A friendly blog where feminists and their male allies can come together and discuss methods, tactics, and strategies for use in toppling White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy.


Blogger- UGH!

Ok, I think things LOOK a little better for the new year.

Bless yer heart, V, for doing all that work. I still want to use the thing you made- but the thing is when I tried to paste it in, blogger said it wouldn't work!

Blogger is stupid.

I must now go and buy a camisole for a party, then I will be back either this evening or in the morning to post my resolutions. *shudders*


I'm Fuckin' GORGEOUS.

Saddam Hussein was executed this week. James Brown died. All this shit's hitting the fan.

But I'm blogging about how "beautiful" I am.

I did two of these things, with two different photos. Here's one.

Who the hell knew? Take that all you misogynist bastards who thought I was just a fat, bitter, ugly man-hater. I'm fucking beautiful. The internet said it, so it has to be true.

Gotta love the internet.


Nearest Book Tag from Yolanda

So my pal Yolanda over there at the Primary Contradiction tagged me with this wierd thing. And I have to tag somebody else.

Here's the rules:
1. Go to the nearest book in your reach and turn to page 123.
2. Go to the fifth sentence of the book.
3. Copy the next three sentences, then tag someone else.

My tags are Nelson H., Spotted Elephant, and Amananta.

Here's what I got:

"These anti-union workers formed networks that militated against unionization and exerted social pressure on anyone who dared venture the opinion that a union might be a good idea, thus raising the costs of being pro-union- especially in the kitchen, where the leaders of the anti-union group worked. In the summer of 1998, I visited two kitchen workers who had disagreed with the "just vote no" committee. However, both had been intimidated into silence. "You don't understand what it's like in here. The kitchen is a closed environment."

From: Rebuilding Labor: Organizing and Organizers in the New Union Movement, Edited by Ruth Milkman and Kim Voss.

Loves y'all.


Youtube Stuff. Yup. I'm an addict.

So I decided to throw some vids up here. The one above is El Cantante de los Cantantes, Hector Lavoe, from Ponce, Puerto Rico. He's become one of my favorite singers EVER. I like this video in particular 'cause it starts out with him singing this song, made famous in Plena form by a guy named Ismael Rivera (A.K.A. Maelo), called "Elena, Elena", which is basically my name. And so. I'm obsessed with it, obviously- and besides that, many of my new Boricua friends sing it when they see me. SO.

The above is a video of Celia Cruz doing a live performance of "La Vida es un Carnaval," one of my favorite songs by yet another of my favorite singers. Never did agree with her politics, or her Fidel-bashery, yet... I mean, shit. She's over 75 in this performance.

So. I been sad this evening, and now must go to bed.

Is it a bad sign when you look forward to laying down in bed to cry yourself to sleep? Probably. Oh well. One more video, another Hector Lavoe (I'm in love with this guy.)

Both the artists here were part of the Fania Allstars. Both are now dead.

That's all for tonight. Sleep well.


THIS ...

...is actually what a Feminist Looks Like. A Radical White Fat Southern Feminist Race-Traitor, when she's all pissed off at the FMF, to be precise.
So. I rattled off an email to their customer service folks this morning. I'll post the exchange as soon as I hear back from them. If I hear back from them.


Enraged. As Usual. (or Fat Blog #1)

So I'm fumbling throuth cyberlandia, as I am wont to do on a random Saturday night, and I fumble right over a picture of this here shirt:

And so I think to myself, "Glorious! I will toodle right on over to the Feminist Majority Website and maybe order one of these."

But my toodle was toddled when, upon arrival and investigation, I learned that the largest size the store carried was a sub-standard XL, said to fit a size 14. And then I nearly threw my new laptop out the window.

My plea to all y'all, petty as it might sound, is to please prattle off some angry emails. My plea to the FMF store is that they remove the word "radical" from the shirt until they offer them in a size that will actually fit fat people. You can email them at store@feminist.org or you can send some thoughts to the customer service folk at fmfsupport@mindspring.com. I am saving my spew for tomorrow, because seeing this sent me into a kinda whirlwind that's just the tip of the iceburg after a couple months of dealing with fat-phobia up close and in person.

You know, back home, I'd cultivated deep and long-suffering friendships with damn near everyone I knew. The people who surrounded me knew me, and if I got any bullshit about my fatness it was from strangers or, occasionally, from my mother. I can deal with that.

Now I'm at a relatively new job. Forcing people to acclimate to me has been difficult. I have to work very hard to prove myself, because people have a lot of fucked-up assumptions about me, based on my appearance.

And of course, it's nothing that anybody's gonna be brash enough to say out loud. I feel fat phobia from the assumptions that people make about what I can and cannot do, about my presumed lack of self-esteem, about my percieved lack of attractiveness to the opposite sex, and about a lot of other shit that has absolutely DICK to do with whether or not I have a big, fat ass.

I'm relearning that fat people are expected to be losers. People think that we are fumbly or we are lazy, or that we are afraid to do outrageous and energetic things. We get unsolicited advice on what we should or should not eat, as if we are totally ignorant to the basics of nutrition. When we go shopping with friends, friends look at us all funny like when we want to pick flashy or fitted clothing. Oh, and this is also another arena for unsolicited advice.

"You should buy this, it will hide your belly." "If you buy that shirt, you'll have to get something long-sleeved to wear with it to cover up your arms." "You need a bra like this to lift your boobs up." "Are you gonna get That??"

People think, though they never have the guts to say it to your face, that you can't be a good, confident leader if you are fat.

People constantly wave their own fears of becoming what you are in front of your face, without a thought as to how you will feel about it. Anti-fat thought is presumed to be correct thought.

"Oh, I need to lose this tummy of mine." Wait, you barely have a paunch. "Well, being fat is just not good for ME."

People inadvertently insult you even as they attempt to compliment you. "You've got such a pretty face." "You'd be so pretty if you just lost some weight."

The reason that this is so hard for me, this new period of adjustment, is that I'm now having to do in a matter of months what I've had a lifetime or a matter of years to do with all the people I've cared about previously. I think that when folks hear about me, or when they read my resume, they are surprised when they see me for the first time.

Ok. Here's the deal. I have a college education. I am fluent in 2 languages. I read, I write, I can add and subtract. I'm not lazy, and I won't get freaked out by having to climb stairs or walk a few blocks. I don't think I'm ugly. I don't think I'm stupid. And I ain't scared of nobody. I don't need coddling and my fatness isn't what makes me unhappy and crazy. Living in a white supremacist capitalist patriarchy makes me unhappy and crazy. OK???

Here are some tips for the non-fat, to evade crossing over into the territory of fat-phobic assholedom:

1. It's none of your goddam business what we eat. Keep your fucked-up and ignorant opinions and advice to yourself unless we ask for it, explicitly.

2. If you've really never known a fat person then you live under a goddam rock or something. Chances are you've known a few fat people but your oppressive notions of what fatness are force you to refuse to accept that good people you know can be fat. Get over that, and do it swiftly. Fat people are more of the norm than the exception. That's the reality.

3. If you have a question, ask it tactfully but in a straight-forward way. Passive aggression is always an unattractive quality. Questions about personal hygiene and our sex lives are fucked-up, degrading, and none of your goddam business to begin with. We aren't circus freaks. I'll repeat, we are the norm, at least here in Gringolandia.

4. Stop making fat jokes. Period. It's fucked up and mean, and there's no excuse for it. Making fat jokes and generally poking fun at fat people is dehumanizing, it's a form of oppression, and even if you're the king or queen of social justice in your own mind, when you make fun of fat people you are acting like The Man. Stop it.

5. Don't try to set us up on dates with people you know unless we specifically ask you to do that. Fat does not mean abhorrent or socially awkward. Fat means fat- nothing more, nothing less. Learn that, now.

6. You have no right to presume that our fatness means anything more than we weigh a certain amount over what's been deemed by capitalist white supremacist patriarchy as the "norm."

7. Do not assume that we are lazy or unintelligent.

8. Do not assume that we are weak.

9. Do not assume that we are obsessive-compulsive about food.

10. Do not assume that we are desperate for your friendship and/or your sympathy.

11. Do not assume that we think that we are less attractive than you are, or that we hate our bodies, or that we strive to be like you.

12. Do not, I repeat Do NOT EVER look us in the face and tell us that we are not fat. We know that this is a lie, and so do you. It's insulting and it is an attempt to deny us full humanity as we are, as we exist right now. We do not need your lies to know that we are human, and we are unapologetic about the amount of space we take up in this world.

13. Oh yeah. Quit bitchin' and moanin' and whinin' about your fat roll, or your wiggly thighs, or your love handles, or your OWN fucked-up, delusional, self-image problems to us. You don't know shit about what it's like to walk around in this world and actually be fat. We have to fight every day to accept ourselves in a world where you and everyone else screams at us that we don't fit in, that we are freaks, that we will never be accepted. We don't have the time to work out those problems for you, and it's just fucked up and rude, on top of all that. You might as well just say, "shit! If I ain't careful I'll end up like you." That's how it translates. So shut up and go do some crunches if you feel so damn bad.

