Articles and Essays, DIDY-do it ya damn self, Ruffled Draft, Works in Progress


   If you don’t get a good job right out of college, she said, you’re fucked. Then the more time passes, the less and less desirable you are or capable you are considered to be. Then, you really are out of the loop, because you’re not up on your college learnings of what’s latest work in the field or industry work of what’s going on, from the inside. Cause most of that shit is kept exclusive, for the in-crowd only. And how can you keep up and research and write articles or whatever without any credit, established affiliation? You’re not allowed places if you’re just a person, an independent researcher; you have to have some company or organization credentials. You can’t even get membership into associations usually if you are not at a company or organization. And how the fuck can you research all this stuff and try to keep up and research and write articles or work on stuff in your field when you’re too busy working at or looking for a job at some shitty place for $8/hr of furious-paced, very physical service work, or figuring out how the fuck you’re gonna get places with no bus fare, and how the fuck all this food stamp/Unemployment/stave off medical bills magnitude of beauracracy works, etc etc. An Anthro/Archeology prof/researcher once told me, as many other academics and professionals and books on academics/employment applications inform, well, we don’t just look at grades/transcript for admission, we look at what kind of job you’ve had. So, after you’ve put all this hard work in to try to survive, and are finally saying, my only option to make any kind of decent steady income and make something of myself whatsoever is to go “back to school,” that is, to grad school, to just try to afford it, work till it drops,  join a church so they’ll help you prioritize internet, and attempt feably to sell your dysphoric  female body online in order to afford to–all those jobs you took, grasped at, fought for because they were what was finally or actually for once available or that you could get to and from, in order to fucking survive–are a negative factor on your application?!?!
   What kind of fantasy land is she living in? Researcher-professors (or fill-in-the-blank) aren’t actually that far removed from reality; they can’t even consider tenure a feasible future anymore, especially if academicking while female.
   Of course, (unless there were a fantastic job, maybe) going to grad school is what you really always wanted and had originally planned to do right out of college, but of course couldn’t afford the insane $200 test and all the insane applications fees, esp. since any reductions or waivers are not available unless you are in ONLY your 4rth year of undergrad as a “traditional” “senior” and going full-time–which of course you couldn’t afford to do, and mostly anyone who is not super fucking rich with some connection like a parent who’s a professor and practically their entire tuition is waived cannot do. And since so many people are of course so fucking broke and struggling, more and more people have been unable to afford to even try to get into grad school, but since there are nothing but unsustainable or just complete shit temp jobs if there are any, it’s the only option other than to return to or continue on in undergrad like I did, presumably since the 2008/2009 crash–there are in fact a few programs that have application fee waivers, but they have waited over half a decade and make sure to keep that information as well-hidden as possible on their websites or application instructions, certainly don’t put it on paper or any other place accessibly or updated. Of course, still you can’t afford to even do all the schools/programs, etc. research necessary and study for the GRE since all that takes so much time, esp. the longer you’ve been out of school, or even if you did it while still in school, you have to do most of it all over again anyway cause it’s been so long; its been so long the profs you were hoping to go to a program under have now moved from the accolade-ed state-but-reputed-enough school back to their rich-ass upper crust 2 lesbian spots ever in the Ivies. People who are younger than you, who hadn’t even started puberty when you were arrested your first year of college, your second year on your own, cause of course you had to work to save money first,  eating plain white rice with the amazing privilege of somewhat edible mystery mustard from previous roommates’ abandoned condiments, have now gotten the jobs and professorships where you are hoping to apply to grad school or where you try to apply to a job, but get to the “Internship” line and start crying in the middle of the library. Then you remember, of course, so-&-so had a car in college and parents who helped pay tuition or pay off loans, so could afford to take the unpaid internship (as if there’s actually any other kind) after college if they have been at this company since then. Whereas the Americorps shit-pay position you were grooming yourself for like a brain-damaged Jester who longs to be a stable boy just to stay somewhere at Pharaoh’s court, though you still have the pride-urge to do such recently re-promoted civil service (Thanks, Obama), an actual government program to improve conditions for the poor and disenfranchised in many areas, that your mentor did…you will never be allowed to do because of the record, permanent criminalization.
That’s around when you realize they are doing this on purpose, and they win. Because all you can do is put ice in a bag on shin, on your shoulder, on your hip the police smashed and pulled out of socket, and try to psych yourself into walking to the illegally-anti-union factory fake in-house “temp agency” to get in line for 90 minutes for a hopeful job for the day.  And don’t forget to do your physical therapy, but by the time Obamacare gets passed, it will be too late anyway, you can’t carry a tray across a restaurant all night, the president and presence of ubiquitous image of “HOPE” will certainly be gone, like the benefit of the physical therapy less than halfway into the shift at the 20-minute lunch break. But, to look on the bright side, to get where you are, your single-parent has a “good” job at a university where she does not get a lunch break, but don’t tell the Union. White-collar jobs are hard to come by, they say. Say you, it’s just as physical as the job at Taco Bell, but at least I get some “food.” Mix extra water in the plastic rice, Yum!; mas! agua! it’s just business; don’t worry, there’s no Union to tell. The Republicrats succeeded in seceding, choked you with their white-collar star-circle flag; it was just the American Dream.
Articles and Essays, Happs!, Reviews, Words & Works of Others

