Saturday, July 24, 2010

Drop It Like It's Hot

Hello everyone, thanks for the great week of conversation.  Thanks to the guest blogs and contributors for another fabulous week.  Without the participation of everyone. this blog would not be what it is today.  For those wishing to participate in the conversations that happen here, please be aware that Womanist Musings has an open guest posting policy.  Please feel free to send me either a link or your original work via e-mail. Please include a short three line bio and an image that you would like associated with your work. Remember, the more of us that are speaking out, the wider the conversations here will be.  It is my goal to ensure that this blog is as intersectional as possible.

I also would like to take the opportunity to let everyone know that the Friday Question is open for suggestions.  If there is a question you would like answered, please send me an e-mail at womanistmusings[at]  If we have several questions, I am not adverse to expanding this to twice a week.

Also, a quick reminder regarding comment moderation. Some of you may have noticed that your comments are hitting moderation, this is because I am trying to slow down the number of troll comments that are disrupting the conversation.  If you a regular commenter, please sign in with either wordpress or twitter, or your Intense Debate account to avoid this.  If I am monitoring the blog closely, your comments will be posted quickly, but if I have to be away from the computer your comments will sit in moderation until my return.  Please take the time to create an account because it will go a long way to making this space safer for everyone.  Finally, to those that feel that they have a right to disrespect any of my guest posters, your comments will remain in moderation indefinitely.  Ze is expressing their opinion on a situation in the same manner that I regularly do, and I will not have them trolled because their work is appearing at Womanist Musings.  If you cannot treat them with the same respect that you do me, then you are not welcome to comment.  

Below you will find links to some great posts that I found this week. Some of them are almost as good as Canadian bacon, so 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.

Commenters Suck (Except Y’all, Of Course)
"I Was There - Stories of Women in Conflict Zones
Cop who tasered schoolteacher lands on his feet
‘I have native friends but this is going too far’- Alberton Ontario resident
The 7 Craziest Westboro Baptist Church Protests
Taser Autopsy: Death of Efrian Carrion is Ruled ‘Excited Delirium’
Is Cheerleading a Sport?
Taylor Momsen Divulges that her Vibrator is her Best Friend, the World Gasps in Revulsion
So let me get this straight – you slept with this guy….
Jesus loves the little racist puppet children
Old Spice: At Last I Smell Like A Man
You Know What You Need?
Taylor Momsen Divulges Her Vibrator Is Her Best friend, the World Gasps in Horror
Fake Noises Issues Death Threats To U.S. Congressman
Banned from Emotions
There were no mirrors in my NaNa’s house
Shirley Sherod’s victory: A teachable moment on talking race
In the Shadow of a Metaphor: The Vampire Diaries and Southern History

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Friday and the Question Is......

As you know each Friday I ask a question for us to deliberate on. This week our very own Jaded16 has come up with this weeks question.

How come all WOC are supposed to be "exotically beautiful"? So beautiful that they can't see it, till some White Dude literally oohs and aahs over your beauty like you're exotic yogurt.You'd think this stupid notion would have been changed somehow, it's the 21 freaking century and NOT E.M. Forster's A Passage to India anymore 

“Aunt Samantha wants YOU for the new American abortion war”

 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.
A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times Magazine published a piece entitled, “The New Abortion Providers” that centers on the medical professionals that are currently providing elective abortions in the U.S.A.  Although my own work, and most of my blog writing, focuses on Latin America, I’ve chosen to write about this issue because it strikes me as an extremely important one.  I will warn you now—the NYT article is long, but it is more than worth reading.  In fact, I think that anyone who considers herself pro-choice—and everyone who opposes abortion, too—should read it. 

The article, by Emily Bazelon, stresses the difficulties that abortion doctors face in the U.S., and the dwindling pool of doctors willing to provide the procedure because of these difficulties.  Doctors who provide abortions not only get harassed and murdered in the U.S., they also pay between $10,000-$15,000 more for malpractice insurance than doctors who do not.  Many older abortion providers had to go out of their way to learn to perform abortions, since medical schools often opted out of providing training.  Some of these doctors traveled out of state a couple of times a week to provide abortions.  During the years that I worked in abortion care, I knew at least two doctors who commuted across state lines to do abortions. 

The challenges that abortion doctors face in the U.S. are not coincidental; anti-abortion activists and a conservative medical establishment have fabricated or contributed to many of these.  As Bazelon points out, following the 1993 speech of a radical anti-abortion activist, eight doctors were murdered across the U.S.  The hesitancy of doctors to perform abortions sometimes stems from where these doctors must do procedures—as hospitals and private doctors have turned away from providing abortions, more and more abortion doctors have had to work in free-standing clinics, ie., the kind that are constantly plagued by protestors and violence. 

