It’s Wednesday – Let’s Hear From Someone New

Today I want to share an article from Screen Crush, where trans actors talk about representation, roles, and how Hollywood can improve: What It’s Like to Be a Trans Actor in Hollywood. Here’s a quote from Ian Harvie to get you started:

If when I was younger, had I seen positive trans roles in film and TV, yeah, of course my life would be different. My life would be different because I would have felt like I had existed a lot sooner than I did. I don’t feel like I existed until I met my first trans person, and they weren’t on TV. I didn’t know they existed, and I didn’t know I existed as a result of it. Had I seen someone when I was younger I might have known who I was, and it might have saved me from a lot of struggle.

It’s Wednesday – do you know about the Philly MOVE bombing? I didn’t.

It’s Wednesday and time to hear from someone new.

NPR did a story in 2015 looking back at the 1985 bombing of the MOVE compound in Philadelphia. I had never heard of this, well, it feels like state-sponsored terrorism. A fortified house was bombed, an entire block caught fire, the mayor was saying things like, “any means possible,” and 11 people were killed. 5 of them were children.

Click through to read the whole story, which interviews residents to see what they remember about the horrific events.

Then go ahead and read about the 2016 documentary Do Not Resist. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s next on my list. Watch it and we’ll discuss it on the blog.

militarization-of-police-John-Darkow-Cagle-Aug.-18-2014
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune

It’s Wednesday – On not being nice

It’s Wednesday! Let’s hear from someone new!

no-more-mr-nice-guy_o_204116
Image description: a 3 panel comic. In the first panel, two figures stand. One in green holds a gun and says, “Alright… no more Mr. Nice Guy…” The figure in blue looks frightened. In the second panel, the figure in green turns and shoots the gun. BANG appears above the figure. In the third panel, the figure in blue runs to an older man on his knees, who has been shot and dropped a tray of cookies. The figure in blue says, “Mr. Nice Guy!!”

I want to share an excellent article on The Establishment by Alex Lu called I’m Not Going to be Nice About Ableism. Alex talks about the experience of going through college and grad school as a person who is deaf, and how the criticism that activists must be kind and patient in order to effect change is both BS and dangerous. Feel free to apply these ideas to activists of all stripes. Here’s a preview, but click through to read the entire thing:

The phrase [change hearts and minds] has become associated with a very narrow rhetorical strategy that demands that people sit down with those most hateful and violent toward them, and patiently explain their humanity, taking great pains to neuter their language surrounding any concepts that may provoke defensiveness, like “privilege” or “racism.” Moreover, it contends that making minorities look sympathetic to the majority is the only worthy goal: Outcomes like building community, showing solidarity, or disrupting harmful institutional actions are ignored.

It’s Wednesday – Disability and Sexuality

It’s Wednesday! Time to hear from some new voices.

emilyyates
Emily Yates, picture from Keighley News. Image description: a white woman with pastel hair and dark glasses sits in a wheel chair. She is outside, wearing a bright dress, and smiles at the camera.

Today, I want to share Emily Yate’s TED talk called Undressing Disability.

She shares about her work with the group Enhance the UK. They provide resources and support for disabled individuals and their loved ones as they seek out a full and sexual life. Emily co-runs a discussion/advice board for any and all questions individuals have in regards to sex and relationships.

Emily talks about asking the right questions, accessibility, and care and how those concerns intersect with sex and sexuality for the disabled.

Please click through to listen to the entire talk!

Mother’s Day – getting back to it’s roots

mothers-day-01

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States, along with many other countries in the world. A day to celebrate your mom, if you have one, to be celebrated, if you are one, to read horrible platitudes about how all women are mother’s, and to avoid your local grocery store due to last minute flower sells.

Honestly, I don’t mind Mother’s Day. I love my mom, I love my kids, and I like celebrating things because I need very little reason to eat dessert, but I also recognize that it’s a painful day for many.

