“The fashion world is an industry that largely incorporates non-white people only as the labor to hem and stitch and toil and nothing else. Certain bodies belong and others do not. Anything that differs from this structure must be an affront to its natural order. In fashion, it is inherently “not good” and “not right” because it is different. It is not white.”—For fashion, if it’s all white, it’s all right: Kanye West’s recent ‘fashion rants’ about the industry’s racism and classism are necessary by Britt Julious (November 4, 2013)
“…I’m over people not explicitly acknowledging (racism in the fashion industry). Go on. Say it. Utter the word. You can do it. It’s scary; I get it – it’s scary because as a white dude naming a thing you (consciously or not) play part in perpetuating. You’re shooting yourself in the foot.”— The Fashion Pirate takes on the Fashion Critic by Arabelle Sicardi (November 18th, 2013)
“It is a privilege to engage in theoretical gender discourse, and while politicians, doctors, families, and friends ask themselves if it is right or wrong, transgender people are being beaten to death. Teenage trans kids are issued death threats, and across the globe our body count rises. It is here, at the intersection of oppression, where violence is commonplace. How can we still wonder which bathroom she should use? Privilege affords the gender debate at the expense of our most vulnerable community members. When a trans woman dies you can read about it in the newspaper, where you see her described as a man instead of the woman she died for. And we wonder how to best protect our children, forgetting that some of our children are trans. TDOR reminds me that our precious politics have a very real consequence. This is a critical moment in the history of transgender rights. Will we remember those who did not survive it?”—Diana Tourjee, Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2013 (via andrewgibby)
From Lorde to Macklemore, it’s a sentiment that’s galling for its popularity: white artists need to stop using the wealth signifiers of rap music to gesture at their self-important “anti-consumerism.” What Allen misses as she washes rims in a kitchen decorated only with bottles of champagne is that it’s not anti-consumerism when it only targets one type of consumer.
Rap owns a unique history soundtracking the triumph of financial success in a country that long barred black Americans from that success. It shouldn’t be an opportunity for white artists to wax superior. Beyond poor taste, it’s the myopia of latent racism that’s more anxious about gold chains on a rapper than an Armani tie on a hedge fund analyst.
Similarly, Lily Allen’s response to sexist industry demands for thinness becomes entirely ineffectual when it lashes out against women who succeed despite those demands. Allen is not savily critiquing the world of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Miley Cyrus, she’s resentfully bemoaning not getting to enjoy the same success.
“Hard Out Here” is the opposite of Mileywave. Instead of using black women as props to further her career, Allen blames them for its stagnation. In full-sleeved dresses Allen mocks her inability to twerk amidst women of color in body suits who launch into exaggerated dance moves, licking their hands and then rubbing their crotch. Her older white male manager tries to get to her to mimic them. Meanwhile she sings, “Don’t need to shake my ass for you/‘Cause I’ve got a brain.” Cut to black women shaking their ass, so much for sisterly solidarity.
Zines, comics, art, and we’ll see what else ends up here! If you are interested in commissioning a piece, trading zines, submitting to a zine, saying hello, etc. you can e-mail me at: sassyfrasscircus [at] gmail [dot] com. I tweet at @jennabrager.
Not to be all “oh hey internet buy things from me” but I’m seriously considering what body parts I can sell over here, and I just opened a web store. So you know, if you want to help a teacher out and also own some art that might one day be worth at least the same as you’re buying it for. Like ABBA says, “take a chance on me.”
I highly endorse Sassyfrass Circus for all your queer zine needs. Full disclosure, I contributed to “Long Distance" so you should buy it because… if you’re following me you know I’m awesome and you want to read my shit.
I was awarded 10,000 dollars to go study abroad in Bahia, Brazil for next semester. It wasn’t enough, but it was significant enough since I had 3000 saved and was expecting 3,000 more dollars from my university’s study abroad office (they actually told me it was guaranteed as they have to provide aid that is significant enough to make an impact on my budget). I also applied for other groups that could give me aid, like my uni’s Honors Program (in which the director told me I would be granted admission as long as my grades each semester were good [because I received poor grades doing STEM freshman and sophomore year]).
Of course, those two didn’t pan out. Both groups backtracked on their earlier statements and either provided me a reduced amount of funding or rejected me outright because I didn’t not have an overall GPA of 3.8 or higher (which will never happen, even though my GPAs in History and Latin American studies are 4.0s).
I have looked for other sources of funding, but also run into other problems:
scholarships that I can apply to (which are only three) award the funding money while I’m abroad, which is after the money is due (if I’m able to get them).
there aren’t that many scholarships in my area (Latin America) because Spanish and Portuguese are no longer deemed critical languages by the State Dept and CIA, in contrast to languages in Central, South, and East Asia.
my deptartments have tried their hardest to find ways for me, but they are also cash-strapped themselves.
The program that I applied to (CIEE) has me on a waitlist for scholarship money, so I don’t know if I will get anything from them.
I also saved money myself, about 3,000, but had to use all of it to go to Ghana this summer when my grandmother passed away.
So I’m resorting to the internet for help. I’m the only one on my trip (I’m going through CIEE because my uni doesn’t have a program for Brazil) who isn’t going to a well-funded Ivy League or University of California school, so I don’t have much to fall back on. My parents are also struggling financially (especially after my grandma’s funeral) and paying my sister’s tuition (usually they don’t pay mine since I get scholarships).
I need your help! I specifically need to go because:
I’m doing research for my senior thesis on black women’s organizing in Brazil.
Salvador, Bahia has a wealth of primary and secondary sources that will help with that research.
I can finish the large bulk of my degree in Latin American studies there.
It also helps that it is a majority poc city in a majority poc state.
But this would help immensely with my future goals too: I want to go to grad school and do Brazilian studies.
Please donate! I have lots of prizes for people who donate:
$10: a personalized thank you email, digital photo, and the url to my study abroad blog.
$15: a digital copy of a photo zine based on my travels and observations in Brazil (PDF format, will be sent out in September), and the url to my study abroad blog. - 30 dollars: two postcards sent (in March and May) from Bahia!
$50: Detailed, monthly e-mail updates (5 total), and one postcard from Bahia.
$100: Skype date! Connect with me in real time and listen to my stories. Plus, a neat souvenir and a physical version of my zine.
I have until December 5th to raise this money, so please help me! Besides the academic benefits, I rarely see other black woc go abroad at my uni, and I don’t think it’s fair that other people get to go abroad because they can take a subsidized trip to Europe and I’m not interested in Europe.
Even if you can’t donate, please pass this around! The more, the merrier. Every little bit counts! Thank you!
Cassie has been a badass tumblr friend of mine for years, and I’m so excited for her! Contribute if you can!