July 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
via Citizen Orange
On Tuesday, July 20th twenty-one undocumented youth were arrested while staging sit-ins in Washington, D.C. I can’t believe there hasn’t been more coverage of these 21 brave individuals. But then again, there has barely been any coverage on the DREAM Act itself. In case you haven’t heard, the DREAM Act is a bi-partisan legislative effort to provide “qualifying undocumented youth” a path to citizenship by completing either two years of college or two years of military service. For more information on the DREAM Act and to find out whether you qualify, visit the DREAM Act portal.
(Photo from Citizen Orange)
July 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
So I’m currently interning at the wonderful, feminist-friendly, bilingual Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, an organization located in Washington Heights, dedicated to the promotion of artists in Northern Manhattan. It’s a highly community oriented and welcoming environment that I’m already in love with. Its mission is to give voices to artists of various medias that may not typically be given opportunities to show their work.
One such artist is the fantastic Jessica Lagunas. I was lucky enough to see some of her work at an earlier show celebrating Latino artists this year and I was blown away. Born in Nicaragua in 1971, she’s dedicated to exploring themes–often of a heavy nature–such as body image, sexuality, ethnicity, and age, all from a distinctly female perspective.
I encourage you to go check out her stuff, particularly her videos, in which she does certain beauty rituals for up to two hours. They’re grotesque and fascinating and leave me with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. In a good way. I think. It’s certainly thought provoking.
And good news! Her work is being exhibited right now. If you’re in the New York area or Spain go check her out! I know I plan to.
Her bio can be found here.
July 4, 2010 § 3 Comments
Good news! (Notice that I’m so overjoyed I had to add a new category — “This Makes Me Happy.”) At Hudson High School in upstate New York, two senior boys were crowned prom king and queen.
Amazing. In the same year that Constance McMillen was sent to a fake prom and had to take legal action to defend her rights, something like this happens. Obviously this doesn’t negate all the fucked up shit that has happened and continues to happen to LGBTQ teens across America, but it’s certainly refreshing.
So I say congratulations to Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard. And I hope you had a great time at the Most Important and Magical Night of Your Teenage Life (as the awesome Jamie at The Seventeen Magazine Project has coined it).
June 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
Friends: Regina Spektor! She is just so delightful! And her music is like when you wake up slicked in sweat on a hot summer morning in your stuffy, un-air-conditioned, fourth floor walk-up apartment and open the window and a cold rush of breeze floods in and you feel alive again. Also, she played a benefit concert for Planned Parenthood. Hearts.
Regina’s music is weird. Seriously, it is strange. She is well-known for her odd and original sound play; she often exaggerates her glottal stop, slurs her words, and switches rapidly between a near-whisper and loudly belted notes. This matters because, as has been said about Lady Gaga, I think a woman’s willingness to be strange — and shamelessly so — is a profoundly feminist act in a culture that prefers its ladies to act like robots.
I also have a feminist (and aesthetic) appreciation for Regina’s musical whimsy. Her work has a strong trend of poking fun at sex, love, and gendered interactions. Below, a selection and explanation of my favorite Spektor lyrics.
May 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
My friend (and frequent commenter) Dava passed along this awesome music video, a promotion for the human rights organization Calling All Crows.
The organization was founded by Chad Stokes Urmston, a musician, and Sybil Gallagher, a tour manager, as a social action and advocacy project of the Boston-based band State Radio. Urmston previously earned a place in my heart for his contributions to Dispatch, a delightful and experimental folk rock band that produced one of my favorite songs of all time. His latest venture with his current band is absolutely inspiring:
During their sold out, 25-city tour this past February, the band performed service projects in every town they visited, from serving lunch at a homeless shelter in Houston to building a community garden at an inner city elementary school in Washington, D.C. Calling All Crows…is committed to continuing the group’s socio-political dialogue once the music ends and the lights come up. In less than a year, State Radio and their fans have amassed over 1,800 hours of community service through projects that have local, national, and global impact.
The group sent their “good friend and Knights of Bostonia director Andrew Mudge to South Africa, India, Brazil and lastly, New York City to capture the power and perseverance of women around the globe.”
The music video really is wonderful. I love the overall visual style and, in particular, the dancing bit at the end. Check it out:
April 10, 2010 § 4 Comments
I love feminist guys. Seriously. I love them; I crush on them; I hang out with them. (Phoebe crushes too.)
Men’s relationship with feminism is, obviously and necessarily, complex. As such, I know a lot of guys who have considerable anxiety about associating themselves with feminism. Once they get past the “ew, feminism is gross and radical” phase — as we all must get past — they have to deal with issues of appropriation and marginalization. I have to negotiate similar boundaries when learning and writing about anti-racism, queer rights, disability… the list goes on. None of us are perfectly qualified to speak about everything. This is the beauty of being an ally.
So boys, do not fear! You too can be a part of the sizeable cohort of male feminists who get it. Some of my personal favorites:
- Joel of Citizen Obie. Okay, he’s one of my real-life friends, so maybe I’m biased. But his blogging work does a wonderful job linking feminist issues with other political struggles, like environmental and racial justice. Not to mention, he works for the awesome Hard-Hatted Women.
- Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine, who is also loved by Phoebs.
- Michael Kimmel, professor and author of many books on masculinity including the brilliant Guyland. After I read it, I sent him an email full of praise, and he responded! Within twelve hours! Isn’t it wonderful when your feminist crushes respond?
Thank you so much for your message. Messages like yours, from strong and uncompromising feminist women, are what give me hope that Guyland can be successfully resisted, and that young men can find support and friendship outside it. Women are constantly being advised to give up their feminism — if they want to get a date, if they want to get a job, if they want to get married, whatever. And so it is particularly inspiring for me to hear from women who will not give that up!
- My dad.
Pick up your ax! For patriarchy-smashin’, of course.
April 9, 2010 § 1 Comment
A lot of you are probably already familiar with Jay Smooth (Feministing links to him all the time), but in case you’re not, just let me say… He is incredibly, ridiculously, undeniably awesome and, as you can definitely tell from the title, I have a huge crush on him. He does web videos at Illdoctrine on topics such as pop culture, current events, and music. Anyway, his most recent video is one on Sarah Palin’s new show on Fox: