Posted tagged ‘riot grrrls’

Self-Expression meets Repression: Pussy Riot’s plight is only one example of mistreatment by authorities

2012/09/15

In August, the sentence handed down to members of the feminist collective Pussy Riot was a grotesque overreaction to political self-expression.  A two-year prison term for “hooliganism” reflects how seriously Russia’s political and religious authorities treat acts of perceived subversion and dissent.

Freedom of speech has never been valued as highly in Russia as it is in the West. The members of Pussy Riot, however, participate in the punk community, a subculture in which speaking out is a basic tenet. They are following a rich lineage of personal expression and protest.

Unfortunately, there is also a history of punishment.

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Personal Expression vs. the Powerful’s Repression

2012/03/12

Personal expression takes on many forms. Got something to say? Write a song. Draw a picture. Compose a poem. Do a dance. Heck, you can even express yourself by going for a run – as proved by Kevin Bacon in the film Footloose. As everyone knows, Bacon used running and dancing to not only express himself, but to help solve his problems and save the youth in his town from the repression of Jon Lithgow. Oh, and I guess he used gymnastics too.

pick up your Sunday shoes, Kevin.

Lithgow thought he was keeping kids safe from the dangers of rock ‘n’ roll. He decided that music and dancing threatened youth, and used his authority on the Town Council to get them banned. He connected personal expression with societal ills that were a blight on respectable values, and kids’ safety. Dancing was a gateway drug to trouble.

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