Monday, October 19, 2009

Guest Post

“I’m an artist and a community organizer, and I believe in peace and love, and I believe we need to keep putting our stuff out there; it puts out the intention for a bigger reality.”
-Shannya Sollitt

I have a post up at Small Strokes for the October Salon: What Feminism means to me. Enjoy and comment!!

*Complements of the Super Secret Feminist Blogging Alliance!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Body Image, Vanity, and Privilege



I spend a good portion of my (white, privileged) day talking to young girls and women (mostly white, privileged) about how the world is only concerned with their bodies. How their bodies look - not what they can do. How their bodies are flawed, and what products and services (surgeries) they need to correct their bodies. How their bodies must be (as Twisty calls it) beauty2k compliant, which of course means their bodies must be attractive to men.

I spend a good portion of my day talking to girls and women about how they are more than what they look like. They are more than how their bodies are judged. I spend massive air time talking about how we could appreciate our bodies for what they are capable of. We could appreciate ourselves for what we're capable of. Advertising be damned, we could be human whether or not we're beauty2k compliant.

And then I read this post from Womanist Musings this morning; an open letter of sorts to the Jolie-Pitts (actually really just to Angelina, there didn't seem to be the sense that Brad should do the hair care for the girls) telling them that Zahara's hair is a mess, and that equals bad/racist/privileged/ignorant parenting. (She's not the only one - Google Zahara Jolie Pitt Hair)

So I read this post and I kept fluctuating between "I'm white and privileged so what do I know" and "maybe Zahara's family doesn't care about her hair because they care about her person instead." We're talking about a little girl. From what I hear an active, happy, engaging little girl. Maybe she doesn't want her hair done. Maybe she'd rather run around and play then worry about how she looks.

I have read (I couldn't know) that Black hair matters. I know that we live in a racist culture that politicizes and judges Black women by their hair. But we also live in a sexist culture, one that demands women (and girls) look a certain way (read: attractive to men). I can't help but think that to break free of the racist and sexist cultures must be liberating. Black or not - FUCK what people think about your hair, or your lips, boobs, ass. What if WE as a culture cared more about what girls (of any race) can or want to DO?

While it's valid that the Jolie-Pitts may be lacking in some cultural understandings, this doesn't convince me that because something is culturally true that it's right. Musings may be right that Zahara may be faced in the future with judgment about her hair, which may be the fault of her white parents not understanding how to care for Black hair. But I would like to imagine that in those moments of Judgment Zahara would respond. FUCK what you think about my hair, I'm a whole person, and that would show me that perhaps her parents gave her more than styling cream.

*In related news, Chris Rock comes out with a documentary called Good Hair this week stemming from a conversation with his young daughter who wished she had her friends "good hair".

Update: Gender Across Borders saw Good Hair and has a review up raising some really pertinent points about authenticity (and privilege!)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dating feminist

I posted awhile back on my thoughts about dating feminist. Or more specifically, what it meant to me to be dating a feminist - or not. Ultimately, I thought while feminism's important to me, this man was too and it wasn't something he was ready for. We've talked about it more, and for me it's really been about honoring his process, whether that lead to the word Feminist or not.

SO! Imagine my excitement when I flip to the latest in The UnDomestic 10 - a fellow feminist blogger's series of 10 questions on the status of women and girls. (My answers went up yesterday) and there's my shiny, happy boyfriend (wearing my favorite shirt which he stole and now takes insolent pictures of to torture me.) He's funny and honest and endearing - and he calls himself a feminist. I'm a lucky gal!

For more JonBeard awesomeness read some of his poetry.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Well look at me!

Takin' this show on the road. Check me out at the UndomesticGoddess answering her 10 questions on feminism! Leave love!

Another delight complements of the Super Secret Feminist Blogging Alliance!