Most people couldn’t describe themselves as Radical Punk feminists, but 11th grader Ireland Hamner is not most people.
Highlights: What are you passionate about?
Hamner: Radical Punk Feminism, it’s like a movement. Specifically, it’s a branch of third wave feminism that was heavily influenced by punk subculture.
Highlights: So you’re a punk feminist?
Hamner: On my way. I’m, like, really influenced by it though. I need to get more loud and proud.
Highlights: What will you say?
Hamner: Anything. I just want my voice out there fighting for gender equality.
Highlights: Where does the punk tie in?
Hamner: Like, my biggest influence is Kathleen Hanna and she was in these crazy girl bands. All her lyrics are about feminism. She totally gets her feminist rage out while yelling and it turns into pretty rad punk music and, at the same time, it’s beautiful.
Highlights: Would you say that encompasses what you want to do as a feminist punk?
Hamner: I really want to start a girl punk band or something lame like that, because it sounds like it would be so fun and cool; and I’m not super passionate about anything else other than feminism.
Highlights: What instrument would you play in your punk band?
Hamner: I can’t sing and don’t have enough confidence to be a front woman, so I would play the only instrument I know, which is guitar. But I can’t read music so I don’t really “know” guitar, so I would also have to probably learn how to play the guitar the real way.
Highlights: Would you say you were a punk before you were a feminist?
Hamner: Not really. I’ve always been pretty weird, but my dad is pretty punk and I listened to, like, a lot of Courtney Love and Dead Milkmen while growing up and I’ve always just liked the music music.
Highlights: On a separate note — what would you be if you could be anything?
Hamner: Honestly, I would be an accountant.
Highlights: Why is that?
Hamner: Although most people think I’m super stupid, I’m insanely good at math. Me doing math is like when Zach Galifianakis counts cards while playing blackjack in “The Hangover”, that’s how funny it is to my friends. I love office jobs because you get to sit in one place all day and, like, have your own little environment, and it’s like just basic organization after the math stuff, and that can be super easy.