As of 1992, it became apparent that the population of U.S. abortion providers was aging—one survey reported that “59 percent of those age 65 and older said that they performed abortions, compared with 28 percent of those age 50 and younger.”  One of the clinics where I worked—a small, feminist, non-profit—joined the efforts of other clinics to train younger and less experienced providers in abortion care.  This training process, albeit incredibly important, ended up increasing patients’ wait times and stressing the clinic’s already limited resources.  The clinic—like many others in recent years—was forced to close a few years ago. 

The numbers of doctors providing abortions has not decreased due to decreased demand for the procedure.  As Bazelon notes, “abortion remains the most common surgical procedure for American women; one-third of them will have one by the age of 45.”  The author also points out that the numbers of abortions performed annually has remained the same since 1977.  And yet, even the doctors interviewed in this article report disruptions in their careers and in their everyday lives due to their decision to perform abortions.  Most of them gave pseudonyms rather than their real names.  And many of them may soon retire.

Fortunately, pro-choice doctors have not met these trends lying down.  Since the mid-1990s, doctors and their allies have built training programs, hoping to increase the procedure’s availability and to support providers who perform it.  Increasing the availability of abortion and the number of doctors providing it is not only a matter of improving women’s access to abortion—it also would help normalize the procedure as an integral part of women’s healthcare.  Although the pro-choice movement is working hard on these issues, Bazelon believes that, “there’s a long way to go from here to there.”

I am unwilling to fault medical providers for their hesitancy to perform abortions.  I have worked with dozens of abortion doctors, and I have seen the challenges they face.  But perhaps because of that, I also recognize the special dedication, selflessness, and heroism of doctors that do perform these procedures.  So, I’d like to think of this posting as a call to arms: if you are a doctor and you work with women, step up to the plate.  1 in 3 American women need you.  And the rest will value your commitment, too.


Really Jon Hamm?

Unless you live on Mars, you are well aware that Sunday marks the beginning of the new season of "Mad Men."  Of course, like any piece of pop culture there are issues with the show; however, the excitement often silences even the most reasonable critique.  Though Mad Men hardly needs the press, the actors are doing their rounds on various talk shows.  January Jones recently told Regis that Hamm is indeed a good kisser.  Isn't that what you always wanted to know?  For his part, Hamm recently did an interview with "Time Magazine," you know the usual ten question deal. This is something that I would normally ignore but two quotes in particular irritated me enough to blog about.
What qualities do you think men lack today that were present in those from the Mad Men era?Octavio de la Torre, PALMDALE, CALIF.
There's a cordialness that men had when dealing with the opposite sex, even when they were being blatantly sexist. It's a weird conundrum. But that's been replaced with men treating women like absolute garbage and not even being polite about it, which is too bad.
A cordialness?  Really?  I think it is time that we stop the ahistorical past bullshit that has people suggesting that a golden age ever existed. Let's just remember that while  men were being "cordial" they were beating their wives and assuming that they had the right to sexually harass their secretaries. Even if they were supposedly being "cordial," it did not make their actions any less traumatic to the women that had to endure the abuse.  And this idea that men are suddenly treating women like shit is ridiculous.  If men were not raping, abusing, sexually exploiting, sexually harassing, slut shaming, impoverishing etc., there would have been no need for a women's movement.  That is the real history and no amount of revisionism is going to make the lie of chivalry and "cordialness" true.  The whole reason this myth exists in the first place to imply that women are responsible for the behaviour of men.  Supposedly, if we would just be quiet and let them be real men, no misogynistic attacks be happening today, when in fact, the few protections that women have are a direct result of fighting for gender equality.  You would think that a man who plays a character like Don Draper could see what a false veneer the concept of "cordialness" is. 

Simon Cowell Gets Sued For "Humiliation"

Simon Cowell is the man that so many love to hate and with good reason.  Some of his acerbic comments on "American Idol" are beyond cruel. Some claim to love him because he says our uncensored thoughts; however, it is my belief that if he really functions as society's subconscious ID, we are in a lot of trouble. When I learned that he was being sued for humiliation my first thought was that it was a nuisance lawsuit. Anyone that stands in front of him and sings, has got to be prepared for his nasty behaviour; it is after all what he is famous for.  It is kind of like taunting a dog and then wondering why he bit you.

It seems however the headlines on this story are actually quite misleading.  There is a lot more at stake than a contestant who is bitter after a Cowell smackdown.  

Cowell and his TV show are being sued by contestant Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai, who claims she was humiliated and degraded on the show in a broadcast in May 2009.

Czikai first lodged her complaint of unfairness and discrimination with a British employment tribunal in January.

The tribunal action emerged in the press following a pretrial review at the central London tribunal court.
Czikai, representing herself, accused the show and its judges of "exploitation, humiliation, degradation and barbarism."

She also claimed the show was guilty of disability discrimination because it had not made adjustments for her, such as lowering the level of backing music and microphone levels.

Czikai said: "This program makes a select number of rich people very, very rich on the backs of the ordinary man and woman in the street through exploitation, humiliation, degradation and a re-emergence of modern-day barbarism with all its inherent cruelty."

