Saturday, October 2, 2010
Those wishing to participate in Womanist Musings open guest posting policy please send in your original work or a link to your blog via e-mail to womanistmusings [at] gmail [dot] com. Please include a small three line bio and an image that you would like associated with you work. The more people we have participating the more varied the conversation will be.
As usual, below you will find a list of posts that I found interesting 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 in the comment section.
Desperate U.S. Women Forced to go to Mexico Take Care of Unwanted Pregnancies
Don’t know What to Think
I’m Not Strong, I’m Just Human
hey losers! design your dream asian girl
Tell the Discovery Network That Their Transphobia is Unacceptable
MODEL OF RECOVERY – INTERVIEW WITH SAM THOMAS OF MEN GET EATING DISORDERS TOO ONLINE
Faking a Post Racial America: The Big Racial Con
Fish Dreams and Fantasies: Contemplating Motherhood
Tough Economic Prospects For Newly Released Inmates
Women, the face of poverty : UN needs to redevelop anti-poverty strategy
Friday, October 1, 2010
Disabled pedestrians in Indonesia are required to wear signs identifying them as handicapped under new traffic regulations passed unanimously by parliament on Tuesday.So rather than making the changes necessary because that would involve time, effort and money, the disabled are to be publicly marked. If the real concern was safety for the differently abled, proper accommodations would be a priority. I suppose they believe that this isn't truly stigmatizing because the disabled person will not be penalized for a failure to comply; however, the suggestion itself serves to mark the differently abled as "other". To be equitable, a society must consider the needs of the marginalized people.
Amendments to the Traffic and Transport Law state "handicapped pedestrians must wear special and clear signs which can be easily recognised by other road users."
The lawmaker in charge of the committee which drafted the amendments, Ahmad Muqowam of the Islam-based United Development Party, said they were designed to protect disabled people from road accidents.
"This is a humanistic act. It's for their safety on the streets," he told AFP.
Asked what the signs should read or where people should wear them on their bodies, he said this was up to the government to decide at a later date.
"They won't be penalised if they flout the rule; it's only a precaution for their safety," he added. (source)
According to one of her closest pals she and Danny, 41, who married eight years ago, are set to follow in the footsteps of fellow Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Madonna and Meg Ryan by adopting a child from abroad.
“Julia has wanted more children for years,” the friend says. “But her past pregnancies were fraught with complications and she was forced into an extended hospital stay right before she had her twins. After all she has been through, she realises that adoption is perhaps the best way forward.”
The actress, who recently converted to the Hindu faith, has apparently put out feelers in the subcontinent.“She has a special affinity with India and has contacts exploring the possibilities,” adds the friend. She is also said to have contacted an adoption agency in Bali, where she spent time filming Eat Pray Love.
“Julia and Danny love the idea of their kids having another baby in the house,” the pal says. “And it feels so right that the next member of the family should come from a different culture.” (source)
New Millennium minstrel show that gay white folks think is 'humorous'.
Because of its long hundred plus year history of being used to denigrate and demean Black people, we not only are offended by any manifestations of it, we have zero tolerance for blackface imagery .
Lately we've had this irritating trend of white models being made up to look like Black women in high fashion photo shoots when there are thousands of Black models looking for work. .
We ain't down with that high fashion form of blackface either.
I'm on the rant about this because I stumbled across the Mike Ruiz photo shoot in which he had trans actress Candis Cayne not only made up look like Diana Ross, but in his Transformations series made her up to look like the late 70's Blaxplotation film
Um, Mike, what the hell were you thinking? I'm not giving your behind a pass on this bull feces either because you're Latino. You should know fracking better.
If you were going to do a photoshoot and wanted a transperson to recreate Diana Ross, I do believe in the New York metropolitan area there are two of my trans sisters in Isis King or Laverne Cox who could have easily done so.
Miss Continental 2000 Tommie Ross has built a career with her Diana Ross illusion.
All three would have been nice starting points in terms of models who would have been better choices to pull that off .
I love me some Candis Cayne, but using her in this photoshoot was problematic on a lot of levels.
