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BW Busy Day

Seems like I’ve been nothing but busy. Suxxors.

So here’s two kitties boppin their heads in tune

And an episode of one of my favorite Korean shows, Running Man. I found this one on SBS FunE (I think they have Running Man on pretty much all day, every-freakin-day. I have rarely seen a different show on that channel short of entertainment news shows but a complete marathon of Running Man*). It has English subtitles but as this show is on Korean television, it’s in all Korean.

 

*Punz!

How does one go about reading their own future or getting their future read for real free?
- Austin

Learning to do divination is just a means of research for what type of divination you want to do. There are so many of forms of divination from tarot to reading flames to scrutinizing how the wind blows. That’s up to you to decide how you want to go about which form you want to pursue and then research about it (especially if it is lesser known) to see how it works. Divination is just a tool, like a tv remote. You  can easily get up and turn on a tv, change channels, manage the volume and settings, but a remote aids you to do the  same with but without having to move. In some respects, divination makes things easier because there’s something for your intuition to process what it is trying to say through. And notice I never said once about how “you have to believe in it,” because that’s crap. If it works, it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. 

A free reading done here on Black Witch only happens during Samhain/Halloween and only through the sweepstakes “Samhain Pickers” where a reader has to submit a ticket (email) and they have to be one of the three winners picked. Otherwise, all readings are paid readings and those are only when I feel like doing mass divination (which isn’t often (mainly when I’m encountering financial strife (not as common as prior, thankfully) or someone makes a 20″ tall statue of Storm.) I suppose you can bump around on Tumblr but you may not find as many free readings (and make sure they’re free, if they ask for money during any point of the process, it isn’t free) as paid ones.

And that’s all the Ask Black Witch for today! This was posted from the WordPress app so it shows up odd, that’s why and make sure to inform me so I correct it later.

The Arts!: MisSpelled

The Arts! will be short this month but I present to you, MisSpelled!

So a new online show is on the interwebs. It’s called MisSpelled and I really think it is a great show. Here is the first episode!

Much better than the dvd some random Pagan tried to shill to me years back with absolutely no diversity whatsoever.

What I like about MisSpelled is that it is an all-woman cast and mainly folks of pigment*. Not to mention, the body types are really refreshing to see, it’s nice to not see stick thin people running around for once. I wonder if they’ll bring on darker skinned characters but I also get it would be unfair to put all the bulk of pretty much everything on them since they’re just one group of creators. (If you make diverse Pagan media (As in, there are less than 2 White people in your media and they are only minor characters (The minor-est) or completely secondary) please throw it in my inbox via my “Contact Me” page)  I still would like darker skinned characters to show a wide diversity of skin tones, especially if the dark skinned person isn’t an evil character.

It’s a great show, I strongly recommend it. So far it makes the characters fleshed out and doesn’t hinge their show’s plot on a guy (with exception to the dead dude in the second episode – also it would be great to see some more diverse guys. The White boyfriend thing gets used eeeeeevvvvvveeeerrrrryyyyyywwwwwhhhhhheeeerrrreeee. How about Native American guy? A Latin guy? An Asian guy? A Black guy?). This all seems great, MisSpelled appears to be a very promising show. I usually don’t keep track of webshows but this seems to be worth looking into. I expect this show will improve itself and deliver on it’s very promising nature however the creators sees fit.

Pretty much, this is Pagan media that I want to see and feature. It’s widely diverse, actually has an all woman cast, even the body types are diverse. There is seriously no excuse besides bigotry in itself, regardless of whether it is subconscious or not, to not have a diverse cast or to have a diverse depiction of Witches. So watch the show, interact with the creators, check them out here:

Youtube

Tumblr

Twitter

Instagram

Also, next week is Ask Black Witch! Send in questions! Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Send them in!

*Trying to phase out “minority” and I don’t really like “Person/People of Color” (altho, commonly used), so I’m going for “Person/People of Pigment” for a try.

Batter Up

So, it’s been tough trying to post new stuff with all that’s been happening as of recently. I honestly was working on a new post about frost magick (sorry everyone who’ve been waiting for magick and spellwork posts, y’all going to have to wait more).