Now. The reason that I was so enraged by what I found on the FMF website has a lot to do with what enrages me about the culture of activism, as it has evolved under the auspices of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy in Gringolandia. The standards that "good activists" are held up to lean towards reflecting an oppressive aesthetic, one that mirrors that of the system that we fight. Activism in our country carries a sheen of "chic" that makes me want to vomit, partly because we live in the belly of an overfed, overprivileged beast. This movement is not a place for folks to stomp on their soapboxes, wallow in self-righteousness, and shake their fingers at people while they convince themselves that they are "fighting the good fight." It is not a place where stars are born, it is not a place that welcomes your self-righteous condescension. Cockiness and arrogance are not reflective of confidence. They reflect a need to dominate. We are fighting for an end to domination.

Fat phobia keeps potential leaders and activists and revolutionaries from thinking they are good enough to fight with everybody else. It acts to maintain the status quo, it's a tool in dehumanization.

Fuck fat phobia. And if you don't think it is a problem, then you need to reevaluate your place in the movement.


Upcoming Bloggerly Changes and Other Stuff As Such

Due to, ahem, technical difficulties (read: my own inability to stick my finger up my ass with both hands here in blogolandia) I have been poopy about blogging.

However, thanks to V at reSISTERance, I will be once again re-emerging, with a much much more kickass blog. It will have a new url and everything, which will be revealed as soon as it's put together. It really, really makes me all gooey-grateful that V has offered to help me out.

I read this last week and it upset me, very very much.

Fuck a bunch of patriarchal assholes. Fuck 'em for making those of us with the most beautiful, most clear, most piercing voices too scared to stand up and sing out loud. Fuck 'em for making us think that our song ain't worth hearing; that our song ain't vital soulful music that isn't just relevant to our cause, it's necessary if we want to keep living. Just fuck 'em all to hell.

Our choir can't stand to lose any more voices. What the hell are we going to do about this?



Another Concrete Illustration of the Fucked-upedness of Electoral Politics

The Democrats are schmarmy liberal rich bastards who've managed to whitewash and water-down the labor and social justice mass-movements and who've brought us blatantly imperialistic policy (see NAFTA, etc.). But they're not as bad as the Republicans. At least the damn Dems give lip service to social movements, right?

I'm gonna be absolutely honest. I'm currently not able to register to vote in FL (gasp!) and to tell the truth I'm disillusioned enough with the system to not really feel that bad. I understand, barely, the need to foster a democratic majority in congress, blah blah blah.

But this chunk of fascist horseshit from voteourvalues.com is almost enough to motivate me to fill out an absentee ballot, or whateveritisI'msupposed to do as a future Floridian living in a motel who's technically supposedly registered to vote in TN- just to go and vote a straight Dem. ticket, just to make some bastard nazi Republican feel a little bit worse for losing an election. I don't get it. I honestly don't. Go there, the few of you who haven't seen this on the
Primary Contradiction or Feral Scholar already, listen, discuss. You have to click on the link that says "listen to the ads" to hear the hooey. Goddam.

So it's either the Republinazis or the Other White Party. I oftentimes think that our resources would be better spent stockpiling weapons and buying up land in Alaska. But hey, that's just wacky, 'ol me.

Double Fuck You Beta Blogger

I don't know what the hell happened just now. I'm in tears, I worked very hard to get my shit to look how I wanted it to look and it disappeared and now my men's auxiliary's gone, I'm gonna have to do it over again, and I'm gonna have to do the other links too.

I don't have time for this shit! I changed my blog 'cause I thought it would be easier (going from old-school to beta) and now I lost all my shit that I worked on.

And then I have to think about the implications of not working on actual content and instead working on how my blog looks, which is what I do to avoid actual writing, which I've been having a real hard time with lately, I've been having a hard time with a lot of weird shit lately, and this is just making me very explosively angry!!!!

Why in the fuck can't I just get my shit together??? This thing looks like shit. I had to pick a generic template from the COMPLETELY SUCKY AND STUPID ONES that goddam beta-blogger offers, and it took me HOURS to do the other one. I saved my shit in notepad, can anybody please tell me what I could have done to make the whole thing go blank? I tried copy/pasting it in again and it just gives me nothing.

I swear to god. I try and have one little outlet and if I use the shit I actually worked on I have nothing and if I use this I hate it and it's not complete and it will take me fucking hours to fix it that I don't have to spare and I just don't know about this. I just don't know.

I bought a goddam computer and spent tons of money so that I could do this. OK. That calmed me down some.

Goddam, it's been a long week. Next time I'll post about something important, I swear. I just don't have a lot of folks to talk to and I wanted to SCREAM AT SOMEBODY!!!!!!!!!

What the Fuck Just Happened?????

I tried to tweak my blog just oh such a little bit (just by adding a quote to the sidebar) and then my whole damn blog disappeared. Please somebody, tell me my blog is still here before I get ill and hurt someone.

I'm on the verge of tears, here.


More Fucked-Up Shit from the Patriarchy

So yeah. I been working and lazy about blogging, as per my usual. But there's been some shit that I've run across on ye olde blogosphere that has ruffled my feathers.

As y'all might know I frequent the pages of the Feral Scholar (my friend Stan Goff) and get into some shit-flinging, drag out arguments there about the Patriarchy. Y'all should go and have a look-see at the conversation that was spurred when Stan posted Yolanda's thoughts about a case in which an abused woman lashed out, unfortunately by hitting her abusive asshole boyfriend with her own child. Yolanda's intention was to highlight the underlying system, but as not all radicals are all that radical, the meaning of the post was lost on some. Surprise.

I found out about this one over on my pal's fantastical and wonderful blog, the Primary Contradiction.

Then there's this striking, disturbing, but alltogether understandable article by Julie Bindel, published in the Guardian (I also saw it on PC and Feral Scholar) that delves into the reasons that women don't necessarily leap to report rape to the authorities, and deals with the whopping bullshit urban-myth/lie that men believe, all to easily- the one that posits that there are women, everywhere, making up "rape stories" like mad to enact vengance and ruin men's innocent lives.

Yeah. I dunno how many times I heard that shit from my guy friends. Anyways.

I have to go now but will probably be back tonight, as my departure now is owed to bloggus-interruptus (a.k.a. WORK.) Go look, then chew, then discuss. Make some coffee. Big implications. Y'all know the drill.


Too Bourgeois

I'm talking on my fancy-assed cell phone and typing on my new (yup) laptop, all with a tummy full of sushi. I'm feeling a bit too bourgeois for my own Levis at the moment.

But at least I'm back, right?

Soon to be with pictures. I hope. If my technological windfall doesn't blow me away.

Oh yeah. And fuck Phil Bredesen. I just heard that he wants to make health insurance more expensive for fat people in TN. So he's a fucked-up dipshit bastard. Like we didn't know that already. I hope he gets fat before he dies.

Anyways, I'm off to zip up this new machine. It's good to be back.


Howdy Y'all from TN

SO this week I got to come to TN to pick up my truck (photo in post below of a truck that's pretty much like the one that I have...) and I been spending time with my friends and such and haven't been near the internet in eons.

I've cut my hair in the past few weeks, and have decided that FL it is. Looks like I'll be there for quite a little while.

I leave tomorrow morning for FL. It should be a neat road-trip. And now I am equipped w/camera-phone, so I can chronicle in pictures, as it were. Just gotta figure out how to get the pics from the phone to... a computer out there, somewhere.

But I did want to stop in and say, hey y'all, I'm alive and well, still fighting the patriarchy and working. Well, not this weekend. But generally any other time I'm working. I'll be up and running again soon, I'm sure of it. I can smell it on the wind.

>>send me a laptop>>


A Guilt Trip

For folks who never, ever leave comments.

If you don't leave comments on my space you are not supporting a struggling feminist, and will be held accountable come the revolution.

Just a reminder in the 2.2 seconds I have to post a blog today. Send me a laptop.


Fuck you, stupid Blogger.

"Why the hostility?" you might be asking.

I just attempted to post something, then I got this fucked-up message saying that it could not post, due to faulty tagging, then it said it had INDEED posted, twice, and then I tried to delete one of the posts and it said that the other post that I didn't delete was "not found." I didn't even tag ANYTHING. Fucking Blogger's supposed to do that shit for you.

So FUCK YOU, stupid Blogger. Sometimes I hate you more than I hate eating shit.

Not that I've ever eaten shit, or eat it as a rule. I just imagine I would hate it intensely.

I hope this post posts. Or whatever.

Still Sans Computer

Hence the delay in thoughtful bloggage. It's incredibly difficult to manage this into my day without my own equipment, and clandestine office-postings have been impossible, since they took my key away to give it to the database-woman. I was once the god of data. Now I am not. But I DO have a key. So I'm posting tonight.

And for those who know, I KNOW that I'm supposed to be doing something else. Bless my heart. I'm a-have to find a way to get a new computer.

The news is such: I will be in Orlando for at least another three months, if not more. Most likely Florida will be my new permanent home, at least for the next few years. Yeah, that makes about as much sense as tits on a bullfrog. But there you go.

Now I have to go and get some food and get on with what I'm supposed to be doing *winks* but expect slightly more regular blog action to be forthcoming. It's looking like Sundays will be the day. Maybe. Who the fuck knows. I don't.

So I'm looking for a bit of public opinion. Here's a link to the shitty poems I had on the web before (note: these bits of stuff are highly introverted and a bit, well, abstract and not really related to anything that's important anymore. And please forgive my lack of proudness for my poultry. It's just how I am. ) It's called Crap-Assed Poetry. I been thinking on reviving, or rather, reconstructing a poetry site since I've figured out how to make the blogger look a bit more fancy. What do y'all think?????

Of course, all these things and more would be easier if someone would, out of the kindness of their hearts and depths of their pockets, send a poor organizing apprentice a new laptop.

Just a suggestion for the philanthropically inclined.

Lately it seems I know nothing of national news or anything but the wacky Florida weather. My own brushes with the patriarchy, though as frequent as one would expect, have been scrawled in illegible shorthand in a notebook somewhere. I been speaking Spanish a whole lot and working my tail off. It seems, though, that soon I shall travel to Tennessee again to pick up my truck and drive it back here, along with some very important belongings (like my upright and electric basses, books, etc. and so forth.) My truck looks kinda like the one randomly pictured in the upper left-hand corner. Mine, however, is not a 4X4 NOR is it a Sport edition. But that's the general idear, up there.

So if anybody wants to buy me a cap for my truck in lieu of flowers or a computer, then that's just fine-diddly-ine.

Till we next cyber-meet, amig@s. Sorry for all the delays. Again. *Makes pouty face that will only be relieved upon shipment of new laptop. Or truck cap.*


My Laptop Died

Hey, everybody. I just wanted to put out a heads-up; my postings here might become even more sporadic. Last night my laptop stopped working. I've tried nearly everything to revive her. She got stuck at the point, after going into DOS mode of her own accord, at which she offered to run a "scanreg" and then started doing it and then........ nothing. I think she might be dead for good.

She was old. She had a full life. But what about ME???


So if anyone just randomly wants to send me a fantastic, free laptop, post a comment and let me know. I'll find a way to find you. 'Cause I know you're all independently wealthy and want to keep me fighting the good cyber-fight, right?

Yup. I'm just that shameless. Because without the internet I'm nothing. NOTHING. *Kills self*

I'm going to go now, since I'm currently keeping my friend from sleeping by hanging out in her room and checking out all my internet junk. *cries*

Hopefully I'll have this resolved, one way or another, sooner rather than later. Keep stopping in, though, and checking in!!! And for real. If anybody's generous enough to give me a laptop, I'll take it. I wasn't joking when I said I was really that shameless.


On Class

Sliding in just before the deadline; as usual. I been thinking about this all week. It's a mighty big topic.

As a radical feminist, my class-politics are interwoven with my experience as a woman. While women from every economic class are oppressed as women- that is, forced into opressive gender roles and contexts and sharing the potential to be raped and abused sexually, and reproductively- women from lower socioeconomic classes suffer more, their suffering is ignored more frequently. This is reflected within the movement for women's liberation; collective social consciousness of/commonly held misconceptions of tenets of feminism and radical feminism seem to reflect the ways that racism and classism have fucked up the works, for a long time. I hear women of color tell me, and more radically-political white women, too that feminism has become "whitewashed," that feminism promotes an "ivory-tower" mentality, it's hidden and confined in academia, and is crafted purely out of theory and not within the grasp of those working-class women of color, without much regard for how things would play out in "material reality."

I guess that's true. I mean, I don't necessarily have too much "cred" when it comes to the interconnectivity of oppressions. My degrees are not in Women's Studies, they are in Anthropology and Spanish. And I don't publish articles regularly. I am from a working-class or upper-lower class family background, I'm white (the Appalachian kinda white) and I am a woman. I have faced social hostility on both bases. I was a direct-care worker for eight years while I was in college, getting paid shit to do a job that's seen as "women's work." Both of my parents dropped out of high school, and both got decent-paying blue-collar jobs (my dad worked for Coke driving a route and delivering soda pop to grocery stores, mama still works at a unionized grocery store) after starting their life together and then had some kids, and plummetted into a monstrous debt spiral that became beyond their control (of course, the compulsive gambling addiction didn't help matters) and declared bankruptcy by the time I was five. They had to sell the house and we rental-hopped for the years that followed, until my mom bought a trailer when I was fifteen so that my dad could have a decent place to die in. She still lives there in a Faulknerian squalor that I'll have to write a book about to ever describe appropriately with all the people she still supports on her middle-class salary (just over 13/hr. after 25 years on the job.)

But I had a class-dysphoria as a child that my adulthood has forced me to come to grips with- and I DO have debt, demons, thousands in student loans, not to mention the smaller shit that gives me random stomach rumblings and pangs- I thought that we were "middle class" because we had shit (thanks to credit cards and that whole redneck, spend-while-you-have-it, bravado with money and laughter in the face of fiscal chainery that so many southern, working-class, white folks have) and I wasn't starving and because I didn't have to have a job while I was in high school and so on and so forth. Then when I was nineteen mama said I had to go live on my own and pay for college my damn self if I could figure it out, and so I did. Go out and live on my own, that is. I still haven't figured out how I'm gonna unravel all the knots I've got myself in to get me through college and to where I am now. I borrowed so much money, money that kept bills paid and kept me in a car and kept me with clothing and food while I was in college, that filled in gaps where my low-paid job couldn't stretch, and that got me 2 college diplomas and books and so forth.

So this is what it takes to lift oneself up, from below, in our country. A nosedive into debt. Of some sort. MOST FOLKS ARE IN SOME KINDA DEBT. Even folks who are well-off. Folks who have nice things and nice houses and nice cars. Folks with money, decent portions of money in the bank. Folks choose to go into debt freely and at will nowadays. Ahhhh, the multitudinous expressions of maladaptive cultural evolution. But I'm wandering away from my point, now.

The way that I see class influencing the women's movement has a lot to do with what I'm talking about. I promise.

I mean, I don't think we're really at a stage where the whitewashing and class oppression can be denied or refuted. All we have to do is ask a non-feminist what the first thing is when they think of the "women's movement" and the most likely answers will probably have something to do with voting and the "pro-choice" movement. I think this illustrates, in a figuratively phenotypic sort of way, where most resources have been pumped to fuel activism. I feel that a shortcoming among the women's movement is it's acceptance of the current governmental/electoral system and willingness to spend lots and lots and lots of resources attempting to "work" said system, or use "proper channels" to strive for some sort of abstract "equality" in a world system where that "equality" CANNOT exist.

In other words, some women took the name "feminist" and took their money and decided where that money would go- and left out a whole bunch of people in the process- political decisions have been made for us by the so-called "leaders" of our movement who, while valiantly struggling against the tide for their own lives and selves in a lot of cases, seemed to forget the rest of the crowd when they attained certain levels of economic/class privilege. "Opened it up for everybody," so to speak. So I have to say that there is NO political party out there for Gringolandia-dwelling women, especially working-class women, that fully encompasses our needs or our wishes or our interests. The Democratic Party is not the party that will exacerbate "equality" for women. The "democracy" we live in only happens to be democratic if you're bourgeois. According to the feminists with the most economic power, our biggest and most life-threatening problem is tied up with whether or not we can "choose" to have an abortion. But the lived existence of women from the working class shows us that, while the right to abortion is something that's definitely important, there's other pressing junk out there that we need to deal with right this minute, too. Like rape and how often it happens to us. Like abuse and molestation. Like the economic conditions that lead to us living in situations that make these things more likely.

It seems to me that if this feminism stuff is going to work, we have to be able to come together and agree on a more radical politics, on formulating a politics where we are all first fully human. We have to understand that it's not a free "choice" that makes us "unequal" to men. We have to start seeing where, in Gringo government and philosophy, the system we live under is not equipped to deal with, much less dole out liberation, and in fact is designed to keep the oppressed right where they are. I think that some of the bases for this new women's party, politically, economically, philosophically, are out there, but there hasn't been a model generated yet that takes radical politics to a level that would guarantee an end to patriarchy. And here in the USA, liberalism and libertarianism keep slipping into ALL the movements, somewhere, somehow, and to me that seems to be a determining factor of where the movements go.

One place where the influence of libertarian thought, with all it's "socially-liberal" ooze and individualist machismo, and financialy sociopathy, has become increasingly evident in our movement is with the growing popularity of fuck-me (a.k.a sex-positive) feminism. Women claiming to be feminists claiming that they don't have to put the needs of women as a whole before their own sexual "pleasure," women claiming that because they're relatively privileged enough to enjoy the sex work that they do that the sex industry doesn't keep us oppressed, even though it's a minority of women in the sex industry that they represent, and the many, many women out there who still think that liberation is synonymous with "equality" as we grow up thinking about it in this country, especially as white and rich males have constructed it for us.

I don't think that real "feminism," or any real movement toward's women's liberation, can afford any kind of classism. Currently, it's rife with it, in terms of "feminist" groups that have any actual political clout. Why the hell else could I NOT find any kind of paid internship when I went out looking for a "feminist" internship? We cannot step away from classism without stepping away from avant-guardist libertarianism, in all aspects of life. The fuck-me feminism that I've read about and heard defended seems to be most popular among really young women, and when I hear really young women defending this particular philosophical view I have to ask where they are in life, what kind of socioeconomic class do these women come from, how many of them have not YET been hit over the head hard enough by our economy to see what life is REALLY like for most of the folks in the sex industry. It's hard for women to see that it's really better to listen to other "women" when taking notes about constructing a sexuality that is not oppressive than it is to listen to what men construct as "non-oppressive." Hugh Heffner is not a real good guide to sexual liberation, if sexual liberation is to be part of a world where women have equal rights as human beings. It's hard for a woman to grow up and see sex as it's presented to her, in the media and in pornography, and from parents who (most of the time) constructed their own notions of sexuality from patriarchal resources- and understand that her own sex life can never be a truly free one, if she just does the "easy" thing and copy-pastes male-generated and replicated ideas and fantasies of "good sex" based on images and fucking archetypes that reflect this man-centric worldview into her own view of what's good or what's good for her. It's hard for a lot of us to come to grips with the fact that NO we are not equal, and therefore we can't construct a liberatory sexuality, yet, not until the dominant constructs of sexuality are thoroughly overturned and the institutional powers behind them destroyed.

