“Cool has come a long way, literally. In a 1973 essay called “An Aesthetic of the Cool,” art historian Robert Farris Thompson traced the concept to the West African Yoruba idea of itutu—a quality of character denoting composure in the face of danger, as well as playfulness, humor, generosity, and conciliation. It was carried to America with slavery and became a code through which to conceal rage and cope with brutality with dignity; it went on to inform the emotional textures of blues, jazz, the Harlem Renaissance, and more, then percolated into the mainstream. [Scholar Peter] Stearns argues that cool’s imperatives of flexibility and fluidity helped Americans escape rigid Victorian morality into modernity and developed along with mass production and mass media as a new individualist ethos.”—
Wait, why did it need to be pointed out that she’s black…?
Because she is. Because the sheer act of mentioning a person’s race is not “racism.” Because the myth of “colourblindness" is racist within itself. Because it matters that Black mothers and their children are portrayed in ways that subvert common stereotypes of Black mothers (uncaring, irresponsible, cold, always strong and unfeeling, lazy, doesn’t exercise, abusive to children) and controlling images (loyal "mammy" but only for White children, "lazy welfare mother," "uncaring ‘ball-busting’ matriarch"). Because the entire mainstream media is dedicated to White supremacy and preserving Whiteness, which is a construct and social position of power, not the same as individual countries’ cultures of White people.
Because I am a Black woman who’s entire PERSONAL blog, which is not a mainstream media outlet, is dedicated to dynamic and diverse presentations of Black girls and Black women in addition to womanist, agnostic atheist, radical humanist and anti-oppression discourse. It’s a personal blog. It cannot even compare in scope to multi-billion dollar media conglomerates’ support of the status quo that I reject.
Because the words “mother” and “woman” are defaulted to “White” via the media, Hollywood, and the government.
Race is removed from stories of excellence while stories of pathology will make sure we know if someone Black is involved. You know how I know someone White did something wrong? When their race is not mentioned until the absolute last moment in the news.
As Kimberlé Crenshaw wrote about using the label “Black”
We all can recognize the distinction between the claims ‘I am Black’ and the claim ‘I am a person who happens to be Black.’ ‘I am Black’ takes the socially imposed identity and empowers it as an anchor of subjectivity. ‘I am Black’ becomes not simply a statement of resistance, but also a positive discourse of self-identification, intimately linked to celebratory statements like the Black nationalist ‘Black is beautiful.’ ‘I am a person who happens to be Black,’ on the other hand, achieves self-identification by straining for a certain universality (in effect, ‘I am first a person’) and for a concomitant dismissal of the imposed category (‘Black’) as contingent, circumstantial, non-determinant. There is truth in both characterizations, of course, but they function, quite differently depending on the political context. At this point in history, a strong case can be made that the most critical resistance strategy for dis-empowered groups is to occupy and defend a politics of social location rather than to vacate and destroy it.
Because there is a history and legacy associated with being Black. One that interrupted African history. One we now subvert and create with and celebrate and experience pain because of and are oppressed because of and are beautiful because of.
Bad feelings over the bailouts and extortionary bank fees have driven millions of Americans into the arms of local credit unions. But instead of luring them back with better customer service, Big Banks are using their lobbying might to kill off credit unions, attempting to destroy a crucial tax exemption that credit unions need to survive.
Big Banks sucked up over a trillion dollars in the bailouts, but now they’re claiming that credit unions are the biggest problem to the national deficit. Banks say that credit unions cost the government $1.5 billion in lost tax revenue, but if the banks get their way, it will cost us over ten billion dollars each year in higher fees and rates.
Congress gets back from recess this week, and banks are about to kick off a big lobbying push for the fall. The banks are trying to kill consumer-friendly credit unions so that they can raise rates with impunity — but we aren’t going to let them.
Tell Bank of America and its cronies to stop their crusade against credit unions.
We can’t afford a future without credit unions. If we show the banks just how much this desperate gamble will backfire, the threat of bad publicity and another banking scandal will cause the banks to rethink their pricy lobbying push. Large-scale protests have forced banks to change their tune before, and once word gets out about the banks’ incredible greed, the backlash should send them packing.
Anytime that regulation is mentioned, bankers like to cry out about free-market principles. But banks use an army of lobbyists to shape legislation as they see fit. This time, they’ve gone too far in trying to take out the competition. If we all step up today, we can stop this in its tracks, and save consumer-friendly credit unions from extinction.
because I keep saying , I don’t want to PUNISH HIM . I want to protect and build for US .
( Copyrighted by CC cause well I’m hopeful not new)
I want a better world.
for me specifically, me locationally, me intersectionally, me connectedly.
As a singular person, as resident of these communities I move through, as a member of the categories I inhabit,have lived, will live, may want to live, lived and never want to love again. As a friend, a child, a family member, as a loved one, as a lover of ones, as a citizen, as a bystander, as an audience. I want each moment , to be as good or better, I want it to feel good, and safe , like I’m in control.
After these past couple months, but culminating over these YEARS of blogging, I keep getting asked that and it’s always felt like a weapon?
" What do you want?"
What do you actual want instead of complaining you whining crying black, fat, do nothing not good enough attention seeking stupid hating ass hater?
Now I am being asked that question in love.
And it requires pause.
I think all of us who do the work in a certain way do that .
" If things get better for ( insert my groups here). My personal wants will too and I’ll do good , so let me sublimate those and focus on the goal"
Most of my heroines did that , work tirelessly fiercely , develop strong careers , enduring reputations, godlike patience and incredible praise . Tinged with the sorrow of how often it was personally taxing or unstable, seemingly alone.
What I want from WAM/Seal Press/Blogging/ Femfuture/Hugo/femfuture retreat/ etc …
“The degree to which I was behind on the learning curve is inexcusable. I should have known better; there were many opportunities for me to know better and I refused to see them. There is a pattern to who Hugo targeted for abuse — who he knew it would be safe to target for abuse. That speaks to major power imbalances in feminist communities. It reveals whose voices matter, whose pain is considered important enough.”—
My only reaction to this, right now, immediately after reading it, is this is how an apology should read, and be written. It is explanatory without being excuses, and it recognizing what behaviors have led to this point while also promising to do better. I do love Jill’s writing, so I’m trying to figure out how to separate that from this piece’s substance. But this section in particular jumped out at me as being entirely on the nose.
i disagree. i am tired of people “trying harder” and making this about individual absolution (i.e. i’m sorry, i’ll try harder). i have a long detailed critique of “privilege” organizing, which can be summed up by this super important essay by andrea smith.
jill has tried and has been trying. but jill regularly insists that “this is all my fault.” but it’s not just jill’s name that is all over hugo’s website/writing. jessica valenti, courtney martin, amanda marcotte, shira tarrant, jill, almost all of the books that each of these individuals have written, jezebel, xojane, as well as the actions supported by this same group: slut walk and femfuture …yes, jill was still being mentioned on his website as late as feb 2013. but he was also defending femfuture as late as april. and hell, he was defending ALL the white women against the “abusive cudgel” of *women of color* just within the past week. carefully taking the time to frame this: he was abusive, and they were tricked.
On Democracy Now! Malik Rahim, former Black Panther and cofounder of Common Ground in New Orleans, spoke about how devastated he was by Darby’s revelation that he was an FBI informant. Several times he stated that his heart had been broken. He especially lamented all of the “young ladies” who left Common Ground as a result of Darby’s domineering, aggressive style of organizing. And when those “young ladies” complained? Well, their concerns likely fell on sympathetic but ultimately unresponsive ears—everything may have been true, and after the fact everyone admits how disruptive Darby was, quick to suggest violent, ill-conceived direct-action schemes that endangered everyone he worked with. There were even claims of Darby sexually assaulting female organizers at Common Ground and in general being dismissive of women working in the organization.  Darby created conflict in all of the organizations he worked with, yet people were hesitant to hold him accountable because of his history and reputation as an organizer and his “dedication” to “the work.” People continued to defend him until he outed himself as an FBI informant. Even Rahim, for all of his guilt and angst, chose to leave Darby in charge of Common Ground although every time there was conflict in the organization it seemed to involve Darby.
sound familiar? (and to be careful here, i’m not trying to equate the physical violence and infiltration with what hugo did, i’m pointing to the situation of “heart break” and “grief” and “sympathetic but ultimately unresponsive ears” etc.)
