non serviam: musings of love, language, living, and rebellion

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the results…

Okay, so here is an excerpt from my essay “Racialization: yadda, yadda, yadda…now, keep in mind that i’m sensitive about my ish, and yes, i might have went around my asshole to get to my elbow, but hey, sometimes i get carried away–it’s colorful at least.

For approximately and exactly 6000 years patriarchy has run roughshod over person and planet. For those same 6000 years patriarchs have done so largely unopposed, that is, until the mid-20th century birth of feminism, which has, for the past 50 years or more, staged a resistance movement against sexual inequality. During the Civil Rights Era, amongst the chorus of grievances in opposition to injustice and oppression, feminism emerged as the impetus to address and restore full personhood to women—that which had been denied for thousands of years. This is not to give the impression that women have failed to ever mount an insurgency against male domination; for “women have not been merely passive victims of sexual inequality.”[1] However, until the advent of feminism as a socio-political movement, successful resistance against patriarchy had yet to be sustained, or at least patriarchy keeps no record of such. Indeed, feminism has made gains toward an ideology of women’s liberation; nonetheless, feminists have yet to tip the scales in favor of women. This may be, more or less, due to the variegated feminism(s) situated across a range of revolutionary to reformist politics, consequently undermining opportunities for coalition building and collective action. Albeit, the popularized mainstream feminism of the latter reformist agenda refers back to the title of this essay, which metonymically suggests that the liberal discourse of “women’s equality with men,” not only enables patriarchy, but directly—if not deliberately—contributes to the oppression of ‘women by women’ through the ideological mechanics of male domination.

The Female Face of Patriarchy

Notwithstanding, the feminist agenda for women’s equality does acknowledge inherent social disparities associated with patriarchy that privileges one class above the interests of another. However, “Since [all] men are not equals in white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal class structure, which men do women desire to be equal with?”[2] Are feminists proposing equality with men who comprise the minority of the American population, yet constitute the majority of the prison population? It is unfortunate, but the promise of women’s equality does not distribute in equity throughout hierarchical systems of domination. Equality, is thus deficient in redressing the particular economic, social, and political distresses of women situated at myriad intersections of race, class, sexuality, ability, inter alia. In a manner of speaking, feminists who champion equality as “the rising tide that lifts all boats,” neglect to render certain that all women have a boat, let alone a sail and safe harbor. “Equality is the excuse not to engage in rethinking how we do business.”[3] Thus, all that can be gained by a social movement that ignores the plight of the marginalized and oppressed—is privilege. In summation, equality is the argument for the redistribution of the patriarchal privilege of power to include women; a reformulation of the social contract, wherein, the exercise of the scepter of patriarchy by the female adjutant becomes never more visible than in the political efficacy of feminists to steer the social discourse of “women’s issues” such as that of sex work.

In concert with the patriarchal narrative, the feminist ascension to power catalyzed a crusade toward an ideal theory of sexual equality, which has allowed feminism to run roughshod over the interests of women globally.

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oh brother, where art thou?

“Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers.” ~Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)~


Racialization: The Feminist Argument for the Criminalization of Sex Work: Al-Saji’s Mirror

So, I am writing a paper for my Feminist Philosophy class entitled, “Racialization: The Feminist Argument for the Criminalization of Sex Work: Al-Saji’s Mirror,” wherein I metonymically propose that “the liberal discourse of “women’s equality with men,” not only enables patriarchy, but directly—if not deliberately—contributes to the oppression of ‘women by women’ through the ideological mechanics of male domination.”

Due to the scope of this paper (1500 – 2000 words) I am restricting the discourse to “hetero and trans” sex workers. Notwithstanding, indigeneity, ability, and race alter this framework drastically.

I am drawing from (journalist and former Sex Worker) Melissa Gira Grant’s article “The War on Sex Workers” and Alia Al-Saji’s “The Racialization of Muslim Veils” to articulate what Al-Saji’s identifies as cultural racism by associating the veil with gender oppression; “other-ing” Muslim women. I am seeking to articulate the class racism of liberal feminists by equating sex work with violence against women as a means of controlling the behavior of “other(ed)” women. In both cases, the so-called victims of oppression are stripped of any agency to speak for themselves.

“Rather than representing the Muslim women (read: sex worker) these images [of oppression] fulfill a different function: they provide the foil or negative mirror in which western constructions of identity and gender can be positively reflected.” ~Al-Saji~

At this point I go out on a limb with a re-telling of Snow White and the Mirror on the Wall through which Snow White’s step-mother, the Queen (who I believe represents patriarchy and class distinction) attempts to use the mirror on the wall to produce the positive reflection of herself (western women) by simultaneously criminalizing her step-daughter (who I am framing as working class) for being sexually desirable as the fairest in the land.

Of course, I sprinkle some ‘bell hooks’ pixie dust over the essay, garnished with references to both pro-sex work and anti-sex work dialogue, served with a nicely chilled flute of my own self-stylized poeticism. 

Any feedback? Good idea? Incoherent? 


to whom do we owe compassion?

article_7d2d70a6796e4dfb_1365427727_9j-4aaqskWhen I heard the news that Margaret Thatcher took her last breaths yesterday I was confused as to my sorrow. Why should I grieve for Ms. Thatcher? How could my heart be troubled by her earthly depature? 

But now it has come to me that maybe it is not her for whom I lament, but for the people I call friend and comrade and the host who *rejoice* at her death. All this time I’ve been under the impression that we were fighting for a better world–one without hatred. How can I trust my allies whose hearts beat in concert with oppression? How can I know those who love me when love cannot exist in the same space as hate? And if we are not fighting in the name of love, what then are we fighting for?

Who am I to condemn Ms. Thatcher? I do not know her story. She was somebody’s child who must’ve loved her, right? She was certainly not born to commit atrocity. Was she not a women negotiating the same obstacles of patriarchy as any other woman? Maybe she dreamed of being something and someone different than how she will be remembered. Could it be that as a young girl her heart had been broken by someone she loved? I know what that feels like. Is there no one who laments her passing? Is there no one who loved her? No, I cannot rejoice in their sorrow nor anyone’s pain. 

Who among us is worthy to pass judgment? Is it not true that:

“We are easily shocked by crimes which appear at once in their full magnitude, but the gradual growth of our own wickedness, endeared by interest, and palliated by all the artifices of self-deceit, gives us time to form distinctions in our own favor.” ~Samuel Johnson~

Good night Ms. Thatcher, may those who have long awaited you grant you mercy, forgiveness, and a resting place!


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“And the day came…”

Gorgeous-Blue-Butterfly-Wallpaper-For-Desktop-Background“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin~