I’m really excited about women employing DIY and feminist ethics in hip hop right now. Like punk is def still a thing in my heart but it does not hold a monopoly on DIY culture. I gotta give it up for the young women making beats at home, talking about feminism on their online radio shows and taking over stages in cat ears with their friends. Cheers to barftroop and princessnokia and trillwavefeminism for inspiring me this week.
“And how hard is it to land even a minimum-wage job? This year, the Ivy League college admissions acceptance rate was 8.9%. Last year, when Walmart opened its first store in Washington, D.C., there were more than 23,000 applications for 600 jobs, which resulted in an acceptance rate of 2.6%, making the big box store about twice as selective as Harvard and five times as choosy as Cornell. Telling unemployed people to get off their couches (or out of the cars they live in or the shelters where they sleep) and get a job makes as much sense as telling them to go study at Harvard.”—"Why Don’t the Unemployed Get Off Their Couches?" and Eight Other Critical Questions for Americans (via timberlatkes)
I watch a lot of sitcoms. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve run out of good shows to watch. I’ve exhausted the options on Canadian Netflix.
Sitcoms are part of my wind-down bedtime routine, and I’m a little lost without them. So I’m hunting for anything that’s even tolerable to watch. But as a trans person with radical politics, tolerable is hard to find.
There’s this moment that I’m always bracing myself for when I watch sitcoms. The moment when the writers first punch me in the stomach with a transphobic joke. It’s usually a trans-misogynistic joke about sex workers.
I recently went back to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and started watching from the beginning. The show makes it to episode 19 before putting a man in a dress as an object of ridicule. Feeling gross, I stop watching the show. I return to The Mindy Project, which I’d stopped watching at S2E2 because of some horrible jokes about consent. I decide to give it one more chance. I get two episodes farther before a joke centres around de-gendering a sex worker and laughing at her because she’s trans. I quit another show, feeling gross. I’ve quit at least a dozen sitcoms because of their dehumanizing transphobia.
(Pictured: The Fresh Prince, dabbling in trans-misogynist jokes.)
It’s not just transphobia, though - sitcoms are full of regressive writing. They kick down more often than they punch up. Sitcoms are too often a landscape full of misogyny, racism, ableism, classism, and other garbage.
So why keep watching? Why not abandon the genre altogether? Well, for starters, because The Wire doesn’t help me fall asleep.
But beyond that, I think there is something important about sitcoms and other television comedies. They are amazingly well-positioned to both normalize things and make other things absurd. Brooklyn Nine Nine is an excellent example of this - Raymond Holt is a strong, gay, Black commanding officer. He’s competent and no-nonsense. The fact that he’s a gay captain is normalized. What the show points its absurdity spotlight on, however, is how Jake Peralta’s stereotypes about LGBT identities are so narrow and reductive. Similarly, the show normalizes having a racially diverse working environment. What it often shines its absurdity spotlight on, however, is the white privilege carried by some of its characters.
(Pictured: the cast of Brooklyn Nine Nine.)
Comedy brings levity to difficult issues, and in doing so can make them more accessible to explore and deconstruct. But it’s a tool to be used thoughtfully. It can punch up at oppressive structures or kick down at the people who are already hurting the most.
The world needs more progressive sitcoms. The world needs shows willing to normalize human diversity and call out the absurdity of oppressive ideas. The world needs more laughter that is life-affirming rather than life-demeaning.
That’s why I’m excited about working on The Switch. It’s a show written by trans people about the diversity of transgender experiences. It touches upon sex work, employment discrimination, housing crises, dating fears, race, and more. It normalizes transgender protagonists while shining a spotlight on the absurdity that trans people have to navigate in their daily lives.
I think the show is really important. I hope you’ll check it out and support it. It’s on Kickstarter until August 8.
one of the movers saw the palestine poster i have in my bedroom and started telling me how pissed off he was about it
as i was listening i thought “see this is what i mean when i say non-black folks aren’t around when black folk talk amongst ourselves. cause he broke down Israel’s contradictions as he was lifting my boxes. all i did was nod like ‘you aint neva lied’!”
people can say black folks are not talking about Palestine enough
but i’ll keep stipulating yr not just around for the times that we do
fundamentally, non-black folks don’t understand how we disseminate knowledge among the average everyday folk who are not academics or activists
we don’t hold intellectual forums, expensive conferences, ect. we shoot the shit in barber shops, hair salons, corner stores, stoops
i’ve had convos with black folks about politics & the state of things while ordering food, buying soap bars & shea butter, waiting on the train
I have some bad news to report: due to unforeseen circumstances, Chris Lopez has canceled his August tour. He’s still part of the Happy Nomad Booking roster, though, and I look forward to booking another tour for him at a more opportune time.
