Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Gay Best Friend

Okay I gotta say that I love that video.  He calls this one absolutely right.  What would a girl do without her gay best friend?  When you look at it all together, it makes it seem like straight women see gay men almost as pets.  Obviously gay men and straight women do interact but the fact that they are always constructed to be at the beck and call of hetero women is an attempt to portray then as not masculine.  Why do these men never seem to have lives of their own? I further think that “the convenient sex,” that occurs when straight women are  aroused is ridiculous.  It perpetuates the myth that homosexuality is a choice. 

H/T Zero At The Bone

Drop It Like It’s Hot

Well everyone it certainly has been a bit of a wild week.  My little Mayhem had his first day of school and I have been battling a bit of a cold.  Sorry about the light posting but all I really want to do right now is sleep.

Below you will find a list of posts that I found interesting this week.  Please show these blogger some love and check them out.  When you are done, don’t forget to drop it like it’s hot and leave your link behind in the comment section.

What If?

The Separation of Church & State as an LGBT Issue

Why You Can’t Use The N Word

Katrina’s Lessons Are As Important As 9/11’s


We Will Braid Our Way to Revolution, Baby

It’s All About Kanye: Not Donda, Amber, Beyonce, or Taylor

Marvel Fail: rape culture apolgism from writer, where the hell were the editors”

feel entitled to touch black women’s hair

Women who make false rape accusation *don’t* make it harder on real victims

Left In Limbo

“Mommy Blogger” Heather Armstrong Monetizes The Hate [Crap E-mail From World]

Controversial All Black School Opens in Ontario

Beyond Good And Evil, Straight To Annoying: A Few Thoughts on Michael Moore


Friday, September 18, 2009

international reproductive rights, birthing injuries, and "the fistula foundation

This is a guest post by femonade

i was looking for video of the 2000 new york senate debate between hillary clinton and douchebag extraordinaire rick lazio…because of the similarities i saw between that and kanye west’s recent douchebaggery.  both men, it seems, believe that its acceptable male behaviour to invade a woman’s space and act like an aggressive, entitled asshole. anyone remember that clinton/lazio debate? i will never forget it, but it seems like that video is nowhere to be found.  and i am not the first to have noticed.

what i did find was the above:  an excellent clip of hillary handing some pro-life congressman his ass at an april, 2009 congressional hearing addressing access to abortion and international reproductive rights. listen and see how strong, well-reasoned, and respectful she is. and she doesn't back down from her position even a teeny, tiny bit. a masterful response.

now, speaking of international reproductive rights:

this is a short clip from a PBS documentary about the “fistula foundation,” a charity that provides medical services to Ethiopian women who suffer birth injuries…as long as the women can get to hospital in the capital city of addis ababa, on their own. 

turns out, malnourished 12-year old girls being married off, impregnated, and bringing their fetuses to term is bad for the girls’ health. who could've guessed? specifically, their pelvises are too small for childbirth, and they labour for up to 10 days before expelling a dead fetus (or having it pulled or cut out)…but not before suffering permanent injuries called “fistulas.”  a fistula is a tear in — or death of — vaginal tissue that creates an opening between the vaginal wall and the bladder and/or rectum, causing urinary and/or fecal incontinence. these women are then ostracised from their families and communities for the stench, and largely unable to access medical care for their injuries. its heartbreaking, and infuriating, to watch, as these things often are.

here is the full-length documentary. please, please watch the entire thing if you can make the time. i promise you, its worth seeing.

possible trigger warning:  the video does not directly address rape, but it does address child-brides and what is pretty obviously child rape in that context.  i did not find that i was triggered, however, and i watched the whole thing when it was on NOVA.  on a related note, some of you may be aware that fistula injuries are commonly inflicted on female rape victims, for obvious reasons. the tissues of the vagina and rectum are extremely delicate, and simply cannot withstand the abuse that comes from violent rapes, and from prolonged labour and “failed” childbirth.  rape-related fistuals are not addressed in the video.

as always, comments are very welcome.

Survivor Samoa: Russell Is Evil

Note: spoilers ahead you have been warned

image This season survivor is in Samoa.  It did not take long for the antics to start.  Russell looks to be the man everyone is going to hate.  I predict he will give Johnny Fairplay a run for his money, in the most despised castaway category. He is the owner of an oil company and says that he not there for the money but to prove that survivor is an easy game to win.

Russell made alliances with women.  He told them all the same thing and then behind their back called them the “dumb ass girl alliance”.  At night when everyone was getting ready for bed, he engaged the tribe with a lie.  The man actually claimed to be a hurricane Katrina survivor.  He told them he watched his dog drown and that he lived on the roof of his house for two days, until he was rescued.  They all bought this story.  If I were there I probably would have to.  I would never imagine that someone would want to lie about an event in which so many people needlessly lost their lives.

Russell was just beginning his work.  He got up before everyone and proceeded to empty every single canteen of water and burned someone's socks.  The purpose behind this action was to cause dissention in his tribe.  Predictably Russell's team lost the immunity challenge.  As he wandered around trying to influence who got voted off he stopped to talk to Marissa.  When she told him that she did not trust him, he immediately tagged her as a threat and began to work on getting her eliminated.  Unfortunately for Marissa the rest of tribe has yet to clue into what an ass he is and they followed along and voted her off the island.

The last few survivors have been quite boring.  Though I do not like Russell as I believe him to be an arrogant misogynist, his antics will be interesting to watch until he is voted off of the show. 

