I was going to tell him that I had hurt myself on Monday.

instead I cried into his shirt.

He went out to a gig while I stayed in to write my paper.

I was about to scrape my arm with a paper clip, but I heard the door open.

so no harm done.

(get it! ha ha ha! see I’m depressed and I’m losing self control about doing those things that get you put away. but the phrase “no harm done” is used in innocuous situations everyday! gawd I’m twisted)

Published in: on October 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m not looking for it. It falls in my effin lap (pt.3)

disembodied sexy body parts

Just using “explore” on my google reader. our bodies are commodified for sexual arousal for het-dude nation. this is systemic, so I am not terribly surprised at seeing this. Misogynistic imagery and speech is so much a part of our lives, that we often overlook it.

but here it is.

and no. It does not make it okay because a woman thinks that are “cute” or what not.

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

more of the same.

today I drank a jones soda. Pineapple Cream, to be exact. I was fidgiting with the aluminum (?) cap. and breaking off the the bits of it that were connected to hold the top over the lip. it produced small peices of metal with jagged edges.

I started poking my left hand with them. I decided to try it on my upper arm. and scratched myself. I pushed in. just a little at first, but then more. I didn’t actually want to cut my skin. I don’t want scars.

Scars are part of the documentation of your life. I don’t want to remember this. Yet I’m documenting it here. But i have to write about it, or I will do it instead.

It still stings now. I know I am breaking. I don’t know what to do.

Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

really?

My parent are not “bad” people. And too some extent even recognize their privilege.  But at other times, they completely miss the boat, and get upset that I all them out on it.

Me: I hear it is a common white tendency to find “authentic” things
Mom: But everyone does that. blacks do it.
Me: (genuinly confused because blacks is the name of a beach due to the iron content of the sand) what? blacks?
Mom: you know they want “real” home cooking, real grits …
Me: oh you mean black people, not blacks.
Mom: what’s the difference
Me: well people like to be recognized as people, not as descriptors.
Mom: you know that changes every couple of years.
Me: well that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be respectful of what people want to be called
Mom: You know who I’m talking about, THOSE PEOPLE.  They like authenticity.

::Headdesk::

I gave up. I didn’t even make it to the sentence about how finding the authenticity of your own culture is different than being a tourist in someone else’s culture.

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , ,

This is what a feminist looks like, and it isn’t like me at all

****transcript to come later. sorry******

Something has always irked me about the shirts and buttons that read “this is what a feminist look like”. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now I think I get it.

The subtext is that what you think feminists look like is wrong. We’re not ugly and hairy!

Um…………..

(yes the ellipses needed to be extended that much.)

In advertising campaigns like the one above and other places on teh interweb, the womyn stating “this is what a feminist looks like” are mostly thin, usually white (especially if they have a greater speaking role), able-bodied, almost always make-up wearing, with legs shaved (if they are shown), or showing embarrassment at not having their legs currently shaved. The men that are claiming the label don’t have such stringent beauty requirements.

One make-up-ed womyn has pink hair! how alternative! they are throwing me a bone. How “individualistic”.

It reifies the gender normative world we live in. One man even says “I’m a feminist, though I do like to wear a lot of make-up.” LOLZ! Isn’t that hilarious! Its funny because men and feminists aren’t supposed to wear make-up! see it’s a joke, because he is a REAL man who doesn’t do that girly thing.

It doesn’t only leave me out, but it is the epitome of liberalism. It is saying:

Yes we are feminists, but look we’re still pretty! We don’t go TOO far. We’re not like those crazy hairy legged butch girls that don’t take the time to pretty themselves up. Those people are the radicals and can be safely ignored while faux-feminist men can pretend to agree with us because we are still fuckable, and are even really great in bed.

and the men who are “feminist” don’t have to have their masculinity challenged. They are still REAL men!

Does anyone else get that sense? I may be exaggerating for effect, but I think that is what bothers me. I don’t want to discourage womyn who are currently performing femininity from being feminists. But at the same time I think that focusing on the “look” of such people (and trying to show that that “look” falls within accepted cultural norms) is counter productive. Shouldn’t we be focusing on their views of female oppression and their personhood instead of how feminists “look”?

