Friday, July 31, 2009

Without Class Analysis You Are Not Getting the Full Picture

Annie Oakley asserts that she has been a feminist since she knew the meaning of the term, and this feminism infuses all of her work; she has always been a feminist sex worker, and she defies anyone to challenge that. Further, her relationship to sex work incorporates a capitalist critique that is often overlooked or undertheorized even from within feminism. She reminds me that “In a capitalist system, ALL work is economic coercion.” From there, she explored ways of making sex work less oppressively exploitative for sex workers, and then critiqued the proliferation of pro-pleasure language that too often enters feminist debates about sex work. Sex work is just that, “work” and sex workers do not work for their pleasure, they work for the pay. When the feminist debate surrounding sex work is characterized as a polarity between censorship and pleasure, it cannot accurately account for sex workers’ experiences of the sex industry. There is more “work” in sex work than many feminists recognize, and a capitalist analysis might be more beneficial than one of pleasure.

Feminist Review: The Sex Workers’ Art Show: Abbey Pub, 3/1/2007

(via igather) (via abbyjean) (via amberlrhea)

Healthcare - Just STOP

I’m a little tired of all this garbage about a friend of a friend of a nephew of an aunt of a monkey’s uncle told some Republican senator from Kentucky about how his brother’s niece died in Canada because they were denied treatment due to rationed care. How many people die in this country every single year from being denied cancer treatment or AIDS medication or heart surgery or whatever else because their insurance company decided they had exceeded their coverage limit, or had a pre-existing condition, or weren’t covered under the particular plan, or simply weren’t covered at all? Quit pretending there is nothing wrong with current system. Quit trying to frighten people by relating anecdotal stories for which you have little to no proof while ignoring similar anecdotal stories occurring under the very system you are trying to defend. Please. PLEASE. Give us something more than the worn-out politics of fear and loathing.

wish i was taller (via needtherapy) (via apsies) (via ohfortheloveofdog) (via thecurvature)

Teen sex

Originally posted on my tumblr.
14) Imagine this: You’re sixteen and having sex with your boyfriend. You want to be safe so you ask your mom to take you to the doctor for birth control. Most people would call this a sign of maturity and responsibility. The state of Mississippi would call it an incident to be reported to the cops. That’s because a bill that passed in January makes it a crime for parents not to report to the police that their kids are having sex. The Mississippi Child Protection Act of 2009, requires mandatory reporting of sex crimes against children and imposes new abortion restrictions on minors. Though there is much to quibble with in the bill, one section is particularly alarming. This is the clause that prohibits, “the intentional toleration of a parent or caretaker of the child’s sexual involvement with any other person.” Supporters of the law claim that they are trying to protect young people from abuse. But nowhere does the bill distinguish between sexual abuse and consensual sexual encounters between teens. Mississippi already boasts the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. Maybe they are striving for the number one spot in preventing parent/child communication, as well…

15 Shocking Tales of How Sex Laws Are Screwing the American People | Sex and Relationships | AlterNet (via thecurvature)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekly Collection

The Recovering Homeless

excited to be freefalling into the unknown

Justice? Ohio Latino Teen Tied to Truck and Dragged in Hate Crime, Attacker Sentenced to 10 Days in Jail

Acupuncture is like Noodles: the Theory

Four things BDSM has taught me about being a good ally

let’s talk. (about ableism)

Why You 'Scurred' Of Me?

Another Look at Wicca in India

How Can Mami Movements Move Forward and be Resourced

Domestic Violence in the Queer Community

Police Taser Disabled Man Antonio Love for not Leaving the Bathroom

Baby taken away after mom refuses C-section

I.C.E. Breaking
Earlier this week a report was released by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law stating that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) violated their own standards and rules, as well as the U.S. Constitution when it came to raids on houses.
Inside Outside Part 1- All about me
This phenomena makes news kind of easy to take writing steps and paths that take us outside.

