Some of you may have seen the story about the “Oklahoma Grandmother Arrested in Keystone XL Protest” or the “79-Year-Old Oklahoma Grandmother Locks Her Neck to Heavy Machinery in Keystone XL Pipeline Protest.” Here’s a pic of her doing her thing:



It didn’t take me long to realize that this bad-ass woman has been here on Progress on the Prairie before when I took some pictures of people at the rally against the horrible, awful Personhood Amendment.  Her name is Nancy Zorn; here she is in that signature pink and purple outfit:


She makes me proud to be an Okie.



I am writing an essay loosely about the history of women in Oklahoma and how Oklahoma became the “2nd Worst Place for Women” in the country. And I’ve noticed something curious. I am consciously avoiding the word “feminist” (and “feminism” and “anti-feminist” and all other forms). As a feminist, this worries me. How does a feminist write about feminism without using the words that are most efficient in describing her history and environment? And, more importantly, WHY am I doing this? Here are some of the reasons. #1: I worry that the average reader will be immediately turned off by the term. That’s the only reason, actually. I mean, I write freely for readers who identify as feminist but for those who don’t, I worry that all they’ve ever heard about feminists is negative so I censor myself. I don’t assume the average reader is entirely uninformed, just that they’ll be slightly turned-off. And I want to reach them with my writing, not turn them away. It’s about considering my audience, and I’m actually generally okay with manipulating my writerly voice in this way.

So my original quick question: “Am I selling out?” I know is just a personal thing that only I can work through, but how about this: What are a feminist’s responsibilities to the average non-feminist? More broadly: What are a social justice advocate’s responsibilities to the average non- social justice advocate? Even more broadly: What are a writer’s responsibilities to her or his readers?

Curious what all you smart folks have to say,


Today was a good day to protest the “Personhood Amendment.” I went to the Capitol building in OKC with my daughter and friends Daniel, Amanda, Sara, and Amelia. Here’s Daniel and his super sweet sign:

Daniel of Tulsa.

I was also happy to see people of various religious affiliations – and none – all on the same page.

Ashley Combs of Midwest City, Baptist. Micala Wood of Mustang, Lutheran.

Sarah of Choctaw.

Eva from Tulsa. Christian. Or, as she put it, "super churchy."


Michael Ashby of Norman. Professor.

LaDonna Hunt of OKC. Secretary of OK County Democrats. Unitarian.


Jessica and Anthony of Mustang.

And I want to be her when I grow up:

Nancy Zorn of Warr Acres. Protestant.

Proud to be an Okie,


Progress from Pakistan

March 21, 2011

This video (via BoingBoing) of Pakistani actress Veena Malik dropping knowledge on a religious leader and a media character, two men who accuse her of being unlawful and inappropriate as an Islamic and Pakistani woman, is the most moving piece of impromptu social justice I’ve seen in a very long time. Lookie:

I’m 100% with you, Veena Malik.


Do Good Day 3

December 3, 2010

What: I wrote a thank you note to the Transformer art gallery in Washington DC.

Why: Because when the Smithsonian caved to an extremist Catholic group and took down David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video work A Fire in My Belly, the Transformer art gallery stepped in and displayed the censored video in honor of World AIDS Day and in honor of not censoring art. It is still on display there.

thank you to transformer art gallery

∞ Spring

dress-up is fun

November 8, 2010

i finally came up with a cheap halloween costume idea the day of halloween. i wanted to dress as a famous man this year. i don’t know why. it’s just what i was feelin’. it was in my heart. and i follow my heart.

my first idea was to be sexy gandhi. but i didn’t want to buy a bald cap and glasses, and i thought only wearing a white cloth wrap might get chilly.

then i came across this picture (via boing boing’s post on proposition 19 in california to legalize marijuana):

allen ginsberg

all i had to buy was a .99¢ poster board. and here’s my interpretation:

photo by chuck foxen

you know what else is fun? worrying that your mom will see a picture of you on the internet and ask you if you’re a drug addict.

oh well,


~The following has been deemed ‘Comment of the Decade’ by the Progress on the Prairie administration (Beamish and Spring):

Poor Beamish. Another tragic child of divorce who has thrown away her life to be a burden on the system by becoming nothing but a PhD educated, socially conscious teacher that volunteers with underprivileged children. If only mama Beamish had stuck it out, we wouldn’t have to look at this tragedy.

And Spring’s poor baby! Have you ever seen such an unhappy, maladjusted, illiterate, ignorant, self-loathing child in your life? Every time I see her tragically curling her lanky form into the lap of her adoring mother as she reads Greek mythology with an infectious grin on her face I shed a tear. Those horrifying photos her father took of her in the art museum he took her to in New York just so she could see her favorite painting {Van Gogh’s Starry Night} make me want to vomit with rage at his neglect.

4 out of 5 people who get divorced don’t want to? I think that’s a little conservative. I’ma say 5 out of 5 people don’t want to discover that the commitment they hoped would last a lifetime would, for whatever reason, ultimately cause more harm and pain to all parties involved and that in order to dissolve this state-created union they must go through an emotionally and financially draining process that leaves them both tainted in the eyes of a hypocritical public. But hey, I’m one of those wackos that says nobody WANTS to get an abortion.

Anyone want to go in on some quicklime so we can write CORRELATION =/= CAUSATION on her lawn?

~Posted by the one-and-only MizH