There are Black female illusionists of my generation and beyond to whom Diana Ross is their beauty icon and role model.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Quite often to be a straight ally to BLGT people means fighting many of the racist constructions of our communities because we want to help our same gender loving brothers and sisters. Despite repeated attempts by straight people of colour to speak out in favour of gay rights, they are often quickly forgotten the moment a straight bigot of colour opens their mouth. This ideology is supported by the just like you meme that has been pervasive in the community. It specifically implies that due to homophobia, that White TLBG members are being treated like people of colour. Just like you further suggests a desire to take advantage of all the privileges of Whiteness that are denied because of heterosexism. It calls on White people to remember that BLGT people are White just like them and to treat them as second class citizens devalues Whiteness. Race is not a determinate of bigotry and treating it as such not only turns off potential allies, and it erases people of colour who a members of the GLBT community.
Slut shaming is rampant and is even used to attack rape victims. Girls who have been slut shamed and attacked in high school, have become depressed enough to commit suicide. We know that there are consequences to such labels and yet they continue to perpetuate. It is meant to take the agency from the choice to have sex and teach women that they are only allowed to enjoy sex under situations prescribed by patriarchy. It has been repeatedly suggested that lesbians simply need a good deep dick to convert them. This of course has lead to the phenomenon of corrective rape. It is essential as women that we challenge the word slut in order to construct a woman friendly sexuality that is free of patriarchal coercion. The word slut much like rape is about power and shame.
The Rotten Tomatoes have released a series of lists of top five movies.
- Five Favourite Films with Stanley Tucci
- Five Favourite Films with Emma Stone
- Top 5 Heists in the Movies
The following story illustrates why we need to have conversations about privacy and why the freedom of the internet does not translate into a free for all.
A freshman at Rutgers University posted a chilling goodbye message on his Facebook page before committing suicide after learning that his roommate secretly filmed him during a sexual encounter which was later broadcast on the internet, PIX 11 News has learned.
"Jumping off the gw bridge sorry," 18-year-old student Tyler Clementi wrote on Facebook before jumping to his death on Sept. 22. from the George Washington Bridge. According to sources, Clementi's car was later discovered nearby with both his cell phone and computer inside.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
It seems no matter how many times that Blacks say that Blackface is unacceptable the fashion industry refuses to acknowledge the racism of continuing this trend. According to Jezebel, the following images are from Numéro, which features an editorial spread in which French model and Estée Lauder face Constance Jablonski posed in a brown Afro wig and dark makeup. To ensure that they push the envelope of edginess she is given a Black child as an accessory.
When we consider the historical issues of White women stealing babies of colour, this photo shoot reaches such a level of insult that I barely have the words to register my rage. There are thousands of Black models knocking on the door fighting for an opportunity to be featured and yet they are almost always universally rejected, but somehow racist Blackface is the look that these advertisers and agencies are looking for. This advertisement is a complete and utter rejection of Black womanhood. It signals that we don’t belong and that there is no role out there that White women cannot best us at.
I am often accused of hating White women and yet there is a continual failure to acknowledge the ways in which White women use race to attack us, belittle us and oppress us. This model had the choice to participate in this offensive photo shoot. No one forced her to put on the makeup and stand next to Black child. You cannot remove your White privilege but always have the choice of whether or not you are going to be actively or passively racist. I don’t dislike White women, but don’t trust them because repeatedly it has been made clear that if the choice involves elevating White womanhood or acting in concert with Black women to promote womanhood and equality, the choice most often results in the promotion of White supremacy. This is not a simply photo shoot, because it is loaded racism and stands as yet another example of exactly how ingrained the desire to belittle people of colour is.
What inspired this blog post though, is a trend I've noticed lately in Hollywood that corresponds with something long prevalent in Sri Lankan communities I've lived in. In regards to Hollywood, I like to call this the 'ethnic lite' phenomenon. You know what I'm talking about. The one where it's trendy and desirable to have 'ethnic' features like full lips and curvy bottoms, so long as you're still white enough to be, well, white.
Think Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra. Think the swooning over 'dark beauties' like Megan Foxx. Think WOC celebrities like Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Alba having to blond up and tone d0wn before going mainstream. Racialicious had a great post on how, when it comes to models of color, the fashion industry wants "white girls dipped in chocolate". I can't even list the number of nauseating articles I've come across in mainstream media outlets about how fashion is 'diversifying' and reflecting a globalized culture, when what's actually happening is WOC with sufficiently Eurocentric features are being exalted, with a particular emphasis on racial' 'ambiguity' and a fetish for 'exotic' mixed-race heritage that's actually extremely dehumanizing and reductive of the experience of multiracial people. This latest article by CNN basically sums up a disgusting, neo-colonialist, racist trend that's taken shape: where 'ethnic' features are commodified and appropriated, and used as weapons of further marginalization against the very people they once helped racialize. Now, WOC are measured not only against the white woman ideal, but against other WOC who fit the image of 'exotic' other.
