Sunday links, 12/7/14

Thursday night's protest on the Boston Common.

Thursday night’s protest on the Boston Common.

Eric Garner/Mike Brown/#BlackLivesMatter
(I know this is an overwhelming amount of links, but 1.) this shit is important and 2.) there’s been so much necessary and powerful writing, I couldn’t pick just a few pieces.)
Can you breathe? Reflections on non-indictment, activism, and black life.
White America’s scary delusion: why its sense of black humanity is so skewed.
-This is painfully true, and be forewarned that the painting at the end of the post might make you cry: The 10 stages of what happens when there’s injustice against black people.
-Katherine Cross writes about why she was not surprised by the Eric Garner decision, as a trans woman of color who has seen her sisters regularly face brutality from the NYPD.
Meet the BART-stopping woman behind “Black Lives Matter.”
This country needs a truth and reconciliation process on violence against African Americans–right now.
-Another incredibly fucked-up decision: charges were dropped against the police officer who shot 7-year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones while she slept in her own home.
-In a rare example of someone (although not a cop) being held accountable for killing a black person, Renisha McBride’s killer was found guilty of murder.
-“Twelve years after getting my Vassar College faculty ID, I sit here and know that the nation can’t structurally and emotionally assault black kids and think they’re going to turn out OK.”
This stops today: seeking strategies to end discriminatory policing. A key point: “support [solutions] that take power and money away from the cops, and those that give power to the people.”
Police “reforms” you should always oppose. Likewise: Body cameras won’t stop police brutality, and Eric Garner is only one of several reasons why.
-An important analysis of public space and power: After Ferguson, we have to ask: who owns the streets?

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#IndictBoston and more Ferguson links.

Marching to shut down the I-93 connector.

Marching to shut down the Mass Ave connector.

Last night, I joined over a thousand Bostonians calling for justice for Mike Brown. It was heartening to see so much of my city turn out, and when I got home and went on Twitter, the protest was still going strong. You can see some great pictures from the evening here and here.

One of the most powerful moments was when we marched to the South Bay House of Corrections and chanted to the incarcerated men, “We see you.” They stood at the windows waving, flipping their lights on and off, banging on the windows. One man used small pieces of paper to write “Mike” on his window.

indict boston protest outside of south bay jail

Outside the South Bay jail.

This is what I’ve been reading:

-“If we were talking about the murder of my child, I would not be dignified. I would be naked and hideous with my grief. I would rage. If I were murdered in such a manner, I would want people to rage on my behalf.” – Roxane Gay Continue reading

A narrow bridge: on Israel, Palestine, and fear

Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tzar me’od, v’ha’ikar lo lefahed klal.
All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all.
– Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

(Note: I know I haven’t written anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until Israel’s recent attack on Gaza, and some of you might not be very familiar with it. I recommend this video as a good, brief 101, and the articles I’ve posted in my past four Sunday Links posts. I also recommend +972 Magazine, an independent source of reporting and commentary from the region. In general, I suggest reading widely and coming to your own conclusions.)

It’s well-known that oppressors often irrationally fear the oppressed. For example, in her recent piece “In defense of black rage: Michael Brown, police, and the American dream” (which, by the way, is a stunning and powerful must-read), Brittney Cooper teases out this dynamic between white people and black people in the US:

I believe that racism exists in the inexplicable sense of fear, unsafety and gnawing anxiety that white people, be they officers with guns or just general folks moving about their lives, have when they encounter black people. I believe racism exists in that sense of mistrust, the extra precautions white people take when they encounter black people. I believe all these emotions have emerged from a lifetime of media consumption subtly communicating that black people are criminal, a lifetime of seeing most people in power look just like you, a lifetime of being the majority population. And I believe this subconscious sense of having lost control (of the universe) exists for white people, at a heightened level since the election of Barack Obama and the continued explosion of the non-white population.

The irony is that black people understand this heightened anxiety. We feel it, too. We study white people. We are taught this as a tool of survival. We know when there is unrest in the souls of white folks. We know that unrest, if not assuaged quickly, will lead to black death. Our suspicions, unlike those of white people, are proven right time and time again.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is somewhat unique in that Israeli Jews, unlike most oppressors, have good reason to be afraid. Jews around the world have survived millennia of anti-Semitic discrimination, expulsion, and genocide–and we’ve often been hit when we least expected it, when we were the most successful and assimilated in our adopted countries. Fear and trauma live deep in our historical memory; and it’s not just history. Anti-Semitism is frighteningly alive and well in much of Europe and the Middle East.

But this fear, while real, is misplaced. The Palestinians aren’t fighting to destroy Israel or kill Jews–they’re fighting for their freedom, as anyone in their circumstances would do.

And oppressing other people will never keep us safe.

In fact, it’s leading to a worldwide backlash that makes us less safe. Israel’s occupation of Palestine isn’t the root cause of anti-Semitism, which has existed for much longer than the state of Israel. But it does provide anti-Semites with a convenient excuse to stir up hatred.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is particularly tricky because it’s a battle between two groups of people who each genuinely fear, for good reason, being wiped off the face of the earth. But that doesn’t change the fact that one of those groups has disproportionate military and economic power–and the multimillion dollar backing of the United States–and is using that power to make life a living hell for the other.

For the violence to end, I believe that Israeli Jews, their leaders, and Jews around the world who unquestioningly support them need to face their fears head on: to acknowledge that the world is a scary place and there are no guarantees, and then do the right thing anyway.

And those who cynically stir up fear to justify harming others need to stop. I know people who genuinely believe that Hamas was planning to send hundreds of terrorists through tunnels to commit terrorist attacks on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year–but this was actually a rumor with no basis in fact whatsoever. Playing on Jews’ too-real fear of annihilation with false rumors is a special kind of evil that must be exposed and condemned.

All of the world is a narrow bridge, and all of us–Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian–have no choice but to cross it together.

#UCSB shooting links roundup #YesAllWomen

There has been an incredible amount of thoughtful, important writing about the Isla Vista shooting. I apologize that this is a long and probably overwhelming links roundup, but there were so many pieces I just couldn’t leave out. Read them on your own time, or not at all if that’s what you need. I’ve included some pictures of Comfort Dogs to break up the terrible-ness.

Laurie Penny: Let’s call the Isla Vista killings what they were: misogynist extremism

Arthur Chu: Your princess is in another castle: misogyny, entitlement, and nerds

Jenn at Reappropriate: Masculinity vs. “Misogylinity”: what Asian Americans can learn from the #UCSB shooting

Kate Harding: It’s not all men. But it’s men.

Roxane Gay: In relief of silence and burden

Elizabeth Plank: #AllMenCan: 37 Men show us what real men’s activists look like

Sarah O at All the Things, All Mixed Up: Notallmen/Yesallwomen, secondary trauma and relearning everything for the sake of not killing each other

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Sunday links, 12/22/13

Merry almost-Christmas to those who celebrate it, and I hope you are all having a warm and festive season!

Fa(t)shion
-On fashion as armor.
-So apparently Torrid is rebranding itself to be less alternative and more trendy–didn’t that already happen like eight years ago? Torrid hasn’t been alternative in a long, long time.
Bangladesh factory fires: why brands are accountable and should compensate victims now.
-The Closet Feminist questions the meaning of quirky style in a three-part series here, here, and here.
Why “12 Years a Slave” star Lupita Nyong’o should be your new fashion idol.

Fat Acceptance
Memo to Michelle Obama: fat shaming is not ok.
-Sadly, there will not be a NOLOSE conference in 2014, but people are planning local fat events all over the country. If you’re in Boston, check out the Boston area fatties meetup group for updates!
-If you’re looking to make a holiday donation that promotes body positivity, check out the Girls Rak bellydance and body image program.
Just no, Jennifer Lawrence.
Tyra Banks, please say no to Special K.
The HAES files: examining the so-called “evidence.”
-If you’re in San Francisco, check out Marilyn Wann’s Movement of the Month Club.
-Yet another way that diet culture is harmful to people’s health: spike in harm to liver is tied to dietary aids.

Climate and Sustainability
-Bill McKibben’s latest: Obama and climate change: the real story.
Renewable energy, education, and economic development combine at Philadelphia Solar Schools Initiative.
Sink tank: in Miami, climate scientists ask, “how soon, how deep?”
The entire IPCC report in 19 illustrated haiku.

Jobs and the Economy
This new conference on transition economics looks potentially awesome.
-I love the idea of Write A House, a new organization that gives houses to writers in Detroit. They’re raising money by IndieGoGo for their first home renovation.
An open letter to Sheryl Sandberg from a 20-something woman in tech.
“We don’t have a marketing budget”: the dirty side of blogging.
Surviving rent: why artists can’t afford critical neutrality.

Everything Else
I don’t want Tim Wise as an ally. No thanks.
-Melissa writes about how the way Beyonce is sexy with her partner feels safe to her.
On defending Beyonce: black feminists, white feminists, and the line in the sand.
Hot sauce over humanity: on Sriracha.
Notes from the urban/rural divide: romance vs. reality.
-I really like this piece, which ties in with my recent post on the complexity of hope: Hope, power, and how Occupy invigorated our generation’s fight for survival.
On gender diverse parenting vs. raising a gender creative kid.
On depression, and the toll academia extracts.
A female author talks about sexism and self-promotion.
-Lindy West’s takedown of Love, Actually is perfect and hilarious. “Cock-blocktopus” = my new favorite word ever.
How to be less of a jerk to students with anxiety disorders.
Sensitive Santas, who are specially-trained to work with autistic children, are a huge win for families.
20 last-minute black feminist gift ideas for girls.
Calling IN: a less disposable way of holding each other accountable.
-Tori writes about many of her students losing their food stamp benefits.
-Angi writes about her big polyamorous wedding.
A personal look at #NotYourAsianSidekick, and an interview with Suey Park, who started the hashtag.
On long-term travel as running toward, not running away.
Darcy the hedgehog’s Instagram pictures are adorable!

