Monday, February 28, 2011

Give them a bloc...actual Black people...

in toronto people were told to be fearful of protesters wearing black clothes, then it became about attacking the black bloc, distancing from their methods and constructing them as dangerous militants.

in libya gaddafi has used black africans allegedly to attack arab africans and in so doing has managed, it seems to direct anti-government protesters' hatred against poor black african migrant workers. pro-gaddafi forces are also taking out their rage on black african migrant workers.

that's divide and conquer if i ever heard it. bet gaddafi was terrified of what would happen if the black migrant workers offered their strength to the enraged arab libyans.

the easiest way around that is to rely on a strategy of divide and conquer. keep them apart, drive a wedge, play on any preexisting antipathies between citizens and migrants who are obviously "stealing jobs".

it's worked so beautifully. so sad. but instructive...if not completely predictable.

"African migrants targeted in Libya

As nations evacuate their citizens from the violence gripping Libya, many African migrant workers are targeted because they are suspected of being mercenaries hired by Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.

Dozens of workers from sub-Saharan Africa are feared killed, and hundreds are in hiding, as angry mobs of anti-government protesters hunt down "black African mercenaries," according to witnesses.

About 90 Kenyans and another 64 citizens from South Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Burundi landed in Nairobi on Monday, according to officials.

"We were being attacked by local people who said that we were mercenaries killing people. Let me say that they did not want to see black people," Julius Kiluu, a 60-year-old building supervisor, told Reuters.

"Our camp was burnt down, and we were assisted by the Kenyan embassy and our company to get to the airport," he said.

Rights organisations say that thousands of workers are stranded in camps and private homes, protected by their colleagues as their governments fail to evacuate them from the chaos.

"But why is nobody concerned about the plight of sub-Saharan African migrants in Libya? As victims of racism and ruthless exploitation, they are Libya's most vulnerable immigrant population, and their home country governments do not give them any support," Hein de Haas, a senior fellow with the International Migration Institute, writes in his blog.

Al Jazeera’s Nazenine Moshiri met Seidou Boubaker Jallou, a Malian citizen, who said he fled Libya after many black migrants came under attack.

"The most dangerous situation is for foreigners like us - and also us black people - because Gaddafi brought soldiers from Chad and Niger who reportedly killed Arabs," he said.

Experts say that Gaddafi has had a long relationship with African fighters who now came to his assistance.

Low-paid labourers

Hundreds of black immigrants from poor African countries, who mainly work in Libya’s oil industry as cheap labourers, have also been injured in the violence. Some were unable to seek medical treatment for fear of being killed.

Saad Jabbar, deputy director of the North Africa Centre at Cambridge University, confirms Africans have become targets.

"I tell you, these people, because of their scheme, they will be slaughtered in Libya. There is so much anger there against those mercenaries, which suddenly sprung up," Jabbar said.

About 1.5m Sub-Saharan African migrants work in Libya as low-paid labourers in the oil industry, construction, agriculture and service sectors.

Rights organisations say some anti-Gaddafi protesters wrongly associate African workers with state-sponsored violence.

"African immigrants are now linked to state-orchestrated violence and mass killings, and we may therefore fear the worst about the violent backlash that may follow particularly after Gaddafi is ousted," said Haas.

Ignored by their governments, African workers are one of the most vulnerable groups in Libya right now. Analysts say unless a preventative measure is taken, a massive bloodletting is feared.

"I think it is urgent to do something about it now, otherwise, a genocide against anyone who has black skin and who doesn't speak perfect Arabic is possible," said Jabbar."

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Smiling and crying...

this is the latest in a stream of really beautiful, smart, powerfully political things i've read recently.

thanks to hydrarchy, which is where i found it posted.

"As the philosopher Alain Badiou points out in a recent editorial, "once they cross a certain threshold of determination, persistence and courage, the people can indeed concentrate their existence in a public square or avenue, in a few factories, or in a university. In the wake of a transformative event, the people are composed of those who are able to resolve the problems posed by this event" – for instance, the problems involved in defending a square, or sustaining a strike, or confronting an army. Buoyed by the assertion of their hard-won power, the people of north Africa and the Middle East are currently inventing means of solving such problems at a rate that already defies any sort of historical comparison at all. Their priority now is clearly to consolidate and organise this power in the face of the many new and more daunting problems they will soon have to confront.

Needless to say, the struggle to come will again play out in different ways in different places. The consequences of even the most resounding victory are always uncertain, and it may take a long time for those of us who live in the more sheltered parts of the world to learn our own lessons from north Africa's example. The old neoliberal assault remains set to continue. Now everyone knows, however, that it will only prevail if we allow it to.

the whole post is here...

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Rolling rebellions...checking in with Libya...

Thousands Feared Dead in Gaddafi’s Crackdown on Libyan Uprising

The United Nations is warning thousands of people may have been killed in Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s assault on the growing popular uprising across Libya. The United Nations is also warning Libya’s food supply network is on the brink of collapse. Deadly clashes are ongoing as anti-government forces close in on the capital city of Tripoli. We get a report from Democracy Now!’s Anjali Kamat in Libya.

i havenif what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Would'a, could'a, should'a...

that's pretty much what happens every time i see/read signs of uprising happening in other places. i think - that's what should have been done here or...that's what could have happened here or...that's what would have happened here, if only...

cheups. no matter. at least it happens somewhere...

well, y'know...if your policies are harsh enough to disturb the complacent sleep of the middle class, to enrage even the queens and kings of valiumization, you're in deep, deep doo-doo.

HOLY SHIT!the drum circle from hell!

Wisconsin’s Uprising: A Guided Tour of the 11-Day Protest Encampment Inside the State Capitol in Madison

Public employees, labor activists and students have been filling the hallways of the Wisconsin State Capitol for the past 11 days. Hundreds of people have slept inside the Capitol building each night. So many people are staying here that protesters have begun building impromptu dining areas, a lending library and a medic center. Democracy Now! senior producer Mike Burke and John Hamilton receive a tour of the building from an activist who’s stayed at the Capitol building for nine straight nights.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Going back to come forward...

in 1975 these radical feminist wimmin accused gloria steinem of working for the cia...
i was 7 years old.

Redstockings from wikipedia...

also known as Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement, is a radical feminist group that was most active during the 1970s. The word is a neologism, combining the term bluestocking, a pejorative term for intellectual women, with "red", for its association with the revolutionary left.



