Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lusting

I'm Sorry But You Were Holding Me Back - limited edition print
Made my first Etsy Treasury. It's epic.
http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4d1cf4c94b6f6d91090426ec/lust?index=0

Monday, December 13, 2010

the privilege in Choice

I love this post on power and sex work. The author makes a distinction between people with privilege and power using sex work as a lark while simultaneously othering sex workers without agency. In classes often when presenting sex work as part of the frame work of oppression - predicated on the belief that some people (mostly men, mostly privileged with power) have the right to buy other people (mostly women, mostly not privileged with power) for sex. The argument of choice comes up - in terms of women who choose sex work (it almost never comes up in terms of men who choose to oppress women).

I think that choice is an incredibly middle classist (privilege, power) construction. The way that this comes out in the post from Kmareka is again in terms of the workers, not the consumers, but I think is highly illustrative of our myths about sex work. Some people do choose sex work for reasons that the middle class can understand and of their own free will, so it's difficult for people to wrap their brains around those who don't have the ability to choose sex work - those who don't have agency over their bodies - who don't have a choice because of economics or addictions or trauma or abusive boyfriend/pimps. Because they're trafficked, coerced, forced, and have no other viable options to live in the world.

And the key is that the proselytizing middle class believer in "choice" or the so called "pro-sex" camp can't tell the difference. Neither can the people buying women. That's what the privileged sex workers that Kmareka talks about are capitalizing on when they distance themselves from the "others". The problem is that there is no distance, there's only throwing others under the bus - maintaining the oppressive status quo, the objectification of women. You're not doing something different because you "chose, because you actually do have other options. You are sacrificing others who don't have that privilege. You are maintaining a fantasy that the oppressed class are so for a reason.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The duties of privilege

I appreciate when people of privilege recognize their benefit enough to even ask the question "should we feel guilt?" I appreciate even more the response that Tim Wise gives - "NO! You should feel angry." And then you should go about fixing the broken social situation you've inherited.



Update:
Womanist Musings has critiques worth reading  (and a transcript if that's helpful).

Monday, October 11, 2010

True Love

what more could he want
it was an incredibly stupid question and when he failed to answer i was reminded of just how lucky i truly am. movie characters might chase each other through the fog or race down the stairs of burning buildings but thats for beginners. real love amounts to withholding the truth even when you are offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someones feelings. i wanted to say something but my hand puppets were back home in their drawer. instead i pulled my chair a few inches closer and we sat silently at our little table on the square looking for all the world like two people in love.

the end of the affair by david sedaris

Thursday, July 22, 2010

REVOKED Rampage

There's a whole bunch of chatter in the femist-phere about how we have to be inclusive and appreciate all woman-kind. This is ABSOLUTELY true when we talk about taking away the assumed (white-cis-et al priviledge) in front of feminism. This is NOT true when it is taken to be "I'm a lady, I like xx, therefore xx is feminist and if you say different you're elitist!"

False. I WILL revoke your feminist card.

If you are anti-choice - card revoked

If you are a rape apologist - card revoked

If you are racist, fatphobic, transphobic, homophobic, other-people-phobic - card revoked

If you refuse to recognize and check your own privilege as part of your process - card revoked.

If you willfully undermine the sisterhood - card revoked.

Now let's be clear - you can think abortion is a bummer and not something you would pick for yourself, you might even work really hard to make the realities for women such that abortion is easier to avoid. If you work in any way to make abortion not an option for other women - you're out.

I also get that (self TOTALLY included) no one's got it all figured out, and for the most part we do the best we can, we fumble, we try. I'm not saying if you stumble into your unexamined privilege you get the boot, but if then you refuse to delve into that newly discovered privilege and make damn sure to be self-aware and no-harm then you're out.

Call me an idealist but if you don't actually do right by women, you're not a feminist.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beginners

by Denise Levertov

But we have only begun 
to love the earth.

We have only begun 
to imagine the fullness of life.

How can desire fail? 
We have only begun
To imagine justice and mercy,
only begun to envision
how it might be
to live as siblings with beast
And flower,
not as oppressors.

Surely our river
cannot already be hastening
into the sea of nonbeing?

Surely it cannot
Drag, in the silt,
All that is innocent?

Not yet. Not yet - 
There is too much broken
That must be mended,
too much hurt we have done to each other
that cannot yet be forgiven.

