September 27, 2009 § 7 Comments
***ok if frank discussions about sex make you uncomfortable or overly judgemental please do not read this post…i am not tryin to educate folks in this…i am just trying to work my own ideas on my own fucking life***
ok this summer i have had multiple conversations publicly and privately about bdsm, sex work, raunch culture, media representations of black women, and patriarchial misogynistic culture…yay!
and i have really been trying to situate myself and my experiences inside these convos.
but there are a couple of positions of some radial feminists i just cant make right with me.
September 27, 2009 § 4 Comments
am i a woman of color?
on one hand that seems like an obvious answer…yes…
and for most of my life i have thought the same thing
if i was talking to a group of white feminists. working class and lower middle class white feminists. and they told me that they had so much to deal with in their own lives they did not have the time or energy to deal with the how i was dealing with life being a woman of color. that yes the personal is political. but personally they just didnt know what to do about the woc thing i go through daily and if i would just tell them what i wanted them to do then they will consider if they can afford to see my issues as vital to the community. if that is what they told me. i would probably tell them to go fuck themselves and refuse to associate myself with their movement.
because they dont consider me to be a part of their movement.
the whole- all of us are equal just some people are more equal than others.
well, actually that is what i did. i told them to go fuck themselves. and refused to be called or call myself a feminist. for a decade.
even now i squirm under the title.
now i know it isnt fair to compare women of color to clueless white feminist. except that it is fair.
i called myself a woman of color because i loved how it put me in solidarity with women of color all over the world. i loved the way that it proclaimed that we are the majority. that our differences, all of the different cultures that women create all around the world. is what keeps the world spinning and circling the sun.
but most third world women dont use the term women of color. ive more heard terms like: third world women, non-western women, women in the developing world, etc. etc. maybe ‘women of color’ is a designation for western/first world non-white women.
by that idea i am a woman of color. and being a woc does not indicate that i am in solidarity with third world women. any more than being a feminist means that you are in solidarity with women of color or third world women. it does state implicitly that i am responsible to and accountable to third world women. and the best way i have found to be in solidarity with white women as white, is to refuse to do anti racism 101. to stop feeding the beast.
these thoughts arent completed. this is not a manifesta. it is me trying to figure out where i fit into the world. and where is my community.
lately i have been experimenting being in community with the universe and arguing with the stars.
but on planet earth. i havent really been writing a lot publicly cuz anything i say can get twisted to fit into someone else’s fears and then drama occurs. and frankly i got enough drama in this life already. i got enough people who twist my words into a fantasy.
September 22, 2009 § 2 Comments
September 22, 2009 § Leave a comment
September 19, 2009 § 4 Comments
here’s the problem. in a lot of chosen families/liberatory communities. we dont have a way of dealing with conflict. we just have to assume that we all agree. and we dont. i dont. i wont. i am standing at a slightly different angle. i have a different perspective. especially when we come from different cultures and communicating styles.
but. communities go in flames often after the honey moon period. because any conflict doesn’t feel safe. we haven’t agreed on ways to disagree.
so people shut the fuck up.
i was talking to a friend and she reminded me that there are communities that have been doing what we dream of doing. supporting each other. re creating the world. loving each other. for centuries. those communities dont outlive their purpose.
maybe it is so easy for us to leave a community that there is little will to stay and struggle.
maybe the staying and struggling seem so impossible because we havent agreed upon how we will talk to each other. how we will argue. how we will make decisions.
i am thinking about bfp’s new commenting policy. what i love about it is that it exists. it tells us how we are to argue with one another. hash things out. critique another’s words. with respect and love.
i still believe in radical love. probably more now than ever. this summer i focused on loving myself, my body, my past, my future. and i realized to love myself means that i must be vulnerable to myself. that if i am to be whole. i must first gather the discarded and forgotten parts of myself. my stories. my visions. my people.
we need to assume that we are going to disagree. passionately. and we must decide what is a good way to do so. that i what i learned. that all the parts of myself dont agree with each other. i live with contradictory visions and conflicting folks.
September 14, 2009 § 4 Comments
great article on male circumcision in the new york times.
