White/mixed. Activist poet. Whimsy, happenstance, & hard truth.
when we were young girls
we dreamed endlessly
of who we might be
back then the whole world
was a starter served
before so-called reality
was shoved down our throats
and rattled our bones
and made us stay home
cos we can’t walk at night safely
you started to smoke;
I can’t answer the phone
without “breathing deeply”
call it ritual anxiety
summer, street corner
I had nothing left to say
summer, drunken mourners
as our young hearts died that day
then we were young birds
on the evening breeze
the seasons change; last chance to flee
I know you’re somewhere safer
but I’ve run out of stories
now I’m bleeding poetry
summer, street corner
I had nothing left to say
summer, drunken mourners
as our young hearts died that day
I hope you know
you’re worth more than him
and me, and anything.
I never had a chance to mourn my girlhood
never realised it would end
and looking back I never really understood
just how blessed I was to have you as a friend
the things that we’ve lost
don’t return to us
as constellations of the things we might have been
you drink yourself to sleep
and I’m in therapy
sometimes life really is as shit as it seems
yet there is still joy
somewhere within me
though it may be buried deep
I hope you feel it
and I hope you remember to dream
I hope you remember to dream.
Thanks to Twitter, the hashtag has become an important linguistic shortcut. But while everyone from Robin Thicke to Beyoncé has used the symbol as part of their art, only a few have truly taken advantage of its culture-jamming possibilities. (via @pitchforkmedia)
Started as a random pencil doodle at the office, turned illustration, turned GIF.
I want to cuddle with you under covers while we watch the day go by.
umm well the entire show centers around a white feminist woman, all the POC r dependent on her in some way. Her best friend is a light skinned WOC about whose family and ethnicity we know nothing about after 5 seasons. The one Black woman in the office is a side character after 5 seasons and again we know nothing about her history and family and she’s mostly there to deliver snarky comments or have jokes made about the improbability of anyone finding her sexually attractive. What else. The other WOC is Aubrey Plaza and she’s also very light skinned/ somewhat what passing and her ethnicity is only acknowledged like once. There are really offensive genocidal murals on the office walls that r used for laughs because they r “outrageously racist” yet none of the characters r ever concerned with removing them. The MOC Aziz Anzari is characterized as juvenile and desexual while even the dorkiest white men r coded with desirability and maturity. What else. Everytime a new “attractive” woman appears she’s always white and skinny. There was an entire episode which was about the greatness of US “democracy” vs Venezuelan corruption, and all of Leslie’s white feminist icons r white women like Hilary Clinton and Madeline Albright and Nancy Pelosi.
my hubs and I marathoned 4 straight seasons and I won’t deny it’s hilarious and the characters r very well drawn but the ovewhelming white liberal gaze is hard to ignore
How is it racist to not focus on race? The characters in Parks and Recreation are being treated as characters. Any race they belong to is kind of irrelevant to the point of the show. It’s depicting a comedy setting with a variety of races and showing it to be normal. Race isn’t the pinnacle of Tom’s character. Nor is it for April’s, nor Donna’s. And that’s because the show is about them as coworkers and their interactions with one another. Since their race shouldn’t be any deciding factor in their job or quality of person, it isn’t addressed as to present them all as somewhat equal humans within the office social space.
Now, of course, it is a comedy, which tends to mean it will tread on some toes. With the murals depicting the massacre of the land’s previous inhabitants, one could argue that the show is being blunt and honest about America’s past. And, what can they really do about it? Also, the stories of the murals are usually given with favor and sympathy for the native peoples, which in turn casts shame on the actions of the white founders of Pawnee.
And as for Donna’s sexual prowess and how she is depicted as wealthy and level-headed, sexually active and socially accepting of that being known, etc. isn’t that a good thing? Here is an independent, plus-sized woman of color shown as stylish, funny, wealthy, and not ‘sexy’ as in fetishized, but more as a character a lot of other characters find sexy or are attracted to.
I feel like this is maybe a step in the right direction??
1. Don’t you ever again suggest to anyone but ESPECIALLY to a woman of color that ignoring a character’s race is somehow a progressive act. The show of Parks and Rec focuses on the character Leslie Knope, who is a woman in politics, a field dominated by men and the show has never EVER shied away from the topic of gender inequality and feminism. The show has never tried to brush aside the fact that she is a woman and turn her into “just a character” as you say. Her identity as a woman impacts the decisions she makes, the criticism she receives, and the opportunities she has to work for and the show acknowledges and celebrates that without making her entire identity about the fact that she is a woman. They’ve managed to find that balance in her; it is not a stretch to assume they can find that balance in characters of color. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it has to be all about race or not about race at all. That’s an idiotic fallacy and it’s not the way the world works and it’s not how people work.
Honestly, the fact that you can watch this show and this character and not realize the irony of suggesting that race is an insignificant part of one’s identity and therefore should be ignored is staggering. You would never suggest that Parks and Rec ignore the fact that Leslie Knope is a woman and “just focus on her character”. That would be asinine and would diminish a large part of who Leslie Knope is. Race, like gender affects how people interact in the world, how people respond to them, and yes, even which opportunities they have to work for. It’s not a skin that people of color put on and take off when it suits white people. You don’t do anyone any favors by pretending it doesn’t exist and focusing on “the character” as if race and character are mutually exclusive concepts.
2. Depicting an overweight black woman as overly sexual is not progressive, which you would know if you had spent even a fraction of a second studying up on depictions of black women in media instead of assuming that all women experience inequality the same way. The over sexual black woman is a stereotype, a well-documented, damaging stereotype that finds humor in the idea that black women, particularly ones not considered “conventionally attractive”, could have not just one partner, but multiple. It also extends from the idea that black women are sexually deviant and must be controlled, in contrast to white women’s sexual purity. Melissa Harris-Perry explains this in her book, Sister Shame, but for a brief synopsis I suggest watching some of her YouTube videos instead.
But more to the point, Donna TALKS about her sexual conquests, she TALKS about being with different men, and yet we have never once, in six seasons, actually SEEN her with a love interest, which is a pretty common occurrence for black women on TV (see Mercedes on Glee). She is the only character on that show that has never had a love interest physically present. So why don’t you spend some time thinking about why stylish funny wealthy sexy black women on TV can openly and unabashedly TALK about sex and relationships and love, but are never actually SHOWN having any of the above and then you can get back to us on how progressive it is.
3. Word of advice, when people of color point out inconsistencies or missteps in depictions of characters of color on TV, don’t go blazing into the conversation without doing a little research. Everything that I have said could have been found out with a little Google search, a little trip to POC blogs, or even just a little reading. You’d know that POC have spent who knows how much time and energy arguing, studying and analyzing the impact of characters of color on TV. We live this subject because it impacts OUR lives, so don’t ever again suggest that you know better than people of color what positive depictions of people of color look like. You really honestly don’t.
More great commentary, esp. about Donna.
I’m still wary about saying that Donna is overly sexual because…I don’t think her mentioning her sex life or talking about having men waiting for her means that she’s being too sexual? Then again, it’s been awhile since I’ve watched, so I may be forgetting key moments.
However, YES, the desexualized/hypersexualized fat black woman is a very damaging stereotype, which is really important to consider when talking about her character. And I think the point about Donna never being seen with her lover(s) is very, very important. It’s not enough to just say that these things are happening. It’s important to show fat black women in romantic contexts, as being sexual agents, as lovable, etc.
It’s not that we (ppl who think like us lol) see her as over sexual it’s that many ppl do.
The other day i got called donna/jill scott (from Baggage Claim) by a white coworker because i said I’m too young to settle down i just want to date. He called me Donna and when i asked who that was he said she’s a black woman on parks and recs who sleeps around. Or like jill scott from a “cool black wovie i watched wih this black girl i dated once” He assumed me dating a lot of men, meant having a lot of sex.
I’m a virgin and we also got into an argument and i got asked was i being racist towards him. But he ended up in trouble and not me.
Uuuuuuugh, okay. That makes a lot more sense.
Like the fact that because she’s not being sexually pious (whatever the fuck that means) automatically makes her overly-sexual even though she isn’t. The fact that she’s a fat black woman means that people are reading her as unable to be sexually pious i the first place. The myth of white women’s sexual purity. Got it.
Also, I’m sorry you clearly work with an asshole. I’m glad he got in trouble.
Reblogged for the awesome, needed commentary.
