Thursday, August 5, 2010

DEATH IN THE FAMILY WE NEED YOUR HELP

On Thursday August 05, I received a phone call to inform me that my 20 year old nephew had died.

His name was Jesse James Cox and he was known as the gentle giant.  He was 6'5 240 lbs.  He was much loved by his mother, father, two brothers and extended family.  Jesse always had time for everyone and a bear hug for everyone that needed it.  As a family, we are absolutely devastated by his loss and this is magnified by the fact that we are unable to pay for his funeral.  At the side bar you will find a donation box which I have placed to ask for help.  I know that I am asking for a lot of money, but even a five dollar donation will go far to help ease the burden of funeral expenses on the family. Please if you can help us, it would be so gratefully appreciated by his mother, father and every single member of his family.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Keep Your Cum To Yourself.

When I saw this story at Bossip, my reaction was WTF.  I mean, who does this?  This isn't even about a man with no home training, this is just plain nasty and rises to the level of assault.  In the tradition of Hollaback, I decided to post his image and what he did to warn other women about this nasty ass man.
Officers were called to the Giant on Muddy Branch Road on July 15 after a woman said she felt something in her hair as she was walking out of the store. She said that she asked the man behind her if he’d felt a drip from above but that the man “acted like he didn’t know what she was talking about,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in court.

In the parking lot, the woman asked a friend to look at her clothes. Her friend said it looked like semen. The victim told police that she then spotted the man in the parking lot and walked toward him, but he sped away.
Detective Patrick Word examined surveillance video and saw the suspect purchase groceries using his store bonus card. In the doorway, the man can be seen squirting fluid from a bottle and taking a picture, police said.
Police identified Edwards through his bonus card and the surveillance video. Forensic tests confirmed the substance as semen. DNA tests are pending.

Michael Wayne Edwards Jr., 28, has been charged in that incident and in another at a Michaels craft store, also in Gaithersburg. Police said that after questioning Edwards, they are looking for at least two more victims.

Montgomery County Detective Scott Brooks had been investigating the Michaels case since November. A shopper said a man followed her into the store. After he walked by, she felt liquid on the back of her sweater. She looked and thought it was semen. Lab results confirmed it.

Brooks matched that assailant’s description to Edwards, who was charged in the case.
 I have heard of many things in this life but this - I don't even have the words for this shit.  It is absolutely disgusting.  I thought I had heard the worst when a man climbed down the hole of a outhouse a few years ago to peek as women as they used the facilities but this - well this even beats that.  I could not help but wonder how many women he has done this to.  And then snapping pictures of them after he  has defiled their person rises to another level of disgusting.  To those that insist in denying that women are targets in this world, pay attention, it only escalates from acts like this.

Gisele Bundchen and Forced Breast Feeding

Celebrities do occasionally say some messed up things, but this one takes the cake.  In Harper's Bizarre U.K.,the supermodel had this to say:
According to the fetching supermodel and new mom, breastfeeding is so essential it should be law for all mothers to do it for at least 6 months. "Some people here [in the U.S.] think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?," she said. "I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."
Is anyone else glad that this woman is not in charge of creating law? Do I even need to say what is wrong with this statement?  Creating a law which enforces what women do with their bodies is absolutely unacceptable.  When Bundchen got a backlash from a statements she clarified with the following:

Now Thin People Are Being Discriminated Against By SouthWest

When SouthWest decided to kick director Kevin Smith off a flight for being too fat, it may have been the worst public relations incident in the history of that airline.  Before the internet and the rise of social media, they would have been able to control the story, but because Smith has such a large twitter following, they were made accountable for the fat hatred.  Removing people from flights or charging them for two seats happens daily, but because most are so embarrassed by the situation and do not have the same social capitol as Smith, such incidents are ignored.  
In an effort to mend its ways, it seems that SouthWest has once again put its foot into the fire.  A young woman was flying stand-by and was seated waiting for take off when apparently a teen arrived who required two seats.  She was asked to relinquish her seat so that the child could fly. Apparently the child's parents had only bought one seat and so to avoid embarrassment to the teen SouthWest asked the woman to de-plane.

