Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
By Isaac Miller
This week's piece, "32 flavors" comes from Ani DiFranco, the iconic feminist DIY singer-songwriter and independent record label founder. DiFranco's work embodies the phrase "the personal is political", viewing politics not only in structures and systems, but in every facet of her lived experience.
The topics of her songs range across violence, consumerism, misogyny, abuse, racism, family, relationships, the many experiences of joy, and most of all what it means to speak from her perspective at the moment she is writing from. In all of her work, DiFranco finds ways to bring large, societal issues home. Instead of keeping them at arms length, she writes from herself outwards. In this song, DiFranco challenges the confining standards of physical beauty that our society places on women, describing beauty that defies these arbitrary, and ultimately oppresive, expectations. In deeply poetic language, DiFranco demonstrates something that is often lost in the frenzy of political organizing: that in order to change our society we must first change ourselves and the way we think about and relate to one another.
-- Isaac Miller, Spoken Word Editor for The Progressive