19 February 2009


The Ninjas would like to express full solidarity with and support for Take Back NYU! and their occupation of Kimmel Center for Student Life. I encourage all you Ninjas in the Washington Square area to stop by the rally today at noon, or at any point during the occupation. They need all the support they can get!

More information:
NYU is the latest university to join a wave of global student occupations in the name of student empowerment. The Kimmel Center for University life is official a reclaimed space.

What you can do:
Come support the occupation!
Send a letter to the administration in solidarity
Send an e-mail to your professors, peers, listservs, facebook groups you name it! Tell the world.
Have your parent write a letter or e-mail to the university
Print & distribute the following demands from:


Love and Rage

If anyone picks up any media hits re: Ninjas at the rally, send them our way! The Ninjas are out and about!
And keep it the fuck up TBNYU! You are all doing a FANTASTIC and NECESSARY thing.

First and foremost, the actions taken by the Ninjas at the rally this morning SHOULD NOT be dominating the conversation surrounding the occupation, either here or anywhere else. I'll sit down with anyone and argue to the death about our tactics and whether they were feminist or not (even if I think it's silly and ridiculous), but that's not what the day or the action was about. If you are reading this because of something you read or saw related to the occupation, then please turn your attention to TakeBackNYU! because they are still occupying and still need support from the outside.

If you want advice about how to support from here, first check out the TBNYU link above.
Here's a letter to John Sexton (prewritten) that you can sign and email http://takebacknyu.com/2009/02/20/letter-to-nyu-administration/
If you're in the New York area, there is a rally outside Kimmel at Midnight, and the more people the better. Also, there are a lot of people who have been out there for hours who I'm sure would appreciate some blankets, or at least a big bear hug.

There are at least 2 Ninjas on the inside right now (myself included, as of 9 tonight), plus 50 something other rad radical men and ladies. Think happy feminist thoughts for us!

Don't worry, we'll be returning to your regularly scheduled radical feminist blogging ASAP. If you just tuned in today since the rally, scroll through and read and if you have thoughts about our actions or this occupation, etc, we would LOVE to post them here so check the sidebar about how to submit to us. All emails, including dissenting ones, will be posted.


  1. Love and Rage....AND TOPLESS WOMEN!

  2. The Press?

  3. also, did you guys REALLY think that was necessary? I mean you're going to get a lot of attention, maybe, but fur reals?

    boobs are okay too

  5. Misquoted on the WSN Blog, boo hoo.
    My favorite part: "for more information on these "ninjas"..."

    Re: was that necessary?
    What was unnecessary about it? The occupation was an important step toward budget disclosure for the NYU community. It was radical, inflammatory, and NECESSARY to draw the university's attention. Our actions were in solidarity with theirs. Radical action to provoke community attention. Because, honestly, I have NO shame about my body (and I'm sorry if seeing naked women makes you feel shame, or feel like they should feel shame, because that's absurd), and I want to know what NYU is so ashamed of that they are cloaking their budget in secrecy and deceit. Exposure til Disclosure was a statement that certainly not all people will agree with, but it was a creative representation of what we, the Ninjas (not affiliated with TBNYU!), believe needs to be addressed by the NYU community and administration. And I believe it IS necessary to express yourself creatively, without shame, and loudly.

  6. http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/02/nyu_the_protests_get_serious.html
    Motherfuckers keep misquoting, but NEW YORK MAGAZINE YO
    And expect a pretty rage-y Ninja post about the response.

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  8. So wait a private organization should disclose their employees' salaries because your tuition pays them? (I'm not quoting you directly, but that seems to be a common view from the protesters). By that logic, when you go take your car to be fixed at the dealership my dad works for, they should tell you his salary because you are paying them. By that logic, ALL salaries should be public. Unfortunately, that is NOT how it works. My mom works at a payroll company and isn't even allowed to tell me which companies are their clients, let alone individuals' salaries.

    But if you get naked when you're mad about something, by all means, get ANGRY!!!! And then post more pictures, you're kinda cute.

  9. Yeah... I was about to say. "Necessary?"Why does the dialogue concerning women's exposed bodies always have to encompass language of morality and
    "necessity"? Revealing yourself always implies crossing some imaginary line into crazy town, when really the issue isn't that showing our bodies may be unnecessary, the issue is that when confronted with blatant and loud self worship, society feels uncomfortable and quickly ameliorates the situation by deeming it "unnessesary." I say, if Nadia and Keri want to stand outside of Kimmel and scream for what they believe in, proud of their naked bodies, attracting attention only to smash preconceptions of femininity once people look more into The Ninjas, then FUCK YEAH.

    Live Loudly,


  10. I really don't understand how anyone who calls themselves a feminist could think that it's okay to sexually exploit women for attention. Your Nudity isn't making any statements about femininity or the cause of TBNYU, it's simply a tool for attention, which I get that you want, but that's not the way to do it. It doesn't gain you respect in any of your causes. It makes you into "those topless chicks" and "my kind of feminist". I don't object because I think women should be ashamed of their bodies, shame has nothing to do with this. You're sexually exploiting yourselves as women so that you can be an advertisement for a cause. If some corporation was doing this type of sexploitation you'd be offended by it, but because you're "radicals" getting the word out for your cause you think it's ok. But in the end you're discrediting yourselves as "feminists", your beliefs, and the goals of TBNYU. As a woman and a feminist I am appalled by your "protests".

  11. I won't be replying to all comments, and I will be collecting my thoughts and posting about it eventually, but I do want to respond to the charge against my feminism reallll briefly.

