Category Archives: Activism
When I attended the Justice For Trayvon Martin Rally (or the $1644.38 Rally) in City Park in front of the Martin Luther King monument, I came to terms with something that I hadn’t *fully* comprehended until that day: black citizens are so very far from obtaining equality and justice, it isn’t even funny. And this is because of white acceptance – and *ignorance* – OF WHITE PRIVILEGE.
At the rally, black men and women spoke about how they should remember to rely on one another in the community and NOT to involve the police because the justice system cannot be trusted. The police cannot be trusted. The courts cannot be trusted. The truth of the matter is that our system as a whole can NOT be trusted to take good care of the black community. It cannot be trusted with their CHILDREN, their FAMILIES, their WOMEN, their MEN or their BOYS.
Black speakers asked of the white persons in attendance that they might act as an intermediary between the communities and speak out against the demonization of blacks. They asked that we speak up on behalf of Trayvon Martin and others who are slandered and caught in the line of fire of white anger against the existence of black people and their constant uphill struggle.
I’m always fascinated by this white indignation which defies logic. The ironic part about this white anger is that, though it’s directed at blacks, I believe it really derives from a very deep feeling of shame over the actions of our white ancestors. This is what many racist whites and non-racist whites have in common: white guilt and white shame. The difference is how we deal with that guilt and shame. Some whites, in a desperate attempt to relieve their own personal discomfort, try to deny accountability for past transgressions by claiming that racism is not currently alive in today’s world; therefore, they can not be personally “held accountable” for sins committed by ancestors long dead and now everyone should just shut up about it because no white people are harming blacks nowadays; I mean, after all, these white people and their friends haven’t burned a cross in anyone’s yard this week or hanged anybody for no good reason in their tree out back. And besides, they have black friends, which is clearly indicative of an absence of a psychotic drive to kill or maim blacks – and, even further, proves their desire to “include” black people in their daily lives.
Some whites go so far as to try and turn the tables, proclaiming that whites are now subject to “backward racism” and therefore this is proof that whites and blacks are systemically on equal footing – or worse, they claim that blacks have the upper hand since they “have” things such as affirmative action and black scholarships. Don’t bother examining why these things had to be put into place in the first place. Don’t bother contemplating the potential fallout were these things to be removed. Don’t bother researching the severely lopsided percentages of blacks in colleges, in prisons, or unemployed altogether.
But-but-but… Surely, the fact that blacks aren’t in college reflects their lack of intellect, skill or interest and almost *certainly* not their disenfranchisement. Surely, their overwhelming presence in prison reflects the inordinate number of criminals among them and not police profiling, unnecessary searches, and bias within the court systems. Surely their numbers of unemployed citizens reflect their laziness and delinquency and not an unjust hiring and firing process or racism in the workplace. Surely. These are the kind of promises that some white people tell themselves to help ease the guilt and shame of NOT standing up against what they KNOW to be wrong.
Because, hey, it can get uncomfortable standing up for black people. They might not even WANT your help. You might inadvertently say something offensive. Or racist. And then you look like an asshole.
Yeah, I know. It’s no fun and it can get uncomfortable. It’s not easy, like “Like”ing Facebook posts about patriotism or talking about how great mothers are. It can get messy and you might even discover horrid things about your own racism and prejudice along the way. It can be shaming. It can be frightening. But it needs to be done. It’s our responsibility.
Ask yourself this question and this question alone: is it right for a grown man to confront an innocent 17-year-old kid and shoot him in the chest as a result of an altercation that he himself pursued? If the answer is NO, STAND UP FOR TRAYVON MARTIN TODAY. Tell someone you know that they are full of shit and tell them WHY. Don’t let your friends get away with distracting from the horrific wrong that has been done here. In THIS case. THIS time. Forget about the politics and the colors and the arguments. Think of that teenage boy who was not beaten, not pistol-whipped, but SHOT in the chest after being NEEDLESSLY stalked by a grown man. Take off your White People Goggles and reach out to the black community and defend the innocent when they are slandered. Because the black community is YOUR community. When it comes down to it, we ALL share the SAME ANCESTRY. We are ONE PEOPLE. Don’t let curly hair or blue eyes fool you into thinking otherwise. Trayvon Martin is OUR son and EVERYONE’S responsibility.
When Sandra Fluke testified at the Women’s Health and Contraception hearing before Nancy Pelosi and members of Congress, she began by specifically stating that her testimony was “on behalf of the women who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage regulation,” thereby making clear that she was not there to address any sort of personal grievance or request. She was not there, for instance, to ask members of Congress that she be “paid for having sex.” She was there to praise the President’s new proposal that insurance companies take care of women as well as men. To promote access to birth control. To stand up for women’s rights to full healthcare.
It’s a wonder that we are still discussing such an antiquated topic as “equal insurance coverage for women,” but, here we are, talking about the gender-dividing stuff that the “humanists-not-feminists” regard as outdated issues. And while they go on about how advanced our society is now and how many rights we should be grateful for, after-all-we-don’t-live-in-Saudi-Arabia, and how feminism is now rightly deceased since we no longer need it, the Republicans gleefully chime in with, “Why are you having sex in the first place?”
Despite the common knowledge that Republicans are no fan of science or evolution, most should at least be capable of recognizing that sexuality is quite the permanent and relentless component of our human DNA, without which our species would die off. But instead, without the guidance of evil, feminist science books, they insist that abortion is the one act likely to cause the extinction of the human race.
The follow-up question might then be, “But who needs abortion when you have full access to reliable birth control methods?”
And the unnecessary-but-informative feminist replies: Unfortunately, even 99% effective birth control pills and latex contraceptives can sometimes fail, not to mention the fact that miscarrying mothers may need abortive services along with victims of molestation, rape and incest — but the compassionate, Christian God already knows that darn well, so let’s move on.
So. There are Republicans and then there is Rush Limbaugh. Amirite? Um… unfortunately, no, not really. Rush Limbaugh represents the majority of Republicans and it’s obvious by the tepid Republican response to Limbaugh’s offense against Fluke that they agree with him in some way or another. The “well-I-wouldn’t-have-used-those-exact-words” schtick is reserved for when someone you admire and agree with is taking heat and you simply can’t politically afford to full-on agree with them right now. Amirite? Yeah, I’m right. Moving on.
So, as I was saying, there are Republicans and then there is Rush Limbaugh, their glorious, fat-headed (meaning idiotic, not in reference to his body weight) leader, who thinks it makes perfect sense to whine and cry about “Obama’s” gas prices and the hefty penalty he pays just to take his Hummer out for a spin meanwhile slandering college students for daring to request health services from their own insurance plans. Rush Limbaugh preaches that sexual abstinence is the answer to Fluke’s financial difficulties; however, the idea that he might ride a bike or take the bus to avoid higher gas prices has never occurred to him. And, without reminding our audience that Fluke specifically addressed at length several other medical conditions which require hormonal birth control pills to regulate (such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome), Rush has absolutely no idea how birth control pills work anyway.
Rush: She’s having so much sex she can’t afford her birth control anymore!
Rush: She gives the numbers – three thousand dollars worth of birth control pills worth of sex!
Rush: Not one person says, “Well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?”
Obviously, without a Feminazi© to guide him, he has no idea that women do not, in fact, take a birth control pill each time they engage in sexual intercourse. Birth control pills are actually a preventative measure that women take to regulate their periods, govern their hormones and ward off cysts. Oh yeah, and rapist’s babies. Because the reality is that you never know when you could be raped, no matter how high your morals , or your neckline, may be.
We need feminists to remind us of these kinds of things from time to time.
We need feminists to piss people off and rile them up and to speak out against injustice and to applaud measures for equal rights. Like Sandra Fluke did.
Because the only people who are being quiet now are the Republicans. And that’s how I like them.