In other news at the first challenge of this episode race played an interesting role. James was picked to do the swimming leg.  The person in charge of swimming, ignored the social construction of African Americans as non swimmers and made his decision based on his body build.  Mike was quick to point out how well James swam considering that African Americans supposedly can’t swim.

Elizabeth was chosen as the smartest person for her team.  In her opinion, she was chosen because she is Asian.  She commented that she did not mind if the positive social constructs of Asian people like smart, and studious were conflated with her but she worried about the negative attributes like sneaky and secretive.

Only Whiteness has the luxury of avoiding stereotypes.  The social constructions of supposedly racialized bodies exist to insure White supremacy.  Even in throw away show like survivor, we cannot escape the social hierarchy that we have woven.  As the survivors out wit, out play and out last each other, all of them will have to deal with the ways in which their bodies have been encoded. Survivor teaches us that no matter the context or circumstances, we are never outside of discourse.

When You Discover You’re Intersex

Sex Lies and Gender will appear on the National Geographic this sunday at seven pm.  Rudy Allonez was serving in the army when he injured his back.  As part of treatment, he underwent an MRI, only to discover that he is intersex.  It is Rudy’s belief that his parents selected to assign him male at birth and the documentary is an examination of Rudy’s journey to get answers.

I still have a lot to do in terms of learning about the issues that intersex people face in life.  I know that many are actively involved in the fight to stop parents from selecting a sex for their children and allowing the intersex individual to decide on which gender they prefer.  The struggles of Caster Semenya have taught me that we have much to do, in terms of tolerance and acceptance.  Being intersex should not be a stigmatized identity.  We are all human and any divides that do exist, are for the sole purpose of creating and preserving social hierarchy.  No one individual is worth any more than another. I will watch this documentary in an attempt to learn.  All bodies matter and we show this when we commit to understanding difference and understanding that it does not mean less than.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

“Mad Men” and the horror of grey flannel masculinity

I have a new post up at Global Comment

The popular show “Mad Men” concerns the advertising business in the early 1960’s. It centers on the highly problematic life of Don Draper. It is authentic in its presentation of the time period, which includes its portrayal of gender roles and race relations. Women on the show are largely in search of a man to marry. It is expected that they will give up their jobs to keep house and raise babies. People of color are only portrayed doing menial labour. In a recent scene, Roger Sterling, who is played by John Slattery, dons blackface to entertain a group of his friends. In this sense, “Mad Men” often reveals the ugliness behind the much beloved Camelot era in the United States.

Much has been written about the isolation of the 1960’s housewife. The white second-wave feminist movement launched much of their organizing behind the assertion that women had a right to be to work and be productive members of society. In the process, we have ignored the plight of the grey flannel suit that men of that period wore and its symbol as a form of yet another gender slavery. In Don Draper, we can see a man of great privilege who is nevertheless suffering from a highly conflicted identity.

The grey flannel suit of the 1960’s functioned much like a straightjacket. Men were expected to be the great provider and to present a stiff upper lip at all times. Their identities were totally tied to their jobs, which is why Don Draper does not just work in advertising; he lives and breathes advertising.

Finish reading here

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some Thoughts

I have had a little over 24 hours to reflect upon the discussion between Voz et al.  I decided to share some thoughts.  At this point I am unwilling to apologize to her crew. They have compared me to murderers and  decided it was all in good fun to make a pun involving my family.  To me, that is unforgiveable and there is no going back from that.

As to the other issues.  When I used the word drone sweetie and narcissist yesterday it was unacceptable.  After having a conversation with a trans woman that I trust, I have come to see that such language is reflective of cis privilege.  I apologize to all those watching the conversation that were hurt by that.  I have no excuse and will not plead ignorance, or attempt to justify it as a simple fit of rage because it is my job to learn and not the responsibility of the trans community to teach.  I sincerely apologize and hope that anyone watching was not triggered or hurt. 

When I challenged Voz as to her status as leader, I was not attempting to silence or engage in privilege.  As a WOC, I speak a lot about racism and yet I know that my truth is not the truth of all.  I would never presume to assume I spoke on behalf of all POC.  I believe it is presumptuous for anyone to convey the idea that they speak on behalf of a large community.  That said, these are my personal feelings and if it came across as policing I do apologize, that certainly was not my intent.

Some may feel that I handled that situation poorly and perhaps there is some truth in that.  I won’t deny that I was angry when I discovered my name had been mentioned in a conversation.  There has been wrong on both sides. I quite often speak from the gut and let the chips fall were they may but that does mean consequences.  I take full responsibility for an hurt feelings that I may have caused with my actions.  I apologize for my loss of temper to anyone that was triggered.  I have learned from this incident and will not make the same mistakes.

Editors Note:  I have read most of the comments on this thread now.  It has been very difficult for me and I needed time to process.  I am still incredibly angry but my principles mean something to me.  For an cissexism, silencing, or invoking of privilege I sincerely apologize to ALL that were hurt.  Being angry does not give me the right to sink to that level.  No one should be demeaned because of gender identity.  That said, it is my fervent wish to never  speak to VOZ, Genderbitch or Kyn ever again. 

