I feel as though I live in a world that spins around on fake realism. It demands that we be confident and comfortable in our skins now, now, now. 

It feels like I am being forced to carry a burden and I can’t bear it anymore. 

Imagine a world where we were comfortable in our insecurities. Yes, I am not always confident when it comes to my social interaction and social standing with others, and it’s okay. Yet it almost seems to be demanded of me that I always present this persona of confidence. After all, I am involved in student organizations. I am out spoken in class. I have connections with professors, with staff, with so many different people. 

It’s like I can’t have a different, more complex side of me. The side that’s confused,  that’s  gentle, that’s at once brittle and compassionate. I must be one, I cannot flow into the other. 

I want to be comfortable in my own insecurities so I can work through them (vs wallow in them to make myself stale).

Time and again, it’s the same thing in Burma. Religious/Ethnic uprisings occur because one supremacist group said the other minority group raped their woman. Some time later "claims were later fabricated".

Two things: 1) I am wary of “rape claims were fabricated” reports. Women since forever have not been believed when it comes to the violence enacted against them. But then again, 2) isn’t it interesting how uprisings seem cued on protecting women? Patriarchy works in interesting ways. Violence in a patriarchal world seems justifiable only when it is protecting the women (who seems to just fit in within the box set by patriarchy) and also when patriarchy has to beat the women back into her pre-assigned box. 

Tags: burma myanmar own

"In the end, the question is not really about the pros and cons of trigger words. The questions are around, what are the organizing practices and strategies for building movements that recognize that settler colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy and heteropatriarchy have not left us unscathed? How do we create spaces to experiment with different strategies, as well as spaces to openly assess and change these strategies as they inevitably become co-opted? How do we create movements that make us collectively accountable for healing from individual and collective trauma? How do we create critical intellectual spaces that recognize that intellectual work is not disembodied and without material effects? How do we collectively reduce harm in our intellectual and political spaces? And finally, how can we build healing movements for liberation that can include us as we actually are rather than as the peoples we are supposed to be?"

— Andrea Smith, Beyond Trigger Warnings  (via kawrage)

(Source: loxmey, via kawrage)

Tags: quotes

"We’re not evolving emotional filters fast enough to deal with the efficiency with which bad news now reaches us…"

Teju Cole

Tags: quotes


In mid-20th century America, the turban was a tool that people of color used for “confounding the color lines,” writes Manan Desai, board member of the South Asian American Digital Archive.

At the time, ideas of race in America were quite literally black and white. In some places, if you could pass yourself off as something other than black, you could circumvent some amount of discrimination. People of color — both foreigners and African-Americans — employed this to their advantage. Some did it just to get by in a racist society, some to make a political statement, and others — performers and businessmen — to gain access to fame and money they wouldn’t have otherwise had.


Chandra Dharma Sena Gooneratne was getting a doctorate at the University of Chicago in the ’20s. Originally from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), he traveled around America lecturing on the need to abolish the caste system and on India’s push for independence from the British, among other topics.

In a recent article about Gooneratne, Desai notes that visiting scholars from Asia and Africa, like Gooneratne, were startled to encounter anti-black discrimination. But some of these people, who were lugging around colonial baggage from their own countries, found a way around racism.

Gooneratne, for one, used his turban while traveling in the Jim Crow South to avoid harassment, and advised others to do the same, Desai writes.


These were African-Americans who took on this “foreign” avatar not to make a point about segregation, and not to become famous TV personalities, but to avoid everyday discrimination.

The turban made them incognito. “The whole point,” says Kramer, “was to kind of wage a whole guerrilla war that would go unseen.”

By putting on the turban, they stepped over the color lines put in place by Jim Crow, and walked right into what was then a racial unknown.


