Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

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Nonviolence as Privilege

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"There is a pattern to the historical manipulation and whitewashing evident in every single victory claimed by nonviolent activists. The pacifist position requires that success must be attributable to pacifist tactics and pacifist tactics alone, whereas the rest of us believe that change comes from the whole spectrum of tactics present in any revolutionary situation, provided they are deployed effectively. Because no major social conflict exhibits a uniformity of tactics and ideologies, which is to say that all such conflicts exhibit pacifist tactics and decidedly non-pacifist tactics, pacifists have to erase the history that disagrees with them or, alternately, blame their failures on the contemporary presence of violent struggle."-How Nonviolence Protects the State (Peter Genderloos 2007)

Love doesn't stop bullets
Love won't stop a car
Love won't change mandatory minimums
Love won't stop asset forfeiture
Love won't bulldoze prisons
Love doesn't stop gentrification
Love won't put women on the bench
Love won't pay your ER bills
Love don't pay the rent
Love won't stop fists
Love doesn't prevent sexual violence
Love won't impeach an illegitimate president

And when love can do these things, it is because that love is founded on righteous indignation backed by fury and fueled by resistance.

"It is our duty to fight for our freedom."

Mother Assata said we should love and support each other, but that love she spoke of was prefaced by the admonition that we have a bound responsibility to fight and fight to win.

There's no fence sitting in this struggle, My Loves. You need to stop trying to compromise on the humanity of your siblings.

The center will not save you.

Aluta continua.

Nazi Punks Fuck Off

Written by thelittlepecan

August 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

Posted in Sociology

What Do You Really Mean when You Say, “Fuck the South?”

A friend of a colleague posted this old article today on their wall. It’s from 2004. The year Swiftboating became a thing and the War on Terror was in its full horrific glory.

I get it. We, The Southeastern US, seceded from the Union in order to protect our Nation’s greatest shame, the enslavement of human beings. We would rather have protected the wealth of enslaved people than the wealth of morality. Our states seem to universally support right wing policies that hurt children, the poor, the disabled, veterans, black and brown people, immigrants, women and queer people. If you hit the oppression BINGO and belong to multiple identities here, our Southern leaders are really good at giving you the best ever of prizes.

I could spend time on refuting the facts of the founding fathers, who they were and where they came from, but probably a good listen to the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast recording will suffice.

I’ll refrain from addressing the cultural gems that are in the South: you can look up Nashville Hot Chicken, Delta Blues, and the Gullah Geechee on your own because Google is a thing.

I could get to the roads thing I guess, but it’s also pretty easy to Google “who pays for roads?” and learn that SPLOST and tSPLOST pay for lots of infrastructures.  It is certainly true that we don’t carry our weight when it comes to federal dollars in and out.

I wonder why that might be? Much of those lost taxes wouldn’t be paid for by most of us, since the South has some of the highest poverty in the country, especially when combined with the Appalachian region that overlaps the South. Hmm, who can and should be paying taxes and aren’t? I believe it might be new movie lots and production houses, car manufacturers and the music industry who all get huge tax breaks in order to move their businesses here, a right to work state, where they don’t pay their fair share AND *bonus* can ruin lives of workers at any time.

Is it possible that in the same way a gerrymandered district with no chance to elect a Democratic congressman in Georgia’s 6th was out voted by the wealthiest, whitest areas of the district, the entirety of the South might not be being represented adequately accurately, or fairly by those who have been elected?

I wonder why Dems can’t make gains in the South? Is it just because we are white and racist and classist? Sure, some of us are.

Though, lots and lots and lots of counties have 50% or more black populations.  Since the South has the largest concentration of black Americans/residents in the country, I’m going to go ahead and posit that racism and classism prevent the South from getting the representation we deserve and want, rather than the supposed fact that we are voting for what we have en masse. Black men represent 37% of the prison population, in a majority of states, those convicted of felonies are stripped of their basic human right to participate in the democratic process.

What about the poor and how they vote? Georgians overwhelmingly supported an expansion of Medicaid. Who chose not to do so?  Old, rich, white men in Atlanta.  That wasn’t put to a popular vote and gerrymandered districts made voting those same old, white men out of office difficult (see again GA 6th and Jason Carter’s bid for Governor.)

When you say fuck the South, you are saying fuck the most vulnerable and well, the other side is already doing that.

Written by thelittlepecan

July 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Posted in Sociology

Queer in the Academy

I wrote a guest blog for Edge for Scholars on being a queer scholar and how being out and proud makes me a better educator.
Welcome to Class, I’m Alana and I’m Queer.

Written by thelittlepecan

June 15, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Posted in Sociology

Does a year make any difference?

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I’m trying to decide how I feel today. I want to mourn, but I don’t want to center myself.

Let’s talk about Marsha. She wasn’t a drag queen and she wasn’t white. She was a black trans woman and she was a revolutionary.

Yeah, #HappyPride…but let’s remember that corporatization of everything is the path of the destruction of all things. The movement doesn’t stop with marriage-do you think trans people have no barriers to marriage?  When there are still barriers to bathroom access? When there are still barriers to dancing?

I saw one of Karen Handle’s commercials. Well, one by an outside org, but you know what I mean. Blaming Syrians for all of ISIS. As if ISIS isn’t killing Syrians.

Blaming Muslims for PULSE. As if queer people can’t also be Muslim and want to dance. As if many Muslims aren’t brown like Latinx people are sometimes brown and find themselves on the same shitty end of the privilege straw.

It’s worse today than it was last year.

At least 12 trans persons, mostly trans women of color, have lost their lives this year.

http://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2017

Hate crimes against Muslims have increased each year.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/11/hate-crimes-against-muslims-us-continue-rise-2016

Queer Muslims continue to experience erasure

http://queermuslimproject.tumblr.com/

They experience death in some countries.

In Chechnya gay men are being detained and executed extrajudiciously.

Here are the queer Latinx persons who were murdered last year.

http://blacklivesmatter.com/in-honor-of-our-dead-queer-trans-muslim-black-we-will-be-free/

 

Fight for the dead by protecting the living.

#resist

Written by thelittlepecan

June 12, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Sociology

The Queerification of Me: Coming Out in the Wake of Pulse

The first time I fell in love with another woman, she held my hair as I vomited violently into the toilet and then she held my secret while I came to terms with being pregnant at 17 years old.

And then she kept my secret for 10 more years after I had my first abortion.

She loved me unconditionally when my first husband demanded I sever ties with her.

A demand that came only after determining that we were too intimate and therefore too powerful to be allowed a relationship.

Women who love each other are dangerous, y’all.

She is my first love..

However you think I mean that I can pretty well guarantee has no relationship with reality.

She still loves me unconditionally. And it was never our time and maybe it never will be, but my assumption has always been the porch in a rocking chair with sweet tea and bourbon while we laugh at the tricks gravity has played on our once lithe bodies after our husbands die and our children go on with their lives.

I’ve never “come out” to anyone. I have used passing as a way to hide away from hard conversations. I have used passing as a way to advance my own privilege. I have used passing as a way to self-denial.

Not today, Satan.

I’m a queer, pansexual, cis-gendered white woman married to a cis-gendered white male…*

And I think I’m just about tired enough of participating in my own erasure.

My marriage looks straight to you, but it’s not, so let me say that again for those in the back–MY MARRIAGE AND NON-MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT STRAIGHT.

The love of women, genderqueer and non-conforming, and trans personalities and bodies and minds and souls will always be part of my relationships…if I’m fortunate enough to find those people who wish that with me.

Until someone threatened to out me at my job I let passing be enough…and then and ONLY then did I accept that I got to decide if I’m queer.

My family, my heart, my people and those families and hearts and peoples from communities I wish to ally and align myself with have been brutalized.

And I am broken.

But y’all, they done fucked around one too many times, though.

It’s always one too many times.

So, I’m broken, yes. I’m devastated and I don’t know moment to moment how I’m going to look the world in the eyes and say,  “Today I can.”