When the woman - who did not give her name to the paper for fear of being perceived as insensitive - expressed irritation, airline employees began to "berate" her for complaining, she told the newspaper.
"We know this was awkward and we should have handled it better," said Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis, adding that normally the airline would ask for volunteers to give up their seats. In this case, however, flight attendants may have been rushing to make room for the kid in order to save him from embarrassment.  (source)
How dare this fat hating coward woman, not be allowed to exalt in her thin privilege.  She is after all 5-foot-4 and 110 pounds.  The world was made for people like her to take up space.  We should just ignore that stand by means that you get a seat if there is one available and clearly in this situation, a customer that had purchased a ticket needed it.  Would this woman have been equally irritated if she was asked to vacate her seat for a thin woman?  Somehow I doubt it.  This is about fat hatred and the assumed right of certain bodies to take precedence over others.

It takes Courage to be a Brown/Black Mother in this World

I am many things, but the most political identity I have is that of a Black mother, in a world that is determined to treat me and my offspring as surplus population -- without value or consideration. In recent weeks, the blogosphere has seen quite an assault on mothers, despite the fact that it is clearly not a universal experience, or that this is a role fulfilled by women. I have often said that White women cannot understand the political nature of this role in the same manner as WOC, because when their children are born, society will see the potential - the continuation of the White race whereas; our children represent the a percentage of the population that Whiteness would be more than happy to see disappear from the earth. 

Even though the experience of WOC with motherhood has an extreme history of violence, socially the lie of childhood being a protected class or that we value mothers continues to circulate as a truism.  We do after all celebrate mother's day and Hallmark makes a fortune peddling cards to celebrate the event.  Retailers sell various nonsense products we do not need and claim it is all about uplifting motherhood.  But when we need real support, in terms of house, education, health care, moderated working hours etc., suddenly motherhood is not a priority.  Even movements that are supposedly quick to support women's issues, will disregard the importance of this role, because it is seen as a betrayal of the feminist agenda.  I will say that again, the fruit of my womb, my most precious and beloved child is seen as a sign of my betrayal.  There are various reasons why mothers cannot afford to stay silent, but I have found that despite our words, so many refuse to listen and so perhaps seeing what we are subjected to will make a difference.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Gates: Jurisdiction


I am not sure how longer my love of everything vampire is going to be enough for me to keep watching "The Gates".  It is really starting to get a little camp. As promised a body was found in the gates.  Viewers may have rcognized it as that of Barabara Janson, the woman that Claire ran into with Christian a few episodes ago. She has bite marks on her neck which immediately sends Nick to see Dylan. He goes into ultimate cop mode and wants to know if Dylan did it, and how many vampires live in "The Gates."  I think the part that had me absolutely shaking my head, is when he asks Nick if bullets have any affect.  Okay, what creature in their right mind is going to say, this is how you murder me, bye bye now have a good day. 

We find out that Barbara's business partner Gloria Bennett is also a vampire, which automatically gives her motive in Nicks mind.  She says that she tried to turn her after finding her dead, but fangs are enough for Nick to want to take her to the station, before she snatched by the vampires investigating this murder.  It isn't until this happens that the dolt Nick finally realizes the risk that Dylan took to save him.  I guess late gratitude is better than no gratitude. He did after believe Dylan when he said that the distance between his fangs is larger than the marks on the victim.

I am really sick of the whole PTA fund raising thing that they give Sarah to do.  Can someone really be that boring?  Her son is already a teenager and I smell empty nest syndrome in the future.   She has become such a useless character with no interests outside of her kids.  God, can't we even send the woman for a spa day  Can we see her do something other than constantly cooking, or fund raising?  How about they let her read a book?  I know it's a novel idea for women to have interests outside of their husband and children, but it is after all 2010. I suppose we should be thankful that we have Devon to add a little spice to this nonsense.  Aren't you just dying to know what she is going to do with those masks?  After the way those women treated her for telling off her ex-husband's mistress, I would say that she has a right to a little vengeance.



 Finish reading here. 

Spark of Wisdom: Gay Men Have Husbands as Next of Kin


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.

This is not an eloquent post, no promise it'll even be remotely rational considering the meds I'm on. 

Unfortunately today I find myself rather inconvenienced, due to rather rapidly descending a beautiful stone staircase. An extremely long and sweeping and paved with extremely hard, sharp edged stone staircase which I very nearly covered with my blood and brains - which would have clashed rather.

So it was a somewhat eventful and rather unpleasant day. I have bruises on my bruises and everything hurts. Some people when hurt are tough and strong, they nobly endure any level of torment with a mighty fortitude. I am not one of them. I'm damn pathetic and hellaciously whiny when I'm sick or injured. And for this, laying all in pain at the foot of a ridiculously long staircase I wanted Beloved for me to whine to. 

