I can understand why Raven doesn’t want to be called African-American. I prefer to be called Black or Black American for reasons similar to her: my family is mad far removed from Africa because of slavery, we have no idea what part of (most likely West) Africa we’re from, it feels really good to see some white people blanch when I ask them to call me black (it’s my own little passive-aggressive way of reminding them).
But I still insist on the “Black” part of the identifier. Not adding that on feels like dishonoring my family/ancestors who struggled so I could be where I am now. It feels like spitting in the face of all the POC around the world who are still fighting everyday. Saying she’s “colorless” seems so disrespectful of shit that is and has always been going on in the US.
I get that she wants to self-identify however she wants. But…wow. Talk about going to the extreme.
oh dang, thank you for pointing that out, that was definitely a typo!
i just had the greatest hour-long talk with the president of A Woman’s Worth, whose club shares the office with UMD Feminists.
we started talking about raven symone’s interview w/oprah and then moved on to discuss how she (the president) doesn’t identify as an African American because she doesn’t know her roots- she personally cannot trace her roots past her great-grandparents so she would rather use the label “Black”
she said something really poignant about Raven’s interview: she said that Raven dug herself into three holes by refusing to be labeled gay, not wanting to be labeled African American, and saying that she has “nice hair with a nice texture”
because then she has offended the lgbt community and on top of that she has offended the black community in 2 ways: by shaming Black women who don’t have hair like hers and by seeming to be ashamed of her Black heritage
she then recommended the movie “Good Hair,” which was produced by Chris Rock and is a comedy with serious undertones, criticizing the way natural hair is perceived in our society as unkempt and wild
we also talked about how racially ambiguous and mixed race actors have a hard time landing roles, or of landing roles that they actually can identify with because casting people want people with clear racial distinctions (we mentioned Gina Torres, Laz Alonso, Rashida Jones, etc.)
Our meeting today was awesome- we had such a huge turnout! We actually had to borrow some desks from a neighboring classroom (that wasn’t being used, of course)! Here’s a pic of some of the wonderful people who stayed after the meeting to sign up to table during UMD Sex Week:
So, what exactly did we talk about?
In terms of club activities, we discussed events we’d like to put on/help put on this semester/year, including:
- tabling during Sex Week on October 22nd, to promote safe sex practices but also to raise awareness about culturally appropriative Halloween costumes
- the Condom Fashion Show, which aims to raise AIDS awareness
- Laverne Cox coming to speak at UMD
Ideas from members present included:
- a Consent Workshop- teaching about consent in a non-sexual environment, not just associated with having sex but with all touching (e.g. hugging, embracing, hand holding, etc.)
- Clinic Escort training (becoming trained to be a clinic escort and escort women to obtain health care and/or abortions)
- Birth Control Workshop
- Pronoun education
Then we talked about the fun stuff- social gatherings! The hangouts we plan to have on weeks we don’t meet. We talked about having more tea parties, having a viewing party for Laverne Cox’s new documentary, going pumpkin picking, knitting, crafting, and tie-dyeing!
Then, after we covered fundraising ideas, we moved on to the discussion part of our meetings. Jill posed the question: What did everyone think of Emma Watson’s UN speech?
Over the weekend, I was watching the Florida State football game with my dad and we started talking about Jameis Winston (the quarterback for FSU). He was suspended for the entire game last week for shouting obscenities in the student union.
Winston was also accused of sexual assault in 2012 and the subsequent investigation was basically swept under the rug (The university did not refer the case to the state attorney’s office until 11 months after the report was filed! The state attorney Willie Meggs admitted that this time gap and the lack of an interview with Winston after the report was filed hindered his office’s investigation. ) According to this video, FSU is currently under investigation for violating Title IX in its handling of the investigation.
I was just talking with Julie about how the school suspended Winston for a game for cursing loudly on campus, but there was no talk of suspension when the sexual assault allegations were made. What this is basically telling all victims of sexual assault is that their claims are not to be taken seriously and that Winston’s behavior in the student union is worse than sexually assaulting women.
As we have seen recently with Ray Rice’s contract termination, an overwhelming amount of people are more upset by their star football players not being allowed to play than they are about women being abused. This is sickening and disheartening.
- Varice, from Tamora Pierce’s “Emperor Mage”
This is important. Daine didn’t like Varice before - but for what? Jealousy over Numair, of course, but also a disdain for her “silly” use of magic. But what’s thr harm in pretty things, cooking, and other traditionally feminine things? It’s something Daine had to re-learn, and it’s something most of us forget, too.
Yes. This speaks to the fact that misogyny exists in Tortall and its surrounding lands. Even Daine, who was raised believing women are just as capable as men, has to unlearn harmful attitudes she has towards women. This is a prime example of the unlearning of poisonous attitudes and behaviors and Daine handles it beautifully. She reflects for a moment, realizes (with the help of Zek) that she was in the wrong, and says “You needn’t explain yourself to me.”
Me during my office hours earlier today for UMD Feminists! I’m excited to post in the blog I created for our club while I was there :)