Monday, November 30, 2009

Jerryell Myesha Foster of Baltimore is missing: will you get this news from any national media?

Jerryell Myesha Foster of Baltimore was last seen Tuesday November 24 2009 at approximately 8:20p.m.

Thank you to La Reyna's blogpost for alerting me to this latest missing person. As has been noted many places, if you're not white, don't expect to get national media attention if you disappear. It's not just racism, folks, it's misogyny too, and classism too when dealing with poor and working class missing women.

It is horrifying that girls and women of color go missing every day in the U.S., and are not reported on by major news media. That means they any girl or woman who disappears is less likely to be found, is less likely to survive, and is less likely to know, while missing, that people are out there caring about what happened to her!

See also:, for more information about other missing Black women; it is at that site that I found the photo above. Lorde knows you won't hear about these women in the dominant WHMS media. I pray for Jerryell's safety and the safety and well-being of all the women who are missing.

Deepa D.'s blogpost titled "I Didn't Dream of Dragons"

From: Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein, Yeh Khayal Aata Hai...,  Deepa D.'s blog 

Link to: I Didn’t Dream of Dragons, by Deepa D.
An excerpt:

The Western publishing industry has the luxury of being able to support the base camps of crappy first novels and cliché-ridden genre fiction hacks and niche-marketed speciality books that creates the momentum for the breakout book, the genius author. If you grow up in a country where every child has held a crayon in nursery school, you are at an advantage.

And just to make it absolutely clear—the Western publishing advantage was derived from the economic wealth those nations enjoyed by virtue of stripping the resources and talents of other peoples. I do not consider it an accident of fate that it is in America that the art of children’s picture books evolved (which I consider one of America’s most exquisite cultural gifts to the world). These books, printed in China on paper from Brazil—they cost (when they are imported at all) more than a full length Penguin Classic in an Indian bookstore. The books available in one fourth grade classroom at a low-income Minneapolis charter school where I have worked outnumber the entirety of books my private primary school in Delhi made available to me (And I reiterate, I am nothing but privileged in India). Remember on whose backs the resources for your public libraries were built.
*     *     *
Part of my own education as a prowomanist/profeminist is in listening to the voices of women around the world, and the voices of women of color who are familiar with cultures, places, nations, and experiences that I do not know anything about. To the contrary, what I know about them may have been sugar-spoon fed to me by Disney, which does many things well--telling the truth is not one of them. 

I welcome you to click over and read this essay on one woman's reflections on the harm of cultural-political colonialism by the West. And also to read the comments. I have only today found her blog, and greatly appreciate the comment posting policy she has, the first statements of which read as follows:
Hello, and welcome to my public blog. I post very sporadically, and use this blog as an idiosyncratic soapbox, so don't be surprised by extremely long silences, even on issues on which you might expect me to voice an opinion.

I expect people to behave with civility towards each other and me while conversing in comments, but I am ok with rigourous debate, as long as I feel that participants are commenting in good faith.

My journal must be a safe space for persons of colour/non-white/chromatic people, and no racist, misogynist, homophobic, ageist, casteist, communalist, ablist, or otherwise discriminatory language or opinions will be tolerated. Repeated voicing of problematic arguments after your ignorance or bias has been pointed out will be ground for banning.
I may write to her to thank her for all that she is doing with her blog, however sporadically she is doing it!

Sympathy for The Devil: The Political Function of Caring More about White Men than Everyone Else

[image of album cover is from here. NOTE: Slaine is not a feminist or profeminist band. They are an entirely white male Swiss hardcore band who pride themselves on not being political. (That they don't see how being european white non-Jewish, heterosexual men is political is not surprising.)
To see what the musicians look like, go here.
And let's see if the US and UK MRAs go after them for slander!]

Given some recent exchanges here on the blog with two women about bdsm and my sexism, I'd like to clarify something.

I am VERY critical of male procurers and prostituters of women, and of pimps and pornographers, and of rapists and batterers and various white male predators and perpetrators of sexism and racism, men who think tying up women in order to have sex is "fun" and "good", men who believe that women's agency exists in a context where there is no white male supremacist force ubiquitously woven into society, and of men who don't do a damn thing about rapism and racist patriarchal atrocities.

