Monday, March 31, 2008

Brainstorming For Speak

It was wonderful meeting so many of the WOC I have come to know and love at WAM! I was glad we had the time to just sit and decompress on Saturday. I wished we had more time to discuss the Speak project. Don't take that as a criticism, we really didn't have more time and probably need a whole week together!

I know that some of this we already discussed about what our vision is for the site, is it just another blog? Is it a zine? etc and what are our goals? But we probably should start over again in case our ideas have evolved since we first started kicking the idea around.

The one thing I want to discuss is the name of the site, "Speak", I'm not so sure that's a good idea. Maybe "Speak Out" or "We Are Speaking" or "Listen Up You Goddammed White Woman"...ok maybe not that one. The reason why is because Speak makes me think of the dog command.

I like the idea of doing interviews or even full blogs for women without access to computers, like the women in prison project. For me I was thinking of interviewing women from my reservation, especially the older ones like my mother who are afraid of technology! My sister gave her a computer but she refuses to hook it up to the internet, she says she is too busy with other things and isn't interested, but I'm not so sure of that, or if it is more she is afraid that learning to use a computer is too hard. I probably shouldn't second guess her because she is a busy person, but having a computer online would be great if only for email once or twice a day.

I think that goes with the "We Are Speaking" but you can't hear us idea. We can give women who aren't online a voice if the idea is geared towards those without internet access for whatever reason. I also like us as an aggregator for WOC online because many of us have a voice that isn't being heard because our readership is small or we are just starting out. Maybe I shouldn't say "we" in that one because if I'm not being heard it's because I don't update enough, but that's beside the point! Our project could be like advertising for new and little known WOC blogs and websites, with a feature that gives a taste of what is to be found at the site and then link to it and encourage our readers to read more and blogroll these sites.

The last thing I was thinking about is that we should have a section for children and young women where they can feel safe to blog. I was thinking of Bint's daughter here, I think she would enjoy a large readership and she writes some amazing stuff especially when she is on a political tear, but I think that when we host stuff by children and teens it is very important to protect them from the assholes and so their blogs should have mentors who must moderate comments to keep our young writers from being attacked. It's horrible enough the things that full grown adult WOC have had to put up with, children don't need to be exposed to that.

Oh wait, the real last thing. If it wouldn't be too much to ask, I'm hoping that Lex will do the graphics for the site. Broken Beautiful is a gorgeous site and I'd like our website/blog/zine to look alot like that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'll Catch Up!

I am looking looking looking for this book. I will get my hands on it and join in!

These are amazing to read!


Friday, March 21, 2008

colonization and the struggle for women's rights

Bint Al Shamsa writes:
I have yet to see an American school textbook that mentioned women's rights without including the names and accomplishments of at least Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. However, how many of them mention the fact that until Europeans colonized this country, women were already enjoying the rights that Stanton and Anthony fought for plus many more? Can you understand why that's problematic, at the very least?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

boarding school abuses and the case for reperations

i read chapter two last night: Boarding School Abuses and the Case for Reperations. inspired by sudy's latest femwatch, i wanted to give you all a recap via youtube video with my webcam (thanks mom!) but i keep messing up, getting embarrassed and having to start over! it's all right though, because i will get the hang of it and what better way to learn a skill than through advocating for women of color's feminism?

in the mean time, check out these links:

Stop Mainstream Feminist Racism! Respect Radical Women of Color NOW!
Campus Lockdown
Sign the petition!
Boarding School Healing Project

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

i'm only in the first chapter of conquest

but i appreciate dr. smith's style of writing so much.

i'm a little scared of group blogs because that's when the self-conscious part in me comes out to play. am i going to know what the others are talking about? will my writing sound stupid?

the reason i feel really connected to smith's writings is not only because of the subject matter of colonialism and struggle but because she writes in a way that's accessible to people. everyday people you see and know. people you eat with, drink with. people who live at the intersections of many -isms.

so many times with oppressed communities, at least from what i've experienced in the disability community, you have to prove yourself so much to the other people in the classroom, workplace, or organization that the mindset gets to be a competition for who can sound the most intelligent. an organization i work with made intellectual [words, thinking] accessibility a priority last year and it amazed me how controversial this actually was. a lot of members were offended with us revising documents to be on an eight grade level and taking the time to explain what words and acronyms meant. at that moment, i felt like i really understood what internalized oppression meant as people were more worried that they wouldn't be taken seriously as an organization or individuals instead of making their organization more accessible to their own people (and this is a disability organization so it was all people who wanted wheelchair accessible hotel rooms, alternative materials, ASL, but then didn't want to make it intellectually accessible so other people could participate).

i understand that people write for themselves, in fact i do, too. i understand that people love words and language and putting sentences together. me too. i defintely definitely get that. still there is a boundary between the love of writing and using big words to overcome a part of you (i.e. i might have a disability BUT i can talk so eloquently! or so and so might be latino BUT he's soooo damn articulate!). writing (especially and obviously in the academy) inaccessibly can be used just to appropriate a message and use it for individualist capitalist gain. so what is the purpose of writing if it is used this way? i mean how many people do you know, or at least in the academic world, that just love to hear the sound of their writing--- not writing from their heart, a message they believe in, or the ability they believe they have to reach people, but just the sound of big intellectual words?

it infuriates me and scares me that because smith wrote for people and not necessarily for the academy or the "ivory tower" she was denied tenure. what is the purpose of knowledge if it is to stay inside and only be used to discuss the "others"? finally, someone who gets us and is one of us and even writes in a way that includes us and she is disrespected and denied what is hers.

i think i finally understand the importance of tenure and it's breaking my heart to realize that we live in a society that dismisses people who write for people and celebrates the beauty of what often is just intellectual arrogance.

reading conquest

I finished school over a year ago and I can safely say that I haven't made it through more than five books since then. I have made it through about a million blog posts though. When Mimi Ngyuen described riot girl culture as a feminist "teaching machine," I immedietly thought that this is what women of color blogging are doing; they're working together to run a teaching machine for other women of color. Because even though I've been trying for almost two years to read 'Conquest' and I never made it past the foreward until yesterday, I found that I was familiar with a lot of the concepts and analysis because of reading other women of color blogs.

I thought that now was as good a time as any to read the book because it comes at the intersection of Andrea Smith's fight for tenure, an internal struggle between myself and academia/art (i.e. I'm through with school and don't want to go back but in what other world but grad school can I pursue my passions like research, travel, arab american's digital self-portraiture, comparing riot girl and women of color feminist media making/artistic production, and making self-memorializing art? ), and the coming 60th anniversary of the creation of the state of israel and the massacre & forced displacement of indigenous palestinians (which pushes me to reflect on, among other things, my status as a citizen of the u.s. and the massacre & forced displacement of indigenous people here).

More later...

Read-a-thon for Andrea Smith's Tenure

To show our support for Dr. Andrea Smith we are reading her book 'Conquest.' Please join us in reading, writing and discussing.

Conquest on google books.
Purchase the book from South End Press.