Saturday, 13 October 2018

Syllabus For Whites Alternate Locations

The "Syllabus for Whites" document been removed from the google documents location it was stored at since 2016.

I've found another couple of locations for it, however, if you prefer to locate this document yourself and look up its proper name/title on a google search, you'll also find it in several more web locations.

The proper title for the document if you are searching:

Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves

Another location (will open a pdf page/link):

On Trello site: Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves 

From the above link, a download is possible, so feel free to download and store a copy of this document in case the web page gets altered or the document is moved or removed.

Another location:

Beck and Bre: Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves

I'm still going through reading/material suggestions from this 2016 document.

A short explanation in case some readers don't know about this document or why the author created it and asked "Whites" to educate themselves...

The document is basically a response to the American Presidential Election results of November 2016...

In November 2016, Donald Trump was voted in as President of The United States of America. The base of Trump's supporters are "the dominant" in US/American society, privileged white persons. This was known in 2016 during the election and, according to current stats in 2018, it is still true that Trump's main supporters are privileged white persons.

The author of the "syllabus" document created a list of reading materials for people to read and understand which may educate people on topics of oppression, harms of white supremacy, the ways in which whites have oppressed non-whites and the harms this has caused not only to people but to society/social structures, in general. There are articles on how to be an ally, how to recognize oppression, racism, etc., and so much more... because, frankly, it seems supporters of certain white politicians may be following leaders and approving policies that will bring about repeats of history - a long North American history of oppression of non-whites, women, minorities and vulnerable populations.

NOTE: the full intent of the document, I'm sure is not solely about white Trump supporters needing to educate themselves - the US 2018 election was just sort of the straw that broke the camel's back... In the document and suggested reading list, there are definite Trump-specific topics, however, I don't even live in the USA and by reading some of these articles, I've been learning about how to deal with oppression, how to recognize certain nefarious and covert types of racism, sexism, oppressions and other "isms" that are harmful not only to those oppressed but also to those doing the oppressing.

If you think racism, sexism and other oppression situations are wrong but you don't know where to start learning about these topics, use one of the links above to go check out this document and start working your way through the reading list.

I've reviewed a few of the early articles in the list via my blog, but am by no means finished with learning from this document/list.

Feel free to comment if you read a particular article or have some insights on the topics after reading from the list. I'd love to hear what these titles/materials mean to others.

Monday, 30 April 2018

I want to see colours!

More and more, when talking about racism and gender issues, I hear people say, "Oh I like everyone - I don't see gender or colour."


Why the hell NOT? Are you f-ing loopy? Or are you just trying to be nice and non-political, perhaps - politically correct? I'm sorry - I'm not trusting of this kind of statement anymore... been hearing it too long without the actions that follow to tell me you really mean that gender, colour, etc., really aren't things seen, taken into consideration...

I just can't take stock in notions that people can pretend skin pigmentation, remarkable eye shapes and cheekbones and such things don't exist and don't matter.

In saying you see no differences or that differences don't matter, are you trying to see an amalgamation of everyone into some kind of mixed grey and total androgyny?

Or... are you just kidding yourself?

I think the ideas about not seeing a person's colour and instead seeing them as human beings - likewise for gender - um, sorry - screw that - it's dream thinking. Can't we see people as human beings without being this strange kind of colourblind??? (Race-blind and gender-blind, too?). I don't think pretending not to see race, gender, colour, etc., is a progressive idea anymore... it's making us backtrack and not work at our curiosity about, acceptance and respect for others. If we can pretend not to see these things, aren't we ignoring a person's features? If we say these things don't matter, overall, aren't we somehow, at least in small part, saying parts of people don't matter? (Very tricky... very covert, colonialists!)

Labels? Bring them the pluck back! (I want to be able to describe how awesome you are... and for that, I need some of the words BACK that have been taken away by political correctness).

I WANT to see your colours, your gender or non-gender being. Your gender fluid or non-binary you. Your butch or femme or dyke or grrl or boi, cis-normative-whatever. I want to know that androgynous looks like "this" or "that" for you... and that it differs from masculine or feminine or femme or other things.

Then, what I'm going to do is... accept you.

...In your masculine look with your white skin or your reddish brown skin or you, too - with your almond shaped eyes and your black as night hair.  Or hey YOU - with your porcelain skin and freckles, your female curves with buzzed orange-red hair. And also YOU - with your long, braided hair and boy lines with your awesome Iron Maiden t-shirt, volleyball shoes - painted nails to match your shoes! I mean - how cool can this get???

(come out Dirtbags! Let's go see Iron Maiden!)
(Mary Lambert covers Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag")

Tell me your pronoun - that's good with me - I'll use it - but please be visible and don't pretend there are not labels and infinite ways to describe you. I don't want to like everyone for or under the same "no colour, no gender" rule. I hate that rule and think it's unreasonable and stupid.

I think the rule is a way for priviledged people to say they don't see marginalized persons and labels or that they don't make a difference when, in fact, people are discriminated against ALL THE TIME based on looks, gender assumptions, skin colour, etc... THAT is what needs to stop - not peoples' ways of describing themselves.

Having a rule to not see difference and uniqueness is a shitty way to deal with acceptance.

Why can't we accept all colours, shapes, and such? THAT makes sense to me.

I swear you are NOT going to be invisible to me - because I swear I will see your skin colour, clothing preferences, use the pronoun you tell me to use, etc.

Your colour means something to me.

(Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag)


You are an awesome colour, shape and design. I see you!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

How to stop queers from having sex in homeless shelters

I heard this topic being discussed while I was on the C-Train recently and didn't feel I could engage due to perceived safety issues. The main part of the talking was against gays in shelters because they will have sex, give everyone STDs, etc - very energetic talk (including a comment that the Calgary shelters aren't being used properly and COULD BE used to just "gas unwanteds and be done with them already"), raised voices, and about 4 people joined in to share the same homophobic viewpoints.

Strangely, though many people acknowledge that shelters are used by people overwhelmed by tough times, financial and family issues -  even violence - shelters aren't very safe places for vulnerable people to go! Especially for queer people.

If you are queer (LGBTIQAT2S+), shelters are usually really, REALLY UNSAFE places - for real.

At worst, queer people may experience intense homophobic language and verbal (or body language) threats from both shelter staff and guests. In the least - innappropriate and invasive questions nobody would ask "straight" people. (Who's the boy in your lesbian relationship? Who's the girl in your gay pairing? Is scissoring a thing?) OMG Shush!

Oh yes and also... the assumption that sex is, for sure, going to happen because there is a queer one in the room. Strangely, homophobic ones think queers are SO POWERFUL that it only takes 1 queer person to make coupling happen in almost any given space.

LOL - silly homophobes :) Thank you for the perceived power... but no.

In my opinion and experience, frankly - shelters are made for straight people. When barriers are made within to have male areas and female areas separated - that is for the idea that separation will be safer for women (maybe) and also keep the genders separated. Strangely (if you've ever been a shelter resident, you know this is largely true), these barriers don't make women much safer inside and they also don't always keep the genders separated.

Again - let's mention the wide-spread assumption that queers, at any given time, in any given space are going to be getting it on... and

GROSS... in common rooms, even common same gender rooms... wtf is with the assumption that queers don't like privacy?

Homophobes, please get a freakin' grip - and low-income serving/homeless serving agencies... learn about friggin' DIVERSITY!

There are already people inside your shelters that you cannot TELL ARE male in female areas, and females in male designated areas. There are transitioning persons and other identities in shelters today, and they are NOT concerned with screwing right now in the least. They are farkin' terrified a clothing piece will shift and they'll be found out (wow, and found out to be who they really are, no less - a non-whatever-normative in society!) and discriminated against. They are scared their purse or bag will be agape too long and someone will see something other-gender in the bag and start to ask questions.

Even more importantly, there are people transitioning, as well as people who are queer and stable in their identity who are worried about the same things straight people are worried about - how to get out of the gawd-awful crowded shelter, how to get working, how to get proper health diagnoses to deal with health and mental health issues, how to start life over - or resume something interrupted.

How to stop queers from having sex in homeless shelters?

First off - don't. Instead, ask why you are asking about this in the first place...
  • Who cares? 
  • Why is this an issue? 
  • Is it really as big a "threat" as it's made out to be? 
  • Are you mistaking intimacy for sex?
Pregnancies are unlikely... and it is extremely ignorant of some people to fail to know that non-hetero couples might actually become homeless and already be a long-term couple when they reach a shelter. In this case they will usually have NO INTEREST whatsoever in anyone but their partner. I know of couples who have been split up in Calgary shelters whereby one person stays at one shelter and the other at a different shelter. During my stays over a decade ago in Calgary shelters, I knew at least a 7 or 8 couples in this terrible situation (some were simply being appropriately INTIMATE...hand-holding and hugging - and were NOT having anything near to sexual encounters). I'm still hearing that this discrimination is happening and I currently know same-gender couples who are split up in Calgary shelters. Heck I know of hetero couples who are split up, staying in different shelter locations!

Look around and find out how many straight people are having breeding sessions (lol sorry, I had to type that just once) in shelters. That happens, too. Sex and intimacy are human things. Nooky (omg I used a thesaurus for that one) in shelters for hetero is probably roughly the same stat as for queer. I'm sure sex happens in homeless shelters sometimes... and is a freakin' STUPID ISSUE TO WORRY ABOUT when related to the fact of the existence of HOMELESS SHELTERS within cities of wealth in the first place.

Again - how to stop queers from having sex in homeless shelters?

I don't really know... maybe ask the couple to be more private!!! OMG what a revelation.

...but why is this queer sex thing a bigger worry than all the other issues people are having who are in homeless shelters? Couldn't we focus on at least fifteen dozen other important things that will help decrease homelessness and oppression?

I've heard a suggestion recently in a discussion about how to make sure gays/queers don't have sex in current shelters:

Make a queer safe/space shelter.


Bad answer. That still and further marginalizes non-hetero persons and says, "Hey, go over there." Also - that's just another way to create a situation of "Hey, send queers away from the space hetero-normative persons have claimed and feel comfortable in."

The best answer, to me, is:

Conquer homophobia and tackle oppression to reduce homelessness and the need for homeless shelters. Then everyone can celebrate and have a home and have sex and intimacy whenever they want without people freaking out...

Queerness isn't about sex...