If your parents are the type who only get to see you a few times a year and gush about you to anyone who will listen in between, going home for Thanksgiving probably means being treating like a queen the whole weekend. After living in a tiny city apartment, eating a steady stream of takeout and lugging your clothes to the laundromat, your childhood home can feel like a five-star resort. “Saturday Night Live” brought together Cameron Diaz, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, Sasheer Zamata and Lil’ Baby Aidy Bryant to celebrate spending Thanksgiving back at home.
As I write this, I’ve just come home from a new gym. A man training a small group of us shouted personalized encouragement throughout in an effort to spur us along. “Well done, Karen!” “Two more reps, Jaz!” “Knees up, Ellen!” “Bum out, Phhhh … bum out!”
I know that when someone mumbles “Phhh” under their breath, it means me. This happens with relative frequency; if I had to guess I’d say bi-weekly. I decided to tell the trainer how to pronounce my name, because the longer this kind of thing goes on, the more awkward it gets for everyone involved. “Phhhh” isn’t fooling anyone, mate. I have a few variations on the theme of correcting pronunciation, but on this particular day I went with “It’s like the name Lisa, but with ‘fuh’ in front of it.” Earlier, when I picked up a prescription from a pharmacist I’ve seen several times over the past year, I let “fuh-lissa” slide. It’s a pharmacist — we’re not that invested in each other. I’m used to making these judgement calls. Keep reading »
Last Friday night I had to sift through my Other inbox on Facebook, and I found out that it had accumulated a few spectacularly short-sighted messages from anti-feminists. I tweeted about a few of them, and then I got this reply from the Twitter user @ToughLuvBun:
@RebeccaVBrink fuck him u r a feminism bae
Keep reading »
I am at odds with feminism and my conflict is a “race issue.”
For White women, defining oneself as feminist is pretty simple. The need to advance a female political agenda — while dismissing male oppression — makes sense in a world where White men maintain the highest position and power. I understand that.
However, as a Black woman, I do not share that same freedom or privilege to so easily align myself with gendered politics. I elaborated on that notion sometime ago in a piece that I wrote about intersectionality. In summary, my existence is plagued by both White patriarchy and racism. Neither of those plights outweigh the other, though both do have their own implications that are divisive and confusing. Therefore, I, as well as other women of color, am constantly at odds with the struggle against racism and patriarchy. It’s a predicament where I must constantly defend my position as a woman who cares about women’s issues to Black men– and the Black community– who claim that the main political focus of any Black individual should be tackling racism and White supremacy. And, similarly, I must constantly defend myself to White women who expect that women will readily adopt a White feminist agenda that does not account for the particular position that women of color occupy.
This is my statement to both of these demographics: I care not for your acceptance or approval. I stand upon the platform built for me by my foremothers, the Black women who understood the various struggles that plague women of color and the truth that advancement for us cannot be realized without the release of our community — and men — from the shackles of racism. I stand beside Alice Walker, bell hooks, Clenora Hudson-Weems and the myriad of women who understand my struggle and advocate for progress for the Black community. Keep reading »
I’ve been scrolling through the #Ferguson hashtag all morning. Last night, protesters burned buildings down, destroying businesses; they overturned cars, they smashed windows, they looted. This is a moment of extraordinary anger. Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the murder of Mike Brown, and, as it turns out, that no-indictment is rare — or, at least, it’s rare when the murderer is not a police officer. And it’s heartbreaking that business owners in Ferguson are bearing the brunt of the aggression. It bears noting that there was almost no police presence in Ferguson last night to protect those businesses. Well, there was no police presence in Ferguson last night to protect businesses in majority Black areas; they did show up to create a barricade around a brewery. Keep reading »
After you’ve stuffed your face on Thanksgiving, you’re pretty much just going to want to sit down, relax, and watch something that’s pleasant and entertaining. We have nine of the best Thanksgiving food coma movies for you: Not too complex, not too emotionally challenging, and very, very entertaining. Read on!