feature image via Katie Campbell (see bottom of post for details)
Hello and welcome! I love your hat. I didn’t think I’d like it but you’ve really pulled it off. Here are some things you can read this weekend while standing in line at your neighborhood grocery store!
You Should Go or Do or Give or Know About
Our Sisters In Spirit seeks to explore and answer the question of how a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women might be conducted and whether there is a better approach. We need your support to make this happen. As filmmakers interested in social justice, we wish to create awareness and contribute to an open discussion of this issue.
+ Prism Comics is now accepting submissions for this year’s Queer Press Grant!
+ Help fund the Canadian Trans Lifeline! This is so important.
Trans Lifeline is a crisis line for transgender people staffed solely by transgender people. This campaign is to fund Trans Lifeline service in Canada. We are already live there as of this morning. Help us pay for this much needed service!
Please help support the cost of this, it’s so important.
From Canada call : (877) 330-6366
+ Help Julia Nunes make and promote a new album! Ugh Julia Nunes how is your hair so shiny and beautiful do you have a fairy living in your hair be honest.
+ Oh don’t forget about Thurst: A Queer Hookup App!
Queer as in F*ck You
+ This is a fascinating journey through one person’s lived experience and you should read it. Ice Balls by Maria Catt.
Femininity and I had been duking it out since I was 11 and the girls in my grade started giving blowjobs to boys and it has felt the whole twenty years since that femininity was kicking the shit out of me. To transform from an androgynous kid at 11, praised for being a tomboy, into a big bootied 13 year old who had to take the train across the city every morning and afternoon in a school girl getup was fucked up. To this day I have not recovered. Add to that the list of sexual trauma and gas-lighting which is now the norm for women in their teens and twenties and I responded in a sort of extraordinary way- I created a fantasy self who was a dude. I thought pretty constantly about who I could be and what I could do if I weren’t trapped in my body. There were a number of problems with this fantasy. The biggest was that I assumed my parents would have to die before I’d work up the nerve to ever transition.
+ In horrifically sad and fucked up news, a Colorado church straight up SHUT DOWN Vanessa Collier’s funeral after the pastor realized she was gay. Collier had two children with wife, Christina Higley, and died December 30. We hope her family can find peace.
+ Philly LGBTQ Community Must Come Out In Support of MLK D.A.R.E March by your very own Maddie Taterka.
When LGBTQ Philadelphians demand an end to “stop and frisk” and call for an Independent Police Review Board that is fully empowered and funded, we are speaking out against racist police practices in our community and nationwide. We are standing with 48 percent of LGBT respondents to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs survey who reported experiencing police misconduct. We are demanding justice for the members of our community who experience homophobic, transphobic and racist violence at the hands of police.
+ I heard you’re into charts and graphs and shit so I got you this Evolution of Gay Unions in the U.S. thing. Hope you like it.
+ Anna Pulley has created Every Lesbian Movie Ever Made, In Haiku, so you can thank her for that the next time you see her.
+ Here’s a piece from a witch, Deirdre Riley, about interacting with nature while recognizing and respecting its queer/non-binary aspects.
Think about these differences for a minute: fruiting versus non-fruiting, sexual versus asexual reproduction, wind or animal pollinated. I would suggest doing a little research on the plants you work with often, and seeing how they tick. Do these affect how you think of the plants you work with? After my research, my perception of the energies of many plants changed pretty drastically. Much of the lore I’ve seen6 assigns plants as possessing either “masculine” or “feminine” energy, but there are some (for example, lavender, willow, anise, and most ferns and mushrooms) that I perceive as androgynous, and some that I perceive as having a gendered energy, often of a different gender than the traditional association. (I see basil as feminine and nutmeg as masculine, for example.)
Deirdre also has an interesting article on reconciling queer identity with the heteronormativity found in Wicca that you might enjoy.
+ Don’t worry, Taylor Hatmaker can’t stop won’t stop: We’re Going to Keep Talking About Women In Tech. #taylorappreciationclub
+ Ellen Addison is In Praise of Tina Belcher, Subversive Feminist, as are we all.