Frankly, I feel very frustrated. While what happened in Ferguson is really an everyday occurrence for being Black, it really is frustrating because these stories are really getting way too common. I mean, it’s always been like this, that you can’t really do anything around cops or other forms of authority without risking a bullet, but it’s getting really tiring. And while this is tiring, White allies make it worse.

Worse. Not better.

I have seen everywhere from Tumblr to Twitter to Facebook, White allies forever keeping silent about what is going on or continually bumping their gums about how it is a “human being” issue and not a Black issue. Brah, I’m getting so sick of that I can’t even see straight. Does empathy for specifically Black people bother you that much? Because I don’t know of a story when a White person have been shot by a cop, aggressive homeowner or random vigilante, completely unarmed/hands up/coming home from the store/needing help from a car accident. And these stories I reference are the ones that made it to media. There’s thousands more like them. A White person is automatically considered human before the gun is drawn, a Black person has to have a national debate on personhood even well after they’re dead.

Hell, being White while criminal gets you on the cover of the Rolling Stones magazine, taken alive to see a trial date, get to be talked about as “smart”, “bright”, “promising future”, “great grades”, “attractive but mentally ill”. It’s always mentally ill isn’t it, too? It’s never “terrorist”, “Mass murderer” or “thug”. It’s “mentally ill”, like the dude was normal during some point of history but then they went completely coo-coo.

Imagine if it were a Black cop that fatally shot a White kid. Man, that cop would have been saying goodbye to his career and hello to a jail cell if not an electric chair. Dude would have been demonized as a “thug”, a “ruthless cop”. There would have been “See? White people do experience racism” tv features everywhere. The kid shot would have been anglicized as a “good kid”, “great grades”, “promising life cut short”. And media wouldn’t go from “kid had no records” to “kid may have been involved in a strong arm robbery.”

And given the default human being in the West is a White person, White allies who pull the “Why aren’t we saying ‘human being’?” are actually saying “What about my feelings? Why is a Black person getting attention? It would be easier if we could have the option to imagine they were White.” If you want to say how race isn’t a factor in how you see people, why does it bother you when someone says they’re anything other than White? If you’re so colorblind, someone mentioning a Black person being harmed should be a non-issue because a Black person is a human being. No one is implying that a Black person and a human being aren’t the same thing…unless that’s really how the White ally feels deep down inside. Which, considering their actions, it wouldn’t be at all surprising. Just a bigot that simply tends to lean democrat.

Unless it’s about using Black life to further their own causes or to use as crude examples or as pawns for their own means because then they never avoid mentioning the fact someone is Black when it comes to that. It’s never “human being” then. Black is hyper emphasized like that’s all they notice. And as if that’s all we are.

Now it is fact that this issue is a Human Rights issue. That’s true. Black people should be able to have access to their basic human rights. Because they’re human beings. Thus, should be open to their human rights. White people, the ones who tout this erasure of race in favor of saying “human being”, don’t have to worry about their human rights being so much as dinged. No one is trying to take away their human rights. They still have access to better schools, food and resources, there’s no denying that.  They could bomb a marathon and wind up on Rolling Stones with a really appealing picture and entry. They could air out a movie theatre full of people and still get taken alive. Keep in mind, these are White folks doing very, very illegal things. Neither can say, “I’m innocent. I was just walking by.” Even Timothy McVeigh, who is solely responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, got better treatment than the innocent Black folks (men and women because despite Black girls are no safer) who have been gunned down or nearly murdered because of their skintone. It took them years to bake that guy and people were actually arguing that he shouldn’t be put to death because he’s a human being. What they meant was “He’s White, can’t possibly be that bad despite the glaring fact he’s a complete and total terrorist.” Innocent kid walking down the street? Totally fine to turn him into swiss cheese, even though he had his hands up. And to assassinate his character now that he’s dead and therefore can’t speak for himself, thus all the robbery accusations now.

The police are going to get dissolved in Ferguson. That’s not a good thing if you’re Black because your oppression just got upgraded from “cop” to “National Guard”. Before some White ally goes “But, what about Little Rock Nine?” What about how that was a rare thing (that’s why it was considered remarkable) because usually the National Guard gets summoned to do what the police can’t in weapons, manpower and might. And when it comes to race problems, that means folks are gonna be leaving protests in body bags. And it’s tiring to hear “White people live in Ferguson, too,” because they’re not targeted. At all. Unless they decide to march with Black protesters, no officer will look at them twice. Hey, they could march with Black protesters and the police will just filter past them to get to the Black people, even if it is the White person that is throwing Molotov cocktails and looting. I’m almost certain if one was too scared to walk off their porch because of the firefights, an officer would escort them to wherever they gotta go. They’re not in danger. It still is a race issue, no need to worry about the less-than-30% of the people who live there. How about the 70% who are acutely targeted? Now is not the time to go “Won’t someone please think of the White people?” because trust us, we’re thinking about you. About how you’re killing us, dismissing us, making it worse for us and still trying to make it about yourselves. Stop being so selfish because no White person is in danger. They got the National Guard protecting them whether they want it or not.

If White allies want to do something, how about not make it about them and their feelings? How about not attempting to erase the racial overtone of this situation as if it doesn’t matter? How about not supporting other White allies who say this type of stuff and refuse to listen to the Black people in your life, even if the only Black person you know of is a musician you follow on Twitter? How about noticing that Black person already means “human being” so you don’t have to mention the latter (unless you don’t see us as one)? How about not trying to use this moment to live out your dystopian dreams because this is not a video game or a movie? How about just treating us like people instead of things to make yourself look better?

White allies forever wanna say they’ll defend us, they just never had a moment to put that desire to functional use. Well, here is that shining moment to prove you’re not a lying, two faced, selfish, cold hearted and wildly bigoted, sack-of-crap yuppie you constantly depict yourself as. Time to see how much you’re really being honest about how you stand up for what is right, to always do the right thing. Time to step up to the plate and finally batter up.

Let’s see how fast you strike out.

Self-Bound

So, I had to deal with a recent encounter of intra-race policing. In the middle of having a conversation with someone about rock music, a completely different person swooped into the conversation and completely interjected with “Are you Black?” We’re all in the same room, I’m not obscured annnnnnnnnd that was a really random comment when the subject was just on “Oh, so you like this band? Have you heard of this other band?” Ah, Black folks telling me how to be Black because they know near nothing at all. I immediately and snarkly responded “Uhhhh, I’m related to Marcus Garvey and my hair is in afro-puffs so maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe?”

The person responded “Who he?”

Are you freaking kidding me?

How is it this person wanted to police my Blackness because I listened to a Black created (albeit White washed) genre but she don’t even know who Marcus Garvey is. Dude, if you know less Black history than a White person, that’s when you put away your race police badge and keep to yourself. Of course, as with my experiences of dealing with dimwitted people, the person decided to keep talking. Despite the fact there are members of the Tea Party and hipsters more informed on Black history than her, person continues, “I hear you talk and you don’t sound like a Black person.”

If the person was smarter, the word they probably was looking for was “mushmouth”. I don’t sound like I dropped in straight from a minstrel show. Or “hoodrat”. Come on, I can speak 5 languages – excluding Latin – and have an English degree. Yah, I probably wouldn’t sound like an illiterate person. Reading books, particularly books with actual sustenance and even cultural value, can do that to the brain, even while Black. I know, shocker, right? It’s – it’s almost like I’m a multi-faceted person.

Let’s not even get into the fact this was when Shades of Ritual was coming out soooooo it isn’t exactly like I don’t spill ink on the subject of race to have some lesser informed bumpkin attempt to check me on something they themselves know way too little about. Thaaaaat irks me because it means all the stuff I say, the theories and explanations I implement, all that means, like, nada because being informed and simply different – not doing anything wrong like doing drugs or harming people – just being different, or simply considered different, apparently equates to “Whiteness”. Basically, when these folks think they are somehow fighting Whiteness by saying ostracizing things like “You sound White” or “How come you don’t talk like you Black?” (read: why do you sound literate? We’re supposed to be allergic to education.”), they’re actually upholding Whiteness through self-oppression and spreading that self-oppression around like SARS to others.

Then here came the kicker: “I’m not racist, I love White people, but just by listening to you , you don’t sound Black. It’s just -“

I’mma let you fill in the gap.

This person barged into a random conversation about music to call my racial identity into question as if that’s totally normal and then wants to go “I’m not racist.” Dude should have completed the sentence with “I just don’t like seeing Black people act like individuals with lives of their own. It bothers me because a White person hasn’t signed off on whether we can have access to it. That’s really important, ’cause how we know we Black without a White person to measure against as the yard stick?”

That’s upholding Whiteness, whether they like it or not. If you’re Black and hearing about a Black parasailer bothers you because “Black people don’t do that, we’re terrified of water”, that means you’re upholding Whiteness by saying that a) This Black person is not Black at all because only White people can have fun and do daring things, everyone else has to settle for the usual “crappy life of the Negro” narrative where it is filled with just about nothing fun but there’s an awful lot of stress so here you’re already ostracizing a person from their own culture just for following their own passions and b) This  person is an outsider because they’re too different, therefore somehow “not Black”.

Remember, Blackness isn’t theatre. You can be Black while astronaut, astronomer, parasailer, skateboarder, rock climber, aircraft trike pilot, whatever. You don’t magically turn White because you didn’t live in the projects, got a good education, got a job you actually like or listen to a Black created genre of music such as rock or blues or jazz (or basically nearly every genre but classical and polka). You’re still a Black person. Skin still dark. Nose still wide. You didn’t magically change into a White person because of your individual interests. Folks tend to forget that. That’s why I snarked to the person who asked me the really stupid question, “Oh man, I forgot I was Black. Lemme go rob somebody to redeem my Blackness. Totally forgot.”

That kinda made the person quiet for a minute. They went, “Not all Black people rob and are like that.”

“You said I wasn’t Black enough, I guess that’s what Blackness was. Thieving and acting like you came out of Birth of a Nation” Yes, this chick most likely didn’t know what Birth of a Nation was but who cares? Probably would have treated as a life guide of how to exist while Black whenever BET has slow days.

Look, if you don’t question someone’s racial identity of whether or not they’re Black when they’re joining gangs, committing crimes, living on a suffering wage or listen to gangsta rap but you do when they’re not, that means you equate Blackness with eternal hardship and to super limiting genres which further regurgitate those hardships – again, which upholds Whiteness because hey, why wait for a White person or institution to oppress you when you’ll do it yourself? What convenience. That way they don’t have to work or risk looking criminal because you did it all to yourself. Self-oppression/internalized racism does not fare well because it causes just as much damage as expressed racism – if not more since it is coming from the exact group you’re part of. You’ll hear such popular hits such as “You must think you White”, “Why are you such an Oreo?”, “You know Black folks don’t do [whatever it is that you're doing]“. As aforementioned, these folks think they’re protecting a really monolithic and (usually toxic) idea of Black culture but man, they’re upholding Whiteness like there’s a trophy to get out of it because the Black culture they’re thinking of – that one is actually framed through the lens of Whiteness.

Whenever I get the “You don’t sound/act/look/think Black,” it’s interesting what folks count as “Black” and what is counted as “White”. It’s like a really screwed up game of Green Glass Door:

  • Talking standard English or simply without a hood draw to your words = White. This mean you could be a Black person that was born and raised in England and because you have a British accent, you are somehow “Not Black” on the grounds of “Black people don’t talk like that.”
  • Liking anything that isn’t in the narrow confines of what is considered Black culture today = White. Apparently, if you like rock – even if all the bands you listen to have all Black members  and the lone fact that rock was created by Black musicians – or anything that isn’t hip hop, gospel, R&B and/or Soul, somehow that means you’re not Black anymore.
  • Not Christian? = Brainwashed by White folks to think that you’re White. Despite the pretty glaring fact that Christianity itself in the US was only “accepted” by Black folks because it was forced on to us as a psychological tactic to break all bonds and ties to identity and a sense of self so to make a “better” slave. (This doesn’t mean that Black Christians are slaves to a mentality but it would really help if they understood how they historically came upon the faith they have.) According to my experience, even simply praying or acknowledging African deities made you “White”. Whiiiiiiiiich doesn’t make sense, especially considering historical context.
  • Dress in raver clothes? Like punk? Prefer to have glow in the dark dreads in every color possible to glow in the daytime and nighttime? White, White and White. And you can forget that whole “Black carefree girl” thing, it doesn’t include Black girls in alternative cultures such as Rivethead, Cyberpunk, Goth or even Lolita.

