by: Nico Lang
Hello Kitty is the Japanese Mona Lisa. You never know what she’s thinking, and her inscrutability is part of her strength. Her secret is her weapon, and no can man or being can tame or conquer it.
Hello Kitty has no mouth, but it doesn’t mean she isn’t screaming. It doesn’t mean you cannot hear her roar. It doesn’t mean she won’t demand consent.
Hello Kitty doesn’t have anatomically accurate eyes, but her raised consciousness can see all.
Hello Kitty has amorphous, ill-defined fingers and won’t make you a sandwich. Her hand most often resembles a fist, all the better to smash patriarchy with.
Hello Kitty may look young, but she is wise beyond age. She’s old enough to have read bell hooks, Jessica Valenti and Jeanette Winterson and to tell you what she thinks about Judith Butler.
Hello Kitty can fly, and she’ll never be held down by the weight of the masculinist society around her, because her liberty frees her from patriarchy.
Hello Kitty appears sometimes as a head without her feline form, because she is so body positive that she transcends your limiting expectations of what a body should be. Like John Mayer, her power is bigger than her body.
Hello Kitty drapes herself in both pink and blue, because she rejects your concepts of normative gender.
Hello Kitty is a fierce femme who wears dresses and skirts to reclaim the tropes of traditional femininity and finds power and strength in her hyperfeminine image.
Hello Kitty is a child, a mother, a sinner and a saint, but she doesn’t let these labels define her. She does not feel ashamed.
Hello Kitty rides a swan, not because she believes that any creature should have dominion over another. She is taking him on a path to liberation. She is taking him on a path to Lillith Fair.
Hello Kitty has a pet cat but respects her identity. Kitty does not subjugate her: they are life partners in struggle; they are organizers; their fates are intertwined with the liberation of all; they are united as one.
Hello Kitty is told by society to be a carnivore and to feed on the death of others, but Kitty rejects the lies she has been fed by the capitalist food regime. She is a vegan and makes a mean gluten-free polenta stew. Kitty believes in pacifism, kisses and hugs.
Hello Kitty doesn’t have friends; Hello Kitty has comrades.
Hello Kitty wants to party, but only so she can celebrate the imminent demise of the system. Hello Kitty will throw you a Tea Party, but only one that ends in an anti-imperialist riot.
Hello Kitty is 38, but she is also virile and ageless—because ideas live longer than we do; ideas live on forever.
Hello Kitty says “Hello World” because she believes in the power of the people to unite in global struggle against the bourgeoisie and the military-industrial complex.
Hello Kitty does not endorse the capitalist co-opting of her image, especially to misappropriate her identity through upholding dated gender norms, but she does find the bows quite cute.
Hello Kitty’s cat holds the key to Kitty’s jewelry box, but only the revolution can open it; the movement is inside, waiting for your consciousness to free her.
Hello is an alarm clock, because she knows it’s time for you to wake up.
Hello Kitty is the 99%.
Note: This piece was written in a spirit of love and admiration for fierce feminists everywhere. I identify as a feminist and actually wrote this as a queer cookout in Logan Square. So, if you’re a feminist or an ally and you are wondering if this piece is meant to make fun of you, trust me. It isn’t.
Nico Lang is the Co-Creator and Co-Editor of In Our Words and a graduate student in DePaul University’s Media & Cinema Studies program. Lang is a Change Coordinator for LGBT Change, the Co-Founder of Chicago’s Queer Intercollegiate Alliance and a columnist for HEAVEMedia. At HEAVE, Nico writes a column on film called Found Footage and talks about nerd stuff on a weekly podcast called Pod People. Elsewhere in podcasting, Lang hosts Broad Shoulders, a monthly podcast for Chicago’s Live Lit community. Nico is also a contributor at Thought Catalog and the Huffington Post and has been featured in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, The New Gay, The Guardian and on their mother’s refrigerator. Follow Nico on Twitter @Nico_Lang or on the Facebook.