Saturday, February 26, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

Hello everyone, thanks for another great week of conversation. If you would like to participate more fully in the Womanist Musings community and would like the opportunity to guest post, please send an e-mail to womanistmusings (at) gmail (dot)com, including either an original piece, or a link to your blog.  Please include a three line bio, and one image that represents you. Guest posts round out the conversation here, because they allow us to discuss topics that I am either not well versed enough to discuss, and they provide a unique opinion.

Below you will find links to blog 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 behind in the comment section.

Laura Agustin - the Naked Anthropologist on Migration, Trafficking and Sex
Feminism or the Highway? 
Recy Taylor: A Symbol of Jim Crow's Forgotten Horror (trigger warning for descriptions of rape)
Bill Cosby Supports A 'Muslim Cosby Show' But The Research Does Not
How "The King's Speech' Gets Stuttering Wrong
Malcolm X's Daughter Speaks Out on Assassination Anniversary
The Unequal Value of Lives Lost on 9/11
Is Hollywood Pushing Black Actors to Television?
Washington: the 'blackest name' in America 
Covering up is a Feminist issue
There are no Black People There
Exposing the Invisible: Stalking in Indian Country 
Stop Calling Michelle Obama Fat
'Sex Crimes Against Black Girls' Exhibit Uses Art to Confront Incest (trigger warning for sexual violence)
I Don't Regret Seeing 'Regreteers'
First Annual African American Trans History Quizz (here are the answers)
Culture Theft
The Lost Town of Africville
Halle Berry Interracial Marriage, And The "One Drop Rule."
The Lost Town of Africville
Job Number One; Destroying the Paradigm no Shifting it
Poverty Porn Helps No One
Black Feminist Book Club: Black male freedom = black female subjugation

Friday, February 25, 2011

Japanese Snow Monkeys Know How to Spend a Friday

I wonder if they would make room for me if I asked nicely? 

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

Sunday night the Oscars are on television and the buzz surrounding the show has reached the typical yearly frenzy.  This week's question is are you going to watch?  What films are your picks to win and which actors and actress do you think are going away with gold and why?  My pick for best picture is The King's Speech. For Best Actor I pick Colin Firth (lord how I love that man) and for best actress, Michelle Williams though I think it will probably go to Natalie Portman for Black Swan, which btw was a terrible movie.

For Alan Keyes Legalizing Gay Marriage is Like Granting Plantation Owners the Right to Own Slaves.

Well, it didn't take long for the right wing to lose their mind, after Obama's announcement of the administration decision not defend lawsuits challenging DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex couples and denies all federal benefits, such as Social Security and health care. Republican Alan Keyes, who has run for unsuccessfully for president, had a few choice words to say about Obama's decision: 
After a little feigned deliberation, Obama has announced his "decision" to withdraw the U.S. government from participation in cases arguing in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), legislation passed when Bill Clinton was in the White House. I've received e-mails from several well-known conservative organizations with breathless subject lines like the one that speaks of Obama's "betrayal of the American people." Another announces "Obama comes out of the closet on marriage."

These subject lines make about as much sense as the Obama faction's contention that his decision has something to do with the fact that some federal judges have concluded that the DOMA is unconstitutional. Obama has little or no inclination to respect the Constitution. He has little or no inclination to respect the unalienable right involved in the defense of the natural family. Just as he promotes the physical elimination of the child's life through abortion, he tacitly promotes eliminating the prospect of the child's life from the definition of marriage. That's what's involved in the assertion that as such, homosexual couples can lawfully marry without eviscerating the natural basis for the definition of marriage.

Government doesn't endow people with the ability to procreate the species. The Creator takes care of that. Like all unalienable rights, those associated with the natural family exist in consequence of this endowment. A couple that cannot, by nature, procreate has no claim to those rights. Nor can government grant them a semblance of it without impairing the claims of one or both of the parents biologically implicated in the physical conception of the child. The DOMA simply makes more explicit the government's obligation to secure the Creator-endowed unalienable rights of the natural family. This obligation precludes government from fabricating other rights that impair them. In this respect, granting homosexuals the right to marry is like granting plantation owners the right to own slaves.(source)