That should not be interpreted to mean I generally feel critical of women in pornography and other systems of prositution, women who are raped, beaten, stalked, harassed, or who enjoy "bondage" or other bdsm activities.

I am critical of the cosmetics industry, but not of women who wear make-up. I am critical of capitalism, but not of shoppers. I think McDonalds Corporation is evil--racist and classist--and is part of an atrocity against poor urban people; it mass produces and sells cheap "food" creating cardio-vascular disease without remorse--but I'm not critical of people who eat at McDonalds. I'm critical of Big Tobacco, but not of individual smokers, unless they blow cigarette smoke in my face.

I may not always be clear about those distinctions, and was especially unclear about them in my exchange with a woman who is into bdsm. I felt and was critical of her points of view that stated that if consent is present, whatever happens between two adults cannot be abuse. I disagree. And the ways I was critical were, in attitude and action, sexist (oppressive to that woman), as well as triggering for another woman here due to me being yet another white man who was telling a white woman "what the truth is". I address and attempt to make amends for all that at this post.

I unequivocally hold the view that men who want to degrade women, in order to have sex or for any other reason, ought to be called out as being sexist/racist pricks. That doesn't mean I think women who want men to constrain or degrade them ought to be called out. I hope the ethical and political distinction is clear.

All that being said...

So there's this guy I don't even know. His name is Simon. (I have since found out he's white, is not poor, is not Jewish or Muslim, was raised Catholic but is now an atheist, and is not gay. This is to say, he has a ton of privilege.) He's on my chat list, so we must have connected about something once upon a time. I just checked. He wrote a comment to this blog asking for my email address. I wrote to him asking what's on your mind? and he replied that he's working with a CNN political analyst, Leslie Sanchez, on a book: He said in the email that [the title of the book is] "You've Come A Long Way, Maybe," and has some fairly in-depth statistical analysis of how Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin were portrayed in the media and how the national narrative was created about them during the 2008 election. He asked if I wanted a copy of the book. I said thanks, but I'll get it from the library. (Honestly, I probably won't. Matters relating primarily to dominant U.S. electoral politics bore me, and I don't expect much from the U.S. Republicrats, including President Barack Obama, or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They're all pro-capitalist, pro-military, pro-white male supremacy, pro-genocide activists who won't even try and do anything to end rape or racism.)

So that's how Simon and I met. And this is what has transpired between us just very recently:

In trying to place him I found his blog and this post:, which I find utterly disturbing. What I also found disturbing is how this male supremacist/stalker/rapism behavior is just mentioned so casually, as if "hey, here's something else that's f*cked up that's going on" without any sense of need to do anything about it. Like it's all just one big TV show, and we're all only viewers, passive and uncritical. I don't expect anything different from him, and know I have no relationship to him to use as leverage in getting him to look at this stuff more closely, more critically. So I didn't even feel angry with him while chatting. Just sort of sad and discouraged... he's yet another white het man who "doesn't get it". Add his name to the long, long list.

I'll post the content and comments below, because it is also a warning, a reminder, that men, anywhere in any public space, can and do physically violate and stalk women, in this case after leaving a movie theatre. (I personally, due to women friends and I not going to movies at theatres any more, forgot about this form of misogynistic, extremely predatory behavior.) 

***IT WILL LIKELY TRIGGER ANYONE*** who has been followed or stalked or had their personal space and property invaded by some strange man and may be very upsetting to anyone with a woman-centered soul. If you wish, you can skip reading the blogpost from Bloggasm, and just read my paragraph just below, and then what follows the blogpost copied and pasted below that.

Below the post is a chat I engaged him in (based on me reading that blogpost), on this and related subjects. It reveals a lot about how normal U.S. heterosexual white men feel about their own responsibilities to end rape, to even do anything at all about it. And it reveals a troubling, delusional and extremely self-serving code of ethics. It demonstrates a value system that, in my view, is dangerous in its ethical vapidity and "Good German" attitude and behavior. If you read on, you'll see what I mean. And feel free to skip the upsetting blogpost, and just go to the chat exchange.