Urgent Recommendation: Claudia Rankine’s CITIZEN

CITIZEN: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Not racist? Hear, listen, and grasp social and race issues with the renowned author, playwright, and poet. “I don’t think we connect micro-aggressions that indicate the lack of recognition of the black body as a body to the creation and enforcement of laws.” Claudia Rankine said last fall in BOMB.
Wait, what’s a “microaggression”?? These words matter.
CITIZEN: An American Lyric divulges and dissects day-to-day, often sub-surface racism and its effects beyond the moment. Her fifth poetry book, it made history, nominated for two National Book Critics Circle Awards, for Criticism and for Poetry; it won the latter, along with the NAACP Image Award, PEN Open Book Award, and others, and is the only New York Times nonfiction bestseller of its lyric kind.
CITIZEN calls out in solidarity if you’ve ever been run into by an armored tank of racial marginalization or been caught in a nasty traffic jam of intersectionality. Rankine calls you to action if you give a hoot or are susceptible to participating in systemic racism. Cultural theorist Lauren Berlant described in the BOMB interview, “Citizenship involves metabolizing in the language of your flesh what you call the ‘ordinary’ injury of racist encounter.” Rankine’s prose details scene by the millisecond, along with internal reaction, piling on inevitable, immediate, smacking social resonance in fell swoop after fell swoop. Each scene rounds out with that “metabolizing” as it happens, or as its consequence plays out within black bodies and minds constrained by white hegemony and apathy.
Los Angeles’ Fountain Theater produced an adaptation in August, spotlighting the versatility of CITIZEN and Rankine’s multi-form and -genre work. Her dialogue and descriptions came to life on stage particularly smoothly: The ensemble cast rove among different characters, black actors facing white actors, playing out scenes of surprise verbal, contextual complicity or attack and slow-motion, time-stopped response, outburst, or restraint. Sitting, watching in your red theater seat became complacency; cringing and squirming in it were not enough.
In interactions of daily and professional life, how can white people stop colluding to enact racism, even if unintentionally? How can all people not commit and not accept racial microaggression? Recognition of such words and acts is a start.

Articles and Essays, Ruffled Draft, Works in Progress

What Does an Assault Victim Look Like? What Does Her Assailant Look Like?

“Cops Beat & Kidnap 12-yo Girl in Front of her Home, Claiming She was a Prostitute” (Story: Response

#doyougetityet  They always do this: Involved officers charge their victim with assault and/or interfering with official acts, in order to cover up their crime and violence and to make the person, or, here, her family, being that she is a young minor, go through and be stuck in a difficult, time-consuming, financially devastating, mentally and emotionally burdensome and even traumatic court case to “distract” her/them from being able to speak up about what was done to herself or themselves as victims (on top of, of course, going through the physical pain often to the point of medical injury, hospitalization, and/or continuous or permanent physical pain or limitation in the first place, and mental anguish also caused by the violence).  It deters focus, and legal focus, from and uses up resources needed for dealing with the actual victimhood, violence and/or injury, It is a COMMON LEGAL STRATEGY, initiated as protocol at the time of “incident,” i.e. victimization by officers or within the time frame of finishing and filing reports and charges.

Keep in mind a pending case is limiting in itself to the point of functionally injurious, often with long-lasting or permanent effect.  While the case against the 12-year-old or any such victim is ongoing, her or her family’s or any victim’s legal record prominently reads “pending case” of “pending charge,” and no matter the circumstance or physical violence she or her family or someone is suffering as a victim, and no matter how obvious to the common person or professional those physical injuries, the victimization, the absurdity of the situation, socially, professionally, and legally one is with pox, rights nixed, opportunities beaten away too by the baton and legal follow-up. …Including for some representation: attorneys, firms, Bar Association referral program participants, some legal aid (including actual area Legal Aid organizations or free or reduced-cost lawyers [legal advice providers] or attorneys [who represent in court]), or that rarity, pro-bono retaining,…are no longer an option for the victim; all of the above professionals, type of organization/agency, and lawyers normally participating in such programs or retaining arrangements…often won’t touch such a case with a ten foot pole. #doyougetityet

Articles and Essays

Equalism: 1: On Equalism (and a response)

Regarding Joss Whedon’s speech on “Feminist” and in response to RealLivingBeauty’s response.

I don’t believe a person has to name-drop a comprehensive history of feminist theorists–but one important tenet of feminism OR equalism is giving credit where credit is due. Homage for its own sake, sure, but more importantly for the consequences of respect and perception shift*.  I would like to know what consideration if any Joss Whedon gave the question of whether or not to include acknowledgement of the ideas or accomplishments (or names) of any feminist shakers. I do have a problem with his focus on linguistics regarding feminism without a holla to the work of Mary Daly or the effects of dialects gendered for the speaker. I think in fact that it’s a disservice to his public and a falling short on the part of his capability to not use his position to bring to light see it as the same way I wouldn’t make a speech on the current* (mis)use of electrical power without harkening back to Tesla and his philosophy and the lack of awareness about the Sphinx’ battery function.

I grew up and out of adolescence to Buffy. I came out to Buffy. I’m a fan of Joss Whedon.  Airing his work does not excuse the missing diversity in produced writers, creators, et al. on TV.

I have two brothers, raised by our single mother, who embody and enact feminist principles but have a huge problem with the name or word, not for its aestheticism but for its alignment with one sex/gender.  I’ve met hordes of women (straight, gay, bi, trans; of many colors or national or cultural origin) who proclaim themselves “not feminist, but” or denounce feminism, aligning it with being a “femi-nazi” and for fear of being seen as such, who don’t know who Elizabeth Cady Stanton was, that Rush Limbaugh coined the above term, or who the Guerilla Girls are. Or that their side-stepping standpoint is related to these not-famous-enough leaders of feminism and setbacks by sensationalizing opponents.

I understand that the term “feminism” alienates some men. The semantic problem with the word is not (primarily, if at all) its sound, as Joss Whedon purports, but its usage given semantic similarity to the terms “racist” and “sexist” that therefore aligns it with these…within a yet misogynistic society.  And a misogynistic society also hurts men, and depends on classism and racism and heterosexism (that last, a word not recognized by WordPress!). The sexism can be directed at men, and the racism can be directed at white people, even though these groups also get by on a lot of privilege.  Homophobic violence has landed straight people in the hospital.  Most males have at least one female in their lives they care about, whose survival, success, and well-being matters to them. Intersectional feminism shows the problem is people in power taking advantage of these many discriminating -ists and -ist attitudes bludgeoning people intermittantly, simultaneously, and in syncopation, like a million permutations of ominous chords of possible alignments.  As long as people with not as much power also take advantage of or submit to these -isms and their -ists, the usury and abuse are repeated and reproduced.  And to change it all: Recognize your privilege.  Make your voice heard.  If you can’t, seek solidarity; if your voice is heard, help someone who needs to be heard and wants to be heard.

As far as words go, feminism concentrates on the problems women face because of their sex or gender, the problems misogyny causes.  The movement is called feminism, and people who focus on these particular struggles and this portion of a philosophy of equality therefore called feminists–the same way some people are Afro-centrists, and yes, still need to be, and the gay pride movement keeps going strong, led by or in close conjunction with gay rights activists. And whether or not you argue the term crosses over to the semantically and functionally occupational “-ist,” remember that most activists don’t get paid for their work. Neither do most feminists, like me, and unlike Joss Whedon.

