Saturday, June 18, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

Thanks again for a marvelous week of conversations everyone.  It has long been a goal of mine to make Womanist Musings a truly inclusive and intersectional site and I believe we are finally well on the road to that.  It is my hope that at least once a week all readers will see an issue that directly effects them discussed on the blog. I really want this to be a space for marginalized people to gather and discuss issues safely. We may not always get things right, but please trust that a good faith effort exists.

I am currently seeking someone to join the team to talk about issues related to fat activism.  I would like someone who feels comfortable talking about their own experiences, as well as taking an FA perspective to conversations around body image.  If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please send an email to womanistmusings (at) gmail (dot) com with two samples of writing and an explanation as why it is important for you to explore this issue. Please note, this is a non paid writing assignment.

As always, Womanist Musings retains its open guest posting policy.  If you are interested in sharing an original piece or work that you have previously published on your blog, please use the above email.  Please include a small three line bio, and an image that you feel best represents you.

As usual, below you will find links to stories that I found interesting this week.  A link does not necessarily mean endorsement, it simply means that something about the piece caught my attention.  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 you link behind in the comment section. 
WWDFDRD (What would Franklin Delano Roosevelt do?)
Giving Loving Day Its Due
On the Gay in Damascus Hoax and Filtering Our Stories Through a White Lens 
History Repeats Itself in Peter King's Fear of Black "Prislams"
Full Figured Fashion Week 2011
White Men Impersonating Want Lesbian Bloggers Want Everything but the Burden
Mom says, 'Don't Go Stealth!'
The Untold Story of the Black Pin Up: Part one, Part two, Part three, Part four, Part five, Part six, Part 7, part 8
Why the "Transsexual" vs "Transgender" Debate is Irrelevant to the Fight for Equal Rights
A Critical Time to Protect Native Women and Advance Tribal Jurisdiction
An Open Letter to Courtney Martin, and Editor at
Teaching the N Word
Voting is only common sense in an elite way
Anderson Cooper Owes You Nothing
Big Bank Take Little Bank: Inequity in the War on Drugs
Child Brides: Perversion vs Cultural Context
Germaine Greer denies mass rapes in Bangladesh during 1971 Indo-Pak war
Feminism 101
Dear Privileged Person
Blind and Trans
Sexism in the Atheist Community
Things We Wish People Would STOP Saying About "Weinergate"
Reclaiming the "Before" Body [NSFW]
Good Whites/Bad Whites: A False Dichotomy Prevents the Anti-Racism Progress of White People
Notes From the Urban/Rural Divide: More Thoughts on Ingredient Availability
Race Is Not A Card, It's A Reality
Dear my fellow white people, especially guys, who are writers:
Growing up Jewish: Bat Mitzvah Edition

Friday, June 17, 2011

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

Liss from Shakesville shopped that hideous hat onto her cat, and I think it amounts to animal cruelty. Even my children feel sorry for the cat. It did however inspire this week's question.  If this image were printed on flyers, what would you caption it?

In The Battle of the Werewolves Alcide Wins

You know that I am 100% right on this one. Who's with me?

Poverty Manifesto (Or at least what Dan does)

Dan Waters is a snarky 22 year old queer biracial wonderment who is part White, Portuguese, and Native American (Wampanoag-Kiowa). He currently lives in Massachusetts, and plans to become a Lawyer. That is, if he can survive Algonquin language classes and polyamorous dating right now! He also identifies as Two Spirit, and prefers male pronouns, but cherishes his female body that he was given graciously by the Creator. He blogs at Identity Exposure.

So because of this string of financial pinching, I decided to write up a piece about surviving in a crunch. Well off middle and upperclass people can take heed to this wisdom (yes, for this is wisdom passed down of generations of poor kin, mostly my Vavo [grandmother]), and probably save some money for themselves as well. But this truly is for the folks that are crunching numbers furiously into their calculators, trying to figure out what bill can be paid this month, etc. Some of it is common sense, others will make you go “Oooo…”, and I hope some of the readers will like this. To keep the format simple, I’m employing numbers here. Some similar things will be lumped together, of course. So here are 10 easy things that Dan does during times of severe fiscal pinching.

1) Health is one of the first things many of us lower class folk neglect. Those fancy vitamins your doctor (if you even can afford to see one) aren’t cheap at CVS or RiteAid, regardless of being one of their (literal) card carrying members. I shop for vitamins at Puritan’s Pride. It’s cheap, fast, and a lot of it is buy one get one, so it’ll last you quite a while. Many bottles are in 60-90 pills per bottle range, so one purchase can set you up for two months while you’re waiting for unemployment to kick in. Poor vegans will appreciate the Biotin shampoo that is vegan, both the Puritan Pride’s version and J/A/S/O/Ns. They accept Paypal, and the boxes that come in are completely reusable, which leads me to my next item…

2) Get paypal. It’s free, and can connect to a bank account, debit card, etc. Many websites accept it, and it’s a lot easier than entering your card number constantly. Also, you can get a nifty donate button so people on the internet can donate any amount of money to your account. I have one. Paypal (and those nifty boxes I mentioned) leads to another point…

3) SELL YOUR SHIT. I’m serious. Books and things that are collecting dust can go in the gutter. I’ve parted with my original PlayStation, and many of my games (but I am not giving up my Tomb Raider games! No-sir-ee.) While many stores like Gamestop only offer in-store credit (which is nice for us gamers waiting for the next quarter to come so our new game releases will be here), other places can take it for their parts. Chat up the Gamestop/game stores folks, many of them are collectors themselves and will pay for stuff you’ve got. Heck, that old Tetris game in your basement that was in an airtight lockbox might make some geek pretty happy, and be worth 50 bucks to them. If you are selling online, boxes that you’ve collected or received from shopping are STILL usable, and when opening packages try using a butter knife or shoe horn to open the boxes, to minimize damage and increase usability. Garage sale it up if you have to, as well. Those boxes can become handy signs, and be sure to make it pretty with some of your kids’ markers. Heck, they can even help.

