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The media we viewed and read this week all talked about history and the creation of queer and activist spaces. In the arts and social justice class that I took last term, we talked a lot about how the creation of a place can determine the actions and decisions made there. In the context of last term, we discussed how creating art activist spaces open to the public, there was more of a community feeling, and each space could be tailored to what the individual community needed. In this class, I think space has a similar idea, but can be expanded from a physical place to include the internet or media like zines.
First, I want to talk about the documentary and Riot Grrl culture. I’ve been interested in the Riot Grrl movement for a while now, and I’ve actually read Girls to the Front, the book that one of the women interviewed in the documentary wrote. I think that this “third wave feminism” culture is absolutely fantastic, and incredibly queer in that it seeks to disrupt the status quo and change the accepted norm. Though the Riot Grrl culture has faded from popular scenes a little bit, I can definitely still see its influences. I found that this culture is pretty much spot on with my definition of feminism. Because I’m from Portland, I still see a lot of punk culture, often popping up in activist spaces, because at its core, punk has always been about resistance. I’ve heard that the Riot Grrl movement encouraged girls to take back their power and to create things to share with other girls that reflect their own experiences. This definitely ties into pop culture, because that’s what we are all eventually working towards: creating media for ourselves and to share with other people like us.
This ties into the idea of world-building. I’ve never heard this term used as anything other than fiction and fantasy media, but I think it’s a great idea and term. As one of the articles said, the internet is an ideal place for world building, especially now, because it’s now so easily accessible. I really like the websites and projects that they talked about, specifically the projects that encouraged community contribution, which I feel like is very important. I found it interesting how the articles talked about history, because I’ve never really thought about history as something we create. I do agree that history has been retold and changed to suit the needs of the people in power. But with the advent of the internet and the push into cyber-culture, the idea of what is history, and what matters in history, is really changing a lot. One of the articles said “The queer world is a space of entrances, exits, unsystematized lines of acquaintance, projected horizons, typifying examples, alternate routes, blockages, and incommensible geographies.” I like this definition of queerness because again it basically is saying that to queer something is to rebel against the norms. That same paper defined heteronormativity very well, saying “Heteronormative forms of intimacy are supported, as we have argued, not only by overt referential discourse such as love plots and sentimentality but materially, in marriage and family law, in the architecture of the domestic, in the zoning of work and politics.”
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