A Black Woman Gets Beaten In Public And No One Helps

image Imagine that you are going into a restaurant with your daughter.  A man is on his way out and in the process nearly hits your little girl.  You turn to him and politely ask him to excuse himself and he proceeds to punch you in the face. He delivers a brutal beating, while yelling racial slurs.  Your daughter stands there helpless, watching you get beaten by this strange man and no one comes to your aid.  This is the stuff of nightmares but unfortunately for Tasha Hill, who is a U.S. Army Reservist, it was no dream.

"I just remember curling up in a ball to protect myself," said Hill.

"He punched me several times in the head and I can't remember if that's where he was kicking me," said Hill.

"I let him know I was a U.S. service member. I didn't want any trouble, but he continued to call me names and punched me in the face," said Hill.

Hill's 7-year-old daughter watched the incident.

"She kept apologizing afterward because she wanted to go to the specific restaurant. I said, 'it's not your fault that man had the devil in him,' that's what I told her," said Hill.

Hill said she had knots all over her head and she has been in and out of the VA hospital because of a numb arm, swelling and headaches.

Fortunately the entire incident was caught on tape and 47-year-old Troy West has been charged  with assault, disorderly conduct, and cruelty to children.  The FBI is involved and the case is being investigated as a hate crime.

There were witnesses to this woman's beating and they have stated that the incident occurred exactly has she has alleged.  What I want to know, is how they could stand there and watch a woman being beaten by a man twice her size?   This speaks to how little Black women are valued socially.  They may express horror after the fact but when they were desperately needed, they stood by and watched.

Black lives are cheap and they always have been.  The very fact that West screamed racial slurs, while he beat her speaks of White male privilege run amok.  Glen Beck et al have been busy escalating the racial hatred against POC. They use freedom of speech to cover for the fact that they are inciting violence. There are consequences to this language but it is not men like Beck who will pay but Black women like Hill. 

The media uses isolated incidents to intensify the hatred.  In the case where a White child was beaten by to Black kids, Rush Limbaugh stated in Obama’s America, White kids get beat up by Black kids.  While this was a terrible incident, statistically we know that this is not the way that violence works and furthermore; if we examine the history of violence in the US, it is clear that Whites far outweigh Blacks in crimes induced from racism.  It seems so easy for men like Limbaugh to forget, that there was a time when White families held picnics while Black men were being lynched.  Children ran and played, White mothers served lemonade and Black men met their end, to jeers and cheers.  I don’t need to resort to hyperbole akin to men like Limbaugh, this is a simple historical fact.

When Black people are devalued in the media on a daily basis it lays the groundwork for men like West to believe that they have the right to react violently, if they are challenged in any way.  Part of White male privilege is the belief that you are above reproach and capable of acting without consequence. Even the police officer investigating this case referred to Hill, the victim as a female.  Calling Black women females is demeaning because it diminishes our womanhood.  He could have said the victim, he could have used her name and yet he resorted to female, thus reducing the seriousness of the assault.  How could she be a damsel in distress, after all she is just a Black female.

If You Are Trans No Canadian Forces For You

image Here we go again with tolerant and accepting Canada.  If you have been following trans activism in Canada, you know that SRS has been delisted in a few provinces and that trans women have been denied care at a medical clinic.  A trans identity has been treated as though it is a pathology and this has specifically served to “other” transgender people, thus denying them access to treatment that other Canadians have.

In the latest round of transphobia,

The federal human rights tribunal ruled Tuesday that the Canadian Forces did not discriminate against Micheline Montreuil, one of Canada's best-known transgendered people, when they refused to enrol her.

Montreuil, who was born as a man named [male name redacted], underwent hormone therapy to grow breasts and changed her name to Micheline after a lengthy court battle.

Montreuil joined the Canadian Forces in 1997 but handed in her resignation the same year for work-related issues and to start a sex-change process.

In 1999 Montreuil reapplied for enrolment in the Forces but her application was denied because doctors ruled she suffered from chronic gender identity issues. She filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2002, arguing she was rejected because of her transgender condition.

After 97 days of hearings, between 2006-2007, the tribunal ruled Montreuil did not offer substantial evidence that she was subjected to discrimination.

What scares me about this story, is that it occurred in Quebec.  For those that are not Canadian, Quebec, is the most liberal province in Canada.  If a trans woman can be declared as suffering from a “chronic gender identity issues,” in Quebec, what kind of message does this send to the more conservative provinces?

The war against the trans community has been escalating ever since the Kimberly Nixon decision.  It seems that by ruling in favour of transphobia, it has opened the door to the provincial governments to discriminate at will.   Incidents like this prove the ways in which cissexism is institutional.  The courts and the government seem to forget that our trans citizens pay taxes like everyone else and are entitled to equality under law. Legalizing oppression is the opposite of what Canada is supposed to stand for.

It is a well known fact that trans people are economically marginalized and therefore it is difficult for them to fight these cases.  It forces them to use valuable resources that could used for education, outreach and other organizing initiatives. I fear that these rulings are only the first in a long line of legally entrenching cissexism.  in Canada.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Where is Uncle Ruckus?


Isn’t the resemblance scary?  What a fitting picture. 

Kanye West Is Not A Nigger

Well, by now it has become common knowledge that Kanye West decided to interject himself in the video music awards. Regardless of what you think of his actions that night, it is still inappropriate to use racism to attack him.  Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell those pimping the lie about a post racial world, that using the word nigger is hateful and racist.






I trust that I have made my point.

