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"So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch."
- Rush Limbaugh, 3/1/12

"Across the political spectrum, there has been a rise in defamatory language against women, as well as an increased introduction in legislation policing women's rights to privacy and health care. Sticks & Stones  was conceived as a flexible collective of women and men who want to respond creatively to the escalating war on women.  We are elected officials, performers, writers, musicians, activists, and social service administrators who believe it is time to say, 'STOP!'"

For our inaugural event, we are delighted to partner with Left Bank Books, Missouri's oldest independent book store and a precious community asset that is committed to freedom of expression, and we hope to do more events with Left Bank, and elsewhere, in the fall." 

In response,

That Uppity Theater Company and Left Bank Books presented the Joyce Trebilcot Memorial Fund’s inaugural event “Sticks and Stones: Sluts Talk Back,” a gathering of writers, musicians, activists, elected officials, and social service administrators responding to the recent rush of misogyny in America.

Some of the topics to be explored may include:

  • (pejorative) language
  • reproductive rights
  • domestic violence
  • economic parity

Dail Chambers | Kathleen Finneran | Pamela Garvey | Allison Hile | Kris Kleindienst | Joan Lipkin | Maria Guadalupe Massey | Stacey Newman | Summer Osborne | Mariah L. Richardson | Scott Sheperd | Jarek Steele | Joan Suarez | Ashley Tate | Mark Tiedemann | Elizabeth Tucker

Dail Chambers is a mother, artist and activist who exhibits and lectures nationally. She practices her studio art process in St. Louis Place, in north St. Louis. Her artwork is based in material meaning and women’s topics through an inquiry of self and family. Dail founded the Yeyo Arts collective, a group of five artists who opened Gya, a non profit community arts space that creates arts and culture experiences within the St. Louis region. She has received numerous awards for her work, including a Resolution from the City of St. Louis. She is a 2010 CAT Institute graduate. (back to top)

Kathleen Finneran is the author of the memoir The Tender Land: A Family Love Story (Houghton Mifflin, 2000; Mariner Paperbacks, 2003). Her essays have been published in various anthologies, including The Place That Holds Our History (Southwest Missouri State University Press, 1990), Seeking St. Louis: Voices from a River City (Missouri Historical Society Press, 2000), and The "M" Word: Writers on Same-Sex Marriage (Algonquin, 2004). She is the recipient of the Missouri Arts Council Writers' Biennial Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches creative nonfiction at Washington University. (back to top)

Pamela Garvey’s chapbook Fear (Finishing Line Press, 2008) was a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Competition.  Her poems and stories have been published in such journals as Margie, Esquire, Cimarron Review, RATTLE, The North American Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review.  Garvey has received many awards and honors including pushcart nominations and semi-finalist for the “Discovery”/The Nation prize.  Associate Professor of English at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, Garvey lives in the city of St. Louis with her husband and son and is the co-founder of Words on Purpose, a committee of socially concerned writers who organize a benefit reading series.  (back to top)

Allison Hile is a liberal, middle-aged white woman who had sex when she was in high school and got very, very lucky she did not get pregnant.  Now, the Executive Director of the Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership, Missouri’s organization for adolescent sexual health, she has a master’s degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis in human sexuality and is certified as a sexuality educator by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Allison worked in abortion care for many years and has always been a tireless advocate for comprehensive sex education.  She is a long-time wife, mother, gardener and scuba diver. (back to top)

Kris Kleindienst is a writer and co-owner of Left Bank Books where she has worked for 37 years. She is a former writer and columnist for The News Telegraph and The Vital Voice, St. Louis-based LGBT periodicals. In 2001, she won a Lambda Literary Award for an anthology she conceived and edited, This is What Lesbian Looks Like: Dyke Activists Take on the 21st Century.She lives with her partner, Jarek Steele, their two cats and two dogs, and sometimes their two sons. (back to top)