this is not about somebody’s “grief” “personal responsibility” “mistakes” “manipulation” etc.
this is about white solidarity enacted through liberal reformism.
i don’t care if every single white feminist stands in a line and apologizes one at a time. i *really* don’t care. i know some people need that and i wouldn’t take that away from anybody who needs it. but i personally would just get up and walk out. i don’t need an apology and i don’t WANT an apology. i want women of color feminists in california to never EVER have to go through ANY white man to organize EVER. I want women of color students to not EVER have to deal with a white professor being a filthy sexist pig about them online. I want a space where women who were almost murdered by their ex’s are centralized. i want women of color to be believed and prioritized. i want all foundations OUT of feminist spaces. i want to be able to self-publish and not have to worry that my words will be “recycled.” i want so much more than anything i could mention in just this post. i want a *movement.*
i don’t even know what “trying harder” means. trying harder at what? being nice?
andrea smith offers a suggestion for possible moving forward:
By contrast, instead of thinking of safe spaces as a refuge from colonialism, patriarchy, and white supremacy, Ruthie Gilmore suggests that safe space is not an escape from the real, but a place to practice the real we want to bring into being. “Making power” models follow this suggestion in that they do not purport to be free of oppression, only that they are trying to create the world they would like to live in now.
I make the choice to practice creating the world i’d like to live in now with the people of Detroit and Michigan. maybe white feminists can think about this as they move forward.
the most discouraging and upsetting thing in wake of all this crap to me is how many people have said “who are those people?” (that is: black amazon, brownfemipower, flavia) and what happened?
i really hope people use the “opportunity” to interrogate why nobody seems to know about the history of women of color in the blogosphere, especially because so much of our history coincides with the history of white women. why do you know the history of white women, but don’t know the basic rudimentary relationship they had with their woman of color contemporaries? why don’t you know our history as it exists outside of the relationship with white supremacy? how often does this lack of knowledge/historical awareness happen throughout US feminism? from the beginning of the US in that damn senneca falls meeting?
sure, there’s been some minor roadblocks put in place, like many of us shutting our blogs down.
but…we’re all still *here*. and people like flavia and black amazon (and karnythia, so_treu, amaditalks, etc) haven’t stopped talking about hugo. you know who ALSO knows that we haven’t stopped talking? hugo. who wanted to “shut flavia the fuck up.” and who saw women of color as “being in the way.”
why was hugo so aware of our presence, but so many white feminists are just confused right now? (or “behind the curve”?)
“Sometimes “extroversion” itself is interpreted as “Black culture” when in fact it is often the “performance” of Black culture as viewed through the White gaze, and something that both Black and White people process as Black culture. It’s a complex experience then for Black introverts.”—Trudy, mod of gradient lair, in response to a comment (via electricbounce)
Hugo Schwyzer was every leering professor, every condescending ” professional” every ” you should be raped and no one will believe you”
and as long as it was happening to me ?
It was A-OK because that was what we are for.
So what is feminism then but the place that gives him succor and comfort.
What is every white woman falling over herself to ask about his mental health and his well being and how he handles ableism but
every nurse who heard me screaming and did nothing?
Every caseworker who watched my mom tremble and said it was 10 dollars too much?
It becomes a habit to notice who forgets you are born when life is like this. When hundreds of people wish you happiness to notice the one who doesn’t who you hoped for . Because it becomes proof you are not good enough.
The story of epic flounce will never be the flouncing , his suicide attempt, or his mental health.
I truly do not care.
And as many people point and tut at how this makes me horrible, all I cna say is
" You were looking for me to be horrible , your finding it is of no surprise"
Because before it became popular
G-chat windows , and coffee’s and stronger,
of days long correspondence of triggered women
" He’s male and feminist !! We can’t lose him"
For something as trivial as you.
It’s easy to second guess yourself . Believe you are inconsequential that it is you .
Until you see that your name and his are linked that it comes up maybe third in google
That he sees that
tell no one you are weak enough to vomit when you realize it
will never bother you as much as what you think about yourself because of it.
