I consider myself a pretty seasoned traveler and I like giving myself these dorky travel challenges: going through security without setting off the metal detectors (on the first try), using a max of 2 bins on the conveyor belt, seeing how many days I can pack into a carry-on bag…
still processing my twitter convo with @aliciasanchez and @theeandrogenius from earlier today.
reflecting on the many realities that exist within the queer community; those both hidden and exposed, accepted and rejected, assumed and forgotten, supported and discouraged, misinterpreted and routinely taken for granted.
on my personal epistemology, which allows for multiple valid realities and authentic expressions of person-hood in as many forms as one can construct for oneself. acknowledging my privilege(s) in a society that does not make such concessions for “others” or even for ourselves within community.
checking myself when i recognize the products of bias and phobia in my speech, action, or thinking. and being mindful to not assume or project what i perceive as truth onto others.
“This tribe called “Women of Color” is not an ethnicity. It is one of the inventions of solidarity, an alliance, a political necessity that is not the given name of every female with dark skin and a colonized tongue, but rather a choice about how to resist and with whom.”—
Aurora Levins Morales, My Name is This Story from Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios. (via art-is-the-word)
MANILA, Philippines — The government of the Philippines has announced a ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to 41 countries, including 11 in the Caribbean.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration…
how does this happen?
Many Fillipina women are workers that keep global capitalism going because they leave home to be nurses and nannies in the US and Western Europe; they send a substantial portion of their wages back home; many of them are highly educated.
One of my most favorite books in grad school “Servants of Globalization” was a powerful case study on how women move and work throughout the world, looking at Fillpina women as an example.
i’m aware that i’ve used cynicism to protect myself from my own naivete. its a short cut through critical thinking that can save time and energy in the end. and sometimes its just a check point—a way for me to consider that another, less ideal reality might exist.
its true. i can be pretty damned gullible. my family laughs at me about it all the time. especially my mother. she calls me her “flower child” because of my historical ability to believe the good in almost anything and anyone. for a time, it was the magic of pantene pro-v. and one day that myth was shattered.
my mother is a natural beauty with very sensitive skin and a simple, modest style. she never fussed over hair or skin products and couldn’t understand my obsession with them. i’d sit glued to the television as young girl, marveling at every lotion and potion the commercials pushed at me. i was a marketing executive’s dream.
pantene pro-v commercials were my favorite. my mother would roll her eyes as the commercial came on and i fawned over the models. oh her hair is so shiny! look, she has no split ends! i had to have the products but my mother would not buy them. for years i settled for VO5, Vidal Sassoon, and Suave—our regular in-house brands, until my allowance could afford me the luxury of pantene.
i noticed the products did make my hair shinier, silkier, and stronger over time; though not a stark contrast from my hair in its peak condition with any other comparable brand. i used pantene throughout my teenage years, even after i let go of the dream that my hair would ever look like the women in the commercials. and then my a-ha moment came…
i was watching TV with my mother and a pantene commercial came on. my eyes light up as usually and she couldn’t hold it in any longer: "Do you realize that NONE of the women in these commercials actually use the products that they’re promoting? Do you think that woman’s hair looks that way because they just finished washing it with Pantene?"
O_O … i was so crushed (and honestly too old to JUST be arriving at that realization). they lied to me!
it took me a while to have faith in the beauty industry again. disassociating the gorgeous models and actresses from the products in their hands left me feeling foolish, which i was. as a child it made sense, but over time there was no good reason to believe that any product would give me the waist length bone straight hair that i saw on those white women’s heads, or to feel i needed that. it was also a lesson to remember that behind the tv screen are expensive cameras and expensive teams and expensive hair/make up stations whose sole purpose is to make little girls (and grown women) like me believe we can achieve the same results with $5 at CVS.
“i soon discovered that if you keep your mouth shut, people are apt to believe you know everything, and they begin to feel freer and freer to tell you anything, anxious to show that they know something, too.”—audre lorde (ZAMI…)
tonight i was asked if i was a rap fan. my answer was: “honestly no. im a fan of some rappers. and the culture of hip hop. but ive come to terms with the fact that im not a ‘rap fan’.” and while (at the time) i was comfortable enough to leave it there, something about the analysis i had to make to reach that conclusion does not sit right with me. “Rap” is not an adequate term for the music to which we often refer.
for one, rap is to music as singing is to…. music. as instrumental is to… music. would you ask me if i was a fan of singing? not likely. and while the majority of rap music i’ve come across has failed to resonate with me lyrically, i find it difficult to draw a conclusion about any “genre” that broad.
here are some of the strongest groupings i hear as of late, from the outside looking in. the characteristics and corresponding artists for these genres are NOT mutually exclusive, especially as artists grow over time. also, i realize some of these titles already exist— lets use them! lastly, this is just my perspective as a non-expert who really doesnt listen to much rap outside my fav rap artists to begin with. except on the radio, at the club, or watching videos. so yea.
URBAN/STREET: hard beats, generally strong east and west coast influence; lots of violence and guns; love for the crew/gang; references to drug use and sale…often for feeding the family; violence against women and/or graphic sexual references; homophobia; reference to prison bids; and general scariness (see: The Game, T.I., Lil Wayne, Eminem, Beanie Segal etc)
MAYBACH: beats usually produced by Swizz, DJ Khaled or some other person shouting and “woooo!-ing” and blowing whistles all over the track, OR T-Pain; feature Pop-RnB artists such as Jeremih, TreySongz, Usher; subtle references to loving these hoes, but only for the night or weekend; some reference to drug sale but only to fund the money cars clothes and hoes…not for feeding family; references to strippers or ass shaking; alcohol and drug abuse; reckless spending of money; reference to fashion designers and other expensive retailers, reference to expensive vacation destinations, general shitting on everyone else -ness. (see: Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Drake, Kanye, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj etc)
SMART/HIPSTER: Pharrell-ish beats; references to being bullied or outcast as a child for being smart or talking white, clever metaphors and analogies; nasal tones and strong diction; pop-culture references; off-color humor; reference to fashion designers and other expensive retailers; references to stereotypically “white” things and white girls; (NERD, Childish Gambino, Drake, Kanye, Lupe)
CONSCIOUS/BACKPACKER: often sample classic songs; references to domestic and foreign politics, college, natural living; criticism of the government; lacks materialism; cultural ethnic pride; hooks sung by neo-soul artists; references to religion/spirituality; “deep” lyrics; relationships and love; etc (Mos Def, The Roots, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Dead Prez)
SIMPLE (im being nice.): beats often have home-made sound; characterized by catchy, albeit stupid, hooks and corresponding dance moves; popular in the club; dense, inaudible lyrics; drop that ass / bust it wide open; and other offensive lyrics (Soulja Boy Tell em, Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Man LeFlur, the Racks on Racks guys, etc)
EMO/EERIE: RnB beats or alternative/techie sound; somber references to drug/alcohol abuse, lost love, troubled childhood, quarterlife crises, and other maladjustment; references to being non-human and exhibition of mental health issues and/or psycho-social pathologies. (See: Drake, Lil Wayne, OFWGFTA, DMX, Kid Cudi)
you see where i’m going with this.
outliers include: STONER rap, GROWNFOLK rap, and Outkast.
PS. i won’t even go into how i believe the term/concept of “rap” has outgrown the parameters of traditional hip-hop culture theory. but yea.
the saddest thing about Drake being attacked all the time is that's it's usually women. You expect this type of idiocy from men, especially blk men, considering we're taught early on showing/acknowledging emotions makes us soft. But when women join in on the jokes and the "oh he has a vagina" dialogue, it looks a million times worse. Because it encourages this bullshit ass standard of what masculinity is and isn't. And until it's properly addressed, this pathetic lot is going to be the type of men we breed.
pretty much exactly what i was thinking. well. i get annoyed with the men too. but i couldnt put my finger on the irony that was grating at me. its the women.
“and im not sure how compatible we are. im learning how to enjoy relationships for what they are lol. everyone doesnt have to be everything to you. i value her. and love her. but i have to be intentional about how i deal with her.”—(wisdom)
i think/ we should reexamine/ serial monogamy is it/ one at a time or one for a long time? how does the concept of infinity relate to a skilled serial monogamist/ & can that person consider a diversionary escapade a serial one night stand? can a consistent serial monogamist have one/ several/ or…
“I didn’t learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It’s also a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it.”—Kurt Vonnegut (via) (via mehreenkasana, therocktoyourbottom) (via ankhempress) (via brooklyn-barcelona-belgrade)
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (via nirvikalpa)