So today, I want to remember the historical roots of Mother’s Day, and think about the implications of how we could be celebrating this day. Mother’s Day in the United States was born out Ann Reeves Jarvis’ efforts at activism for women in the mid 19th century, and morphed into a day to promote peace after the Civil War. What better way to honor mothers than to stop taking their sons and daughters and killing them in war?

There have been many critiques of the way that the armed forces in the US recruit our sons and daughters. The majority of recruits come from rural, depressed areas, from families that live below the poverty level. It is concerning that D.C. is still overwhelmingly white, male, and upper-class, and these men are sending our poor, vulnerable, at-risk kids to war to die for… well, that’s a topic for another day. (Spoiler alert: money.) The way these issues intersect with race is particularly troubling – the promise of money and college and future to fight “for” a country that does not treat you as equal at home.

Click through to the links to read more, and remember this Mother’s Day that less war is a gift mom’s all over the world can appreciate. (and the impeachment of the orange menace)impeachtrump

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Wednesday – Poets and Borders

It’s Wednesday! Let’s hear from some new voices today.

borderwall
Photograph from asu.edu. Image description: a wood fence wall is in the desert, a hill with a house on top is in the background and the outline of a city can barely be seen above the fence in the distance.

Poetry International has posted a lovely conversation between poets spanning the globe discussing the topic of borders. Click through to read it all, but here is a glimpse, from Alfonso Garcia Cortez:

The word “border” refers to the numerous separations or boundaries which reality presents: economic, religious, cultural, legal borders; but it’s also true that the body itself is a border. Language is a border. Reality is a border. Imagination is a border..

To live on the border is to carry all of that on one’s back, sometimes without being aware of it.

There is the constant presence of the “other” in the landscape: the “bordo,” the helicopters of the “migra,” the traffic inching up to the “línea,” the bilingual billboards and signs, as well as migrants and immigrants, the repatriated and the expats, the foreigners and tourists, and the family members who live on the other side, “al otro lado.”

I believe that we constantly cross borders.

Expressing ourselves is a form of crossing the body’s border.

Leaving one’s home is in itself a border crossing towards the uncertainty of the city.

We exit from ourselves, from what we associate as ours, towards a different place.

Thus, the border is then revealed as something that is not rigid at all, not as simple as a wall.

Rather, it’s flexible and porous, an exchange of glances, a game of mirrors.

It’s Wednesday! On model minorities and Asian poverty

modelminority
From Tropics of Meta, click through for full article

Today I want to share an article regarding the new Power Rangers movie posted on The Nerds of Color. In Power Rangers Brings Asian American Poverty Front and Center, Bao Phi discusses how Asian Americans are generally considered to be the most effluent and least discriminated against minorities, and how that stereotype erases the real experiences of Asian Americans that live at or below poverty levels and live with daily racism. The importance of representation in media is key here, as one of the main characters is a young Chinese American man who is neither rich nor powerful. Continue reading “It’s Wednesday! On model minorities and Asian poverty”

It’s Wednesday!

Let’s widen our online reading!

Keeper of the Seeds_zpsuncfj27u
Image description: 3 women looking off camera dressed in robes and jackets, the center woman is in focus and wears goggles on her forehead. All three appear weary and covered in dirt.

I love the movie Mad Max: Fury Road. From just a purely aesthetic standpoint – I love action movies, I love post-apocalyptic stories, I love the cars, I love the way it was brought together in all its excess, its costumes and music and editing and sparse dialogue.

And I also loved it for its embrace of a woman action hero, it’s feminist messages in the refrain “who killed the world?” and in the story of women rescuing women, and for its side story of Nux’s transformation from a religious fanatic to a person who discovers the true meaning of devotion.

But the movie can not be hailed as a feminist masterpiece. As movies improve and representation for women becomes more common, our intersectional feminism for POC still suffers. (See Ghostbusters, another movie I loved but failed in this regard. ) Continue reading “It’s Wednesday!”