This week had a lot, so it took me a little while to distill my favorite posts down to these three. First, Flavia Dzodan returned to blogging at Tiger Beatdown after a short absence with a heart-wrenching openness about struggles in her life - living as an undocumented immigrant, losing a pregnancy while in State custody, State surgeons screwing up surgery and making her sterile, and all the pain that comes with not being able to talk about it in relationship to her feminist work because she would be called "too emotionally close" and "irrationally involved":
I am often accused of being “resentful” or “racist against white people” or “irrationally angry”. I pity those who have never experienced the pain of having the thing they wanted most taken away while they are capable of calling someone “resentful”. My husband often tells me “but they don’t know what drives you”. I contend that even if they knew, they would still demand more proof, more suffering, more pain in order to believe. And that’s the reason I never spoke publicly about my past an an undocumented immigrant before. I always thought some people would try and use it against me to invalidate everything I stand for. “oh, but you are emotionally involved!” “you cannot possibly be objective about it” “you are too subjective about this to have an impartial opinion”. So, I remained silent in spite of the fact that I wholeheartedly believe that the personal is indeed political. I didn’t speak because I was afraid to victimize myself and, in the process, render everything I write about European Union policies suspect. I was also ashamed. Undocumented immigrants are “the scourge of society”, “they broke the law”, “they are illegal”. But since I haven’t been able to write anything for the past four months anyway, I have nothing to lose. Now it’s time for this story, my story to come to light. I might not be impartial or objective or “uncompromised” but neither is a State that renders people sterile because of immigration status or a State that sees fit to allow seventeen thousand people to die for having the nerve to immigrate without the correct paperwork.
Over on Black Girl Dangerous, Mia McKenzie wrote a response to the Onion's vile tweet, talking about The Thing About Being a Little Black Girl:
The thing about being a little black girl in the world is that even when you are the youngest person ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, many people will use the occasion not to hold you up for all of the amazing things you obviously are, but to tear you down for the ways you don't look like them, the ways your name isn't their kind of right, the ways you don't remind them of themselves, the ways you are not blonde or blue-eyed, as if those things could possibly matter when set against the otherwordly talent and beauty and brilliance you possess.
The thing about being a little black girl in the world is that you come into it already expected to be less than you almost certainly are, the genius and radiant darkness you possess already set up to be overlooked, dismissed or erased by almost everyone you will ever meet.
The thing about being a little black girl in the world is that even when you are everything, some people will want you to be nothing. They will look at you through the nothing-colored glasses they will put on every time you enter a room. And the bigness of you, the outstandingness, the giftedness, will be invisible to them.
And Feminisms Fest was this week as well, highlighting within the evangelical blogging sphere what feminism means and why its needed within the church. I didn't participate because I didn't have the time (way too much writing on my plate at the moment!), but I was excited to read what I could of the posts this series produced. I had trouble picking just one, but one of my favorites appeared last night, written by my dear friend, Dani Kelley. She hits the nail on the head for why feminism within the church is important and for why it's often hard for Christians feminists to be in church (something with which I identify strongly):
It’s been outside the church, among these liberals and feminists, that I’ve learned that it is okay for me to exist.
It’s been outside the church, among these liberals and feminists, that I’ve been allowed to grieve when I hurt, rage when I’m angry, dance when I’m happy, and experience human emotions fully for the first time in my life.
It’s been outside the church, among these liberals and feminists, that I’ve truly heard for the first time that there is nothing I can think, say, do, or wear that can possibly justify sexual, physical, spiritual, or emotional violence against me.
It’s been outside the church, among these liberals and feminists, that I’ve been told that my voice is important.
It’s been outside the church, among these liberals and feminists, that I’ve been told that my entire worth isn’t located in my vagina or connected to any activity that happens therein.
It’s been outside the church, among these wonderful, strong, brave, compassionate liberals and feminists, that I have found safety. Understanding. Friendship. Love.
Go. Read. Learn. And don't forget to celebrate church outside the walls, on a Friday night having wine with friends or a Sunday morning sleeping in. We learn from each other and from telling stories, not from keeping quiet and pretending everything's okay.