Let's speak about events as snippets that we can skim or miss, let's write more and more about populations we are not a part of , or frame the populations we are apart of as voiceless by not actually hearing from them.
The Melting Pot, Chapter 2009
To break the hatecode, reference the key set out by Lee Atwater in his famous quote on the “Southern Strategy”:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “N*gger, n*gger, n*gger.” By 1968 you can’t say “n*gger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now that you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is that blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And that’s how those types talk about it now, too. And these same types of minds are going about harming very specific portions of the population in the same ways.
your body as a listening tool
for example, how much is the way i perceive that you are listening to me shaped by ideas of neurotypicality? (love the tshirt that says “eye contact is overrated”). how do we deal with a situation where my communication style is legitimized and yours is not?
Reclaiming Femininity
Ironically, the most militant phase of my feminism may have driven the biggest wedge between myself and other women. Though on a theoretical level, solidarity between women was my biggest, most core belief, my continuing to shun feminine trappings such as makeup, form-fitting clothes and now shaving, alienated me from other women. I imagined that they (and everyone else) was judging me for rebelling against the expectations of my gender, and again had to convince myself that I was better, more evolved, in order to feel OK about my failure to meet these expectations.
there are almost no pictures of me now. and the pictures that do exist–i am fat.

the kids kept asking: is that what happens when you have kids?

it made me sort of sad, because I knew the truth–the skinny pictures of me? the skinny was a result of a partial starvation diet. I was too poor to afford food, so I stole little pieces of food here and there at the job I worked at.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Organizations Against 287(g)

via Raven's Eye


We are writing to ask that your organization sign on to a letter urging President Obama to terminate the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) widely criticized 287(g) program, which relinquishes the authority to enforce civil federal immigration law to local law enforcement and corrections officials. Earlier this month, advocates, expecting a major overhaul of – or possibly an end to – this controversial program, were shocked to learn that DHS was expanding it to 11 new jurisdictions. While DHS claims to have standardized the agreements, close scrutiny has shown that these changes do nothing to prevent civil and human rights abuses, and in fact only further exacerbate the program’s pervasive problems.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, AZ has been the most public example of the egregious human rights abuses that have resulted from the program. However, despite an ongoing civil rights investigation into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office by the Department of Justice, DHS has not terminated its 287(g) agreement. Similarly, other law enforcement agencies around the country have aggressively targeted immigrants by using pretextual traffic stops or other racial profiling tactics.

Today marks the start of a five-day campaign aimed at gathering five hundred organizational signatures requesting that President Obama put an end to the 287(g) program.

Civil rights, criminal justice, community and immigrant rights organizations must stand in solidarity to send a clear message to the President:

The 287(g) program, which has contributed to the pervasive racial profiling our communities face day after day, must come to end.

Click here to co-sign this letter to President Obama.

In the coming days, individuals also will have the option to send a message directly to the President, but this week, the letter campaign is limited to organizations.

The deadline for signatures is 3pm EST, Friday, July 31, 2009.

Calling on such a large number of organizations to sign on in five days will require extraordinary collective effort, but the time is exactly right. When Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested in his own home earlier this week, President Obama in response publicly recognized the “long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately”. Now is the time to join together to highlight for the President the urgent need to safeguard against civil rights and human rights abuses occurring under the 287(g) program.

Please distribute this link widely. If you have organizations that you can personally reach out to, please do.

In solidarity,

All of Us or None

Center for Constitutional Rights

Detention Watch Network

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Grassroots Leadership

Homies Unidos

Immigration Law Clinic, UC Davis School of Law

Justice Strategies

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

National Day Laborer Organizing Network

National Immigration Law Center

Partnership for Safety and Justice

Southern Center for Human Rights

Youth Justice Coalition

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"A White Woman Learns About Black Hairstyling"

This is a quick hit, originally put up on my Tumblr that I thought was worth cross posting.

ANN: And now, as a Yale graduate, would you ever get to the point where you could just say, “I don’t care about my hair”? I guess that would be like saying, “I don’t care about my appearance.”

KENEISHA: It would be like resigning myself to not take care of myself. I know it’s silly to spend so much money on hair, but it’s just an accessory to me now. It has no connotations. It’s like makeup or something at this point.

ANN: That’s actually good to hear. If you viewed a hairstyle as institutionalized racism that you had to comply with …

KENEISHA: That would be so sad.

ANN: This is all really fascinating to me.

KENEISHA: It’s really fascinating to me, and I live it.

Ann is the white woman, Keneisha the Black woman telling her about what it takes to style her hair. The quoted portion is how the discussion ends. And it’s about where an interesting piece completely runs off the tracks to me.

“If you viewed a hairstyle as institutionalized racism that you had to comply with …” « BUT IT IS!!!

“I know it’s silly to spend so much money on hair, but it’s just an accessory to me now. It has no connotations. It’s like makeup or something at this point.” « THEY BOTH HAVE CONNOTATIONS!!! Very serious ones, actually!

And I resent the inherent judgement in the idea that women who don’t use makeup or spend inordinate amounts of money on their hair aren’t “taking care of themselves”. Good lord what would these women think about those of us who don’t or rarely shave?? But I think I’m doing at least as much to “take care of myself” by rejecting other people’s norms for my body!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On the SF Jewish Film Festival Screening of Rachel

Dear Friends,

Next Saturday, July 25th, 1:30 PM, at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, the film Rachel will screen in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival--the largest Jewish film festival in the country. The film was created by a well-known French-Israeli documentary filmmaker, Simone Bitton. Some of you may have seen other of her numerous films--most recently Wall. I have attached a link to the page about Rachel at the festival's website: so I won't go into detail about its content here; but it is a film that focuses foremost on the circumstances of Rachel's killing and on issues surrounding investigation of the case. It, also, I feel, provides penetrating views of others who were present at the time of Rachel's killing or were directly impacted, and powerful insight into what compels resistance. Even from individuals interviewed whom we already knew quite well, Craig and I learned new things.

The filmmaker is not able to be at the festival, and upon invitation I agreed to attend and to engage in a thirty-minute post-screening Q&A session. The film has now screened at festivals around the world. Craig and I attended Tribeca Film Festival screenings in New York where we participated in post-screening Q&A sessions with Simone Bitton.

During the past weeks, it has come to my attention that the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival has come under serious and prolonged attack from Consul General Akiva Tor of the Israeli Consulate and some segments of the Bay Area Jewish community and is under extreme pressure to cancel the film and/or my appearance. The festival is standing firm in its commitment to bring the film and me while also constructing responses to their critics.

I am writing to encourage you to attend the screening in San Francisco, if possible, and, also, to extend whatever support you can to the festival for taking a firm stand against censorship. It will be helpful to me to see some friendly faces in the crowd. Please pass the information along to others. Filmmaker Simone Bitton is encouraging her San Francisco friends to attend and to avoid being provocative. I, of course, also encourage decorum and thoughtful, constructive interaction.
Thanks in advance for any support.

Here is a link to the festival page about the film and ticket information:

Cindy Corrie

The Bay Area Women in Black will be holding their weekly vigil in front of the Castro theater for this week only, and after concluding at 1pm will be viewing the film at 1:30. If you wish to join them, vigils are silent (though signs are customary) and as per their name participants dress in black. You may purchase tickets for the festival online from the JFF or order by phone at 415.256.TIXX. (8499)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Some thoughts...

It felt rushed but then that’s inevitable, all the movies have felt rushed.

I saw this on a blog post at flip flopping joy and agreed: “I feel like I’ve been left in the middle of the bed post-foreplay, sitting up and holding up my hands like, “where’s my climax?””

Thing is, I can’t remember if I felt the same way at the end of the book too, or not. I had the 7th book right there to dive into, and I remember I read those two in a matter of three days.

One thing I didn’t think it did very well was show how attached Harry got to the “Half Blood Prince”. Though I found that rather odd in the book myself, it was a pretty important piece. Snape’s revelation at the end wasn’t nearly so jarring as it should have been because of the lack of that, I thought.

Also, lacking the revelations about Voldy didn't work for me.

And the shoe tying thing was just…off. It seemed completely out of left field and felt all wrong. Harry was always attracted to Ginny's presence as powerful, and that was like the exact opposite of that, yet it was the most sexually charged scene as far as the filming went. Very awkward.

She and he holding out against the Death Eaters at the beginning was far more appropo and far as building sexual tension along with respect between them, which is, you know, accurate.

Another thing, what was with the ending? There was supposed to be like, a fight scene? That's what movies are really good for, fight scenes, but they rather cut it out? That just makes no sense.

Just overall...very dissatisfied, and this is the first movie where I felt so.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Lateisha Green Verdict

Catching up on my Readering and wanted to make sure anyone who hasn't already heard through Twitter or other blogs know that the verdict in the Lateisha Green murder trial came in earlier this week.

Questioning Transphobia posted about it here:
Dwight DeLee was found guilty of manslaughter for the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Lateisha (lah-TEE’-shuh) Green outside a Syracuse house party in November because of anti-gay bias. The jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for about six hours over two days.

DeLee faces additional prison time because he was convicted of a hate crime. He becomes just the second person in the U.S. convicted of a hate crime that involved a transgender victim.

And Transgriot posted about it here:
But I can't get too happy. He wasn't found guilty of 1st degree murder. The sentencing phase has yet to be completed. I'm also bothered about the attempts to intimidate witnesses that need to be investigated and prosecuted.

But what I'm upset about is that TruTV didn't bother to cover this trial like they did the Zapata one.

It's not quite over yet, but Dwight DeLee will be getting jail time for kill Lateisha Green. How much of the 10-25 years he's facing is up to Judge Walsh.

Helen at QT also notes:
Also, although the case is notable for being the first hate crime conviction for the death of a trans person in New York, the current state of the legislation in NY includes real or perceived sexual orientation – but excludes gender identity. Meaning that Mr Delee was found guilty of a hate crime based on his perception of Lateisha Green’s sexual orientation – not her gender identity. And as we know, Mr Delee considered Teish to be a gay man, and not a trans woman.

Similarly to both Monica and Helen's sentiments I have to say that a "manslaughter" conviction for a shooting death seems less than adequate as far as justice goes. That the hate crime conviction stands as one about sexual orientation and not gender identity is also quite lacking.

I suppose, being as Teish is the second trans person to have their murderer convicted (the first in NY) that we are making progress?

But it's not nearly enough.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I am Guilty of This

Ota to Ishi, Malia and Philly
I want to stop hearing words like " can't believe, and unreal and unbelievable".

Because all your telling me is when we say there is racism, you don't believe us .

All it tells me is that for every cred from the left to the right you flash, you still believe the ultimate decision of racism is up to you.

Save me your indignation that "forced you to write a letter".

All that says to me is that for you , a letter will fix this.

For these few morsels , it is expected that some vein will be slit open , some damaging memory laid forth , some heartache on display , attached like a post it note

" This one this time you should do something ,here's my soul to prove it"
Your shock and amazement and horror show me nothing except that when we spake and spoke and speak.

You do not listen, except for the show.

here you are excited because you can use your force your screaming your yelling.

And I will quietly think that every news source that looked like us... Had between two and three days ago.
I read this post and I thought: "oh fuck."

And like the title of my post here says... "I am guilty of this."

And you know what else, I think this is probably worthy of a: "stuff white people do," because most white people I know do this.

There is some amount of social conditioning at work here, I think, because I see this mimicked all around me. If something is offensive enough, horrifying enough, "I can't believe it!" is the way we express that.

But as Black Amazon points out here, what exactly are we saying there?? If we "can't believe it" then did we not believe such things happen? Doesn't that mean we don't believe the people who have been telling us so? Doesn't that directly contradict what we say elsewhere, which is specifically that we DO BELIEVE these things happen?

Um. Yes.

I have had, for, I don't know, maybe the last six months, had a growing discomfort with my own tendency for such words to be the first to pop into my head. It was a quiet discomfort in the back of my head. And one to which I clearly did not pay enough attention and which apparently didn't bother me quite enough to dive in and unpack it.

Instead, once again, I have relied on a woman of color to point something out I should have done myself.

I am very grateful to BA for that.

But I am frustrated with myself (as I should be) for it.

Hopefully, I will at least do something by this post.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Watching Sotomayor

Lindsey Graham - STFU.

Jeff Sessions - STFU.

Pretty much every Republican on that whole fucking committee?





