Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah: Henry Rollins

So to really get our minds off the election I thought I would switch it up and do a Feminist Fuck Yeah to Henry Rollins. Why Henry Rollins? Well because he is awesome (this is more awesome), but we also got several emails from readers who have seen his spoken word performances (which are amazing) and apparently he is a fan of Feministing. If that is not FUCK YEAH worthy, I am not really sure what is.

And I have been known to bite his style from time to time. (And full transcript after the jump.)



This week’s Friday Feministing Fuck Yeah goes to Henry Rollins.
This is a little bit delayed but a couple of months ago we got a series of emails from fans of yours that are readers of ours that said you were dropping Feministing as a source for women’s news and something that you read which is beyond flattering for me because I am an old school fan of yours and loved Black Flag back when i was 15, 16, 17 years old.
And it was always complicated my love for punk rock, I am a woman of color and I was a riot girl and I never quite fit but I always wondered what you felt about the racial dynamics of punk rock culture. Maybe one day you can tell me, I don’t know.
But we have to give you a fuck yeah for dropping our name because you are fucking awesome. And thank you for championing the rights of gay people and queer people and women internationally through all the work you have done. And thank you for being a model for other people that are in the music business that could potentially use their power and privilege for creating social change.
So this weeks Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah goes to you, Henry Rollins, and thank you so much for reading and dropping our name.

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27 Comments

  1. Waterpixi360
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I second that FUCK YEAH.
    I love Black Flag….
    Samhita if you haven’t checked out the documentary “American Hardcore”, I highly recommend it, Bad Brains hits on the racial aspects of punk a little bit…I hope you post about that in the future maybe?

  2. Posted September 26, 2008 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I have such a clit boner for Henry Rollins

  3. Samhita
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Waterpixi360-I would love to! I want to start writing about music much much more.

  4. Halo
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Hank is awesome :D
    He’s awesome live, he was a major influence on me when I was a teenager (early 90′s).
    I’m glad to know that others like him as well.

  5. Halo
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and check this out if you hadn’t before:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut9-hgFbJWs

  6. altoqueen
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Rollins is great

  7. Sthenno
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I always figured he was the kinda guy who could handle an outspoken (feminist/atheist combo, run away), smart, and funny gal like me. Good on him! He does not get enough credit, in my opinion. Nice to see this.

  8. miss.meshuganer
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Love it! I also love the idea that a big, muscled, agressive, tattooed dude is down with feminism. But he’s an extremely intelligent guy, too. Gonna go watch all his You Tube glory :)

  9. miss.meshuganer
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Dag nammit.
    *aggressive

  10. Qwerty
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly enough, when you click on the “he is awesome”, the first video under related videos is him beating the crap out of someone in the audience.

  11. Samhita
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Hahaha. Whoops. He is a complex man. I didn’t say he was perfect….! But from what I hear, he has worked to reform his ways. But again, I don’t know, so don’t quote me.

  12. salmonarm
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I once had to leave a Rollins Band concert because some asshole behind me jammed his hand right between my legs. Well, I didn’t HAVE to leave, but it totally killed my watching-Henry’s-shorts-get-soaked-with-sweat buzz, and I was young.
    I feel like I’ve kinda outgrown him in some ways now, but he is a cool cat, and his spoken word shows are as amazing as people say. If any woman gets to have him I’m glad it’s Janeane Garofalo (or so the story goes).

  13. Posted September 26, 2008 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I adore that man and have for years. However, have you seen his letter to Ann Coulter segment? I was reminded of it when I read Margaret Cho’s comments about Sarah Palin. Hank’s bit doesn’t go quite as far on the sex object side, but those comments definitely didn’t need to be in there at all. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, Samhita.

  14. Hara
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Is it just me and my Mac or is the sound really hard to hear on this vlog?
    I’ll look for headphones….

  15. adag87
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I think his letter to Ann Coulter is tongue in cheek. His comments about making her his housekeeper/slave seem to play on her anti-feminist POV.

  16. Posted September 26, 2008 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    adag87: I figure the same, but it would have definitely been easier to deal with if he’d said so clearly. I’ve known folks who have a “teach the woman her place” sort of attitude that comes out only in reference to conservative women. I doubt that’s Hank’s perspective, but it could easily be construed that way.
    I was similarly bothered by his letter to Carrot Top and the use of “transgendered” as a synonym for “freaky” and “gross.” Seems like he gets a little carried away with the letter segment sometimes. I never really caught the same stuff in his spoken word recordings, and I’ve listened to pretty much all of them.

  17. markheim
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Henry has been one of my absolute favorites for 15 years now. (Yeah, we’re on a first-name basis in my dreams.)
    One of his quotes that had a big impression on me was about men vs. women with respect to orgasm. He was talking about the scenario in which a man asks a woman, post-coitus, “Did you come?” She responds in a wistful voice, “No…but that’s okay,” and then they both go to sleep. He was incredulous and indignant and went on to talk about what would happen if sex ended before the guy had an orgasm. I don’t remember any exact quotes, but it involved a man with a boner going on a Godzilla-style rampage and destroying the city out of sexual frustration. I was a teenager, and this was the first time I had ever heard someone–a big masculine man, no less!–point out what bullshit it is that sex ends after the man comes, regardless of what’s going on with the woman, and that so many guys are oblivious to or apathetic toward the woman’s pleasure. Oh, Henry. Thanks for caring about our orgasms. You can give me one whenever you’d like.

  18. jessica Girdle
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    YES! YES! YES! !!! !!! I love Henry Rollins. That man is beautiful inside and out. I TOTALLY agree with TheSoyMilkConspiracy. The fact that he apparently reads Feministing just makes me a bigger fan.
    The video of him beating up that fan has to be at least twenty years old. Just for the record.
    This video is also awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9S5-EB8dR8

  19. jennifer93
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Regarding the ArgusEyes video:
    ArgusEyes claims that the things that feminists argue against, and fight against are petty. That is not an intellectual argument. This is simply an opinion of values. Apparently rape, reproductive rights, getting paid less than men, sexual harassment, and personal autonomy are issues that are petty and exist only in a feminist mind. He hasn’t seen these things happen, and so assumes it doesn’t, or doesn’t take it seriously.
    When the argument was made that one type of oppression doesn’t trump another,AND that feminists fight against those types of oppression abroad, he took in out of context and used it as an excuse to insult her. He seems to be saying that horrible oppression happening elsewhere
    makes oppression here irrelevant. It doesn’t. He
    completely ignored her,and used it as an excuse to call her stupid, while simultaneously complaining that he was banned and his arguments are ignored.
    He talks about a woman being murdered for loving
    someone and asks if this is remotely comparable in the West. YES!!! It happens here. Women are murdered here by men, men who are close to them ALL the FUCKING TIME! It happened in my family, it happened to people I know.
    By calling everybody here “dykes,” you’re basically showing that you’re justifying sexist attitudes under a cloak of intellectualism. I’ve spoken to ArgusEyes before, and he does the same. Why should anybody take him seriously when he projects his own behavior on feminists?
    So much for the mental “rape.” Nice choice of words, by the way.

  20. Foxfire
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you acknowledged Henry! He kicks so much ass!! He really is a stand-up guy and his views on feminism, gay rights, and racial equality are fabulous. Admittedly he is not perfect (there is a Danish interview with him that makes me cringe), but he is obviously working on dealing with his issues. He is such an important alternative voice, I am glad we can give him some feminist lady love.
    PS. Whoever said he gives you a “clit boner”, you are my hero! :-D

  21. brodyrocks
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, he is awesome. I miss his show on IFC.
    Samhita, I adore you as well and am looking forward to more postings about music. Have a great weekend, everyone!

  22. atwining
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Henry Rollins is amazing.
    I found his letter to Ann Coulter, in agreement with ‘adag87″, to play on Ann’s conservative bullshit.
    Thank you for this Friday Fuck Yeah. Well deserved.

  23. Posted September 27, 2008 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ll take Ian McKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi, etc.) any day!

  24. Thomas
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    gigi, you may know that McKaye and Rollins were friends growing up and McKaye told Rollins to take the gig with BF. McKaye’s contribution is titanic.
    Rollins is a complicated guy; he has his problems and his limitations, and I know some folks hated him for the stamp he put on BF, and still do. That’s not my view, and on the whole I’m a fan; more so every year as he improves with age. I was pretty critical of his Coulter letter on the Feministe thread, though. He sticks his foot in his mouth a lot.
    PS: Clit boner? SMC, if I ever need to borrow a cup of awesome, I’m asking you. You obviously have plenty.

  25. Danyell
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Qwerty- Did you actually watch that video? The guy in the audience kept hitting HIM first! How much crap is the guy supposed to take? And why do some people attack a band they like??
    I was disappointed in the videos selected to represent Rollins though. They’re just so outdated. He’s done so much stuff since then, put out new albums, music & spoken word and have several of his own TV shows. LOL (they keep getting canceled!) I’ve seen him do spoken word live. Amazing.
    I love the guy. I want him to be Unky Hank to my kids. He’s living proof that’s there’s nothing un-masculine about being feminist!

  26. Foxfire
    Posted October 5, 2008 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Hey, just letting y’all know I saw Henry Rollins in Dallas last night (and his show rocked). After the freakn’ fabulous show, I hung around the stage door and got a chance to see Henry. After getting his autograph I asked him about feministing. He told me he found your website doing research on that abysmal abstinence website the government put out (can’t remember the details, I was too excited!) and thought y’all just kicked ass dismantling it. When I told him about Samahita’s video he said he hasn’t seen it but was flattered and said to tell you to “keep the fires going”. *Squeal* It was awesome!! Just thought you should know!

  27. 0neReader
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Compelled to reply two Fridays later. I specifically registered to make this comment; it will probably be the only comment that I post on this site.
    Mr. Rollins has the background to influence various strata within today’s society. It is pretty neat that he and his background have some contemporary appeal.
    While I do not know him personally (but did witness him in action on July 10, 1981), he is an archetype that provides a whole lot of appeal. No agenda, no forced slogans; what you see is what you get- hence the portions of disagreement on the posts above.
    It is fair to say that his band-mates in his first band (SOA) were very much children of privilege and upper middle class attributes. He was something else other than that. His next band, well- he really did alter their course and was able to be part of a team that set a “blueprint”, one that has yet to be matched. He seized an opportunity to not be just another garage band relic several times over. A story of individually and determination.
    People can learn from his examples on many levels.
    An outspoken individual and one that is multidimensional with thoughts and opinions – history will treat him well.
    Thanks for the original post and the opportunity to reply.

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