June 30, 2008
Pride weekend brings up a related thought: what’s a good response when people who are straight and/or white complain about how they can’t go around claiming pride in their race or sexuality?
The thing is, when GLBTQ people hold Pride events, or when people of color celebrate their identities as people of color, it’s an attempt to carve out a space in which it’s acceptable for them to be who they are – and not only are their identities accepted, but they’re celebrated. People of the dominant culture crying for White Pride or Straight Pride events or recognition are missing the point, as it’s already perfectly acceptable in our society to be white and/or straight.
Of course, people who say things like “How come they get to have a Gay Pride parade but I can’t have a Straight Pride parade?” or “Nobody cares that those people have a Brown Pride sticker on their truck, but if I put a White Pride sticker on my car, I’d get called a racist” aren’t generally interested in engaging in a conversation about why a celebration of one’s identity as a minority might be necessary in a way that it isn’t for those in the majority. Still, I’m curious if anyone ‘round here has any tried-and-true responses to such statements, since mine is often essentially shifting uncomfortably in my chair and mentally shutting down.
June 18, 2008
Evil Bender made me do it. (We’ve both been rather tickled by this meme, and we were repeating “I am familiar with all internet traditions” in different voices, and I thought of the following — I quite doubt I’m the first to do so at this point — and, well, here we are…)
I’m not always one to pounce on a meme, but I just knew this picture of the Professor would be too perfect for it. More here.
Diving into the Wreck
First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.
There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.
I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.
And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
you breathe differently down here.
I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.
This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he
whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
our names do not appear.
—Adrienne Rich, 1973
June 16, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO – Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin fell in love at a time when lesbians risked being arrested, fired from their jobs and sent to electroshock treatment.
On Monday afternoon, more than a half-century after they became a couple, Lyon and Martin plan to become the first same-sex couples to legally San Francisco and among the first in the state.in
“It was something you wanted to know, ‘Is it really going to happen?’ And now it’s happened, and maybe it can continue to happen,” Lyon said.
City Hall office before 50 invited guests. He picked Martin, 87, and Lyon, 84, for the front of the line in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the .plans to officiate at the private ceremony in his
Along with six other women, they founded a San Francisco social club for lesbians in 1955 called the Daughters of Bilitis. Under their leadership, it evolved into the nation’s first lesbian advocacy organization. They have the FBI files to prove it.
I do have an issue with the story, though: it discusses the couple’s attempt to marry in 2004, and states that “the couple planned to celebrate their 51st anniversary as live-in lovers on Valentine’s Day.” I’d say “live-in lovers” is an improvement over “galpals,” but it seems like a relationship that’s lasted over 50 years is based on more than sex, so “live-in lovers” is inadequate (not to mention, in my opinion, disrespectful).
At any rate, though, congrats to Martin and Lyon!
Hello my lovelies! Here are some links for you, since I haven’t been writing. I started a new job on the 2nd, and it’s currently sapping nearly all of my energy. Here’s hoping that changes once I adjust to the new schedule.
- Wolfrum at Shakesville points out that Bush declared June to be National Homeownership Month: “During National Homeownership Month, we highlight the benefits of owning a home and encourage our fellow citizens to be responsible homeowners.” Recent events in The Realm make this proclamation a bit akin to a nice paper cut with lemon juice poured on it, but even if that weren’t the case this would be infuriating. “Hey, folks, sorry ’bout your forclosure, but don’t forget the benefits of owning a home!”
- Jennifer Podkul guests posts at Feministing to explain the problems behind defining all commercial sex as human trafficking, with further discussion in this post by Juhu Thukral, Esq.
- Via Our Bodies Ourselves, which was linked in Feministing’s Weekly Feminist Reader (lots of other good reading there, naturally), comes a great post at Shapely Prose: 28 Days to A Bikini Mind. The workouts sound difficult, but worthwhile.
- Cara has a good roundup, with additional thoughts, on “Protest the Pill Day ’08: The Pill Kills Babies.” With LOLPILLS!
- Shark-fu takes down the idea of mere tolerance and the phrase “I don’t see color.” It was only a little over a year ago when I first encountered resistance to the idea of tolerance. Having reached adulthood in the late 90s (the 80s and 90s being a time when “tolerance” was quite the buzzword), it took me a bit to get it: “But isn’t tolerance a good thing?” Once it was linked to the root word “tolerate,” it clicked for me, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have Shark-fu in my blog reader to reinforce the idea.
- Hey, Boston Herald: partners =/= “galpals.” Thx.
- A guest poster on Shakesville, Annaham, does some myth-busting on the topic of Fibromyalgia. I’ve known several people with the condition, one of whom is very dear to me and was just diagnosed last year, and I can assure you that their pain is very real.
- Gina at the Pet Connection discusses pit bulls, PETA, the Human Society of the United States, and stereotypes.