Everyone, grab some matches and get ready to burn down the patriarchy. Diddle Knabb, founder of the zine Fem Rag Lit Mag, is here today with tales of her (seriously adorable) pets and how staying mad has helped fuel her creative work, feminism, and political engagement. We also talk about art as a form of resistance and the next president's impact on writers.
All you need to know before we dive in: Diddle Knabb is the mother of dragons of chihuahuas. She lives in Chicago.
Tell us a little about Marvin, Salome, and your cat Biz. How did they come into your life?
marvin - muscular chihuahua - age perma-baby
marvin was born in the dew of a blossoming flower. we had moved into an apartment that allowed dogs so i was eager to get as many as i could. i wanted a gang of chihuahuas but that is “too many dogs.” bullshit, i know. marvin is what i refer to as a muscular chihuahua. meaning he is ripped and has a huge dong. i hate to say that about my son, but it’s true... his peen is thicker than his leg.
there is a drama in my family about who should own marvin. my dad claims that he saw marvin first and inquired about adopting him and that i snuck and wrote behind his back. this did not happen. the lengths people will go to win the love of my animals is disturbing, to say the least.
i didn’t ask my husband if it was cool if we got marvin because 1) who cares and 2) it was an emergency. i came across an ad about this tiny little pupper who was living in an alleyway for over 10 days and the person who found him needed to re-home like immediately so obviously i said, no questions asked, absolutely yes.
one time i was walking home from school and didn’t have my glasses on and i was about a block away from my apartment when i saw marvin running to greet me. i thought it odd that marvin was outside alone in the world and was about to tear jacob a new asshole for his negligence when i realized marvin was not marvin but a giant sewer rat.
so i see an ad for this poor chihuahua who is smaller than a rat who is living in an alleyway and i am supposed to not immediately rescue him?
i arranged for scrote to be dropped off the next morning at 9 a.m. and i told my huz at 8 a.m. SURPRISE WE R GET PUPPY lol. #yolo
marvin walked in and immediately took a shit right in front of us like ~welcome to hell~ and i love him.
salome - designer chiweenie - age 4
if you looked up drama in the dictionary, it would reroute you to sally’s facebook page – she doesn’t have a facebook page because dog fb pages are dumb but still. sally is my daemon and the love of my life. she is moody and has an attitude problem, but idfc, i love her. when she is mad at me, she sits on the opposite end of the room and stares at me until i notice that she hates my guts, and when i ask her what’s wrong, she looks the other way and pretends she can’t hear me. if she is really in a mood she will run to jacob when i call her and look over her shoulder at me to see that pain of rejection in my eyes. she’s ice cold. i respect it.
she really hates plastic grocery bags and pineapples. DO NOT leave a pineapple on the counter. ever.
we drove to bumblefuck, indiana (she is from indiana. awkward – i know! but the truth will set you free) to buy her and it was between her and nine other puppies. have you ever had someone empty a box full of puppies onto your lap? spoiler alert: i died. sally would not stop biting me and when the owner put down food all the other puppies ran off to get their kibbles and sally stayed by my side. the wand chooses the wizard. or something.
cat - runt of the litter - age no one cares (9 months)
why do people like cats? i don’t hate cats, but i don’t get it. they are like reject dogs. less nice and mean. this is not up for debate do not write to convince me. u r wrong.
ugh my cat’s name is biz and i don’t love him. one time i was eating a croissant and he walked up to me and just took a bite, like what the fuck is wrong with him?! what did i do in this life to end up with such a dud. people always tell me he is so pretty and i am like… yeah… totally.
he (so embarrassing) was the last kitten left at the pound and i felt bad for him so adopted him but let's not sugarcoat it: he is a reject. and he will not grow. he is so smol. my mom keeps asking me if biz is going to grow and how would i even know the answer to that and i don’t need this type of pressure in my life.
my son is obsessed with this cat and says stuff like OH BIZ, MY LITTLE BABY BOY! and it hurts my heart that my son is defective. who would pick the cat over marvin and sally?? he’s young. maybe there is still hope for him.
Do you have a favorite / least favorite pet?
sally had a hysterical pregnancy once. it was so upsetting. i had to make her a whelping box and she slept in this box all day and would not come out and wouldn’t socialize with anyone or answer her calls or texts and she was so moody because ~pregnancy~ and then she gave birth to ghost pups and everything went back to normal.
"They help me curb my thirst for blood."
Are your pets helping you take down the patriarchy y/n?
they help me curb my thirst for blood.
For readers who aren’t familiar with Fem Rag Lit Mag, would you talk a little about the project, what inspired it, and when the first issue drops?
fem rag began out of rage. lol
i was online and came across a story by brandon "follows and immediately unfollows people on twitter" diehl about his ex-girlfriend and what a slut she is and how he’d like to throw her out of the window of a seven-story building by her abnormally long ass hair.
cool story, bro.
i copied lines from his story and put them into a facebook status with notes on why what he was saying is problematic and just laughed at his bad writing. a bunch of other women had noticed the same theme in his writing. he likes to self-deprecate at the expense of women. that is not okay and i am not going to be chill while some privileged white dude builds cred by writing bullshit misogynist garbage pieces. so i yelled. a lot. and so did other women. his column was pulled and the internet either loved me or hated me. i lost friends who thought my witch hunt was unnecessary. haha, byeeeeeeeeee. *sips glass of male tears*
fem rag lit mag is a low-budget feminist garbage zine. chronicling incidents of casual misogyny and the normalization of casually abusive behaviors women experience daily is highly imperative in our mission as a press. fem rag is an all-inclusive feminist press that aims to give a platform to female / non-binary gender conforming artists. any loaded language or rhetoric is a reaction aimed at the cis, hetero men who find it in their hearts to constantly bombard us with photos of their penises and unwanted compliments and come-ons. here's to (castrating) the patriarchy!
the first issue of the zine is called volume 1: bless my hairy butt and i am so damn proud of it. it is beautiful. i put so much time into creating it. lindsay “famous chicago author babe” hunter gave me the idea for the name and the cover art was done by carabella sands. the work is majorly by women / non-gender identifying artists. it is spectacular.
the issue ships out this week and you can order a copy online by visiting our facebook page or website. it’s $12 an issue (including shipping) and paypal / venmo works as well (send to firstname.lastname@example.org).
i have an ongoing column called “diaperbaby of the day” where i post unsolicited advice, come ons, or dicks pics from men. if you have screenshots of a diaperbaby, send them my way!
in tandem with fem rag, i am also the co-reviver of the anti-flirt club.
"Here's to (castrating) the patriarchy!"
True or false: art is an effective form of resistance.
a lot of my work right now focuses on feminism and dismantling toxic masculinity. not even a year ago, men would tell me i will be famous because i am beautiful and that people will publish me because they want to fuck me. that i have a good voice, but is my husband okay with the stuff i am publishing? could be embarrassing for him, let's ask him first.
now men are terrified that i will rip their heads off and that is because of my art. be loud and unapologetic.
What do you think Tr-mp’s presidency will mean for writers and artists?
we will need to work extra hard to make sure this country does not go up in flames. he’s fucking voldemort. we cannot let him win.
"Now men are terrified that I will rip their heads off and that is because of my art. Be loud and unapologetic."
Now accepting any and all tips or ideas on how to survive the next four years. Want to take a shot?
let’s kill them. and by them, i mean white people. we had a good run and now it's time for us to die.
What are you writing about right now?
i am a columnist for gamut magazine and am writing a book that i don’t talk about because it is annoying to be 25-years old and tell people, “i am writing a memoir.”
richard thomas built a really cool thing with gamut. i highly recommend checking it out and if you like it, subscriptions are discounted for the month of december. you can read a spoiler column i wrote here.
A metaphor or simile for your pets?
*inserts photo of an asshole*