Slutty Mother, Feminist Baby

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So Slutwalk Jerusalem is coming up for the 7th year in a row. I noticed that every time someone posts about it on Facebook, there is a shitload of back-and-forth comments mostly by trolls who have no idea what Slutwalk is even about and think they can criticise it however they want.

I don’t really care about that. Slutwalk is about women reclaiming their bodies. That’s it. It’s a good thing. It’s a positive thing. But people still comment on it, saying it’s demeaning and offensive. So if people are offended by women claiming ownership of what they obviously own, said people can go fuck themselves or get a brain.

I’m going along with a group of friends. I was also planning on bringing my daughter along and dress her in her new onesie (pictured here).onesie smash But my husband said he won’t let me. It’s funny and rather ironic that he won’t let me do something when it comes to feminism. But in this case, I think he’s right. Although I want to expose my daughter to the movement early on in her life, I think that a year and five months is far too young to actually take part in marches that involve being in the scorching sun for a long time, shouting slogans, and (let’s face it) putting yourself in certain danger by counter-protesters.

I want my daughter to be an activist and be strong and stand up for her rights as an empowered woman, but I also want my daughter to be safe. And Slutwalk Jerusalem is not exactly the safest place to be on May 18. So she will stay with my husband, who can do his own share of exposing our daughter to feminism by reading her one of her favorite books “Feminist Baby”, including the Slutwalk-inspired part that says “Feminist baby chooses what to wear, and if you don’t like it she doesn’t care”, as well as teaching her the Rosie the Riveter feminist fist, demonstrated in the book by the feminist baby herself.

So next week will be nice and packed. With the hopes that my daughter doesn’t get sick in any one of those days, this is my schedule for the upcoming days:

Friday, May 11: Bake cookies, go to Be’er Sheva for the weekend
Sunday, May 13: Work morning, pick up daughter, bake broccoli snack (new recipe!)
Monday, May 14: Tai Chi morning, work afternoon
Tuesday, May 15: Doctor’s appointment and blood work, work afternoon
Wednesday, May 16: Write letters to penpals, work afternoon
Thursday, May 17: Bake pizza-flavored pasta quiche (another new recipe!), work afternoon
Friday, May 18: Smash the fucking patriarchy at Slutwalk with a group of badass bitches, and make the world a better place for my daughter, then go to Be’er Sheva for weekend and Shavuot.

If all goes well, I might try to start a new issue of my zine and include a piece about Slutwalk. Between taking care of a child and taking care of a child, I don’t know when that will be, but yes. Zinesters shall zine.

Peace, love and sluts

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Get Messy!

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Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. For this reason, from November 25 to December 2, all proceeds from the PMS Mess Etsy shop will be donated to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center!

Please support the cause, buy zines, DIY art and postcards, and spread the word!

PMS banner

More abut the shop:

PMS Mess is my new Etsy shop. There, you will find all the items that I produce by hand, sell with freebies, and ship with love!

Messy and magical items in the shop include:

Purple Myrtle Squeegy – my PMS Perzine

PMS cover 1 PMS issue 4 DSC02449 DSC03041

Fallopian Falafel – my compilation zine

Fallopian Falafel Fallopian Falafel Fallopian Falafel Fallopian Falafel

Alternative Jerusalem – a series of awesome postcards I designed

Draining1 Metal Proud1 Slut

Kickass care packages

PMS collection Care Package FF

And more DIY art, such as patches and buttons, coming soon!

All items come with freebies such as feminist zines or minizines or stickers or patches or my band’s CD!

For more info, contact me at fallopian.falafel@gmail.com!

Pride in Jerusalem

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I think that everyone around the world already heard about what happened in Jerusalem yesterday.

I was there. I’m still trying to process what happened. The same thing happened in 2005, by the same guy who did the stabbings yesterday. It seems as though no lessons were learned in 10 years.

The march started out at Independence Park. Everyone started marching with a drum circle, music, laughter, dancing, waving flags while shouting and chanting slogans for tolerance, love, diversity and equal rights.

Suddenly, police cars and ambulances rushed through the crowd. Cops on scooters and on horses, or in police units, vans and cars, and on foot urged people to the side and proceeded to the scene of the incident. As word passed down, within minutes everyone knew that a man with a knife stabbed some of the marchers. The music died down almost immediately, the chanting, the dancing and the laughter too. The rest of the march took place in absolute silence. The thousands of marchers were all in shock. Some scattered marchers tried chanting “A gay person marches and is not afraid,” but these were all drained out by the screams of the sirens.

People talk and they say that now that the community knows that being proud and “flaunting it” is dangerous, we would know better than to take it to the streets and instead stay at home, in the closet, in the dark, and let all these hate mongers drag  the rest of this country into the dark as well. This was not a parade. Jerusalem has no floats with half-naked men dancing around. This Pride march in Jerusalem is there for the very struggle of the LGBT community. The only thing being “flaunted” is diversity, beauty, light, courage, pride and love. Lots of love.

I, along with the rest of the LGBT community in Israel, say fuck that. These incidents are exactly the reason why Pride must keep going, year after year. This was the recurring message in the speeches given yesterday. We must fight darkness with light, and we must fight hate with love. A former Knesset member, Nitzan Horovitz, came out a few years ago, and has been a supporter of the LGBT community’s fight for equal rights ever since. He was one of the speakers yesterday. His words were so powerful and resonated so much with what I was feeling, that I couldn’t stop crying during his entire speech.

This is not democracy and it is not Judaism. The Goddess does not create people to kill and be killed. The Goddess loves us all, and She is the only one who has the right to judge us. I don’t care about the abomination statement in the Torah and how homosexuals should be killed. I care that we are human beings, and all we want to do is love. And I also know that if the Goddess was a person, She would march right alongside us.

And yes, I am straight and yes I do say “we” because this is a struggle that we must all take part in. We must recognize our privilege in this society as heterosexuals and join the Pride march as a march for tolerance for all people, all races, all genders and all sexualities. Nitzan Horovitz also said that we must fight this aberration because this affects us all, Israeli Jews and Arabs, black and white, religious and secular, gay and straight. The stabber did not discriminate either. He stabbed anybody he could reach, regardless of whether or not they were gay. I saw one of the injured people in the hospital today. He’s straight, he went to the march with his girlfriend to support this struggle. This is a “we”. We’re all in this together.

The LGBT community in Jerusalem is made up of Israeli Jews just like the rest of us, and they are deserving of equal rights, human rights, love, health services, tolerance, respect and justice. This is not just a struggle for survival. It’s a struggle for the preservation of democracy and against the people who supposedly do these acts of violence in the name of religion.

One of the marchers said in an interview to the press that this is something that happens on Tu Be’Av, a holiday of love, a few days after Tisha Be’Av, a day of mourning the destruction of the Temple, where Orthodox Jews fast as a sign of mourning. She said “This fast is worthless.” Because if the Temple was destroyed because of sinat chinam, hatred between Jews, this is what is still going on today. This act of violence carried out by an Orthodox Jew, who may have very well fasted on Tisha Be’Av, completely obliterated any hope of reconciliation between Jews. This fast was not worth shit.

It was wonderful to see the new group of religious homosexuals marching along with us, and even arguing with the other religious Jews standing on the sidelines. While the sideliners were screaming and spitting at them, the religious homosexuals stood their ground and bravely fought back.

Diversity is what characterizes Jerusalem. The rainbow flags that painted the streets of Jerusalem yesterday proudly represent this diversity. So why did these colors all fade to blood-red? We all saw the blood on the pavement. This is Jewish blood. These are innocent people. The only abomination in this march is the terrorist who infiltrated it. You cannot be a hater and call yourself Jewish. This is not Judaism. I refuse to accept this monster as a member of the Jewish community. Whatever happened to “love thy neighbor”? Why can’t these assholes live by that?

When I came back from the march, my husband said he was practicing Queen’s “We Are the Champions” on guitar. And this was totally fitting because despite the rampant homophobia in this society, the LGBT community will keep on fighting to the end.

Peace, love and Ahava Ge’avah

PS – I am currently selling some Alternative Jerusalem postcards on my Etsy shop. The ones that were made about Jerusalem Pride are sold as a fundraising effort. All proceeds will be donated to the Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT organization in Jerusalem. Please support this initiative and buy the postcard.

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Zine Slut

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BZFWhile I’m getting ready to travel to the other side of the planet in June, I’m also getting ready to travel there again in October.

I thought that I might catch the Philly Zine Fest in June but it doesn’t look promising, but the Boston Zine Fest in October does! In fact, I think my friend already signed us up as tabling there together, which should be nothing short of goddamn fucking incredibly and wonderfully and amazingly EVERYTHING!

As part of my efforts in gearing up for my very first zine fest (I’ll be so happy to pop that cherry) I’m going over all my completed zines of yesteryear. That includes 16 issues of Fallopian Falafel, 10 issues of PMS Perzine (and perhaps one or two more to come before October rolls around), three issues of End of Words, and a few other random one-off publications like my fiction story insert, Diamond’s photobook and the one of my trip to Barcelona, and maybe a couple more I’m forgetting. That’s a lot of zines. And aside from all that, I also want to make some patches for sale, print a few more copies of my Alternative Jerusalem postcards, maybe make a few buttons with my friend’s help, and also throw in some copies of Mistress Distress‘s CD, not to mention about a million fliers and shit.

