Recently in Resistance Category

wrap it up

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1. Resistance is about pushing against, pushing back, walking away, questioning, collective outrage, and silence. That is it. Only kidding people, this list goes on and on. The definition cannot be restricted and if it is then I would hope it would be resisted. I believe that resistance is a 'natural' part of queer theory. By 'natural' I mean, it is inevitable that resistance will occur when discussion, rhetoric, theory and action revolve around making queer the norm. Example: my lip piercing. This little, little thing has cause big, big fuss when I go home. I try to explain that it is nothing and it is almost out of place on my face since it is my only piercing anywhere but that doesn't work. I think it doesn't work because some of my family members think I am 'pulling' away or pushing back. Somehow my piercing is threatening to their image of me and their perceived norm. I wasn't even thinking that my piercing would be queer and some spaces it is not (it can be quite boring and actually not enough) and in some spaces it is. I wonder how the 'other' side resist to the resisting being done by queer theory?

2. For my final wrap of queer I will refer back to my original thoughts about queer when I commented to Sara's blog:
Queer is the ability to rest in the gray area, the margin, the in between, the borderland and be okay with it. I think that is how the other comments are explaining it as well but in different ways. Queer lends itself to life of hardship, lack of acceptance, oppression and being outcasts. Queer is not stagnant, it does just rest in one place. It is constantly moving and alluding all who try to find it. I mean, I don't think one goes out and searches for being queer or queer things. One becomes it and in the becoming realizes the queerness of it all...or maybe not.
My classmates really brought new and exciting definitions of queer. Now I look at beards, post-it notes, Annie, halloween costumes in a different way--in a queer way. So basically this part is a huge shout out to all my classmates or dare I say friends for inspiring, opening my mind and allowing me to queer things along side you.

3. Through tracking my term I was able to really develop an unique way to read. All things resistance related jumped out from the pages. I enjoyed this because it gave my readings more of a sense of purpose. Then being able to blog about just drove it into me more. I do not think it was a secret that I was not a big fan of blogging for class at the beginning of the semester. My reasoning was justified. Every class I had been in the past that used blogs, used them in a way that just made sure that students were reading and really there was no engagement with them. It felt tedious and parental. This blog however did not. Well, to be honest at the beginning it did but as the semester went on it got better. Part of the reason it got better had to do with two things: connection and trust. We started to get excited about it and people talked about it in class. I could actually tell people were reading it and engaging with it and that made me want to write more. Trust is important element to blogging... especially when it is a community blog and is being graded. I had to trust Sara that my streamed thoughts would be 'okay' and they didn't have to be all academic and stuff. :-) I really started to care about the blog too... I wanted to engage with other entries because I wanted to add to the body of work. We had really good things to say and I hope 'animalcoloringpages' comes back to visit again.

Walkers, bikers and busers

First I wanted to start with a series of photos that show my state in which I am while writing my last blog. I am pretty sure this is what I look like every time I write. I remember someone saying we should take a picture of us blogging. So here are mine and it only seems fitting to reveal my 'identity' from behind the curtain of internet anonymity.

On to the blog...
We have talked about intersectionality in the last couple of weeks and I have to admit I was surprised that it was a new concept to some of us. Mainly, because I believe we were talking about it the whole time. I would say that queer in its very existence is laced with intersectionality. For me, intersectionality has always been discussed in my black feminist classes. In particular look at Patricia Hill Collins and her use of it which states that identities do not exist separate from one another but instead are linked and woven together and collide in singular bodies.... this is a very simplified and incomplete definition.

In this class and in particular readings it was the first time I had wrestled with the terms literal meaning. Highway_Intersection_-_Connected.224132102_std.JPG
That it is the actual street intersection, where separate roads collide and in that collision bodies might get hit or blow up. In Punk'd Theory Tavia Nyong'o ends the essay with another look at the literal idea of intersectionality. But instead of just focusing on the road itself, Tavia is asking an important question of the bodies (walkers) on the streets and their right-a-way or lack there of and their relationship with the vehicles on the road. Tavia argues that one needs to defend their right-a-way, even thought they 'have it' because those with mobility (privilege) really have the right-a-way.

