Tag Archives: feministing

Sandra Bland and police killing

It feels indulgent to write about anything other than the murder of Sandra Bland at the hands of police officers.   I don’t have much to add to the sad and terrified discourse surrounding the Bland killing.

But it gets you thinking about how a human being like Texas officer Brian Encinia becomes so brutally callous as to cry “good” when the suspect he is slamming to the ground declares that she has epilepsy.

Or how a young activist headed to a new job in a new place might run afoul of the police system she had critiqued.

Edited video, officer suspended, suspicious death in the jail.  These things should enrage you and be motivation for culture change which is deeply necessary.   Watch the traffic stop video if you can:

Rest In Power Sandra Bland.

Leave a comment

Filed under human rights, memorial, police, punishment, race, representation, sexism, Surveillance

Technology extending activism #blacklivesmatter

1.  Thanks to Feministing for the best framing of the uprising in Baltimore.  I appreciate the foregrounding of gender, class, and the juxtaposition of Wholefoods feeding the National Guard and community members organizing (through technology) to feed local kids.

2.  The New York Times seems to think that activism documented through the internet focusing on police violence is a new thing.  It isn’t, but Jay Caspian Kang’s write up of the radicalization of the leaders of this movement is a useful connection point.  Here Kang outlines the articulation of long-standing injustices into first-person experiences of tear-gas saturated outrage in Ferguson.

Mckesson was radicalized that night. “I just couldn’t believe that the police would fire tear gas into what had been a peaceful protest,” he told me. “I was running around, face burning, and nothing I saw looked like America to me.” He also noticed that his account of that night’s tear-gassings, along with a photo he took of the rapper J. Cole, had brought him quite a bit of attention on Twitter. Previously, Mckesson had used the social-media platform to post random news articles that interested him, but now he was realizing its documentary power. He quickly grasped that a protester’s effectiveness came mostly from his ability to be present in as many places as possible: He had to be on West Florissant when the police rolled up in armored vehicles; inside the St. Louis coffee shop MoKaBe’s, a safe haven for the protesters in the city’s Shaw neighborhood, when tear gas started to seep in through the front door; in front of the Ferguson Police Department when shots rang out. He had to keep up a steady stream of tweets and carry around a charger so his phone wouldn’t die.

via ‘Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us.’ – NYTimes.com.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under colonialism, communication, do-it-yourself, human rights, juxtaposition, media, memorial, police, protest, representation, resistance, technology

Fighting the trolls: Lindy West engages

I like Lindy West’s pop culture analysis.  She writes for a few online spots like Jezebel.  Feministing noted that she had been harassed by a troll who opened a twitter account in the name of her deceased father.  This is the feministing quote:

Lindy, who you might know from her writing at Jezebel and GQ, was trolled by someone who set up a Twitter account in the name of her dead father. She wrote about how awful that made her feel, and to her surprise, he wrote to her again – but this time, to apologize.

Then, she called him and interviewed him about what had gone through his mind when he decided to do what he did. And recorded it all. “It felt like if I could just get the specifics,” she says, “gather them up and hold them in my hands — then maybe I could start to understand all the people who were still trolling me.”

They talked for two hours, and by the end, she’d forgiven him for the terrible things he’d done – the meanest thing anyone has ever done to her. She understood what his life looked like at the time that he was trolling (he’s since stopped, he says) and she felt sorry for him. Still, she says, it’s disturbing to know that there was nothing wrong with him per se. “It’s frightening that he’s so normal,” she says. He’s not your idea of a monster, and unlike a fairy tale troll, he certainly doesn’t live alone under a bridge. He has women coworkers, and a girlfriend, and women friends. “They have no idea that he used to go online and traumatize women for fun.”

via “It’s frightening that he’s so normal.”.

In a Jezebel essay, West notes her reasoning to humanize and engage with trolls:

I feed trolls. Not always, not every troll, but when I feel like it—when I think it will make me feel better—I talk back. I talk back because the expectation is that when you tell a woman to shut up, she should shut up. I reject that. I talk back because it’s fun, sometimes, to rip an abusive dummy to shreds with my friends. I talk back because my mental health is my priority—not some troll’s personal satisfaction. I talk back because it emboldens other women to talk back online and in real life, and I talk back because women have told me that my responses give them a script for dealing with monsters in their own lives. And, most importantly, I talk back because internet trolls are not, in fact, monsters. They are human beings—and I don’t believe that their attempts to dehumanize me can be counteracted by dehumanizing them. The only thing that fights dehumanization is increased humanization—of me, of them, of marginalized groups in general, of the internet as a whole.

via Don’t Ignore the Trolls. Feed Them Until They Explode..

Leave a comment

Filed under communication, critique, feminism, gender, hacking, health, kindness, representation, resistance, rhetoric, sexism, technology

Power, autonomy, body and twerking: Kimari Brand

Brilliant breakdown of twerking and bodily representation.  Smart insights from Kimari Brand about power and the significance of the dance form (film by Irma L. Garcia).  Brought to me by the ever-on-point Feministing.  Good preview of the video by Sesali Bowen in Feministing:

Utilizing multiple experiences — including a course on performance, feminism and social justice, a trip abroad to study Afro-Caribbean culture and politics, and her experiences as a Black girl at an institution of higher education that prioritizes white supremacist “credibility and status” — Brand has reframed the dialogue about twerking.

via “Twerk It Girl” examines twerking for autonomy and resistance.

I think twerking is at the heart of a lot of the moral panics about young women’s sexuality.  More particularly the moral panic attached to twerking is represented along racial and/or sexual and/or class lines depending on the expected audience (Miley Cyrus).  Worth discussion and re-presenting which Brand and the filmmaker Garcia do really well.

Leave a comment

Filed under academics, art, class, cultural appropriation, dance, documentary, feminism, hip hop, race, representation, resistance, rhetoric

Describing the call out as oppression: Paula Deen

There is something toxic about people who have public histories of being offensive arguing that being criticized for hateful comments is comparable to experiencing hate itself.

Here is Zerlina Maxwell explaining why Paula Deen’s recent articulation is exactly this kind of hijack of experience.

“In a recent interview with People, Deen said (via CNN):

“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name,” she tells People. “It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” referring to NFL prospect and former University of Missouri football standout, Michael Sam.

“He (Sam) said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”

It’s no surprise that Deen would feel embattled, but as someone who said racially insensitive things, it is a surprise that Deen sees herself as the oppressed, instead of the one doing the oppressing.  How is Paula the victim if she was the mastermind behind the slave themed wedding?  It seems to me that actually being oppressed and embattled by structural inequality and policies that lead to disparate outcomes for people of color is worse than being called out for your bigotry.  And being the first openly gay player in the NFL like Michael Sam is nothing like being a celebrity chef exposed for referring to your Black employees in explicitly racist terms.”

via Paula Deen thinks she’s oppressed like “that Black” gay NFL player.

1.  Writing words or speaking it aloud usually archive ideas marked to bodies.

2. It is worthwhile developing critical vocabulary for this rhetorical maneuver.   It is one of the best tactics to resist the call-out.

3.  Thanks Feministing.  You rock.

Leave a comment

Filed under communication, Gay, learning, media, representation, rhetoric

Women intellectuals under attack . . . on the internets!

The interwebs are structurally sexist – with whole areas where women are disrespected and policed through abuse and threats of violence.

Recently some academic dude wrote some article suggesting that professors  learn about twitter and blogging.  A good reminder to “ask the other question” (Matsuda) when Gwendolyn Beetham points out the risks to women who enter the internet public sphere.

In fact, I cannot think of a prominent woman in the public sphere who has not been the target of sexism, usually in the form of being threatened with sexual assault, which in the case of women of color undoubtedly takes a racist tone.  Amongst countless others, recent incidents of female public scholars who have had these experiences include Mary Beard (@wmarybeard), who was threatened with rape and having her home bombed via Twitter, and Brittney Cooper (@ProfessorCrunk), who was physically threatened while speaking on a panel at the Brecht Forum in New York. If you’d like to do your own test of this, read the comments of any article published by a woman in a mainstream news media outlet – or read almost any mainstream account of women in the public sphere. Indeed, as Mary Beard recently stated in a talk at the British Museum (recounted in The Guardian ), the very real, and very negative, push-back against women who enter the public sphere is nothing new in Western culture: it extends all the way back to Homer.  Although not surprising, it is nevertheless disappointing that Kristof and others continue to ignore the risks that women have faced when entering the public sphere for the past two millennia.

via Women and Public Scholarship | Inside Higher Ed.

Thanks to Feministing’s Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet for the link.

Leave a comment

Filed under academics, communication, feminism, sexual assault, technology

The Brain Scoop on bullying

Science video blogger Emily Graslie has a crisp response to the nasty emails she receives.  Graslie hosts her show the Brain Scoop.  I like the performative readings of the emails themselves.

Thanks Feministing for the link.

Leave a comment

Filed under academics, communication, feminism, human rights, media, representation, science