lots of love this mother’s day for everyone who has a complex relationship with their mom, everyone who has ceased communication with their mom for reasons of self-preservation, and every person whose mom is deceased
lots of love this mother’s day for everyone who has a complex relationship with their mom, everyone who has ceased communication with their mom for reasons of self-preservation, and every person whose mom is deceased
Friendly reminder that loving and/or wanting to fuck fat people isn’t radical or kinky or alternative.
Mother’s Day has a reputation as a cheesy commercial holiday complete with flower bouquets, Hallmark cards, Godiva chocolate and Build-A-Bears. But, believe it or not, this holiday was actually founded as a radical feminist anti-war protest! Julia Ward Howe was an American abolitionist and social activist who began advocating for a mother’s day for peace in 1870. She was sickened by the destruction and carnage of the Civil & Franco-Prussian Wars and began thinking about what women could do to benefit humanity. Howe sought to find a way for women to express what she believed to be an innate motherly love for human beings. She believed that being a mother was an experience powerful enough to prevent any woman from wanting to watch her sons risk their lives to fight in a war. She aimed to provide an alternative female voice of peace and began holding anti-war conferences both in the United States and Britain. Beginning in 1872, she proclaimed every June 2nd as Mother’s Day for Peace, a day in which woman all over the world would come together and envision strategies for social change. The following is an excerpt from her Mother’s Day Proclamation:
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: ‘We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.’ From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says ‘Disarm! Disarm!’ The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead…”
Howe’s vision wasn’t recognized until decades later when Anna Jarvis picked up on this idea. Jarvis was also an active feminist who viewed homemaker’s rights as essential. She had recently lost her own mother who, like Howe, was active in women’s circles and adamantly believed that motherhood could be used as a healing tool, In her mother’s honor, Jarvis campaigned for almost a decade to dedicate a day of the year in order to honor the work of all mothers. She chose a Sunday because she wanted it to be a “holy” day rather than not a holiday, and the second Sunday in May because it was the anniversary of her own mother’s death. Appreciating one’s own mother was less radical than protesting war and this incarnation of Mother’s Day became a movement. Mother’s Day services soon began being held in all U.S. states and in 1914, President Wilson made it an official national holiday!
Jarvis quickly became fed up with the commercialization of a national Mother’s Day. She threatened major lawsuits and engaged in acts of protest for the rest of her life. Of course, Jarvis’ frustrations were and continue to be beyond reasonable. Still, while the holiday drastically deviated from the visions of Jarvis and Howe, the value of “women’s work” was elevated to a higher level than it had ever previously been. This helped to pave the way for countless strides improving the American conception of the labor of motherhood.
· “Julia Ward Howe: The Woman Behind Mother’s Day.” Interview by Amy Goodman
· Ivory Madison. “Mother’s Day for Peace: A Dramatic Reading of Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation.”
· The Ottowa Citizen. “Battling the Mother’s Day Monster.”
- by rachel, hoax #4
I thought you might be interested in an article I wrote about how people treat me differently now that I am a fat man vs. when I was perceived to be a fat woman:
Male Privilege and Transitioning From a Fat Woman to a Fat Man
I am a fat man. Once, I was perceived to be a fat woman. My transition has taught me a lot of things that I might not have otherwise engaged with if I had lived my life as a cis person. Transitioning really highlights male privilege and how society can treat you completely differently based on what gender it perceives a person to be. As soon as I started ‘passing’, I found I was treated with a respect that wasn’t often given to me as a woman. My personal space and boundaries were no longer violated, I was no longer talked down to, and people suddenly respected my right to privacy and my right to be left alone. I was no longer treated as if I simply existed for men’s pleasure.
Similarly, my body was no longer overtly criticised. Fat women are disproportionately targeted in Western society. They are subjected to public humiliation and discrimination every day, simply because of their bodies. They are stared at in the streets, they are under-represented in media (and then, only as the butt of a joke), and they are targeted with verbal and physical violence.