But Tavia, where are the bikers and the busers?Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for cork.gif What do they signify in the analogy of intersectionality? Especially since they allow for more mobility than walkers. Then there are busers, pedestrians placed on a mobile vehicles. What does that signify? Or is it even worth placing them with in the analogy. I think it can be interesting to use these other two forms of pedestrians to talk about power and how it operates. How is power operating within intersectionality when pedestrians are forced onto a mobile vehicle to gain access to things they food, health care, common goods, etc...?

Docile Patriots: Jon Stewart's take on it...

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In the article Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism and the Production of Docile Patriots Paur and Rai they have a short section called, 'Docile Patriots I: The West Wing' where they talk about disciplines that aim to produce docile subjects through media.

"they use the figure of the terrorist-monster as a screen to project both the racist fantasies of the West and the disciplining agenda of patriotism. Infantilizing the pop-
ulation, they scream with what seems to be at times one voice: "The ter-
rorist is a monster. This monster is the enemy. The enemy must be
hunted down to protect you and all those women and children that you do
not know, but we know." (p 131)

What I appreciate about what Jon Stewart (and writing team) is doing in this clip is they are flipping it on its head. The above quote makes sense. Anyone who has watched the news knows a certain body is being produced when it comes to anything but especially terrorist. The Daily Show does the same thing but in reverse and by doing so makes it even more blatant on how the figure of the terror-monster gets produced. My assumption is most people would think that producing a terror-monster body for the United States as The Daily Show did is crazy. But is it really? The terror-monster can be produced anywhere to anyone. It is a constructed identity. A myth. That is part of what the article was trying to get at--how the terrorist is produced in our everyday life in blatant ways and not so blatant ways.

Annotated Bibliography #3: my resistance

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First source: Prostitute
My own work created in 2007. It is hard for me to summarize the source, since it is a piece of art. Please allow for this space to be a time to look and examine it yourself.

I thought it would be only fitting to include some of the ways I engage in resistance. I am a fan of the subversive method of resistance. I find in art, express and image. I truly subscribe to the idea that pictures are worth a thousand words. I want to dislodge perception of realities, I want to make people pause. A little bit about the piece of work. My inspiration for the piece came after reading a book by Denise Brennan called, What's Love Got to do with it?. The book looked at sex workers in Dominican Republic.

Second source
Safari Desktop Picture .jpg


Banksy is a graffiti artist from England. There isn't much information about him because know really knows who he is. The technique he uses is a combination of stenciling and traditional graffiti. He does not sell his work but offers high resolution pictures on his website to allow for others to make their own shirt, mug, sticker, poster, etc...

The reason why I use him as an example of my resistance is quite simple. He inspires me. His art inspires me. Take for example this one:


The first time I saw this I was shocked--almost applauded. It offended me more than the photos that mary shared with us. Funny, right? I have always had an artistic mind set, I come from to artists. This piece was the first time I realized how powerful art could be in getting a point across (political or not). It pushed my own culture back into my face without even having to say one word. I could choose to look or not. The piece messed with me, it was burned into my mind.

Another piece(s) of Banksy work that had deep impact on me and my own work is this one:

Both of these pieces of work again do what I mentioned before but they also do something slightly different. Banksy has never been caught doing what he does. I am not sure how. See, these photos were stenciled on the Palestinian wall. What the what! There are mixed feelings about them, some people love them and others hate them. An old Palestinian man is quoted as saying: "his painting made the wall look beautiful. We don't want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall" and then told Banksy to go home. For me his work operates in a very subversive/in-your-face/fuck you type of way. I like that. This is only made more cool by the fact that he doesn't flaunt himself... he doesn't need himself to be known.

My third source is a little bit of a risk. Traditionally it is suppose to be an academic piece of work. I believe it is but maybe others might not think so. *Drum roll please* The third source is our blog!
Picture 3.png

This may seems to be a little bit of a cop-out but believe me in is not. For the longest time I have never been a fan of class assigned blogs because they missed the boat all together. No one looks at them, people hardly interact with them, waste of space and time. That was my thought but I got to say I have been converted- a little! :-) This blog has been a great place to examine more, to ask more questions and to see different angles. I wont write too much here about what I thought about the process since that will be for the wrap up but this is what I can say...

This blog only makes sense to incorporate it into resistance. We have been participating as a collective in active resistance to academia (formal writing and grading), to the blog sphere (offering up critical analysis to works by other people) and may I dare to say the status quo (by queering...well, everything). This annotated bibliography is titled, my resistance and this blog has been the thing I have had the most outlet for resisting.

A note about this being an academic source: I believe it is because, well, we are scholars in our own right... we might have not been doing this as long as some other people but we are doing it. We have been coming up with our own analysis of concepts and theories I would venture to say even coming up with 'new/fresh' theories as well. We might not be published but who knows...

Ballistic Bodies


Thumbnail image for DSC_0288.JPG

Since discussing Puar's Queer Times, Queer Assemblages the image of the ballistic bodies as weapons has been in my mind. Also, while doing my comments for the blog I came across one of Remy's entries and it inspired me to come up with an image made of other images. So this is my take...

Also side note for the blog. This is my attempt at a single image for a direct engagement. So imagine I didn't have any other descriptors with the blog and under the photo read: Ballistic Bodies.

Queering the system: is it possible?

One thing that has been an underlining issue I have had all semester in every class is this idea of working within the system to change the system. I just do not buy it. I find so many flaws in it. This is where I need everyone's ideas and thoughts on the issue. Here is my deal with it: Part of the problem (a lot of the problem) stems from the system itself. By system I mean SYSTEM... all capital letters. You know, the historical underpinning that makes this country so great (there is a hint of sarcasm here). Founded on christian morals, freedom for all, equality, hope, dreams, blah, blah, blah, blah.. The system that offers this for a certain select few and systematically disadvantages and oppress others. I digress, I wonder if this is why I like theory so much because it stays away from offering up answers or solutions to inequities. On the other hand, there are groups of people fighting to change the inequities that have been systematically put in place. Do not get me wrong, I think these groups are needed. I would be a fool to think otherwise but I have to believe there is another way possible for these groups to survive than to be a not for profit, non-government organizations or grant writing/grant funding groups. What got me thinking about this specifically, for this class was a reading in "Nobody Passes". Nobody Passes.jpg In the chapter, 'Undermining Gender Regulation' Dean Spade talks about his interaction with the state and how he was pushed into the politics of it all. He is interested in examining how the gender hierarchies operate within government policies and practice (66). He works at Sylvia Rivera Law Project were they have provided legal services to over 800 trans, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people (70). Spade, from what I can gather, is trying to not only change policy but is try to shift paradigms. He wants to 'weed out' discrimination that is affecting those who are at the margins. Although he never explicitly says that policies changes are the way to go, it seems to be the only tangible thing he offered, other than analyzing how operations of gender regulation affect those on the margins the most. To me one of the biggest question that is left out is, who is invested in these operations of gender regulation? Who gains to profit from them? These are question that lead to paradigm shifts. When one is able to get to the root of regulations and oppressions and the possessive investment they offer to certain groups of people, it is then when those who stand to invest from it without knowing, find it appalling. Now, who knows if they will change anything about how they move in the world but it is worth a try.

Obviously the government stands to profit from it; along with pharmaceutical companies, the prison industrial complex, anti-immigrant policies and in turn white, middle-class, straight people profit too. So getting back to what I originally started out with, can one work within the system to change the system? I would find it very difficult to do so especially if the funding is coming directly from those who stand to profit from the very thing one is fighting against.

There is a need for those working in the system but then there needs to be those who try to defy the system and dismantle the system. A new way has to be possible. And I am not sure it is going to be found in a book or around a table in the halls of academia.

A reading from death to life:

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I touched on this a little bit when I presented on my topic. Death or life, what sounds more desirable? Can I even claim that one is preferred over the other? I am not sure about that but I will take a stance. Here it goes: I prefer death that leads to life. In Martha Nussbaum's article "The Professor of Parody" she examines how the 'new feminism' looks at women's situation as "We (women) are all, more or less, prisoners of the structures of power that have defined our identity as women; we can never change those structures in a large-scale way, and we can never escape from them" (2). She blames French post-structuralist philosophers for this new-found political stance; that these young feminists subscribe to. She puts forth names like Michel Foucault and Judith Butler (not French). As some one who is a young 'feminist' and who subscribes to some of what Foucault and Butler say, I have to disagree with Nussbaum. The reason being, she chose to focus solely on death or the silence of their critiques of power. Learning to think about power in the Foucautian way did indeed lead me to a place of being overwhelmed and bogged down with the heaviness of his claims. However, after experiencing the 'death' of it I found life and liberation through it.

Nussbaum only thinks that life or change can occur through policy changing, picketing and mobilizing. What a limited view of change. I think it is safe to say that Nussbaum wants answer instead of more questions. She wants theorist like Butler to explain their stances of subjects instead of throwing up more questions. She states that explaining one's ideas alludes to uncertainty, as if asking more questions does not. Personally, I do not want the author to lay it out there on the table so plainly as if they know the answer or do not. Let us, the reader and author, experience it (the certainty or uncertainty) together.

After a second read of Nussbaum's article I had a entirely opposite reaction to what I first had. The first time I read it I was excited that someone was exposing Butler's limits and critiquing her. It was refreshing. After the second read, I found Nussbaum's text to be limiting to how change can occur. She discredits Butler's tactics altogether to just to offer her own and to claim that hers is better. Seems to be doing the thing she is critiquing.

How does this relate to my word: RESISTANCE (in my head I say it with a deep strong voice with my hands on my hips). Well I resist the idea that change can only happen in one way. I resist the idea that language can't be used as an effective tool of subversion. Resistance leads us or exposes us to death but it should not end there. It needs to lead us to life. If it doesn't then what do we as activist and social theorist have to offer and how can we possibly bring people who so desperately need to be in on the conversation in to it when all they hear is their own death?

Annotaited Biblography: A conversation


Annotated Bibliography: a conversation

This time I wanted my annotate bibliography to revolve around a recent conversation I had with my roommate. First, allow me to set up my living situation. I live in North Minneapolis in an intentional community house. What this means is that we all decided to live to here because we wanted something more than just roommates. We do life together. We invest in each other. We come from all different backgrounds but have similar future goals. We compost, have a garden and getting a chicken coop... we are those people! Together, we are trying to make sense of this messed up world. Because of this we have many conversations and most of the time we do not meet eye to eye of them. I find this both inspiring and exhausting. One of the conversations I had with my roommate Steve revolved around language and the power, resistance and oppression it can have on groups of people. I will try to my best ability sum up the conversation I had with him. Along with the conversation I will offer up a critique of the word 'Bitch' (lot of the conversation revolve around the etymology of the word) by Patricia Hill Collins. Lastly I will offer various sources of how the word 'bitch' is used to show its power, subversiveness and oppression (I used these as examples in my conversation with Steve).

