intersectionality

Here’s how you fix Ghostbusters

“Make ‘em all dudes again!” some of you will say. You’re reading the wrong post.

“Nothing, it is perfect!” some of you will say. And indeed, it is very good. Holtzman’s slo-mo fight sequence is everything I didn’t know I was waiting for, their outfits were perfect, their banter was on point, and there were at least half a dozen honest-to-goodness feminist moments that had me rooting for them. But I’m not here for a feminism that doesn’t value black women and working class work, and Patty was hella undervalued.

Which didn’t need to be the case! Like, not at all!

The easy answer is to make Patty a scientist, but Leslie Jones has been pretty on point about why that’s not necessarily a good solution (read her argument here).  Which doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have had the one non-scientist be a white person, but okay. She’s right in saying that only women with doctorates can be superheros is pretty damn elitist and does a lot to equate privilege with power. It’s also unnecessary.

Real talk: Patty as an MTA worker has the potential to be completely brilliant and essential.

If only she’d been written that way.

Here’s how you do it.

Keep reading

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”
-Elie Wiesel

kitschmix.com
Amandla Stenberg Opens Up About Her Gender Identity
The 17-year-old, Hunger Games actor Amandla Stenberg has come out as non-binary. Stenberg - who plays Rue in the adventure film franchise – says she feels like she’s not a ‘woman’ all the time, and non-binary is a term that she feels comfortable using to describe herself. (She is using female pronouns).

“The 17-year-old, Hunger Games actor Amandla Stenberg has come out as non-binary.

Stenberg – who plays Rue in the adventure film franchise – says she feels like she’s not a ‘woman’ all the time, and non-binary is a term that she feels comfortable using to describe herself. (She is using female pronouns).

Writing on Tumblr, she said she is organizing a workshop on feminism, specifically how ‘mainstream feminist movements have continuously excluded women who are not white, thin, cisgender, able-bodied and neurotypical’.

Something we are struggling with is understanding the intersection of feminism and gender identity…

We’re both people who don’t feel like “women” all the time – but we claim feminism as our movement.

Basically, we’re trying to understand the duality of being a non-binary person and a feminist. How do you claim a movement for women when you don’t always feel like one?”

Read the full piece here

#1: THANK YOU AMANDLA FOR YOUR CONSISTENT AWESOMENESS AS AN INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST AND ROLE MODEL FOR YOUTH & EVERYONE ELSE!

#2: YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A WOMAN OR CIS TO BE FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS. Just like white people can and should advocate for racial equality, everyone can and should advocate for gender equality. 

I give Amandla a TON of credit for having to not only grow up in public, but grow up as a non-binary POC in a white / sexist / cisnormative society! She is young and figuring herself and society out. I’m Team Stenberg and am not looking to call her out, I just wanted to make this crucial clarification. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, We Should All Be Feminists

advocate.com
Queer Black Lives Matter Founders Put 'Terrorist' Trump Among 'Worst Fascists in History'
"The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump," said one of the queer women who cofounded Black Lives Matter after watching the Republican presidential nominee's acceptance speech.

After Donald Trump’s rambling, angry speech accepting the Republican Party’s presidential nomination Thursday night, the queer co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement are sounding the alarm.

“The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump,” said a statement from Patrisse Cullors, the Los Angeles-based queer woman who co-founded #BlackLivesMatter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2014. “He pledged to fight for Americans, while threatening the vast majority of this country with imprisonment, deportation and a culture of abject fear.”

Indeed, last night’s speech offered Americans a sinister preview of the “law and order” police state that a President Trump would implement — where Trump himself plays the role of judge and jury.

“His doublespeak belies his true nature: a charlatan who will embolden racists and destroy communities of color,” added Cullors. “He is a disgrace. White people of conscience must forcefully reject this hatred immediately.”

