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Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s “Christmas” message RELIGION AND LGBT ISSUES have always been strongholds of Republican opinion in the USA. And, as JENNA SPENCE reports, nothing seems to have changed this time round. What with Michele Bachmann dodging questions on Meet the Press in August and Newt Gingrich’s openly hostile attitude to LGBT people, it’s hardly surprising that Rick Perry has jumped on the anti-gay bandwaggon. In this report Jenna takes a look at Perry’s ‘Christmas’ Message and what this means for his campaign.
ON 6 DECEMBER 2011, REPUBLICAN presidential hopeful Rick Perry commenced his promotional advert with this statement: “There’s something wrong with our country when gays can serve openly in the military but children cannot celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” He then goes on to state that if elected, he will end President Obama’s “war on religion”. It is not unusual in the US for presidential hopefuls to promote themselves with the use of adverts in the media. These adverts are often personalised so that the viewer can get a better sense of the candidate, and what they stand for. Unfortunately, gay equality is something that Perry wants to distance himself from and most will find his ‘advert’ demonising and distasteful. Gay equality, according to Rick Perry is seen as a “liberal attack” on American “religious heritage”. However, it seems like Perry’s own attack on liberalism is proving none too popular. Sparking outrage and a string of parodies on YouTube, Rick Perry’s entitled “Strong” video has had comments disabled and has received 30,856 likes and a whopping 659,745 dislikes. Original advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAJNntoRgA Michele Bachmann on Meet the Press: http://tinyurl.com/7hdjy7g @JennaSpence
BLAST FROM THE PAST SNAPSHOT: Willow and Tara began to date in Season 4 of television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. They were one of the first lesbian couples on American television and their first kiss was both celebrated and attacked by critics and fans. Ten years on what impact has their relationship actually had?
I FIRST BECAME OBSESSED with Buffy The Vampire Slayer at the age of thirteen when Willow and Tara’s relationship was old news. The two witches, whose love had blossomed in Season 4, were an integral part of the Scoobies and the issues surrounding their sexuality were never really discussed. It is maybe because of this that I never considered their presence on television to be controversial. But for some it definitely was. For a small number of followers the presence of a lesbian couple at all on prime time television was enough to make them turn off their screens in 2001. However, for the most part, Tara’s presence on Buffy was quickly accepted and she became one of the TV show’s most loved characters. You may be asking yourself what is so controversial about all this. But the real controversy surrounding Willow and Tara’s relationship developed when Tara was killed suddenly at the end of Season 6. Angry viewers turned on creator Joss Whedon, accusing him of homophobia and that he was suggesting lesbian sex should be punishable by death. Personally I think this response was entirely undeserved. Tara’s death, rather than being an inconsistent plot development to quash a lesbian relationship, was an integral part of Willow’s development as a character. Furthermore, Tara’s death was not the first or last time a major character had been killed in the series. Marti Noxon maintains that the response was largely due to the lack of lesbian representation on television. But ten years on, has this changed at all? Yes there are more lesbian shows and characters than ever before but we still feel personally attacked every time a director decides to axe a relationship or discontinue a series. And why? Because there are still so few shows which embrace different LGBT relationships as regular story-lines. For attitudes to properly change there needs to be a more significant change in tv relationships.
HOLLY RICHARDSON LOOKS AT THE HISTORY AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE GIRL ZINE.
