"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Friday, September 28, 2007

Men Doing Feminist Work: David Shepherd and Travis Price

By now y'all have probably heard about David Shepherd and Travis Price, the students in Cambrige, Nova Scotia, who didn't like that the new kid at school was bullied because he wore pink, and decided to hand out pink shirts in protest against bullying in general:
The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up. The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying. RELATED: Pink shirts legend grows "It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David. They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

I applaud these guys, although they stop a bit short of what I would have wanted them to articulate. They point out that nobody should be made fun of for what they're wearing, but they don't, in any article I could find, even really mention that it's not about what somebody was wearing, really, but about homophobia. Their sentiment seems to be 'people should be able to wear what they want', when the sentiment really should be (and probably is, underneath), that people shouldn't be bullied for being gay. I think it's interesting that even these two brave students (because it was brave--the social pressures to go along with bullies are strong, especially in high school) haven't yet quite connected all of dots: It's not the pinkness, it's teh gay.

Still, ya gotta start somewhere, and these guys are way, way, way ahead of where I was when I was their age. And, as far as activism goes, they're way, way ahead of me now.
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