Saturday, June 26, 2010

Drop It Like It’s Hot

Hello everyone, sorry that this is going up late today, but it is once again raining and so my fibromyalgia is flaring.

After the stressful events of last weekend, I have placed a comment policy on the blog.  Please read it over and familiarize yourself with it before commenting.  I wrote this in an attempt to create a safe space for me to continue blogging here.

I am continuing to tweak the new template.  I have changed the colour of the font in the comment section because it seems that some of you didn’t like the red.  If there any other changes that you would like to see please feel free to let me know.

If you would like to contribute to the conversations that happen here by guest blogging, please send me a link or your original work via email to womanistmusings [at] Please include an image that you would like associated with your work, and a short three line bio to introduce yourself to the readers here.

Below you will find links to a few of the great posts that I came across this week.  Please show these bloggers 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.


Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Friday and the Question is...

The Food Network has a new show called, "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."  Top Chefs are encouraged to share their absolutely favorite meal, and then we are shown how they are made.  Watching the food network makes me hungry and gives me ideas.  This weeks question has two parts:  What is the best meal that you have ever eaten and what is the best meal that you have ever prepared?

Top 100 Blogs For Women My Ass Forbes

Well, Forbes created a list of the top 100 blogs for women.  The White women are busy congratulating each other...yeah for Whiteness.  Look, create all the fancy lists that you want, but unless it includes marginalized women, like WOC, trans women, disabled women, etc., it is NOT a list of women.  I am not going to say congratulations to anyone, because all Forbes did was reassert the idea that only a certain kind of woman matters.  

If further pisses me off, because it does not acknowledge how hard it is for marginalized women to even have the ability to blog.  If you are disabled just sitting down, or in my case lying on my back to type out a post can be excruciating.  Various poor women are forced to turn to the public library to have access to the internet, and therefore; are not able to update regularly, or make their presence known in comment threads.  If you are a WOC, you have to deal with the blatant racism of commenters, as well as from your fellow bloggers.  With all that marginalized women have to go through to either get on the internet or create an internet persona, it is disgusting that once again our presence was erased.

New Trans Prof at Chicago State University Is Clueless When It Comes to Race

When I read that Das Janssen had become the first out trans prof at Chicago State University I was truly happy.  Chicago State is an HCBU and there have been issues regarding these schools and their tolerance of the LGBT community.  I  believe however, that some of this has been magnified to confirm the mendacious social myth that Blacks are uniquely anti-queer.  I am quite certain that every single university/college has issues regarding tolerance of the BLGT community, whether or not they have an GLBT alliance on campus; they simply are not as widely reported.

I was even further delighted to read the following comment from Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
"There is a myth that Black people don't like gay marriage or LGBT people. I know that there is some difference in the numbers [ between Blacks and whites on the issue of marriage equality ] but I think that that's all just hogwash. There are white and Black people who are tolerant of LGBT people, and higher education has become a great place to transition." 
So far so good right?  An HBCU has hired an openly out trans man, and the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality has been very open about challenging the idea that Blacks are more hostile to the TLBG community than Whites, what's not to be thrilled about? Read on because there is plenty.

“Ser rico no debería hacerte Dios, or, Being rich should not make you God”

Eugenia de Altura is a female graduate student conducting research on issues of women and gender in the cities of La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia. Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America with the exception of Haiti, and over 60% of the country’s population is of indigenous descent. Eugenia’s postings explore women’s rights, sexuality, and reproductive health in Bolivia and in Latin America as a whole.

On June 12, the BBC reported that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable organization of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, is dedicating $1.5 billion dollars “to boosting women and children's health over the next five years.”  Decreasing maternal deaths worldwide is one of the United Nations’ (UN) “Millennium Development Goals,” a series of goals designed to improve the conditions of the world’s poor, particularly women and children.  According to the BBC, around 350,000 pregnant and nursing women die each year, and the UN hopes to reduce this number by 75% by the year 2015.

So far, so good, right?  It is always heartening to see the world’s wealthiest individuals give big chunks of dough to the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged.  However, there’s a catch: none of the $1.5 billion may be used to fund abortion services, a fact that Lancet journal editor Dr. Richard Horton called, “’outrageous.’”  As Dr. Horton points out, 1 in 7 maternal deaths worldwide is due to complications from unsafe (ie., usually illegal) abortion, amounting to 50,000 of those 350,000 pregnant and nursing women who die each year.  The only explanation the BBC offers for this position is to say that, “the Gates Foundation…supports family planning, but it does not fund abortion or take a position on the issue.”

