Saturday, July 12, 2008

Overheard in Chicago #7: Summer Shows

partying after the show: me with rebecca and jen of tyler john tyler

I arrived at the Sic Alps show on Saturday night, overwhelmed by the stench of male B.O. and stale Old Style. I scanned the crowd with my eyes, looking for a glimpse of that girl presence that always makes me feel so comfortable at shows. I elbowed my way to the front, so that I could see above all the 6-foot-tall bodies, and spotted some of the only other girls I know from the rock music scene bouncing along to the riffs.

A while later, I turned to one of my guy friends and said, "Man, it's so weird that there's not very many girls in the music scene in Chicago." He answered me, "Believe me, we're happy to have you. Before all you girls came onto the scene, who were we supposed to fuck?" He later told me he was kidding, that he knew we all played music, but the comment left a bad taste in my mouth. Did our gender make it necessary for the dudes in the scene to think of us as "groupies," and not as fellow music-lovers?


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


In the early stages of GIRLdrive, we were reminded of a group of people that feminism sometimes glosses over: the transgender community. On our recent trip to the East coast (during New York's Pride Week), we talked with a genderbending woman and a transman who is currently passing at the workplace. This is what they had to say:

Ryan (left) is 26, born and raised in Queens, works at a real estate office, has been training for the last 2 years to be a firefighter. She identifies as genderqueer, and changed her name to Ryan earlier this year because she "never felt comfortable with [her] given name."
"Sometimes I feel more identified as female, and other times I feel more identified as male, depending on my situation. But then I start to think, 'It's based on the situations I'm in only because I'm thinking in terms of the definitions I've been taught.' I'm assigning language to behavior, but it seems kind of unnatural to me...I feel like the world is really in a struggle of borders, which have become the metaphor of my life. There's a struggle to cross borders and to keep things out. Confronting this will be important for feminism, I think, but more generally for just figuring out how to co-exist in the world."

Nathan is 22, lives and grew up in Philly, quit college last year, works for a pharmaceutical software company.
"I don't think that my decision to transition [into a man] makes me any less of a feminist, because the reason I transitioned is unrelated. My understanding of feminism is for both sexes to be equal--in ability, capacity, rights, everything. I can't say that switching really takes away from that. And I feel like I can make a difference from the inside...because now I am thought of as a man with other men. I don't pull out a whiteboard and write, 'Here's how not to objectify your wife.' But I do express feminist ideals covertly and I think it helps when guys hear it coming from guys."

Monday, July 7, 2008

We're back!

We're safe and sound in Chicago, after a whirlwind tour of DC, Philly, and good old New York. Check back tomorrow for a combo Profile-Midweek Memo!

-N and E

(to the left is a photo of us in Telephone Bar & Grill in the East Village on 6/24, the same place where we first planted the seeds for GIRLdrive almost two years ago!)