"We dated in high school, but just recently got back together."
"What happened in high school?"
"I sort of disappeared on him. I had to leave school suddenly because I was pregnant."
"But he wasn’t the father?"
"So where’s the dad now?”
"I’m not going to be the kind of mom who makes her daughter’s dad out to be a monster, but I eventually decided that it wasn’t my job to force anybody to be a father."
"Tell me one thing that you weren’t taught that you’re going to teach your daughter."
"That just because you love someone, doesn’t mean they can make you happy. And you should never compromise with your happiness."
"So what did you compromise?"
"I compromised everything about myself to try to keep my family together."
Russia’s aggression in Crimea gave GOP talking heads yet another chance to blather on about how weak Barack Obama is and how America needs to bomb more countries in order to gain respect. Don’t listen to them.
can’t believe i’m reblogging vice mag, but there ya go.
You want to see me naked. And then you want to judge me for letting you see me naked."
"It took me getting into a lot of fights before I was diagnosed with PTSD. I have something called ‘hypervigilance.’ I get really nervous around people. Especially people from the Middle East."
"What were some traumatic things that happened to you?"
"I was in a vehicle when a mortar round exploded in front of us, and we fell into the crater and got trapped. There was a burning oil rig near us, so it was like being in a microwave. And we couldn’t get out. And I also saw a lot of hanky shit. Mostly from our side. Everyone was really revved up from 9/11. We did a lot of bad things. I saw decapitations, and that was our guys doing it."
"We were supposed to bring POW’s back to the base. But instead we gave them a cigarette to calm them down, and told them to get on their knees. One of our guys was 240 lbs, and he’d taken this shovel we’d been issued, and he’d sharpened one of the sides until it was like an axe, and he could take off somebody’s head with two hits."
"How many times did you see that happen?"
When a Muslim Woman demands justice in her community,
Talk about how she “unveiled” the misogyny of muslim men.
When a Muslim Woman is sexually assaulted in a public space,
Attach a photograph of a woman being stripped naked in Tahrir.
When a Muslim Woman stands up to political oppression,
Tell them that she is the first, the only; an anomaly.
When a Muslim Woman recounts instances of sexual harassment,
Use the term “Arab Street” frequently & attach a 99% statistic.
When a Muslim Woman participates in a revolution,
Regularly use the words “sexual revolution”, “honor” and “virginity”.
When a Muslim Woman discusses intimate partner violence,
Insert a photograph of a model in niqab revealing one bruised eye.
When a Muslim Woman stands up to the Taliban,
Give her a book deal and fly her around the world.
When a Muslim Woman stands up to your tax dollars,
Plug your ears and call her a terrorist.
— How To Write About Muslim Women (via noor3amoor)
The only popular thought about beauty today, the one that has the widest currency in the world, is the idea that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It’s a kindly notion. It seeks to make peace between people who have very different tastes.
People are delighted by wildly variant things and that’s how it should be, the thinking goes – so don’t get worked up trying to figure out which things are beautiful. Yet the success of this generous approach keeps attention away from deeper, more important questions.
Whether it is a Baroque Cathedral, the face of a child, or the coast of Sweden seen from a plane window, we have all had the mysterious experience of finding something beautiful. But what is actually going on when we find these things beautiful?
Aeon Magazine: Can beauty help us to become better people?)
no one understands what I mean about the coast of Sweden! THANK YOU!!
Lol thank you black Jesus
she tried to cop out from learning to pronounce her name correctly, and she wasn’t having it
Actually, no she didn’t. I’m the one who created this gif after seeing the exchange because, as someone with a difficult name, I loved Quvenzhané’s adorable and perfect reaction. But, the fact is, the AP reporter actually had said Quvenzhané’s name seconds earlier. She introduced her to viewers as the new role in Smith’s production of Annie, which is why she segued with that Annie comment to Quvenzhané.
I’ve noticed this has been getting a lot of reblogs lately, and I just wanted everyone to know this. I posted this gif because Quvenzhané demanded to only be called by her name, which is in itself a beatiful thing. This was not because the reporter, who was making a joke about referrering to an actress by the name of her role, didn’t know how to pronounce Quvenzhané’s name. She did know how and she did. This is not about shaming someone but about applauding a child for never failing to assert who she is.