The easiest way to demean a Black person is to use the word nigger.  Yesterday on twitter, a search of Kanye West lead to tweet after tweet filled with racial slurs.  If West had been a White man, they would have called him an ass or a jerk, however; because he is a Black man they felt the need to remove even the most basic humanity from him.

Nigger is a slur that cuts to the very bone because it reminds Blacks that we are second class citizens.  Despite the fact that many contend that we have reached the dawn of a new day because of the election of Barack Obama, some people still cannot accept our equality and Blacks continue to internalize negative views of Blackness.  Nigger is still the go to word when it comes disciplining Blacks because it immediately evidences the racial hierarchy that is very much in existence.

It made me ill to read the tweets.  The more people spoke out against the use of the word nigger the more the frequency increased.  Each time the word nigger is used, each and every single Black person is demeaned.  This was not just an attack on West, or Black men, but all Black people.  What West did was ignorant and rude but to use the word nigger to discipline him, is taking the conversation in a brand new direction.  Call him an ass, a jerk, or whatever you want, but reaching for nigger is only a display of either internalized racism or outright racism.

My Memories of 9/12

This is a guest post by Genma Holmes

Genma Stringer Holmes author of blog Genmaspeaks and syndicated writer for Inspired Media Group. Actress, model turned entrepreneur, Genma  owns an environmental pest control company and a consulting firm in Tennessee. In addition to being a wife and mother, Genma has won numerous awards for community activism for her philanthropy work with youth in crisis.

image When the Twin Towers were hit on the morning of 9/11/01, I was talking on the phone with Carolyn Waller, then-owner of Premier Art D├ęcor. We were discussing the details of James Threadkill’s upcoming art show. We were stunned, to say the least. We immediately reacted with cries and shouts, followed quickly by Carolyn’s prayers. As the extent of the devastation grew, I could not turn off my television. Throughout the day, I watched NBC. The Today Show morning program became one endless loop of grim and shocking images.

The next day, 9/12, I was an exhausted ball of emotions. My endless tears became dry sobs. When I could get through, I phoned family and friends to say, “I love you.” I called several mothers whose children attended college in New York to ask about their safety. I phoned every model and fashion show coordinator I had ever worked with, wanting to hear, “I am okay.” Everyone in New York had a story of someone who had not heard from a loved one or knew someone who worked downtown. My heart was heavier with each call. Weary and distraught, I continued to dial friends and acquaintances in New York and New Jersey. I was determined to reach as many people as I could. Knowing no one would answer, I even called the offices of Black Enterprise.

On 9/12, planes and other transportation came to a screeching halt, phone lines were stretched to capacity, the death counts were rising by the minute, and numbness and pain were etched in the faces of everyone on television. It felt as the world that I knew had come to an end and I was seeing a small glimpse of the ultimate judgment day. I was terrified along with everyone else.

My television was still on NBC and the descriptions of the aftermath were more than I could fathom. Local churches, synagogues, and mosques in Nashville were filled to capacity with folks seeking solace and spiritual guidance from their leaders, as well as to offer and receive comfort from others. It was not unusual to see total strangers, united in their shock, embracing each other.  Even though whispers of the unknown hung in the air like a fog on a dark dreary night, Americans were overwhelmingly without animosity toward each other. We were all Americans on 9/12, helping our fellow citizens through a national tragedy.

After comforting others, I found relief in the book of Job. Not to preach my faith to others, but I found reassurance in God’s word. Job, a faithful man, lost everything. He was devastated, yet God was with him through his entire ordeal. God was faithful to Job even when others were not. He was mocked and ridiculed, experienced ruin, betrayal, alienation, illness, and rebuke. Financial loss is one thing but Job lost his family. At one point, I wondered why I picked passages from Job to read at a disastrous time in our country.

As soon as I asked my question inwardly, I was immediately reminded of the power of Job’s story. The book of Job, one long poem, asks why innocent people suffer. God, who is always faithful, cares about his people, even if when we do not see His hands, or lose our footing. Our time is not His time. We often lack patience and perseverance. Through all the desolation, Job refused to insult God. His faithfulness and steadfastness was rewarded by God by not only restoring him to his former prominence but by God’s sending a wise man to explain truth to Job and the very friends that were so eager to denounce Job’s faith. Job’s decision to follow God even in despair replenished my soul on 9/12.

After reading Job, I wanted to help anyone who needed me. Bolstered by the sense that even when bleeding and in pain, Americans could come together, I made my way to the airport, giving out toiletries to strangers , as well as diapers, milk, and bottled water to stranded moms.. Carolyn Waller called later that evening to say that after prayer and speaking with James Threadkill, the show would go on. “We will not be beaten by fear,” she said passionately. My eternal distress was uplifted by her determination to stay positive.

When I turned on C-SPAN last Saturday to watch the 9/12 Project, promoted by media entertainer Glenn Beck, I was expecting to be reminded of the determination for our country to stay positive, resilient, and united that I remembered nine years ago. I was expecting to recall memories of our rededication to work with each other to make our country better, because that is what I experienced on 9/12/01. What I saw on 9/12/09 left me wondering why Glen Beck would invoke a time remarkable for national unity as a backdrop for his event. His fomenting of discord toward our government was hard to miss and opposite of what so many Americans felt in their hearts on 9/12/01. Instead, the thousands covered on CSPAN expressed anger and disillusionment for an America that protesters barely recognize anymore. What a contrast to crowds we watched on our televisions screens on 9/12/01 when the fundamental goodness and tenacity of the American people were on full display. No one shouted down our country leaders on 9/12/01. I remember that time being bleak, but also marked by the undeniable strength of our country, for all of its diversity.

