Saturday, June 30, 2007

White feminism?

Ok. I am really, really confused here. As you, my imaginary audience, can ascertain, I am an avid reader of IBtP, Pandagon, Feministe, and the like. I too, am a radical feminist.

Radical feminism is all about overthrowing patriarchy. Patriarchy is the system which is keeping women, all women (which OF COURSE includes transwomen), along with gay men and transmen, subject to the dominant class of heterosexual males. Patriarchy is not only overt and violent, like FGM and "honor killings", but insidious and inherent to every culture in the world. Here in the West, it includes mandated femininity and sexism. Patriarchal domination has spawned a lot of nasty things. Right now, racism is inherent to the patriarchal system. Pretty much everywhere you go, the Aryan-er, the better.

Now what I just don't get. Brownfemipower. I remember a post of hers a while back accusing Twisty of being transphobic because in the hundreds of hundreds of comments each post of hers generates, she didn't read every single one and delete those that were transphobic. Besides the total lack of reason in that, what struck me was the label she had for that post. White feminism.

Normally, I'd say that was derisive and rude, but I know all too well about white privilege to complain about that. But I just do not understand the ideas expressed on brownfemipower's blog about radical feminism being a tool of racism, of radical feminists being the ones excluding and subjugating women of color. And I'm going to reveal a little bit of my youth here and say

HELLO?! Are you not GETTING IT?! If a white woman (or ANY woman) is racist, if she is classist, if she is homophobic, transphobic, then she is not a radical feminist. Ok?
She is against everything radical feminism stands for.

Another thing. I get the feeling that some of the transphobia attributed to radical feminism was due in part to those women-only space-thingies. Well, though I could not disagree more with the implication that transwomen aren't women, the idea behind those is (I presume) that women should be able to share their life experiences as women, including childhood experience. Most transwomen are brought up as men, and until they "come out", or start living as women, they have been (albeit unwilling) participants of a system that granted them privilege over their fellows. That gives them a significantly different life experience.

The oppressed is uncomfortable with sharing around the still/former opressor, and wants a "safe space" in which to do said sharing (I have issues with the exclusion of transwomen, but that's besides the point).

How is that any different with some internet community's racial policies? To wit, (and straight off Brownfemipower): "The voices of women of color will always be prioritized on this site both through the content of my posts as well as within the comments section."

How is it any different with any [insert ethnicity here]-only group's policies? Once again, any one person who embraces misogyny, racism, heteronormativity, trans and homophobia, xenophobia; is NOT a feminist.

This has been bugging me for quite some time. Because if patriarchy is ever going to be gutted, it's not going to be done by white women. Or women of color. Or transwomen. Or gay men. It has to be done by everyone, in conjunction. I mean, I'm not one for the whole touchy-feely unity thing. And I know that there are some resentments that go way back, not to mention the misogynistic women, self-hating gays, racist everybodies, and all that.

But hey, women? Yeah, we're all women. We're all oppressed Hey, gays? We're all oppressed too, look at that. And you know, most of us hate that oppression. So why the hate directed at each other?

I'd like to envision, if not a world rid of patriarchy, a world where all the oppressed can refuse/resist together.

And to continue on with my subversive little blurring of lines, what makes a woman of color? Because genetically, I'm probably a lot more "pure latina" than most women of color in the U.S. I speak Spanish fluently, better then most latinas in the U.S. But my skin is dead white. My mouth and nose are Caucasically nondescript. My cheeks are, to my dismay, rosy. And most people believe red is my natural hair color (now that it's more ginger). A good friend of mine would probably be rejected by Brownfemipower's standards. Despite her facial features and hair texture being Afro-Caribbean, her lineage 100% Afro-Hispanic, all that I'm guessing would be seen are her white skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair.

I don't want to stir the scheisse. When not irked by these matters, I really enjoy reading Brownfemipower. But damn. I guess I just had to get this off my chest.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I don't mean to overexalt myself. I'm well aware of my status as a simple teen soprano, with barely a smidgen more talent then the general population. Most of what I am and what I can do, I owe to people far greater than myself who've had the patience to teach me how, and to a pit bull-like discipline (some say it's stubbornness, but fuck that).

But if there's one thing I know. One single little solitary thing that keeps me going these days, it's duende. And that's not something you can just get, just translate into words.

Duende. I don't think it can ever be described, but a tiny tiny fraction of what it really is: it's floating in a white, blank world. But the blank isn't really blank, it's just too colorful to exist. And all there is in that blank is one column of what seems to be air, but it could be water, could be fire, could be anything. you're the only one there, and all you can do is to push it out and up. You decide what it'll be, if you're strong enough. You decide what it'll sound like, and the sound is huge, it vibrates and threatens to shatter the entire world you're moving in, but that's all right, because it can never break, it's more fluid and amorphous than mercury. And it's better and more beautiful and more terrible and more heartbreaking than anything you've ever seen. And against all the white that isn't white, all that your eyes can truly, physically see, is one thing. Then, it was my coaches hand up in the air, telling me to hold it. And then it drops, so you drop the note too.

And when you come down, when you let the note go, you come back to that other place. The real world, I guess, though it's not as real as the other one that you're coming back from. And you can see again. And you can feel how the entire room is vibrating with the potency of that one note. The echoes too. You see that your hands have been gripping the edge of the piano so hard that there are your nail marks on it. And there are other musicians from the other classes peeking through the windows to see who it was singing. And you find that you're shaking, and you're not standing the way you were before.

And that's D above high C.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


There's really no excuse, but I just can't get enough of these things.

A - Available or Single? Neither. I just am.

B - Best Friend? Robot Boy

C - Cake or Pie? Pecan pie

D - Drink of Choice? Ginger ale or apple juice

E - Essential Item? iPod

F - Favourite Colour? Black and pink

G - Gummi Bears or Worms? GUMMIBĂ„RCHEN

H - Hometown? Oz

I - Indulgence? Chocolate, America's Next Top Model.

J - January or February? January

K - Kids? HEEEEELL nah

L - Life is incomplete without… My iPod, my guitar, and the internet

M - Marriage Date? HEEEELL nah

N - Number of Siblings? 1

O - Oranges or Apples? Granny Smiths

P - Phobias/Fears? Certain bugs.

Q - Favourite Quote. "I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things." Dorothy Parker

R - Reasons to smile. Shaking a hip belt really hard. Muting a power chord perfectly. Hitting a high D.

S - Season? Winter

T - Tag Three. Uh...Glow?

U - Unknown Fact About Me. I was in ballet half my life

V – Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? Opressor

W - Worst Habit? Procrastination

X – X-rays or Ultrasounds? Ultrasound

Y - Your Favourite Foods? Waaay too many to list here

Z - Zodiac? Capricorn

Friday, June 15, 2007

On walks and weight

I think I read something about how fat people walk lightly, like balloons that are just barely held down by strings to the ground. I can't remember the author because I can't remember anything these days. [Thank you, chemical cocktail!]

But when you think about it, it's true. I mean, with all the extra weight us fatties carry around, imagine if we stomped the way skinnies do? At least in my case, I know it'd create quite the tremor. Even this guy I know, who's really obese has this particular dinosaur shuffle that, if heard from an apartment below, would not be heard at all, it's so light. I know that I don't walk heavily. Going up metal staircases, all you can hear is a slight *tap* from my beloved combat boots. As opposed to the ginormous clatter whenever a lighter person walks on it. It's a survival skill auto-learned by the fat; men and women alike.

I've been told I saunter. I've been told I have all the physical mannerisms of a gay man when not performing. I've also been accused of "walking sexily". The hilarious bit is, get this, that said sexy *swish* or *sway* (sexy or effeminate or gay-mannish, whatever) is produced by one of my legs being significantly longer than the other from a nasty volleyball-related incident in eighth grade.

I have mentioned my disdain for sports. Well, they're mandatory to pass P.E. in my school. And in eight grade, P.E. was mandatory. So I had to pick, and the very first days I picked volleyball (later I switched to basketball, since there were no girls in it, forcing the teacher to make the team unisex, which is taboo for some reason, and I've always had the iconoclastic impulses you know and love). I mostly sat on the benches while the other girls played, since there is no sport in the world I loathe as deeply as that goddamn fucking volleying of balls. And that, my friends, is what made the fear of de-pointing such a big one: the P.E. teachers called me out on my non-playing status, and threatened to flunk me if I didn't play soon. And as we all know, there's no making up a P.E. class. You flunk it, you flunk eighth grade. At least in my school.

So one day, I actually played. And while jumping for the ball, I slipped (my trusty combat boots were not allowed, so I had to defer to my beloved-but-not-trusty pair of worn Converse hi-tops) and fell HARD on my right knee. When I got up, I found myself unable to put weight on it. And it looked funny. Not ha-ha funny, but grotesquely-angled funny. So I begged for a time-out. Mr. J., the friendly neighborhood P.E. coach No. 1 gave me the stinkeye and only five minutes to "walk it off". So as I sat down on the bench, rolled up my sweats and stared at my now deformed (dislocated, actually) right leg, I knew what had to be done. I will now refer to myself in the third person.

  • Miss Creature looks at the knee. She looks at the bench.
  • Miss Creature sees that the bench, instead of two separate "feet" going into the ground, has one upside down u-shaped piece of metal.
  • Miss Creature hooks the damaged foot around said piece, rendering the leg immobile if you push it to the right.
  • Miss Creature bites down hard, as she greatly dislikes: not so much being called a wuss, but that people assume she is from the get-go, because of the secondary sex characteristics that define her as a part of the sex class.
  • Miss Creature grabs knee with every one of her fetus fingers, and pushes it to the right.
  • Miss Creature stifles approximately 10,692,4394 screams.
  • Miss Creature observes that the leg, apart from throbbing like a mad octopus, seems to be fine. She limps back to the court. She goes back to playing volleyball.

And what happened, as I learned a few months and several tests and visits to the orthopedist's later, is that I fell so hard that some bone in my knee shattered. Just a little. Enough for some tiny splinters to jam into my ligaments, causing lack of development (though I only ever developed an inch or so since then), internal bleeding, and sharp stabb-y pains from time to time. Mostly cold weather, I snarl. Like when it rains. Like right now. ^_^ [Blame the meds, people. I would never use anime-ish, keyboard smileys if normal. Just lots of hyphenates and commas.]

So whenever some random fucktard accuses me of being a hypocrite because of, among other things my "sexy walk", I merely say "My right leg never grew, ya dumbfuck." And if the situation allows it, "Up yours."

Oh, and speaking of walks, you know whose I really love?

Bjork's. Not her walk-walk, I've never seen it; but I love how when she's performing, she advances making these totally agressive hand movements while walking forward. This while belting, stabbing the generational wisdom passed from Mariah impersonator to Mariah impersonator of standing making passive hurt faces, or leaning passively back while belting unhealthily high notes.

See what I mean?

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Today there were three girls in a bed. And we were not pretty, not as the patriarchy sees it. And we were not fulfilling patriarchy-approved sexual fantasies. We were watching a movie. We were talking about our lives.

A woman on the screen laid down, with bottles of pills all around her. We laughed and joked about it, because all of us know, all of us were alive and there to prove that overdoses rarely do the trick. We all know from experience. Some of us more than one experience. I know from two experiences with suicide-by-pill; the latest being...the latest, I guess.

A woman screams, howls with rage about how her mental illness has incapacitated her. Not the illness itself, but how everyone around her has become convinced that they must make every decision for her, and her life ceases to be in her hands and in her control, and she ceases to be human. It's patriarchy; textbook. She is dying of patriarchy. And every one of us could identify. We could all talk about it and make jokes about it because every one of us knows that. We know that to the point that all women do, and beyond; to the point where all mentally damaged people know that. We feel that dehumanization.

We've all been dehumanized.

I wrote about it last week. How I was dying, and all anyone could see was to what extent I conformed to patriarchal beauty standards.

Well take a good look, patriarchy. You and your pornification, you and your trendy girl-on-girl, you and your fucking beauty standards. Look at us. How we were today, together on that bed and you would have seen the real SuicideGirls. And they are not the girls who are pornalicious subculture objects. They are PEOPLE. We are people who bear with the burden of being young and female. Because no one has less power in this world than a female child.

Take a look at us. Take a good look. One underweight, two over. Their stomachs ravaged by the eating disorders and the side effects of the medication they need to survive, to cope. Of all the drugs they have pushed into themselves to fill that hole, that empty set, by nullifying it completely. Look at our scars. All kinds of scars. The addiction, the need to hurt ourselves more than you can ever hurt us, even though that's a losing battle. Look, if you can, into that space where everything becomes chaotic and dark and terrifying, that place where no one who hasn't been there will ever know or understand, and everyone who has will spend the rest of their lives trying to escape. Every victimization we have suffered, directly or indirectly, by patriarchal means, has left us fracted for life. Every hurt we have ever done to ourselves. Every glitter sore is a scream against the world we will never live to see changed, if it ever changes. A scream for every other female, and especially every other female child who will most likely end up where we are, until the world changes, or comes to an end, or every woman dies of patriarchy, dies of femininity.

We are what you hate. But we are still here, despite your efforts, and our contrary efforts. And I love you, girls, women, my friends. You are PEOPLE, despite the whole world trying to make you less. You are what beauty should be.

Fuck those other SuicideGirls, living tamely, reaping the rewards, empty as eggshells, as lightbulbs; of conformity. We're the real deal. Fuck the beauty standards that made my friends hurt themselves so much that I can feel it just standing next to them. Fuck the queerbashers who wounded me, fuck the rapist who attacked me as a child, and fuck the men who mentally, emotionally, and physically abused every one of us. Fuck the women who have internalized misogyny and wield it as a weapon against every iconoclast who dares to live her own life. Fuck religion. Fuck hairlessness and skinniness and stupidity and frailty and servility as The Ideal Woman. Fuck the patriarchy.