Monthly Archives: June 2012

Home Birth: Increasingly Popular, But Dangerous – The Daily Beast

Oregon doctor Martha Reilly’s hospital often receives home-birth transfers, and she says every OB there has treated a woman rushed in with a dead or severely injured baby. “The death rate that we’re looking at, in terms of preventable deaths, it’s outrageous,” she says.

Home Birth: Increasingly Popular, But Dangerous – The Daily Beast.


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A healer in the king’s court faces a unique challenge. To truly be effective, he or she must think critically. This means often ignoring the dictates of the king’s laws, which may be the cause of illness in the first place. Healers must be savvy enough to recognize that although current conditions are obviously not working, it is by navigating within those conditions that the people will be reached and the medicine delivered on time.  ~Bakano Warrior

Early in my doctoral studies, I struggled to bridge the worlds of Black and “mainstream” psychology. I found them both lacking when it came to the issues of people who didn’t fit the traditional mold. As a young Black woman – and also a Buddhist, a mom, a wife, an artist, and an activist – I had a hard time finding myself or people like me within the walls of traditional psychological training…

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This is a great, insightful piece.

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Fabulous Feminist Moms

This is a good read.
Coming up with a “final” definition of feminism is, I think, impossible. Furthermore, it’s probably a good idea to resist the temptation to do this at all. If, as Feminist Cupcake notes here, feminism is about equality for everybody then it should always be forward looking. It should always be leaning towards recognizing new kinds of injustice, new kinds of inequality. The feminism ideal is better understood as a disposition to criticize existing institutions and social structures with an eye towards justice.
Stay-at-home moms can most certainly be feminists. And if some feminists say they aren’t, then we need a brand new feminism to work against the stigmatization of stay-at-home moms.
And that reminds me, I need to add that I’m a part-time stay-at-home dad to my “about” page…

Feminist Cupcake

The other night I noted that slamming women who choose to be stay-at-home moms is one of my pet peeves because this completely overlooks the real issues women face, i.e. being understood and understanding ourselves as valuable, capable and empowered and having access to the resources to be free to make choices. Culturally, Western thinking frames childcare as womanly or domestic work and therefore undervalues the complexity and necessity of this kind of work. (In the comments to my last rant on this topic – a good buddy of mine, Jeff Nall pointed out that Val Plumwood does a great job of detailing the fault in this type of thinking – noting that “the core features of patriarchy, including the devaluation of “domestic” duties … wants to take out lifeboats for elite women to join elite men, leaving behind the rest.”

We can’t draw lines in the sand – we…

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“My Lethal Weapon’s my Mind”

Ice-T, Juan Williams, Tipper Gore, Jello Biafra and Nelson George, all on the Oprah Winfrey Show (circa 1990) discussing the influence of rap music on white teenagers.

Alright, alright.  That’s not what half of them take themselves to be talking about, but that’s what they’re talking about.

What’s striking to me about this is that I actually remember seeing this discussion around that time (I was in high school), and I can vividly remember being completely against Ice-T and thinking that he was truly evil.  (Did I mention I’m white and that I grew up in the South?)

But now I can’t watch this without really being astounded at the implicit white supremacy and complete erasure of the experience of young black men that comes through in what a lot of these people are saying.  It’s all over the discussion, but I especially direct your attention to the white male audience member who’s speaking at the break between the first and second video below.

The other angle is that there is a serious problem with misogyny going on as well.

So what is my opinion?  I honestly don’t know what to think about it.

I do think that criticism of misogyny in Ice-T’s music, as if he and other hip hop artists are uniquely or especially misogynistic, belies the implicit white supremacy I mentioned above.

Misogyny is everywhere in popular music going back a very long time.  See Johnny Cash (“I shot my woman down”), Led Zeppelin (“The soul of a woman was created below”) and countless other white musicians of all genres.

None of that’s to say that there isn’t and wasn’t serious misogyny in hip hop, but any justice minded person should worry when charges of misogyny are deployed from a white supremacist standpoint in order to silence black men.

I have to think that it’s possible to reconcile gender justice and racial justice.

So, yeah, watch this.  And wonder if we’ve made some progress since 1990.  Or if we’ve gone backwards.

Yes, it’s (annoyingly) in four parts.  Yes, it’s Oprah Winfrey.  Yes, it’ll take you about 45 minutes to get through it.  Yes, should watch it anyway.

But first, watch  Ice-T’s Lethal Weapon (the link is to the lyrics), which is – frankly – a work of genius.

And here’s the Oprah in four parts.

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Filed under Classism, Culture, Feminism, Injustice, Music, Politics, Racism, Religion, Sexism

The Purgatory Line

Alright, so I’ve got a blog-crush.

Music, Feminism, and Fiction.

Official Blog-Crush Song.

Sometimes I can laugh.  Other times I cry.
It ain’t exactly funny. My feet are both on fire.
I guess they’ll just burn for a while.
Waitin’ in this purgatory line.

Lovin’ you is so easy, but waitin’ here just ain’t.
I know I can be patient, but please don’t hesitate to cross my mind.
That’s all I’ve got for a while.
Waitin’ in this purgatory line.

Drive-By Truckers – The Purgatory Line – YouTube.

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Petition to take down pro-harassment sign

Feminist Philosophers

Sometimes the internet is so awesome. A few days ago, Liz Harman put up a Facebook post about an offensive sign she’d seen. Magical Ersatz did a post on it. And now, two days after that post, Holly Kearl at Stop Street Harassment has started a petition to get the sign taken down. To sign the petition, go here. The sign, of course, is this one:

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Ill Doctrine on Harassment

Must watch.

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Sapphire Unbound: A Black Womanist Scholar Speaks her Mind: “Project Prevention”: Saving Black Women from Themselves and Creating a Better Future

I first encountered Dr. Jordan-Zachery when she followed me on twitter.  I checked out her blog, and it is fantastic and very important.  She is insightful, and she often has guest bloggers who add their views.

Here’s a particularly interesting post, but I highly recommend you take a look at the rest of the blog as well.

Sapphire Unbound: A Black Womanist Scholar Speaks her Mind: “Project Prevention”: Saving Black Women from Themselves and Creating a Better Future.

Black women’s bodies have historically been problematic for those who hold the power to define race-gender hierarchies. Early Europeans constructed Black women’s bodies as different, highly sexual and “other”. Black women’s societal worth is often devalued in the eyes of European Americans. Such devaluation can also occur when other Black folk subscribe to the ideology of the damaged Black woman. The damaged Black woman is often used to promote policies that focus on changing individual behaviors as opposed to critically questioning societal structures that contribute to Black women’s inequitable positions. The result is the culture of poverty, the culture of fatness and the culture of drug abuse that permeates the two stories that I discuss below.

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The WomanStats Project and Database

This site would be great, if the world it describes wasn’t in such bad shape.

But it is an indispensable source for data on the status of women in the world today.

The WomanStats Project is the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world. The Project facilitates understanding the linkage between the situation of women and the security of nation-states. We comb the extant literature and conduct expert interviews to find qualitative and quantitative information on over 310 indicators of women’s status in 174 countries. Our Database expands daily, and access to it is free of charge.

Click it.  Right Now.

The WomanStats Project and Database.

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