A Modern Woman on the Move

in hot pursuit of the great green light…

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

I think it’s avoidance, I think that’s a problem.

leave a comment »

You know, I have been uncomfortable with the focus on the neighbor’s recounting in a recent news story and here’s a great article that helps verbalize some of part of why I think it makes me uncomfortable… http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/05/07/charles_ramsey_amanda_berry_rescuer_becomes_internet_meme_video.html

I would like to try to verbalize why, however, further thinking on my part of why the working-class bystander (that intervenes in a terrible situation or that speaks about something terrible) being pointed to and focused on as a colorful hero in a tragic news story really bothers me, because look at the longer clips with him really talking.

Something really, really awful happened and I think putting the spotlight on the working-class, verbose neighbor to have a laugh is part of the collective unconsciousness’ way of avoiding dealing with the troubling story. And it’s a really messed up way of avoiding the serious thing that happened. It speaks to how rampant sexism, classism, racism is in our society, that people will have a laugh at someone that they imagine fulfills a stereotype of poorness, or blackness, or some other kind of objectification to avoid dealing with a tragic event or to avoid processing something awful. Whether it’s  toward a poor person, a nonwhite person, a nonmale person, or some other marginalized person. I think it’s really unhealthy and I think it upholds the social justice problems that contribute to the dehumanization of poor people, female people, queer people, people of color, and other oppressed people in our society.

Basically, it’s like a lot of people are unconsciously avoiding dealing with the seriousness of the story .”Something horrible  just happened, but let’s have a laugh at this person!” The problem is, we really need to deal with the seriousness of what happened, we need to talk about it..

I would like to point out that the person that everyone is laughing at, is doing more then just calling 911, he’s offering any reward money to the people who were actually affected by the tragedy. You know, because they went through the trauma and it’s not magically over because they walked out of a basement. They are alive, but they are not yet safe. But the way the news reports it, suddenly they are “alive and safe.” To me, that’s a more important part of the story, because they are not safe, it’s not just over. You know what else is important? Asking ourselves, how did this happen? Why did this happen? What do we do in awful moments like this? How so we support and rebuild the lives of the people affected by the horrible thing that happened? The person that a lot of people are laughing at is actually dealing with the situation and you’re focusing on him as joke. I have so much respect toward this man for trying to refocus the spotlight on the people who went through the horrible situation.

I would implore you to listen to this person’s words before you make a caricature out of him.

I am not saying you’re a horrible person if you laughed at the condescending or demeaning memes going around, what I am saying is that you might want to really sit and think about why you’re laughing. What’s so funny about it?

It might be a little uncomfortable, but, as a society, we need to start dealing with this shit.

Advertisements

Written by lovemotionstory

May 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Happy May Day!

leave a comment »

I wanted to share a couple photos I captured during the May Day march I went to on May 1st. I don’t normally take photos at marches and I didn’t have a fancy camera with me, but commentary I had seen on various social networks from friends expressing their apathy toward marching or protesting caused me to want to share a bit more.

Here was the event description…

We find ourselves facing unprecedented cuts to public services, including education and Social Security, increased poverty, homelessness, and ongoing attacks on people of color, immigrants, working families, women, students and our right to organize.

Our response to this onslaught against humanity is to organize and FIGHT BACK!!

People Over Profit!!
No Human Is Illegal!

We want to encourage everyone to come out this May Day and stand united for human rights and social & economic justices and demand for an Immigration Reform that’s just and humane!!

JOIN AN ORGANIZATION WORKING FOR JUSTICE!!

When: Gather at 2:00 PM; Rally at 3:00 PM; March at 4:00 PM
Where: O’Bryant Square- 9th and Stark.

Sponsor organizations (partial list): VOZ Proyecto de Educacion de Derechos Laborales, American Friends Service Committee, International Socialist Organization, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (former ONSM), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition – PIRC, Portland Jobs with Justice, Comite de Solidaridad de Apoyo Mutuo, Oregon AFL-CIO, The Black Working Group, SEIU Local 503, Portland IWW, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign OFTC, Labors483.

