Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Henry Rollins: Not Your Average Feminist.

This past Monday I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the man, the myth, the legend: Henry Rollins. We spoke about, among other things, his foray into gay-rights activism. At first glance the muscle-bound, tattoo covered, and grumpy looking middle-aged man, doesn’t seem to be a likely candidate for a women’s center employee, but he has made it clear that homophobia needs to go.

First, a little background for those who aren’t in the know:. Henry Rollins is a new American renaissance man. At the age of 49 he has already tread the waters of music, literature, film, television and activism; he has done it all with just a high school diploma. Rollins started his career fronting the hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1981 until 1986. Following the band's breakup, Rollins started his own record label and publishing company 2.13.61 in order to release his spoken word albums, while simultaneously touring the world with a new band.
Since then, Rollins has embarked on projects covering a variety of media. He has hosted numerous radio shows, such as Harmony In My Head on Indie 103, and television shows, running the gamete of late-night talk show, The Henry Rollins Show, to low-brow comedy on MTV’s Jackass. All the while Rollins has made time to campaign for human rights in the United States as well as abroad.

Now, I will be the first to admit as a huge, long time fan: I sincerely believe that Henry Rollins can do no wrong but, how can you argue with a man who has written editorials for Vanity Fair (Yes, VANITY FAIR, the upper crust magazine adorning grocery stores nationwide) trashing Ann Coulter, Oliver North, and our favorite vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. He has been hitting hard on domestic and foreign issues for the past ten years and shows no signs of slowing down.

His impressive resume shouldn’t fool anyone though, he is still as tough as he looks, and after talking for fifteen minutes or so about his recently celebrated birthday, his three and a half month trip through both Africa and Europe, and his upcoming media projects he made that clear as day. As we got onto the discussion of homosexuality Rollins let us know exactly what pisses him off about our religious right’s issue with our homosexual brothers and sisters.

Henry dove head first into the topic ripping into the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell advocate, Oliver North, and his controversial liking of homosexuality to pedophilia “…The problem with people like Oliver North is they are always arguing that legalizing homosexuality will lead to bestiality or pedophilia, and I just think that that’s ridiculous. How can you believe that the next logical step from man-ass is horse-ass?”

In addition to giving North a verbal beating he went on to challenge the religious conservatives of the United States, daring them “to make an argument against homosexuality that isn’t based off their moral high-horse” and telling the four of us crowded in the radio station, with sincerity and integrity that homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality.
So, if this guy, who you wouldn’t dare challenge to a fight; who hasn’t gotten a formal education; who’s resume includes ice cream scooper at Haagen-Dazs and living in a van can see opponents of marriage equality and gay rights are full of it, why cant the Ivy-Leaguers in Washington?

*Biographical information pulled from Wikipedia and checked for accuracy.
*Title of this blog is a nod to fellow blogger and women's center employee


  1. Hello. I thought you might be interested in this project!
    Angela Bennett.

    Project of Love From the Fans of Henry Rollins

    Thanks to Hank
    WANTED: Personal stories from the fans, a.k.a, ‘fanatics’, of Henry Rollins. If Henry Rollins has moved you, inspired you to reach higher, helped you in some way, or just makes your life better by way of knowing he is out there, living art and inspiration, and you are willing to share your story in a future publication of Fanatic Stories of Thanks to Hank, please send your story!
    The target goal is to complete the project by February of 2011, Henry’s 50th birthday. All potential proceeds will go to the charity of Henry’s choice.
    Fanatic and novice writer, Angela Bennett, commented on the project, “Henry has made such a profound contribution to the lives of many thousands, perhaps even millions of people around the world. He is an inspiration to so many people regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic class. This is an opportunity for fanatics to share their stories with, and thank Henry.”
    During the first month of this project, fans and media are responding from across the world; from 15 year olds to 50 year olds, from the U.S. to Australia. It’s one thing to be a fan of a band, or an actor, but often it’s about more than that when it comes to Henry. Henry moves people, he is a catalyst in people’s lives. There’s a quote from The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, by Lewis Hyde, that captures Henry well, “…the gift we long for, the gift that, when it comes, speaks commandingly to the soul and irresistibly moves us."
    People can contact Angela Bennett with stories, or artwork, at, through the Facebook Group, Henry Rollins – Thanks to Hank Project, or Angela does not work for, or represent Henry Rollins, other than being one of many grateful fanatics in the global neighbourhood.

  2. Hi - I enjoyed reading this - I hope this doesn't close the book or be the end of the chapter of your Henry Rollins fascination, I'd like to read more about him from you

  3. Yes, Henry Rollins has gone from calling homosexuals "fags" ( which he frequently did & not in a "post modern reclaiming hate word from the bigots" context, just as a term of abuse ) to being a "gay rights activist".

    His track record on women is just as poor. He is not a feminist, in fact if he knew what feminism was ( he's like most people, labouring under the false belief that feminism simply means "women's rights" DOES NOT ) he would be an outspoken critic of it. Instead, his views are nothing more than pseudo right on liberalism. Trashing the likes of Ann Coulter & Sarah Palin is not exactly difficult is it? Both of them being laughing stocks to any person of intelligence.

    No, I'm afraid that Rollins is a hypocrite who is full of contradictions. Vanity Fair is the least of it...he advertised for unethical clothing giant The Gap & his politics are naive. His support of gay issues & feminism is typical Rollins posturing.

  4. at least henry is doing some good while he is on this earth and that is more than most people can say...

    People who like to bash Rollins are probably just seeing things in him they dislike about themselves.

    It is so easy to hate and so easy to point out flaws. It is far more difficult to take your time and hard earned money for somethiing bigger tahn yourself. Henry has dug wells for water in romote villages in Africa. henry has taken soap and food to people in Haiti.

    For all the people who like to use the anonymity of the internets as their own personal bullhorn, all I have to say is: If Henry is a hypocrite and an ass, I could only hope to be as ''bad'' as him.

    Also, I REALLY doubt he cares what some random person thinks of him, good or bad!

    -Carolyn from Colorado

  5. Henry, like John Lennon before him, simply managed to grow up.

    Some of us never do. Some of us continue hating the 'other' till we die.

    Henry Rollins rocks my world now and in the past.

  6. Re. the comments on Rollin's supposed hypocrisy. I'm kind of ambivalent about it. I appreciate that at least Rollins is apparently doing something and trying to make a difference, but his activism (what i've seen of it) is so trite and his politics so banal that i can't help wondering how much of it is informed by genuine interest and how much stems from a desire to be right on and relevant as he gets older. Bashing gay people is bad? You don't say, Henry! Thanks for the heads up, i thought it was fine until you pointed that out.

    Activism isn't just pointing out the obvious, it's about agitating for the changes needed to bring greater social justice. What's he got to say about that?


  8. Henry Rollins is no feminist - quite the contrary. He has put out some seriously misogynistic material over the years. Here's just one example:

    1. are you kidding? this video is NOTHING compared to his tour diaries. Anyone having read them would probably of wanted him locked up at the time.