[edit] History

The group was started by Ellen Willis and Shulamith Firestone in February 1969 after the breakup of New York Radical Women.[1] Other early members included Kathie Sarachild, Patricia Mainardi, Barbara Leon, Irene Peslikis,[2] and Alix Kates Shulman.[3] Shulamith Firestone soon split with the group to form New York Radical Feminists along with Anne Koedt.[4] Rita Mae Brown was also briefly a member during 1970. The group was mainly active in New York City, where most of the group's members resided, and later also in Gainesville, Florida. A group called Redstockings West was started in San Francisco in 1969, but was independent of the East Coast group. Redstockings went through several phases of activity and inactivity; they first split up in 1970 and were formally refounded in 1973 by Kathie Sarachild,[5] Carol Hanisch,[5] Patricia Mainardi, and Barbara Leon. (Ellen Willis was involved only peripherally with the reformed group.)

In the early 1970s, Redstockings were noted for their "speakouts" and "zap actions" (a combination of disruptive protest and street theater) on the issue of abortion rights. (This style of protest was emulated by an early-1980s pro-choice group, No More Nice Girls, one of the founders of which was Redstocking veteran, Ellen Willis.)

More recently, the group leads a project to make available radical feminist papers and original source organizing material building on their concept "History for Activist Use" through the Women's Liberation Archives for Action, as well as putting out new theory on women's oppression and what to do about it. In 2001, they put out a book called Confronting the Myth of America: Women's Liberation and National Health Care. As of 2006, the group is active and operates a website, though Kathie Sarachild is the only original member still active with the group.

[edit] Ideology

The group is a strong advocate of consciousness raising and what they refer to as "The Pro-Woman Line" – the idea that women's submission to male supremacy was a conscious adaptation to their lack of power under patriarchy, rather than internalized "brainwashing" on the part of women, as was held by some other radical feminist groups. Redstockings holds the view that all men oppress all women as a class and that it is the responsibility of individual men to give up male supremacy, rather than the responsibility of women to change themselves.

Redstockings' relationship to other strands of feminism of the 1970s was complex. Like many other radical feminists, they were critical of liberal feminist groups like the National Organization for Women, whom they viewed as advancing women's liberation only as a type of institutional reform while ignoring the interpersonal power of men over women. The Redstockings were more influenced by Marxism than other radical feminist groups. However, they strongly rejected socialist feminism (which they referred to as "politico" feminism) as subordinating the issue of women's liberation to class struggle. On the other hand, Redstockings were against cultural feminism, which in their view substituted the building of a separatist women's culture for political engagement. (In Redstockings' view, most other tendencies of radical feminism, especially after 1975, were expressions of "cultural feminism".) Brooke Williams was a member of the group who critiqued this tendency strongly. [6]

Redstockings were strongly opposed to lesbian separatism, seeing interpersonal relationships with men as an important arena of feminist struggle, and hence seeing separatism as escapist. (Like most radical feminists of the time, Redstockings saw lesbianism primarily as a political identity rather than a fundamental part of personal identity, and therefore analyzed it primarily in political terms.) Redstockings were also opposed to male homosexuality, which they saw as a deeply misogynist rejection of women. Redstockings' line on gay men and lesbians is often criticized as homophobic. [7]

[edit] Writings

Notable essays associated with the group include "The Redstockings Manifesto", "Program for Consciousness-Raising", and "The Politics of Housework". The refounded group published a journal, Feminist Revolution. A nearly complete anthology of articles from the journal was published in 1979 by Random House. The anthology omits a controversial report on Gloria Steinem's involvement with a liberal youth group that was later revealed to have been funded by the CIA. This publication created a lasting rift between members of Redstockings and feminists who were close to Steinem.[8]

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 124.
  2. ^ Rosalyn Baxandall, Irene Peslikis: Too Soon: A Loss for Feminism and Art, Veteran Feminists of America, accessed online 11 July 2007.
  3. ^ Biography,, accessed online 11 July 2007.
  4. ^ Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 133.
  5. ^ a b Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 144.
  6. ^ Redstockings (1979). Feminist Revolution. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-73240-5.
  7. ^ Echols, 1989
  8. ^ Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 145, 150n.

[edit] References

  • Echols, Alice. (1989). Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-1787-2
  • Redstockings. (1979). Feminist Revolution. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-73240-5
  • Willis, Ellen (1992). "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism" (originally published 1984). In: Ellen Willis, No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays. Wesleyan University Pr. ISBN 0-8195-6284-X

[edit] External links

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

I don't think an afghan is going to help this boy/child Afghan...

one of the children my daughter knows is a war survivor.

he's lost family because of the war.

he is emotionally scarred.

he's been acting out his fear, torment and upset and because of this, he is basically being punished for the pathologically insane crimes of the adults, regimes and states who have harmed him and his family.

he is being held responsible for the violence that has been perpetrated against him.

i found this site today and understood it as a flagrant, denial based slap in his face and in the face of all other Afghan children, children of war, so profoundly harmed, traumatized, tortured.

they don't need fucking afghans.

they need the amerikkka and its allies to stop bombing them.

they need an end to patriarchal, religion based regimes.

they need to be safe, to trust. they need to go to school, play with their friends, have their parents hug them, be bathed and dressed and fed without having to worry about seeing any family members murdered before their eyes.

they need for us who are here, who are at least part of the reason why they're being harmed, to demand an end to stupid ass imperial wars of capitalism, racist conquest and domination.

they don't fucking need afghans.

i wrote some notes to an adult who works with him a few weeks back. here is some of what i emailed...
"I won't mention his name here. It's not necessary. As an immigrant woman who has lived in close proximity to violence as a child, though not on the scale he has, I completely understand what is happening for him. Poor child.

This is truly larger than he is.

I'm going to assume that someone is looking for support for him in the form of long term counseling starting fairly soon, if it hasn't already been put in place.

If by chance nothing has been put in place, I'd like to offer two potential sources of support for him and his family. I'm hoping that he gets the support he needs for what he's witnessed.