With abortion-related deaths forming such a significant part of overall maternal deaths, it does seem inexcusable to exclude abortion care simply because it is a hot-button issue.  As medical professionals and activists around the world have been trying to stress for the last few decades, abortion is a public health issue, not a “moral” one.  Regardless of whether or not it is legal, women will continue to have abortions, and will continue dying because of them if we do not provide safe and quality abortion care.

Is That a Boy or a Girl?: Talking to Kids About Gender

Yesterday Oprah aired her interview with Michael Jackson, in memory of his death.  Throughout his lifetime people speculated on his gender  based on his crotch grabbing, surgeries, hair, and high pitched soft voice, even though Michael publicly identified as male.  My children are not overly familiar with his appearance, even though they have heard his music on and off for years.  When the camera focused on his face, Destruction looked at me and asked, "is that a boy or a girl"?

The simple answer to that question is boy, but would it have been the right answer?  Normally, when I speak about gender to my kids, it is about recognizing their male privilege and the ways in which society encourages them to be sexist.  We have only had one other conversation about gender, and this occured  when I stopped Destruction from calling a girl in his school girl/boy last year. It is  easier to talk about sexism to a child than cissexism or the gender binary, because far less opportunities occur -- and I have been unable to find children's stories which feature trans people, inter-sex people or gender queer people.  I have always been big on taking teaching opportunities when they occur, and so I jumped on this quickly.

My first question was, "why do you want to know and does it really matter?"  He answered, "because that is what they always want to know at school."  I took this opportunity to point out that the way he phrased this question erased people.  You see I said, "some people are boys and girls, and some people identify as neither.You should not ask about a person behind their back, and if the gender presentation is ambiguous, you should ask the person which gender pronoun they prefer", I said.  At this point I began to explain about hir, ze, and s/he.

I know that this was a lot information for a nine year old to take in,  but he seemed to follow what I was saying and relate it back to what we had discussed regarding gays and lesbians, and how making assumptions about people is hurtful.  This was really tough for me because I still have so much to learn, but I felt that the longer I went without challenging a binary understanding of gender, the harder it would be for him to process. Even as I sat chatting with him, I could not help but worry that I was getting this all wrong.  Destruction is an extremely sensitive child, and I know he will take what I said to heart, because being good to people is just a part of who he is.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Once Again We Need To Talk

I am going to take tomorrow off and maybe more, I haven't planned any further yet.  I normally blog Mon-Fri very steadily, but I need a break and there are several reasons for this.

When someone decides to honour us with a guest post, the least we could do is not call her a "Brown Bitch" and attempt to silence her voice.  If you don't like a guest poster, don't read their work. I have invited her into my virtual home and it embarrasses me that I even have to write a comment like this. Guest Posters add a unique perspective to Womanist Musings and we should be thanking them for their contributions.

The negative comments and hate mail reached a super nova level this weekend.  I get hate mail every single day.  It is not always from the random douche and it hurts.

The expectations placed upon me are sometimes beyond ridiculous.  Even if I were to have 48 instead of 24 hours in a day, I could never meet this commitment. For every 20 hate letters I get, I don't even get one saying good job Renee, or I appreciate that you took the time.

I am not speaking for all WOC nor have I ever pretended to.  The opinions expressed by me are just that, informed opinions.  Don't turn me into your magic negro. Maybe just maybe, it is because I trusted and respected these women, and maybe just maybe, it comes from a place of pain and hurt. But why even bother to think that way when some other nefarious intent can be implied.  I don't need to be interpreted, I am fairly plain spoken.

Don't come at me like you have unbiased opinion because guess what, we all have biases. If I have had a run in with you, and don't like you, you can bet it will reflect in whatever I have to say about you from that time on.  (in case you're  wondering, that is specifically for you BlackAmazon, I don't want or need your fucking support. Maybe you can use my anger to beg for donations for your trip)

Don't come at me on twitter and demand I recognize you and accuse me of showing a lack of solidarity because I did not see, or answer your tweet.  I follow over 3K people okay, and if I missed you, it probably wasn't intentional, but why give me the benefit of the doubt after over two years on the internet. This is also not the best way to get me to promote your work.

