“A Witch is born out of the true hungers of her time. I am a child of the poisonous wind that copulated with the river on an oil-slick, garbage infested midnight. I turn about on my own parentage. I inoculate against those very biles that brought me to light. I am a serum born of venoms. I am the antibody of all time.”— Ray Bradbury, “Long After Midnight” (via graveyarddirt)
Twenty-four years ago today, December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine murdered fourteen women and wounded ten women. He entered École Polytechnique de Montréal with a Ruger Mini-14 and a hunting knife for the purpose of “fighting feminism” by murdering the female engineering students…
Seriously tho. Why *should* she be asked to smile?
Asking a woman to smile is to make her more approachable. It’s to make you feel more comfortable - not her. I, personally, have zero fucks to give about being approachable to strange men on the street. Women are not here to entertain and please random folks.
Asking me to smile is akin to asking me to jump. Um. For what?
There’s this weird responsibility placed on women to be happy and lady-like and pleasant all of the time. It rids us of being able to express our own range of human emotions.
No one is asking for men and women to not interact with each other. That’s silly. This project is asking for women to be interacted with as if they have agency over their own bodies.
Creator of the Stop Telling Women To Smile project responded to a person who thinks women not smiling on demand is proof of the end of the world and division among men and women. (Seriously? WTF.)
Funny…I told my best friend about that person’s comment and she said it is the end of the world and division…for that person. A world shaped by the status quo is a world being shaken by the resistance to this status quo. The amount of hatred and bile I’ve faced since I started speaking out about street harassment has been interesting in that some men genuinely process harming women as necessary to their masculinity and thereby their identity. They think critique and rejection of street harassment is an attack on their identity, which is frightening…
"Asking me to smile is akin to asking me to jump. Um. For what?"
“I design clothes because I don’t want women to look all innocent and naïve…I want woman to look stronger…I don’t like women to be taken advantage of…I don’t like men whistling at women in the street. I think they deserve more respect. I like men to keep their distance from women, I like men to be stunned by an entrance. I’ve seen a woman get nearly beaten to death by her husband. I know what misogyny is … I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.”—
This Date in Native History: On November 27, 1868, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an early morning attack on a band of peaceful Cheyenne living in western Oklahoma.
The surprise attack, known as the Battle of the Washita River, is hailed as one of the first substantial American victories in the wars against the Southern Plains Indians. “Prior to this, the Southern Plains Indians—the Cheyenne and Arapaho, the Kiowa and Comanche—they were running circles around the Army,” said Joel Shockley, a park guide at Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. “At the time, the Cheyenne and Arapaho were known as the fiercest Indians in the area.”
Custer, touted as a Civil War hero, had been suspended for one year after being convicted of desertion and mistreatment of soldiers. Ten months into this punishment, he was reinstated to lead a campaign against Cheyenne Indians who had raided settlements in Kansas and Oklahoma.
In his field report, Custer stated that three of his four columns charged as one, and that “there was never a more complete surprise. My men charged the village and reached the lodges before the Indians were aware of our presence.”Custer and 150 men of the 7thU.S. Cavalry attacked at dawn on November 27, after marching all night, said Shockley, who is Choctaw and Cherokee. Their target was a camp of about 300 Cheyenne living with Chief Black Kettle, who almost exactly four years earlier had survived the dawn massacre at Sand Creek, in Colorado.
Custer rode a black stallion that morning, historian Mary Jane Warde wrote in her 2003 book,Washita. After shooting one Cheyenne man, Custer took a position on a knoll to watch the battle. In his field report, he described the scene. “The lodges and all their contents were in our possession within 10 minutes after the charge was ordered,” he wrote. “But the real fighting, such as has rarely been equaled in Indian warfare, began when attempting to clear out or kill the warriors posted in ravines and underbrush; charge after charge was made, and most gallantly too, but the Indians had resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible.”
Within a few hours of the attack, Custer’s men had destroyed the village and killed as many as 103 Cheyenne, including Black Kettle and his wife, Medicine Woman. Custer then ordered his men to destroy “everything of value to the Indians,” Warde wrote. That included slaughtering more than 800 horses and mules.
Custer calculated the number of human deaths by asking each of his men how many people he killed, Shockley said. By the time Custer returned to Fort Hayes, the count had risen to 140. “Custer was trying to redeem himself with the Army,” Shockley said. “It is believed that many of these officers counted the same people two or three times.”
Cheyenne estimates put the death toll much lower, Shockley said. The tribe reported 50 to 60 people were killed, including 12 women and six children. Of the 53 people taken captive, most were women and children. Custer likely used the hostages as “human shields,” a strategy he used often during the Indian wars and wrote about in his 1874 book,My Life on the Plains: Or, Personal Experiences with Indians.
Although the incident is called a battle, it was more of a massacre, Shockley said. Custer’s orders were to go to the Washita River and follow it until he found the hostile Indians. Before he reached the hostile group, however, he discovered Black Kettle and his peaceful village. Black Kettle was leading his people to reservation land and out of harm’s way, Shockley said. “The irony is that Custer basically stumbled on him.”
Every year since 1970, United American Indians of New England have organized the National Day of Mourning observance in Plymouth at noon on Thanksgiving Day. Every year, hundreds of Native people and our supporters from all four directions join us. Every year, including this year, Native people from throughout the Americas will speak the truth about our history and about current issues and struggles we are involved in.