We like him a lot. He's got spunk and is clearly a survivor."
then i sent some links to some resources.

i also wrote this...
"That student...feels safe with you, I think. Children act out with the people they know will not crush them into silence. I think he feels safe there with his friends. I think that's why the stuff comes, why it emerges. It's because he's relaxed and happy, not exerting extreme control over his feelings, experiences and memories in order to not be further harmed. That's what happens for children like that. That's what I understand. I'm glad he and his family are getting support. I wish them well."
although the north amerikkkan children he encounters benefit from the oppression this child's people face, many of the adults and children and child focused places he encounters won't actually be equipped to deal with the fallout visited on them so up close and personal in the form of this wonderful, spirited little boy.

no afghans for little children. stop the shitheads from fighting. make it completely unacceptable, a criminal offense to invade, torture, murder, take over the people of another country.

stop them from holding their own peoples hostage. this includes the warlords who rule us here and those who rule populations abroad.

stop the warlords wherever they work their disgusting agendas. enraged at their sheer brutal evil audacity and at the harm visited on innocent children like this little boy, i spit on them.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

I've seen vids with this soldier speaking before...

I've posted his brave and insightful words before. But it never hurts to do so again and again and again.

"...and the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy, understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression and exploitation is in our interest. they understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country. and convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior. soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen have nothing to gain from this occupation. the vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation. in fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it."

"poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer and without racism soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war."

don't go to war. don't let your lovers, your spouses, your children, your friends go to war. don't let your friends or relatives let their children without challenging the ways they are misled. the real fight is here against the system that makes war an everyday fact of life. we must fight their dirty, brutal, psychotic war machine before it enslaves and consumes us all.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

sigh...I decided to go for a little "walk"...

i have to write a bio for a visual arts contract i'm gonna do.

dear goddess, a lot of the projects i've done are in/on the books on my shelf or referenced in my files. i can track them.

but fuckshitpissgrrr...

there is no ease, no peace for me while i do it.

every single place my walking fingers travel brings up memories.

i opened the lesbians and politics issue of canadian woman studies/les cahiers de la femme and remembered how i ended up writing my contribution, how annoyed i was when i saw the french translation/description of the piece i wrote which said that my piece was about racism. white politicos.

they can be so annoying and frustrating in their insistence on filtering every single word a politicized woman of colour writes as being specifically about racism. i was actually writing about the hive mind, about oppression inside...with those who are oppressed...who still have particular privileges acted out...inside the group, about restrictive identities and about my rebellion against being typecast, boxed in, controlled, limited, dominated by those who should know better.

i didn't flip to the piece i wrote. didn't need to. i embody it. it's inside me.

i looked a little at my drawings of black dyke couples in love. pen and ink. i liked those. this is the one i have in my sidebar that i colourized after i got a scanner as a gift and started playing with graphics programs...

my eyes settled on a piece about queer wimmin, "the mother" and desire. i realized i never read it. didn't need to in 1996. i didn't have to do with who i was then.

it does now, spades i appreciate it now, more than ten years after it was written.

context. it's so crucial.

this stuff is necessary life blood for me.

its author is (was?) based in kkkanada. i understand her references, the i's she dots, the t's she crosses, the bases she hits, the points she makes.

this is a repeated nod moment in ways that reading some amerikkkan feminist bloggers is not, could never be.

i don't get a lot of their points. i don't understand how they end up where they end up...theoretically. i don't get their context. i don't connect with the ways their radical politics can be so reactionary, so binary, so polarized, so insistent that there is only one approach and it's theirs.


context. we all have it. when we come together we have it. when we blog we have it. when we comment on each other's blogs we have it. when we decide how we will read/receive each other's words we have it.

blogging mostly feels like a babel tower sort of experience for me. feminist blogging, radical feminist blogging alongside amerikkkan bloggers mostly feels like a stranger in a strange land experience.

it's hard to get this point across to wimmin who are so insistent on prioritizing, foregrounding their own bent on only listening with care to voices, perspectives, angles, critiques that sound like their own, bent on pathologizing, denigrating, not listening with care to feminist perspectives that have relevance and validity even if they or their friends or the bloggers they like or the popular, more well known bloggers, have never encountered before.

when i interact with these bloggers, with their heavily codified, extremely narrowed ways of filtering (what they define as) feminist thought, i recommit to understanding that there are many minority reports inside feminism and that it is these voices, clamouring, demanding to be seen/heard/felt/engaged with, that actually form the body and blood of feminism.

not at all cannon. not central. not most well known. the margins of the margins. outlanders. frontierswimmin.


i love these places best.

when i was a young dyke i didn't understand anyone writing about queer wimmin, mothering and desire as a necessary feminist outcropping, an intrepid strand of critical inquiry.

hehehe :)

but now i'm here...sort of. ;) me and my menfolk.

the noose has been tightened on numerous occasions. everyone has their understanding of what i'm s'posed to be doing, who i'm s'posed to be, how i'm s'posed to dress, i'm s'posed to define mySELF, my struggles, my consciousness.

when i say that the attacks come in different forms from different quarters, that's what i mean. i stand by that. if someone doesn't understand how this could be perhaps it is because their understanding of what it means to be privileged has not developed in the ways mine has, in the same context as mine, among the same peoples i've encountered. that doesn't mean that my perspective isn't valid. though, it might just mean that a bit of stretching and additional consciousness raising is in order for some if they are to ever comprehend the significance of my...context.

there is a conversation that some have been attempting to put forward that others have been attempting to reposition as always about others, always about men, always about being dirtied and seen as "vile whores", as always about being those who are fucked and fucked over.

i occasionally attempt to step into the fray with my "I" self. I occasionally attempt to speak to my own experiences, foregrounding where i've been and what i've personally seen and done rather than spending all of my time speaking about pornographers and raping dicks.

i hold tight to the belief that when wimmin as a planetary grouping, as a class all come from their "I" places, from their power places, from the power of the cunt rather than the sheath for a sword place...
when they powerfully learn and teach each other what it means to desire rather than function as objects of desire...
when they reflect and develop core cunt understandings of who they are and claim the right to speak from center and invite other wimmin to meet them there, regardless of how these wimmin sex or desire...
when they stop focusing on and offering their best energies to pornographers and evil law makers and throw their energies into interacting with the wimmin the pornographers attempt to utilize, offering safe space, offering engagement, offering open arms not condescending, reactionary, exclusionary disgust...
when they make a study of always attempting to connect with wimmin who raise children, of supporting them and their children because these wimmin have the potential to be dangerously useful in struggles against patriarchal domination...
when they understand that radical feminists will approach them from different contexts, different tribes, different nations and that many of these wimmin will not take kindly to being told that only one tribe with a fixed, contextualized and specific belief system claims the right to define everyone's resistance, to decide whose perspectives are valid and who is a tool of patriarchy...
when they realize that they will literally not recognize every warrior woman who comes to the fight as sister in ways that make sense but that this is okay...
when they realize how broad based the struggle against patriarchy really could be, has the potential to be...
and release their jealous, iron grip on "the political", give up sole ownership of the struggle and support collectivising the multifaceted development of radical feminism's agendas, allowing for the possibility that what consensually emerges as the agenda of the group might look very different than what they started out with when they were only hanging out with, making friends with each other, when they only needed to reference or relate to feminists they, or someone they knew had read, who came out of their culture, who felt right for them specifically...
if they can make space for radical feminists they don't understand or even particularly like at the dinner party...
then we just might have a planetary revolution on our hands.
there will be fire.

how'd i get t/here?

well i glanced at this and my head exploded. :)

can queer theory radicalize "the mother's" body?

oh, it definitely radicalized this mama's flesh, desires, parenting and consciousness. ;)

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In the eyes of the "law" the future of my family and the way of life i've chosen...

