FEMALE EMPOWERMENT

UNPREDICTABLE SHE

No one can cage me up  In their own dreams  For I have my own,  No one can cage me up   In their own fantasies  For I have my own,  No one can beat me up  In any fight   For I am furiously strong,  No one can match me   In this world  For I am uniquely bold,  That’s what makes me love myself   More and more      Author: Shivani Email: shivani11nair2000@gmail.com  

RAISE YOUR VOICE

The room was filled with family and friends drinking Persian tea and enjoying pastries. Pleasant chatter filled the air, and the anticipation of my performance was building. I picked up my Yamaha guitar purchased from a second hand shop for 25 pounds and began to strum. I was about to share an original song in the public for the very first time. I was 13 years old. It was a Father’s day song to honor my dad. I sang the last phrase, and the room erupted! Cheering, smiles, joy, hugs. I realized then the power that comes with using our voices. I’ve always been on the shy and reserved side when it comes to things I truly care about. As an introverted, intense and observant child, I noticed everyone else’s needs and was quick to jump in and ease their burdens. Fast forward to graduate school wh...

WOMEN THAT ROCK + HARNESS MAG – JULY ARTIST FEATURES

WOMEN THAT ROCK + HARNESS MAG – JULY ARTIST FEATURES Angela Page Angela Page is the blue-haired, cool-girl front woman of Florida punk band the Young Dead. She can be found laying it all out onstage during her electrifying performances, and head-banging front row in the pit at a Distillers show, where the team at Women That Rock first discovered her. As the front woman of the Young Dead, Angela plays rhythm guitar, sings, and pens the band’s lyrics. The band’s debut EP ‘Righteous Violence’ was released earlier this year, and highlight’s Page’s voice as the centerpiece for the album’s visceral rage and vulnerability. Formed by Page in 2012, she has called Young Dead her “first love.” As if being a punk rock princess isn’t enough, Page is also the Founder of Love Your...

THIS QUESTION CHANGED MY LIFE

I used to live in fear. Fear of failure. Fear of falling. Fear of not being pretty enough. Fear of not being lovable. Fear of judgment. Fear was my teacher. Of course, I didn’t know Fear was my teacher at the time. But it was. Fear taught me I better go out of my way to do things to make others like me, for others to think I’m successful, for others to think I’m “perfect,” otherwise… who am I? What is my worth? A major way it showed up in my life was through dieting. At the core of it all, I feared that if I didn’t look a certain way, nobody would love me. I never left the house without my hair and makeup done. I dressed in a way to hide any “problem spots.” I created strict rules around food and exercise. Every day, I woke up with the goal of “staying in line” today. “Don’t mess up, Jules...

THE OLIVE TREE WITHIN

With 12 weeks of vacation time to use and a bargain rental on a Spanish villa, I dug out my passport from my catch-all drawer filled with safety pins, pens and old makeup, and I dusted off the Nars Perfect Peach blush. Both of my parents had died when I was very young. My grandmother raised me, and she passed away a year ago, which left me feeling homeless.  I was an adult now at the ripe age of 32. I had a nice apartment in Tampa, Florida and a good paying job. I didn’t have a spouse or family of my own, so holidays felt particularly lonely as my family consisted of a black mini schnauzer and the occasional stray cat that I took in because we seemed to be kindred spirits. I had the vacation time saved up and it seemed to be a great time to take that European vacation that I had always dre...

NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS

We’ve all heard it before. Whether it was from the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in another John Green novel or from one of those anonymous “Typical White Girl” Twitter accounts. We’ve all probably been guilty of using this sentiment as well. I have. The thing is: when did it become so wrong to “be like other girls”? Why has the simple act of being our gender pushed us against a wall and thrown us into a pigeonhole? When the edgy girl with a guitar slung on her shoulder says, “I’m not like OTHER girls,” what does she really mean? When did the word “girl” become synomous with catty, gossipy, high-maintenance, mean, crazy, etc.? All those sterotypes that we’ve proven again and again we are not. Because that’s not how humans work. We are not easily categorized. We are complex beings, goo...

HUMANE RAYS OF A PAINLESS DAWN

Darkness grew Inside of me. A black web Of scathing scars Attaching quite aptly To my livelihood, To my womanhood, Dangerously, destructively  — A toxic creature Pulling my body Down, way down. Into an abyss I feared had No exit sign.   Darkness thrived Inside of me. Without logic, This gruesome thing Wove a warpath. Leaving not a trace Of light or peace. Further we fell, My body and my spirit. Fearful and entangled In a bloody mess — Enduring An open-ended chapter Of gruelling soreness.   Darkness lived Inside of me. I can’t recall A time When it didn’t Take my breath away. Toss my hope away. Push me over the edge. It spoon-fed me Shame and distress. Hoping I would be Too full up to disturb The comfort Of our anti-symbiosis duress.   Then, darkness died. Finally. One sunny ...

“SEQUINCE” OF EVENTS: CHOOSING TO SHINE DESPITE SLUT-SHAMING

Nine hours. Seven months. Eight years. We waited. Eight years we pumped ourselves up for cross country racesand track meets, blasting our Ipod shuffle on crowded school buses. All we heard was the music. The lyrics. Mouths moved around us. All we heard was the music. We screamed every line, every song. We sat on bleachers waiting for our race with lyrics sinking electric, fire in our bones. She would beat her times every 800 meters. I would win countless one mile and two mile races. It’s like we ran the laps in our head to the songs we connected so much to. ‘Wait for something better, this feeling won’t go.’ ‘Castles in the sky sit stranded vandalized/ out where the dreams all hide.’ ‘Can we climb this mountain? ‘If you can’t hold on, hold on…’ ‘I don’t mind if you don’t mind, cuz I don’t ...

HER STRENGTH

The quiet morning breeze Gives her the strength to move forward. The calm stillness of the air Beckons her to get up. The reddish purple horizon Tells her it is time for her to leave. The brisk, fresh air she breathes Allows her to feel free from the oppression she has faced.   She knows what she must do to grasp the future in her hands She knows that she can no longer allow this man to control her destiny. She knows she cannot hold onto the hope that things will improve. She knows her body can no longer handle the fists, the feet, the objects that constantly bruise her body. She knows that with God’s strength and her determination she will persevere. She knows that Mother Nature is beckoning her to leave the past behind and embrace the future. She knows what to do.   Now she nee...

LIVING WITH ANXIETY & TOOLS: THERAPIST, YOGA, WRITING.

Anxiety. The seven letter word that bounces around my head on a weekly basis. I don’t know when it got here, but it’s definitely here to stay. Some days my anxiety takes a vacation and it’s no where in sight. Other days anxiety curls up next to me in bed and squeezes its arms tightly around me. You know the feeling. Chest tightening, heart racing, stomach squeezing. Your mind is running on a hamster wheel which is only making the above symptoms worse. I know my triggers now. I just get careless. I see task after task falling down like Tetris blocks into place. Eventually, all of the blocks reach the top and it’s game over. Cue all of the dreaded anxiety symptoms. There are a few things I’ve found that have helped me manage stress and in turn manage my anxiety....

THERAPY. IT’S BRAVE.

Therapy. It has become less taboo to go to therapy than it was ten years ago. If you think about it, the fact that it was ever taboo at all – is laughable. We shamed people for wanting to work through their issues and have a better relationship with themselves or others. Why would that ever be a negative thing? I am so happy this idea of “perfection” is slowly being smashed into pieces and people can come forward with their problems without embarrassment. Therapy. I’ve had my fair share of sessions. Sitting on the worn leather couch staring at a complete stranger. The stranger staring back at me with a pen and paper. Waiting for me to say something worth noting. Eyeing the room for the tissue box knowing whatever is uncovered deep within the recesses of my mind won&...

WOMEN THAT ROCK + HARNESS: APRIL FEMALE ARTISTS

This month’s recommended artists are brought to you by Women That Rock, a platform created by women, for women much like Harness Magazine. Women That Rock is dedicated to supporting and promoting up-and-coming female musicians and female-fronted bands, Women That Rock is cultivating a community of badass ladies who are creating amazing music and connecting with one another through their art. Visit Women That Rock’s brand new website, https://www.womenthatrock.co and follow WTR on Instagram at @womenthatrock to stay in the loop on amazing lady artists, news & upcoming events. If you know an amazing female musician or girl-fronted band that needs to be heard, email their information to thewomenthatrock@gmail.com! Emily Afton California-based Emily Afton’s voice is transporting, powerful ...

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