Stuff Anna Likes

I'm only a little bit crazy.

If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”

And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.

And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.

It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.

The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.

As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.

—    Junot Diaz speaking at Word Up Bookshop, 2012 (via ofgrammatology)s,

(via racebending)

You'll Never Believe Which Famous Authors Hated Each Other's Writing (INFOGRAPHIC)

http://lightspeedsound.tumblr.com/post/91119112509/the-goddamazon-eshusplayground

the-goddamazon:

eshusplayground:

lightspeedsound:

No but seriously what does it take for white people in a fandom to acknowledge that a person of color is NOT WHITE though.

You have characters who have fucking ethnically coded names and background stories and it’s like “well…

“I want you to know, I will never want that wagon wheel coffee table.”

—   most romantic thing said in a movie ever, or why I have never had a functional adult relationship (via dilemmabovary)

(via deftly)

“Since the romantics we’ve all been big fans of the natural, as though natural equals good. Shitting in your pants is natural, wanting to boink the pizza-delivery kid is natural. Stabbing people who get in front of you at the cafeteria line—that’s probably a natural impulse. Where do you draw the line between what’s good natural and what’s bad natural?”

—   Mary Karr, The Paris Review (via dilemmabovary)

(Source: thefeltleaning, via dilemmabovary)

Asian Suffragettes – Women Who Made a Difference.

systematicgenocide:

Photograph of Indian suffragettes on the Women's Coronation Proc

Women’s Coronation Procession, 17 June 1911, courtesy of the Museum of London


The vital role that Asian women played in the feminist movement in early 20th century England has gone largely unnoticed.

By the 1900s, women had been campaigning for the right to vote for nearly half a century. In 1903, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was founded in Manchester, breathing new life into the suffragette movement and fighting for the rights of all women, regardless of their nationality.

Although British women were perceived as the weaker sex, they were also labelled as morally superior to men, making them the logical choice to raise children and care for the home. Inevitably, feminists were accused of neglecting their nurturing duties during their public struggle for equality. Their response to this was to find a cause that would emphasise their moral high ground, giving them a plausible reason to fight for their rights.

Asian women filled this niche.

During this tumultuous time and at the height of British colonisation, many Asian women found themselves adrift within British society. Most had entered the country on ships employed by English families as ayahs (nannies) and, once they’d served their few weeks at sea, were dismissed, expected to survive on their own. Securing passage back to India was seasonal and often difficult especially during wartime, leaving hundreds of young women stranded far from home.

Many British high society feminists voiced concerns for their Indian sisters, regarding them as passive victims. Their mission was to rescue these perceived objects of pity and misfortune. This concept was not limited to the stranded ayahs in Britain but was generalised to include the oppressed women still in Asia.

A gradual change in this compassionate but superior attitude came about as Asian women grew stronger and more outspoken, not only in Britain but also in India. By 1905, Asian women were emerging to show public support of various political activities and the exploitation of women and their traditional roles were challenged.

This show of strength and solidarity for the global women’s movement and political causes in general, worked to forge a new respect for British women’s Indian sisters, refuting the portrayal of helplessness. Two influential Asian women, in particular, Sophia Duleep Singh and Bhikaji Cama became powerful and influential suffragettes, fighting for Asian women and Indian independence.

Sophie Duleep Singh, of Asian descent, was born in Norfolk. She caught typhoid as a child. A battler, even at nine, she recovered from the fever but sadly, her mother did not and Sophie’s father left his children in the care of foster parents. As Sophie grew, her social life and connections flourished and she joined the WSPU, becoming an active campaigner and fundraiser for women’s rights. She was also a member of the Women’s Tax Resistance League and made many appearances in court for non-payment of taxes. She strongly opposed the injustice of making a woman pay taxes when she had no right to vote or voice her opinion on how those taxes were spent. In 1911, Sophie was fined by the courts for refusing to pay taxes due on her five dogs and man servant. The courts also impounded her diamond ring and auctioned it off. However, the auction was attended by many women’s right campaigners. One of these was a Mrs Topling who purchased the ring and promptly returned it to Sophie.

Tax resistance was not Sophie Duleep Singh’s only form of defiance; she also took part in many acts of civil disobedience. In 1910 she marched at the head of the Black Friday deputation to the Houses of Parliament, protesting the paper shuffling and delays involved in reading a bill in Parliament that would give women the vote. This protest ended in police violence and the death of two suffragettes. During World War II, Sophie also took part in the 10,000-strong Women’s War Work procession led by Emmeline Pankhurst to support the involvement of more women in the war effort.

Bhikaji Cama was also a prominent suffragette and ardent socialist, actively campaigning for gender equality and Indian independence. Born in Bombay in 1861, she came from a wealthy Parsi business family and attended the Alexandra Native Girls Institution, one of the best Indian schools of the time. She was married at the age of 24 and, as this union was an unhappy one, Bhikaji spent much of her time involved in social work and helping women less fortunate then herself. She became particularly proactive in campaigning for a free India.

In 1902, Bhikaji applied herself to helping victims of the Bubonic Plague and contracted the dreaded disease herself. She survived, but was left weak and physically vulnerable. Her doctors advised her to travel to Europe until she had recuperated. While in London, Bhikaji was able to reinforce her belief in the equality of the sexes and became involved with the suffragette movement. The strength of the women she met and their belief in the possibility of change fed her resolve to continue her campaign for an independent India. She held regular meetings at Hyde Park, India House and, as her strength grew, became a highly influential figure to many other Asian and British suffragettes and free India activists.

While in London, Bhikaji was dealt a powerful blow. She would be prevented from returning to India unless she desisted in her nationalist activities. Unwilling to step away from the causes she believed in, she rejected this offer and was subsequently extradited to Paris. Influenced by the suffragette movement, Bhikaji was vehement in her support for gender equality and soon became involved with other high profile activists and continued her dual campaign from her home in Paris. She invited many world revolutionaries into her home, exchanging ideas with Lenin and assisting Savarkar to publish his book, The Indian War of Independence. As well as being a role model and illustrating the strength and determination of a woman through her actions, Bhikaji also contributed more directly to the suffragette movement. She spoke at a National Conference in Cairo in 1910, attended only by men stating that “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that moulds the nation,” emphasising the role of women in their maternal role of shaping the nation.

Sophie Duleep Singh and Bhikaji Cama are both compelling examples of Asian women who played important parts in the suffragette movement in Britain in the early 20th century. Their direct contributions to the effort cannot be denied but their strength and outstanding courage in the face of great odds has allowed them to become powerful role models for women and girls all over the world.

(via unsungvoicesexperience)

White supremacy is the “ethnic” section of the hair aisle. It’s the “African-American” section of the bookstore that’s mostly romance novels for some reason. It’s the prison-industrial complex. It’s Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra.

It’s the fact that most of the wealth and power in the western world sits squarely in the hands of white people. It’s any part of society that treats white as the default and everything else as “other.”

White supremacy is a holdover from the days of colonialism and slavery, but it’s been largely upheld by people who either pretend it’s not there, consciously sustain it, or reinforce it to survive. Respectability politics falls in the latter category.

giovannismama:

pag-asaharibon:

Pinay transgender model in NY ‘to come out again’ in May 3 event

For transgender model Geena Rocero, 30, coming out appeared to have occurred in stages, one exhilarating episode at a time.

The first time was at age 15 when she won a beauty pageant in the Philippines, then at 19 when she underwent a gender reassignment surgery in Thailand. That surgery would pave the way for her to acquire a San Francisco driver’s license identifying her as Female with the name Geena spelled “with a double E” as in Geena Davis of the cult hit “Thelma and Louise.”

“I remember looking at my California driver’s license,” Geena told a recent TED Talks conference. “That was a powerful moment.”

With that personal revelation last month, Geena came out yet again. For the first time, her New York friends and colleagues, including her agent came to learn about her true gender identity. A model under contract with Next Model Management, Geena said she came out because she’d like to lend her voice “to help others live their truths.”

The Philippine-born Geena came to New York in 2005 to fulfill her dream of becoming a top model. She would later became a model for companies like Hanes, Target, Macy’s and Rimmel Cosmetics.

Although she came to an early realization at age 5 that she may be more ‘girl’ than ‘boy,’ it would be at age 15 when she joined her first beauty pageant on the goading of a woman who promised to take care of her registration fee and gowns. Geena won Best in Swimsuit and Best in Long Gown in addition to placing 2nd runner-up among 40-plus candidates in a Philippine province.

She would join more beauty contests wherever they were held – in the back of a truck or at a pavement near the rice fields — and found herself enjoying all attention and to a certain extent the validation of a long-held dream.

It was when she achieved success as a model that she decided to open up about her true gender identity. The death of Islan Nettles, a transgender woman from Harlem who was beaten to death and whose alleged attacker did not face charges, moved Geena to advocate for transgender individuals who face constant threats of hate and violence.

“Our suicide rate is nine times higher than the general population,” she said. Hate, she declared, ended Nettles’s life.

On May 3, Geena will come out yet again before the Filipino American community. She is confirmed to speak at NextDayBetter’s Defining Breakthroughs series where she will introduce Gender Proud her advocacy group that is working toward a “more progressive” gender marker legislation. The series will be held at the Centre for Social Innovation at 601 W. 26th St #325.

CEO and co-founder Ryan Letada said NextDayBetter is a platform for exploring world-changing ideas that inspire and “move humanity forward.”

Additional content on Geena

Talked about her for our QACON14 workshop with samissodeep

(Source: bakubreath, via unsungvoicesexperience)