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THANK YOU Emelie Lindblom http://innerisland.tumblr.com/ Kathleen Pierard https://www.facebook.com/ KleineBlauraute

Tayo http://www.flickr.com/photos/tayoshoes/ Evelien Thewis http://www.flickr.com/photos/ hiveshivesknifeplay

Jenny Larsson Erika Fyrvall Rembrand LeCompte http://www.beardfluff.com Melissa Chaib http://melissachaib.com/ Sanne Johanna Brand http://www.landverraad.tk Daphné Gerhard http://dgillustration.tumblr.com/ without you this zine wouldn’t have been possible. special thanks to Arne from Mosh Potatoes http://diy.moshpotatoes.org/ and Echo Zines http://echopublishing.wordpress.com/

Thank YOU for reading, sharing, caring, staying positive and fighting for equality. FEMINISM DOES NOT MEAN YOU HATE MEN. FEMINISM DOES NOT MEAN YOU HATE OTHER WOMEN. FEMINISM DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE “A DYKE” OR “A BITCH”. FEMINISM IS ABOUT EQUALITY. FEMINISM IS ABOUT RESPECT. MEN CAN BE FEMINIST TOO. GENDER IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT.


As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking Virginia Woolf


by Marie Walgraeve

I HAD ALWAYS BEEN A CHUBBY GIRL. In Dutch you say “mollig”, which I personally think sounds cuter. When I was 16 and turned vegetarian, I suddenly started to lose some weight. I thought “now that I’m losing weight, I might as well go for it and start to diet.” And so I did. I knew how to diet very well, since I had been going to a dietician when I was 10-11. My mother decided that would be a good thing for me and I’m grateful that she did. She never made remarks about my body or said I was “fat” or “abnormal”. My mother accepted me the way I was. She was one of the few people that did when I was around that age. Besides the fact that I loved to eat sweets and drink a lot of soda, I was also on very heavy hormonepills that I had to take to control a weird condition I have on my ovaries. The hormones, along with puberty, caused me to gain a lot of weight. This condition also gets worse when you gain weight or are overweight. Symptoms of this condition mostly disappear when you are at the right BMI.

background art: Pip & Pop

I DON’T HAVE TO LOVE MY BODY JUST BECAUSE YOU TELL ME TO.


So my mother did a good thing taking me to a professional because it made the symptoms of the condition better and after a couple of years i could lay off most of the heavy pills. But at one point, I weighed about 70 kilos and I felt bad about myself and my body. I hated my body. I hated the fact I couldn’t see my collarbones, or my hipbones. I hated the fact that I only felt comfortable in black sweaters and a scarf, because I didn’t like the way my belly & shoulders looked. When I became vegetarian and started dieting, I lost weight very fast. People started to comment on my appearance and told me I was “glowing”. So much that it came to a point that my boyfriend at the time got jealous (!!!) and said he was scared I would lose interest in him now that I lost weight and got attention from other people. At the same time, he said he felt proud walking in public with me, because I was “so good looking all of the sudden” and “he could notice other men looking at me”, which apparently never happened before. He felt good about parading with me. Back then, at the point when my skin was still tight, I had little cellulite and firm boobs, I felt good. I felt really good. But the number on the scale got lower and lower. And with that I gained a lot of excess skin, ‘saggy’ boobs, cellulite and just a lot of floppy bodyparts which I started to hate immensly. You see, losing weight does not always change the fact that you love or hate your body. Losing weight does not cure (mental) issues you have with your body. I know for a fact that I see my body way bigger (fatter) than it actually is. I am focussed on it every day. I notice it every second. I feel it every second. I hate it but I accept it. And that’s OK.


You DON’T have to love your body. You are allowed to feel however YOU feel about your body, because IT IS YOUR BODY and everyone should mind their own business. It is a good thing we’re getting aware of the fact that any body type is an okay body type. Every person is just as beautiful, whether you’re categorised as ‘skinny’, ‘chubby’, ‘fullfigured’, ‘slender’,... But do not force women to love their body, do not tell women they shouldn’t worry about that other spoon of ice cream, do not tell women to indulge on fastfood because ‘they deserve it’. For some women it’s not that easy. For some women it’s a struggle to take that 1 bite that seems nothing to you. I am one of those women. I worry about what I eat. I worry about what it’ll do to my body and worry that i’ll get ‘fat’ again. I try to deal with this every day, and I accept that I feel this way about my body. But do not force me to eat things I don’t feel comfortable eating. It’s my business, not yours. Like my mother and grandmother always taught me: look at yourself first before you look & comment about other people. xoxo marmushka marie