And this was harder than it should have been. I had nearly my entire firm contacted first and when they showed up they contacted my friends, they contacted my family - they even contacted my brother who lives in Wales before they contacted Beloved. My firm knew he was my emergency contact number, knew he was my husband - and it occurred to no-one to call him until I asked. 

The Holy Ghost Wedding

I was watching “The View” this morning (yes I know it will rot my brain), when Sherri Sheppard announced that one of her favourite youtube clips, is the Holy Ghost Wedding.  Well of course I had to go and check it out.  After laughing for what felt like forever, I simply had to share it with you.  See, angry overly religious womanist does to have a sense of humour.

 

Saks Fifth Avenue To Add PLUS Sizes To Designer Departments.

Despite a clear demand for plus size clothing, many fashion houses have been reluctant to design and sell clothes for fat women. Fat women are expected to be pleased with a burlap sack, or whatever cheaply made polyester elastic waist garbage that they throw at us.  This is not to say that there aren't stores that specifically focus on plus size women, there just aren't enough of them. And the very fact that fat women are forced to go to plus size stores, specifically separates us from the rest of the population. 

Saks is busy patting itself on the back for going up to a size 16-18 and I say it is not far enough.  What about the women that need larger clothing than that?  Are they not worthy of feeling beautiful, sexy and stylish because they are fat?  Why does there even need to be an upper limit, when designers are willing to go as low as size zero in the lower register? Until fat women are able to walk  into every store, and find something that not only fits them, but looks nice, we have not reached a point of fat acceptance. 
The designer-level racks at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores are expanding. Beginning this fall, the options for women looking for sizes 16 and 18 will include more high-fashion styles.


"Saks Fifth Avenue always strives to meet the needs of our customers. After recent review, we concluded there are customers who desire designer clothing in sizes that are not currently available in our stores," the company said in a statement.

Saks has for years had its Salon Z department, which caters to plus sizes, but this new initiative targets ripped-from-the-runway looks from the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, and will include larger sizes within designer departments.

Adding larger sizes, especially for designers who sometimes don't sell anything larger than a 10 or 12 in their own boutiques, is a considerable commitment, said Sasha Iglehart, deputy fashion director at Glamour. "It's a real investment for these brands to make sizes in that range. It's not just taking a pattern and making it bigger," she said. "The proportions are different, and there has to be real thought into what's flattering to women in that size range."

"I hope this inspires other retailers and designers," Iglehart added.

The conversation in the fashion industry about larger sizes has gotten louder in recent months. It had been rooted in the notion that models were too thin and setting a bad example for young women. (source)

Brother Saves Sister From Rapist and Now Antoine Dodson is an Internet Sensation

In Huntsville Alabama, the Dodson family were sleeping, when a man broke into Kelly Dodson's room which she shared with her little girl.  A struggle ensued in which he dragged her across the room. Her brother Antoine heard her scream and rushed to the aid of his sister, thus scaring off  the would be assailant.  When reporters from WAFF came to investigate the incident, the Dodson's invited them onto their property to speak about what happened.   Antoine said the sole purpose of him speaking out so forcefully, is that he wanted to warn hid neighbors that they are not safe.

In his response, to the attempted rape of his sister Antoine had the following to say:
Obviously we have a rapist in Lincoln Park, he is climbin in your window, he's snatching your people  up.  So y'all need to hide your kid, hide your wife and hide your husband cause they rapin everybody out here.  We got your t-shirt you done left your fingerprints behind and all.  You're so dum, you're really dumb for  real.  You don't have to come and confess what you did, we're looking for you.  We, we're gonna find you. So you can run and tell that homeboy. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

True Blood: Hitting the Ground


I was very relieved to find that Lorena did not meet her end with some magical power by Sookie, but a good old fashioned steak through the heart.  I did however think it was a set back for Lorena's last words to be, "William I love you", when she had so rightfully called him on his hypocrisy last episode --though I highly suspect that many will view this a righteous end for his creator.   Once again, it was the people all around Sookie who acted in concert to assure her desires were met.  When Tara wanted to leave Bill to die, Sookie refused to leave him.  Tara, Sookie, and Alcide wraped him in a drop clothe and placed him in the back of Alcides work truck.