How Turbans Helped Some Blacks Go Incognito In The Jim Crow Era

"This is the problem that I have very often. When it comes to dealing with other traditions, [we become] very simplistic [in our views of it, and boil it down to] binary divisions. You are either modern or you’re not, whether you are like us or you the alien…and the very starting point of respect, when it comes to pluralism is to acknowledge the fact that - from the very beginning - the other tradition is as complex yours. If you’re a Christian, if you’re a Jew, if you’re Buddhist, if you’re atheist, if you’re an agnostic, you’re coming from very complex traditions. We don’t have one type of atheism, not one type of Jewish traditions, or Christian traditions, it’s very complex. And the Islamic tradition is as complex as the others."

— Tariq Ramadan, Burke Lecture: Interpreting Islam in Modern Context [x]


As girls grow into womanhood, the body becomes the central medium through which these unwritten codes of behavior are transmitted and memorized. The demure lowered gaze fixed at some point on the floor, the acquiescent nod of the head, the feminine swing of the hips, the closely held thighs and the modestly drawn-in shoulders are all written into our bodies by invisible hands and inaudible words so that we start believing that this is the way we are supposed to be.

The containment of a woman’s body is demonstrated by the very tightness with which she holds herself and moves The notion that such gendered body language is ‘natural’ is reinforced by observing other women we encounter. For example, observing men and women in public transportation and on the streets of Mumbai, one notices the tentative and watchful manner in which women occupy public space. In BEST buses, the average women will occupy the least possible space, rendering herself as inconspicuous as she can…on the other hand, the average man will spread his legs out, occupy more than half of a two-seater in a bus and appear to disregard the people around him.

Shilpa Phadke, Sameera Khan, Shilpa Ranade,Why Loiter?: Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets

Observing the occupation of space(s) by women is critical praxis for me when I watch films, particularly because there’s always some surprise (and satisfaction) in catching glimpses of scenes where filmmakers break away from the traditionally gendered frame. The screencaps above illustrate that sentiment best. While Indian women at leisure in public spaces has never been a plausible reality for the filmmaker to pursue, this uninhibited, un-sexualized, un-victimized image of women in private, domestic spaces has usually been shied away from as well, because film has been expected to make its female protagonists hyper-aware of their bodies in the form of traditional gender roles for the benefit of a cis, heteronormative, North Indian Hindu male audience. Obviously the harrowing majority of filmmakers from parallel cinema to the so-called mainstream are male and their own sexist expectations of women have been translated into the narratives of their films along with the way they frame their female protagonists, never affording viewers with the realities (or criticisms) of women and their occupancy of private/domestic space. 

The women in these films however, are able to lie faceless and thoughtless in crumpled sarees and nightgowns, no male gaze to bind their bodies to a decreed acceptable amount of space. They spill out from the frame, with hidden limbs, faces, thoughts—a luxury the traditionally gendered frame would not dream of providing.

(via themindislimitless)

messy hair and bedrooms-


my life is organized chaos,
it’s mismatched socks and 
stringy morning hair.
my life is knowing exactly what
i want when i don’t exactly
want it.
it’s choosing take out over 
a home cooked meal because
at 8 pm, sometimes you’re just
too tired.
my life is a blur, i keep crisscrossing
the edges of it all-
i never liked to put things in rainbow
order, i kind of liked red next 
to blue 
and orange next to green.
i might have once believed that 
i could follow one narrow path
and lead a life i expected was
what everyone wanted,
but it didn’t take long for me to stray-
i like that i can’t quite figure
out what is going to happen next,
or who i am going to be
i am wrinkled linens and 
uneven eyeliner,
and i’m okay with it.
there is a certain flow in the midst
of all this madness 
and i’m just riding the wave,
i am a sloppy drunk
and a sloppier lover
and as long as you accept me
for me
i think you might just like
this hectic life i’m leading.

(via exhalingcatalysts)

I read a lot of heavy stuff pretty regularly but today I read about how Syrian mothers have to wed their daughters when they are still children because there is no security otherwise for the girls. I can’t stop crying.