(via sinidentidades)Posted on August 1, 2014 at 2:01 PM
—Catherynne Valente, "The Girl Without Hands: Writing, Carpal Tunnel, and Silence" at Rules for Anchorites (via dredulah) Posted on July 30, 2014 at 6:01 PM
Autostraddle’s fantastic article on misogyny in lesbian/queer communities in their Butch, Please blog.
A must read.
(via fuckyeahhardfemme)Posted on July 30, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Posted on July 29, 2014 at 6:01 PM
note: this is kind of messy and first drafty and all over the place but that feels appropriate, for now. - angstravaganza 01/08/13
survival instincts are various and contradictory and self-destructive, especially if you were never meant to survive. i mean, pure self-destruction is a privilege only afforded to straight white able-bodied rich cis boys, they couldn’t even let us have that. we’re allowed to watch them though, admire the glory of their existential anguish, untainted by material conditions. i mean, imagine being able to destroy yourself with certainty, knowing that you’re really destroying ‘your’ ‘self’ and that you’re really the one doing the destroying (not that man that shouted at you from his car last week). i mean you can’t self-destruct in a world designed to destroy you. i mean you can’t self-destruct when you don’t own the means of destruction.
[some disclaimers: when ‘we’ ‘destroy’ ‘our’ ‘selves’ we’re not ‘doing their job for them’ // survival is not an inherently radical act // possession of the ability to self-destruct is a measuring point, not a goal // ‘self’-destruction by anyone Other than the Str8WhiteAbleBodiedRichCisBoy™ is not always a direct result of that Otherness.]
gandhi argued that the most effective action jews in nazi germany could have taken would have been to kill themselves, that it would have bought them ‘inner strength and joy’  - like that’s any victory, like they’d really have been killing themselves. we can’t destroy ourselves when our selves are not ours to destroy. interiority is a privilege that racialised/feminised/queered/disabled bodies don’t get. as if we’d be afforded the dignity of destroying ourselves. the closest to self-destruction we can get is to pretend we got there first, pretend they haven’t been there since before we knew we were here, pretend they weren’t in our mothers and fathers before we were. [all of these ‘they’s are anthropomorphised ‘it’s but its don’t exist without theys and nobody’s getting off that easily].
the concept of ‘self-destruction’ hides violence and shifts blame - who benefits from the idea that you’re destroying yourself? why is it when we take ‘it’ out on ‘our’ ‘selves’ we are no longer allowed a critique of ‘it’? it - the elephant in the room the elephant that told you you didn’t deserve a room the elephant that destroyed your room the elephant that’s threatening to crush you as you read this (or the elephant that you’re riding).
sometimes what is framed as self-destruction is survival – who benefits from this framing? ‘self-destruction’ is a spectrum and the worst thing we can do is stop in the middle – alive, but messy, uncomfortable, useless to capital. the narrative of trainwrecks, inevitability, ‘we all saw it coming’ serves to force you out of that liminal space as soon as possible – whether you make it out alive is irrelevant.
[[of course some of us have to survive, enough to maintain the Str8WhiteAbleBodiedRichCisBoy™ (his lifestyle and viability as a discursive category)] how often when we want to destroy ‘our’ ‘selves’ do we really want to destroy the Str8WhiteAbleBodiedRichCisBoy™ inside (or irreversibly assimilated into our selves) ‘our’ ‘selves’?]
the language of self-destruction is the language of victim blaming. the onus is on us to [not] hate ourselves in the right way, of course we’re supposed to hate ourselves, we got that much right, but not like that. once we’re ‘self-destructive’ it doesn’t matter why we got there, self-destruction as intrinsic death drive, tragic and unpreventable. and once we’re at that point - why invest time in preventing harm to bodies that want to be hurt? and when they are hurt, whose fault is that really? how do we begin to heal hurt bodies that want[ed] to be hurt? who benefits from the idea that we want[ed] to die? how do we mourn for people who wanted to die?
i’d like to say that there’s some kind of nihilistic liberation in the idea that you can never destroy yourself, you’re free now - pretend that that implies safety or salvation or something. but really we’ve only got as far as – they’ll tie you up and throw you overboard and if you drown it’s because you didn’t try hard enough, you obviously didn’t really want to survive. and if you haven’t drowned [yet] – could you stop struggling? – you’re ruining the view.