In what has been called the longest acceptance speech for a major party’s nomination since at least since at least 1972, Trump gesticulated wildly, striking an authoritarian tone that leaned heavily on the growing fear many Americans feel in the wake of continued mass shootingsterrorist attacks, and deadly police shootings. While Trump made passing references to supporting the economically impoverished, people of color, and LGBT people, much of his 75-minute address echoed the xenophobic, dog-whistle racist and nationalistic rhetoric that has been a hallmark of the billionaire businessman’s campaign.

CLICK THE HEADER LINK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

6

One of the most frustrating aspects of the mainstream conversation surrounding the tragedy at Pulse Orlando this past weekend is the erasure of Latinx/Afro-Latinx bodies from the story being painted. This is not simply an issue of terrorism or gun violence or homophobia. More than that, it’s about how folks at the intersections, at the margins of the margins, are often re-traumatized/victimized by the state and the dominant after experiencing violence or threat thereof. Nowhere is this clearer than in the the case of undocumented victims in the Pulse massacre. Take some time to read the following article in full, and if you haven’t yet, consider donating to the victims of this tragedy. (Equality Florida, the sponsor of the main GoFundMe has vowed assistance, regardless of status. However, in the coming days, I am going to try and find some more direct pathways with some local comrades. Stay posted.)

(Full Article)

5

#DisabilityTooWhite calls out media for not depicting disabled POC

Visibility for disabled people is something many activists have been fighting for, and slowly things appear to be getting better. However, the hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite shows that often society’s views of disability are whitewashed.

The hashtag was started by Vilissa Thompson, the founder of Ramp Your Voice, who tweeted it in response to an XoJane article about beauty and disability that only featured white women. Now many are chiming in on Twitter to shed light on how racism still infiltrates ideas about disability and medical care.

forbes.com
Black Woman Engineer Launches 'Blind' Job Match App To Take Bias Out Of Tech Hiring
Lampkin hopes women, people of color, members of the LGBT community and other minorities in Silicon Valley who may feel alienated by job search tools that prominently display one's name and headshot will feel comfortable using Blendoor.

“Stephanie Lampkin learned to code at age 13. By 15, she was a full-stack web developer, fluent in the languages of computer programming. She has a Stanford engineering degree and an MBA from MIT.

Still, she recalls making it to the eighth round of interviews in pursuit of a gig at a well-known tech firm in Silicon Valley, only to be told her background wasn’t “technical enough” for a role in software engineering.

Her app Blendoor lets job seekers upload resumes, then hides their name and photo from employers. The idea, says Lampkin, is to circumvent unconscious bias by removing gender and ethnicity from the equation.

In the course of her research, Lampkin found a National Bureau of Economic Research study showing that a “white-sounding” name (Emily or Greg, for example) can yield as many job callbacks as an additional eight years of experience for someone with an “African-American sounding” name (Lakisha or Jamal, in the experiment).

“It’s quantifiable,” Lampkin said. “We realized that hiding names and photos created a safer space. Women and people of color felt better sharing their information.”

Read the full story here

THIS IS TOO COOL!!! CURRENT MOOD:

THANK YOU STEPHANIE LAMPKIN, YOU ROCK! Here’s hoping Blendoor is a huge success.

lgbtqnation.com
Black Lives Matter labels Donald Trump a ‘terrorist’ and a ‘fascist’
The queer founders of the activist group issued a statement declaring the GOP nominee is among “some of the worst fascists in history.”

The two out leaders of the civil rights organization Black Lives Matter responded to a week’s worth of criticism coming from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with a condemnation of GOP nominee Donald Trump Thursday night, accusing him of wanting to empower police to “terrorize our communities.”

“The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump,” said queer cofounder Patrisse Cullors in a statement reported by the Washington Times. “He pledged to fight for Americans, while threatening the vast majority of this country with imprisonment, deportation and a culture of abject fear.”

She was joined in her statement by the other queer co-founder of BLM, Alicia Garza,who said Trump “proposed a “new, dark age where police have carte blanche authority to terrorize our communities.”

“The terrifying vision that Donald J. Trump is putting forward casts him alongside some of the worst fascists in history.”

Below is the statement in full from Black Lives Matter:

“Tonight’s acceptance speech from Republican Presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump was possibly the most negative acceptance speech in recorded history. In his 75 minutes on stage, the nominee —whether couched in dog-whistling or outright yelling— managed to vilify and criminalize good people of all walks ranging from Latino immigrants, to Muslims, to Black people to which the co-founders of Black Lives Matter have issued the following response:

“‘The terrifying vision that Donald J. Trump is putting forward casts him alongside some of the worst fascists in history. ’Black people and our allies have unequivocally demanded a new path forward for safety in our communities, one that involves real accountability for police.

“’While our movement envisions a bright future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, Trump is proposing a new, dark age where police have carte blanche authority to terrorize our communities. ’Whether it was Richard Nixon unleashing a war on drugs or George Wallace’s more overt war on Black people, we’ve heard it all before and won’t be fooled again,’” said Alicia Garza, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter.

“’The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump. He pledged to fight for Americans, while threatening the vast majority of this country with imprisonment, deportation and a culture of abject fear. ’His doublespeak belies his true nature: a charlatan who will embolden racists and destroy communities of color. He is a disgrace. White people of conscience must forcefully reject this hatred immediately,’ said Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter.”

Things that need to stop in the vegan movement:
  • Classism (i.e. “everyone can/there’s no excuse not to be vegan!”/”beans and rice tho!”/not acknowledging food deserts or pretending they don’t exist, etc.)
  • Fat-phobia/body shaming 
  • Misogyny (again, PETA, but they’re not the only culprits)
  • Comparing slavery/the Holocaust to treatment of animals (there’s really no need for it, and it’s more liable to turn people off from the message than onto it)
  • For that matter, talking about racism, sexism, etc. like they’re somehow in the past and we don’t need to fight them anymore, when this is not the case.
  • Ageism (i.e erasure of vegans over 50 years old, glorification of plant-based diets as “anti-aging, etc.)
  • Ableism (“harden the fuck up” mentality when it comes to mental illness/”happiness is a choice in the moment!”/using ableist terms like “psychotic,” “crazy,” “stupid,” “retard/fucktard,” etc. to describe nonvegans, the notion that a plant-based diet cures all ills or makes one immune to them, etc.)
  • Pretending that human issues don’t exist, are not important, and/or are not impacted by the same system that profits off the exploitation of animals (i.e. the same system that profits off slaughterhouses, SeaWorld, the fur industry, the leather industry, etc. can’t get by without underpaid workers, child slavery, and leaving communities of people to deal with the aftermath of their lands being devastated by clear-cutting and pollution)

For starters…

Calling all lesbians (trans-inclusionary obviously)

Please reblog if you think trans lesbians are beautiful, worthy of respect and would totally fuck / date one should the right lovely trans lady come along.

In response to a truly horrible person who took it upon themselves to reblog someone’s trans visibility post and call her a predatory man for identifying as a lesbian. When called out, she stated that no lesbian would want them (not even a lesbian herself btw) so I’m going to prove her wrong.

Edit- this applies to all trans wlw. I said lesbian to link it to an argument where a terf didn’t believe those things, spoke on behalf of lesbians and when I tried to tell her that as a lesbian, the trans woman in question was beautiful, she said smth like ‘haha actual lesbians let’s take a headcount’ in a mocking way so … I took a headcount and looks like well over a thousand actual wlw agree with me!
viralwomen.com
FEMINISM Is Soon Going To Be An Official Subject In Australian Schools
The first accredited subject in the Australian curriculum that addresses gender inequality is being launched today at Melbourne's Fitzroy High School.

“Students will learn about “gender equality’s ties to domestic violence, media representations of gender, statistical breakdowns around the pay gap, and female visibility in sport” over 30 lessons.

A dozen or so of the students began by forming what they called The Fitzroy Feminist Collective, where they gathered to make posters to put up around their school and “rant” about their frustrations.For 16-year-old Zsuzsa, it was the lack of public recognition of women’s sports, while for Nia, 17, it was feeling beholden to stereotypes of women cooking and cleaning.