The problem with the word mirrors the problem with the movement’s history, tending toward the exclusionary as much as the possibly healthy and necessary separatist, continuing and contributing to the oppressions of people of color, people earning lower income, lesbians and gay men, and gender nonconforming people before that was a term, and reaping the benefits of colonialist occupation and oppression of so-called developing countries.  Until feminism caught up with the struggles of people in all these groups, and people realized how interconnected all these struggles for equality are, because women come from all these groups.  Everyone who is oppressed in one but usually more of these ways fights to be equal.  Fighting for equality brings to light the way things should be and the humanity we have in common and rights every single person should share: Civil Rights and Human Rights, acting on your Dream to pursue education.

Feminism has moved as a movement to be inclusive and feminists are leaders working and fighting for racial equality.  Not too many people believe men can’t be feminists.  I do believe that focusing on the equality pursued at the basis of helps promote the philosophy –and in a more inclusive way.  It leaves room for the acknowledgment, understanding, and addressing of how sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism take form in all different directions, when girls are schooled in being manipulative to counter men’s dominance, for instance. But where each of these structural and systemic discriminations don’t out-and-out harm the majority group, say, White folk, it sure plays dirty tricks on their minds and keeps our society as a whole down, sick, because for one, there are always individuals that make up a group, especially groups defined by identity politics, who might belong to other oppressed groups, and for another–every society won’t be healthy until everyone really is treated equally.   To attain this, we must all acknowledge and enact the equal fights of fighting for equalism.

When impressionable young people and workplace holiday committees are taught 1990s multiculturalism where appropriation counts for celebration of different cultures, they practice it unwitting of its offensiveness and that as a machination of oppression until they learn or someone shows them otherwise. When impressionable young people and unenlightened workplace after-hours parties are taught a vague mixture of vague scandalous riotous fake bra burning feminism, of Femi-nazis, shame, and blame, and that boys will be boys and girls should be skinny–we end up with guys being slapped in domestic relationships along with in the movies as a twisted new norm.  This is not the empowered female of feminism. Anything other than believing that speaking out against this as unacceptable goes against the principle of feminism, of equalism.  In this sense, yes, I vote to promote a new word, I vote with my right hard-won by feminist foremothers and feminist (“sympathizer”) forefathers, for a term that includes men being treated individually not as some new enemy, but be treated still as equals, for Equalism.

If that helps everyone be treated as equals with the progress and changing tides for all groups still fighting the good fight for equality and equal treatment, and the new or now recognized rather than well-meaning (even straight, white) men feel alienated, when they can be willing and wonderful allies, then I am an equalist. I’d rather let the sons of soccer moms and single mothers know they are needed, so they can fight rape culture instead of rape cases that prey on the poor and men of color.

On the other hand, each of these fights contains different specifics because of its unique history.  There is a fine balance between recognizing the equality that everyone deserves, and working for it, fighting for it and working on and fighting for the equality of a certain group that needs it. Every path to full equality is specific. Each group deserves the recognition of its struggle; each fight requires the understanding of this struggle to reach the same equality that other groups appreciate (or fail to) in their privilege. Because people have lived it as individuals and groups.  Feminism has expanded, finally, to acknowledge the intersections and multiple oppressions people face, to its credit, from Angela Davis to Feministing website.  I believe that Equalism, and pronouncing oneself an Equalist might take this on and teach it even more quickly.
I don’t think we should work to eradicate the term by any means, but it should never be used to validate bullying against individual males, in media or life, either.

And I -love- the connotation of “Feministing” and its visual cultural reference to Rosie the Riveter and daring female sexual pleasure; it packs the right amount of punch, a goodly productive portion of goading, and a physical and visceral rallying cry of solidarity.

~Shakin’ a feminist fist at Spike,

Sabri Sky

*also a (deconstructionist) new understanding, critique, and change of the rule-making experts’ doling out of credit … which translates to money and fair treatment of individuals.

**pun intended