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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 40,013

About Me

Whiteness is a scourge on humanity. Voting for Obama that one time is not a get out of being a racist card

Journal Archives

Indigenous Women: Never Idle

Every morning this week I have woken up to my email inbox and social media feed filled with inspiring stories and images of resistance as part of the Idle No More and Defenders of the Land call for Sovereignty Summer. Sovereignty Summer is “a campaign of coordinated non-violent direct actions to promote Indigenous rights and environmental protection in alliance with non-Indigenous supporters.”

Colonialism in North America has been designed to ensure the forced displacement of Indigenous peoples from their territories, the destruction of autonomy and self-determination within Indigenous governance, and the attempted assimilation of Indigenous cultures and traditions. This has been justified through racist civilizing discourses, such as the discovery doctrine and terra nullius, whichuphold the political and legal right for colonial powers to conquer supposedly barren Indigenous lands.

Colonialism continues today in many forms. In particular, resource extractive development projects, including mining, forestry, and oil and gas development, are devastating Indigenous lands and communities without governments or corporations obtaining free, prior and informed consent from impacted communities. Given Canada’s current push towards a petro-state, it comes as no surprise that Indigenous opposition has been most vocal to the tar sands boom in Alberta and to oil and gas pipelines from coast to coast.

At the helm of this opposition to industrial genocide are a number of Indigenous women.

Crystal Lameman is a member of the Beaver Lake Cree nation, leading the struggle to prevent expansion of the tar sands. The Beaker Lake Cree have launched a significant legal action arguing that tar sands projects and big oil are violating their treaty rights to meaningful access their traditional hunting grounds and fishing waters. They are taking the government to court for no less than 17,000 treaty violations.


And still sci-fi's Octavia E. Butler rises: A graphic adaptation. A literary society.

And still sci-fi's Octavia E. Butler rises: A graphic adaptation. A literary society. Is a 'Kindred' movie next?

When she died in 2006, black female science fiction pioneer Octavia E. Butler left behind more than a dozen books and devastated admirers worldwide. Many of us thought about her on her recent June 22nd birthday.

But her work lives on. From book club meetings, to college classrooms, I have been thrilled to see more readers organizing to embrace the work of Octavia Butler, who was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (also known as the “genius grant”) in 1995.

Coming soon: Butler’s Kindred as graphic novel, and more

Next year, a graphic adaptation of Butler’s seminal 1979 time-travel novel Kindred will be published by Abrams ComicArts. In Kindred, a contemporary black woman is whisked between slavery-era Maryland (in the early 1800s) and modern-day Los Angeles. Kindred is in film development, as the option to make the book into a movie was exercised this year, according to a knowledgeable source — which means a movie may also be on the horizon at last.

Also, according to the black cinema website Shadow and Act, director Ernest Dickerson is shopping a film version of Butler’s 1984 plague novel Clay’s Ark.

New York-based director and producer M. Asli Dukan, whose documentary Invisible Universe: a History of Blackness in Speculative Fiction, says she has met readers from all over the world who love Butler’s work.


(I'm a huge Octavia Butler fan, if you are a SciFi fan, you know that she was one of the only Black Female writers in Sci Fi--that anybody had heard of--you may or may not know she was a feminist, which shows in her work, she artfully tackled race and gender in her fiction in a way that was thoughtful and challenging. Even if you're not a Sci-fan, her speculative fiction such as "Parable of the Sower" and of course "Kindred" make worthy reading indeed.)

7 Signs Rick Perry Might Be An Actual Comic Book Villain

7 Signs Rick Perry Might Be An Actual Comic Book Villain
Every super hero needs an arch nemesis. Batman has the Joker, Wonder Woman has Cheetah; the badder the bad guy, the gooder the good guy looks. That's why we've got to hand it to Rick Perry — his cartoonish villainy made Wendy Davis look extra-heroic. But is Rick Perry too good at being a bad? Here's why I'm starting to think he's an actual comic book villain made flesh.

He's a prominent member of a scary religious culty organization who often speaks at rallies for zealots.
Rick Perry is a religious nut who is tight with the leaders of IHOP (that ultracreepy Christian evangelical organization) and delivered a 13-minute prayerspeech at The Response, a 2011 megachurch rally so huge it was held in a stadium. This week, he spoke at the National Right to Life conference. Never is Rick Perry scarier than when he gets behind the podium. Think Lex Luther speaking to Lexcorp shareholders. Think Bane in prison. But, uh, with a lobotomy.