I fuck up.  I am going to fuck up again, it is only a matter of time.  I am learning PUBLICLY and that means there is a record of each and every time I have made a mistake, but what I don't need is someone dragging up shit that happened over a year ago and slapping me in the face with it.  Your closets are no cleaner than mine.

Also, I am sick and tired of being called, racist, homophobic, sexist, ableist, and cissexist.  The entire purpose of this blog was to give space to people that have been marginalized -- lofty goal I know.  Sometimes I talk about things outside of my experience and I make mistakes, but does this make me any of these labels?  It makes me someone who is trying to make my way in this world.

Don't act like I am not entitled to MY hurt and MY pain or MY anger.

Stop acting like you don't hold bloggers to a higher standard than you do people in real life.  I have not only seen this with my self, but with countless other bloggers.  

Don't accuse me of silencing your bullshit.  I have one of the loosest commenting policies in the woman identified blogosphere.  If I think I am right I am going to defend my position, but that does not mean that you are not free to disagree with me. People who happen to agree with me are not sycophants and I personally resent that. 

Instead of thinking of ways that you can take, how about thinking of ways that you can give.  My e-mail is overflowing with requests to highlight this event or that event.  People make requests of me and don't have the decency to say hello how are you first.  Would you walk up to a stranger on the street and say I want this or I want that before you say hey, nice to meet you or how's it going?

Finally, this space may be safe for you, but it sure as hell is not safe for me.  I put in over 12 (largely unpaid) hours a day on this blog, and to be so unappreciated and attacked, really makes me want to rethink my whole relationship with blogging.  There are days when I wonder why the hell I didn't start a safe little blog about television.

I am taking this break because I realized that when Monday came, I really didn't want to blog.  This space that I created is safe for many people, but it isn't safe for me.  It is gotten so bad that I can barely stutter shut the fuck up troll.   I am at a breaking point.  It makes me feel vulnerable to say that but it is the truth.  I want this space to exist.  I want to continue to have great conversations with you and most importantly I want to continue to learn.  I have applied so many of the lessons learned her to mothering my children and interacting with the world.  The abuse has got to stop though.  It has to stop. 

Editors Note:I write that I am vulnerable and hurting, and some of you cannot wait to stick a knife and twist right into me.  I am adding this note which is a comment I left in the thread for the purposes of clarification.  It highlights the point I made about good faith because some of you clearly don't know what it means.

To those of you agreeing with 1984 thanks for your support. Keep in mind that 1984 has been trolling this blog for months. There is a distinction between telling someone what you said was sexist, ableist, homophobbic etc and you are the aforementioned, but let's not make that distinction at all because it is better to attack people wholesale. This why you don't hear me say ALL white people are racist and instead I talk about Whiteness.

Here is other thing, many people digging at me have an axe to grind and I rightfully don't trust them. If I am in a conversation with Sparky for instance, and he says to me, Renee you have to rethink what you said, you are damn right I am going to take what he says to heart. If Monica of TransGriot says Renee that was pretty cissexist, you are damn right I am going to apologize without pretense and try to learn immediately. But I don't trust the drive by blows when each day in either comments or e-mails I get called, cunt, nigger, fat bitch. told to die, told my children should be taken from me, and all the other little pleasant platitudes. So when I am talking to someone I don't trust, you better believe that distinction is important. I get called out plenty, just as I call out plenty, because I don't avoid the hard conversations and I learn each and every time.

Did it make you all feel better to engage in that little call out? Did it make you all feel better to sit and question even after I said yes I fuck up in that thread? Did it even occur to you that some of the attacks aimed at me are because I black disabled female and speak my damn mind. No one wants to stop for one moment to consider the gotcha politics of blogging. No, I don't mind a call out cause I want to learn, but I damn well have to trust the source after the abuse. 

I won't be back to this thread until I take some time, enjoy your bashing of me. And thank you  to those of you who left kind words.

Spark of Wisdom: Rainbow Washing

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.

There is a delightful habit I've seen all over the place, that I call rainbow washing. 