Here's Simon's blogpost content. ("Bloggasm" is the name of his blog. No comment.):

Craigslist post of the day

New Moon midnight showing – m4w – 27 (Fargo, ND)
i sat behind you at he midnight showing of New Moon last night. Me: medium height, dark hair, long nails, mysterious. You: straight long blond hair, full ruby lips, you were wearing black cargo pants and a twilight hoodie. as your hair draped down behind your seat i just has to hold it and smell it deeply(pantene. great choice). i dont remember much ov the movie but i will always remember the smell and texture of your hair. the way you sound when you whisper and laugh. after the movie i followed you and your friend to perkin’s. i waited outside in my car so i could watch you eat and smile. i followed you home and made sure you got there safely.i noticed you left you car unlocked so i went to have a look into your life. i can tell by looking in your car that we have a lot in common. if you want your dash ornaments back you will have to meet me and we can have a great time getting to know each other. “grin”
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  1. sara Says:
    Just like Edward. ;)
  2. Matt Osborne Says:
    “I’d like mine extra creepy…”
  3. Julian Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Why don’t men call this shit out for what it is? Rapism.
    It’s only because men allow each other to do this shit, to stalk, to talk pornographically about women, to believe in and support one another’s right to have 24/7 access to raped women’s bodies online, to disrespect women in humor and in relationships… need I go on? It’s due to all that and more that men will never really be anything other than boys who don’t have the courage or the will to challenge other men’s fucked up behavior towards women.
As soon as I posted the comment I saw that he was online and thought I'd ask him directly what the deal is with men, from his perspective. This is what followed in chat:

me:  hey simon.
 Simon:  hey
 me:  i just posted to a blog post on the latest shit off craigslist.
i am wondering: why don't men call one another out on this stuff. Why does it all just sort of go by unchallenged?
I recently posted about this on my blog, and it's really perplexing, but I wanted to actually ask a man I respect.
 Simon:  i don't see the post

