “borderline narcissist”. Is she the clingy, depressive narcissist for being with you? You debate with yourself one morning as she lays asleep next to you.

Leaning over her tranquil face, you hock a massive spit glob into her eye to wake her up. She jolts up, but you hold her down. She turns her head to the side to wipe the saliva off her face. You press your forehead and nose into hers and open your eyes as wide as possible.

“Love?” you ask. “Love” she sighs.

 

 

The cat had adopted her as its owner, in the way that cats do. The young woman was an easy target, lonely and bored, the cat had no problems earning her trust. After hanging about in her backyard for only a day or two, the cat had convinced the young woman to put out cans of tuna. Within a week, the cat had finagled its way into the woman’s home. The cat allowed her to stroke its back and even, its belly. The young woman allowed the cat on to her bed and even, her pillow.

Friends might be too strong a word to describe what they had, but this suited the cat’s purposes quite well. For one day, while the young woman was out, the cat lay down on her pillow and calmly passed away, slightly defecating on his way.

When the young woman returned and discovered the cat, she set down her shopping (which contained a brand new litter box) in stoic silence. Borrowing a shovel from her neighbour, she dug a small grave from her short-term companion and lowered the cat’s body into the ground.

After covering it with dirt and patting down the soil, the young woman took shower and decided to use the litter box to store singular sock until she found their match.

 

 

Dear Nathan,

 

On the first day I arrived here I immediately went to the beach for a swim. It was lovely and the water is clear, but I stepped on a sea urchin! When I lifted my foot off its small body, I realized I had broken and bent many of its spines.

I swam awkwardly back to the beach and hopped to my towel. Oh Nathan, I must have looked a state. There were a few spines still stuck in my foot. I had unintentionally stolen them.

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for I had done to the sea urchin. When I got home, I did some research online, though, and as it turns out, they are designed to have their spine broken and ripped out, they can regrow them infinitely.

So, I guess I will keep my souvenirs. They will make lovely earrings.

Warm wishes from Greece,

 

An Ode to my February Menstruation

I think I lost weight

the amount of blood that came out of my body

a chainsaw amputation would be cleaner

like a nine-year old girl’s nightmare

this gushing, gooey massacre

never had it been like this, ever

period

Piles

The house I grew up in had shingles on the outside that woodpeckers to like to bore holes into, then the local squirrels fill those holes with acorns, in an attempt to store them safely for winter, but because theyre shingles and not a tree, water would get in the holes and rot the acorns and in turn the shingles, which was highly frustrating to my father, who finally took to guarding the house from woodpeckers with the pellet gun from the garage. These were mostly scare tactics, but he got one every once in a while.

He would return triumphant and lay the gun on his desk amongst the piles of papers, books, electrical bits and bobs and bike parts. His desk is in fact just a larger sheet of wood held up by two sets of drawers, which are filled with wonderful treasures, if only you could get them open. Despite the utter chaos he knows where things are and how things worked, which was highly frustrating to my stepmother, who was visibly disgusted by the piles. She reorganized once. Once.

The system is not to be messed with. It is intuitive, balanced, and self-referential.

Amenorrhea

If you ever began feeding a stray cat that slowly inserted itself into your life, pissing on your laundry, scratching all your furniture, birthing a small litter in your storage closet, only to come home one day and realize the cat had up an left, leaving only a musty stench and some clawed carpets, then you will know what it feels like to lose your period. I lost mine in 2010, looked all over for it, me and my doctors, but we couldn’t find it.

You don’t really know your own body until its broken and you have to go see someone about it, much like how you never knew about that sticky rubber thing that seals your toilet to the floor if you hadn’t backed the thing up in the first place. I learned that your womb is actually quite small, like a pear plucked before its prime, even though in diagrams I imagine it taking up half my abdomen. I also learned that everything is connected, like if your head hurts it could be because your left leg is too long or because you ate too many raisins. It goes deeper, of course, glands and synopsese, etc.

It’s simultaneously liberating, but also disappointing to learn about these things, I don’t think I really want to know how things work, but I like the way they look.

Open Thigh Gap

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‘Open Thigh Gap’ ongoing video/performance (12/14-)

 

Funny is Funny

Funny Bitch

Although my foray into feminism is still in its infancy, I have already encountered many of the stereotypes people project on feminists that I stated earlier in this text. Another, to add to the list, is ‘not funny’ and this I find to be most bothersome.[1] This stereotype is not limited to feminists, but women in general, which is massively debilitating in a world in which comedic forms of media are highly valued. As of late, this stereotype has been viciously battled by the likes of Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham and many others in the entertainment industry. They promote feminist ideas using humour as their gilded shield, upon which the blade of misogyny ever dulls.

Humour is a powerful weapon for many women, including myself, in battling issues of gender inequality. It is a way of stating the facts, while at the same time, poking fun at patriarchy. It is a way to highlight misogyny in daily life. It is a way to counter sexist remarks. It is a way to retain dignity in a society that constantly tries to strip it from you.

