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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 40,343

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

Thanks for Nothing: Black Women Don’t Owe White Feminism a Damn Thing

An uncomfortable blog post? Yes. For some of us. White feminists should listen, and we should continue to listen, and then we we think we've listened enough, we should listen some more. The greatest mistake of feminism isn't "waves" or arguemens over what entails "sex positive" feminism, the greatest mistake is white feminists trying to speak for (or in this case at) women of color without educating ourselves, without listening and/or having the ability to hear what is being said.

In Griffin’s frankly ludicrous, ignorant, and downright offensive opinion, “When black women attack ‘white feminism,’ they are forgetting who made it possible for them to have rights -- as women. And, they are racist.”

Oh, Lord. Where the fuck do I even begin?

Well, maybe I should start with something that clearly (and bafflingly) needs repeating: PEOPLE. OF. COLOUR. CANNOT. BE. RACIST. TOWARDS. WHITE. PEOPLE. White people are the beneficiaries of racism. The concept of separating human beings into racial categories with differing characteristics was created by white people to justify their exploitation, enslavement, murder, rape, and colonization of people of colour worldwide.

This isn’t opinion. This isn’t some “social justice bullshit.” This is the sober truth of Earth. Deal with it. We’ll never be able to heal from this reality if people can’t come to grips with this most basic truth.

Griffin tried tweeting the bloody dictionary definition of racism when Black feminists began to take her to task, like that was her “I know what I’m talking about” trump card. Try again please!

My fingers are cramping from having to write about this simple stuff over and over again. My brain hurts because I don’t understand how white women can continue to be so wilfully ignorant. We live in the golden age of information! You can discover pretty much anything at the touch of a screen! There is no excuse.

Read more: http://www.forharriet.com/2015/07/thanks-for-nothing-black-women-dont-owe.html#ixzz3h0Dt9Jfz
Follow us: @ForHarriet on Twitter | forharriet on Facebook

Angry misogynist murders women at showing of film by feminist comedian

Angry misogynist murders women at showing of film by feminist comedian; police worry “we may not find a motive.”

Police in Lafayette, Louisiana are evidently struggling to understand why the outspokenly misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic John Russell “Rusty” Houser murdered two women and wounded 9 other moviegoers at a showing of “Trainwreck,” a film written by and starring Amy Schumer, a feminist comedian with a Jewish father, who jokes frankly about sex.

Col. Michael D. Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, wondered aloud about Houser’s motives at a press conference:

Why did he come here? Why did he do that? … We may not find a motive.

It seems to me that Houser’s likely motive is staring them in the face.

Because it turns out that Houser was pretty well-known, at least to regular viewers of one local TV talk show in Columbus, GA, as an angry right-wing fanatic who hated women. As one former host of the show recalled,

He was anti-abortion. … Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything.

Houser evidently appeared on the live show dozens of times as a “gadfly” whose appearances “would generate calls.”


Where Does the Black Woman's Body Belong?

Stenberg, though young, is not wrong in her claims. For the mainstream media to pretend as though her concerns were being expressed this way for the first time is misleading and reductive. Stenberg has been consistent in her critique of appropriation of “Black culture” and the exclusion of Black women from Eurocentric beauty standards. If anything, Stenberg has summarized precisely the exclusionary actions of white supremacy that Serena Williams herself experiences daily – a phenomenon Dr. Moya Bailey calls “misogynoir.”

No, this isn’t a new issue. I recently covered this subject at length in reference to the Rachel Dolezal media debacle. The mainstream media’s obsession with Dolezal was fueled by both a hatred for Black women and an insatiable desire to present white women as inherently pure and idyllic.

Even more importantly, I have thoroughly explained how white women have long invested in the demonization of Black women and families. By making themselves the point of reference for womanhood, they have contributed to a framework which excludes Black women’s bodies, marking them as “other.” This double standard is so pervasive that it has been internalized and projected onto little Black girls. Therefore, these two recent events involving Williams and Stenberg should not surprise anyone who has been paying at least a little bit of attention.

