More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

Posts Tagged ‘Yay!!

After the departure of their previous director, NOW’s Utah branch disintegrated into nothingness. Now a young woman named Eve Rinali has been tapped to get it to its feet.

City Weekly: Now’s New Director

With all of the controversy in Utah, from the miscarriage bill to the plain issue with a church that has a longstanding history of racism, sexism and homophobia being a huge influence, NOW needs a new, strong leader to continue the fight for equal rights. Let’s hope Eve is it!


It felt strange writing “Yay Texas!” after the textbook controversy (if they’re editing out historical events, I doubt they’re adding in women or any people of color, you know?) but Austin did something pretty cool last week: making all “Pregnancy Crisis Centers” advertise their services. So now you know what you’re being offered when you walk into the clinic! Here’s a hint: you’re not being offered access to an abortion or birth control, and people have a right to know that.

I really like how they make this a consumer issue, because it totally is! Go look up “Pregnancy” in your yellowpages (am I the only person with a phonebook nowadays? I’m sorry for killing all the trees but sometimes the internet DOES NOT CUT IT, I’m sorry!), along with abortion/abortion providers and birth control. You’ll be hardpressed to decipher the services offered, though from some intrepid googling/anon. phone calls, the ones with the big ads usually don’t want you to have choices, ifyouknowhwhatimean. When someone is going through something as difficult as an unplanned or issue filled pregnancy, the last thing they need is to be walking into a place that doesn’t offer the services they need.

Go Texas!

Love from,


(Administrative note: Things will be slow-ish for the next month, or at least irregular. Moving, not failing organic chemistry and starting my thesis are all taking up most of my mind space, but never fear!)

This was a long, long post. Why was it so long? Because it turned into more of a ramble on how the Itty Bitty Titty Committee misrepresents radical feminism in some ways but is still my favoritest movie ever an besides, no movie is perfect, then a digression on veganism and how there no longer exists “spaces” where people can just chill, except at my old college, but they shut that down.

So instead of a 1000+ word ramble on all of those subjects, I’m just going to tell you to watch The Itty Bitty Titty Committee and support the healthcare bill but fight for women’s health to be respected within it.

(Also, IBTC and veganism are in no real way related, except in the aforementioned 1000+ word ramble. Yet another reason to spare you.)

Utah did not pass the bill to criminalize miscarriages! Some common sense and the public backlash definitely helped, I think. Good job talking about it and getting the word out, people! This is a nice sized triumph. : )

When someone calls you out for a privileged comment, it can be hard to realize that you were in the wrong. After all, everyone you know uses that word/you didn’t know it meant that/you didn’t mean it THAT way/you weren’t doing it on purpose/other people are too sensitive, right?


This has come up lately with the word “gypped” in my experience. Gypped is a racist term against Roma. When we use the term, we further the prejudice against the Roma and the stereotype that institutionalized the word and made it part of our vocabulary. So let’s imagine a dialogue right now:

Mary Sue: “That vendor gypped me!”

Becky Jean: “Mary Sue, gypped is sort of a racist term. Do you mean he cheated you?”

Mary Sue: “I’m not a racist! How dare you! Everyone uses that term, it’s not about black people or anything!!! Why are you attacking me, you’re not perfect!!!”

Becky Jean: “I know you don’t consider yourself a racist, but the language you use can betray your actual beliefs, so you need to be careful. I’m not attacking you, I’m informing you so that you can look into the term and eliminate racism from your vocabulary, so your words match up with the lifestyle you want to lead. The term refers to a stereotype of the Roma people, often referred to as Gypsies, and they suffer a lot of discrimination and hate, so we need to not further that with our words.I’m sorry if you felt attacked, that was not my intention.”

Now ideally, this is where Mary Sue calms down a little and says…

“Oh, I’m sorry I got so upset. Racist is such a scary term, and I immediately jump to my own defense. I was scared of my beliefs and words not matching up. Thanks for telling me. I know you don’t mean that I hate others, just that we live in a racist world and need to be conscious of our speech. Are there any other terms like that I should be aware of? We can help educate each other.”


“It isn’t racist!! I don’t even know any gypsies, and everyone uses the word!! You’re oversensitive, and you can’t save the world!!! I didn’t MEAN it, so it shouldn’t matter!!”

And here is where you want to cry, or start poking them very hard in the eye, right?

Well, violence is never the answer, and though crying might help you feel a bit better, it should probably be saved for when you can hug a puppydog and rant about the injustices of the world to your stuffed animals and significant other.  And since right now, Becky Jean wants to come away from this conversations positively affecting Mary Sue, we’ll skip the crying.

Ganieda, one of our lovely commenters, linked me to this excellent post entitled “How to Discuss Race and Racism without Being a Jerk.” My favorite part is the part she quoted to me, during yet another of my epic rants about NOT BEING ABLE TO GET THROUGH TO PEOPLE AND GETTING FRUSTRATED

“Intentions aren’t the only thing that matters.

(Last one, and it’s short.) Suppose I step on someone’s foot. They say, “hey, ouch, you stepped on my foot.”

My proper response is, “Gosh, I’m sorry. I’ll be more careful.” Depending on the situation, I might add something like, “I was looking for my kid’s sneaker that she always kicks off,” or “I’ve got something in my contact,” etc.

My proper response is not, “Well, I didn’t mean to step on your foot, so why are you angry?!” “

This is a great example to point out to Mary Sue. You can explain yourself, you can ask for reassurance that the person calling you out isn’t considering you a Bad Person, but you have to show that you realize that your intention is not the be all and end all of the term and that it has a greater affect than “just being a word.”

Which is why Mary Sue’s explanation of not knowing the term’s severity and feeling attacked is a lot more valid and provides a lot more discussion than “well I didn’t know!!! you’re oversensitive!!!”

Another great example is a few posts earlier, in my Yay Spain! post. A commenter called me out on the image of Spain I’d put out. I apologized, agreed with her that my words did not get across my intentions, and explained what I exactly meant. Voila! Did it feel good being called out? No, I felt bad about unintentionally perpetuating a harmful stereotype by not using my words in a clear manner. But I drank some lemonade, felt sad for a minute, then sucked it up and responded. And I learned from it.

Now, if you’re wondering why I have a very long post on racism, the answer is intersectionality, and because the following tips can be used with sexists as well! Along with ableists and homophobes and sizeists and…..

More about intersectionality this time. Off to eat pizza bagels!

That’s what Hillary Clinton called Nujood Ali, a twelve year old Yemeni girl who recently published “I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.”

Married to a 30 year old man at age nine by her father, Nujood was beaten and raped by her “husband” for two months before visiting her family home to see her sister. Her father’s second wife advised her to seek a divorce, and Nujood made her way to the courthouse. After sitting there for half a day, a kindly judge recognized her. Her father and “husband” were taken into custody, and the original judge housed Nujood for the trial. After refusing a judge’s original suggestion of taking a break for up to five years, then returning to the “husband,” Nujood was granted a divorce. Her memoir is now being published in nearly twenty languages, and she is enrolled in elementary school full-time.

There’s another great woman in this story: Shada Nasser, Nujood’s lawyer. The first female lawyer in Yemen, Shada started her career by offering legal services to incarcerated women.

Both women have been honored with multiple awards, though they were barred from attending a ceremony in Vienna, Austria, by the Yemeni government. Follow up stories indicate that Nujood may not be treated well by her family, and suffers from the stigma of divorce and reaching out to Western media.

More about the situation for Yemeni women: there is no minimum marriage age, though husbands are encouraged to wait until the wife is “ready.” Over 65% of women are illiterate, and kidnapping and rape are constant threats. Once married, women must obtain spousal permission for actions that involve leaving their house.

Educate someone on women’s situations in other countries today, please! We have a long way to go in so many countries, including my own.

Good Asian Drivers consist of Melissa Li and Kit Yan, musician and slam poet. Focusing on many contemporary issues, especially in relation to queer culture, The Good Asian Drivers are not to be overlooked.

I especially recommend “Here’s To You,” Melissa Li’s amazing song celebrating women of all types, interspersed with spoken word from Kit Yan.

“here’s to the women who write

women who sing
women who rock
here’s to the women who fight
and to the women who have fought
here’s to the artists the doctors the teachers the athletes
the strong and the brave
here’s to the women who do business with men
and to the women who misbehave
here’s to the women in the army
and here’s to a little bit of defiance
here’s to the work of those filmmakers who break the silence
here’s to the women who run things own things fix things
and refuse to be hidden
here’s to the women who love freedom
and to the women who love women
here’s to all the mothers
here’s to all the daughters
here’s to all the sisters the wives the girlfriends
and those who just love being alone
here’s to all the women of the world from songo mozambique
to the plains of mongolia
from the black beaches of iceland
to the favelas of brazil
and to those right here at home”

Go Youtube them, then buy their album, plz!

Radical feminist, over and out.