This is the Mandela that I mourn not the white-washed, sanitized version of a revolutionary figure that aligned with Communists, was part of a group branded as terrorists by Reagan, who continued to voice his opposition to Israel’s apartheid regime and illegal occupation of the West Bank and used armed resistance to fight apartheid in South Africa.
The way white people are exalting him across the political spectrum globally based on his national reconciliation work in South Africa post-apartheid (which did have major pitfalls for non-whites in particular) and erasing his revolutionary past and fight for equality across the globe shows just how ignorant of history they are and how incredibly myopic they are too.
White people are doing to Mandela what they’ve already done to Martin Luther King, Jr., and it makes me sick. If I see one more racist white liberal lionizing Mandela in a way that erases his revolutionary past so their facebook status about his death can serve as their “feel-good” justification of the day for their “liberalism,” I’m going to be sick. And don’t even get me started on the white American conservatives who are now lauding him even as Reagan demonized the ANC and Dick Cheney voted against a resolution that would have urged the South African apartheid government to remove Mandela from prison.
Don’t sanitize Mandela for your white comfort. He’s a hero in many regards, but maybe not for the reasons you might think based on the whitewashing he’s receiving in the media to hollow him out and make him into a puppet figure for racist white liberals and conservatives alike, just like MLK.
“What confuses me most is, if everybody in [Colorado] can carry a quarter-ounce of pot in their pocket, how will you indiscriminately arrest young black men?”—Stephen Colbert, December 6, 2013 (via afloweroutofstone)
“[MI5 Officer] Mary Sherer met Phyllis McKenzie, who had worked for British intelligence in New York during the war, and the two women became inseparable. They lived together for the rest of their lives, ‘perfect foils for each other’. Within MI5 they were assumed to be lesbians or, rather, Lesbians [always capitalized in MI5 documents, possibly as a holdover of classical education]. Together they moved to Rome and opened the Lion Bookshop on Via del Babuino near the Spanish Steps. ‘Mary was a very fast runner and would think nothing of pursuing the rather numerous petty thieves that abounded in Rome during and after the war. She loved a challenge.’ This formidable pair of English ladies, known as ‘the Lionesses,’ spent their days surrounded by books and a large posse of dogs: Pekinese, French bulldogs, and pugs, ‘all of which Mary doted on’.”—
As much as I would love this in a movie I hope dearly it is never made. Because they would sexualize the women to pull in a male audience which is ridiculously disrespectful. And it wouldn’t be a ‘hot dyke’ type of way it would be in a ‘this is what men want two women to do to be hot’ kind of way.
That or they’d PG-13 it and piss me off by ignoring the romantic plot and generally not treating it like they would a het couple.
Fortunately it’s highly unlikely that this would happen. A story revolving around queer people who have interesting lives outside of being queer and a happy fluffy ending? Aint’ happening.
Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, “I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her”?
Or when you told your son, “A woman’s virginity isn’t a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn’t earn you a point”?
How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that “a woman doesn’t have to be fighting you and you don’t have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can’t legally consent, NOT that she’s an easy score.”
Or maybe you recall sharing my personal favorite, “Your sexual experiences don’t dictate your worth just like a woman’s sexual experiences don’t dictate hers.”
Last but not least, do you remember calling your son out when you discovered he was using the word “slut” liberally? Or when you overheard him talking about some girl from school as if she were more of a conquest than a person?
I want you to consider these conversations and then ask yourself why you don’t remember them. The likely reason is because you didn’t have them. In fact, most parents haven’t had them.
And please don’t wait until he’s old enough for it to be an explicitly sex-based conversation. Boundaries don’t suddenly leap into existence at puberty. There are ways to talk about consent and respect that even toddlers can understand. My son is three, and we have LOTS of conversations with him about how he doesn’t get to touch ANYBODY’S body (or their clothes, or their toys) without their permission. That he needs to keep his mean words to himself. That it’s important to take care of other people.
For example. He loves being tickled, until he doesn’t anymore. So we have a great giggly tickly time until he says something like “no more,” at which point I take my hands away. (This doesn’t have to mean fun time is over — we can then lie there and giggle in an out-of-breath way at each other for a few minutes, and then sometimes we’re all done but sometimes he then says “more tickles!” See how far this analogy can take you?)
And then later on when he forgets to respect someone else’s boundaries (because let’s face it, he’s THREE), I can tell him “you know how I stop tickling you when you tell me ‘enough’? You also have to stop when someone tells you it’s not fun anymore.”
White feminism is “Miley can dress however she wants, don’t slut shame her”
Actual feminism is “Miley can dress however she wants but she crossed a line when she started using another culture as a means to rebel and utilized black women and little people as shocking accessories in her music videos and live performances”
you’ve had nicki and rihanna for years you don’t need a miley
“I am a Mohawk woman… You cannot ask me to speak as a woman because I cannot speak as just a woman. That is not the voice that I have been given. Gender does not transcend race. The voice that I have been given is the voice of a Mohawk woman and if you must talk about me about women, somewhere along the line you must talk about race.”—Patricia A. Monture-Okanee, “The Violence We Women Do: A First Nations View” (via taleth)
“When you work in form, be it a sonnet or villanelle or whatever, the form is there and you have to fill it. And you have to find how to make that form say what you want to say. But what you find, always—I think any poet who’s worked in form will agree with me—is that the form leads you to what you want to say. It is wonderful and mysterious. I think something similar happens in fiction. A genre is a form, in a sense, and that can lead you to ideas that you would not have just thought up if you were working in an undefined field. It must have something to do with the way our minds are constructed.”—
I don’t have an obligation to be healthy, actually, and I don’t have an obligation to rush to assure you that I’m a ‘good fatty’ with great cholesterol and good scores on other health indicators allegedly related to weight. I don’t have an obligation to tell you that fat isn’t correlated with health because I shouldn’t have to justify the existence of fat people by informing you that you don’t understand how fat bodies work, and you’re not familiar with the latest studies on fatness, morbidity and mortality, health indicators, and social trends.
Because fat people have a right to exist, healthy or unhealthy, and this whole argument about health is a red herring. It suggests that if only fat people could prove that fat and health aren’t coupled, they’d be okay. Society is just concerned for us—worried that we’ll be felled too soon, taking our glorious minds into the ground with us to rot, all because we were fat and we refused to take personal responsibility for our fatness.
Here’s the thing, though: fat people have a right to exist, no matter what their health status is, and their health status is both not your business and not evidence to be used when determining whether they should be found wanting. Fatness is just a characteristic, one with which many people have a complex relationship because it’s socially loaded. Your judgement about fat has not been requested, nor is it required.