Reflection… Correction… Direction…

Here’s the thing — a little more clarification is necessary since it seems that the confusion continues.

First of all — this is not a competition for fans or views or reads. When we set out to launch malintZine on December 21, 2012 we had a vision of offering an anonymous space for women to speak their truths. Truths that had been silenced for too long. MalintZine has been and will continue to be a radically safe space that will ferociously protect the anonymity of our authors. But malintZine and her authors are not just the women who you’ve seen in photographs — we’re everywhere!! Indeed this space has been used to call men on the mat for their straight up bullshit and specific instances of fucked-upedness, but it has also been a safe space for sharing experiences than span the spectrum from fear to rape. We were not under the impression that the presence of our truths would come easily for anyone involved including ourselves. The truth tears down barriers, destroy relationships and bring others together. While we might have hoped otherwise, personal attacks were expected.

Since December 21, 2012 malintZine has grown into a larger community than we could have imagined that stretches from LA to Colorado, New York and Baltimore with a strong core of amazing mujeres in Tucson.

We were honored and blessed to have participated in and hosted events in the last week in Los Angeles and in Tucson. We were invited to speak in Maylei Blackwell’s class and sit on a panel with Maylei and Anna Nieto Gomez. In 1971 M.E.Ch.A held a mock funeral procession that was a ritualized attempt to kill Las Hijas de Cuactemoc. They carried caskets and walked with candles to a makeshift graveyard with gravestones for Hijas leaders and a lynched effigy of Anna Nieto Gomez (with her name inscribed). It was an honor to meet Anna, who stood up to the misogynistic Chicano leaders of her time, and a humbling privilege to sit beside her on the panel.

On Friday March 8th we had the pleasure of hosting Andrea Smith for a powerful discussion about accountability with well over 150 people in attendance followed by a launch party that brought together the community of malintZine readers, authors and editors. The ability to have the physical manifestation of the safe space that had been created online at malintzine.com was quite the event. There were poetry readings, zines, and plenty of music. Yes, there was a piñata and yes it was male bodied and yes we beat it with a stick until tamarindo, chamoy, lube and condoms gushed out. Yes, a drag king who resembled Three Sonorans attended the party and photos that have since been made public were taken. Three Sonorans has become the living embodiment of contemporary chingon politics. By his own doing, DA Morales has turned himself into a caricature of a 50-year history of misogynistic one-sided Chicano Movement narrative that holds its male leaders in blameless esteem.  Herein lies the point — maltinZine was created to counter the continuation of that narrative and on Friday night we celebrated.

And finally, we expect that you will continue your personal attacks on our motherhood, on our loyalty, on our motives, on our writing skills, on our education or lack of education, on our age, on our perceived sexuality, on our children and on our character — but your attacks don’t blight the truth. You may know who we are but you should also know that we are not going away. If there is a month where you cease to spew your false problematic narratives — we will be happy to keep your name of our blog (maybe!).

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For more photos of March 8th’s International Womyn’s Day events hosted by malintZINE click HERE!

Puga Nini Sha’de Butterfly Dance

She thinks, ‘I can do it,’ as a vibrant, deep and fluorescent butterfly floats over her head.
‘I shouldn’t have to hide who I am.
This is my reality- this is my truth.
Just my presence alone brings with it the entire weight of the mistakes of the Movement and the reason why true liberation has not yet been achieved.
So my truth now becomes your truth.’
This tragedy alone has morphed me into a new being.
Like the violent hacking of the wood, the splintering and breaking apart of its body- for all to watch in deep fascination-
when that metal blade slices into the once piece of forest.
Over and over again.
That piece of wood- birch wood- in its painful alteration from one being to another, thought the knife was deforming her as she’s
 
cut,
 
    and cut,
 
               and cut.
 
But when she opened her eyes after the agony was finally all over, she looked down upon herself and saw she was now a beautiful kachina doll.
A butterfly maiden.
And soon her Creator painted colors on her base; vibrant, deep and fluorescent.
She looked at the new world around her in amazement as she sat in the sun to let her colors dry.
Some of her hues were dark- to represent all the past pains done on her body that morphed her into this new figure.
And bright- to represent all the days in her future, for she has survived the hardship and is still here to see another sunrise.
After she dried the woodcarver breathed life into her.
And then she flew away.

de/romantic revolutions

I remember
the first time I went to the MEChA meeting
he was there
to the side with his Ché mane
sad eyes
and I liked him
                                                                        (no, you don’t understand)
he’s a beautiful brown man
he reminds me of my brother
lost, rocky childhood, angry, charismatic, womanizer
but wants to be a lawyer or politician
do right by his people
                                                                        (his mother)
first time he holds my hand, we’re at the movies
watching motorcycle diaries
his sweaty palm, let’s go
stares and for a moment I imagine revolutionary love
                                                                        (wack right?)
that’s when he tells me I’m naïve
I don’t know anything about people
people aren’t good.
 
He reads Langston Hughes,
I too sing America
I am the darker brother….
and then say’s he’s a feminist
because he believes women should have sex before marriage
                                                                       (sex with him to be exact)
I tell him I’m a virgin, I don’t want to have sex anytime soon
he’s totally into it
until we make out and he gives me a guilt trip
that I’m a tease
“blue balls” to be exact
“can’t you take care of that?” I ask
            “no, it’s not the same” he says.
 
The first time it happens
I’m in complete shock
                                                                       (he didn’t even ask)
I didn’t feel a thing.
Whenever “it” happened
I was never there, it was never about me.
 
I tried saying I love you, once
searched his eyes for a loving gesture
but never found one
I felt my body an object
a woman archetype
to get off
when I finally asked how many women he’d been with
he looked down and said “two”
                                                                       (seriously?)
“I don’t know….14-15?”
he’s 21.
 
“You’re too difficult.”
his response when I plead
for him not to enter me from behind, again…
and when he walks out enraged, I know it’s over.
 
Overdue.
 
About time I realize
 
romance and revolutions
 
don’t mix.

malintZINE does the telling

By Anna NietoGomez, Coughing Woman

Custom was that violence against women was private and should not be talked about in public. The women’s rights movement changed all that, and violence against women became a public discussion. Women demanded that they have the right to be safe at home, at work and at play. Traditionalists ignored this challenge, blamed the woman for the violence done against her and took no action.

Then women told their stories.
 First they began the telling with friends and family, but nothing changed. The story was forgotten, and violence against women continued.
 Then the telling became public. The telling increased from a solo, to a chorus, from a community to a nation. 
The telling were stories of all kinds of violence against women, sex exploitation, sexual harassment, rape and physical abuse.

The telling raised awareness that women are not safe, 
and when women are not safe, the family is not safe. 
The telling organized a larger agreement that women have the right to be safe in the home, at work and at play.
 The telling became political when the nation heard the same stories told by so many different women all over the country.
 Once the telling became political, laws were passed to protect women from violence.
 But laws are not enough.
 
Courageous Mujeres created MalintZINE, 
a 21st century feminist magazine for mujeres of all kinds!

It told the story of violence against women in Tucson and of their efforts to stop it.
 Mujeres voiced to the community leaders that violence against women made community activism a hostile and unsafe place to be. Mujeres asked their leaders to condemn and help stop the violence against women.

But the leaders did nothing, they said the complaints were a nuisance. The leaders didn’t want to know what the women thought or said. They contended that the role of the Mujer was to be seen and not heard, to look pretty and to please the men at night. The leaders said stop complaining, there are more important things we have to do. They told the women to return to work. Lets work together so that Hombres are equal to Gavachos.

The leaders explained that the role of the Mujer was to make the men look good. 
It was disloyal to complain and air their dirty laundry in public.
The leaders said hush, act right! Stop telling these stories, or we may lose the gains that have been made.

The Mujeres said, “Remember Penn State”. 
Those leaders ignored complaints of violence against students.
The leaders perceived the complaint to be the problem, not the perpetrator.
 They knew the perpetrator and he was good for their program. 
The leaders agreed, the program was more important than any violence against students.

So the leaders lied to themselves and said they did not receive the complaints. 
Each time they heard the crowd cheer and basked in their glory, the leaders lied again, “We did the right thing”. 
So the perpetrator committed violence against students over and over again. 
And It was unsafe to play.

But the story was not forgotten because there were many more new stories to tell, 
and finally the telling became public, and the nation heard.
 Then there were consequences.
 But the crowd booed at the telling,
 “It’s a lie. Our leaders made us great,
 we owe them. Don’t take them away.
 Who cares what happened to the students.”

The program was not destroyed. Finally the perpetrator and the leaders who covered it up were removed.
 They longer enjoyed the glory.
 Again the Mujeres told their leaders, “Remember Penn State, this could happen to you.”

But the leaders refused to learn the lesson.
 They knew the perpetrators.  They were good for the business of civil rights which brought fame, money and jobs. The leaders agreed, the business of civil rights is more important than violence against women. They said nothing, and did nothing. The leaders denied that sexual harassment was bullying, and pretended it validated women’s self worth.
They expected women to provide sexual favors for the leaders and their male network.
 And women got something in return, they were envied for being pretty and desired and they got a free dinner to boot.
 Women who resisted or complained were discredited as disloyal and crazy.
 The Mujeres were ostracized, and shunned and feared losing their jobs.

The leaders told the Mujeres:
 The woman is to blame when she is raped. 
Change your behavior. 
If women do not want to be raped, stay home and do not go to play. Don’t drink alcohol, don’t wear short skirts or plunging neck lines.

The leaders did nothing to stop violence against women.
 They advised: 
”
Prove your loyalty to the movement, go home, forget about, and come back to work another day.” “It never happened if you don’t have a police report.” “No one will believe you, you’re promiscuous, we know your history.” “Have pity of the rapist, think of the violence against men.” “Don’t criminalize men of color”.

Without consequences, nothing changes, and violence against women remains normal.
 But Tucson is different
. The Mujeres told friends and family, nothing changed, but it was not forgotten. 
Mujeres created malintZINE to tell their stories.
 The telling became public. 
The telling increased from a solo, to a chorus, from a community to a nation.
 The telling raised awareness that it is not safe for women to be a community activist. 
Some threaten Mujeres with lawsuits if they do not stop the telling. 
But the Mujeres persist.
 With the telling comes support, and allies who will help them make the community safe for women.
 What do they want? 
Public support to stop violence against women.
 A public apology for failing to provide a safe environment for women.
 A public statement of men acknowledging that gender violence work is men’s work too! Men’s compliance with a code of behavior that respects women’s rights and allows women to live in a safe environment.
 Social, as well as legal consequences to those who act out violence against women.

Three Sonorans – blogger/publicist; deception by deflection, attempted polarization, sour grapes- all with underlying misogyny and prejudice

After being called on his misogynist oriented blogging and continued spread of misinformation, some weeks ago, DA Morales, also known as Three Sonorans (TS), proclaimed that his blog would be shut down. The TS absence lasted only a few days and many pockets were lined with quick cash from bets won against his promise. We are regretful to have won the bet! At a New Year’s party, Richard M. Martinez referred to Morales as his “publicist” which simply affirmed Morales’ role. Perhaps the bestowment of his role and title is what propelled Martinez’ promoter to begin TS and what prodded him to once again surface the blog and spew continued misogyny and mistruths.

A quick review of the traces of the misogyny in the TS blog, finds that this anointed publicist has consistently used his blog to attack/defame many women in leadership roles, including Adelita Grijalva, Regina Romero, Sylvia Campoy, Kristel Foster, Kim Dominguez and Mari Herreras. Clad in 1960s chauvinism – “Chingon politics”, Morales has referred to feminists as men-haters. His disdain for the Grijalvas seems to influence much of his blogging, as does his seemingly hero-worship for some of the men with whom he closely associates. His position on domestic violence is strong (anti) unless the alleged perpetrator happens to be one of his close associates. Then he goes into subterranean denial and full-blown deflective defense; a strategy of calling attention to anything and everything else except the real issue. The more fires that are lit away from their troubles, the less attention to their troubles!

(Does he- or the person he serves as publicist- think that we don’t decipher such exploits?) And… with audacity only an authentic misogynist can muster, DA Morales then writes a blog admitting his ignorance about domestic violence while claiming  his desire to learn about the topic. Of course, this serves only as self-hype and camouflage. (Disingenuous efforts are easily detected when they are so contradictory to one’s repeated actions.)

As if all of these sexist misdeeds are not enough, the topic of sexual assault is one which has been obviously barred from his blog since its very utterance may be counter to “the cause;”  the case; film; and potentially damage fund-raising. Ironically, when Morales became aware that this issue was being openly discussed by women, he suggested that the discourse be taken out of the blogosphere and into a more confidential setting; clearly another sexist miss-step. (News flash: Women do not need guidance on where they may speak on this or any issue and certainly will not be silenced through such artificial gestures.)

Bear with us. It does NOT end here, although we do wish it had, long before this point.

Last week the District Federal Court Order adopted all elements of the TUSD Desegregation Plan, which includes Mexican American culturally relevant courses. Curriculum that embraces Mexican American heritage in the form of history/social studies and literature will be developed, approved by the Board, and implemented in every high school by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.  Many of us have fought for this! In fact, many of us are anticipating a curriculum that is much more inclusive of Chicana authors, poets and a historical perspective which includes the important contributions of numerous Chicanas.  Cause for celebration?  Of course, but not according to the TS Blogs on this topic. Since late December Morales’ repeated chant, likely reflective of those for whom he speaks, has been ‘MAS is dead’. Would such declaration be made if it were possible for Sean Arce to vie for the directorship overseeing culturally relevant curriculum? Likely not, since the Morales position prior to Arce’s arrest was that he should be named the director. Within a short period after public knowledge of Arce’s arrest, the messaging from Morales drastically shifted; it was only then that he proclaimed that MAS was dead. His blog makes it appear as though he has poured over the Court Order in order to formulate his position when, in fact, his position was formulated in correlation to the Arce arrest and proceeding fallout.

The most recent blog of February 11th 2013 is condescending, patronizing and diminishes the contributions made by everyone involved in the process to develop the TUSD Desegregation Plan. Morales claims that the individuals who have been involved in the Plan development are all women. He minimizes the contributions of the women who represent the interests of TUSD’s Latino students and who are part of the Mendoza Party, which- from the eyes of a misogynist- is the way his world works. Morales is wrong on this and many other counts throughout the blog.  He buffers his presentation as perhaps being erroneous, since he was not privy to much information involving the plan development process due to the gag order imposed by the court. Nonetheless, Morales dives right in and presumes to know what happened during the confidential process, guessing which woman did what in the negotiations.  His subtle admission of ignorance of the process is not loud enough and certainly does not hold him back from casting- race and gender based blame and minimizing the contributions of those involved. As was witnessed during the public forums on the desegregation plan and as one can deduce in reading the court documents, several men were involved during the process; but this, like all other misinformation presented does not really seem to matter. The TS blog is filled with assumptions and misjudgments, particularly relative to MAS, and casts ultimate blame largely based on their gender and race. How can a blogger who constantly alleges racism simultaneously exercise misogyny and his own prejudice be viewed as having any level of knowledge on issues of equity and social justice.

But now back to the Desegregation Plan and Morales’ erroneous statement about MAS and its state of being. Morales does begrudgingly admit that the Desegregation Plan does have many valuable elements but perseverates on the death of MAS. What is in the Desegregation Plan relative to Mexican American culturally relevant courses provides the opportunity for improvement and expansion. The courses are to be offered in every high school beginning with the 2013-14 school year and expansion is also included for the middle school and elementary school level.  Since when is improvement and expansion deemed as a loss or a death of any sort?  Through the eyes of the TS blogger the glass is not half full or half empty; it is empty. No matter how good the Plan, inclusive of the Mexican American culturally relevant courses, it was anticipated by many that sour grapes would manifest from DA Morales and those for whom he seems to speak. If they could not be the ones to deliver a win, then how dare anyone else do so; especially women!

