womanist

4

“Democratic Womanism”

Alice Walker

You ask me why I smile
when you tell me you intend
in the coming national elections
to hold your nose
and vote for the lesser of two evils.

There are more than two evils out there,
is one reason I smile.

Another is that our old buddy Nostradamus
comes to mind, with his fearful
400 year old prophecy: that our world
and theirs too
(our “enemies” – lots of kids included there)
will end (by nuclear nakba or holocaust)
in our lifetime. Which makes the idea of elections
and the billions of dollars wasted on them
somewhat fatuous.

A Southerner of Color,
my people held the vote
very dear
while others, for centuries,
merely appeared to play
with it.

One thing I can assure
you of is this:
I will never betray such pure hearts
by voting for evil
even if it were microscopic
which, as you can see in any newscast
no matter the slant,
it is not.

I want something else;
a different system
entirely.
One not seen
on this earth
for thousands of years. If ever.
Democratic Womanism.

Notice how this word has “man” right in the middle of it?
That’s one reason I like it. He is right there, front and center. But he is surrounded.
I want to vote and work for a way of life
that honors the feminine;
a way that acknowledges
the theft of the wisdom
female and dark Mother leadership
might have provided our spaceship
all along.

I am not thinking
of a talking head
kind of gal:
happy to be mixing
it up
with the baddest
bad boys
on the planet
her eyes a slit
her mouth a zipper.

No, I am speaking of true
regime change.

Where women rise
to take their place
en masse
at the helm
of earth’s frail and failing ship;

where each thousand years
of our silence
is examined
with regret,
and the cruel manner in which our values
of compassion and kindness
have been ridiculed
and suppressed
brought to bear on the disaster
of the present time.

The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave
it there.
I am thinking of Democratic, and, perhaps
Socialist, Womanism.
For who else knows so deeply
how to share but Mothers
and Grandmothers? Big sisters
and Aunts?

To love
and adore
both female and male?
Not to mention those in between.
To work at keeping
the entire community
fed, educated
and safe?

Democratic womanism,
Democratic Socialist
Womanism,
would have as its icons
such fierce warriors
for good as
Vandana Shiva
Aung San Suu Kyi,
Wangari Maathai
Harriet Tubman
Yoko Ono
Frida Kahlo
Angela Davis
& Barbara Lee:
With new ones always rising, wherever you look.

(Alice Walker talking to Amy Goodman
You are also on this list, but it is so long (Isis would appear midway) that I must stop or be unable to finish the poem! So just know I’ve stood you in a circle that includes Marian Wright Edelman, Amy Goodman, Sojourner Truth, Gloria Steinem and Mary McLeod Bethune. Happy to be surrounded!)

There is no system
There is no system
now in place
that can change
the disastrous course
the Earth is on.
Who can doubt this?

The male leaders
of Earth
appear to have abandoned
their very senses
though most appear
to live now
entirely
in their heads.

They murder humans and other
animals
forests and rivers and mountains
every day
they are in office
and never seem
to notice it.

They eat and drink devastation.
Women of the world,
Women of the world,
Is this devastation Us?
Would we kill whole continents for oil
(or anything else)
rather than limit
the number of consumer offspring we produce
and learn how to make our own fire?

Democratic Womanism.
Democratic Socialist Womanism.

A system of governance
we can dream and imagine and build together. One that recognizes
at least six thousand years
of brutally enforced complicity
in the assassination
of Mother Earth, but foresees six thousand years
ahead of us when we will not submit.

What will we need? A hundred years
at least to plan: (five hundred will be handed us
gladly
when the planet is scared enough)
in which circles of women meet,
organize ourselves, and,
allied with men
brave enough to stand with women,
men brave enough to stand with women,
nurture our planet to a degree of health.

And without apology —-
(impossible to make
a bigger mess than has been made already) -—
devote ourselves, heedless of opposition,
to tirelessly serving and resuscitating Our Mother ship
and with gratitude
for Her care of us
worshipfully commit
to
rehabilitating it.

