I’ve Been Engaged By The Trolls! Damn.

I guess I drew the attention of the organizers of this so-called “Slutwalk Tehran” because of my last post signal boosting Tiara’s efforts to debunk and call attention to the vileness of the “Slutwalk Tehran” project. At the risk of giving them more space to advertise (and because I have a feeling this is a comment they are copy/pasting to any blogs that call them out on their fail), here’s what they said to me:

Dear TRH, I fully understand your skepticism as well as that of Ms. Creatrix, with whom I have had a series of intelligent back-and-forth. Our concept and movement is an extension of the momentum already generated in major cities such as Toronto, Brisbane, London, Boston. The wild popularity of the walks as well as the decisive reclamation of a derogatory term in this big cities has left us no doubt that a similar movement, populated by the very masses who made the other walks such a global phenomena (phenoWOMENa!!) , would go a long way in reclaiming that word in the Middle East, in Congo and other parts of the world where the women (owing to the repressive nature of their respective antiquated patriarchies) may not have the means, the force to walk up and reclaim the word on their own. That is why we will definitely NOT encourage the women of Iran to participate. Veterans from Toronto, Indy, Boston slutwalks (to name a few) will swoop down on the streets of Teheran and reclaim it. Join us. We have the time, the resources, the think-tank and experts and most importantly the WILL to make this a success. Where will YOU be on April 2, 2012? Join us. Be there. Spread the word. Reclaim.

[I have purposely omitted links to their page]

Cheers. Grrrrl Powrrrr. Pow!!

Petty things first, who in the world is TRH?

My comment in response:

You cannot claim ally-ship with women and then stomp all over their agency. Women “in the Middle East, in Congo and other parts of the world” have the right to organize their own feminism for their own needs and it doesn’t require Western ‘think tanks’ to walk all over their right, our right, to do so. My official position on your particular project is condemnation since you’ve obviously made a decision to ignore calls to recognize your privilege and your mistake made by others more patient than I.

And now to tear that mess of fail they call an argument apart.

Our concept and movement is an extension of the momentum already generated in major cities such as Toronto, Brisbane, London, Boston.

No, it really is not an extension of those movements.

The first Slutwalk in Toronto was a direct response to the rape-culture manifest in the authority there, an authority meant to protect and enforce justice. The resulting Slutwalks were movements not just of solidarity, but of those communities choosing to make an active display condemning rape culture and the idea that rape is the victim’s fault. These communities chose. I repeat, these communities chose to participate in this movement, they didn’t have their agency overturned to fit the faux-ally imperialistic mess you’re trying to sell.

This so-called “Slutwalk Tehran” is not a Tehran driven movement!

More than that, let’s not forget that Slutwalk is an explicitly western movement. I don’t know how many times this will have to be said but western feminism is not feminism’s little black dress. It doesn’t go with everyone! Quite frankly, even a movement like Slutwalk is rife with privilege-denying faux allies so trying to blanket apply that to everyone else is just plain illogical and smacks of white privilege, imperialism, and racism.

The wild popularity of the walks as well as the decisive reclamation of a derogatory term in this big cities has left us no doubt that a similar movement, populated by the very masses who made the other walks such a global phenomena (phenoWOMENa!!) , would go a long way in reclaiming that word in the Middle East, in Congo and other parts of the world where the women (owing to the repressive nature of their respective antiquated patriarchies) may not have the means, the force to walk up and reclaim the word on their own. That is why we will definitely NOT encourage the women of Iran to participate.

Know what the best part of being a feminist whose feminism didn’t arise primarily out of western principles? Being told that my agency doesn’t matter. That my voice, that my fight, that my body in this skin, isn’t anything but what others better than me make it. It’s being told that I can’t speak for myself, fight my own battles, start my own revolutions. Oh yes, I’ve always enjoyed being told to sit down and let the real adults handle it. Let them save me from my culture’s “antiquated patriarchy” because heaven forfend I should exercise my own damn agency and have a say in this (and of course, my culture’s patriarchy is the absolute worst of the patriarchies).

Cheers. Grrrrl Powrrrr. Pow!!

Yeah, riot grrls everwhere ask you to just stop.

You know, I can not shake the feeling that this is a Trojan horse. I mean, they are not even trying to be subtle about the very many ways in which this is wrong. This is not in-keeping with the Slutwalk movement. This is not how you fight rape culture; making executive decisions and robbing people of their agency is doing nothing but feeding the monster that drives rape culture.

Again I say, Slutwalk Tehran, at least this one right here, is so not what you think it is. Do not support it. Condemn it. Inform others and raise awareness against those who would co-opt a movement to their own ends and do nothing but reinforce the kyriarchy.

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signal boost: Major Lazer: Cyborgs, Dancehall, Racism, & Colonization in Music

You should definitely check out Bianca Laureano’s article, Major Lazer: Cyborgs, Dancehall, Racism, & Colonization in Music. She discusses how music made by people of culture, music culture made for and by people of color, has become something to be appropriated for popular (usually white) entertainment- and that it is they who assign a capitalist value to our work, and create a system that ensures them as the major beneficiaries. I see you Diplo. She uses the Major Lazer faux-credited Pon De Floor, a beat that’s become recently even more popular through Beyonce’s use of the track in her Run The World (Girls), and its video as the gateway to a very necessary conversation we all need to have.