Fortunately, I also have better news to report: HNB has two new additions to its roster! They are as follows:
1) Lake Charles, LA duo When the Word Was Sound, whose lengthy instrumentals pair lush layers of synthesizer with loose yet forceful drumming. If you like early Seefeel, you’ll dig this band. I’ll be booking regional “long weekends” for them over the new few months.
2) New Orleans, LA producer AF THE NAYSAYER, whose beats sit comfortably within the continuum that connects A Tribe Called Quest’s “Low End Theory” album with the Los Angeles weekly hip-hop/electronic showcase of the same name. I’ll be helping him book a U.S. tour with equally worthy producers Prism House and Slomile Swift through the eastern seaboard in September.
As always, I’ll keep you updated as these itineraries are confirmed. In the meantime, please spread the word about HNB and its artists, and don’t hesitate to contact me about anything involved HNB and its mission.
Most adult children of toxic parents grow up feeling tremendous confusion about what love means and how it’s supposed to feel. Their parents did extremely unloving things to them in the name of love. They came to understand love as something chaotic, dramatic, confusing, and often painful—something they had to give up their own dreams and desires for. Obviously, that’s not what love is all about.
Loving behavior doesn’t grind you down, keep you off balance, or create feelings of self-hatred. Love doesn’t hurt, it feels good. Loving behavior nourishes your emotional well-being. When someone is being loving to you, you feel accepted, cared for, valued, and respected. Genuine love creates feelings of warmth, pleasure, safety, stability, and inner peace.
I’m pleased, honored, and (frankly) relieved to announce the first addition to Happy Nomad Booking’s roster outside of my own musical projects.
Austin, TX musician Chris Lopez has commissioned HNB to book a regional tour in mid-August to promote his upcoming EP “Chemistry.”
After a few years of acoustic recordings, Chris has transitioned into a more aggressive sound. Blurry walls of electric guitar and skittish drum programming have now been foregrounded over his wailing vocals and wistful lyrics. Fans of Panda Bear, Toro Y Moi, and Fluker Love will enjoy Chris’ new direction.
If you live in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi or Arkansas, be on the lookout for Chris to play somewhere near you next month. I’ll keep you updated as the itinerary is confirmed. In the meantime, check his music out, and “like” his Facebook page if you’re into it!
I’m drawing a personal boundary on certain conversations, because I have other things to consider currently.
The truth I’ve been keeping off of this particular blog has been that I have had to call the police and make reports for stalking, harassment, and threats four times in the last 6-8 weeks. People have and/or have attempted to post personally identifying information as well as slander about me, my family, other various loved ones of mine, and a subsequent rush of death threats (including ones posted to other sites), spamming of violent images, pornography, racial slurs, and threats of other kinds of violence from white supremacist groups and others have resulted. Some of them were contacting people close to me. Tumblr, predictably, has had very little interest in acknowledging any of it. It should go without saying that this has greatly affected my emotional and physical health.
This ugliness also affected my recent appearance at WisCon 38, due to people who meant me a great deal of harm encouraging people to show up at the con for some kind of confrontation. The con organizers and the safety committee received emails that greatly disturbed them, leading them to take steps to try to ensure my safety at appearances and panels, as did the security of the hotel hosting the con. For that, I’m very grateful.
I’m also grateful for the personal support I received from amazing individuals like ktempest, karnythia, blue-author, cypheroftyr and author N. K. Jemisin, who I finally got to meet and mutually fansquee with. Sadly, what I have been going through cast a pall many of my interactions at the con, whether via sympathy or because all of them have had very similar experiences, or are going through something like it right now.
