PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T SCROLL PAST THIS.
Scarleteen is a vital queer and trans positive sexual health resource. Their staff do an amazing job of creating really comprehensive and helpful articles on literally every sexual topic you can imagine. They also provide live chats, advice columns, moderated discussion forums, and SMS-based peer support. This site has helped me on countless occasions, and I refer at-risk queer and trans kids to this site every single day.
Scarleteen is invaluable.
And Scarleteen needs your help.
During their annual donation drive this year, the site was only able to raise $1,500. Only fifty people out of Scarleteen’s 350,000 unique monthly visitors contributed to the fundraising drive.
This means that unless Scarleteen sees a stable, sustained, 50% increase in donations, the site will essentially be forced to go dark on May 1. No more new content, no more advice columns, no more forums, no more live chat, no more SMS support.
This is devastating.
If Scarleteen goes dark, millions of young people, vulnerable queer and trans teens among them, will lose access to essential, fundamental sexual health resources. We cannot let this happen.
Please, please, please donate to Scarleteen. Consider making a recurring monthly contribution if you feel that this is within your means. Even $5 or $10 a month will go a long way to helping this very, very deserving organization.
And whether or not you’re able to donate at this time, please signal boost this and spread the word. Scarleteen does incredible, very necessary work, and they need our help.
Hey y’all, Scarleteen was like my number one resource in high school and early college, it helped me through a lot of scary stuff. If you can afford to spare a few bucks, please do! I’ll be heartbroken (and worried about new lil high schoolers) if it shuts down.
Saying things like “we’ve gone from white hoods to business suits” is one way to seem to speak to contemporary racism’s less vocal, yet still insidious nature. But it does a disservice to the public understanding of racism, and in the process undercuts the mission of drawing attention to contemporary racism’s severity.
It wasn’t the KKK that wrote the slave codes. It wasn’t the armed vigilantes who conceived of convict leasing, postemancipation. It wasn’t hooded men who purposefully left black people out of New Deal legislation. Redlining wasn’t conceived at a Klan meeting in rural Georgia. It wasn’t “the real racists” who bulldozed black communities in order to build America’s highway system. The Grand Wizard didn’t run COINTELPRO in order to dismantle the Black Panthers. The men who raped black women hired to clean their homes and care for their children didn’t hide their faces.
The ones in the hoods did commit violent acts of racist terrorism that shouldn’t be overlooked, but they weren’t alone. Everyday citizens participated in and attended lynchings as if they were state fairs, bringing their children and leaving with souvenirs. These spectacles, if not outright endorsed, were silently sanctioned by elected officials and respected members of the community.
It’s easy to focus on the most vicious and dramatic forms of racist violence faced by past generations as the site of “real” racism. If we do, we can also point out the perpetrators of that violence and rightly condemn them for their actions. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that those individuals alone didn’t write America’s racial codes. It’s much harder to talk about how that violence was only reinforcing the system of political, economic and cultural racism that made America possible. That history indicts far more people, both past and present.
When you look at the sheer volume of wealth controlled by the top 1 percent in this country, it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level. And it looks as if we’ll be building on this achievement for years to come, because what made it possible is self-reinforcing. Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s—a scandal whose dimensions, by today’s standards, seem almost quaint—the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. “I certainly hope so,” he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.
America’s inequality distorts our society in every conceivable way. There is, for one thing, a well-documented lifestyle effect—people outside the top 1 percent increasingly live beyond their means. Trickle-down economics may be a chimera, but trickle-down behaviorism is very real. Inequality massively distorts our foreign policy. The top 1 percent rarely serve in the military—the reality is that the “all-volunteer” army does not pay enough to attract their sons and daughters, and patriotism goes only so far. Plus, the wealthiest class feels no pinch from higher taxes when the nation goes to war: borrowed money will pay for all that. Foreign policy, by definition, is about the balancing of national interests and national resources. With the top 1 percent in charge, and paying no price, the notion of balance and restraint goes out the window. There is no limit to the adventures we can undertake; corporations and contractors stand only to gain. The rules of economic globalization are likewise designed to benefit the rich: they encourage competition among countries for business, which drives down taxes on corporations, weakens health and environmental protections, and undermines what used to be viewed as the “core” labor rights, which include the right to collective bargaining. Imagine what the world might look like if the rules were designed instead to encourage competition among countries for workers. Governments would compete in providing economic security, low taxes on ordinary wage earners, good education, and a clean environment—things workers care about. But the top 1 percent don’t need to care.
|—||Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, in I, Rigoberta Menchu. (via danikasapphistry)|
saw something on facebook that really pissed me off because I worked at McDonalds for three years.
I wonder what percentage of people arguing against a minimum wage hike have never worked a fucking minimum-wage job in their life is.
These are my extremely quick “fan” made designs for the upcoming Disney movie “Moana”.
Stop. There is a reason why “fan” is in quotations.
I am not a fan. I am full of dread. Disney is about to tackle a Polynesian princess and that terrifies me.
For one, I am so angry at all of the fanmade designs I have seen. The sexy stereotyped Polynesian designs that somehow condenses hundreds of different cultures into a tube top and a a ti-leaf skirt.
Do you have any idea how offensive that is. That would be like making Mulan and saying “Hey she’s Asian, let’s throw her in a yukata”. Do you know how offensive it is that people think that Polynesian is a singular race? Hint: Massively.