I took the term from some very cynical and very accurate environmentalists who spoke of companies "greenwashing" themselves. It was a very clever marketing ploy - you have a company that has all the environmental record of a cartoon villain and then they'll slap on a green sign, maybe add a few flowers and awwwww they're so good for the environment. Or maybe they'd announce that they've installed energy saving lightbulbs in their head office and started recycling memos while dumping defoliant in any nearby woodland.
I'm sure we've all seen something similar. A company with a terrible environmental record decides to make some minor gestures so we believe they're green and shiny.

And so it is with Rainbow-washing. It's an easy process of making some very easy speeches , some nice PR moves. Do something quick and easy and relatively costless (and, sadly, often relatively meaningless) without any real commitment and effort. When the time or opportunity arises to make similar gestures - or actual real commitments and actions - in favour of GBLT equality they're suddenly very very absent.

Congratulations to Genia and Andrea of Sisterstalk

Genia of the awesome blog and podcast SistesTalk is getting married.  Take a moment to cheer everyone.

Though I have decided to never ever take the plunge myself, it makes me really happy to see two people in love.  I just wanted to take this time and say congratulations to the two of you.  I hope that you have a wonderful day and spend a lifetime loving and supporting each other. 

As an aside, I would have put money on Genia being the one to propose, girlfriend handles her business. :)

Black Teacher Fired for out of Wedlock Pregnancy

The year is 2010 and women are still being punished for being sexual beings.  When Jessica Valenti wrote "The Purity Myth," one of my largest criticisms is that it did not address the ways Black women are often slut shamed and held to this very same standard.  In religious communities, many Black women must be purer than Caesar's wife to have any sort of standing.

In 2008 Jarretta Hamilton, then a widow with five children was hired by Southland Christian School  in St. Cloud, Fla. as a teacher.  In 2009 she had a meeting with the principle Jon Ennis, and her new husband Samuel Treftz, to discuss taking a six week maternity leave.  One would think that this would be a fairly benign conversation; however, Ennis used this as an opportunity to try and discern when Hamilton became pregnant.
"He actually tried to do the math to figure out when I had conceived. I was absolutely shocked, it came out of nowhere. He actually fell back in his chair when I told him that I had conceived before marriage,” she says.
 A week later she was sent a letter informing her that she was being fired from her job for engaging in "immoral behaviour."   This was later confirmed in a letter sent to Hamilton's lawyer, Edward Gay by Ennis. 
"Jarretta was asked not to return because of a moral issue that was disregarded, namely fornication, sex outside of marriage. The employment application, which she filled out, clearly states, that as a leader before our students we require all teachers to maintain and communicate the values and purpose of our school.”
Hamilton is now rightfully suing the school for discrimination.  She is seeking back pay for wages lost, and emotional distress.  She has yet to find a new job, and so I imagine that this has caused a financial strain on her family. According her lawyer, schools are doing a public service and therefore cannot impose this kind of sanction on a teacher despite having a religious affiliation.

“The Hidden Face of Cleopatra” By Kola Boof

Egyptian-Sudanese-American novelist and poet Kola Boof has been an agent for Sudan’s SPLA and was the National Chairwoman of the U.S. Branch of the Sudanese Sensitization Peace Project.  She has written for television and her many books include, “Flesh and the Devil,” “Long Train to the Redeeming Sin,” “Nile River Woman” and “Virgins In the Beehive.”  She blogs at Kola Boof. com

I wouldn’t dare presume to know exactly, tone and texture, what Cleopatra looked like in 30 B.C. But when Americans claim that she was a White woman, even a supposedly dark White woman like Angelina Jolie or Elizabeth Taylor—and when they use modern day Egypt, Greece and the White Arab world to justify such claims—I find it akin to claiming Black Americans are a “mostly” light-skinned group of Indians who came to this country light-skinned from some fictional great Redbone Tribe five hundred years ago.

      It simply isn’t accurate.

      Still and all, Hollywood, the NAACP, pioneer Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux and even JOHNSON PUBLICATIONS have traditionally tried to pretend that Lena Horne and Fredi Washington are what the “motherseed” of the Black Americans looked like—instead of Cicely Tyson, Nina Simone, Angelique Kidjoe and Esther Rolle—which, I, as an African woman, know for a fact is far more accurate.

