The Nikki Wiki: All About Nikki Craft
Nikki Craft has lived a notorious life of creative political activism including performances of street theater and acts of civil disobedience. In addition to taking on sexual abusers of children and the Naturist Movement for their alliance with child molesters and incest perpetrators, she has confronted corporate pornographers, "beauty industry" pimps, and social libertarians. Nikki has a long history of challenging oppressive conventional mores, summed up in one of her many group's names: NO STATUS QUO. She has become internationally recognized for her politically courageous demonstrations and unprecedented, dramatically outrageous street-theatre over the past several decades.1 She is also known as a radical feminist who has worked through the so-called Second and Third Waves, though she has said, "My politics are much broader than that." Over the last thirty-five years, she has been a maverick grassroots political activist, visual artist, and writer who is known for her ground-breaking and ingenious approaches to challenging a broad spectrum of social, economic, environmental, and political injustices. She is a radical environmentalist who believes catastrophic climate change does exist, that polar bears and bees are headed for extinction perhaps in our lifetime, and that cell phones were wrongly approved before proper testing and that they put out electromagnetic pollution that is dangerous to all life on this planet.
Since the mid-1970s, Craft has protested against the stultifying views of femininity promulgated in sexist, racist beauty pageants and has documented and resisted the racist misogyny of pornography. She was one of the first feminists to defy nudity laws by insisting that women who chose to do so should be able to go shirtless in public, thereby rejecting the premise that the publicly exposed breast should be reserved for male consumerism and voyeurism. She has also been both a participant in the Naturist movement and an investigator of sex offenders within Naturist and nudist environments.
Her activism has always been strategically powerful, employing her distinctively witty and wicked sense of humor [ref SJM]. Sometimes with regard and often with utter humorlessness, Nikki Craft has been called many things including the following monikers, terms and adjectives: the b and c words (too many times to count), of course; irrational; stupid; obnoxious; an audacious prankster; provocative; incendiary; impetuous; blatant; brilliant; awesome; little miss naughty; sassy; saucy; wickedly witty; a firebrand; a goddess; the devil; a bad ass; an outlaw; the queen of photoshop; a female charles mason; she has been told she "puts the Civil Liberty in ACLU" and last but not least named: a one woman wrecking machine out to right the wrongs for the animals who can't speak for themselves! To name only a few...
Civil Disobedience with a media focus
Over the decades she has been arrested 50 times for acts of civil disobedience. For these intentional confrontations with the laws which undergird an inhumane status quo, she has been recognized by numerous academic experts on the subject; they regard her work as noteworthy when teaching various approaches to utilizing civil disobedience. By 1990, after the stupidification of the increasingly conglomerated media, she realized utilizing them to communicate the real harm of social injustice was a waste of time. By that time, though, the Internet was available and this communication tool gave her an unregulated environment in which she could maintain appropriate control over the content of her own published work.
Childhood and Early Life
She was raised by a feminist mother who subscribed to Redstockings and other early feminist publications, keeping them on the family coffee table, when Craft was in high school. She also kept a copy of The Joy of Sex tucked under her bed. Her mother protested against discriminatory advertising in her local newspaper. Craft is not only grateful to her mother for bringing her into the world life, but has attributed her political perspective and her flare for creativity, politically and otherwise, to her mother. Regarding matters of sexuality, from an early age her mother answered all questions directly and honestly; curiosities were welcomed without repression and physical pleasure was never associated with shame. In the mid-1950s, in Palo Alto, California, at about the age of seven, Craft learned how to play chess. At around that same time she also decided not to ever have children and she has never wavered on this decision. It was also in the 1950s that she made the decision not to get married.
When Craft was in the 10th grade in 1965, she refused to stand up to recite the pledge of allegiance and would not attend football pep assemblies. She later came to understand this rebellion as resistance to a type of mob mentality, sometimes expressed as U.S. Nationalism. In high school her "major" (required) was Home Economics.
