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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

International Women's Day, You've Got Great Legs

Andrew Ryan

Steve Summerlin (Mink Mussel Creek, ALZABO) has beautiful legs, so I told him so. It was at a pale male gig - Reef Prince, GUM, Nicholas Allbrook, Lost Animal, and he was in short shorts as usual and the big padded workboots that Lost Animal was admiring. The boots are like what a dingo hunter would wear who has become a vegan.

I met a guy like that on the weekend - ex hunter vegan - we were spraypainting election banners out the back of a house of a mum who makes organic jams and used to be a biologist, and now lets people spraypaint banners and accidentally her driveway with thick black political slogans. She let us swim in the pool between painting, and her teenage daughter brought us fairy bread and watermelon - but that story belongs in the other article about Roe 8. So the ex-hunter got wrangled somehow into the fight against the Barnett shark culls and then crossed right over, to vegan, to anarchy, as one day my deep dream is we all will, even me. 

So Steve Summerlin and his legs and my legs were out the back of Mojos. It was a night of beautiful men, all depositing kisses on my cheeks from their sweaty faces. 

The thing is, with pale male line-ups; with pictures of headless women; with the "bitch" calls out on the street; with the anger walking in to pay for your petrol and seeing porno mags; with your friends talking about beyonce's ass instead of her music; with the "bitches and hoes" in all the ironic and non-ironic rap; with the male friends as soon as its just them and maybe you cos you're 'like a guy' just talking about women like walking meat; with getting patronised most days even when you're just trying to order nachos; with the walking home at night if you dare, pretending to be on the phone; with avoiding certain bars because you know the manager's a rapist but it's not public knowledge yet; ad infinitum; you sometimes think "it's just me". I'm too sensitive; it's cos I grew up spiritual; it's cos I'm too focussed on these things.

But no, in fact, it's because I'm a woman, and other women suffer and seethe and internally cry and dream of retribution under these things too. 

One of the greatest australian artists in music atm is Sarah Chadwick. She wrote on the internet on IWD about walking along the street and a guy calling out "Hi". She says nothing, he calls out "Snob". She smiles, he calls out "Bitch!" Sometimes men say there's no bias in music, and tell women they're overreacting about posters or lineups or whatever, but, this is our reality.

Anyway, so Steve has great legs and I told him. He said how he used to look at band posters and music magazines, and no-one in there ever wore shorts, and so he never wore shorts. And then one day he tried some short ones on, and instead of suffering in black jeans he was free. Now he gets called a faggot sometimes and I said to him that's sad but also a good thing in a way because as a hetero white non-dirt poor, bodily-abled man, he would never be able to understand what it's like to face daily discrimination without those faggy shorts. He told me a woman who goes cycling with him explained that being a woman is like being a cyclist: you're constantly made to feel threatened, abused, and sometimes literally run off the road, for being somewhere and doing something you have every right to do. 

Hmm.

I asked my friend Kate what her dream is for women in 2017. She talked to me about women in Kurdistan teaching young women and children to be fighters and teachers, and about how she thinks endometriosis affects many more people than we think, and can bring women together as we go through some of these collective troubles. She asked me and I said protection of fresh water sources and safety and freedom. I was thinking of Roe 8 and of women far away and of women locked up by our government so their friends can make money on the security contracts. 

So, I'm just one woman, and some women want their lips artificially pumped up by a needle, and new shit from Officeworks, or a non-multicultural australia, but I think I've also given you a tiny slice of the cake that's made from "what women want". 

And it would be great to write a piece about some of my favourite musicians who are women, or women friends or women in history who inspire us, but the fact is I was beaming at 9pm last night walking up to my friend's place in the dark, because once, for a whole day and evening, I hadn't been made to feel like shit because of my gender. 

So yeah, like I sang to lil Nick in the kitchen, completely unsarcastically "Happy International Women's Day to uuuuuuuu, Happy International Women's Day to meeeeeeee", until the day when biologist mums don't have to lock themselves to bulldozers, all the refugee prisoners are free, everyone's an ex-hunter vegan, cyclists rule the roads, everyone's lips are pumped just from peace and permaculture activities, and my musical heroes walk the streets getting called not faggot or bitch but HERO and HEROINE>>>>>>>>>