Saturday, March 10, 2012

Drop It Like It's Hot

This week is March Break for my angels and so this means that the posting will probably be light.  I just wanted to give everyone a heads up beforehand. Also don't forget to move your clock ahead one hour tomorrow.  Spring - I just can't wait.

Hey everyone, thanks for another great week of conversation.  I think that there were some really great conversations that challenged a lot of what has become normal discourse.  Please remember, we cannot always agree but it is important that we stay respectful and committed to listening to each other. Talking at each other, rather than to each other, get us nowhere.

I am still looking for new contributors.  Though I can write about a myriad of things, we all learn best from the people directly negotiating a particular ism.  I am particularly looking for someone to discuss fatphobia and class critically but I am very open to other ideas. Please be aware that womanist musings also has an open guest posting policy, so please feel free to submit a piece or a cross post from your blog.  You can reach me at womanistmusings (at) gmail (dot) com

Below you will find a list of posts that I found interesting this week.  Please be aware that a link does not necessarily mean an endorsement of the article, just simply that I found something about the piece interesting.  Please be aware that I don't read the comment sections so read those at your own risk.  Well start spreading the love, and when you're done, don't forget to drop it like it's hot and leave your link behind in the comment section when you are done.

Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women
Were Rush’s Slurs Against Black America Not Cancellation Worthy?
Team Katniss Fashion (Yes, I am a total Hunger Games geek)
Thoughts on Being “Othered”.
Things I’m Expected To Do for Cis People in Return for Their Not Hating Me: An Angry List
IN DISCUSSION: racism directed towards someone else expressed to you
I’ve seen the future, I can’t afford it
Not Okay (Sexism in Gaming/Nerd Culture)
Rihanna: From Ultimate “Niggerbitch” to Ultimate Ignoramus in One Racist Tweet
Can't Have It Both Ways
Our Black Women Icons 
Muslim Women Take Back the Mic on International Women's Day
Expanding Black Masculinity to End "Black on Black" Anti-LGBT Violence
Food Systems: Not Globally Universal!
Segregation begins at home
On [email protected] by Janet W Hardy
Artist on Anti-Woman Attacks: ‘Politicians Off My Poontang!’
Male superheroes, drawn like female ones
Think Before You Retweet: Reflections on Kony 2012 & the Power of Social Media
Hollywood star Colin Farrell Stands Up!
Sex, Politics, and the Single Latina
Watch: Dr. Boyce Watkins & Dr. Michael Eric Dyson Discuss Accountability in Hip Hop, Who’s At Fault?
Introducing Prodigyrls: Real Black Dolls, For Real Black Girls
The Dangers Of An Educated Black Man
Double Rainbow: Autism and Race
The Alamo Heights Basketball “U-S-A” Chant: So, Patriotism is the New Racism in San Antonio?
Oh ANTM, Where Do I Even Start?: Mariah Watchman And The Pocahontas Controversy
Beyonce Breastfeeds Blue Ivy: Can White Advocates Give Black Moms Our Breastfeeding Victory?
Very Smart Brothas’ Fauxpology, Too $hort’s “Advice,” And Muffling About Intraracial Sexual Violence
Cover Snark: She Must Be Freezing

Jamie Foxx Does his Best Michael Jackson Impersonation in his Drawers

The following video could be an advert for this is your brain on drugs, but I still laughed.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Friday, March 9, 2012

Appropriation in Urban Fantasy Should Not be a Plot Point

One of the things I love about urban fantasy, is that it encourages a reader to travel to fantastical imaginary worlds.  Even if the world largely resembles our current society, the addition of vampires, fae, werewolves etc., adds new elements to any story.  A writer must interweave their version of our world into their story, to ensure that there is enough context, to allow the reader to relate with the characters.  Sometimes, this can be achieved with things like having characters go to a specific location, or participate in a very popular cultural activity like checking email.  Some writers however take these connections too far by engaging in revisionist history, and appropriating the experiences of marginalised people.

This can include inserting their protagonist into real historical situations, in an attempt to convey the age of the supernatural in question. Unfortunately, this usually leads to some sort of revisionism as an imaginary character, would have had no role to play for the allies in WWII. Yes, I am looking at you Sanctuary. Kevin Hearne, had his protagonist Atticus play a role in the French resistance.  In Eternal Law, Zak became the Angel of Mons (which is based on a real legend), who guided soldiers to safety in WWI, and was then punished for his action by being forced to defend soldiers accused of going AWOL. Rebbecca Hamilton inserted one of her characters into the Salem witch trials, and in Morgan Rice’s Vampire Journals series, she took it a step further and even used one of the historical people from the trials.  

