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Postmodern Parody as Political Intervention
by Kavita Kulkarni

Desobediencia Simbólica
by Victor Vich

The U.S. Voting Machine Debacle and the Machinery of Democracy
by Nina Mankin

Venezuelan Elections
by Fernando Calzadilla

Radical Cheerleading and Feminist Performance
by Jeanne Vaccaro

Multimedia Presentation: Billionaires for Bush

Multimedia Presentation: Superbarrio for President

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[Page 5: Give Me An F: Radical Cheerleading and Feminist Performance]

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Jeanne: You were interviewed by Glamour, weren't you?

Mary: Yeah. This woman, Liz Scarf, had interviewed me and she had a lot of questions and I wrote her back via email really long answers. Really intimate stuff, basic facts and historical stuff about Radical Cheerleading. I was so annoyed because she didn't use anything I said. I mean, we don't need to do media. It's self-propagating. And there's nothing in it for us. We don't get paid. I hate when I take time to talk to big media sources and they don't use it; the articles are always the same. I tried really hard to get her to talk about fashion, but she didn't address it at all. It is just a basic article so similar to all the other ones that introduces Radical Cheerleading as a concept and then follows a squad for a day to see what they do. It doesn't delve into the deeper issues or make any connections between the rest of the movement and the history of revolutionary activism. This kind of reporting doesn't make young women want to do something, get involved in something like Radical Cheerleading. It doesn't talk about the cheer "Shoot the Rapist" and what it means to be a rape survivor, and how activism is an important part of survival. Oh, and the craziest part is that they air brushed out all the girls' armpit hair! I know these girls and they have big bushy armpits. I mean, what can you really say about it?

Jeanne: So offensive!

Click to enlargeMary: It's weird to me because if you're talking shit about one of their advertisers, they can't print that. Like if we're talking about burning Tampax to the ground and Tampax advertises in Glamour, I can understand that. But why can't they print pictures of women with body hair? Is someone going to take advertising money away if they do that? Is some company going to stop advertising in the magazine? I mean it's just irrational. It's just an enforcement of the beauty standard. It has to be that way and there is no question. Fuck, I'm going to get all fired up by the end of this conversation!

Jeanne: Radical Cheerleading opened up my experience of activism—by physicalizing politics, incorporating multi-issue politics of gender and sexuality, race, class and labor, and ability, and by creating non-normative communities. With the understanding that 'safety' is often a condition of sameness, Radical Cheerleading squads have created communities out of a politics of 'difference.' How has Radical Cheerleading figured in your experience of activism, and in your relationship to feminist utopias?

Mary: Men are a dominant presence in activism, as in everything, and the squatter and anarchist scenes I have always been a part of are incredibly macho. I started craving a feminist crew, and I wanted to start a feminist gang so I organized the first Radical Cheerleading squad in New York City. Feminism is something people need in their lives, they crave it, and when given the opportunity they take it. It's that instantaneous. I need it now and I can have it now. Instant backup. You have your fucking squad and everyone is badass, you know?

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