It’s really frustrating and that frustration can be ever so apparent. There are Black kids in alternative cultures or simply with unique interests to them who want nothing to do with mainstream Black culture because they pretty much got pushed out by all the “Not Black Enough” chiding they heard everywhere from Black people. That alone can make people internalize self-disdain, racism and even make someone engage in dangerous acts such as skin bleaching because they’re so convinced that what they’re seeing is all Black culture has to offer and what they’re getting. In making a choice backed by all the ostracizing, they rather not be associated with all that, even if it means using caustic chemicals on themselves. That’s a problem.

Race policing should be used for people to get accustomed to seeing a Black person not simply be a stereotype or to expand their interests outside the super-enforced monolithic depiction of Black culture. It shouldn’t be used as a method to convince people out of improving themselves or exploring the varied interests they may have because that doesn’t protect Black culture from being further infected with Whiteness, it actually reinforces Whiteness because what is usually sided with what is “Black” and what is usually sided with “White” is nearly night and day. And Blackness is constantly aligned with negative traits and aspects, even if those traits and aspects aren’t true.

Basically, it really annoys (practically infuriates) me to deal with Black folks being more prejudiced about Black people doing things than White folks are. Nothing good comes out of the mentality. At all. Being Black is not a performance where if you stop, it goes away. It’s part of who you are, no matter what.

So seriously, wipe off the burnt cork, it really isn’t necessary.

Not Always Right

First and foremost, check out this podcast from Pagan Musings! I was apparently snark-tastic! And then get the book Shades of Ritual, I’m in it.

So there was a post on the Root a about three weeks ago titled “Street Harassment; What Men Can Learn”  and it was a doozer. At first, I automatically though a girl had penned the piece but as I read on, it was clearly a dude and one that didn’t really have a full grasp on this subject.

I responded to the piece via twitter to the writer, Jozen Cummings, who pens the Until I Get Married blog. This was my critique (compiled from various tweets):

“The piece started out okay with the listing (Tho #2 confused me b/c I thought that was said after sneezes). When you mentioned “considers himself a gentleman”, I thought the piece would go the Fedora route. It sorta didn’t so yay to that. However, women more focused on the fact we’re being bothered like our time and space is not ours, not whether or not a dude has game. In ref. to dudes going “But Idris Elba!”/”It’s not creepy when he’s handsome”, lemme link to Dr. Nerdlove before con’t on. Here it is: “Creepy Behavior and the Difference Between ‘Attractive’ and ‘Attracted'” Highly recommended read doctornerdlove.com/2012/09/creepy…. Meaning if Elba started acting like Robin Thicke with a side of Too Short, his beauty won’t save him from the “creeper” label. Moving on, if women have told you that your approach puts them off, it means you’ve wound up in the muddy area of street harassment. Granted, you kinda acknowledge this later on in the piece so huzzah for some self awareness but still, can’t say “Nev’ happen to me”. You put down some good examples of street harassment responses but you had an opportunity to discuss enforced notions of masculinity. That would have been nifty because, no, guys don’t have to be the aggressor, it’s taught. Women do it less because societal blowback. You mention “I also know what it means to be a misogynist or a male chauvinist” but it might be in a detached sense. Kinda like how folks called out on their racism goes “I’m not racist! I love [group they just insulted]” b/c they only know the idea. It can take forms in subvert and overt ways. So you can still say “I’m not a misogynist” & then do something misogynist. There’s various forms of street harassment but no hard or soft version. A little/a lot, yea but not exactly soft/hard. I agree men should be part of the convo because it’s their problem but you gotta remind guys to not take the convo *over*. Because we already have guys like that, they’re called MRA’s. It has to be stressed that convo needs dudes to *listen* more than say[…] Pickin up where I left off, it’s great you mentioned men should be in convo, just stress that they gotta listen too. It’s a big issue and that means dismantling ideas about masculinity (and esp. hypermasculinity) so there’s a lot for dudes to learn. Thompkins is right in that just like a White person can’t tell us what is racist, a guy can’t tell a woman what should be offensive. Using “stop & frisk” as comparison is actually really good, I often employ the idea myself in teaching why harassing others is wrong. For “I laugh at the mens attempts….” Brah, that’s a super WTF right there because as a woman, it lightens the problem. By laughing, it makes the woman feel helpless because instead of anyone stepping in, it’s like they’re watching a joke unfold. To be brief, it’s humiliating for the woman and the harasser learns nothing, he’s gonna do it again. It would be smarter to just go, “Hey, man, leave her alone. She ain’t trying to talk to you.” So, to the woman, you don’t look like you side with the harasser. It’s a bit of a cultural enabling of “It’s alright. It’s bad but hey, her woe is my comedy!” It’s also good to tell guys to get into the habit of telling harassing dudes off because it’s creates a safer environment [b]ut also remind dudes they don’t deserve special cookies for just being a decent human being. Nice Guy syndrome is just as bad. For “Is it offensive for women to label as street harassment every unwelcome but respectful attempt at engagement?” Nope b/c there is a difference between “actually respectful” & “unwelcome but respectful”. The latter ain’t respectful at all b/c what is respected? Not the time for the woman or her right to privacy in public spaces. (If it is unwelcomed, it’s unwelcomed. Like telemarketers). Also, what is/isn’t offensive to women isn’t that much of a mystery. Listening can clue one in on “what to say, what not to say”. And for the NPR bit, I think it is a bit mangled up she is trying to end cat-calling because it is bad. Talking to random ppl is ok [b]ut harassing, making sexist comments, gestures and physically attacking folks (mostly women) is not. Basically, there is a way to talk to women & it’s fine as long as the woman is still spoken to like she’s human and not an object. to be acted upon. Which is the point of street harassment. Treating women like objects to be acted upon, that’s bad. Talking to women like they’re regular people, that’s perfectly fine and dandy. Preferable, even. The ending was derpy. There is *already* a solid consensus of what street harassment is. There’s no mystery, trust me. At all. And that’s my feedback. It was a billion and three tweets, yeah, but I tried to keep it as brief as possible.”