...has been tied to the fate of this white dominated, patriarchal, christian conservative culture where children and wimmin are chattel and men rule all.


whether we're talking overt patriarchy in these sorts of communities or more subtle kinds of patriarchy in outside world communities, s'far as i can see men (overtly or covertly) rule all.

i don't understand these wimmin or their lack of consciousness and personal power. nonetheless, i appreciate their resistance and the choices they end up making to protect and educate their children.

there's so much i get about the complexity of her life...about the complexity of her relationship to her faith and her former community.

i read this woman not in relation to any mainstream feminism but in relation to where she comes from. seeing her as best as i can in that context, i understand her response as radical. i see what she has done for her children, how she has raised them as radical.

i think that wimmin who think they know better than these wimmin, myself included, need to not measure them according to standards that are not their own. when we do that we see them as less than.

when i do that, i see her as not at all powerFULL.

when i watch her and her environment, when i listen to her voice and observe her children, i am compelled to understand her as a resilient powerhouse of a woman. an example of personal empowerment under the most rigorous pressure...contextualized.

not even close to a polygamist patriarchally dominated woman...
still so sick and tired of what i've encountered of the "patriarchal grip", i appreciate her personalized contribution to wimmin's rights on a planetary scale.

"cleansing with fire. burning a path forward..."

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Art and emotions project for pre-tweens complete...

happy and excited.

their self portrait drawings were/ar confident, colourful, exciting and completely covered in words about their feelings.

acrylic paint, paint marker, gold and copper coloured marker was EVERYWHERE!

they had fun. their teacher who i absolutely love but who is leaving seemed happy. they described the project as "rad", "awesome", "cool", "gnarly", "rock and roll"...which was fine by me. :)

mission accomplished.

hermit gyal once more safely ensconced in house/home/core.

these were some of the images i showed them today before they painted...

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Shift...backwards...and so it begins...

i think this comes directly out of the rape apologist media swarm that swirled around Julian Assange a little while back. this kind of thing is what many were afraid would happen. thank you, naomi wolfe.

"A Manitoba judge is facing criticism after suggesting a woman's clothing and attitude may have contributed to her being raped.

Justice Robert Dewar of Queen's Bench Court made the comments Wednesday during a sentencing hearing. He handed a man a two-year conditional sentence that allows him to remain free in the community.

The sentence was much lighter than the three years in prison the Crown had requested for Kenneth Rhodes. He had been convicted of sexual assault for an incident that happened five years ago outside of Thompson, Man.

Dewar called Rhodes a "clumsy Don Juan" and said "sex was in the air" on the night the rape occurred. He also noted that the victim and her girlfriend were wearing tube tops without bras, high heels and lots of makeup.

"This is a different case than one where there is no perceived invitation," said Dewar. "This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviour.""

more drivel here...

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Snipped from...


Have Gays and Punks Been Coopted?

Gay youths are abandoning the gay establishment because it’s been ‘co-opted’. Threatened by subcultures that challenge and question its basic principles, the dominant ideology, comprised of those ideals and values we are expected to follow and accept as natural and inevitable, allows these miscontents to present their protest well within its boundaries. Under the headings of “democracy”, “pluralism”, and “liberalism”, society presents each ‘radical subculture’ as one of several alternatives, albeit more ‘theatrical’, in an array of ‘lifestyles’ to choose from. Accepting this illusion of freedom the subculture lapses into complacency and loses impetus, becoming increasingly indistinguishable from that which it originally stood in opposition to. The homosexual subculture provides a perfect example of cooption. Presented with a facile freedom that offers gay bars, discos, and fashion within a ‘gay ghetto’, a radical option sanctioned by and contained within normalcy becomes the only concession to liberation.

Society has long recognized “punk” as a viable commodity to be copied, incorporated, and sensationalized. Although not yet ‘ghettoized’ to the extent of gay culture (maintaining a more nomadic edge), punks must constantly be wary of society’s attempts to reduce their protest merely to fashion, the representation of the ‘radical’ as ‘hip’ new product to be consumed. One way to avoid such cooption is to present a movement that refuses to conform to the standards of sexual decency and moral conduct expected of even the most rebellious of youths, while avoiding the mistakes of the gay movement: ghettoization, liberal reform, class capitulation. And that’s what homocore, coming out of the pages of a gay softcore pornography fanzine for punks, is all about.

Androgyny vs. the King and Queen of Punk

If the early punk movement sought to break down sex/gender restrictions, its more exciting performers were the best examples. Patti Smith’s initial image, decked out in leather jacket, man’s shirt and tie, jeans, and wrestling boots, set the standard. NERVOUS GENDER, CATHOLIC DISCIPLINE, and THE DICKS consciously played out gender-fuck; Siouxsie Sioux included love songs to women in the BANSHEES’ sets (“Christine”, “Dear Prudence”). Women were talking to other women via songs, not mediated by their relationship to men, but directed against society, and their position within it. As the BUZZCOCKS and X-RAY SPEX protested rigid roles in relationship to sex, the style of the day attempted the same critique, with couples on the end of each others’ dog leashes, bondage clothes - fetish items that were eventually absorbed by the fashion industry as “new wave” and made “marketable”. Hardcore, more conscious of the power of cooption, has limited itself to a kind of unisex uniform - band t-shirt, motorcycle or army boots, jeans (braces optional) - in its attempt to avoid this trap, but in so doing, have ‘deradicalized’ the earlier overtures towards sexual revolution. A common complaint today is that most punk boys date girls who are more rigidly sex-role-defined as sexy or girlish. For those girls who refuse to define themselves that way, the message behind their image, more often than not, is one of aping their boyfriends in the limited vocabulary of hardcore ‘style’. Or the girl is dismissed as not ‘valuable’ to men as sex object, fetish object, or participant in their ‘scene’. Either way she loses.
the increased size and italics are mine. seen that so much all over any alt cultures defined as left where cross gendered relationships happen. it's gross. seen it. experienced it. hate it.

every single radicalized grouping of people i've encountered or understood myself to be connected to, worry about co-optation.

what's funny haha NOT, for someone like me who walks simultaneously in different worlds, with different identities voluntarily mingled and affixed, is that most often when they describe what dreaded co-optation looks like, it can often look startlingly like something related to the essence of another group of people i'm affiliated with.

isn't that ironic? nah. more like a bit schizo and frustrating.

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Queercore (originally known as homocore) is a subculture, a movement, a genre, a political alignment - it cannot be perfectly defined. It is composed of every queer in the underground scene who won’t stand for the homophobia of punk or the hypocrisy, assimilationism, consumerism, and conformity of the mainstream gay “movement” including organizations like the Human Rights Campaign. It began in the mid-1980s, had a huge explosion in the early 1990s, and continues today - queercore culture can come in the forms of underground films, music, performance art, collages, drawings, and fanzines.

While the political alignments of individual queer punks can vary, all queercore culture is at least implicitly feminist, anti-consumerist, and anti-censorship.

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buying and using the cunt coloring book opened up a lot of conversation between me and my nine year old. i explained how it has been used to attack, dirty, demonize wimmin and our genitals. i explained that feminists interested in resisting patriarchy have been trying to reclaim it and that's why the cunt coloring book wasn't named the vulva coloring book. but i also explained that cunt sounds a lot more interesting and powerful than vulva.

i'll show this to her when she comes home this evening...


"you think cunt is nasty?...i'm here to tell you cunt is nice cunt is delicious...cunt is powerful...cunt is strong. it didn't work. and now in a way i'm sort of perversely pleased because it kept that power. you know, i don't think i want the c-word to be tamed. i love the idea that this word is still so sacred that you can use it like a torpedo. you can hold people below the waterline. you can make strong men go pale. this word for our female sex is an extraordinarily powerful reminder of who we are and where we come from. it is a word of immense power..."

both nine year old and four year old have already seen this lovely. betcha germaine greer wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of this particular conscript of the word. hehehehe :) enjoy...

never seen germaine greer or heard her speak. interesting that so many white feminists reference her. clearly brilliant and insightful, she also comes across as very conservatively british, femme, white and class privileged, educated in the academy.

i'm thinking about how stressed women of colour and working class wimmin can be by white feminists who attempt to say that we have femme privilege, are way to close in proximity to men and pass.

heh :)

it seems to me that one of their quite well known white feminist foremothers walks with quite a bit of privilege. ;)

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heterosexual questionnaire...hahahaha...

i'd like to see a monogamy-oriented one. that would be the icing on the cake. :)

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Lovin' it...

can we make up one for north corrupted untrustworthy north amerikkkan capitalist imperialist regimes? that would be sweet to be able to sing our own version in streets filled to the brim with rebellious protest.

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Iraq Is No More
By Editorial. War is a Crime.
War Is A
Friday, Feb 18, 2011

War Is A Crime, February 17, 2011

As we approach the 8th anniversary of a U.S. invasion of Iraq, and having just passed the 20th anniversary of another, it's worth reflecting on what's been accomplished through two wars and the intervening sanctions that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright so famously approved of even at the cost of a half million children's lives.

While a growing mob of at least six Americans has noticed this week's videotaped confession by key WMD-liar "Curveball," our achievements in Iraq do not rest on whether anyone in Washington actually managed to convince themselves that Iraq had weapons, or even on whether anyone in Washington believed there was a reason to attack Iraq that actually made any moral or legal sense (as, of course, the possession of weapons did not). Our unprecedented accomplishments in the land where our civilization began stand or fall on their own merits, regardless of whether international law survives the blow we have dealt it by sending the architects of a sociocide off to book tours rather than prisons.

While our efforts in Iraq have taken a bit longer and cost a little more than the efforts of Egypt's young people to begin remaking their country, the results are far more grand. Let's compare. Setting aside years of training and organizing, in three weeks and at the cost of 300 deaths, Egypt has established that all of its people will have some say in its future. In Iraq, the United States has spent or wasted trillions of dollars over two decades, destroyed trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure, killed millions of people, injured and traumatized many millions more, driven several million people from their homes creating the greatest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the Nakba, encouraged ethnic and religious strife, segregated towns and neighborhoods, empowered religious fanatics, set back women's rights horribly, effectively eliminated gay and lesbian rights, nearly killed off some minority groups, decimated the nation's cultural heritage, and created a generation of people without the experience of peace, without education, without proper nutrition, without tolerance, without proper healthcare, without a functioning government, and without affection for or even indifference to the United States.

I can't recommend highly enough a new book called "Erasing Iraq: The Human Costs of Carnage," by Michael Otterman and Richard Hill with Paul Wilson, with a foreword by Dahr Jamail. This comprehensive survey of the damage puts the past eight years into the context of other aggressive acts of imperialism and finds Operation Iraqi Liberation (to stick to its original name) a stand-out, in large part because of the Bush-Cheney regime's attempt to create a neocon corporate economy from scratch in Baghdad, a project that required erasing everything that had been there before. The book's greatest contribution lies in humanizing the suffering and providing us with the viewpoints -- a wide spectrum of viewpoints -- of Iraqis, including Iraqi refugees living outside Iraq, the vast majority of whom have not yet returned and many of whom have decided they never will. These are people, 100% of whom -- judging by a 2007 UNHCR survey of 754 Iraqis in Syria -- had experienced bombings, shootings, interrogations, harassment by militias, and/or torture.

The authors of "Erasing Iraq" interviewed Iraqis as far afield as Sweden and Australia: "Every Iraqi we spoke with reported similar events: houses bombed, possessions lost, children kidnapped, lives destroyed. 'Americans -- when they hear one shot -- even if it's like 10 kilometers away -- they'll just open fire on everything,' said Laith as he lit a cigarette with the small red heating coils warming his cramped two-room house in East Amman, Jordan." The authors did not mention it, but this experience has been reported by American soldiers who took part in it as well, including Ethan McCord:

"We had a pretty gung-ho commander, who decided that because we were getting hit by IEDs a lot, there would be a new battalion SOP [standard operating procedure]. He goes, 'If someone in your line gets hit with an IED, 360 rotational fire. You kill every motherfucker on the street.'"

Another way to kill "every motherfucker on the street" is to destroy water supplies, sewage plants, hospitals, and bridges. This we have done most extensively in 1991 and 2003. On the first occasion, a U.S. Air force planning officer justified these criminal acts as no worse and having no other purpose than economic sanctions:

"People say, 'You didn't recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage.' Well, what were we trying to do with sanctions -- help out the Iraqi people? No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of the sanctions." A UNICEF survey concluded that these actions killed 47,000 children. Awesome and shocking, but shock and awe hadn't even been invented yet. And by the time it was, Iraq would be a shadow of its former self.

Here's Edward Said in 2000, three years before the Mission was begun and Accomplished, and nine before the siege of Gaza: "For almost a full decade, an inhuman campaign of sanctions -- the most complete ever recorded in history -- has destroyed Iraq as a modern state, decimated its people, and ruined its agriculture, its educational and healthcare systems, as well as its entire infrastructure. All this has been done by the United States and the United Kingdom, misusing United Nations resolutions against innocent civilians."

During the 2002-2003 marketing campaign for a new assault on what remained of Iraq, a handful of Iraqi bloggers pushed back. Now hundreds of Iraqis share their experiences online, but the handful that did so then suggests the potential of antiwar online journalism in whatever nation is next. As Obama demands from Congress the power to switch off the internet Mubarak style, Americans gaze at their navels and imagine it is their own reporting that constitutes the threat to US plutocracy. It may in fact primarily be the blogging of the grateful victims of our next "liberation" that Washington does not want us to access. In October 2002, Iraqi blogger Salam Pax wrote:

"Excuse me. But don't expect me to buy little American flags to welcome the new Colonists. This is really just a bad remake of an even worse movie. And how does it differ from Iraq and Britain circa 1920. The civilized world comes to give us, the barbaric nomadic arabs, a lesson in better living and rid us of all evil (better still get rid of us arabs since we are evil)."

By late 2003 there were at least 23 Iraqi bloggers, by late 2004 at least 66, by late 2005 at least 112, and by late 2006 over 200. It just wouldn't do to have a thousand Iranians or Venezuelans reporting to Americans on their compatriots' actual sentiments as we prepared the drones to strike and the soldiers to collect the chocolates and flowers.

"Erasing Iraq" quotes Iraqi bloggers and interviewed Iraqis, giving personalities to people who have indeed been effectively erased. How many Americans even know that millions of Iraqis have had to flee the hell of their "liberation"? The U.S. media has self-censored almost all reporting on Iraqi suffering that has not been censored by the military, and polls of Americans have found approval for such censorship. Americans, along with Donald Rumsfeld, want to not know, and to not know what they do not know.

"Erasing Iraq" reviews the evidence quantifying the damage and the deaths, as well as the immeasurable hypocrisy of the US corporate media, which treated as the height of scientific achievement (as in fact it was) surveys on deaths in the Congo, while dismissing as meaningless studies conducted in the same manner by the very same people in Iraq. In an effort at "balance," the authors find fault with the Lancet's study in Iraq for not distinguishing civilian from combat deaths. I beg to differ. A more accurate count was available by avoiding a distinction that is of very little moral or legal meaning. If the United States were occupied, would we deem the killing of those who fought back acceptable?

As the U.S. corporate media warns, against all evidence, of the dangers of religious rule in Egypt where a dictator has been overthrown while still in the good graces of the Pentagon, it's worth noting everything the Pentagon has done to establish religious lunacy and terror in Iraq. Women are less safe. Girls are less safe. And this has been the case since shortly after the shock and awe. "'A month ago I was walking from my college to my house when I was abducted in the street by three men,' said 23-year-old university student Hania Abdul-Jabbar in a July 2005 interview with IRIN. The men, she continued,

"'dropped acid in my face and on my legs. They cut all my hair off while hitting me in the face many times telling me it's the price for not obeying God's wish in using the veil. Today I cannot see out of one eye because the acid made me lose my vision. I am afraid to leave my house. Now I am permanently disfigured with a monster face.'"

I suppose both God and the March of Freedom work in mysterious ways. Prior to the past 20 years of U.S. assault on Iraq, there were gay bars and open homosexuality in Baghdad. Now the shiny new Iraqi Constitution sanctions the murder of unfaithful women and of homosexual men whether faithful or not. "Abu Qussay, an Iraqi father who killed his son after the son's homosexuality was revealed, is proud of the murder. 'I hanged him in my house in front of his brother to give an example to all of them and prevent them from doing the same.'" Between 2003 and 2009 at least 455 gay men were brutally murdered , many through a technique that glues the anus shut and then forces the victim to consume a drink that causes diarrhea. Videos of this have been proudly circulated.

Your tax dollars at work, my fellow Americans. You cannot destroy a nation and hire religious fanatics to attack other types of religious fanatics without creating hell on earth. And that is what we have done in Iraq. Meanwhile our own gay activist groups take some interest in advancing the rights to marry or work or obtain healthcare without discrimination, but primarily they have been obsessed with the goal of participating openly in the next sociocide.

Iraqi Christians have been slaughtered and driven out. Mandaeans have been reduced from 40,000 to 5,000. Yazidis too, and Shabaks, as well as Iraqi-Palestinians, all cleansed. Our own cultural heritage in the form of Iraq's treasures in museums and libraries, has been destroyed with the support of the U.S. military after having been misidentified as the valueless creations of enemy creatures. When one civilian "reconstruction" official burst in on a group of U.S. and British military commanders to beg them urgently to protect the Iraqi Museum in 2003, "the British generals by and large understood the importance of protecting the museum, and started to respond almost immediately. And the American generals, by and large, just looked at us with, 'What do you expect us to do about that?'" Next time try telling them the museum is sort of like a Wal-Mart, only with even bigger and cheaper crap. They'll hop to it. Maybe.

As we busy ourselves denouncing the Republican budget for all of the traits it shares with Obama's proposal, and as Obama fights off the teeny cuts to the Pentagon that the Republicans are seeking, bear in mind what that money is used for. If we really bear it in mind, if we really consider what the majority of every US tax dollar goes to fund, the day will come when Freedom Plaza in Washington DC resembles Tahrir Square in Cairo. May that day come before it is too late.

War Is A Crime .org

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The role of writers and artists in revolution...