DeTonguing The Subaltern

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

This week all that seems to happen in India is the World Cup and How Incredibly Important It Is, for it is a game that involves super-important dudes with super-important dudes of other countries, and almost every newspaper is discussing the economics,  sport tactics, strategics and politics — I don’t even know what this means when it comes to ‘politics’ of cricket. I counted about eight to nine unevenly shaped blurbs about crimes against women today as the Sports section has taken over the front page news in Times Of India¹; I still can’t believe this is a ‘national’ newspaper. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court initiated an inane bill about ‘rehabilitating’ sex-workers, there are 52 reported deaths of female-identified Maoists in Arunachal Pradesh and there is another case of possible gendered-violence in Kashmir where two girls were shot in the streets of Sopore, in Kashmir for being ‘promiscuous‘ as cited by the military resources. All of this gendered violence in the last two weeks alone and ‘national’ newspapers such as Times Of India and DNA have hardly mentioned any news that do not include the World Cup. I’d like to believe this erasure isn’t conscious; that the stories got mixed up or maybe there was too much corporate pressure to ‘sell’ the World Cup as much as they can. For a while this trick works and I visualise extremely busy and frazzled editors who just had to edit these stories out, out of pressure and not out of choice². And then, TEHELKA covers the mediated-forced sterilisation of Wayanad tribal women and the bubble pops as silences roar.

When Is A Child Too Young to Learn About the Middle Passage?

When people look out over the Atlantic, I often wonder if they realize that they are looking at a graveyard filled with no tombstones to mark the passing of the millions who died on slave ships on their way to the new world.  The enslavement of Blacks, of the African Diaspora, marks a terrible history of bondage, abuse, rape, murder, physical violence, emotional abuse and death.  Talking about it should never be easy, and if we forget what was done, not only do we dishonor those that lived, died and suffered at the behest of White Supremacy, we lose a concrete understanding of the basis of the racism that continues to dominate the lives, of the people of the African diaspora.

A Black parent cannot afford to wait to teach their child about racism, because their innocence will not protect them against those that are determined to either see them fail, or have them grow with an understanding that they are less than human.  My oldest boy was five years old the first time he was attacked based on the colour of his skin.  Unlike White children, childhood is short lived for children of colour.  Before their 10th birthday, it is almost assured that a racial act will occur that will burst the precious bubble of innocence.

In an attempt to educate children about the horrors of the middle passage and slavery, a supply teacher brought in the French movie, The Middle Passage and showed it to a class of fourth graders.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rush Limbaugh Calls Michelle Obama Fat While White Women Twiddle Their Thumbs

I very rarely write about anything Rush Limbaugh has to say.   I think that most readers of this blog will agree that he is an asshat.  There isn't a minority he is unwilling to skewer to uphold his privilege, and his arguments commonly make little to no sense.  In his latest inane tirade, Limbaugh had the following to say. 

The problem is -- and dare I say this -- it doesn't look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice. And then we hear that she's out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving with 141 grams of fat per serving, yeah it does -- what do you mean, what do I mean?
What is it - no, I'm trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, or of a woman [professional baseball player] Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you. I mean, women are under constant pressure to look lithe, and Michelle My Belle is out there saying if you eat the roots and tree bark and the berries and all this cardboard stuff you will live longer, be healthier and you won't be obese. Okay, fine, show us.
One of the reasons I felt drawn to address this, is because though feminists are supposedly about fighting for women's rights, they have a tendency to ignore the sexism and racism aimed at Michelle Obama.  During the election, many were quick to defend the hideous Sarah Palin (yes, I know I broke my Sarah Palin free vow), and ignore the attacks aimed squarely at Michelle Obama. If all women mattered in women's organizing, women of colour would have a central role.

Kanye West on Abortion and Gold Diggers

Some celebrities just need to say no to twitter, until they get the common sense that God gave cabbage.  In a recent tweet, Kanye West decided to share his thoughts on abortion with the Twitterverse.

 It is enough to make you want to bang your head against a desk isn't it?  I would like to know how a woman can get pregnant by herself?  As far as I know, it still takes a male and a female and therefore, Kanye is suggesting that men don't have an active role in reproduction.  The very idea that women are just gold diggers, out there trying to trap a man is extremely misogynistic. I am also horrified at the suggestion that men feel that they are being blackmailed into paying an exorbitant amount to end a pregnancy.  Really Kanye?