After doing some searching I found the video for Major Lazer’s Pon De Floor. I was immediately excited because the dancing in the video was very much the kind of Dancehall I find fascinating, yet also complex as it is overly sexually graphic…I was excited about was that the women dancing were large bodied women. Some may even call them “fat dancers” yet for me their bodies were so much like my own it was as though I was watching myself dance…

My online searching led me to the shocking knowledge that Major Lazer  is a fictional Black cyborg created by two White men, Diplo  from Philidelphia (of M.I.A. fame), and Switch from the UK who specializes in “House” music…I realized that two White men created this image of Major Lazer, created the music, and then used Black and brown bodies in the videos…It’s 1 thing to have people of Color do the videos I love, and it’s another when White boys do it. Not that I love it any less (but I kinda do), but now it’s a different perspective with over-sexualized components.

At the end of the day I kind of feel duped, hoodwinked, bamboozled. I fell for imagery that was crafted by outsiders to represent something meaningful that I valued as an important part of my Caribbean identity. There are revolutionary aspects, yet there are so few in comparison to how many troubling aspects of the music, imagery and representations of Major Lazer…

I now understand that Major Lazer is a symbol, yet I’m unclear what it represents because I realize it does not represent me or the community I find myself a part of. I’d love to hear what those of you who either identify with any of the artists we mentioned her or who enjoy Major Lazer think. This is definitely me as an “outsider” to some extent but an “insider” in others. An interesting space to occupy.

It’s a fascinating article, you should definitely read in full.

Now What? The Quotable Linkspam Version

via zeitgeistmovement:

Do not let the nationalistic and jingoistic “Hooray! The evil terrorist is dead!” mentality seep into your head. If anything, this will be used to control you and drive support for more foreign empire expansion.

via crownroyalonice:

My mind is blown at the reactions to Bin Laden’s death on FB. So many folks seem to be missing the fucking point. One of my sisters is in the military and has been since 1998. So, I’m coming to this on ideological and pragmatic level. Let me be clear: War is bullshit. Killing Bin Laden is not a magic bullet. You can’t be anti-imperialist one day and dancing around praising our imperialist activities the next day. I’m too through.

via zuky:

“We live in a society whose leaders speak of killing and humiliating their enemies with barely-concealed chest-thumping and juvenile macho posturing. We live in a society whose budgetary priorities demonstrate a violent obsession with body-shattering weaponry and a distinct lack of interest in the health and well-being of human beings…And it begins at the top: with the corporatist kleptocracy of the US government, the global gangster state which dominates and exploits through violence and intimidation and the hoarding of wealth, granting favors to loyal subjects, issuing threats to the unruly, and killing rivals. If we can eradicate the culture of violence and misogyny and crime at the top of our society, then just maybe we’ll have a shot of eradicating it at the bottom too.”

via radicallyhottoff:

i want different achievements. I want to set our collective USA mind to peace. peace that comes with liberation rather than violent subjugation. i don’t want any more cheering and USA chants when another person is killed.

Okay He’s Dead (a few more things to consider) AKA Harshing Your Squee, One Tweet At A Time

Yes, I built an entire post on tweets.

Yo, Dubya, how’s that Mission Accomplished working out now? Will Trump want to see his death certificate?

I see tweets like this: “OBL hijacked my religion & identity! For 10yrs our lives have been hell! Now I feel a mountain has been lifted!” and I cannot help but feel a little bit sad. Not to rain on anyone’s parade or co-opt experiences, but that is like claiming a post-racial society because President can now come before a name like Barack Hussein Obama. Or did we not pay attention for the past few years?

Here’s the thing, the xenophobia is n0t over. Come Wednesday (or considering this news cycle Monday night), when the national high of “Osama’s dead” wears off, we who don’t look quite right (white) still have to face a very xenophobic society. Right now, right this minute, people of color will still have to deal with xenophobia, because tweets like this: “It’s pretty awkard [sic] in my cab right now”, were thrown out with racist abandon and repeatedly retweeted- and not so that they could be critiqued, either.

My skin is still wrong. Your skin is still wrong if it is no’t white. Non-Christianity is still wrong. This did not change when Obama took office. This will not change because of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Not even gonna lie or try to pretend otherwise, that feels damn good to write but I cannot, we cannot forget the overtones of imperialism and jingoism in all this, in the United States proudly declaring a victory won with the blood of one too many:

From President Obama’s speech: “No Americans were harmed.”

Be grateful. Pause.

“They took care to avoid civilian casualties.”

Reconsider.

Taking care does not mean that there weren’t any civilian casualties. Seemingly black and white news is definitely not black and white. No matter how much we want to shift that responsibility, this particular war won’t be won on the backs of a marginalized (though entirely reprehensible) person. It would be irresponsible to forget that there are wars going on, wars that will keep claiming lives even after this news because this is not a zero sum game.

I will be a good Lupe!stan and ask you to watch Lupe’s latest, “Words I Never Said”, because it is very relevant to our current interests. To quote Lupe Fiasco’s awesome tweet: “Now kill poverty, wack schools, and US imperialism”.

[youtube.com=”www.youtube.com/watch?v=22l1sf5JZD0″]
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