Clearly, if I print 10 copies of everything, you can imagine I’ll have a heavy load to carry halfway across the world, which is why my friend suggested that I send at least some of it by mail and she can keep it until the fest.

However, I’ll also have to see whether or not all this load will even fit on the table I will be assigned. You can tell I’ve never done this before.

Also, whether I manage to sell any of my stuff is yet to be seen. But that’s not even the point. The mere experience of being in a zine fest, which has been a dream of mine since I started making zines, is the end in itself. Making new zinester friends and contacts, trading art work and publications, giving and getting fliers and maybe even music – this is the experience I want. Selling a few items here and there will only be a nice little extra, but not the main reason for my participation in the fest.

I’m super-doodly-duper excited for it!

So I’m going over the PDFs of the 16 issues of Fallopian Falafel making sure they’re of good print quality and include the bleed. I’ll print 15 copies of each, send 10 copies to my friend (in batches of course because I doubt I can fit 160 zines in a single envelope), and save five copies of each to post on my Etsy shop – Fallopian Falafel fans rejoice!  Any leftover material from the fest will stay in Boston. My friend said she’ll sell it or give it out or leave it in the library where she works and people can check it out. Whatever she decides.

I get feverish just thinking about all the money I will be spending on printing and mailing out all that shit, not to mention the flight fare, but it’ll be totally worth it, as zine and DIY production usually is.

Peace, love and PMS – Power Mensies Sisters: Out for Blood!

A Feminist of Valor

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Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and for the occasion, I wrote a status on Facebook wishing the female variety a happy day. Seriously, I did nothing that involves feminism and female empowerment except for that.

Since yesterday was Sunday, we had metal night at Blaze. I thought maybe I should put on a powerful song by a female metal band as a tribute to IWD, but nothing came to mind. And they already played Arch Enemy with Angela on the lead, so yeah. Nothing more than that.

It got to a point where I started fantasizing about one of the dudes there making some sexist comment, just so I can say something bitching like “Number one, I’m a feminist. Number two, today is International Women’s Day. Number three, I may be small but I’m much stronger than I look, and you should watch your mouth or you won’t have any more fucking teeth left in it!”

But the guys at metal night are nice dudes. And they know I’m a feminist. And they know not to make any sexist comments when I’m around because I could leave them as bloody as I get when I’m on my period.

Come to think of it, I haven’t done too many feminist things lately. There was a Vagina Monologues presentation by the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center on V-Day, but I didn’t go because I was out of town. So instead, I called up the JRCC and donated the equivalent amount of a VM ticket price, 80 NIS, so that even if I didn’t go to the show, I could still contribute to the fundraising efforts.

That was it.

Right now, I’m reading a book about Witches. I don’t mean a horror story. I mean a book on the actual pagan faith. It’s got a lot of feminist elements in it, and I find it utterly inspiring. So if that also counts as a feminist thing, then I’m also doing that.

RosiePlus, I’m also going to my very first mikve (ritual bath) today as a prerequisite by the Rabbinical Council for having a proper Jewish wedding. I promised my penpal friend, who is writing a comp zine on periods, that I will contribute a piece on the mikve once I experience it. I will write it in conjunction with my feminist beliefs and how this holy monthly ritual can be seen as a tremendous source of female empowerment. So I guess that’s another feminist thing.

While I’m on the topic of religion, my husband-to-be and I received a wonderful gift by one of the people who will not make it to the wedding. It was a Sabbath set including candle holders, a kiddish glass, a couple of prayer books (including one called Eshet Chayil – A Woman of Valor – with chants and hymns for the woman of the house. Yes, still totally feminist!), and my favorite – a cutting board for motzi bread! This last one is a super fancy board with a bread knife on the side and a tiny built-in bowl for salt. I’m so excited about it, I can’t wait to invite some friends over for a Sabbath dinner, and get a chance to use all that awesome stuff.

And since my man always relegates the kiddish and motzi to me, this soon-to-be-married feminist will be the one to do all the chants and all the prayers for the Sabbath dinner, and this time with a headscarf.

May be kinda reform, but you don’t get any more feminist than that!

Peace, love and Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Kaf Be’Adar, Tashaah.

The New Me

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As you noticed, my blog layout is completely different.

For the last few weeks, I’ve felt like a change was needed. And not just a change of blog theme, but a change of perspective on life and a change of how I define myself.

I’ve noticed that the grrrlVIRUS movement has much less importance in my life as the movement itself died. Nobody I know talks about it anymore, there are no new posts on any of the related pages or social networks – it’s simply vanished.

The grrrlVIRUS event that was supposed to take place in Berlin a few years ago never happened, and I was so utterly disappointed by it. I think my lack of interest in the movement started then. That’s besides the point that I was the only active member of the Israeli grrrlVIRUS branch. Forget active, I was the only member. Any demonstration I went to – Slutwalk, Pride, whatever… I was the only one holding a grrrlVIRUS banner, I was the only one giving out flyer and trying to spread the virus. 