That's what I keep coming back to. There are so many individual moments I could talk about, but I'm sure most of you are watching and you have already seen them. Just so much white male privilege at work it's sickening. Paternalism, condescension, disrespect, and just flat out total lack of listening.

Given all this bullshit and Sotomayor's handling it with such evenness and patience, when we got to the "temperament" stuff it was HILARIOUS. I'm not caught up yet, but I'm guessing it's going to be more of the same.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's that time of the week!

And you know, I have to say, I have some especially good stuff for you this week!

balcony culture and community art

stuff white people do: think that black people are loud

breasts and beer

a pregnant Muslim woman who was stabbed to death in a german courtroom as her young son watched.

“Women’s only,” round 1000

Black Kids Change The Complexion Of A Pool

More on: Cirila Baltazar Cruz and The Plight Of The Unworthy

Spiritual Empowerment of Women

at the center

stuff white people do: keep their jobs on fox news no matter what they say

My First Abortion Party

In nursing homes, black residents receiving worse care than white residents

Transphobic Assault on a Woman in Queens
It’s worth noting that the physical attack on Carmella began with a verbal attack based in the exact same prejudices found in the comment thread. Both aim to ridicule and thereby devalue the victim based on her identity as a person. And we really shouldn’t be surprised when these kinds of attempts to devalue a person’s worth and right to be treated with basic dignity also lead to and end in violence.

Fuck Your Fascist Body Standards (And Also Face-Devouring Bread Mold, Because That's Just Scary)
I don’t think the answer is to say, “I am unpleasant to look at, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Even that guy who had most of his face devoured by some kind of face-devouring strain of bread mold has a wife who enjoys looking at him. She changed her ideas of what is aesthetically pleasing, and we can do the same for ourselves. We NEED to do the same for ourselves for our own fucking sanity.

Lower Male Enlisted Soldiers And The Idea Of The Whore

Eco-Tourism : Where Native Service is Part of the Experience

Racializing Uighurs: The Story of Internal Colonialism in China

Judge Sotomayor confirmation hearing preparedness…

Malia Called A Typical Street Whore At The Free Republic

Now that’s what I call a surgeon general

Opening Day Of DeLee Trial

What About Our Legacy?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

So, What Now?

Allies promoting the voices of people within the groups they are trying to be allied to.

If we agree with what they say one day but don't on another, do we simply never support them? If we've supported someone in the past, do we owe any kind of loyalty to them?

If we do support what someone is saying on one day, are we accountable for that support on another day when they say something we don't agree with, or perhaps that's outright fucked up?

Does it matter if we like them or not? Is support of their good ideas contingent on if we always agree with them? Or if we always agree with the way they conduct themselves?

Do we have to choose a side and just stick to it?

This is how I started a rough draft of a post on a topic that's been in the back of my mind for a long time actually, but which really started forming in my head when I found out I'd been unfollowed and blocked on Twitter by someone I thought I was on good terms with.

There were many things I was thinking as I stared at the screen, wandered off to read or play Sims, and came back, over and over; how much do I want to navel gaze? How much information do I want to give? Do I even mention this Twitter discovery or keep it to myself? Does the post make sense without it? If I mention it, do I start divulging names? Do I talk about the tears of surprise, sadness and frustration I shed that evening? Would divulging that be honesty or is it childish and "guilt tripping"? And just how vulnerable am I willing to be?

And as I'm letting these things stew in the backburner of my mind, I read this post: Ad hominems, etc. And suddenly I'm seeing, in conversation, a bunch of people talking in specifics about exactly what I've been trying to figure out for myself in a more general way.

