Interview with a self-advocate.  Transcript (as best as I could hear, anything I’m confused about is in [brackets]):
Mike [Mitty?] from Trenton, Missouri.
“Tell us about your legislative advocacy.”
I been when we were trying to get the r-word removed out of the legislative, from all the boards, i went out to the legislative committee and told them my story and why I wanted it removed.
“Can you tell us that story?”
Yes I can.  It was — I felt like it was disgraceful for the disability people, they were using it as a label for the disabled, and it made me personally mad, upset, felt like dirt, and it made me feel like I wasn’t a person in the community.
“Has anyone ever used that word against you?”
I have.  And I didn’t like it.  And I tried to correct them but they did not want to listen.
“Did the legislators listen to your concerns?”
Yes they did, and I’m glad they did.  One of the committees persons filibustered the bill but the governor listened to us and signed it into law anyway.  He bypassed the committee and went through it and made it a law.  So we got it done.
We are not born women of color. We become women of color. In order to become women of color, we would need to become fluent in each others’ histories, to resist and unlearn an impulse to claim first oppression, most-devastating oppression, one-of-a-kind oppression, defying comparison oppression. We would have to unlearn an impulse that allows mythologies about each other to replace knowing about one another. We would need to cultivate a way of knowing in which we direct our social, cultural, psychic, and spiritually marked attention on each other. We cannot afford to cease yearning for each others’ company.

M. Jacqui Alexander, “Remembering ‘This Bridge Called My Back’, Remembering Ourselves,” Pedagogies of Crossing (via lamaracuya)

Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution


this keeps me warm at night




At last night’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Kristin Chenoweth chose a random audience member to join her on stage for a performance of “For Good” from Wicked.

The audience member (also, a voice teacher) Sarah Horn, explains:

Toward the end of the second half of the performance, Kristin wanders on to the pasarel. She held a mic up to a lady in front of me and asked if she knew the song “For Good.” Nope. I took the chance, as I was directly behind Kristin, to stand up and wave and say, “I know the song!”

This is not like me - to jump up and wave my arms like a crazy person and raise my voice at a celebrity. As soon as she turned to look at me, I say right back down… and calmly said, “Hiiiii.” …

After this, she moved down the line and asked a guy if he knew the song and bantered with him for a few seconds. Afterwards, she said something about going back to pick me because I was a girl. Then, she invited me up on stage.

I sat there for a moment, stunned. Then the backup singer motioned for me to get up. I shot up out of my chair as my heart leaped up past my throat and started beating in my ears. I don’t really remember what happened between the box and when I first set foot onstage except that there was now a microphone in my hand.

Kristin had no idea what was to come. And that’s pretty much where the video picks up.

(Via towleroad)


I have something in my eye.

(also 3:37)

Goddamn, this song. Gets me every time.

Warning: discussion of sexual violence and victim blaming


"he deserves the presumption of innocence"

fuck that. this is not court, social opprobrium is not equivalent to the armed might of the state.

the only way to ensure every person accused of sexual violence is presumed to be innocent in every circumstance is to assume that every victim is always lying.

presuming the accused to be innocent is setting the standard for prosecution in criminal courts. the people deciding the case must begin by assuming the accused is innocent.


no one else.

we cannot apply the rules of criminal courts to every human interaction. they are designed to have artificially high standards because the state has an enormous amount of power over nearly everyone.

a victim of sexual violence does not have that kind of power over their assailant. victims of sexual violence only very rarely can invoke the armed might of the state on their behalf and risk further violence and humiliation if they do.

to move towards any kind of justice we — those of us who are not involved in criminal proceedings — must presume an assault has taken place and the victim can reliably identify their assailant.

otherwise we maintain the status quo where perpetrators of sexual violence can act in the near certainty they will never be even mildly inconvenienced for their sins.

I don’t think the presumption of innocence make sense in a case of sexual assault or abuse? The nature of sexual assault is that it’s (1) usually committed by someone the victim knows (and knows well), so the identity of the perpetrator isn’t usually something the victim would be confused about, and (2) usually committed in private, or away from the attention of people who would stop it and hold the perpetrator to account, so the victim’s account is essential to both establishing that a crime was committed at all, and to identifying the perpetrator. In other criminal acts, it can be difficult to establish that an accused person is guilty of the crime in question. In a sexual assault, because of the circumstances, there’s no question that the crime happened, and a presumption of innocence only serves to invalidate the victim’s experiences.