If you’re not sure what some of those organizations are, I would totally encourage you to check them out!”

Anyways, here are the few photos I took…

maydayportland_1 maydayportland_2 maydayportland_3

 maydayportland_4 maydayportland_5 maydayportland_13

 maydayportland_6 maydayportland_7 maydayportland_8 maydayportland_9 maydayportland_10 maydayportland_11 maydayportland_12  maydayportland_14 maydayportland_15 maydayportland_16

One thing I love about events like this is seeing people come together, peacefully, to talk about how to make things better. People from all kinds of backgrounds and consisting of such a broad spectrum of ages. There were speaches and performances as the people gathered before the march, opening statements (in English and Spanish!) made, and then the march began! The march itself was peaceful and it was a beautiful day to be out on the streets, visibly being a presence for worker’s rights. The end of the march was where it began, O’Bryan Square, where organizers had some closing statements and then opened the mic for peaceful and respectful spoken word from the crowd.

Here’s some media coverage of the May Day march…

http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Protesters-Police-gear-up-for-May-Day-events-205507081.html
http://www.kptv.com/story/22137231/police-no-arrests-at-portlands-may-day-rally-as-crowd-was-peaceful
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/county_budget_avoids_big_ax_ma.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/hundreds_bring_immigration_lab.html
http://photos.oregonlive.com/photo-essay/2013/05/may_day_protesters_take_to_the.html

For me, marching this May Day had a lot of meaning to me. It was about supporting my own rights as a working American. It was about being in solidarity with other workers around the world. It was about being visible, because being visible helps represent what’s important to me and the communities I organize within. It was about being in solidarity with other people who care enough about something in their lives that they showed up to participate. It was about continuing my journey in learning throughout this life by being around people I both know and don’t know while they are organizing, speaking, or just being visible in a space that was trying to be safe for that and bring people together.

I believe we all have something to learn from each other, but I especially want to learn from people who care enough to show up and participate. People who care enough to try to help. People who care enough to act. people who care enough to organize. People are very diverse and can accomplish a lot individually, but they also have so much strength and growth when working together.

One thing that I still find beautiful in this world is that, if there is something that you identify with or find meaningful, you can find other people who will share that with you and, if you’re willing to work together, you can build a community and try to grow together. Sometimes people disagree about what a community’s priorities should be, sometimes people clash, sometimes people are hurtful of even predatory. But, if the people who care keep trying to put aside their egos and keep trying to help each other, a community can go really far and the people within it can grow. If people stick around and keep trying to support and learn from each other, the community can grow. That is why there are so many millions of communities, because people are very diverse, so communities get more specific. I think it’s still important to go to the broader events, however, to keep reaching out and keep visible. If there is something you care about, I would encourage you to go to marches, to conferences, to events. Find the people who will care with you and who will work to make community so that each of us, as individuals, can thrive.

Well, gosh, I just went on, but these kind of things make me gush. I have had so many heartbreaking and inspiring experiences that have come from being an active member of communities and being an organizer in communities. All while also being a well-meaning, sometimes-clever, but-still-flawed person entering into all of it in my early twenties. So, I have come to some pretty strong conclusions about how much I’ve grown from all of it because I am really, truly, the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. All because of the time I’ve spent showing up , trying to step up to be there for others. It made me incredibly vulnerable, but it has made me work through so much. Anyways…

Speaking of community and labor issues, I should probably take this time to promote the next AmaZine Day! I am facilitating the readings during the next AmaZine Day, which is labor-themed, in honor of May Day. This is the poster, drawn by Matt and designed by me…

There are two FREE workshops and the readers will be Alex Wrekk (reading from some of her several writings about work experiences), Sarah Mirk (reading from “Rodeo City,” an article she wrote for Oregon Humanities). Aron Nels Steinke (reading from his comics extensively about working in teaching), and Sarah Curtis (reading from a new, original work).