but there’s potential in self-destruction. self-destruction, not as outlined above, not destruction of the self by another by proxy. self-destruction as in: when ‘our’ ‘selves’ are so thoroughly not ours, destroying them starts to seem like an okay option. but not an easy one. self-destruction that requires feeling around for what is your self and what is their your self, and that might leave you with more of your self than you started with. so i mean, maybe you can destroy yourself, if you really want to, and it might be a good idea, but it’s going to take a lot of work and you might need to get sober and think about what you’ve done and what’s been done to you.
 this text unapologetically uses the language of ‘us and them’ and if you’re a straight white able-bodied cis boy you’re going to find yourself on the wrong side of it – don’t worry, it’ll do you good
Posted on July 29, 2014 at 2:01 PM
After seeing, for the billionth time, someone say that they do not accept the “New” definition of racism, I started to wonder about those that define our words. How and why a word is defined at all.
I found something pretty interesting. (Well, if you’re a nerd like me!) According to Merriam-Webster, words that show up in the dictionary are simply the most commonly used words. Things that at one time were considered slang, may eventually be included as an “Official” word. Which is why, words like “LOL” have made it into the dictionary. (Yes, it’s really there.) It isn’t just a passing fad of a word but words that have staying power. The words are mainly chosen by how many different references can be found where the word itself is used. How it works in our vernacular and how (or if) it can be defined succinctly.
This is very important when considering those who “Reject” the “New” definition of racism. I put the word “New” in quotations because the definition that I and many others consider to be the most accurate definition, is not new at all. I actually saw someone reference it, as they put it, “The term was invented by a white woman in the 1990’s.” Can you imagine? The idea of systematic racism being something only thought of in the 1990’s? Yes, I suppose a racist who has made the conscious decision to be racist in the first place, would take some comfort in such an outlandish and quite frankly, idiotic thought. It’s a shame there were so many books written on the very subject of systematic racism long before the 1990’s. Woops! Oh and as for the specific term, it was actually credited to Stokely Carmichael in the 1960’s but why would a racist credit anything to a Black man?
So what does all this have to do with racism and the dictionary? Well, I’ll give you a few selections from Merriam-Webster on the subject of words.
“Merriam-Webster editors study the language as it’s used. They carefully monitor which words people use most often and how they use them.”
- This is important because of the date it was added to the book itself. When a word is used has a great deal to do with how it is used. To deny this is to deny the very idea of change itself.
“Change and variation are as natural in language as they are in other areas of human life and Merriam-Webster reference works must reflect that fact.”
- This is important because contrary to what racists will tell you, the version they “Reject” is also in the dictionary. Yes, it took a few years but it’s there.
As you can see, the original definition wasn’t removed. It was simply expanded on. Oh hey, did you also notice that there was a span of time for it’s origin? That’s because it took a while for the entire definition to be entered. The 1990’s though, amirite?
As for time, this is where things get even more interesting. The above graphic is from Dictionary.com. It is a consensus of multiple printed dictionaries. Though the definitions are technically correct, you can find varying definitions depending on the book you use. For example, the oxford dictionary only has the first definition. It’s printed version however states that the word originated from the word “Racialism” which was said to first show up in English in 1907.
The Cambridge dictionary has a very similar definition to the Oxford definition but interestingly enough, gives examples that specifically talk about “Institutionalized racism.” As well as the definition of Institutionalized racism. Why do the differing definitions matter? Along with the differing definitions come dates. Although not all online dictionaries offer them, most printed editions do. The word has, somehow, been “Defined” anywhere from 1865 to 1938.
No matter the date you find, the timing of the definition means something. The definition is what it meant, then. The definitions are of their time. When it was updated, it grew and changed with the time. What was once considered acceptable, surprise, isn’t any more. At the very least, it has a definition that is it’s theoretical equivalent.
This is what is so telling about the “Deniers” of the definition. They prefer the original because it allows them to also “Enjoy” the victimization. For them, it is in fact, something to “Enjoy.” Which further proves the very huge difference between the two definitions. Those that stick to the original definition can (and do) equate racism to a bad day. Where as those of us who believe the updated definition is the most accurate, equate racism to a negative impact on our entire lives based solely on the color of our skin.
For the racist, demanding that people stick to the original version and the original version only means that the systematic oppression faced due to race doesn’t really exist. In addition, it allows them to view someone looking at them the wrong way as “Racism” while at the same time dismissing the idea that someone’s entire life is affected by racism.
This is why racists love the simple definition that racism is hate based on race. After all, a system can’t actively “Hate” now can it?
But y’all don’t hear racismschool though.
Did I mention I love racismschool?
Posted on July 28, 2014 at 6:01 PM
I cannot recommend this video enough. This woman breaks it down perfectly.