+ Self-Care and Survival: An Interview with Janet Mock by Fahriha Roisin.
+ Where Have All The Womyn Farmers Gone? by Rhian Sasseen. Womyn! Growin’ stuff! Boom!
“Farming women,” reads a page from a 1977 issue of Country Women Magazine. “Who are we? Young and old? What are the realities of our lives, our history, our farms?”
The same questions could as easily be asked today, when more U.S. women are entering farming than ever before. Since the 1970s, NPR reports, the number of female-led farms has tripled, and women now constitute farming’s largest minority.
+ There Is No Such Thing as Prison Reform: An Interview with CeCe McDonald by Andrea Abi-Karam.
+ Samantha Allen brings you the story of Japan’s Vagina Kayak Artist, Megumi Igarashi, Fights Back Against Obscenity Charges and Misongyny.
+ Hollywood Forgives Woody Allen. Damnit. in which Woody Crotch Rot Allen still gets to work and everything is awful.
“Indigenous women and girls in Canada have been murdered or have gone missing at a rate four times higher than the rate of representation of indigenous women in the Canadian population which is 4.3 percent,” the IACHR [Inter-American Commission on Human Rights — a branch of the Organization of American States] said in its report, which it researched in 2013.
+ Aya de Leon‘s Cliff Huxtable Is the Fantasy. Bill Cosby Is the Reality.
Recently, I publicly encouraged everyone to boycott R Kelly. I don’t feel the same way about The Cosby Show. R Kelly’s Black Panties album was practically celebrating his abuse of young girls. Cosby’s show is a cultural artifact of a fantasy he created of a safe, loving family. While I’m glad that he is losing current opportunities for new shows and syndication, his body of work exists and is part of our cultural legacy. Phylicia Rashad is wrong. These accusations don’t tarnish the Cosby legacy, they complete it. The light is revealed, as is the shadow. He made creative breakthroughs and he violated women’s bodies. He gave millions for scholarships and ruined lives. He is the testimony that the Black middle class fantasy won’t rescue us. He is the legacy of slavery, all our brilliance and all our woundedness, distilled into one man’s life.
+ Look forward to 2015 being the year of Gugu Mbatha Raw, via Kaitlyn Soligan. Also do try to incorporate “McConaissance” into your otherwise basic conversations about Matthew McConaughey when possible.
+ THIS. How My Father Taught Me To Say No More on Twitter by Erica Williams Simon.
This does not mean that education, dialogue and patience aren’t important. In fact, they are the only way that we can build bridges and begin to heal many of the wounds that exist in our world. I have built my career explaining principles of social change and spiritual development through writing, speaking and digital media. A willingness to teach is just as important as a willingness to learn if we are to live in harmony.
But at some point, beautiful, genuine dialogue morphs into her ugly sister, defiant deafness, where feigning ignorance of the basic principles of equality, fairness, respect, privilege and love becomes just another weapon of power, meant to dull impact, shirk responsibility and denigrate the value of our fight for humanity.
+ March of Life Organizers Now Think Birth Control is the Same as Abortion because why not. Why anything!
+ Have you signed up for Jessica Valenti‘s newsletter, Eat Me? It’s about food and feminism! Two things you need to get by, wouldn’t you say?
+ Kate Wheeling on A ‘Brilliant’ New Theory on the Gender Gap.
“When asked to consider what it takes to succeed, academics give very different answers depending on their chosen field,” Sarah-Jane Leslie, a professor of philosophy at Princeton University and lead author on the study, said in a press briefing yesterday. “In some fields, success is viewed primarily as a matter of hard work and dedication, but in others, success is seen as requiring a special, un-teachable spark of brilliance.” This, coupled with society’s tendency to associate brilliance with men and not women, can tip the gender balance in academic fields.
To test this theory—what the authors call the field-specific ability beliefs hypothesis—they asked 1,820 academics across 30 disciplines to rate what qualities were necessary for success in their fields. They found that disciplines that valued genius over dedication had fewer females across the board.
