A Graceful Scream

Post Author: Cynthia Schemmer

It was 2005 on Long Island, most likely summer, and we were home from college or home all the time. We were looking for something beyond what what was handed to us, and so we created our own music scene, our own feminist collective, our own place. On this particular day, we gathered at Freespace, a radical venue that hosted shows, workshops, and panels. Frances Quinlan sat before us, a bandana in her hair and acoustic guitar in her hands, and played us Hop Along, Queen Ansleis songs. We had known of women like her, the ones who actually went out and did those kinds of things, but they were beyond our reach and they weren’t yet us. We sang the songs along with her like a prayer—“Did you hear about that mother? Broke her daughter’s legs in two and said, ‘It’s too dangerous out there to walk, so I had to save you.’”