      Casting Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra is a continuation of this lie.  And if Halle Berry indeed stars in a film about the life of truly gingerbread-colored Ingot-eyed Queen Nefertiti, then I say the same thing—these images are wholly Colorist and par for the course in a White Supremacist movie industry that primarily lessens the power of Black African people by disallowing positive and attractive images of authentic Black females—the original genetic womb-bearer of all Creoles, Berbers, Mende-Race (Negroes) and everybody else claiming to be Black.      

      The intent, of course, is that the Black-Seeing-Eye will gradually reject its actual mother and choose lighter and whiter images—until, POOF—the Blacks don’t exist anymore.  The music video and magazine images that African people create (think Wale and Puff Diddy) are just as cancerous, colorist and Anti-Black Womb as the ones created by White Hollywood, but right now, we’re focusing on the hidden face of Cleopatra.

      To be clear—Egypt had several Queen’s called Cleopatra, so I am speaking on the child Queen who became mistress to Roma’s Cesar and had a love affair with Marc Antony. 

      I am Half-Egyptian; my pale eggshell-colored father was the renowned archeologist Harith Bin Farouk. Technically, I am Biracial.  And please make a note—that like most Biracial people in North or East Africa, I don’t look Creole; I look completely Black. Again, repeat after me—the overwhelming majority of Biracial people in Africa look Black, despite the Whitest of admixture, because our parents and families are a lot purer than Western Blacks to begin with.

      Many Nubians in Egypt (and hell, the Black-skinned Egyptians of Upper Egypt themselves) are so deep dark skinned (what you call “Blue Black”) that no one would ever believe they are in fact—biracial. But in many instances, that is the case.  Of course, in Africa, whether it be Egypt, Sudan, Tanzania or the Congo, we don’t care about “DNA” or who your parents were.  Mariah Carey could be the daughter of Michael Jordan and Grace Jones and our question would still be this: “Are the ancestors showing?”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Juneteenth Disaster: This Time In the Gay Community

Juneteenth is a very important day to people of the African Diaspora.  It celebrates the emancipation of American Slaves.  It was officially made a holiday in 1980 and is celebrated in over 30 states, as well as many border cities in Canada. Many people choose to ignore the importance of this day, and this is directly related to White Privilege.  It was not their ancestors that were enslaved, and it is not White people that have to live with the after affects of this.

I was not surprised to learn that yet another group of people who claim to be allies to the Black community, as well as having Black members, decided that Juneteenth was a perfect opportunity to put their racism on display.  In case anyone is wondering, I am directing this post specifically at White American gay males

Last weekend (June 18-19), Chuck Knipp gave a performance playing the role of Shirley Q Liquor at the Russian River Resort. The Resort attempts to cater guessed it, the GLBT community.  The tickets for the event were a mere ten dollars and The Russian River stated that Chuck Knipp in the role of Shirley Q Liquor is one of their largest draws.  It seems natural that a gay resort would seek to support gay entertainers; however, what Chuck does is a modern day genderized Minstrel show. 

Re-defining Shakti Or Otherwise Known As Patriarchal Manipulation

This is a guest post by Jaded16

Jaded16 is a Radical Feminist from India. She writes a humour blog Oi With The Poodles Already’, attempting to make her world a little woman-friendly using healthy doses of irony and sarcasm to de-condition the Indian masses. It is at times like these when she loses all her sense of humour and starts looking for a rock big enough to live under.

Last week at a family dinner, my aunt was talking about a married couple in her neighbourhood who were considering divorce. Apparently, the man in question was a cheating on his wife of four years with his employee. Everyone was disgusted by his behaviour, felt horrible for his wife in the prescribed amount of pity (according to the guidance of the book on Expressing Correct Amounts Of  Privileged LadyEmotions  - the same one that makes us feel sorry for anyone below us in the social order with the correct proportion of well-intentioned condescension) secretly thanking their stars that it wasn't them and wishing the wife strength to forgive him. When I asked why should she forgive him considering he didn't ever respect her, was a wife-beating scumbag in addition to his adulterous nature, my aunt huffed, "We women have Shakti. It's our responsibility to be the bigger person and keep our families together...". She went on explaining the numerous womanly duties we should perform while my brain slammed shut. In all seriousness though, there are many stories weaved around this shakti, each twisted to suit patriarchy's best need : To Keep Ladies In Their Place.

