I am literally SO TIRED of the argument that dress codes for girl are about “professionalism” and not sexuality, these are fucking CHILDREN let them be KIDS stop forcing “professionalism” on them. Stop saying “what happens when they grow up and think it is okay to wear shorts and a tank tops to an office job” when that is completely irrelevant because they are CHILDREN NOT ADULTS SO LET THEM ACT AND DRESS LIKE IT. STOP FORCING US TO GROW UP SO FAST.
Feminism defined in political terms that stress collective as well as individual experience challenges women to enter a new domain- to leave behind the apolitical stance sexism decrees in our lot and develop political consciousness… By repudiating the popular notion that the focus of feminist movement should be social equality of the sexes and emphasizing eradicating the cultural basis of group oppression, our own analysis would require an exploration of all aspects of women’s political reality. This would mean that race and class oppression would be recognized as feminist issues with as much relevance as sexism.
bell hooks, “Feminism: A Movement to End Sexist Oppression”
Colonize This! Young Women Of Color On Today’s Feminism — Daisy Hernandez
“As young women of color, we have both a different and similar relationship to feminism as the women in our mothers’ generation…The difference is that now we talk about these issues in women’s studies classes, in classrooms that are multicultural but xenophobic and in a society that pretends to be racially integrated but remains racially profiled.”
Redefining Realness — Janet Mock
“When I think of identity, I think of our bodies and souls and the influences of family, culture, and community - the ingredients that make us. James Baldwin describes identity as ‘the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self.’ The garment should be worn “loose,” he says, so we can always feel our nakedness. ‘This trust in one’s nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one’s robes.’ I’m still journeying toward that place where I’m comfortable in this nakedness, standing firmly in my interlocking identities.”
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches — Audre Lorde
“Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.”
Feminism Is For Everybody — bell hooks
“Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression…Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult.”
This Bridge Called My Back: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment — Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
“We are challenging white feminists to be accountable for their racism because at the base we still want to believe that they really want freedom for all of us.”
“Contemporary feminist and antiracist discourses have failed to consider intersectional identities such as women of color…I consider how the experiences of women of color are frequently the product of intersecting patterns of racism and sexism, and how these experiences tend not to be represented within the discourses of either feminism or antiracism.”
This question that the great Robbie Rotten asked is of absolute importance in times like ours. What are we doing? Who is it for? Before us is a dozen struggles, but who is fighting them, and how?
To answer this, we need to look at organizations in a way that is (relatively) rare in the Left. We need to treat organizations materialistically, which is the point of Organizational Materialism.
In the medium term, in the space in which you and I live our lives, the struggles of society don’t occur abstractly, but within and between organizations. This isn’t to say that people don’t rise up on their own. But each time that has happened, over a period of months, those spontaneous activists turn themselves into several dozen organizations, each trying to capture the spirit of that original uprising.
These organizations are crucial, they’re the spaces in which the abstract goals we want–the creation of socialism, the ending of racism, of sexism, or homophobia–turn into concrete things that we can attain or fight for. But it’s here where things start to get difficult.
At the center of organizational materialism is the idea that organizations structure themselves based around what they do, whether it’s work for votes, organizing actions, feeding people, or writing articles. This structure creates it’s own reality, which restructures the organization’s goals so that they are amenable to their means. “Build the party” becomes “write articles about building the party” becomes “write articles criticizing other groups of not building the party correctly”. Steadily, the organization’s activities become more about continuing its own existence than about helping people.
This tendency towards narrowing becomes self reinforcing as the practice a group does and the theory a group creates become in line. This leads to organizations turning what they do into something that is all important, to denigrate the work of other groups. “We need to organize this protest” turns into “this protest is all important, protest is all important”. “We need to get votes to win this election” becomes “me getting voted in is a political revolution”.
How do we fix this? By being conscious of the correct practices? By reading the right books? By just organizing? No. These tendencies don’t come out of people not knowing the right stuff, it’s inherent to any given organization. Be conscious of this.
Ask yourself if your goals are to uplift the organization and only the organization or are they to uplift the people in your community. Because the organization isn’t what’s important on its own, the struggle is, and the way to keep these narrowing tendencies from afflicting the whole movement is to have a diverse group of organizations that do different things. A revolution is never any one thing, it’s a ton of them, and by working on different fronts, we can create a movement that is broader and focused on what’s really important.
I know that some of you are thinking that a Trump presidency might not be that bad, and that some of us might be overreacting. I just want to share a few things from the past few days to let you know it’s already that bad, and if anything we’re not reacting hard enough.
Yesterday I talked to my students (at Missouri State University) about the election. I gave them space to tell me how they were feeling. One student told me that she’s terrified that once the Affordable Care Act has been taken away, her husband will die of the cancer he is currently battling because they will not be able to afford treatment. Multiple survivors of sexual assault told me they felt devalued, delegitimized, and dehumanized yet again (do you guys understand yet how many women have been and continue to be assaulted on a daily basis? For every woman who speaks out there are 10 who are afraid to tell their story). A graduate student told me that a graduate instructor came into her office crying because a group of four male students in Trump shirts were openly hostile and disrespectful to her and to a black female student in her class. These four men have been her students all semester; this is the first incident like this. It happened the day after Trump was elected. A Latina student cried while she described a lifetime of being called racial slurs by her classmates in a small Missouri town and how the painfulness of those attacks comes back to her every time Trump and his supporters talk about his wall. An LGBT student told me that people she has known her whole life, who she thought were her friends, have been calling her “faggot” and telling her that she should die since she expressed dismay about a Trump presidency in a public venue. Other friends have told her she should just shut up and hide her identity. Her family has asked her to stop dating for now. Another student told me that he’s terrified of being forced into conversion therapy (Pence’s pet project, for which he wants federal funding), which does not work and in fact tends to result in suicide. Another student emailed me later to say that she couldn’t speak up in class because she knew she would cry too hard, but that she “had someone say to me that they ‘wish they had a slave nigger to do their work for them’ in passing conversation.”
There is an active branch of the KKK in Springfield. If you think they’re not feeling emboldened to attack and harm people right now because Trump is president elect, you’re insane. Other branches are holding celebratory parades over the election, for Christ’s sake. We’re living in a nightmare. If you can’t see that, I don’t know what to say to you other than wake the fuck up. If you’re not speaking out against what’s happening in our country right now, you’re part of the problem.
Trump has already unleashed human misery on a massive scale and he’s not even in office yet. If you have any modicum of human decency, it’s up you to lessen that misery as much as possible for all the people who are bearing the burden. Wake up. Speak up. Protect the people who are under assault from their neighbors and their politicians however you can.
Also, Tongue In Cheek is now on Instagram too, where updates will be posted regularly on what I’m up to with my creations and any news. Just search TongueInCheekBoutique
Don’t forget that we have Facebook too, which I will keep updated as I will the Etsy store. This will also offer yet another media outlet for me to communicate with potential buyers and fans of my work :)
Please check it out, I’d really appreciate the support 😁