Herstories and How-to’s

Why hello there!

Welcome to the first installment of Herstories and How-to’s (I also toyed with the title, ‘Corpses and Crafts, but was advised that this was not quite as catchy). Each month I’ll bring you a different woman, no longer living, who rocked in some way, along with practical(ish) how-tos.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in anything other than making truly excellent pancakes and irreverence. Take all snark, sarcasm and advice with big grains of salt.  

To really kick things off, let’s talk about Claude Cahun:

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(via: the red list)

Claude Cahun (born Mathilde Schwob in 1894) was an original boss who pushed boundaries everywhere- Her haunting self portraits andtrippy collages defied gender stereotypes and classification.
There are lots of reasons to love Claude Cahun, but my favorite has got to be the way she and her partner, Suzanne Malherbe (a.k.a. Marcel Moore) sought to undermine the Nazis. Just when the two had settled in an island in France to live, and make and write, Nazis invaded and ruined the party (as they always do). Cahun and Moore fought back by creating collaged poems out of BBC news briefs, describing the atrocities and general ass-holeishness of the Nazis, which they then threw into car windows and slipped into the pockets of strangers at rallies.
This month, let’s follow Claude’s example and use our creativity and our voices to fight injustice and push at boundaries!
3 easy ways to fight The Man (whoever or whatever ‘The Man’ might be to you.)
  • Know your shit. Talk to people, read what you can, question everything- fill your brainy bits with both sides of whatever issue you care most about, so should you happen to meet ‘The Man’ you can talk intelligently and confidently. Knowledge is power! (double plus bonus tip: while  be sure to check your sources as you go, it will save you embarrassment later on)
  • Vote. ‘What? Vote? First you tell me to read and now…voting?I thought this list would be filled with Action! Excitement! Near Anarchy!’ Seriously, though, all of the former are great, but the best way to get your voice heard in a meaningful and impactful way is to get involved and cast a ballot. And I’m not just talking about big, sexy, presidential elections, either. Local and regional advocacy directly impacts your schools, your neighbors, and YOU. (It’s all about taking back power, ladyfriends.)
  • Plant a seed. Words can be forces for good in the world, but actions speak louder, and positive actions speak kinder. Is your version of ‘The Man’ the industrial meat complex? Host a delicious vegetarian dinner for your friends. Feel strongly about disposable fashion? Learn to sew, teach a friend, have ‘mending parties.’ Don’t just decry the actions of others- create opposite responses that make the world less crappy.

And then, after making the world more awesome, be sure to take seriously cool photos of yourself dressed as tap-dancing tinfoil angels and post about it on social media so all of your friends know how bad-ass activism, and you, can be.
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(via sfmoma)

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