To me, this kind of liberalism, when it manifests itself in feminist activism and feminist groups, is just as classist as, say, the white middle-class women running the women's movement. It denies the existence and the need of a majority of women. It bases sexual experience and rates and measures the quality of it in elitist terms.

I have to wonder how many of the women who support fuck-me feminism really see feminism as something revolutionary, and I have to wonder how they think they'll tear down the master's house using his own How-to manual for their destruction as a class of human beings.

I wonder this just as I wonder how the pro-choice movement and women's magazines can think that the very best candidates for internships are the ones who can afford to work for free. I wonder this as I wonder how the hell it is that a bourgeois white dude got to be the chair of a women's group at my old college. I wonder this as I wonder how women can look at the "reproductive rights" battle and think that protecting Roe v. Wade is the ONLY step forward, and not just a baby step in a bigger war.

What we fail to see is where our practice, daily, illustrates how classism has eaten away at feminism as activism and the women's liberation movement as a whole.

I think it will help radical feminists and men who support radical feminism to look at sexual oppression as another manifestation of classism; class male dominating class female- and not to automatically relegate manifestations of sexual oppression to the identity-politics dustbin.

Must stop. Head explosion imminent. Too much fun this weekend, must wake up early and have breakfast with my mother then get on a plane to Orlando. Sorry this wasn't put together better, but watcha gonna do?


Anti-Street Harassment Stuff... And I'm Going to TN

I get to go home and see folks this weekend! Yay!

But before I went I wanted to post some links (and I've been meaning to add the Holla Back thing, which relates, to my 'roll for some time now) to web stuff that my friend Cathy helped out with re: street harassment and shit that we can do about it: The Street Harassment Project and Daily Disrespect, the last of which is a zine that she created as part of a senior project/thesis thing. I'll also add them to my links list over yonder. *glances to the right real quick-like*

How's that for "concrete?" Mua. Cathy rocks.

And yeah. I get to go to Maryville, if the Orlando Airport don't blow away tonight during the storm.
Maryville's right down from Knoxville. It ain't a bad place. I look forward to seeing my friends. I'm excited. Anyways.

So I'll be back next Tuesday-ish. Hope that everybody who gets the luxury of a weekend has a good one, and that the folks who are working this weekend get the props they deserve on the job. It is Labor Day weekend, after all.

I know that working for a union should compell me to post something on the history of labor day, but I have to be somewhere soon and must pack my things for tomorrow right now.

So I'll see y'all on Monday, Labor Day, for the blogging against classism.

I Think I Fixed It

Let me know what y'all think of the green.

OK. So I THOUGHT it would look cool.

Fucking idiotic and stupid and piece-of-shit blogger. Goddammit. Why the fuck is it that while I was previewing this new blog template, BLOGGER and it's idiot fucking self let me think that all of the shit here would fit????

So my next question is this: how the fuck do I get this to look how it's supposed to look, like a three-column thing???????? Somebody tell me before I kill someone. Please.

After I spent oodles of time doing this shit. GAH! Makes me want to throw my laptop out the window.

*Throws chair out the window instead*


Spread the Meme- Blog Against Classism

I been hangin' out a bit over at Ville Villekula and Pippi's put a good idear out there- for us all to blog against classism on September 4. I shall, and we all should, and while that blog is women's space only, mine is not- I mean, I DO have a Men's Auxiliary- so I'd really appreciate it if all y'all who look here and are linked would at least post a blip or something that relates, in order to spread the meme about like chipotle mayo.

The Men on my Men's Auxiliary "list" get lots of readership. They should help out here, too. Dammit. And I think it'd be mighty appropriate if y'all biomales would take extra-special time to blog about the intermesh of class and women's oppression. Thanks.


Another Rambling Post

I realize that like, a month ago or something I said I'd have a blog up in a few days to address this whole Pornstitution Wars mess that's been going on. What happened with that was that I started gathering up resources, started initial writing, and I haven't finished it yet. So it goes.

But I did want to put a few words out there, seeing as how every day I run through the radfem blogosphere and see more and more defensive reactions to these very important questions that are bursting towards the surface- more and more women splintered and split up over what it "is" to be feminist, what they percieve they can and cannot do if they identify as such. I have gone through my own twelve stations, and continue to run the gauntlet, to be at the place where I am, politically speaking; and so, I feel highly distressed when I hear women saying that they'll retrace their steps and refuse to identify with us, with radfems, due to what they are reading here.

This tells me that our movement has eroded far more than we might have realized. We have a blogring, a pretty good one here. But I know that I and other women constantly look for MORE. I see projects started against street harassment, I see places like women's shelters and rape crisis centers where women can go to get help or can volunteer or apply for employment. I see several ways that I or other women could plug into the "pro-choice" movement as activists and volunteers, as well. I see a lot of opportunities for activism that involve hard work and deal with socially salving some very, very deep wounds that come from living under patriarchy. I see women's activism as being constantly in a defensive context- how to keep the patriarchy from hurting us, to nutshell a bit, or how to undo the damage that the patriarchy is causing in our lives.

What I am not seeing is a program, an OFFENSIVE, and I think this speaks to the actual power that we are holding, as a class of human beings. The program, thus far, has not put us into a cultural sphere powerful enough to launch an offensive attack on the system that keeps us in the subhuman category.

While it's true that some women in specific geographic global regions have attained a measure of relative privilege that allows them more "freedom" than other women and other people as a whole, as WOMEN they still live under the auspices of male supremacy; their lives might be more comfortable, they might not have to worry about when they'll get their next meal. They might have killer health insurance and advanced degrees in all sorts of esoteric academic fields. But they still are women who can be and are raped and abused, they still, for the most part have to look right and act right in order to keep what they have. Acting right and looking right in Gringolandia means acting and looking, and also talking and believing, in what the Man defines as "right."

I'm of the opinion that an increase in physical comforts and socioeconomic stability for women who might have been super-duper radicals has dimmed the light of radical feminism. 'Cause once you get that security, you don't want it to go away, you don't want to have to worry ever again that you won't eat or that you'll not be able to afford to pay your rent. The privileged whites of the women's movement end up alienating and invisibilizing the non-white and the less privileged, and it's all in a mad fucking scramble for crumbs. For fucking CRUMBS, y'all.

The crumbs are the blips of power, the minute and epileptic shocks that we feel when we have respect, attention, male-proscribed love, material wealth or security, from MEN. We make these connections every day. We all, with very few exceptions, have to deal with men on a daily basis in a system that's designed to make the man in the room the homo sapien with more relative privilege and power than the woman or women in the room. To reinvigorate our program, I'm pretty sure that we'll have to make a concentrated effort to step back, at least mentally, from the rigors of all of our respective daily grinds, and try and examine that places in our lives where we get that misogynistic validation. We have to identify those areas and begin to examine our motivations in participating in them, and we have to be able to size up whether or not these little, every-day interactions are indeed as neutral as we think they are.

Identifying as a feminist activist means something more than just thinking that women should be equal to men. It means that the Woman who identifies as such is dedicated to the liberation of women, and will act towards that goal, deliberately. There are many philosophical and political roads that any individual woman can take if all she's concerned with is her own personal gratification, sexually or otherwise. Libertarianism, existentialism, post-modernism, solipcism, liberalism- these are all "isms" that allow for the "to each her own" attitude without real reproach or (gasp! omigod she's gonna say it) censorship. These areas will let you have all the "fun" of struggling your way to the "top" by acting like "one of the boys."

Feminism ain't so easy-going. It cares about you as an individual and it wants you to be free from oppression and hurt and pain. But that doesn't mean that Feminism is there to justify self-absorption. Not giving a shit whether or not you hurt your sisters via what you do to have fun just won't cut it. Given the consumerist, self-absorbed, male-centric, oppressive, dangerous, isolated, and increasingly techologized and pre-fab culture that we grow up in here in Gringolandia, it's easy to see where that statement can be construed as "elitist" or "prudish." We're taught from the time we are born, if we are born here, that this is what the "American Dream" is all about- doing well, whether or not others can do well, whether or not what you DO to do well or to feel OK keeps someone else from doing the same thing.

Feminism would do well to root this fictitious dream right out of it's ranks. IMHO. Equality, as most of us tend to think of it, is an abstraction. It doesn't really EXIST anywhere. We might have the capacity to think the thought that "I am no better or no more human than X person," but who of all of us has the actual POWER needed to put that thought into a tangible form in material reality?

If we cannot agree upon certain areas in which we must act in solidarity, how will we be able to formulate a program that will lead our activism out of the realm of the defensive?

