Posts Tagged: racism

I’m Still a Feminist

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The more I read and write about feminism, the more I observe communities of feminists interacting, and the more I participate in discussions about feminism with my friends and colleagues, the more I realize that feminism is incredibly complicated. It is a movement with a long and contentious history, it has morphed and changed over the decades, and it is currently being championed by people who seldom agree on … anything. It is inextricably tied to countless other issues including racism, ableism, classism, and many other forms of discrimination. It is enmeshed in concepts of privilege. It means many different things to many different people, and most of those people are both passionate and articulate. Which can be quite intimidating. read more

Originally posted 2012-08-09 06:07:34.

Ethnic Ethics

This photo is EXTREMELY old. I’m thinking early 2008 or so. I’m wearing a handmade red tunic that I thrifted in a color and cut that I adore. What drew me to this piece, though, was that interesting neckline. I’d never seen anything quite like it, and loved the modified keyhole shape it created.

About a year later, I found several tunics in identical shapes in a thrift store in Chicago. I bought another one in a funky black, white, and red pattern, which I wore a couple of times. But the moment I happened upon that second set of tunics lurking in the thrift store racks – also handmade, all with that very specific neckline – doubt began to creep in. These weren’t just fun tunics and great thrift finds. These garments were likely cultural, and from a culture unfamiliar to me. read more

Originally posted 2012-06-14 06:30:46.

Curly Hair Bias

curly hair bias

My hair is naturally curly/wavy and has been since I was a baby. My mom’s hair is naturally pin-straight and I have literally never seen her without a perm. I grew up in a household that revered curls, had a long string of boyfriends who adored my curls, and have never gotten anything but praise for my own voluminous curls.

When I cut my hair short and began straightening it, I got some comments and e-mails lamenting the loss of my curls. I am about 6,000% happier now with short, straight hair than I ever was with long curls and don’t foresee going back anytime soon. And over time I’ve realized that despite the near-constant influx of praise for my curly hair, I never actually liked it. Never felt like myself in it. Even though I never got anything but positive feedback about my hair, I never enjoyed it or felt like it suited me. I felt like it was the most dominant thing about my appearance, that it overtook nearly everything else about me, engulfed me, even eclipsed me. Also my curls were delicate and unpredictable. A stiff breeze or a shirt pulled over my head would completely change how my hair looked for the remainder of the day. It drove me nuts that my hair took such intense and constant babying to look good. My current ‘do is reliable, predictable, blissfully boring. read more