Welcome back to Must Reads. It’s been a week in which many marginalized communities have become even more vulnerable. A Latina woman was arrested as an illegal immigrant as she sought a Restraining Order from her husband, while another woman and her daughter asked for shelter in a Colorado church in order to avoid probable deportation. An Oklahoma lawmaker described pregnant women as “hosts,” in a bill that would require fathers to give authorization for an abortion. Meanwhile, in Texas, lawmakers are considering an extreme Anti-LBGT bill where teachers would be allowed to ignore bullying behaviors against gay or trans students and Emergency workers would not be required to offer assistance to people in the LBGT community, even if they were dying.
There have been many articles and opinion pieces on Beyonce’s loss at the Grammy’s. Many people believe that Beyonce’s album, because it spoke to black women and black women’s experience, had little chance of winning over the Grammy voters. Others held to the notion that Grammy voters simply chose the album they liked best. However, when the album one likes best reflects white middle class values, with lyrics that have no significant departure from previous work, more is at stake than choice. Racism and an unwillingness to engage in others’ experience damages a society as a whole. Adele commented as she held her Grammy, “I couldn’t possibly accept this.” Although she did split the award in half, she did in fact accept it. The question we must each answer for ourselves, especially white feminists, is how much are we willing to back our words with action? In case you missed these articles, READ ON. Your comments are welcome.
- What is the function of women in movements for liberation? What does it mean for women to put their bodies on the line?
“Female Fighters Series Re-examines Women’s Rage Around the World”/ by Eve Ensler/ Guernica/ February 15, 2017.
“Disabled, Shunned and Silenced in Trump’s America”/ by Melissa Blake/ New York Times/ February 15, 2017.
3. The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project found that detainees are ten times more likely to prevail in court with representation. The project has laid the foundation for constitutional reform and common-sense decisions that work to keep ICE in check.
“OPPORTUNITY IN CRISIS: FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE IN LOS ANGELES”/ by Amelia Gray/ Pen Center USA/ February 2017.
“’Respect’ Wasn’t A Feminist Anthem Until Aretha Franklin Made It One”/ by Staff/ NPR Music/ February 14, 2017.
5. Unapologetic fat women embrace the philosophy of displacement. They manifest the audacity of space-taking. They cleave the very air. This is not just fatness of the body, it is fatness of the mind. If you have a fat body, you take up room by default. If you have a fat mind, you choose to take up room.
“The Trash Heap Has Spoken”/ by Carmen Maria Machado/ Guernica/ February 13, 2017.
“On Adele, Beyoncé & Solidarity”/ by Mia McKenzie/ Black Girl Dangerous/ February 13, 2017.
“Writing Our America”/ by Scott Korb/ Longreads/ February 9, 2017.
8. Humphrey said that men should be able to have a say over the fate of a fetus, and suggested that a woman has greater responsibility in a relationship for preventing pregnancy because she would be the “host.”
“Lawmaker Who Called Pregnant Women a ‘host’ Pushes Bill Requiring Fathers to Approve Abortion”/ by Sandhya Somashelchar and Amy B. Wang/ The Washington Post/ February 14, 2017.
9. The inside threat to feminism in 2017 is less a disavowal of radical ideas than an empty co-option of radical appearances—a superficial, market-based alignment that is more likely to make a woman feel good and righteous than lead her to the political action that feminism is meant to spur.
“The Case Against Contemporary Feminism”/ by Jia Tolentino/ The New Yorker/ February 8, 2017.
10. Being awarded for your art is nice, but when you center radical black female thoughts and aesthetics as Beyoncé did with “Lemonade,” you’re not going to be rewarded by the same system you are subverting. “Lemonade” did not translate black womanhood for a white audience. It told a story about a black woman to other black women, and did not explain these experiences to make white people more comfortable.
“What Beyoncé Won Was Bigger Than a Grammy”/ by Myles E. Johnson/ New York Times/ February 14, 2017.
11. Under SB 651, teachers wouldn’t have to intervene in cases of bullying or discrimination if they see an LGBT student being harassed in school, as Pizer explained. A realtor could refuse to help a lesbian couple look for a home for their family. An EMT could deny life-saving care to a transgender person dying on the side of the road.
“The New “License to Discriminate” Bill in Texas May Be the Most Extreme Anti-LGBT Proposal Yet”/ by Nico Lang/ Salon/ February 15, 2017.
Joyce Hayden left her university teaching job two years ago in order to pursue her own artistic work. An assemblage artist, painter, and writer, Joyce is currently in the process of acquiring an agent to represent her memoir, The Out of Body Girl, which describes her 8 year relationship with a charismatic gambler and the dangerous road that eventually led to her freedom. Her chapbook of poems, Lost Handprint, is forthcoming from Dandelion Review. A freelance editor and writing coach, Joyce’s writing services and a selection of her artwork can be found at her website joycehayden.com. Joyce is available for commission art work, including celebration shrines for loved ones and pets.