Sunday, September 4, 2016
Deconstructing "Whiteness" as a Human Syndrome
By constantly associated the racial term, "White", with "supremacy," one inevitably begins to associate "Whiteness" with superiority, but without associating it with the most insidious psychological mechanism, as would if the racial word were to be associated with the term complex, to be deconstructed as a human frailty, or syndrome.
Goddess bless, reader!
Anachronistic "White Supremacy"
Furthermore, how does one define "White," as a race? One cannot define it scientifically, but culturally; therefore, a lot of folks, who might be perceived, read as "non-White" externally or skin-color-wise, are indeed and in deeds most culturally "White," in relation to high privileges, and an internalized superiority complex based on economic status, education status, and a general affiliation to certain tribes with high vested interests in the status quo.
Goddess bless, reader
Saturday, September 3, 2016
**Jen Richards on cisgender actors playing trans women**: ..." I auditioned for this. I told them they shouldn't have a cis man play a trans woman. They didn't care.
I've made this point in a few interviews, but never on Twitter, so let me lay it out. Reasons not to have cis men play trans women:
First, there's the practical/economic one. It denies actual trans women opportunities, jobs, resources, which hurts entire community.
Then there's an aesthetic. Now, I agree, in principle, that anyone can play anyone. As an artist, I want that kind of freedom myself, but...Having trans people play trans people allows for more informed, subtle, authentic performance. It makes for BETTER ART, which is the point.
There's a reason why @HerStoryShow has resonated so much with trans people, why we love @Lavernecox, @MsJamieClayton, @angelicaross, etc.
Eddie Redmayne, Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, etc., are great actors, but we, and those who know us, see the difference between them & us
Cis audiences reward them because they see being trans itself as a performance. Trans actors rather perform THE STORY, not our gender.
But all of this pales to the main reason not to have cis men play trans women. This is the reason that is making me cry as I type this...
It will result in violence against trans women. And that is not hyperbole, I mean it literally. Cis men playing trans women leads to death.
Here's why. I've spent years looking at violence against trans women, particularly who does it & why. I talk to survivors. There's a pattern:
Straight men are attracted to trans women. They always have been, always will be. We are some of the most popular sex workers. It's a fact.
BUT they are afraid that being with trans women makes them gay/less masculine. They seek us out, enjoy us, then punish us for their anxiety.
Let's be more direct: They have sex with us, worry that makes them gay, then reassert their masculinity through violence aimed at us.
Back to the point. WHY do men, who aren't attracted to men, who only date women, think being with trans women makes them gay/less masculine?
Because culture as a whole still thinks trans women are "really" men. Decades of showing us that way in shows. It's been internalized.
Again & again cis men play trans women in media with the furthest reach, are rewarded for it, & tell the world trans women are "really" men.
When @MattBomer plays a trans sex worker, he is telling the world that underneath it all, trans women like me are still really just men.
And that is going to lead to violence. Not to me, likely, but to girls already most at risk. Any cis men who do this have bloody hands.
I'm not some screechy activist. I mean all this literally. It's happening all the time. The stakes are life & death. Our women are dying.
I'm a filmmaker. I hold the freedom of art sacred, but I also recognize its power as a responsibility. We shape perception, we are culpable.
**Dear @MarkRuffalo & @MattBomer: if you release this movie, it will directly lead to violence against already at risk trans women**.
**You will exacerbate the cultural belief that trans women are really men, which is the root of violence against us. @MarkRuffalo @MattBomer**
I need to back up on one point from earlier, because it also matters. The root of the violence is white supremacy, no matter who does it...
#JenRichards #TransLivesMatter #privilege #transactresses #transactors #equity #visibility
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The Pugnacious, Alpha Roosters
To empower the disenfranchised or marginalized by centering their lived experiences with oppression does not, in any way, take away from the humanity of the privileged subgroup, but since a privilege is not absolute, but most relative, it does reduce its value, effect, or more to the point, defect.
A privilege is indeed a defect, for it places on one it is bestowed the illusion of freedom, but only to behave within a preordained way, and there is the rub, which makes the privileged as oppressed in their narrow way of experiencing life or humanity, as the privileged creates an external, linear order of experiences, which is most retrograde to any truth or freedom to exist as one innately experiences, understands the nobility, connectedness of our humanity.
Also, as we have all been bamboozled to experience value, for example, if too many folks have $200 of discretionary income, we then believe that such an amount is not longer as valuable; therefore, we must acquire more money, as we, then, invariably put roadblocks for others to have same.
Essentially, that is what happened a few years ago, when the real estate market collapsed, for too many ill-advised, -acquired mortgages had diluted the value of such a privilege; therefore, the pugnacious, alpha roosters came home to reinforce, restore linear order.
Goddess bless, reader!
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
I Am A Resilient Work In Progress
I said later to myself that I am not a talker, but a writer; I am much more comfortable at writing, since I know very well that I can go back and edit as many times to shape it, with pen or keyboard coupled with my imagination as anvil, just the way I need it to travel out and about the external world.
My mental illness, at this stage of my life, does not make me any less resilient than another person without a diagnosed one, if anything it has made me more resilient in many ways: the various coping skills I learned with the many cognitive behaviorists throughout the many mental collapse, relapse episodes I have had do serve me most well, when facing adversities in life; knowing that at my age - - one of the two cognitive behaviorists I was in therapy with during my last episodic relapse repeated that brilliant, scientific advise to me, until it was cliched into my DNA, and it has been flourishing within me ever since - - the chances of my becoming psychotic, at my middle age, are way less than my winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning; oh, what a wonderful boon, bestowed upon me by Goddess! Also having been blessed with much suffering as a benevolent teacher for well over five decades, as I write this, she have taught me to not focus, thus magnifying my presently perceived negative life issues, but to accept them as invariably soon turning into lessons within the various curricula of life.
I am a resilient work in progress.
Goddess bless, reader!
Monday, July 25, 2016
The Pervasiveness of Mental Illness Stigma
The ubiquitous, sometimes subtle, but most often overt stigmatization of folks with mental illness is documented, but not well enough, I opine.
In both private and public setting I have found myself in, I often hear folks deride those with even a perceived mental health issue, especially implying that they are indeed spineless and/or insane, thus to be ostracized at all costs, with no gray areas for us to exist within.
For examples, in one public setting, someone told me that, "I was afraid of you," when you were not at your mental equilibrium - - I paraphrase here, a bit. That same person told me at another time, "You did not like us in the past, for you never wanted to hang out with us." I have also heard a few people speak ill of another person, in one public setting, who had a "total mental breakdown," according to their perception, by saying, again, that they were "afraid" of them -- I am by design using a neutral pronoun, here.
Also, I must say that the "fear" of folks with a mental illness is borne of an insidious human need to classify, devalue through stigmatization, thus, in effect or, more to the point, defect, to control the behaviors and manipulate the perception, both inner and outer, of a man-made subgroup, which is made up entirely of marginalized or the less-privileged, for the rich are almost never stigmatized, but are elevated to eccentricities.
I, myself, had internalized the stigma associated with mental illness for well over three decades; I, by default, was deprogrammed through the aftermaths, and the subsequent inner need to rebuild on a healthier foundation each time, of several mental collapse, relapse episodes, of course -- and needless to say, for they are no self-made human being -- with the help of several amazing therapists and one well-matched psychotropic prescribed by a prodigious match-maker of a psychiatrist.
Stigma devalues, marginalizes, and prevents us with a mental illness -- yes, personhood well before illness, every time -- to seek mental health professional help in order to acquire the much-needed coping skills, since there is no cure, to deal with the dis-ease and all of its external, unnatural kins created by society.
Goddess bless, reader!