As it stands, modern beauty standards rely on almost unattainable ideals but still rest upon the exploitation and appropriation of Black women’s bodies. But why?

The answer is simple: Just as whiteness is defined by the existence of blackness, white women’s beauty can’t exist without Black women’s (purported) lack thereof. This isn’t to say that Black women’s beauty is reliant on the White Gaze. Rather, I am noting that many white people, at least partially, define themselves by their deviation from Black people.

Read more: http://www.forharriet.com/2015/07/where-does-black-womans-body-belong.html#ixzz3gj6LiYM5
Follow us: @ForHarriet on Twitter | forharriet on Facebook

We're Failing Trans Women of Color

For the 10 transgender women who have been murdered in the U.S. this year, not even death can bring an end to disrespect.

On Tuesday morning, India Clarke, a 25-year-old black transgender woman and cosmetology student, was found lying on the ground near basketball courts at a community center in Tampa, Florida. Homicide detectives confirmed that she had been beaten to death.

But when local TV station Bay News 9 reported on the murder, they didn’t call her India.

They introduced her as “Samuel Elija Clarke, also known as India,” and only then used her chosen name. And instead of referring to India using female pronouns, they published a clunky piece of copy that fastidiously and obviously avoids the use of pronouns altogether: “violence to the upper body” and not “violence to her upper body,” for example.

It’s a pattern that has been tragically repeated too many times in 2015: A transgender woman, most often a transgender woman of color, is found murdered but the media still fails to respect her identity.


My wedding was perfect – and I was fat as hell the whole time

(A beautiful little story, full of insight and grace AND I loves me some Lindy West!)

Aham and I got engaged on my birthday. He took me to dinner, suggested a “quick nightcap” at our neighbourhood bar, and then, surprise! Everyone was there – our friends, our families, the kids, four random people who were just trying to get a damn drink on a Sunday night without being accidental set dressing in somebody else’s raucous public proposal (sorry, dudes). I was so happy. He took my hand and led me to the back; there was a paper banner that said my name (the bartender made it – we go there a lot); there was a live string duet. I was confused. Why was there a sombre cello at my birthday party? Why was my boyfriend doing his Intense Face? Wait, it’s almost 10pm on a school night and we’re at a bar – why ARE the kids here? Then it all happened at once: the knee, the ring, the speech, the question, the tears. All the hits. It was a full-blown grand gesture.

Months later, I asked him why he did it that way – such a big spectacle, such an event, not precisely our style – and I expected something cliched but sweet, like, “I wanted to make sure our community was a part of our marriage,” or, “I wanted everyone to know how much I love you.” Instead, his response cracked me up: “One time when you were drunk you told me, ‘If you ever propose to me, don’t do it in the bullshit way that dudes usually treat fat girls. Like it’s a secret, or you’re just trying to keep me from leaving you. Thin girls get public proposals, like those dudes are winning a fucking prize. Fat chicks deserve that, too.’” I probably would have finessed it a bit if I’d been sober, but way to lean in, bossy, drunk past-Lindy!

It’s not that I’d ever particularly yearned for a grand gesture – the relationship I cherish lives in our tiny private moments (and, as I’d later discover at my bridal shower, I’m surprisingly uncomfortable being the object of public sincerity) – but the older I get and the longer I live in a fat body, the harder it is to depoliticise even simple acts. A public proposal to a publicly valued body might be personally significant, but culturally it shifts nothing. A public proposal to a publicly reviled body is a political statement.

I’ve dated men who relished me in private but refused to be seen with me on the street, or who told me, explicitly, that we had no serious future because they were afraid their friends would laugh at them. I’ve been eagerly approached by men who clearly saw me as nothing but an arousingly taboo body type, which I find equally demoralising (other fat people don’t mind, I know – that’s cool, too). I just wanted to be a person, and, if I was lucky, to fall in love with a person – neither in spite of my body nor because of it. Once I finally did, I wanted to crystallise that, make it solid, and broadcast it where younger versions of myself could find it.