“Instead of us working harder on “love your body” and “find your inner beauty”, the rest of the world should be working harder on “stop telling women their bodies are a shameful place to live but that if they’re strong enough, they will learn to embrace that shame.” — Elyse Andery GOOD READS ON THIS TOPIC: - HTTP://WWW.SHAKESVILLE.COM/2013/10/YOU-SHOULD-STOPTELLING-ME-TO-LOVE-MY.HTML - HTTP://SKEPCHICK.ORG/2013/03/DONT-TELL-ME-TO-LOVE-MYBODY/ - HTTP://CHIPPEDPOLISHANDWORNOUTJEANS.WORDPRESS. COM/2013/04/26/I-DO-NOT-HAVE-TO-LOVE-MY-BODY-AND-NEITHERDO-YOU/


EVELIEN THEWIS


TOYS AND GENDER

by Rembrand LeCompte

Today at work, we tried talking a client out of adding a gender-filter in their web-shop. Basically, they want people to be able to see all the boys toys and all the girls toys seperately (of course anything that’s ‘unisex’ would go in both categories) and we said that wouldn’t work (see below). We had an interesting discussion about it and they said they’d give it some more thought. The big difficulty with this kind of filtering is the same for the practical as well as for the moral argument, I think: it’s too fuzzy and subjective to be useful. Unpractical In theory, a filter should make it easier for you to browse the possibilities by eliminating a big chunk of the catalog* but in practice, this one is pretty difficult to implement. The most reserved parent will put dolls + dollhouses in the girls-pile and knights + castles in the boys-pile, be we start to get into grey areas pretty fast. What’s “clearly for boys” according to some might not be that clear for a lot of other people. It’s a notion that evolves, depends on upbringing, location, peer pressure, TV-shows, … At one point the 2 clients we had visiting were disagreeing on certain products belonging in one pile or the other. That makes implementing the filter a daunting task for them as well. Not normal We’re talking about the shifting norms of our society here. At least the one about gender. I think we’re doing kids a disservice by having even more outside influences** deciding what is and isn’t right for them. There’s already so much pressure to conform to society that it shouldn’t be that strange an idea that we should give kids the chance to find out for themselves what does and doesn’t feel right for them when they’re playing, for heaven’s sake. Some boys will naturally tend more towards a caring


nature and play house with their action figures, some girls might want some dolls to run over with a train. This has nothing to do with gender identity (or sexual orientation for that matter). Even though we like to think that caring is a very feminine trait, very ‘manly’ fathers seem to love their kids as well. Who would have thought?

WHAT’S “CLEARLY FOR BOYS” ACCORDING TO SOME MIGHT NOT BE THAT CLEAR FOR A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE And then there’s the fact that the context in which the toys are used can completely subvert the idea of gender. So setting such a filter is more about enforcing a stereoptype than it actually helps a parent/aunt/friend choose the right toy. Such stereotypes perpetuate this fear that kids grow up with to be identified with the ‘wrong’ gender or sexuality*** by displaying traits of the ‘opposite’ gender. In a world where most things exist on a sliding scale rather than being binary, that leads to a lot of unhappy adults and people not knowing what to do with themselves. * for example, they 60% unisex; leaving 60%) of the catalog helpful that really

estimated 20% is boys-related, 20% for girs, you 80% (boys = 20% + 60% and girls = 20% + when using a gender-filter. You decide how is.

** by which I mean, influences outside the direct structure in which they grow up. Starts out pretty small (parents) and can quickly widens (siblings, close grandparents, babysitters, …) until by the time they can barely make out shapes on TV, all of mainstream and other media joins in.


Tayo


JENNY LARSSON


ERIKA FYRVALL


WHAT ABOUT THE MALE CHICKS? (written by Tim Zimmerman // http://timzimmermann.com/2013/04/24/whatabout-the-male-chicks/)

