sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
Saw this on Tumblr and posting it here as a writing / blogging challenge:

The Audre Lorde questionnaire to oneself.

1. what are the words you do not have yet? [Or, “for what do you not have words, yet?”]

2. What do you need to say? [list as many things as necessary]

3. What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? [List as many as necessary today. Then write a new list tomorrow. And the day after.]

4 If we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language, ask yourself: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” [so, answer this today. and everyday.]
sasha_feather: Simon Pegg from Hot Fuzz holding a gun looking tough (hot fuzz)
First, I don't speak for all people with selective mutism, only for myself and my own experiences. You can read more of my posts about selective mutism by clicking the tag at the bottom of the posts. Comments and shares are welcome.

Spoilers for the Fosters through Season 2, episode 6.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: white woman hugging textual man (books)
I am reading a series of books about Alvin Ho by Lenore Look. These are kids' chapter books for young grade school kids and they are GREAT. Delightfully illustrated by Leuyen Pham, they are funny, charming books about Alvin, his family, friends and adventures. There are 4 books so far, called things like "Alivn Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and other Scary Things."

I picked them up from the library because I saw them on a list of books about disability. Alvin is "scared of everything" and he can't talk in school (he has selective mutism). The books take this problem seriously without heaping pity on him, indeed they find the humor in the situation. They are from Alvin's perspective, and he talks about his everyday challenges trying to make friends at school, getting into trouble with his siblings, etc. He has a PDK (personal disaster kit) made from an old tackle box and filled with band-aid, a compass, and hand-written instructions for surviving difficult situations. He has a good family including his dog and grandparents. (See the glossary in the back for definitions of gunggung, etc.) Alvin is American-born Chinese and his culture is also part of the story.

I have been recommending these books to everyone! They are super great! So far these are the first books I've read with a character who has selective mutism and they exceed my expectations.
sasha_feather: Legend of Korra promo  (Korra)
Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategies with Adrienne Maree Brown

"All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change." These words of Octavia E Butler's have impacted people very seriously on a personal level -- but how do we apply her wisdom on a political organizing level? How do we approach the strategic planning we're all supposed to do if we accept, and come to love, the emergent power of changing conditions? This session will be half "popular organizational development" training and half inquiry into what the future of organizational development and strategic planning will look like.

Adrienne returns to these books as her grandfather returns to his Bible.

Strategy is a word of military origin. How do we get away from that. Emergent properties are organic and unpredictable.

From Parables Books: Olamina's journey
Go from relationships to networks rather than relying on physical spaces. These are much harder to destroy.

Olamina sees every person she meets as a potential revolutionary or ally. (We discussed the difference.) Every person is connected and can likely agree on some things.

Some people in the movement may turn against it when under pressure. But we can be less judgmental of that and more understanding of people's circumstances.

Are the people in our movement spiritually aligned? Reclaim this word. We are fighting the religious radical right with politics when we could be meeting a spiritual force with a spiritual force. (My small group also talked about the term "shared values").

Put values before structures in your organization.

Xenogenesis books/Lillith's brood

Focus on Adaptation, and on Lillith's capacity for grief and solitude. What would it mean to be non-dominant? Can you win or succeed from a non-dominant position? What about evolving what it means to be human, expanding that definition?

Patternmaster:

Capacity for connection. Trust and organic hierarchy. Staying under the radar (as activist organizations) until we have the strength to compete as equals.

----

In Fantasy, Servitude with N.K. Jemisin.

I didn't get a whole lot out of this discussion. We did come to the conclusion that class is often discussed in fantasy books, and that this genre is a good medium for class discussions. We made fun of the trope of the king who just wants to go back to the simple life of the stable boy (ie man pain). I brought up the trope of how a character will go from a relatively privileged position to being sold into slavery, which Andrea Hairston poked fun at, "I have suffered more!", and I realized this trope could be called "cultural tourism". We also decided that realistic descriptions of slavery simply aren't "fun" and therefore are less likely to be portrayed.
ETA: The military is also service, of course, and Nora talked a bit about child soldiers. Why do they exist, when women make better soldiers physically than kids? Well, if you see women as the prize, or as means to make more children, then kids will be used as soldiers over women.

Books mentioned:
Brian Sanderson's Misborn Trilogy
Tim Powers
Carol Emswhiller, The Mounts
Joel Rosenberg - Hero Series
Robin Hood tales
Firethorn and Wildfire - Sara Micklem
Powers, Gifts, and Voices - Ursula K LeGuin
Between the Rivers - Harry Turtledove
Kraken - China Mieville
Blood Child
Cyteen

----
Voice Workshop with Pan Morigan

I can't even express how awesome this was. It was the BEST THING EVER. Your whole body is your instrument. Be silly and have fun and make stupid noises. I also learned how to stand properly, and thereby got taller. I can't even! I've been to all these voice therapists and doctors and other assorted BS, when I should have just come to this. The difference between doing these kind of exercises and ones prescribed by therapists is that these ones are fun. And they feel good.

----
I skipped the next couple of programming slots in favor of a nap. Then I went to the "Redwood and Wildfire" performance by Pan Morigan and Andrea Hairston. It was wonderful.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I wrote something!

Selective Mustism at FWD/Feminists with Disabilities

Feel free to comment there or at Dreamwidth or at the new facebook page (but don't use my real name if you know it!).
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I want to talk a bit about barriers to speaking and writing. I'm not particularly fond of the term "writer's block" because what does that really mean? It's not very descriptive. I'm going to talk about things that might prevent us from writing and speaking, from expressing ourselves with words. I consider this emotional work, and emotional work can be very difficult and challenging, so I'm putting it under a cut.

Read more... )

I think that challenges, prompts, team writing, community support, conversation, all are ways of encouraging people to use their voices. But, if words aren't working out so well, I think that art, icons, vids, dance, singing, cooking, exercise, photos, stitching, crafting, and costuming are wonderful forms of self-expression.

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