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Quiet All Summer

This is what it’s like to be lost in between.

To feel the words of the songs you heard in your childhood resonate inside your heart. To feel the lyrics rise up, and yet not have the words to let them out.

To keep Borderlands/La Frontera on the bookshelf of your mind for two years, only to find out that Gloria Anzaldúa is dead. To mourn her passing, so deeply, so late, anyway.

To not be able to participate in the conversation between your elders, and yet rest your head and soak it in, enjoying it, anyway.

It’s the silence you keep daily, but never acknowledge, because being lost in between is hard enough without always failing to agree that Diego Luna is so sexy.

It’s not an empty feeling. It’s feeling the edges of the shape of a huge missing piece inside your soul.

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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Her stories

 

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Welcome to Xicanisma

Bloggers at the Three Sonorans have, again, pointed fingers of accusation at Chicanas of Tucson. It seems that we (and a few men) are responsible for divisiveness within the community, for accusing rapists and misogynists of their crimes, for calling out the men and women of the Chican@ community for their hypocrisy and machismo and for demanding that Precious Knowledge be abandoned as a source of financial support by Save Ethnic Studies because a victim of crime directly involved with the film asked that it be so. And this is a bad thing?

Underlying the blogger’s concerns over a current issue involving copyrights, profiting and local artists is a broiling anger towards Chicanas who insist upon speaking about the inequities and injustices that they have experienced from within the community movement. And again, the blogger persists in attacking the accusers rather than naming the crimes and acknowledging that these problems exist. We do not pretend to know his motivations, and they don’t really matter. What is relevant is that he continues to imply that a woman’s concerns are not valid unless they have been legitimated by the community and, in this case, the men of the community.  The blogger points his angry finger at Chicana feminists as the problem, though he willingly admitted in a recent post that he knows little about feminism.

Contrary to what Three Sonorans suggests, leaving the Chicano movement behind is not a tenant of Chicana feminism (aka Xicanisma). Xicanisma, as both an academic discipline and way of life, did not originate because Chicanas were so enamored with “White” feminism that we decided to create the “Brown” version. Nor are we so feeble-minded that we cannot think for ourselves and our communities. Our studies are grounded in the commitment to our communities, our ancestors, and our children. Our actions are rooted in the knowledge that real progress does not occur unless and until the needs and concerns of all members of a community are addressed.

Believe it or not, Xicanisma developed as a response to the persisting efforts of academics and activists of all colors–including White feminists– to keep us silent.  Chicanas—and all women of “Latina” heritage– continue to encounter these efforts to silence. It is nothing new to us, our mothers and grandmothers often prepare us for it, so we know from the time we are small this is something we have to face. We also know that if we are going to ever change anything, we have to continue to fight those efforts, even when they are coming from within our own communities.

The bloggers at Three Sonorans would do well to brush up on Xicanisma before further attacking it and the men and women who support it. They may be surprised to learn that it too draws upon Indigenous knowledge to promote equity and justice for men and women. We know that our Nahua traditions do not just speak of Quetzalcoatl but of our female energies too, such as Xochitl, Coatlicue, and Tonantzin. We know that our ancestors sought the counsel of the women before war. We know that women were speakers, leaders, healers, and artists. We know that there was a time when men and women honored one another and stood up for that. We work to live those traditions and teach them to our children. And try as they might, no one will silence us in those efforts.

A suggested reading list for Three Sonorans for an introduction to Xicanisma—we’ve thrown in some Indigenous knowledge too for good measure. (Note that writings by these authors too contain precious knowledge): Gloria Anzaldua, Ana Castillo, Cherrie Moraga, Emma Perez, Antonia Castañeda, Chela Sandoval, Alma Garcia, Sandra Cisneros, Michelle Seros, Aida Hurtado, Gabriela Arrendondo, Sonia Saldivar-Hull, Alicia Garcia del Gaspar, Norma Alarcon, Tey Diana Rebolledo, Vicki Ruiz, Carla Trujillo, Andrea Smith, Paula Gunn Allen, Leslie Marmon Silko, Wilma Mankiller.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Chicano Movement, Tucson movement

 