Why do hundreds of people stand out in the cold rather than sit home eating turkey and watching football? Do we have something against a harvest festival?
Of course not. But Thanksgiving in this country — and in particular in Plymouth —is much more than a harvest home festival. It is a celebration of the pilgrim mythology.
According to this mythology, the pilgrims arrived, the Native people fed them and welcomed them, the Indians promptly faded into the background, and everyone lived happily ever after.
The truth is a sharp contrast to that mythology.
The pilgrims are glorified and mythologized because the circumstances of the first English-speaking colony in Jamestown were frankly too ugly (for example, they turned to cannibalism to survive) to hold up as an effective national myth. The pilgrims did not find an empty land any more than Columbus “discovered” anything. Every inch of this land is Indian land. The pilgrims (who did not even call themselves pilgrims) did not come here seeking religious freedom; they already had that in Holland. They came here as part of a commercial venture. They introduced sexism, racism, anti-lesbian and gay bigotry, jails, and the class system to these shores. One of the very first things they did when they arrived on Cape Cod — before they even made it to Plymouth — was to rob Wampanoag graves at Corn Hill and steal as much of the Indians’ winter provisions of corn and beans as they were able to carry. They were no better than any other group of Europeans when it came to their treatment of the Indigenous peoples here. And no, they did not even land at that sacred shrine called Plymouth Rock, a monument to racism and oppression which we are proud to say we buried in 1995.
The first official “Day of Thanksgiving” was proclaimed in 1637 by Governor Winthrop. He did so to celebrate the safe return of men from the Massachusetts Bay Colony who had gone to Mystic, Connecticut to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot women, children, and men.
About the only true thing in the whole mythology is that these pitiful European strangers would not have survived their first several years in “New England” were it not for the aid of Wampanoag people. What Native people got in return for this help was genocide, theft of our lands, and never-ending repression. We are treated either as quaint relics from the past, or are, to most people, virtually invisible.
When we dare to stand up for our rights, we are considered unreasonable. When we speak the truth about the history of the European invasion, we are often told to “go back where we came from.” Our roots are right here. They do not extend across any ocean.
National Day of Mourning began in 1970 when a Wampanoag man, Wamsutta Frank James, was asked to speak at a state dinner celebrating the 350th anniversary of the pilgrim landing. He refused to speak false words in praise of the white man for bringing civilization to us poor heathens. Native people from throughout the Americas came to Plymouth, where they mourned their forebears who had been sold into slavery, burned alive, massacred, cheated, and mistreated since the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620.
But the commemoration of National Day of Mourning goes far beyond the circumstances of 1970.
Can we give thanks as we remember Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier, who was framed up by the FBI and has been falsely imprisoned since 1976? Despite mountains of evidence exonerating Peltier and the proven misconduct of federal prosecutors and the FBI, Peltier has been denied a new trial. Bill Clinton apparently does not feel that particular pain and has refused to grant clemency to this innocent man.
To Native people, the case of Peltier is one more ordeal in a litany of wrongdoings committed by the U.S. government against us. While the media in New England present images of the “Pequot miracle” in Connecticut, the vast majority of Native people continue to live in the most abysmal poverty.
Can we give thanks for the fact that, on many reservations, unemployment rates surpass fifty percent? Our life expectancies are much lower, our infant mortality and teen suicide rates much higher, than those of white Americans. Racist stereotypes of Native people, such as those perpetuated by the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves, and countless local and national sports teams, persist. Every single one of the more than 350 treaties that Native nations signed has been broken by the U.S. government. The bipartisan budget cuts have severely reduced educational opportunities for Native youth and the development of new housing on reservations, and have caused cause deadly cutbacks in health-care and other necessary services.
Are we to give thanks for being treated as unwelcome in our own country?
Or perhaps we are expected to give thanks for the war that is being waged by the Mexican government against Indigenous peoples there, with the military aid of the U.S. in the form of helicopters and other equipment? When the descendants of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca flee to the U.S., the descendants of the wash-ashore pilgrims term them ‘illegal aliens” and hunt them down.
We object to the “Pilgrim Progress” parade and to what goes on in Plymouth because they are making millions of tourist dollars every year from the false pilgrim mythology. That money is being made off the backs of our slaughtered indigenous ancestors.
Increasing numbers of people are seeking alternatives to such holidays as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. They are coming to the conclusion that, if we are ever to achieve some sense of community, we must first face the truth about the history of this country and the toll that history has taken on the lives of millions of Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian, and poor and working class white people.
The myth of Thanksgiving, served up with dollops of European superiority and manifest destiny, just does not work for many people in this country. As Malcolm X once said about the African-American experience in America, “We did not land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.” Exactly.
Hi, I was wondering if you’d be willing to help me with something- my friend, a black trans woman, is having trouble finding somewhere to stay due to being disowned by her mother. She is hoping to continue attending college in Rochester and is looking for a job but cannot do so unless she can find…
“When I sit down to write about Native people … the greatest likelihood is that, as a white person, I will get it wrong; the highest probability is that I will cause damage.”—Sally Roesch Wagner. Sisters In Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists. (via chronically-rebellious)
I heard about crisis pregnancy centers and how it gives incorrect and biased information about abortion, and in my area, an Open Arms Pregnancy Center opened near my school and how would I be able to tell if it’s similar/bad?