I understand wanting to reach out to people who are afraid of the “f-word”. But diluting the movement can have the the same effect as it being co-opted. Eventually you might even get a person who is anti-choice and makes women pay for their own rape kits calling herself a feminist.

Wait. that already happened? Oh.

thoughts on the hand-up vs hand-out dichotomy

I was reading Guerrilla Mama Medicine and saw this beautiful peice of writing.

I wanted to make a new blog post instead of comment because my train of thought inspired by this is off topic.

First, I agree that womyn are more likely to share with their children, or share knowledge with a community. And I think it is wonderful that womyn do this. I also think this dichotomy is set up by patriarchal structures. Womyn are expected to care for their children and be nurturing, helpful, to cook, to clean, to take care of you when you’re are sick. Men do manly things like shoot stuff and work and come home for a nice meal prepared by their (implied ownership) wife. Here is an instance where womyn needn’t try to act or become “equal” to men in action, but where we should find a way to create community where everyone cares for each other. A situation where men should “condescend” to the female level.

The other, more off topic, thing I wanted to discuss is the whole idea behind the original phrase. ” give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” The use of this phrase is problematic. People refuse to give hand-outs because it doesn’t solve the problem. But then they never follow up and teach people how to take care of themselves. (patronizing I know, I’ll get to that.)

This is because people have internalized the dichotomy. The view the statement as an exclusive OR. You can only get a hand out, or only a hand up, not both. Only one of these actions is good, so the other must be bad.

The “good” one is steeped in the idea that people can pick themselves up by their bootstraps and have a great life if only they knew this one piece of knowledge. If they can’t live “successfully” (as defined by current societal standards) after that then we can blame them for their own situation! This doesn’t really work well. knowing a piece of knowledge may remove one obstacle but there may be many others which may not be overcome with any amount of pulling yourself up. Structural inequality is a real thing in the real world.

I think the original intent of the phrase was intended to get people to do MORE to help build productive communities. You should take time to teach this man to fish so he can have a better life, give people real tools to help themselves. Yes, this is condescending. What we should do is, when someone is interested in learning something, help them gain that information because education should be freely given to everyone, not just the privileged.

The thing is, people are lazy. People are busy. People need to rush off to do that important thing. People need to get to a ball game, or catch their favorite show on TV. People don’t want to spend that time. And they KNOW that hand-outs are bad. That is the only option when “hand-ups” are good. So they rationalize doing nothing.

Some people work 2 jobs just to get by, some people work 16 hours and and are exhausted and need to sleep. All of their money goes to rent and food for themselves and their families. These people may not have the resources to help out. But we need to be honest with ourselves about which category we are in.

I am a student. I am trying to complete a PhD. I’m dealing with trying to control my Bi-polar II disorder. I do not have the time or emotional resources to make a lasting difference in people’s lives by teaching them the knowledge that they want to learn. I don’t even think I have the knowledge myself. But I do have the time once a week to help cook food, and possibly even provide a little money to help toward the purchase of ingredients. I can give people a meal. maybe only once a week. but I can give people food and nourishment.

If you do not have the financial, time, and/or emotional resources to teach people, you can make one day easier. If people do not have access to overcome structural inequalities, you can still make one day easier.

If there is a need you can fill, fill it. Short term solutions are not a reason to stop fighting for true freedom from oppression. Fighting for freedom from oppression is not a reason to deride all short term solutions.

But teaching people to pick themselves up by their bootstraps is not a real solution. It doesn’t come near to addressing the problem. The problem is a power structure that creates situations where people must go without, where people are left hungry and forgotten. No amount of bootstrapping will solve this. We must not let these short term solutions stop us fighting for true freedom from oppression for all.

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  

its not just straight men who hate you

I just unsubcribed from reading Box Turtle Bulletin

It has been MONTHS since Carrie Prejean made her comments on the Miss USA stage, or whatever it was.  Can we please get over it?  She’s no longer Miss CA.  So WHO cares?  When she makes more comments we can talk about how those comments are innapropriate, hurtful etc.  I have not problem with that.