Now, before I go any further, I have to say upfront that the content of voz's post, as related by piny, I find rather repulsive. For a trans person to attack another gender non-conforming person based on cissexist body norms strikes me as horrifically ironic. As little light says in the thread:
I don’t care how angry you are at someone, reproducing and reinforcing oppression in order to “get them back” isn’t helping protect any of us.
But, full disclosure, I wasn't particularly thrilled with piny's first comments, calling voz "an asshole," either. AND, I think there's a lot of truth to this statement:
You’re making an example of voz in a way that silences trans people who are angry and legitimizes cis privilege as a weapon.
Just like with NOWHC, I'm unsure of my place in this discussion. Clearly there's a history between piny and voz, which I am not a part of nor have I observed except for recently. And there's going to be a whole lot of personal stuff impacting the way both of them deal with the other. Like, defensiveness and pain from years of being shit on, or decades, as the case may be. So, I want to acknowledge that, and acknowledge I know little to nothing about the details of such. Just as with NOWHC there are issues here I'm not comfortable speaking to, but I'm also distinctly uncomfortable being silent.

So let's get to this thread and the conversation that is taking my personal thought processes in a very concrete direction with a specific example.

Belledame reads my mind:
Look, just because someone’s an asshole doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have a legitimate point.

Now I’m saying: the reverse is also true. Just because someone has a legitimate point...doesn’t mean they can’t also be an asshole.
And so does RD by expressing discomfort in the "public shaming" aspect of having a whole thread basically calling voz out. I'm very wary of tactics like that. They feel too much like hegemonic enforcement to me. Like we're putting her in the stock in town square, each with our own tomato to throw. But then, unfortunately, so did the swarming that took place at bfp's at voz's request, which also made me distinctly uncomfortable.

I am expressing regret that I didn’t say anything about my discomfort with the way she’s been talking, and that my silence there made it look like I was condoning it.
And I definitely have some of this as well. I try hard to avoid personal attacks, I've seen where they go and it's ugly and unhelpful. That doesn't mean not calling out problematic behavior or actions, but it does mean that I cut people some slack. We're not perfect, we do fuck up, and then, hopefully, we learn from it. But we need space to do that. Swarming people or hauling them into the public square doesn't give the targeted person room to breathe, that room needed to grow.

Which isn't to say that when someone does something fucked up it should go unremarked. That doesn't work either. Some of our best personal and community growth happens because someone made us uncomfortable, angry, or sad. That's just the truth. And it must be acknowledged that as we've all been indoctrinated into hegemonic codes of conduct, we will probably all at some point end up being the person who
uses the “master’s tools” (sexism, transphobia, racism, etc) to try to take down the master’s house (kyriarchy).
And when we are, we need to be called out on it and we need to be able to be called out on it.

How I fucked up in the discussion around the NOWHC was in not acknowledging the personal nature of some of the criticism bfp endured, and that the swarming made me distinctly uncomfortable. What I wanted was to concentrate on the issue and what was getting done or not done, and I feel ok with how I handled that, but I am afraid what I didn't say in the process might have spoken an unintended message. Assuming that is the case, I also want to apologize for it, specifically to bfp, but to anyone it might have hurt.

So I guess, coming back to my original questions... Nezua posted a few days that something that really resonated with me:
chances are that we are similar. i mean, out here in this struggle. we are all these types, these certain types, the types who want to fight, for justice, for our people, for ourselves, for our families. certain personality types, and we all get together and sometimes we work together and sometimes we argue. sometimes we can’t even stand each other, all cool, all expected. especially when you put a bunch of these types together. its expected from any group, but when you get a bunch of ACTIVISTS, forget about it! let’s just accept that. let’s be strong in that we roll with that punch.
but even if we don’t work it out, or want to, i think it’s fine to not be friends or even like every other activist or ‘progressive’ type soul. it may hurt, but don’t go and try to enlist the entire cause to help you fight an individual. yanno? you ain’t no monolith!

Today, maybe, I'm doing good. But tomorrow I might piss you off. I'm willing to be called out, just as I'm willing to do the calling out. But in the process, can we try and remember that we're all people struggling together? I mean, that's what we are, at the end of the day, isn't it? Maybe today you don't like how I'm doing it, how I'm participating in these struggles, but does that invalidate my contributions tomorrow that you think are brilliant (read: at least mildly thought-provoking)?

I dunno.

I just feel like, as many personal things are there are in this picture that I'm sure DO need to be addressed, well, what is the bigger picture? What larger purpose did swarming bfp serve? What larger purpose does publicly (in a cis-space) chastising voz serve? Where are we going with this stuff?