As one of the few countries where circumcision is widely practiced for non-religious reasons, the United States is an anomaly. Most European countries have largely abandoned routine neonatal circumcision; the British stopped doing it when they started the National Health Service in 1948. The service refused to cover the practice because it was deemed not medically necessary, and some Europeans will frankly say they find the idea barbaric and unnatural. Yet in the United States, circumcision is the norm, and the vast majority of men — and in all likelihood the majority of doctors — are circumcised, even though rates have dropped in recent years.
Physicians reject any comparison between male and female circumcision because, they say, male circumcision does not injure men or impair any physiological or sexual functioning.
But critics say a double standard prevails: though female genital cutting is also rooted in cultural traditions, it is prohibited by law in America and considered a human rights violation. These critics object to circumcising boys for the same reasons many find female circumcision loathsome: they believe parents have no right to permanently alter the genitalia of a baby who cannot consent, boy or girl, and that far from being a useless flap of skin, the foreskin, which is densely filled with nerve endings, serves a function, protecting and lubricating the head of the penis and maintaining its sensitivity, much like an eyelid does.
i promised gloria le may a post on circumcision. since she was the catalyst that changed my mind on whether or not male circumcision is a moral question. before i had put it firmly in the realm of religious and cultural question.
here’s where i am now. if i have a penis child, i will not have them circumcised. i do not want to decrease his pleasure in sex by cutting off nerve endings on his penis. i mean i just dont buy the it doesnt have an effect on the functioning of the penis. and furthermore i dont believe in unnecessary surgery without consent. im not going to get my kid lipsuction because she would ‘fit in’ better with the other girls. or because it is ‘common knowledge’ that being thinner is healthier.
and even if there is evidence that het men who are circumcised are less likely to acquire aids. who says my son will be het? or a son? and i didnt get my daughter the hpv vaccine. or any other.
and when he gets to the age when he can decide to get a circumcision. that will be his choice. not mine.
as a midwife or birth assistant i would not refuse to support a mother’s birth because she is going to circumcise her child, daughter or son. yes. i dont think the practice is biologically necessary most of the time. but i live in a mamacentric universe. i support empowering mothers to be able to make their own choices.
September 14, 2009 § Leave a comment
this is a beautiful visual dedication to chile
damn, he’s had more jobs than i have. posible?
“Every day security guards check people entering Ben-Gurion International Airport on whether their accent sounds Arab, and no one complains. That is not racism. It’s how we have organized for ourselves an ethical code of double and triple moral standards. We fight against a few manifestations and close our eyes to other, far worse, examples.”
Public Service Announcement: To all tourists visiting Egypt, to all Egyptians traveling into or out of Egypt, do NOT carry your laptops with you in the Cairo Airport. The Egyptian police are stealing laptops and taking them as personal trophies…
September 14, 2009 § Leave a comment
A few days ago, someone from the BBC called me to ask me if I could talk about water as a source of conflict in the Middle East, especially between Israelis and Arabs. I told them that the idea is ludicrous, because:
1. There is already a war going on between Israel and the Arab people, including the Palestinians, Lebanese, and others. The cause of the war is not water, and it doesn’t look like it is ending soon.
2. There is no water issue: Israel takes what it wants and refuses to subscribe to international ruling. Arab regimes watch powerlessly and sometimes offer a helping hand. Where are the seeds of the conflict here?
3. Does anyone really believe that the current Arab regimes will go to war with Israel over water? I mean how silly can one be?
i thought this post was interesting but i disagree with his conclusion that water is not a major issue in the israeli/palestinian conflict. i mean obviously, the israeli occupation did not begin because of water issues. but i do believe that it is not a coincidence that the places in the west bank that have strong water sources are the places that also have strongly israeli-defended israeli settlements. and i talked with the palestinian government water official for the hebron district and he informed me that hebron buys its water from israeli settlements in the hebron district. stop just think about that for a second. the hebron govt has to buy water from the israeli settlements that stole the water from hebron in the first place. fuck. and when you hear of israel dismantling one or two settlements, they are never talking about a settlement that is on a major water source.
Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank’s water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory.
what i cannot speak on is other arab nations’ relationships with israel. i mean. i dont see the conflict between most arab nations with israel to actually be about palestine. i see a lot of arab leaders using the palestinian cause as a punch line in their speeches but its all or mostly rhetoric.
there is though an inherent conflict between palestinians and israelis in terms of water access. and yes i do think that it may lead to a more hot conflict. lack of water will do that to a population. you cant live without water. you just cant.