Fat men are also at the mercy of some stereotypes – laziness being the most common. However, I can now exist as a fat man largely without comment. I can shop for clothes in most stores rather than being turned away at the door and told that they don’t stock my size. Clothing companies cater to my needs, considering my body type ‘average’ (even if I am on the short side). Most clothing stores that cater to men stock from small to XXL and many beyond that. Meanwhile, despite the fact that the average dress size of a woman in the US is a size 14, many clothing outlets aimed at women will not stock above a size 12. Some stores such as Abercrombie do not stock above a women’s size 10 whilst simultaneously stocking XL and XXL in men’s sizes.
This imbalance, and the effect it has had on my life and the way that people perceive me, is one of the clearest and most startling examples of male privilege and sexism that I have encountered. It all comes down to the patriarchal view that women are somehow obligated to make themselves attractive to men. That men are entitled to gaze upon and comment upon women’s bodies.
When I was perceived to be a fat woman, there was a real sense of not just disgust, but a poisonous, malignant contempt. People (most commonly men) commented on my appearance like I somehow owed it to them to be, in their view, attractive. Like I was breaking some kind of cardinal rule because I was happy with my body without their approval. Now, in complete contrast, I am barely given a second glance.
Occasionally, I still face discrimination as a fat man, but it’s not as vehement, societally sanctioned nor pervasive as it once was. My treatment has changed simply because of the way that society perceives my gender. This is male privilege in action. We live in a society that has built a whole industry on bullying women for not being what is considered ‘attractive enough’ to men. Think about that the next time you want to stare at a fat woman on the bus.
Are you a clean, responsible, female-identified person looking for a cheap summer sublet in a great, quiet group house in a perfect location in Washington, D.C.?
The Menagerie wants YOU! We are currently seeking a fifth housemate for a smaller room (with ample space for a double bed - or see our futon in the photos, and has a closet!) in the house to alleviate our ever-inflating rent through the months of June, July and August with the possibility of becoming longer term.
Move in June 1st! Rent is $480/month plus utilities; a steal for a room that’s a five minute walk on 14th from the Columbia Heights metro.
This is a queer household, homophobia and/or transphobia will not be tolerated.
Get in touch through here, or at email@example.com!
Pima County, Arizona, is the only county in the United States that tracks migrant deaths. Here’s every one since 2001.
“Being a trans lady is real hard, and part of that is especially in places like where I grew up and live there’s nobody to reflect back to you and say ‘no actually what you’re feeling is real and valid and ok.’
Reading Nevada by Imogen Binnie fucked with me for like a week straight because I don’t think I’ve ever read another story where a trans lady was a 3 dimensional character and a protagonist. And that’s fucked up.
Ok so I had this idea in a fit of rage of basically taking a bunch of my blog entries and mashing it up with a bunch of stuff a sweetie would contribute and making this weird kind of cut-up zine about what it’s like to be a trans lady and what I’m mad about but it’s hard to talk about.
So what I don’t want to have in this zine is
- any form of essentialism
- long theory pieces
- anything fucked up w/r/t race, gender, sexuality, ability, etc, etc
- social justice
What I do want is
- your (real or made up) diary pages, rambling and semi-coherent
- your complicated feelings about complicated things that never get talked about
- things that run against narratives
- sloppy embarrassing feelings
- what you wish another trans feminine person had told you to validate you
Submit away! Your submissions will be anonymous and probably cut up and rearranged in some way by me (lumpenspaceprincess). I won’t necessarily include everything but I’ll include as much as I can.
In discussing two women who document a culturally and commercially vibrant community at risk, the author explores the racist policy and politics behind the onslaught of gentrification.
In a city like New York, if you have your eyes open and headphones tucked away, you can easily observe deepening inequality. Generally, New Yorkers perceive these changes as part of rampant gentrification—where rents and real estate prices rise as gentry who can afford more move into a neighborhood. But the reality reflects a combination of public cuts, biased development policy and shifting investment citywide. Essentially, our perception of gentrification is out of step with the reality of gentrification.
A new film called “My Brooklyn” (2012) by director Kelly Anderson and producer Allison Lirish Dean offers a broader analysis of the many factors behind gentrification. The film focuses on how exploitative real estate policy radically altered the cultural and physical landscape of the Fulton Mall area of Downtown Brooklyn and how community organizers struggle for representation among a web of government and development agencies conspiring to “improve” New York City.
