Raging Grannies, an activist organization, on stage singing at the Arcata Playhouse on March 8. Photo by Bailey Tennery.

Zero to Fierce Festival for womanhood

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Celebrating the matriarchy and raging grannies.

The Arcata Playhouse hosted the Zero to Fierce Woman’s Festival last week. More than 30 events took place from March 5-11. Events ranged from musical performances to movie screenings to meditation.

On March 8, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom organized their seventh annual women’s day celebration inside the Arcata Playhouse.

An activist organization called the Raging Grannies made an appearance. The organization is composed of elderly women that mock the granny stereotype by dressing in mismatched clothes.

Sandy Lynn has been a Raging Granny for five years. She grew up in Palo Alto and has been in Humboldt since 2001.

“I like that we are not polished. When you are older, people give you slack,” Lynn said. “When old ladies sing protest songs, it makes it easier for others to hear hard issues, like rape or violence.”

The Grannies sing well-known songs, but change the lyrics to add a political message. During the performance, Lynn played a ukulele.

“The ukulele is easy to cart around and very granny-like,” Lynn said. “I have been performing since I was 12. I don’t get nervous.”

An audience member, Angela Davis, said she loves to sing.

“The older I get, the more I want to celebrate life,” Davis said. “Here, we breathe together. You can’t feel desperation or be depressed in a place like this.”

Sue Hilton, member of Women’s International League, has been celebrating Women’s International Day since 1973.

“We need to value women more than we do now in our society,” Hilton said.

Humboldt State lecturer of women and Native American studies Sara Obenauer spoke on stage at the Arcata Playhouse. She grew up as a first-generation Filipino American woman, and was raised in a matriarchal society.

“I was raised by women,” Obenauer said. “However, like many women across the world, I experienced masculine imbalance.”

Obenauer spoke about the idea of masculine imbalance, meaning power is disproportional and is taken away from woman

“I find it vital that we need to embrace and celebrate womanhood, since we live in a really sexist and misogynistic society,” Obenauer said. “I don’t think I need to stress how necessary this is for us, especially in our cultural-political climate.”

Obenauer said we need to believe in ourselves and our abilities in order to put an end to self destruction.

“Nothing new will be created until women collectively take the lead and heal within themselves,” Obenauer said.

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