How does this fit with my experience in Sri Lanakn communities? Let me explain. One of my many Sri Lankan friends has gorgeous golden skin, high cheekbones and a dancer's body. She in fact bears a striking resemblance to Jennifer Lopez. Whenever Sri Lankan people talk about her obvious beauty, they fall back on how great it is that she looks ethnically ambiguous i.e she could be from any number of countries between Asia and the Middle-east. This quality is seen as extremely desirable.
In my mind, there can be no doubt that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. When we consider that the criminal justice system is known to be effected by the twin issues of race and class, a trial free of prejudice is nearly impossible. Justice is not blind; it is filled with as many isms and ists as American society. The law itself is not even practiced uniformly across the nation. In eleven states, as well as The District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, there is no death penalty, therefore; making geography yet another determinate as to who will live and who will die.
On September 27, Brandon Joseph Rhode was put to death by lethal injection in Jackson, GA. He was convicted of murdering Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin during a burglary. What is startling about Rhode's case is not that he was sentenced to death, but the length the state went through to achieve it's pound of flesh.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"I explained we're a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters and we thought maybe it was best not to do that," said co-owner David Stockton to a local Fox television station. He then added that it's his bakery's decision to decide what is obscene. Apparently rainbow colors fall under that label. "We have our values, and you know, some things ... for instance, if someone wants a cookie with an obscenity, well, we're not going to do that."Rainbows are obscene? Wow, I guess he better inform every leprechaun looking for a pot of gold that he is doing something dirty. Then of course there the risk to children. Did you know that just being around rainbow cupcakes will destroy any possibility of success and happiness in their lives? Do these bigots even think before they speak, or have they just become so used to repeating these ridiculous tropes whenever they open their mouths, that they just go on auto pilot?
I know that there are those who believe in freedom of association and trust the market to correct these actions, but the truth is, that unless businesses are forced to sell to marginalized communities, there simply isn't enough discipline to cause actual change. Was that the groan of a libertarian I just heard? Well here is a STFU to you, because you have no idea what it is to be excluded and despite your so-called leftist agenda, you are no different than these homophobes, if you support their right to be discriminatory. The market is not the answer to discrimination and using state violence to stem the social malaise that has been created by this artificial hierarchical order, is the best possible option to bring about quick change. They don't have to like acting like decent people, they just have to damn well do it, because the social good is dependent upon true equality, not equality in name only.
It took laws to over turn Jim Crow and given the choice, no powerful body is ever willingly going to consent to change. Why the fuck would they? Once a group gains dominance, it must be wrested away physically and violently if necessary, if said power results in the oppression of others. Might does not equal right and yet we continually act as if these bigots are having their rights impinged upon, when we attempt to force them to behave in a manner that is socially conducive to freedom and human decency to all. Heterosexuality is not under attack and there is no gay agenda, beyond having the right to live their lives, achieve subsistence and share loving relationships. If any of that looks familiar to you, it is because straight people have the exact same agenda. When we have reached the point of politicizing baked goods, I think it is fair to say that for the bigots, the issue really is oppression by any means necessary.
H/T Danny's Corner of the Universe
Anyway, yes, media is something I ramble on about a lot (well I ramble on about anything at length, it has to be said) and one thing I've been accused of is being picky and impossible to please.
And y'know what? It's not inaccurate - at least with the way things are in the media.
I look for portrayals of people like myself - and I get irritated when there's a large cast or long running show and there is zero representation.
But I hate tokenism. One token insert always makes me roll my eyes - especially a sidekick or a BF or the comic relief. And doubly so if it looks like someone is doing a minority checklist. I dislike seeing them there as an obvious and meaningless nod to diversity
I hate that we only see a few very narrow members of a marginalized community, we see one face over and over, one idea, one way of being - nothing ever reflecting the full diversity and plurality within and certainly rarely representing the intersections of different marginalized groups.