When a Magazine Only Wants You If You're Willing to Pose Nude

Long article, fascinating story.

I’ve been an actress since age 13. You might be familiar with me from the TV show Neighbours, or from my current role on the CW’s Reign. But after a recent run-in with a crooked magazine editor, you might be familiar with me instead as an attention-seeking, hysterical lady human who endlessly cheapens feminism by having the lunatic opinions that our bodies are beautiful and worth celebrating—and also, simultaneously, believing that my body is my own.

Earlier this year, I launched a website called Herself.com. Herself is a safe space for women of varying backgrounds, body types and belief systems to amplify their concerns, wishes, dreams, complaints and woes—a platform dedicated to expanding the scope of visible female experience and of visible female bodies. The courageous, luminescent women you will find there are nude, shot by female photographers. In showing us their bodies on mutually-agreed-upon terms, they have given all of us an immense gift; as they appear there, they are both impossibly vulnerable and utterly indestructible. Even, I, myself, appear on the website too, completely naked. (Burn her!)

Given these facts, it may or may not surprise you to hear that, when an Australian magazine called The Good Weekend asked me to appear in lingerie to accompany a piece on me, I declined.

It wasn’t the nature of the shoot that bothered me, but the pairing of the shoot with the story I was hoping to tell, which was specifically that women, and only women, are in charge of their bodies, their image and their sexuality. This commodification of my body had nothing to do with me. My input and my consent had never been sought. Simply, my body was going to be used as a prop to sell a magazine. And I, as the human occupying this prop, was not a part of the conversation.


Sexist, racist – the web hounding of Ellen Pao shows the trolls are winning

Could a woman ever have won the affection of Reddit – the closest thing the internet has to a frat house? With the resignation of Ellen Pao as interim chief executive of the link-sharing and discussion site, we may never know. Because which woman would be brave and foolish enough to take on a high-profile role at the site now?

In the eight months after taking on the job, Pao did what Reddit’s board asked her to: she tried to expand the site’s audience beyond its core user base of young, white American men. For that, she was compared to Hitler, had her personal details posted online, endured crude jokes about her sex and ethnicity, and saw 213,000 people sign a petition calling for her to be ousted.

But let’s rewind. Why should anyone care what happens on a glorified discussion board with far less name recognition than peers such as Facebook or Twitter? The nature of the internet means that even incredibly popular sites – and Reddit has more than 160 million users – can be unknown to outsiders. But even if you haven’t heard of Reddit, you will have seen one of its creations. It spawns many of the viral news stories that drive so much traffic to the mainstream media.

Over the past few years Reddit has also come to be associated with a particular type of internet user: the kind of people who believe that unless they are given unfettered space to be as offensive and disruptive as they want, we might as well declare free speech dead and all move to North Korea. In the past the site has hosted forums with names such as Creepshots, dedicated to photographs of women taken without their knowledge; Jailbait, where users shared pornographic images of women who looked underage; and a whole slew of racist microsites known collectively as the Chimpire. The rationale for all these was the usual one given for bad behaviour online: don’t get mad – it’s just the internet, not real life.


Serena Is a Champion, Stop Talking About Her Body

Great article

(WOMENSENEWS)-- The body shaming tennis champion Serena Williams constantly faces is a window to a world where other women of color live, too. Lesbian and bisexual women are also targets because they often dare to step outside of norms, eschewing traditional forms of femininity.

Recently, Williams has been accused of using steroids by David Frum, an editor at The Atlantic, and used by The New York Times to spark a conversation on body image among top female tennis players. In the past, sports writer Jason Whitlock has piled on with comments like: "I am not fundamentally opposed to junk in the trunk, although my preference is a stuffed onion over an oozing pumpkin" in referring to Williams' derriere.

While we should be celebrating Williams' sixth Wimbledon championship and her 21st grand slam title, instead we are forced to ponder what is too masculine for women, especially female athletes. In this, one of the world's greatest athletes offers insight into how women navigate beauty norms, especially when the skin they're in is not the feminine default.

