All entries for August 2012
August 30, 2012
A Guatemalan asylum-seeker is fighting to avoid deportation in Denmark.
Fernanda Milan was horrifically mistreated upon her arrival at the Danish refugee camp Centre Sandholm. Her hormone treatments were suspended and she was placed in the male wing of the camp.
August 28, 2012
The news has been inundated with awful stories about rape recently. So why not take a stand against sexual violence this autumn?
From the Julian Assange case to the bizarre proclamations of US Republicans, it’s been hard to avoid poorly conceived opinions on sexual assault and rape.
Respect MP George Galloway appears to believe that once you’ve already had sex with someone, initiating further intercourse whilst they’re asleep is merely “bad manners”. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa would seem to agree.
In the United States, Republican Senate candidate Todd Atkin declared that “legitimate” rape victims were unlikely to become pregnant, as “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”.
In Denmark, a Guatemalan trans woman faces deportation after being gang-raped in the male wing of a camp for asylum seekers. Anne La Coeur of the Danish Red Cross (who run the camp) said that: “We would not place her in a women’s dormitory because that is definitely for women”.
All of this hot air only serves to obscure the very real impact of rape and sexual assault. Home Office statistics indicate that in the UK 21% of girls and 11% of boys experience some form of child sexual abuse, 23% of women and 3% of men experience sexual assault as an adult, and 5% of women and 0.4% of men experience rape; however, these figures are likely to understate the scale of the problem.
August 25, 2012
I’m in a band called Not Right. We’ve been “together” for a little over a year now. I often describe the music we play as “riot grrrl”, because I feel inspired by the ideals and music associated with the term. My bandmates have a somewhat different relationship with “riot grrrl” to me; we’re all pretty cool with this multiplicity of positions.
Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” was the very first song we learned together. At the time, this seemed like a pretty straightforward decision, as it’s a really “easy” piece. But the more I think about it, the more I feel that it’s very interesting that we play this song.
August 24, 2012
I love Bikini Kill. I love the uncompromising power of their music, the feminist rage in their lyrics, their wider political approach. Bikini Kill who inspired me to finally pick up the bass guitar that had sat forlorn in a corner of my room for several years, and Bikini Kill helped me believe that I could make music.
I realise it’s a bit of a cliché, but they’re the band responsible for getting me into riot grrrl, and from there began to explore feminist punk music (including that from contemporary UK bands) more widely.
I wanted to be a riot grrrl too, and was sad that the original movement faded away back in in the mid-1990s, well before I was ever aware of its existence.
However, riot grrrl doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation amongst trans people familiar with its history.
August 21, 2012
Controversy has erupted following the announcement that “bad boy actor” Danny Dyer – a man not shy of advocating violence against women – will be DJing at Manchester Pride. What were the organisers thinking? And what does this booking say about the event itself?
August 13, 2012
August 11, 2012
August 09, 2012
August 05, 2012
I’ve never been to a Pride event quite like the one in Nottingham.
I’m used to large inner-city affairs bounded by concrete, in which ordinary revellers festooned in rainbow clothing rub shoulders with extravagant drag acts, corporate floats, angry activist types, and a whole host of questionable human adverts employed by the big clubs. Vibrant street discos in which almost exclusively male DJs pump out the dance music that’s become synonymous with the scene, lesbian singer-songwriters singing quietly from small tent in a car park, community organisers and charities getting a word in edgeways whenever they can, and that same guy in the flat cap selling whistles on every corner.
I’m also aware that some Pride events are far smaller, less extravagant affairs. Pink picnics in town and city centres, small but powerful marches in areas of tension, and club collaborations between established scene names.
Nottinghamshire Pride was something else entirely. Placed slap-bang in the middle of a massive field, it was more akin to a (largely) family-friendly music festival, albeit one that happened to be really gay.