Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Closing Remarks, sort of...

First, this was one of the most AMAZING classes I have had the pleasure of teaching and I'm thrilled you were with me through our first offering of Masculinities. It was more challenging than I anticipated to have some of the discussions we did and I was consistently impressed with how you handled them--passionately but with respect. Our classroom community was one that many professors can only hope for. You all challenged each other and (especially;) me and I appreciated the energy and enthusiasm you brought each Thursday. I will definitely miss it. We should have a masculinities reunion. Or actually have another feminist dinner party (some of you were at the first one a couple years ago and it rocked). I will also continue to work with and help grow Men Against Rape so I hope to see many of you at meetings and events. Hopefully meetings won't conflict with my class schedule as they did this semester... I strongly encourage you to work with and/or continue working with Men Against Rape; support is especially important for new organizations.

I know the class is over but the blog is still here. I will teach this class f2f in the Fall and online in the Summer (most likely) so it will be very active during those semesters but I would like to keep it active throughout the year, whether or not it's a class requirement. So feel free to continue posting and checking it (you can get RSS feeds when someone posts or just check in periodically). I will keep you as contributors/authors unless you would prefer to be taken off. If that is the case, just send me an email and I'll remove you as an author.

Also, if you would like to continue working with Animal Safehouse, please let me know by email and I will put you on our email/call lists.

Enjoy your break/holidays and I hope to see you all in the near future. Thanks again for a wonderful and challenging semester. xo, Leandra

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Queer Liberation? No Thanks, We’ll Pass

Sooooo I found this really awesome essay by Brent Calderwood. Now I know the class is over-ish but as I read the essay I couldn't help but connect it back to the class. It's about queer men's masculinity and I found it very interesting because it deals with many issues within the queer community itself like racism, sexism, body image, and all that fun stuff. Its 3 pages long but worth the read.

Friday, December 4, 2009

keep fighting against injustices. don't ever stop fighting.


Take a look at the poems on the link above.
So real.
and raw.
and necessary.

continue to write.
speak up.
and speak out.
because your voices *are* heard.
and important.
and *you* do make a difference.
inside and outside of the classroom.

peace. love. and respect. Ari. xoxo

Good Men, This Goes Out To You
This poem goes out to the teacher who made me cover up on a hot day,
When all the little boys ran around
- Free & shirtless-
When I was only 3.
Who taught me that my body was something I must hide.

This goes out to the teacher who didn't believe me
When i said I was almost raped at the age the age of 5
Because he claimed my accusation was untrue.
Who taught me that a man's word was better than mine.

This goes out to the church who told me
that i didn't need to have the same .positions. that men had
because I had the privilege of bearing children.
Who taught me that separate was equal.

This goes out to the men who gave me my first drink
at the age of 13
Then gave me another after another
and then tried to take advantage of me in a locked bathroom.
2 men against 1 girl
who would have succeeded
had I not been so pissed off at the world at that point
that i never left my house unarmed.
Who taught me to never take anything from a man trying to be nice to me.
Who taught me that women don't have the privilege to drink without a sober friend
like men do.
Who taught me that woman don't attack men when their drunk
but a drunk man will be all over you.
Who taught me that law says that a bottle is a good enough excuse to take the word NO
and crumble it into a million pieces.
Who taught me that drunk women can't be raped
They can only be stupid.

This goes out to the countless men who scare me.
Who corner me on the streets with their cars.
And on the sidewalks with their bodies asking me, "How much?"
Who taught me that a woman walking alone, must be for sale.

This goes out to the men who holler out their cars and make cat-calls in the street.
Who taught me that my body is open to review by any man who sees it.
Who taught me that i am always being watched.

This goes out to the men who hit on me and ask me out in front of my partner.
To the men who tried to sleep with me, knowing that I'm a lesbian.
Who taught me that women can't really love without the presence,
or permission, of a man.

This goes out to my mother, who gives me brother all the opportunities i never had.
Who taught me that I can't handle, or do, anything a man can.

This goes out to my father
who has never lived more than 30 minutes away from me,
but goes years at a time without seeing me,
yet always makes time for his son.
Who taught me that if I were born a boy, I would have been loved more.

This goes out to the retailers who never have clothes or shoes in my size.
Who taught me to be ashamed and embarrassed of my body.
Who taught me that real women don't look like me.
Who taught me that it is not acceptable in this society to be who I am.

This goes out to my mother again.
Who throughout all the emotional abuse her husband put us through,
said nothing.
Who taught me a woman's place in a marriage.

This goes out to my peers who taught me I was nothing if I couldn't get a boyfriend.
Who taught me that my success is determined by the man I'm with
and my worth measured by his happiness.

This goes out to the people who have cheated on me and broken my heart
Who taught me that you have to be beautiful by societies standards to earn and deserve loyalty.

This goes out to myself,
for crawling back to the people who have hurt me
Who taught me that I don't deserve better.

This goes out to the person who left me for an African woman
and told me that they got tired of milk chocolate
and wanted to try dark for a change
Who taught me that multiracial isn't really a color of race and so
I have to work harder to be loved.
Who taught me that i am the "other" circle, the broken puzzle pieces that no longer fits into a perfect picture, and must therefore work harder to belong.

This goes out to my great uncle who molested my cousin.
Who taught me that there is no man I can trust.

This goes out to my 2 uncles, who together have 25 children with different women.
Who taught me that 1 woman isn't worth a fraction of 1 man.

This goes out to my grandfather,
who traveled to American and stranded my grandmother,
my mother, and my uncle, and my aunts in Jamaica
so he could have a life and have fun.
Who taught me that only men have dreams
Who taught me that raising children is woman's work.

This goes out to the men who see these wrong in the world
And do nothing to inspire change.
Who taught me why women are afraid to speak up and make a difference.

Good men,
We need you to
Start and Lead
A Male Revolution.

I cannot change you,
I can only Speak Up and
Tell the Truth.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
What lessons do you leave behind?
What do your actions and choices teach?
This poem goes out to You...

- anonymous

Wednesday, December 2, 2009