The worst of this marginalisation is, of course, appropriating marginalised identities and equality movements.  If there were an award for squeezing in the most appropriation in a series, it would have to go to Dan Waters who wrote The Generation Dead Series. Waters has managed to appropriate slurs, appropriate the language of disability, refer to the closet, passing and coming out to describe his zombies revealing their true nature, as well as appropriating the language of the civil rights movement, and appropriating Jim Crow, to apply to the separation of the differently biotic (yes, he actually used that term) and living people. 

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A Personhood Ammendment for Ladies

This is a cross post from Liss at Shakesville

Shaker ma_am recently suggested, in response to the onslaught of anti-choice legislation that includes encroachments on reproductive rights that undermine the autonomy of women and other people with uteri as well as proposed "Personhood Amendments" to confer personhood on fetuses, that we need a Personhood Amendment for women and other people with uteri to establish our rights as autonomous people. I suggested we compose the amendment, and then try to get a clever Democratic Senator to introduce it into the US Senate.

So we did!

And then we composed a petition, and ma_am launched it at

Here is our prosed Personhood Amendment:

A person identifying as a woman and/or having a uterus shall retain all of the full, basic, and fundamental rights of a US citizen as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Congress and the States shall make no law that infringes upon a person's life, including but not limited to access to life-saving or life-improving healthcare, and/or medicines and procedures deemed necessary or beneficial by a medical professional and/or by the person having the uterus, procurement of which shall not by denied in and of itself by the presence of a uterus. Congress and the States shall make no law that infringes upon a person's liberty, including but not limited to autonomy over hir own body and the ability to make decisions regarding hir own healthcare. Congress and the States shall make no law that interferes with a person's pursuit of happiness, including but not limited to access to a full spectrum of reproductive options, freedom from forcible reproduction, and the ability to make decisions regarding family planning and family resources.

Please sign the petition in support of the Personhood Amendment here. Once it has 1,000 signatures, it will be delivered to Senators Patty Murray (WA), Al Franken (MN), and Kristen Gillibrand (NY) with a request to introduce the proposed amendment into the legislative session.

And please spread the word about the petition via social networking sites. Let's change this conversation. It's time to change "women's rights are human rights" from a radical statement to settled fact.

Rihanna Needs to Do Something About the Men in Her Life

I have a new piece up at Clutch Magazine

Rihanna needs to do something about the men in her life.  First, we have Chris Brown, who I like to call the new-age Ike Turner, and now her father Ronald Fenty, who seems to think that the fat-shaming of his daughter is a key factor in her success.  Fenty’s recent interview with Heat Magazine may shed light on why Rihanna seems so willing to put up with abusive behaviour.

Our first role models are our parents; for those raised in a two-parent heterosexual household, that means mothers and fathers.  There is a constant social emphasis on how boys need their fathers to teach them how to be men, but girls also need their fathers to model what a good man is and how they should demand to be treated by their partners (should they happen to be straight, of course).  Speaking on the role that her absentee father played in her life, Halle Berry once stated, “If I had a good father in my life growing up, then I do not think I would have made the mistakes I made. I would not have been lost in love.”

For many women, our fathers serve as our primary model of masculinity and those of us who choose to partner with men often notice that our spouses share very significant qualities and character traits with our fathers.  From the time that I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted a man to treat me the way that my father treats my mother.  I knew that settling for less would not make me happy.  However, Rihanna’s father doesn’t seem to take the intimate partner violence his daughter endured very seriously.  According to The New York Post, Fenty said, “Chris is a nice guy and everybody’s entitled to make mistakes in their life. God knows how many I’ve made.”

As if those remarks were not vile enough, he went on to discuss her weight.  “I actually thought she was a little fat the last time I saw her,” he said. “When I saw her at this year’s Grammys, I thought she was back to her normal size.  I used to joke with her, ‘Robyn, you’re getting too fat.’  But I think she’s fine.  I think she looked excellent, as everyone saw, at the Grammys.  She’s dieting, she’s working out.”
A mistake is forgetting your girlfriends’ birthday, not beating her until she is covered in bruises. Abusers are charming people; they have to be in order to instill confidence on the part of their victims.  They build confidence, separate the victim from their support group, and systematically attack the victim’s self esteem to prepare them for the idea that they deserve to be beaten and abused.  To the outside world they appear to be charming and sweet, but in private they are violent, controlling and cruel.

Read More

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Woman Wins Lottery and Still Gets Food Stamps

My Bff emailed me a story about a Michigan woman, who won the lottery and continued to collect 200 dollars a month food stamps.  Apparently, the state depends upon recipients to declare any change of financial status within 10 days, and a failure to report a change in status, could subject the recipient to fines, as well as jail time.

"I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn't, I thought, maybe, it was OK because I'm not working," Clayton, 24, told WDIV when it asked whether it was appropriate for her to receive the money.

A state lawmaker is trying to stop such assistance, which is not illegal. He says the food assistance should not go to those who have found riches through the lottery.

"We need to continue to protect our taxpayers' dollars ... and taxpayer dollars should be going to those who really do need assistance," Michigan Rep. Dale Zorn of Ida Township told HLN's Vinnie Politan on Wednesday.

In October, Clayton walked away with $1 million in the "Make Me Rich!" lottery game show. She also bought a car, WDIV reported.

After taking a lump sum and paying taxes, the unemployed woman said she ended up with just more than $500,000.

Asked if she had the right to the public assistance money, Clayton answered, "I kind of do. I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses."

Zorn said the state House has passed bills on the matter. One would require a state agency to conduct an assets test if a citizen wins more than $1,000 in lottery earnings. "That will trigger whether or not the people are eligible to receive public assistance." [source]

Jessica Simpson, Shows Off her Baby Bump on The Cover of Elle

I first saw this cover on The View this morning.  The ladies were gushing how great it was that Simpson felt confidant enough to do this, and how far we have come since Demi Moore appeared naked and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair. There is no doubt that these images of pregnant naked women are indeed political.  They promote the beauty of pregnancy, and actively state that there is nothing shameful about this time in a woman's life.

Even as these images challenge the discourse surrounding motherhood, in many ways, they support a norm that is not oft discussed. The women displayed this way have largely been White, with class privilege, straight and in a long term or serious relationship.  Even though more women are either choosing to parent by themselves, or in situations where the father has abdicated responsibility, being a single mother is still very much a stigmatized identity.  This of course amplified when one is of colour, disabled, lesbian or poor.

Motherhood is not the universalizing experience that it is often framed as.  Even during pregnancy and labour and deliverym a mother's identity will greatly effect the treatment that they receive. Writing about her experience of delivering her daughter, Denne Miller had the following to say:
It didn't matter how much money I had in my bank account or how good my insurance was, or that I had a ring on my finger, or that I was smart and accomplished, or that I tried to pay my way out of substandard service. At the end of the day, to almost everyone in that hospital, I was just another black girl pushing out another black baby and neither of us deserved to be treated with dignity or respect, much less special. That human beings charged with caring for new life and the people who ushered in that miracle could traffic in this kind of reprehensible treatment of anyone, much less a new mother -- no matter her race, financial or marital status, or background -- is beyond my level of comprehension.
But it happens. A lot. And there are studies that show that my birthing experience is a lot like that of other African-American women who've had babies in hospitals.

In the words of Liss, OMG Shoez!!!

Okay, so I saw these shoes, and I went squee, MUST HAVE, MUST HAVE, MUST HAVE NOW.

I don't see how anyone who is a fan of The Hunger Games, could see these shoes and not have a fit.  When I read that the seller did not ship to Canada, you better believe that I sent a long whiny email filled with much begging and need.  I finally heard today, that he will (I crack that up to my high quality pleading BTW) ship a pair of these awesome shoes.  I will have to wait until May, because he is booked right up, but then, yes then, the precious shall be mine. PRECIOUSSSSSS must have the precious.

Since we are going lighthearted today, what brings your inner fan to a melting puddle of squeee?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shit Canadians say to Aboriginal Women

Here in the great White north, we love to point southward with a false sense of superiority, but in truth we have more than our fair share of sexism and racism as this video shows. 

transcript below the fold thanks to WM reader Ellie

Atheists Invoke Slavery To Challenge The Year of the Bible

I don't think that anyone could reasonably argue that the bible hasn't been used to justify many heinous actions.  Everything from slavery, to war, to rape, to patriarchal abuse of women can be found in it's pages.  It also comes with the promise of reward in the great hereafter, thus encouraging historically marginalized people, to accept their abuse, neglect, or exploitation in this life, in favor of everlasting life in paradise.

Pennsylvania lawmakers recently passed a bill which effectively labelled 2012 as the year of the bible.
The resolution says in part: "The House of Representatives declare(s) 2012 as the "Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania in recognition of both the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures."[source]
AmericanAtheists.Org were not pleased with this bill and decided display the following billboard.

This billboard was placed in Allison Hill, the most diverse neighborhood in the city.

Students Rally Around Homophobic Principal in Tennessee

I have written quite a few posts about social justice parenting, and how difficult it is, and I believe that this next story illuminates exactly why this is such a necessity.

Dorothy Bond was a principal at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee, who recently received some very strong critique, after she allegedly told students that "if you're gay you're going to hell, and if you're pregnant, you're life is over."  She allegedly further went on to threaten gay students who showed any form of affection with expulsion, because they are "not on God's path."

Tony Snipes, a parent of one of the Haywood students alleges that this was not the only incident of intolerance by Bond. 

“A couple of years ago when she was principal over at Sunny Hill one of my children had his hair in braids. At an assembly she told the young men if they're sitting between the legs of a girl getting their hair braided for a few hours, that they must be gay,” Snipes said.

Snipes was ticked then and is even more so now with the newest claims about controversial statements from the Haywood High principal, which he says boil down to “If you're pregnant or homosexual, you're not welcome to Haywood County High School.” [source]
When this incident first occurred, there were parents and students who supported former principal Dorothy Bond. This support recently led to a sit-in, in which 300 students demonstrated their support for Ms. Bond.
"Some say they don't agree with the comments she made, some do.  I do personally," said Haywood High Freshman Bryce Young.

"She's just teaching us life.  That's how I feel about it and I really agree with her," said Haywood High Senior Errick Wilson.

"She did say something about gays and homos, but she didn't mean to offend anybody.  They twisted her words around," Wilson said.

"It's not so much that the comment is wrong, but the time and place that matters," said Cassandra Flagg, a Haywood High School parent.

"Part of the reason America was founded was freedom, freedom to make choices," said Brownsville resident Paula Lara.  "It's okay to have beliefs, but you can't force them on other people.  Even though these are minors, you still can't force it.  You have to control yourself and let them make their own decision."  [source]

The Story of Georgia Black

This is a guest post from the ever awesome Monica of Transgriot

If people thought I was kidding about the point that I've repeatedly made about Black transpeople being integrated into the kente cloth lives of our people, it's time to take a trip back in time to 1951 and the town of Sanford, FL.

One of the town's beloved citizens, an African-American woman named Georgia Black has passed away in June.  She ran a boarding house, was married twice and had several boyfriends after those relationships ended.

Black also raised a son, did domestic work for many of the wealthy families in the town, was a devout church going woman who was the leader of the local Women's Missionary Society and after she passed away was buried at the Burton Cemetery in Sanford.   The town's baseball stadium once barred Jackie Robinson from entering it but she is mourned by all who knew her even in this era of virulent Jim Crow segregation. 

The county physician doing the autopsy, Dr. Orville Barks is astonished to discover that the frail woman he is examining has male genitalia.

Georgia's story was covered in a transphobic, sensationalized manner by the EBONY reporter when he wrote about her in October 1951. I'm going to give it the dignity it deserved. 

Georgia Cantey was born in South Carolina in 1906 and at age 15, ran away from working on a farm in Galeyville, South Carolina and headed to Charleston.  It was while working as a house servant in the city that Cantey began living as a woman.  One of the unidentified members of the household staff supplied her with a feminine wardrobe and became her first boyfriend as she honed her feminine gender presentation. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hey Everyone, Kirk Cameron is Supposedly Being Slandered and He's Got Gay Friends

'Kirk Cameron' photo (c) 2012, Gage Skidmore - license:

Earlier this week, I wrote about Cameron's appearance on the Pierce Morgan. Cameron had the nerve to call "homosexuality unnatural". He then went on to say:
I believe that marriage was defined by God a long time ago. Marriage is almost as old as dirt and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve: one man one woman for life - till death do you part. So, I would never attempt to redefine marriage and I don't think that anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No I don't.
In a press release sent to The Huffington Post, Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD said "In this interview, Kirk Cameron sounds even more dated than his 1980s TV character. Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.”

GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick added, “Cameron has the right so share his views, but as a result of GLAAD’s work, people of faith who support LGBT people are making sure their voices are louder. Thousands, including many people of faith, have shared the campaign and spoken out against Cameron’s remarks.” [source]

Well, surprise surprise, it turns out that Kirk can dish out the hate speech but cannot deal with the consequences.
I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community. That is not true. I can assuredly say that it’s my life’s mission to love all people. I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years — without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square. I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect,” and added, “I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).”
Of course the little homophobe has gay friends.  Yes, this is me rolling my eyes. Of course this just affirms everything I have always believed about him. Not only is Cameron a homophobe, he is not smart enough to figure out that no one buys having friends of X marginalization, as an excuse to be a bigot. Calling this man a homophobe is not slandering him, it's using the appropriate label.

Three young, gay DePaul University students talk about the word "[email protected]"

Strong trigger warning for anti-gay and anti trans slurs.

I have very strong feelings about slurs, but I recognize that if you are not a part of the community in question, you have no right to express an opinion on how a slur is used within the community itself, or what the word means to them. Randall Jenson wrote a piece on Huffpo entitled, Call Me a 'Faggot'
The terms "faggot," "dyke," and "tranny" are just as important to identifying our queer communities as "gay," "lesbian," and "transgender." It's convenient to just dismiss these words as hate terms. We've been preconditioned to anticipate abusive blows and expect hateful shouts from homophobic people, but we also have a choice in the words that we use to understand ourselves. And mostly, we think, we don't want to hear these words, even from someone we know. But, we are these people.

We are faggots. We are dykes. We are trannies. One of the most important things we can do is stop thinking of these as disgraceful and start thinking about how these words can encompass queer identities that orientation labels like "gay," "lesbian," and "transgender" can't cover.

Yes, we must extend empathy and compassion to those still hurt by these words, but that doesn't mean we can't also embrace these terms as a process of healing for others. Don't shake your head and tell me I'm just rehearsing "the N-word argument," where reclaiming a hurtful word leads to empowerment and resistance. I embrace words like "faggot," "dyke," or "tranny" because they are not just slurs; they are descriptors. They illustrate ways of moving through the world. They portray real people, beautiful people.

LGBT people are really good at shaping vocabularies and visual representations of our communities. For instance, certain trans folks embrace their self-representation as a "tranny" while cringing at the label "cross-dresser." A lot of lesbians think the term "lesbian" is embarrassing; they just want to be dykes. A "gay man" is a pretty broad term, reflecting everything from leather daddies to bears to twinks. Whatever words we use to describe ourselves, our individual self-representation should be respected as integral to our identity.[source]
At the end of the piece he included a video which I am also going to share with you.

50Faggots: A Gay in the Life "The Power of Faggots" from 50Faggots on Vimeo.

Partial Transcript

Did You Know That The Romneys Are Poor in Spirit?

'Money' photo (c) 2011, 401K - license:

As a Canadian, I try to avoid commenting on American politics, but occasionally, a politician or his wife goes too far, and the gloves just have to come off. The Romneys made 20.9 million dollars according to last years taxes, and yet Anne recently had the nerve to say that she doesn't consider herself wealthy.  Well, if being worth 250 million dollars, and making 20.9 million dollars in a single year doesn't make one wealthy, what exactly does?

And so you know, we can be poor in spirit. I don't even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing.  It can be here today and gone tomorrow.
Who is Ann Romney kidding? She did finish this statement by adding:
"How I measure riches is by the friends I have and the loved ones I have and the people that I care about in my life, and that's where my values are and that's where my riches are."
Humans are extremely social animals and this is why solitary confinement is considered torture.  We need to socialize with others, and loved ones do hold a special place in our hearts, and can and should be counted as riches; however, there is clearly a disconnect when it comes to class for the Romneys.  How can she not consider herself rich?  Even if we were to use her standard of what counts for rich, Ann has a very large family, and a very long marriage. The woman is not poor, no matter what artificial standard she tries to create to claim impoverishment.

Protestant and Catholic Faiths in the UK Have United in Hate

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.

After centuries of strife between Protestant and Catholic faiths in the UK it is often touching to see the two come together in agreement and solidarity. After so much strife , seeing these 2 so-often antagonistic forces actually agree would be touching.

Except, of course, they’re coming together to be bigoted homophobes. United in hate, they are losing their shit over the much much much much delayed marriage equality laws in the UK (though each time they present it as a brand new concept – very crafty deceptive spin there Ms. Featherstone, the Tories lucked out getting you on side)

Past Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey (who has never ever missed a chance to be a homophobic arse) says that marriage equality is apparently one of the “greatest political power grabs in history”. A statement that makes zero logical sense. It’s also cultural “vandalism” which makes even less sense. Current Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (he who is pretty ok with his church being involved in the Uganda Kill-the-gays bill) is worried about us trying to change our culture – that equality stuff will just ruin his cultural tradition. And tipped-to-be-future Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu (who couldn’t even bring himself to sign the Cambridge Accord condemning violence against GBLT people) calls marriage equality a dictatorial act. Because dictators always support equality, y’know. And we can’t be having uppity gay folks thinking we’re equal to straight people.
On the Catholic side Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien has given up any pretence of being reasonable and has called marriage equality “madness and grotesque” and has compared it to legalising slavery. Yes, slavery. The Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols (leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales) has huffed about us “annexing” the institution of marriage. Yes we be conquering your nuptials! I’m not even going to quote the Pope because that man is every bit as hateful and vile as the Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps and the only difference is that there are a whole lot more Catholics empowering him than Rev Phelps could ever dream of having.

I am so beyond tired of this bigotry –  and it is bigotry, just because you’re holding a Bible doesn’t make it any less bigotry – and they arrogantly deciding that the bigotry of their faith should be imposed on the whole country by law.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fat Hungry B-tch: Feederism, Sexism and the Black Female Body

I have a new piece up at Clutch magazine

A parody of Tyga’s Rack City – Fat Hungry Bitch –has recently gone viral on YouTube. Unfortunately, Fat Hungry Bitch builds upon the misogyny of the original and adds fat phobia into the mix.

The so-called “video hoe” is a modernized version of the Hottentot Venus - Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman. It has been 217 years since the death of Ms. Bartman, yet the sexist and racist fetishization of Black female bodies lives on with the obligatory ass-shaking and fixation on the buttocks in a large percentile of videos that sexualize Black women.  Just as Baartman was forced to display her buttocks and genitalia for the amusement and the uplift of whiteness, today’s video hoe shakes her genitalia to empower a very negative construction of Black masculinity.

Fat Hungry Bitch attempts to present itself as idealizing and uplifting fat Black women; however, it reads like feeder porn and celebrates a feeder/feedee relationship, which in some circles has been known to be abusive to the feedee. Rather than the Health At Any Size doctrine that fat activists have attempted to normalize, feederism promotes the eating of food and gaining of weight as erotic, even in cases where it causes a feedee to become immobile.  In some cases, feederism includes forced feeding with the goal being to discover how fat and helpless the feedee can potentially become.

To publicly eat and enjoy food as a fat person often means subverting our social constructions of womanhood.  Women are encouraged to purchase low-fat, low-calorie foods and to eat small portions at all times.  Representatives of companies like Jenny Craig are women, with the underlying message being that true femininity belongs only to those who the ability to conform to a very thin and narrow body type.

Read More

Rice Queens, the colonization of the Asian body, and self-orientalizing, Part 2*

Biyuti is a bakla Filipina living on stolen Algonquin land. He works to sustain and increase the biyuti of the world through decolonization and through her explorations of the intersections of race with queerness/gender. She also blogs at The Biyuti Collective and you can find her on Twitter: @JustBiyuti

This part of the post is part stuff that has been in my head for a while and part response to the question posed in this post:
But why, when Hollywood looks to Japan, must it so often come down to a white man immersing himself in Japanese culture, always through the love of an exotic Japanese flower, then becoming the one person upon whom the fate of the Japanese people, their code of honor, etc. rests?
In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the existence of anti-Asian racism in the gay community. I left off with the observation that the feminization of the Asian man (and, thus, the source of their unique unattractiveness in the gay community) was a result of colonialism, as well as its justification.

The answer to the question posed above is because Japan itself is conceived of as a metaphoric woman. But this is also true of how many of the other Asian cultures were perceived. Colonialism the world over was partially based on the notion of the white saviour. White people needed to be all over Africa to save those poor people from savagery and hellfire. White people were needed in Asia to help save those poor people from their stagnant, weak cultures.

If you read any amount of Western scholarship on Asia, you’ll see many recurrent themes about how it is portrayed, conceived of, and represented in the west. But as a small, contemporary example, here is a clip from Kung Fu Panda:

Kirk Cameron Calls Homosexuality "Unnatural"

As a Christian woman, every time one of these fundies opens their mouths, it just makes me want to scream.  Kirk Cameron, former child star and star of the Left Behind movies, recently sat with Piers Morgan to discuss same sex marriage.