Yeah, I probably should have sent an email. Billion and three tweets indeed and I truly was trying to be brief.

It probably was the sheer the amount of tweets (hey, he said it was cool to give feedback) but yeah, dude never responded. I’m not gonna say I didn’t expect that because I kinda did. I have spent years discussing and dissecting gender issues and one thing I know about dude participation, unless it’s a pat on the back, they’re not keen on being bothered with it. At least he didn’t pull a Talib Kweli and say some misogynist stuff but when called out on it, start declaring himself an ally of women and thus should be excused from all gender-interaction criticism because he’s on the side of women… despite saying stuff which robs them of agency.  At least the dude didn’t quote Too $hort, who gave out a rape manual passed off as “How to express to a girl you like her” (Guys, it’s should be renamed “How to get arrested and labeled a “sex offender” for the rest of your life”). At least he didn’t say Robin Thicke was just expressing love to women (despite getting divorced by one because of those expressions and how he’s acted on those expressions). So yeah, this piece could have been worse. But the piece still wasn’t good, it just could have been worse but still doesn’t excuse how crappy it actually was.

Thing is, when it comes to guys talking about gender issues – especially when it is something like Street Harassment where they think it is perfectly fine and everyone else is being sour grapes – they tend to be more miss than hit. Apparently the idea of women’s agency to wear what they want and that it doesn’t imply consent to bother them in any way, shape or form is lost on them buuuuuut the second someone mention hoodies as police-magnets, here comes an uproar of “We’re not thugs because of our clothes! Don’t tread on us!” even though the ideas are pretty much borne from the same concept (clothes does not equate consent to be controlled/harmed by others, particularly privileged groups). I agree guys need to talk to each other to keep Street Harassment from breeding by basically snuffing it at the source but Cummings seems to either not know or conveniently forgot that when privileged folks (male privilege, here) get together to talk about their issue with the problem, it turns from a potentially useful forum to an echo chamber of “why are we the bad guys?” Which is pretty much how MRA’s got started.

I understand The Root was trying to bring in a guy’s voice on the matter but dude, this guy was an awful choice. Was Deep Cotton busy?* The guy needs to be more informed about Street Harassment, why it is a problem, what actually constitutes it, the culture behind it and why. There is so much out there about the subject. Dude, if he wanted a dude’s perspective because he clearly had selective hearing with women anytime he says “What women consider street harassment is a mystery”, that exists too. Hence why I linked Dr. Nerdlove’s piece “Creepy Behavior and the Difference Between ‘Attractive’ and ‘Attracted” because he nails it in text form. If he wants to hear it from someone else who is also Black and still a guy. There’s The 1Janitor’s vid that breaks it down as well:

One on “Nice Guys”

And one on Street Harassment called “Dudes, Stop Being Creeps. Seriously.”