The Stories That Europe Tells Itself About Its Colonial History
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“She said once she was shocked that her son while being taught Belgian history, was taught nothing about Congo. She said “They teach my son in school that he must help the poor Africans, but they don’t teach him about what Belgium did in Congo.” Of course, all countries are evasive about the past for which they feel ashamed, but I was shocked by what seemed to me not evasiveness but an erasure of history.
If her son doesn’t learn that the modern Congo State began a hundred years ago as the personal property of a Belgian king, who was desperate to get wealthy from ivory and rubber, if her son doesn’t learn that the hands of Congolese people were chopped off for not producing enough resources to meet the king’s greed, if her son doesn’t learn that the Belgian government later led Congo with a deliberate emphasis on not producing an educated class, so that Congolese could become clerks and mechanics but couldn’t go to university, if her son doesn’t learn that more recently, even though it was the Americans who installed the Mobutu dictatorship, Belgium was a major force behind the scenes propping him up, if this young Belgian boy, knows nothing about these incidents, then, at some point, they would perhaps no longer have happened because the past after all is the past because we collectively acknowledged that it is so.
This young Belgian boy would grow up to see Africa only as a place that requires his aid, his help, his charity with no complications for him. A place that can help him show how compassionate he can be, and most of all, a place whose present has no connection to Europe.
It is not that Europe has denied its colonial history. Instead, Europe has developed a way of telling the story of its colonial history that ultimately seeks to erase that history”
Posted on July 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM
The History of Twerking
this gave me chills
I literally did get chills
They bombed us [on May 13, 1985] because of our unrelenting fight for our family members, known as the MOVE 9, who have been in prison unjustly going on thirty-two years now, as a result of the August 8th, 1978 police attack on MOVE. I just wanted to make that clear.
In terms of the bombing, after being attacked the way we were, first with four deluge hoses by the fire department and then tons of tear gas, and then being shot at—the police admit to shooting over 10,000 rounds of bullets at us in the first ninety minutes—there was a lull. You know, it was quiet for a little bit. And then, without any warning at all, two members of the Philadelphia Police Department’s bomb squad got in a Pennsylvania state police helicopter and flew over our home and dropped a satchel containing C4, a powerful military explosive that no municipal police department has. They had to get it from the federal government, from the FBI. And without any announcement or warning or anything, they dropped that bomb on the roof of our home.
Now, at that point, we didn’t know exactly what they had done. We heard the loud explosion. The house kind of shook. But it never entered my mind that they dropped a bomb on us. But the bomb did in fact ignite a fire. And not long after that, it got very, very hot in the house, and the smoke was getting thicker. At first we thought it was tear gas. But as it got thicker, it became clear that this wasn’t tear gas, that this was something else. And then we could hear the trees outside of our house crackling and realized that our home was on fire. And we immediately tried to get our children, our animals, our dogs and cats, and ourselves out of that blazing inferno.
The adults were hollering out that we’re coming out, we’re bringing the children out. The children were hollering that they were coming out, that we were bringing them out. And we know that the police heard us. But the instant, the very instant, that we were visible to them, you know, trying to come out, they immediately opened fire. We were met with a barrage of police gunfire. And you could see it hitting all around us, all around the house. And it forced us back in to that blazing inferno, several times. And finally, you know, you’re in a position where either you choke to death and burn alive or you possibly are shot to death.
So we continued to try to get out of that house. And I got out. I got Birdie out. You could hear the shots hitting all around us. A cop grabbed Birdie, took him into custody, grabbed me, they threw me down on the ground and handcuffed, you know, me behind me, in the back of me. And I just knew that everybody else had gotten out. They were right behind me. And I didn’t find out until police took me to the homicide unit of the police administration building that there were no other survivors.
Every time I come across this it makes me emotional. More people should know about this and be outraged. I don’t care how long ago it was. They dropped a bomb on these people! Fuck anybody who doesn’t feel enraged about that.
I want everyone to remember that: they opened fire on people trying to flee a burning building
they threw people back into the fire to cover up their crimes
no one ever faced justice for this
It’s actually a LOT worse than what this short passage describes. I HIGHLY recommend that people watch the documentary “Let the Fire Burn”.
It is unbelievable. In the aftermath of watching the world premiere, it took me hours to finally believe what I had just seen, and even longer to process it.
The doc has no narrator - it’s just archival footage perfectly edited so that you get the whole story from all the parties involved.
(via violentqueers)Posted on July 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM