Homophobia in Africa represents a set of complex and intersecting issues – deeply routed in the continent’s colonial past. Violent inscriptions of race, sexuality, ethnicity and gender took place under colonialism and are linked to present-day norms around sexuality. These historical continuities, and how sexuality is racialised, are mostly entirely absent in discussions on homophobia.
Drawing on the ‘savages-victims-saviours’ construct of law professor Makau Mutua (pdf), the west has a keen interest in homophobia that is often framed within these sets of relations. Lurking within much of the public discourse on homophobia in Africa is the notion of the civilising mission of Eurocentric culture (and its human rights frameworks) that will save African culture, and the victims thereof, from its barbarism and its savagery.
One example of this is a recently launched online fundraising effort initiated in the US.
It is a “Rescue fund to help LGBT people escape Africa” and is aimed at “Gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people persecuted and trapped in African countries that criminalise their sexuality”. The campaign states that “by contributing to this Rescue Fund you will help me [the initiator of the fund] to save more gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people from Africa escape terrifying persecution.” An online counter shows the money is flowing in. If one donates to “save” an LGBTI person in Africa one is granted a status recognition originally titled as “ultimate saviour”. There are also prizes for donors such as “Nelson Mandela coins” for “passport providers”.
The forced flight of LGBTI from persecutory regimes will require interventions to provide places of refuge and safety. However, promoting an “escape” from Africa to “greener” US pastures, without simultaneously addressing the underlying conditions that force this migration, is dangerous and opportunistic. Dislocated from Africa-based struggles for social justice these feel-good interventions offer no long-term solution to the systemic issues that drive homophobia. At best they are palliative and patronising, at worst they reinforce the victimhood of Africans and the saviour status of westerners.
This is part of the logic that keeps the “homosexuality is un-African” discourse in play.
(via thisiswhiteprivilege)Posted on September 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM
The Last Japanese Mermaids
For nearly two thousand years, Japanese women living in coastal fishing villages made a remarkable livelihood hunting the ocean for oysters and abalone, a sea snail that produces pearls. They are known as Ama. The few women left still make their living by filling their lungs with air and diving for long periods of time deep into the Pacific ocean, with nothing more than a mask and flippers.
In the mid 20th century, Iwase Yoshiyuki returned to the fishing village where he grew up and photographed these women when the unusual profession was still very much alive. After graduating from law school, Yoshiyuki had been given an early Kodak camera and found himself drawn to the ancient tradition of the ama divers in his hometown. His photographs are thought to be the only comprehensive documentation of the near-extinct tradition in existence
(via chinatownlife)Posted on September 18, 2014 at 2:01 PM
I recently have written and produced a web series about five witches who mysteriously get powers, become witches and have to cope with each other and the forces that lie amongst them. I debuted my web series promo episode and wanted to link at least the trailer in hopes you’ll check it out!
if you like, please share with the community!
All the best!
This is gonna be great. Can’t wait honestly.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW POC WITCHES YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! :)Life is good.
Reblogging to watch later :3
OMG THIS IS FOR REAL???? OMG OMG OMG
(via amehaya)Posted on September 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM
Posted on September 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM
[a.k.a. Against Sex Positivity: The Third And Final Draft
hi internet! i saw that some people were reblogging the second draft of this piece still, which is super cool, but i figured it would help if yall had the final piece in rebloggable form. as much as i feel i’ve outgrown what i’ve written i still feel so proud of it and i hope that what reaches people is a somewhat more complete and polished presentation of my thoughts.
First published in Lies: A Journal of Materialist Feminism vol. 1 (the best journal! and free to download)
zine formatted by Negatecity
-caitlin n. party (c.e.)]
I - Starting
A story we are told:
You are on the brink of sexual freedom; it is here and at your disposal. It is asked only that you find it or make it. If before we were ugly, we may be beautiful now – still, you must make yourself natural, whole, and good. You were traumatized but you may recover, simply possess yourself. This is work to be done but it is a good work. Work on your shame, perhaps even fight those who shame you, and it follows that you will be free. At the end of it you will be whole and you will have reclaimed your natural pleasure. The right of man is to fuck and to orgasm. Feel free with your body to do these things because they are good. The feminists and the sexual liberationists knew this and this is why their movement is over. Cosmo and Oprah know this now and therefore everyone knows it. Sex is good and pleasure is powerful, and it is this proposition that will save us from our pain.
Michel Foucault repeats this tale in its barest bones: “someday, sex will be good again.” (1976) Yet for all such optimism may aspire to, it exists seamlessly with the brutal realities of gendered life. Rape goes on unabated; the lives of so many remain consumed in domestic and reproductive labor. It is not that optimism is simply ineffective, that it has been appropriated and de-fanged by a system of repression and may thus be saved, but rather that it exists alongside shame and silence, each playing their part in a broader production of sex and gender. If it was once radical and marginal to assert an essential, or simply available, goodness to sex, it is now central, institutional. Far from the domain of some radical set, it is at once an ideology of patriarchy and the majority of its opponents, a disparate, heterogeneous collection of discourses united in common aim. It is the optimism which insistently, cruelly returns us to the work of fucking.
Happy National Poetry Month from this first grader:
We did the soft wind.
We danst slowly. We swrld aroned.
We danst soft.
We lisin to the mozik.
We danst to the mozik.
We made personal space.
i want to do the soft wind
(via chanthings)Posted on September 16, 2014 at 11:58 PM
- Me: ask me anything guys, nothing is off the limits.
- Me: okay, I'll just reblog some pictures.
do you ever think about how fucked you’d be in medieval times with your weak eyesight, asthma and homosexual tendencies
(via wretchedoftheearth)Posted on September 16, 2014 at 6:01 PM
People With Down Syndrome Disrupt Screening Conference (June 6, 2003)
On May 19th, a group of people with Down’s Syndrome and their supporters disrupted the International Down Syndrome Screening Conference at Regents College in London. This is the first time people with Down’s Syndrome have made such a protest and is a major new step in the debate about genetics, eugenics and the rights of disabled people.
As a result of the protest, the conference organisers allowed Anya Souza to speak from the platform. Ms Souza, who is a trustee of the Down Syndrome Association, told the doctors that she opposes Down’s Syndrome screening and that people with Down’s Syndrome are people not medical problems. Her speech was warmly applauded by the conference delegates.
The protesters consisted of three people with Down’s Syndrome, another disabled person with learning disabilities and their families and supporters. They had written to the conference organisers in advance and asked to speak, but were refused by the main organiser, Professor Howard Cuckle. It is unacceptable that doctors discuss better ways of preventing people with Down’s Syndrome being born, whilst excluding their voices from the debate. This runs directly counter to one of the main demands of disabled people: ‘Nothing about us without us’.
The protesters expect that their action will persuade the conference organisers to ensure a full debate at next years conference with proper representation of disabled people with learning difficulties. This should be the start of a national debate on prenatal screening.
In her speech, entitled ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about Down’s Syndrome… but never bothered to ask’, Anya Souza said: I can’t get rid of my Down’s Syndrome. But you can’t get rid of my happiness. You can’t get rid of the happiness I give others either. It’s doctors like you that want to test pregnant women and stop people like me being born. You can’t abort me now can you? You can’t kill me…sorry!
Together with my family and friends I have fought to prevent my separation from normal society. I have fought for my rights. I have the right to a job, to services when necessary, to a decent standard of living, to know about my medical problems, to speak my mind, to make choices about my friends, whether to have sex, and so on. To do this you have to be independent when you grow up and not get separated from society… I may have Down’s Syndrome, but I am a person first.
Kitty Gilbert, who also has Down’s Syndrome, said: ….. I enjoyed watching the conference although I was a bit scared of what the conference people were saying. I think screening pregnant mothers with Down’s Syndrome babies is wrong. They are wanting their offspring to be able to enjoy their world around them and have endless happiness. I for one gave my mum pride and joy and I will continue to do so. I think that we should be treated fairly and equally, not being getting rid off because there is so much more in life that we can do. We are what we are and ask our opinion.
I remember when this happened. Nobody expected that people with Down syndrome could even have an opinion on genetic screening, even though they’re more affected by it than most people. When they weren’t allowed to speak the regular way, they barged in and made sure people listened.
(via punkpedagogy)Posted on September 16, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Autism isn’t something a person has, or a “shell” that a person is trapped inside. There’s no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person—and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with.
This is important, so take a moment to consider it: Autism is a way of being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism.
Therefore, when parents say,
I wish my child did not have autism,
what they’re really saying is,
I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead.
Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.
—Jim Sinclair, “Don’t Mourn For Us” x (via andrandiriel)
(via bookishboi)Posted on September 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM
Posted on September 15, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Hi! Are you a CAMAB transfeminine person who’s sick of only ever seeing resources for CAFAB trans people on your dash? Are you just coming out to yourself and struggling with Peak Dysphoria? Are you a CAFAB trans person who wants to support the people above? Then here’s a…