This episode had quite a bit of Jason, which was enough for me to want to fade out.  Having read all of the books, I am hyper aware of what is in store for him, and yet I cannot drum up any interest in this character, and am happiest when he is not on the screen.  Proving that he has a lot in common with his sister, Jason has fixated on Crystal and will not be satisfied until he has ingratiated himself into her life.  At least Sookie's early obsession with Bill can be explained with her drinking his blood, but no such reason exists for Jason, other than the heart wants what the heart wants.  Once again, we are treated to another display of classism in "True Blood," when Hoyt says, "She's from Hotshot, she's probably named after that drug that keeps that whole town afloat.  I bet you a hundred to one, her middle name's meth."  Of course Jason is not willing to accept that Crystal has clearly told him to leave her alone and goes to question her cousin in jail, who promptly demands meth.  And who does Jason go to?  Everyone's favorite Black drug dealer. 

Some may say that I don't appreciate good ole fashioned Southern manners, but when Summer bought Hoyt, her grandmothers homemade biscuits, hand churned butter and Strawberry preserves that she picked from the church house garden, I have say inspired a well deserved snort of disdain. Can it possibly be anymore cliche than using the old adage, that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach?  Hand churned butter in the year 2010, really?  Yes, this deserved much eye rolling, though it was followed by her declaring, that if he did not share her feelings that it would be his loss. Then of course, even that small caveat to the fact that we are living in the 21st century was ruined, when Jason declared, "Hoyt, this one hear is gonna make a great grand mama one day; she's a keeper."  Isn't it amazing what you can learn about a woman from one bite of her biscuits? And golly gee whiz, if Summer didn't decide to stay and spruce the place up for Hoyt.

Why Blacks Watch Fox News and Listen to Rush Limbaugh

This is a guest post by Gemna of Gemna speaks


Often, I turn on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to hear their points of view on hot topics. Whenever I repeat Rush Limbaugh’s name or mention Fox News to some of my Hispanic and Black friends, I get two responses; bewilderment or disgust. Then, I am peppered with questions as to why would I listen to “those racists people.” This usually leads to long discussions about the latest comments from Limbaugh about the President or how Fox News is trying to destroy our communities.

This happened last week with me and a longtime friend as we discussed the knee-jerk reaction to the Sherrod debacle by the Obama Administration that led to more criticisms by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. As I was railed against for even mentioning Fox News, I told my friend that many Black folks listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Fox News for various reasons. She stared at me as if I fallen off a turnip truck and could not believe that anyone would listen to “those racists”. I informed her that Rush Limbaugh’s producer, James Sheldon, is a Black man who Limbaugh depends on to keep the show going. In disbelief she said, “No Black man would work for someone who spits that venom?” I agreed that Rush Limbaugh “spits venom” but I do not listen to him for news or information. He gives commentary from his point of view. I want to hear what he has to say whether I agree with him or not. My grandfather often said, “Even a broke clock is right twice a day!” Rush has built an empire that generates millions and gives his opinion on everything from a kitchen blender to the President. He makes money by being controversial not because of his fact finding revelations. As a business owner, I am not mad at him. My friend continued to share her views about programs that she do not watch or listen too until I interrupted her to ask has she turned on MSNBC to hear their resident bigot, Pat Buchanan. I stated that Pat Buchanan gets a pass for his ever-ready racial statements by the press and is far more damaging to Blacks than Rush Limbaugh or anyone Fox News has on their airwaves.

MSNBC is the cable news arm of NBC news. Both, NBC and MSNBC, are part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi, which are publically held companies.

In the world of stockholder satisfaction first, news second, MSNBC Cable News puts on several programs in a 24-hour cycle. The actual journalism arm of NBC Universal is NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. It is on one time of day-5:30 in the evening. The narrative of the MSNBC may appear to lean more towards the NBC news side but on further examination of its programming like, Joe in the Morning, hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, one will find that it showcases its racial extremist, Pat Buchanan, front and center. Pat Buchanan is one of Joe in the Morning’s political commentators. Buchanan is not limited to Joe in the Morning; his colorful commentary is sought after for input time and again on MSNBC’s midday programs and Chris Matthew’s Hard Ball. In my opinion, one of the worst offenders is Chris Matthews who gives Buchanan uninterrupted space at the table frequently. Hard Ball airs at 4:00 PM and is repeated twice in MSNBC’s rotation. Buchanan’s resume includes being an author, a syndicated columnist, and a broadcaster. He was a political advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Regan. Buchanan also sought the Republican nomination for President in 1992 and 1996. He ran in 2000 as the Reform Party’s candidate.

