“Because we don’t speak about sex, there is no socially acceptable language surrounding it. So the language of porn has jumped in to fill that space, and that’s an issue, because in a male-dominated industry the language of porn is all too often male-generated. The person who coined the term “finger blasting” didn’t have a vagina. The person who coined the term, “getting your ass railed” never got their ass railed. Pounding, hammering, banging… And language matters, because when the only language you have available is abusive and one-directional, in terms of having things done to you, it creates a very weird view of how sex works.”—Porn Is Dead, Long Live Sex | VICE United States (via sinshine)
"We write what we know, and this is what we do know," says Ana Castillo — novelist, essayist, poet, teacher, truth-teller, and, as she has come to be known, one of the first generation of highly visible Chicana writers.
It reminds me of the “bike to work” movement. That is also portrayed as white, but in my city more than half of the people on bike are not white. I was once talking to a white activist who was photographing “bike commuters” and had only pictures of white people with the occasional “Black professional” I asked her why she didn’t photograph the delivery people, construction workers etc. … ie. the Black and [Latin@] and Asian people… and she mumbled something about trying to “improve the image of biking” then admitted that she didn’t really see them as part of the “green movement” since they “probably have no choice” –
I was so mad I wanted to quit working on the project she and I were collaborating on.
So, in the same way when people in a poor neighborhood grow food in their yards … it’s just being poor– but when white people do it they are saving the earth or something.
”—comment left on the Racialious blog post “Sustainable Food & Privilege: Why is Green always White (and Male and Upper-Class)” (via meggannn)
“The fact that colonialism is so central to science-fiction, and that science-fiction is so central to our own pop culture, suggests that the colonial experience remains more tightly bound up with our political life and public culture than we sometimes like to think. Sci-fi, then, doesn’t just demonstrate future possibilities, but future limits—the extent to which dreams of what we’ll do remain captive to the things we’ve already done.”—Noah Berlatsky’s Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People (via gaywitchesforabortions)
She remained true to her art but she also knew that the politics of struggle gave energy to her art; she was born on the other side of the colour line, but she built bridges across it. Speaking truth to power was the real power of her art.
She may have passed on, but her 90 years among us were a blessing. Her presence and energy are forever alive in my memory. She remains a kindred spirit for, beyond the writing and activism, she was an unwavering supporter of writing in African languages.
It was our first one-on-one encounter, but it was as though we had known each other all our lives.
”—From one treasured voice to another: Kenyan novelist and theorist Ngugi wa Thiong’o on how Nadine Gordimer inspired, supported, and influenced him, two distinct authors with shared histories of their books being banned in South Africa. Read his entire testimony on Gordimer’s life, and how the two met in a police car, here.
“I love America more than any other country in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one’s own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright.”—James Baldwin (via thefemcritique)
“If you’re telling a non-black person about something racist that happened to you, make sure you are not bitter. Don’t complain. Be forgiving. If possible, make it funny. Most of all, do not be angry. Black people are not supposed to be angry about racism. Otherwise you get no sympathy. This applies only for white liberals, by the way. Don’t even bother telling a white conservative about anything racist that happened to you. Because the conservative will tell you that YOU are the real racist and your mouth will hang open in confusion.”—Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (via daniellemertina)
I think that if I were a very good swimmer, I would be proud to be so, but being proud of being a reader, in my case, is like being proud you have feet. I don’t feel much pride when, on the way to somebody’s house for dinner, I stuff several books into my handbag for…well, for what? Can I really not manage a brief subway ride without textual support? Is that normal? Are there other people who, when watching a documentary set in a prison, secretly think, as I have, Wish I had all that time to read?
What I’m describing is a condition that might be termed “pathological reader syndrome.” My acquisition and digestion of books is, to be frank, absurd. Just get a Kindle, everyone advised me a few years ago. Yet here I am, packing for a short flight between London and Belfast, with my Kindle, certainly, but also with four or five hardback books jammed into my hand luggage, just in case. Just in case we happen to fly through a wrinkle in time in which an hour expands to accommodate infinity.