Last year, while I was pondering making the leap from vegetarian to vegan, I talked to some PETA friends about eggs and dairy. I asked them what was wrong with milk from well-treated cows, going through the natural cycle of calving, or eggs from chickens that lived natural lives. “What about the male calves who can’t grow up to be milked?” they replied. “What about the male chicks who can’t grow up to lay eggs?” The answer is that they are slaughtered. Now, I believe that the humane farmers don’t slaughter the male offspring in the same hideous way that factory farms take care of business. But that answer was enough to convince me that it is very hard to eat any animal products, no matter how


well the animals are treated, with a good conscience. And this morning I recalled that conversation when I came across this video depicting the fate of male chicks at America’s largest egg-laying facility. It does not show some random workers abusing animals. It shows an industrialized process that is a horrific dramatization of how egg-laying and egg-eating has no place for male chicks (or beaks). (look up on youtube: Undercover Investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery) The extent to which the industrial food industry has institutionalized mass slaughter through the use of technology is truly shocking, and a pretty good reminder of why the industry does everything it can to keep the processes it uses to put cheap food on plates hidden from the people happily eating that food. For the nearly 150,000 male chicks who hatch every 24 hours at this Hy-Line facility, their lives begin and end the same day. Grabbed by their fragile wings by workers known as “sexers,” who separate males from females, these young animals are callously thrown into chutes and hauled away to their deaths. They are destined to die on day one because they cannot produce eggs and do not grow large or fast enough to be raised profitably for meat. Their lives are cut short when they are dropped into a grinding machine – tossed around by a spinning auger before being torn to pieces by a high-pressure macerator.

Over 30 million male chicks meet their fate this way each year at this facility. For the surviving females, this is the beginning of a life of cruelty and confinement at the hands of the egg industry. Before even leaving the hatchery they will be snapped by their heads into a spinning debeaker – a


portion of their sensitive beaks removed by a laser. Workers toss and rummage through them before they are placed 100 per crowded box and shipped across the country. The callous disregard for animal welfare at this facility is not isolated. In fact, the conditions documented during this investigation are completely standard and acceptable within the commercial egg industry. Referred to by HyLine corporate leaders as mere “genetic products,” these chicks are treated just as they are viewed – as inanimate objects, rather than the sentient creatures they are. Eating habits would change quite a bit if there was absolute honesty and transparency regarding how food is produced.

METHODS Several methods have been used to kill chicks: MACERATION, using a large high-speed grinder into which the live chicks are fed. GASES OR GAS MIXTURES, often carbon dioxide is used to induce unconsciousness and then death. CERVICAL DISLOCATION (breaking the neck) ELECTROCUTION, a new method that has been touted as being cheap, reliable, and humane by its developers

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “HUMANE KILLING”


Melissa Chaib


“IN WESTERN EUROPE THERE IS A GENERAL IDEA THAT THE EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN IS FINISHED, THAT FEMINISTS ARE JUST COMPLAINING FRUSTRATED UGLY WOMEN - THAT THERE IS NO PROBLEM ANYMORE.”


LANDVERRAAD is a power violence band from Amsterdam,

Netherlands. It was formed in 2010 by former members of hardcore punk and thrashcore bands as Betercore, Grinding Halt, Hysteria, Tyrannicide, Sandcreek Massacre, Sloth, and Damage Repair. Not only are they super fun people, they’re also very feminist, vegan and anarchistic. Just the way I like it. I had a very interesting talk with Sanne about touring in Russia, feminist porn and of course, the ever so famous RObin Thicke.

Hey Sanne, what is your view on feminism today and in what way is it different from the first wave feminists? Wow - ehm, well, my first reaction would be: we need more, much more of it! As far as differences with the first waves of feminism - there are so many. I would say it all became more complex and more paradoxical. As every social struggle in this individualised culture where so many is effectively depoliticised. At the one hand women are less repressed, have more autonomy. But at the other hand there are so many sophisticated and less sophisticated ways women are still being exploited, repressed and discriminated. An


example is the beauty myth, the cosmetic industry and the idea you should live up to some glorified unrealistic body image. This is extremely repressive and damaging for women. I’m now talking about the context here in The Netherland and Western Europe, by the way. Obviously there are different issues in different places. Over here there is a general idea that the emancipation of women is finished, that feminists are just complaining frustrated ugly women - that there is no problem anymore. Which is of course far from the truth - it is not very hard to prove inequality still exists and double standards still exist, or domestic violence and rape; all very real things, happening far too much. Yet somehow we are told ‘not to wine’. How do you respond when people tell you we don’t need feminism and it’s an old fashioned idea? “Of course we don’t! Why would we - if research shows women are still paid less wage for the same job as men? Why would we need feminism if our so called representative democratic government consists of 95% of men! Why would we need feminism every women reports to have been sexually harassed! Why would I need feminism, when this morning while I was unlocking my bike, a guy grabbed my ass, when there is guys hissing at me all the fucking time! Why would we need feminism, only 1 out of 9 women is raped!”. I can recommend it to everyone - just collect some statistics, some research and some personal examples of sexism and misogyny and throw it at their feet. Or I just keep it short: “Maybe I wouldn’t have to be a feminist if you weren’t such an asshole.” I read that one in a Riot Grrrl zine once - I love it. It depends a bit how much I feel like having a constructive discussion about it, and who is making the comment. In your opinion, what is the biggest struggle for women these days? Hard to answer. I don’t think there is one biggest


struggle. At the moment I’m very preoccupied with the beauty standard and the insecurities and self-hate it creates. I guess a very general answer is still: agency, autonomy, equality. Your thoughts about this quote: “Well, if you are fighting for equality between men and women, why not call it humanism instead of feminism?” That is specisist..! Hehe. Yeah - well, obviously that’s just ignoring the fact that there is a specific struggle to be fought. With specific dynamics. And that the balance is negative for women. It’s a boring remark not worth much attention.

“MAYBE I WOULDN’T HAVE TO BE A FEMINIST IF YOU WEREN’T SUCH AN ASSHOLE” Do you think feminism and veganism go hand in hand? (for example: cows getting raped, male chicks being killed in the egg industry, …) Basically, in your opinion: can you be a feminist but not be vegan? I would say so. Why not? I wouldn’t want to say what you should or should not do to be a feminist. I understand you could say there is a similar logic, more structural problem underlying both the meat an dairy industry and oppression of women; similar processes how a certain group of beings is ‘othered’ and treated. I personally like to fight both but these are still different struggles that can be addressed in isolation of each other.


You toured with Landverraad through Russia multiple times. I find it really exciting how amazing the response is to your music. Russia is obviously a nation struggling for equal rights (e.g. Pussy Riot, Putin signing a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form, and a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists & foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. and the list goes on and on…) How does it feel to get this response, do you feel like there’s a movement going on? I’m not sure I’m in the position to speak about the situation in Russia. We toured there once, it was great and we met many beautiful, sweet people - we are hoping to go back one day. Talking to friends from Russia there seem to be many mixed feelings: yes, there is a movement going on, on many levels there is a growing amount of people who are fed up with the government for different reasons. But the repression is so extremely severe, it is hard to organise anything; as soon as you or your group become a real threat to the regime you are done with. Also, on the topic of LGBT rights: the homophobia in the society is huge, really huge. You cannot underestimate the conservatism in Russian society on this point. All these things make it extremely hard to build and maintain a movement. I have a lot of respect for activists there; this is not playing around in a lifestyle scene. This is real shit, with real consequences. How often do you get in trouble with “authorities” (not only in Russia)?


No comment. That is disclosed information :) . Do you deal with a lot of sexism in the punk scene? Compared to other spaces, so called mainstream society: no. There is definitely more awareness about the issue and people trying not to reproduce standards of the general society. The thing is: there is of course no such thing as ‘the’ punk scene - there are many different scenes. There are the more macho subscenes, as well as more feminist subscenes. People I meet are generally nice and sweet. But once in a while there is a confrontation with primitive macho Harcore bigots or conservative punx. And recently I got confronted with very...ehm, how to say this...undeveloped ideas about sexual boundaries and consent in the scene. Over all, it is still far from perfect. Again and again I find though people try to fight the norms of general society - they can’t help but being influenced by them, sometimes reproducing them in twisted ways. I think we could use a fresh Riot Grrrl movement, to be honest. Does Landverraad get hatemail or hateful comments because you’re so active as feminists and 2 of the band members are women? No - we never get any hatemail, fortunately. Only very positive reactions. This might be a weird question, but do you think there is such a thing as “feminist porn”? Wikipedia describes it as such: ‘Feminist Pornography refers to a genre of film developed by and/or for women. It was created for the purposes of encouraging women and