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Attn: Voices Needed

Voices Needed
Because that one time at the bar you felt it was okay to go up my skirt with your hand
Because my drink made me sloppy drunk with a few sips
AND you took advantage
Voices Needed
Because community peeps for ‘social justice’ feel that it’s okay to support a rapist instead of their semillas
Because that movie tells ‘our’ story ‘so beautifully’
AND semillas need sunlight to grow… NOT… shade…
Voices Needed
Because young girls can get raped because they ‘drank too much’, ‘wore that dress’ and ‘were looking for action’
Because those beautiful wombyn find ways to stop their breath
AND they need to keep on…going….
Voices Needed
Because sexism, misogyny, and patriarchy are ‘not a big deal’ and make us ‘lose focus’
Because movements need to keep moving and ‘your shit is a roadblock’;  ‘you’re a manhater’
AND we raise and love men
Voices Needed
Because our stories continue to be questioned
Because we are told, ‘Police report please’ and ‘be consistent with your story’
AND our traumas, our fears are carried so deep inside us nothing… comes… out
Voices Needed
Because I can go on and on with these stories
Because you think you know who wrote this yet it is not who you think because these stories. feelings. are common…
AND they need to be STOPPED. SUPPORTED.
KEEP USING YOUR VOICES.
WE HEAR YOU!
 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Her stories

 

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Xicana voice — on honoring mujeres

I have played a spectator role with the Tucson machismo circus that has taken place for a series of months. I have watched this so-called “beef” created by men stating that man-haters are after them, and care more about taking an online blogger down rather than focusing on reviving Ethnic Studies. Let me break down some consciousness for you, DA, the fight to bring back Ethnic Studies begins with you. The problem here is patriarchy, and your failure to recognize your volatile actions within your “community.” As a self-ascribed journalist, you praise men like Sean Arce and place them on a pedestal for being the “face” of a movement. You ignore writing about any women, unless it is for your convenience. As a blogger, you pick and chose what topics you wish to write about and cover up realities such as domestic violence cases committed by these Chicano “idols.” Why are you so pissed off that a group of women have gathered together and created their own blog that calls out your bullshit? Are you afraid because their words are true? Or is it because the narratives that these womyn tell discredit your news articles? I can see it from New York: you’re scared. You are doing the same thing that the state is doing, you’re censoring true histories. As a self-ascribed journalist you are expected to write the “real” stories and narratives according in our communities, right? Then why do you fail to include the whole truth, and constantly use your media platform to bash empowered women who threaten your narrative? Censorship, false histories, and distorted realities are exactly the same bullshit we see in the history books, and the reason the Arizona State Legislature banned Ethnic Studies. They, like you, fear the truth. They fear the real histories and personal narratives of people of color because it threatens white supremacy and it threatens the patriarchal system which you all fight to keep intact. You may not be white by DNA, but your actions and behavior sure the fuck are. You threaten women, censor women, and wish to continue to dominate the struggle with your macho bullshit. Tell me, DA, how are your actions different from those who hold patriarchal powers like your nemesis (I should say your equal) Huppenthal? You both have attacked a minority community because you fear them taking power. Any power that a womyn of color possesses through her words are a threat to your masculinity.

This morning I looked at my news feed and saw your post, “In Celebration of May, Moon, Mothers, and Womyn.” I thought that you finally got it, I believed you had turned over a new leaf—I was wrong. Your post made me angry at your underlying attacks on women through this contradictory essay that is ostensibly geared at honoring women, the life givers. Not only do you continue to use your hetero-nornative approach within your blog, your bullshit machismo rants overpower the original reason you supposedly wrote this post— to honor the mujer. You are so scared, extremely scared, of Malinztine. You are scared of them because they are pointing that smoking mirror right back at you and showing you the real perception of who you are: a sad, pathetic man who only has machismo and a blog to hold on to.

Within your blog you mention that your partner is Chicana, bilingual, has family on both side of the border, and is, or was, poor. Sorry to burst your bubble, DA, but I am also a Xicana, poor, bilingual, with family on both sides of the border—as are many other Chicanas. You celebrate your partner’s struggles and fail to recognize the struggles of her peers, the women of Malinztine. Just a couple of months ago I remember you posting a status that attacked a single mother, who is Chicana, and is in poverty. Why did you choose to attack this woman and choose to honor another when both have the same histories and struggles? Oh, I get it: you got to penetrate one of them; therefore it is ok to show love for that woman while disrespecting the rest of us who carry the same personal experience. Let me teach you something that you might have chosen not to consider in ethnic studies books — you are full of patriarchy and hella full of shit. How dare you write a blog where you seek to reconcile your differences with women in Tucson and then slap them in the face with your sexist and hetero-normative words?