One thing that is cool about this AmaZine Day is getting a chance, thanks to Sarah Mirk, to connect Oregon Humanities into the event. Oregon Humanities is a non profit that bring Oregonians together to share ideas, to listen, think, and grow. Oregon Humanities published and distributes a free, printed magazine, that pays contributors. Oregon Humanities recently awarded $87,870 in grants to 20 Oregon nonprofit organizations. We’ll have several copies on hand or attendees of AmaZine Day and we’re thrilled to highlight an article by AmaZine Day tabler and in such an awesome community project.

Check out the full info here… http://www.portlandzinesymposium.org/amazine-day/

If you want to sign up, the sign up was recently opened at IPRC and PBW.

On Oppression, Intersectionality, and Solidarity

leave a comment »

I wanted to share this comic that I saw thanks to my friend Chelsea.

 

Word! I love that this was this person’s final project, the comic highlights a common misogyny in nerd culture and it is so bravely personal. Total respect for the feminism here, this person showing their own struggle and being vulnerable, while recognizing another perspective for women in nerd culture who is also struggling even though they might conform to narrow guidelines of beauty-based-on-size.

If you relate to being left out by the rampant sexism in comics and nerd culture, if you relate to being belittled, objectified, harassed, etc. based on your gender despite thinking that nerd space should be a safe space… Well, you might also want to check out this amazing article by super intelligent nerd, Rachel Ediden. http://feminspire.com/idiot-nerd-girl-has-a-posse-taking-back-the-meme/

Speaking of super intelligent nerds, I went to the really awesome panel “Looking Past the Target Audience” at SCF this past weekend, but missed it at ECCC. It was really great to listen to the conversation with Rachel EdidinAndy KhouriFaith Erin HicksScotty IseriSfé M., and David Walker sitting on the panel. There was a lot on intersectionality, which was crucial! Intersectionality is a concept often used to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are INTERCONNECTED and cannot be examined separately from one another. Third Wave Feminism, especially, thrived on the concept of intersectionality in order to redefine Feminism as inclusive. The concept of intersectionality first came from legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989 and is largely used in critical theories, especially Feminist theory, when discussing systematic oppression.

If you missed it or if you want to be having these kinds of discussions, I would recommend checking out their tumblr (thatonepanel.tumblr.com).

For me, one of the most moving moments of the panel was when Sfé was talking about how an aspect of their process for creating Kyle & Atticus was to write a gender queer character with positive support and acceptance in their life. I think it really hit home for me because a lot of the stuff Matt, Marco, and I have been dealing with Matt’s parents understanding what our polyamorous relationship means and learning that I am a queer atheist. Essentially, he’s been coming out to them and it’s been really hard. That in addition to struggles I have always had with people being unsupportive toward me. This struggle, having parents, acquaintances, lovers, and even a long-time best-friend have acted as if they are shamed by me or have been demeaning or hateful toward me for any of the various reasons people have antagonistic or problematic relationships with me. That I am a woman, that I am queer, that I am polyamorous, that I  am or do all these things that they can’t relate to, that I fall under any of the labels in their mind that they view as “bad” and then I go on to dare to have opinions, ideas, boundaries, and confidence to be myself. I am motivated to work with kids exactly because I want to try to be that influence in their life, to be the person who says, “You have a voice and it’s important.” Or, “I accept who you are and I will treat you as a person with their own autonomy and agency.” To be a supportive adult. To be an educator that empowers kids to think for themselves and to be themselves. I write about my experiences in the hopes that I can grow and that I might provide support to peers who can see themselves in me because I realize the positive impact that people have had in my life by being themselves and being open about it, as I have written about a few times on this blog. I really respected that Sfé talked about writing supportive roles in the comics on purpose, because I agree with her that creating those characters in stories feeds into the mothers and friends and parents and whoever seeing themselves in the life of a gender queer person or other underrepresented, marginalized people in our society. We really need those role models.

I also want to give huge props to the panel “The Big Picture,” where a bit of gender and intersectionality issues were discussed kind of inadvertently, with Alison Baker, Kelly Sue DeConick, Jen Vaughn, Shannon Watters, and Emi Lenox. As well as the focus of the panel, discussing how the internet has changed comics, especially independent publishing as, to my knowledge, most of the panelists had roots in indie comics and zines.