Feel Free to Sign a Petition or Two:
And Tweet Your Thoughts on the Big Jerk: #FlushRushNow
and Thank The Sponsors Who Stood Behind Women and Flushed His Show:
@JohnDeere, @Allstate, @AOL, @Sears, @ProFlowers, @Carbonite, @LegalZoom, @QuickenLoans,@Geico, @JCPenney, @Netflix, @CapitalOne
Come one, come all, ladies, and join in this festive sharing of furry overgrowth and joy!! No Shave November (sometimes referred to as “Movember” or “Noshember”) has come once again! Take pictures and fend off the itchies as we take the plunge together in a fight against clean-shavenry. (Ok, you caught me; I’m totally making up some of these words.)
When I first heard of it, I was on Twitter. #NoShaveNovember was trending, so I got curious. I thought, “Oh, ‘No Shave November,’ huh? I might try to do that. Could be fun. Wonder what it’s about.” I then noticed a tweet in my feed from the lovely ladies of Ms. Magazine; they claimed that Twitter was going absolute batshit with misogynistic crap on the topic. I thought, ‘Nah, really? It doesn’t seem like something an entire internet community would get up in arms about. Sometimes these gals are sensitive. Maybe there were three or four things they didn’t like and now they’re pissed off. Best to check for myself.’ I clicked on the trend, and this is what I found:
Aaaand so. The message was clear. Women who do not shave their leg/armpit/pubic hair are seriously disturbing the order of the universe and should be punished thusly.
Interesting, I thought. While men can choose whether or not to sport a face-full of wool (meanwhile cultivating lengthy leg/pubic/arm hair all year round with no complaints from outsiders), women are relegated to the “undesirable” discard pile of life if they do not conform to the social demands of the mandatory depilatory duties.
Even on Noshember.com’s website, they encourage men and women alike to “unite in the height of laziness,” but still refer to body hair as something horrid that one wouldn’t want to reveal to the general public:
“Plus, it is cold enough to wear scarves or jeans (respectively) to cover that unsightly hair.”
Why is body hair so scary? We were born with it; it is a natural, normal part of our bodies, like our eyelashes or our earlobes. And yet… it horrifies so many people. I’ve never heard anyone protest that if a guy walked in the room with a beard they’d literally run the other way, but I have heard that said about female body hair. Female leg hair, facial hair, pubic hair and armpit hair is apparently inappropriate in all situations at all times.
Yeahh, ummm… I don’t think so. I say fuck em. You can’t simply decide for me whether or not I will grow hair on my body.
Yes, but no one will EVER want to have sex with you in your entire life if you never shave!
Well… #1. That’s bullshit and #2. We’ll never get anywhere with that attitude. If everyone simply complies with the status quo and shaves their body hair all the time (or becomes embarrassed when they are caught unshaven, or brands the women who don’t shave as “unkempt” or unattractive), why would anyone else bother to reconsider their narrow viewpoint of beauty? If, once in a while, people bumped into beautiful women with body hair, they might reconsider their “hairless-only” policy. So let’s fight this where it lives! No Shave November for all!! One of our biggest obstacles as a gender is that we allow ourselves to be shamed into submission. There are few who dare cross the line, since the social ramifications are swift and harsh.
In fact, I recently saw a scathing article about Mo’Nique, who was on the red carpet, showing off her unshaven stems. The article began like this:
She may have won a Golden Globe to Best Supporting Actress this week, but larger-than-life actress Mo’Nique won’t be winning any awards for her personal grooming.
Fortunately, fans flooded the comment section, rushing to her defense. If there were more celebrities like her who refused to be shamed into compliance, maybe more people would open their eyes to the ridiculous nature of these social demands.
Now, don’t misquote me or twist my words. If you don’t want to shave, don’t shave. (Don’t worry; you will still get laid!) But if you do enjoy shaving, please do. Just know that, regardless of your level of hair growth, someone will screw you and someone will love you. And you are not, in fact, disturbing the balance of the universe.
