The Femisphere: A Link Round Up



A Weekly Link Round Up of Body Image, Politics & Body Justice News




  • Sheena Vasani breaks down the horrifying statistics of how Islamaphobia is affecting the mental health of young South Asians Muslim or not. She discusses the dismissal of social issues and lived social constructs in the treatment of mental health as a personal issue. “The discrimination is taking its toll on children, leaving effects that last into adulthood. For example, a 2014 study /Sikh Coalition study reveals two-third of Sikh children donning turbans are bullied, while 50 percent of all Sikh children experienced bullying. Bullying can cause severe mental health damage. Indeed, the effects can even be worse than abuse.” The statistics are interspersed with personal anecdotes. “What I’ve seen in the Muslim community psychologically is feeling a denial of emotion, feeling very disconnected that we can’t display this emotion because no one will believe it. No one will tolerate it, no one cares that we’re upset… — Mental health professional Kameelah Rashad said in an interview.”



  • “Rickie Blue-Sky is a transgender, Native American elder serving his 33rd year of a 27-to-life sentence in a women’s prison in Chowchilla, California. He is 70 years old. On April 6, 2016, Blue-Sky will appear for his fifth time before the CA Board of Parole Hearings. At his last hearing, he was denied parole for “lack of insight” because he has continued to claim innocence since his trial. The Board of Parole also accepted arguments that Blue-Sky is a threat to public safety because of his transgender identity. The DA argued that since Blue-Sky “lies” about his gender he must be a liar at core. As a transgender person of color, Blue-Sky has faced blatant discrimination since his arrest and throughout his trial and imprisonment.” If you’d like to support the struggle to stop the discrimination Rickie Blue-Sky is facing, please sign the petition linked here. 



  • Disney Pixar’s latest animated blockbuster – Zootopia is a buddy cop film about a rookie bunny cop, Judy and a con artist fox, Nick who work together to uncover a series of attacks on residents by other animals. The movie is making waves for some pretty amazing reasons. “This is the best animated kids movie about prejudice and police brutality ever,” says Vox. Mic shares more reviews and a video on how this film is leveling up subject matter for all audience animated films. “‘The case Judy and Nick have to solve revolves around predators ‘turning savage’ and the ugly reactions that ensue.’ As such, the use of animals offers Zootopia a chance to explore concepts of prejudice in the most obvious way possible. Rather than judging someone for the color of their skin, Zootopia residents judge their peers based on what kind of animal they are, which is why it’s such a big deal that Judy is the first bunny to become a cop.” I loved Inside Out another film dedicated to talking about understanding our own complex emotional lives. If Disney wants to educate our kids and ourselves on the complexities of social norms, prejudices, and bigotry in the framework of police brutality, I am all in!



  • The #Unfairandlovely hashtag has become a viral statement on colorism in women of color in Black and Brown communities. “The idea behind the hashtag began with a photo series, shot by Black University of Texas student Pax Jones and featuring her fellow students, South Asian sisters Mirusha and Yanusha Yogarajah. … Much of the media focus around the hashtag thus far has zeroed in on the discussion around South Asian women, but the founders want to make it clear that #unfairandlovely is a movement that ultimately seeks to include all dark-skinned people negatively affected by Eurocentric beauty standards.” As Jones told The Huffington Post, “#UnfairAndLovely is for dark-skinned people of color. #UnfairAndLovely is meant to be an inclusive space. It is for the dark-skinned queer, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, poor, fat, differently abled people of color.”




  • On Black Girl Dangerous, Peruvian-born Ella Mendoza talks about being reunited with her mother thirteen years after coming to the United States as an undocumented teenager. The reunion, during the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in NYC  in December of 2015, frames her thoughts on the criminalization and separation of the many families who have emigrated for survival. “‘As we watched [tv], my mother said, “People back home assume that the United States is too cultured for this kind of cruelty.’ But it is in the United States that I have grown to know fear. My fear goes beyond my documentation status. I am simply too brown, too curly, and too curvy to be allowed peace of mind. It is in this pain and fear, though, that my mother and I reconnected. Being with her reminded me that we are united by blood, womb, and displacement.” 


  • More than half the people who escape war zones suffer from mental illness, according to research done by Germany’s chamber of psychotherapists. These asylum seekers have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other trauma-related conditions, and about 40 percent of them have suicidal thoughts. A study by doctors at the Technical University of Munich found that at least a third of Syrian children and adolescents in Germany suffer emotional disorders, stress or PTSD. But at a time when Europe faces a dramatically large influx of refugees and governmental resources are overstretched, some European countries are neglecting to provide sufficient mental care for those who fled war and other violence, campaigners say.”



  • I am entranced and loving Jay Boogie in this video of Boogie performing their single Lady. “Refusing to sit quietly under the queer rap label, Boogie’s gender-neutral vibe mixes Liberace with Lauryn Hill and Dominican flavor with Janet Jackson lyrics. Attracted to Boogie’s “amazing energy and defiance of stereotypes,” filmmaker Edmund Fraser shot the rising star at his London studio to the purring bars and heavy bass of his unreleased track, produced by L-vis 1990”


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