Posts tagged ‘racism’

August 30th, 2012

things i learned while driving to and from trader joe’s in forest hills + checking my ego + ice cream


1) honking at people who casually walk into the middle of the road (city life) does not have the same effect as honking at deer who casually walk into the middle of the road (country life) because they don’t run away and instead get mad and gesture at me and OK DUDE BUT YOU’RE STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GODDAMN STREET

2) pumps (strip club) is fascinatingly close to my apartment

3) television’s marquee moon is an excellent driving record

and on a related note, because i do some of my best thinking while driving aimlessly or while i’m supposed to be working, as stressful and terrifying and upsetting as these past couple of weeks have been, i’m finding grace in all of it. i’m letting go and acknowledging that no, it’s not all about me, and yes, there are some things i will never understand because i am a white woman who grew up in an upper middle-class home. the process of actually confronting and accepting my privilege has been a giant ego check. one thing about getting sober is you tend to get a little too confident in your natural tendency to be a good person because hey, you’re not doing awful shit in blackouts anymore. doesn’t mean there isn’t room for growth. and though i’m not sure everyone will understand each other in the end, goddammit, i’m going to try. my friends and my feminism and my community mean the world to me. at the same time, gotta keep my side of the street clean. i actually thought about googling “AA for activists” to see if that’s A Thing. tonight a girl shared and she was so fucking honest i started crying listening to her. that’s been happening a lot lately. you can just feel the warmth and gratitude in the room. i offered to become the new chair of this meeting because it is all female, right by my apartment, and life-changing every time i go. so now i have to go. so there, heidi. 

anyway. one day at a time. oh, and ice cream.

 Have I mentioned I love Heidi? I call her HDVDL in my head.

May 21st, 2012

"I asked a young White woman why she was studying social anthropology. She replied that she was…"

“I asked a young White woman why she was studying social anthropology. She replied that she was hoping to go to Zimbabwe, and felt that she could help women there by advising them how to organize. The Black women in the audience gasped in astonishment. Here was someone scarcely past girlhood, who had just started university and had never fought a war in her life. She was planning to go to Africa to teach female veterans of a liberation struggle how to organize! This is the kind of arrogant, if not absurd attitude we encounter repeatedly. It makes one think: Better the distant armchair anthropologists than these ‘sisters’.”


African feminist Ifi Amadiume

(via newwavefeminism)

May 3rd, 2012

I scrolled through 13 pages of “woman in pain”…

I scrolled through 13 pages of “woman in pain” images (shut up) and the only WOC was this lady, who appeared on a billboard in China as an ad for Panadol*. Lucky WOC, apparently you are never in pain! Or you are, but we never see you.

Your morning killjoy,


*Also yes WTF with this image? A lady in a bikini is giving her a headache? Is Ogilvy that deep?

April 21st, 2012

When was the last time white feminists were mad that black men in the US make 74¢ on the white man’s dollar?



I guess around the same time as white Occupiers were outraged about a white unemployment rate that is high but still less than half the black unemployment rate i.e. never.

I’m going through labor statistics and making posters. Ready to blow up some one dimensional bullshit.

can you please make them reblogable? 

April 17th, 2012

Makode Aj Linde (the artist behind "Painful Cake")



Can everyone see how this is not okay?

Look, we talk all the time about how black women’s pain is often co-opted or turned into a gimmick for white people’s goals—and we’ve even had great discussion about how people of color will do the same to black people. This is one of those times. I don’t know about Makode’s make-up, but I know they are not white. And this is bullshit.

At the end of the day, I don’t care what they were doing or what they thought they were going to accomplish—they put painful history of black women’s pain (not starting with but including the Venus Hottentot) on display for white people to “teach” them about said pain. I can’t even begin to describe how truly fucked up that is, and how it enrages me. Even within POC spaces, black women are at the bottom of the totem pole. Our pain is hung out to dry for the benefit of white people and when it backfires, it is even more worthless. If it can’t even be used for teaching fodder, what good is it?

I don’t care who Makode is; they are not for us. If they meant to shock, they could have done it with trivializing the pain of black women. If they meant to teach, they could’ve done so another way. I’m tired of our history supposedly being used for the benefit of other POC. Makode was allowed to be there, probably paid, invited to sit under a table and scream for the laughter and enjoyment of white people. That’s all it was. It didn’t do shit.