+ Here’s Dodai Stewart on Ava DuVernay’s Oscar snub/robbery.
It’s tough not to think about what might have been. A nomination for DuVernay would have made history, making her the very first African-American woman nominated for Best Director. In addition, she would have been the fifth woman ever nominated. The Motion Picture Academy has been handing out awards for excellence for 86 years, and only four women have ever been nominated. Eighty-six years. Four women.
Saw This, Thought of You
+ This is What Happens When We Lock Children in Solitary Confinement by Dana Liebelson.
Desperate for human attention, he recalled busting the cell’s sprinklers and then spending nights soaked, on a wet mat. He lashed out too, and was rewarded with a separate conviction for harassing a staff member—Kenny told me he’d peed in a milk carton and threw it at a guard. “I’m not even like that, for real. I’m a good person. That place mentally messed me up,” he said. “I thought I was going to end up killing somebody or something.” Prior to being in solitary, he had never contemplated suicide, but in the hole, “I really wanted to die. I felt hopeless.”
+ Dispatches From a Changing Arctic is Eva Holland‘s new Pacific Standard series of reported stories “from Alaska and the three Canadian northern territories documenting how the region is responding as it increasingly becomes the focus of global debates over climate change, territorial claims, resource industries, and more.”
+ Debunking the Myth of Race in 3 Minutes by Jenée Desmond Harris.
+ Is Self-Care Damaging Your Relationships? Bitch it might be.
When I consider the biggest most rewarding experiences of my life (for example writing, producing, and directing a performance on sexual empowerment in the mother daughter relationship; performing as a dancer with Katherine Dunham, Danny Glover, Mikhail Baryshnikov) these were NOT COMFORTABLE experiences. But God they were thrilling and self caring to my soul.
So now when I feel resistance to change (a very human thing to feel) I ask myself what could be more valuable than comfort? I learned this question from Victor Lee Lewis in his amazing workshop on “How to talk to a racist.”
Love. Growth. Connection. Healing… Are all more valuable than comfort. So this reframes self care!
+ Oh look, it’s your life: Let’s Get Drinks by Kelly Stout.
B: Heya—we both totally dropped the ball on this! Our bad! We are, like, the subprime-lending crisis of hanging out, right? You around on Weds? I want to go back to that tapas place we went to on the Fourth of July.
A: Shoot, Wednesday doesn’t work. My mom and stepdad are in town, so I have to take them to dinner, which is going to be worse than the rollout of healthcare.gov, but whatever, I have to do it. Hmm . . . dare I say Friday?
B: Shit. Friday is no good. I am literally Operation Rolling Thunder mixed with the N.F.L.’s policy on domestic violence. But whatcha gonna do? Monday?
+ Pretend everything’s ok by looking at these farm animals in winter wear. There you go shhhhh.
+ Wait, even better: Hero Cat Saves Baby From Freezing to Death. Does your cat know Hero Cat? It’s a cat so I was just figuring they probably knew each other.
+ If you switch a kid’s day around so that their recess comes before lunchtime, they’re more likely to eat their vegetables. Logic!
The researchers found what strikes us as a bonkers increase in the amount of fruit and vegetables eaten by kids at schools that placed recess first. Without the rush to get outside, and with the benefit of some extra appetite thanks to exercise, the kids demolished everything on their plates. These kids ate 54% more fruits and vegetables than before, and they saw a whopping 45% increase in the number of kids who ate at least one serving of produce.
It’s alllllmost as if the people in charge of your kid’s day have never had kids? I mean that’s just what it feels like sometimes.
+ Stevie Nicks Looks Back: Inside Rolling Stone’s New Issue. You look nearly as fabulous in your hat as Stevie Nicks does in hers.
+ Just leaving this here: Should White People Wear Dreadlocks?
Local Autostraddle Meet-Ups
Thoughtful reader Kelly tipped me off to this amazing illustration by her friend Katie Campbell, which can be conveniently purchased as a t-shirt or tank top I’M JUST SAYING.