[Notes from CombaRIH Womanist Grrrl Collective]

If you are a Feminist or a Womanist and you are against the patriarchal capitalist political establishment, Jill Stein is the best anti-capitalist Feminist option right now. She’s the progressive Feminist president you’ve been waiting for.

Remember the party that gave us the first all-women-of-color presidential ticket in U.S. history.

As Rosa A. Clemente said “The only 2 Presidential candidates that support reparations are @cynthiamckinney @JillStein2016 why are people ignoring this? @GreenPartyUS”

“It’s time to reject the ‘lesser-evil’ & stand up for the greater good.”

Dear White folks who are mad at Michelle Obama for saying Black Girls Rock

“Dear White folks who are mad at Michelle Obama for saying Black Girls Rock,

I think I know why you are mad. You are not used to seeing other women rock because for centuries you’ve been told that only you do. Perhaps it is jarring to see that other people exist beyond being your sidekicks, model minorities, imaginary friends and false stereotypes that promote the myth of your supremacy. You see, unlike you, for 400 years Black women and girls have been told we don’t rock. Heck we’ve been told a lot worse. The thing is you’ve never known how it feels to be a Black woman in America. So this post is my meager attempt to show you.

  1. Imagine how it feels being told every single day that because of the amount of melanin your skin, the world instantly assumes you are hood, ghetto, uneducated, immoral, lazy, a leech on government and violent.
  2. Imagine knowing that these ideas are lies and regardless of who are and what you do, you can’t change that lie because you don’t control the image.
  3. Imagine being told that your God-given tresses are ugly, unprofessional, unmanageable and bad hair. (Here, here and here.)
  4. Imagine having to spend thousands each year on chemicals to straighten your hair, without knowing the health risks of burning and scarring our scalps just to be accepted.
  5. Imagine not being the standard of beauty within your race. (Here)
  6. Imagine watching shows, reading articles and hearing new studies where people say you are not marriage material simply based on the color of your skin. (Here, here, here and here)
  7. Imagine people calling their racist stereotypes about you a preference.
  8. Imagine knowing that some employers will not look at your resume because you have a Black sounding name. (Here)
  9. Imagine hearing White women complain about making $.77 to a White man’s dollar when Black women only make $.64 and people rarely talk about it. (Here)
  10. Imagine being told that regardless of your hopes and dreams that Black women are doomed to be backbone of your race.
  11. Imagine the burden of constantly representing your race and then being the blame for your race’s ills when one person out of millions of Black people makes a mistake.
  12. Imagine how it feels when people of your race make rap songs calling you bitches, hoes and anything but the child of god.
  13. Imagine Black celebrities openly stating that they won’t date you because the your texture of hair, the darkness of your skin and because you are Black. But in the next breath they will use emotional blackmail because if you do not support their movie, album or book, Hollywood won’t hire Black leads. (Here, here and here.)
  14. Imagine then marching, fighting and dying for the Black men, White women and others who ignore you because you are a Black woman. (Here and here.)
  15. Imagine knowing that those same people will never march, fight or even die for you. They’d prefer to ignore you. (Here and here.)
  16. Imagine having nonBlacks mock 400 years of rape, murder, broken families, state supported terrorism against you, income inequality and your ability to survive it all by calling themselves “a strong independent Black woman.” (Here and here)
  17. Imagine how it feels when your existence becomes a joke made by Black male comedians to their White audiences. (Here)
  18. Imagine how it feels to have to wait over 30 years to finally see a Black woman lead on TV. This time she wasn’t a slave, on drugs, a prostitute, a maid, struggling or a big mamma, with superhuman strength who was sassy and angry, but content with her pain because she’s overly religious. (Here)
  19. Imagine having those new images questioned because all Black women are supposed to be angry, not classically beautiful, are told there are too many on TV and are supposed to be a stereotype. (Here and here)
  20. Imagine how it feels to know that even though your family has been here for 400 years, your history is not considered standard American history. It is only recognized in February and even during the month of February being told that Black history heroes are all Black men. (Here)
  21. Imagine how it feels to be ignored in America when 64,000 of our daughters, mothers and sisters are missing. (Here)
  22. Imagine how it feels to be one of the 40-60% of Black women and girls who are sexually abused by the time they reach 18 years old. (Here)
  23. Imagine how it feels to be suspended from school at a higher rate than your peers of other races who commit the same infractions. (Here and here)
  24. Imagine how it feels to receive a higher prison sentence for the same crimes than your female peers simply because you have Black skin. (Here)
  25. Imagine being told you are the blame for the country’s social ills when statistics show you are not.
  26. Imagine having to write this post and explaining to someone whose image dominates the media and race controls the political, social and economic spheres why Black girls rock.
  27. Imagine having you discount everything I said because deep down, you like things just the way they are.