Of how even when you are bleeding or triumphing
you wonder how they think .
of teh strange silence that happens when it changes form defending ” women/black women/ to defending
You will think everything of reports that happen after .
Of the women , girls whose tangible real life “important” problems
You started screaming and pointing , Of who could have been helped , who would have intervened
If you had been important enough for someone to care that he was practicing on you, had practiced on someone else, up and down the time line.
If two days after your birthday , you are angry and horrified , and sad if his face melds with other faces who watched you burn and struggle in so many ways
IF you can barely get it out
" You’ll make some man happy some day"
is in you ears and on your skin
and the thought of HOW locks you in y our house
You are thankful it is measured in days now not years or months or weeks
You love you’re editor a lot more . WHen she says they changed it and it’s wrong
That they “fixed your grammar” and played with your voice
That it occurred to her to care
That when you reject it , half way between work, planning , organizing devising…
You had to keep reminding yourself to occur to YOU that you didn’t need fixing.
That you made the voice broken unsure and skipped because
You were you are.
When you laid curling irons on your wrists
you didn’t speak proper
the girl who reads this after should know that’s not a reason to harm MORE of her pretty brown skin
When someone you admire tells one of the nurses at the door happy birthday
Tomorrow , you swear , tomorrow you’ll leave the house .
the whole point: feminists love to say “trust women.” but women of color have said that hugo is bad news since WELL before feminism as a whole decided hugo was horrible. women of color said hugo was bad news, posted critiques, challenged him in multiple ways at multiple times—and yet, he was the one who got speaking engagements, book deals, writing gigs, and *feminist based defenses of not only his work but his character.*
hugo now has multiple articles in multiple places written about why he is “leaving” (i.e. deflecting, ie. managing fall out), none of which mention the critique of women of color, or that how he treated women of color has been on display for all to see and that his treatment is NOT just some “old news” that years ago when he was heavily drinking he “made mistakes” and tried to kill his girlfriend.
hugo knows that the “women” he needs to treat well are *white*. he’s got clarisse on her blog saying that she knew hugo didn’t love his wife and that he’s *afraid* of HER—because he wrote about. he will ALWAYS get white women on their blogs defending his actions, because he’s known from the *beginning* (YOU BETTER PROVE IT) who he needs to treat well.
feminists say “trust women”—but a white man knows there are some women that feminism won’t trust. those women do not get multiple media outlets calling them asking them to “tell their story.” those women do not get “poor woman” stories written about them. those women don’t get apologies. those women lose jobs, and people are GLAD (oh, cuz remember how concerned everybody was that poor amanda would lose writing gigs?).
that is feminism. that. white women nurturing spaces where men are believed.
"But a white man knows there are some women that feminism won’t trust".
I understand that academia is really competitive. That’s it’s hard to get a tenured position, even at a community college. I wonder how many women were denied tenure at Pasadena Community College over the past couple of decades, and the breakdown of how many white women were denied tenure versus women of color. This worthless piece of shit gets to teach a class designed primarily for him to get off sexually and groom students into future bed partners. Meanwhile, how many women were turned away at the door? What’s the “feminist” response to that? Has that question even been asked? Or is it assumed that those women—-the ones not chosen for tenured positions—-just didn’t “lean in” hard enough?
I never thought Mako was a weak character or a damsel. She’s focused, loyal, polite, and strong-willed, and on top of that she and Raleigh made a great team. Just because she needed help, that didn’t make her weak. It made her relatable. Not every chick has to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Zena Warrior Princess to be inspiring or super cool, especially when being a woman of color.
As a black haitian, it’s pretty hard to find a non-white female character that I can admire and relate to. Now obviously Mako isn’t haitian, but that’s the amazing part. I still understood her. I have people in my life that I have to respect and obey, even when I want to say no. I have dreams and I take pride for my heritage and talents. But here’s the kicker; I’m not strong and I sure as hell am not perfect. I’m a crybaby and I stare at half naked guys. I screw up sometimes and usually someone has to help me out. And yes, I have triggers that literally makes me vulnerable and lean on my parents and sister for emotional and physical support.
So does that make me unworthy of being a feminist? Am I damsel for not being independent? Am I weak because I need someone to tell me everything’s going to be okay? If I have to meet such impossible standards to be a feminist, then I guess I’m not cut out to be one.
