Me at your party
Me at your party
No More Room - Emily King (by Emily King)
Oh, hey boo.
Did some clothes editing the other day…Turned this one piece into a high waisted two-piece.
All I did was cut it in half, took out a little bit of material and sewed it up with my sewing machine. I took the straps from the arms, cut them off and tied on in between the chest to make the top look sort of like a bandu.
I’ve never been comfortable in a regular bikini but THIS, oh yeah, this i would work with.
Cancun, here I come ;D
I think “_____________”
and then I think “stay out of this, grandpa.”
Today we launched our 30 day Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for our exhibition and educational activities on Women of Colour and body image DONATE NOW!‘A Different Mirror’ is a three-day multidisciplinary art exhibition by 9 artists in Brixton, London. Socially constructed ideas about race, gender and culture remain key in how Women of Colour perceive themselves. The exhibition will use art as the basis to capture and explore body image and perception, examining the effects of body image on who we are.In addition to supporting these artists we want to create a programme that relates to, engages with and celebrates the experiences of Women of Colour in London where these discussions are often limited.For this reason, we will be hosting the exhibition in Brixton, Lambeth that statistically has the second highest proportion of black – Caribbean’s and mixed raced white and black – Africans in the country; the “highest proportion of people classified as Other Black (i.e. not Caribbean or African)” and; a female population of 50.2%.We want to use this platform as a safe space and creative medium to discuss body image, body positivity and healing by creating accessible educational activities:
- Commission a two-day poetry/art workshop for 7 Women of Colour to create an interactive installation on their experiences of shame,
- Host local school group visits as part of Personal, Social and Health Education classes,
- Run an artist seminar to encourage the use art for empowerment and healing,
- Host an afternoon women’s circle to nurture dialogue and discussion about the exhibition and women’s experiences.This requires your help!
WHAT DO WE NEED?Our goal of £1200 will help us commission a two-day poetry and visual art workshop by I Shape Beauty titled ‘Secrets Women Keep’.Artist Lesley Asare and poet Indigo Williams will work with 7 Women of Colour aged 18 – 24 to create an interactive installation that will be featured in the exhibition, sharing their stories and journeys into owning their bodies.£1200 will cover the cost of facilitating the workshops and the materials for participants to write and record their poems, and create this 7-foot-wonder of an installation with the artists.
STRETCH GOALSIf we raise:
- £500 over the goal we can host 3 local school group visits to the exhibition
- £1000 over the goal will allow us to also host school groups and an artist seminar
- £1500 over the goal will allow us also to host school groups, an artist seminar, and an afternoon women’s circle
- £2000 over the goal will allow us to also collaborate with One Of My Kind Zine to produce 200 additional copies of an exclusive educational Zine with artist’s work, short pieces exploring body positivity, tips for wellness and wellbeing, and the poems by workshop participants for the exhibition.
SPREAD THE WORD
Ask your friends, family, neighbours, and social communities to get the word out about our project to help encourage body positivity within the UK! Share our project on Facebook, Tweet it, blog about it, talk about it.
We hope this will be the beginning of expanding our journey!
A big thank you to Martyna Przybysz for shooting our video and taking our photographs!
The Nice Guys™ that are passive aggressive and entitled and that many women despise in interpersonal and social contexts seem to get college degrees and then become male feminists in the media/sociopolitical spheres. And then they move into that “progressive” space to get the accolades and attention that they cannot get otherwise. That way, they can finally get the attention they need since because of that same male privilege that fuels their nice guy entitlement in the first place, they usually have to inflict a high level of harm before they are ever critiqued by some feminists. In addition, they can also continue to deride the men that they are intimidated by and whose social power they could not usurp in high school because of patriarchy—the “athletes” and the “jerks” that they think get “all” the women (while they never examine how they themselves are jerks).
I am seriously noticing a trend with the abusive Black male feminists that I have encountered, where some are benevolent yet manipulative or masculinity-only focused and are not intersectional thinkers, some are explicitly abusive and some expect to be rewarded and worshiped for “not” being an abuser by their own definition when they are in fact abusive. And all of these types try to silence women, especially Black women who are feminists or womanists.
Certainly White privilege and class privilege play a role. A Black man who claims feminism will not ever be able to abuse in the way that Hugo Schwyzer did and can, and this scope cannot be ignored. Ever. White women, even ones who claim feminism, often protect White men in power as it facilitates White supremacy. This is how some White feminists wrote their “Black men are so scary” essays after White women acquitted George Zimmerman, who by the way is now unleashing his violence on White women, as is statistically accurate since White men (and don’t play racial games here by mentioning GZ’s maternal lineage; he still has access to White privilege and the protection that comes with it) harm White women at a rate no other men can even remotely match without consequence. The reason why some Black women (and I am not excluded here, as I have done this in the past though I do not anymore, at all) have been guilty of putting Black male feminists in some sort of special place is because we haven’t fully challenged the White supremacist idea of Black men being “inherently” patriarchal or misogynistic, so we may be “extra” rewarding them for being “different” from an identity that they do not “extra” inhabit in the first place. Like I always say and write "how we embody the oppressor within is where all feminist work begins." This is something we have to check within ourselves as well. Certainly because of racism Black men have less space to express their masculinity and face controlling images and internalized White supremacist thought that makes some of them think that patriarchal masculinity is the only masculinity that is real.
Even so, with men of any race, this "reward me, I’m a male feminist" and a Nice Guy™ thing is tired. Worse, it becomes about tug of war in feminist spaces. I’ve had Black men claim that my blog is Eurocentric because it is focused on Black women. Um…but like that’s not what my blog archive looks like. Or reads like. See, to them, Black = cishet able-bodied Black men and their desires, needs, and issues and nothing else. That’s not the Black that I see. I see all of us included. And my space is for a focus on Black women. I see the same arguments occur among White men and White women because even though White women dominate every form of media that exists in comparison to all other women, this does not happen without White male say-so or control. And White men are still overrepresented among those who control media. Thus, they still expect to dominate spaces where White women are. This is patriarchy.
Instead of male feminists demanding space in feminism perhaps the male privilege that allows them to dominate mainstream space can be used to make that space a feminist space. Instead of trying to dominate the tiniest blogs, papers and even conversations, expand the space they already dominate for inclusion of women, especially Black women and other women of colour. And even though Black men do not dominate media space because of White supremacy and racism, they still get to be the face of Blackness, especially when they are cishet. And these same men are the ones who want to control my every tweet let alone Gradient Lair. NO.
There are men who are nice but are not Nice Guys™ and are committed to anti-oppression work at every intersection. They know that reshaping masculinity is only a part of the picture of imperialist White supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy. They continually check themselves on their male privilege and accept being checked. They seek to evolve their thinking regularly. I don’t have an issue with these men.
But let’s be clear, anyone can claim a label like “feminist.” Anyone. And labeling does matter in a society where it is subversive to assume anything that challenges the status quo. A politics of social location is beyond relevant for the marginalized. But I am less interested in how many times the word “feminist” gets used in men’s tweets/words than if they are contributing to the same abuse that they claim to deride and if they are behaving like the Nice Guys™ who think they are owed the world simply because their outward expression of masculinity does not resemble the masculinity of the men who intimidate them most and does not automatically represent patriarchy in their own minds. These men can still be abusive and most certainly are still patriarchal.
I simply watch what men say and do more than if they claim the label “feminist” or not. Do they uphold sexist oppression or do they challenge it? Do they only have an issue with sexist oppression when the target is a White woman? Almost no one stands up for Black women, ever. This is what I watch.
I am not interested in Nice Guys™ playing feminist online or offline to be a salve for whatever wounds from rejection they have from their youth. I am interested in them challenging the patriarchal thinking that made them believe that they are owed attention and women’s bodies (or anyone’s bodies; not all of the male feminists who act like this are heterosexual) in the first place. I am interested in them realizing that everyone faces rejection (and some more than others based on the same categories by which we are oppressed by) and no one is automatically entitled to the time, attention, company, sex, body, love of another person. That person has a say so. I am interested in them understanding that consent is more than about sex itself. It is about spaces and politics as well. Nice Guys™ and other abusive men playing feminist online would do well to actually learn what feminism is about instead of using the label as bandages for their pasts and automatic passes into women’s spaces and lives.
Related Essay List: Womanism, Black Feminism and Race In Feminist Discourse (Updated)
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