Break the Rules Like ... Beca Grimm
Not all Wonder Women wear capes, and not all Unladylike role models need to sit in the C-suite to spark change. Each week, we're introducing y'all to rad women and nonbinary folks we admire. They'll offer up pointers on how we all can #breaktheruleslike they do and help them make the world a better place. If you have a role model to shout out, send hot tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Introduce yourself: Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
Hello! I'm Beca Grimm, an Atlanta-based culture journalist hailing from North Florida. I write about a lot of stuff like investigations on nightmare disorders as well as sad girl music but, mostly, I cover cannabis and sex. I also co-founded and edit a feminist cannabis culture zine called Dope Girls.
2. When did you first realize this was the right path for you?
Frankly, I don't really have talents outside of writing (as far as I can tell, a gut magnet to various trivia nights—a cruel tradition I truly hate—isn't... lucrative). I started a summer camp newspaper with my sister in fourth grade; I've always been drawn to stories. From middle school paper features editor to high school paper features editor to college paper features editor to local alt-weekly culture editor to... whatever I'm doing right now. I kinda haven't stopped since.
3. What’s unladylike about you and what you do?
I believe we need to hand the microphone to historically marginalized people. White/cis/hetero dudes have been calling the shots for too long and it's past due time for someone else to take over. Other (maybe?) unladylike qualities about me: I love skirts and dresses but cannot for the life of me sit in chairs like a normal human so I always pair with bike shorts; I eat a lot of meals while leaning over the sink, sans plate; I mostly date men but always end up ordering for both of us when dining out??
4. Which of your heroes or role models would you immortalize in bronze?
A lot of my heroes are peers! I think Atlanta-based hip hop writer (and close friend of mine) Christina Lee is incredible in her tireless reporting and hunger for truth as well as her absolute disinterest in all the petty bullshit. I also love the vulnerability in which Los Angeles journalist (another good pal) Caitlin White uses in her work. Of course there's also my ride or die, Rachel Hortman, with whom I started Dope Girls; she always approaches challenges in a measured, thoughtful, and practical way (as opposed to my erratic and frenzied style, haha). My stable of famous role models changes weekly; right now I'm very into the TNT drama Claws (so many deep Florida references, good-ass nails, and female friendship) so I've been channeling a lot of those women's ferocity as of late.
5. What was your feminist aha moment?
My parents raised me a feminist. They were always equals—no one held a majority of the power. So seeing them as partners—and not husband and wife—helped instill that right away. I never wanted some dude to "save me," I was already good, but he could join me—maybe.
6. What’s bringing you joy right now — or at least keeping you sane?
My friend on the West Coast recently mailed over some extremely delicious Lowell Herb Co. pre-rolls, for which I am ridiculously thankful (when will Georgia legalize? I mean). Also, Dorothy Ashby's blissed-out jazz harp, Mona Chalabi's amazing Insta graphs, everything bagel seasoning a friend made and gifted me, and the three cats plus two dogs in my 100-year-old Westview home. Finally, chopped up cucumbers laden with buffalo sauce (trust me).
7. Aside from keys/wallet/phone, what do you never leave home without?
I am JUST A LITTLE Type A so I really feel more relaxed with a fully charged portable phone charger (I like Pocket Juice, even though the name is upsetting). Also usually have a weed pen, minimum of three lip balms, emergency Xanax, and—sorry—a couple Fire sauce packets from Taco Bell.
8. How can unladies help you and/or your mission?
We're currently in the fundraising process for the sixth volume of Dope Girls, so buying from our shop would help get us to that goal (as would inquiring about advertising with or stocking us; if you'd like to learn more, please email Rachel). I'm a big advocate for Planned Parenthood Southeast so people—regardless of gender, income, race, etc.—can get the healthcare they deserve; please donate if you can. (Would be remiss not to mention following Dope Girls on Insta would also be super helpful!)