— Feminist talk at Students For Liberty’s 2013 Austin Regional Conference and why feminism is not outdated (via cuntcastle)
RASHIDA: I wouldn’t trade my family for anything. My mother shocked her Jewish parents by marrying out of her religion and race. And my father: growing up poor and black, buckling the odds and becoming so successful, having the attitude of “I love this woman! We’re going to have babies and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it!”
KIDADA: We had a sweet, encapsulated family. We were our own little world. But there’s the warmth of love inside a family, and then there’s the outside world. When I was born in 1974, there were almost no other biracial families–or black families–in our neighborhood. I was brown-skinned with short, curly hair. Mommy would take me out in my stroller and people would say, “What a beautiful baby…whose is it?” Rashida came along in 1976. She had straight hair and lighter skin. My eyes were brown; hers were green. IN preschool, our mother enrolled us in the Buckley School, an exclusive private school. It was almost all white.
RASHIDA: In reaction to all that differentess, Kidada tried hard to define herself as a unique person by becoming a real tomboy.
KIDADA: While Rashida wore girly dresses, I loved my Mr. T dolls and my Jaws T-shirt. But seeing the straight hair like the other girls had, like my sister had…I felt: “It’s not fair! I want that hair!”
PEGGY: I was the besotted mother of two beautiful daughters I’d had with the man I loved–I saw Kidada through those eyes. I thought she had the most gorgeous hair–those curly, curly ringlets. I still think so!
KIDADA: One day a little blond classmate just out and called me “Chocolate bar.” I shot back: “Vanilla!”
QUINCY: I felt deeply for Kidada; I thought racism would be over by the eighties. My role was to put things in perspective for her, project optimism, imply that things were better than they’d been for me growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 1930s.
KIDADA: I had another hurdle as a kid: I was dyslexic. I was held back in second grade. I flunked algebra three times. The hair, the skin, the frustration with schoolwork: It was all part of the shake. I was a strong-willed, quirky child–mischievous.
RASHIDA: Kidada was cool. I was a dork. I had a serious case of worship for my big sister. She was so strong, so popular, so rebellious. Here’s the difference in our charisma: When I was 8 and Kidada was 10, we tried to get invited into the audience of our favorite TV shows. Mine was Not Necessarily the News, a mock news show, and hers was Punky Brewster, about a spunky orphan. I went by the book, writing a fan letter–and I got back a form letter. Kidada called the show, used her charm, wouldn’t take no for an answer. Within a week she was invited to the set!
KIDADA: I was kicked out of Buckley in second grade for behavior problems. I didn’t want my mother to come to my new school. If kids saw her, it would be: “your mom’s white!” I told Mom she couldn’t pick me up; she had to wait down the street in her car. Did Rashida have that problem? No! She passed for white.
RASHIDA: “Passed”?! I had no control over how I looked. This is my natural hair, these are my natural eyes! I’ve never tried to be anything that I’m not. Today I feel guilty, knowing that because of the way our genes tumbled out, Kidada had to go through pain I didn’t have to endure. Loving her so much, I’m sad that I’ll never share that experience with her.
KIDADA: Let me make this clear: My feelings about my looks were never “in comparison to” Rashida. It was the white girls in class that I compared myself to. Racial issues didn’t exist at home. Our parents weren’t black and white; they were Mommy and Daddy.
RASHIDA: But it was different with our grandparents. Our dad’s father died before we were born. We didn’t see our dad’s mother often. I felt comfortable with Mommy’s parents, who’d come to love my dad like a son. Kidada wasn’t so comfortable with them. I felt Jewish; Kidada didn’t.
KIDADA: I knew Mommy’s parents were upset at first when she married a black man, and though they did the best they could, I picked up on what I thought was their subtle disapproval of me. Mommy says they loved me, but I felt estranged from them.
While Rashida stayed and excelled at Buckley, Kidada bumped from school to school; she got expelled from 10 in all because of behavior problems, which turned out to be related to her dyslexia.
KIDADA: We had a nanny, Anna, from El Salvador. I couldn’t get away with stuff with her. Mommy knew Anna could give her the backup she needed in the discipline department because she was my color. Anna was my “ethnic mama.”
PEGGY: Kidada never wanted to be white. She spoke with a little…twist in her language. She had ‘tude. Rashida spoke more primly, and her identity touched all bases. She’d announce, “I’m going to be the first female, black, Jewish president of the U.S.!”
KIDADA: When I was 11, a white girlfriend and I were going to meet up with these boys she knew. I’d told her, because I wanted to be accepted, “Tell them I’m tan.” When we met them, the one she was setting me up with said, “You didn’t tell me she was black.” That’s When I started defining myself as black, period. Why fight it? Everyone wanted to put me in a box. On passports, at doctor’s offices, when I changed schools, there were boxes to check: Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Asian. I don’t mean any dishonor to my mother–who is the most wonderful mother in the world, and we are so alike–but: I am black. Rashida answers questions about “what” she is differently. She uses all the adjectives: black, white, Jewish.
RASHIDA: Yes, I do. And I get: “But you look so white!” “You’re not black!” I want to say: “Do you know how hurtful that is to somebody who identifies so strongly with half of who she is?” Still, that’s not as bad as when people don’t know. A year ago a taxi driver said to me, That Jennifer Lopez is a beautiful woman. Thank God she left that disgusting black man, Puffy.” I said, “I’m black.” He tried to smooth it over. IF you’re obviously black, white people watch their tongues, but with me they think they can say anything. When people don’t know “what” you are, you get your heart broken daily.
KIDADA: Rashida has it harder than I do: She can feel rejection from both parties.
RASHIDA: When I audition for white roles, I’m told I’m “too exotic.” When I go up for black roles, I’m told I’m “too light.” I’ve lost a lot of jobs, looking the way I do.
PEGGY: As Kidada grew older, it became clear that she wouldn’t be comfortable unless she was around kids who looked more like her. So I searched for a private school that had a good proportion of black students, and when she was 12, I found one.
KIDADA: That changed everything. I’d go to my black girlfriends’ houses and–I wanted their life! I lived in a gated house in a gated neighborhood, where playdates were: “My security will call your security.” Going to my black friends’ houses, I saw a world that was warm and real, where families sat down for dinner together. At our house, Rashida and I often ate dinner on trays, watching TV in Anna’s room, because our dada was composing and performing at night and Mom sat in on his sessions.
RASHIDA: But any family, from any background, can have that coziness too.
KIDADA: I’m sure that’s true, but I experienced all that heart and soul in black families. I started putting pressure on Mommy to let me go to a mostly black public school. I was on her and on her and on her. I wouldn’t let up until she said yes.
PEGGY: So one day when Kidada was 14, we drove to Fairfax High, where I gave a fake address and enrolled her.
KIDADA: All those kids! A deejay in the quad at lunch! Bus passes! All those cute black boys; no offense, but I thought white boys were boring. I fit in right away; the kids had my outgoing vibe. My skin and hair had been inconveniences at my other schools–I could never get those Madonna spiked bangs that all the white girls were wearing–but my girlfriends at Fairfax thought my skin was beautiful, and they loved to put their hands in my hair and braid it. The kids knew who my dad was an my stock went up. I felt secure. I was home.
RASHIDA: Our parents divorced when I was 10; Kidada went to live with Dad in his new house in Bel Air, and I moved with Mom to a house in Brentwood. Mom was very depressed after the divorce, and I made it my business to keep her company.
KIDADA: I wanted to live with Dad not because he was the black parent, but because he traveled. I could get away with more.
RASHIDA: At this time, anyone looking at Kidada and me would have seen two very different girls. I wore my navy blue jumper and crisp white blouse; K wore baggy Adidas sweatsuits and door-knocker earrings. My life was school, school, school. I’m with Bill Cosby: It’s every bit as black as it is white to be a nerd with a book in your hand.
KIDADA: The fact that Rashida was good at school while I was dyslexic intimidated me and pushed me more into my defiant role. I was ditching classes and going to clubs.
RASHIDA: About this time, Kidada was replacing me with younger girls from Fairfax who she could lead and be friends with.
KIDADA: They were my little sisters, as far as I was concerned.
RASHIDA: When I’d go to our dad’s house on weekends, eager to see Kidada, the new “little sisters” would be there. She’d be dressing them up like dolls. It hurt! I was jealous!
KIDADA: You felt that? I always thought you’d rejected me.
RASHIDA: Still, our love for the same music–Prince, Bobby Brown, Bell Biv DeVoe–would bring us together on weekends.
Awesome story. Great journalism.
im glad they interviewed them both, instead of just rashida. I definitely relate to this hard, esp to “IF you’re obviously black, white people watch their tongues, but with me they think they can say anything. When people don’t know “what” you are, you get your heart broken daily.”
“Passed”?! I had no control over how I looked. This is my natural hair, these are my natural eyes! I’ve never tried to be anything that I’m not. Today I feel guilty, knowing that because of the way our genes tumbled out, Kidada had to go through pain I didn’t have to endure. Loving her so much, I’m sad that I’ll never share that experience with her.”
jfc so many feels while reading this. most of this made me cry.
I know this is long but I definitely relate to this. Super glad they interviewed them both as well. I don’t pass for white but my sister does and we both very strongly identify as Latina. I really like how Rashida touched on having half of her identity erased in a lot of instances.
THIS. Rashida, Kidada, Rebecca Walker, and me. Any other biracial Jews out there?
Growing up I looked more like a Kidada, but I definitely had an experience closer to Rashida’s, especially when I started private school.
This is so cool. Also, Rashida looks way darker in this picture than on all TV shows. Lighting/whitening?
This is long, but worth the read.
so worth the read. i’m not mixed, but i have very light skin for being fully black, and i understand 100% how it feels.
Rahila Gupta, On Sex-selective Abortion, We Must Not Make a Fetish of Choice, in The Guardian.
FJP: Last year, Telegraph accompanied a woman from the UK who was getting an abortion based on the fact that her baby was female. This incident sparked investigations by government officials who discovered that birth rates of males and females differ based upon location and culture, meaning that patriarchal society still has an effect on the desired sex of children.
Gupta questions whether it’s possible to be pro-choice and a feminist when gender-selective abortions are going on. She says: “While most people agree that getting rid of female foetuses is abhorrent, some argue that it is a price worth paying to preserve the purity of the concept of choice.”
Gupta explains that it’s difficult to prevent women from aborting children based on gender bias because women can always provide a wealth of other reasons for termination. However, she suggests that hiding the sex of the child from the mother could be the way to end gender-selective abortion.
Golshifteh Farahani on the red carpet during the Closing Ceremony of the 70th Venice International Film Festival, September 7, 2013.
Didn’t know who this Iranian actress was, so I just googled her. 1. what a beautiful dress! And photo. And woman.
I found this entry on her Wikipedia page interesting:
Many of her roles she was picked to play whilst in Iran dealt with the day to day struggles of an independent Iranian Woman (be it a single-mother raising a disabled child on her own in Mim Mesleh Mudar; a wife dealing with a drug addict husband in Santoori; or a woman trying to make it as a motorcycle trick rider in the Islamic Republic in Setareh) a considerable number of her roles, help present an image of a strong, Intelligent woman.
Conversely, however most of the movie roles she has been type cast to play so far in Western cinema present her as a woman dependent on her male counterparts. She has so far played the role of the damsel in distress (Body of Lies), or the submissive wife (There Be Dragons) in contradiction to the strong feminist heroine character types she was picked to play on the big screen of Iranian cinema.
Some people have as such said her actions (both in posing nude and in playing such anti-feminist characters in Western films) have been detrimental for women’s rights in Iran, arguing that in her attempts to gain notoriety in the West she has exploited her position as a famous Iranian actress. Meanwhile, others applaud her for being an artist who is trying to fight conservatism in the Islamic Republic.
It’s pretty shitty (though not unexpectated) that there would be such backlash against a woman deciding to do what she wants with her body. But, for myself, as a woman coming from a Muslim background, I can relate to some amount of frustration with her new position.
Here is women who was representing women and Muslim voices in a way that is typically unseen in the Orientalist mindset of the West — and now here is a women who has become unrelatable to many average Iranians. It’s not the nudity itself, its the idea that she has given in to “Western pressures” to be modern and edgy and sexy and given in to “Western visions” of the East — a woman submissive and in need of saving.
This doesn’t read as a young woman breaking free of the chains of an oppressive society and expressing herself with body and art.
It reads of a young actress doing what she must to be relevant and edgy and make a stand… in a way that only serves to reinforce Western partriarchy.
That being said, she’s a grown ass woman, so she can do whatever she damn pleases.
Also, seems like she’s doing well for herself. I’m excited to see what’s in store for her.
A powerful traveling photo exhibition helps educate the world about the plight of women in Afghanistan. Related panel discussion at Asia Society New York this Thursday, October 3.
Read the full story here.