Helen Proctor, Squad of Sisters organizer, discusses stopping sexual assaults, shutting off Kansas City’s fountains, binge reading and more in The Pitch‘s Questionnaire
Occupation: Supplemental instruction leader for Dr. Jim Sheppard’s Foundations of Philosophy class at UMKC. (I’m a TA, of sorts.)
I also manage a grassroots feminist organization in town called Squad of Sisters, a group of leaders dedicated to combating sexual violence in Kansas City.
Instagram handle: @helkatproctor
Hometown: Kansas City. I love where I live.
Current neighborhood: The historic Northeast
What I do: Study philosophy, help other people study philosophy, fight the patriarchy, help other people fight the patriarchy, sing in a band, write poems, and eat tacos, mostly. Sometimes noodles.
What’s your addiction? Staring at people’s faces even after they’ve noticed me staring. I can’t help it sometimes. I like faces.
What’s your game? The one where you put your hands on top of your friend’s hands and your friend tries to slap your hands and you try not to get your hands slapped. I’m not good at it, but it’s very exciting.
What’s your drink? Lime seltzer!
Where’s dinner? My house, Sunday nights, bring a side.
What’s on your KC postcard? The view of the downtown skyline from the Missouri River. Wowie!
Finish these sentences: “Kansas City got it right when …” The Kansas City Star’s garbage article “Women Can Take Action to Prevent [their own] Rape” was retracted within 24 hours due to community backlash. Way to go, team. #hellnaw
“Kansas City screwed up when …” Streetcar.
“Kansas City needs …” To cut it with the City of Fountains thing already. They’re not that great, no one cares, and oh yeah, the entire world’s in the midst of a freshwater crisis. Three billion people don’t have access to the water they need for drinking and bathing, but yeah, let’s make it shoot out of horses mouths for fun and take shits in it. If they have to stay, at least let us play in them.
“As a kid, I wanted to be …” An adult.
“In five years, I’ll be …” Myself.
“I always laugh at …” Dog memes.
“I’ve been known to binge watch …” More of a binge reader, actually. This week it was Darwin, Emerson, Schopenhauer, Thich Nhat Hanh.
“I can’t stop listening to …” The new Blood Orange album.
“My dream concert lineup is …” Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Destiny’s Child, and my band, Creature Power.
“I just read …” So many things I don’t know where to start. Human Nature and Conduct by John Dewey.
What’s your hidden talent? I can make you a delicious vegan version of literally anything you want to eat.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? No guilt. I love farting.
The best advice I ever got: “Trust the wisdom of people.” Thanks, Dad.
Worst advice? “Don’t make a scene.”
My sidekick? My partner, Ana. But sidekick sounds inferior. We’re equal sidekicks. Like, we’re both Batman. But nicer. We’re also not rich … actually, Robin’s cuter. We’re both Robin.
What is your spirit animal? I don’t have one because I’m not Native American.
Who is your hero? Audre Lorde.
Who (or what) is your nemesis? Industrialized animal agriculture
What’s your greatest struggle right now? Trying to remember what free time felt like.
My favorite toy as a child: This little stone bunny in my dad’s garden. It’s nose was broken. I loved it.
My dating triumph/tragedy? Dating men. I don’t know what was up with that.
My brush with fame: One time I said “spoopy” on KCTV Channel 5.
My soapbox: Catch me preachin’ on the Squad of Sisters Facebook page.
What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Probably something I didn’t have to apologize for.
Who’s sorry now? Connie Francis
My recent triumph: I made it all the way through “Girlfriend” at karaoke night without laughing. It wasn’t easy, and I would like to thank everyone who supported me on that journey.