But I am SICK of the slut shaming mysogynistc bull shit that is the Glbt movement.  A bunch of men sitting around talking and blogging about what a slut she is.  She has sex tape.  I understand that it is seemingly hypocritical.  And drawing up her logical inconsistancies may be appropriate.  but really, you don’t have to be so fucking mysogynistic when you do it.

Like say with the blog title “Carrie Prejean even sluttier than you thought”.

And then the half hearted apology today really pushed me over the edge.  Apparently Ms Prejean tried to distance herself from the video.  First calling it disgusting and claiming it wasn’t her. so BTB idea of an apology is to use her words to slut shame her instead of their own.

Now I certainly can’t speak for all of our readers, but if this video showed what I think it showed, then I am sure that there are a number of the fellas that would agree with Carrie that, “Ewwww, that’s disgusting.”

Commenters guess that she is on her menses when the video was made. apparently womyn’s bodies are disgusting when they are doing something perfectly natural (and dare I say lubricating). Yeah. slut shaming with a side of self loathing for your bodies natural processes.

I use a diva cup, i get personal with my menses. FUCK YOU. my period is part of who I am. If you hate menstruation you hate women.

I don’t know if that was the authors interpretation. I have to stretch my imagination for sexual things that are “disgusting”. I’m sure there are plenty but not many that I think would be on this video.

I really hate it when people fighting for a cause i believe in use such misogyny. It means I have to spend my time defending people that I would just spend my time disagreeing with.

This is not the first incidence that Box Turtle Bulletin has done this. this is not my first experience with misogyny in the movement. I’m just done. If they legalize lesbian marriage and not Gay male marriage, don’t expect me to help you out. I’m so sick of this.

except I will help. because I believe in standing up against injustice, even if it means coming to the defense of people who have hurt me. I left one last comment there so that they at least can’t claim ignorance of their actions when this happens again.

San Diego Pride

I hate that gay men think that no matter what they say or do that it by definition is not misogynistic simply because they are gay. WTF.

It is NOT ok to grab my breast because you are gay.
It is NOT ok to touch me when I’ve explicitly said don’t touch me in that way. It is NOT funny.
It is NOT ok to make comments to womyn about how porta-potties smell like dirty vags’s.

I’m fucking sick of it. I have been fighting really hard for this community. For YOUR fucking rights. and I’m treated as an object. My voice and concerns are not respected. I find it increasingly difficult to remain an ally to the Glbt community. Cisgendered Gay men are pissing me off as a community. it is no longer a community I feel safe in.

and what is really annoying is I was moving house during dyke fest. so a day I could reach out and become a better ally to the non G part of the community I was moving a fucking mattress.

I don’t know what to do. I have male friends I like, but increasingly its just difficult to meet men who respect me as a human. I’m just so pissed. I need to protect myself first. I want to keep being involved in activism. its an important issue. but I don’t want to work with people who view me as just a woman. Privilege is nontransferable. you don’t understand being a “woman” just because you are gay and have your own oppression.

to quote Jay Smooth

We start acting as though coming closer together means not having to care how our words affect each other. We start assuming we can make any kind of joke or use any kind of epithet without a second thought because now that we’ve made all this progress, everyone’s always going to know that we don’t mean it like that. Right?

Nooooo. That is not how this thing is going to work. That’s not how any relationship works. When people come closer together, the boundaries change, but you never stop having any boundaries, in any healthy relationship. And the whole process of getting closer is based on becoming more aware of those constantly evolving boundaries and better at respecting them. That’s how people get to trust each other and be friends. In any healthy relationship, the closer you get, the more you care about how you affect each other. That’s like a basic rule of life.

He was talking about racial interaction. But it applies to all systems of oppression. You do not get assume what boundaries I have. You should not assume access to my body. you should not assume I will think “jokes” (??wtf??) about smelly vags will be funny or even acceptable.

why male allies need patience

because LiBerAL Doods and MRAs and Nice Guys (TM) are fucking everywhere.

And I’m sick of it. I don’t want to deal with it. I’m done. its not a great situation for me. my hormones tend to prefer beards and cocks, but I just can’t deal with it anymore. I need a break. I am taking a temporary hiatus from men. not just from fucking them, from them. I don’t want to meet any new men.

