This space is for all people from all walks of life to unite, support, and spread information. We must fight against those who seek to harm, discriminate, and treat women (and others) like second class citizens.
activating for women's rights
Did any trans woman audition for Jared Leto's part, do we have this information?






I’m not sure what difference this necessarily makes because regardless of how many trans women Jared Leto “beat out” for the role (and who was doing the judging?  Cis producers?) there are still a lot of problems with this casting and the subsequent “Best Supporting Actor” acclaims.   

If only 5 trans women auditioned for this role, then the production did not look hard enough before settling for a cis actor.   If 2000 trans women auditioned for this role and the production still thought Jared was better than all of them, then that says more about the production and Jared’s cis privilege than the quality of his acting. I suspect the number was closer to 0 than 2000.  There is no way to justify that Leto was the best actor for the role without also invalidating the work of every single trans actress as less talented.   And, as trans advocates have pointed out, Leto’s gender as a cis man “is important to the perception of the role. He is perpetuating the ‘man in a dress’ trope.”  The quality of his performance does not buffer against the reinforcement of this stereotype.   

While there isn’t public information available about who else auditioned for the role of Rayon, Jared Leto has spoken about his audition experience.   Leto believes that the director “may have seen Rayon more as a drag queen or someone who enjoys pushing a gender envelope or dressing up in women’s clothing.”  In that case, it is more likely that cis actors auditioned fro the role of a drag queen, and Leto chose to interpret this character as a “transgendered" (not even the right language coming from someone who claims to be an ally) "beautiful creature.

"There was a Skype meeting set up with the director [Jean-Marc Vallée]. It wasn’t really an audition, but it was kind of an audition, you know, underneath it all. But I decided to use it as a test really for myself to see what I had to offer. So I said hello via Skype, we were in Berlin, and it was wintertime. We were playing one of the biggest shows of our lives that night, I remember. I reached out and grabbed some lipstick and started to put it on, and you know, his mouth fell to the floor. I was wearing — I think this jacket — and I unbuttoned it and had on a little pink furry sweater, and I pulled it down over my shoulder and proceeded to flirt with him for the next 20 minutes and then woke up the next day with the official offer. Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, baby." - Jared Leto on his audition for the role of Rayon.

Director Jean Marc Vallee said of this audition:

Do you know this actor Jared Leto? I just Skyped with him and he hit on me; He was feeling me up through the screen! I don’t know, it was very uncomfortable but I think we found Rayon.”

It’s sad, because it seems like from the start Rayon was an amalgam of cis men’s stereotypes of a provocative trans women.  So of course the perfect Rayon is overly flirtatious and sexualized in a way that makes people uncomfortable.  Of course the perfect Rayon is someone who gets the job by playing up the sexuality by hitting on a cis straight man.

The director stated in a CBC interview he never thought once of getting a trans woman and dismissed the possibility.

Here’s the quote

Quebec filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée, who directed Dallas Buyers Club, spoke to CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi, who asked whether he ever considered casting a transgender actor.

  • "Never. [Are] there any transgender actors?" he said. "I’m not aiming for the real thing. I’m aiming for an experienced actor who wants to portray the thing."

The director did not even bother to take a quick second to google to see if trans actors exist and did not even consider the possibility of casting a trans person in this role.  (Also, an unfortunate use of the word “thing” given the context.)

To me, this doesn’t even seem like this is something that should be controversial.  This information speaks for itself.  Whatever Leto’s performance was or meant, they continued marginalizing the experience of trans women so that they could continue giving voice to a cis man and then bathed him in hero worship for being willing to put on lipstick.  It should be enough to be allowed to say into the universe that this is problematic and that continuing to celebrate Leto’s ability to wear “trans” as a costume is to say that you’re only brave for being visible as trans when you’re pretending.  He now gets to step away from that identity and continue being a white cis man in a society that thinks he’s brave and sophisticated, while simultaneously continuing to shut out the experiences of women who cannot remove themselves from that identity.  

Say what you will about his performance, but it should not be controversial to say that the production choices, the director’s mindset, and Leto’s new status in Hollywood due to this role are all problematic.  That should be an ok part of the discussion.  

Also, fuck anyone who calls any human a beautiful creature.  What the fuck is that?

bolded for emphasis


Day 2 of White History Month: Criminalizing Blackness, Part 1- Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws

“This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men.” - Andrew Johnson [x]

[Images: Black Codes in Georgia [x], [x], Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices In New York City: A Primer [x], The Death Penalty in Black and White [x], Pager (2003)]

While the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery and involuntary servitude (except as punishment for a crime), legal restrictions were quickly placed upon newly freed Black Americans. By no coincidence, these laws made it easier to penalize Black Americans and turn them into criminals. Blackness itself was grounds for legal restrictions.