~Zadie Smith ponders her textual addiction at Oprah magazine
Because I think we can do a lot for ourselves if we can really begin to come together and figure out how to love ourselves and each other better and believe that we’re enough and that we’re worthy. For me, that is the work every single day, to believe that I’m enough and that I’m worthy.
Everyone is always pretty concerned that men accused of sexual misconduct will have their lives ruined, but it looks like these guys aren’t just avoiding the many consequences of those accusations – they’re actually flourishing!
Why is it – in a culture purporting to take allegations of sexual assault and harassment seriously – that victims suffer more social punishment than their accused attackers?
~ at the Guardian, the great Jessica Valenti wonders why society shames victims of sexual assault more than it shames their alleged attackers
“Women’s sexuality is something that I’m obsessed with. I think it’s weird that teenage girls know more about giving blow jobs than they do about masturbation. It makes me sick to my stomach that so many young girls think sex is just about a guy finishing.”—Elizabeth Olsen [x] (via sexual-feelings)
white girls can’t wear bindis because in sixth grade one time i was dropped off at school by my aunt who was wearing a bindi at the time and some girl’s mom whispered to her friend how she would never let her daughter play with me because my family had probably been happy about 9/11 and then four years later that daughter showed up to school wearing a bindi as part of her “”“boho”“” look
“I want [female characters] to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.”—Natalie Portman, laying down a truth bomb about female characters (via the-lyrics-speak-for-me)
“Society has put up so many boundaries, so many limitations on what’s right and wrong that it’s almost impossible to get a pure thought out. It’s like a little kid, a little boy, looking at colors, and no one told him what colors are good, before somebody tells you you shouldn’t like pink because that’s for girls, or you’d instantly become a gay two-year-old. Why would anyone pick blue over pink? Pink is obviously a better color. Everyone’s born confident, and everything’s taken away from you.”—Kanye West (via sharkeisha)
Some cisgender feminists want to practice trans-inclusive politics, they know how to repeat the mantra “trans women are women” like it’s their job, but somewhere in their heart of hearts, they still approach a transgender woman on an interpersonal level as a different kind of woman. Somewhere, it still matters to them what kind of genitals another woman has. Somewhere, they don’t feel a transgender woman as their sister, they see her as an asterisk.
If this is you, you’ve got some internal work to do that goes beyond your use of language. You have to ask yourself what womanhood means to you, you have to internalize what it means for you personally that the category of “woman” includes people without vaginas or people who did not have them since birth, you have to examine and challenge your own cisnormative feelings of entitlement to know the intimate details of other women’s bodies. You have to figure out a way not just to say that transgender women are women, but to embrace transgender women as such in a way that is not tokenistic, condescending, or hollow. If this describes your position, start with the language and let your heart follow.
Jane is transgender, and has faced constant abuse and discrimination by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). In April she was transferred into the custody of the Department of Corrections (DoC) and detained in an adult women’s prison, despite being a kid never charged with a crime. DCF justified her placement there saying she was “too violent for them to handle,” and got a judge to approve her transfer under an obscure Connecticut law, CT statute 17a-12. After she spent over 65 days in prison, Jane and her advocates successfully pushed for her to be transferred into the psychiatric center. The agency then transferred her to the boys’ facility with little explanation and no advance notice to her legal team. Instead, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz issued a news release, stating, “State police have been notified and we are confident they will take whatever action they deem is appropriate.”
A workplace like this is hostile to women. It may not be in overt ways, such as physical harassment or personal threats, but the message repeated over and over again is: Women are stupid, women are weak, women are incompetent, women are materialistic, women are sex objects, women are not complete people like men are.
I’m already selling my (intense) physical labor for a pittance, I don’t need to be reminded how much of the population looks down on me while I do so.