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Monday Menagerie #39


Today I had the radio on in my car because I was too lazy to plug in my iPhone, when out of the speakers came the voice of Gwen Stefani, from her No Doubt era, belting “I’m Just a Girl”.  I haven’t heard that song in many a Gregorian calendar year, and I couldn’t stop myself from singing along.  It reminded me of all the badass chicks who have been around throughout the lifetimes of us Millennials.  And made me want to pull out my high school JNKO jeans and rock out to Tragic Kingdom likes it’s the 90’s all over again.

Happy Monday…




B R E A S T S  a s  W E A P O N S : FEMEN

I recently watched this documentary on Netflix, it’s about the young feminist movement called FEMEN which originates from the Ukraine and has now spread to other countries.  I’d heard of these girls before, but never knew too much about them aside from their bare-breasted activism.

Watching this made me better understand why they protest topless.  No one gave a damn about what they were saying when they had their clothes on, so one day they went out sans shirt-and-bra and got full news coverage.  That’s pretty much how the toplessness started for them, and now it is their most powerful “weapon”.  Understanding that post-soviet Ukraine is a very different place than Western Europe or the USA is vital for understanding why they do what they do.  I find everything about it to be inspiring.



michelle hartney artwork

A R T  a s  A C T I V I S M : Michelle Hartney

I’m not even sure how I came upon this woman, Michelle Hartney, but got chills (the good kind) when I started reading about what she does.  She is leading a revolt against the horrific atrocities the medical industry has imposed upon laboring women.  Through her initiative, Women’s Health Collective, she creates a variety of art works/installations/performance pieces that speak directly to these inhumane practices and seek to bring the silenced voices of affected mothers to the fore.



Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 11.46.50 AM

A R T  a s  E D U C A T I O N : El Nacimiento de Mi Hija [The Birth of My Daughter]

This is another variety of in-your-face art that talks.  Artist Ana Alvarez-Errecalde documented the birth of her daughter in 2005 by making these incredibly pure, straight-forward photographs of herself immediately after giving birth.  The images are stark, perhaps shocking, and above all, real.  I love the courage of this woman to put her body and the most intimate of all human actions–that of giving birth– on display in honor of the art of creating life.

“By giving birth I take off my “cultural” veil. My maternity is not virginal not aseptic. I am the archetype of the primal woman, the woman beast that has nothing prohibited. I show a maternity not seen through the eyes of Eve (the divine punishment ”you will give birth with the pain of your body”) but seen through the eyes of Lucy (the earliest hominid found to date).”


Xiaohong Zhang, Pregnancy, WI, 2002-2003,

Xiaohong Zhang, Pregnancy, WI, 2002-2003,

B I R T H  S T O R Y : Kaden’s Home Birth

I was reading a bunch of happy birth stories during my last trimester of pregnancy (because I couldn’t not read birth stories!  When you’re about to pop it’s kind of all you can think about), and this is one of them.  It’s not all happy, of course, it’s complicated.  Just like life is.

An excerpt from the story…

“…The pain of labor and child birth was fleeting and the rewards of having a natural home birth were immense. Just a few hours later I could hardly even remember the pain, and I am now left with the memories of a wonderful, spiritual experience.

I encourage women everywhere to look deeper into the medical procedures and practices that are used and make an informed choice [about] what is best for them. There are many myths about the safety of home births and many myths about the safety of hospital and medicated births. I wish I had known them before the births of my other two children because I am certain I would have made different choices—even in a hospital—and had different results. The human body was built to give birth. Medical professionals are well-trained to handle emergencies. There is no reason that one must infringe upon the other.”



lizzie carr via the GUARDIAN

via the Guardian

E N V I R O N M E N T : Woman paddleboarding England’s canals finds thousands of plastic items

This chick just paddle-boarded 400 miles to document the foul state of England’s waterways, and she found a lot of crap.  Literally.

“Lizzie Carr completed the 22-day challenge on Sunday with swollen knuckles and more than 2,000 photos of plastic junk she found in canals and rivers from Godalming in Surrey to Kendal in Cumbria.

The 30-year-old paddle boarder catalogued more than 1,600 plastic bottles, over 850 plastic bags, 40 footballs, 24 toys, seven dummies, a pair of traffic cones and one bin lid.”





P O L I T I C S :  Next British Prime Minister Set to be a Woman

Two women are up for the seat of Prime Minister of Britain, and if one of them wins she will be the U.K.’s  “second female leader after Margaret Thatcher, who was P.M. from 1979 to 1990.”  Can you just see the next G-8 with Hillz and a female PM of Britain??  I like the look of it already.



emma coburn via espn

Emma Coburn via ESPN

S P O R T S : Emma Coburn: Steeplechase barriers will ‘leave you pretty scarred’

My friend Elizabeth sent me this story the other day, (along with a link to the photo–at very top–of a totally badass woman with a prosthetic leg riding a bike naked.)  Emma Coburn is a kick ass 25 yr. old mountain climber-turned-runner who is featured in the current issue of ESPN’s Body Issue. Here’s an excerpt from her interview with them:

“I climbed my first “fourteener” when I was 7 years old.  A 14,000-foot mountain is called a “fourteener” in Colorado. There are 60ish fourteeners, and my dad has climbed them all twice, my mom has climbed them all once and my sister and her husband are trying to make their way through them as well. I only have climbed probably three of them; I retired from that sport probably when I was 12.”

(shared by Elizabeth Parker)



Featured image (at top) viaESPN Go – The Body Issue

All reviews written and opinions expressed are the author’s own. “Shared by [name]” – Refers to the person who shared the link to the original piece featured here.


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