Print Edition: March 6, 2013
The epitome of feminine strength, Bif Naked toughed through chemo while still touring and, at the time, caring for a husband at home.
Now she is often asked to be motivational speaker due to her resilience throughout cancer treatment. Bif describes the treatment as the best thing that could have happened to her, mainly because of the understanding she gained of other women, including herself.
Always on tour before treatment, Bif says she was very isolated. She never ventured into the bar scene, and was surrounded by mainly men – whether members of the heavy metal bands she played with, the crews or her own band members.
“I didn’t realize how isolating it was until I was in cancer treatment with all these other women,” Bif explains.
In today’s world, women often work thanklessly, raising children, working full-time jobs, cooking, cleaning and caring for others. Bif doesn’t make light of this, believing in the power of all women.
“They do it with love, because it’s how we’re built,” says Bif. “Women are resilient; women do it all because they can.”
At UFV’s International Women’s Day event on Friday, the documentary Miss Representation will also be shown at 3 p.m. before Bif Naked speaks.
Lisa Morry is UFV’s Faculty and Staff Association status of women representative, and was the organizer for the event.
“It talks about media and body image and how woman aren’t taken seriously,” Morry explains. “If we portray woman as being objects, how can we take them seriously in business and government?”
Bif says she’s concerned about how she may have negatively affected women in the past.
“There’s part of me that has to come forth as a women and go, oh my god, how did I contribute in the half-talk? How did I contribute to making anybody feel excluded or making myself, even portraying myself, as a sexual person – you know? Should I apologize for that? Do I feel guilty about it? I have to take responsibility for my share, for my part in that.”
On the other hand, when it comes to a mosh pit, with people puking or blowing snot on you, Bif says many of the women would take off their shirts just like the men did.
“You were in a bra, all the guys had all their shirts off. It was a sweaty mosh pit, and we were running around in our bra or our equivalent. And there were some girls with their shirts off too, that said, ‘Oh yeah, screw you, your shirt’s off, my shirt’s off,’ and it was totally not sexual.”
There is, however, a problem with this, Bif explains.
“In our society and in our culture, no matter what, women will be sexualized, regardless of what they’re wearing, or what they’re doing, or what the original intention is behind it in that moment.”
“That’s nothing we really can control. What we can control is our level of shame,” says Bif.
Bif will be talking more about women in our society on Friday, March 8. Meanwhile, she encourages everyone to celebrate the women in their life, even if in simple ways.
“I just hope that they really embrace the celebration that it’s for, you know? International Women’s Day. Just Google it, go online, get educated.”
Miss Representation is free for everyone, and plays at 3 p.m. on Friday in B101 on the Abbotsford campus. For refreshments and to see Bif Naked lecture afterward, a ticket is required. Tickets are free for students with student ID, and $10 for the general public. You can pick the tickets up in the library or the Faculty and Staff Association office, in room B377 on the Abbotsford campus.