Are we doing inner, needed, work? Or are we forgetting about each others humanity in favor of demanding perfection from each other?

*update* In the meantime, bfp has written her own post that I think brings up some important stuff.


Oh dear gods where to even begin with this movie. Oh, and spoilers below.

First of all, if you were annoyed by the tropes in the first movie, don't even bother trying to see this one, they've multiplied in numbers and intensity at least 5 fold.

For instance, one of the things I liked about the first one is that at least the lead female character you know DID SOMETHING. She drove a huge truck backward and was AWESOME. In this one? Same lead female does NOTHING. You know except scream a bit here and there and get rescued and such. Bleh.

In the same vein, the running while holding hands trope of action movies was alive and well. This has become a huge irritant for me. Have you ever tried to run while holding someone's hand? Your arms can't help you out anymore and you go along really slow and really awkward. Yet they insist on doing this in these movies and in this one it was all over the place. WHY?! JUST RUN DAMN IT!

I never really thought of these robots as having a sex. I mean, they did, obviously, they all have male voices. But I guess I'll give a point to social conditioning for being successful in my not really thinking about it. But I have now, because there are female robots (for 5 seconds)! They're motorcycles with hot female voices who metallic boobs when they stand up. Yay! I mean motorcycles are cool and all but couldn't we just give some of these same big bulky cars female voices? Do they have to be SO gendered for anyone to consider that?

Also, since when are these robots "Terminators"? Why was there a perfectly human looking Decepticon? WHY?! I mean the "my gf walks into my college dorm right as this chick kissed me!" trope is bad enough but seriously did we just throw everything we know about these bots in the process? Was it worth it Michael Bay? Oh, also, in a very "Species"ish move this bot kills people either with a tail which creeps out all dangerously sexy from under her very short skirt or...with her tongue. Oy.

Another fun observation? The Black character has no lines. If you saw the first one you will remember a Black military dude character. He was somewhat important to that movie and had lines and stuff. Well, he's in this movie too. But his lines basically consist of "uh huh".

And my FAVORITE are these two walking robot black face caricatures! I guess maybe someone decided we needed "diversity" in the movie so we get chick robot motorcycles and these two guys. The faces themselves are ridiculous, they look like minstrel show posters, huge lips and googly eyes and I'm not even joking huge buckteeth one of which is GOLD in the front. And they talk like the most glaring MTV "ghetto Black" stereotype you've ever seen. My mouth hit the floor when I saw these two.

All in all, I can't even say I was entertained by this movie. I was alternately annoyed, astonished and bored. The action sequences were cool and it had it's moments, but these tropes just ruined it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hey guess what? I'm STILL cisgender!

Last year I made a post that wasn't particularly eloquent or revolutionary to my mind. But it appears it bears repeating given the events at Pam's House Blend (discussed here: A Point About Cis).

Yes. I am a cissexual woman. Cisgender even, for the most part.

To use these words and to acknowledge my status is not an attack on cisgender people.

To have a label instead of just being "default" is infinitely preferable to me.

Being ok with positioning yourself as "default" (which is exactly what only ascribing labels to "those other people" is) is not the work of an ally. Nope, not even a little bit. And justifying that behavior in others, enabling that behavior, not so cool either, to be perfectly honest.

And if you're coming across this word for the first time, that's ok! It's ok to be ignorant, just so long as when you discover you are, you take steps to become not so. Google is your friend!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th!

@thedrun: Happy 4th! Let's all remember that this country was founded by secular leftist radicals who wanted to be free from oppression!

@bintalshamsa: The founders of our country were actually vicious colonizers who simply wanted to be on top.


We were founded on a very basic double standard. This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free. Am I right? A group of slave owners who wanted to be free. So they killed a lot of white English people in order to continue owning their black African people, so they could wipe out the rest of the red Indian people and move west and steal the rest of the land from the brown Mexican people, giving them a place to take off and drop their nuclear weapons on the yellow Japanese people.

- George Carlin
via stuff white people do

Is it weird that I hold these perspectives in my head as all pieces of truth at the same time?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Update on NOWHC

It's worse than we thought and not in the way we thought either.