MOC sacrificing black women to appease whites?

this is the norm.

theyre just as keen on anti-black misogyny.

Here is his facebook page, if people want to comment there.

This is what he has said, according to Colorlines:

“Documentation from my female genital mutilation cake performance earlier today at stockholm moma. This is After getting my vagaga mutilated by the minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. Before cutting me up she whispered “Your life will be better after this” in my ear,” the artist wrote on Facebook. has an interview with the artist that offers more context: 

Makode: It’s sad if people feel offended, but considering the low number of artists in Sweden who identify as Afro-swedish I find it sad that the Afro-Swedish Association haven’t followed my artistry and do not understand what my work is about.

What did the minister of culture say to you when she was there? Was she hesitant about eating of the cake?

Makode: I didn’t clearly see her reaction, but judging from the pictures she was surprised when she realised that the cake was living. And before she put the knife into me, into the cake, she said “Your life will be better like this”. And when she put the knife into me I started screaming and begged her to stop. This was a part of the performance.

But what was the thought behind you being a living head?

Makode: I wanted to somehow make the cake more human, not just a silent object. More interactive, simply.

Can we make a cake of him and cut it up?

April 15th, 2012

the bad dominicana: The Untold Story of The Iroquois Influence On Early Feminists

the bad dominicana: The Untold Story of The Iroquois Influence On Early Feminists :



by Sally Roesch Wagner

I had been haunted by a question to the past, a mystery of feminist history: How did the radical suffragists come to their vision, a vision not of Band-Aid reform but of a reconstituted world completely transformed?

For 20 years I had immersed myself…

Incidentally I wrote an essay on my old blog in 2009, largely inspired by Sally Roesch Wagner’s writings on Haudenosaunee women, entitled “Ongoing Echoes from the Women of the Long House” — which I reposted on this very tumblr. For whatever it’s worth, I argued that not only were Haudenosaunee women a galvanizing original source for early US (white) feminism (e.g. Bloomers), but also for the most well-known ideals of US democracy and liberty, as well as the League of Nations and the United Nations.

April 14th, 2012

"The thing about patriarchy is that individual men, gay and straight, are often really wonderful…"

“The thing about patriarchy is that individual men, gay and straight, are often really wonderful people who you love deeply, but they have internalized some really poisonous shit. So every once in a while they say or do something that really shakes you because you’re no longer totally certain they see you as a human being, and you feel totally disempowered to explain that to them.”


(via creepinthecellar)

Forever reblog.

(via littleletters)

I will never not reblog this even if I JUST did. (via subtletysmyweakness)

this is the same way i feel about having white friends because this shit happen and it just freaks me and out I LOVE YA’LL AND I KNOW IT’S INTERNALIZED AND IT SLIPS OUT but ugh :(

(via brazenbitch)

have been on both sides of this one/am on both sides of this one

March 25th, 2012

suzy-x: rgr-pop: I just don’t know, you guys. I’m concerned. I…



I just don’t know, you guys. I’m concerned. I understand what you are trying to do! I really do! (I mean, other than MAKE THIS CAUSE MORE GLAMOROUS BY MAKING IT ABOUT WHITE LADIES’ LEGS, anyway.)

We all agree that victim blaming sucks. We also agree on the subtext of that miniskirt discourse: “whatever we wear” isn’t necessarily about our right to flaunt leg as much as it is about the way our bodies are treated regardless of how we dress them. Most of us get raped in our jeans or our pajamas or our uniforms. Just like how Trayvon’s hoodie is used as an empty excuse, that he was “asking” to be treated with suspicion. Even though really it was his body that marked him in that way. Okay, I get it.

But how are we being so willfully ignorant of the problems with that “whatever we wear” discourse? How are we ignoring the fact that “my miniskirt is not an invitation to rape” is a white discourse? That so many people rightfully take issue with that kind of rhetoric because it’s one that preserves a purity of white womanhood? That when black women are raped, there is no “victim-blaming” because there is presumed to be no victim?

I mean, you could have tried to pretend for a split second that you care in the least bit about people of color who are raped. Like, you couldn’t find a picture of a black woman in a miniskirt ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET? Really?