Personally, I believe that one of the biggest steps in activism is showing up, being visible.

If you have the ability and patience just to be there, that is a huge step.

Do what you can, REALIZE WHAT YOU CAN DO.

Do say hello to the creators and organizations you do want to support. Do buy zines and comics or whatever from the creators you think deserve it for whatever reason you value them. Do go to the panels that talk about issues you care about. Do say thank you (in person or online) to the panelists, we can’t hear it enough. Do blog/tweet/whatever about it. Do talk to your friends about the creations and panels you do enjoy or support. Do volunteer for an organization you think serves a valuable role in your community. Do go to an event that highlights creators and issues that you feel are important or meaningful. Do start your own event, especially if it’s an event you wish existed but doesn’t. Do make your own stories and creative work that reflects your experience, your passion, your values, your ideas. Do listen to or support the people who have different experiences than yourself.

I long lost the patience to volunteer for SCF, but I try to keep showing up to support the people who I do see promoting real conversations and ethical work I commend those who love comics and other cismale/white dominated communities. I have been able to devote myself to working on the Portland Zine Symposium as an organizer for so many years because it strives and works hard to be a safe space, an inclusive community with anti-oppressive ethics.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to promote the Women of Color Zine Symposium at PSU happening this summer, on June 8th. This is such an important event to support to me. It was started by Tonya Jones, a long-time Portland Zine Symposium attendee, powerful writer, and zine educator. The WOC Zine group that she started has self-published three issues of “Women of Color: How to Live in the City of Roses and Avoid the Pricks.” All three issues are available for $3 from the group, Powell’s Bookstore, and In Other Words. The zines can also be checked out from the Multnomah County Library!

And, speaking of the “Women of Color: How to Live in the City of Roses and Avoid the Pricks” zine, they have a submissions call up right now for their fifth issue! The fifth issue is themed for interviews and it’s an opportunity to interview a fantastic woman of color/person of color that you know doing great work in Portland and contribute to a great project. You can read more on their websitehttp://wocpdxzines.wordpress.com/woc-zine-collective-submissions.

If there is a theme to this post, it is that, whatever your battle in coping with oppression, you are not alone.

Keep showing up and we’ll find each other at all the nerd cons and wherever.

This feminist believes people can just be better than that…

leave a comment »

So, recently, my partner Matt’s mom sent him these books….

I jokingly tweeted that Matt and Marco say, “We surrender!” (originally Marco’s joke), and posted this photo. However, it turns out Matt’s mom is reading my blog and internet stuff. And, more recently, Matt got this gem in the mail… tencommandmentsofdating

I am pretty sure Matt, Marco and I have already read aloud to each other more of this book than his mom read before sending it. Just in case, let me reassure you, Matt’s mom, you raised a much better son than what this book would like us to believe…

allmenareconnivinganddeceptive

All men are not conniving and deceptive. Especially not Matt. He is one of the most wonderful, honest and sweet people I know. I love him.

Though he might lick the lint out of Buddha’s belly button to impress a girl, I don’t know.

But, seriously, I don’t think he’d become a Buddhist just to impress a girl. I think Matt is a more defined and self-actualized person than that. I know Matt’s mom is having a hard time understanding polyamory and sexual freedom, but I do appreciate that she loves her son and is reaching out to him.

It can be hard to see people taking a different path than yourself or that deviates from your beliefs, but just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s invalid. Just because we have more than one  committed relationship in our lives or that we’re open to, doesn’t mean our love for one another is not deep and meaningful. And, nonconformity can really be a saving grace, especially when popular books in Christian mainstream would encourage you to uphold and conform to certain types of relationships because,  based on your gender, you must be a conniving liar trying to get into any girl’s pants.

Further, I would like to put it out there that, for me, feminism is about understanding that traditional gender roles can hurt men who aren’t interested in those roles, as well as women and especially any other gender expression. Gender binary is harmful, and narrow gender constructs like what the Ten Commandments of Dating try to convince people about each other based on gender are HORRIBLE. Do we really want to tell men that they’re all conniving liars? And, if the authors of the Ten Commandments of Dating are wrong about you’re son, what else are those authors dramatically negative or completely wrong about?

