Blogging “Yes” Day 12: Trying Rape of Black Women in the Media

17 04 2010

We’re at day twelve of the Blogging “Yes” project, and today I read the essay “Trial by Media: Black Female Lasciviousness and the Question of Consent” by Samhita Mukhopadhyay (yes, two Feministing contributors in a row, if you noticed).  This essay gets back to the question of black female sexuality and focuses especially on cases like the Duke lacrosse case and how the rape of women of color is “tried” in the media.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




Blogging “Yes” Day 11: Rape, Immigration, and Citizenship Privilege

15 04 2010

Today I read Miriam Zoila Pérez’s essay, “When Sexual Autonomy Isn’t Enough: Sexual Violence Against Immigrant Women in the United States” for day eleven of the Blogging “Yes” project.  You may know Miriam from Feministing, or from her own blog, Radical Doula.  She’s one of my favorite bloggers out there, and in this essay she sheds light on an important issue, namely sexual violence faced by immigrant women. I also want to recommend a related blog post on Feministe written by brownfemipower, Confronting Citizenship in Sexual Assault.

Read the rest of this entry »





Blogging “Yes” Day 7: New Forms of Survivor Activism

12 04 2010

For day seven of the Blogging “Yes” project, I read an essay by Sri Lankan writer and activist Leah Lakshmi Piepezna-Samarasinha entitled “What It Feels Like When It Finally Comes: Surviving Incest in Real Life.”  I found this essay particularly powerful because Piepezna-Samarasinha really gets into the different ways she went through the healing process after child sexual abuse, and in so doing provides an alternative to the Oprah model of survivor memoir that focuses on the event itself and the immediate aftermath only.  I think all kinds of survivors could learn some lessons about healing and about activism from Piepezna-Samarasinha’s experience, and I especially like how she focuses on intersectionality.

Read the rest of this entry »





Blogging “Yes” Day 6: Queering Black Heterosexuality and Intersectional Queers

11 04 2010

For day six of the blogging “yes” project, I read “Queering Black Female Heterosexuality” by Kimberly Springer.  Springer’s essay addresses black female sexuality and the problems with the mammy vs. jezebel stereotypes and appropriates queer discourse (sort of) in searching for a solution to this false dichotomy.  I found this an interesting take on the intersection between race and sexuality, though aimed entirely at a heterosexual audience.

Read the rest of this entry »





Roundup: First Blog Carnival on Privilege

29 03 2010

Welcome to the First Blog Carnival on Privilege!  First, thanks to all the bloggers who contributed to this first round of the carnival.  I was excited to see all the different takes on privilege represented here, and the diversity of those who submitted.  You can see all the entries below the cut, and follow links through to read the complete posts.  I also want to announce that we will be having a second carnival, since this first round was so successful.  To give everyone plenty of time to think about submissions, the second carnival entries will be due Sunday, May 23rd.  The topic for the second carnival will be White Privilege, so start thinking about race and racism for your posts.  I would also accept posts for the second carnival that deal with other sorts of racial privilege, for example if you want to write about a community where one group is privileged based on the color of their skin, but that group isn’t “white,” that’s perfectly fine.  Submissions again can be e-mailed to judithavory@gmail.com.  If we get a lot of submissions again, then I’ll probably switch over to a monthly format, and perhaps ask for other hosts for future carnivals.  Also, because this came up a couple of times in this round, I do prefer new posts, but if you want to submit an older post for a carnival and not rehash an issue, that’s also fine.

And now, on with the carnival!

Read the rest of this entry »





Perspective: Race and Nation

24 01 2009

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about perspective this week.  

It’s a topic I often hone in on, though in my everyday life I settle fairly firmly into my own shoes, like most people.  Still, I remember the absolute eureka moment when I once learned about some particular African tribal practice (don’t ask me now what it was) and it occurred to me, some time late in my high school career, that I didn’t know shit about what it meant to look at a problem from a different perspective.  I thought I knew difference, but in fact, the multitude of options of this world are always going to be beyond my grasp – and I like that.  I like knowing that there’s always a new way of looking at things, a new way of understanding.

Wednesday night, I went to an MLK week discussion called “Open Mouth, Insert Foot: An Open Community Discussion on Hate.”  Though a lot of what we talked about were things I’d already considered, I did hear some perspectives that were new to me.  It had never occurred to me, for example, that when journalists always mention that the Postville immigration raids happened at the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the country, the decision to include the kosher part might be interpreted as anti-Semitic, even though Judaism is part of my (rather complex and syncretic) faith.  As a panelist put it, “those guys weren’t Jewish crooks.  They were crooks.”

Yesterday, I listened to an inspiring address by National Urban League President Marc Morial on the topic of Obama’s presidency and the new multi-racial America.  He’s a fabulous speaker, and even in a lecture hall at the law school with maybe thirty people, he spoke as if he were addressing a crowd of hundreds.  He made a lot of very poignant statements, but the one I copied down was this: “We as we look to the future cannot be restrained and straitjacketed by the analytical frameworks of the past.”  A simple statement, yes, but immensely powerful.  He spoke about how whites will soon no longer be the majority, but also about how minorities themselves are complex and diverse – more Africans and Caribbean blacks, for example, are coming to this country, and Latino and Asian populations are similarly made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of interests, values, and concerns.  He didn’t mention this, but I also thought about how ethnic minorities include women, and LGBT people, and linguistic and religious minorities.  He spoke about how the society is not post-racial, but multi-racial, and we should embrace that.  I wholeheartedly agree.  I also would add that we should reach across lines, find commonalities and use those points to approach and learn about difference.  For example, I have friends who are women of color whom I met because we share a lesbian sexuality.  Though I’m learning how to do this in appropriate ways, I would like to use this connection to ask questions about these friends’ perspectives as a racial minority, and as women of color specifically, and I would like to learn what interests and concerns these friends have that are different from my own, both as someone who may be involved in policy and also just as an interested citizen.

Finally, I read this article by Robert Kagan for my European Union law class, and I found it very interesting (and readable whether you’re a legal person or not).  Rather than race, it’s talking about the difference in perspectives based on position of power, comparing the United States and Europe, and it’s a way of looking at geopolitics that I hadn’t quite considered.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of this.





A Haiku

17 01 2009

Stars and Stripes

There’s red states and blue,

But what it all comes down to

Is the votes of whites.