After everything I have said (and I could go on), if Black women and girls being told by another Black woman that they rock offends you, check yourself and your insecurities. Instead of having a problem with Black Girls Rock, have a problem with the White supremacy that constantly tries to remind Black women and girls that we don’t. Direct your energy towards a world that refuses to recognize our collective humanity. If you did, we wouldn’t have to constantly remind Black women and girls that we are powerful, beautiful, worthy and full of love. You see, it is a revolutionary act to be a Black girl or woman who loves herself in a world where she is reminded that she should not. Even with every odd stacked against us, Black women and girls are thriving (see here, here and here). So yes, Black girls do rock.”

This awesome essay brought to you by BougieBlackGirl

2

NEWSFLASH: Activists Stage #BlackWomenMatter Marches

“Baltimore Chief Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby charged six officers today in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man who died last month from a spinal cord injury while in police custody. But while justice may be served in Gray’s case, activists are raising awareness about another group who experience police brutality but rarely receive media attention, let alone attention from the courts—African American women.

Using the hashtag #BlackWomenMatter and taking to the streets in Washington, D.C. andother U.S. cities, organizers have staged rallies and marches to bring attention to the deaths of Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Natasha McKenna and countless other black women and girls killed by police.

The Cut reported that “women account for 20 percent of unarmed people of color killed by the police between 1999 and 2014,” and according to the Black Liberation Project, 15 black women have been killed by police in the last 18 months. Yet few of them have received the same attention as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin or Freddie Gray.”

Read the full piece here

Listen,

It does not matter what you say. As a woman, as a woman of color, as a woman of size, as a woman with large breasts or no breasts and a lifetime of experience with bucketloads of passion. It does not fucking matter.*

Because unless there is a white guy backing you up, you are an angry bitch. Uppity, spirited, “that girl,” the femanazi, the super-libber, the PC chick, the conspiracy theorist…

I just wish my own experiences were enough. That the experiences of fellow women were enough. But we must always come with backers. We must always have a few men nodding along behind us in the crowd. And at the very least if we’re going to be so bold as to bring up racism or sexism in polite company then we better be willing to quote reputable studies that have been widely recognized by the psychological and sociological communities.

If we lack this armor we are just drama. Dramatic or… wait for it… psycho bitches who think everybody is out to rape them or thinks they must be, “Like, soooo attractive to be hit on so much and totally, probably, like, thinks like a victim.”

This is so dangerous because I believe it teaches us not to trust our own judgments. Sadly, in this world, that can be life or death. When that guy hits on you for the third time at the club we should just get over it. He wasn’t being that creepy. “Oh no, girl, don’t talk to the bouncer about him, that’s just drama. Just have a good time.” I complained anyway but nothing was done.

And hey, when he tries to attack you while leaving the club—which happened to me and a friend in June of this year—the police may ask you why you didn’t complain “more than once” to security. I shit you not.

Because it is never good enough. It’s always a teachable moment from man to woman. So listen up, child, because that’s exactly what you are. At least until a white man comes to back up your claims. But I don’t have to tell you that. You already know. The trick is for this argument not to be dismissed outright by some dude in a Quicksilver t-shirt because the fact is, he has final say on the veracity of our claims.