Call For Submission - Dear Sister

“Survival is testament of someone’s strength. 
Healing is testament of the community surrounding her.” –LFB

Call For Submission

Dear Sister, edited by Lisa Factora-Borchers, is an anthology of letters and other works created for survivors of sexual violence from other survivors and allies.  It is a collection of hope and strength through words and art.


The pathway for a survivor of rape and sexual violence is an unlit road of pain, isolation, and doubt.  In the weeks, months, and oftentimes, years following, the healing process can be difficult to navigate without a community surrounding her. Imagine a compilation of literary arms bound together to offer words of understanding, solidarity, and love.   Dear Sister is an accessible and inclusive offering of hope, voice, and courage; seeking writers and artists who wish to light a piece of that road and lift up other women in her healing.


It is an impossible task to write a letter to every survivor of rape, to every woman who lives with an invisible scar.  Instead of thinking of the face of the person you are writing to, reflect on the image of an unlit path, a road with no clear footing. Your offering will be one light, among many, to make visible what was previously unseen, to illuminate what was hidden.  You are providing a few more steps for someone to walk steadily toward their own recovery.  Your words can be an anchor, a meditation, a prayer, a strong embrace or a gentle touch. The purpose of this anthology is not to retell stories of assault, but to help others regain a sense of balance and wholeness.

Mindfully move beyond what is commonly said and reflect upon radical companionship. Write what you wish for her to know and never forget.  And if you lose focus, look deep into a mirror and reflect: What would you want to be told if you were in the darkness?

Information

Dear Sister primarily seeks letters but will accept poems, prose, essay, and drawn art that can either be scanned for entry.  Maximum word count is 1000.
Deadline for submission is November 1, 2010.

Women and transpeople of any race, creed, background, citizenship or non-citizen, ability, and identity are encouraged to submit their words and work to uplift others in the healing stages of post trauma and violence.  Both English and Spanish are accepted. All questions can be directed to dearsisteranthology@gmail.com


Submission can be emailed as an attachment with “Dear Sister Entry” in the subject to dearsisteranthology@gmail.com.

Hand written letters can addressed and mailed to
Dear Sister Anthology
P.O. Box 202468
Cleveland, Oh 44120
Note from the Editor

Rape and sexual violence thrive in the silence of our homes and communities. Outreach must be wide and intentional if we are seek to hear from those who are silenced. Please forward this to as many individuals, groups, organizations, listserves, websites, and agencies that come to mind. 

Laurence Fishbourne's Daughter, Would be Porn Star?

The Blackosphere is buzzing with the news that Montana Fishbourne, daughter of Laurence Fishbourne has decided to break into Hollywood by releasing a sex tape.
TMZ has learned Montana Fishburne is starring in a porno flick for Vivid Entertainment -- explaining, "I've watched how successful Kim Kardashian became and I think a lot of it was due to the release of her sex tape."

Unlike the celeb she admires -- Montana who also goes by the name "Chippy D," is not arguing that her tape was stolen or obtained illegally.
I circled back and forth regarding this story.  On one hand we need to respect Montana's agency.  She is going into this with her eyes open and with strict career goals in mind.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Shame: Trip Down Memory Lane

Once again I am forced to shame my beloved unhusband.  He found an mp3 player and discovered that it was full of eighties music and went into such a flashback state I thought he would never return.  He actually played:

Can you imagine my horror at having to listen to this song before 9AM on Sunday Morning, because the unhusband wanted to go down memory lane?  I could have forgiven him, but he continued to even worse sins.

I feel the need to remind everyone that it is still not 9AM and I shudder to think of what comes next.  The unhusband is having a perfectly good time singing, smiling and getting a little jiggy with his less than bad self, while the children are looking away for fear that they have inherited his weirdness.  I will admit to getting my freak on in various ways throughout our very long relationship, but never have decided to take a horrid trip down memory road BEFORE 9AM ON A SUNDAY.  Good heaven. I think that this is shameful behaviour and violates some unwritten code of sharing a domicile together.  He is absolutely oblivious to my complaints and continues down this weird trip that I would normally believe was alcohol induced, were it not for the fact that it is 9AM on a SUNDAY MORNING.  I do believe I have registered my complaint fully and so now dear reader, I must ask, is this not some sort of gross behaviour that absolutely required shaming?   The unhusband is of course delighted with himself.

So, feel free to weigh in on this one and while you are at it, share the worse way someone has woken you up, or the worse way you have woken someone else up.  And if like me you are not a morning person, feel free to list the trials and tribulations of living with someone who is.