Feminist Fare Friday: The #DUH Edition

If it is not clear as bloody day yet that I AM A FEMINIST, then I am so doing this whole blogging and online activism thing very, very poorly! #iamafeminist

Sometimes I am an angry feminist, sometimes a happy, lipstick wearing one, sometimes a barefoot-in-my-kitchen-making-dinner-for-my-family one and sometimes a loud, "what the holy heck is wrong with this world!!", activist-y one! But it is always a part of me, a BIG part....

Natasha - Writer, Feminist, Mother, Partner, Advocate, Activist. These are the words that I use to describe myself.

This week TIME magazine published their list of words that should be "banned" in 2015 and included FEMINIST on that list (Time Editor Nancy Gibb has since written an apology for this). It took all my strength on Wednesday to not curl up in a ball on my couch, repeating to myself, "why do I bother? why do I bother? why do I bother?".

And then I remembered why I bother.


So for today, all I want you to do is watch this video from my friend Jenni Chiu of Mommy Nani Booboo.

Because she too wants more of us say it loud and proud and truly UNDERSTAND what the word means!




Feminist Fare Friday: The Day 7 of NaBloPoMo Edition.

It is Friday, I have read some really, really good shit on the web this week.

And you know how I like to share...


In response to the now viral Hollaback catcalling video, Elon James White, the CEO of This Week in Blackness responded in the best way... By creating the #DudesGreetingDudes Twitter hashtag. And even with some of the absolute hilarity of some of the tweets, there was a strong point to be made about the very nature of catcalling and street harassment...

“To me this is about basic decency,” White added. “And the fact that men don’t do this to other men is proof positive that this is a gendered attack, whether the men who do it consider it to be one or not. And we have to speak up to stop it.” 


And speaking of that catcalling video... The eye gymnastics that Amanda Seales had to perform in her CNN interview with her fellow "mansplaining" guest was seriously Olympic status worthy! She recalls that particularly trying routine for us at XOJane this week...

I am the one with all the faces and all the side-eyes and all the eye rolls. Faces contorted into completely genuine reactions to my fellow guest’s emphatic defense of behavior that daily imposes upon the serenity and vulnerability of myself and women the world over. 


Also this week, excerpts from Lena Dunham's new memoir have thrown everyone for another really, REALLY, uncomfortable loop. I have an upcoming post that will address some of the issues arising from this in more depth, but for now, I want you all to read what Elan Morgan had to say about it. Because it is powerful and made me really take a step back and think. AS WE ALL SHOULD in these situations.

Reading about childhood bodily exploration through Dunham's poorly worded, too-adult lens might feel uncomfortable, especially if in light of one's own circumstantial discomfort, but we are looking at a broader sexist sexual panic erroneously applied to the particular here more than we are looking at a particular instance of actual pedophilic abuse. We are looking at the demonization and shaming of natural female childhood curiosity.  


There is a conversation that needs to be happening more in the parenting world and it is one that goes far beyond normalizing breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public. It is one about mothering and race. Because as this past week has shown, a white woman breastfeeding in her cap and gown is "adorable", while a few months ago, a black women breastfeeding in her cap and gown is "ratchett and ghetto".  Yup, we really are such an enlightened bunch. LE GRAND SIGH... come on people, we can do so much better than this!


And finally, this video.

Because, OH MY GO....


Happy Friday Everyone!




Welcome to my guest house.

FairyDoor Sometimes life is hard.

The news is not good. People are awful to each other. Fear and hate seem to be winning and love and compassion become afterthoughts to feelings being expressed in 140 characters or 1000 word blog posts. There seems to always be a "spin" being put on the information we receive and deciphering this coded language is enough to make even the most hardy of folks weary and tired.

When life is hard, when the world feels like it is going to hell in a hand basket, I tend to curl up in a ball like a southern three-banded armadillo and wait for the "threat" to pass. I shut myself away from everyone and everything until I feel like I can come out and deal with it all again.

But today, I didn't.

Today was an odd day for me.

Today I looked outside of myself and tried to really see others around me and let them see me. Just regular people that I interact with in my day to day life. And yet today, because I opened up my shell a crack to let some of them in, they let me into their lives a bit too. Today was filled with moments with these people. Moments of clarity, of love, of acceptance. Moments when, for just a second, we recognized in each other that same scared little child, that hopeful kid, that barely-holding-it-together adult and said a silent, "I see you. You matter. Right here. Right now."  to each other.

In yoga class, my friend Mandy shared this Rumi poem with us:


This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.


So be hard World.

I can take it.

I will welcome the pain and fear, because beyond that is healing and courage.

Take all you want from my house, so I can make room for new guests, new thoughts, new paths to forge ahead on.

Spin all your news however you think it will matter. I won't let it spin me, or my conscience, or my convictions.

Today I learned that curling up in a ball may protect me for a time, but opening up and letting people in, that is what is going to really change my world.

And maybe,

in some small way,


I'll change the the Big Bad World out there too.