And another called “Sexualization vs. Objectification”

Brah, there’s a well-made, completely intricate and informative comic from Robot Hugs in case holmes needs a cartoon strip to further explain to him how this stuff works and why it is toxic.

What else is needed? Sock puppets and animation?

Thankfully, The Root seemed to go, “Yooooooooooo, this was not at all what we expected” and found some dude who had some sense. Aaron Randle penned a piece titled “Dear Men: It’s Not Hip Hop’s Body, It’s Nicki Minaj’s Body”. He understood slut-shaming perfectly and right to personal agency perfectly. It wasn’t a “I’m a guy therefore I will treat Minaj’s body like I own it but guys shouldn’t do that [tho we will, because we’re guys and wanna uphold the ‘men are animals’ stereotype… until it gets us murdered by neighborhood watchmen and cops, then we don’t like it]” piece. The dude actually understood his subject matter and exactly why it was problematic. If Cummings wrote like that, I wouldn’t have given my whole diatribe. It does take guys help to dismantle sexism but they gotta know what they’re doing first. Randle clearly shows he knows his kit, there need to be more dude-penned pieces like his.

*Inb4 fandroid whinging: While Deep Cotton are fantastic musicians who’s music I highly and strongly recommend, they showed with their initial music video and the sock puppet characters, the Scum Warriors, that they are waaaaaaaaaay out their league when it comes to talking about gender issues. They’re musicians, not activists. That was excruciatingly crystal clear when they butchered a Radical Feminist manifesto and morphed it into a male power fantasy. I still recommend their music immensely because it is great but that video should have never happened. Evar. I still think they should have just lengthened out what they did in the Sonos commercial (everyone at Wondaland Arts Society was just jamming and having fun to the song) and all would have been good in the world.

Tonight, I’ll be on Pagan Musings podcast in promotion of the new Shades of Ritual book. Come and join me or simply listen in. It starts at 7 PM CST (8PM EST)

And remember, 9 slots are still open for the Summer Divination Special. It ends on Aug 1st (this Friday).

Dunno why but I feel like doing divination. Usually if folks want divination from me, they have to wait for Halloween/Samhain to come around for Samhain Pickers giveaway to start and then be randomly picked (if picked at all, I only pick three people). Now, the only difference between that and this is that the divination won on Samhain Pickers is totally free. This comes with a price list and here are the rates:

- Cartomancy (playing card divination) : $5

- Tarot: $7

- Natal Charts: $20 (5 pg)

- Dream Interpretation: $4

Want in? Use this handy dandy contact form and remember to fill in your paypal address so I can invoice properly. Remember, there are ten slots and they stay open until Aug. 1.

When someone makes a purchase, a slot will say “Filled” so everyone can keep track of what availability is left.

Filled!

2 Empty

3 Empty

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5 Empty

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Interested? Fill out the contact sheet below!

What’s your question?: do you practice black magic? is it evil? would my soul be like damed if I started…. do I have to like sell my soul to satain? ino these questions sound blunt and stupid but I really no nothing about black magic only white… it jst kinder seems… uno… pointless to me

- Katie M.

Everyone, this is what a dumb question looks like. Remember, I’m a Black person that happens to practice magick. A little bit of reading would have done this person plenty good. Or just looking at my picture on my About Me page. And so would some better spelling and grammar skills.

Sell your soul to “satain”. It almost looks like you wrote “satin” there. Which would be then very odd if you sold your soul to a fabric. It keeps hair from breaking when you sleep and has many other uses besides that but it isn’t “sell your soul” worthy.

At least this person had the self-awareness to know that the question indeed sounds blunt and stupid. I don’t practice the left hand path, everyone. How many times do I have to say that? To practice any sort of magick, it is important to at least have reading comprehension skills. At least strong enough to tell the difference between a Black person and a person that practices black (read: left hand path) magick.

im Leshelle work for me and i will work for you prove to me that you work so that we can keep contact because i like you, prove to me that you work please come though for me alright i just want a handsome spanish man to be my sex partner to just go steady with sex and i want to act permantly like a rich womam.

basicaly i need to have sex.
my birthday is 0*-0*-19**

- Leshelle

Are you serious? Are you really freakin serious? What is with people wanting me to prove my worth to them and they couldn’t even write me a half way decently punctuated letter? And how vain could this person be? Vain, selfish and petty beyond belief. And thirsty like stuck on the planet mercury.

