Tag Archives: activism

Spectra: A Love Warrior Leading With Relationship Over Rhetoric

Feminist Rag Award NEW_Spectra Speaks

Love warrior and leader Spectra goes by the mantra ‘Love is my revolution’, which is evident in her honest, articulate, thoughtful, insightful, love-infused, vibrant critical writing and audience engagement.  Spectra’s words speak directly to my heart and often so perfectly articulate many thoughts I have swimming around in my head.  She teaches me much and pushes me to keep checking my white privilege.

Spectra is an award-winning Queer Nigerian Afrofeminist Writer and Media Activist. Social Entrepreneur Nurturing Principled Diaspora and Women’s Philanthropy in Media and Tech. Self-Care and Self-Love Evangelist. Idealist Warrior Woman. Big Dreamer. Big Thinker. Big Doer, Too.  She publishes social commentary about gender, sexuality, diaspora communities, and movement-building through the lens of “Love” and media psychology. (from here.)

From my decolonist feminist lens, I really appreciate Spectra’s view of western feminism and how she describes her afrofeminism:

I always get the question, “Why do you call yourself an afrofeminist?” to which I usually answer, “I don’t really… I just am.” And then the annoyed inquirer probes further, “Well what is it? What is afrofeminism?” And that’s the problem I’ve always had with western feminism — there’s too much emphasis on the what – the exhausting jargon-ridden definitions, and the why — the constant reiterations of problems, including whose fault it is, and not nearly enough on the how. [YEAH!]

I was never indoctrinated into western feminism via thick gender studies textbooks or “critical readings” — and I prefer it that way. My ideals — which can certainly be described as feminist, progressive, radical etc. — come from my mother’s wisdom, solidarity with African women, including women of the Global South and other self-identified women of color, my personal values, and common sense. For me, the personal just isn’t political; the political should be personalized. (more here. )

Check out Spectra’s podcast about “African women in the Diaspora using new media and technology to subvert and influence mainstream narratives about Africa: African Women Storytellers in the Digital Agehere.

On feminism and the War on Women, Spectra says:

I ask you to consider, is the women’s movement making a stand, or falling into pieces?  Are we uniting through our differences so that we can be stronger?  Or reaching for something way less grand, with way less hands, hoping that our “good intentions” will pay off if we just wait a little longer?  Which members of this army — of our family — are missing?  Where are the voices of low income women of color?  Where are the voices of transgender women?  Where is the rest of our family?

If I’ve learned anything about real-life revolutions it’s that they sometimes can take on the form of the war you’re fighting.  it’s that it matters less what you’re fighting for, but who is fighting with you.

The War on Women needs to mean more than reproductive justice for middle class white women.  The War on Women needs to mean more than the debate over abortion and birth control.  The War on Women must mean to us the impact of racism on women of color and our sons.  The War on Women must mean to us the impact of racism, sexism, and homophobia on transgender women of color.  The War on Women must mean to us the impact of un-checked privilege and ignorance within our movement.

The War between Women is real.  And until we can be brave enough to face the truth – that we have to END the war over who counts as “women” amongst ourselves we are NOT united. (more here.)

I also really love the Spectra-ism of “Relationship over rhetoric.”  Her writing revolves around relationship in that she is inviting, engaging, and embraces her whole humanity, talks Real Talk and creates a safe, respectful space for others to do the same.  Relationships are really everything, aren’t they?  They are where things go horribly wrong and where injustice stems from, and they are where healing and the RIGHT things can happen, if we ALL work at it.  Respect for all Beings starts and stops with the relationships we have with eachother and all other living beings around us.

Thank you so much Spectra for being in this world and sharing your voice, it is so valued and your heart and Spirit so strong and pure, you’re a real inspiration to fellow love warriors.  You are a warm and mighty love-filled gust of wind beneath my feminist wings!

Follow and engage with Spectra and her Facebook community here.

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Our Stories & Feelings Matter. As Indigenous People Say, Our Relations are Everything.

I love this clip of Nina Simone so beautifully and eccentrically telling & singing her stories, sharing her feelings, and asking (sadly, unsuccessfully) for others to share the Feeling experience with her.

Speaking of feelings, I’ve heard some feminists say that political analysis has no room for/is not about feelings.  That just makes no sense, and it is the same mentality that creates all the fuckery and oppression around us, the non-caring of others’ feelings.  The only politics I’m interested in is those that center themselves around caring about, and treating eachother with kindness and respect.

“Everybody is half-dead. Everybody avoids everybody. All over the place, in most situations, all the time. I know; I’m one of those everybodies. And to me, it is terrible. And so all I’m trying to do, all the time, is just to open people up, so they can feel themselves and let themselves be open to somebody else. That is all. That’s it.” — Nina Simone

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Columbus Day Is It? Maybe Next Year We Should Have a Hitler Day!