“It’s not teaching kids to be feminists, or a political ideology, it’s teaching kids about gender inequality and that it does exist,” Nia said.

The curriculum is aimed at female and male students. Briony O'Keeffe assures she’s “trying to get young men and women to think a bit more critically about the sorts of sexist behaviours they might either engage in or see on a daily basis." 

"Feminism has had some fairly legitimate criticisms levelled at it about it being directed at very white middle-class women,” Ms O'Keeffe said.

“We wanted to make sure we didn’t reinforce that and show that gender inequality is just one side of discrimination, there is race and sexuality - and you can experience it at an intersecting basis.”

Read the full piece here

CURRENT MOOD:

Feminism only reinforces violent systems of oppression unless it also takes aim at white supremacy, compulsory heterosexuality, transmisogyny and general transphobia, ableism, whorephobia, classism, antisemitism and islamophobia.

A feminist movement that fails to stand against other types of systemic violence only shifts the burden of oppression around, especially among women.

Feminism can and should be a force for completely disrupting structural violence. We need to think a lot bigger.

gaystarnews.com
California Board of Education unanimously approves LGBT history class for public schools
The class will cover milestones in LGBT history, major figures and the rights movement. New class guidelines in California’s public schools will now include major LGBT milestones and figures.

The new guidelines ask schools to include the place of LGBT Americans in the country’s history.

‘We are proud to represent a diverse state, and we are proud that this framework reflects the state that we serve,’ Lauryn Wild, a curriculum specialist who worked on the new guidelines, told CBS SF.

These new guidelines will mean teaching children about diverse family types and the rights movement in second and fourth grade. The California Board of Education unanimously approved the curriculum changes. The law was introduced in 2012, but was held back by disagreements over interpretation and religious and conservative activism.

A major complaint of the new provisions is the lack of mention of Native Americans and the concept of manifest destiny, or the policy of integrating Native Americans into the United States.

I DO have thoughts on Taylor Swift, thanks for asking

When I was 16, I went to a Taylor Swift concert in Portland, Oregon during her Fearless tour. I went with a girlfriend for both of our birthdays, having scored the tickets through a radio sweepstakes winner who apparently did not want to go to a Taylor Swift concert. Hayley and I were two lanky freshmen with bad posture and over-plucked eyebrows, and we had hit the jackpot. We wore matching puff-paint t-shirts and short shorts. Our parents dropped us off at the Rose Garden knowing we’d be safe with our tween peers, who were flocking to the merch tables in throngs, a mass of cowgirl boots and sundresses followed by low hanging clouds of Victoria’s Secret body spray. This was before Taylor’s soft sexual revolution, before tight body suits and sparkly hot pants; she was one of us, the best version of what we all hoped we could become. To go to her concert was to make a pilgrimage, so like the smell of sweat under sugary body spray, there was a dutiful hallowed-ness just under the frenetic, pubescent shrieks. We were there to dance with our friends and also to worship at the altar of Taylor Alison Swift, Patron Saint of beating back puberty with a sparkly microphone, and victoriously reclaiming the attention of Boys Who Don’t Know You Exist.

Looking back, it was a disconcertingly well-orchestrated event. The choreography so learned it never felt uncomfortable (a feat for a tall girl who is not a graceful girl). The wardrobe so perfectly balanced between beautiful and conservative, you wanted to be her, but never in a toxic or jealous way. The between-song monologues were empowering and sweet. She made us feel special. It was an “enchanting” night (to steal an oft-used word from Tay herself) with the older girl who passes you in the hallway with a wink and a smile.

“You Belong With Me” was the anthem for us, the not-very-cool-girls gathered at her concert on a balmy May night. It was about our rise. She was telling us, bleating over us into her bejeweled mic, that there is something virtuous about being not-very-cool girls. That the cool girl is inferior in character and humor; she has nothing but her looks and her popularity, she must manipulate and tear down others, that’s all she has. And you? You are special and amazing and worthy. She shook her blonde curls with a totally palatable amount of sex appeal and we nodded, hypnotized. There is virtue in being uncool and anybody who can’t see that is of flawed character. Someday you’ll show them. Someday they’ll see.