Then you proceed to make an ass out of yourself and declare that your partner is “embodying the greatness of a woman.” Why — because she is pregnant and has your “DNA” inside of her? Would she be even greater if she were cooking barefoot for you in the kitchen? Oh, this stung a little; well it hurt for me to read your post today. Mujeres should be honored every single day, not only when they are carrying your child. Are you so blind that you fail to recognize how hetero-normative your blog was today? You should know better than to ever make these types of comments. Have you forgotten about a woman’s moon cycle? You know, the period in time where they carry the most energy and are the strongest? This occurs every month, not only when DA’s “DNA is implanted inside of her.”

You mention the moon — by which I am sure you must have meant Coyolxauhqui. How dare you even mention the moon and the female energies and powers without understanding your own people’s history.  Coyolxauhqui was killed by a man, her limbs destroyed because she was seen as too strong and powerful. I find it insulting that you reference the moon when you continuously cut off the spiritual limbs of the women in the struggle every day with your machismo, words, and failure to gain consciousness as a man of color. You attack all of the modern Coyolxauhqui’s who are the womyn warriors in my community. Your attacks on them are direct attacks on me. You have insulted my sisters and me enough, and now it is time to fight back.

This is a new time in the history of Xican@ struggle where women do not hold their tongue nor step back behind men, waiting for their order. We love the movement too much to allow for your love of domination and sexism to destroy the minds, bodies, and souls of women who have done more in their young lives than you ever will in your life time by sitting back and being an armchair revolutionary. Your time is up, DA, you are at the point in your life when you must decide if you will change or if you will continue being the person you are today. One road leads to destruction, while the other leads to reconciling the damages made and moving forward in the struggle as equals. You can’t be a feminist or an equalist and choose to respect one pool of women while disrespecting the other. I share the same struggle that your partner had, and that same struggle also belongs to my sisters in Tucson. I think you might have forgotten about the philosophy of In Lack Ech —that attacks that you are staging against my sisters are a direct assault to me —moreover, the only one you’re hurting in the end is yourself and the thoughts of the child your are about to bring to this earth. You must change your ways and think about the 7 generations after you. Do you want your future daughter in the struggle to experience violence, subjugation, and abuse like we did? You must change now if your answer is no. As a Xicana who writes as a method of personal healing, I ask for you never to put down women of color and their words. As a Xicana who is on the frontlines of a movement, I have been a victim of verbal abuse and assault and have used Malintzine as a space of healing. Your campaign to shut down this blog is a direct effort to continue to keep us silent victims. The only ones who profit from our silence are you, the Chicano Machista males. You will no longer be free to bash women without a rebuttal from one of us. I thank you for making me angry enough to write my first post on this blog.  On a final note, you are full of contradictions and macho bullshit. Try to come at me DA Morales; I would love to see you try.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Chicano Movement, Tucson movement

 

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I Can See Your Shattered Ego

Those with the smallest minds have the biggest mouths.

I can see your shattered ego all the way in Colorado.

You can be as angry as you please over a depiction of you that occurred at Malintzine’s event a few months ago. You can call it man-hating. You can call it sexism. You can call it gender violence. You can criticize the Tucson Weekly for being racist, but the embarrassment you feel over people applauding everyone’s favorite Xingona mama kicking your ass is nothing compared to the embarrassment we feel every time you write a new article.

The annoyance you feel every time someone calls you out on Facebook for your discrepancies, your lack of ethics, and most importantly, your protection of a known woman-beater is nothing compared to the irritation that rushes through our veins when you try to proclaim yourself as a progressive. You continue to cry wolf, and play victim. You spotlight articles that are targeted at you, or men you follow like a lost puppy, and use that as evidence of hate. You target articles that promote Malintzine and proceed to give your two cents about why it is sloppy journalism. For someone without a degree in communications, you sure seem to think you know a lot about what makes a good reporter.

The ecstatic happiness you get from comparing Malintzine and their supporters to Jan Brewer, Joe Arpaio, and John Pedicone is nothing compared to the joy we feel when we see your fan base shrinking as we provide the stories you have refused to tell. You know nothing of the bliss when we see the emails pouring into Malintzine talking about men exactly like you and the abuse they suffered at those assholes’ hands.  You are unaware of what its like to know you’ve given people a voice, because you continue to perpetrate one agenda.

It’s takes a long time for a woman to realize it’s okay to be a Chingona, but now that I have, I won’t be going anywhere. I like the sight of a man pissing himself because of the power I now possess. It doesn’t matter that you don’t agree. Your thoughts are trivial when there are so many more people calling for Malintzine than there are calling for you.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Her stories, Tucson movement

 

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What I Cannot Say

What I Cannot Say

By Amy Hagemeier

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Borders borders

When I went through the border I heard a man
speak his name, speak for his freedom and the freedom of those around him
and I saw a soldier standing behind him
who was there to kill, disappeared, repress, impoverish, murder, steal, lie, thieve, die
sometimes too, everyday inside he died, that soldier, I saw it in his eyes
soldier funded to stand there, given money, by a government that I “have” somehow to call “my own”. 
… I Pledge Allegiance…
But I can’t I can’t I cant I cant I cant I cant I cant I cant
 
When I saw that man and heard his sweet voice and saw the look of recognition between the people, their hearts and their lives,
then I felt my spirit renew, I felt my heart come alive,
I felt the pains of the people, I saw the pains of the ages, and I saw all of Life speak together
and their song was beautiful,
and the deeper it went their lives intertwined with that of the suns’ life, the plants, the bats, jaguars, agua y oro tambien
 
…..
Borders borders
 
When I came through the border aiport security of the land called “US”, I felt screaming silently and erased
though not erased
 
That
I am not the murderer. 
Not the one who goes to other countries with paid boots and guns to [insert propaganda]
No not me
And I am not the one who thieves, who goes and pays for bullets to go into the bodies of children in lands maybe I’ve never seen.
Not me.  No not me.
I’ve seen the bodies of children afraid of bullets marked USA-made
I’ve seen those kids and I loved them, I laughed with them, I told them all I could,
I don’t believe they should be murdered, I don’t believe in the destruction of their bodies or Hearts or Minds
I believe they should live the depths of their lives, I believe they should live the magic of their childhood, and the magic potential of their lives.
 
And I am not the one thinking that raping lands and lives for money is worth the profit$, and fuck the deaths and fuck the depths of the losses.
Not me. Not me.  I feel that loss, I see it, I watch it as the earth has started to bleed onto our feet
While the rich line their pockets with forgotten denials that
they don’t have the right to thieve/profit of/f our communities, to thieve/invest themselves in the stealing of our lives, our dreams, our visions sometimes even too.  They don’t have the right to thieve/profit of/f the loss of another, off water, off the earth…
 
And I want to scream into the well that I see you liars
you thieves
you stupid capitalist imperialist bastards who forgot where home is
you jerks who took my water bottles and threw it in the trash, who made me take off my shoes, put my shit on a belt, open my bags for you, put my hands up inside a machine,  made me watch every foreigner get doubled fingerprinted and photographed, and told me You were “keeping the skies safe,”
I want to say to you that the border has long been reached. 
The Emperor with
No Clothes
has been spotted,
has been spotted,
spotted,
spotted,
and I’m screaming that I see you, and I don’t Pledge Allegiance
 
I don’t lie for you, my “US” government, I don’t excuse your behavior, I don’t cover for your forced and constant “mistakes,”
I won’t put my hand over my heart for the rulers/thieves/liars/murderers/sick capitalist imperialist bastards
I would rather give my allegiance to those of this life who are striving for Life
Because my heart still feels So Much Love
And Because I still do believe in the visions
 
I am not the one who behaves like my Rights obligates me above all others,
and my Right to profit, and my Right to lie in your face and make you behave like you’re the criminal.
That’s not me.  That’s not that man I saw standing in front of a soldier calling for the right of the people to live in peace.  That’s not her I saw striving with eyes so wide open, with heart open striving bent on the strength of her vision.
I don’t Pledge Allegiance.
I want Liberation.
I want Liberation.
 
The other week in Tucson I gave $5 to a man who looked like he could use it,
and he cried and hugged me and spoke of Robin Hood,
and we spoke about the idea of Robin Hood, (hey we need more Robin Hoods)
and when I told him I wished him the best
He gave me a depth of a look
and he told me, “Everyone says that to me.  I’ve just stopped listening.”
And my heart felt a fracture, felt to be precariously shackled to a depth opening beneath my feet.
And I felt like something slipped between us two and said “That’s just the way it is.  Somethings can never change.  That’s just the way it is.”  Came to haunt us two, and beg for our votes, and told us not to trust each other, and told us we could never be free of this Hell called U.S.
instead
instead of us two, three, all of us, us us us, we one.
 
I want this stupid Fucking “US” government to stop thinking it has the right to make the most money
Because I hate the costs of the deaths
And Because I love the
Depth of the Lives
 
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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Her stories, Uncategorized

 

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