 me: hold on... i'll go grab the url...
 Sent at 8:57 PM on Sunday
 Simon:  i don't see anything about craigslist
 me:  No, my post precedes yours chronologically.
I'm asking what you think is up with men not calling one another out on this stuff?
 Sent at 8:59 PM on Sunday
 Simon:  on sexual fantasies that are degrading to women/
 Sent at 9:01 PM on Sunday
 me:  On sexual behavior that is violating and abusive to women... like what that guy wrote about smelling that woman's hair, following her, taking shit out of her car... and the guys I write about in my post.. who think abusing women sexually is fine as long as it's "consensual"... what's up with this? What's your own take on why men don't call each other out on this?
(I'm not talking fantasy at all: I'm talking REALITY)
 Simon:  i mean, i think all men and women universally think what that guy did was creepy
 me:  Yeah, let's hope so, but there's so rarely any commentary about it.
 Simon:  as for consensual role playing, I don't have much of an opinion
 me:  It all just gets tossed about as if it's sort of "creepy but normal" and men have nothing to say about it, critically, i mean.
 Simon:  i've read feminist arguments that women should deny their own rape fantasies because on principle it's wrong
 me:  Do you think, personally, that if a woman wants to be mistreated during sex, that it is ok for a man to mistreat her? Or that if he wants to bind her and hit her in the face, that if she doesn't leave or object that that's ok to do?
(I'm trying to tap men's minds on this... and you're the man I found online!!)
 Simon:  i suppose
have you ever seen the documentary Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flannigan?
 me:  No. thanks for the link... checking it out....
(Have you ever seen Dreamworlds II, b[y] Sut Jhally?)
 Simon:  excellent documentary, explores some of these issues from a particularly unique perspective
 me:  Oh, so some self-exploitation flick on some guy into being "dominated" sexually by women?
So it is really critical of men's fucked up behavior towards women?
 Simon:  yeah, but at the time he was one of the oldest living people with Cystic fibrosis
 me:  (The cover image doesn't make it sound too serious a film.)
And into being abused sexually?
 Simon:  and the S&M is the only control he has over the pain he has, it becomse a form of therapy in terms of dealign with his disease
 me:  lemme send ya the link on Dreamworlds II, ok?
I think it may actually be viewable in parts online.
I'd be interested to know your take on that film, and what it has to say.
 Simon:  documentary? i might recommend it to my doc club
 me:  Yeah, a doc.
Please do!
And if there's discussion about it--is your doc club online??--I'd be really interested to know what men, especially, have to say about it, as it is a film made to be viewed by heterosexual men, primarily.
 Simon:  it's just a bunch of DC people and we take turns hosting
 me:  Well done. I have some problems with it--like Sut not giving any time to women to critique the material, but...
Did you just see the one you recommended?
in that doc club?
And have you seen Tarnation?
(One of my fav docs.)
And Darwin's Nightmare?
And Life and Debt?
 Simon:  we saw it a few months ago
 me:  Oh, and Killing Us Softly--the most recent version?
so what's the last doc you've seen with them?
 Simon:  Mr. Death, an Errol morris documentary
 me:  This one would be a great intro to Dreamworlds, as they are both short and could be seen in one night:
I'll go look it up...
 Sent at 9:15 PM on Sunday
 me:  So it's about a neo-Nazi?
(A Nazi Holocaust denier?)
 Simon:  that's the debate, whether he is anti Semitic or whether he happlessly got swept up into their society through no fault of his own
 me:  I see: Documentary about Fred Leuchter, an engineer who became an expert on execution devices and was later hired by revisionist historian Ernst Zundel to "prove" that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
So how does a "Killing Us Softly 3 and Dreamworlds II" double feature sound?
Just a suggestion, given what we were discussing earlier.
 Simon:  i can suggest it, the host picks though
 me:  i understand.
Is it pretty evenly split in terms of gender?
And how about sexual orientation?
 Simon:  high ratio of female jews, come to think of it, ha
 me:  (What are the demographics of the group, also with regard to race?)
 Simon:  probably because the main organizer is jewish
 me:  What was their take on the Mr. Death film?
(I'm not assuming one view...)
 Simon:  i think we all had a level of sympathy for the person
 me:  for the denier?
 Simon:  yes
 me:  And does the discussion, do the discussions, ever reach beyond the individual being discussed, to the larger issues... like about anti-Semitism and racism and misogyny?
 Simon:  yeah, especially with a room full of jews
 me:  Are you also Jewish? (I am.)
 Simon:  nope
 Simon:  reared catholic, atheist now
 me:  Anyway, I just wanted to check in about some of this stuff, and hope that the group is up for doing that double feature... the first film, Killing Us Softly 3 is like about a half hour long! And the other is about one hour.
So it would allow time for discussion for sure.
If it happens, lemme know, ok?
And I understand it's not your call, at least this round.
 Simon:  ok
 me:  have a good night.
 Simon:  ditto
*     *     *

So here's the thing. Due to liberalism and individualism as well as white heteromale supremacy and corporate capitalism in countries white men dominate and control, these men do not feel in any way responsible for what white men do, as white men, in "our" name. Instead, white men generally feel apathetic, callous, disinterested, and could care LESS about what white men do as a political group, as a political force interpersonally, locally, socially, nationally, institutionally, and internationally. This callousness and lack of regard for how white men oppress and destroy other people makes white het men The Devil, in my view. It's not my view alone. Many Black Nationalists have held this view. Some white women have held this view. Some radical women of color have held this view. Marimba Ani tells you everything you need to know about how such views came into existence in her brilliant book, Yurugu, and I believe that book is a must read for all white men, if white het men want to know what they do, collectively. 

What especially makes white men The Devil is the blatant and unapologetic unwillingness to own what we do, to name what we do, to be responsible about what we do, and to stop what we do. Simon's comments demonstrate this "devil-may-care" attitude perfectly. He really can't be bothered to consider matters of anti-Semitism, white het male supremacy, or misogyny. This issues are simply off his political and emotional radar screen. While his ethnic heritage may go back to the Republic of Ireland or the UK, this lack of compassion for those he structurally oppresses, for those white het men structurally oppress, makes him yet another "Good German/Good Man". Maybe after viewing Killing Us Softly 3 and Dreamworlds 2 he'll begin to think more about what his role is in the atrocities that are done in his name. I hope that's the case. If you're reading this here, Simon, please let me know the effect those two films have on you and other white heterosexual men who see them with you.