Monday Links, 11/11/13

Apologies again for the lateness of this week’s links! I’m thinking about moving the feature to Sundays in the future.

This weekend Steve and I took a somewhat impromptu trip to Western Mass to hike with my parents and then visit a friend (and meet her new kitty), and it was lovely. 🙂 I hope you all had a good weekend, and are enjoying today’s holiday if you have it off.

Fa(t)shion
-The latest issue of Skorch is out! It features an amazing shoot of a drag queen wearing mostly Domino Dollhouse clothes.
-SimplyBe’s golden renaissance photoshoot, featuring a gaggle of fatshion bloggers, is gorgeous. There’s nothing like metallics and sparkle for the holidays.
-A Mighty Femme writes about her experiences with cutting her hair as a queer, Asian femme, and about the pressure to be fabulous within the fat acceptance movement as a way to counteract stereotypes.
-I’ve been reading a bunch of posts about Plus London 2013, a plus size fashion and community weekend. Unfortunately, many more people showed up for the Brand Day than for the Community Day, which says something troubling about the influence of corporations on fatshion communities.
Africa’s first fair-trade garment manufacturer is a model for women’s empowerment.
-Heather Ann discovered Blue Fish, a company that makes organic, ethically-produced plus size clothes. Their items are definitely expensive, and not everyone’s style, but I’m glad they exist.
-Igigi’s blog interviews Elizabeth of Culture Shocked on being an American expat fatshionista in China.
-Through this amazing post on Advanced Style–I aspire to be half that fabulous when I’m an old lady!–I found Lauren Shanley’s site, which is pure eye candy. (Note: some of her works are potentially culturally appropriative.)
-Isabel rounds up ten TARDIS-themed wearables in honor of Doctor Who’s upcoming 50th anniversary special.
-These tomboy flower girl outfits are adorable.
-Appalatch, a company that produces clothing ethically in the US, has come up with an idea for a sweater that is custom-made to the customer’s measurements, reducing fabric waste. Of course, their clothes don’t come in plus sizes–and to be honest, they’re pretty boring–but it’s a good idea, and I hope to see it catch on.

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Friday Links, 10/25/13

An adorable puppy who lives in my neighborhood 🙂

Fa(t)shion
-The comments in this thread about exploring the friction between attention-seeking and impatience with regard to unusual fashion choices are so interesting. And the post led me to my new style crush, Lorena Cupcake! Her outfits remind me what I love about fashion: rainbows, bright and interesting color combinations, and the sheer playful fun of putting it all together.
-These unicorn slippers are the cutest thing.
-My mind is slightly blown by Domino Dollhouse’s ring pop ring. It looks like a ring pop! But it’s an actual ring! Whoa…
-Pure fatshion (and fat love adorableness) inspiration: this bride’s gorgeous frock. It’s so glamorous, and fantastically twirly.
Rock N’ Roll Bride’s fall/winter collection for Crown and Glory is now available. How gorgeous is the Sophie flower crown?
-Affatshionista reviews Gwynnie Bee. I keep meaning to do one of those free monthlong trials….

Fat Acceptance
Imagine if it was really about health.
-Marianne writes about her experience doing a 5K while fat.
-I’m glad to hear that Massachusetts will no longer send “fat letters” home to the parents of fat kids.

Climate and Sustainability
Inspiring actions from last weekend’s PowerShift, a convergence of young leaders from around the world working on social and environmental justice issues.
Back to no future: what use is playing the long game when the arc of the universe feels so frighteningly short?

Jobs and the Economy
How to democratize the US economy.
Amid government shutdown, “New Economy” events across US draw enthusiasts for sustainable alternatives.
Giving away food is great for business: the surprising benefits of local lending.
Why Iceland should be in the news, but is not.
-This puffin makes a very good point
“The world doesn’t need any more costume designers.”

Everything Else
-Jaclyn’s takedown of the misogynists who call themselves “men’s rights activists” is so important.
I am not going to pursue a PhD (I am tired).
Willow Smith and the curious case of the carefree black girl.
A yarn-bombed tree squid = !!
-I really like this piece exploring whether polyamory is a choice and whether it matters. I especially the like the author’s take on how to build a legal framework that serves all unconventional families without getting rid of marriage.
Shooter boys and at-risk girls: reflections on teenage anger and the ways adults respond to it based on gender, race, and class.