That same year she was beaten with a mimosa limb by her father for wanting to learn about evolution rather than attending a Christian church and from that time on she became a Unitarian. After that physical assault, Craft began running away and it was during one of those escapes from home that she was raped at knife point in a drainage ditch not far from home by the adult male. The night after her rape was spent in solitary confinement in a juvenile facility--which has since been under investigation for poor conditions and cruelty against children: she slept on a pile of donated clothes with rats crawling around on the floor around her. She was held in confinement there longer than her rapist was held in jail. At the request of the prosecutor she took a lie detector test which confirmed that she was raped. However the District Attorney declined to prosecute, telling Craft's mother that since she had been a runaway, and since there was some question about whether she was a "virgin", that the case would not likely end in a conviction. That same rapist was later convicted for multiple sex abuse counts after he raped his younger sister and broke his mother's arm with a belt buckle. Craft wrote an article about these events entitled "I was a teenage incorrigible".
On Labor Day Weekend in 1969--two weeks after Woodstock, at the age of 19, Craft attended the Texas International Pop Festival and skinny-dipped for the first time in Lewisville, Texas. It was also in the late 1960s that she attended her first demonstrations supporting legalized abortion in Austin, Texas. During this period, Craft almost missed attending her first anti-rape conference because she would have preferred to stay home and get stoned. At the urging of her mother, she instead went to the conference and it was there, for the first time, that she understood the political meaning and social ramifications of sexual assault against women. Until that time she had not understood how common rape was, and how many women lived in fear.
In the mid-1970s Craft began being concern with health, reading about nutrition, riding bicycles for thousands of miles (some of that time with an "Impeach Nixon" bumper sticker on her bicycle), going to health food stores, doing Kundalini yoga and for approximately 15 years swam a mile most days of the week; for several of those years, to the end of the Santa Cruz pier and back in 55 to 60 degree water, and often (against the current) in the Sacramento River while living in Rancho Cordova. She came very close to drowning three times, once after distance swimming and getting hypothermia in Santa Cruz, once while swimming at dusk, at Pfiefer beach in Big Sur and once in thigh deep water in a riptide in Hawaii. She attributes this outdoors activity to a strong body and mind, and the aerobic exercise to be a source of stamina and energy as well as a major contributor to creative thought and action, fundamental good health and relative balance considering a life of hard work, financial poverty and challenging high stress situations. [tt will rework this]
In Spring of 1970 Craft took part in the first Earth Day by picking up over 20 large plastic bags of trash in East Dallas.
In 1970 in Dallas, Texas Craft worked for months to obtain 3,000 names, addresses, phones numbers and signatures on McGovern-Hatfield Amendment petitions to stop the Vietnam war. The petitions were turned in the night before the deadline to a Jed Riffe who ran a Dallas peace group. [Ref. 3 audio tape with jed]
In 1972 Craft drove a white 1962 chevrolet convertable and wrote down the drivers side with indelible black spray paint "Destroy the Automobile Before It Destroys You Demand Mass Transit NOW! She wrote a play to be used in a street action at Lee Park and tried to arrange to blow up her car as part of the performance. The Dallas police refused the permit even though the Richardson Fire Dept had agreed to allow their practice area to be used for the explosion and demolition of the automobile. (CITE: published July 1985 article.) For decades she had a bumper sticker on her car that said "Nationalize The Oil Industry" and still wears a button she has had since the 1980s that says "Tax Big Oil".
Circa 1972 She was almost arrested by Richardson Texas vice department for showing part of the New York Women's Film Festival that had been censored on International Women's Day at the college she was attending. (write out fully, document date and CITE articles)
In 1975, she presented the Rockwell International Board of Directors with naked dolls splashed with blood-colored paint to protest their B-1 bomber called The Peacemaker. Her action was covered on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. [photo (left) taken the day of the Rockwell action.]
In 1975, Craft founded Women Armed For Self Protection (WASP), which advocated armed self-defense for women and retaliation against rapists by their victims. In 1976, Craft co-founded the Kitty Genovese Women's Project when they posed as sociology students under the pretense of doing "statistical study on violent crimes" and compiled, pre-computerization, on index cards, the names of every indicted sex offender in Dallas County from 1959 to 1975. A year later 25,000 copies of a newspaper listing all 2,100 indictments, 1700 of which were multiple offenders, was distributed throughout Dallas. On March 8, International Women's Day, the group read the names over local community radio KCHU for 13 hours. The same year she wrote and recorded the Rape Song about Inez Garcia and Joan Little.
Craft was one of the first women to organize public protests against beauty pageants. In summer of 1975 Craft organized her first anti-pageant action in Dallas, Texas at the Miss Texas Beauty Pageant, where the protestors threw raw steak onto the stage during the bathing suit contest. In 1976 she enhanced a billboard by changing the "Miss" to "Myth America," which was covered in the Dallas Morning News and Parade Magazine.
In 1976 Craft attended the Bicentennial protests in Washington DC and Philadelphia. [Craft, left, holding "Don't Tread On Me" flag.]
In 1979, Craft helped organize the first Myth California Anti-Pageant in Santa Cruz, California. In 1980 Craft joined with Ann Simonton and others, and over the next nine years committed various acts of protest, including throwing raw meat on the stage and pouring the blood of raped women across the entry way. One year, three men locked arms on stage and chanted "Men Resist Sexism! Men Resist Sexism!" preventing the crowning until they were dragged away[add photo]. There were many arrests, and each year the crowds grew larger at the anti-pageant protests which later resulted in the Miss California pageant leaving Santa Cruz. The protests continued in San Diego and in 1988, after the pageant left Santa Cruz and moved to San Diego, an anti-pageant infiltrator won the local pageant and advanced to the state finals where she unveiled a banner from her bra that read "Pageants Hurt All Women." An award-winning documentary called "Miss or Myth" examines these protests and Craft's role in starting them.
In the early 1980s Craft became a ceramist at UCSC. One year she made 500 handthrown pieces and signed them all "Stop Violence Against Women."
In 1980, she created the Preying Mantis Women's Brigade. In retaliation for publishing especially violent pornography, and as an experiment to see what citizens in a community could do , Preying Mantis took The Porn Machine and held a press conference in Los Angeles at Hustler's headquarters. Preying Mantis called for destruction of Huslter's on newstands and over the next years organized numerous actions to remove Hustler magazine from local liquor stores. In the first 12 months they succeeded in getting Hustler removed from 28 stores in the Santa Cruz area. These actions were documented weekly in City on a Hill Press, the University of Santa Cruz campus newspaper. Preying Mantis bestowed the M.U.S.H. award (Merchants United to Save Hustler), a fifteen inch golden phali that ejaculated Cream of Wheat onto a display of Hustler images, in public presentations to the stores who continued to sell Hustler. 1 2
On March 31, 1980, Craft entered the UCSC Special Collections library and destroyed The Incredible Case of the Stack O' Wheats Murder print reproductions by pouring chocolate syrup on their torn pieces. At that time she released an explanatory statement, ''In Defense of Disobedience''. Months later she donated another set of prints, identical to the one she destroyed. She was arrested for felony conspiracy and malicious mischief, but charges were later dismissed. She was later nominated for a chancellor's award for "significant contribution to campus understanding of ethical principles" by her arresting officer, the provost of her college and the then mayor of Santa Cruz and [****supply citation] students. The action received widespread press coverage, was reviewed in art journals, and was documented in Diana Russell's book ''Femicide''.
In 1981, Craft formed the Cross Your Heart Support Network and organized numerous shirt-free rights demonstrations after she was arrested on a San Cruz beach for refusing to put her shirt on after being ordered by a state park ranger. Over a period of several years, members, including Craft, were arrested on state beaches in numerous demonstrations. During one of these demonstrations, they marched to the Santa Cruz police station. In August 1984 while sunbathing at the Cape Cod National Seashore Craft was again arrested for refusing to put on her shirt. She later organized a class action suit funded by the Naturist Society against the Federal government, which manages the Seashore.
In 1981, Craft was arrested, along with Ann Simonton and others, for pouring their own blood ("the blood of raped women") across the entry way of the San Jose Miss Nude Pageant. She also published the Open Letter to Men Who Say They Believe in Freedom and Equality.
In 1981, and again in 1988, Craft was arrested during her duties as Myth California, in a neon green evening dress and foil crown, at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant while protesting against the proliferating use of nuclear power in the USA.
During the 1983 "Weight Slavery" Myth California protest, Craft vomited Kelloggs cornflakes and Nestle Crunch bars (sponsors of the pageant) during a street theatre performance, in order to bring about public awareness about bulimia and eating disorders.
ADD: Corporate Hall of Shame action, San Francisco [expand].
1983 Craft kicked a dangerous nicotine addiction and considers it was one of the major accomplishments in her life.
In 1983 her sister, Darlene (photo on right), committed suicide in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 1983 Craft founded the antipornography group Citizens for Media Responsibility. During the next year and a half, Craft and Dr. Melissa Farley organized the National Rampage Against Penthouse which resulted in hundreds of arrests of women and men across the country to protest Penthouse magazine's publication of what they called violent Asian pornography. That same year she founded "Meredith Stockholders Against Penthouse" in Des Moines, Iowa to protest Meredith printing the magazine. The following year, Meredith Corporation stopped printing Penthouse magazine. Craft was arrested 16 times for acts of civil disobedience, along with many others, in eight different states over the next year and a half. [Add CFMRWL Statement of Purpose plus itemizations about arrests.]
In March 1986 Craft and eight other women were arrested in Chicago, Illinois after chaining themselves in front of the Playboy Foundation demanding that Hugh Hefner "get naked" and pose in his own publication.
In June, 1986 she was arrested in Rochester New York as part of the Rochester Topfree Seven. In 1992, after six years the women were acquitted.
In 1988 Craft officially disaffiliated from the naturist movement due to an issue of Clothed with the Sun, when Lee Baxandall published a sexualized centerspread [***add scanned images] of numerous photos of a woman, and also because of Baxandall's intention to sign onto an amicas brief in behalf of Douglas Oakes after child pornographer and pedophile attorney Lawrence Stanley approached the nudists and naturists convincing publishers it was in their best legal interest. At that time she and six of the eleven plaintiffs, only hours before a high court ruling, withdrew from the case Cape Cod Naturist Society lawsuit due to feminist concerns about the emphasis on First Amendment rights for nudists and naturists, with gender equality presented as a lesser concern or disregarded altogether by The Naturist Society and their lawyer. [Ref. 5., 6., 7.,]
1989 Write up action we organized against Dow Chemical sponsoring Earth Day in Lansing Michigan. (publish leaflet)
Criticism of nudist/naturist movement
1990s and onward
In the early 1990s, for approx four years, Craft published an irregular newsletter called The Iconoclast, which reported on connections between the nudist/naturist community, child pornography, and pedophiles. By this time, she had abandoned both nudism as a movement and the political struggle for shirt-free rights for women, maintaining a focus on men's institutionalized dominance, including sexual violence against children and women.
In May 1990, Craft spent 23 days in jail for tearing up four copies of Esquire magazine on a Bellingham, Washington|Bellingham, WA mall bookstore, to protest its cover story, Your Wife: An Owner's Manual, which included articles the magazine claimed were "humorous" about domestic violence and murder. [***expand about being arrested for throwing Sugar Babies in the Bellinham movie theater showing a sexually violent film called Kill Me Again where a woman created a fantasy of her own death. Also expand about Bellinham beauty pageant protests and add photos.]
In 1992 Craft and others confronted Changing Men, and other profeminists for their alignment with pedophiles and founded REPKA, Regional Pedophile Killer Association, a group that satirized the adult-on-male children organization NAMBLA, and advocated fantasy groups to discuss killing pedophiles. [expand]
In 1992, Diana E. H. Russell dedicated her book ''Femicide'' to Craft and a partial description of some of her work is found in Russell's book Making Violence Sexy: Feminist Views on Pornography. In 1997 Dworkin dedicated her book Life and Death to Craft.
In 1995, the feminist journal ''On The Issues'' published Craft's article entitled Busting Mister Short Eyes about a naturist child sexual abuse|child rapist sentenced to 30 years in prison, partly as a result of Craft's advocacy.
In 1996 she opened the Andrea Dworkin Online Library; in April of 2005 the Andrea Dworkin Memorial Website for supporters of Andrea Dworkin; and in 2006, on the one-year anniversary of Andrea Dworkin's death, the Andrea Dworkin Audio and Video Archive.
In 2000, Craft and D.A. Clarke organized Feminists for Ralph Nader and campaigned for Nader's presidential bid.
In 2001 she took a stand against the war in Afghanistan and called upon her feminist colleagues to do the same in A Call on Feminists to Protest the War Against Afghanistan.
In 2005, she organized "Hustling the Left" website, criticizing leaders in leftist and progressive movements who published articles, interviews and expressed public cooperation with Larry Flynt and his magazine, Hustler. The website took its name from a June 2005 article by feminist Aura Bogado, who protested the promotion of Flynt's support by the anti-war group Not in Our Name.
In late 2006 and early 2007, due to positive changes in diet, living as close to Dr. John McDougall's diet as possible, an increase in exercise (including briskly walking three to seven miles per day), and much loving support from close friends and family, Craft managed to reverse some serious health problems. She was unable to avoid a life threatening gall bladder attack which caused her to have her gall bladder removed. However she halted the advancement of other serious illness, including diabetes, which was first diagnosed in 2003. Now, thanks to Dr. McDougall's diet and especially eating lots of steamed vegetables, she has now brought her blood sugar levels down before any serious damage--and finally to the point that she no longer needed to consider whether to go on insulin or use any medication at all. At this time she is only taking one medication for thyroid and feels better health, emotional and physically, than she has experienced in many years.
Misc. Personal History
Circa 1965: While swimming at Padre Island she came up out of the water directly under a Man o' War so that she lifted it up out the water on her shoulder and the tentacles wrapped around her arm, like the red on a traditional barber pole. She had the scar for exactly seven years.
Happy US Imperialism, Genocide and Murdered Roasted Turkey Day! Collaboration with Michael J. Sliwa, Karen Sliwa (Puritan, left) and Nikki Craft.
''No nation on earth has ever gone to war for women's rights. We are not likely to be the first.'' A Call On Feminists To Protest The War Against Afghanistan, November 8 2001 and also published in September 11, 2001 Feminist Perspectives, Edited by Susan Hawthorne and Bronwyn Winter, Spinifex Press, 2002.
What a brutal and cowardly act to beat a seal, a kind animal with no arms, no means to defend itself or to fight back, with no legs to run away, to death. I don't understand. ~~Nikki Craft, July 24, 2009
"According to a recent poll, half the women in the U.S. claim they are "feminists" (perhaps this is part of the problem) and these days what can pass for "feminism" is anyone's guess. I certainly never cease to be amazed at how diluted and meaningless the term has become. But if this is how the U.S. feminist elite are calling it now, I'll take Nader's honest pro-justice politics any day." -- Nikki Craft, Abortion, Feminism and My Vote for Nader.
"As a feminist I have a policy that I don't align with, or vote for, sex abusers or their enablers no matter what the "higher cause", and I have to distrust any "feminist leadership" that expects me to." -- Nikki Craft (regarding pressure for feminists to vote for Bill Clinton), Abortion, Feminism and My Vote for Nader.
"Money talks, but it silences, too" --Nikki Craft, the Iconoclast, 1989
''But I wanna be part of the problem'' --Nikki Craft 1991, ACLU button
"There is a balance in the arctic which is reliant on ice for animal life that is as delicate as that which exists in a rain forest." --Nikki Craft
"The media is the new church; the television its altar; the image its sacrament; the First Amendment its bible; and any critique its blasphemy. Libertarians are the new evangelists." --Nikki Craft, Changing Men magazine
"Even in our wildest imaginations, most women are unable to fathom the vicious acts done to women by the pornography industry in the name of free speech, profit, pleasure, and yes, entertainment. Facing head-on the hatred and contempt for women exposed in visual pornography, as much as it hurts, fuels our anger and a lot of incendiary activism." --Nikki Craft, Against Pornography: The Evidence of Harm, Diana E.H. Russell, Ph.D.
"I did thirty-seven years of ground-breaking, creative, radical, fancy-schmatzy grassroots political activism and all I got was this lousy wikipedia page." Nikki Craft, 2007 [Throughout 2006 and 2007 the Wikipedia page in my name was deliberately and maliciously vandalized. It stayed like this from December 12, 2007 through the present.]
"I'll burn that bridge when I get to it." --Nikki Craft 2008
"Bees. Let them be. This may not sound very profound, but just wait ten or fifteen years." --Nikki Craft, Jan. 2009
"The right to be left alone? Larry Flynt hasn't ever left any one alone at any time in his life!" Nikki Craft
"I am so thankful for animals. As an atheist I don't believe in heaven or hell. But if there should be a heaven I hope I am greeted by all the hundreds if not thousands of them I have assisted, loved and/or "rescued" over the last half century from being injured, hungry, thirsty, hot or neglected and that is the way I would love to spend eternity." --Nikki Craft, private correspondence, circa 2002
"Ponography doesn't burn by itself; it needs your help" --Nikki Craft
"Note to human race. It's overpopulation, stupid. Please stop breeding." Nikki Craft 2009
"I sweat the small stuff because it's all big stuff." --April, 2009
"For women diplomacy is often overrated." -- Nikki Craft, May 14, 2009
"Opinionated is not a bad word in my opinion." nikki craft Jun 26, 2009
References (Draft version/incomplete and disorganized)
1. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law Volume 17.1, pg 2.
2. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law Volume 17.1, pg 2.
3. [Ref. 3 audio tape with jed]
5. Feminist Plainiffs Withdraw From Cape Cod Nudity Case Plainiff's statement.
6. Dissention Rips Nudists, Feminists, Provincetown Advocate December 22, 1988 by Lisbeth Lipari.
7. Ex-pageant protester quits Cape Cod nudity fight, Santa Cruz Sentinel Wednesday, Dec.14, 1988 by Allison Blake.
Exposing the Rapist Next Door Seven Days, April 25, 1977 Jayne Loader.
National Rampage Against Penthouse, Women Fighting Back Against Femicide Diana E. H. Russell.
The Rampage Against Penthouse by Melissa Farley
Feminist relishes stir she caused over Esquire protest
A feminist at odds with Esquire gets thrown out of jail: Women's rights activist Nikki Craft has been thrown out of a lot of places over the years. Yesterday she was even thrown out of jail...
The Incredible Case of the Stack O' Wheat Prints by Nikki Craft, and also The Evidence of Pain, D.A. Clarke reproduced from Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing edited by Jill Radford and Diana E. H. Russell, 1992
Busting Mr. Shorteyes by Nikki Craft published originally in On The Issues.
Son-Burned: A Nudist Boy's Experience at Fraternity Snoqualmie Nudist Camp, A true story by Stefin Bradbury
Craft: Inspiring Protest, Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing edited by Jill Radford and Diana E. H. Russell, 1992.
Striking Flynt by Irene Moosen
So Much Slime, So LittleTime: The Transgression of Pro-Feminism by Nikki Craft, reprinted from the ICONoclast & (Changing Men Issue #25)
Rape and Violence Against Women Have Always Been Terrorism: Are We Keen To Go to War for All Women?
Please don't confuse this webiste with "NikkiWiki - The Premier Porn Star Encyclopedia" at http://www.nikkiwiki.com as this url is NikkiCraft.com. Thanks for your visit!
|This is a work in progress with people making change to it as time permits. I welcome email suggestions for actions, events, and photos that need to be added. More photos will be added as time allows. Thanks. --Nikki, December, 2008|