Though I do not always seek it out, I often employ elements of humour in my work. This raises piece from the drudges of pedantic, academic, and often monotonous conjecture to a place where it can be regarded beyond its physical elements and classical meanings, but by its social pertinence as a visual illustration of frustration. While some might argue that this softens the blow, humour gets the point across to an audience without putting them on the defensive, which allows for an open conversation about the issues at hand.

 

[1] Christopher Hitchens, Why Women Aren’t Funny, Vanity Fair Online, January, 2007. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701

How to get the most out of your Tinder date:

  1. Choose the meet-up location, the more convenient for you the better.
  2. Don’t meet during/after school, backpacks are not attractive.
  3. Don’t get food together, watching others eat is not pretty.
  4. Do get a drink, lubricate the cogs of conversation.
  5. Probs have a drink yourself before.
  6. Or just show up wasted, it sets the bar low (or high).
  7. Have several “secrets/confessions” that “you don’t usually tell someone” to make it seem personal and establish immediate intimacy, i.e. “I actually love Britney Spears.”
  8. Have your own opinions.
  9. Be open-minded to theirs.
  10. But, if they don’t like animals make an immediate and speedy get away. You can’t trust people that don’t like animals.
  11. You will know in the first five minutes if you would want to sleep with them.
  12. The majority of Tinderers are there to get laid, so don’t be coy about your needs.
  13. Be the craziest version of yourself.
  14. Be safe.

Rap Goddess cont.

Bend Over to the Front

Bad Bitch

Big Booty Bitches

Booty Me down

Gonna Poke It Like Wet Paint

Clappin’ And They Ain’t Usin’ Hands

 

Turn Around

Touch Your Toes

Sweep The Floor

Chop That Ass Down

Take It The Ground

Put It In the Dirt

Make That Motherfucker Hammer Time


The language derived and utilized in these songs continues to fascinate me on a variety of levels. Certain slang I would imagine was created only to fit a certain rhyme, yet got appropriated into everyday life with amazing speed. Then there are the copious nonsensical similes and metaphors that attribute women or parts of their bodies to just about anything under the sun: dogs, horses, car engines, birthday cakes, polaroid pictures, ferris wheels, or ‘that dun dun duh’. When extricated from their harmonic surroundings the words and phrases can be seen for their ridiculousness.

I have tried to rationalize my acceptance of these songs by believing that the lyrics are just so ludicrous that no one could take these songs seriously. However, that is an elitist and problematic position to take. Again, I return to the words. There is a rapidly growing, though seemingly prescribed set of words to describe a woman’s rear and the actions she can do with it to pleasure men. I have grouped them to form poems of sorts, which were then transcribed in a small handmade book dubbed, Booty Book (2014). Paired with fleshy-collaged magazines imagery, I played with the lyrical and physical absurdity of the words.

bootybook2

‘Booty Book’. Handmade book with magazine collage (2014)

 

Things I have learned from rap music:

  1. Everyone likes big booties.
  2. Thus there are many flowery synonyms for said booties.
  3. The ability to shake one’s booty is a prized and privileged skill.
  4. White women with big booties are the rap equivalent of unicorns.
  5. Alcohol is a valid form of currency and can regularly be exchanged for sexual favours.
  6. Thus, sex is also a valid form of currency.
  7. Women often drop things.
  8. But, that’s okay because men really like it when they drop things.
  9. $$$=Bitches is the golden equation.
  10. A ‘strong, independent’ woman is one that can pay for her own things.
  11. But, she also has to be hot, ie. Have a big booty
  12. Everyone likes big booties.

Rap Goddess

My contradictory affinity for vulgar rap music led me to pursue the connection between young women’s bodies and the language used in rap music to depict them. In a piece entitled, A$$ Film (2014), I first made an audio track comprised of only the parts of songs that referred to a woman’s derrière (and periodically her orifices). I then paired it with cuts from Youtube videos by teen and pre-teen girls dancing to these songs that so graphically and violently describe their bodies.

The sections I have used from the videos are not of their dance moves, but of the thirty seconds or so after they have turned on the camera and become immediately conscious of their bodies under scrutiny. From a selection of nearly 20 videos, each girl performs a series of similar acts of adjustment before ‘droppin it low’; this ranges from finger-combing their hair to pulling up their trousers to exposing or covering their mid-drifts. The telltale looks over the shoulder to acknowledge the camera seems to say, ‘I’m doing this for you.’ With the songs stripped to their most vulgar elements they lose any musical individuality, exposing their uniformity and innate banality. This video is an attempt to illustrate the obsessive and hypnotic effects these graphic songs have on young women. Their Siren-like calls demand the girls to emulate the lyrics that are so damaging to their relationships with themselves and others.[1]

 

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‘A$$ Film’ Screenshot (2014)

 

[1] Tessa Tapscott, A$$ Film, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SePBC5-CEc