But I will.
Because I am tired and I am angry.

 

I’m here.

I’m queer.

 

You can get used to it, or we can burn it down.

 

 

This was my “coming out” statement on Facebook following the Pulse Nightclub shootings. I was on my way home from attending the NNAF abortion funds conference as a board member of the Magnolia Fund (please give them money). A radical, feminist, women of color centered space where I could #shoutyourabortion (well, should MY abortion) through the We Testify initiative. I could love on women and say #menaretrash and feel myself in all my feminist, loud, queer, awkward intelligence.

And then I got on the plane to go home and I saw.

And we sobbed silently on that plane all the way back to Atlanta from Houston.

I wrote about solidarity, but I also needed to be in solidarity with myself. With who I am.

As I prepare to go through relationship changes and personal changes and school and career changes, I acknowledge that I have a right to take up space in the queer community and in the world as a whole as a queer person.

Queer

 

*I realized after the fact that this might be read as thinking my cis-gender or race were being erased and that is absolutely not the case so while I leave this writing in its original form, the only parts of my identity I felt were being oppressed were those related to being a queer, non-monogamous woman.

Written by thelittlepecan

May 8, 2017 at 10:13 am

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and All I Found was this Nutty Bitch who Could Play Guitar

So she played and I sang. Tada!

Written by thelittlepecan

April 27, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Sociology

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and I said, “What the Fuck is Up with All this Gendered Sexist Bullshit?”

I’m sitting on a sofa in the upstairs room newly outfitted with IKEA living room furniture, a sign on the wall that reads “HUMBLE” in the style of an old gas station advert and a weird looking clock that is impossible to read which is really fucking annoying…I had to have my husband ship me a watch because TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

I am waiting for class to begin.  And by class, I mean a 22 year old young middle class white woman who is triggered by Trap Music (the genre, not T.I.’s album with a ‘Z’) is going to speak to me and a room full of other women aged 19-40 somethings about…what?

Ah. Relationships with women. When we are in full blown addiction we will find women to be bitchy and take our boyfriends. I am not straight, but okay.  I never found my friends to betray me in that way, but…

Now we are learning about addictive behavior and…clothing?

I shit you not.

Stop wearing short skirts and Holy Respectability Politics, Batman! Dammit, girls, if you’d just dress like a lady, you probably wouldn’t shoot up so much and get facedownplasteredinthecar.

I bet you’re surprised that there’s research on the gendered ways we deal with addiction, just like there are racialized and sexualized ways…and those things intersect. Insert shock and awe here please.

Cis/straight/middleclass/white men are the bulk of all addiction treatments from AA to Passages. They are overwhelmingly run by that same demographic. And women, who raise the bulk of our children, suffer far greater instances of domestic violence, need assistance (that is often tied to drug testing or treatment completion) from the social safety net more often and experience sexual assault related to drug or alcohol misuse and abuse at astronomical rates are often completely left out of conversations about how best to deal with very specific issues when it comes to addiction. Well, unless they are being drug tested and having their babies taken away by DFCS. Wait, only poor women and WoC?  Okay.  Then we talk a lot about it. Mainly about taking them to prison and chaining them to beds if they are pregnant.

But our skirts, yeah?

In the US, the ‘‘good woman’’ is a gendered construct characterised as one who upholds exceptional moral standards; the good woman embodies an image of sexual purity, trustworthiness and innocence (Harris-Perry, 2011; Raddon, 2002; Thetford, 2004). Some scholars articulate that these images are also racialised, placing white woman as the hallmark image of the ‘‘good woman’’ – a mutually reinforcing construct of sexual and racial purity characteristic of societal ideals of whiteness (Anderson, 2001; Harris-Perry, 2011; HillCollins, 2000). Though scholars have long critiqued these societal ideals of femininity as discriminatory and unrealistic, the good woman image persists as a cultural identity that both women and mene spouse (Hill-Collins, 1990; Raddon, 2002; Thetford, 2004).

It is these gendered understandings of morality that get in the way of good sobriety, of good treatment and of trauma healing inside a facility. Already treatment is viewed as a moral failing, a neo-liberal understanding of individual responsibility with little biological/medical understanding of addiction (See Dr. Carl Hart’s work on addiction) and a pseudopsychologic/sociologic misunderstanding of social and psychological behavior.  Basically, you are bad and you should feel bad.  Jesus can help. Go to another meeting.

And it did make me feel bad. Even though I knew it was bullshit.

I watched girls, young women really, but barely old enough to be out of my Mama range, who had been violently assaulted or engaged in sex work (for which they had no reason to be ashamed) or engaged in sex for reasons they felt ashamed of (for their own reasons that I would honor) already be further shamed by talks delivered by completely unqualified techs with nary a background in women’s studies, addiction treatment, sexuality, sociology…or social work.

We are nowhere near being able to distinguish the brains of addicted persons from those of non-addicted individuals. Despite this, the ‘diseased brain’ perspective has outsized influence on research funding and direction, as well as on how drug use and addiction are viewed in society. Dr. Carl Hart

Even though:

Your risk of experiencing intimate partner violence increases if you are:

  • Poor
  • Less educated
  • An adolescent or a young adult
  • Female
  • Living in a high-poverty neighborhood
  • Dependent on drugs or alcohol

I sat and listened to this talk and then an activity whereby a fictional woman on a fictional island is fictionally coerced into having sex with a man with more power and resources than she in order to go to the other fictional island where her fictional fiancè is located, who proceeds to abandon her and shame her for her rape and she is then rescued as a distressed damsel by a third man all while her mother encouraged the entire scenario.

I later found out that the worst person in the story according to the LICENSED ADDICTION COUNSELOR was the woman–for a lack of integrity.

These two instances happened on the same day, back to back.

I’ve been sexually assaulted in the context of addiction a number of times. I’ve been coerced into sex in the context of addiction a number of times. I’ve been RAPED UNDER THE INFLUENCE A NUMBER OF TIMES.  I’ve also been violently assaulted by a loved one in the context of addiction and I’ve had my mom counsel me to “carefully consider my options” when it came time to probably leave. I’ve had horrific and shameful encounters with women friends in the context of addiction. I’ve been blamed for all of these things as a woman and as an addict/alcoholic by any number of people throughout my time in that world.

So. Yeah. Triggered. Sobbing.  And attempted to make some kind of headway with the head of program direction…but, you know, as an addict/alcoholic my word really didn’t mean shit. As a victim. As a survivor. AS A FUCKING SOCIOLOGIST.

“What can you do to gain knowledge in these situations?
Honestly, I dunno you ignorant fuck, what can you do to protect your clients from further trauma and respect the knowledge we have as experts in our own lives and hey these degrees that are costing me three times your fucking yearly salary?  Yeah?

Okay no then.

I heard the words slut, bitch, and whore more times than I can count and I don’t mean in a take back the night wild hairy underarmed feminist kind of way either.

I listened as male clients inspected the bodies of female clients, who touched them inappropriately, who bragged about having sex on property with young women who were clearly vulnerable and had limited opportunities for non-sexual physical contact (more on that and the rampant queerphobia later).

I know of at least two women kicked out for what amounted to specifically labeled gendered behavior that was not allowed and women shamed for not being ladylike and women who relapsed immediately after their discharge.

There was only one group who regularly “succeeded” and I’m not even sure we can call it that.

Source Material

A. J. Gunn & K. E. 2015. “Intra-group stigma: Examining peer relationships among women in recovery for addictions.” Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy. 22(3): 281–292.

Babcock, Marguerite L and Connor, Bernadette. 1981. “Sexism and treatment of the female alcoholic: a review.” Social Work. 26(3):233-238. 

McKim, Allison. 2014. “Roxanne’s Dress: Governing Gender and Marginality through Addiction Treatment.” Signs: Journal Of Women In Culture & Society 39(2): 433-458.

Written by thelittlepecan

April 25, 2017 at 11:16 pm