Niesa C. – I Assault
by niesa c.
My back is killing me. My slightly injured throat annoys me. Yet I love every bits of it. Nothing gives me more pleasure than touring with my band, performing lives in front of great new and old friends, sharing the laughter and the pain of getting moshpit’s typical minor injuries. After loads of hours spent on practicing; standing on the stage, screaming and waving a fist along to the blasting reefs and pedals feels like having a great orgasms.
Hell, yeah, it feels good! I would love to see more contributions from women towards the scene. Unlike in other countries, our local scene is still lacking of women’s’ participation. It’s really sad to say but it’s true. I’m not saying that it’s rare but there’s still only a small numbers of dedicated women are really working their asses striving and struggling together with our male friends. There are so many things that could be done by us. You can start by sending your works – articles, arts, photographs, poems etc – to other zines, or if you are a patience, hardworking gal, you can start making your own zine.
It’s really inspiring reading great articles from great writers like Erika Ransom of MRR, Chris(tine) of Slugs and Lettuce and Athena and Amy Lawless of Short, Fast & Loud just to name a few. Or you can gather bunch of your friends and start jamming. Music can definitely change people’s mind; write lyrics to voice out your opinions upon the sickening system, record a demo, send it to show’s organizers and voila..
As I said, there are so many thing that you could do, be it making your own zine, band, collectives etc. I’m looking forward for the Malaysian version of CLIT Festival – Combating Latent Inequality Together- where the first one was organized in Minneapolis, by the BREAST Brigade – Belligerent Revolutionaries Enraged Against Sexist Tyranny. Imagine having two days of punk rock and workshops that deals with issues like Alternative Women’s Health, Women’s Self Defense, Women In Punk and so on. Fabulous!
Abusive Persona A friend had one day confessed to me that her lover who’s also a friend was physically abusing her. It’s a wonder how looks could cheat you. Well, to me they looked pretty happy, ‘sweet’ and yeah respectful of each other.. little that I know. And yet, there are ugly voices out there saying that feminism and equality are a very lame/old issues to bitch about nowadays. As long as sexism still exists in this world, we will not stop fighting against it.
I personally think that injuring someone physically is definitely a terrible solution. Here you are, with your spiky Mohawks and political patches stitched on every inch of your stinky jacket, ranting about stopping the war, smashing the capitalists yada yada, yet at home, you’re using violence towards other person as an answer for your discontent and frustration. If someone out there has a good solution how to overcome the abusive attitude, please drop me a line.
Kid and I were having a deep conversation the other day, about the usage of ‘female-fronted’ terms in introducing bands that has female band members. We reached a point where we thought that by labeling bands with that term, for example in gig flyers, it’s like showing a difference with other ‘male’ fronted bands and maybe (gasp) a way to get more crowds to come to the show. Why are ‘male’ bands didn’t get the ‘male-fronted’ label? It’s pretty obvious that the punk scene is male dominated, and by using the terms, women will feel more secluded and isolated. Some says that it’s important to introduce a band with female line-ups by adding the ‘female-fronted’ tag especially when it is still quite unknown. But why?
Don’t get me wrong, I adore any bands that could make my heart goes whoosh.. and numbers of it has women line ups. Kylesa, Voetsek, Fuck The Facts, The Profits, Schifosi, Disrespect, Infect and the list can go on and on.
I Woman HOW DO YOU THINK BEING FEMALE AFFECTS HOW PEOPLE TREAT YOU AT SHOWS? I’ve sent this question to a bunch of girlfriends. It’s a straightforward question but different person encountered different ways of treatment and feedback. It’s important for women to have an ability to speak out their opinion. I hope by doing this survey, I’m creating a space for us to voice out our thoughts and giving men an opportunity to understand us better and be aware of what we think. I received quite a number of raging thoughts, and I pop in a few for us to share. [Aside: Thanx to all the grrls who have shared their opinion. Check out the next issue for the complete report!]
“Let say we disclose that there is a little quantity of women in the underground community. Being a female is a not really a big issue because men think that women are weak & sex object, it’s up to them how they can handle their selves. I’ve seen in several shows here that women are worried to attend shows because some fuckin bastards will treat them without respect & in the moshpit that’s the chance of men to mistreat women. The main solution for that is be strong & protect your own self from those kind of dickheads!!!” – Dha/23/Philippines
“Initially when I was the only Chinese girl around, people were all acting impressed and stuff. But what was going on behind my back was lotsa bullshit. The guys were talking real nasty about me from what I heard. From the music I listen to, to what happens in the moshpit, it basically sucks. When I told my guy friends I love grindcore last time, they said I know shit about it and listened to it only because it makes me look ‘fierce’. Forming a band always drew skepticism coz as long as the guys never seen me perform before, they doubt my abilities or skills. Being in the moshpit was one of the most horrible experiences when it came to physical contact with itching guys. You know how it feels when guys just grab anywhere and anyhow just coz u have boobs. Crowdsurfing…was more of an advantage for them. Usually I get my shirt pulled up and stuff. Although all this happened and still happens, most of the guys I mosh with are friends and they wouldn’t touch me out of horniness or shit like that. Yeah I had hell when I was new. hehe…” – Hannah/20/Singapore
As for me, I’m happy to be a woman who outdid myself to become what I am today. In this ‘Malay-Minded’ society, being a woman means you have to deal with so many norms that always benefit men and trust me, challenging all the tradition bullshit wasn’t easy. Patriarchy sucks, and merciless when you’re living in an Asia country like Malaysia. At shows, guys treated me with respects. I love going to the punk shows, meeting old friends, making new contacts, checking out the latest ‘products’ on the distro tables, enjoying the performances of the bands that I like. Although I extremely loathe the terror of being harassed by the sexist-minded bastards each time I’m in the pit. Why do women have to put up with this atrocious behavior in the punk community itself? I’m also singing for a local thrash grind band. I usually get a positive feedback after each of my performance, well, probably they just kept their dreadful comments to themselves.. who knows? And I hope that all the cheerful encouragement that I received was not plainly because I’m a woman, but because of my hard works and efforts but then, who knows? But so far, my ass never got grabbed. Although I remembered there’s one time when a guy idiotically asked me to stay out of the pit if I don’t want to get hurt.
* Offered for a space in this zine, I was pretty surprised and honored. And as an ‘amateur’ writer, I was a bit nervous that my piece won’t hit the editor’s expectations as this zine already had came out with few issues and surely has it’s own devoted readers. Oh well, I’m still learning and I never meant to be ‘preachy’, just sharing my thoughts.
* Life can be too cruel. I’ve lost a good friend last August 2005 in a hit and run accident. Fadzli@Pakli was a very supportive, humble friend, and hanging out with him was always being a pleasant and enjoyable one. I’m still mourning over his death, and he will greatly be missed. *
Anyone who has simple yummy vegetarian recipes, email ’em to me. If you’re nice, you are welcomed to send me the still-hot-from-the-oven samples.