Protesting is as American as apple or sweet potato pie. I make no attempt by this post to deny anyone the right to protest. But the mindset of our country on 9/12/01 was not reflected in the message shaped by Glenn Beck on Saturday, 9/12/09. Glenn Beck, who remained in New York while protesters assembled in DC, exploited a somber chapter in our national experience in a way that should dishearten anyone who remembers that day as vividly as I do. For Glenn Beck to use our memories of Americans who lost their lives and the anxious days that followed a horrific moment in OUR country’s history to promote the his ideology is not only shameful but disrespectful to the families, first responders, the City of New York and our great country. Protest please, by all means, but let’s not pretend Project 9/12 was a depiction of the state of the country eight years ago because it was not. On 9/12/01 many Americans were grieving but united. No one chanted angrily about taxes, Marxism, socialism, communism, Nazis, Hitler, Germany, and states’ rights on 9/12/01. I remember Americans standing tall together in midst of a tragedy. To evoke the memories of 9/11/01 and 9/12/01 to promote a” project” that represents a perversion of ideals distilled in those wrenching days is simply degrading, even for a media entertainer. Let’s not distort the memories of the innocent. Let’s call Saturday what it really was: the Glenn Beck Show.

Tune in Tuesday: She’s Like The Wind RIP Patrick Swayze

I know I am showing my age by admitting this, but I first discovered Patrick by watching the mini series North and South.  I developed a huge crush on him and watched him in Dress Grey, Too Wong Foo, Dirty Dancing and Ghost.  I avoided his B movies but still thought that he was great.

Patrick was a very talented man.  I love watching him dance and even liked his one hit wonder song She’s Like The Wind.  I remember singing it in my bedroom with my friends.  You will certainly be missed Patrick, you were very much a part of my childhood.

Please feel free to share any memories associated either with this song or with Patrick Swayze.

Voz Latina Strikes Again

I have always been transparent in my interactions on the internet.  I stand behind what I say or apologize when I feel as though I have wronged someone.  I know that my truth does not out weigh that of another and I live with the fundamental belief that all people matter.  I am not a fan of blog wars, however; in the interest of clearing my good name, I felt it best to make a statement.  In what was a cowardly action by nueva_voz,, otherwise known as Voz latina, she decided to speak smack about me on twitter, with the knowledge that her tweets are protected and therefore unavailable for me to access.  Unfortunately for Voz, I was informed about her malicious commentary. Within moments of my angry response to her on twitter she unlocked her tweets as if to suggest that she was transparent all along.

Icon_lock.Because a cis woman like @womanistmusings can shout down a trans woman while demanding the same things the trans woman is of her #whywefightabout 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.Because a cis woman like @womanistmusings can shout down a trans woman while demanding the same things the trans woman is of her #whywefightabout 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.and no, just because she is trans don't make her needs any less, and no, she isn't disrespecting @womanistmusings, nor am I. #whywefightabout 5 hours ago from web is clear from Renees tone that she is committed to disbelieving trans women who speak on issues that conflict with her experiences as cisabout 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.She also categorically denies this has any negative effect on us, and chooses instead to focus on womanists fee fees, and fight for the cis.about 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.and here we are again: cis womanists get hurt fee fees, and we gotta prove every damn lil thing so she can throw it away with explain & denyabout 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.Renee personally and publicly endorsed a white cis feminist who attacked me over the NOWHC issue, as well as other rwoc who did. #whywefightabout 6 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.Renee also passes the "substitution test" where you can change "trans women" for "woc" and womanists/feminists for "white women" >>about 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.>>and still have the exchange make perfect factual and linguistic sense.about 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lockso, yeah, Renee is a classic ally, and #whywefightabout 5 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.Renee can use race as a derail with you, which is why they engage with white trans women. I would read her ass in a NY minute.about 6 hours ago from web
Icon_lockRenee talks like a white feminist does about race when she discusses our lives with such arrogance. Good heart, lousy "ally"about 6 hours ago from web
Icon_lock.Renee is a good person, but damn..she is still stuck in "women and transwomen" thinking. Plus, she's arrogant abt her ally status.about 6 hours ago from web
Icon_lock."I am a GREAT CIS ALLY. Prove your complaints have validity, trans woman peon. In triplicate, typed neatly on Form 30026-Rev A" #whywefightabout 6 hours ago from web
Icon_lock@genderbitch oh no she didn't! Did Renee REALLY just demand that you prove womanists ate in fact transmisogynistic? wtf?about 6 hours ago from web in reply to genderbitch
Icon_lock[email protected]genderbitch of course, her claim she womanists do not assert ownership over our lives is destroyed by her own comment, lolabout 6 hours ago from web

When genderbitch asserted that womanists were anti-trans I requested a name.  Womanism is extremely important to my identity and never in my experience have I encountered a single transmisognist womanist.   What happened with NOLA occurred between groups of RWOC and trans women; no self-identified womanists participated in those conversations and yet it was NOLA that, Genderbitch identified as specifically oppressing her. When I affirmed that she was indeed speaking about RWOC she demanded that I explain to her the difference and further questioned if a distinction existed, to which I quipped not all POC think with the same mind. This is not a derail, merely an acknowledgement of her ignorance.  Please note that it is entirely problematic that Genderbitch a White trans woman had no idea that a difference exists between RWOC and womanist. How’s that for mimicking White feminists behaviour?

I doubt VOZ has invested half the time reading the work of womanists, that I have reading the works of trans writers both on and off line. Yes I called her on her malicious shit because in my heart of hearts, I felt that she was wrong.  Every single time that I have been wronged, I have been able to cite by whom and why and yet neither genderbitch or Voz could accurately site a transphobic womanist despite their protestations.

Since I started writing about trans issues, I have asserted the humanity of the trans community and insisted on the proper pronoun use.  I have spoken to my children about gender identity and have strived within my limited knowledge to assert the rights of the trans community.  I don’t do it for the sake of a cookie or a thank you but from the fundamental belief that all people matter. 

I have not claimed that my writings about the trans community are perfect.  They never could be, I am not trans.  I have openly admitted that I still have a lot of learning to do about trans issues, but with the limited knowledge that I do have, I feel that it is my responsibility to speak out whenever I see that they have been wronged, just as I would with any other community. 

My issue here is that VOZ and genderbitch decided that it was appropriate to slander my good name to support their desire to play oppression olympics.  I don’t know who elected you leader of the trans community Voz but I doubt you speak for everyone.  Your tone commentary smacks of the same silencing that you accuse me of.  You are like the emperor proudly strutting around, unaware that you are wearing no clothes.  I am tired of watching you attack anyone that disagrees with you, and the cruelty which you employ within your responses to even the most mild form of questioning.  You are as imperfect as any other being and it is only arrogance that causes you to believe differently.  I see that you have learned nothing from the thread on Feministe where many aired their issues with you. The next time you feel that you are adult enough to speak about someone, be adult enough to own your words.

Monday, September 14, 2009

True Blood: Evan Rachel Wood Is Not A Whore

Unfortunately I missed True Blood last night and so while I was waiting for the episode to download, I decided to google for information on the show.  Unfortunately, my search took me to the internets biggest douche Perez Hilton.

image It seems that through a tip he discovered that Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Jessica and Alexander Skarsgard, who plays Eric the Viking vampire, are dating.  I say good for her because he is hot as hell.  Though Bill is the one we were meant to be drooling over, Skarsgard has stolen the show and has become everyone’s favourite vampire.  Yeah, that would make me team Eric.

At any rate, that fool Perez Hilton could not avoid once again displaying his misogyny for the world.

Sources are telling us that Evan Rachel Wood and the delectable Alexander Skarsgard are more than just co-stars.

That whore!

There are even pictures of the two allegedly together in Louisiana that have popped up!

Yuck! No! Alexander, you stay away from her! You don't know where she's been!

We do and we know it's better for you to steer clear!!!

Sad. Just sad.

Hilton never thinks twice about reducing women for the purposes of increasing readership to his blog.  This is the same man that had the nerve to be enraged by the anti gay commentary of Preejean but cannot understand that hate directed at any group is unacceptable and detrimental to an equal society.  Why is it necessary to cast cruel aspersions upon her by stating, “you don’t know where she has been.”  A mans sexual history is never questioned in this way.  Men are expected to be sexual.

Calling her a whore is nothing but a gross attempt to reduce her person, for engaging in a relationship.  I have repeatedly said that just because gay men constitute a group that is socially marginalized group, does not necessarily make them the natural ally of other marginalized groups.  In this case, we can see that Hilton is determined to use his undeserved privilege, thus engaging in sexism. This is not new behaviour for Perez, he simply thrives on being a douche.  What concerns me are the readers of his blog who will ooooh and aaaaah over the gossip, while ignoring the ways in which he demeans women.   It is further proof of the fact that sexism has become so normalized that many are quick to ignore its existence.

Editors Note:  I will have a True Blood wrap up for everyone tomorrow. Stay tuned.

In Canada, medical marijuana can get you sentenced to 7 days in bed

I have a new post up at Global Comment

image Differently abled adults are often treated like children, because it is assumed that they have a diminished mental capacity. The inability to complete certain tasks because the world has been designed to privilege certain bodies means that often the differently abled are at the mercy of their caregivers, reducing their ability to act independently. Dependency, meanwhile, often leads to situations of abuse which rarely receive media or police attention, because the victim is either unable to advocate on their own behalf or has been purposefully blocked from taking action.

According to CHBC news, Nyle Nagy is a resident of Brookhaven care home in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Due to Multiple Sclerosis, Nagy has full body paralysis. To manage his MS, Nagy smokes medical marijuana. The home in which he resides has determined that such behaviour is inappropriate, though treatment was prescribed by a licensed Canadian doctor. In their effort to control his behaviour, they seized his medication and his motorized wheelchair.

“She sent two men over here to take my wheelchair and tell me that I’ve got to stay in this chair for seven days, as a punishment”, Nagy told the TV crew. “To get rid of my pain and my spasms, that’s the only two reasons I smoke it” said Nagy, who has a license from the Canadian government to smoke marijuana.

Brookhaven declined to comment on the situation so far, except to say that Nagy was under a doctor’s care.

Nagy’s condition leaves him vulnerable to abuse by those that are charged with ensuring that he has a decent standard of living. He is not a child to be grounded and Brookhaven is purposefully infantilizing him, all because they disagree with the medical decision that he made in conjunction with his doctor

Finish reading here

Dr. Alveda King Attacks Planned Parenthood

image Unlike her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. Alevda King is not known for a socially progressive stance.  Alveda is  attacking a woman's right to choose, claiming that there are racial factors in who gets an abortion at Planned Parenthood.  There can be no doubt about the racist intentions of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthoods founder, however; today the approach is quite different.

Planned Parenthood may have more locations in neighbourhoods that are largely populated by people of color, however; that is where the largest need arises.  Opponents of Planned Parenthood often fail to acknowledge, that abortion is one of the many services that this organization offers.  For many women, it is their only opportunity to access affordable health care. Planned Parenthood is not running into the street chasing women down and forcing them to have abortions.

Black Americans, who represent one-eighth of the U.S. population, constitute 37 percent of America’s 1.2 million annual abortions. In other words, of the 45 million abortions conducted between 1973 and 2005, 17 million black children were terminated.

“I would say wiping out one-quarter of the African American population qualifies as a negative impact on a minority group,” said Dr. King.   “There is no greater violator of civil rights than the abortion industry and if the Obama Justice Department is serious about investigating discrimination perpetrated by recipients of federal money, it should start with the billion dollar abortion giant, Planned Parenthood.”   

I certainly agree that the statistics are alarming.  Black women are certainly having more abortions than White women, however; this does not necessarily mean any wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood.  Nowhere in these figures is there a discussion on the types of sex education Black women are receiving.  As we know, the American government has long pushed a policy of abstinence, which has proven to lead to a higher pregnancy rate because sex is a natural impulse.

Claiming that Planned Parenthood is the reason why Black women are choosing abortion, denies personal agency and turns Black women into dupes.  Black women are well aware of their social standing.  A woman of color that lives alone with a child is very likely to be impoverished.  We already know that not only do Black women make less than White men, they also make less than their White female counter parts.  As a society, we have done nothing to decrease this divide.  There are also very few services dedicating to help poor single parents, despite the social lie that we value children.

Black women are not idiots and they are more than capable of deciding whether or not carrying a pregnancy to term is in their best interests.  Rather than attacking an agency that empowers Black women to make their own decisions, King should be focusing on creating organizations or policies that would make it easier for Black women who choose to carry a baby to term.  Outlawing abortions is not going to make them stop occurring;  in fact, all that will happen is that women will take matters into their own hands and  resort to methods that are not safe.  Instead of counting the babies lost, King should be counting the women saved by having access to medical professionals to perform abortion.

It’s the Holocaust, Only Sexier! Fauxgressive Liberal Dickwads Strike Again, Part II

This is a guest post from femonade.

I am a thirty-something independent feminist blogger, and i don't carry water for anyone.  I am particularly troubled by the racist, sexist, classist and homophobic liberal left, and I take apart and criticise their work as often as I can.

still trying to get my head around this one.  could it be more offensive?  i don't think so.

these guys’ shtick is to take old movies and remake memorable scenes using bikini models.  ok, I'm with you so far.  not that i approve, but at least i can grasp the concept.  they have done on the waterfront, raging bull, and 12 angry men.  then they decide to remake “Schindler’s List.” why?  for one thing, its not an old movie, so doesn't even jive with their own premise.  here's their mission statement:

Ever wished that all the actors in classic black & white flicks were replaced by bikini models? Well now your wish comes true!

“Schindler’s List” is in black and white, sure.  but it’s not a “classic” film in the ways the other selections are.  so why did they choose to remake it?  what kind of misogynist anti-semite holocaust denier would come up with that?

there are serious problems with sexualizing depictions of women during times of war, because of the history and tradition of raping women and forcing them to trade sex for survival in that context.  in fact, it’s beyond problematic, and perhaps particularly so with the holocaust, where many women were raped not only by Jewish men, but were raped by the SS and then were immediately taken to the ovens or shot.  not because there were problems with the rapings or leaving live witnesses, but with potential “race pollution”:

A report from the Russian section of Auschwitz says that SS guards raped young, pretty, and healthy girls “until they were half dead. From there they went to the ovens.” Father Joseph Tyl testified that a “certain SS guard” who was a “pervert who killed people for pleasure …was also a sex maniac who satisfied his lust with young Jewish girls, whom he murdered immediately afterwards”.  (link).

interestingly, as is the case in all the re-enactments in this series, the bikini models are playing the parts of men.  in this case, if i remember the original movie correctly, it’s Liam Neeson and his Jewish man-servant.  so, what's the net effect of replacing the men in any of these films with young, hot women?  what's the effect here?  it’s pretty obviously sexualizing something that wasn't sexual to begin with.  as the creators’ theme song goes, “everybody likes watching movies, but all they really wanna do is watch some boobies.”

but in the case of the holocaust, the events that took place were actually highly sexualized, for Jewish women.  Jewish women were forced to perform as escorts to the SS and partake in orgies, where they served the guests of SS commanders in the nude and were later raped.  vicious rapes and executions of female victims were ignored even at the time, except where the perpetrator was punished for having risked impregnating a “non-white”.  the fact of particularly female suffering at the hands of the SS has been all but erased from the history of the holocaust, which focused largely on male suffering, or at least “collective suffering” that was gender-neutral:

Though we might expect otherwise because rape was a serious racial purity issue, rape happened, but was and, to some extent, still is—ignored or neglected. Ruth Seifert argues that rape and other abuses are another expression of male dominance: suppressing the mention of rape reinforces the marginalization and diminution of women’s importance. Indeed, a quick survey of the indexes of Holocaust history books suggests that rape and sexuality are not a significant part of the history.

One exception is The Holocaust Chronicle, which mentions the rape of two Jewish teenagers in Warsaw in a Jewish cemetery by two German non commissioned officers on February 18, 1940; and, on August 25, 1943, SS troops at the Janowska labour camps forced 24 Jewish girls at an all night SS orgy.  [Additionally, Holocaust survivors who were] “victims of sexual abuse have largely kept silent”.  (link).

so what we have here is a bunch of lefty liberal men who appear to be completely ignorant of what was actually a highly sexualized, ongoing crime against Jewish women.

indeed, they demonstrate their ignorance to the sexually-charged nature of it when they sexualize it in the remake:  presumably, the remake of 12 angry men is “funny” precisely because the original scene was not sexual, at all (a bunch of fully clothed men in a courtroom setting = not sexy.  one might also ask, not sexy who whom?). 

arguably, it might have been worse if these bikini models were re-enacting scenes originally played by Ralph Finnes, as the SS officer who brutally picked off prisoners with a rifle from his bathroom window while he was taking a piss.  but then again, Ralph Finnes didn't wear sexy librarian glasses like the Jewish man-servant, or type like a sexy secretary.  and girls cant really pee standing up (at least, its not sexy when they do).

this kind of graphically misogynist behaviour, demonstrated in the re-enactment of ”Schindler’s List” is really nothing new for these self-identified lefty liberals, who brought us the “top-10 conservative women we’d like to hate-fuck“.

what a delightfully misogynistic mental exercise!  don't forget that, as always is the case with these lefty liberal men, this offensive, misogynistic display is being used to advance a progressive agenda.  in this case, i am imagining that the agenda is the standard lefty-liberal male “free-speech, pro-porn, sex-positive” agenda.  you know the one: where lefty liberal men proclaim their sexual entitlement to women, while simultaneously patting themselves on the back for being champions of womens and minority rights.  this is so wrong on so many levels.

do we really want to see “Schindler’s List” re-enacted by sexy, young (and white) bikini models?  if “we” do want to see it, why?  and who is “we”, anyway?  these are not rhetorical questions.

Womanist Musings on BlogtalkRadio

image Hey everyone, last night the ever fabulous Monica of TransGriot and everyone’s favourite Gus, aka Allison McCarthy, and I interview author, womanist and        political activist Kola Boof.   It was a wonderful show in which we covered her relationship with Osama Bin Laden, tensions between continental Africans and African descended folks in North America,  and racism in the Arab world.  For those of you that missed the show you can download it here

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Shame: Pop Music Edition

I was informed by a certain Gus, that RMJ from Deeply Problematic had engaged in a terrible shame.  Of course you know that Gus AKA Allison McCarthy threw poor RMJ under the bus,  to avoid another week of 18 point font.   Instead of calling RMJ out, I gave her the opportunity to share her shame with everyone. 

I didn’t intend to become a Britney Spears fan, I really didn’t. I
abhorred her in middle school. Her music was fake – she barely sang
her songs, and her voice was far from the main attraction. Her main
appeal was her body /beauty, a trait she capitalized on shamelessly.
She’s inauthentic in every sense.

But then one day “Toxic” came on the radio. And damnit, that beat! The
instrumentals! The construction! It made me move, and made me want
more. Soon after that I burned a copy of her Greatest Hits from a
friend. Then I made some of her songs my signature at karaoke. And
being a gossip hound (that’s a whole other Sunday Shame) I watched her
have babies and get a divorce.

But I wasn’t really a fan – it was more of a firm affection. Even
though I had to admit her songs were catchy, even as I shook my ass to
“…Baby One More Time”, I could still main an ironic distance.
Then Blackout came out.

Folks, that CD practically did not leave my car player for months.
“Gimme More”, “Piece of Me”, “Radar”, “Toy Soldiers”… I could go on,
but I’ll spare you. Just when Blackout started to skip from
being over-played, Circus came out, and that was equally
awesome. I don’t really understand how anyone could dislike the song

The culmination came last Saturday, when I attended her concert, the
fella (willingly) in tow. This is the true mark of how awesome Britney
is and also how much I’ve played her – he values authenticity in music
above all. But, he enjoys a good pop beat, and he owed me. I’ve been
to dozens and dozens of Widespread Panic, Phish, New
Riders of the Purple Sage, and other hippie-type shows where
AutoTune is a curse-word, so this was quite a change for us.

Did we have fun?

We had a BLAST.

I danced and sang along to every single song, enjoying the airplane
bottles I snuck in in a box of tampons, and WHOOO-ing where
appropriate. My companion was not quite so enthusiastic, but it was
(literally) a breath of fresh air from the usual hippie crowd, and he
was able to make a lot of fun out of it.

The highlights of the show were definitely when she actually sang
live. But that only increased my shame – where else would I be so
excited about a performer singing live…at a live event?
I’m sorry. I know she’s super problematic.  There were a LOT of
shameful elements of the show – I mean, it’s supposed to be a damn
circus. What’s less politically correct than a circus? But come
on…she’s so fun to dance to!

So, fess up, Womanist Musings readers. What is your shameful (or
non-shameful) pop music pleasure? Christina Aguilera? Cher? Madonna?
New Kids on the Block? The Backstreet Boys?