I don’t think I burned out. I think the virus simply died. There is no more interest in it and I’m no longer involved.

So I no longer define myself as a grrrlIVIRUS-infected chick. I am still a riot grrrl though. I think my tattoo has never been more accurate as it is now – “a true riot grrrl never dies”. I still listen to the music, I still make zines and I still revel in DIY magic. The main difference between riot grrrl and grrrlVIRUS for me is that the latter was a passing fad, whereas the former was one that shaped me for already 14 years. It’s not something that will simply disappear, or die just as easily. I’m still a feminist, and riot grrrl is the movement that defines feminism for me.

Back of VestMy patches vest has a large print of the grrrlVIRUS logo on the back, and I’ve been considering covering it with another large patch. I’m not sure which one yet. I’ve been considering either Mercyful Fate, Amon Amarth or a classic one of Arch Enemy, like from Wages of Sin or something. I also need to remove the grrrlVIRUS patch from the bottom right of the vest and replace it with something else. 

For my blog, I changed the description of “The Badass” on the top right. No mention of grrrlVIRUS is made, and I’ve added some things that I identify with more and that define me in my current state, based on my current interests.

I’ve also been considering changing the picture and the text in the page “About the Badass.” It will be a little more detailed and a little less pretentious.

As a little yet important change – I no longer wear the typewriter necklace I’ve been wearing for the past five years. I still love typewriters and still use my own when I produce zines or write letters, but the necklace is now faded and worn out. I am now wearing a Thor’s Hammer pendent that I recently bought online. It’s a similar one that Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) wears onstage.

Aside from that, I feel the need to detatch myself from people who are too left wing. I simply can’t stand just how hateful some of these people can get. I’ve been right wing since I moved to Israel, and I’ve been Zionist for as long as I can remember. The reason I added these people in the first place was because we had other things in common – feminism, metal, punk, zines, pro-GLBT sentiments, etc. But when it comes to nationalism, they couldn’t piss me off more. During the latest conflict with Gaza, a shitload of infuriatingly ignorant, naive, and shockingly anti-Semitic posts flooded my Facebook and my WordPress feed. I have some friends who are left wing but still level headed. These will remain my friends. But as for the ones who can’t stand to say the word “Zionist” without adding “equals Nazi”, they can fuck off.  I already unfriended one of these people on Facebook. I need to weed out the rest.

I needed this redefinition to reclaim my balance, put my identity in focus, and admit to myself that this is who I am. No matter who I’ve been and what I said and what I wrote in the past, my present is the only thing that matters.

Peace, love and change is good.

Zine Fests Anyone?

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Following my endless laments about Jerusalem’s deplorable lack of a zine community, I decided to try some last-ditch attempts in exploring the underground (in Jerusalem, this involves grabbing a shovel and actually digging) for any signs of local zine-fests.

I contacted Af Magazine, being the only indie local Jerusalem zine I know of. I contacted Jerusalem Village who organized a Young Writers’ evening at Tmol Shilshom a couple of weeks ago to see if they would be interested in organizing something zine-related. I contacted Hataklit bar and Uganda bar, who had both hosted such zine events in the past to see if they’re planning on another one in the future. I contacted the Jerusalem Open House suggesting a zine-fest as a future event for their members and the Jerusalem GLBT community. I also reached out to some Jerusalemite friends for help and support. I’m also considering reaching out to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center for a zine event as a fundraiser, but not sure how to go about this yet.

I so want to take part in something like that. Even if I don’t sell anything, I don’t care. I just want to experience a zine event similar to those I always hear about that take place overseas. And I want it in Jerusalem. I don’t want it in Tel Aviv or Haifa or anywhere out of town. I want to meet other Jerusalemite zinesters. I’m sure I’m not the only one. And even if I feel like I’m the only right-wing person there, so be it. Maybe I won’t be, who knows?

So I’m really trying here. But I can’t do this alone. I know that if I’m the only organizer, no one will show up. The event will fail miserably because that’s what always happens when I organize anything. I can’t even throw myself a birthday party because my friends always find excuses to not be able to make it.

But if I get people to help me out – people or organizations who have some kind of influence on the community, who know how and where to organize events, and who can easily draw a crowd – it may actually work. The only thing I need to do is get them interested (which is yet another feat I struggle with), and show up with a table full of zines, t-shirts, stickers, pins, CDs, maybe also a personally designed stationary.

So I did my part. I contacted the undergrounders who may or may not take this up as a potential idea for a future event. I hope for a positive response (though I keep my expectations low as to not be too disappointed if the result is negative on all fronts).

If any Jerusalemites are reading this and want to help me out or have any ideas, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Peace, love and undergrounders, come out of your hole.