Look, if you need sex that bad, just buy a vibrator. Or find a sex worker. And you can already act like a rich person, you just have to dive deep into debt to keep up appearances. Seriously, don’t bother me. And I don’t need your birthday, that was redundant info.

That’s all of Ask Black Witch for this month! Catch me on Sunday between 5-7 PM PST on the Pagan Musings podcast! I and other writers are teaming up with Crystal Blanton to promote the new book Shades of Ritual and we want you to listen!

The Arts!: Period Tracker, Hello Flo, Everyday Sexism Project

Alright, this is The Arts!

Period Tracker
For those who think even the faintest discussion of menstruation is somehow disgusting or revolting, this is probably not the post for you. Or site.

Alright for those who have to deal with this totally natural (yet annoying, painful and aggravating) occurrence, it’s really useful to keep track of when it will be coming around so you don’t get caught off guard. This tracker is fantastic because it is very low tech and low maintenance. Not to mention, there is a discrete counter that you can put on your mobile device’s home screen for easier tracking as it just gives off a number which counts down to zero and that’s it.

period tracker1

You can have the app do more, however. It can inform you with pop up notification that you’re close or on your expected first day. Also you can fill out a little chart that helps you track your symptoms such as food cravings, fatigue, cramps, nausea, and acne. You can also track your moods, temperature, weight and pills (if you take medication regularly). Also, you can add notes if you need to and view your period log to spot any trends that goes into predicting your next cycle. In addition, it will mark ovulation and fertility on the app’s calendar and you can also keep track of when you’ve been intimate since all these things affect menstruation. There is also an “abstinence mode” setting, which removes the ovulation and intimate notifications. I think this is nice that the app makers tried to be as all inclusive as possible.

period tracker2

 

If you’re late, it shows a negative number. And remember, for all this to work, you have to actually use the app. If you want accurate foretelling of your next period, you’re going to have to inform the app of when you’re on and when you’re off. It will predict a end date as well but if you know or notice your period is longer or shorter, you can put in that information.

This app is very much no fuss and it’s free to use – except if you want to upgrade to deluxe, which gives you various skins, super detailed charts and graphs, pregnancy mode, and fertility notes. You can back up your information in the free version but also you can port the information in the deluxe version ($1.99).

Android

Apple

Hello Flo
This is a fantastic care package, especially for girls who are just starting to get their periods and are still a little too squicked out going to the store or asking for pads or tampons or have limited access. There’s even something for girls who are going to camp and even new mothers going through postpartum.

This care package has pads and tampons (or you could choose all pads or all tampons) and it also includes panty liners, snacks and treats like cute lip balm and hair ties.

The prices aren’t too bad, they vary for different packages. For example, the Period Starter Kit is $29.95 and in the kit is a Get Ready guide for girls and a version for parents, a box of Radiant Infinity Always pads (I highly recommend them, they’re the best! Anything Infinity Always is fantastic!), a box of Dailies liners, canvas pouch for carrying supplies, a bracelet and surprise gifts and goodies that help make the period a little easier. It doesn’t state if it has anything for cramps like heating pads (they possibly can’t send out pain killers like Midol for sensible legal reasons). However, this is great for those who are soon to be starting on their period or will be in places where period products are not easily accessible. (If you are in a place where period products are not accessible but have the kit yet are still dealing with cramps, I suggest trying to bum some advil or motrin from someone with the excuse of having a headache).

Website

Everyday Sexism Project
I learned of this site through the Chvches’ post in the Guardian. The lead vocalist of Chvrches, Lauren Mayberry, wrote a piece titled “I Will Not Accept Online Misogyny”,which she explains the sexism that she has experienced while being in a band. The part that is annoying is how frequent this is from women musicians, they almost all say the same thing and as per usual, they’re met with a “Meh, probably not a big deal. It couldn’t happen here.” The Everyday Sexism Project contains submissions from countless women who have encountered sexism in all forms of everyday walking life.

And folks, if you’re getting tired of hearing me talk about this, imagine how I feel living through it. Check out the site here.

And that’s all for The Arts! for this month. Next is Ask Black Witch. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Send them in!

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