24th Aug 2012
Rising Up, Shaking Down
Feminist discourse has been all over the mainstream media over the past week, thanks to two particularly shocking occurrences:
U.S. Senator Todd Akins’ pronouncements about rape and the two year sentence doled out to Russian punk band Pussy Riot for singing 50 seconds worth of protest song on the roof of Christ the Saviour cathedral.
Eve Ensler, activist and writer (most famously of The Vagina Monologues), weighed in on the Todd Akin scandal after his statement suggesting he had demarcated categories of rape as ‘legitimate’ (or presumably, ‘illegitimate’) along with an understanding of the female reproductive system which was resolutely pre-scientific.
In response, Ensler penned a passionate and scathing open letter to the senator in the Huffington Post, where she suggests that he spends his time ‘ending rape rather than redefining it’.
On the other side of the world, Pussy Riot were offering closing statements in court as the next stage of their protest, articulating the inspiration they received from all dissident artists, including writers.
In her closing statement, band member Maria Alyokhina made paralells with the Russian judicial system’s treatment of the band and that of exiled poet, Joseph Brodsky who was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972.
If you’re in London on Wednesday 29th August you might want to head on down to Rich Mix where you’ll find solidarity through poetry.
A selection of delectable poets will be performing the words of Pussy Riot along with their own work in honour of the three balaclava-headed punk-poets. Click here for details and a full line-up of the evening.
Photo courtesy of Pussy Riot