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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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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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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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malintZINE accepts submissions!

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

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Chicano Movement, Tucson movement

 

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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.

 
 

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Anonymous is a Woman

Why do (some) people keep complaining that those of us writing original work for this blog are choosing to remain anonymous? Why are you so uncomfortable? Is it a problem because we don’t need credit for our words? Are you disturbed because our egos don’t need stroking with pats on the back and high-fives? Does it bother you to not have a specific target to aim at when you disagree? Are you afraid that it’s your sister, your girlfriend, your mother who’s writing — and you don’t know?

We speak collectively because of our politics. We do not claim authorship for each individual piece because our experiences are shared by many women. We are creating safety for ourselves and our sisters by speaking our truth. We are unnamed because we are everywhere. You should assume that every single piece that has been published so far was written by a different woman. That’s a lot of voices rising in unity!

The other day, I heard someone call this “K’s blog.” Well, it’s not K’s blog, or A’s blog, or B’s blog. Dozens of women — an entire alphabet of mujeres — have already contributed, and a collective is staffing the submissions email addy, the Twitter feed, the FB page, and the Tumblr. This is not the work of one woman, no matter how awesome she may be. This is the work of many, and we are moving like wildfire, burning away patriarchal debris and illuminating a woman-centered landscape.

Just so you know — I’m not a member of the editorial collective, and my view on why anonymity is important may resonate with them, but it may not. You don’t know who I am, your assumptions are probably wrong, and you don’t have any say about what is going on here. You can’t bully us, and you can’t beat us. But you should definitely listen to us.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Her stories

 

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Bigger Things

I hope you’re one of the lucky ones who left untouched,
But I know you don’t get to be that strong without trauma.
I know.
We knew of each other.
We knew each other before we met.
I met you today and I know your history, our background.
I know your weaknesses, your triumphs, your fears, your life.
And you know mine.
Our visions intersect and today our lives did too (finally).
We have each other.
To confide in.
To revolutionize with.
To bitch at.
To understand.
Holy fuck Chicana mamas, you are raining them down to me like acid rain.
I feel the burn of the polluted water, but I like it.
I swim in the pain with her.
And it feels so good.
We will swim, swim, and swim some more.
Over bowls.
Over coffee.
Over the desert.
Over our home.
And bigger things will come because our lives are now one.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Her stories

 

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Response to Sean’s Letter: we call bullshit

This letter is merely an empty letter, a clear public relations statement so that, god forbid, you don’t actually look guilty of doing something wrong.  If you really believe in what you said and that this is sufficient, you clearly still do not get it. Your words are that of an entitled man that minimizes your actions. This is a clear statement of denial.

“no one has the right to engage in any conduct that is or has the appearance of domestic violence.”

This is absolutely disrespectful and is in fact domestic violence.

Oh and by the way…….
We will be critical of your work as an educator, “leader” or  ”mentor”. As you might recall a book called “Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire speaks of praxis and defines it as “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.” Through praxis, oppressed people can acquire a critical awareness of their own condition, and, with their allies, struggle for liberation.

In your role you have young men looking to you to teach them how to not only be powerful students in their schools and in their community but they also look to you to show them how to love, respect and support their mothers, sisters, daughters, partners and friends. They were looking to you to model for them how to be healthy men of color. They are still looking to you. What will you do? Praxis.

This is not personal, you just happened to make yourself an example. We actually write this for the 2 womyn who were killed at the hands of their ex husbands  in Tucson in the last 2 weeks and for the womyn in Delhi who was gang raped and beaten to death and although you may not see any kind of connection between yourself and these womyn, you need to. You need to see your behavior as a contribution to the maltreatment of womyn.

The letter you wrote is not good enough. If you care to truly engage in your personal struggle and evolution, you will not refer to your actions as merely “charges” but in fact state what you did and how you think it has impacted your family, friends and community.

You will include conversations of race, class and gender in your work.

You will begin to examine where you fall on the continuum of abuse.

You will begin to be aware of how you show up to your sisters in the struggle and give a shit about it.

Acknowledging yourself as macho will no longer cut it. You have a choice, now how you are going to put your reflection into action? People are watching you; many are hoping that you come through.

Accountability is hard and not for everyone.  So what will it be?

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Tucson movement

 

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