In both of this week’s readings, prominent vocalist Mia Zapata  from the band Grits is discussed. According to both readings, Mia Zapata was a powerful artist whose brutal rape and murder led to a public outcry for greater awareness on the issue of safety for women in local communities. Maria Raha’s article discusses the ways in which Zapata’s music was personal yet universal. Through Mia Zapata’s vision, the group refused to go mainstream and instead “clung to commonality and truth”. Zapata as person was unapologetically herself and this sense of self was also expressed through her music. It seems to me, by choosing to stay away from the mainstream, the group was creating a safe space for expression which escapes the expectations for female artists in the mainstream. In the Bitch Media article, the rape and murder of Zapata is briefly discussed and the role it played in the creation of Home Alive. This organization promotes alternative approaches to female self defense by helping women reimagine the self and by destroying the victim blaming mentality promoted in rape culture. It was interesting to see the way in which technological advances  were to blame for the lack of information on the organization. This is because most of the important literature on the organization was on paper and there was no online archive where this information could be accessed. I am interested to learn more about the organization and it’s history through this movie and to see what exactly its mission is.  

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