BEFORE THE INTERNET WITH ITS FORUMS AND DISCUSSION BOARDS IF YOU WANTED TO GET AN UNDILUTED AND UNCENSORED MESSAGE TO LIKE MINDED WOMEN A GOOD WAY TO ACCOMPLISH THAT WAS TO LAUNCH A WOMENS ZINE. Womens zines as they are known today first appeared in the early 1990’s when the Riot Grrrl movement began in Olympia, Washington. Early zines were typically A5 sized short publications in a black and white cut and paste style. The contents of those early zines varied but many contained artwork and drawings, articles, opinion pieces, scene reports, manifestos, reviews and letters. The zine now takes makes many forms, at the height of the Riot Grrrl movement female punk bands often created their own weekly zine which they distributed photocopies of by themselves. Now there is the electronic zine or e-zine such as this one which you are reading. Zines are a way of spreading the word, of expressing yourself, of voicing your views and opinions and promoting your art or writing without the fear of being censored, ridiculed or having your message subverted. The name zine has its roots in the word magazine and womens zines were originally launched in an effort to counter the mainstream media and were the opposite of the mass produced magazines around in the early
nineties. Zines allowed women to put their thoughts onto paper and get their opinions out there. It was an easy way to express yourself and to reach a large audience every week. Women could speak out and say what was on their mind, it could be provocative or sexual, it could be an angry rant, it didn’t matter, zines were an outlet of creativity which offered freedom of expression. The ease at which zines could be created, photocopied and cheaply distributed increased their popularity further. By 1993 a huge variety of different zines were in circulation, in the US there was Jigsaw and Girl Germs, Toronto had A Call To Arms and in England there were Riot Grrrl zines being created in Leeds, Essex and London. As stated in Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now!, ‘zines are ephemeral pub-
lications that quickly fall out of circula- were the de facto way to reach out to tion’ and as some vanish others appear. people and share your views. The zine Riot Grrrl by Molly Neuman and Allison Zines still exist because women, and sub- Wolfe of the band Bratmobile was only groups of women such as lesbians and a folded sheet of A4 paper which they bisexuals, still have opinions and they could make cheaply and hand out at still face issues and discrimination be- gigs. At meetings for women, organcause of their sex and/or their sexuality ised by the band and their friends, zines and they want their voice to be heard. were frequently distributed and the There is the perception that all zines are gatherings were an opportunity to con‘angry girl zines’ which is true in some nect and collaborate on issues which cases but not all, some zines are more po- they felt were important. While some litical while others have a more cultural people are adamant that the Riot Grtheme. Not all zines are based on anger! rrl movement is over others argue that Zines can be very influential and at the it never ended. One thing is for sure, height of the Riot Grrrl movement zines zines are very much alive and kicking.
This zine was circulated in Olympia, Washington, between 1990 and 1992. It was a pro-girl zine with the motto “Spread as many girl germs as you can”. Its creators were two of the bandmembers of Bratmobile, Molly Neuman and Allison Wolfe. It featured letters, band reviews and fanzine writing tips for women wanting to start their own zine and also articles on domestic abuse and female masturbation myths. “When you meet a lesbian: Hints to the heterosexual woman” and “Lesbians sleeping with guys” were two articles which appeared in the zine during its two year stint.
Page from GIRL GERMS zine.
The Riot Grrrl movement began in Olympia, Washington around 1990 and was essentially a female rebellion which incorporated both feminism and cultural activism. It was an underground movement which had a strong DIY element. The music scene, especially the punk scene, was heavily male dominated at that time and in response many women began to create their own music, art and writing. They wanted to spread their ideas and express their opinions without being censored. Women wanted to create their own scene and bands such as Bratmobile, Bikini Kill and Heavens To Betsy were some of the earliest initiators of the movement. They wrote music, held meetings and they made zines. The movement allowed the underground community to connect into a network which spread first in Olympia, then across the US and later to Britain. Women wanted to take control
of the media and use it in a positive way for themselves. The message of Riot Grrrl was one of female empowerment; women wanted equality in the music scene and beyond and they also wanted to change the way society treated women. Since equality has not been reached in many areas there are still causes to fight for and for that reason some claim that the Riot Grrrl movement has never really ended.
Vociferous feminist, activist and talented musician Kathleen Hanna formed the punk band Bikini Kill in 1990 with Kathi Wilcox, Tobi Vail and Billy Karren. The band played an integral role in the Riot Grrrl movement and before the disbandment of the group in 1998 they released 2 full albums and a number of compilations. Their music was loud, radical and pro-women. Kathleen later helped form the all female band Le Tigre and is currently recording for her and former Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcoxâ€™s new project The Julie Ruin.
B.I.D ZINE Issue 2
With Thanks To: Holly Richardson Lotte Murphy-Johnson Jenna Spence Danielle Malinen