December 13, 2014

  • In light of the decisions to not indict the police officers who killed Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, responses to these violent injustices (among many, many others) are growing in power and numbers. Some important pieces this week include:
    • Robin at Crunk Feminist Collective’s piece “Waiting to Exhale,” where she asks, amidst the violence, injustice, and oppression: “How long can you hold your breath?”
    • Evette Dion at Bustle’s reminder: Police Kill Black Women All The Time, Too—We Just Don’t Hear About it
    • Jarrett Martineau’s discussion of violent resistance, Frantz Fanon, and Glen Sean Coulthard’s Red Skins White Masks: “From Fanon to Ferguson to the Unist’ot’en, Black and Indigenous struggles for freedom across the colonized lands of Turtle Island will be won in combat against the spectacle of a society losing control of its contradictions.”
  • Be sure to read Tanzina Vega’s NYT piece, “Discipline for Girls Differs by Race and Hue,” where Vega reveals the unfair treatment of black girls in Georgia, a state where a black girl is five times more likely to be suspended than her white classmate:

There are different gender expectations for black girls compared with white girls, said Lance Hannon, a Villanova sociology professor who conducted the analysis. And, he said, there are different expectations within cross-sections of black girls. “When a darker-skinned African-American female acts up, there’s a certain concern about their boyish aggressiveness,” Dr. Hannon said, “that they don’t know their place as a female, as a woman.”

  • Beverly Johnson spoke out about being drugged by Bill Cosby and expressed solidarity with the women who motivated her to bravely tell her story now:

When I sat down to write my memoir in 2013, I pondered if I should include my Cosby experience. I didn’t want to get involved in a he-said/she-said situation. Now that other women have come forward with their nightmare stories, I join them.

  • Read Robyn Swirling’s brave response to recent conversations about remembering and not remembering the details surrounding sexual violence: “I don’t owe you any of these details. I have come to know that you won’t believe me unless I give you all of these details. And even then you probably won’t, if we’re being honest. Always one disclosed detail away from belief.”
  • The New Inquiry’s editor in chief Ayesha Siddiqi spoke to The Guardian about writing on the web and shaping discussions this week. Stop waiting for permission to write, says Siddiqi, and find your women:

Seek out and support, at all costs, women of color and put their testimony above all else. We have to go out of our way to support and value each other. Love is practice; you don’t gain expertise by never enacting it. Whether that’s liking a friend’s selfie, not withholding a compliment from another woman, or publicly supporting a woman who is being publicly piled on to. That just barely approaches equalising what we’re up against.

To write only of oneself, then, as Sontag suggested, might be to write not of death, but a type of death—or of a kind of death-like state to which no politics, no action, no larger history might be admitted. Breast cancer’s industrial etiology, its misogynist and racist medical history, capitalist medicine’s incredible machine of profit, and the unequal distribution by class of suffering and death are omitted from breast cancer’s now common narrative form. But to write of death is to write of everyone, or as Lorde wrote, “I carry tattooed upon my heart a list of names of women who did not survive, and there is a space left for one more, my own.”

  • Now that it’s mid-December, you’re probably looking forward to consuming some culture this holiday, and maybe you’re even planning to kill some joy. We sure are. If you’re looking for help with those plans, listen to the latest episode of call your girlfriend, where hosts Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow talk about the books, music, TV, and movies they loved this year.
    And THEN: check out the Belle Jar’s Feminist Killjoy Gift Guide (featuring misandry bracelets, fuck the patriarchy banners,  some sweet t-shirts and tote bags, and more!)
    ALSO: listen to all of Bitch’s new feminist music roundup, because it’s great.
    and FINALLY: check out this new web series by Aphrodite Kocieda: Black Feminist Blogger 
  • National Post books editor, Emily M. Keeler called Marian Engel’s 1976 Bear, newly reissued this month, The best Canadian novel of all time.” Yes, Keeler is referring to the novella where a woman has actual sex with a bear. And, having recently read the book ourselves, we’re convinced! Don’t miss the video!
  • Canada recently implemented Bill C-36, which pushes sex workers further into the shadows and increases risks associated with the work, particularly for street-level and trans sex workers.  This Thursday December 17 marks the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, a day to commemorate and honour those lives lost to violence. Find out about events in your city here.
  • And finally,  we started releasing our new SEX issue this week. Get ready! We’ll be releasing more sexy content this week.


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