The awesome Marianne of xoJane put out a call for women of color to write for their weekend edition, and I answered. One of Ingrid and Greta‘s three cats, Houdini, makes a special appearance.
I can personally attest to the success of respecting animals. Last spring, I stayed with some friends of mine. As soon as I entered their house, two of their three cats were all over me begging for playtime and attention, but I hardly caught even a glimpse of the third.
When she peeked in at us with curiosity, I resisted the temptation to chase or pester her by reminding myself that I was in her territory and probably smelled weird to her. The second evening I was there, I got out of the bathroom only to find her standing in front of me. I lowered myself to the ground, maintaining distance, and slowly stretched my hand out to her in greeting.
What happened with Houdini and me? You can check out more of my thoughts on animal consent to find out.
Let’s get this out of the way. Racial bias in the prison-industrial complex we call the criminal justice system is real; the story is written in the statistics. Legislation is not and never has been enough to achieve true and lasting equality. Martin Luther King Jr. was not some hippie who sat quietly and never raised his voice; neither did he magically end racism nor ignore classism and structural issues.
What’s going on Ferguson is awful. I can’t view coverage of it without my throat tightening in sympathetic fear and grief while my fists ball in rage. It’s the same feeling I got when I attended a vigil for Trayvon Martin, the same feeling I got when I wept with every other member of the audience as I watched Fruitvale Station. I’m not sure what I can directly to help other than to continue to raise awareness and fight misconceptions.
In that light, it has really been heartening to see sites that aren’t primarily focused on racial issues — or, in once case, even news — covering what’s been going on. Feminism hardly has a history of inclusivity on matters affecting people who aren’t white middle class cis women. Intersectionality sounds like a buzzword, and people use it as an identity, but it’s really an approach to thinking and acting that helps to improve feminist thought. The following four feminist-ish sites, in the past few days, have been demonstrating what intersectionality in action means. I’m ordering them from most to least generally problematic.
Continue reading “Ferguson Link Round-Up, or Intersectionality, You’re Doing It Right”
This Throwback Thursday entry is brought to you by the fact that the original article to which it was responding, Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend”, has been making the rounds again. The original title for this piece is I’ll Stop Citing a Boyfriend When My Consent Starts Mattering; it was published on September 10, 2013. I have shortened it and added in the sentence about cause and effect.
Before I started dating, I listened to a lot of men. One of their biggest complaints was that women aren’t straightforward enough. “Why don’t women just say no?” they lamented. “I waste all this time pursuing women because I don’t know for sure that they don’t want me.”
I have always believed in honesty and directness, so it seemed absurd to me that all these women weren’t just saying “no” when “no” was what they meant. Sentiments like those found in this article could’ve been snatched from my lips in those days.
I think the solution is simple — we simply stop using excuses. If a man is coming on to you […], respond with something like this: “I’m not interested.” Don’t apologize and don’t excuse yourself. If they question your response (which is likely), persist — “No, I said I’m not interested.”
Just be honest and all will work out, right?
Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Stop Telling Me to Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend””