And it was the most radically body-positive space I’ve ever been in in my life. Yoga was, at best, body-accommodating–yogis are quick to offer modifications for poses that may be difficult for people of size to accomplish. Belly-dance, on the other hand, was in fact designed for women of size–you need a belly! Never in my life has anyone pointed at my midsection and told me that “all of that” should be jiggling. Never in my life have I gone to a specific place to work out and been mostly surrounded by other people of size, and never in my life has the movement and jiggling and sexiness of that size been so celebrated.
I felt kind of ridiculous at times, and belly-dance definitely reminds me that I am not naturally coordinated, graceful, or able to isolate various muscle regions in my chest and ass, but I think I’m going to stick with it for the environment it manifests if nothing else.
The history of white feminism and white feminists’ problems of inclusion when it comes to women of color, lesbians, trans* people, queer folk, fat people, people with disabilities, the poor and working class have been heavily documented. If privileged white feminists want those who have historically been left out of the movement to trust us ever again, we have to stop thinking that our reactions to attacks against those groups or people in those groups are obvious. That places the burden, once more, on the excluded and the oppressed to do the work. And, once more, we reinforce that this movement isn’t really about them. That is, in fact, what is obvious. If you had a completely different reaction to Quvenzhané Wallis being called a cunt than you did to Sandra Fluke being called a slut, you should probably be asking yourself why.
–Jessica Luther, On Quvenzhané Wallis
(via Sister Outsider)
The genius of racism and its succubus twin fascism—that genius is that any political structure can host that virus and virtually any country can become a suitable home. Fascism only talks ideology but it really is just marketing, marketing for power. It’s recognizable by its need to purge, the strategies it uses to purge and its terror of truly democratic goals. It changes citizens into taxpayers so individuals become rife with anger at the notion of the public good. It changes citizens into consumers so the measure of our value as humans is not our humanity, nor our compassion, nor our generosity, none of the virtues that human beings aspire to claim. None of that but what we own. And in so doing produces the perfect capitalist. The one who is willing to kill a human being for a product—a sneaker, a jacket, a car, a company. That is the ideal situation for a consumer, lay capitalist society. You don’t have to advertise any more. It changes parenting into panicking so that we vote against the education, against the healthcare, against the safety from weapons, against the interest of our own children. It may wear a new dress, it may buy a new pair of boots, but fascism is not new.
bisexual with a preference for the same sex does not mean “one foot out of the closet.”
bisexual with a preference for the opposite sex does not mean “trying to get attention.”
lesbian does not mean “masculine.”
gay does not mean “feminine.”
transgender does not mean “going through a phase.”
transsexual does not mean “a disappointment.” nor does it mean “gender identity confusion.”
asexual does not mean “prude.”
demisexual does not mean “prude.”
pansexual does not mean “easy.”
heterosexual does not mean “normal”
Your does not mean “you are”
(via The Sexual Intellectual)
Gender violence is one of the world’s most common human rights abuses. Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined.
…white society desires Third World people to mimic the colonizers. Our land, our dignity, our rights absorbed by their omnipotent power everywhere we turn. To assuage their guilt , they want to co-opt us, make us like them. Assimilation is their best fantasy
–Emma Pérez, from “Sexuality and Discourse”
“In some ways, one could say sex isn’t something you do. Sex is a place you go. It’s a space you enter inside yourself and with another or others. So, where do you go in sex? What parts of you do you connect to? What do you seek to express there? Is it a place for transcendence and spiritual union? Is it a place for naughtiness? Is it a place to be safely aggressive? Is it a place where you can finally surrender and not have to take responsibility for everything? Is it a place where you can express your infantile wishes? What comes out there? It’s a language. It isn’t just a behavior.”
I spent the wee hours of my Easter Sunday at a house party consuming copious numbers of alcoholic beverages, mingling with lots of new people, getting some numbers of new friends and new guys, and dancing scandalously with a few of these newly-met guys. The clock struck 3:30 and I found myself snuggled up with one of these guys on a couch and had to excuse myself to go get some water and then to take my drunk ass home. I got home to find that the water had been too little too late, as the room had begun spinning. I booted, did not rally, and went to sleep. I slept like I was dead to the world until about noon, and now I’m going to help my housemate make a vegetarian Easter dinner for the sole reason that I’ve been wanting to make baked macaroni and cheese for a while now and need people to help me eat it.
Structural violence is violence that is permissible, even encouraged. It refers to the invisible social machinery of inequality that reproduces social relations of exclusion and marginalization via ideologies, stigmas, and dangerous discourses (such as “youth violence” itself) attendant to race, class, sex, and other invidious distinctions. Structural violence “naturalizes” poverty, sickness, hunger, and premature death, erasing their social and political origins so that they are taken for granted and no one is held accountable except the poor themselves. Structural violence also refers to the ease with which humans are capable of reducing the socially vulnerable (even those from their own class and community) into expendable non-persons, thus allowing the license—even the duty—to kill them.
–Nancy Scheper-Hughes, “Dangerous and Endangered Youth” (2006)