I leave y’all with a few links on those ideas…

http://thefbomb.org/2010/05/how-feminism-helps-everyone-not-just-the-women/ http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/five-ways-feminism-helps-men/ http://feminspire.com/feminism-its-good-for-men-too/

Written by lovemotionstory

April 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Happy International Women’s Day!

leave a comment »

Dear Friends,

Happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate, I wanted to write a post in appreciation and as testament to my experience as a woman. I am trying to keep this short, which, those of you who know me, is quite a challenge.

I am personally thankful for all the women who have fought to live and to have basic civil rights, in full knowledge that I stand on their shoulders. And, as I stand on the shoulders of women who have broken barriers so that I would not have to, they have shown what it means to stand up against oppression, to stand up for social justice, to stand up for basic rights.

I thank the women who inspire me to be true to who I am and I am going to do a bit more coming out right now, in honor of this idea. I thank the women who are present in my life to support me in being true to who I am… A queer, polyamorous, writer/artist and community organizer that works as a Dominatrix, as a teacher, and as a nanny.

I thank the women who look down on me for being who I am because they remind me my battles are not over and to live everyday as myself as truly as I can because that, in and of itself, is the greatest act of rebellion. I thank the women who look up to me for being who I am because they remind me that being true to myself is a righteous and rocky pursuit, that my fight benefits others and that is invaluable motivation to continue on.  I thank the women who get that I am just another person trying to make it in this world just as I am, my friends, because they are who I turn to in my hardest moments for support and reassurance, they make me feel so very less alone as I face the inevitable discrimination that comes with being a women, not to mention my other identities.

And to those women I turn to and who have supported me, I thank you for being the person who I can talk to when hurtful names are thrown at me. I thank you for speaking up in conversation when I am teased or picked on or experiencing other microaggressions. I thank you for being vulnerable with me and giving me the chance to support you in return, you are, indeed friends of the highest order. I thank you for sticking around through my own issues and for truly hearing me even when you disagree with me. You are true friends, against all odds..

I thank the women who inspire me to be in solidarity with other women in world that would have us divided and powerless. I thank the women who I am different than for their patience and understanding as we navigate a world that would have us competing with each other instead of supporting each other. I thank the women who are courageously themselves in a society that has very narrow ideas of what it means to be a woman, whether philosophically, physically, or biologically.

The knowledge that we share in this struggle makes us the stronger for bearing it so that we will be able to continue the fight against the inequalities still to be faced.

Love,
Blue

Written by lovemotionstory

March 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

The 3rd AmaZine Day was a hit!

leave a comment »

After Saturday, I’ve seemed to have lost my voice!

Thank you so much to the incredibly huge crowd and tablers that filled Independent Publishing Resource Center yesterday for AmaZine Day!

Thank you to my fellow Portland Zine Symposium organizers for helping make it happen together, thank you to A.M. O’Malley for curating the reading, thank you to all the awesome readers, thanks to the people who came to my single-sheet zine workshop, thanks to Art Institute (right?) for being there to film a “commercial” for IPRC and being so sportive while interviewing busy and sick me, thanks to Reid for helping and staying late to break down the event, and thanks to everyone for supporting Ruji and I read her comics while both congested and sick!

A special thank you for Marco and Matt for helping me flyer, taking care of me while sick the last few days, helping make cookies, and helping setup. I would be in much worse shape if not for all their behind-the-scenes help. It’s just keeps getting better having such awesome partners in my life.

Also, thanks to fellow Kathleen for covering my IPRC volunteer shift Sunday because I am still sick and exhausted.

 

This community can so rock it, I am so happy to be apart of it!

Written by lovemotionstory

February 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

The Three of Us

with 2 comments

I wanted to share the Christmas gift I made Matt and Marco with everyone..

Basically, it’s a mini zine professing my love for them and a drawing.

thethreeofus_foldedout

cover

page1 page2threeofus_inside

 backcover

Written by lovemotionstory

January 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm