The Femisphere: A Link Roundup

29 dolor Self Portrait
’29 Dolor’ Self Portrait by Crystal Galindo

A Roundup of Body Politics, Body Image, & Body Justice News 


Mental Health Awareness Month 

  • Jody Betty writes about taking the shame out of talking about suicide for The Mighty.  “What if the thoughts of suicide could be as openly discussed and accepted as the myriad of mental illnesses? What if someone could safely and honestly express those ideas and emotions with no fear of condemnation or repercussions while still on the ladder’s lower rungs? Would it help decline the speed of the ascent or perhaps eliminate the need to reach the peril that lies atop at all? Could becoming educated, understanding and less judgmental of one single word effectively make a difference in a single life, or even in societal views? Is it possibly as straightforward and uncomplicated as that?”


  • Jamal Lewis is interviewed about their upcoming documentary, “No Fats No Femmes” by Tre’vell Anderson.  “While an undergrad at the historically black, all-male Morehouse College, he-she used queer social networking and dating sites to meet people. Sprawled on many of the profiles were “no fats, no femmes” — along with things like “no blacks, no Asians, no ballroom kids.” Seeing the frequency of such language inspired Lewis years later to create a feature-length documentary to interrogate and explore race, desire and body image, and the ways in which they’re informed by media, pop culture and capitalism.”
  • “Chicanas, chingonas, and cholas deified as fierce queens glare down from the canvas in Crystal Galindo‘s paintings. The rainbow of brown women depicted in her oeuvre are not your typical portrait subjects. They’re artists, immigrants, and activists with an air of nobility, bedecked with beaded jewels in indigenous designs and necklaces of human hearts – similar to the one worn by Aztec goddess Coatlicue. Galindo’s work goes beyond traditional depictions of the muse as an airy waif. She instead portrays resilient women who put their culture at the forefront.” – Remezcla interviews artist Crystal Galindo.
  • “Two applications used by hundreds of colleges and universities will soon allow students more options for identifying their gender. The Common Application, used by more than 600 schools, and the Universal College Application, used by more than 40, said this week that the next version of their applications will allow transgender and gender non-conforming applicants better choices to self-identify. Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, the Common Application will offer an optional free-response text field to give students a place to further describe their gender identity, and will update the “sex” field to read “sex assigned at birth,” its leadership said. “

Sex Positivity

  • Did you know it is International Masturbation Month? Many people may not know this but the month of May is actually recognised as the International Masturbation Month. It all began in the year 1995 after President Bill Clinton fired U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for speaking positively about self-sexual pleasure at the United Nations conference held on World AIDS Day in 1994. It was then that Good Vibrations, a San Francisco-based sex toy company, decided to honour Elders by celebrating May 7th as International Masturbation Day in 1995. Bustle breaks down what happens to your body when you masturbate.
  • Sex Ed is failing us, but ‘Dr. Leslie Kantor, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of education, wants to change that and she thinks comprehensive sex education, covering topics like consent and body acceptance, will work.” Planned Parenthood has produced a lesson plan and series of videos on consent, and how to handle situations when you are not sure of whether there is consent and where there is no consent. The videos illustrate the need for empathy, paying attention, respect for your partner’s feelings and understanding body language when things are not right.


Art & Culture

  • “[G]iven the context, the history, the legacy of violence—is there even any way [the United States] could rightly honor a black woman as courageous and legendary and subversive as Harriet Tubman? Is it possible for a state that built so much of its wealth on black bodies and black blood—specifically the commodification and debasing of both—to honor her? What kind of recognition can a country that still benefits off those things offer a black woman who was born during, raised in and who fought against that terror?” Jacqui Germain On Black success and a Complicated world: Harriet Tubman on the $20.
  • Over at Wierd SisterRios De La Luz reminds us that there can be catharsis in our anger. “I have an affinity for revenge stories. Three of my favorite movies are revenge films. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Lady Snowblood and Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 have a special place in my heart. I love the ruthlessness that accompanies the main female characters in these films. I love the unapologetic politics of killing those who have wronged you in the past. I love the lack of forgiveness. These women have lost a part of their humanity and this is what is left. The anger. The rage. The power to delve into a dark part of themselves because this is what is necessary to get rid of the evil men. They will not be silenced. …Forgiveness works for some toward their path of healing and this is great, but it has never worked for me.”


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