Black girls’ sexual burden: Why Mo’ne Davis was really called a “slut”

“Just as I was harassed at 8 years old, baseball wunderkind Mo'ne Davis is a target of sexual shaming. Here’s why.

Mo’ne Davis is a Black girl wunderkind. At age 13, she has pitched a shutout at the Little League World Series, becoming the first girl ever to do so, and she has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Disney is now planning to do a movie about her called, “Throw Like Mo.”

I’m not ashamed to admit that I still watch the Disney Channel, and I will certainly be tuning in. But everyone isn’t as excited as I am to see a Black girl on the come up. Last week, Joey Casselberry, a sophomore baseball player from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, called Mo’ne a “slut” in response to the news about the movie. He was subsequently expelled from the team.

In response, Davis has forgiven him and she and her coach have asked that he be reinstated. About Casselberry, Davis released a statement, which said:

Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it in that type of way, and I know a lot of people get tired of like seeing me on TV but just think about what you’re doing before you actually do it. I know right now he’s really hurt and I know how hard he worked just to get where he is right now.

Her level of empathy is remarkable but not particularly surprising. Black girls learn almost from the womb to empathize with others, even when those others have committed deep injustices toward us.  Perhaps it is the unparalleled level of our suffering that makes us always look with empathy upon others.

But I am troubled. It is absolutely wonderful that Davis has this kind of care and concern and a heart so huge that she can forgive a nearly adult person for insulting her. It goes without saying that she’s a better person than Casselberry.

But she should not have to be. For starters, he meant what he said. One doesn’t slip up and mistakenly call a young teen girl a slut. Second, it bothers me that she sounds almost apologetic about how much others have to see her on television. Girls in our culture are taught that they should never take up too much space, that they should be seen (and look real pretty), but not heard. And Black girls in our culture are damn near invisible, whether in regards to their triumphs or their struggles.

Lest we think this inappropriate sexual shaming of Black girls is an isolated incident, let us not forget that in 2013, The Onion “jokingly” referred to then 9-year old actress Quvenzhané Wallis, as a “c*nt” in reference to her Oscar nomination that year for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Such language is nothing short of vile and reprehensible. And it raises the question of why young white people have such a prurient fascination with young Black girls? Mo’ne Davis is 13. Quevenzhané Wallis is 11. One is a baseball player. The other is an actress. Why are they being characterized in sexual terms at any level?

The fact that Black girl artists and athletes are understood only in terms of a sexuality that they may not even have begun to articulate for themselves should concern us. That their sexuality is already being publicly circumscribed by white men (and the anonymous Onion tweeter) in dirty and shameful terms is appalling.

That invisibility of Black girl pain costs us our self-confidence, our emotional wellness, our livelihoods and sometimes our lives. And that is not a win. Mo’ne Davis deserves our love, our support, and our advocacy. Sexist and racist behavior is for losers. And we need to call it out, denounce it, dismantle it, and make space for Black girls to win.”

Read the full piece here <– IMPORTANT PIECE ALERT - READ THIS! 

Solidarity is not the same as support. To experience solidarity, we must have a community of interests, shared beliefs and goals around which to unite, to build Sisterhood. Support can be occasional. It can be given and just as easily withdrawn. Solidarity requires sustained, ongoing commitment.
—  Bell Hooks
If white American feminist theory need not deal with the differences between us, and the resulting difference in our oppressions, then how do you deal with the fact that the women who clean your houses and tend your children while you attend conferences on feminist theory are, for the most part, poor women and women of Color? What is the theory behind racist feminism?
—  Audre Lorde

White people piss me off with that excuse, “Well I didn’t ‘CHOOSE’ to be white.”

How many of you would go back in time and decide to be a POC, if given the chance?

Probably none.

Don’t play dumb. As long as I’m still suffering from the pain my ancestors experienced, I can and will hold you responsible for the pain your ancestors caused.

Shonda Rhimes Says She Isn’t ‘Diversifying’ Television, She’s 'Normalizing’ It – There’s A Difference

“Shonda Rhimes proved long ago that she is a force to reckon with.

The growing influence she has had in television has not gone unrecognized and has resulted in a major boost for ABC’s Thursday night network ratings. However, more importantly, Rhimes – who is the mastermind behind shows like “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How To Get Away With Murder” – has increased onscreen representation of diverse roles that were once overlooked and in doing so, has raised further awareness on issues related to LGBT, women and people of color.

Because of her stellar contributions to the medium, Rhimes was honored with the Ally for Equality award at this year’s annual Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday.

After accepting the award, she delivered a searing speech and discussed why she decided to tell such a wide range of stories and how the direction she has taken with her shows is one that goes far beyond just diversifying television.

“I really hate the word 'diversity,’ it suggests something…other. As if it is something…special. Or rare,” Rhimes said. “As if there is something unusual about telling stories involving women and people of color and LGBTQ characters on TV.”

“I have a different word: NORMALIZING. I’m normalizing TV.”

“Women, people of color, LGBTQ people equal WAY more than 50% of the population. Which means it ain’t out of the ordinary. I am making the world of television look NORMAL,” she said.

“The goal is that everyone should get to turn on the TV and see someone who looks like them and loves like them. And just as important, everyone should turn on the TV and see someone who doesn’t look like them and love like them. Because, perhaps then, they will learn from them.”

Read the full piece here | Photo source

Photo courtesy Disney | ABC Television Group

I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.

I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” …Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.

Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.

And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.

—  Audre Lorde 

Look at white feminist logic. It takes a special kind of ahistorical delusion to consider your years of deliberate and calculated willful oppression as benevolence. Also peep how they view colorblind erasure as a SOLUTION. These types are so incredibly dangerous.

Black lesbian relationships pose little threat to “self-defined” Black men and women secure in their sexualities. But loving relationships among Black women do pose a tremendous threat to systems of intersecting oppressions. How dare these women love one another in a context that deems Black women as a collectivity so unlovable and devalued?
—  Patricia Hill Collins (Black Feminist Thought: Black Women’s Love Relationships, 182)
All female rap mixtape. Enjoy :) Link: http://everyonesmixtape.com/#rgVgrLQMiUy1
  1. Azealia Banks – Fierce
  2. Lady – Twerk
  3. M.I.A. – Bad Girls Remix ft. Missy Elliott & Azealia Banks
  4. Nicki Minaj – Itty Bitty Piggy
  5. Missy Elliott – Lose Control
  6. Angel Haze – New York
  7. Lil Kim – The Jump Off
  8. Njena Reddd Foxxx – Silly Bitch
  9. Sasha Gohard – What We Do
  10. Diamond – Team Pretty Bitches
  11. Eve – Let Me Blow Ya Mind
  12. Khia – My Neck, My Back
  13. Lil Mama – Lip Gloss
  14. Remy Ma – Fresh
  15. Nicki Minaj –Womp Womp
  16. Rye Rye – DJ Go
  17. Azealia Banks – L8r
  18. Lady – Yankin
  19. Na’Tee – No Love
  20. Rasheeda – Bubblegum Remix ft. Kandi, Diamond, & Princess
  21. Trina – Bad Bitch
  22. Shawnna – Bitch Like Me
  23. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
  24. Lauryn Hill – Lost Ones
  25. Shystie – Control It ft. Azealia Banks
  26. Santigold – Creator
  27. Lil Kim – Suck My Dick
  28. Amil – Amilli
  29. Honey Cocaine – Making Me High
  30. Kid Sister – Big N Bad
  31. Foxy Brown – Na Na Be Like
  32. Azealia Banks – Fuck Up The Fun
  33. Princess -  Cocky Chick
  34. Left Eye – Hot
  35. Khia – Pay Your Pussy Bill
  36. Da Brat – Motivation
  37. Queen Latifah – Ladies First
  38. Roxanne Shante’ – Big Mama
  39. Lady of Rage – Unfuckwitable
  40. McLyte – Ice Cream Dream
  41. JJ Fad – In The Mix
  42. Salt N Pepa – I Like It Like That
Submitted by: http://grasstomyknees.tumblr.com/