Literally speaking, Shakti means power. Of course when this Shakti is written by a Dude, it becomes yet another tool (no innuendo intended) that encourages women to internalise male supremacy.

True Blood: Bad Blood

This a spoiler alert.  Discussion may involve the series and the books.
image It seems that Alan Ball has decided to switch gears and start this third season off with a real bang, unlike the beginning of the first and second season.  This episode began with Bill spraying blood everywhere after biting the ear off of werewolf and killing many of his compatriots.  The last werewolf is saved when the king of Mississippi appears making it clear that it was he who ordered Bill's kidnapping.  The King admits that werewolves are under his control.  This comes as no surprise to those of you who have read the books.
The scene quickly moves to Tara in the bathroom with Lafayette forcing her to vomit.  He yells at Tara's mother and says "you to busy praising Jesus to realize your daughter trying to move in permanently". I think that this is an important scene because Ball has never really allowed Tara to express anything but anger.  This shows that she has dimensions; it is just a shame that the first emotion she is allowed to show is pain, though it is very fitting in this instance.
Sookie takes her case to Eric and starts to beg for help.  When she cries he responds saying, "please don't do that, it makes me feel disturbingly human". He feels that her life is to valuable to throw away. 
In what is the first of two flashback scenes of the episode, Eric goes back to Germany during WWII and there is a surprise guest appearance from Godric.  I am really glad that they included this cameo.  Last season, Godric appeared very briefly but his presence was very powerful and he managed to evoke a lot of emotion from the viewers.  Hopefully, this will not be the last flash back scene we see that includes him. 
image Back at the king of Mississippi's home, Bill is plied with all manner of what I can only assume are blood delicacies. Thank goodness I make a practice not to eat during this show; I would have been sick. First they offer him the job of sheriff of Mississippi area two, which he declines.The sheriff believes that there is an agenda behind Bills move to Bon Temps, and his relationship with Sookie.  When the king threatens Sookie, Bill reveals his fangs.
On his way to the hospital Tara begs Lafayette to pull over. In the exchange Tara makes it clear that it is not so much the death of eggs that has brought her so much pain."The one time in my entire life I thought I was happy, I was a fucking zombie”, she says to Lafayette.  He responds with,  “Life ain't about not having problems it is about being able to dealt with the problem you got”.  If you didn't get it before, Ball wants you to know without doubt that Tara is broken.  



Robert L. Danforth is a freelance writer and blogger for BONIFACE NOW.
BONIFACE NOW is a multi-media weblog launched during the summer of 2009. The blog spotlights news and people surrounding popular culture in the U.S.A.
Danforth is a published political commentator at
He lives in New York City.
Tom Nicon was a 22 year old French fashion model. He was found dead after an apparent fall from his apartment window yesterday in Milan. Nicon was a top runway walker for designer shows like Louis Vuitton and Burberry among others. As reported to Isaac Likes, a friend of Nicon says "...he did the Versace fitting this morning. After that he was supposed to go to his agency, but he never arrived. I don't know if it was suicide or if he fell."
Tom Nicon (pictured above)
During the last couple of years, several models have died due mysterious circumstances including suicide. Last April, Ambrose Olsen, 24, was found dead. He was rumored to have hung himself, but the reports have never been officially confirmed. Tragically, Olsen's death occurred on the same day as Colombian model Lina Marulanda who jumped from her balcony, distraught after a recent divorce from her second husband Carlos Onate.
Daul-kim-korea-numero-6Korean model Daul Kim (pictured left), 20, died last year due to an apparent suicide by hanging. 
The 5'10 stunner catapulted from a local Seoul, Korea based model to global recognition strutting the runways in Paris and Milan.
Before her death, on her blog, Kim wrote of her animosity towards the fashion industry, personal feelings and her depression. 
Jean-Pierre Verges says "...Kim wrote she was "mad, depressed and overworked," and in another entry said "the more i gain the more lonely it is ... i know i'm like a ghost."
In 2008, American model Randy Johnston (pictured below), died of a heroin overdose in the U.K. He was an advertising star for Dior Homme, embodying the rock & roll skinny male model phenomenon of the "Hedi Slimane Effect". Johnston's friends report that he had an ongoing problem with heroin which lead to a horrible addiction. He was 20 years old at the time of his death.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Racism at FWD (Feminists with Disabilities)

I spent most of the day yesterday dealing with the erasure of Juneteenth in the so-called progressive blogoshere. At first there were denials that this was an absolute act of racist erasure; however, with the exception of FWD, all of the bloggers have acknowledged the damage that their actions have caused.  I want to say a particular thank you to TigTog, for her post on Hoyden About Town,  regarding the role she played.