Black Codes - the precursor to Jim Crow - restricted the rights of Black Americans to move freely in public space, buy and own land and property, and conduct business. Black Americans were strongly disadvantaged in the legal system. Most Southern states enacted various laws that restricted the lives of Black Americans in 1865 and 1866.

There were common features among many of the Black Codes. Many states simply changed the wording of Slave Codes such that restrictions continued that prohibited Black Americans from learning to read or write. Vagrancy laws made it so that all Freedmen were required to be employed; penalties for being unemployed resulted in vagrancy charges, which could be punished through forced unpaid labor.

Children of those arrested for vagrancy could be forced into “apprenticeships” where they would be forced to work, often for their former slaveowner. Black Americans were executed for crimes that white Americans merely received jail sentences for. The lives of Black Americans were worth little as many white Americans could avoid penalties for murdering Black Americans.  

Examples of Black Codes (by no means an exhaustive list):

  • Separate jailkeepers for Black and white Americans (North Carolina)
  • Black men convicted of raping white women would be given the death penalty (North Carolina, Tennessee)
  • Inability to testify against white Americans in court (North Carolina, Kentucky)
  • Taxes - that if left unpaid, would result in vagrancy charges (Mississippi, South Carolina
  • Forced apprenticeship (North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi)
  • Work contracts required which often could not be broken without penalty (Texas, Mississippi) 
  • Fines for “disobedience and negligence” and for missed work (Texas) or insubordination (Florida)
  • Restrictions on owning and carrying firearms (North Carolina, Florida) 
  • Restrictions on voting, holding office, or serving on juries (Texas, Tennessee)
  • Restrictions on moving into and out of the state (North Carolina
  • Restrictions prohibiting Black Americans from “impudence,” “swearing,” and other signs of “disobedience.” (Louisiana)

Most of these laws were repealed because of action taken by Northern states, but similar laws came into place with Jim Crow. Jim Crow laws continued to criminalize Blackness and valorize whiteness. These laws resulted in disparities in the criminal justice system and restrictions on civil rights up to a century after slavery ended.

Jim Crow is generally used to refer to institutional discrimination in the South between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, but these laws and norms existed even earlier in the North. While Louisiana passed a law creating “separate but equal” train cars in 1890, segregated railroad cars were used in Massachusetts long before that.. Northern states provided a model for Southerners to treat newly freed Black Americans. 

Examples of Jim Crow Laws (from the Jim Crow Museum):

  • Buses.All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races (Alabama).
  • Education.The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately (Florida).
  • Housing: Any person…who shall rent any part of any such building to a negro person or a negro family when such building is already in whole or in part in occupancy by a white person or white family, or vice versa when the building is in occupancy by a negro person or negro family, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five ($25.00) nor more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars or be imprisoned not less than 10, or more than 60 days, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. (Louisiana)
  • Militia. The white and colored militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be compelled to serve in the same organization. No organization of colored troops shall be permitted where white troops are available and where whites are permitted to be organized, colored troops shall be under the command of white officers (North Carolina).
  • Promotion of Equality: Any person…who shall be guilty of printing, publishing or circulating printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of intermarriage between whites and negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine or not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both. (Mississippi)

Penalties for Blackness Today

When slavery (and slave codes) ended, the Black Codes took their place. When Black Codes were eliminated, it was only a few years before Jim Crow developed. Jim Crow laws ended with the Civil Rights Movement, but these disparities did not just disappear. The legacy of these laws can be seen in the criminal justice system today.

Stop and Frisk

In New York, Toronto, Southern California, Black people are much more likely than white people to be stopped. In New York, when stopped, they are more likely to be frisked and have physical force used against them. This is despite the fact that whites who are frisked are more likely to have weapons and contraband on them.

[“Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices in New York City: A Primer”]


When compared to white Americans, Black Americans are more likely to face longer sentences, more severe charges, and full prosecution.

Black defendants are over three times as likely as white defendants to receive the death penalty when the victim is white. In one study, Blackness itself is found to be an aggravating factor comparable to “causing great harm, fear, or pain” 

Jury Duty

Some states used Black Codes to exclude Black Americans from jury duty, but Black Americans are still excluded from juries today. Prosecutors have used supposedly race-neutral reasons such as “low intelligence” to remove Black Americans from jury duty. In Houston County, Alabama, 80% of Black Americans have been struck by prosecutors in death penalty cases.

[See: Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy by the Equal Justice Initiative

Job Opportunities With a Criminal Record

Black applicants with a criminal record are at a disadvantage in the labor market when compared to their white counterparts. In fact, Devah Pager found that job opportunities for Black Americans without a criminal record were worse than those of white Americans with a drug conviction. 

tags →#racism #jim crow 




"The night sky is not lit up by one star, but by the billions of stars. Shine bright Black girls….Be bold. Be bright. Be blessed."