Artwork by Native Rights Activist & Artist Shea Sandy:

We Are Still Here” is the first of my Culture Clash collection.

This work voices the truth about what many Indigenous/Aboriginal/First Nations and Native American people have struggled with regarding some of the more common Native issues at the forefront, such as:

  • The pollution and destruction of the land we live with;
  • The spreading of european diseases to which we have little or no resistance to, this in itself has been said to account for up to %90 percent of the deaths and unfathomable SUFFERING of Native Americans since 1492.
  • Native people are often regarded as a whimsical character from the past that no longer exists except in the imagination of non-natives and in old western movies, this is why our Nez Perce man and his horse are represented in black and white, because many people think of us as something from the past and even talk about us in past tense form. i.e. “The Indians ‘lived‘ in tipis.” or “Native Americans ‘were‘ spiritual and ‘sang‘ songs and ‘danced‘. Well, WE ARE STILL HERE! No need to speak of us in past tense, Thank You, we aren’t quite gone yet – we are making a recovery, remembering our ways and reclaiming our place on Turtle Island.
  • The upside down flag is a well known military distress signal, it means Something Is Wrong and it is a sign asking for help.
  • The burnt edges of the flag are an acknowledgment of the dangerous, difficult and life threatening times Native Activists have gone through and continue to face.

Look closely and ponder this work, it has quite a story to tell.

I’d like to dedicate this to all Indigenous Activists, to all those who dare to DEcolonize their mind and to all the Survivors who stayed and stay strong with love in their heart for all of our Relations.

I hope you get as much out of it as I put into it.

~ Shea Sandy

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We Owe a Debt to “The Drunken Indians”

For some reason this most excellent video won’t embed, please check it out on YouTube, it is a 4-minute talk by Native Rights activist and artist John Trudell that is radically truthful and eye-opening  ——–>

http://youtu.be/RhLatWoWrKA

DEcolonize Your Mind!

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Would you celebrate a “Hitler Day”? Well if not then why in the world would you EVER celebrate this person who started a holocaust that killed about 10 times as many people as Hitlers claim to infamy? Whether the death tolls be 6 million, 45 million or 90 million we should all be able to agree that it is all horrific and awful and that starting a 500 year (so far) long genocide is NOTHING to celebrate!

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Helping = Inequality; Serving = A Relationship Between Equals

In the Service of Life

by Rachel Naomi Remen (from this article).

In recent years, the question how can I help? has become meaningful to many people.  But perhaps there is a deeper question we might consider.  Perhaps the real question is not how can I help? but how can I serve? Continue reading

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In Memory of Wangari Maathai Who Showed Us How to Roll Up Our Sleeves & Do the Work Needed for Change

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Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement (GBM):

An environmental organization that empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods.  [GBM was founded] to respond to the needs of rural Kenyan women who reported that their streams were drying up, their food supply was less secure, and they had to walk further and further to get firewood for fuel and fencing. GBM encouraged the women to work together to grow seedlings and plant trees to bind the soil, store rainwater, provide food and firewood, and receive a small monetary token for their work. [source]

Continue reading

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Flora Jessop: A Hero Who Devotes her Life to Rescuing Women & Children from Abuse & Servitude

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Flora Jessop was born into, indoctrinated and abused by, then ran like hell from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a Christian cult with large, isolated compounds in Utah, Arizona and Texas, USA and British Columbia, Canada.  The church’s president and so-called “prophet,” Warren Jeffs, is currently in prison for raping girls and other crimes.  He hand picked young girls to “teach” them about sex by raping them, taking them as a wife and/or passing them on to his pedophile buddies as a reward for their loyalty.  Warren would also rip wives away from their husbands to punish “disobedient” men and pass the women on to “more deserving” men. Continue reading

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The Abolitionist Sisterhood of Trafficking/Prostitution: A Force to be Reckoned With

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You know those chills that go through your body when you experience something powerful?  That’s what I felt upon reading the title of the admirable Stella Marr’s latest blog post, Our Bonds Are Just Too Strong For You, and seeing its accompanying picture.

Shortly into the post I was disturbed to learn that Stella was recently subjected to some smear-campaigning, viciousness and personal attacking  by the commercial rape industry’s apologists and profiteers.  Such going-for-the-jugular tactics are unfortunately widely used as a last and only resort by those in the wrong simply because they have nothing to say that justifies their harmful and intellectually lazy stances.  We see such jugular attacking in mainstream politics all the time. Continue reading

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