It’s Wednesday – Time for a Little Body Positivity!

It’s Wednesday and time to hear from a voice that might be different from our own. Today I want to share this article from Romper with you: 9 Body Positive Terms You Need to Teach Your Daughter.

I have 2 year old daughters and they are very different in how they react to food. One daughter loves to eat, she tries new things easily, enjoys things that taste good to her, comments on liking food, and I trust her to eat when she’s hungry and stop when she’s full. (I’ve been trying to follow RIE’s lead on trust.) One daughter is a non-stop action machine, and while she has food she loves (sugar, fruit) and is a “good eater,” she typically eats just enough to not be starving and to get back to playing. It’s harder for me to trust her to listen to her own body and not project my momma concerns on if she’s eating enough, growing enough, and getting her nutrients.

But I find that my concerns for her nutrition are often framed in weight. Partly because one way young children’s health and growth is measured is in weight gain, but also because we are so socialized to monitor each other’s bodies.

I have spent decades working on my relationship with my fat body. Recognizing the truths about it (every body is a good body), visualizing it (am I the only one that avoided mirrors?), and accepting it (fat hairy legs in shorts, baby!). But I still talk about my daughter’s weight, comment on their eating habits, joke about their full bellies. I’m giving them the same issues I’ve had to work so hard to overcome.

Right now they are too young to seem to even notice their bodies, so long as it’s not hurting. They run around naked, covered in food, in totally mismatched clothing, without a trace of self-consciousness. I want them to hold on to that as long as possible.

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A close up of the author with her two daughters, one on each side of her face, all smiling at the camera.

From the article on Romper:

Daughters pick up so many social cues from their mothers. Being negative about appearance or throwing shade at someone else’s looks legitimizes the idea that judging bodies is OK. So choose your words carefully.

Click through to read it all, and let’s (moms, dads, and friends of people with kids!) change the way we talk about ourselves and about our bodies, and give our kids the confidence they deserve.

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It’s Wednesday – on being black and Muslim in the U. S.

Let’s hear from someone new today. Please click through to read the article On the Bodies of My People by Tyson Amir. This is a beautiful memoir of a man reconciling his faith, his culture, and how he is treated and should be treated.

I proudly come from that tradition of Islam being mixed with a fight for the freedom and liberation of Black people and all oppressed peoples.

This fight began once the first men and women were stolen from their homeland and placed aboard Portuguese ships to be carried across the Atlantic Ocean. The reality is their fight didn’t end with them; their fight has been passed down to every generation of their offspring.

My generation is attempting to practice Islam and fast Ramadan in the age of mass incarceration, school to prison pipeline, the war on drugs, the era of every 28 hours a Black person being killed by law enforcement or security personnel.

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.

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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune

It’s Wednesday – On not being nice

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

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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.

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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!

It’s Wednesday – Poets and Borders

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

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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

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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!

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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!”