“Eyes of the Rainbow” deals with the life of Assata Shakur, the Black Panther and Black Liberation Army leader who escaped from prison and was given political asylum in Cuba, where she has lived for close to 15 years. In it we visit with Assata in Havana and she tells us about her history and her life in Cuba. This film is also about Assata’s AfroCuban context, including the Yoruba Orisha Oya, goddess of the ancestors, of war, of the cemetery and of the rainbow. Gloria Rolando on “Eyes of the Rainbow”:
“In the struggle of the African American people, many women’s voices in the past and the present have always called for social justice, women who throughout the years have shown integrity and firmness in their principles. For this reason, “The Eyes of the Rainbow” is dedicated to all women who struggle for a better world.
One of those voices that already forms a part of the history of the African American people is that of Assata Shakur. In the documentary “The Eyes of the Rainbow,” she recounts aspects of her path as relentless warrior. We are able to create a meeting with Assata Shakur through the symbols of AfroCuban culture, which offer us beautiful songs evoking the ancestors.
Representations of the Yoruba warrior orishas such as Oya and Ochosi support the discourse of this story, which also has its moments of poetry and tenderness as in the dance of Oshun, through which is illustrated Assata’s decision to become mother while still in prison.
The blues interpreted by Junius Williams and his “Magic Harp,” the songs of Sweet Honey in the Rocks, and the Cuban group “Vocal Baobab” give a special stamp to this valiant testimony which defines the spirit of struggle in the African American woman.”
Assata: In her own words
My name is Assata (“she who struggles”) Shakur (“the thankful one”), and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.
Political Prisoner to Exiled
On May 2, 1973 I, along with Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly for a “faulty tail light.”Sundiata Acoli got out of the car to determine why we were stopped. Zayd and I remained in the car. State trooper Harper then came to the car, opened the door and began to question us. Because we were black, and riding in a car with Vermont license plates, he claimed he became “suspicious.” He then drew his gun, pointed it at us, and told us to put our hands up in the air, in front of us, where he could see them. I complied and in a split second, there was a sound that came from outside the car, there was a sudden movement, and I was shot once with my arms held up in the air, and then once again from the back. Zayd Malik Shakur was later killed, trooper Werner Forester was killed, and even though trooper Harper admitted that he shot and killed Zayd Malik Shakur, under the New Jersey felony murder law, I was charged with killing both Zayd Malik Shakur, who was my closest friend and comrade, and charged in the death of trooper Forester. Never in my life have I felt such grief. Zayd had vowed to protect me, and to help me to get to a safe place, and it was clear that he had lost his life, trying to protect both me and Sundiata. Although he was also unarmed, and the gun that killed trooper Forester was found under Zayd’s leg, Sundiata Acoli, who was captured later, was also charged with both deaths. Neither Sundiata Acoli nor I ever received a fair trial. We were both convicted in the news media way before our trials. No news media was ever permitted to interview us, although the New Jersey police and the FBI fed stories to the press on a daily basis. In 1977, I was convicted by an all- white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison, aided by committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life.
New Jersey Police & the Pope
The U.S. Senate’s 1976 Church Commission report on intelligence operations inside the USA, revealed that “The FBI has attempted covertly to influence the publics perception of persons and organizations by disseminating derogatory information to the press, either anonymously or through “friendly” news contacts.” This same policy is evidently still very much in effect today. On December 24, 1997, The New Jersey State called a press conference to announce that New Jersey State Police had written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to intervene on their behalf and to aid in having me extradited back to New Jersey prisons. The New Jersey State Police refused to make their letter public. Knowing that they had probably totally distort the facts, and attempted to get the Pope to do the devils work in the name of religion, I decided to write the Pope to inform him about the reality of’ “justice” for black people in the State of New Jersey and in the United States.[Cont. reading story]
this will almost certainly be the most important thing you read today
Transgender women are the fastest-growing population of HIV-positive people in the country, according to Miss Major, a 70-year-old transgender woman of color and the executive director of TGI Justice Project, a San Francisco–based advocacy organization that fights for the rights of transgender, intersex, and gender-variant people who are in prison or have served jail time. Most experts agree with Major’s assertion, but hard data backing up that reality is hard to come by since HIV data collection methods often either mistakenly categorize transgender women as men who have sex with men, or don’t distinguish between transgender and non-transgender women.
