One Billion Rising Pakistan
KASHMIR’S ALL-GIRL ROCK BAND, PRAGAASH: Members of all-girls rock band ‘Pragaash, perform at the annual ‘Battle of bands’ competition in Srinagar, recently. (PTI Photo/Irfan) (source)
Kashmir’s All-Girl Rock Band decides to call it quits due to threats from right-wing religious fundamentalist
The first all-girl band of Kashmir today decided to call it quits in the wake of a ‘fatwa’ issued by Grand Mufti terming singing as un-islamic, a remark that came under all round attack.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was among a large number of political leaders who gave their unflinching support to the girls, urging them not to quit singing because of a “bunch of morons”. The hardline Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani also criticised the Grand Mufti.
Within days after their performance in Srinagar, the band started receiving online threats and absurd comments which was followed up with a ‘fatwa’ (religious decree) issued by Grand Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad yesterday.
Sources close to the band said the girls have decided not to sing in the wake of Mufti’s controversial decree.
The 10th-class students — vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir, drummer Farah Deeba and guitarist Aneeka Khalid — had formed a band “Pragash” and performed in December last year with a scintillating performance at the annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition in Srinagar and won the best performance award in their first public appearance.
Sensing the mounting support for the girls, hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani distanced itself from the ‘fatwa’ and said, “There is no threat to the girls. Nobody has issued any threats. It is a mere propaganda by the media and they are making a big bomb out of a normal issue to defame Kashmiris.”
male feminism. you’re doin’ it right.
oh gurl yes
This one, I will reblog.
When I say I’m a feminist, I get the eye roll and the “Ohhhhh, great”
When any of my male friends say they are feminists they get “Wow! It’s great that you’re standing up for women’s rights!”
10 Things Us Queers (And the Rest of Y’all) Can Do Today to Grow A Little
by Mia McKenzie
I think I’m a pretty self-reflective person. I think I try really hard to listen and learn and grow. I like the idea of evolving. Some days I evolve more than other days. Some days I do the opposite of evolving. Which, I guess, is still evolving, but in less desirable ways.
The hard work of self-reflection and emotional evolution are everyday practices. Every day, there are things I can do to grow, even if just a little bit. Doing these things won’t make me perfect. Nothing will ever make me perfect. But I can grow to be better at this human being thing. Here are some ways I know that may be helpful to you:
1. Stop hiding behind your intellect. Or your philosophy of life. Or your spiritual practice. Okay, so you’re smart enough to win arguments with carefully constructed points. Okay, so you learned a long time ago that you have to put yourself first. Okay, so you’re a Buddhist. So what? You want a cookie? Nah. You fucked up, and you need to own it. When you gossip about people and call it speaking your truth, when you exhibit the same behaviors as people you claim to despise but somehow find ways to justify that behavior in yourself using skilled debate and footnotes, when you are adamant about showing love to the earth but terrible at showing it to other human beings, something aint right. You need to get on that.
2. Accept that racism/sexism/heterosexism/transphobia/ableism and all sorts of other really effed up stuff exists in the world. That we’re not making it up. And then accept that you are either part of the solution, or part of the problem. If you can’t list any concrete ways in which you are part of the solution (and, for the record, “Some of my best friends are black,” is not going to cut it), accept that you are part of the problem. And get on changing that.
3. Embrace your wrongness. Being wrong, knowing it, and holding that knowledge can be really powerful. Once you know you’re wrong, you can give up trying to win that argument and actually put your energy into listening, and maybe even learning something. Only dickheads and Republicans put energy into winning arguments when they know they’re wrong. Are you a dickhead? Are you a Republican?? What the fuck are you doing on this blog?!
4. Which leads me to…Give up being right. I have a friend who I kicked it with a lot a several years ago who would have an argument with someone (sometimes me) and get so wrapped up in how right she was that the friendship would suffer, and sometimes even end, because she couldn’t bear not having her rightness be acknowledged. She lost a lot of friends this way. The truth is, sometimes, you can be right or you can be friends. If you have to choose between the two, and your friendship means enough to you to be worth keeping, then there’s only one choice that makes sense. So get over yourself. K?
5. Take an emotional risk. I have known people who, in all the time I have spent with them, have never once taken an emotional risk. You know, people who only ask questions whose answers they already know so they don’t run the risk of being hurt by truths they can’t handle. Or people who never say I love you first. Or people who never say the thing that is at the back of their tongues, the thing that they are afraid will make them more vulnerable than they have ever been. I have been this person myself at times. Honestly, I have been this person many, many times. But I work on it every day.
6. Hold hands with someone. I think holding hands is one of the most vulnerable and connected things you can do with another person. Sometimes, if you lace your fingers with theirs, you can feel someone’s pulse in their hands. Go ahead. Feel someone’s pulse. Let them feel yours. It can be seriously liberating.
7. Create a boundary/respect a boundary. Creating boundaries is one way to let people know what you need. Respecting other people’s boundaries is one way to meet another person’s needs. The two go hand in hand. If you’re dynamite about setting boundaries and lax about respecting the boundaries of others, or vice versa, something’s off. I will admit that I have never been terrific at either of these things. But I’m much better than I used to be, and I’m working hard on both. What I’m working hardest on is understanding for myself the boundaries I’m setting and why I am setting them, where those needs are coming from, if they are real or just a way of controlling relationships and having the upper hand. If I’m just trying to get my way, without any regard for the needs of the people I claim to care about, that’s not real boundary-setting. That’s douchebaggery.
8. Separate what happened from your story about what happened. When I was six, I had the lead in my 2nd-grade class play and my mother didn’t come to the show. I was devastated and, as a six-year-old, I thought it meant that my mother didn’t love me enough. I grew up believing that. It became my story about my mother. Every time my mother did anything to disappoint me, every time she failed to show up in any way, it added truth to my story. Only it wasn’t truth. It was never truth. It was a story created by a wounded six-year-old. It took me 25 years to realize that. When I did, my life, my way of thinking about my mother and myself, my way of relating to everyone in my life changed. It didn’t make me perfect. I still behave sometimes in response to that story, with my mother and with everyone, but A LOT less than I used to. And when I do, I know what’s actually happening, I know it’s that story and not something real.
9. Check your ego. My ego is enormous, and I come ego-first into most difficult interactions. I used to think that my ego was there to protect me from things like rejection. But at some point I realized that it’s really there to protect itself from rejection. If in protecting itself it also happens to protect me, cool. But if what I need is different from what my ego needs, I’m fucked. Because my ego doesn’t really give a shit about what I need. That’s why it’s so necessary for me to put that bitch (my ego) in check. If we are constantly being protected from rejection, we miss out on a lot life’s really important lessons.
10. Say you’re sorry. There’s someone out there who you wronged. You know it. You did effed up things, said really mean shit, lied, cheated, whatever. And you never apologized. At some point, you started regretting it. But you felt so much guilt, or so much time had passed, that you weren’t sure if you should go there, if you should bring it up again. Well, you should. If you want people to say they’re sorry when they hurt you, you better damn well be someone who says you’re sorry when you hurt other people. It’s not really that complicated.
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Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her writings, which have won her some awards and grants, such as the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award. She just finished a novel and has a short story forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. She is the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a revolutionary blog. She is a nerd who will correct your grammar, so watch out for that.
[TW: abuse, reproductive coercion]
A few weeks ago my mom stapled pages of a story in one of her women’s magazines together and handed it to me. She gave it to me pretty much with the tag lines “for your feminist blog” and “something new to consider.” Indeed it was; she knows me well.
The story is titled “I was forced to be pregnant.” With a title like that, reading it was actually not on the top of my to read list. I thought it was about women not exercising their right to choice. I was very, very wrong on that one.
Have you ever heard of Reproductive coercion? It is a term that was quite recently coined by the advocates against domestic violence to describe a certain type of abuse some women face. It occurs when a man pressures their partner to have kids and/or impregnates them against their will. Reproductive coercion comes in three different types:
1. Emotional pressure that turns into verbal and physical abuse.
2. Sabotaging birth control
3. Marital rape
Over 75% of women 19-49 who reported once experiencing domestic violence also endured some type of reproductive control by men. It’s all about control and domination over a woman’s body.
The first story in the magazine is about a woman who got married around 36 years of age. After a few months of dating her boyfriend talked excitedly about having children. After he proposed he began calling her “The Babymaker.” She then confided with him that one of her fallopian tubes was blocked. He in return insisted she see a fertility doctor. She recounts, “I had finally met a great guy who was eager to start a family with me. What woman wouldn’t fall for that?” Soon after her honeymoon he persisted on in an obsessive manner, but his efforts had to be temporarily halted as she had to get emergency back surgery. Alas, 6 months into recovery he was back to pressuring her again. She was in much pain at the time due to her back, but she agreed to In Vitro Fertilization. She then became pregnant, but soon miscarried. In response, her husband grabbed her by the neck, choking her. He apologized, blaming his outburst on his grief and had her sign up for another round of IVF. And then a third round. She tried to put him off with the excuse that she needed to weigh more before she could take treatments, her husband forced her to get on the scale often and filled the fridge with fattening foods. “It hurt that all I was good for was getting pregnant.” She recounts. At the end, he screamed at her, threatening to replace her with a maid if she couldn’t get pregnant and she told him she no longer wanted to have his child. He destroyed bedroom furniture, pushed her down the stairs and threatened her with a gun. She fled to a domestic violence shelter.
The second story was about a woman who faced marital rape. This woman was 40, had a then boyfriend and two children from a previous marriage. After telling her boyfriend she did not want any more children, her boyfriend refused to wear a condom and began to rape her. She then became pregnant with her third child. Birth control was never an option for her because she couldn’t hide pills anywhere for he went through all of her belongings. Three months after giving birth, he raped her again, impregnating her with twins. She lost the twins in a physical fight with him, but soon became pregnant again. During her recovery she begged her obstetrician to remove her ovaries and devise a lie to tell him; that she had cancer. After a decade of sexual abuse and violence she was able to get a job that kept her out of the house and often times traveling.
One in four callers to the National Domestic Abuse hotline said that their partners had tried to force them to become pregnant. Why? As one woman stated, “Its like he wants to own me from the inside out.” Having a baby is the perfect tie that binds. These type of abusers want to create a circumstance in which their partner is dependent on him.
WHAT’S THAT HAVE TO DO WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD?
Many voters never consider how defunding these clinics could hurt victims of domestic violence who turn to them for counseling as well as pregnancy prevention. Abused women will turn to health care providers long before they will turn to domestic abuse hotlines and organizations. Many women in abusive relationships rely on life saving, affordable care programs such as Title X. It is critical that such places are open and operation when women and children need them so desperately.
PACHUCA– a type of woman who knew how to look glamorous in red lipstick and victory rolls, but also hid razor blades in her perfectly-coiffed bouffant (and was not afraid to use them).
a type of *chicana*. straight up chicana. macha/femme at it’s superb finest.
Stations, by Audre Lorde (Happy Valentine’s Day)
Some women love to wait for life
for a ring in the June light
for a touch of the sun to heal them
for another woman’s voice
to make them whole
to untie their hands
put words in their mouths
form to the passages
sound to their screams
for some other sleeper to remember
Some women wait for their right train
in the wrong station
in the alleys of morning
for the noon to holler
the night come down.
Some women wait for love
to rise up
the child of their promise
to gather from earth
what they do not plant
to claim pain for labor
the tip of an arrow
to aim at the heart of now
but it never stays.
Some women wait for visions
that do not return
where they were not welcomed
for invitations to places
they always wanted to visit
to be repeated.
Some women wait for themselves
around the next corner
and call the empty spot peace
but the opposite of living
is only not living
and the stars do not care.
Some women wait for something to change
and nothing does change
so they change