Tell their body-policing asses to fuck right off and keep doing what you’re doing, baby.
butbutbut ryan gosling has all the…
You are so totally right. But I used Ryan Gosling for all those reasons, and to highlight the implicit attitude that it is somehow “ok” to be an actor and to have tattoos if you are thin and white and male. This post is a reaction to a cis white male accusing me of no longer having the aspiration to be an actor because I was considering getting more tattoos. As a very intelligent and hilarious friend pointed out, I already AM an actor, duh! Plus my tattoo is the dopest, homes.
(this photo is like 5 years old)
Dope tattoo is dope.
Since the only thing I guess…I don’t want to say non-privileged, but yeah, I’ll stick with maybe “not-approved-of-by-society-at-large” about him would be his tattoos, so it’s easier to pinpoint that aspect of him. Okay, I understand.
Perhaps write to the school? They’re very relevant problems and as if we need people being educated encouraged to be ignorant. It’s important for teachers (especially in a gender based subject) no be moving forwards and not backwards. It’s inspiring that you care.
Fortunately at my school I do have recourse! At the end of the semester, they make students fill out evaluations for all of their classes, which are anonymous, and the teachers take them into consideration for planning the course the next time it’s offered AND their superiors take them into consideration for things like tenure and promotions and what classes are working, what classes aren’t working, etc.
And also fortunately, I do have three friends in that class, and I’ve heard other students talking in the hallways before class, and most of them feel the same way about the class.
Your idea does sound good, though; I’m thinking I should write to/talk to the Gender/Sexuality/Women’s Studies department about this class. Maybe the department head.
I feel the need to vent about the waste of money that is my Women & Music class.
This course is crosslisted as a GSex/Music class. I took it because I wanted to learn more about different kinds of women doing radical things in music.
So far, and let me tell you that the semester is more than half spent, we have learned about two kinds of women:
Granted, we spent 10 minutes watching a video of Libba Cotton playing and talking. We have to do biographical presentations in class, and some students have presented on WoC, including Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Clora Bryant, India.Arie, Anoushka Shankar, Billie Holiday, and Sade. And we did watch a PBS documentary, American Roots Music, which briefly featured Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Bessie Smith. But here are the many problems with this class.
For the first half of the semester, we were reading one text, musicologist Sophie Drinker’s 1941 text Music & Women. Not only is this an extremely outdated, gender essentialist text, but it also uses the cultural imperialistic word “primitive” to describe current (at the time of publication) societies—using the word as early as page 2 of the main text, and not sparingly thereafter. Perhaps for a full-time scholar of music, this is a valuable text to look into the history of women musicians (I couldn’t get past the essentialism and the cultural imperialism/racism), but for students taking this class as an elective, there are a lot more recent books on the history of women in music, with extensive sources, that include important woman-centered movements like Riot Grrrl, while also including WoC, trans* women, and non-Western women.
The other text that our teacher constantly referenced was the vomit-inducing gender essentialist text The Once and Future Goddess, published in 1989. From these two books, I’ve learned only that basically anything can be considered a woman’s symbol if you stretch it enough.
The other text that we had to buy was Karen Pendle’s Women & Music, originally published in 1991 and weighted down so much with opinion that I have not tried to trudge through it.
I understand that our teacher chose these texts to illustrate the far-reaching history of women in music all the way before the Common Era. And of course it is important to illuminate that women have been making music for a long time. But a lot of the musicians we have learned about are women we know little about, and we can’t even hear their music because of a variety of factors, including change in instrumentation, music being lost, and lack of recording technology until very recently. So I am inclined to believe that we should have spent three weeks at the most on music created before recording technology, especially considering that the most pertinent issues in women’s music are happening today. Or have happened in the past 50-60 years. Not 600 years ago.
Why we wasted over two months on that stuff, I will never know.
To continue with the fuckery that goes on in this class, the teacher’s notes are the least-organized hot mess I’ve ever seen. It is an over-100 page Word document. And she rushes through them, expects us to pick out the “important” parts and won’t fucking post them to Bb probably because she thinks she’s gonna write a textbook with them and doesn’t want any of us to steal her idea.
Besides the books that she constantly references, she uses male sources for a lot of random documents and websites that she shows us in class. Lately, she’s been spending way too much time redundantly describing and defining musical movements rather than telling us about the women who were in them. She didn’t even touch on Joan Baez’s civil rights ally-ism, she played us no Joni Mitchell, and the only reason we learned anything about Nina Simone was thanks to a presentation by one of my friends, which was rushed, as all presentations are in that class, and during which we unfortunately only got to listen to one Nina Simone song.
The overall worst part about this class is that we do not discuss problematic issues. At all. Because our teacher does not make room for it because she’s trying to rush through redundant and chaotic notes. And it seems that our teacher is either too stupid to realize that a lot of the things she shows us are problematic, or else maybe too fragile or defensive. We did not discuss the problems with “primitive”. We have not discussed the problems with discussing only white artists. Or that it is kind of fucked up that the white women in the International Sweethearts of Rhythm went onstage in blackface so they wouldn’t get arrested for playing with black women. I don’t think we’re going to talk about women in Motown at all, which is a fucking shame. She didn’t even point out that the term “negro spiritual” is problematic in its use of the term “negro”. I’m a little reluctant to bring this stuff up, too, because I feel that all of this is a criticism of the way she teaches and her chaotic class structure.
Oh, and as an added bonus she does not even know what Riot Grrrl is. >__<
EDIT: I just thought of something else. The teacher constantly misgenders one of friends.
But… When you look at the numbers it seems a bit ridiculous.
Riley has (as they’ve said) about 3000 followers. I’m sure Blackamazon has a similar (if not bigger following). Karnythia, I’ve no doubt is super popular. I think Baddominica said she has about 3500 followers too.
Each of these people consistently writes touching, moving, thought provoking, insightful, silly, fun, funny, engaging, deep, shallow, (all the adjectives in the world) blog posts. Posts that people respond to and reblog. Maybe 10 000 times.
These numbers: 10 000, 3000, 3500, appear large…
But they aren’t. Tumblr alone is significantly larger than this. Their about page says about 50 000 000 blogs. That is a lot of fucking blogs. And a lot of users (couldn’t easily find a user count).
This is a lot of people who aren’t listen, paying attention to, engaging with, caring about anything any of the super loud, space taking, tumblr ‘famous’ Black people.
Based on these numbers, if you ask me, not enough people are paying attention to any of the people I’ve mentioned, or the other awesome people I follow whom I didn’t mention.
If they were to reach every tumblr user, it still wouldn’t be enough. If they were reaching every person in the usa and canada, it still wouldn’t be enough. I’m sure you get the drift.
It isn’t enough. These are small fucking potatoes. Begrudging anyone such a relatively small reach appears downright petty.
The thing that gets me about that post is that it ignores the fact that a lot of the “popular” black bloggers on Tumblr have been blogging, tweeting, etc for years. I started my LJ in 2003. In the last 9 years I have been accused of everything from being a white woman’s social experiment to being a man. I’ve gotten death threats, I have a stalker, & far too many people think I exist for them & not as an actual person. That’s the cost of being a mid level blogger of color & I choose to keep paying it. But I’ll be damned if I let someone shit on me or people like me for using our words. Frankly none of us can control the impact of those words or predict which ones will end up resonating with more people. Despite the hype, there’s no orchestrated plan on my part (or anyone else’s I suspect) to silence other voices or drown out new bloggers. We’re writing what we can when we can, & the follower counts being higher than 0 isn’t something anyone should hate on anyone for in my opinion. Want more followers? Write more posts. Engage in more conversations. It’s a lot of work & you still need a day job though so don’t be surprised if your manufactured popularity contest isn’t as exciting as you expected it to be in the end. Sorry, I seem to have a lot of feels about this today.
“Adrienne Rich has been a very special friend and critic. She has read the manuscript through all of its stages and provided resources, creative criticism, and constant encouragement. Her work, and her recognition of my work, have meant a great deal to me in the process of this writing.”—
For those seeking a cite on the connection between Adrienne Rich and The Transsexual Empire, here’s the note in the acknowledgements section. (via se-smith)
a conversation with her is also cited in the particularly awful chapter “Sappho By Surgery” where she “pointed out” that lesbian feminist acceptance of trans women may be a way of proving they aren’t manhaters because they’ll take “castrated men.”