As I said at the beginning of this post, FWD refuses to take ownership for their racist behaviour, and at this time has closed comments on the thread, claiming that a productive conversation is not possible.
Hi Renee,  I had chosen not to publish the rest of your comments yesterday as I did think your main concern was in the first one, and that publishing your other comments would detract from your concern.  I will publish them all now.
I believe that conversations that take place at the speed-of-internet are rarely productive.  There is an implicit demand that people react immediately, instead of taking careful, thoughtful, and respectful action.

In light of that, I am closing comments here.  I do not think that this conversation here will prove to be productive for any of the parties involved.

I am sorry that my actions and behaviour have caused this conversation to be necessary.

My other comments continuously called them out on their racism and absolute failure to acknowledge me.  There was a comment in which I specifically took S.E. Smith to task on ou's failure to even comment or acknowledge the behaviour ou engaged in by putting a post on Feminsite calling yesterday Helen Keller day, and completely ignoring Juneteenth.
@s.e. don’t you want to say hi all disabled White people and not hi all as that implies including Black People, you know the people you erased on Feminsite today. You STILL HAVE not commented about putting that racist post up on feministe, and seem to be quite content to pass the buck to Anna, as though you didn’t do some first class erasure yourself. Let me tell you something, if you are not going to have any open threads, then you better be sure that you are not going to fuck up, because then you only double down on your privilege and silencing. Instead of worrying about Anna, you should be worrying about yourself; you engaged in your fair share of racism today, without apology too I might add. (note: this comment has to be published by FWD)
 While Anna needs "time to be thoughtful", I am now devoting a second day to their racist actions.   She is sorry that I had to call her out, but nowhere does she admit that what she did was racist.What enrages me the most about this situation, is the following comment made by Anna on FWD:
 I did become aware of the US holiday of Juneteenth a few days ago, and I must be totally frank that, since I am not from the US, and FWD is not a US-centric blog, I considered that there was enough room for discussions of Juneteenth and discussions of Helen Keller and other women with disabilities on the same date, especially since it was my hope that non-white, non-US women with disabilities would also be discussed and highlighted. Again, I brought this up in the intro post, but not in this open-post for the day.
So, this supposed ally to Black disabled women knew it was Juneteenth and decided that the erasure was just fine with her.  That is White privilege at its best.  Ironically enough, Anna is from Halifax Nova Scotia, which has one of the largest populations of Blacks descended directly from American slavery in Canada.  The descendants of the slaves here, hold celebrations every Juneteenth and so her decision that Juneteenth is an "American holiday", as though it does not effect Canada, the place she calls home, is clearly an excuse to avoid acknowledging the importance of Juneteenth. And while she claimed there was room enough to discuss both, FWD did not post a Juneteenth post, nor did they bother to highlight any Black disabled people in their Helen Keller post.  How is this celebrating both events?

Happy Father's Day

Unfortunately for the unhusband, he has to work today and so we gave him his presents bright and early in the morning.  I knew that whatever we gave him, it could never be recognition enough to show what he means to this family.  The unhusband has dedicated his entire life to Mayhem, Destruction and me.

You often hear a lot about fathers that are failing their families, but I am glad that a day like this exists, so that we can celebrate the men that give their all every day.  There isn't a 50/50 division of labour in my house, there is a 70/30 division, with the unhusband doing the lions share of the work.  Every day is a double day for him, and he does so on little to no sleep because our comfort and our happiness is at the forefront of his mind.  

My unhusband is all about his boys, and he has gone without sleep to attend their pageants, games, and tournaments.  Wherever they are, you can be certain that he is on the sidelines cheering proudly -- and win or lose, he is just happy to be a part of their lives.   Shortly after I had Destruction, I remember the unhusband taking him into his job because he wanted to show the world his boy.  I remember him walking around, prouder than a peacock, chest out, informing everyone that stopped that this was his son and wasn't he the most amazing child ever.And this has never stopped.