A Houston Punk Band Wrote an Awesome Song About Microaggressions

A still from the video "This Stupid Stuff."

Musician Miriam Hakim was getting fed up with the discrimination she deals with everyday. As a Syrian-American woman who has spent her entire life in Texas, she experienced not only prejudice and hatred from strangers, but from authority figures and politicians. So she turned her frustrations into a punk song. She sings lead vocals in the Houston-based punk band Giant Kitty.

“This Stupid Stuff,” the title track off of the band's debut album which just came out on Innsbruck Records, is all about these microaggressions. In the new video for the song, daily microaggressions are represented by Post-It notes—as people go through their day, Post-It notes covered in slurs and assumptions start to cover their bodies. The song is an anthem for anyone and everyone who’s had to put up with frequent slights and systemic discrimination related to their identity.

“So many times, other people have told me to brush it off, be the better person, and keep my head down,” explains Hakim. “I've been told if someone is being prejudiced, it's worse for me to ‘make a scene’ and call them out on it than for the person to do it in the first place. I've watched people I love have to sacrifice their own mental and emotional well-being to keep the peace.”

Giant Kitty is a four-piece that also features guitarist Cassandra Chiles, bassist Glenn Gilbert, and drummer Trinity Quirk. In the video for “This Stupid Stuff,” band members and others find themselves covered in a plague of Post-It notes bearing phrases ranging from “lesbian haircut” to “terrorist.”

“We want to send a message that no one is imagining these things that people say and do to them and that the fact that it happens is terrible,” explains Hakim.

I asked Hakim to send over the lyrics of the song because there are so many powerful lines in here. Read them below!

“This Stupid Stuff” Lyrics:

Don't you dare cause a fuss, don't be one of those people

You have to earn respect and love just like the rest of us

Hey girl, you're gonna need thicker skin than what you've got

Haven't you heard you have to live in the world?

Take a little bit every day till you don't feel the burn

It'll never taste good but eventually you'll learn to swallow

Never mind that dog whistle, just be their exception

Just ignore your gut and peace is sure to follow

Strip yourself naked so they can't do it first

Nobody understands what you're even whining about

Take help the way they want and get your fill of poisoned words

Go ahead and cover up, see if you stop sticking out

Take a little bit every day till you don't feel the burn

It'll never taste good but eventually you'll learn to swallow

Never mind that dog whistle, just be their exception

Just ignore your gut and peace is sure to follow

There was a girl who stayed small and quiet

The spitting image of girl's platonic form

Until she'd sampled all this many venomed earth and

Found she couldn't stomach any more

I take a little bit every day, I just can't stand the burn

It tastes like something that I'll never learn to swallow

It's too late, I won't be anyone's exception

This kind of peace is just too fucking much for me to swallow

I take a little bit every day, I just can't stand the burn

It tastes like something that I'll never learn to swallow

It's too late, I won't be anyone's exception

This kind of peace is just too fucking much for me to swallow

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by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is Bitch Media's online editor. She's interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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