Anyways, Mako is a strong, three-dimensional heroine who is amazing and strong in so many levels. If she taught me anything, it’s that weakness may be an obstacle, but it’s not impossible to overcome.
Can we talk for a minute about Pacific Rim’s concept of The Drift as a metaphor for empathy toward a loved one’s trauma?
The Drift enables you to be inside someone else’s mind, experiencing their thoughts, feelings and memories. Raleigh didn’t just watch his brother die, he felt it, as though he was dying himself. And later, in the trial run with Mako, he didn’t just sense that she was having a flashback. He was present in the flashback with her, experiencing it with her.
Trauma is often very isolating. We have an experience or set of experiences that have so changed us, even defined us, and yet, in many cases, we find it difficult or even impossible to either speak of the experience, or to get a listener to understand what we are saying. Even if the listener is sympathetic, they often cannot really understand.
The Drift changes all that. When Raleigh was with young Mako in her Tokyo flashback, he saw her pain and her fear firsthand. In chasing the R.A.B.I.T., Mako was triggered into a full-blown panic attack. It didn’t matter that the kaiju she saw wasn’t real. It felt real. When comforting someone who’s having a panic attack, it’s easy to get frustrated at their apparent irrationality. But Raleigh didn’t get frustrated. He stayed with her. He kept talking to her, kept the line of communication open, and was there for her when she came out of it.
As Raleigh explains to Mako, it takes a lot of trust to let someone else into your mind. The Drift weds extreme vulnerability to extreme empathy. But once your co-pilot is in your mind, you no longer have to try to explain your trauma, because they get it. It’s a relief to know that someone else understands. It’s a relief to know you’re not alone.
positive portrayal of a trans woman in Hit & Miss, doing work as a professional killer— i.e., not as a sex worker— (albeit played by a cis woman), while also exploring a complex relationship with a cis man
positive portrayal of a trans woman in Elementary, one of the highest rated shows of the season, by an actual trans woman
positive portrayal of a trans woman of color in Orange is the New Black, played by an actual trans woman of color
On May 16, 2010, Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley shot and killed 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a police raid and on June 18, 2013 his case was declared a mistrial. Aiyana’s young life was cut short by an overzealous officer who raided her home while she slept. Because Weekley’s case was declared a mistrial in June, there is still an opportunity to bring him to justice. On July 25, 2013 Wayne County Judge Cynthia Hathaway reconvene to determine whether Weekley will face retrial for Aiyana’s murder. Please voice your support to retry Joseph Weekley’s case so that a jury may reach a verdict. Aiyana Stanley-Jones represents another Black life taken too soon. Justice must be served.
One McDonald’s employee tells the hard truth about her reality as a minimum-wage worker. Spoiler alert: She doesn’t have $20 healthcare, she doesn’t have $100 a month to put into saving, and she doesn’t even make $1,000 a month from her job. Some choice quotes about what it’s REALLY like to be a mom of four on minimum wage:
Working 20-27 hours per month, she makes “probably $200-something, some paychecks are $300-something. Between $400-$600 a month.”
“I don’t even get health insurance. I don’t even get Medicaid anymore, because I work. My kids haveMO HealthNet — Missouri health insurance [for low-income and vulnerable populations of the state]. That’s free, but only for them. I don’t get it. The other day I had to pay $40 out of my pocket to get a tooth pulled.”
“If I had extra money, my kids would have clothes, and I’d be able to pay for the things they need while they’re in school. My son is about to graduate from kindergarten, and I don’t even have enough money to get his cap and gown, and that’s only $20. ”
“My goal in life is to earn my GED, and become a pharmacy technician so I know I have enough money to take care of me and mine. To take the test, yes, it costs money. And it costs money to go to college to become a pharmacy technician. I don’t know how I’m going to pay for that working at McDonald’s.”
This calls for a fundraiser. I remember how hard it is to get off of assistance when there’s such a gap between making too much for benefits & making enough to get ahead.
I have been refraining from posting ALL THE PACIFIC RIM things despite being obsessed with it for the past week and a half, but I think my resolve is weakening. And oh God, I can feel the urge to post Mako/Stacker fan art rising. They make my heart hurt so good.