Tag Archives: language

Why We Stand with Rachel Jeantel

28 Jun

racheljeantel

Christina Coleman at the Global Grind has written an excellent article on the racism/classism that is skewing the portrayal of Rachel Jeantel and her testimony in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. Coleman writes:

“What white people see in Rachel has little to do about her own issues, and more to say about the America that white people are blind to.”

 

And Khadijah Costley White has written a moving open letter, published at Role / Reboot, that both recognizes and celebrates Rachel’s resistance while linking her treatment by the prosecution and the court to the legacy of intersecting racism and sexism experienced by black women in the US. She writes:

“You exemplify, in your girth, skin tone, language, and manner, a refusal to concede. You are a thousand Nat Turners, a quiet spring of rebellion, and some folks don’t know how to handle that.

In truth, you’re part of a long legacy of black women so often portrayed as the archetypal Bitch, piles of Sassafrasses, Mammies, and Jezebels easily dismissed, caricatured, and underestimated. For black women, in particular, being the bitch represents our historical exclusion from the cult of true womanhood, a theme traditionally bounded and defined by its contrast to white femininity. For some folks, being black and being a woman makes us less of both.

Don’t forget that in just the last few years, Fox News called the First Lady of the United States “Obama’s Baby Mama,” that a popular radio host referred to a group of college athletes as “nappy-headed hoes,” and that even a gold-medal Olympian wasn’t able to escape physical scrutiny and bodily criticism on the world stage. This rhetoric is bigger than you, older than you, deeper than you—it is not you.

(But you know that, already, don’t you?)”

The End of Poverty? (2008 film)

31 Dec

For our final post of 2011, we would like to thank all of the readers who have made Sisters of Resistance a success in our first year by sharing with you this important film that we believe captures or touches upon many of the issues of injustice currently facing the world at large. Continue reading

How to Tell if Your Man is Cheating: Part 3 – Psychology

31 Aug

To complete our How to Tell If Your Man is Cheating series, Sisters of Resistance have compiled information on the psychological and emotional profiles of men who cheat, based upon real-life experiences collectively referred to as relationship field research. In this article, we answer the questions:

         “What kind of man cheats?”

         “How does the cheating show up in his emotions?”

         “What are the structural inequalities that enable men to cheat?”

         “What does this mean for me?”

We hope these insights will help our readers to identify cheating men, as well as reveal why, if they have been cheated on, it is not their fault.

Part 1: LIES

Part 2: Behavioural Patterns and Other Evidence

Continue reading

How to Respond to Unwanted Cherpsing (Pick-Up Attempts)

22 Jul

Because single women out in the town or city defy patriarchal norms that aim to put us back in the kitchen and/or bedroom, we receive unwanted attention from some men who assume our unattached presence is an invitation. We reject this attention with decisive, declarative responses similar to the below and, if possible, quickly continue on our way.

This content has been added to the Sisters of Resistance Terminology Toolkit.

CHERPS/PICK-UP LINE: Hey! (or other shouting, yelling, hooting, calling over. Often done on the street or from a passing car.)
RESPONSE:  None required.

CHERPS: Did you hear me?
RESPONSE: Yes, I did, and I’m choosing to ignore you.

CHERPS: Where are you going?
RESPONSE: Not where you’re going.

CHERPS: Are you single?
RESPONSE: None of your business.

CHERPS: What’s your name?
RESPONSE: I will not be providing you with that information today. (This was developed in response to police officers’ attempts to gather intelligence at protests but is applicable in a variety of other situations.)

CHERPS: I want to get to know you.
RESPONSE: I don’t want to get to know you.

CHERPS: I can’t be your friend?
RESPONSE: I’ve got enough friends.

CHERPS: Can I get your number?
RESPONSE: No. (Repeat as necessary.)

CHERPS: Any other question or attempt to carry on the conversation.
SOME POTENTIAL RESPONSES:
I’m in a rush.  Bye!
I’ve got to be somewhere. Bye!
I’m on my way out. Bye!
(Repeat “Bye!” as necessary and walk away.)

Women We Admire: Audre Lorde

15 Jun
Audre Lorde speaking

Warrior Poet.

WHO SHE IS: Audre Lorde is a Black lesbian feminist poet, essayist and novelist. She was born on February 18, 1924 in Harlem and died on November 17, 1992. Of Caribbean descent, her parents were immigrants from Granada.

WHAT SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED: She wrote poetry from a young age and continued to do so throughout her life. Her first book of poems was published in 1968, after which she taught writing at New York City Colleges and courses on racism at Lehman College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her precise and poetic reflections, especially regarding women writers, are highly informed by political, artistic and cultural critique, leading some to call her the “Warrior Poet.” She was a cofounder of The Kitchen Table-Women of Color Press and an editor of the lesbian journal Chrysalis. Her work is included widely in women and gender studies programmes around the world.

The Audre Lorde project, a New York City center for gender variant people of color, is named after her.

WHY WE LOVE HER: She is such a femininspiration. See for yourself.

Audre Lorde

none other.

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

“For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.

“The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet-whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom.

“For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom.

– Audre Lorde, Woman We Admire.

Happy Pride Month!