Their interests have been confined within creative ghettos, allowed out only in proscribed circumstances and limited numbers. When they do appear, they are expected to show their pass and wear their badge: “Look, this is an anthology of NATIVE AMERICAN ANCIENT WISDOM from back when they existed! Put a kachina on the cover or it can’t be published. No, no, don’t put an actual Navajo on the cover, what, are you crazy? We want the book to sell. That person looks too white, anyway, are you sure they aren’t lying about being an Indian? What the hell is a Diné? What do you mean you’re Inuit?”
But the violence that has been done is more than metaphysical or thematic. Careers have been strangled at birth. Identities have been raped — and I use that word intentionally, not metaphorically. What else to call it when a fan’s real name is stripped of its pseudonym, her life probed for data and details until she gets phone calls at her home and workplace threatening her career, her body, and her family? (I don’t even need to name a specific example of this; it’s happened too often, to too many people.) Whole subgenres like magic realism and YA have been racially and sexually profiled, with discrimination based on that profiling so normalized as to be nearly invisible. How many of you have heard that epic fantasy or video games set in medieval Europe need not include people of color because there weren’t any? I love the Medieval PoC blog for introducing simple visual evidence of how people like me were systematically and literally excised from history. The result is a fantasy readership that will defend to the death the idea that dragons belong and Those People don’t.
Incidentally, the person who runs the Medieval PoC blog estimates she has received something on the order of 30 death threats in recent months.
Arm yourselves. Go to panels at Wiscon and claim the knowledge and language that will be your weapons. Go to sources of additional knowledge for fresh ammunition — histories and analyses of the genre by people who see beyond the status quo, our genre elders, new sources of knowledge like “revisionist” scholarship instead of the bullshit we all learned in school. Find support groups of like-minded souls; these are your comrades-in-arms, and you will need their strength. Don’t try to do this alone. When you’re injured, seek help; I’ve got a great list of CBT therapists, for any of you in the New York area. Exercise to stay strong, if you can; defend what health you have, if you can’t.
And from here on, wherever you see bigotry in the genre? Attack it. Don’t wait for it to come directly at you; attack it even if it’s hitting another group. If you won’t ride or die for anyone else, how can you expect them to ride or die for you? Understand that there are people in this genre who hate you, and who do not want you here, and who will hurt you if they can. Do not tolerate their intolerance. Don’t be “fair and balanced.” Tell them they’re unwelcome. Make them uncomfortable. Shout them down. Kick them out. Fucking fight.
And maybe one day, when the fighting’s done, then we can heal. On that day, all of us will dream freely, at last.
If you think this is “just the internet”, you’re fooling yourself. People have already gone to extreme lengths to try to stop these conversations in their tracks. More than attacking this blog’s existence, they’re obviously willing to attack my existence.
I’m sick and tired of suffering in silence. I’m sick of “keeping things civil”, and I’m tired of giving the benefit of the doubt to people who mean me nothing but ill. There is real violence happening to myself and other bloggers for more reasons than that people do not like what we have to say…people take exception to who we are, how we speak, what we look like, who we call friend, and who we call family. No one is obligated to justify their existence.
I plan to take N. K. Jemisin’s advice above not only to fight and keep fighting, but also to adhere to my personal boundaries, and self-care. And if you believe that this kind of violence is something people of color who blog about race and racism should just accept as a fact of life, well, that says a lot more about you than it does about me.
In the meantime, I will continue to post here, on medievalpoc.org, twitter, and facebook, to the best of my ability. I’m forever grateful to the many brilliant and talented individuals who’ve lent me their support, shoulders to cry on, advice, and indeed, mutual fansquee. And my thanks to my readers and dedicated submitters, as well as all the people who offer corrections, recommendations, and further resources.
And in case you want to know who the headers are? They’re alostbird and jadedcattyfeistysweetie, who run the blog omgstopbeingashittyperson, a blog dedicated to promoting anti-SJ rhetoric, spreading lies about, and abusing black people and their supporters.
Do not be fooled because they are black. They are well known abusers, anti-SJ supporters, and white supremacist supporters and they are the ones who introduced medievalPoC to blogs like TumblrInAction, and have been caught posting queer and trans PoC they dislike to that reddit to get them harassed.
