Articles from Issue 2

The following are sample articles from Issue 2. Contact to order the full zine in PDF format.

This Issue Is Totally Gay (Intro to the zine by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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You think feminism, you automatically think lesbian, right? Hairy dyke equals man-eating feminist, bla bla bla...
Us feminists know better. We know that one is not necessarily related to the other, and many of us feminists may also be as straight as an arrow. However, this stigma seems to stick, but not because of society’s narrowed stereotypes. But because just like the struggle for women’s rights is still important today, so is the struggle for gay rights, which is why I think that it’s appropriate to say they somewhat go hand in hand.
There still is a way to go with both movements but especially with the struggle for gay rights in Israel, and more specifically in Jerusalem where the religious community goes shithouse every time the Jerusalem GLBT organization, Jerusalem Open House, plans a parade.
Pride parades in Jerusalem are therefore not the same as they are in Montreal, Toronto, or even Tel Aviv. Authorities in Montreal do not have to dispatch 7,600 SQ officers to keep the peace. Authorities in Toronto do not need dozens of cops on motorcycles, Mounties and trucks for detainees. The Red Cross – or rather the Magen David Adom – in Tel Aviv does not need to send 45 ambulances with 200 crew members to the site of the parade.
But in Jerusalem, they do. It’s no fun being out and proud when the religious community is growling at you, calling you names, foaming at the mouth, threatening to kill you, attempting to kill you... And so, authorities do send out thousands of cops and hundreds of other officers and emergency personnel for the protection of those who try to promote love, tolerance and democracy against the promoters of hate, discrimination and fascism.
This issue of Fallopian Falafel focuses primarily on the struggle for gay rights and also features reviews and opinions about pride events in Israel. It also deals with the relationship between feminism, riot grrrl and the gay community elsewhere in the world, such as a review of the riot grrrl scene in Dublin and an interview with the Brooklyn-based, queer/riot grrrl band Marla Hooch.

Finally, Some Breathing Space (by Sandra Fragola)
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Bisexual. Bisensual. Bi. Queer. This is who I am. I’ve tried to deny this. When first coming out as being Bi about 10 years ago, I was met and regarded with a lot of negativity from both sides (gay/lesbian and straight). The reactions were: “If you go out with a guy, you owe it to him to tell him right away that you’re Bi.” “You’re not Bi. You’re either gay or straight. Being Bi is like being a light-skinned black person....Pick a Side!” “You won’t stay Bi for long. You’ll come to our side, eventually.” “Wow! You’re like one of those porno chicks!”
No one cared to ask what being Bi meant to me. No one asked me how I saw myself. As friends they were supposed to be supportive, or at the very least try to understand. A very small part of me knew they weren’t seeing me – they were seeing themselves. Nonetheless, I became uncomfortable with myself and decided to pick a side. I was aware/had heard how damaging it could be to pretend to be something you’re not or to suddenly switch “to the other side.” But I felt alone. In a community of people, I felt alone. I didn’t realize then, as I do now, that people were telling me how to feel and most importantly: Saying how I should love.
The only support I received was from the “Bisexual Women’s Group.” Even that was not enough to keep me from “switching sides” for I had unconsciously made my choice. The amount of Biphobia everywhere just made it unbearable. So I just decided to “try” and put all my emotions into women even though my feelings for men kept surfacing like a dead body. I recall meeting my first girlfriend, who is Bi, and saying to her,”Yeah, I’m a lesbian.” All the while pushing my true self down into a storage space. With my second girlfriend I made a point of identifying myself as a lesbian, “coming out” to friends as a lesbian, hanging out more in the gay and lesbian community, even went so far as going to a lesbian support circle and listening… listening to the story… the story of a “lesbian” who left her girlfriend for a man only to never be seen again in the community. Pushing myself out of the “storage space” and into a bottomless pit.
If I even wanted to say that I’m Bi, how could that be done? It felt like myself was lost, screaming to be found. Screaming for me to find it. I remember my “friend” Adele, who is a lesbian, said “Bisexuals have the best of both worlds. They don’t know what it’s like for us (lesbians). Why is it that women who say they are Bi only go out with men?” I agreed with her while myself continued screaming to be found. A hard shell started to encase my body. It wasn’t like drowning. It was much worse. The very fact was that I had done this to myself… a slow strangulation. The only way to stop the strangling, to stop the suffocating, the anger, and the irritation and to make peace with myself would be to come out as Bi.
Some people would say, “You came out THREE TIMES!” While others would say, “You’re confusing us! Make up your mind!” The thing is, my mind is made up… was made up a long time ago. I have not come out three times. I’ve come out once – my true Self – As being Bi. To say that I’ve come out as a lesbian isn’t true because it’s not who I really am. This has been a hard lesson or a gift I didn’t see coming and didn’t see myself wishing for. It has been hard to live with this… what I’ve done to others and to myself as well. Suppressing/repressing who I really am. To see me would mean me allowing myself to be seen and I’m not ready to do that. I feel stuck. Caught between two worlds: the truth and the illusion. As stupid or pathetic as this may sound, I feel I deserve this... to be stuck here, screaming inside myself. To be lost forever. Is this Biphobia? Do I even deserve to be comfortable with myself? To love again?
No one seems to understand what their labels and assumptions can do. How I ended up hating myself and who I am so much. And then changing myself into someone I wasn’t. Being Bi to me isn’t about a 3some or a porno where girls have sex with girls and then have sex with guys. Being Bi to me means the ability to be attracted to/have feelings for/fall in love with men and women. It’s not all about sex. It’s not all about what goes on in the bedroom (or anywhere else). It would be like saying what makes a lesbian is that she has sex with women. Or what makes a straight person is that he/she has sex with a member of the opposite sex. How fuckin’ limiting is that? Is this what I’ve been reduced to? My affections go way beyond sex… Sex is present but to say that’s all it is would be limiting my emotions. What about holding hands, kissing, smiling that knowing smile, glancing at someone or just feeling something?
I’m not some straight male porno fantasy. I’m not here for your pleasure. My emotions go beyond satisfaction. I’m here to feel for and most of all: Love. To show the world how you can love more than one person. That you can be attracted to/have feelings for/be in love with a woman who cuts her hair really short, has very small breasts and people mistake her for a guy. Or endless variations of women because there are so many variations… or a man who wears a dress, makeup and heels. Or endless variations of men because there are so many variations. Being Bi does not mean I’m straight. Being Bi means that I’m queer. It also means that as I get older, the definition and what it means to me changes. For I am poetry in motion. I am Love in motion. Emotion. Thanks For Asking!!!
“One does not engage in sex because one realizes one’s responsibility to the human race to procreate. One engages in sex because it is the natural thing to do. It is built into the genes. You obey a biological imperative. The biological imperative is not to guarantee the survival of the species, but to experience the Oneness which is the true nature of your being. Creating new life is what happens when Oneness is achieved, but it is not the reason Oneness is sought. If procreation were the only reason for sexual expression – if it were nothing more than a “delivery system” – you would no longer need to engage in it with one another. You can unite the chemical elements of life in a Petri dish. Yet this would not satisfy the most basic urges of the soul, which it turns out, are much larger than mere procreation, and have to do with the re-creation of Who and What You Really Are. The biological imperative is not to create more life, but to experience more life – and to experience that life as it really is: a manifestation of Oneness” - “Converstions with God” by Neale Donald Walsh.

Pride Poster (by Simon Williams)
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When Riot Grrrl Meets Camp (by Anna Leach)
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Holy Matrimony in the Holy City (by Gil Zohar)
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Pride Debate - For and Against (by Andrew Friedman and Rachel Kessler)
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Tolerance Is Holy (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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מצעד הגאווה בירושלים, יוני 2007

Excerpt from interview with Naama Levitzki from Jerusalem Open House View paper

על הציבור החרדי וההתנגדות למצעד הגאווה

א"ח: מתוך ה"אני המאמין" שלך באתר הבית, את מדברת על "קידום הדיאלוג בין הקהילה ההומו-לסבית עם כלל הציבור הירושלמי" – זה כולל גם את הציבור החרדי בירושלים?

נעמה: כל הציבור הירושלמי – כל המרקם המורכב שיש בעיר הזו – חלק מההתנדבות שלי שאני ממשיכה לעשות עכשיו כחברת ועד זה, למשל, ההרצאות. שרות ההרצאות זה שרות של מתנדבים ומתנדבות, שבאים לציבור הרחב, מי שמסכים לדבר איתנו בעצם. זה יכול להיות בתי ספר, משטרה ועובדים של שירותי בריאות. אנחנו מנסים להגיע לכל מקום, ואנחנו מנסים ליצור שיח פתוח סביב הנטיה המינית. אז הקהילה החרדית היא גם כן חלק מהמרקם בירושלים. יש גם חרדים שמגיעים לבית הפתוח, ואני גם באופן אישי הייתי בקשר עם כמה מהם.

א"ח: איך לדעתך אפשר לעודד יותר סובלנות בתוך הקהילה החרדית הדתית?

