“Like most guys, I had bought into the stereotype that all feminists were white, lesbian, unattractive male bashers who hated all men. But after reading the work of these black feminists, I realized that this was far from the truth. After digging into their work, I came to really respect the intelligence, courage and honesty of these women. Feminists did not hate men. In fact, they loved men. But just as my father had silenced my mother during their arguments to avoid hearing her gripes, men silenced feminists by belittling them in order to dodge hearing the truth about who we are.”—
“I had such shame about being the way I was. Because I was sent to therapy, I thought ‘Wow I’m so sensitive and so crazy and so weird’ and all this stuff. There’s something wrong with that. And I felt so ashamed of that for so long it turned into anger. Why am I spending all my time trying to hide the fact I have deep emotions? What’s wrong with that? Why am I letting people tell me there’s something wrong with that? Fuck that. If everyone’s gonna tell me that’s wrong, then I’m gonna do the opposite of what they’re telling me to do. I’m not gonna hide anymore. In fact, I’m going to stick it in your face. You think it’s bad to be sensitive? Fuck you, I’m sensitive. Here it is, and I’m gonna smash it in your face as much as I can.”—Fiona Apple (via thechocolatebrigade)
African American girls and young women have become the fastest growing population of incarcerated young people in the country. Efforts to stop mass incarceration focused on black girls are almost nonexistant in government policy, the media, foundations and academia. Sociologist Nikki Jones of UC Santa Barbara, and Meda Chesney-Lind, University of Hawaii opened up the conference with a look at the statistics. “No”, said Jones, “Black girls are not committing more crimes, even though they are being incarcerated in record numbers.” “I’ve been studying this for decades,” said Chesney-Lind. She added, “We have never seen these kind of numbers before. National policies like zero tolerance are responsible for the school to prison pipeline. And a dual justice system that treats white girls differently from black girls is disproportionately impacting African American girls.”
She continued, “In 2008, we knew the arrest rate in California was 49 out of every 1,000 for black girls, 8.9 per 1,000 for white girls and 14.9 per 1,000 for Latinas.” The cause of the over criminalization of African American young women is best understood by looking back through the lens of American history and the ideological construction of black criminality. “The shackles of slavery endured into other eras, including convict leasing systems and chain gangs,” said Prisicilla Ocen, a professor at UCLA’s Critical Race Studies. “In order to sustain these systems, de-humanizing stereotypes of black women were created to maintain the difference between white and African American women,” she said. “Black girls are still dealing with racial and gendered stereotypes that were used to justify punishment.” Ocen continued, “These historical stereotypes laid the groundwork for the creation of a dual criminal justice system – one where African American women and girls are treated differently for the same behaviors.”
“Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.”—Clare Boothe Luce (via ladyatheist)
“Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.”—Audre Lorde (via lunetlautre)
My name is Wayne Maines, I live in Old Town. I have a 13-year-old transgender daughter. In the beginning, I was not onboard with this reality. Like many of you I doubted transgender children could exist, I doubted my wife and I doubted our counselors and doctors. However I never doubted my love for my child. It was only through observing her pain and her suffering and examining my lack of knowledge about these issues did I begin to question my behavior and my conservative values. I learned that the medical standard of care requires parents seek assistance from a panel of experts. We did this and our team of doctors recommended my daughter to live fully as a girl. We cannot turn back now.
When my daughter lost her privileges at school and both children and adults targeted her, I knew I had to change and I have never looked back.
When we moved to Maine, it was clear my daughter was transitioning from male to female with us or without us. She used the girl’s bathroom with no fanfare; she was confident and very social. Her strong personality helped the entire school transition right along side of her. She was proud and secure with herself and when people asked at the young age of six she openly stated that she was a girl trapped in a boy’s body.
The transformation was amazing, but her happiness would not last. Unfortunately the fears of others would destroy everything that our team of doctors, teachers, school counselors, friends and classmates had work so hard to establish.
I know that it is difficult for some of you to understand the needs of transgender children. You only need to spend some time with these kids to see that they are struggling and suffering beyond your imagination only because they are singled out and misunderstood. They are just like your children and grandchildren; they have the same hopes and the same dreams.
In the fifth grade because of significant negative exposure we had to take drastic measures to protect her from harm, including splitting our family up to go in hiding and we are not the only family that has had to do so. When she was told she could no longer use the appropriate bathroom her confidence and self-esteem took a major hit. Prior to this my daughter often said, “Dad being transgender is no big deal, my friends and I have it under control.” I was very proud of her. It was only when adults became involved with their unfounded fears that her world would be turned upside down. “She came to me crying and asked, “Daddy what did I do wrong? Daddy please fix this?” That is what dads do — we fix things. I had to break her heart and say, “You have not done anything wrong sweetie, but Mommy and I do not know how to fix this, but we will try.”
Continuing to single these kids out is not necessary. Having the opportunity to use the bathrooms of their true gender is essential for these kids’ well being. This bill places transgender children in a position of doom and hopelessness. This bill tells my daughter that she does not have the same rights as her classmates and reinforces her opinion that she has no future. Help me give her the future she deserves. Do not pass this bill.
- Wayne Maines, in a testimony against Maine’s proposed bill which would allow the operator of a restroom or shower facility to decide who can use which gender’s restroom based upon “biological sex.”
Originally posted by Joanne Herman at Huffington Post (follow link to read her commentary on this amazing testimony)
This is an important, moving piece. I suggest everyone reads it.
A white woman, about 51 years old, was seated next to a black man on an airplane. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air hostess. "Madam, what is the matter?" the hostess asked. "You obviously do not see it," she responded. "You placed me next to a black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat." "Be calm please," the hostess replied. "Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another place is available." The Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later. "Mam, I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is also no seat in the business class. All the same, we still have one place in the first class." Before the woman could say anything, the hostess continued, "It is not usual for our company to permit someone from the economy class to sit in the first class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting." The hostess turned to the black man and said "Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in first class." At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded.
“Millions of people never analyze themselves. Mentally they are mechanical products of the factory of their environment, preoccupied with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, working and sleeping, and going here and there to be entertained. They don’t know what or why they are seeking, nor why they never realize complete happiness and lasting satisfaction. By evading self-analysis, people go on being robots, conditioned by their environment. True self-analysis is the greatest art of progress.”—Paramahansa Yogananda (via universoul)
“We can’t plead ignorance, only indifference. Those alive today are the generations that came to know better. We have the burden and the opportunity of living in the moment when the critique of factory farming broke into the popular consciousness. We are the ones of whom it will be fairly asked, What did you do when you learned the truth about eating animals?”—Jonathan Safran Foer (via busfullofpeace)