"obviously the new media is tremendously important, is crucial, is critical and is playing an immediate role in everything that is happening. i think people who work in the old media and who write novels or long books...there's a challenge. and if they have something to say, then they sit there and they try and craft it and it's up to the readers to decide whether they've got something to say that's new. but what i do know and what i have seen over the last three weeks in egypt and tahrir square and elsewhere is that there is a tremendous will to contribute and a tremendous will to be the best one can and to do the best one can. and it's as if everybody is reaching out for whatever good thing they have and throwing it into the situation as though to tip the scales in...towards, towards good. and that's what we all feel now and each one will do what they can with whatever media, whatever tool that they have."

ahdaf soueif


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Emotional intelligence...for pre-tweens...

today i did an art and emotions workshop for a group of eight and nine year olds.

self portraiture, self awareness and expression was the focus.

they had mirrors.

we drew ourselves as a way to reply to that question: hi, how are you? - that adults seem so obsessed with asking. it was agreed that we wouldn't give the usual answer. i asked them to consider not being at all fine and what they might want to say, instead.

we envisioned ourselves in an empty room with no one around to comment about our answers or to shame us or laugh at us or threaten to feel angry.

they closed their eyes and just...envisioned themselves in that room feeling themselves. then they opened their eyes, looked into their mirrors and drew themselves.

then we shared our drawings as a way to introduce ourselves to the group.

feelings words were written up on the board as each of them talked about how they were doing. at the beginning many said they felt normal or calm or happy. but as a few intrepid brave ones started describing themselves using other words like wierd or worried or shocked, more and more of them offered more language to describe how they felt.

i read them a story called when i am angry and talked to them about emotions as information, as the body's warning device like a bell going off.

i pointed out that many adults don't know what they feel and might not even have language to describe it. i asked them if they had memories of being really upset or angry or hurt or sad.

i also asked them to not judge each other or laugh at each other or take whatever was talked about outside where it could be used to make each other feel uncomfortable.

they told their stories to each other and to me. many of them cried as they described things they'd experienced most often losses of pets and relatives, older siblings being callous and dismissive.

some of the boys cried as they told their stories. i asked the boys if they cried once a day, once a week, once a month, once a year. i said that many people try to stop boys from crying. i told the boys that crying washes their spirits and empties out a lot of stuff they don't need. i said that if they see a boy crying that they should let him know it's okay because crying is soft and strong and brave and good.

i told all of them that they can practice using their words to describe how they're feeling. i said that it was also good to ask for someone to hold their hand if they're having strong emotions or to give another person a hug if they wanted it. i said that some people get uncomfortable when they see someone having feelings and that they might be tempted to get that person to stop. i said that they could just let the other person know it's okay to feel something or lots of things at the same time.

i said that feelings don't just come one at a time but that they can also come in a jumbled group. i said that sometimes they might feel things that don't make sense to other people or that don't even make sense to them. i said that even if this is the case they can still feel okay feeling whatever they feel, even if they don't have the words to describe it.

i encouraged some of the girls who said they were feeling destructive to rip up paper and stomp on it a way to get some of what they were feeling out. i encouraged them to not destroy their own things or each other's things as a way to express their upset.

we also talked about our bodies speaking to us when we don't talk about how we feel. one girl described having an itchy throat and breaking out in a rash if she doesn't speak about how she feels. another person talked about their eyes feeling hot. i said that sometimes we can tell what we're feeling or that we're feeling from what different parts of our bodies are doing.

i asked them to not hurt each other when they're upset but to try to use "i" words to try and get their point across.

we talked about boundaries but agreed that even though we might know our own feelings and might be able to set boundaries other people might still not respect our boundaries.

we talked also about taking responsibility for our actions if we hurt someone because we are unable to feel what we're feeling without doing damage. i asked them not to hurt themselves and to consider writing about our feelings in journals or drawing or punching pillows or ripping up old newspapers instead of hurting their bodies.

we wrote feelings words in different colours and discussed how some emotions are associated with different colours in writing and in speech.

then we drew feeling self portraits on stretch canvases.

tomorrow we're painting and writing feeling words on our canvases.

their little bodies carry so much.
i read on someone's blog how they hate children and that they believe this to be an appropriate feminist response to oppression.
i think that's politically immature and emotionally unclear.
i think that anyone hating children hates themselves because those little humaaans are where each of us came from.
we were children.
i was a child.
i remember being a child...well, some of it, anyways.
children are used as forced conscripts, they are sexually abused, physically aggressed. it's understood that they will have to accept their own subjugation at the hands of most adults they encounter. most people don't understand the concept of them being involved in decision making that impacts their own lives. they're dressed up and coiffed like dolls. they are trained to do silly human tricks. they're treated like cattle. they aren't allowed to choose their own genders, their own names, their own families.
any political model that incorporates an analysis of power and dominance understands that children are the dominated.
this is called ageism.
children do not deserve our hatred.
they do not deserve to have lefties of any stripe discussing them with disdain.

i think that it's necessary to combine a radical politic of any kind with deeply delving emotional work in order to be able to differentiate between a hatred of children and any suppressed, misdirected horror at what was done to us as children.

i think that the children of oppressive, privileged collectives don't need to be hated, they need to be included in a massive societal correction. their ignorant ass annoying as all hell lacking in appropriate boundaries parents need to be dealt with effectively.

someone beaming hatred at a child of oppressors doesn't effectively tackle any form of oppression. they give an immature, vulnerable mind an excuse, a horrid, single memory that can be combined with oppressive parental teachings to supports support adulthood oppressiveness.

i hate the ways that white people and middle or upper middle class people, but more specifically mothers of these communities encourage their children to take up lots of space, to assume that they will be safe and well taken care of wherever they go, that people will all want to have them in their space, that they can be as rude and make as much noise as they want.
i can't stand that...that sense of's disgusting...offensive.

but hating that kind of unearned care that benefits privileged mothers and their children is not the same thing as hating children. it can't be. this is because the children are taught those ways of being. they are not born biologically infused with them.

i don't need to hate them to recognize what they're being taught.
i think that wimmin should fucking be able to completely opt out of child rearing, child nurturing, fetus fetishizing :) if we so choose. i think that compulsory childrearing and bearing sucks.

i am stridently critical of the patriarchal, white, middle-class dominated homebirthing movement rising and flexing its muscle in north amerikkka and in other parts of the west and associated colonies.

i believe that it's possible to challenge the privileged, politically stunted if not completely conservative, willfully oppressive wimmin who stand at the forefront of this movement without directing my rage at children.

i think that any woman who, for very good, very valid, powerfully, intentionally chosen reasons, rebelliously abstain should be honoured for that choice, not coerced, not humiliated, not infantilized, not beaten, not raped, not shunned as if it is only through allowing a man into herself and serving as exit for a baby will she be considered adult.

i hate any system that tells any human that it's only by jumping through a series of completely arbitrary hoops that they will be considered fully adult, fully human.
that's so much fucking bullshit.

i don't hate children.
i don't even hate boy children.
although i did have to deal with some disappointment when i realized i was carrying a boy instead of a girl child.
i had to learn a different skill set. having a feminist analysis related to having been raised, socialized and gendered as "girl" and how to resist that programming wasn't going to be enough. i had to understand other radically revolutionary things if i was going to begin the process of raising a boy/child/humaaan.

i don't hate children.

that's not necessary. i have counseling as a way to work through how fucking pissed and hurt and disappointed and scared and frustrated and impatient i feel about life on this diseased little planet and what being born on this planet meant to the child i was.

i do hate patriarchy, white domination, classism, and other systems of oppression and constructed dominance that, combined, force me and other wimmin into stupid ass restrictive life boxes
where we are expected to function as receptacle/holes for semen
for men's pleasure,
where we are expected to understand ourselves primarily as flesh incubators,
as orifices through which beings understood as the property of men can come through into this world and be encouraged to primarily identify with their sperminators,
rather than with the wimmin who birthed them,
where we are expected to welcome being treated with respect and honoured not for ourselves but because of our associations with men, how well we can please them, stroke them, jerk them off, suck them, shore up their egos and self esteems,
where we are defined according to our abilities to take care of/raise children defined as men's never as ours.

along with professions like midwifery and death midwifery, i think that working with children in ways that support them emotionally to build a powerful consciousness of themselves is one of the things i can do, one of the ways i can contribute in this life that falls completely in line with my radical feminist politics.

it's hopeful work.

i may often feel like crone/crazy lady living on the outskirts of various planetary collectives but for the little humaaans i will come in closer and engage.

they're important.

they are valuable.

they are resilient.

they are latent future.

what happens to them as different revolutions rage around them is of massive strategic importance to me as a radical lefty.

i like the little humaaans just fine. :)

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I like this quote a lot...

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire"
William Butler Yeats

four year old has started school...half day in an environment that we all (including him) feel good about.

he was supposed to start school in september. but i'm not really big on the school as homogenizing corporate conveyor belt/day jail concept maintained by so many school boards.

honestly, i'd homeschool but the combination of homeschooling and isolation sort of scares me. there are only three of us and i'm not particularly sociable. i definitely don't hang out with any mamas. i don't go to any play groups. i don't share resources with neighbourhood mamas. there are a few wimmin in the neighbourhood who have been pleasant, interactive, who i've learned to feel comfortable stopping and chatting with for a bit...a few of them definitely have some spunk...which i appreciate and feel relieved about. but they're public schoolers.

i haven't met any homeschooling mamas here...who i get along with...who i feel the need to be close to on a regular basis or who i'd like to cultivate alliances with. far too many of the homeschooling crunchy mama types who i should be able to get along with aren't politicized in ways i understand. their politics are in their mothering - extended breastfeeding, family bed, homebirthing, organic food, alternative social spaces.

that all sounds perfectly fine. where them and i part ways is over how they tow particular patriarchal lines hardfucking core, heternormative family values, woman at home taking care of EVERYTHING, gritting her teeth and bearing it, not prone to any sort of emotional openness, circular communication types. i find them...difficult and i'm sure i grate on their nerves too. uppity, loud, arrogant, not particularly nice, scary, overwhelming, emasculating.

oh, i get the wires back from papster and buttertart when they encounter wimmin from alternative communities who are always so enthralled by them and sooooo concerned about how one or both of the sisterwives are such close proximity to THA BEAST (meaning: bitch) - me. :)

yaaaaawwwwnnn.... :)

in this city i haven't encountered m/any homeschooling wimmin in relationships with men who don't have that zoned out, my life is completely about my children and family tone to their voices, looking in their eyes...exhausted, drained, gutted, overly focused on home and family.

if it works for them, more power (?) to them. it's just that i know it won't work for me.

yes, i'm "guilty".
i wanted to have a life away from my children. so, i've had to make some concessions. i understand that every interaction with them is a teachable moment choc full of potential growth supported by the adults around them. i just don't want to become a mamabreedernurturebot to prove that point.

what i have done with both children is wait until they themselves said they wanted to go to school, that they were interested in being in school before offering them school not as an alternative to trips to the museum, art galleries, science center, family fact finding explorer field trips but as an augmentation.

i think they ask to go to school primarily because they know they'll encounter lots of other children rather than because school will be where their brains will be activated.

four year old already has a formidable wealth of information about different planetary periods as related to different dinosaurs so many of which he knows by name.
he's been learning about different kinds of trains and rapid transit vehicle from all over the world for about two years now. one of his favourite bedtime stories is about the demise of rapid transit. it's an adult library book he refuses to allow us to take back that he makes papster read "bedtime stories" from.
he builds wooden tracks and stations and drives his wooden trains around. but will also make a "train" out of objects or materials he can get his hands on in quantity.
crayola markers have been his favourite for quite some time.
he's the proud owner of a fleet of three school buses which he felt weren't complete...until he was able to write graffiti all over them. :)
he has a passion for graffiti art and for graffiti artists. he likes to investigate spices in the kitchen. he "cooks" for all of us on a regular basis.
he is an avid fan of breakdancing and has been teaching himself moves based on dance video clips we show him.

so, i think he's more going to school to play with other little humaaans which is fine by me.

he's got sufficient language he can use to explain what goes on. that's a relief. in the past he was known for answering a "hi, how was your day?" with a "broadview station. pape bus?" :) the child was not coherent. he wasn't all there when it came to conversation. that was okay. but whenever i thought about school or someone brought it up i was worried something would happen to him at school and he wouldn't be able to explain because he didn't have sufficient language. he went to the daycamp his sister was going to this summer because i figured she would be able to keep an eye on him and he's still processing and letting us in some of what he experienced there. weirdos telling him not to cry.

so school. not so much a place to light a fire. i've been educating him in the best pyromaniacal traditions for quite some time.

school is where he meet the children of other families who may not be quite like ours, where he'll move out into the world a bit more than i would feel comfortable doing if him and his sister didn't exist.

i think school will be okay...for now.

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