Why I Encourage Activism

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I’ve always been strong-willed and passionate about issues that I care about. Silence in the presence of something that is wrong or unjust is the same as endorsing it in my eyes. I think it is so important to utilize the voice that we have and speak up for the issues we care about. I think people often feel disconnected from issues unless it directly affects them, or they feel as if they don’t have a place in the fight. That’s a dangerous way of thinking because it allows more injustices to continue, possibly even to the point where people take them as normal occurrences. I’m not saying you have to walk around with a crowd of people holding up signs, but you can do SOMETHING. Not contributing to the injustices is a good start, and maybe then you can encourage others to do the same. I’ve never understood the argument that one person doesn’t make a substantial difference. When we’re talking about issues that affect people and this earth we live on, then any difference at all that is made should be seen as ssubstantialand important.

Findings for the Feminist Fitness Freak

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We’ve all seen the normal “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” or “Drop it like a Squat” workout tank tops, but I was able to stumble across some pretty cool workout tanks with feminist messages on them. I’ve posted the links to the websites so you can check them out!

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e3f0185c2f1d06d9885896d7ab6db7c1http://www.lookhuman.com/design/33938-i-squat-so-i-can-kick-the-patriarchy-in-the-ass-even-harder

http://www.lookhuman.com/design/30995-training-to-smash-the-patriarchy

The Cherokee Word For Water

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Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief in the modern Cherokee Nation, died four years ago, but her legacy still lives on. “The Cherokee Word For Water” is a feature-length film narrative that expound upon work Mankiller was completing and recounts the work that led her to become the first modern female chief. The plot line of the story follows and Cherokee community that uses tradition Cherokee values of loyalty and connection with one another that leads to interdependence. The film is directed by Charlie Soap, Mankiller’s husband.

check out the trailer

New Jeopardy Category: “What Women Want”

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Really??? You’re treading a thin line anyways when you generalize an entire group of people, but apparently jeopardy knows exactly what all women want. This category probably had harmless, non-sexist intentions. However, the answers to the questions seem to reinforce the whole era of women as domestic housewife perception we’ve been trying to get past. Here’s a clip from that shows some of these questions.

Halloween ideas…other than a sexy cop

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sacfas

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love dressing up for Halloween. What I don’t like is the cultural norm of encouraging girls to “dress like sluts”. First of all, dressing up as a costume of your choosing does not in any way lead to you dressing like a “slut”…I despise the word slut anyways. Second, the Halloween costume industry is another example of sexualizing females. I don’t really recall seeing “sexy” versions for all of the guy’s costumes. Wear as little, or as much clothing as you want for your Halloween costume. Just don’t name call if someone chooses to dress in a way that you wouldn’t. That’s their choice.

If you’re  looking for a Halloween costume idea that doesn’t involve something super uncomfortable and impractical? Check out Huffington Post’s article on alternative costume ideas.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/29/halloween-costumes-for-women-2014_n_5844674.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Andrea Gibson’s Poem: “Privilege is Not Having to Think About It.”

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Here is one of my favorite feminist poets Andrea Gibson. In “Privilege is Not Having to Think About It” she addresses the harsh reality of the continual while male privilege through recounting her experience of working with a black poet.

Privilege is Never Having to Think About it
Touring with a Black Poet-for Sonya Renee

She steps out of the hotel bathroom dressed to the nines, stilettos sharp in her glossy glossy
elegant tailored boom glittering a bold burgundy neckline
Locks her shining eyes in the worn Tshirt I haven’t changed in days and says “are you going to wear that on stage?”
I smile, gloating in the cool of my gritty apathy, the oh so thrift store of my dirty grunge
She says ‘honey, do you have any idea how much privilege it takes to think it is cool to dress poor? You wear that dirty shirt; you are a radical saving the world. I wear that dirty shirt and I am a broke junkie thief getting followed around every store

That conversation happened years ago
On the same tour where Sonya watched me pay 75 bucks to have my haircut in a way that would make me look like quote “I couldn’t afford a haircut”

The same tour that began the day after I was the feature performer at a university’s women of color symposium
No. I did not ask whether or not they should feature a woman of color instead.
Yes. I got paid.
I’m pretty sure it was a good paycheck.

Just like I’m pretty sure someone licked the paycheck when Trayvon Martin’s gun range targets got sold out in two days
I know those things are not exactly the same

I know I wanted to burn every noose white seam of our cotton flag when Trayvon Martin’s mother was on the witness stand trying to convince a jury of mostly white mothers that she could actually recognize the sound of her own son’s scream

I know I wanted to split the fucking sky when I heard the whip of the verdict and Sonya had posted online
“How many different ways can this country tell me I am worthless”

I know it was right then that I walked upstairs and started counting the hoodies in my closet
I have fourteen
hoodies that tell me I will never be forced to dress a wound as deep as my mothers heart
She will never be woken in her sleep to peel my body off gated grass
To beg God to sow the hole in my chest

I know my family will never have to hear justice say it wasn’t until I was lying in my casket that I was wearing the right clothes

I know a woman who once knew a woman who collected the metal collars they used to lock around the necks of black children to chain them to the auction block
I was told she hung them on the walls of her home for decoration
I remember when I used to believe that was the entire definition of racism

Believed there was no one hanging in my wardrobe
Believed my style had nothing in common with king Leopold’s
Thought I am not outfitting the Congo in spilled blood
I am just buttoning up my shirt here
I am just rolling up my sleeves
I am not unstitching the face of Emmett Till
I am not unzippering the wail of his mothers grief
The laces of my shoes are just the laces of my shoes
They could not tie a body to a tree.
I am not fashioning a noose here.
Sonya, do you hear me?
My compassion is not a costume
My passivity is not hate
My privilege is not genocide
This is just how I cut my hair
That was just how they cut the cheque
This is just how I dress
Your wound
I don’t even think about
what I wear

— Andrea Gibson “Privilege is Never Having to Think About it: Touring with a Black Poet for Sonya Renee”

Male Privilege is “I Have a Boyfriend”

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got-privilege

A clear and also common example of male privilege that you may not think about could present itself in the following scenario.

guy: *hits on girl

girl: “Sorry, not interested”

guy: *continues to hit on girl

girl: “Seriously dude, not interested”

guy: *..still trying

girl: “I have a boyfriend”

guy: *stops relentless flirtation efforts.

While not ever guy will simply stop unwanted advances towards a woman because she has a boyfriend, that is exactly what many do. Thankfully the unwanted advances may stop, but what bothers me is the reason they stop. It is not out of respect for the female’s lack of sexual/romantic interest in the guy, but rather the male to male respect that would create boundary lines.