Category Archives: BP #8

MWM: Egypt Edition

With the situation in Syria continues reaching new levels of turmoil, it is easy for news stories to get lost among the shuffle. Although the million man march is known by even the casually high school educated historians, the million women march in Egypt that happened just last year is one that mainstream media has all but overlooked. Egypt, like many countries in the region are at a crossroad, not only for the future of their political policies, but their human rights policies as well.

The first MWM was organized on October 25th, 1997 in Philadelphia by Phile Chionesu. She and other women acknowledged the Million Man March and the day of absence, but felt that they were not represented within the ranks of the men. Their intention was to provide hope and guidance in improving the lives of African Americans. Estimates range from 500,000 to 1.1 million women attended the Million Woman March in Philly.

 

The Egyptian MWM is one of many protests going on in Egypt as of late. Outcry over the murder and deplorable treatment of female protestors have led women who usually err on the side of political neutrality, to join in march regardless of the consequences.

This relates to African American feminism is a plethora of ways. The most obvious being that Egyptian women are seeking the same level or human rights from their government that American feminists once demanded, and having to deal with a violence that many did not. The outcry, men killing/assaulting women and dragging them through the streets mimics the civil rights movement and violence perpetrated against blacks in the form of jim crow laws and lynchings. Reports of not only protestors, but reporters being physically attacked, as riot squads attempted to disperse the  crowds.(disturbing vid below, provided by the huffington post)

egypt protest

 

Experts will argue that this is nothing new and that women fight, in all parts of the world for equal rights. The point of this was to show that although this is a long drawn out struggle, it is obviously not over until human beings are not dragged through the streets and stepped on.Even with the threat of violence looming the Egyptian Million Woman march attracted about 1000 women. If America’s Million Woman March devolved into such violence, how many would still openly protest?

 

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Your Famous..soo you cant be in the courtroom

Listening to the radio this morning I heard that they were finally choosing the jury in the case against William Balfour who is Jennifer Hudson’s ex brother-in-law who is accused of murdering her brother, nephew and mother. This is the kicker the defense attorney is trying to make it so that Jennifer Hudson will not be able to be in the court room because she is “too famous” and her appearance will persuade the jury’s opinion. Seriously I knew it would be hard to choose jury because Jennifer Hudson is known around the world but at the end of the day justice needs to be done for her and her family so that they can start to fully heal. The other thing is that if you have a juror that knows nothing about JHUD then there would be concerns about the persons judgement and where they have been living. I believe in innocent until proven guilty but the victims also deserve the right to face the accuser famous or not.

Follow the Case 

 

OH THAT “N” WORD

Professor Teasdell told our class how she doesn’t want for us to use the “n” word in class because she doesn’t like the term.  At first I was like ok, cool that’s her opinion but then I started wondering why.  Its not like we’re saying “nigger”; its not even like were trying to insult one another, and for a lot of people its a word used in every day language.  I think I do understand now though, because  it is a slang for the word “nigger”, and we’re so much better than that and we’ve came so far to be calling one another ignorant all the time.  How I came to this is because I realized I really hate women calling each other “bitches”.  Like that’s something I can’t even get used to, and even now when I hear it I still get a shocked face that women would greet one another in that manner and out loud;  with kids around and elderly people around it don’t even matter.  So in the same way calling my African American friends “niggas” out loud with people around is just as bad.  Honestly, I feel like its a word that isn’t going anywhere for a while being that its commonly used, children at a earlier age are using it more and you can’t even turn on a hip hop or rap song without hearing it but if we, being the present generation, start by telling the children what the slang really means maybe in future years it won’t be common at all.

Fast Food and the community

Initially I wanted to write this blog about the recent Mary j. commercial by Burger King where she sings about her love for fried chicken. However, the commercial has since been pulled, and Mary j. has formally renounced the commercial portrayal. Burger King and Mary J. say the commercial wasn’t finished; which is hard to believe, but not impossible.  I was also going to tie it in with the Dr. Pepper 10 commercials that boast the tagline  “its not for women”. While researching these polarizing advertizing messages, I realized that McDonald’s has a separate website just for black people (www.365black.com, which does not even have mcdonalds in the title, btw). I don’t really like that at all considering their food is atrociously bad for you, and even they say you should only eat it once a month (although there is one on every block). Is it appropriate to be so blatant in their attempt to solicit African Americans to eat fast food with a nation struggling with obesity. the site claims to be a 365 celebration but its mostly just one big job application/viral marketing page.  What do you think about advertisers having such in-depth and shameless solicitation of the black community. Is their philanthropic work with children and college students enough to excuse an obviously exploitative corporation? Do any of these ad campaigns offend you?

Anita Hill : Speaking Truth to Power

Seeing that everyone else posted their opinions regarding Anita Hill’s speech, I felt the need to share mine as well. Remember that this is my personal opinion, and you are not entitled to agree with it!

Being that I share the same interest in law as Professor Hill, I have heard different opinions regarding the allegations of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassing her while they were employed together. I somewhat hold a neutral position being that while I do believe her story that sexual harassment did occur, I question the timing and motive for when she went confronted his actions publicly.

So you can imagine that I was very excited to discover she was coming to our school to speak about sexual harassment. I assumed she would give more insight to the case that stirred national attention so I could better form an opinion or a stance regarding the situation.

Surprisingly, I was disappointed to discover that Professor Hill did not go into depth into the situation. She did mention it for a very brief moment then proceeded to discuss topics and issues that were covered in her book. I think this is what led to my biggest disappointment as I felt she spent more time promoting her book rather than fulfilling the expectations of most of the audience.

While I wasn’t impressed by her speech, I did agree with many things she mentioned. Health care for women is an extremely important issue that is often exploited through extremely high prices. Sexual harassment is has moved to be an important issue in the work place since Anita’s case. Despite the many advancements women have made in history, women are still denied and restricted from many freedoms and liberals of the counterparts of men. I agree that women have a long way to go before we can achieve equality in society.

Aishah Shahidah Simmons

Since we have been discussing African American women who contributed to a feminist agenda and April is the national sexual assault awareness month I decided to post something relative to those topics. “NO! The Rape documentary” was written, produced and directed by incest and rape survivor Aishah Shahidah Simmons. She spent eleven years on the documentary, seven of which were full time dedicated to working on the documentary. This documentary explores the international reality of rape and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism and cultural work of African Americans. NO! is also a Black feminist educational organizing tool, which is being used in the global movement to end violence against women and children. NO! also explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia.

Among completing the documentary, Simmons is noted as an award-winning African American feminist lesbian independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist based in Philadelphia, PA. In 1992, she founded AfroLez Productions, which is an AfroLezfemcentric multimedia arts company committed to using the moving image, the written and spoken word to counteract the negative impact of racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism on the lives of marginalized and oppressed people. AfroLezfemcentric defines the culturally conscious role of Black women who identify as Afrocentri, lesbian, and feminist.

 

Act of giving

My sister told me once that you are supposed to do things because you won’t to do it. You have the desire to do action for another person so you do it not because you expect or want anything back in return.  I try to remember this when I go about my day.  I do things for people because I really want to and because I like helping people especially when I see they are in need.  Deep down inside I think everyone hopes that if one day they needed something that the person they helped would be there to help you.  When that person is not there it makes you rethink helping people and their intentions.  When it gets like this people should remember that someone always sees what you do regardless if you are recognized for it or you receive something back.  We get over blessing from the things we do and the blessing we give.

Dr. Anita Hill- Women and Gender Equality

Dr. Anita Hill’s forum was good; there were a lot of people there to hear her speak.  Dr. Hill started with talking about women and gender equality.  She asked that we see gender equality as equal chances but let’s believe in a world that women have the same chances as men;  a world where a women can be President, Chancellor, head of the student body…etc.  I think that we have a long way to go before a woman will be President especially an African American woman because we are oppressed by gender and racial factors.  She said we should think of decision makers being women that believe in gender equality.  This is an important statement to me, just because a woman is in power or in a position to make decisions does not mean that she will make decisions that will benefit women.  Dr. Hill said that when you think about gender equality you should personalize it.  This makes since because when people think about gender equality they just think about women in general and may not think it affects them.  When you put faces to the word women such as mom, sister, grandma it gives a person a better perspective.  Dr. Hill spoke commented on the hearing but she did not want that to be the main focus of her forum.  She stated that the process was critical to her life but the hearings did not define her.  No matter what you go through I think it will have an effect on you but it should not define you as a person.  Someone in the audience asked why she testified and where did she get the courage and her response was that she had seen first had how important the courts were.  She had wonderful colleagues, friends, and family who supported her and she knew her vision of life and who she wanted to be was bigger than the hearings.  Dr. Hill said “If we can begin by making sure that our voices are heard we will have begun to work towards something important.” It all begins with your voice in my opinion; if you don’t have a voice then people are not going to know what you stand for.  We change the word by the things we say and do.

I am a size 16!

Oh my goodness it is already April 2012.  Like the holidays was just here, then the new year, and now we have been in 2012 for four months.  Since being in this new year how many of you all have heard your friends talking about going to lose weight before the summer or maybe this is something you yourself has declared to do.  Everyone decides on a few things they want to improve on for every new year, including myself, but instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” I went with, “I want to be healthier” this year.  Studies have shown that African American women are more likely to be obese than any other race.  I mean compared to African American men and men of other races and women of other races; we will be the most overweight.  This was my first time looking up information about obesity rates and all of this information really shocked me, but what shocked me the most was the fact that we have the highest obesity rate our entire life; in elementary school, middle school, high school,and over eighteen.  So now after looking up these statistics, which you can view yourself on “The Office of Minority Health” page at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=6456, I have decided that this is a problem. I am not about to go on a rant about how it is so important to lose weight, and tips on how to eat healthy because I am definitely considered obese myself, and anyone who truly knows me, knows I’m all for loving yourself and having high self esteem, but at the same time I’m all for having longevity and making smart decisions.  I went and viewed some comments on this issue on different websites and the debate that seems to keep popping up is that African American women are glorifying being overweight.  I will talk about this for a second because I disagree,  I do not think black women are glorifying this issue, I feel like women who are overweight want to feel accepted just as if they were skinny.  Realizing, that their are women out there who are considered overweight but they do eat healthy and exercise; metabolism and age plays a big part in this and for the women like that, I could see why they would so call glorify being bigger because that is who they are.  Now the other side to this story is that there are also women who are bigger because they basically choose to be at that weight.  It is perfectly ok to be “curvy” and healthy at the same time or as i said earlier love yourself and make smart decisions.  I am in no position to be talking about anyone or giving advice so I think I’m coming to an end, but maybe after reading this you will decide to spread the word about at least trying to live a healthier lifestyle or maybe you will decide to do it for yourself.

Talking to our children

There has been lots of conversations in the media about Trayvon Martin, which I’m sure we are all very aware of by now. Lots of conversations have centered around protests and what people can do to prevent situations like this from continuing to happen as well as finding justice for Trayvon and his family. Regardless of everyone coming together for the sake of Trayvon and other situations like his of course there has been some negative publicity and people using this to promote the wrong things, such as the party promotion that someone recently blogged about.

As I was researching and thinking over the case I came across an article that fit exactly what was going through my mind, talking to children about what is going on. When there are situations like this that are going on in the media and is hard to determine what exactly our children are hearing it is important that we can talk to them to ensure that they have an understanding. We want to teach them how these situations effect them and give them an open opportunity to ask questions and express their feelings. Although I didn’t agree with everything in the article I think that it is great that people are taking the initiative to reach out to the children.

http://www.vibevixen.com/2012/03/how-to-talk-to-young-black-women-about-trayvon-martin/