How We Know We’re Grown

24 Jun

As a single, childless, 30-something woman, I have been thinking hard about ways Western society defines “adulthood”, “being grown”, or “grown-up”. I believe this to be especially relevant for women, who tend to be infantilized, and remain so, as long as they are unmarried and/or not mothers (and sometimes are still treated as children even then).

Recently, I was visited by a younger woman who came to my house for dinner. I cooked some pasta with a red sauce, accompanied by a salad, and we opened a bottle of wine she had chosen – a Chilean cabernet, maybe, or a malbec – I’m not great with wines – and poured it into a couple of regular glasses. “You don’t have any wine glasses?” she asked, surprised. “No,” I replied. I never seemed to have a need for them before. “You have to at least get a couple of wine glasses,” she chided me, as if I was missing out on some adult household essential by not having them. Continue reading

Video

Interview with Melissa Gira Grant on Sex Work

19 Apr

Excellent Vice interview with journalist Melissa Gira Grant on sex work with a powerful historicized and politicized contemporary analysis. She challenges myths around sex work, critiques binary perspectives on women’s sexuality, and argues that sex work is work.

http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/the-vice-podcast-talking-to-journalist-melissa-gira-grant-about-sex-work

“Our anxieties about the way all of our labour is commodified, everything we do in the world has a price on it. I think it’s much easier to talk about how anxious that makes us feel, and where our personhood is compromised by being in the world and having to survive – those anxieties get heaped on sex workers in a way that I don’t see them heaped on other workers.”  – M. G. Grant

Re-blog: The Trigger Warned Syllabus

7 Mar Featured Image -- 2077

Sista Resista:

Excellent article by TressieMC on universities co-opting the notion of “trigger warnings” from online culture in order to further advance the goals of the marketized education system and make student-customers more “comfortable” with what they are asked to learn…

Originally posted on tressiemc:

Apparently universities are issuing guidelines to help professors consider adding “trigger warnings” to syllabi for “racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression,” and to remove triggering material when it doesn’t “directly” contribute to learning goals.” One example given is Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” for its colonialism trigger. This from New Republic this week.

I have no desire to enter the fray of online discussions on trigger warnings and sensitivity. I have used trigger warnings. Most recently, I made a personal decision to not retweet Dylan Farrow’s piece in the New York Times detailing Woody Allen’s sexual abuse. I was uncomfortable shoving a very powerful description at people without some kind of warning. I couldn’t read past the first three sentences. I couldn’t imagine how it read for others. So, I referenced the article with a trigger warning and kept it moving.

But, I’m…

View original 469 more words

Video

Body Love – Mary Lambert

31 Jan

“The time for us has to reclaim our bodies.”

We love you, Mary Lambert. Thank you.

Saying Goodbye to Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger

29 Jan

This month the world said goodbye to two great men who dedicated their lives to cultural activism through art. Amiri Baraka, poet and playwright of the Black Arts Movement and folk legend Pete Seeger will always be remembered for the way their art shaped public consciousness and provided the soundtrack to American movements against war and segregation and for social justice. We thank them for their life’s work during their time here and wish peace and power upon their beloved spirits.

In love and remembrance.

Amiri Baraka, Somebody Blew Up America

Pete Seeger, We Shall Overcome

Pete Seeger, Where Have All the Flowers Gone

We also recognize that it is just as important acknowledge the many ways their contributions to culture wouldn’t have been possible without the women in their lives. This article from the New Yorker sheds some light upon Hettie Jones, writer, mother and Amiri Baraka’s first wife, and her role in his artistic and personal development, as does this conversation with Amina Baraka, artist, activist, and his second wife.