Someone from the clinic got back to Queen Emily personally and allowed her to post the response. And it turns out, no one is getting medical care from the clinic.

We agree that the questions and concerns you raise are very important. The priorities we hold in providing safe, accessible, and unbiased care to women regardless of their race, income, sexuality, gender identity, body type, citizenship status, work sector, legal history, ability, age, language, and family size and status are often regarded as a “risk” and “liability” by many medical professionals. This reality has delayed our efforts to hire a new Medical Director and created many barriers for many members of our community, including you, in seeking safe, quality, and respectful services.

In making the statements “we are currently not able to provide care to trans people who were male assigned at birth or who have had genital sex reassignment surgery. Please call for referrals,” we were referencing the lack of experience and training that our former medical staff had in providing trans affirmative care to all women regardless of their body types, and gender identities and expressions. We recognize that the current language on our website marginalizes trans women in particular, even though it says elsewhere that we provide services to “all women.” Although “services” provided at the Clinic are not restricted to our medical programs, we recognize that the way it is written implies that we offer no services at all to trans women, which is marginalizing and confusing. It would be more accurate to say that our goal is to provide medical services to all women, though we are having a difficult time reaching it.

Thankfully, this means Incite! and the NOWHC are in fact the people we thought they were, and are working towards meeting the needs of the women in their communities. Sadly, what we've unearthed are a number of pieces to the puzzle of just how hard it is to do that. That care for trans women is seen as a liability to many. That the clinic is still not getting the support it needs to achieve it's absolutely vital mission.

Better and yet so much worse than I was hoping for.

As for the shit that was thrown about over this in the blogosphere, there's not a lot I feel ok saying much about. Being an ally and not actually sharing in an identity from which people were speaking (trans woman, twoc or woc), I don't really think it's my place to say "you're doing it right/wrong". But I do want to say this, that is that I see some serious creative energy being channeled towards a new project coming directly out of this. That, at least, I feel very confident saying is a really good thing. The rest of it, I really hope to see learning and growth come out of as well. I have nothing but love and respect for everyone involved, all doing their best to deal with a life and death issue for people they care about and/or are allied with or one of.

I will keep you updated on the situation for the NOWHC as it develops. It appears, from their response at Questioning Transphobia, that they are re-evaluating their goals and how they plan to work in the community. If I come across any way for us to help in that, I will absolutely let you all know.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Round up of the week!

Family of woman killed in crash getting hate calls, apparently people are assuming she might be an illegal immigrant because, well, you know, her last name is "Hispanic" sounding.

stuff white people do: think of asians in terms of faceless hordes

Rape In Prison Should Not Be Part Of The Punishment

Whom Can We Touch

Dear Andrea Dworkin

The Burkha Rapper

forced sterilization in africa

Salud, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson: Speak A Good Word

Michael Jackson, Celebrity, Empathy, and the Culture of Silence

Another Trans Woman Joins the Remembering Our Dead List

The Matthew Sheppard Foundation Does Not Want Perez Hiltons Money

People why are you sitting idly by, Iran has become Palestine

Plea For Homebirth

Alleged serial rapist of prostitutes caught

A Note On The Food
So I've been eating rancid food all week. I'll admit it's more than little strange that it took be about five days to figure it out, but if you listen to the story Dear Reader, you'll probably agree that I'm not entirely at fault.

In an instant an entire childhood with full cupboards changed, and I was a nineteen-year-old girl whose parents cut off her food supply, who couldn’t even get a job washing dishes, and at the same time as they started refusing to tell me they loved me without qualifiers and started with “you can never have a family,” I learned that the garbage is a pretty decent place to get a bite to eat.

Scooters and Road Rage

Cis is hostile terminology? Really?

On rape and men (Oh yes, I'm going there)

The Fear of Feminism
The tag attached to the book was from the US Department of Homeland Security


Pink Saturday: party or police state?

Seattle: Cops Bust Massive Anti-Corporate Pride Criminal Dance Party

Pregnancy As a Sign of Intimate Partner Abuse

Black, Paranoid and Absolutely Right

Professor returns from Chiapas to write life story about Mexican woman

Latino’s born to midwives will no longer be denied passports