A quote from a piece I wrote today about the shaming of men who desire and date trans women, and how this stigma only further demeans trans women.
Yes, this is a direct response to the commentary following the foolishness surrounding hip hop DJ Mister Cee.(via janetmock)
I am a trans woman. My sisters are trans women. We are not secrets. We are not shameful. We are worthy of respect, desire, and love. As there are many kinds of women, there are many kinds of men, and many men desire many kinds of women, trans women are amongst these women. And let’s be clear: Trans women are women.
From Lorde to Macklemore, it’s a sentiment that’s galling for its popularity: white artists need to stop using the wealth signifiers of rap music to gesture at their self-important “anti-consumerism.” What Allen misses as she washes rims in a kitchen decorated only with bottles of champagne is that it’s not anti-consumerism when it only targets one type of consumer.
Rap owns a unique history soundtracking the triumph of financial success in a country that long barred black Americans from that success. It shouldn’t be an opportunity for white artists to wax superior. Beyond poor taste, it’s the myopia of latent racism that’s more anxious about gold chains on a rapper than an Armani tie on a hedge fund analyst.
Similarly, Lily Allen’s response to sexist industry demands for thinness becomes entirely ineffectual when it lashes out against women who succeed despite those demands. Allen is not savily critiquing the world of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Miley Cyrus, she’s resentfully bemoaning not getting to enjoy the same success.
“Hard Out Here” is the opposite of Mileywave. Instead of using black women as props to further her career, Allen blames them for its stagnation. In full-sleeved dresses Allen mocks her inability to twerk amidst women of color in body suits who launch into exaggerated dance moves, licking their hands and then rubbing their crotch. Her older white male manager tries to get to her to mimic them. Meanwhile she sings, “Don’t need to shake my ass for you/‘Cause I’ve got a brain.” Cut to black women shaking their ass, so much for sisterly solidarity.
Imporant! If you disagree with any of these statements I urge you to really think a little bit harder.
For the privileged girl who thinks she knows something about being revolutionary because she “knows” or dates people in the struggle.
Audre’s words are inspiring to you, colorful, political. They welcome you into a desire to fight with sisters.
To me she is asking for a call to action, and a reminder that sometimes WE walk alone.
Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.
Like many of you I watched that riveting conversation between bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry the other week and was moved. One particularly moving part that had me in tears is when Tanya Fields stood up and talked about the blaming and shaming she gets for being a…
I was actually privileged to get into the bell hooks and Melissa Harris Perry talk and I have many feelings right now regarding all of it and I am trying to gather all of my thoughts without triggering myself and write in response to it… But all I can do right now is repost and ask people to keep the discussion going because even though there are a lot of race and gender political topics that are “flaring up” it seems to me that there is both a need to maintain a status of awareness and a prominence of the concerns presented, a need for deep dialogue for people to find themselves in it, and a need for these same people to find anchors to ground themselves in order to activate but also to be able to recover.
Something I’ve learned this year is that, the way I feel being a
BLACK-WOMAN-LESBIAN/DYKE/QUEER-FAT-SURVIVOR is that although all of these parts of who I am, and how I experience the world have threaded the seams of my being and my awareness of any unjust that has to do with any …and most times all of my “parts”, can set me off … And that my response to the culture of our society, and to the people I recognize as being privileged and as part of the machine that is how I am being oppressed, is DESERVED and I am not:
An angry black woman
A man hater
I am in recovery from dealing with a constant exposure and a history if trauma associated with the industry of oppressing black women.
Beili Liu - The Mending Project (2011)
“…Hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling in a shimmery cloud. The piece involved the artist sitting at a small black table, hand-mending patches of fabric together which visitors were encouraged to cut themselves near the entrance. As the performance continued, the piece grew as one continuous cloth and lay spread on the floor.
The hovering mass of the downward-pointed scissors represent the distant fear and looming violence present in today’s cultural climate. The sharp blades above the artist are put in contrast by the silent and simple act of mending. The dichotomous result of the instant fear superimposed with the calming effect of the sewing created a surreal atmosphere in the room.”
This is how I feel
I sit under this looming cloud of danger
Made of matter that intends to pierce and cut and sever
I sit below it taking other peoples shit
And instead of worrying about my life, instead of dealing with what is looming above
I take other peoples shit and
give it purpose,
make it last,
Help it fit,
Give it relevance,
Make it special,
Give it time,
Make space for it.
And when those blades of doom move in…
I try to collect the mended, special, broken bits of other peoples shit and try to cover myself
But the looming blades penetrate me
Shearing off all of my things because what I spent my time doing was making something that was just
jane elliot, a white woman, said “if you want to see a decrease in the level of racism in your society, the first you thing you have to do is let white people find out how it feels to be on the receiving end of it”
and it just made me think of all the white people who are like “you can’t fight racism by being racist to white people”
Black women’s hair is so precious, it has to be protected by satin. If you think that ain’t on some royalty shit, you can get the fuck out.
I don’t ‘do’ magic. I am magic.