The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Feminism gone wild, in verse

“I used to lie awake at night and fantasize about Rosie the Riveter. She would hold me in her strong arms and whisper in my ear, “Men are smelly, lumpy . Don’t trust them.” This was only one of the hilarious lines performed at Guilford College’s third annual Bad Feminist Poetry night. This particular poem’s title was “Rosie the Riveter,” performed by Brice Tarleton. The poem won second place and a plaque that said “Dear God if you can’t make me thin, at least make all of my friends fat,” which almost received more laughs than the actual poem.

I had no idea what to expect when I attended Bad Feminist Poetry night. Having grown up reading and listening to some of the best female minds of recent generations like Ani DiFranco, Sylvia Plath, and Maya Angelou telling me the importance of feminist understanding, I definitely had my suspicions. So, I sat back in my chair silently waiting to be pissed off.

Much to my surprise, in a matter of minutes I was gripping my sides and trying to smother my laughter so my digital recorder could still pick up the performers’ dialogue – especially during the performance of “Broads” by Garret Fitzgerald, which incidentally won first place and a black gym bag with fuzzy pink letters that read “I (heart) Dance.”

“You rob me of my fluid, motherhood and I become static. A croon perched on the crust of a Diocletian fur-pie . you shall not wet my void,” Garret read to uproarious laughter and praise, which led to a 30-second pause and regrouping by the massive audience.

As a woman I felt ashamed, dirty, and like I was betraying my feminist roots. I believed that if I were found out, “Righteous Babe” would take me off their mailing list.

I felt even worse when I played back particular performances for my friends that night, resulting in random quoting and inside jokes within our circle that lasted for days. I was not only a part of the problem; I was disseminating it.

I went to Eric Mortensen, the founder and organizer of the event, for answers to my crisis of faith, and he provided the following comfort.

“It’s making fun of feminism from a feminist or pro-feminist point of view . there is a danger with ideology that is so serious for it to become too intense. It is healthy to a) laugh at

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