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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Well Done! Sister Suffragette

Today I posted a link to the trailer of the movie Suffragette in a 'feminist' group on Facebook. The group calls itself "This is What a Feminist Looks Like." I was immediately attacked by 4 people who told me that this was a terrible movie because it didn't depict the movement correctly for black women. I was removed from the group (apparently this is NOT what a feminist looks like) when I asked them to even tell me why they were all saying this and was shocked at the new language I was hearing about my supposed white privilege (from here in the trailer park) and that I was a believer in 'white feminism,' a term I didn't even realize existed.

Once I was blocked from the group, I used my other account to go in and see the discussion that followed. Apparently, one young 'feminist' who wanted to condemn me as a racist posted a picture of one of the hoodies I've designed for my shop. I guess reading its message and considering the context was too much to ask of someone who can't be bothered to have mature dialogue with a human being who respectfully asked for their side of the argument and received only trash talk in response.

Are there complexities in this message that I cannot see?
The young ladies who didn't realize I had been blocked went on to educate me about all of the black people who had been left out of the movie. Of course, they were all Americans. I researched all of them before posting this and the people did not have anything to do with the suffrage movement across the pond. You see, as I was attempting to inform these young women before I was so graciously dismissed from the conversation, the movie is about the movement in London. The movement, itself, is what I wanted to celebrate and encourage us to show excitement about because OUR MOVEMENT is repeatedly accosted and given more negative connotations than positive in our society. Regardless of where the movie is located, if we dismiss the accomplishments of those who came before us because we don't like the manner in which they were achieved, we also have to dismiss the progress that they made. Frankly, I'd rather not.

The media and social media are the resources most used in order to get the messages out about anything in our national discourse. The media, itself, can hardly be expected to direct the narrative to the conscience of the country, they don't have a conscience themselves. And what does the left do when they are given an opportunity to celebrate or educate about some facet of its movement? Well, we take a shit on it. Every single time.

Its funny (in the way that its not remotely funny), but I actually researched the beginnings of a recent Battle Royale held between ourselves earlier this summer to see if my suspicions were accurate and that they were started by someone on the right. The attack was against the Black Widow character in the latest Avengers movie. The attack was specifically against the writer/director Joss Whedon by saying he hated women and the character wasn't quite feminist enough for them and she offered a negative stereotype against women. All of these people determined that he hated women. I literally shut down that conversation on Twitter by passing this meme around. I had it saved in my personal happy place file because I have been a huge fan of his since back in the Buffy days.

I was convinced that this entire controversy came out of some place on the right and I determined I would trace it. Wanna know where I traced the beginnings of this nonsensical frenzy to? A guy who lives in London and is an editor for Breitbart. Yep. He decided it was something radical feminists would jump all over and talk about without having actually seen the movie or having had a single idea what they were talking about. And, sadly, he was right. Nice work, ladies.

Because I had missed previous discussions surrounding the new movie, I researched our latest feminist attack on feminism (Goddamn ... any wonder why we can't get anything done in 100 years?). Apparently it all started when the female leads of the movie were all wearing this shirt for a photo shoot and people found it offensive. I will not research it, but I would not be surprised if someone else wants to, they will find that the right injected just one little well-placed nugget into the Twittersphere and allowed us to take it from there. Let me be quite clear: If we ask the RWNJs to direct our narrative, they will be happy to oblige. If we give them an opportunity to perpetuate divisions within our varied movements, they will gladly take it upon themselves to do that, too.

Please breathe here for a moment and then hear all of the things that no one could have said in 140 characters:

The movie is set in London. The quote on the t-shirts was from Emmaline Pankhurst, played by Meryl Streep in the movie. That quote was her response to how she felt at that time. This isn't about Americas history with slavery. By acknowledging that white women have been oppressed, no one is discounting the fact women of color have been, as well. And by celebrating the accomplishments of those women, we are not dismissing those who were not included in that struggle.

Having been enslaved means more than being black. That is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, especially in America, and for good reason. But slavery did, like it or not, offer the same legal freedoms to all blacks as it did to all women. We were not allowed to vote or allowed to own property and we, too, were property. (I am only speaking in legalities, again, obviously the treatment of these human beings was quite different). We were not mentioned in the Constitution until we were given the vote (1920). Because we were not able to pass the rest of the Equal Rights Amendment, that is still the only right that women have, per the Constitution.

For various reasons, throughout the last century the ERA has had its ass kicked by feminists. There were always divisions among those who argued about which rights they wanted and how they wanted to have them enacted. Historically, we have fucked ourselves out of meeting our own goals. Fabulous, huh?

Maybe we could all unite, not fall for dog whistles and look for reasons to disagree with one another? Maybe when opportunities come up for us to celebrate womanhood and those who preceeded us in this fight we could do that instead of looking for reasons to dismiss their accomplishments?

God Damn. The right has it so easy, don't they? They can just all agree to rewrite history or ignore it altogether because they don't really have anything to be proud of. Instead of throwing that in their faces and cheering ourselves on to victory, we are demanding more of our history. Reflect quietly on that sentence, please. We cannot rewrite our history, either. But by denouncing it as if every element of it had to meet today's standards, we condemn ourselves to having had no accomplishments.

If this movement is to get anywhere, it really is time to be more thoughtful about where you project your angst. Pissing off and alienating those who are literally fighting along side you on our journey to move (or drag, if need be) Americans forward is only going to do two things: #1 Give the Regressive Party just the tools they need to ensure NOTHING is accomplished (and did you notice how many of them were anxious to jump into your fight and confuse the argument even further on social media?) #2 Scare more people from joining our movements in the first place.

I leave you with a quote from Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand. This regarded Princess Sophia, of India, who battled prominently in the London movement and was celebrated, regardless of her skin color:

“The empire took everything from her father but she spent her life fighting for women’s rights in this country. She believed there was something stronger than racial hatred and it was the sisterhood.

Please, my feminist sisters, pause and reflect. We want to move forward WITH you, not IN SPITE of you.

My most sincere Love,
Mean Progressive

SUFFRAGETTE - Official Trailer - In Theaters October 2015

Get excited for the movie! Watch the trailer! Hit 'Like' with the Thumbs Up and forward on to everyone else who wants to have a revelation about where we are. Why we are still here. And why its about damned time we change it.

Kiss Kiss. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's Hard Out There For a Trump

As with everything in his world, I suppose, Donald Trump is very adamant about his right to demand the terms of the next debate. He and Dr. Ben Carson have decided that they are going to boycott the CNBC event on October 28th if it is not condensed to 2 hours, including commercials.

The last debate was three hours long and it was a tortured event, I have to admit that. But the torture was for the audience, not the candidates as they would have you understand it. Directly following that event when Trump was interviewed, he repeatedly complained about how long it had been and that he was impressed with himself for having been able to stand the entire three hours. Take pause and imagine ANYONE you know having a proud revelation that they were able to stand up for three hours in a row. While talking. Its not even like he was doing manual labor. He was talking. Jesus Christ.

That evening he also said that he was proud of his daughter, Ivanka, for having endured the long evening. I went to bed that night focused on what kind of a life that woman was afforded when her father gives her accolades for having sat in an audience for three hours. You know that show Wife Swap? I'd like to see a show called Life Swap where she has to switch places with any average American do a week in the life of maybe a single mother who works full time and tries to juggle all responsibilities of the work and home life without losing her mind. And more than that, I'd love to see that single mother get the vacation Ivanka's life surely must be where hardships come from having to sit still for three hours in a row.

The last debates were, absolutely, too long. I cannot come up with a reasonable alternative, though. If CNBC is meant to take their responsibility seriously (as FOX and CNN refused to do), they should have a lot of questions for a lot of candidates, right? With ten or more attention-grabbing, rhetoric spewing, subject changing jackasses to wrangle, it seems nearly impossible to get it done in less time. But on the other hand, none of the candidates have anything of substance to say anyway, so maybe just let them have their two hours. After the record-breaking audience numbers of the Democratic debates the other night which far exceeded any expectations going into it, I would say America has finally realized the difference between the two parties is profound and the defined platforms of 'Hate & Fear' coming from the right are not conducive to the progress any single American is looking for from a leader.

Maybe the media could even start to report on those proposals coming from the left by those who are taking the idea of leading our country seriously. A girl can dream ...

Friday, October 9, 2015

Oregonian Pride

Do you know what? In July I pretty much wanted to lose my shit when my President was in Oklahoma and his welcome committee was a white trash parade carrying hateful signs and waving that fucking flag. I wrote a piece I am very proud of and hoped that we, as a society, could unite and find it in ourselves to lift the country and find the voices necessary to dim those that scream hate and create division.

I suppose three months was not enough time to expect for the country to have had any substantive revelation. So today, in Oregon, the least among us went out in droves to get in front of television cameras and find themselves celebrated on the Internet for perpetuating the disgraceful treatment we have come to expect from them. They will find the attention they are looking for. I, however, have decided to celebrate something beautiful. 

Ms. Dulcie Bagley took it upon herself to make a pretty pink sign to welcome the President and fan it in front of those who wanted to make a mockery of the visit to families of those who had been lost just a week ago to the gun violence they are so desperate to maintain in our society. She explains her commitment here and believes that she is a member of a silent majority of people who wouldn't want to come out and contend with those who display such destructive behaviors (while being armed). I ask us all to consider similar peaceful displays in the future to allow Americans to see that they are not alone in hoping for a healthy counter narrative to what we are continually offered. Maybe if enough people are out in front that story can be told next time.

Thank you, ma'am. You are a badass!

Thank you, babies. America's mothers are proud of you and share the pain in your eyes.