About
writer, poet, researcher, poly kinky LGBTQ* atheist Jewish activist workin' to repair the world.

Fan of: Doctor Who, Octavia Butler, Lord of the Rings, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Captain Awkward, Tamora Pierce, and many, many more.

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datzhott:

Plus-Sized Woman Rocks Bikini on Hollywood Boulevard to Promote Body Acceptance
Los Angeles is known for many things: great weather, a laidback lifestyle, and Hollywood’s biggest stars. But for many who live in La La Land, the pressure to conform to a certain beauty standard can leave them feeling downright depressed.

Yesssss fuckin perfect.

datzhott:

Plus-Sized Woman Rocks Bikini on Hollywood Boulevard to Promote Body Acceptance

Los Angeles is known for many things: great weather, a laidback lifestyle, and Hollywood’s biggest stars. But for many who live in La La Land, the pressure to conform to a certain beauty standard can leave them feeling downright depressed.

Yesssss fuckin perfect.

Michelle Obama is capturing a particular (though arguably narrow) definition of femininity that is often denied to black women. For example, she chose President Thomas Jefferson’s portrait as the backdrop for her official White House photo. There she is, the first black, First Lady, in a sleeveless dress, and behind her is Thomas Jefferson, who raped a teenage bondswoman, Sally Hemings (the half-sister of his wife), and enslaved his own children. Michelle’s photo executes a self-conscious taunting that reaches across the span of history to repudiate the violence and brutality suffered by so many enslaved women. Michelle stands boldly in a White House where she is mistress, not slave. Her body is for her. She is not reduced to a mule or a breeder. Her children belong to her, and she is free to love and protect them. It is an act of resistance for a black woman to demand that her body belong to herself for her pleasure, her adornment, even her vanity, because in the United States, black women’s bodies have often been valued only to the extent that they produce wealth and pleasure for others. When Michelle insists on audacious, sleeveless femininity, she strikes back against the reduction of black women to hypersexual breeders or asexual laborers. Hers is an important departure from the dissemblance strategies of twentieth-century club women who sought to prove their respectability through prim sexual ethics. Michelle refuses to be ashamed of her distinctive black woman’s body and all the attributes and anxieties it evokes. Rather than shrouding herself in shame, she shows her body with surprising, self-confident ease.

Michelle Harris-Perry, Sister Citizen (via brutereason)

beholdalady:

From the moment they come into the world, little black girls works just a little bit harder than their peers to construct a healthy sense of self in a society that prizes values and attributes that don’t mirror those they possess. We as their caregivers must help them find the way by offering them as many affirming messages as possible. We can do this with our words and by our example; however, books can also prove to be important points of contact into the souls and spirits of black girls.
(via 25 Empowering Books for Little Black Girls)

beholdalady:

From the moment they come into the world, little black girls works just a little bit harder than their peers to construct a healthy sense of self in a society that prizes values and attributes that don’t mirror those they possess. We as their caregivers must help them find the way by offering them as many affirming messages as possible. We can do this with our words and by our example; however, books can also prove to be important points of contact into the souls and spirits of black girls.

(via 25 Empowering Books for Little Black Girls)

Self-Defense and the Criminalization of Survival

transfeminism:

It was just announced that CeCe McDonald, who was being charged with two counts of second-degree murder in an incident of self-defense, has just taken a plea-deal—second degree manslaughter with a recommended 41 month sentence. CeCe McDonald’s sentencing hearing will be in a month.

But Ms. McDonald isn’t the first young Black trans woman to be thrown in jail and aggressively prosecuted for surviving a violent attack on her life. Unfortunately, without real systematic change, she isn’t likely to be the last either.

It should be no secret that young trans women of color (TWOC) are being murdered at alarming rates. This is a social problem largely ignored by most people, including the media, the service/nonprofit sector and government. But this is something people in the affected communities can’t afford to ignore.

But attacks on the lives of TWOC don’t go without resistance, and when TWOC resist sometimes their attackers end up dead. This was the case with Ms. McDonald, but it was also the case last year with Akira Jackson, a Black trans woman currently serving a four-year sentence for “manslaughter” for stabbing her boyfriend in self-defense when he beat her with a baseball bat.

Jackson, a Detroit native, moved to the California Bay Area where she became an advocate for young TWOC. She was a Program Specialist from TLISH (Transgender Ladies Initiating Sisterhood), a transgender youth program where she spent her time counseling young women about housing, government assistance, and employment.

If Ms. McDonald and Ms. Jackson weren’t Black trans women it is likely that their cases might not have ended up differently. By being criminalized for their survival, these two women share something in common with many other women of color, including the New Jersey 4, a group of Black lesbian women who were attacked in the New York City’s West Village and later aggressively prosecuted for defending themselves. The attacker fully recovered, but the women were forced to serve time.

It’s a sad irony that we promote self-defense classes as a way of combating violence against women, yet many of the women of color, trans and cis alike, are currently imprisoned precisely because they fought back against violence in their homes and in the streets.

Too often trans and queer women of color survive violence in their homes and on the streets only to have the police, courts and prison-industrial complex come after them for having the audacity to survive in a world where, as Audre Lorde said in her poem “A Litany For Survival,” they “were never meant to survive.”