Scheduling and Love

Dearest Disruptors,

We’ll be changing the blog to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday update schedule. As you probably know, this is an all-volunteer venture. That means we’ve got full-time jobs, other activist pursuits, hobbies, friends, family, and general life stuff to balance on top of our commitment to the blog. So we’re slowing down our posting schedule at least temporarily, while we look for new editors.

If you’d like to support us, here are some ways you can show us a little love:

1. Spread the word about our editor (writer) search

angela davis

Angela Davis was probably talking about something way more important than our blog in this picture, and you’ll be using a computer instead of megaphone, but the basic action is similar, right?

2. Write a guest post for us (seriously, please!)

maya angelou writing

Channel your inner Dr. Angelou!

3. Read our articles (check out the right hand side of the page for recent posts, top posts, and RSS/email options…or click here for a list of some of our favorites)

Anne of Green Gables reading "Anne of Green Gables." But instead of Anne of Green Gables it will be you. And instead of "Anne of Green Gables" it will be our blog.

Anne of Green Gables reading “Anne of Green Gables.” But instead of Anne of Green Gables it will be you. And instead of “Anne of Green Gables” it will be our blog.

4. Share our articles with your friends, family, and social media followers

Tell your friends!

Tell your friends! Alicia is probably telling Kalinda about a kickass post she read here the other day.

5. Follow us on facebook or twitter (and of course share/retweet when you see something you like!)

in my imagination, Cosima is retweeting us.

In my imagination, Cosima is retweeting us.

6. Comment on our articles

leslie says "ann, you're beautiful and you're organized" and ann smiles

Like this, but you’re Leslie and we’re Ann.

7. Be an awesome intersectional feminist in your daily life

Audre Lorde, after whom our blog is named, is a pretty good role model on this one.

Audre Lorde, after whom our blog is named, is a pretty good role model on this one.



NO- Part IV- Stud Shaming


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EDITOR’S NOTE: Disrupting Dinner Parties is intended as a space where discussion, even disagreement, lead to a fuller understanding of issues. Like all our posts, this article represents the opinion of its author, not of “DDP” as a monolithic entity. In fact, this post generated heated discussion among the editors, which you can see in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Long ago, when I first started dancing, my local scene was full of non-consensual touch*. Friends told me terrible stories of how they had been groped, grinded, ass-smacked, neck-nuzzled, or even licked non-consensually on the dance floor. I was shocked, but believed wholeheartedly. I had seen a fair share of these behaviors with my own two eyes; however, from outside the dance-partnership, I had no way of knowing whether it was consensual or not.

groping dancing

I can’t tell if she’s ok with that…

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Whose story is it anyway?


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A new friend and I were hanging out this past week, when we began talking about past romantic experiences. She asked about my recent ones, and I mentioned that I had dated a few people recently, but nothing serious. She told me a bit about hers, the subject changed to high school for some reason, and I joked that despite skipping class to make out with my boyfriend, my academic and professional future have turned out pretty well. “Ah ha!” She said. “You’ve been holding out on me. Who was this boyfriend?” I replied that at one point he had been my fiancé, and that we were together for several years. She didn’t ask why the relationship ended, and we went back to the conversation. At one point I joked, “so what’s your life story?” She replied that she didn’t think I could handle her life story, with a laugh that I recognized as masking pain.

I thought it was interesting, considering some of the things I’ve lived through, that I appeared to her as someone who couldn’t handle whatever was behind that laugh. I wondered what she would think if she heard my life story. Would she still think that I was someone who could not understand or empathize with her pain, or whatever it was that she meant when she said she thought I couldn’t handle it?  After her comment, I worried that telling her my story would feel like a competition – who had endured the most? Whose pain exceeded the other’s tolerance threshold? Who was more accustomed to fear, shame, or grief?

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The Post-Label Fallacy: Labels Matter



I am a femme genderqueer trans person. I am panromantic, I can feel romantic attraction to all genders, and bisexual – though not in the way you might think (mostly gynosexual and skoliosexual). I’m partnered but ethically non-monogamous. I’m an intersectional feminist. These identities are important to me; I’ve spent a lot of time discovering, agonizing over, and cultivating them. But navigating through the world I all too often hear people say “Why do people need so many labels?” “Why can’t we all just be people?” “How am I supposed to keep track of all this, it’s overly complicated.” and it’s no surprise that these people tend to overwhelmingly be cisgender heterosexual people.

And it’s to you that I speak now: it really isn’t entirely your fault, we’ve all been raised in the same white-cis-heteropatriarchy so your own labels have been normalized and thus are largely invisible to you. Also, like a good liberal person, you probably feel like being post-labels is somehow more inclusive or progressive. But I’m here to tell you that we’re not there yet, labels still matter for lots of reasons, and maybe always will.