Just a few black girls/women who blew me away in 2013. I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds for them, for us, and for all Women of Color. 

this post.




black excellence


(Source: maaarine)

It took 19 years for me to see a therapist. I squirmed on an ugly love-seat that looked more comfortable than it felt, surrounded by posters that championed ways to feel happy. I didn’t know where to start when the doctor asked me what was wrong, so I blurted out my laundry list of despair all at once, just put it all out there. When I told the doctor that sometimes life feels too heavy, when I told the doctor that death looked more inviting, she replied, “Nothing’s wrong with you. I think you’ll be okay.” A box of tissues and a plastic smile prescribed to yet another queer Black kid.

To be queer and Black and unwell is to live in silences.

Like the doctor’s silence in a room too sanitized to hold my pain.

To Be Queer, Black, and “Sick” | Autostraddle (via brutereason)

I am queer.

Well, that was easy! But wait- was it really? Sure, it was easy to type up that three word sentence, sure. But that doesn’t discount the fact that my armpits are sweating, my mind is racing, and my hands are shaking just a bit. I can’t control the sweaty pits, racing mind, and jittery hands, so I’ll just keep writing.

I could write about what it was like to come out to my mom for the third and final time at the age of 26 (the first time was when I was in the 4th grade and the second time was in college). I could write about the years I spent praying to a God whom I wanted so badly to serve with all of my heart, but couldn’t understand why this God made me “wrong”. I could write about all the times that people have asked me if I have a boyfriend and I’ve purposely chosen to just say “no” with no further explanation. I could write about all the reasons I have been told I shouldn’t be gay (that’s an interesting list). I could write about all the times I talked about how gross it was when a girl had a crush on me, even though I may have secretly liked her too. I could write about how scared I have felt that I would have to watch friends and family members walk out of my life if I ever decided to come out. I could write about how disappointed I have been in myself for being an open supporter by day, and living it up in the safety of the closet by night. I could write books about all of those things…but what has really fueled my passion in writing today, has been this…

Last week, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky’s prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law by treating queer folks “differently in a way that demeans them.” You can imagine the conversation that this ruling has sparked amongst Kentuckians- those who support as well as those who oppose. I have listened to people talk about “the abomination of our nation” and “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” I am not surprised that some people would react this way…I mean, if people didn’t react that way, then there would be no need for a movement, no need to fight for OUR rights (ooh, “our”…that felt good). This is not to say that I approve of the commentary, it’s just to say that I am not surprised.

But what has prompted my writing today has been my questioning people’s constant assumption that a) I am hetero and b) I concur with their views and opinion. I would find it rather odd if a man walked up to me and expected me to agree that I should be paid less than my male counterparts. I would be baffled if a white person walked up to me and expected me to agree to use a different water fountain than my white counterparts. I would be baffled with these approaches because it should be seemingly easy for one to look at me and see that I am woman, just as it is also pretty obvious that I am black.

But sometimes, I forget to put the “QUEER” stamp on my forehead on my way out the door in the mornings. So, on the mornings that I forget my stamp, I have realized that there is really no way for people to know that I disagree with their views or, even moreso, to know that they are talking about me, unless I actually open my mouth and say it.

Djuan Keila Trent, Former Miss Kentucky, coming out in emotional blog post (via policymic)

Scott Walker’s little-known scandal: When he treated welfare recipients like dogs


Excerpt from article:

Among the racist jokes and emails found in recently released documents connected to the criminal probe of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign, one stood out: A “joke” about a woman trying to sign up her dogs for welfare, because “my Dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r Daddys are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty.” The punch line: “My Dogs get their first checks Friday.”

Walker’s deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch replied: “That is hilarious. And so true.”

The joke is bad enough on its own, but it’s also worth noting: Back when Walker was Milwaukee county executive, and Rindfleisch was a top aide, he managed the county’s welfare programs so abysmally that after lawsuits by local clients, the state was forced to take them over. “They didn’t just call people dogs, they treated them like dogs,” one Milwaukee elected official recalled angrily.

“Milwaukee County has demonstrated a sustained inability to successfully provide services to its (poor) customers,” state health services director Karen Timberlake wrote in a February 2009 letter to Walker announcing the state takeover. Milwaukee became only one of 72 Wisconsin counties to wind up with its programs for poor people under state control.

It’s a chapter in Walker’s career that shows why, to many in Milwaukee, his staff’s racist jokes aren’t funny.

Read more

tags →#racism #classism 

Trans benefits of decriminalizing marijuana


Across the country, decriminalizing marijuana is on the agenda of lawmakers. Colorado and Washington State made history by legalizing marijuana, and this month the D.C. Council gave an initial nod to turn marijuana possession from a crime to something more like a parking ticket.

Other states are also considering legislation. Much of the conversation has focused on the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol, and on the fact black people are far more likely to be arrested and charged for marijuana despite using pot at similar rates to white people.