I picked four cultures out of the vastness of Polynesia and each design is clearly different from the next. Each design is 100% endemic to the culture it is from, and it’s not even the tip of the iceberg.
We are not a homogenized area of the world. We have different languages, traditions, and ways of life. We are not all the same. We are not coconut bras and grass skirts. We never needed compasses. We are celestial navigators - it hasn’t died out. We journeyed across the Pacific using the stars and waves to guide us. We perfected aquaculture and sustainable living. Our heritages are rich and varied and beautiful.
We are not a tube top and a ti-leaf skirt. We are not an indistinguishable fabric swathed on brown bodies with random flowers in our hair. Stop fetishizing us! You have the internet at your discretion, and this is the best you can come up with?
Secondly, the fact that Moana will be dealing with mythology in Polynesia makes me want to crumple up and cry. It angers me to no end that people keep playing fast and loose with things they think are obsolete. Most of us still believe in our Gods (myself included). My family has a heiau, as recent as one generation ago my family has stories of conversing with Gods. Yet, people act like it’s fair game. Last I checked if anyone made retcons to the undead carpenter millions threw a shitfit, but because we are a marginalized people our beliefs are not allowed some respect?
It makes me angry and I won’t apologize for it. It makes me angry that when I call out other minorities for falsely portraying or marginalizing my culture (and the cultures of my fellow Polynesians) I get the “well I’m a minority too so I’m excused”. That is the worst offense, when people who should know better still treat you like an obsolete toy to be bandied about as characters.
We are indigenous people and we deserve respect. We deserve for people to care about our culture. For people to be afraid that the nightmare which created whitewashed Pocahontas might happen to us. If you call yourself an ally, or self-aware, I demand that you fear for us. I beg that you question what may happen in the wake of what Disney has been spewing out. Don’t be part of the base that turns Moana into nothing more than a token.
We were too young to stop Pocahontas from being made. We are not too young to afflict a change and prevent it from happening again. Signal boost my words, or write your own. Do something. Don’t let a movie go out across the world that could damage those that have already taken heavy hits. Don’t be compliant, don’t be silent. Don’t DO that I beg you. I am begging you on my knees, I grovel to you.
Don’t condense our cultures to an easy stereotype. Don’t let our stories become distorted for entertainment. Fight for good writing, fight for good designs. Fight for a movie you would be proud to watch. Give us something more than a rebellious teen who is Polynesian simply because they say she is.
Please. Please. With all my heart, a’ohe hana nui ka alu’ia. No task is too big when done together.
good to know.
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-The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation (link here)
The hashtag #WhiteFeministRants was started by @RaniaKhalek in response to The Nation piece on “toxic feminism”, a piece that purposely obscured structural power differences and racism within feminism as to why the responses (to various stunts by White feminists) from women of colour do not always have a “nice tone” and are thereby deemed “toxic.” I previously posted about that article and shared an important quote from another response piece to that article. The tweets I sent above were specific to Black women and experiences with mainstream feminism because that’s my experience as a Black woman, but of course Black women aren’t the only ones repeatedly marginalized in these daily hit pieces, within feminism and within society itself. But the role of anti-Blackness within such friction cannot be denied either.
If we’re going to have an honest conversation about problems in feminism (which simply reflects White supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy itself, “feminist” label or not) but cannot discuss why some womanists/Black feminists, women of colour who are feminists, trans women, sex workers, poor women, disabled women etc. respond to these hit pieces and structural exclusion and oppression because of White Feminism/mainstream feminism's proximity to the State and distance from the oppressed, then things like what I mentioned in the tweets above (which is not really hyperbole…at all) need to be included in claims of “toxicity.”
I do not randomly tweet White women. Other than a handful who are kind to me, I don’t talk to too many online about topics of any significance. I don’t have any White women friends offline because of the abuse I experienced at their hands in high school, college, grad school, a decade of corporate America and social groups/gatherings/in public. So I am not running around planning to be “toxic” to White women or White feminists specifically. I don’t troll them or anyone online. Sometimes I discuss their harmful work and I don’t always tweet them directly. I focus on my life and my work, but that work includes deconstructing racism and how this (among many other identity facets) differentiates how we experience gender. And racism amidst feminism does not get a pass nor am I doing so because I want some kinda “White approval” that they deny me. So this idea that I could ever talk about it “too much” or should ignore it and grin, smile and tap dance for White feminists is an idea that will not ever be valid to me.
Oh and by the way, when they’re saying things like what I mentioned in my tweets above—reinforcing White supremacist narratives and norms about Black women as feminists, mothers, writers etc.—that stuff hurts. I understand that Whites think that Black people—especially Black women—do not experience pain in the way Whites do or at all (as actual research has confirmed their thoughts), that is actually a White supremacist lie with centuries of history used to justify the dehumanization of Black people. These things hurt. And while their “feelings” get “hurt” by critiques that I make of their racist, White supremacist, anti-intersectional, purposely obscuring structural power type of pieces, planning and action, their lies about who I am as a Black woman threatens my life. There is no “both sides” that “goes both ways” when one “side” has White supremacy—which they do not use their feminism to deconstruct—supporting them.
Related Essay List: 2013: A Year Of White Supremacy and Racism In Mainstream Feminism