When Stephanie Knipe got involved with Feminists Organizing Real Transformations Here (FORTH) At SUNY Purchase in summer of 2013, she knew exactly what her goal for the 2013-14 school year would be: a feminist festival put together by students. She brought her idea up with Gerard Guy Davis, the FORTH co-president about her desire to throw a feminist fest that would celebrate female-identifying artists and musicians. “We started to discuss our ideas and voila!”
Up Yours, taking place this Saturday, February 22nd, will be the first FORTH feminist festival to be held at The Stood.
“There are so many amazing feminist festivals throughout the country, and Purchase didn’t really have anything like that,” Knipe said. “In our society, [those who aren’t] white cisgender males often don’t have a space to feel safe…so this event is meant to enable these groups to reclaim their space.”
The aim of Up Yours is to change the Stood from a male-dominated space, and let different types of people to feel comfortable in the Stood. “This fest is really important in an outsider point of view, where it will educate others about feminism and feminist theory and safer spaces through workshops and music,” Knipe says.
Gerard Guy Davis, who has been co-president of FORTH since January 2013, says Stood workers have been on-board with the fest since the beginning. “It’s really awesome that the staff at the Stood this year seem to be pushing for a more diverse showcase of artists, and have done a better job at maintaining The Stood as a safer space.” Davis hopes that by having the Stood employees more open-minded towards females artists, it will encourage students of all genders to “make music of their own by fighting against the hyper-masculine stigmas so present in punk scenes and music in general”
"I’ve been comparing our ideas for Up Yours to the image of the asshole dude on the subway spreading his legs out too far," Davis says, "We want to take up as much space in the Stood as possible and force people to recognize and celebrate the talents of women and queer artists." By the looks of the line-up and the hype about the fest, it doesn’t seem like FORTH will have to force anyone to celebrate.