More About Me
I am based everywhere. I am currently Visiting Assistant Professor in Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Mount Holyoke College. My current scholarly research explores feeling and feminist politics in Black women’s film, visual art, and literature. My current poetry and visual art project titled Patient. explores the history of gynecological experimentation on Black women in the U.S. and the generational traumas that such practices have caused.
Here you will find information on me and my projects.
Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths
If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”
And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.
And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.
It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.
The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.
As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.
Trans Stonewall Veteran Exposes Stonewall History’s Trans Erasure and Whitewashing by Gay Inc
The Stonewall Riots had very little to do with ‘elegantly wasted White street kids’. It had a whole helluva lot to so with Black and Latino queers and trans women who had had enough. Great video interview exposing the erasure of Trans People and People of Color from the modern LGBT Rights Movement… compare this and other contemporary accounts to that PBS’s ‘Stonewall Uprising’ bullshit.
Maduro: It’s an Outrage How Spain Celebrates the Holocaust of Our Ancestors
For those who unaware, October 12 is a national holiday in Spain. Once called “Día de la Hispanidad,” it’s that country’s national day and also its Day of the Armed Forces. They now call it “Fiesta Nacional,” or “National Festival.”
For us and many others, the fact that Spain has chosen this day to celebrate its nationhood is extremely offensive and illustrates how the racism of colonialism is still deeply a part of this country’s identity.
Venezuela President Nicolás Maduró agrees. On Saturday, Maduro told an assembly of military personnel how he felt about Spain’s Fiesta.
“In Spain, [they celebrate October 12] as their national day … I felt outraged and offended that elsewhere they celebrate the day that began the American Indian Holocaust,” Maduro said.
“Spain should reconsider this, as should the rest of Europe, because they cannot be celebrating the day that began the massacre, or the holocaust, of 100 million men and women who were our grandfathers and our grandmothers,” he said.
“That’s why today is neither Día de la Hispanidad, nor is it Día de la Raza, it is a day of resistance for our Aboriginal Peoples. Resistance to conquest, resistance to colonialism, resistance to the Holocaust,” Maduro added.
Although many of his statements have at times provided easy fodder for critics, Maduro’s words are poignant and exactly what needed to be said to Spain that day.
A salute to Nicolás Maduro, and to his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, for officially making October 12 Day of Indigenous Resistance in Venezuela!