I left the concert on a cloud. In the years ahead, I would listen to her on repeat, reveling in my feelings about Boys I Never Spoke To instead of writing my social studies paper; talking in my social studies class about how Kanye West cut her off at the VMAs, and what a loose cannon, poor Taylor. She got the better of him though, and wrote “Innocent” out of the whole thing.

And then I went to college, and besides an occasional throwback jam when I felt like drowning in nostalgia, I was over Swift. I was over the very concept of drama (a thing I proclaimed at any opportunity, intoxicated and otherwise) and now Taylor was singing about hot ex-boyfriends, which was dramatic and not something I could relate to. She was starting to sound the same and it had become draining to follow along. Most of my not-very-cool girlfriends agreed. We’d seemingly matured beyond her date-boy-breakup-with-boy-write-song-about-boy formula and even “Feeling 22” seemed overly self-celebratory. We parted ways and I followed her doings lazily from a social media arm’s length, sleeping on Red entirely.

But Taylor didn’t like that people didn’t like her hit-writing formula. Leading up to 1989, she made some cutting sexism accusations and “Shake it off” was the cornerstone. It was sexist that people criticized her for doing things men also do. A budding feminist myself, I nodded vaguely. I didn’t want to be on the wrong side of history here! Moderate irritation persisted but I had to hand it to her: celebrity men date and screw and sing about women, too.

When 1989 launched in its entirety, it was a new day. Critics and I agreed that her music had grown up. All of the songs still felt like thinly veiled subtweets, but now I had exes and I was an increasingly informed feminist and I wanted to like her. It was great music for driving, for running, for exploring my feelings about Boys Who Don’t Want to Text Me Back.

If the album was a more subtle animation of her tried-and-true game, the tour was not. It was a gratuitously star and rhinestone-studded affair and it all began alongside the methodic drafting of her “girl squad,” a move she’s hinted was to shield herself from the sexist criticism she met when dating boys in the public eye. It seemed Swift was having a pseudo-feminist awakening: lauding female friendship, and even including the likes of Lena Dunham in her squad (although offset in her physical normalcy by 36 supermodels). But a less male-focused tour didn’t mean a less dramatic one, as a feud with Katy Perry was nurtured into “Bad Blood,” resulting in some cutting tweets from Perry and plenty of tweets from other members of the Internet. Swift always has the last word, though, and now she has 300 girls to rally behind her for it. There they are, making surprise appearances at every single show as if rabbits from a magician’s hat. Storming through the “Bad Blood” music video in leather and weaponry, marching down the 1989 catwalk, all glitter and legs. (A note on legs: Swift welcomed 1989 with a sexual-ish awakening that involved 40 percent more nakedness on stage, but careful and impressive avoidance of anything that could be construed by even conservative fans as “too sexy.”)

Once again, it all felt calculated, her entire existence like a rehearsed operation of planting and carefully avoiding landmines: She hand-wrapped Christmas presents the size of military supply drops for fans she chose from instagram. She delivered some of them in person. She bought random fans dinner. She also made tone-deaf comments toward Nicki Minaj, accusing her of ”pitting women against each other” when Minaj spoke out against the whiteness of award shows and getting snubbed for video of the year at the VMAs. In a rare show of fallibility, Swift made an apology and the two performed together at the VMAs. But even this show of camaraderie felt manufactured, because at that very award show the anti-Katy Perry “Bad Blood” music video, which now appears on dictionary.com when you search “overkill,” would beat out arguably more impactful work (cough cough Kendrick Lamar), and Taylor and her squad would rejoice as if surprised. She’d had the last word on Katy Perry and smartly patched up her relationship with the queen of “what’s good?” But in calling Minaj out she made a telling slip: we could all see that “you’re tearing down women” was Swift’s new favorite response to criticism, but she had now also revealed her willingness to throw anyone into this no-win game of us-vs-them. Because no opponent is too big when you have 3,600 supermodels, Lena Dunham, and the U.S. national women’s soccer team behind you. Of course, I’m not the only one to notice the eeriness of the girl squad: there’s Taylor Swift, covered in rhinestones, destroying every man who ever gave her a sideways glance with peppy pop beats or moody guitar riffs, all while strutting down the runway arm in arm with anyone who’s anyone. If you’re a woman and you criticise her, you’re sabotaging another woman. If you’re anyone and you criticize her, you risk her girl squad flocking to her defense while she musically carves her side of the story into the soundtrack of history. Because she will have the last word. Remember when she told us not-very-cool girls that one day everyone will see how great we are? Boys will live to regret ignoring you and mean girls will, too.

When the “Famous” Kanye West business happened, the girl squad mobilized to TSwift’s defense and she summoned a vitriolic Grammy acceptance speech, “to all the young girls out there.” But it wasn’t to all the young girls out there, it was to Kanye West and we all knew it. He claimed to have asked permission but Kanye is a “loose cannon” and Taylor Swift is shaking just a little bit in her Anna Wintour haircut, evoking just enough victimhood to earn applause from clickbait publications. Just a young woman wronged by a broken man who’s always been a loose cannon - she even wrote a song about him, remember? Again, Taylor Swift calls on feminism when it will carry her message. (But she would remain silent in the heat of Ke$ha losing her suit against Dr. Luke, eventually giving a generous monetary gift to the artist, but preferring to reserve her immeasurably powerful voice for other things, presumably “safer” topics, like the tyranny of Apple Music.)

And now, here we are. Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris break up and she starts dating Tom Hiddleston weeks later, which we learn exactly one night before Kim Kardashian-West tells GQ that Kanye did in fact get Taylor’s permission for the “Famous” lyric and he has it on film. Taylor camp denies the approval but nobody cares because #Hiddleswift, which suddenly also feels manufactured. Then Swift camp confirms rumors that she wrote ex Harris’ summer anthem “This is What You Came For.” Harris leads with graciousness, acknowledging that she wrote it and out-revealing her by adding that she sang on it too. He compliments her lyricism, and then leads us on such a deliberate and careful twitter journey that “tirade” feels a reckless descriptor. He says it’s hurtful that Swift’s team would reveal this now, as if to make him look bad. He tells us that Taylor wanted to be anonymous. He mentions that she should focus on her new relationship, and then that he refuses to be buried like Katy Perry. He closes with well wishes reminiscent of the thing your dad says: “Tell them to go to hell so politely they look forward to the trip.”

The air was so humid with think pieces it was on the verge of a thunderstorm. And then, last night, Kim Kardashian-West posted a snapchat story confirming what she and Kanye had said all along: he called and asked for permission re: “Famous.”

It’s now raining criticism, from every notable angle but most notably: race and feminism and Taylor’s less than flattering history with both. I can’t smell the Victoria’s Secret body spray anymore. Instead, I smell fear rolling off of Taylor Swift in sweaty waves. Here’s a young woman who has aged in the spotlight, but not necessarily matured. Who has made a career turning dirty laundry into catchy number ones, calling out other people’s mistakes, and then calling for feminism - a good and worthy and valid thing - when it will protect her from criticism, but not in other times, or with obvious intersectionality, or with much obligation to practice what she preaches (see also: white feminism). She has been accused of cultural appropriation and hasn’t showed up to talk about how #blacklivesmatter. She allowed Kanye West and his complicated public image to take the fall for a choice she apparently regretted after the fact. And most of all: she has leveraged “someday you’ll see” into a spray-and-pray war strategy that has alienated her from just about everyone. Even her girl squad can’t help now; their feeble attempts at support only entrap them on what is pretty clearly the wrong side of us-vs-them.

Taylor Swift is now standing alone, presumably under the bleachers, with no one left to accuse and little left to prove. She’s human, it’s true. People will finger-wag about how we, as a society, “love to tear people down.” And who knows that better than Taylor Swift? As it turns out, us not-very-cool girls are pretty good at it.