Rethinking White, Straight, Cis Gender, Comic Book Superheroes

My brother and I are extremely different and just about every time we chat, we find something that we disagree on.  Last night our conversation turned to comic superheroes.  I will say right upfront, that I am not a fan of comic books.  Captain America: The First Avenger is due out in July 2011.    Not being a comic book fan, I am not overly excited, but I can say that I am irritated.  We have seen a spate of comic book movies recently, and now Wonder Woman is set to return to the small screen.  Wonder Woman was played on the original show by Lynda Carter , who is a Latina; however, the new show does not star a Latina. In her interview with Latina Magazine, Carter expressed her desire that the Wonder Woman be played by a Latina woman. Interestingly enough, the original Wonder Woman was Greek. The very fact that she was played by a Latina in the 80's, indicates that the comic has already been changed, and was found acceptable. What if instead of being Greek, Wonder Woman was a dark skinned Latina, or even Blatina?  What would it mean for these women who are constantly constructed as irresponsible breeders without agency or power to seem themselves portrayed in a positive, affirmative way?

As I think about the new Wonder Woman show, Captain America and even Iron Man, I cannot help but believe it is time that these comics get updated to reflect society.  The majority of the comic books that have a long mythos, have been drawn and written by White, cisgender, heterosexual, able bodied men, and this is highly reflected in their subject matter.  Comic book purists would claim that it would destroy the story to consider a different kind of characterization, and to that I answer, that these stories should have been inclusive to begin with. The glorification of Whiteness and in most cases White masculinity, as well as heterosexism, cis gender and able bodies, has lead to extreme difficulty for marginalized bodies.  Knowing this, I fail to see the importance of holding onto the archetype as primary and necessary.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bill Maher Pronounces Sexism in The Middle East, Worse Than In America

I only watch Late Night With Bill Maher, when I like his guests.  How this man manages to pass himself off as a liberal, is truly beyond me.  Every time I think that he has reached a new low, he manages to surpass it.  In a conversation of Tavis Smiley, who is not without a history of sexist commentary himselff about democracy in the Middle East Maher declared that "Muslim men have a terrible attitude about women". For Maher, a true democracy is impossible without the liberation of women. Before you get all warm and fuzzy about this, a quick look at how he framed his argument, proves that once again Maher just does not have a clue.

'Gimme A Break' Ended in 1987 and Nothing has Changed Since Then

Some of you may be old enough to remember the ABC show Gimme A Break, which aired from 1981 to 1987.   At the time that it aired, I watched it religiously and absolutely loved Nell Carter, who played the role of Nellie Ruth "Nell" Harper, the housekeeper to the White Kanisky family.  It seems that Nell was a good friend to Margaret Kanisky, the deceased wife of police chief Carl Kanisky.  On Margaret's deathbed, she asked Nell to take care of her family. For six seasons, Nell Carter played the role of housekeeper, and friend (read: wise negro mammy).

Why am I writing this so many years after this show has left the air?  Well, I think it is important to recognize the perseverance of the mammy stereotype and to examine the fact that we have not grown from the time when we found it acceptable to reduce Black people regularly in prime time. 
As a child, when I watched this show, I had no idea of the political implications and what it meant as a female child of colour.  Today, looking at the show with new eyes, I don't see a harmless comedy anymore, but yet another manifestation of how easy it is to slot women of colour into the role of caretaker for White people.  Much of these isms continue to perpetuate today in the form of comedy.  Marginalized people are told that it is just a joke, that we are being to serious, and don't know how to laugh at ourselves, when negative stereotypes are played upon for laughs. In many cases, this supposed humour takes the form of shows like Gimme A Break, and not are we expected to laugh, but we are expected to be thankful for mainstream exposure.  This show gave Whiteness the opportunity to claim that it was inclusive, because of having a Black star in prime time however, the show functioned to reduce women of colour and therefore, functioned to maintain White supremacy.

Making Racist Commentary is not Excusable Because you Have Depression

For a lot of minority students, just making it to college is a huge struggle, but unfortunately the struggle does not end there.  We have heard a lot of complaints from conservatives about college campuses being too liberal however, that is not necessarily the case. My educational experience included a professor who made it clear that my race was an issue, and I am quite sure that many minority students can tell a similar story. Sometimes the racism is covert, but in the case of Arlene Johnson, a student at Murray Hill State University, political science professor Mark Wattier, left no doubt that the colour of her skin was indeed an impediment to her progress in his political science class.
Freshman Arlene Johnson said even though she was early for professor Mark Wattier's class last semester, a film was already playing and class was well under way.She asked him why. His alleged answer?