We have only begun to know
The power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must
complete its gesture,
So much is in the bud.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Waste

So my insurance has this thing where if you go to the gym 3x/wk for 11 out of 13 weeks (and get a signature each time), they'll reimburse the fee up to $200/person/year. I just realized right now how much of a scam this is for the gym industry but some of us are late comers. Anyway I took the bait because in January I was believing that to be a productive and well-rounded individual, and to stave off all the warnings of my impending doom due to enjoying food/wanting to be skinny and I bought a 6 month membership.

About 2 weeks ago I finally had all the little signatures on my insurance tracking sheet filled out and I celebrated with a half-assed jog on the elliptical, hating my life all the while because the gym crushes my soul. And I proceeded to be allergic to the gym since.

Yesterday my yankee raising kicked in and the guilt for wasting money (by having paid for a gym membership and not utilizing the gym) overran my soul-crushing aversion to the gym, and I forced myself to go. I changed my clothes, I realized my iPod was dead, I got out my productive-individual reading (none of that brain and personality melting Cosmo for me - get the irony?) I hauled my ass onto a funny elliptical and after about 10 minutes of forcing myself to pretend this is good for me, building character, opportunity to read productive thing, melting the enemy calories - it hits me. This is SO not how I want to spend my life. IN ADDITION, who says that I have to work out to balance eating? Who says I have to be skinny and well toned? I resent the beauty-2-k and the gym industrial guilt. SCREW "being in shape".

So, instead of compounding the wasted money with wasted time, I climbed down (ignoring the imagined looks I was getting from others "that girl just got on, who is she kidding?") went home and spent the rest of the evening watching Glee on stolen internet (j/k government spies reading this blog, that would be illegal) and canoodling my puppy.

Also, someone keeps stealing our recycling bins so if you live in WRJ and you're taking containers out of someone's front yard - STOP!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Remember that totally offensive Dockers ad?

The one that harkens us wistfully back to a time when women couldn't open doors or cross streets and men "took charge because that's what they did."

The lead exec on the campaign says it was actually the forefront of companies taking up their responsibility towards influencing social change:
Is it a lot to ask a company to be at the forefront of social change? Maybe. But I’d venture to say that companies have an obligation to be a part of it.
"Come again?" you may be thinking...
As we continued investigating, we were heartened by the fact that women have come so far. So why not encourage men to stand up and do the same? Women across the country told us: “I just want men to meet us where we are.”
That's right, by a call to reverse all the hard earned gender-equality and take up once again in the old-timey traditional roles of old, they're actually being revolutionary!

What? You missed that message in the totally misogynist and stupefyingly stupid ad? Well take off your skirt, put down the x-box, put on some big boy pants, and you can read the full explanation here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adventures with High School

In today's Adventures with High School: Inappropriate thank you notes.

One teacher at a school I present at has the kids write thank you notes to each guest presenter. I think this is a wonderful skill and habit for kids to develop, and it's always entertaining to read what high schoolers think about a presentation on domestic and sexual violence. Many take the straight forward approach "Thank you", more these days are really thoughtful, useful, and touching. Some are inappropriate, they are high schoolers, after all.

Gems:
"Thank you! I thought you were pretty cute."

"Thank you for presenting for my class, and I thought you were a great person on the inside and the outside!"

"Thanks! It was fun to have you in class and your (sic) nice to look at"

"Thank you for coming to our class and teaching us about sexual stuff"

"Thanks for being boring" (seriously the small print was awesome)

"Thanks for the information. I might use it, I might not. I think relationships really aren't worth the trouble."
You're welcome.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

International Online Conference on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

My fabulous jetsetting, international, mega-feminist-force and I were accepted today to present our paper "Worlds Apart: How Social Networking Technologies Blur the Boundaries Between Sexual Assault Prevention and Perpetration" It will be so interesting to present about online technologies in an online conference.Wish us luck!

Here's the summary:
This paper globally contextualizes contemporary trends in discourse, teaching, and activism by highlighting the ways in which First and Third World communities outreach programs utilize virtual social networks and by examining the benefits and challenges these organizations face. From the perspectives of two gender-based violence intervention organizations, WISE victim advocacy and support center in New Hampshire, USA and the Sezim Crisis Center in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, this paper addresses the following trends in crisis intervention, education coordination, and social networking:...
Find out more about the conference sponsored by Deakin University.