If I know you already, you can stay. but I have no interest in befriending new men right now. I do not have the patience to sift through the pile of shit that wants to discuss why I’m doing feminism wrong. and tell me how they NEED to eat meat.

what brought this on? well you really mean “what is the straw that broke this camels back?”

I had a phone conversation at midnight a couple nights ago. that’s right midnight. Some guy from high school saw I was awake online and decided to call me when I was talking online to him. last week in an IM he had asked me to dinner. I said yes. why not.. my facebook is feminist and vegan and nearly gay marriage central. if he can see that about me and want to eat a meal with me, fine. but it was midnight. I was at a friends house (which he knew from the IM.), and he decided it was a good time to call. (ummm o..k..)

I shouldn’t have answered the phone. but I shouldn’t have answered the phone in the same way people shouldn’t drink too much, it doesn’t justify behavior of other people toward them and make things the drunk persons fault.

now it was two days ago and my memory doesn’t work so well when I’m annoyed and tired. so I can’t provide a transcript, but here’s the gist of it:

He started right in asking about the veganism, and telling me that I should respect his culture, because his culture is about eating off the land and that includes eating meat. BECAUSE FACTORY FARMS IN THE US ARE JUST LIKE THAT. blah blah blah, I don’t respect his culture. NEWS FLASH: I don’t respect any culture that is used as a defense of oppression. oh wait, that’s most of them.

any way. he then asked me why I care about gay marriage so much. and I told him the truth. because marriage is a patriarchal structure historically between a woman and her rapist. and that there can be no equality in marriage until it is legally recognized as a partnership between any two PEOPLE. because women should be seen as PEOPLE.

to this he responded that women should be drafted in the military too… its not fair. Feminists don’t stand up for that! but I’m all for equal pay for equal work but women should be part of the draft.

um… how about we should abolish a system that forces any person to be rounded up by the government for the purpose of being shot at.

then he keeping very calm, because maintaining the status quo doesn’t affect him so its all theoretical to him, he tells me that I’m interrupting and getting angry and i should look for ways to fight oppression that are quiet. because black people were quiet during the sit ins in the 60s. and that PROVES that being calm and quiet gets you what you want.

So I let him finish every sentence with 5 extra seconds of silence after he finished and noticed that he kept interrupting me. because MY voice is the one that isn’t important. He told me, “you sound so angry if you sounded less angry people would listen to you more.” I was trying to explain I am angry, and was about to tell him all the reasons we should ALL be angry, but he interrupted me.

after a while I decided I was tired of being interrupted. I was tired in general. It was the middle of the night, he called me, and expected me to be coquettish or something and flirty and compliant. FUCK. THAT. SHIT. I hung up on him. I don’t need to waste my cellphone minutes and my time on that shit.

he then sent an IM to me as I was still logged in, “hanging up on someone isn’t very free thinking”

The Carrie Prejeen defense (or whatever her name is). “but free speech should mean you have to listen to me and not use your words to reply!”

and how many people honestly think its ok to be racist. if you want people to accept people, you are wanting them to think in a certain way. lets be honest about that. you can recognize that you cannot FORCE someone to change they way they are thinking. You can recognize that you should not jail someone for thought or words alone, but I do want to change the way people think.

I want people to think love should be important, I want people to think murder is bad. I want people to think that animals are worthwhile living creatures who should not be raped, tortured, and killed.

when I was in college one girl was being really shitty and mean and she actually said, “but this is just part of who I am you should just accept me.” this is not what I’m about.

so yeah. moral of the story. there will be women who do not trust you if you are a male ally in the feminist fight. but we need male allies. we must all work towards a better future. so please keep organising and working. but know that right now, I can’t deal with you. I can’t educate you, and sure as hell don’t have the patience for you to tell me “yUr doin it RONG!”

PROP 8 UPHELD

Discrimination upheld in the California State Constitution.

Meet at 5pm TONIGHT at 6th and Laurel near Balboa Park.

We Will March on the Hall of Justice at 6pm.

We will Rally at The Hall of Justice at 7PM

Hope to see you there.

If you are not from San Diego check out Marriage Equality USA to find an event near you