How can I begin to tell you about Chaz? She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she has my love, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading. If my cancer had come, and it would have, and Chaz had not been there with me, I can imagine a descent into lonely decrepitude. I was very sick. I might have vegetated in hopelessness. This woman never lost her love, and when it was necessary she forced me to want to live. She was always there believing I could do it, and her love was like a wind forcing me back from the grave.
Does that sound too dramatic? You were not there. She was there every day, visiting me in the hospital whether I knew it or not, becoming an expert on my problems and medications, researching possibilities, asking questions, making calls, even giving little Christmas and Valentine’s Day baskets to my nurses, who she knew by name.
–Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, July 17, 2012.
He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world,” she said. “We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.
–Chaz Ebert, quoted in People Magazine, April 4, 2013.
I am still at Stanford (and will be until June.) But I am bringing back an old tradition of doing class notes on some of these ideas.
Joan Morgan, hip-hop feminism pioneer, has been moving her work into conversations around pleasure and sexual politics. Jeff Chang, hip-hopper-about-town and the head of Stanford’s Institue for Diversity in the Arts, asked Joan if she’d like the be the artist in residence for WinterQuarter. Joan agreed and then developed a class called “The Pleasure Principle: A Post-Hip Hop Search for a Black Feminist Politics of Pleasure.”
“The Pleasure Principle: A Post-Hip Hop Search for a Black Feminist Politics of Power” (CSRE127B) will explore the various articulations of a politics of pleasure in black feminist thought. We will examine classic black feminist texts on respectability politics, the erotic, hip-hop feminism, and dancehall culture, geared toward helping students develop a critical lens for interrogating depictions of black female sexuality and articulations of pleasure in popular culture. Examples include “The Cosby Show,” “Sex in the City,” “Girlfriends,” “Basketball Wives,” “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Pariah,” as well as the works of Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Tanya Stephens, and Lady Saw. Continue reading
By Andrea Plaid
Racialicious fave Monica Roberts of TransGriot wrote a scathing critique about RuPaul and his transmisogyny–and how they influenced her to be the renowned activist she is today. The excerpt is the most liked and reblogged one this past week:
RuPaul is a Black gay man, not a transperson, and the trans community is beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of him being elevated by cis and gay people to some nebulous ‘trans expert’ level..
As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I became a trans activist in 1998 was because of a Transgender Tapestry magazine article in the 90’s that ignorantly considered RuPaul and Dennis Rodman as Black transwomen juxtaposed against other accomplished white trans people despite both Ru and Dennis Rodman emphatically saying they weren’t trans and didn’t want to transition.
It was the epiphany that made me realize just how invisible Black transwomen were in the trans human rights movement and gave me the impetus to get involved and change that dynamic.
By Andrea Plaid
Usually, this review spotlights an item or two that the R’s Tumblizens have been checking out/liked/reblogged during the week.
This week, though? Let’s just say that folks were feeling quite a few of the posts, starting with one about some mystery posters appearing in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood.
Hosted by Joe Lamour and Kendra James
Welcome to our (semi)inaugural Scandal roundtable! How timely.
It looks like the people in this group are chatty–but also rather astute. Fabulous combination, if I do say so myself. If you need to reacquaint yourself with last week’s plot–Scandal 2.10 “One for the Dog” take a read here. This roundtable is to serve as an insight into the actions of the previous episode, so you go in refreshed and omniscient as I feel when I finish editing these.
In addition to Kendra James and me, joining us we have Loree Lamour, Zach Stafford, T.F. Charlton, Johnathan Fields, and Jordan St. John. And boy, we have quite the analysis for you, so I’m going to let you, the reader, get to it!
And remember! Spoilers lie below the cut. Spoil-y Spoilers.
Perhaps Shonda Rimes referred to the wrong interracial relationship in last week’s Scandal. For the sexual/romantic agency–as problematic as it is–that both Olivia Pope and President Fitz Grant do exercise, they’re probably closer to the Richard and Mildred Loving than Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson.
If you’re in the New York City area, please join the post-showing chat about the new documentary, The Loving Story, on the couple and their Supreme Court case this Sunday, December 16, at Maysles Cinema, located at 343 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave (between 127th and 128th Streets). The movie starts at 7:30PM; the discussion, moderated by the R’s Associate Editor Andrea Plaid (who, in full disclosure, also works as the Maysles Institute’s Social Media Fellow), will start about 8:45PM.
This is what critics say about the film…
Spoiler Alert: If you didn’t watch last week’s episode of Scandal, do not read any further.
While Shonda Rhime’s “Scandal” has become a reliable source of Twitter water-cooler talk every Thursday night, last week’s episode especially touched a nerve, after this scene between our protagonist, high-powered problem-solver Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn):
“I’m feeling a little Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson about all this,” Olivia told Fitz, who looked about as stunned as many shows reacted online.
So what to make of this in a broader context? As the season finale approaches Thursday, Guest Contributors T.F. Charlton and Arrianna Conerly Coleman weigh in on this special Roundtable.
First things first. I don’t give a f-ck who these women f-ck or, really, what any woman chooses to do with her own vagina. Because it’s her own vagina, get it? And because it’s her own vagina, she doesn’t need to justify what she does with it. It should go without saying that a woman can do whatever she wants with her own body. But when she feels the need to explain why she does what she does with it, which is what these posts boil down to for me, she’s just playing into this very old and very male idea that a woman needs to justify what she does with her own body because, ultimately, she doesn’t have authority over, I repeat, her own body. Sound familiar? It should (see: “the war on women”).
The other problem with these posts is that they put race and gender at odds with one another, like they have this mutually exclusive relationship, and you have to choose one or the other to have some kind of cohesive identity. If you believe An’s argument–which she later backpedaled on, calling it “a character” designed to provoke discussion–as an Asian woman, in order to reject “patriarchy and cultural sexism,” you have to be a racist dick and hate your people.
–From “I’m An Asian Woman And I Think Blog Posts Defining That Identity By Who Someone Like Me Would Or Wouldn’t Date Are Bullshit,” at Disgrasian