— to every single white person on this earth seeking to claim our elder as theirs, nayyirah waheed (via nayyirahwaheed)
— to every single white person on this earth seeking to claim our elder as theirs, nayyirah waheed (via nayyirahwaheed)
trigger warning: rape, transmisogyny / violence
im just gonna keep reblogging this because EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ AND REBLOG (NOT JUST LIKE) THIS RITE NOW. i havent read a post on tumblr that covered so many important points on transmisogyny in queer spaces so well in a long time. and seeing as how no one ever seems to really have these conversations, it makes it all the more important. SO READ AND REBLOG IT DAMMIT.
My doctor, who is a trans woman, and I had a conversation today about the guy who raped me earlier this year. At first she was like “did you charge him?” When I explained that he’s a trans man of colour, she immediately got why I hadn’t. Not because I couldn’t bare to put a trans person, especially a trans person of colour, in jail (which I can’t), but also because it would cause me to be completely ostracized by the queer/trans community in Toronto. I’d be “just another crazy trans woman.” It was an uncomfortable realization for both of us to sit there, as trans women, knowing that we have literally no recourse when violence is enacted on us within the community (though if the same violence conveniently came from a white cis straight man, we would be celebrated as heroes for standing up to such an easy target, at least within the queer/trans community).
She and I both, as professionals in the community, are well aware of the fine line we have to walk in order to be taken seriously in the queer/trans community. We not only have to look a certain way (both in terms of passing and in terms of conforming to queer normative acceptable standards of appearance), we also have to make sure not to rock the boat too much. We have to appear as sane and calm as possible, no matter the circumstances. If we show too much emotion at any time (read: any inconvenient emotion), we get hit with a double-whammy of misogyny and transphobia, quickly written off as hysterical “crazy trans women.” Accuse the wrong person of something, anyone too close to queer-home, and that’s the end of our credibility and the revoking of our entrance passes to Queerlandia.
It’s exhausting having to walk such a fine line. I’ve found that there are so many “danger zones” to watch out for. Trans women have to not only be queer-literate (knowing queer social justice language), we have to be exceptionally good at using it. Any minor slip of language or politics and we’re labeled “crazy trans women” by cis people while trans men nod knowingly in agreement — rarely standing up for us, and just as often perpetuating the ‘crazy trans woman’ stereotype themselves.
I became aware of this initially through cryptic warnings from an older queer trans woman friend of mine, years before I became involved in the queer community, but I didn’t realize the extent of it at first. That is, until I was invited to participate in it. When I first became involved heavily, I befriended two trans men whom I looked up to a great deal, and one of the first conversations we had in private was a gossip session in which they “warned” me about various trans women and got me to agree that they were “crazy.” I’ve found similar conversations throughout the community, often used in a way that it makes me wonder if what’s really happening is that they’re subconsciously testing my loyalty to the queer zeitgeist. Am I good tranny or a bad tranny? Am I willing to be part of their clique, giving them the ability to deflect any and all criticism of transmisogyny, or am I a “problem?”
Before I realized that this was a system, that trans women were being systematically tested and written off, I engaged in it myself. You get a self-esteem boost, knowing that the cool kids don’t count you among those trans women. Those trans women who stepped on the wrong toes, who take up “too much space,” who don’t have the right guilt-producing identity complex to be worthy of space (disabled young trans sex workers of colour who vogue are considered highly prized friend-accessories, to be seen but not really heard beyond the occasional “gurl” for comedic effect, but only if they have the right haircut and the right clothes and are working towards a bachelors of gender studies or similarly useless degree).
Who are these “crazy trans women?” Often they are incredibly sincere activists who haven’t had the privilege of being taught all of the ins and outs of anti-oppression social justice practice that is a prerequisite to membership in this queer community. Often they are labeled “too emotional” and “too angry,” “loose cannons” who are out of control when speaking about our experiences of sex work that don’t fit into the easily digestible “I do queer feminist porn on weekends to pay for my fluevogs while I’m in grad school” vision of sex work that the queer community has deemed acceptable. Often they are trans women who are said to take up “too much space,” while everyone whispers about how “you know, I know it’s wrong to say, but she just seems like she has male privilege, you know? Like you can just feel it. Not that I’m saying she’s a man, but, you know, you never know.”
At the end of the day, this whole complex of issues is simply misogyny, ableism, and transphobia dressed up as “community accountability.” It holds trans women to impossible standards, opening us up to vulnerability to all forms of in-community violence (physical, sexual, social), and creating a fear within the minds of so many queer trans women that our second-class position within the queer community could be ripped from our hands at any time for any minor infraction.
I’m tired of trying not to be a crazy trans woman in the voyeuristic eyes of queer community.
Morgan M Page/Odofemi, 2013.
Anonymous asked: Have you listened to Lorde's new album? I think you'd really like it :)
Ok… I don’t really like Lorde as a person. I heard Royals on the radio and it was good for my ears, but when I read her rationale behind it, it just screamed anti-black to me. She said she wrote the song to contradict the materialism of hip hop as a genre, which is a) a sweeping generalization of hip hop and b) pretty anti-black, since the genre is defined by predominantly black artists. She mentions Nicki Minaj and Drake as artists whose music she just “couldn’t relate to” which is why she wrote the song to begin with and that just made me roll my eyes because let’s be real, those songs were never meant for her and for her to go out of her way to write something in direct contradiction to what she perceives as an entire genre is both childish and ignorant. Yeah, the song covers consumptive qualities of other groups but her intent was to say fuck you to hip hop culture. Gross.
She just seems basic as hell and part of that might just be her being 16 and part of that might be her being ignorant and awful in a more permanent way, but I just don’t care enough to listen and find out.
I might get to the point where I like her music enough to separate the music from the person like I do with Taylor Swift, but for now, especially with Royals and its context being the things I know most about her (aside from her talking shit about other lady artists for bullshit reasons), I am just not interested.THANK YOU FOR THINKING OF ME THOUGH AND I WILL GLADLY TAKE OTHER MUSIC RECS JUST NOT LORDE OK
Yeah, plus the whole “we don’t want money, we just want power” thing is very confusing to me when she’s not talking critically about anything other than anti-hip hop culture? In that context YOU HAVE POWER, white person, so…
yeah this is exactly what ruined “royals” for me, goddammit lorde.
This is HUGE news! Please signal boost!
Source: (The McGill Daily)
A course lecturer and doctoral student at the McGill School of Social Work has filed a human rights complaint against McGill University, alleging systemic racism on the part of the School. In his complaint, Woo Jin Edward Lee alleges that the Employment Equity Guidelines of the School of Social Work, and generally campus-wide, perpetuate practices that discriminate against racialized persons for faculty positions.
The complaint was sent to Quebec’s human rights commission, and was officially received on July 4 of this year, on the premise of “discrimination based on race intersecting with gender and sexual orientation in violation of sections 4, 10 and 16 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.”
According to the School of Social Work’s updated list of professors, Lee is the only racialized person and visible minority – not including Indigenous peoples – registered as a lecturer this calendar year.
“I don’t think there is any representation of people of colour when it comes to the administrative level,” said social work undergraduate student Sidara Ahmad, adding, “I don’t think there is an understanding of what people of colour – students of colour – go through. I don’t think there is any acknowledgement of the discrimination and racism they face.”
Lee, a self-identified member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, and a visible minority, is currently a course lecturer for SWRK 325: Anti-Oppression Social Work Practice. He is also a doctoral student specializing in the experiences of LGBTQ immigrants and refugees.
In April 2013, Lee said, he applied for a part-time faculty lecturer position at the School of Social Work, recognizing the lack of racial diversity at the School. “Out of 22 tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty members, one or two are racialized, and one is LGBTQ,” he told The Daily in an interview.
“I don’t think there is an understanding of what people of colour – students of colour – go through. I don’t think there is any acknowledgement of the discrimination and racism they face.”
A month after applying, Lee said he was notified that he had not even been short-listed for an interview. The five candidates short-listed for the position were all white women.
According to Lee, when meeting the director of the School, Wendy Thomson, he was informed that his application was rejected because he lacked clinical experience. The job posting never mentioned the necessity of such experience, Lee said, asking only for five years of experience as a social worker in Quebec’s community, health, or social services. The job posting also included the University’s statement committed to diversity and equity in employment, “[welcoming] applications from indigenous peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, persons of disabilities, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities and others who may contribute to further diversification.”
“The hiring committee’s internal and unwritten requirement regarding clinical experience produces a recurring, adverse impact on racialized persons who are underrepresented in clinical institutional settings in Quebec,” said Lee about his application rejection.
“I have been serving as course lecturer at the School of Social Work since 2008, in addition to devoting hundreds of volunteer hours in serving the McGill social work department and broader Montreal community,” said Lee. “It’s disappointing and saddens me that I was not at least short listed for the part-time faculty lecturer position. There are hiring criteria and procedures that must be reviewed by the human rights commission because there have been so few racialized teaching professionals that have been hired by the School within the last ten years. This is why I hope that my complaint of systemic racism in hiring will lead to change and better representation of the Montreal community among the School’s staff.”
Ahmad told The Daily about the very real implications of being a racialized person in the School. “I am one of the very few students who is racialized in the School of Social Work, and as soon as I started the program, I had a situation where there was discrimination and racism involved. [Lee] was one of the few faculty members who provided the support and the space to talk about it.”
Lee has been studying at the McGill School of Social Work since 2007, and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and scholarships for his studies. More recently, Lee was one of only four recipients in McGill history to receive the Award for Equity and Community Building, in the academic staff category. He was nominated by 16 students and community members. According to an article published in the McGill Reporter, this award “recognizes the work of students, faculty and staff committed to advancing equity and diversity at McGill.”
“In universities and corporations, the many professional and managerial positions produce a professional stigma when someone raises a claim of discrimination.”
“For me, just seeing where the students are before they take [Lee’s Anti-Oppression Social Work Practice course] and where they are after, it’s essential,” said undergraduate social work student Katrina Topping, who had previously taken Lee’s Anti-Oppression course, adding, “It challenges students to question who they are, both as people and as social workers.”
Lee has been teaching at the School for six years – as a course lecturer for five years in addition to being a teaching assistant for one year. He has also worked in the Montreal community sector for another six years and spent five years practicing social work with marginalized children and youth in Calgary.
“I think that there does seem to be some type of resistance to incorporate AOP – anti-oppressive practice – in a really big way,” said Topping.
Another current social work undergraduate, Annie Preston, added, “I think there is a structural change in the School that needs to be happening to push for this.”
On his part, Lee has been pushing for change. “There has been a lack of racial diversity that was apparent from the very beginning, it was something that I noticed when I served as Equity Commissioner for PGSS,” said Lee, who also co-created the Racialized Students Network (RSN).
In addition to the RSN, Lee is also the co-founder of AGIR, a community organization that advocates for LGBTQ immigrants, refugees, and non-status migrants in the Montreal area. He is also a member of the Social Work Association of Graduate Students (SWAGS), and was the co-coordinator of Ethnoculture, an annual event that raises awareness about LGBTQ racialized and ethnic minority communities in Montreal.
In the fall of 2009, the Principal’s Task Force on Student Life and Learning launched the McGill University Student Demographic Survey to “foster sensitivity to cultural and personal differences in the delivery of academic and other administrative supports to our students.” The survey was completed by 2,070 McGill students.
According to the survey, 26 per cent of students from any ethnic group – excluding students who identified solely as white – reported discrimination by fellow students, and 18 per cent reported some level of discrimination by McGill employees.
Section 2.6 of McGill’s Handbook on Student Rights and Responsibilities describes discrimination as “any action, behaviour, or decision based on race, colour, sex […] which results in the exclusion or preference of an individual or group within the University community. This includes both the actions of individual members of the University and systemic institutional practices and policies of the University.”
According to Fo Niemi, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), his organization does not receive many complaints from universities.
However, Niemi argues that this is more of a reflection of an unsafe environment for disclosure of discrimination rather than an absence of discriminatory experiences themselves. “In universities and corporations, the many professional and managerial positions produce a professional stigma when someone raises a claim of discrimination.”
Another explanation for the rarity of complaints arising from university staff lies in a Supreme Court of Canada decision, under which unionized people cannot independently appeal to the human rights commission unless the union has found a specific reason to file a grievance in the place of the employee. “That might explain why in many unionized workplaces, such as universities, we do not see very often claims of discrimination going forward,” said Niemi.
As a part-time course lecturer, Lee is a member of the newly-formed McGill Course Lecturers and Instructors Union (MCLIU). However, the union is currently in negotiation with the University for its first collective agreement, and Lee believes he would not have been able to go through the usual grievance procedure in place.
Among the remedies sought, Lee’s complaint asks the Commission to require changes to the hiring policies of the University in general and the McGill School of Social Work in particular, and to order the School to adopt a mandatory employment equity action plan to increase the number of racialized individuals among the School’s faculty and course lecturers. Lee also seeks material and moral damages.
“There are many other students that have been in situations where they have been discriminated against,” said Ahmad, adding, “and found support with [Lee].”
can we talk about mcgill nursing after? i had only one course taught by a person of colour and she was not faculty at mcgill, but a guest lecturer. also, one of my favourite quotes about oppression comes from my nursing education. when talking about class and race one of my stupid white teachers said “no one lives a privileged existence”.
Only white women have the privilege of reclaiming the word ‘slut’ without facing any real social penalty. Miley Cyrus, for instance, is being hailed as a woman who is in control and liberated, unlike her black counterpart Rihanna. Rihanna does not get worshiped for owning her sexuality or her agency. Rihanna gets pity, scathing criticism, and popular feminist magazines wanting to ‘save’ her from exercising choices they do not agree with. Many mainstream feminists feel entitled to police Rihanna’s black female body; even Lena Dunham could not resist. However, if you look closely you can see that Miley has been feverishly studying and has been influenced by the Rihanna’s bad girl playbook.
White women may also be allowed to transcend their ‘sluttiness’ when they feel the need to do so. Both Angelina Jolie and Madonna have been able to shed their past bad girl images seamlessly. Whiteness affords white women the ability to try on different identities while their racial privilege remains intact. Because in a society that values whiteness over all else, to be white is to be human and all non-white persons must audition for their humanity.
The bodies of black women are highly politicized and critiqued no matter who they belong to, from the first lady to ‘the help.’ The physical movements and choices of black women are always viewed through a filter of suspicion. In order for me to claim my right to be a ‘slut,’ I first must win the battle to be able to fully claim my humanity."
Lutze B. (@FeministGriote)
This is a quote from her exquisite essay Why I Won’t Call Myself a “Slut” on Salon. MUST READ. An important and timely examination of sexual agency through an intersectional lens.
may need to seriously reconsider plans to move back to the usa; spending a whole week in a major city is reminding me how fucking awful it is here.