The conversation:

The conversation started because we have a family moving into the house. They have a one-year-old child and they asked us to limit our swearing when she is around. We all gladly accepted but my one roommate, Steve, likes to discuss the 'whys' of it. I proceed to tell him about a friend of mine who is a self proclaimed radical, queer, anarchist who doesn't use certain words like fuck or suck because of its oppressive, misogynistic, heteronormative connotations. He of course asked why and I tried to my best ability to explain but because of my limited knowledge I instead explained the etymology of bitch. We had a long heated conversation about how he thought it was ridiculous to not use that word even if it meant nothing towards a woman (which I wasn't arguing that he do so), for example saying son of bitch when you hit your foot on a table. I tried to get him to understand how it was first used to refer to a female dog, then how it got transformed into phrase to degrade women and finally how it is being reclaimed by some women. In the whole conversation I was trying to show language can be excluding, hurtful, oppressive but at the same time can be a form of resistance, subverting and claiming. I am not sure if I got anywhere in the conversation but he did claim that I was 'right' about the subject. During this conversation I was trying to get across to Steve how language can be used as a point of resistance. Was this conversation useful? Of course it is. I think we both learned from one another.

Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism by Patricia Hill CollinsBlack Sexual Politics.jpg

Patricia Hill Collins in her book, Black Sexual Politics, she has a chapter named, Get Your Freak On and within it there is a subsection called "Bitches" and Bad (Black) Mothers: Images of Working-Class Black Women. In this part of the chapter she looks at how the controlling image of bitch that "constitutes one representation that depicts Black women as aggressive, loud, rude, and pushy... When this is increasingly placed upon poor, working-class women the representation of 'bitch' creates a reworking of the image of the mule of chattel slavery" (123). She looks at how within the Black community the word bitch can be offensive but when combined with other words can be deadly. She also touches on how the Black community has resisted this negative stereotype and has used bitch with a capital 'B' to signify a strong, powerful and celebrated women. I believe that this discussion around language is important. Looking at the history of how a word has been used in terms of gender and race oppression is important. It allows for there to be knowledge and the ability to reclaim or reject.

Other sources (for lack of a better title):

Etymology of the word:

The only great resource I could find was on Wikipedia. :-) For purposed of not making the blog too long check out the link above to see the etymology.

With this last formal source I wanted to offer many sources to how the word bitch has been used and is being used. I want to do this to spark more discussion than to critique. Within these sources much could be said. Some are incredibly offensive and some are empowering. These are sources that should add to examples of oppression and resistance.

Hit the Bitch :

Interestingly enough, the site is now limited to only Danish people (where the PSA originated). I was able to check it out before it was taken down it was unreal. Actually it was very real. There was a male hand that you were able to control with your curser or via webcam with your actual hand to 'hit the bitch'. Here are a few photos I was able to find:


I'm a Bitch:

This was the first time I felt okay with saying bitch out loud! I remember thinking it was on the radio so it is okay for me to say it! My parents didn't think so but I had my little moment of claiming it...

Another video: Sexy Bitch

"I am trying to find a way to describe this girl without being disrespectful.... she's a sexy bitch..."

Watch if you want, I only made it through the first minute.

A Magazine:

Then there is a feminist magazine that claims the word and gives it power. Bitch_300.jpg

I hope this blog showed how one word can hold so much. It has a history of oppression but now in some spaces holds a position of empowerment, resistance and reclaiming. Whatever it is I believe it is worth being aware of it.

Annotated Bibliography: Resistance

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Hir: slam poetry

"Hir"- Poem @ transgendered. Perf. Harris, Alysia, Shamayleh, Aysha. youtube: 2009, Film.

This spoken word was written and performed by two young women: Alysia Harris and Aysha El Shamayleh. It is a poem that tells a personal narrative of a transgendered boy named James and how he is trapped in Melissa's body. i have listened to it and watched it many times now and each time I am left speechless, in chills and teary eyed. Spoken word seems to have that way with me. There is something powerful about the voice or the way in which we communicate--whether that is with our hands, voice or body. I think this a great way that resistance occurs. It is done by telling a story in a public space. It is not simply bringing awareness to an issue or letting a voice be heard but it is resisting the oppression of isolation and silence. It can be all to comfortable and easy to sit silently, whether it is out of choice or force. To resist that oppression takes courage, strength, hope, endurance and guts.