And just how in the WORLD will our active and willful participation in the sex industry lead to our liberation? I have yet to see any clear proposal that supports this notion, while I've seen and LIVED THROUGH many situations that have shown me, definitively, that we must FIGHT the sex industry if we are ever to claim our rightful place as human beings in a world that doesn't just TELL us, but that SHOWS us through video and film and the written word that we are not at all as human as the man who jacks off to our collective dehumanization.
Class Woman, as so many folks out there have called it and attempted to do so in a derogatory way, does indeed come first, it HAS to come first when we talk about WOMEN'S liberation. We fight and we struggle and we hurt and we die for that specific liberation. Women are the people that give birth to both male and female children. We have no real institutional power as to the direction of those children's lives, inasmuch as the tools of the current system- media, press, government, capitalist imperialism- make us look like pissants with respect to real, material POWER. We currently have to try and raise them as well as we can and then turn them over to said system. We don't even have full power over whether or not we can have children, in this country. To accuse feminists of "putting women before everyone" and then saying that this is some sort of "reverse oppression" would be laughable if it didn't actually work in favor of the class that oppresses us. If men didn't already come first in the line for resources and power, we wouldn't have to shove them to the back, alright?

IF you deny that there is a system in place that oppresses women as women, and privileges men as men, then you have no need to call yourself a feminist, because in your bubble-world there IS no need for feminism. If you believe that your life's validation comes only from the sex acts that you perform, or that your qualitative value as a human derives from the stuff that you do with your sexual parts, then you have no need for feminism. I mean, part of the whole message is that women and children are not just reducible to their body parts and their sexuality. That has been a part of the message for years. If you think that your actions do not effect the lives of others then you have no need for feminism, and I'd go right out on a limb and say that you have no need for any sort of activism. Just stay in your room and think. That should change the world, right?

There are some pretty clear reasons that radical feminists put that word, "radical," into the name. Radical refers to the root of something. Radfems tend to think that oppression based upon sex and gender is one of the "big ones." We tend to think that at some point, in human evolution, a qualitative value was imposed upon human physiology that led to the oppression of people with bodies that identified them as being female, by people with bodies that identify said people as male. We think that deliberate actions put this dichotomy into place, and that the dichotomy cannot be destroyed or removed without ACTION. We oppose the sex industry because it is an outgrowth of this dichotomy that acts as an educational and coersive aid in retaining the structure of the dichotomy as well as a means of supply- of women in paper, on film, and in living flesh- to the males of our species who benefit from keeping the dichotomy firmly in place. This is why we get a little bit angry and testy when women who have enough privilege to choose to stay out and fight go in there and comply, with their own bodies and their own words, and then attempt to sieze the floor from women who are invisiblized every day and suffer and hurt because they DO NOT have a choice, because they can either turn tricks or they can starve. We get a little bit mad when a smattering of women who say that they are HAPPY maintaining the status quo push themselves forward, and allow men with power to push them forward, as examples that result in knocking the progress backwards a few months or years or decades.

Arrrrgggghhhhhhh. I have to go to bed now. I'm so fucking tired.



So I got tagged by Witchy-Woo, like, forever ago. I guess I better do what I'm s'posed to.

Also, apologies for not yet posting the *growing* thing that I'm working on- it's pretty big and I just ain't yet edited/finished it to my own satisfaction yet. Fuck. This is what I get for putting a date on things. I'll usually say "I'll have this done on x date" and then it gets done on that day or weekend.... a month later. *coughs*

So anyways, back to the tag thing. I'm gonna just say that this task is particularly daunting for me as I have memory gaps and all that shit, and it's hard for me to think of one book with one effect without thinking of it in cahoots with another work or book or whatever. But here goes.

One book that changed your life?

Jumping Jesus on a pogo-stick. I dunno. I can say that when I read "Our Bodies Our Selves" (the Boston Women's Health Collective) when I was ten, that's when I decided I was a feminist. Does that count? Next question.

One book you've read more than once?

When I was in second grade I read all those awful V.C. Andrews "Flowers in the Attic" books about fifty times each, mainly 'cause they were full of dirty stuff and I wasn't s'posed to read them. Had to steal them from my mom. Nowadays I generally read a book full-stop just once, and refer back to passages if need be.

One book you'd want on a desert island?
I don't know as I'd want a book so much as materials to write with. Maybe I'll take Yawning Lion's idea, "How to Survive on a Desert Island." If I get to take a pencil I'll write in the margins, I guess. Or better yet, how about "How to Fashion Writing Materials Whilst Stranded on a Desert Island". I think I'm creeping into the "books that should be written category" now, so I'll move on.

One book that made you laugh?
"Invisible Monsters" by Chuck Palahniuk. He's the guy that wrote "Fight Club." Modern-day working class tremendism. Gotta love it. (With the proper feminist analysis, of course.)

One book that made you cry?
Just ONE? God Dammit. Aside from everything I've ever read by Andrea Dworkin or Stan Goff, and all the other shit I've read that's made me cry, I'm gonna say "A Tale of Two Cities." 'Cause I'm just fuckin' maudlin like that.

One book you wish had been written?
When I think of it, I'll write it.

One book you wish had never been written?
Since the consensus on this one seems to be "The Bible," I'm gonna stray from the fold here. The Bible's just an over-bloated law and songbook for religious wierdos. It's got cool stuff and it's got horrendous stuff in it. But I think that my strange love of southern gospel music kinda DQ's me from saying that I wish the damn thing hadn't been written.

So I'm just gonna say "Silas Marner," by George Eliot. GOD that book sucks ass.

One book you're currently reading?
I just finished "Fight Club" (Palahniuk) yesterday morning, and I'm about to jump back into "The Sexual Contract" by Carole Pateman. Also about to start Isabel Allende's "Amor y Sombra."

One book you've been meaning to read?
Female Chauvinist Pigs, by Levy. Also been meaning to dig into "One Hundred Years of Solitude" for a while but I'm kinda put off by Gabriel Garcia Marquez after that stupid "Memoria de mis putas tristes" book.

One book you wish YOU had WRITTEN? (This is my own addition, 'cause I'm a big 'ol smart-ass)
The Redneck Manifesto, originally written by Jim Goad. The guy's a dipshit. If I had written that book, it woulda been so much better, not misogynist, and actually keyed towards a liberatory, non-racist goal. This guy's just a whiny white guy who likes to take pictures of himself "beating up women." But he took, like the best book title in the WORLD. Fucker.

You're it: Yolanda, Tom. I can only think of 2. So do I die in a horrible car wreck if I don't tag 5? If I think of 3 more later, I'll let y'all know.


The Pornstitution Wars- Brief Blip

Alright, y'all. I'm working on something more comprehensive for this topic.

But I did want to update those of y'all not following the debates, the folks who know me personally who don't have blogs, that sorta thing. Because the rest of y'all on my blogroll already know what's going on.

For me it started with 90%, over yonder at The Den of the Biting Beaver, and I just kinda treaded from there to Witchy-Woo's place At the Foot of Her Stairs, and on backwards to all the other stuff that got referenced, which in my stumblings and scurryings was this post on Alas- A Blog, which truly made me think that my head was gonna explode, well-intentioned as it might have been. Etc. and so forth. But if you haven't been keeping up one way or another, please go to these places and follow these threads and read up. Please.
Debate, argument, whateveryouwannacall it, it all has to do with fuck-me "feminism" and it's infiltration and divison of the feminist movement. And this is more than just a debate, y'all. This is a real itchy ISSUE. There's more than just differences of opinion at stake here. Differences that could lead to actions that could make or break the final outcomes for our movement, IMHO. This ongoing discussion's very important, and it's made some wierd shit kinda click together in my head.

Expect a big, blathering rant about it here within the next three days. Still putting the shit together.


Lackluster Blog Entry #1, From Sunny Orlando

I was just kinda idly scrolling through my friend Stan's blog a little while ago, when I realized just how lax I've become in my militant feminism as I've "settled" into my new job, if you can really call it settling, and as I've had little or no access to the internet over the last month.

It's really pathetic. I shit you not. I am surrounded by really cool and intense people who are highly dedicated to the labor movement. Thing is, most of them are men, and they don't really see the need for said movement's infiltration by radical feminism. At least not in such blunt terms. So I've been just rolling along, and my attitudes, at least externally, have been warped by this wierd instinct I have to just act like "one of the boys."

No, I've not been out smacking asses or renting pornography. In fact, I've been pretty open about my opposition to pornography, and I haven't met any open hostility....yet. So I guess I've not been "bad" enough to flog myself or anything that irrational.

What I've done is re-adopted this whole, kinda competitive, kinda angry attitude that I find very "masculine." And I've not been able to really admit what's really eating at me, out of a sort of "take-it-like-a-man" sense of pride. I'm blaming my woes on shit like the stress of the job, or the newness of where I live, or the people that I work with, or my hormonal cycles.

