Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blog Voices This Week 11/10/07

I don't think that I'll usually have a theme for this weekly essay. But I recently saw a video in my travels around the net that inspired one for this edition. The video was made by Sudy at A Womyn's Ecdysis:

There is a movement underway on these blogs. And today, I'd like to give you just a small taste of some of its power.

But before we go to specifics, Mandolin at Alas! A Blog has done some remarkable work to give us a glimpse of this movement's breadth. There's really no way to summarize this piece, just go take a look and thank Mandolin for the amazing amount of time and love it took to do this.

By now I hope you're seeing that the theme for this week is the diversity in the feminist blogosphere. So I'd like to start with a story that was widely covered this week by women of color, but not so much by the MSM and progressive blogs. Donna, over at "The Silence of Our Friends" talks about it in her piece Virgins, Whores, and the Sliding Scale of Our Humanity. In a nutshell, a Philadelphia judge, Teresa Carr Deni, threw out rape charges in a case she recently adjudicated because the victim is a prostitute, and instead called it "theft of property." Donna has some wonderful commentary on this story and the price women pay for their sexuality.

I'd like to visit "elle, phd" again this week to take a look at her diary Waiting.... Elle lives in Louisiana about 100 miles from Jena. She relays several stories about situations going on in her area that leave her saying this:

It occurs to me that I am cataloguing, watching, and waiting for shit to explode in my little corner of the world.

Something is going on here in my home region, something created by the nature of race, gender, and class relations here. Everyone is whispering, but no one is talking.
At "Rachel's Tavern" atlasien has a diary titled White Guilt, White Resentment that gives us a picture of the psychological development of racism. This is one powerful piece, so I hope you'll go take a look.

One of my favorite finds this week is a blog called "Black Looks." They are taking a comprehensive look at the struggle of black people around the globe with a special focus on women. You'll find interesting, off beat stories like this one titled Umoja: A community of women in Kenya. The post inlcudes a short video that is introduced this way:

The women of Umoja are survivors of rape and women who have been ostracised by their families and communities. In Umoja they have come together to form their own community, working for themselves making crafts and on the land. Their choice to stand independently of men has resulted in further abuse and threats but the women are determined to stay and make their community work.
It was at "Black Looks" that I learned about Black./Womyn:Conversations tiona.m. This full-length documentary explores a range of Black lesbian experiences from activism, racism, gender roles, coming out, marriage, and patriarchy. You can see lots of clips from this beautiful and courageous film at the blog linked above.

If you'd like to hear from one of the young women who is part of this movement, visit "Tigera Consciente" and check out the short film she posts in The Power of Independent Youth Media: Girls Like Me. This film, which was produced long before Imus made his racist/sexist comments, interviews young black women about the unique pressures they feel. But perhaps the most powerful part of this video is when the young women making it re-create the 50 year old experiments of Dr. Kenneth Clark during Brown vs. Board of Education where young children were asked what color of doll they preferred. The result...well, just go check it out.

Finally, Aaminah Hernández at "Writeous Sister Speaks" asks all of us to just Listen!. Here's how she introduces what she wants to say:

I am really struggling right now with trying to navigate the delicate balance between educating non-Muslims and others about my culture and beliefs etc. and not wanting to be forced to be a spokesperson. While I constantly recommend that if you want to know about a group of people, you need to go to the source with your questions, I also find myself tired of the questions.

As my Shaykh says (granted, in relation to deeper matters, but this is broadly true), “if you come to me with your cup full I can give you nothing; come to me with your cup empty so I can fill it up”. When someone decides to engage a Muslim (or other group) in dialogue, claiming to want to learn and understand, it is necessary to come empty and ready to accept what you hear.
I hope this little tour around some of the blogs written by women of color has been as enlightening for you as it has been for me. As always, we just scratched the surface. I'm hoping to continue listening and learning more from these wonderful sisters.

If you'd like to learn more about the blogs shown in the video above, here are the links:

Fabulosa Mujer
A Womyn's Ecdysis
Broken Beautiful Press
Having read the fine print...
Hermana Resist
The Silence of Our Friends
los anjalis
No Snow Here
The Primary Contradiction
This Is Not My Country
Feline Formal Shorts
She Who Stumbles
Tigera Consciente
Vox ex Machina
Taking Steps

Now front-paged at Docudharma

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