The Doctor says so

The Doctor says so

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Content note: letter to a survivor of sexual assault

from one surviving ass black girl to another
I see you
my fist is up right next to yours

I want you to know
when this is all “over”
interviews are published
hashtags stop trending
investigations are closed
if it isn’t really over for you
that is ok

if you still see the photos in your dreams

if you still feel the eyes of the world
burning into the back of your head

if your life gets too quiet and
you still hear painful words hurled echoing in your mind

if your heart ever churns out billows of rising shame
even though your head knows better

if you ever feel broken or angry or tired
even though you’ve been called every type of
brave and gracious and amazing

that is ok

from all the surviving ass black girls to you
I promise
our fists will still be up right next to yours




Constant vigilance! OR A Reflection of a Typical Weekend


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As a woman, I feel we must survey and analyze every situation that occurs in a public place, in order to determine the safety factor. You know, how safe it is for a woman to act herself and be comfortable without guarding her words, dress, actions or gestures in order not to be harassed, intruded upon or attacked. The categorization of possible risks in public situations will then determine how said woman should adapt her behavior, dress, words, etc. in order to minimize any negative contact. For me, I had a lot of time to reflect on this autopilot vigilance this weekend when my best friend came to visit. Several incidents occurred that made me realize the pressure I feel to maintain a safety bubble, and how much it weighed on my decisions. It also made me want to do something about it.

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My Body Is Not a Problem


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So I’ve been feeling sluggish and achey today, craving some of that juicy sweaty endorphin-y exercise goodness. Preferably involving some kind of dance, but I’m not terribly picky as long as it’s not running or marathon crunches. And so I’m sitting at work, bored and fantasizing about moving my body to a thumping rock beat, and I notice an ad for a workout place – right by my work! Oh, how exciting! Click click click!

. . . Oooh. Hang on. The picture’s kind of a red flag:

Not the actual picture. This company's website actually seems fine.

Not the actual picture for legal reasons. Fun fact, though: if you google “barre fitness” you actually get DOZENS of these creepy stepford workout pictures.

Creepily similar, perfectly coiffed women looking fierce-yet-feminine and *definitely not sweating* in their matching outfits? Not really my vibe, but I’ve heard it’s a good workout, so I’ll keep reading . . .

This workout will target problem areas like the back of the arms, thighs, seat and abs.”

Seriously? Seriously. Seriously??


My body is not a problem to be solved.

My body is a soft animal that loves sunlight, touch, and melted cheese. My body is my wisest teacher. My body works day and night to support me in whatever I decide to do. My body is me, and I am my body.

I am not a problem to be solved.

…. Continue reading

Transitioning, Access, and Privilege


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Today’s guest post is by Hex.

As a non-binary person who is just starting to physically transition, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way that process is valued by queer and allied communities. I’ve been out as trans for almost a year now. I’ve been using the same pronouns and presenting myself roughly in the same way for most of that time. About two months ago I started taking testosterone. Soon after starting I told an acquaintance about it and she immediately said “Oh, I have a friend who’s doing a project and wants to include a trans voice. Can I give him your name?” Of course, the tokenism at work here could be the subject of a whole post of its own, but the salient point is that I had been trans all along, but it was only after starting hormones that she thought to mention this. In fact, as people found out about my taking hormones – long before there were any actual effects – my preferred pronouns were used more consistently. I started getting requests to sit on panels or to lead trainings. In short, people became noticeably more respectful of my identity.

This is a problem I see happening over and over again in different communities. Despite rhetoric about self-identification being the most important thing, time and again I see hierarchies of who is “really” trans being constructed around who fits the dominant narrative of physical transition, mirroring our mainstream media’s obsession about the physical aspects of transition. The ones who are most respected are the ones who, like me, take medical steps to change their bodies. This ignores the fact that many people who are as legitimately trans as me choose not to or are unable to access these things.

I couldn't come up with a picture so here is a cat wearing a backpack. You're welcome.

I couldn’t come up with a picture so here is a cat wearing a backpack. You’re welcome.

There are a lot of reasons why people don’t take hormones or get surgery. Continue reading

Police Brutality


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I had just met up with my girlfriend after a hot day of dog walking in swampy Washington DC, and we were going to grab ice cream. “Shall we pay homage to our childhoods with Baskin Robbins or get gelato at Eastern Market?” she asked, as we were inching along in rush hour traffic on Florida.  Before I could answer, I caught movement out of the driver’s side window–two policemen were walking purposefully towards a black woman. That kind of situation makes me really nervous, so I kept watching. I watched her try to push them away, then the car moved forward. While I was wondering whether I should ask my girlfriend to turn around, she glanced in the rear view mirror. “They’re really roughing her up.” That decided it for me. I asked her to turn around.

I was so anxious to get back that I tried to jump out of the car before it had even stopped. I ran towards the scene, and at first I stopped on a stoop nearby to watch, hoping my presence would deter the cops from further unnecessary roughness. There were 8-10 people watching the scene as well but they were all black and I got the sense they didn’t want to get in between the aggressive cops and this woman. By now the woman was on her knees, in distress, handcuffed and clearly ill. She was drooling but unable to wipe her face because she was restrained, and it was hot in the sun and she was crying for water. The policemen weren’t manhandling her anymore, but they weren’t helping her or speaking to her kindly. There were bleeding wounds on her forehead that looked fresh. After a few minutes I couldn’t take it, and I ran across the street to a liquor store, where the clerks were watching the scene unfold out of the window. When the clerk who was ringing me up found out why I wanted the bottle of water and napkins he gave them to me for free. As my back was turned I heard the female clerk say (as she watched out the window) “Oh, the hair!” I ran back as fast as I could, concerned that she was now on the ground.

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What We’re Reading: ‘MERICA EDITION

Happy 4th, Disruptors!

Check out the juicy goodness that we’ve been reading these past few weeks! As always, if you have links you’re looking at, share away!

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