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.


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?