Yesterday, which was my first full day off in a long time, I put on my bathing suit and I went out to the hotel pool. I was only able to splash around for a little while before it started storming outside. But as I floated on my back I was staring up at the clouds, watching them grow. The clouds are so big and fluffy and the sky is so white here in Florida. I've never been so close to such violent clouds. I was floating in the water, and the temperature was perfect owing to the impending storm, and I was watching those fucking clouds swirl and toss about, churning electricity and wind inside them, and a gigantic vulture flew across the sky so high that I couldn't tell it from a plane until it finally flapped it's wings and swooped downward. I felt the raindrops hitting my face when the thunder started, and the whole scene was so gorgeous and wierdly idyllic, and my gut siezed up with an urge to talk to somebody about it. When I came up to my room I started to call somebody back home, and then I stopped myself, 'cause who the hell in their right mind wants to hear about some clouds and fucking scavenger birds? Who??

And I guess that's when it really hit me. And this wacky aside really does fit into the larger non-scheme of this blog entry.

The truth is I'm fucking lonely as hell and I don't want to admit to it. I don't want anydamn body to know that I'm overly worried about what's happening with my family back home. I don't mention that I miss my friends, not anything more than a passing, fleeting comment, anyways.

I haven't felt like this in a really long time. Back home I had friends to vent to and to go to, physically, after work was over. These were people I had deep connections with and whom I'd known for a really long time. I still talk to them every week or so, but it's not the same when they're not in a physical proximity that allows me to look into their faces. Back home, if I was down or gloomy or whatever I could just hang out with my girlfriends, or my sister or my niece, and I could tell them all my crazy political ideas and they'd listen and they wouldn't tell me that I was crazy, and I could get the same feedback from them.

I've met some really cool people since I've been here. But nobody who's working on this particular campaign really knows anybody else who is, I mean closely enough that it would be a relief to talk and just let it all out, you know? And I DO have issues with trusting people. Especially when I know, I mean they haven't outright told me but I do have some sense and I've figured out that most of the people I've been hanging out with around here have a job, for the better half of the day, to ASSESS me. My career is in their hands. They HAVE to like me or I'm pretty much homeless. So yeah. I'm in a place where I don't have time to cultivate a "life outside," I have to always be on "good behavior," and it's a strange town and I don't know anybody here and I'm fucking LONELY, dammit.

And you know what? I've noticed that maybe 4 out of r5 of these coworkers of mine has a human lifeline outside of work, a "significant other," a person that they call and talk to every night when it's all said and done.

I'm realizing that my friends back home, they kinda had become that outlet for me, and in a way that wasn't damaging in the ways that a "romantic entanglement" or a sexualized relationship can be. I was in the middle of cultivating something really, really cool with a bunch of really, really cool women, and then I moved away and it busted. I ain't saying that my friends at home wouldn't talk to me on the phone at the end of the evening, but their lives are busy too. They ain't as sleep-deprived as me, they never really have been. So it's a sort of "you gotta be there" situation.

It's been probably two years since I actually dated anybody, and I haven't missed that until this month. I haven't wanted to admit it (another decidedly masculine trait that I've internalized) and I've tried to just brush it off, say that the work will fill up the space that's just sitting there, in the front of my cerebral cortex. And my sexual organs still WORK. They still jive up with my endocrine system to secrete hormones that make my body want to be close to other bodies. But I find myself actually being envious of my coworkers who go back to their hotel rooms or their apartments or houses and have some kind of "mate" there to talk to, to engage with, for cryin' out loud, to have SEX with if that's what they both feel like doing. Even if that person's at the other end of a cell phone signal.

I don't know how to be a person who's not a sexual hermit without doing it all the wrong ways, and now I find myself craving that kind of engagement with someone. I guess I'll have to admit that this thing, this wierdness, this isolation is actually showing me ways that I've grown. There was a time when I would react positively to a random stranger's tasteless, vulgar signals that told me that I'd be a fun fuck for the night. I don't do that anymore. But I'm not happy with celibacy anymore, either. I don't know what the hell to do, and to be perfectly honest and maybe a little bit vulgar myself, I sincerely DON'T know that the muscles in my left wrist can take the strain.

So I guess, for tonight, my energy's getting spent here, in my crummy ramblings.

I wish there were a training programme designed for the up-and-coming sexual automaton. Maybe there are and I just don't know about them. With my social network dissolved and my time eaten up, I'm kinda stumbling here. I thought that just ducking and covering from the whole "love" or "lack thereof" issue would be easy- and to be honest I don't understand why I'm so hung up on it, cause it's not like I have the time or the emotional resources for it if anything good DID come down the pike, anyways.

I'm just lonely. And it's cold in my hotel-room. I'll get up in the morning, have my coffee, and go to work, maybe listen to some Celia Cruz.

That's all for tonight.


I'm Still Alive, I Swear

Hey everybody.

I've been working on a kinda blitz/campaign and have been working something like 80 hrs. a week, much of it is in front of a computer entering data, the other much of it blazing through and around-about the great city of Orlando, knocking on people's doors and trying to get them excited about joining up with the Mighty, Mighty Union.

It's working and the campaign is picking up speed and steam, and so I am a slave to the union.

They did bump me up from Intern to Apprentice, which means basically that I am still a slave to the union, but a slave with bigger responsibilities. But I'm enjoying the work.

So that's why I haven't posted in FOREVER. I miss my blogosphere buddies.

I should have a wireless card in a week, so I can get back to the blogogrind. I've gotten emails/comments from folks who seem a tad concerned and curious as to my cyber-whereabouts, and so I thought I'd update/touch base and let everybody know that I didn't get abducted by the Pinche Rata that owns this place, or any of his cartoon pals.

Love y'all!


In the Land of the Motherfucking Mouse

Howdy. Reporting in, briefly, from Orlando. *crosses fingers, hopes blog will post on this
decrepit machinery*

I been in Orlando three days, and my internship started officially on Saturday. Needless to say, this town kinda looks like Walt Disney took a technicolor dump on everything. But they haven't issued my my red-star mouse-ears yet. I keep askin', and the union folks keep lookin' at me all funny.

Baltimore was pretty awesome. I met some of the coolest people up there at my orientation (which was actually only 5 days, and now I'm already in Orlandolandia. Anyways) and I kinda wish we coulda all just went to the same place and started a fucking revolutionary army. Just kidding. (not really)

We have the first tropical storm of the year, Alberto's his name, I believe, and it's rain rain rain rain rain rain rain. Yesterday I drove around in the rain and found the Florida Mall, and spent some money on fucking presentable clothing. Lemme tell ya, walking around at the mall is NOT my idea of a fun day. But I did find that the JC Penny's there has a plus-size section that is as big or bigger than the Torrid or the Lane Bryant in the same mall. Sweeeet. Today I left my hotel in the rain and followed my boss to the Waffle House in the rain and then we had some eggs and looked at the rain and we drove to the office, in the rain.

Funny thing, just something I wanna chime in on. You know what I hate? I hate it when white people don't bother to figure out how folks say words that we commonly coopt into English with some sort of a semblance of at LEAST trying to figure out how to pronounce them. Then you tell them that they're pronouncing the shit wrong and they're like "oh really? Thanks for the heads-up." And they proceed to ignore your suggestion.

It's "La Quinta" not "La Kwinta." OKAY??????? It's not like I'm asking you to say Xochimilco or Tlaxcala or fucking Huitzilopochtli with a fucking exact dialectical rendering. Gah!

Sorry. Just an aside-rant.

Or maybe I'm wrong. But I don't think I am.

Anyhoo, just wanted to update y'all on the new job and all that shit, and give y'all a head's up on my status in the place where Mickey Mouse goes to shit and take a smoke break. Everythang's cool. I'll hopefully be back online regular-like in just a few days.

Much love to all those who read my shit. I miss y'all.


I Quit!

My job, that is. Last night was my last night as a residential, direct-care support provider.
I'm so sad, in so many ways. Excited in others. La vida. Ay.

I now have to divvy up the shit that's in my bedroom, move my music stuff, clean out my vehicles, pack, go through my clothes and figure out what I'm gonna keep and what I'm gonna give away, and sort out my books.

My books. My god, my books. I think I'm gonna just sell most of them. I'm keeping my political stuff and my Spanish stuff. But I want all my books to fit into one box by the time I'm done.

And I been sick. The air quality around the TN valley has been more suck-ass than usual, of late. The other day I noticed that my local news does a daily index; I didn't know that. At any rate, the gist was "if you have asthma stay inside today." Needless to say, I didn't, and it's been hell on my lungs.

The heat in East TN is an especially opressive heat. It came on strong and sudden this year, like a big, sweaty palm planted squarely on the face of the state. The lush foliage, the bowl-like topography, the waterways all play in a harmonious humidity chorus. Which sounds all picturesque and southern, but feels all slimy and sweaty in the dead of summer.

At any rate, I felt compelled to stop in and point the blog-folk in the direction of The Primary Contradiction, a bright new feminist blog by a friend of mine that's already rockin'.

I think I might rest a bit, then maybe sleep a couple hours before I tear up my TN hole. Anybody know where I can score a cheap lap-top? Argh... it might be a while before I can post again....


New Job, Etc.

I've turned in my notice. I've got one more week of working at the group home, then a few days off, then I'm off to Baltimore where I start an internship in union organizing. It's way more money. It's away from HERE. It should be good stuff. I can't wait to leave.

Last night was such an idyllic group-home night. Everybody was in a good mood, the sun was shining outside, the flowers in the group-home garden had just opened up. I cooked a really wonderful supper and everybody loved it. An inspector came, and only stayed an hour, was really impressed with the house and the environment and how happy and independent our guys are. Everything got done early.

I remember, after bathing one of the clients, I threw together the casserole-thing I was cooking and put it in the oven, then went outside to sit on the patio table and brush and braid my client's hair. The group-home kitties sat up on the table with me, two torties with bubbly personalities, and I made a gorgeous french-plait in this woman's long, blonde hair. I nearly cried, then, when I thought about leaving.

When I get to these emotional places at work, when I'm having a good time with the guys or when we're doing a project that's totally awesome and cool, or we're all working together cooking some big thing- and I want to cry, because I'm going to be walking away from all that family in a week- I think back on where I actually LIVE. I think about my mom, and how hard her life is, and I think about how I have to get to a place where I can take care of HER when she finally gets sick and starts to die. It's kinda the mental equivalent of pinching myself real hard.
I mean, to be honest, I've been acting kinda selfishly. I *could* have gotten a fucking corporate job at a collection agency, making mad money harassing people in Spanish to make their trailer payments or whatever. I could already be helping my family, but my fucking stark-as-hell principles and morality won't let me do that kinda work. The whole mess has made me look like a fool to people I love dearly- keeping this job, whose administrative ass-end I complain about all the damn time, that doesn't pay enough to let me have my own place and pay rent, forgoing other jobs that could lead to strategical political involvement or at least more money, a hand-up outta poverty.

At least what I'm gonna get paid for now is a more officially "Fight the Man"-type job. I wish that Radical Feminism had more ground-level material benefits. I'd love to find a job working for a fist-in-your-face, radical, feminist organization. But it looks like any work I do for this movement will be unpaid, at least for now.

I ain't all that bound up with money or material comfort. If you could see the place where I live now, you'd understand what I'm saying. But I gotta pay rent. There's no room for me in mama's house anymore. I work a lot, already, and it's fucking hard as hell to find time to research articles for this blog or absorb myself in feminist political work. My work schedule right now doesn't allow for political meetings. SO this is what y'all get. But hopefully that's gonna change real, real soon. I'm prickly with excitement just as much as I hate to leave the family-setting of my current workplace.

I told the inspector yesterday, who asked me why the hell I was leaving, after my boss bragged to him about my bilingualness and my college degrees- I told him I had to go somewhere where I could draw a fucking paycheck. He'd worked in the field for quite some time, so he just responded by nodding his head.

After a four-week stint in Baltimore, I head for either Atlanta or Orlando. I hope I get Orlando, mainly 'cause I never been there.

Shit! I just looked at the clock. Time to go to work! Ugh!!! I hate bloggus-interruptus. More later.


Just Some Random Thoughts

I'm sitting in the living room, at my brother's desk. Right now there are 2 teenage boys, one of them my nephew, getting ready to play "Risk" and making some noise directly behind me. These are the things I deal with in order to sit at a computer long enough to do a blog-post.

I'm currently engaged in some high-level procrastination; I need to draft a resignation letter before I go in to work today. I'm getting ready to leave a job I've had for nearly 8 years, and it's a bit intimidating. I got an apprenticeship with a union, so it looks like that's what I'll be doing for the next little while.

I just got done reading a post at Biting Beaver on Fuckability. It upset me some, not because I disagree with any of it, it just kinda triggered some emotions that I have a hard time dealing with. I was moved to post a comment-tirade there about an encounter with a man in Durham in which he apparently thought I was a prostitute, and inquired as to my rates. I guess that when that happened it didn't NOT bother me; I knew I was a little preturbed but when I read BB's post today I cried, and I don't do that too often.

When I went on my NC trip, and when I go on many trips, I didn't wear any makeup or bring any fancy or sexy clothes. It's just a kinda pragmatism I have, I kinda treat trips like camping and go minimalist. I don't like to carry around extra shit and I'm not much for dressing up anyways. When I'm navigating in normal life, here on my home turf, so to speak, I don't get the "random-guy-staring-at-me" unless I'm wearing makeup and/or something that's low-cut.
I always attribute this to my status as a non-pretty woman, by most standards (that is, most ways of thinking of "attractiveness" under the Gringo White-Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy.) I guess that's why the whole "incident" in Durham threw me off; I wasn't wearing anything at all revealing, I was sweaty, my hair was a big fuzzy mess, and I was just sitting outside a deli smoking cigarettes and reading an Andrea Dworkin book, for Christ's sakes. Then this dude comes up and puts his paws on my and wants to know how much I "charge, you know, for the night. Or for an hour or 2."

Now. I think that BB's reference to "fuckability" needs a little clarification, since all women are "fuckable" under patriarchy. We all have the necessary holes and we're all kinda stuck in this place below the men-folk, where "being fucked" whether we like it or not is a constant threat hanging in the air over our heads, in our field of vision.

The guy who "propositioned" me was, as far as I could tell, street-folk. There were people walking by on the sidewalk the whole time the exchange was happening, and nobody stopped to say anything to him or ask me if I needed help. I was on my own for that 5 minutes leading up to his ask and for the few minutes it took me to get back inside, away from the guy. I had to disengage from him, get his hands off me (he'd moved in real, real close, grabbed my hand, and also put a hand on my shoulder) and scoot without pissing him off, in my mind. I also, in spite of his fucking audacity, felt compelled to do it without letting him think I was recoiling from a "creepy street person." I wasn't. I was recoiling from a big man whose nasty breath was in my face and was touching me without my permission. I felt "lucky" when one of the guys working in the Deli, who'd previously been hitting on me "the nice way," (just making chit-chat, saying I had pretty eyes, making comments about my tattoos, that kinda stuff ) came out and shooed the guy away.

So I guess that the point that I'm struggling to come to, here, is where that difference lies, in what BB talks about with "fuckability" as she's defining it, (and correct me, please, if I missed something, BB. I ain't the brightest crayon sometimes) which seems to be in terms of a kind of "attractiveness" that one is born with, the physical proportions and characteristics that a person has that allows them to "fit" the "attractive" mold and seems to act as a sort of "invitation" to men, if that makes sense, and gives them this sense of entitlement to make comments and touch and grab.

Under this definition, I'm not "fuckable," and I certainly wasn't wearing anything provocative or any makeup and I thought I looked a mess. I weigh 260 lbs and am 5'4" tall. Most folks don't even think I'm attractive. But this shit happens to me. This wasn't the first time I've encountered the intrusive, male entitlement to comment/proposition/confront/inquire/touch me in a suggestive way, one that assumed that I wanted some sort of sexual contact.

But there is a difference in experience, here. I've had men who will insult me because of my fatness and my lack of fashion sense and then ask if I'll fuck them in the same breath. I've had men yell at me from car windows, all of what they're saying being insulting and objectifying; they'll say I'm "ugly" and say they want to "tap that ass" and it's all the same tone of voice.

I think the difference in the form or context of objectification comes in the percieved "trophy-ness" of the woman in question.

See, men don't ask me out on "dates", generally speaking. I'm much more likely to get stared down if I look like "SOMEBODY" than if I'm just walking around in my normal street gear, or get some kind of fucked-up misogynistic piropos shouted at me, or even to get my ass smacked or whatever. But even when I'm all dressed up and cleaned up, conforming as much as my physical proportions will allow me to do so to what "beauty" and "standards" are in our society, even then men don't ask for "dates." They only will ask to "fuck." If I tell them to fuck off, they get very angry and insult me based on how I look. When I've told them that I'm not into men, which at this point in time is pretty much the truth, they say they can "fix that."

And I HAVE dated men, after I've asked them out, and they've agreed. But I have NEVER, ever been asked out on a date. I dated one of these guys for a damn long time. But I was never a real human being to him. I was a "sex-kitten." I was a goddam fuck-toy.

I've been that woman that a man will fuck in secret, in a motel-room, on the side. When I was dating, the guy I dated did stuff like showing naked pictures of me to his friends, people that knew me and he even offered that I would be interested in sex with them, usually without asking my permission to do so, only telling me about it after he'd done it already.

I have attraction for men, still. But the ways I've engaged with them intimately make me think that I shouldn't engage any more, if that makes any sense at all. I'm not a trophy, not worth keeping around or adding to their "public" image, unless they're the type of man to fetishize certain body types (and living with a fetishist is fucked-up as hell. Been there, done that, and won't go there again.) And so I have friendships with them. But if they "desire" me in a physical sense, it's not in a public way, it's behind-the-scenes, it's a tryst or a fucking one-night-stand. I've had men who I formerly called friends proposition me, ask to sleep with me, but never ask to "go out" somewhere or tell me that they had feelings for me, other than friendship. I've done it, too. I've screwed them, I've attempted to be that fantasy-woman for them, and while they've come back for sex at times it's always been in a disengaged format- something that I'm supposed to understand "inherently" I guess, that I'm NOT a real relationship and that I'm only there for them that minute in that way, and that anybody else would have "done in a pinch." And then they roll off you and it's like nothing, NOTHING ever happened.

Since I've quit engaging in this side of the male/female relationship miasma, I've had this realization that I'm not the kinda woman that men want to date. I'm "fuckable," that's for sure, but it's something that I should be grateful for, since I'm so damn ugly or whatever. I've been a sounding-board and a bedpost-notch.