What does this have to do with transgender and transgender people of color? A lot. While we don’t have specific figures on marijuana, we know that trans people—especially trans people of color—are disproportionately affected by our country’s continuing problems of mass incarceration, police profiling and harassment, barriers to jobs and housing that are exacerbated by a criminal record, and other critical problems that are being neglected in favor of spending on drug enforcement and prisons.

While changing marijuana laws will not cure these problems, we believe it is a step in the right direction.

More at the link. The title is a link.



"all opinions are valid" only applies to subjective shit like ice cream flavours, when it come to whether or not certain types of people are allowed to live safe and comfortable lives, I’d say objectivity was pretty fucking important.

I can’t believe this common sense bullshit got so many notes

(Source: comfemgem)


During a relay for breast cancer, a group of guys behind me were shouting “SAVE THE BOOBIES! SAVE SECOND BASE!! WE LOVE TITTIES!” An upset woman told them to stop that, that wasn’t the message they wanted to send and it was demeaning to women suffering with breast cancer. They told her to shut up, stop ruining their fun and go be a feminist elsewhere.

(submitted by  anonymous)


#NotYourTonto fires back at Academy and ‘The Lone Ranger’

Indigenous activist and writer Jacqueline Keeler came up with hashtag #NotYourTonto to respond to the nomination. Keeler, who had also organized the hashtag #NotYourMascot to protest the Washington Redskins during the Super Bowl, teamed up with fellow indigenous activist Ethan Keller to organize a Facebook event and Twitterstorm starting the night of March 2. The National Congress of American Indians and EONM (Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry) also signed on to help promote the movement.

Read moreFollow policymic





This is a great example of how universal design can benefit all people with disabilities as well as those without disabilities. I would hope, also, that they include providing gender-neutral facilities as well into their universal design principles.



Those yellow bumps - tactile paving - are guides for people who are blind and/or have vision impairments. They weren’t intended as aids for wheelchair-users (unless those wheelchair users are also blind). That said, they really suck for wheelchair users, and it’s nice that designers are finding ways to meet both blind people’s and wheelchair users’ (and blind wheelchair users’) needs!

this is the coolest thing I’ve seen all year

NYPD beat Muslim teens, rip off hijabs


A disturbing story emerged out of the Bronx on Thursday. Two Muslim sisters, Lamis Chapman and Khalia Wilson, aged 12 and 14 respectively, told the New York Daily News that they were thrown to the ground, put in chokeholds, and had their hijabs violently torn off by members of the NYPD, for a reason that remains unclear.

Chapman and Wilson said they were playing handball around 9:30 pm in the park near their home in the Lester Patterson Houses in Mott Haven, the Bronx, when police approached them and asked them to leave, as the park was closed.

The girls recounted that the cops followed them out of the park, and one grabbed Wilson from behind, putting her in a chokehold and wrestling her to the ground. “They said they asked for ID. I didn’t hear them,” reported Wilson. When her sister protested, she was also thrown to the ground, and both sisters’ headscarves were ripped off.

"I kept saying, ‘I’m 14! What are you doing? We’re not bad kids,’" explained Wilson.

When their 15-year-old brother, Shytike Wilson, saw the police assaulting his younger sisters from a window, he ran to their aid. “I asked them why my sisters were in handcuffs,” he said, when the police, “charged me, picked me up, and slammed me on the floor.”

An 18-year-old college student, Jonathan Harris, became involved when he heard the girls screaming and ran to the park to help. He told the cops to leave the teens alone and took out his cell phone to record the incident, but was also subjected to police abuse.





All it does is show me you have a superiority complex and deep rooted classist tendencies. I’ve been a waitress, a barista and a sales associate, so your talking down to others just tells me at one point you would’ve talked down to me. This guy in the queue tried to buy me a coffee today, after ripping into the guy behind the counter about his skills and his job. Don’t care what people do for a living, if you don’t treat ‘em like (very important) people when you deal with them, we can’t be friends.

"A person who is nice to you but cruel to the waiter isn’t a nice person."

I don’t understand how people don’t get this

It is terrifying. It means if you don’t adhere to their demands or if you make on little mistake, they can turn on you. I don’t deal with people who are nasty to others.





All it does is show me you have a superiority complex and deep rooted classist tendencies. I’ve been a waitress, a barista and a sales associate, so your talking down to others just tells me at one point you would’ve talked down to me. This guy in the queue tried to buy me a coffee today, after ripping into the guy behind the counter about his skills and his job. Don’t care what people do for a living, if you don’t treat ‘em like (very important) people when you deal with them, we can’t be friends.

"A person who is nice to you but cruel to the waiter isn’t a nice person."

I don’t understand how people don’t get this

It is terrifying. It means if you don’t adhere to their demands or if you make on little mistake, they can turn on you. I don’t deal with people who are nasty to others.