AS WELL AS @big-gadje-world and witchy-moomin, among a few others. but this is what omgstopbeingashittyperson does, especially.
is this what “demanding accountability” is supposed to look like? death threats, forcing the need for police and personal security to get involved? because this is the result of this “call for accountability” and i don’t care how any of these stalkers and abusive people try to spin it, this is EXACTLY what they want.
they don’t want accountability. they want people, especially WOC, to be scared, threatened, harassed nonstop, and SILENCED.
this isn’t the first blogger they’ve done this to and it won’t be the last.
“Anger shot up my body like a hot thermometer. Face flushed, I walked to the Mammy sphinx. Couples posed in front of it, smiling as others took their photos. So here it was, an artwork about how Black people’s pain was transformed into money was a tourist attraction for them. A few weeks ago, I had gone to the 9/11 museum and no one, absolutely no one, posed for smiling pictures in front of the wreckage.”—From "Why I Yelled At the Kara Walker Exhibit" by Nicholas Powers. (via dynamicafrica)
Our insurance provider denied coverage for my mother’s treatments.
Made a new post, since I felt there was too much text.
Long story short, I recently found out that my mother has cancer, and my mother and I need assistance to pay for her cancer treatments. We can afford about half of what it currently costs, and we’ll need to come up with another ~$40,000 to pay for everything. We’ve raised about ~$1,200 so far. My goal is $7000, which will cover for what we can afford for the first month and give us time to search for other options. I made a GoFundMe page, and please head there for more details!
“We have all been guilty of making jokes at someone else’s expense. Most of the time, such jokes can be relatively harmless. But, as in other forms of toxic parenting, it is the frequency, the cruelty, and the source of these jokes that make them abusive. Children believe and internalize what their parents say about them. It is sadistic and destructive for a parent to make repetitive jokes at the expense of a vulnerable child.”—Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward, Ph.D. with Craig Buck (via thechocolatebrigade)
1. “I can’t commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment.” This lets the person know your plate is full at the moment. 2. “Now’s not a good time as I’m in the middle of something. How about we reconnect at X time?” This lets the person know it’s not a…
In case you haven’t heard, the U.S. Supreme court has decided that employers can now decide if they want their insurance programs to cover birth control or not. The birth control that places like Hobby Lobby are wanting to not cover are the hormonal IUD which is also the most effective form of pregnancy prevention and used to treat many reproductive issues.
Not only that but they’ve decided that there will no longer be any kind of protection from protesters for patients going to clinics that offer abortion.
“Blanket denunciations of violence by churches place the counter-violence of the oppressed on the same level as the violence of the system that has driven the oppressed to such desperation. Are stones thrown by youth really commensurate with buckshot and real bullets fired by police?”—Walter Wink, Jesus & Nonviolence: A Third Way (via mouthwingss)
If you or someone you know is a Muslim youth in need of support/counsel/a friendly and non-judgmental ear, give Naseeha a call. (And if you’re able, support Naseeha by sending a donation their way!)
Calling Hours: Monday - Friday 6-9 PM Eastern Standard Time Monday - Friday 3-6 PM Pacific Standard Time
1-866-NASEEHA (627-3342) = Youth Helpline
NEED IN THE COMMUNITY
As the Muslim community continues to grow in the United States and Canada, more and more youth are looking for an outlet to turn to for their day to day questions and concerns. Youth often need to talk through their confusions in the clash between the religious, cultural and Western environments. Naseeha aims to serve this need by helping caller navigate through their difficult circumstances and allowing them to make sense of their environment.
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1-866-NASEEHA is a toll-free number for Muslim youth across North America. The service is completely anonymous and confidential to ensure that our callers are able to discuss their matters in a private and comfortable setting.
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Our trained counsellors provide an empathetic and non-judgmental phone environment for callers to discuss their concerns, confusions and issues. Using proven counselling techniques within an Islamic framework, they help callers navigate through their difficult situations. Our counsellors do not give advice, but rather empower the caller by mutually generating and selecting alternatives through which problems could be solved.
Our counsellors are a dedicated group of young adults from various cultural and academic backgrounds who are trained in the essentials of phone counselling. They have received training from Naseeha’s internal training and development program which was designed by affiliate mainstream counselling organizations, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, social workers, doctors and various Muslim community leaders.
“So now the perception is, yes, women are here to stay. And when I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]? And I say when there are nine, people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”—Ruth Bader Ginsburg taking down the patriarchy like the fucking hero that she is. (via whoistorule)