By Javacia Harris Bowser
In 2013 Jacklyn Loquidis Hamric was asked to speak on a panel discussion for the documentary The Punk Singer, which shares the story of Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and was being shown at Sidewalk Film Festival.
“Sidewalk organizers asked if there were any women in the community that had been in an all-girl punk band,” Hamric says. “They were putting together a panel for the film and wanted a local voice on the panel. I volunteered.”
Being on that panel did much more than fan the flames of her love for Hanna’s music.
“After speaking on the panel and sitting next to two other amazing women that were experts on the power of the female voice in writing and in music, I was inspired to find a way to keep those thoughts and stories going,” Hamric says. “I wanted to create a place and a reason to write.”
And so she did.
In November of 2013 Hamric launched I Am the F-Bomb, a feminist website with one simple, but important mission—to help women share their stories. The site now has more than 50 contributors and hosts readings with the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series that helps raise money for the Crisis Center in Birmingham. I recently had a chat with Loquidis about the success of I Am the F-Bomb and what’s next for the project.
How have you managed to successfully keep I Am the F-Bomb going for the past few years?
Every week I’m careful to manage my days to make sure I can spend enough time lining up posts and images for the week. I’m mostly a facilitator and an idea generator. The rest is up to the community of writers to make it happen. I know it means so much to every woman that shares a story so it makes me work harder to keep it going.
In addition to the content you publish online, the F-Bombers also do live events, such as the reading with Nitty Gritty. Why do you think it’s important to step away from the computer and share your work with the community in a live, in-person format?
This was something I never expected to come out of the site but am so glad it did. We were approached by Nitty Gritty last year asking if we’d ever thought of reading our stories aloud in a public forum. I asked the contributors, and they all wanted to be involved. We’ve done a few readings since then and it’s been amazing to watch these brave women read a personal story to a room full of people. Some readers have even come out and read their “anonymous” pieces. Putting the words on paper is brave enough, but hearing the words read aloud in person is one of the most moving things I’ve seen.
Do you think writing can be a form of activism? If so, why?
Absolutely. According to Merriam-Webster, activism is a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue. I Am the F-Bomb has never been afraid to address topics that could be considered controversial. We’ve shared so many stories on women’s rights, equality, abortion, equal pay, domestic violence, maternity leave, and so much more. Talking about them and building a community of readers and contributors has led to being more aware of issues, not being afraid to be a part of the solution, connectivity to what’s happening in our community and world, and has even led to us having a bus for the Women’s March on Washington.
Tell me a bit about your experience at the Women’s March on Washington.
The Women’s March on Washington was amazing. I saw signs covering every issue I’m concerned with including LGBTQ rights, clean water, Black Lives Matter, Pro-Choice, healthcare, equal pay, and so many signs pointing out what still needed to be done and wasn’t right with our country and this administration. I came away from the march feeling uplifted and hopeful knowing that hundreds of thousands of marchers were there and millions worldwide were equally outraged.
What’s next for I Am the F-Bomb?
One day in the near future I plan to collect our favorite pieces from the site and put them together in a book. I hope to be able to continue to grow and share more stories and keep the excitement that’s always been the fire in the belly of this project. I hope to do more readings and live events that give back to the community and to see this activist movement of equality and justice thrive in this politically divisive time. I also hope that the community will feel involved and included in anything we ever do. If they have a story they would like to share with us, we will welcome them. All you have to do as a reader is send in your pieces to email@example.com.