"I always start my films 10 to 15 minutes before class," Johnson says.

Johnson said that was not in the syllabus, so she was not aware.She said it was what Wattier said next that astounded her.

"Then he said, 'That's okay. I'd expect it from you guys."

She asked what he meant by that. He allegedly said "Slaves never showed up on time for their owners and were often lashed for it. I just don't have that right."

Johnson said she couldn't get that statement out of her head.

"After that, I felt really unwelcomed for a while," she said.

So she filed a complaint with the university, a complaint that led to Wattier's suspension without pay and benefits this semester.Wattier has fired back, appealing his suspension and saying the university violated due process, He included a letter from his doctor stating he met the criteria for depression, including contemplating his own death. (source)
A professor is already in a position of power over a student, but to amplify that power by using race, and implying that a student should be whipped for showing up on time, is absolutely ridiculous and inexcusable. As a White man talking to a young Black woman, he had to be aware of exactly how harmful what he was saying was, considering the history of violence perpetrated by Whiteness against people of colour.  I find it extremely offensive, that he vocally wished for a time when violence against people of colour was legally unproblematic again. Though reading his statement may be shocking for some, this is hardly the first time that a member of the dominant class of society, has commented enthusiastically about a historical period when there were no legal checks to their privilege.

How to Become White (in About 200 years or less)

I am a 36 year old disabled woman who has been variously labeled "fat", "crazy", and "a hippie weirdo." I now try to embrace labels that others use in an attempt to "shame" me into being someone more "acceptable". I am passionate about issues of race/racism, criminal (in)justice, fat acceptance, and mental health advocacy. I blog at My Name Is JuJuBe and I am on the team at The Intersection of Madness and Reality
I recently started walking to the local library every day. While perusing the stacks of books, I decided to check out a few books that caught my interest, but which I would not actually spend my money to purchase. The first book I picked up was called "WOP: A Documentary History of Anti-Italian Discrimination" by Salvatore J. LaGumina. Basically, I wanted to find out how Italians went from being "undesirables" to becoming fully assimilated into "white America".

I am only halfway through the book right now, but it has really piqued my interest. See, all of the rhetoric that is used against immigrants today, particularly those from Mexico and Latin America was once used against Italians, particularly those from Southern Italy.

The book is basically a compilation of media articles from throughout the history of the Italian presence in the United States. And, I cannot help but notice the similarities between arguments used against Italians in the late 1800s to the early 1900s and those presently used to devalue Latin American immigrants today.

Article after article in this book mentioned how Southern Italian immigrants were not the same "quality" immigrants as those who had previously entered the country. Members of the “Italian race”, it was said, could NEVER become Americans. There were unintelligent. They were criminals. They had high rates of children born out of wedlock. They were leeches on the welfare system. They sent money back to their families in Italy instead of using it to enhance the economy of the United States. They refused to learn the language. Does this sound familiar? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spent: Will Pretending to be Poor, Teach People That it is not a Moral Failing

Due to the persistent discourse of meritocracy, many who are homeless or belong to the ranks of the working poor, are simply assumed to be lazy.  The reality of the fact is that capitalism is designed to keep people poor.  The Urban Ministries of North Carolina and the McKinney ad agency have partnered to create a game, to help bring the awareness to the difficult choices that come with living a life of poverty.

Some of the challenges players face are: living far from work to reduce rent, considering shared co-habitation with friends, various low paying jobs, grocery shopping on limited funds, whether or not to take an unpaid sick day, whether or not to discuss joining a union, at the threat of losing one's job, considering whether it is possible to pay for a child's lunch, rather than allowing them to face the stigma of being one of the free lunch kids, helping out family members who need help paying for vital medication, traveling to weddings and funerals, repairs to housing and or vehicles etc,. Everyday life situations like, the inability to work due to illness, transportation, student loans, car payments, rent and food, can quickly deplete one's funds. This is the reality for many people who are under employed, despite the fact that we are told that people just need to work harder.

The Hidden Killer: Asbestos in Developing Countries

Eric Stevenson a health and safety advocate who resides in the Southeastern US.

Asbestos, as many people know, is an extremely hazardous substance, a naturally-occurring mineral that can cause severe lung problems after even small periods of exposure.  Tiny, needle-like fibers can break away from the material, lodging in the lungs and other body tissues.  As they accumulate, the fibers can cause lung scarring, asbestosis, or even mesothelioma, a fatal cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen.  Mesothelioma symptoms can take between 20 and 50 years after exposure to become apparent, so it has taken time to prove that these symptoms are a direct result of asbestos.  However, scientists in the U.S. and the U.K. now see the link between the two as irrefutable.

While the dangerous of asbestos have been known in the U.S. for several decades now, it may be surprising to hear that we have not, in fact, completely banned the mineral from use.  The 1989 EPA ban was overturned in New Orleans’ Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals two years later.  Luckily, the threat of litigation has kept asbestos use in the U.S. to a minimum since the 1980s, though thanks to the long latency period, the death toll from mesothelioma is still rising.  Some estimates put the cost of lawsuits and damages paid out by the asbestos industry at $70 billion.  The substance has been banned outright in the European Union and many other countries. 

Peter Worthington of The Toronto Sun Believes, Lara Logan Should Have Stayed Home Because She is a 'Mommy'

I have been following the story of Lara Logan and the horrible assault that she survived in Egypt.  I have read the articles about people questioning what she was wearing, the asserting that her "good looks" played a role in the assault, claiming that she deserved it, because she was in a Muslim country (never mind that rape happen in North America),  and the debates that women  reporting in that area represent a potential lawsuit to their employers.  Each new round of misogyny and victim blaming, has been difficult to read -- and until now -- I have found myself too triggered to write a response.  Peter Worthington, of The Toronto Sun, wrote a piece that so enraged me, I decided that my silence is no longer acceptable.

In his piece, Women with young kids shouldn't be in war zone, Worthington suggests that mommy status means that women need to think of their children, (typical conservative claptrap) and just stay home.
Apparently, against the advice of her bosses, Logan insisted on staying with the crew when they returned to Egypt.

It was the right thing for her to do journalistically — unless, of course, she had small children, which was the case. Her son (from a second marriage) was born in 2009 and should have taken precedent over her wishes to cover the world’s biggest story for the moment.

This holds true for any woman covering wars or revolutions.

Fine and commendable for, say, the Calgary Herald’s Michelle Lang to cover the Canadians’ war in Afghanistan, where she was killed during the first few days she was there. But she was single and prepared to take her chances. Were she the mother of small children, plain and simple she should not have been there.

I would argue the same should apply to mothers of young children who are in the army. They should not be in combat zones or away from their domestic responsibilities. A double-standard, perhaps, with men, but that’s the way it is. Or should be.

Spark of Wisdom: Ambiguous Hints are not Representation

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 know this is a subject that is not just the equivalent of a beaten dead horse for me, but this horse is dead, gone to the glue factory and is now several bottles of UHU and many tins of dogfood -- and I'm still bashing away at it. But it is something that really gets on my last nerve - because media representation is so important.

Media is everywhere. Books, computer games, television, adverts, newspapers, magazines... we stare at screens more often than we stare in a mirror, sometimes I think we stare at faces on screens more often than we stare at faces in real life. 

And it matters to see yourself there - and how yourself is presented there. Whether you exist, whether you are worthy, whether you can be the leader, the main person, the protagonist, whether your story has value - it matters. So yes, I am going to be beating that dead horse again.

I've said before that I want to see gay muppets. I want to see trans people on Sesame Street. I want to see Dora The Explorer's girlfriend. I want GBLTQ characters in every branch of media - from the incomprehensible bright coloured blobs that are inflicted on babies, through to those insomnia cures with elderly people badly painting churches with watercolours.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Black Moses Barbie: Another Black History Month Failure

Black Moses Barbie (Harriet Tubman Commercial) (1 of 3) from pierre bennu on Vimeo.

The following is the blurb that goes along with the video.
This mock commercial for a Black Moses Barbie toy celebrating the legacy of Harriet Tubman is part of Pierre Bennu's larger series of paintings and films deconstructing and re-envisioning images of people of color in commercial and pop culture.
 Transcript below the fold via Racialicious

Beyonce in Black Face is NOT Art

In celebration of Fela Kuti, the pioneer of Afro beat, Beyonce recently posed in Black Face, for a French magazine. From the looks of it, it seems that the magazine in question, felt that because it was a Black woman in Black Face, instead of the multiple instances of White women donning Black Face, that this magically made it acceptable.  In a word - NO.  First, let's start with the recent conversation that Beyonce has become lighter over time.  Black celebrities have a history of lightening their skin - Michael Jackson anyone?  We all know that light, bright, and damn near White sells.  It makes Whiteness comfortable and creates a division amongst people of colour based squarely in hueism. Even before the skin bleaching rumors, Beyonce was still considered a light skinned Black woman and so, for her to don Black Face, furthers the mission of dividing people of colour.

There is also the issue that Beyonce is an African-American woman.  Did the Black African models suddenly disappear from the face of the world?  Were there no beautiful women in Kuti's native Nigeria, that could possibly fill the bill?  To me, this smacks of Western privilege.  Just because Beyonce is Black, does not mean that she can take the place of an African woman.  It feels like they simply thought that any Black women would suffice, as though we do not have any sort of variation based in culture and history. In a sense, it is yet another example of POC being considered interchangeable by Whiteness. I suppose, despite the supposed post-racial era we supposedly live in, we all still look alike to Whiteness.

The Power of Language to Keep Indigenous Cultures Alive

The transcript is below the fold.

No 'Feminist' Wedding for Me, Thank You.

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.

Reading Renee's recent post on the white-professional feminism of Jessica Valenti, prompted me to do my own self-reflection. One of the trends in the largely white blogosphere, and one which Valenti took part in popularizing, was the 'feminist weddings' meme. Basically, a lot of (usually white, middle to upper middle-class) women would write blog posts detailing their recent engagement and wedding plans, and how they plan to fashion a 'feminist' wedding. I'm not about to criticize or shame these women for the choices they made, or for how they choose to understand their sexuality and relationships. However, I DO think, as Renee pointed out in this post, that this whole notion of feminist weddings bears examination, especially since those of Valenti's ilk rarely account for the nuances of race, nationality and culture that shape women's identities. So this post is meant to say: Listen up White, ciswomen! You are NOT the definitive authority on legal heterosexual unions.

I recent became engaged to my male partner. He is a wonderful, caring, kind human being who shares my beliefs and values about social justice, community and family. But even before I was engaged to him, certain feminists (most of them white, some in my personal life and some in the blogosphere) would spout judgmental ideas about the monogamous, heterosexual relationship I was entering into. Never mind that my partner, an ardent bicyclist who challenges mainstream ideas of heterosexual masculinity and always interrupts bigotry when he can, treated me with respect and admiration. White separatist radical feminism stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that for women of color, heterosexual or not, separatism has hardly ever been viable. Our sons, fathers, brothers, friends and sometimes lovers suffer daily under the same white supremacy that marginalizes us; walking away from them just isn't an option for me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Canadian Kids Call For Acceptance Using a Flashmob

Do you need a little bit of happy today?  Well, the following flashmob occurred in Vancouver, on January 27.  Students from David Lloyd George Elementary and Churchill Secondary, took their message to the Oakridge Centre, wearing pink shirts that said "acceptance" and "just the way you are".

 And a little child shall lead them

Women's Shelters in Afghanistan

"The government of Afghanistan has recently introduced a bill that wrests control of women's shelters in Afghanistan from the local Afghan women's NGOs that have founded and run them, and transfers that control to the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA).  This bill could become the law of the land ANY DAY NOW. 

If this bill becomes law:

Women and girls seeking shelter will be required to plead their case before an eight-member Government panel, including conservative members of the Supreme Court and Ministry of Justice.  This panel will determine whether a woman needs to be in a shelter or should be sent to jail or returned to her home (and her abuser). 

Women will have to undergo "forensic" exams (virginity tests) to determine whether they have had sex and therefore committed adultery. The tests are medically invalid.

Once admitted to a shelter, women will be forbidden to leave. Their shelter will become their prison.
If any family member comes to claim her, even her abuser, she will be handed over to that person, in most cases to be subjected to the harshest retribution for shaming the family."

Please consider signing the petition