Wash your Hands

Blurb by Sage Reynold (content creator), Poem By Dori Midnight

If I had to tell myself a few months ago that our state, our nation, our world would be united through washing our hands, I really wouldn’t get it. But here we are, dry knuckles and all. Even though I have the time, I haven’t been reading many books or poems or prose. But, I found the time to read this poem and I think it helped me in some subtle, weird way, so here is if you want to read it too.

–Sage Reynolds

Read the entire poem here: https://dorimidnight.com/uncategorized/wash-your-hands/

“We are humans relearning to wash our hands.
Washing our hands is an act of love
Washing our hands is an act of care
Washing our hands is an act that puts the hypervigilant body at ease
Washing our hands helps us return to ourselves by washing away what does not serve.

…..

Wash your hands and cough into your elbow, they say.
Rest more, stay home, drink water, have some soup, they say.
To which I would add: burn some plants your ancestors burned when there was fear in the air,
Boil some aromatic leaves in a pot on your stove until your windows steam up.
Open your windows
Eat a piece of garlic every day. Tie a clove around your neck.
Breathe.

My friends, it is always true, these things.
It has already been time.
It is always true that we should move with care and intention, asking
Do you want to bump elbows instead? with everyone we meet.
It is always true that people are living with one lung, with immune systems that don’t work so well, or perhaps work too hard, fighting against themselves. It is already true that people are hoarding the things that the most vulnerable need.
It is already time that we might want to fly on airplanes less and not go to work when we are sick.
It is already time that we might want to know who in our neighborhood has cancer, who has a new baby, who is old, with children in another state, who has extra water, who has a root cellar, who is a nurse, who has a garden full of elecampane and nettles.
It is already time that temporarily non-disabled people think about people living with chronic illness and disabled folks, that young people think about old people.
It is already time to stop using synthetic fragrances to not smell like bodies, to pretend like we’re all not dying. It is already time to remember that those scents make so many of us sick.
It is already time to not take it personally when someone doesn’t want to hug you.
It is already time to slow down and feel how scared we are.

…..

Those of us who have forgotten amuletic traditions,
we turn to hoarding hand sanitizer and masks.
we find someone to blame.
we think that will help.
want to blame something?
Blame capitalism. Blame patriarchy. Blame white supremacy.

It is already time to remember to hang garlic on our doors
to dip our handkerchiefs in thyme tea
to rub salt on our feet
to pray the rosary, kiss the mezuzah, cleanse with an egg.
In the middle of the night,
when you wake up with terror in your belly,
it is time to think about stardust and geological time
redwoods and dance parties and mushrooms remediating toxic soil.
it is time
to care for one another
to pray over water
to wash away fear
every time we wash our hands”

**We do not own or claim to own any part of this poem. This poem and artist is not associated with the Monthly Rag or the FGS program and all credit goes to the rightful owner, Dori Midnight.

 

 

 

Razors Build for Womankind: Are Billie Razors Breaking Boundaries?

By Sage Reynolds

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Launched in 2017, Billie was founded by Jason Bravman and Georgina Gooley with the vision “to create an unapologetically, female-first company in the boring, male-dominated shaving category” while rejecting the Pink Tax along the way. In June of 2018, Billie released “Project Body Hair,” which acts as “a celebration of female body hair…wherever it is or isn’t” (“The New Body Brand”). This online campaign began with a video production on Youtube as well as an image gallery on their website. It is also a hashtag (#projectbodyhair) that encourages people to post photos with as much or as little body fuzz that they want. The video, which has over 1.2 million views and looks like a music video about female body hair, was directed by Ashley Armitage and features Princess Nokia’s song “Tomboy.” Billie focuses on closeups of women’s hair: armpits, bellies, toes, legs, unibrows bikini line. Finally, an ad that shows what natural female body parts look like: hairy!

It’s pivotal to look deeper into Billie’s mission approach, selling tactics, and advertisements. Billie’s mission could seem ironic by embracing a movement that makes purchasing razors obsolete. Is this pro-hair approach genuine? Or is it trying to appeal to people who support the pro-hair movement but still buy a pretty razor to shave? Is Billie simply exploiting people with body hair/people who choose not to shave to sell their product? Billie says they are all about being the razor that is there when you want to shave, but where is the narrative about where this want comes from? Does an 11-year-old girl who just began to grow hair want to take a razor to her flesh? Or is she convinced that there is something fundamentally wrong with female body hair? Is the video “Project Body Hair” exploiting people that grow their body hair to sell a product that will do just the opposite? It’s easy to be skeptical of Billie, whose mission is to “make the internet a little fuzzier” while selling products to strip that fuzz from real life.

Billie’s efforts to disrupt the dominant discourse around female body hair are receiving praise from customers and critics. Creating more access to products through Billie’s cheaper prices and relatability to more bodies is an important effort to recognize. Knowing how Billie can improve too is just as crucial. But no matter how progressive a company may be, it is always important to look deeper into their mission and what assumptions these promises rely on. Other razor companies should take notes from Billie, but ultimately it is up to you if a hair removal tool can be pro-hair.