Hillary Clinton: Why Women Must "Dare To Compete" In Politics

Although electing a female president would, according to Clinton, require a “leap of faith” on the part of American voters, such an historic occasion also “really depends on women stepping up and subjecting themselves to the political process, which is very difficult,” admitted Clinton. She referenced former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who noted, “If women want to be in politics, they need to ‘grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros.’” “And I think there is still truth to that, so you have to step up, you have to dare to compete,” Clinton added.

Despite the history-making possibilities associated with a Clinton bid for the oval office, her remarks were a sobering reminder that not enough women today are willing to make a run for elected office. Very few of us can relate to or take cue from the course she’s charted in becoming arguably the most powerful woman in American politics today. What’s more, she’s charted that course over the past two decades under the same unrelenting public eye that’s soured the political aspirations of so many women eager to engage in our political system.

Nonetheless, the presence of more women in positions of political power around the world does serve as a powerful affirmation of what’s possible for others. Women, for example, are at the helm of some of the world’s largest economies such as Brazil and Germany and here at home, women’s representation in the Senate is at an all time high. As Minority Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi serves as the highest-ranking woman in government today, while others leaders such as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hold some of the most powerful cabinet positions in the current administration.

Despite these global political role models, are women in America willing to “step up” and throw their hat into the brutal, rough-and-tumble world of politics as candidates? The paths may be getting paved faster than ever before for future generations of women to ascend in the political ranks, yet are these the paths women are looking to follow?


What The Language In Abortion Laws Really Means

On Tuesday, Texas Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis embarked on a 13-hour filibuster to try to stop legislation that would effectively ban abortion in the Lone Star State. The new legislation would criminalize abortions in the 20th week of pregnancy, force abortion providers to have hospital-admitting privileges, and would effectively reduce the amount of abortion clinics in the state from 42 to 5.
While it is unconstitutional to ban abortions outright, states like Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, and a dozen others have been chipping away at women’s right to choose by keeping abortion technically legal but increasingly difficult to obtain. Here’s how they do it.
1. Mandated Psychological Counseling

“Why are you terminating this pregnancy?”
This was the question posed to me during a mandatory counseling session I had to endure before I was able to get an abortion. I panicked. What was the right answer?
I wanted to say, “Because I want to.” But I was afraid I would be denied the procedure. I lied and said I was broke and couldn’t raise a child. This seem to satisfy the Planned Parenthood worker.
Thirty-five states do not allow a woman to undergo an abortion unless she has been “counseled.” The substance of these “counseling sessions” runs the gamut from informing the woman about the purported link between abortion and breast cancer (five states), the ability of a fetus to feel pain (twelve states), long-term mental health consequences of abortion (eight states), or that personhood begins at conception (five states). In several states, a counseling session must be done in person, at the facility, 24 hours before the procedure, meaning at least two trips the facility must be made.
A three-year study of over 300 women, conducted by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, found the 24-hour waiting period had a negative emotional impact on 31% of women surveyed. Nearly half of the women reported additional costs caused by the waiting period — $141 on average — for extra transportation, child care, and other services not related to the abortion.


UN Women launches global call for a transformative agenda to make gender equality a reality

Position paper calls for freedom from violence, equality in capabilities and resources, and women’s voice to be the cornerstones of a stand-alone gender equality goal
(New York, 26 June) Drawing global attention to the persistent factors that block the achievement of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment worldwide, UN Women has launched a call to galvanize the gender equality agenda and ensure concrete action that will enable women and girls to truly live as equal citizens everywhere. In a position paper released today, UN Women offers clear direction on policies that are necessary to usher meaningful and lasting transformation, so that women’s and girls’ rights can be universally secured.

The call for a transformative framework to achieve gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment comes in the midst of a global conversation about the legacy and next steps after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — eight internationally agreed goals with a timeline of 2015, which have been the blueprint for action to reduce poverty since the year 2000. Intergovernmental and UN-led processes are currently under way to inform and design a post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With the MDGs set to expire in 2015, studies show that the goals have spurred significant progress, but yielded uneven results, including continuing lack of progress on reducing maternal mortality. About 800 women die every day due to childbirth and other pregnancy-related complications. Other gaps include: persistent gender wage gaps, with women being paid 10 to 30 per cent less than men; low representation in parliaments, with only 1 in 5 legislators being women; vulnerable employment, with nearly two-thirds of women largely outside the protection of the law in 2011; and violence against women and girls, with nearly in 1 in 3 women impacted during their lifetimes.

UN Women’s position paper emphasizes that the post-2015 agenda must build on the achievements of the MDGs, while avoiding their shortcomings. It underlines that for the realization of women’s rights, it is critical to address the structural causes of gender inequality, such as the pandemic of violence against women, unpaid care work, limited control over assets and property, and unequal participation in private and public decision-making.


Angelina's war on rape as a weapon: Jolie urges U.N. to fight sex attacks in conflict

Soon after Jolie spoke, the council adopted a legally-binding resolution demanding the complete and immediate cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties to armed conflict. It noted that sexual violence can constitute a crime against humanity and a contributing act to genocide, called for improved monitoring of sexual violence in conflict, and urged the U.N. and donors to assist survivors.
It was the broadest resolution adopted by the council on the sexual violence in conflict. Hague said Britain plans to follow-up by convening a global gathering during the annual General Assembly meeting of world leaders in September to keep up the pressure for action.

"The time has come for the world to take a strong and determined stand to make clear that the systematic use of rape as a weapon is not acceptable in the modern world and our objective is to change the entire global attitude to these issues," Hague said.

Jolie, who has traveled extensively in her role as goodwill ambassador, recalled several of the survivors she had met — the mother of a five-year-old girl raped outside a police station in Goma in eastern Congo, and a Syrian woman she spoke to in Jordan last week who asked to hide her name and face "because she knew that if she spoke out about the crimes against her she would be attacked again, and possibly killed."

"Let us be clear what we are speaking of: Young girls raped and impregnated before their bodies are able to carry a child, causing fistula," Jolie said, referring to an injury caused by violent rapes that tear apart the flesh separating the bladder and rectum from the vagina.
She continued: "Boys held at gunpoint and forced to sexually assault their mothers and sisters. Women raped with bottles, wood branches and knives to cause as much damage as possible. Toddlers and even babies dragged from their homes, and violated."


Texas Legislator claims rape kits are a form of abortion.

Texas Rep. Jody Laubenberg (R) sponsored several anti-abortion measures currently making their way to the Governor’s desk. Taken together, they would shut down the vast majority of the state’s women’s health clinics and criminalize abortions after 20 weeks. But in reasoning out why she did not support an exemption for rape victims in the 20-week ban, Laubenberg betrayed a woeful lack of information on the procedures a victim of rape undergoes — namely, the “rape kit,” which is used to collect data on the assailant and in no way relates to pregnancy:

When Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, called for an exemption for women who were victims of rape and incest, Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, explained why she felt it was unnecessary.
“In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out,” she said, comparing the procedure to an abortion. “The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development.”
The remark about rape kits, which is not accurate, sparked widespread ridicule on social media sites. Laubenberg, who has difficulty debating bills, then simply rejected all proposed changes to her bill without speaking until the end of the debate.


Edit; love the first comment

WATCH: How To Put On Make-Up, The Feminist Way (VIDEO) (parody)

Society would like us to believe that being a feminist means wearing a hessian sack and forsaking all grooming products, but any modern feminist knows this really isn't what feminism is about anymore.

We came across this brilliant video thanks to Tastefully Offensive, which features Taylor Adele Smith conducting a 'feminist beauty tutorial'.

As she goes along applying foundation, blusher and lipstick (and she's really rather good), she drops various cosy homilies such as "when applying foundation - make sure you give a fair and equal amount of representation, unlike the government in primetime network television."

Why Cambridge Needs Feminism
Many people didn't realise it was a parody and posted some very strong reactions on YouTube, such as "Oh good lord. You are the worst kind of feminist" and "it's because of stupid shit like this you women are forced to live in the kitchen, a place where you rightfully belong."

It was perhaps this sentence that did it: "Apply a rosy blush to the apples of your cheeks. This will give you a youthful and innocent appearance so that you'll still look cute when you're covered in the blood of a thousand men."


Gay imam spreads message of empowerment when it comes to homosexuality and Islam

A gay Muslim cleric in South Africa, one of the few openly gay imams in the world, says it’s important to be open about your sexuality in order to have an “authentic” life.

Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Cape Town, Muhsin Hendricksi said he’d rather die as an “authentic person” than remain hidden in the closet.

Mr Hendricksi, a father of three who was previously married to a woman, has spent years helping gay Muslims reconcile Islam with their sexuality through The Inner Circle, an organisation he founded in 2004.

When asked about Islam’s view of homosexuality, Mr Hendricksi said: “The Koran only speaks about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Koran doesn’t use the word homosexuality. It’s only a term that was coined in the 18th century, and the Koran was a 7th century book. The story has been interpreted for years to refer to the atrocities of Sodom and Gomorrah as homosexuality so what I do is I unpack it.

“One of the principles that we learn when we study the Koran is that you can’t quote a verse from the Koran out of context. It has a context, it has a history, there’s a real particular purpose. So, I say, ‘Let’s do the same with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.’ We look at the archaeological findings, we look at what historians say about Sodom and Gomorrah, and once we piece that together we find that the story was really about economic exploitation, inhospitality to guests, rape, molestation, homosexual practices that were related to idolatry.

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