The truth is many girls and women of color have been ostracized and denied opportunity and access because of a perception they are further away from the dominant beauty ideal. These themes are being tackled head on in "Advantageous," a recently released science-fiction movie streamed on Netflix. The movie focuses particularly on age, and the constant pursuit of women to look younger. Teen girls of all races are susceptible to this critique, too, as illustrated by The Body Project, where Joan Jacobs Brumberg shows how adolescent girls' bodies have become projects.


"That's what happened between me and Clark"-- Revising old Hollywood's greatest scandal

It’s unclear what news story, exactly, made Loretta Young — one of the most beautiful and celebrated actresses of Classic Hollywood — first wonder if she had been date-raped by one of the biggest stars of all time.

It was 1998 and the 85-year-old Young was living a life of comfort and splendor in Palm Springs. At 80, she’d married French fashion designer Jean Louis; until his death in 1997, they had reveled in their collective fabulousness, drawing attention wherever they went, like an irresistible vortex of glamour.

At that point, Young was best remembered for The Loretta Young Show, a pioneering and massively successful program that had put her in American living rooms for the bulk of the '50s. But that had been Young’s second act. She’d first appeared onscreen in 1917, at the age of 3; by age 40, she’d appeared in over a hundred films. Even years out of the spotlight, her distinctive doe eyes and name would have been recognizable to anyone born before 1950.

Young was also known for her part in one of the biggest Hollywood cover-ups of all time: In 1935, at the age of 23, she became pregnant with Clark Gable’s child — while Gable was married to another woman. Over the course of the next two years, Young managed to hide the pregnancy, birth, and young infant for more than a year, eventually manufacturing an adoption narrative to bring her daughter home.


"A Sea Change": With 100 Women in Congress, Lawmakers Go on Offensive

"A Sea Change": With 100 Women in Congress, Lawmakers Go on Offensive with Landmark Pro-Choice Bill

In a landmark push to turn back the record tide of anti-choice restrictions, pro-choice U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill to expand insurance coverage of abortion. The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, or EACH Woman Act, would dismantle the nearly 40-year-old Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortion, except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. The Hyde Amendment denies coverage of abortion to many of the country’s poorest women, who are disproportionately women of color. We speak with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), lead sponsor of the bill. "In the past, we’ve just been on the defense constantly, just defending a woman’s right to choose, a woman’s right to privacy, Roe v. Wade. Well, now it’s about time we take the offense," Lee says. "This is a major first step."


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: In a landmark push to turn back the record tide of anti-choice restrictions, pro-choice lawmakers have introduced a bill to expand insurance coverage of abortion. The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance, or EACH Woman, Act would dismantle the nearly 40-year-old Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion, except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. The Hyde Amendment cuts off funding for a routine medical procedure sought by one in three women, to members of the military and their families, federal employees, women in federal prisons, Peace Corps volunteers, Indian Health Service clients and Medicaid recipients. Research has shown one in four women on Medicaid who want to end their pregnancies instead give birth when the funding is unavailable. While a minority of states do provide Medicaid coverage for abortion, a number of states have gone beyond the Hyde Amendment, banning abortion coverage on any insurance plan or on plans sold through healthcare exchanges.

AMY GOODMAN: Dubbed "the third rail of abortion politics" by MSNBC’s Irin Carmon, taxpayer funding for abortion is an issue even pro-choice Democrats have hesitated to touch. In 2010, President Obama issued an executive order ensuring the ban on federal funds for abortion would stand under his signature healthcare law. But on Wednesday, Democratic Congressmember Barbara Lee of Oakland and her colleagues introduced the EACH Woman Act to repeal the ban and prevent political interference in abortion coverage by private insurers. Congressmember Lee spoke Wednesday along with other sponsors of the bill, including Congressmember Judy Chu of California and Congressmember Raúl Grijalva of Arizona. This is Congressmember Brenda Lawrence of Michigan.

REP. BRENDA LAWRENCE: Today, I stand as a member of Congress, one of the first in our history, having 100 women sitting in Congress. This is a time for leadership.

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