Celebrating success and being constructive

November 25, 2009

When we think about the “anti-violence movement,” it is predicated on “ending violence.”  On undoing a negative.  On not doing bad.  With this focus, it is easy to ignore rather than actively pursue the good.  To overlook and dismiss rather than recognize and celebrate successes.  This can have a draining effect on activists, and can stall further progress.  It is a competition for our time and energy between

  1. criticizing what’s wrong in the past and present state of affairs on the one hand, and
  2. envisioning, identifying and pursuing the characteristics of a better world on the other hand.

Which is why I’m very happy to see Popular Science, of all magazines, take a lead on celebrating the successes of feminism by highlighting three women geniuses.

Read the rest of this entry »

women in jazz

April 30, 2009

WOW. Grace Kelly. Y’all remember that, alright? Seriously. So I heard this amazing interpretation of “Ain’t No Sunshine” on the radio, waiting with baited breath to hear who the hell it was behind this crazy shee-it. Turns out, you have to qualify it as crazy youthful sixteen year old second-gen Korean American she-it to be accurate. Grace Kelly. Mood Changes.

In the liner notes, Don Heckman beautifully describes the casual sexism us men often carelessly throw around. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine):
Read the rest of this entry »

Equal Rights Clause?

November 14, 2008

The passing of proposition 8 and its ilk elsewhere has a lot of people down.  A friend via her Facebook status, “thinks you shouldn’t be able to vote away civil rights.”  Amen to that…got me thinking.

We have an Equal Protection Clause, but no Equal Rights Clause under the US Constitution yet.  Which means that a majority vote in a state or local election can infringe upon the so-called “unalienable rights” of a minority.  That isn’t democracy — that’s tyranny.

Read the rest of this entry »

living history, thinking strategically

November 4, 2008

The first official news announcing the historic occasion came to my email inbox:

News Alert 11:05 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama Wins the Presidency

Barack Obama defeats John McCain to become first African American to win the White House.

McCain’s concession speech was eloquent, full of high rhetoric about honor, integrity, devotion, and perhaps most importantly, unity.  In other words, the complete opposite of his campaign rhetoric.  I doubt it will be enough to overcome the fear and hatred his campaign tactics have fomented.  I hope I’m wrong.  At least it was a return to the McCain that I knew and respected when I supported him in 2000 against the disaster that has been George W. Bush.  I also hope Obama’s decisive victory means the death of the terrible, oppressive race-baiting tactics that Bush and Rove used against McCain during the 2000 Republican primary — tactics (along with the same advisors) that McCain ironically decided to use in 2008.  May they Rest In Hell.

Read the rest of this entry »