נעמה: אני חושבת – א', חשוב לי להגיד שהמתנגדים או האנשים שמתגלים בחוסר סובלנותם לקהילה ההומו-לסבית, בי וטרנס הם לא רק יוצאים מהקהילות החרדיות. יש לא מעטים גם בקהילה החילונית והדתית לאומית, שהם מתנגדים מאוד קיצוניים.
הבית הפתוח הוא ארגון, שגם מספק את צרכי הקהילה וגם מוביל בתחום של שינוי חברתי. המאבק שלנו על היראוּת במרחב הציבורי הוא מאוד חשוב, מפני שהרבה מההתנגדות נובעת מבורות, מחוסר ידיעה של עובדות, מסטריאוטיפים ומדעות קדומות. ברגע שאנחנו יוצאים לחלל הציבורי ורואים שאנו כאחד האדם, לא סוטים ולא חולים, אין לנו קרניים על הראש ואנו אנשים כמו כל אחד, אז זה מקדם את המאבק.
זו דרך ארוכה. קודם כל, אתה צריך להיות במגע עם מה שאתה מפחד ממנו. הם לא אוהבים את המגע הזה במצעד הגאווה, אבל אני חושבת שזה יוכיח את עצמו גם במגזר החרדי... למשל, היתה לי פגישה עם ראש מינהל חינוך ירושלים, שהוא דתי... ובתור מישהי משרות ההרצאות, רצינו לקדם להיכנס לבתי ספר. הצעד של החינוך וההסברה הוא צעד משלים, שהכרחי לקיים אותו.

א"ח: במצעד הגאווה האחרון היו הרבה שוטרים ואבטחה: 7600 שוטרים ל-3000 צועדים. יש הרבה שטוענים, שזה ביזבוז כספי המיסים של הציבור.

נעמה: כן, וכשמאבטחים כל מיני הפגנות אחרות או צעדת ירושלים או מה שזה לא יהיה, אנחנו לא נשמע טענות כאלה. דבר שני, אנחנו לא גרמנו לאלימות, שבגינה צריך לאבטח אותנו. אי אפשר להאשים את הקורבן באלימות שמופנת כלפיו. יש פה בהחלט איזשהו מהלך של "הומופוביה מתוחכמת", שבה מאשימים את הקורבן. זאת אומרת אם לא היתה אלימות, אם הציבור החרדי הקיצוני לא היה יוצא לרחובות ואם הוא לא היה מאיים, אז לא היינו צריכים את כל ה-7000 שוטרים האלה. אני חושבת, להגיד שזה עלה 7000 שוטרים - כשיש כאלו איומים עלינו - זה מחיר הדמוקרטיה, והדמוקרטיה צריכה לשלם על זה. אני מקווה שבשנה הבאה לא תהיה כזו התלהמות ואלימות, ונוכל לצעוד בבטחה עם פחות שוטרים מסביבנו.
דבר שני, "רק 3000", "רק 4000", "רק 2000", "רק 5000 אנשים" - זה מבחינתי לא המימד להצלחה. המימד של ההצלחה זה עצם קיומו של המצעד במרכז העיר, וזה ההישג ויישמנו את ההישג הזה. זה היה בסימן שאלה גדול, לאור מה שקרה לפני שנתיים, כשהייתה הדקירה, ואז אמרו אי אפשר לאבטח ואז מה שקרה בנובמבר, כשהתפשרנו על אירוע סטטי... גולת הכותרת היא שצעדנו בירושלים, במרכז העיר! לא היתה התלהמות, הכל עבר בשלום, היה מצעד מאוד מכובד ומאוד ראוי עם כמות נכבדת של אנשים וזה הישג מאוד מאוד חשוב לקהילה.

Me'ah She'arim following the Riots (photo by Simon Williams)
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Riot Grrrl Corner (Intro to the interview with Marla Hooch by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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I first heard of the queer dance-punk band, Marla Hooch, only this past year but they’ve been around for a while.
Based in Brooklyn, this electrifying group made of charismatic members – including Soraya Odishoo on lead vocals, Jenny Maurer on guitar and vocals, Sarah Strauss on bass and Sandy Levering on drums – played for several years in bars, clubs and in events and benefits such as Ladyfest.
Their music is mostly of a humoristic nature with simplistic melodies, which perfectly fits their lyrical style. Some of their songs also focus on sexual themes using obscene language, which I find makes their material much more potent despite their efforts to not take themselves too seriously.
All these being the reasons why they deserve this issue’s Riot Grrrl spotlight!
I conducted an interview with Jenny and Sarah about their beginnings, their future plans, their music and their thoughts about the Riot Grrrl aspect of it. Their responses serve to illustrate the stimulating nature of their provocative music.
(To read the full interview order the full PDF version of the zine.)