New Year, New Monthly Rag Content Creators

Please join me in welcoming Sage Reynolds and Anya Quesnel as our new content creators!

 

 

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My name is Sage Reynolds—transferred to CC this year, originally from Colorado, and thrilled to be one of the Content Creators for The Monthly Rag! I am currently a sophomore (soon to be declared) Feminist and Gender Studies Major. I am passionate about reproductive justice and would love to do a collaborative project with the local Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood to create more inclusive opportunities around sex Education on campus. Eager to collaborate, listen, and create, I can’t wait to work with The Monthly Rag team.

 

 

 

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My name is Anya Quesnel and I’m a first-year student hailing from Trinidad and Tobago. I want to help make the Monthly Rag a critical, creative platform for the discussion of relevant topics to Feminist and Gender Studies which go beyond the immediate campus and United States context. I hope to see this publication grow into a space for a wide range of feminist voices to be heard and to provide our community with the monthly dose of FemGen realness it needs.

Two feminist icons of mine are Shivanee Ramlochan and Attilah Springer

Statement of Support for Open Letter

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There has been an open letter, including a petition with demands dispersed amongst the CC community regarding student concerns over the Antiracism Implementation plan. In particular, this letter addresses the treatment of the Butler Center and elimination of Dr. Paul Buckley’s position.

Below we are including the link to the open letter and the petition as an act of solidarity and support from Triota cabinet and the entire Monthly Rag creative team:

Sage Reynolds, Content Creator

Anya Quesnel, Content Creator

Eileen Huang, FGS ’22, Editor Apprentice

Zivia Berkowitz, FGS ’21, Administrator

Mekael Daniel, FGS ’20, Vice President

Judy Fisher, FGS ’20, Vice President of Triota, Editor

 

Members of the CC community can find the letter below and sign petition:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17XPIT-mUHjllLn-lgiTG_wb-rmgojL00xBcs_W4Pv5U/edit?fbclid=IwAR0lEiZ92ooRjuDJAqEoTb2pqDe5bL3AhRmvh_BomrlFF8Y4BgTOrW9htS0

Cover That up! The Stigma around Body Modifications and their Potential as a Form of Resistance

Sage Reynolds

We all have marks on our bodies that distinguish us from others: birthmarks, freckles, stretch marks, wrinkles, veins, moles, scars, and much more. Some people show these unique marks while others do their best to hide them. Some people define their bodies through their marks while others don’t even recognize the freckles on their backs or birthmarks on their butts. The idea that we can add body marks through body modification — “altering the body via adornments” — can frighten, disgust, intrigue, or gratify, depending on the person (Hill et al). The body as a canvas is an idea that some people live by, and in those cases the body modification choice options are endless. This article, however, will focus on tattoos.

How can having body modifications such as tattoos, be a form of body activism and resistance? No matter the stigma, tattoos will always be man-made ink added to one’s skin; this can be seen as unnatural and therefore resistant to body norms. Mindy Fenske, in “Movement and Resistance: (Tattooed) Bodies and Performance,” adds that: “when the parts of the body unite in their active potential for movement… The movement is not designed to intentionally resist discourse; rather it illustrates the inherent incapacity of discourse to control the performance of the body’s materiality as well as the potential for the body to act out through discursive control.” The actual tattoo(s) are not a form of resistance but rather recognizing the body’s modifiability and taking control of the materiality of the body is perhaps an act of resistance and deviance from social norms. Judith Butler, in “From Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity,” continues this discussion of performance when comparing performativity and performance. Performativity is the rule or how it should be while performance has the potential to be resistant. Taking control of the performance of the body makes space for resistance rather than sticking with the performativity, or the prefigured roles and rules of the body (442).

Resistance varies from person to person. Micheal Atkinson discusses this variety of resistance in terms of gender. In his article/study “Pretty in Ink: Conformity, Resistance, and Negotiation in Women’s Tattooing,” he argues that “women’s tattoos are layered with culturally established, resistant, and negotiated images of femininity” (Atkinson 232). Within a heteronormative, cis-gendered society, women may feel pressure to modify their bodies for the pleasure of the man (hairless, small waist, big boobs, unblemished, etc.). For instance, According to Betty Friedan, in the mid-1900s, women would refuse cancer treatment because it was said to be unfeminine and also “eat a chalk called Metrecal instead of food” to shrink their waist” (Friedan 173). So, for some women, according to Atkinson, making individual decisions to body-modify through tattooing can be a mechanism of resistance to feminine norms. Merely challenging the association between masculinity and tattooing may be a form of resistance and activism within itself.

This idea of control may be the very essence of how tattoos can be a form of resistance. Fenske and Atkinson could be in conversation about mechanisms of resistance. First, Fenske encourages people to recognize the body’s modifiability and therefore take control of its materiality. Taking control of your own body, using personal autonomy, and therefore self-governing your body is a form of resistance against the social norms within a heteronormative, cis-gendered society that Atkinson speaks to. We are all born with natural birthmarks, but the stigma still surrounds how humans decide to mark their skin. When something is stigmatized, room for resistance opens up — resistance against social and gendered norms, against workplace discrimination, and stereotypes around people with body art.