4) Steal pens from work. As a student, I always found that pens mysteriously went away or found a bolthole inside of my backpack. I know, you’re probably going to kick me for this, but I have not been above stealing a toilet paper roll or two from work. Nor have I been above taking a stapler out of vengeance at work either.

Trans Community, Don't Repeat The GL Community Mistake About The US Flag

This is a guest post from the ever brilliant Monica of TransGriot

Flag Day commemorates the day in 1777 the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag of the United States.   But it didn't take on its current iconic meaning as a symbol of the United States until December 1860.

The events leading up to the attack on Fort Sumter by the Confederate traitors in April 1861 caused a surge of patriotic fervor for it combined with new mass production techniques making it easily available and established it as a symbol for a unified nation that eventually tens of thousands of men shed blood for over the next four years of that conflict and subsequently thereafter.  .

President Woodrow Wilson issued a 1916 proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day and that was followed up in August 1949 by the establishment of National Flag Day by an Act of Congress. 

The transgender pride flag was conceived by Monica Helms when she lived in Phoenix, AZ and was first flown at a pride parade in that city in 2000.

The flag that represents the trans community consists of five horizontal stripes.  Two light blue ones, two pink ones and a white stripe in the center.

Ms Helms describes the meaning of the flag as "The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersexed.

When Love is “Unconditional”

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

When my mother was alive, she always told me that her love was unconditional. That no matter what I did, she would still be there for me, still accept me as her child, and still love me fiercely. I would sometimes test her.... Asking her things like “Would you still love me if I was a drug addict?” or (as a young teen) “Would you still love me if I got pregnant?”, and the biggie “Would you still love me if I killed someone?” To each question she would tell me that , yes, she would still love me. That “unconditional” love meant just that - no matter what I did, she would still love me. No matter how far I travelled from her, no matter how many times I told her I did not want or need her love, that she would still love me. She told me that if even if I disappeared from her life, she would still love me with all of her heart. And believe me, I spent many years testing the limits of my mother’s love.
I was watching “The View” today and the ladies were talking about the Casey Anthony trial. They were discussing what an awful feeling it must be to be the mother of Casey Anthony, and have to testify in a trial for your daughter’s life. Joy Behar said that if it were her child, she would lie on the stand for her child. The other women were not so sure. They said that they would be by their child’s side, that they would stand beside their child, but that they would recognize that their child had to face the consequences of their destructive act.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Immigration Is a Feminist Issue

Eva Rivera is a proud lesbian Chicana, daughter, sister and sex worker who can walk in 6 inch heels and twirl naked on a pole in front of total strangers but is still viciously afraid of moths. She hails from Fresno, CA and is a poet and aspiring film maker. You can find her more personal writing on her blog.   

For those of you who may not have heard, Alabama's governor has just signed a bill which aims to destroy the livelihoods and families of undocumented immigrants. This law goes into effect September 1st and would force police to investigate and detain anyone they believe to be undocumented. The law is full of racist tactics like this which effectively criminalize undocumented immigrants and anyone associating with them (such as their family members who may be documented or citizens), by penalizing anyone who transports, hires or even rents to them. The law also targets children by forcing parents to show documentation within 30 days of enrolling their children in primary or secondary school.

You might have to do a double take on that last sentence. Those who drafted this bill are especially proud of themselves for one-upping Arizona, by targeting school children. According to Republican Senator Scott Beason, "That is where one of our largest costs come from". There's plenty who think that this law violates constitutional rights but whether it is actually carried through, the attitude and intention behind it paints an obvious picture of what exactly is going on here.

Madame Noire Needs To Stop Talking About Feminism

Being a womanist, I clearly have issues with feminism.  I know that feminism has been guilty of all kinds of fuckery, but to claim as LaSaun Williams recently did over at Madame Noir, that it is responsible for single Black women being incapable of getting and keeping a man, is beyond a stretch, it is ridiculous.  Let's check out the seven reasons that Williams believes that feminism has gone to far.
False Sense of Sexual Liberation
liberation is an opportunity for regulation, not hyper-consumption. Women have to be smart and, sometimes, that means playing by the rules. Jesus will be back before it’s cool for a woman to break the five-finger rule.
Are you following this argument?  Okay men are still sexist and believe that they have the right to hump whoever the hell they want, but because they don't believe that this freedom should apply to women, we should keep our legs shut and deny ourselves sexual gratification.  What the hell does this have to do with feminism?  It seems to me to be evidence that feminism still has work to do to eliminate the sexual taboos that are constructed specifically to oppress women. Teaching women to participate in sex on their terms is empowering, but then I can see how that would confuse someone who has internalized patriarchal ideals.