    I take big ol' issues with people who try to tell me I'm not a feminist because I choose where to display my naked body and why. That is choice, agency, and freedom. I didn't force anyone to participate. The women who were involved were all involved of their own free will. Nudity has historically been used in Feminist protest as a declaration against how the female form is "supposed" to be seen and used.
    It was not senseless or ill conceived irrational nudity. I feel silly even defending this, and I feel bad if it co-opted any attention. It was putting action to words. I refuse to defend how I am or am not a feminist because I chose to bare my breasts in public.

  12. THANK GOD KER. I needed you to do that for me.

  13. you needed her to not respond to any of the points I made, for you?

  14. Mad props to freewilliamsburg.com for being the first people to quote our fucking sign right

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  16. Flat Chested Tits! Comeon use a girl with a bigger rack!

  17. Trying to get your point across by feeding into chauvinism is the most backwards-ass thing you can do as feminists. Look at the comments you're gathering from the guys...negative comments about your chest. You wonder why everyone was misquoting you? They were too busy staring at your boobs to pay attention to the message. They couldn't care less about TBNYU's demands when two sets of boobs were in their faces.

    I hate to rag on fellow women but I have to say this is a tad disappointing.

  18. I'm not going to not do something just because of the comments I am going to get from guys. Because you know what being a feminist ninja is about? Saying FUCK YOU to anyone and everyone that want to say something derogatory, mean-spirited and sexist about my tits, 'cause you know what? It feels good to be naked. It feels good to love my naked body screaming FUCK YOU into the face of every ass hole guy I'm supposed to be embarrassed by. I'm not embarrassed nor will I EVER not do anything simply because I'm afraid that some idiot on a blog is going to say shit about my chest.

  19. so here's the thing about today.

    you managed to make an event about solidarity into one entirely about yourselves.

    all day long i and my friends had to stand outside and answer questions from the press about your breasts, long after you got cold and left. you undermined our fight today, and it turns out it was all self-promotion for this blog.

    i am hurt and embarrassed by your actions.
    this sort of behavior fuels negative stereotypes of student activists, it's amateur and juvenile, not to mention selfish.
    save it for Bonnaroo, you guys.
    we had the words, but you purposely dragged attention to yourselves. we are smarter than that, but that's not the message you sent to the press. our expression of solidarity was one that had to be treated with care and consideration, threats of expulsion for the students above seemed to play no part in how you chose to represent us all.
    as a NYU student i was really hurt by your actions and hope you can find constructive ways to organize and thoughtfully go about creating change in the future.

  20. These young women have earned tribute and a right to be proud of their efforts. While the occupation and demands of TBNYU are open to a variety of critiques, they seem to reflect well-intentioned goals, and one can hope that they will help enliven student recognition of protest's value. Regardless, these two women used a strategy that involved humor and courage to enliven interest. It always takes courage to expose oneself in a way that you know will expose you to criticism and ridicule. Those who have criticized them for not being feminist or being too sexual might think a bit deeper. Were it two attractive young men stripped to their waists, what would people say? Two attractive young women should be able to do the same without having to suffer challenges to their political integrity or be chastised as practicing sexual exploitation by others who conceive themselves feminists. Those of us who lived through and participated in the student activism of the 60s and 70s can recognize the creative, humorous spirit that makes this effort a good strategy.

    The misplaced criticisms of the women’s feminist correctness (their display in service of a political end being much more consistent with an agenda of full equality for women than the suggestion that they should be more sexually reserved) and of the quality of their bodies (inappropriate however they appeared, but silly in the face of them both being highly attractive by conventional standards) provide strong support that their actions were well-conceived. They reveal unfortunate limits in people’s acceptance of women’s freedom to act in ways equal to that of men, limits that span the political spectrum and that need to be addressed.


  21. Jane,
    I was very struck by your comment, because drawing attention away from TBNYU was definitely a major concern. This was NOT meant to be "blog promotion" in any way. We wanted to express support for TBNYU as a group as opposed to as individuals.

    I do resent having my personal commitment to TBNYU!'s demands attacked, as though I was purposefully trying to draw attention away from it for my own gain. I entered Kimmel 3rd floor later in the afternoon and occupied until 2AM, facing the same risks as the other students in the occuptation. I made that phone call to my mom telling her I mighttt get arrested. I had very good friends inside and outside the occupation, facing down the police, organizing support, standing in the fucking cold for hours. The intention of my protest was to draw visibility to the action, not my group or self, and I do believe that happened.

    I suggested the action ONLY after checking with a friend and member of TBNYU! that it would be appropriate. When asked to stop, we stopped. We were there for a short period of time, and if approached by the press about our actions, our responses were entirely about how they were intended to support TBNYU (nothing about any agenda we might have).

    I intended to use this blog as advertisement for the TBNYU! occupation, not the other way around. The facebook group for the blog has over 200 members, many of them NYU students, and the poor things were bombarded with messages from me for support and action for the occupation all day. I added the latest edit on this post to clarify that our actions were about TBNYU, NOT us.

    We had no intention of undermining the fight, and we didn't. When I walked out of Kimmel at the end of the night, there was still a crowd of hundreds of students standing in support, and not one of them was there for tits. Our intent was to draw visibility to the event in a creative way that represented how we perceive the university's behavior. I think that was successful.

  22. Well, Keri, as you know, I side with Jane on this one. I'm all for activism and and resistance, but I want it to be done in a smart way with a tight, clear, consistent message.

    Showing your tits absolutely compromised the credibility of the protest. It dumbed down and muddled the message. It got people talking about your chest, not about budgets. "Amateurish" and "juvenile" are spot-on descriptions. I don't think you did this for the sake of self-promotion, but the very thoughtlessness of your act was selfish.

    And they didn't need your help to get attention. They really didn't. The media was going to be there regardless. But you were there, so you were the ones quoted and linked to and photographed, not people like Jane.

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