Behind every feminist is music.

Behind every feminist is music

…a continuation of the #shithole rant with a song by Stoneface Honey.

I have a band called Stoneface Honey. We’re working on an album right now that I can’t wait to share, but after Trump’s #shithole #shitshow, I had to share the acoustic version of My Land because sometimes #shithole country-inspired songs just can’t wait. And no, my great-grandmother, Sofia, wasn’t an official Russian Warrior Princess that I know of, but she was BAD ASS! For Christmas, my grandpa shared some stories about his parents. Sofia was kicked by a horse and had a steel plate in her head, she fought off a pack of wolves with firewood, her parents died when she was three and she was in the care of the town “mayor.” When she heard they were going to amputate after a leg injury, she ran away and healed herself in the woods by soaking her leg in a stream and wrapping it with leaves…all before she made it to Germany, Scotland and then finally the US in 1907. 

My Land. #dumptrump

This land was made for you and me.

Watch where you’re walking, you might step on a crack and then we’d have to break your sweet mama’s back. Oh, and watch how you’re talking you might say something that you’ll later regret. When we got you out back. And we ask for your papers and your cards. Then we revoke them and throw out to the yard.

Welcome to the land of the free and the brave. We can’t help you any longer I’m afraid. We don’t give a damn where you go. Just as long as you ain’t here no more. This is my land. Created just for me: the white and the wealthy man. This is my land. Created just for me created just for me, me, me. It’s the rise of the white and the wealthy man.

Burn all your textbooks we don’t need them anymore. I will tell you what you need to know. Oh, and spy on your neighbors, we can’t trust them anymore. You just never, you never know. If you’re pretty enough, I might let you pass. Just as long as you let me TAP THAT SWEET ASS.

Welcome to the land of the free and the brave. We can’t help you any longer I’m afraid. We don’t give a damn where you go. Just as long as you ain’t here no more. This is my land. Created just for me: the white and the wealthy man. This is my land. Created just for me created just for me, me, me. It’s the rise of the white and the wealthy man.

And I will save my friends, build my legacy. I will rape the land ‘cuz it belongs to me. And don’t you, don’t you ever worry. But don’t you ever step out of line. Never mind the man behind the curtain. Move along, move along, move along, MOVE ALONG.

Welcome to the land of the free and the brave. We can’t help you any longer I’m afraid. We don’t give a damn where you go. Just as long as you ain’t here no more. This is my land. Created just for me: the white and the wealthy man. This is my land. Created just for me created just for me, me, me. It’s the rise of the white and the wealthy man.

This land is your land. This land is my land. From California to the New York Islands. From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters. This land was made for you and me.

Behind every feminist is a shithole

Behind every feminist is a shithole.

On the infamous Election Day of 2017, I was on my way to a conference in Cleveland. During a layover in San Francisco, I watched the news in an airport bar. I couldn’t believe it. I looked around and realized that I was surrounded by people who would probably feel a much greater impact than my white ass. I kept thinking about the young translator in Uganda who had asked about Trump earlier that year. I’d brushed his question off with a wave of my hand and assured him that Trump was just a joke – some sort of publicity stunt. We didn’t take him seriously. Yet here we were. It felt like I was in a movie. I kept waiting for Wonder Woman to swoop in and save the day. On my redeye flight, I sat next to a screenwriter. She was beautiful and confident and black. As we switched our phones to airplane mode before receiving the final results, we both knew the country was screwed. Nonetheless, I offered up, “May tomorrow bring good news…” and trailed off before I choked on my sadness. When the plane landed the next morning, the plane was eerily quiet. “Damn, sister. It really happened,” she whispered from the seat next to mine. As we parted ways, I wished her strength and luck.

And 2017 was an encouraging year for women in a lot of ways. We worked together. Healthy conversations happened around the country. But then our president opens his mouth. So while Trump denies making ‘shithole countries’ comment, I want to tell you about my great-grandmother, Sofia, who came from the #shithole country of Russia. I’ve held my heritage close to my heart for all my life and envisioned myself as the descendant of a brave Russian Warrior Goddess. For Christmas, my 93-year-old grandfather sent me a letter with stories about his parents. Sofia’s parents died when she was 3 and she ended up being taken care of by the town’s leader. She had a steel plate in her head after being kicked by a horse. Later, she injured her leg and overheard the plans for amputation, so she ran away. She healed herself by soaking her leg in a stream and wrapping it with leaves. She stole food from the gardens of families nearby for sustenance while healing. Her journey brought her to Germany and Scotland before final arrival in the United States in 1907. My great-grandfather was actually her second husband and is wearing sunglasses because he was blinded in a mining accident. Sofia was murdered while my grandfather was a teenager, so I never met her, but am grateful for the brave journey she made on behalf of her future family. She is one of my sheroes. Her memory played a powerful role in my upcoming album, Rise, where she passes on her strength and resilience to me.

So, cheers from one #shithole country to another. May we all continue to unite and rise above our greedy, racist president.

Behind every feminist is a song.

Behind every feminist is a song that provides comfort, inspiration, validation, transcendence and most importantly for me: expression.

Until very recently, I’ve stammered and stuttered when asked, “What do you do?” Like many of you, my ‘job’ has changed a lot over the years, but it almost always involved music. These days, I’m confident and excited to trust that my number one answer is: I’m a songwriter.

A few years ago I wrote Snow. I was in the middle of writing a research paper on narcissism and had chosen to focus on the men who led The Bosnian War of 1992-1995. Interlibrary loans allowed me access to articles and movies that blew my mind and broke my heart. I was haunted by what I read about the treatment of girls and young women. I kept wondering what happened to the children conceived by the rampant and horrific number of rapes. It’s been 25 years since that war “officially” began and an article highlighting the recovery of rape survivors was released earlier this year. You can see by the comments that blame, hatred, and denial continue to this day and I’m certainly not here to take sides. The bottom line for me is that rape is used as a weapon.

After a night of binging on movies about this subject, I dreamt this song that accompanied what felt like an entire CSI episode. A little boy who had watched his neighbors, and ultimately his own family, disappear – the boys and men murdered; the women and girls hauled into a truck and taken away – the boy set upon an urgent mission to save all the little girls in his village from being raped. One Jane Doe after another was discovered in the snow, carefully arranged in a white dress with her hands folded over her heart. At the end of my dream, he is discovered hiding in the woods near one of the little girls. His big brown eyes exuded so much sadness and fear. A female detective reached down, took his tiny hand and led him away.

I don’t have a solution to ending war or rape. As a songwriter, I feel like I can at least bring attention to issues and hope that someone might be inspired to take action. And here in the U.S. as we near the end of 2017, white men like Donald Trump and Scott Lloyd are still denying women their basic rights as the battle for Jane Poe to receive an abortion continues.

 

Lyrics to Snow

It’s hard to say from where she might have wandered. It’s hard to identify just how long she’s been waiting here all alone. In the cold and soft virgin snow wrapped around her body like a blanket; a blanket of white.

Her file goes on a pile of files with the same name. And everybody wondered just what happened to Jane on the long and dark journey home. How could she have stumbled so far from the road?

And he watches all from just beyond the line of sight; drenched in the conviction that what he does is justified. All the rage and the violence, the raping, the war, that wake him up in the middle of the night. Lost his daddy and his brothers, took his mama and his sisters right before his angelic eyes. Oh, his eyes have seen so many things that could never be made right.

Mercy, mercy, mercy on the Janes. It was mercy, mercy, mercy on the Janes. Saving all the Janes. And she had dreams that nobody knows. Buried in the cold, pure white virgin snow.