On a more personal note: I’m a pretty hot, fun, sexy chick and I guaran-fucking-tee that I’d be able to get 50 guys to fuck me despite my body hair within 20 minutes. And… Gimme a break, ladies. You’re really going the extra mile when you’re chiming in with the misogynistic bullshit these guys are piling on. Feel superior for five seconds, enslave your gender for another century. Whatever floats your boat, I guess… but I’d really appreciate it if you stopped helping. Thanks.
To those who claim that men and women are “already” equal, I pose this query: Why can’t I take my shirt off on a hot, summer day? Seems a perfectly rational question; however, some people launch themselves straight into lunatic ravings and bug-eyed convulsions when posed with this particular dilemma. Why? Well, it’s the same old reason every time: questioning gender roles is oftentimes like questioning someone’s religious beliefs. It’s just too uncomfortable for some people. Boys are blue, girls are pink. Boys are tough, girls are weak. Boys are hunters, girls are moms. That’s how it’s always been. That’s how it has to be, or we’ll all explode.
Today, we will discuss the most common arguments against female toplessness. (If you have any arguments against female toplessness to add, please feel free to put them in the comments section and I will answer to them.)
1. Female breasts are sexual; male breasts are not.
Obviously, this is a fallacious argument, as it is entirely dependent on whom you consult. As far as gay men and straight women are concerned, breasts are non-sexual (and sometimes utterly icky.) In addition to that, I’m sure most straight women and gay men would find a bare, male chest to hold similar seductive value (see picture left.) Tell me that ain’t a sexy pair of pillows.
If a man was walking around topless, he wouldn’t be blamed for a car accident had by some poor woman; she’d be faulted for not paying attention. Please place the blame where it lies.
3. It’s immoral. What about modesty?
If your religion or beliefs prevents you from walking around topless, don’t do it. Next.
4. There would be more sexual assaults if women were walking around everywhere naked.
I’m sure the puritans were spewing the same crap when bikini bathing suits first came out. Does anyone realize what bathing suits used to look like? Well… they used to be actual dresses that covered a woman’s entire body, from head to toe. (Obviously, there wasn’t much swimming happening in those things.) However, if sexual assault were A) related to sexual interest and B) the victim’s fault, I would agree – but it’s neither. Men don’t lose control and attack women because they are wearing bikini tops – it doesn’t even happen routinely in strip clubs, where women are fully nude. Men are human too and able to control their sexual urges, just as women are. If a sexual assault occurs, it is due to the defective mentality of the perpetrator – NOT EVER the fault of the victim.
5. Women’s breasts won’t be as sexually interesting or powerful anymore if they become “equal” with men’s chests.
I beg to differ. It will become more routine to see them exposed, but they certainly won’t lose any of their charm. (See LEGAL male breasts, top.)
6. What about the children?
This is pretty much the last argument people make when they run out of things to say. Well, if everyone is concerned about the children, why aren’t they forcing men to cover their nipples as well? You’d think that female breasts would be more acceptable to be seen in the open, as they are utilized for feeding… and, if men and women are equal, what’s the difference between male and female breasts?
7. Women’s breasts “stick out.”
So do fat men’s breasts. But they never get arrested.
8. It’s just not realistic. It’ll just never happen. People aren’t ready for it. Old people would have heart attacks.
This is pointless, defeatist thinking. Period.
9. You can’t have everyone walking around naked! You don’t see guys with their dicks out, do you?
Genitals are sex organs. If breasts shouldn’t be exposed, then get men to cover them up. If they’re okay, then make it equal. That is all.
Anyone else got something to say? Say it! I want to hear from you!!
(BTW, the only organization I found when I searched for Topless Rights was this one: TERA. It is, of course, a Canadian organization. If anyone knows of any other ones – that aren’t headed up by crazies or just plain nudists – that promote EQUAL rights, not NAKED rights, please comment below and direct me to them! Thanks!)
Rosario Dawson, Hollywood starlet and activist extraordinaire – a thesbian who has involved herself in a plethora of admirable causes from environmental activism to racial equality, GLBT advocacy, women’s rights, global needs and domestic violence prevention – swooped in to save the day for embarrassed, close-mouthed molestees everywhere at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards.
