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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 6: Give Me An F: Radical Cheerleading and Feminist Performance]

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Jeanne: I began cheering in 1999, my first year in college. I already belonged to four or five activist groups, and I attended meetings almost daily. When I joined the Radical Cheerleading squad I experienced a coalescing of activism on and through my body: the squad espoused the divergent political values I usually encountered in issue-specific meetings for the transgender committee, peer sexuality educators, united for anti-racist action, and SAFE. The emotional stress of being an activist had accumulated in my body, and through cheering I began to physicalize my politics and relieve tension. Radical Cheerleading became the most joyful way to express my activism in all its articulations.

Mary: I had the same experience. Radical Cheerleading brought together different sides of myself that couldn't be reconciled. It reconciled the really feminist needs and desires and expressions that I have, and my experiences, the way I totally look at the world through feminist eyes. I can't ever change that. I like it, and it's the most important thing in the world to me; the interpretation changes, but feminism is always a constant. The other part of me is in really girly experiences that I've had. Like I've sold my looks through modeling and sex work and just been really femme-y a lot and used it in relationships. I have lived my life as a really girly person most of the time. It's hard to identify with the really girly parts of myself and not be filled with guilt in a feminist way. In my personal life it comes up everyday—can I handle wearing fishnets and getting harassed? Radical Cheerleading, like being a femme queer person, is about a decision to put yourself out there as who you are, with your short skirt or whatever and still feel like there's no excuse for getting harassed or getting sexually assaulted. Like saying, "You have to respect me and not be violent towards me." That I can have a sexuality and I can perform with it, work off of it, do whatever and still be able to be considered a strong and intelligent person, and still be safe.

Jeanne: I'm so glad, because I believe Radical Cheerleading is more than performance art and protest; as a practice it reflects a queer sensibility and feminist ethics.

Mary: It's a sensibility, like femme, it is more than just expression with a feminine twist. It's more than just girly-ness and more than just feminism. It's trying to reclaim everything that's been taken away from you. Radical Cheerleading is like saying fuck what everybody has said to me, I'm going to take the good in everything I've been taught and fuck the rest. It's fun to have long hair and pigtails but I don't have to shave. It's about the best parts of being a woman, for me. I don't think I could be sane without Radical Cheerleading. It's one of the only thing that makes you feel okay to be girly and also makes you feel like you can defend yourself.

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