The one-time nurse reportedly told the tribunal she suffers from cervical spine neuritis, which can cause head and shoulder pain, which in turn caused her singing to suffer.

The pretrial review, which will decide if a full hearing will go ahead, was told that she was seeking 300,000 pounds ($458,000) for injured feelings, compensation of 1 million pounds ($1.5 million) and loss of earnings of 1.25 million pounds ($ 1.9 million.
"Britain's Got Talent," may be a talent competition but if it does not make allowances and or  accommodations for people with disabilities, this is discrimination and in my mind Czikai has every right to sue.  Too often people with disabilities are expected to play "super crip" and rise above, while TAB pretend that the playing field is level.  When we fail to live up to their ridiculous standards the issue is never about the failure to off proper accommodations, instead it is about our inability to force our bodies to do the impossible.

Enough of the Betty White Craze

I am old enough to remember Betty White on "Mary Tyler Moore" (any cracks on my age will lead to me sticking my tongue out at you)  But I really fell in love with Betty when she played Rose Nylan on "The Golden Girls."  I still watch that show every day in re-run and laugh my ass off no matter how many times I have seen the episode.  I was really cheering for her when she got the opportunity to host "Saturday Night Live" and I watched her wretched new show "Hot in Cleveland" -- time I will never get back btw. I marveled with many that Betty White, at the age of 88 suddenly became the "IT" girl; however, I am just about done now. I can hear the screeches of noooo, blasphemy.  

Apparently, if you have not already overdosed on everything Betty White, now you can buy the Betty White hoodie. 

And you'll never guess -- it has built in headphones.  Oh wow everyone.  And look the shirt says long live the Queen. No disrespect to Betty, but there are only two queens that I am aware of, one is the fabulous Ms Dana Owens and the other is the one and only Aretha Franklin.  Much as I love me some Betty White, the label of queen is TAKEN.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shedding Some Light on the Back of the House

Hello everyone, every once and a while I feel compelled to share with you, some of the pleasantries I have to wade through to make the blog a safe space.  Let's just call it a form of stress relief shall we.  This week I have decided to include a  comment from one my posts on Women's Eye on Media, my new blog with Holly Ord.  This person had the honor of being the first individual to be banned. This blog is just over a week old and already the trolls are making themselves comfortable. As usual, at the end of the post I will provide you with a poll so that you may vote on the most heinous in this week's top troll contest.  Please share in the comment section your motivation for your selection.  As always, each comment comes with a huge trigger warning, as they are all harmful in some way. 

Cecilia: Oh and if you think disney is messing up your kids? (if for some reason you have any) im pretty sure that would be your fault and not the movies ;) dont like the heat ;) thats because your a stuck up cunt who can bash but cant take it. get a fucking life and get off welfare. Posted on Humorless Womanist Bashes Disney Princesses

White Boy: White privilege - being a white woman who gets punched in the face by black man while denying that somehow you have any.

White privilege does actually exist, it involves not being born and acting like a 3rd world ghetto banging cockroach who robs, rapes, and punches women in the face while blaming other races for the miserable failure that yours has become.  Posted on: Columbia Professor Punches Woman in the Face in an Argument About Race

cuntfucker666: black women would be more attractive if they laid off the mcdonalds and stopped being so bitchy and entitled Post on: Which Race Has the Most Beautiful Women?

Ayeshaa: Shut up you slut. India is nothing you write about. We don't ever do things like this. Muslims start most wars. Ever thought of writing anything GOOD about India?  Posted on: The Things We Always Remember Edition Of Selective Memories 

Tammy Green: This site must be loaded with red necks and poor white trash....What we should be discussing is those white man molestic those boys in The Vatican or the suicide of Micheal Jacksons accuser father (Evan Chandler-a white man) killing himself because he could not live with his conscience. These are real subjects bloggers should be discussing. And may i add Rihanna has a video about playing a game of Russia Roulette...what kind of example is this young woman setting for the world and young people. Now these are subjects that bloggers should be discussing. Not Chris Brown....we was not in that car to know the actually truth...So red necks and poor white trashes lets stick to the evil low down mess your race do and stay off the black race.Post on: Queen Latifah, Chrish Brown and Forgiveness 


Associating Obama With Watermelon is not a Political Statement

Watermelon has been negatively associated with Blacks for a very longtime and yet somehow when called on their racist language, White people always claim that they mean something else.  When Dean Grose, the Mayor of Los Alamitos sent out an e-mail entitled "No Easter Egg Hunt At The White House This Year", it included a lovely little watermelon patch on the White House lawn, but he "didn't mean to be offensive".   Whiteness just cannot stop using watermelons to racially attack Blacks.

Darwin Holly, a former employee of TAMKO Building Products  was fired in 2009 after a racially charged comment at a company picnic.  This joker sat down with a plate of watermelon and announced to his co-workers, that he was going to have a piece of "Obama fruit." 
Holly appealed his termination to the state's Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, which agreed that he violated TAMKO's harassment policy that prohibits employees from "making racially derogatory jokes, comments or displaying or possessing racially derogatory or offensive symbols, emblems, writings or other documents on TAMKO property or while conducting TAMKO business."