their self-beliefs of freedom through sexuality equality and pleasure.[1] During third-wave feminism, women were open to seeking freedom and rights of sexual equality through entering the adult entertainment workforce. [2] The second wave feminists, unlike the third, had a solidified belief in their own definitions of right and wrong causing many struggles between these two radically different feminist views.[3]’ Well - there is obviously such a thing as feminist porn - and that’s great. I think we can definitely use more of it, too! There is nothing inherently sexist about porn - if women participate in full control, consent and with enjoyment I think it’s great. I am however critical about the mainstream porn-industry as it is. That is just...terribly one-dimensional and so incredibly boring and plastic. It reflects a general culture of women’s bodies as objects of consumption by men in an extreme dumb and vulgar way. The ‘beauty’ standards of the porn industry are ridiculous and so over the top! Besides that, it is problematic and damaging how the esthetics of the porn industry have influenced the broader beauty standards and ideas about what is sexy and attractive. Take something as the recent obsession with hairremoval, what is thát all about..? In short the mainstream porn industry within our general sexist culture represents the fucked up norms and standards of that culture. And that can be very damaging for the ideas women ánd man have about sex. It all represents such a narrow, heterosexual and male-focussed view of desire. It is limiting, damaging and stiffles imagination. Therefor feminist and queer porn is great: it offers an alternative, a celebration of sexuality, integrating actors with huge range of body types, a variety of gender identities, with sex that’s fun and genuine with people fucking the way they want to fuck, in full consent and enjoyment. And with more realistic scenarios including using condoms, portraying consent, feeling awkward or laughing sometimes.


Following up on this question: do you think porn is a negative aspect in society/media, and do you think it gives men and women an incorrect and unrealistic view about sex? Do you think it triggers men to rape (more)? Well - I think I addressed this already in my answer on feminist porn. I wouldn’t know if pornography triggers men to rape - I think you cannot isolate one ‘cultural expression’ and argue that alone triggers certain behaviour.


What about games like GTA, or video clips like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”? In your opinion: Why do you think games and videos like this can still exist? Why isn’t anyone banning this kind of media? Well - unfortunately in our present culture I guess it is not very strange a clip as Blurred LInes can exist, is it? It is an extreme example obviously - which I think the many parodies and reactions to this specific video showed as well - there is definitely some critical awareness. And you find a similar amount of discussion around of GTA5. These numerous reactions show the game is considered too extreme for many people. Which is, well, kind of the point of GTA anyway, and also the reason so many people love that game: because it is so extremely over the top. I would say everybody playing this game knows it is completely out of line and would probably not reproduce that behaviour in real life. I used to play the stone-age version of this game 16 years ago on my little brothers Playstation - and I must say I enjoyed it, found the violence so over the top that it was just hilarious. I would consider Blurred Lines and GTA both quite extreme expressions in the genre of entertainment. You cannot isolate these without considering the broader context. It is also hard to say what these specific examples do to people’s value system, because this value system is shaped by much more complex interactions within the broader culture. A culture that promotes certain norms and behaviours, such as the objectification of women, in much more sophisticated ways. I’m more interested in the less extreme expressions of sexism and misogyny that are considered normal and are truly much more damaging in everyday life for women, than in an extremely dumb popvideo. Banning extremities won’t help much if the general culture around it doesn’t change. I’m not worried about a 14 year old playing GTA - I think he or she can tell this is not the real world; I’m not so afraid they would reproduce behaviour from the videogame. As far as I know there hasn’t been tons of people running over people with their car since GTA. I’d rather like to focus on issues more relevant for the


everyday reality of this boy or girl. Like the concept of ‘consensual sex‘ - something still only practised in a small subculture. Or how catcalling girls is not ok. How people are still raised to fit gender roles. The poor body image women have of themselves. All these things - so many of them to be addressed! Last one: what is the best way to smash patriarchy? Yes, well, working on a plan to get that done - with partners in crime. But it is still in a testing and tweaking stage, we will be prototyping soon but I can’t say too much about it. All I can say now is that it amongst many other things it will involve petrol bombs, bricks, as well as music, books and of course the necessary amounts of espresso, dark roasted. I invite you all to come along, just drop me a line !! punk = love // love = punk, sanne[at]riseup.net


EMELIE LINDBLOM


THE HYMEN IS A MYTH

Did you know there is no such thing as a hymen? That, when you have sex for the first time it can’t really rip or break? That, when you bleed while having sex the first time it’s mainly because of you being tense, nervous, not aroused enough or that the person you’re with is probably unexperienced? The following 2 articles explain what the hymen really is, and why doctors/men still want women to believe in it.


THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE HYMEN. IT IS ONLY A MYTH, SAY CAROLA ERIKSSON AND MONICA CHRISTIANSON, MIDWIVES AND DOCTORAL STUDENTS AT UMEÅ UNIVERSITY. “Many studies have been conducted that suggest that the hymen does not exist. And yet this idea lives on, stubbornly”, according to Eriksson and Christianson. Carola Eriksson and Monica Christianson are doctoral students in medicine at Umeå University, and they are also connected to the school of gender studies there. Carola Eriksson is doing research on the fear of childbirth among women and men, and Monica Christianson is studying sexual risk behavior among young adults. Besides their doctoral studies, they have started a study of the hymen. “Last year, we received funding from the Gender Forum of our county for a study of young adults’ experiences and conceptions of the hymen. They have now finished, but not yet evaluated, a pilot study of two hundred young adults in Umeå who wrote down their associations around the word ‘hymen’.” Eriksson and Christianson are planning a much larger study at three high schools in the towns of Umeå, Skellefteå and Lycksele. Their interest in this issue arose a few years ago, when Carola Eriksson and Monica Christianson participated in a graduate course in which the existence of the hymen was discussed. “Even though we have both worked as midwives for many years, neither of us have ever seen a hymen.When they looked for literature on this matter they found several studies showing the same thing, that is, that the hymen does not exist. This led to a study of the literature, which was published as a chapter in the anthology, Body and Gender in Medicine (2004).- Last summer we participated in the Swedish radio program, ‘Gender.’ Soon after this, a gynecologist who had published a study in the Swedish Medical Journal got in touch with us. Her study had showed the same thing: the hymen is a myth. Even though this knowledge has existed for a long time, old notions are living on.


The gynecologist who contacted us thought that times had not been ripe for this knowledge when she published her study. But the question is if times will ever be ripe, for religious, political, and economic reasons. Countless people make money from adding a few stiches in the vaginal openings of young girls. You can even buy ‘manmade’ hymens from the Internet.” Therefore, according to Carola Eriksson and Monica Christianson, information is crucial. There are so many young women who worry unnecessarily about the hymen. There is no membrane, but just a vaginal opening. This means that you cannot see if a woman has had sex or not. The article is also published in the journal Gender Research in Sweden. BY: LENA OLSON (HTTP://WWW.GENUS.SE/ENGLISH/NEWS/NYHET_DETALJ// THEHYMEN---ONLY-A-MYTH.CID917975)

Carlin Ross explains it so, so well in the article below. You can find it on her blog together with Betty Dodson: http://dodsonandross.com/ I also highly recommend their youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/carlincherrybomb I never had a hymen... Betty never had a hymen. When I shared with my mother that hymens thin out and break apart with the release of estrogen during puberty, she was relieved. She was a virgin when she got married and always wondered why she didn’t bleed after her first intercourse. Her exact words: “why didn’t someone tell me this in school?” - I resisted the impulse to rub her nose in her abstinence-only sex ed belief system. The hymen is what I call a sex “unicorn” - things that don’t really exist but are idealized by the culture (like simultaneous orgasms - yes they happen but they’re rare). However, the hymen is much more lethal. It’s used to instill fear and shame on women in an effort to control their wombs. I thought I’d set the record straight on all fronts. Note: all science is based on generalities - when it comes to mother nature there is a range of results and


every person is biologically unique. The majority of women are born with hymens - it’s rare but some women are born without one. This thin membrane is located at the vaginal opening. Some hymens completely cover the opening... some look like swiss cheese... some look like fringe along the edges...some are barely visible (like this image of unbroken hymens). Once a young girl hits puberty, her body starts to release estrogen. Estrogen thins out your hymen to accommodate menstruation. Most often it breaks open with a smidge of membrane left behind at the base of the vaginal opening. It can break open during penetration or riding your bike. Just because you don’t have a hymen doesn’t mean you’ve had intercourse. Finally, in rare circumstances the hymen doesn’t thin out and must be removed surgically. It is possible that you could be penetrated vaginally and still have a hymen because your hymen didn’t completely cover your vaginal opening and it stretched to accommodate a penis. However, this is extremely RARE. During genital show & tell in the bodysex groups, Betty and I often see small hymenal tags along with sides of the vaginal opening. They look like a sweet little pink scalloped edge. I don’t have them and most of the vaginas we see don’t either. However, we do see them. The whole point here is that most women bleed during their first intercourse due to lack of sexual arousal and tearing in the vaginal lining (most men are a bit rough and don’t use lubricant). I guess I resent the hymen because it’s another example of the sexual double standard. Every woman should be penetrating their vagina themselves to claim their bodies as their own. The whole concept of bloodly sheets on your wedding night makes me sick. The whole concept of women reattaching their hymens to relive the night they popped their cherry is ridiculous. Ultimately, the hymen is a myth...a myth used to subjugate women. Like Betty says - once you’ve had an orgasm, you’re not a virgin anymore.


KATHLEEN PIERARD


NAFI 002 is a zine published by marmushka marie ≈ winter 2014 marmushkadraws.tumblr.com


Not Asking For It 002