It all started with a joke. The setup was that Eva and Paul had a “really funny bit” planned where he was going to grab her tits, but they were running out of time… and that’s when Paul Rudd grabbed her tit, apparently going ahead with the plan – a long walk for a lame, shock-factor half-a-laugh. Then again, award shows have gone downhill in terms of entertainment value lately, and the pathetic, failed grasps at humor have come to be expected.
However, the flaccid drollery had already been shamefully executed and the lights had gone down… and still, as the clip montage was running, Eva’s breast continued to suffocate in Paul’s grasp. Dawson told CNN what she was thinking as the moments crawled by:
“He did this vice grip on her breast, and I was like, OK, it was funny for like a second. But then it kept going and going and going. And then the lights went down and the clip started rolling and he was still vice-gripping her! I was sitting there with my fork like, ‘If he doesn’t stop, I’m going to stab him with my fork.’”
Sure enough, Rudd didn’t release his grip, and – sure enough – Dawson leaped onstage and stabbed him with her fork! But Rudd wouldn’t have it; he remained fastened to Eva’s chest… so Dawson did what she had to do, in the name of equality and protest: she grabbed his package. Mendes’ laugh had a touch of hysteria as she squealed, “What’s happening?” and her hands fluttered anxiously on the envelope. She read off the winner, sounding stressed and flustered.
The boob-grab/crotch-grab incident was criticized by some as an overreaction by Dawson to the situation; by others, it was condemned as a disgraceful lowering of the discourse; and others disregarded Rudd’s offense entirely, pointing accusatory fingers only at Dawson.
Racialicious.com’s Latoya Peterson said it best: “Activism is about education – but it is also about protest.”
The problem is, we don’t know what Mendes was or wasn’t thinking or feeling. It’s our job, as activists, to err on the side of caution – whenever we see a citizen in trouble; whenever we sense danger or encounter fear; whenever we perceive a sister to be in peril – we will be there. We will not hesitate, we will not fuck around.
Superman never twiddled his thumbs and neither do we.
Go Team Dawson!!
Powerful words flew from the podium as the audience offered cheers and upraised fists at the steps of the Capitol building. Police suspiciously patrolled the area with big sunglasses and crossed arms while tea-baggers trolled the sidewalk near the streets and started a few screaming matches… Young and old, men and women, and persons of all races attended to show support for the Wisconsin teachers. Clever signs were in abundance and red clothing bled thickly across the rally. A “CO4WI” sign was passed around for signatures of support and many participants scaled the stairs to sign it at the closing of the event.
La policía te está extorsionando(dinero) pero
ellos viven de lo que tu
y si te tratan como un delincuente(ladrón),
no es tu culpa dale gracias
Hay que arrancar el problema de raíz(haja)
y cambiar el gobierno de
A la gente que está en la burocracia,
a esa gente que le gustan
Yo por eso me quejo y me quejo porque
aquí es donde vivo y yo ya
pendejo, que no watchas los puestos del
gobierno hay personas que
Gente que vive en la pobreza y nadie
hace nada porque a nadie le
La gente de arriba te detesta y hay más gente que quiere que
caigan sus cabezas.
Si le das más poder al poder, más
duro te van a venir a cojer,
porque fuimos potencia mundial y
somos pobres nos manejan mal.
Dame, dame, dame todo el power para
que te demos en la madre,
give me, give me todo el poder so I
can come around to joder.
Porque no nacimos donde no hay que comer,
no hay porque preguntarnos cómo le vamos a hacer?
Si nos pintan como unos huevones, no lo somos. Viva México
que se sienta el power mexicano que se sienta todos juntos,
como hermanos porque somos más y jalamos más parejo,
porque estar siguiendo a una bola de pendejos?
que nos llevan por donde les conviene
y es nuestro sudor lo que
los mantiene comiendo el pan caliente
y ese pan es el de nuestra
Dame, dame, dame todo el power para
que te demos en la madre,
give me, give me todo el poder so I
can come around to joder.
Lyrics: Dame el Poder, Molotov [end]