Joan Lipkin is a playwright, lyricist, director, educator, activist and social critic, who will go to great lengths in the pursuit of peace, and gender and racial equality. She conceived Sticks and Stones as a way for women and progressive men to protest against the war on women and escalating misogyny in the US and abroad. Joan's work has been featured on network television, National Public Radio, the BBC and the Associated Press and published in numerous anthologies including HERE COME THE BRIDES (Seal Press), BEST AMERICAN SHORT PLAYS (Applause), FEMINIST DISABILITIES STUDIES (University of Indiana), UPSTAGING BIG DADDY: DIRECTING THEATER AS IF RACE AND GENDER MATTER (University of Michigan), MYTHIC WOMEN: REAL WOMEN (Faber & Faber), OUT & ALLIED (Add Verb Publications), AMAZON ALL STARS (Applause), and her play THE STATE OF MARRIAGE was featured in American Theatre in March. Her work has been published and presented throughout the US, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and Australia. Joan specializes in creating work on topical issues and with marginalized populations including people with disabilities, LGBT youth and adults, women with cancer, people with Alzheimers and early stage dementia, college students and youth at risk. A James F. Hornbeck Ethical Humanist, and recipient of a Grand Center Visionary Award, and many other awards, Joan was recently honored as the 2012 Arts Innovator of the Year by the Arts & Education Council. (back to top)

Maria Guadalupe Massey, WORDwitch, Named Warrior Poet by WORD in Motion  2007 and Missouri Folk Artist 2008, Maria Guadalupe Massey explores her world through the art of sound, poetry performance, and by producing the occasional fiestas/festivals since 1991. Maria calls herself WORDwitch "in honor of healers through the ages who were falsely accused, suffered inquisitions, torture in every corner of the world, from Europe to Africa to the Americas, and also in honor of my father William John Massey who as a chiropractor in the 60's and 70's was looked upon with suspicion, even called witchdoctor." A Mestiza, Chicana, Mexican-Irish descent American performance poet, she calls herself "daughter of a mailorder bride" because her parent's courtship extended by post from Illinois to the desert lands of Chihuahua Mexico", because she is proud of her mother's bold move to the U.S.A. for love, and because she'd like to help dispel the shameful notion that these "Brides" sell themselves like prostitutes. (back to top)

Stacey Newman (Missouri State Representative, D-Richmond Heights) was first elected in 2009 to the state legislature and represents Clayton, Richmond Heights and Ladue.  She currently serves as the Chair of the House Progressive Caucus, and has been a loud voice for women’s reproductive justice, domestic violence protections, gender pay equity and voters rights.  Before elected, Rep. Newman was a founder and executive director of both Harriett’s List and the Missouri Women’s Coalition, working to elect progressive women candidates to statewide and legislative office.  She previously served as the Missouri women’s vote director for John Kerry for President and the Missouri Democratic Party.  Newman began her legislative career in 2000 fighting as an activist against concealed weapon legislation with the Million Mom March. (back to top)

Summer Osborne - You could describe her as the love child of Adele, Carole King, and Joss Stone. You could describe her music as folk soul, acoustic rock, and piano pop… with glimpses of jazz, blues, and roots music. But you cannot confine her to a genre. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel, you will enjoy yourself. Come join the adventure to feel better!! It is the evolution of the soul – one song at a time. Summer Osborne has been on stage since four, but has been performing her original tunes for fans since 2005. During that time, lyrics and melodies have been continuously flowing through her, resulting in five full albums and an EP. Her sixth full length album is due to drop in the summer of 2012. Summer Osborne’s only goal:  to change the world by changing people’s minds about themselves… she needs LOVE, MUSIC, and YOU. (back to top)

Mariah L. Richardson is a native of St. Louis. She received her BA in Communications from the University of New Mexico and an MFA from Smith College in Playwriting. Mariah began her acting career while in New Mexico. Afterwards, she returned to St. Louis and did two seasons with the St. Louis Black Repertory and three seasons with Metro Theater Company. Her HBO/New Writers Project solo performance show, all that… has toured throughout the country. Her play, Sistahs Indeed! was a main stage production at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park in 2008. In 2007, Metro Theater Company commissioned her to write Delilah’s Wish which won a Kevin Kline Award in 2011 and was published by Dramatic Publishing. Mariah is a budding filmmaker with several films under her belt. Her first short film 5 of Cups, premiered in The Center’s Film Festival in New York in 2004. Her third film, Beautiful Hands made the rounds in film festivals, being screened by Chicks with Flicks in New York City and The St. Louis International Film Festival Fall 2006. Her latest short, Lies We Tell Ourselves, was screened in the 2011 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and was in the St. Louis International Film Festival in November 2011. As well as actor and filmmaker, Mariah is also an accomplished poet having her work published in many anthologies and magazines such as Essence, Sinister Wisdom, and Harbinger as well as her own chapbook titled, Stronger Than My Fears.  She is an adjunct professor for St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. She has taught in after school programs, residences and homeless shelters from Los Angeles to New England. Mariah’s goal is to combine all the things she loves; poetry, performance, film, and music together to create work which inspires others to tell their own stories and to radiate the Creator Spirit within. (back to top)

Scott Sheperd is a writer, musician/composer, speaker. He has worked for years with people dealing with difficult situations including AIDS, cancer, MS, death of children, and substance abuse.He has spoken to over 100,000 people across the United States. He has had 6 books published and did a six part series for Public Television called "Who's In Charge?" He wrote a musical piece called "The Power of Hope" that was choreographed and performed in Uganda celebrating the courage of people who are oppressed. He had a musical called "The Journey" produced in Toledo, Ohio exploring a father and daughter rediscovering the meaning of their lives. (back to top)

Jarek Steele writes and sometimes even shows that writing to other humans when he’s feeling courageous.  He co-owns Left Bank Books with his life partner, Kris and shares a home with her, two dogs, two cats and a nephew with occasional cameo appearances by their two sons.  He grew up in Effingham, Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Creative Writing.  He is the president of the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance as well as a founding board member of the Left Bank Books Foundation, which raises money to promote literacy in the St. Louis area.  The foundation’s River City Readers program has provided books for children in St. Louis’ most underserved schools. He began his transition from female to male nine years ago, and values the time in his life spent being a daughter, son, wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, lover, friend, colleague and boss to the people around him that make up the vast wealth of his friends and relations. (back to top)

Joan Suarez went to work for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America as an Education Representative in 1962. She found her life-long niche as a labor and community organizer in San Antonio, Texas before returning to St. Louis, Missouri, as Southwest Regional Director and International Vice President for UNITE!, where she continued to serve until her retirement in 2002. She is currently the chair of the Missouri Immigrant & Refugees Advocates, co-chair of the Worker Rights Board, a project of Missouri Jobs With Justice, and Chair of the Candidate Review Committee of MOLLI's List, a state PAC that recruits and supports progressive women for elected office in the state of Missouri. (back to top)

Ashley L. Tate is the founder and artistic director of Ashleyliane Dance Company. She has been an instructor for National Dance Alliance, a cast member in a Sony Dreamworks motion picture, and a bodily-kinesthetic intelligence presenter for St. Louis ARCHS.  Ms. Tate has choreographed for basketball and football halftime shows, studio recitals, theatre productions, professional dance organizations, and national and regional dance competitions. She was a member of the Saint Louis Rams Football Cheerleaders, serving as a captain for two years. Ms. Tate is now a member of the Regional Arts Commission Citizen Review Panel, and a board member for Missouri Dance Organization.  Ms. Tate works for the Department of Music and is an adjunct instructor of dance at Washington University. Ms. Tate was a recipient of Grand Center's Emerging Artist Visionary Award. She is a winner of the Pulse On Tour Dance Convention Protege Scholarship and is signed with Clear Talent Group in LA.

Mark W. Tiedemann began publishing science fiction stories professionally after attending the Clarion Workshop in 1988. He has subsequently published over 50 short stories, numerous reviews and essays, and 10 novels.  Compass Reach was shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award in 2002 and Remains for the James Tiptree Jr. Award in 2006.  As well, he served on the board of the Missouri Center for the Book for 9 years, 5 as president, during which time he oversaw the creation of the Missouri State Poet Laureate post.  He is a lifelong resident of St. Louis.  He is represented by the Donald Maass Literary Agency. (back to top)

Elizabeth Tucker is the Publisher and Cofounder of ALIVE St. Louis magazine. She sat on the board of Planned Parenthood for over five years, and currently doing their media consulting. Elizabeth mentors young women and teens in a variety of capacities (Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jewish Light Teen Page and model coaching).  Elizabeth’s passion is helping young women find their voices. This year, she is proud to be a co-host of Promo’s annual event, Urbanaire. Promo is Missouri’s LGBT rights advocacy organization, which is working on important issues right now such as bullying and non-discrimination bills. When she’s not at a board meeting or brainstorming for an upcoming issue, Elizabeth is usually pursuing her other passions, such as writing and acting. (back to top)

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