Black women and femmes often represent perfect victims for what our abusers would say is not a crime. By Shannon Barber "If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive." — audre
Despite the ongoing trauma I've experienced and the toxic things I've had to unlearn, I wouldn't trade being Blasian for anything.Until recently, I thought that being a biracial Black and Asian person was no big deal. I look Black and was always closer to my African American dad than my Vietnamese mom, so I thought that nullified my biracial heritage somehow. However, certain experiences, new stories, and media have reminded me that no matter how Black I appear to be, I will always be Blasian. The very first time I became aware of how my ethnicity affected me was when I was asked what my race was on a form when I was in elementary school. Ten to twenty years ago, official documents didn't give you the option to say that you were multiracial or choose more than one race. I remember being a little confused because I knew my skin was Black, but both my parents weren't. In the end, I chose "Black" and sometimes I still just choose "Black" when I think my ethnicity is too complicated for others to understand. Growing up in an interracial household meant that I was being exposed to bits of two different cultures and sometimes seeing them come together. Lunch and dinner meals would sometimes be Vietnamese foods like fried rice, fried spring rolls, and meat, hard-boiled eggs, and rice in a brown sauce. When my dad was alive, the house would be permeated with his deep, booming voice as he talked loudly on the phone to his siblings in Troy, Alabama. Occasionally, I'd hear old-school R&B music playing from his computer and in his truck when I would ride with him. Since I was closer to my dad, he planted the seeds for what would eventually become pride in my Blackness. Through music, radio, and television, we developed a special bond that involved us listening to music and the Tom Joyner's morning radio show when he took me to school. In the evenings, we would watch the news followed by game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Through these things, he instilled in me values of intelligence, news awareness, and artistic appreciation that stayed with me long after he passed.
SUPPORT WEAR YOUR VOICE: DONATE HERE
There is no such art, no such glorious work of fiction, no such extraordinary performance, that excuses a real-life abuser.By Candice Frederick It’s been a mere eight months since women in Hollywood first brought Harvey Weinstein’s horrid history of sexual assault to the masses, and just as long since the #MeToo movement catapulted to the mainstream, ushering in a new era in which women’s voices, victims of men including Bill Cosby, Louis C.K., R. Kelly, Junot Díaz, Matt Lauer, and Brett Ratner, were being validated unlike ever before. EIGHT. MONTHS. And already, countless apologists have rushed to defend these so-called “geniuses” whose work they’ve repeatedly asked us to consider as we reckon with their abusive behaviors. Some have even suggested these men can and should make a comeback. The latest example was Jason Bateman, who went out of his way to interject when New York Times reporter Sopan Deb asked Jeffrey Tambor, who’s been accused of sexual and verbal harassment, whether he expects to be on future seasons of their series "Arrested Development". “Well I certainly wouldn’t do it without [him],” Bateman said. Okay fine, he reveres his award-winning on-screen dad, but maybe take some time to think about the question at hand, which was really asking whether Tambor should be on the show (or working at all) since he has been accused of sexual harassment during his work with “Transparent” and creating a toxic on-set environment—particularly for his female colleagues including Jessica Walter (who is sitting right there with them during this interview!). But it seemed for Bateman, and so many other apologists, that he prioritized Tambor’s talent and career influence over his abusive behavior of which the 73-year-old actor said he’s “working on” and “has profusely apologized”. When Walter tried to insert her voice (in a conversation where she should have already been centered), Bateman once again re-focused the attention back on Tambor, describing his actions as “incredibly common” in an industry that is “a breeding ground for atypical behavior.” But, you know, “not to belittle what happened [between Walter and Tambor],” he added. Bateman has since apologized. Co-star Tony Hale has also tweeted an apology for essentially over-talking throughout that segment of the interview, and Tambor’s apology had previously been on record. They’re all just so sorry—and sadly so is Walter, who was so marginalized throughout the interview that she actually said, “I’ve just given up. I don’t want to walk around with anger.”
SUPPORT WEAR YOUR VOICE: DONATE HERE
My pain is real and the medical system is broken, misogynoir is more pervasive than what is generally perceived, and Black women deserve to been seen.By Jazmine Joyner I was an antisocial 7th grader who wanted nothing more than to read books and watch movies. Being the new kid at my middle school, I had no friends and spent most of my days in the library reading “Fear Street” books. My closest friend was the librarian Mrs. Stanley, a tiny white woman with coke bottle glasses and a blonde pageboy haircut. I would eat lunch with her in that library, talk about books, and what I was learning in class. I felt truly invisible in my school and in an effort to appease my father (who loved sports and thought I should try out for some) and to make some friends, I tried out for the track and field team. Practices would start off with running and conditioning, something I particularly hated. Cardio has never been my strong suit, and back then I struggled to even finish a mile. It was during one of my first practices that I felt a sharp throbbing pain in my lower left abdomen. It felt like I was being burned and stabbed at the same time—it took the breath from my lungs.The pain would often show up as soon as I started running and I would fall to my knees on that dead grass, gasping for air and holding my side. I told my coach about the pain I was experiencing, and she said to me it was just cramps. I had recently started having periods so I had no idea what was right and what was wrong when it came to menstrual pain. So when she said it was cramps I just took her word for it, she had to have been right. Right? Turns out she was so very wrong. The pain just got worse and it wasn’t just when I ran or was physically active, it happened all day, every day. I would stand up to go to my next class and the razor blade like “cramp” would spring to life and send me abruptly back down into my seat. I would walk in between passing periods bent over like a praying mantis, clenching my teeth, sweating like crazy, trying my hardest to get through the day. I went to see my doctor and when I voiced my concerns that the cramps where constant even when I wasn’t on my period, she told me that I was overreacting and that it was normal. So I took Motrin and continued to push through the daily pain. One night I woke up vomiting, the cramps had reached a level I can only describe as full blown labor contractions (which I later learned was very similar, if not worse to the end stages of contractions). I was crying, rocking, and folded like a lawn chair. I couldn’t keep anything down. I was bleeding through every pad and tampon I put on, and I can remember thinking I was dying, that this was it I was going to bleed to death and die. I built up the strength to hobble to my mother's room. It was around 3:00 am, and I was the only one who was awake in the house. I knocked on her door, walked in, and she took one look at me and leapt out of bed.
SUPPORT WEAR YOUR VOICE: DONATE HERE
Body positivity, as a movement, was meant to give space to bodies that an oppressive society says are not worthy of love and acceptance. The body positive movement has a lot of problems—not in the general message that we all deserve