Piers Morgan: If I asked you for example what your view of gay marriage is, what would you say?
Kirk Cameron: Well go ahead and ask me
Piers Morgan: What is your view of gay marriage?
Kirk Cameron: I feel like I just imported into the Christine O'Donnell interview you did back in August.
Piers Morgan: That's a case where she wouldn't talk about stuff in her own book.
Kirk Cameron: I know
Piers Morgan: I'm just saying that these issues are interesting to me - about what you would tell your kids and you're trying to protect yourself.  Would you tell them that gay marriage is a sin?
Kirk Cameron: I would tell my children, I would tell them what I believe myself and dealing with these social issues whether it's abortion or gay marriage
Piers Morgan: Well, what do you believe?
Kirk Cameron: I believe that marriage was defined by God a long time ago. Marriage is almost as old as dirt and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve: one man one woman for life - till death do you part. So, I would never attempt to redefine marriage and I don't think that anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No I don't.
Piers Morgan: Do you think that homosexuality is a sin?
Kirk Cameron: I think that it's unnatural. I think that it's detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.
Piers Morgan: What do you do if one of your six kids says, "Dad bad news, I'm gay"?
Kirk Cameron: I'd sit down and I'd have a heart to heart with them, just like you would with your kids. I'd talk to them about..
Piers Morgan: If one of my sons said that I would say, "that's great son, as long as you're happy."What would you say?
Kirk Cameron: Well, I wouldn't say that's great son as long as you're happy.  I'm gonna say ah there's all sorts of issues that we need to wrestle through in our life and just because you feel one way, doesn't mean that we should act on everything that we feel.
Piers Morgan: And yet, some people would say that telling kids that being gay is a sin, or that getting married is a sin [that] that in itself is incredibly destructive and damaging, in a country where seven states now legalized it.
Kirk Cameron: Yes, but you also have to understand that you yourself are using a standard of morality, to say that telling people that such and such of a behaviour is sinful. You're using a standard of morality to make that statement and say that this is terribly destructive, so everyone is going to have a standard against which they..
Piers Morgan: No, no listen, I'm not an American. I'm making the point that seven states in America have now legalized gay marriage.
Kirk Cameron: Well Piers, you're speaking to am who is a Christian and I believe that all of us are sinful.  I could stand at the top of the list and say that I need a savior and I need an over haul of the heart more than anyone and so that's what I teach my kids. I teach them the values that I hold dear. I treasure the God that loves me and forgives me of my sins and I would teach that to my children as well as having a wonderful relationship with them that my wife and work on every single day.

The Walking Dead Season Two, Episode 11: Judge, Jury, Executioner

This episodes opens with Darryl beating Randall.  He wants information on how many are in Randall's group.  Darryl uses his knife on his leg and Randall admits that they have weapons.  He says that the people took him in and he thought that he would have a better chance with him.  Randall then goes on to tell him a story about the men in his group coming across a father and his two daughters and raping them - could this have been Tyrese?  At any rate, Randall tries to assure Darryl that he didn't have anything to do with that and that he is not like that. The very fact that Randall told Darryl this story, tells us that Darryl is not the brightest light bulb in any package.

Darryl comes out saying that Randall has a gang, and then tells them that the men will all be dead and that the women will wish they were dead.  Lori asks what they are going to do, and Rick says that they have to eliminate the threat.  Dale follows Rick and he can't just decide for himself to take someone's life.  Dale says that there's got to be a process and that he is just a kid.  Dale asks for more time to talk this out, but Rick says that they need to be safe. In desperation, Dale tells him to think about Carl and the message that he sending him - to shoot first and ask questions later. Invoking Carl was absolutely the smartest move on Dale's part. 

In the camper, Dale asks Andrea to guard Randall and protect him.  He is worried that Shane will find out, and he believes that killing the boy was Shane's idea.  Dale reminds Andrea that she used to be a civil rights lawyer, and that she used to fight with words for what was right.  "The world we know is gone, but keeping our humanity - that's a choice," Dale says. Andrea agrees to watch the Randall but not because she thinks he's right. I am so glad that Dale brought up what Andrea used to do, because it gave a different side to the whiny self important brat that she has become.  I don't remember any mention of what Andrea used to do in the past but I am sure that in the comics it is Michonne who is the former lawyer.  She hasn't even made an appearance and already things are being stripped from her character.

In the barn Randall is asking for water, and when he sees Andrea through the hole, he asks if they are going to kill him.  Looking out he sees Shane and Carl talking.  Shane tells Carl that this is grown up stuff, and he needs to let them handle it.  When Shane who will be dead soon, sees Andrea at the barn, he asks if Dale put her on death watch and if she is going to stop him.  He is upset that Randall is still there and Shane feels that they are going "pussy out." Okay we need pause for a moment, because of the sexist language in that statement.  So far, The Walking Dead has had terrible female characters and some pretty misogynistic scenes, and so while this line is coming from Shane the would be rapist who should be dead, in the larger concept of the show, it stands as just one more example of the devaluing of women, because he clearly means this term pejoratively.  Shane asks Andrea who she  thinks is behind all of the problems that they have had and Andrea answers that some would say him.  Shane of course feels that the problem, "is the guys that make up the rules" and that they need to change the fact that Rick is the leader of the group.  Andrea believes that things would get out of hand with a change of  leadership.  Shane however counters by saying that he wants to know what it would be like to not have to sleep with one eye open.

Carl is up in the rafters looking at Randall.  He tries sweet talking Carl and tells him that he is lucky that he still has his family.  Randall says that Rick was going to let him go, until Shane started fighting with him.  He promises Carl that if he helps, that he will take him back to his camp, and take good care of him.  Shane bursts into the barn and sends Carl out of the barn.  Shane tells Carl not to go near Randall again, and Carl says that he can handle himself.  Shane says that Randall was trying to make him feel sorry for him and that "if you let your guard down around here people die".  Carl's only real concern is that Shane is going to tell his parents. 

Dale goes to talk to Darryl, and he tells him that he is better off fending for himself.  Dale asked him why he doesn't stand with him to defend Randall.  Darryl responds that his opinion means nothing to the group and Shane and Rick run things.  Dale tires again and says that he sees Darryl cares about what happens to the group, and that he is a decent man.  Darryl says Rick didn't figure out what happened to Otis because he didn't want to while it was obvious to him. 

Lori and Rick start talking about the weather getting cold, and Lori asks if the best way to do this is to hang him. Rick says he knows how she feels about the death penalty, but Lori says she supports the decision if he thinks its best. In a matter like this, would it have been that bad to have Lori disagree with Rick.  It would have been the first time that a disagreement between Rick and Lori made sense, since all she seems to do is snipe at him over nonsense. Why is it that now that it is a matter of great import, she is happy to be the little woman who stands behind her man?  This is yet another example of how narrowly The Walking Dead has drawn its female characters.  Instead of offering an opinion, Lori wants to find out if her manipulation of Rick worked and if he dealt with Shane. Rick doesn't give her any details and simply says that Shane won't be a problem for them anymore.

At Sophia's grave, Carol tells Carl that they will Sophia again someday.  Carl is angry and responds that  heaven is just another lie, and that if she believes in it, that he is an idiot before he runs off.  Carrol is incensed and storms up to Lori and Rick and tells them they need to get control of Carl.  She says that everyone thinks she lost her mind, but that she lost her daughter. It was nice to see Carol show some real emotion because she has always been meek but I don't know that this was the time to show it.  How is it she can speak up when it comes to Carl - a person who is not threat to her, but stand silent as Darryl waves his finger in her face, and tries to physically intimidate her (episode nine)? 
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Drop It Like It's Hot

I keep forgetting to post this.

Hey everyone, thanks for another great week of conversation.  I think that there were some really great conversations that challenged a lot of what has become normal discourse.  Please remember, we cannot always agree but it is important that we stay respectful and committed to listening to each other. Talking at each other, rather than to each other, get us nowhere.

I am still looking for new contributors.  Though I can write about a myriad of things, we all learn best from the people directly negotiating a particular ism.  I am particularly looking for someone to discuss fatphobia and class critically but I am very open to other ideas. Please be aware that womanist musings also has an open guest posting policy, so please feel free to submit a piece or a cross post from your blog.  You can reach me at womanistmusings (at) gmail (dot) com

Below you will find a list of posts that I found interesting this week.  Please be aware that a link does not necessarily mean an endorsement of the article, just simply that I found something about the piece interesting.  Please be aware that I don't read the comment sections so read those at your own risk.  Well start spreading the love, and when you're done, don't forget to drop it like it's hot and leave your link behind in the comment section when you are done.

What If Malcolm X Were Alive Today?
New Freedom Riders Take on NYPD
New Belgian Gay Film Stirs Up Controversy
What Rick Santorum Really Meant: The Lynching Tree, The Christian Cross, and Black People's Fake Religion
‘Schoolin’ Life’: Teaching BeyoncĂ© and Engaging Youth
We Must Use Hip Hop as a Means of Liberation, Not Degradation!
Herbert Carnegie: an RBC Black History Month Student Essay Competition Entry
Workfare: yet more contempt from the government of the wealthy
Battle of the What?: A Brief Reflection on the Battle of the Complexions Controversy
Ask Matt: Cremating Breasts After Chest Surgery
Family Ties: On Jeremy Lin, Tiger Moms and Tiger Woods
From One White Gay Male to Another: Calling out the Implicit Racism in Dan Savage’s ‘Liberal’ Politics & the ‘It gets better’ Campaign”
Attn: Frankling Graham: “Political correctness gone amok” is not a new phrase.