Rise Up

Our country has become a Twilight Zone with a daily barrage of insanity from the person elected to run it. Have you had enough fellow citizens?

Its hard not to get tired. Its hard to want to be pushing every day, but push we must — for equal rights, for clean water, for the environment, a free press, fair Senate hearings, and all things that make us the nation we are. The firing of security officials amidst an investigation should never be okay. Tampering with our election, even only theoretically, should never be okay.  When I talk with people who don’t like politics there’s a “I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me” attitude. Friends, let me tell you, ALL of it affects you. It would be folly to not understand the big picture.

We are so lucky to live where we do. California has many representatives that aren’t afraid to speak out against craziness that comes daily from the president. California acts a bit as a bubble for us in that its a given most people here care about the environment, equal rights, healthcare and other matters of importance.

Locally,  there are opportunities for marching, activism and political involvement everywhere. I have found its easiest not to get overwhelmed by joining one cause or group and just doing what you can. If all you can do is attend a march, do it. If all you can do is write or call your representatives, do it. History tells us that together can produce change.

 

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“Fat” discrimination, “fat” justice

I recently attended a lecture at Sonoma State University as part of their “Feminist Lecture Series.” The theme of this lecture was”Fat Justice.”

At size 2, I am in no way “fat.” I don’t have experience being overweight but types of discrimination are numerous and I strive to be informed as much as I can. Discrimination against overweight people is one part of interlocking systems of discrimination against the LGBTQ community, disabled ppl (ableism), racism….Just as with these forms of oppression and discrimination there are many assumptions made about overweight ppl that non-overweight ppl project onto them. Overweight ppl are subjected to ideas that they have no self control, that they are food addicts, that they are lazy..none of which may be true. There are ppl that fetish-ize overweight ppl and in doing so, view them as less than human.

Disabled ppl experience treatment similar to overweight ppl. People offer unwanted advice, ask questions, make uncalled for remarks. People who don’t experience being overweight have views that may not be realistic of overweight ppl.

Overweight ppl have access ppl that thinner ppl don’t such as access issues getting seating in public spaces, as one example. Overweight people are treated with hostility as if they choose to take up extra room instead of being viewed as humans who are simply a different size that needs to be accommodated (ie like tall ppl, short ppl, kids, etc)

On the flipside thin ppl are also subjected to unwanted advice from people “you should eat more” etc. At the same time skinny ppl are subjected to the idea that being skinny is normative and outsiders can subject them to “fat fears” and surveillance…”you look so much better since you lost weight,” “you’re eating so healthy” “I don’t want to get fat,”  etc.  Our culture has an obsession with “fatness” and the avoidance of it.

 

Ways that we as a culture can fight “fat discrimination” is to avoid complimenting ppl for thinness, if they have lost weight compliment hair or something other than their body shape. Dont laugh at “fat jokes.” Look at overweight ppl with humanness and advocate for access for overweight ppl (such as with school desk sizes, airplane seats, etc). There are many ways we as a culture together can combat this.

Trans Resistance Against Trump

I recently attended a lecture at Sonoma State University as part of their “Feminist Lecture Series.” The theme of this lecture was “Trans Resistance Against Trump.” The speaker was a trans woman named Mia. Per her bio, “Mia Satya is a trailblazing community organizer with over a decade of advocacy experience. Mia Satya has served on over 10 committees in 5 San Francisco city government departments and played key roles in the re-authorization of the Children’s Fund that secured $150 million a year in critical services. Mia is the first transsexual graduate of Emerge, the premiere statewide political training program for women. In 2016 Mia was honored as San Fransisco Pride Grand Marshall and was elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Mia Satya is the founder of All Out: the LGBTQ+ Political Pipeline, which educates and connects youth to create change.”

Mia spoke about things that I as a cis woman had not thought about. OF course I think we’re all aware Trump isn’t exactly an advocate of trans rights, or womens’ rights in general.  Mia provided an overview of all the ways trans rights are impacted by areas of government — housing, healthcare, education, mental health, safety, incarceration…Government organizations and branches without a plan for dealing with trans people endangers trans people. (HHS, HUD, Census, DOE, SCOTUS)

In the last presidential election, trans communities supported Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who both sadly lost. There was and is a vast difference in views between presidential candidates of last year regarding trans rights (including our current president).

 

As with a lot of crimes where people fear for themselves or are shamed by the reporting process, trans crimes are underrepresented by statistics as they go underreported. Less than half a percent of the population is trans and yet trans crimes are disproportionately higher than a lot of other populations.

Trans people should have equal rights — everywhere. They should have protections in all areas of government oversight that affects them –military, policing (public safety laws), housing fairness, schools (bathrooms!) violence prevention & healthcare to deal with the community’s  specific needs.  The ACA covers (covered?) trans needs.

 

Additionally trans ppl arent being included in the census which is a HUGE disservice to the trans community but to everyone else. We deserve to know who our populations are. Trans ppl still need to fight for inclusion, even in areas of life they should be welcomed like the recent Women’s March. Hate crimes are reportedly up since Trump’s election. 78-80% of hate crimes are against trans people per Mia.

Trans rights to EXIST are the issue in this country, NOT bathrooms.

 

Ways that non-trans ppl can help is to call out rules and laws that are discriminatory, as well as situations where trans bigotry is on display.

Thank you Mia. I learned so much. I pledge to continue learning more. We all owe it to the trans community to learn the needs that government is ignoring and to create inclusion wherever its needed. Listen, call out. donate.

 

sources for more information:

National Center for Gender Equality

TGI Justice Project

Trans Women of Color

TAJA Coalition

@miatumutch

#girlboss