Click the header link to read the full article.
we are immensely excited to announce that the topic for hoax #9 will be feminisms and VULNERABILITIES, and we are eager for feminists of all backgrounds and genders to submit! potential ideas for material include, but are not limited to:
· history / culture: utilizing the past to figure out how to cope with the present & the future; the importance of preservation of traditions & shared traits; storytelling and the transmission of intergenerational knowledges
· language: the terminologies we use & how they impact us; choosing how to express one’s sensitivities & vocalize need; calculating personal disclosure & censorship in confessional writing; linguistic changes between close friends & family versus strangers; academia’s insistence on rigid and insular terminology
· relationships: navigating toxic relationships; mutual aid in progressive circles; choosing to change oneself purposefully in order to find acceptance; how does (& doesn’t) feminism accommodate people who hold different identities & come from different backgrounds; coping with unhealthy family & home environments ; monogamy, polyamory, and vulnerability; coping with romantic and platonic breakups
· change / resistance: coping with loss, death, and / or trauma in everyday life; how choices made in the present affect us in the future; marginalized folks feelings pressured to fight or reflect certain stereotypes; the intricacies of protecting self from triggers; daily risks we take & how to tell which are necessary and why
· consent: boundary setting; times when we remain quiet to preserve our well-being / choosing when to speak; representations of (healthy) queer and non-normative sex; the role of celibacy; gaining validation via others’ sexual interest; how do we give consent when we have limited or no choices?; the limitations of sex positive consent rhetoric within racist / sexist / transphobic etc culture
· systems / legislation: balancing legislative reform with community-supported efforts; access to life-sustaining resources; educational access / issues with different forms of state-sponsored education; labor issues / how time is compartmentalized by work / being sick on the job / etc.; the impact of class & racial privilege on medical access; the nonprofit industrial complex & the institutionalization of care work
· space: how vulnerability changes in public versus private settings; creation, upkeep, and utilization of safe(r) spaces / methods for feeling safe in an unsafe world; urban solitude / engaging with strangers; sustaining intersectionality in queer– or feminist-labeled spaces; surveillance / lack of privacy on the internet / offline vs. online communities; how embodiments change meaning in different places / where oppression is more or less likely to occur; showcasing multiple identities in various settings; the links between visibility & vulnerability
· the body / the self: having a body that is visibly marked as “other”; intentional or unintentional politics of bodily presentations; how feminism & other political stances affect our personal growth; personal exposure & secrecy; do we have an “authentic self” that is impermeable to change?; projecting an image of toughness/non-approach while feeling weak/scared/etc.; how bodily representations in media affect the vulnerability of marginalized groups in real life
· dis/ability: the intersection of race, gender, class and disability; illnesses & how they impact one’s daily life depending on how visible they are to others; caring for disabled loved ones
· inspirational tales: overcoming hardships; the reinvention of personal narratives; the animals & people who have helped us thru the dark times; unsent letters to loved ones; advice for readers
we also totally need lots of artwork (photos, collages, illustrations, drawings, paintings, comics, etc.), particularly for background designs and things that compliment the written material!
please aim to send us yr amazing material to hoaxzine (at) gmail (dot) com by JUNE 30th, 2013. if you are interested, feel free to e-mail us yr ideas for topics & artwork! as always, we are willing to work with you during any and every stage of the writing process. the sooner you send us yr work, the better!
thank you so much to every contributor, reader, & supporter of this zine! we are looking forward to seeing yr work!
sari & rachel
***NOTE: OUR NEW SUBMISSION DATE IS JUNE 30TH! PLEASE CONSIDER SUBMITTING & HELPING TO SPREAD THE WORD!***
hoax zine is traveling to amherst, ma to participate in pioneer valley zine fest. see ya tomorrow!