So Holly appealed again, this time to the Missouri Court of Appeals (Southern Division). Last week the court handed down its ruling, agreeing with the commission that Holly had indeed been fired for cause.
So, his co-workers thought that what he said was offensive, and the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission agreed with this, but when he went to argue before  the Missouri Court of Appeals (Southern Division), racist jackass Darwin Holly, had this to say, "In my mind I was calling the president a melon head, no reference to racial whatsoever."  If he wanted to call Obama a "melon head", why didn't he just say that, instead of using watermelon to make his point?  Oh I know, he's a racist.  It's pretty obvious to me. I have no problem with a legitimate critique of Obama, in fact this is necessary to ensure that he is doing his job; however, the minute his race is used as an attack, then it is not about his political performance -- but Whiteness' fear that its power is being diluted by the presence of a Black man in the house that slaves built.

The MRA Exploits Racism to Benefit White Men

I first heard about a 14 year old boy  who was arrested at Burlington Coat Factory for him attempting to help a three year old find her mother at Danny's Corner of the Universe. I decided to investigate the case because I thought there might be a racial aspect to it.  From the look of the grainy video, the boy appears to be of colour and so does the little girl. According to the Orlando Sentinel:
Edwin approached the girl and told her he would find her mother. Edwin's mother said she saw the two together, asked Edwin what was going on, and then said she would help.

Then Edwin made his big mistake. He thought the girl's mother might be among a group of women that he saw leaving the store. So off he went.

The video shows him leaving the store, with the girl following behind. Once outside, he took her by the hand.

Edwin's mother then appeared, following after him and the girl.

It turned out the girl's lost mother was in the store. She told investigators that she was returning an item to the shelf when she lost track of her daughter. She naturally became alarmed. Another shopper told her that the girl left the store with a man. Edwin is big enough to pass for a defensive lineman, which probably is part of the problem here.

The video shows the girl's mother rushing out the door.

By that time, Edwin had discovered the girl didn't belong to any of the women he had seen leaving the store. He said he was turning back to return to the store.

There was a convergence of Edwin, his mother, the little girl and her mother. The girl was returned to her mother.
Apparently, the mother then insisted the police be called.  When they arrived, Edwin was shopping for shoes with his mother and he was  arrested and charged with, unlawful imprisonment - a felony.   On the video there is no audio, but I do believe if it was really Edwin's intention to kidnap this child, he would not have returned to shopping with his mother.  In fact, who attempts to kidnap someone with their mother present?  Glen Sacks, the king of the MRA has of course turned this into a men's rights issue.  On his blog he states:
It turns out that there are consequences to our creation over the past four decades of the horrific mythological beast, man.  One of those consequences is the gradual loss of that most masculine of virtues, the protection of the young and weak.  In times past, that was considered a fine thing and men were honored for doing it.  Now, unless they have a clear relationship with the person they're helping, they likely wind up behind bars.

Dear Black Folk

I came across the following video over  at Siddity. Black folk, we have to to do better. As I watched women in various states of undress fight each other in a Burger King parking lot, my throat choked with disgust.  Two of the women were pregnant and one of them was visibly pregnant,  yet that was not reason enough to show caution.  Not a single person thought about the damage to the baby as they attempted to kick each other in the stomach.  And just when I thought I could take no more, a man became involved when a woman hit his car.  I certainly do not believe that anyone has the right to willfully attempt to destroy the possessions of another, but that certainly did not give him cause to punch her with a closed fist twice to the head.  He didn't see a pregnant woman -- he thought about his male pride and attacked her.  There was a lot of screaming back and forth, but none of it was intelligible beyond the man filming the video, who kept yelling beat the bitch.  Remember the bitch in question was pregnant. Even more disturbing, if the video is accurate, not a single person thought about calling the police.  This was just too much free good entertainment to consider that a life was at risk.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Men That I Would Fight Sparky Over

I am sure by now you have all witnessed Sparky's irritating habit of screaming MINE, whenever the subject of a hot guy comes up.  In an effort to break him of his determination not to share, I thought we would continue with the men that I would fight sparky over meme.  This week I have two actors for your consideration.

Just ignore the spider-man movies.

Has there ever been a more gorgeous Welshman than Matthew Rhys?  He makes it worth watching "Brothers and Sisters".

Of course, the moment he sees this post, his first words will either be DIBS or MINE. Can you imagine how Barney the dinosaur is weeping at such plain selfishness?  So, I encourage everyone that is the least bit intrigued, to join me in yelling Dibs and bringing an end to Sparky's tyranny. Oh, feel free to toss out anyone else that turns your crank before he gets to them.  Tell me to "dream about men that aren't yours" and this is what you get.  It's on like donkey kong.

To my lesbian readers, obviously I posted images of men because that is what gets me going.  But don't feel shy about throwing out the names of women you just want to get your sexy on with.  Have fun with it.  

Canada Smacks Down Peta and Pamela Anderson

Americans routinely come into our country and express surprise that we have different laws and a different culture.  Somehow a flag, border and separate government are not enough for them to realize that there is a difference between Canada and America.  You saw it when Madonna called the police in Toronto fascists, when they raised questions during her Blonde Ambition Tour regarding her performance -- more recently, Anne Coulter was told to keep her hate speech on half on the 49th parallel, and now Pamela Anderson and the hate group PeTA, were denied a permit when they attempted to display their sexist billboard in our home and native land.  I am the first one to say that there are many issues with Canadian society, but sometimes we get it so stunningly right, one simply has to stand and applaud.

PeTA and Pam sought to display this ad in Montreal and the government denied a permit on the grounds that the ad is sexist.  It is certainly easy to see why they came to this conclusion, because women are being reduced to animals and body parts.   Why would Canadians want more of this in our culture, when we have our own issues with patriarchy that we are currently trying to fight?

Of course Pam had to run her mouth:
How sad that a woman would be banned from using her own body in a political protest over the suffering of cows and chickens… In some parts of the world, women are forced to cover their whole bodies with burqas—is that next? I didn't think that Canada would be so puritanical." 

For someone who was born in British Columbia, she certainly is clueless when it comes to Canadian ideals. Just because PeTA chose to stick a Canadian face on their misogyny, does not make it acceptable to the wider society. And of course, PeTA had to back their favorite lettuce bikini wearing spokesperson

"I think that city officials are confusing 'sexy' with 'sexist," said PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews.

“The Art of Living” – Womanist edition

This is a guest post from Tassja

 I'm a 23 year old Sinhalese woman in Minnesota by way of Dubai by way of Sri Lanka. I am a Womanist, and part of my womanism is figuring out how to be in solidarity with my transnational sisters worldwide. I'm a daughter, a sister, a partner and a writer. I'm a brown girl who knows Shakespeare by heart and devours anything Toni Morrison. I believe in radical, revolutionary living and loving.  I blog at Irresistible Revolution.

This piece was inspired in part by a conversation with an amazing feminist ally and a wonderful friend, Jennifer S. I was also heavily influenced by Audre Lorde’s amazing words in ‘Sister Outsider’.

When I enrolled in Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies classes, I felt reawakened, I felt a palpable and poignant connection to the world. It was this sense of rejuvenation and connection that echoed in my soul and solidified my trust in anti-oppressive struggle as valuable, necessary and a path to living more fully. But, for over a year, I closed myself into a cocoon vision of feminism and social justice. I was just untangling myself from a sexually and emotionally exploitative relationship, and I sought refuge in a bubble of radicalism, plunging myself into intense post-colonial/ feminist theory and aspiring to an almost ascetic ideological purity. My heady intake of anti-oppression theory pushed me dangerously close to self-righteousness, and instead of engaging with people by acknowledging the many contradictions and challenges inherent in social justice work, I resorted merely to critiquing perceived privilege and using my observations to justify an unyielding anger.

I am aware of the empowering and liberating potential of anger. For women of color, acknowledging the source of our pain, woundedness and rage is the first step in a long journey of decolonization. But the anger I clung to had outlived its purpose. The enclosure I needed to heal and regroup had become a restrictive illusion of separatism that rejected the challenges of lived womanism.

I raged, I criticized, I lost patience, I shunned challenges. I thought I had all the answers.
I’m not sure what exactly it was that nudged me out of my cocoon. Possibly it began with my trip to Sri Lanka, my first in five years. As always, I was moved beyond words by the beauty of my small island nation. After over 30 years of war, we were finally ‘at peace’. People were hopeful and exuberant. It was impossible not to delve into the inexplicable beauty and warmth my country radiated around me. I would wake up in the morning and walk outside to collect sepalika blossoms from the ground. The delicate white flowers with their hearts of fire and heavenly fragrance, bloomed at night and fell to the ground by daybreak. 

Ninja Say What?

The N word is very complex can mean different things to people at different times.  In the following video you will see Asian people using the word ninja to replace nigger. It is supposed to be a comedic look at how Blacks relate to each other; however I think that it reaffirms far more stereotypes than it challenges.  Simply because a person of colour is performing the satire does not make it any less problematic.  It further is extremely reductive of Blacks and implies that we all have a similar linguistic pattern.  In two scenes you have women berating men for not working.  Of course all Black men are unemployed they are too busy playing hoops to hold down a job. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Gates: The Enemy Within

Hello Vampire lovers, Sunday brought a new episode of ABC's "The Gates," and so I figured since we have so many lovers of the un-dead reading this blog, that we could chat about it. If enough interest is raised in following this series, I could make it a regular feature.

The episode centered around a father daughter dance.  Okay, perhaps my womanism is showing here, but those dances just creep me the hell out.  A dress up date with daddy, sort of screamed purity ball to me, even though that  was not specifically said in the series. I think it probably creeped me out in large part because I know that "The Gates" is a closed community.

At the very beginning of the show, we learn that the wolves were out running and encountered a hunter, which they were forced to kill.  When confronted by coach Ross about their activities, the teenage pack of wolves purposefully does not mention the dead hunter.  Unfortunately for them, the hunter's wife files a missing person report and the police begin to investigate the disappearance.  Coach Ross, moves the body and kicks Marcus off of the team for jeopardizing their anonymity.  I have to say that I was impressed with a Black werewolf, but I am even more impressed with the fact that he is the alpha wolf. 

So, Nick admits to Laura that he killed the man on purpose.  Of course, it was justified, because he was a rapist and he would have walked free.  She stands there shocked and assures him they will get through it.   This is meant to cement in the mind of the viewer that the police chief is a good man, but all I could see was yet another corrupt cop willing to twist the rules.  I could not help but think of all the men and women who have had their lives ruined by some lying cop, because ze though that ze had the right to play judge, jury and executioner. This did not in the least bit endear Nick to me.

You will have to finish reading this on my new blog woman's eye on media.

Hair Weaves in "Toddler and Tiaras"

Had I been blessed with a daughter, no matter how beautiful she was, beauty pageants would have been something that I would have been absolutely resistant to.  They teach little girls to perform a coquettish form of femininity, as well as enforcing the idea that beauty is the sole form of value for women.  They are certainly going to get this message from the media, education, and all of the other agents of socialization; however, participation in these beauty contests comes with the added bonus of a reward for being judged the most beautiful. 

If the child is of colour, it also reinforces a Euro-Centric beauty standard, which will leave her with the understanding, that no matter how hard she tries, she will never truly be beautiful -- because Whiteness is all that counts.  All children of colour are hurt by a Euro-centric standard of beauty; however, because one of the true paths to power for women is beauty and or physical appearance, little girls of colour carry an extremely heavy burden that is often never acknowledged, even by those that love them the most.

Spark of Wisdom: Flaunting My Sexuality

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.

I have lost count of the number of times I've heard it or versions of the same thing said. "Do you have to flaunt your sexuality?" It's amazing how many times I go around ramming my sexuality down people's throats (insert innuendo here).

And I've always been a little surprised by this, because I always thought heterosexuals were champion flaunters. Indeed, for every time I've been accused of flaunting my sexuality, straight people have been doing exactly the same thing and more. As far as I can see, heterosexuals are the masters at flaunting their sexuality.


Do heterosexuals really have to flaunt their sexuality with pictures of their loved ones on their desk? In  their wallets? In lockets round their neck? Oh gods that man has his wife and kid's names tattooed - he just has to wave his sexuality around for everyone to see! 

Kathy Griffin Calls Scott Brown's Daughters Prostitutes

In the interest of full disclosure I am going to say right from the get go that I am not a fan of Kathy Griffin.  I think that she is loud and irritating, though I am normally able to ignore her.  Even though I am late to the following story, I still believe that it is worth talking about. It seems that recently on her Bravo show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” she was being questioned by John King and  Dana Bash regarding her political knowledge, when she was shown a picture of Scott Brown and asked to state his identity.
“Scott Brown, who is a senator from Massachusetts and has two daughters that are prostitutes,” Griffin said proudly.
This apparently caused Dana Bash to laugh.  Scott Brown has responded to Griffin stating:
“People can call me any name they want, but families are off limits,” the junior senator told the Track. “I love my daughters, Ayla and Arianna, very much, and any parent would be proud to have them as children. Kathy Griffin and Bravo ought to be ashamed of themselves.” 
Barney Frank also publicly condemned Griffin stating:
Having agreed to go on your show, I was particularly disappointed in the terrible comment you made about Senator Scott Brown's daughters.  I think it is possible to to have fun, and even to poke fun at people in my business, without this kind of completely unfair attack.  And while I don't usually feel compelled to comment on what various entertainers do, since you did include me  in that show, I wanted to make it very clear that I thought what you did was wholly unfair and inappropriate.  It's the kind of thing that makes it less likely that I or others can cooperate with you in the future.
On "The View" Elizabeth Hasselbeck was quick to infer that a greater public backlash would have occured had this been Sasha or Malia Obama and I completely disagree with this comment.  Though Obama has forcefully called for families to be left out of political debate -- the right -- and particularly Glenn Beck, has taken great pleasure at attacking the Obama girls.   Unlike Sasha and Malia both of Brown's children are gown women,who are able to defend themselves -- and so I think it must be made clear that though we are talking about daughters of a politician, they are hardly equal.

Monday, July 19, 2010

PeTA Attacks Janet Jackson

Monica of TransGriot and I were just talking about the fact that it had been awhile since PeTA has done something disgusting and sure enough, once again they decided that animal advocacy while respecting human beings is an impossibility for them.

Janet Jackson just signed a contract to be the spokesperson for Blackglama a company that sells luxury fur coats.

Obviously as animal rights activists, PeTA has a huge problem with anyone wearing fur.  I can respect the argument, though I would like to point out that for Black women, there is a lot more involved than animal cruelty.  Fur is a marker of success and a commodity that was simply out of reach of many women of colour.  Now that many more Black women are achieving financial wealth,  they want the same trappings of success that have traditionally belonged to White women.  Because PeTA is clueless about racial dynamics, this is something they have repeatedly failed to consider.

PeTA could have handled this situation with respect, thereby helping to heal some of the purposeful harm that they have caused the Black community, but once again they chose to devalue Black lives.
"It's amazing what celebrities will do when their careers are on a downslide, but we didn't think that Janet was this desperate. Surely, she knows enough about suffering and unjustified death to recognize that both occur in the production of a fur coat. We are asking her to think again and to donate these stolen skins to be used as bedding for animals orphaned by other human-caused disasters, such as loss of habitat," PETA spokeswoman Amanda Schinke said in a statement. [source]
Did you catch that? They compared the death of Michael Jackson to the animals that are used for the production of fur coats.  How many times must it be said, that it is absolutely racist to compare people of colour to animals, because this exact same analogy has been used by Whiteness to deny us human rights for centuries?  In the biological sense we may all be animals, but this particular comparison has only ever carried weight, when it is used against POC as a weapon by Whiteness.

Michael Jackson has been dead for just over a year and is barely cold in his grave, yet PeTA felt that it was within their right to co-opt his death for their purposes.  This is not a case of the greater good.  This is yet another example of PeTA proving that they have no respect for people of colour. The White management of PeTA can afford to ignore race and focus on their goal of animal liberation because privilege protects them from the very isms that are regularly willing to exploit. PeTA members are quick to lecture Blacks of not fully fighting for animal liberation; however, they are equally guilty of ignoring race in their critique and in fact any ism, which is why they routinely engage in behaviour that is sexist, fatphobic, classist, homophobic and transphobic.I can say unequivocally, that as long as human beings continue to be oppressed, that is where my energy will be devoted.  This is absolutely speciest and I have no problem with that.

Despite PeTA's repeated disgusting behaviour, celebrities continue support their cause refusing to separate their desire to encourage veganism/vegetarianism and PeTA's consistent support of harmful isms.  When individuals who are not vegans or vegetarians dare to comment on this situation, our out group status is used to defend PeTA.  Regardless of whether or not the complaining individual is a vegan./vegetarian, it does not in anyway invalidate the fact that PeTA is absolutely an unconscionable organization.  To ignore the harm done by PeTA is its own form of speciesm, because it places the welfare of animals over and above marginalized human beings.

To some degree, I am preaching to the choir when I write a post on PeTA in this space; however I believe that we can never stop talking about organizations that support harmful isms, even though it does become repetitive because the damage that they do will not come to an end with our silence.

True Blood: Trouble

First let me start off with a little programming note.  Tammi and will be running our podcast tonight at 6pm EST. For those of you that miss it, we will be posting it on our respective blog afterwords. On that note, let's get right into it.

I LOVED last nights episode, though once again there were problematic elements that we really need to talk about.  It is fine to love watching something, but we should always be aware of what we are consuming and this is why I have decided to move away from the straight recap platform.

As we know, Tara in the books is White and though she did have a very twisted relationship with Franklin Mott, the beginning of last nights episode was one of the most racist scenes that I have viewed on "True Blood" thus far. Tara was tied to a chair and Russell's lover treated her like a dog saying,"Mmm spicey, who's a pretty girl huh?  You're a pretty girl, you're pretty yes you are".  He then proceed to snarl at her causing her to jump." This is the second time on the show that they have referred to people who are considered raced or of an  ethnicity other than White in this manner and no such terminology has been used for the White human victims.  Some may debate the racial aspect of this, but I feel that this is reductive to people of colour.  I am very aware that we are talking about vampires who naturally see humans as less than; however, resorting to treating Tara like a dog is simply unacceptable and I have yet to see any White human treated in this manner by vampires.  I believe that Ball felt that he could get away with this specifically because Tara is a Black woman. 

Christian Privilege and White Privilege

This is yet another subject I should leave alone, but I figured what the hell I am on a roll.  Last week in a post I wrote regarding my irritations, two commenters took issue with the fact that I blatantly said that I hate Whiteness. Whiteness refers to the ability of White people to act in systemic ways to uphold their undeserved privilege. It specifically seeks to link race and or racism with power-- a distinction that is absolutely necessary to seperate it from the prejudice engaged in by POC.  Furthermore, a separation between White people and Whiteness is absolutely necessary in order to avoid unfairly lumping people into groups.  Would it really be fair of me to say that I hate all White people, when some of them are my closest friends, my lover and have acted in every way that they can think of to end racism?  Yes, privilege is attached to their bodies, but when they attempt to combat it in every way possible, holding them accountable to a system that existed before their birth and is larger than any one individual would in my mind be unfair.  This is why I can unequovically say that I hate Whiteness and not White people.  If Whiteness did not exist, the construction of race would not either.  If Whiteness did not exist, the idea that someone's race or cultural background automatically makes them an "other" would be a social anathema.

WhirlWitch left the following comment on "Things That Irritate Me":
If somebody says to you "I hate Christianity", do you really not feel at all upset or defensive? Of course you have the inside track in this matter, because you talk about Whiteness enough that the direct parallel would spring easily to mind and let you see that it's the oppression, privilege, historical wrongs, etc instead of the people being referred to, but I'm curious as to your initial, gut reaction. I ask because I still feel a bit of hurt at I-hate-Whiteness comments, even though I've been dealing with unpacking white privilege for a long time now. Probably it's just a personality thing of mine, but I was wondering if that initial flash of feeling (which I do talk myself down from) was a normal thing. 
I am a Christian and while I don't necessarily agree with the concept of universal Christian privilege, I absolutely understand when someone says that they hate Christianity.  The Church as an institution has been responsible for some of the most heinous acts historically and it continues to persecute the GLBT community.  The Catholic church is also guilty of allowing the molestation of children for centuries,  as well as promoting the marginalization of women.  The Mormon Church is enough to make me spit because I revile them for their racism, sexism, homophobia to the point of engaging in political action, and the baptizing of people after death from different faiths.   If I am perfectly honest, every single Christian denomination is guilty of intolerance and hatred in some fashion -- and so when someone says I hate Christians, I get it, and doubly so if they have a marginalization that has historically been attacked by the Church.  In fact, I will probably agree with them on most objections that they raise and this is specifically why I am a non denominational Christian. I do not believe in, nor I do support any religious institution.

Health Care and Canadian Privilege

I probably should leave this alone, but the truth of the matter is that it has been bothering me since the subject was first broached to me. As most of you are aware, I am Canadian, which means I live in a country that has universal health care.  This is something that is very dear to most Canadians and something that no politician wanting to be re-elected would touch.  I have never been presented with a bill at any doctor's office or anytime I have had to go to a hospital.  Whatever tests my doctor think I need, ze orders them and I get them.  There is no consultation between my physician and an insurance company. When I am sick, paying bills is not something I have to worry about. This is a privilege that many Americans do not have, but I think referring to it as Canadian privilege is really missing mark.

Let's get a few things straight shall we.   My income tax is in the 30% bracket.   This means I must pay 30% of my dollars to the state before I receive a single dollar.   Fifty percent of Americans did not pay income tax last year, or had so many loopholes they didn't pay a lot.   After I get my paycheck, of course I need to spend money to acquire the items that my family needs for subsistence.  I am going to introduce to a lovely taxe that Canadians pay called HST (Harmonized sales Tax, otherwise referred to I am going to fuck you up the ass tax) In the province where I live, I pay 13% tax on items like:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Shame: The Worst Betrayal of Womankind Evah!

My unhusband really is a sweetheart.  After I got sick, he completely picked up the slack.  He grocery shops, cleans and unfortunately cooks.  I think by now his disasters in the kitchen have become epic.  Often before dinner, I will announce on Twitter what he is making for dinner, and ask people to pray for the safety of our stomachs.   I have put the television on the Foodnetwork in the hope that he will pick up a few tips from the chefs there, and so far I have had no luck.  I can forgive all of this because I know that he is genuinely trying to take care of the family. The kids have become experts in pushing food around their plates pretending to have eaten it.  We all do what we must.

This week I have yet another food related sin to share with you.  I do believe that this amounts to the worst betrayal of womankind evah! This loving and caring man, hurt me more than words can say.  He ate my coffee crisp while I was on period.  Let me say that again, so that the gravity of the situation can be realized.  I was on my period last week, and instead of being the sensitive and caring partner that I have become accustomed to, he ate my emergency chocolate.

When he walked out of the kitchen with my half eaten chocolate bar in his hands, to my credit I didn't immediately become violent.  I calmly explained to him that I was on my period, and that for his own safety he needed to stop eating my chocolate bar immediately.  Do you know what he did?  Well, do you?  I'll tell you what he didn't do: he didn't  drop to his knees weeping copiously at his betrayal, begging for my forgiveness. This man who claims to love me more than anything else in the world, continued eating my chocolate, while I was on my period damn it, saying that I would, "get over it."  Well I have not gotten over it.  How can I get over it? Yes, I am throwing a tantrum like a two year old, but did I mention that I was on my period when the unhusband decided it was okay to eat my chocolate?  I tried calmly explaining to him that what's his is mine and what's mine is mine.  This arrangement has worked well for us for twenty years, and I see no reason to change it now.  But ooooooh no, as I was officially registering my complaint, with his clearly uncalled for behaviour, the unhusband stood there and finished my chocolate bar.