With stone throwers comfortably standing on the sidelines and taking continued actions to obstruct rather than contribute, it is difficult to assess how much harm they may actually impose by demoralizing supporters and convincing some that we have lost. Just two weeks ago, TS printed a piece written by Richard Martinez suggesting that the desegregation money be stripped away from TUSD; $61,000,000 per year. Were this to happen, it would cause irreparable harm to all students in TUSD, most of whom are students of color. Such damaging rhetoric is expected from the extreme far right Republican factions of our state; not from those who purport to support the rights of students of color. The floating of such a proposal on the brink of the Court’s decision on the Desegregation Plan is unmistakably an attempt to deflect, distract and destroy. Some have said that this is the ultimate sour-grapes nuclear attack strategy that has been reserved if certain conditions were not met by those on the sidelines hurling the stones, such as Morales and Martinez. Their conditions have self-imploded! Their strategies have been faulty and have not worked; their case has not yet had a win (and we genuinely hope it does); their fund raising has failed; their man will not head up the department that oversees the work on Mexican American culturally relevant courses; their overall support and credibility is dwindling and their support base has been fractured- much due to the constant display of sexism. None of these failures have been externally imposed; they have all been self-imposed. Yet, their attacks and continued polarization persist. Instead of celebrating a significant “win” for our community; they jointly chant ‘MAS is dead’ or shallowly propose to extricate desegregation dollars from our school district as a means to deflect and distract from our monumental win. Who exactly does this serve? Certainly, it does not serve the students or the community.

TS reflects misogyny, prejudice, anger, mistruths and polarization which is not a foundational voice for social justice. For any who continue to read TS, understand the deceptions you will encounter and search out the facts elsewhere.

We need to continue to celebrate our WIN and acknowledge our individual and unified role in obtaining it – the struggle and work that lies ahead. We must rebuke the propaganda that is being hurled around (‘MAS is dead,’ the idea to extract desegregation dollars from TUSD, etc.).  We must remain engaged in pressuring TUSD to implement the Desegregation Plan and we must not allow for any further polarization.

Mack Daddy Lopez, Tucson

(To those brothers all along the spectrum of time
who stood alongside us
and if even they fell got back up and joined to our sides,
who know the depth of a woman,
and who we find even in this age, beside us:
A Million Million Gratitudes…….
 
The next poem is not for you.)
 
I twice slept with a man named Macky Lopez
I think a lot of women did
He’s a mack daddy penis-driven cunning man,
Revolution somewhere hiding beneath the piles he left of shit
 
He’s a predatory feel-sorry-for-me type
A misogynist tries-to-break-women man
He should have a sign around his neck like “Beware. Beware. Beware.”
 
He once told me he had the power to “really mess with people’s minds.”
He meant Power in the Indigenous sense. (..You hear me?)
He messed with mine. For damn sure.
He once said “straight is boring”
and by this he meant: a woman here, a woman there, let the chaos rule the hour.
 
He said he wouldn’t be with a white woman –
his particular quota of pain and fuckedupshit
is saved for the brown wombynsisters.
He showed me glimpses of love, care, and depth,
but they vanished so quickly I found myself chasing mists.
He made me crazy, and I hate the rage I spent on him.
I hate too its erasure, its silence –
used and abused.
( ! …Oh hell na. Hell no.)
 
Some people say that womanizers don’t love women
trying to I’s/(mine) her whiles they eyes her,
faking love for lust.
Some people say that a man trying should be given a chance
but sometimes you can tell they just ain’t trying hard at all
and their chance won’t be written on my back,
or on other sisters’ backs.
If a man ain’t trying let him be alone, and not be messing with us women.
 
Sometimes a man uses his Leader-ship like a Throne from which to get Access
Leader-ship getting him into schools, youth and health centers
Throne keeping him from accountability
Access leaving things ever open for him
I saw how easily he hid me, saw how he tried to isolate me from another woman victim.
What at first felt like energy was unmasked to be crazy manipulation
And it leaves me with so many concerns…
He says he’s a community worker but I guess I wonder
in what sense he’s working the community.
 
Once upon a time I thought I was falling in love with this misogynist – Me! ?? !!!?
What was the reason for my blindness? What blinded me from my Spirit?
This ? is full like this women’s movement is full, and getting deeper
!Praise be though! – my Spirit be strong and It called me back from the Grave! !
And I walked away.
Gave Thanks.
 