I hate excessive stereotyping. But I also aren't mad keen on portrayals of marginalized people who are "just like you" and their marginalization has not even the slightest indication in their character (apart from anything else, it makes for easy tokenism when you can just handwave the entire checkbox quota with a label and move on).
I'm irritated by the idea that marginalized people must all suffer and die because of the marginalization - and I've ranted before about how being happy on screen means that that gay or lesbian person is going to die soon - and there are similar tropes for so many minorities - if not death, then some other pre-ordained fate. I've been triggered and had to leave the room watching some gay representations in some of my favorite programs.
The response to Denise Bernett, a woman who was hoarding cats, reveals our continued failure to understand that this is a serious matter and not one to be reduced to asinine humour.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Once home Damon questions Elena as to whether or not she can find it in her heart to resume their friendship. She demands to know whether he saw the ring on Jeremy's finger before he killed him and Damon admits he did not. He says, "I kind of got lucky with that one, I don't know what I would have done". Elena makes it clear that the relationship between the two of them is over and Damon responds telling her that she is more like Katherine than she thinks. I understand the need to keep the tension going between Damon, Elena and Damon but other than the fact that she is a doppelganger for Katherine what do they see in this young girl. She is supposedly a teenager but has all of the freedom in the world. She is self-concerned and seems to want to be the center of the world at all times. I have decided that this must be some kind of prerequisite characteristic to play the female protagonist in any vampire drama.
Stefan stayed behind during the big fact finding mission to help Caroline Forbes adjust to the fact that her life has changed forever now that she has become a vampire. Of course this involves the help of Bonnie, Mystic Falls witch. What gets me about this scene is that even though she clearly has misgivings about making Caroline a ring she does so because Stefan tells her to trust him. Since when did she trust any vampire? It's ridiculous that whenever they have some task that needs handling along comes obedient Bonnie to the rescue.
Finish reading here.
Editors Note: Tami and I will begin our weekly Vampire Diaries podcast at 6PM EST. Please join us here and for those that cannot, I will post the podcast afterwords.
Ola and Powel met when they were 12 years old. She immediately fell in love with him and was drawn into his world - neo-nazism. They would probably would have gone on hating together forever had it not been for the fact that Ola began to remember a conversation with her mother, in which she told her that she had Jewish roots. After a search through records, she discovered that not only did she have Jewish roots, but so did her Jew hating husband.
"I didn't know how to tell him. I loved him even if he was a punk or skinhead, if he beat people up or not. It was a time in Poland when this movement was very intense."Pawel confronted his parents only to discover that what Ola had found was indeed true.
"I was a nationalist 100 percent. Back then when we were skinheads it was all about white power and I believed Poland was only for Poles. That Jews were the biggest plague and the worst evil of this world. At least in Poland it was thought this way as at the time anything that was bad was the fault of the Jews..." he said.
Although I write and speak primarily about trans issues, this is not all I think about. Here are just five of the many things that I wonder about for my own country in my spare “non-trans” thinking time:
1. If we can't have a mosque within a certain radius of the World Trade Center site because those responsible were Muslim, does that mean that we shouldn't have a church within the same radius of the Alfred P. Murrah Building site in Oklahoma City because Timothy McVeigh was a Christian?
In fact, the majority of horrific crimes that occur in the United States are committed by Christians, because that is the largest religious population here. Using the logic behind the New York City mosque protests, there are a limited number of places in this country where we could actually build churches.
2. If the 65,000-plus gay, lesbian, and bisexual U.S. service members currently in the armed forces all came out at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, would a) Don't Ask, Don't Tell be immediately overturned, or b) we just draft all the straight kids - including Bristol Palin and the Bush twins, or c) we finally have to come up with a workable plan that doesn't include military action? I'm for “a” and “c.”
3. If all members of Congress suddenly lost their full-coverage health insurance benefits in order to cut spending and reduce the federal deficit, would we finally get universal health care? And since that would be considered “socialism” by most conservatives, would they just go ahead and pay for their health care out of pocket?
I don't think most of the “Tea Party” supporters have that kind of money. But it's likely that many of their candidates do. It's easy to speak out against social programs when you don't need them - when, like Sarah Palin, you can make millions by “writing” a book. And speaking of socialism …