What's happened is that, whenever I'm around men, even men with what you'd call "good politics", I'm super self-conscious and I take in every move they make and everything I do with my own body to stave off giving out the "wrong signals." I've learned to keep this tally in my head and the dudes I hang out with don't even know that I'm doing it. When the incident in Durham happened, I spent a good part of the afternoon in self-scrutiny and wondering what the hell I did to prompt the whole thing. I will watch what I say. I made a comment to a friend yesterday, at lunch, about how I do everything I do very deliberately, especially when I'm in a room that's got a heftier portion of men than women sitting around, or milling about.

I've emotionally and physically detached myself from men. My wall's gotten pretty high, and I didn't really realize it 'till the past week. The fucked-up thing is, it makes me kinda sad.

When I was little, I didn't have my own room, so I slept with my parents. My dad would hold me when we slept, he'd play with my hair and on the weekends, I'd wake up and stare at him until he woke up and spend the day with me. I remember back to that time, feeling sleep as something secure and safe, if he was there.

Then my grandfather molested me when I was 7, and since then it's almost impossible for me to sleep with anybody. At that point I DEMANDED somewhere of my own to sleep, and I didn't want to touch or hug my dad, or my mom, or anybody in my family for many years. That's when my lifelong struggle with insomnia began. I wish to hell I could sleep again the way I slept when I was 6. Now sleeping in a bed with a male is out of the question, unless I know I'm going to have sex with him. I slept good when I lived with the aforementioned guy that I dated, when he would cuddle up with me, I slept like a fucking rock. This guy who treated me like I wasn't human, who fucked around on me and lied about it, who wanted me to be his live-in porno star could put his arms around me and I'd sleep just like a fucking baby. And that's something I can't go back to. So I guess it's insomnia, kicking, and fighting sleep for me, unless I want to take heavy-duty antipsychotics to induce dead, drunken sleep.

And in coming back to this fuckability thing, what I was really wanting to know is if there's not a better word for that specific form of objectification. But something opened up the floodgates, and now I'm just rambling without a point. But I wanted to illustrate how ALL women have fuckability, ugly or attractive according to the norms we usually go by. The women who fall into the "trophy-ification" category, I guess, are more likely to get the "emotional relationship that's also sexual" "benefits". Not that I really think they're benefits. But it's a different thing.

I know that this post is all over the map, and I apologize for it's lack of coherence. I'm just trying to find something to pin down this struggle that my brain's having with itself. I mean, I think it's important given the wedges that are driven among women, among sisters, who don't get along, and who judge other women on the basis of how attractive or not that they are.

I'd like us to collectively realize that, one way or another, we're all just fuckholes to the patriarchy. We DO come to that place via different paths, and through different experiences. I've come across women who've judged me based on my appearance, I've met women who say that all fat people are lazy and don't care about themselves. The fat and ugly thing is what gave me my overall sense of pugnacious rebellion, and I'd never been able to attach it cohesively to my experience as a woman before. While the attitude I mention does make me angry, I have to stand up for my "pretty" sisters here, too. Because they didn't ever create the dichotomy, they just "benefitted" from it in some ways. And the ways they've been hurt and mutilated themselves and starved themselves, well, it far outweighs most benifits, except those that are hard-line economical.

I'm gonna say it again, ALL of us are seen by the patriarchy as potential fuckholes. The differing routes to fuckholeness are shaped, in many ways, by the bodies that we're born into, the way that these bodies look, the degree to which they "naturally" or not fit the "mold" of different, patriarchally constructed sort of archetypes of "feminity" or "femalesness". And we all have to move and bend to what the patriarchy wants, keep a tally on what we're doing, how we look, how we move, how we talk based upon these proscribed demands and expectations.

Black Women, Latinas, Asian Women, are expected to try to look more "white." Fat women have to play up those features that can't be "ruined" by their fatness. White women are supposed to strive for housewifedom. Pretty women are immediately percieved as brainless and "fuckable." The list goes on and doesn't end.

We're all out there, grabable and pinchable, our asses a source of public discourse. We are all fetishized to some degree. We're all expected to strive for a starved, white, fragile, breakable perception of what beauty "is." We're all open to the on-the-street "proposition," the catcalls, the stares.

We have to fucking strike back. This isn't a friendly "struggle of opposites." This is a fucking war, and we're the fucking insurgency.

I have to go get ready for work now. Guess I'm not gonna get around to that resignation letter.


Road-Hangover with a side of Bus-Rash

I guess that's what my problem is this mornin'. I just swallered 800 mgs of ibuprofen and am guzzling coffee to get this allover-fatigue feeling to go away in time for me to go and get my truck and get my ass to work. Jesus Christ.

I had a wonderful time in North Carolina, even though my hillbilly sense of place and time was skewed by the fact that I couldn't look out the corner of my eye and see mountains no matter where I went-- I've lived right next to the Great Smokies all my damn life, and it's wierd them not being in the background- but otherwise, the Triangle area is quite charming.

Yesterday I spend roughly 14 hours on Greyhound buses. The bus that left the Charlotte station broke down or something, I'm not sure what but we had to turn around and board a different bus, and then when we got onto the interstate and got rolling we had to bow up and stop due to a blockage in traffic. For miles, signs read "merge right. Left 3 lanes closed."

Apparently, Charlotte drivers can't read. Or something. They just kept ignoring the signs and driving on, and this caused a big 'ol road blockage that it took 2 hours to get out of. Everybody on the bus was tired, groggy, and stuck on the damn highway.

To make up time, our lovely driver sped like a madman from that point on. Jesus christ. I don't know if y'all have ever driven through the Smoky Mountains at night time, or during a wet, windy electrical storm, or both. I have. But I'd never seen it at God-Knows-How-Fast, in a gigantic Greyhound bus. The big windows made for good storm-viewin', but I gotta say that around a couple of those curves, every part of me that could clinch up did. But hey, how much is the admission price to Dollywood? This was much more entertaining.

Ok. I gotta go and get my shit together. Tomorrow, I might unmod comments and I WILL get back to the radical feminism thing. Today I'm just thinking about my trip and the folks I met and how I can't wait to get away from my crazy family for a little while, all that kinda stuff. I need to chill. I guess I can do that after work.

Aaarh. More later.


Yo Tengo Problemas

Alright, all y'all who have commented and shit and your comments haven't shown up, well, I'm working out my own mental delays on the blog moderation thing.

I keep trying to "publish comments" and it keeps telling me that the post I'm looking for was not found.

I'm spending the next 4 days in beautiful North Carolina. So if I don't get to posting/fixing this thing this week, please accept my apologies.

I gotta go to bed now.


Oh yeah, one more thing...

I did want to mention that I've turned on all my feeble "controls" and now everything's mod-ed. Just 'cause I want to see what it's like to be dictator over my little corner of the blogosphere, mua ha ha ha. *puts off sleeping*

God Dammit Why the Fuck Can I Never Sleep

I'm having committment issues with this blog. I have committment issues with everything, it seems, except for shit like education and paying jobs. But right now the issue's with the blog. So here's the deal.

I just got news this week that I got accepted for an internship, a good one, one that pays. One that will lead to a new paying job. That's cool. I have to quit my current paying job, one as a caregiver for the disabled. I've worked here for nearly 8 years. This job has taught me a great deal of things. It's one of those sad cases of a job that could be really, really satisfying... if it didn't pay poverty wages. But at any rate, there's this emotional-attachment thing going on, and I'm kinda getting walloped with the fact that these people who've kinda turned into a family for me are gonna be out of my life, for a long time at the least. And my friends here, my god, my friends here. My best friend since I was 12 is leaving for New York. It's just all a lot of stuff. I've lived here for damn-near 28 years and I'm about to leave and I don't really know where I'll finally end up. It's wild as hell.
I'm trying to stay focused and excited.
I've wanted to blog all fucking week about Monday-- Worker's Labor Day. This year there was a boycott and general strike aimed at this fucked up administration and it's wish to turn persons living in the U.S.A. without proper documentation of their birth in this fair land into real, no-shit FELONS. Have y'all been reading about the Sensenbrenner bill? Noticing it in the news? Seeing, hearing, feeling the giant, mass movement rising up around us? Some of my blog-pals talked about it. Very few of them, though. And I hope it was just cause everybody was so busy actively showing their solidarity by joining the strike, not going to work, going to protests in your areas, not buying shit, that sort of thing. This proposed legislation is mighty fucked-up and it would do folks a lot of good and lend a lot of perspective, when talking liberation talk of any kind, to read on it further.
I can't be too damn judgemental, though, I didn't blog about it either. But it's really 'cause I went to the damn rally.

Now. If any of the feminists who read this blog have some sort of philosophical opposition to "illegal" immigration into Gringolandia, I have got to remind you that this movement of immigrants and the mass of people living in the U.S.A. deemed as "illegal" beings on the basis of their lack of suficient paperwork, consists of millions of women and children, all of whom are susceptible to the exact same horrors that we all are, and are protected even less by our sham of a fucking legal system; women are making up a good deal of this movement's leadership. These women are standing up against something GIGANTIC. They are demanding that our government treat them as humans. I'm working on a bigger post on it.

Anyways, I have to go now because I have to get up in 3 hours. I have very big stuff to do tomorrow/today/this morning. And then I'm going out of town for a few more days.

The next couple months should be very interesting.

And the only reason I keep on blathering on is 'cause I don't want to be accused of not keeping up with my fucking blog. *yawns*

More later.