What I want to say: is you didn’t have the right to pursue me.
You didn’t have the right with her either.
Or her (or her, or her, or her….)
You don’t have the right to lie to women, fuck with lives and deny deny deny.
 
I wish I wrote your name out that’s how much I wanna protect
my future sister from the shit you put us through
But it’s not just you…
It’s not just your name.
And I hope you heal – find the courage to transform
And I want Revolution.
 
Revolution doesn’t just mean guns and takeovers. It means you stopping your bullshit.
It means all of us stopping our bullshit. Fighting our own demons.
What a battle! And a way to honor this life and our place within it.
I want Revolution.
And I want my Sisters to be safe.
 
I want my Sisters to be safe
I want my Sisters to be loved
I want my Sisters to have authentic care, respect, honor, trust, and love.
 
Everyone needs love, Everybody deserves it.
It seems the thing we miss the most sometimes these days.
I lived for many years with a great man and we loved from an infinite place
to an infinite place.
I know love, a blessing, and I sat under its tree so many days.
Deeply grateful, I want this for us all
Want Revolution
 
I write this for the Young Men:
May you turn from this man’s example.
Walk the Path, Bring the Health, Show the Respect
Be the Revolution in your Spirits
 
I write this for the Women:
May you Heal, Trust Yourselves, DeepStrongProud Sacred Spirits.
Walk the Path, Bring the Health, Show the Respect
Revolution in your Spirits
 
…Anyway, I count myself unlucky in many more ways than one
for having sex with that man cause it wasn’t even fun. (not at all)
It was a bit unnerving
You know what I mean?
 
Mack Daddy Lopez on the make, on the scene.

Take It All Back

Women with the courage to fight taught me how to take it all back
Your rape cannot take my pleasure
Your hate cannot take my love
You war cannot take my peace
Your ignorance can not dull my light
My voice calls out and is echoed
We come together
bound in women-centered community
We are safe because we promote women as leaders in all sectors
and live as leaders
Leaders who know their strengths
Leaders who turn to community for support when we are weak
We stand together and up in all our actions
Our lives lived and daily choices are our protest…
We are safer together in the streets than our own homes
We confront violence and subjugation
Through this willful confrontation we create society that values
truth, courage, compassion, effort, equality, and safety
Your rape cannot take my pleasure
Your hate cannot my love
Your war cannot take my peace
Your ignorance will not dull my light
Together we take it all back

To My Daughter

Mijita,
 
we are the in between
neither black nor white
 
we are the mud
the mix between the menstrual flow of the planet
and the machismo ground beneath our feet
 
we are the brown
the piece of construction paper that is thrown away
the ugly created when mixing too many colors
the only crayon chosen when coloring Martin Luther King
or dirt
 
we are the cockroaches
despised and disgusted
but even with the bam of a stomping manly foot
we refuse to die
 
we are the voice of the wind
loud and undesirable
yet never failing to predict future weather
always pounding, always screaming
always wailing
like a mother at a funeral
hands clasped in prayer, jesus on her neck,
father, son, holy wombyn
 
we are the broken
puzzle pieces on the floor forgotten in a disarray
of politics and pride
 
we are the proud
never to falter
always to blame
forever changing, but our love
remains
 
we are revolution
we are malinche
we are beautiful
and we have voices
 
mijita,
don’t ever be silenced.

Culture of Silence

Acts of violence are committed against women in the Mexican-American Studies community consistently, yet it seems they are only discussed publicly when people outside the movement get involved. As a young woman in this community I should have been made aware of men in the movement who are known perpetrators of violence. I need to know which spaces are safe spaces and I need to be able to make informed decisions about the people I am involving myself with or organizing with. I believe that part of the reason I had no previous knowledge of any man’s history of gendered violence was because of a carefully constructed culture of silence. This culture of silence is also a culture of protection and of zero accountability. It was created to
pardon perpetrators of gendered violence and shield them from public scrutiny in order to maintain an image of social unity against injustice. The fact that information about people’s history with violence is kept from young women and other community members suggests that there is a system within the MAS community to keep that information private. It suggests that the people in power choose to glorify certain people and hide their history of violence.

Crafting a dialogue or narrative on blogs, newspapers, or during interviews also creates this culture of silence. Every time someone gives an interview or writes an article that intentionally covers up violence and injustice within the community – in order to fake a united, justice oriented front for the rest of the country – they are
contributing to the culture of silence. This is part of a larger issue, one that is centered around Three Sonorans controlling the national dialogue surrounding ethnic studies and vilifying the women or queer identified people who choose to counter this narrative, making the choice every time he writes a post and decides who is the glorified savior and who is the demonized. Bloggers and interviewees make the choice to glorify or vilify whomever they want every time they speak or write a post. They have the power to pick and choose which parts of the present to write about, therefore creating a history – again based on the observations and opinions of men and leaving out certain narratives they believe are unimportant. The assumption is that the narrative of men is all-encompassing and that somehow certain people have the authority to be ‘the voice’ of the movement.

When Three Sonorans writes a post he decides which narrative he wants to perpetuate, one that suits him the best and one that supports his homies, regardless of the truth. People perpetuating narratives for their own personal gain need to take responsibility for their role in establishing the current Tucson narrative as a largely male voice. They also need to take responsibility for their writings glorifying certain men in the community as pillars of social justice around the country, while they knew these men were perpetrators of violence inside their homes and inside the community.

In contrast to this male-centric national ethnic studies narrative, I want to have a collective narrative; filled with stories from women, LGBTQ, and disabled identified peoples. I want the national spotlight to not only focus on the men in this community but to embrace and acknowledge the leadership and contributions of women to this
movement.  In order to create this new narrative there needs to be an end to the public flaming and silencing of women and queer people in the community and there needs to be a system of accountability for our bloggers and those people who try to represent us nationally.

Hopefully this blog can be a tool to shift our national narrative to one that includes voices of people of all genders, sexualities, ages, class status and abilities. We cannot be a movement to fight injustice elsewhere if we are still perpetuating the same patriarchal, colonial oppression within our community.

I too

I too know this rage of which my sisters speak
I too feel it burning inside of me
I too feel an explosion imminent because I.am.so.tired.of.this.shit.
 
Hey man,
You think your oppression is bad?
Imagine millennia of suffocation by idiots who can’t possibly imagine
that their wives/daughters/friends/sisters might know better than them
Might lead better than them
 
Imagine being suffocated from nearly beyond your depth of memory
And knowing
Truly
Completely
That your suffocation is the reason for the state of things today
 
Imagine trying to say it out loud to men
Who laugh at you
Call you a whore looking to get with the next “big” man
Who try to bed you and pretend they care
Who pretend to listen and then next thing you hear they’re out oppressing some other woman
 
Imagine the rage choking when watching your sisters
Suffocating on their self-hatred
Their insecurity
Their desires
Their attempts
Their fear
Their traumas
The denials
Imagine watching this for centuries, these blessings being trampled
This life being crushed
By men who truly don’t.give.a.shit
Imagine the depth of that rage
 
Imagine watching the world in flames
The oppression so deep
And knowing that the men still won’t give women a chance.
They’d rather sink the ship
Than admit
Let us all die for their vain arrogance
Kill the Mother rather than stop: love and honor her
 
Imagine trauma compounded by a woman’s love and nurturing
watching the earth, the animals, the birds, the air, the water, the blessed gifts
undergoing profound suffering the likes of which can barely be fathomed
And knowing that women are shackled, 
unable yet to break free to protect their Mother again 
and show her the worship they are missing,
that she is missing,
to have again that depth of love, that spiraling cycle of love that just gets deeper,
not from a man,
but from the Mother who gives it always, anyway, despite.
Who grew us all.  Despite.  Who gives us every breath.  Despite.  Who heals us and comforts us.  Despite.
Imagine that rage.
At being held back from that.
And being stuck in this Hell
With blind idiots who don’t understand the meaning of depth
Who think to become a man – to age into it – is all the growth they need
Who can’t see us choking on the lives we are forced to live
And who still won’t.admit.shit.
 
I too feel that rage
I too feel it burning inside of me
I too can barely take it anymore
I too need some options.  I need to catch my breath.
I’m tired of the suffocation
And being surrounded by jerks