And “bitch” is attacking women for their right to call you on it. (via madgay)
Accurate quote is accurate.
Important for ALL of us to consider.
If you find a woman
with a wild heart
do not try to tame her.
You must adore her
recklessly, the way
she is meant to be loved.
Do not try to quiet her,
for her roars will reach
far and wide.
She has something
important to say.
Help her say it.
Do not get in her way.
She stops for no one.
Do not try to change
the path she has chosen.
Learn also to love the wind
and let it change you.
Women and street harassment.
By Gwen Sharp, PhD
Yesterday I was walking to a convenience store when a guy shouted at me that I looked really pretty. I ignored him. He yelled again and walked up to me. I gave him that tight, uncomfortable half-smile-with-no-eye-contact women sometimes use to try to acknowledge random male attention just enough so maybe the guy will feel like he’s gotten the reaction he is entitled to, in the hopes that he’ll then lose interest and go away.
He did go away, but only to get in a car with this friends and then drive slowly next to me, yelling “compliments” about how pretty I looked and trying to get me to look at them. And when I continued to ignore them, they finally yelled “bitch!” and drove off, a situation I’m sure many of our readers have experienced — the reaction you get when you dare to not be just pleased as punch that some men are following you on the street, helpfully going out of their way to openly approve of your performance of femininity, thus letting you know that you are a worthwhile human being.
And today I opened an email from Susan C. with a link to this cartoon over at Ampersand that nicely sums up this oft-played-out scenario. Thanks, Susan!
Cross-posted at Jezebel.
Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.
Oh yeah. Lives of saying no must be so much worse than ever putting yourself out there and getting shot down…..over and over and over and over and over and over, no matter what. Ask how that would effect you. You wouldn’t try anymore if you’re decent. You shut down. And then you watch women cue off of money and pro activity, women using their gender as an excuse to be sought after (everyone wants to be chased….EVERYONE)…..and then complain when it wasn’t the right moneydick.I’ve never seen anyone speak like that to a woman and I certainly don’t surround myself with those male friends, but you ladies sure do. Then you hate yourself for saying yes, then project that shit on others. The images of both gender here is so over exaggerated. It’s usually vitriol from even a glance at a woman. And taken further, the female makes you pay (emotionally) for wanting anything. This is perfect man hating ether for Tumblr. Sex isn’t everything, but when it’s always an option for women, something that isn’t a challenge, you’ll never empathize. Tell those men to fuck off. Don’t be silent. Nobody learns anything. and don’t encourage a culture of attempting to extort from those pricks. You start to like it eventually.
1) I’m a man that used to be a steelworker and spent plenty of time around “regular guys” as a result. This behavior towards women is not that uncommon. In fact it’s so common and normalized that these guys don’t usually see what they’re doing as wrong, because it’s “just a joke” or because everyone else is doing it, or because she doesn’t speak up, etc.
2) “I certainly don’t surround myself with those male friends, but you ladies sure do”
The men in that comic don’t appear to be her friends. Furthermore, this post was about street harassment. Chances are that doesn’t refer to “friends” either. I don’t know where you live, but I’m not used to the idea of inviting harassment just by walking down a sidewalk.
3) If your idea of “putting yourself out there” and looking for a relationship is yelling “I want to bang you!” to someone whose name you don’t even know, you’ve got a really messed up idea of relationships and need help. See a counselor.
4) “women cue off of money and pro activity”
5) “(everyone wants to be chased….EVERYONE)”
6) Chances are that there’s nothing I can say to get through to you on any of this anyway, because based on your self-centered attitude and screen name, you’ve leveled up to “Euphoria, Destroyer of Friendzones”, and can only be defeated by preparing the epic-level spell “Summon Anti-Neckbeard” to seal you away in a basement of resentment for a thousand years.
THIS COMMENTARY. I WANNA FRAME IT.
And they wonder why I don’t take it as a compliment. This comic illustrates how absolutely traumatic the accumulative effect of cat calling and street harassment
can be is.
Cheers to the commentary.
Yesterday at Alameda Beach, trying to look cool — lasted five seconds and then we burst out laughing. #selfie #sunglasses #summertime #coolkids #goofballs #ohryan #love (at Shoreline Alameda Beach)