How many hoodies have you put on your white body? How many times have those hoodies marked you as a “suspicious” target for violence?

What is the purpose of trying to unify these oppressions into one? Why don’t you realize that by creating this false geometry you are essentially arguing that they were mutually exclusive—if parallel—phenomena to begin with? How many white women have been raped only for an innocent black man in a hoodie to be killed for it?

Do you people think before you say anything ever?

Why is the first statement embodied and the second one is bodiless? Why did you want to show white legs but no black bodies?

Can’t there be one thing that we don’t make about us? Are we not interested in discussing the way people are oppressed unless we can fit it into a conversation about how we, personally, are oppressed? Unless we can fit it under the umbrella of activist acts we already perform? Can you seriously just let this be about black boys for ONE MOTHERFUCKING SECOND?


March 4th, 2012

beatbank: Song: Viola Desmond by the Stolen Minks On 8…


Song: Viola Desmond by the Stolen Minks

Viola Desmond

On 8 November 1946, Viola Desmond, a black Nova Scotian, refused to leave her seat in the white only section of a cinema. She was forcibly removed from the theatre, held in a male cell block, charged with tax evasion in the amount of 1 cent (the cost difference between white floor seating and black balcony seating), tried without counsel and fined $26 dollars. She fought the conviction up to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia but her appeals were denied.

The authorities never acknowledged that she was black and arrested because of a racist policy. Her struggle contributed to the eventual changing of segregation laws in Nova Scotia. In April 2010, against the wishes of her family, the Nova Scotian government pardoned Viola Desmond.

Today I can’t find a single article acknowledging what should be a well known event in the history of Canadian civil rights. Without public recognition of systematic institutionalized racism in Canada (past and present) we are ill-equipped to identify interpersonal racism or our own prejudices. Those who experience racism remain oppressed yet invisible.


Viola Desmond is not Canada’s Rosa Parks by Renee Martin

Viola Desmond (and more links) from

November 7th, 2010


A Puffin with patchy fur in the foreground--glaciers in the background

Thinking a lot about equality, liberation, visions of success vs visions of freedom. From Lisa Factora-Borchers on her blog My Ecdysis:

The purpose of feminism is to end itself. Andrea Dworkin called it one day without rape. Others have other land posts measuring feminism’s victory. The purpose of feminism is to one day find ourselves where we don’t need to fight for human rights through the lens of women’s oppression. Note: I didn’t write that the purpose is to bring down the man. The purpose is not to have a female president. The purpose is to transform the infrastructure that holds kyriarchy in its place. Replacing men with women – of any race, ethnicity, creed, or ability – who refuse to acknowledge the insidious and mutating face of gender oppression is not forward stepping. It’s a perpetuation of history.

And so the question comes: how invested are you in the liberation of women?

Because if you agree that the liberation of all women carries more weight than the identification as a liberal feminist, the feuds over whether feminism is dead becomes irrelevant. The uproar should be about dying women, not a dying Feminism.

And in a later post (at the blog’s new home):

The purpose and measure of kyriarchy – and feminism in general – is not to increase our time at the microphone so we can more accurately assign BLAME.  The purpose and measure of kyriarchy is to further understand the power and crippling tendencies of the human race to push, torture, and minimize others.  It is in our nature to try and become “lord” or “master” in our communities, to exert a “power-over” someone else.  Kyriarchy does not exist to give us tools to further imprison ourselves by blaming our environment, upbringing, or social caste.  It is the opposite.  Kyriarchy exists to give us tools to liberate ourselves by understanding the shifting powers of oppression.  It is not about passing the megaphone to men so they can be included in the oppression olympics.  Simply check-marking our gender, sex, race, ablity, class, citizenship, skin color and other pieces of identity will not free us from the social ills of our stratified society.  Kyriarchy is not the newly minted alarm clock to wake us up to what’s wrong.  It exists to radically implement our finest strategies to deconstruct our personal and political powers for the liberation of self and community.  For self AND community.

Which is why I so vehemently disagree with Hodgson who believes that the most helpful piece of kyriarchy is “its emphasis on individual liberation…”

Please indulge my own theory-making right now:  There’s no such thing as liberation if the word ‘individual’ precedes it.