Youtube a site of resistance: freshlycharles
"TheTGuys Collaboration Channel." Youtube. 15 Oct 2009. Web. 22 Oct 2009. .

Youtube has in my mind been a great source of resistance for various groups of people that are on the margins of society. Like the spoken word video voices are being heard and stories are being told. Youtube specifically I am looking at how some people in the trans community have used it as a resources, education forum, counseling session, diary and place to find other people with similar stories. Youtube as a place of resistance is a unique form and can be and is useful. I think many times when there is resistance it stays within its certain location and people are joined together through that but it is in a form of solidarity. I believe what youtube is doing is no matter where your location is a person can be networked to a larger movement of resistance.

Language, Violence, and Queer People:
Social and Cultural Change Strategies by Dean Pierce

Pierce, Dean. Language, Violence, and Queer People: Social and Cultural Change Strategies. The Haworth Press, 2001. Print.

This article I wanted to reference because it is showing how resistance happens in other ways against or upon queer communities and specifically how language is used to do so. I thought this offered and got juxtaposition to the first two sources. The thing that ties them all together is the language and the power of expressing--be it negative or positive. Pierce goes through how society has changed meaning around certain queer words and how they have been used against the communities. He also ask how certain groups of people can change the negativity of language into something positive. All together it was a great article to understand how language and power works within society and the history of it.

The Power and Resistance of Queer Theory


'Where there is power there is resistance, and yet, or rather consequently, this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power...' (Foucault in Sullivan 42)

Michel Foucault and Nikki Sullivan argue that resistance does not operate purely against power but they are inherently linked. It is this link that had been the catalyst to queer theory. So, can queer theory be a site of resistance? The short answer is yes which, by the way, will be my answer to most question of 'is this a form of resistance?'. In Sullivan's article there is much discussion about queer theory and how it resist. One part that I found the most compelling is where she explains the position of Michael Warner. The reader is asked to look at queer as a verb and not as a noun. It is not an identity--it is an action, a conscious action to resist the norm (50).

My question is: if a person decides to label or identify with the term queer does that mean they are then subjects of resistance? And if they are could it be one of no choice or agency? Is that problematic? For me I think it is. We, as a class, have talked about the reality of social, mental, emotional and physical harm that can occur when one labels themselves as something different from the norm. I do think we can force someone to resist something they do not want to, for whatever reason it is, we cannot. If we did we would be reinscribing systems of power. On the other hand, I think people can participate in something without knowing they are doing so and while doing so subvert/resisting the norms.

As for queer theory itself, I do find it to be a place of power and resistance. It is a field of study and knowledge that consciously subverts and critiques structural forms of oppression.

the beginnings of resistance

First things first--defining the term resistance:

1. The act, on the part of persons, of resisting, opposing, or withstanding

2. Organized covert opposition to an occupying or ruling power;

It was interesting for me to find out that when we were picking terms everyone stayed away from resistance. See, I didn't have much of a choice in picking this term to track because I was gone that day. I have to say I am pretty happy it is my term. I listed two definitions from Oxford English Dictionary of the word 'resistance'. They do a great job of defining resistance in its common idea. I would push to complicate it more. Does resistance have to be of conscious decision? How does resistance look different from various geopolitical locations? Meaning, resistance might mean something completely different for a queer identified individual as it is for a rural woman, gay father or black drag queen and what happens if all these identities exist in a single body? I say all of this to say: my reading of resistance and its meaning comes from my specific positionality. By no means do I wish to define it in its entirety or make sweeping claims of it.

We have read, watched and talk about how drag might be one form of resistance. Judith Butler states that, 'Imitations which effectively displace the meaning of the original they imitate the myth of originality itself' (188). What I gather from this sentence is, can a person resist something that does not actually exist in the first place? Or is that by resisting something that has no origin exposes the myth itself and in doing so liberates those oppressed by it.

I wanted to offer up these two videos next to each other. Do they both resist the gender binary or are they adding to the myth of gender (performance)? How are they similar and how are they different?