Working on a statement of goals/essay for this MFA application. Don't know how to say everything I want in ONE page. Don't know how to transition from one topic to another without sounding stupid. Don't know if I can get away with making the font size smaller.
I’m never getting in.
Plus my boss at my internship forgot to write me a recommendation letter even though I asked like a month and a half ago, and he sees me like twice a week.
“i wanted to write a poem that rhymes, but the revolution doesn’t lend itself to be-bopping…so i thought again and it occurred to me maybe i shouldn’t write at all, but clean my gun and check my kerosene supply. perhaps these are not poetic times at all.”—nikki giovanni (via negrosunshine)
Yeah, every family should be able to afford it… but after 7 years at a state college, and with two little brothers who have both been accepted to college (but one dropped out to become a Marine), and a few years experience teaching poetry at a vocational High School, I feel qualified to say that not everyone wants or needs to go to college. We should be able to afford it (just like we should all be able to feed and clothe our children), but no one should feel like college is the only option. We should have more vocational programs, make apprenticeships popular again, and stop having so much war. Then your options out of HS could be: serve your country and get some training in law enforcement or security, go to college, or train in a career that doesn’t require book knowledge… all without incurring huge debt.
the book i’m reading now when i need a break from the internets and a good dose of magical realism caribbean style. don’t know it, get on it.
At eighteen, Soledad couldn’t get away fast enough from her contentious family with their endless tragedies and petty fights. Two years later, she’s an art student at Cooper Union with a gallery job and a hip East Village walk-up. But when Tía Gorda calls with the news that Soledad’s mother has lapsed into an emotional coma, she insists that Soledad’s return is the only cure. Fighting the memories of open hydrants, leering men, and slick-skinned teen girls with raunchy mouths and snapping gum, Soledad moves home to West 164th Street. As she tries to tame her cousin Flaca’s raucous behavior and to resist falling for Richie — a soulful, intense man from the neighborhood — she also faces the greatest challenge of her life: confronting the ghosts from her mother’s past and salvaging their damaged relationship.
Evocative and wise, Soledad is a wondrous story of culture and chaos, family and integrity, myth and mysticism, from a Latina literary light.
About the Author
Angie Cruz was born and raised in the Washington Heights section of New York City. She is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton and received her MFA from New York University. Her fiction and activist work have earned her the New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award, and the Bronx Writers’ Center Van Lier Literary Fellowship. Cruz lives in New York City. She is the author of Soledad.
Congrats to the US for having invaded a poor, third world country in the name of destroying the Taliban, only to leave the country with its people even worse off and the Taliban stronger than ever, and Pakistan on the verge of disaster.
PAKISTAN: Violence, Death Stalk Child Domestic Help
Mohammad Ramzan, 18, reminisced, his voice steeped in sadness.
Eldest among six siblings, Ramzan is still coming to terms with the murder of his 11-year-old brother, Shan Ali, who worked as a child domestic worker in a posh locality in the national capital, Islamabad.
Ali was allegedly strangled by his employer, Atiya Al Hussain, on Jan. 5, for neglecting her child.
She and her husband, Mudassar Abbas, told police that Ali had committed suicide, though the autopsy suggested the boy had been strangled to death.
“The woman has since confessed that Ali neglected her seven-month-old son while she was trying to catch up on her sleep and had, in a fit of anger, strangled him,” Ramzan told IPS over phone from Islamabad, where he works as a security guard in an office.
Many wealthy households employ children, some even as young as six, a practice not prohibited by law in Pakistan.
Because of the invisible nature of this issue and the difficulty in accessing domestic child workers, no recent nationwide study exists. In 2003, UNICEF reported that eight million children, under 14 years of age, were engaged as labourers in brick kilns, carpet weaving units, agriculture, small industries, and in homes.
An International Labour Organisation (ILO) report in 2004 estimated that around 264,000 children were engaged in domestic labour in Pakistan.
Child domestic workers can often been seen sitting meekly in the corner of expensive restaurants keeping an eye on a sleeping baby while the employer’s family enjoys a sumptuous dinner. They accompany rich kids to birthday parties, but do not take part in the celebrations.
“In Pakistani culture it was once considered an act of charity to employ poor children,” explained Samar Minallah, an anthropologist and a documentary filmmaker.
“In the past, there was a culture of entire families of employees being looked after by feudal lords. With time we saw this disappearing and the child was separated from his parents and employed in a nuclear family setup,” she said.
In many cases, said Minallah, the child is the only worker in the house. “I witnessed this in many posh urban areas,” Minallah told IPS. Recently she made a film ‘I have a dream’, on the dark reality of what she calls the “worst form of exploitation of children.”
“Many families prefer to employ young boys and girls because there are women and daughters in the house. They feel safer around them,” explained Ramzan, who does not find children working in whatever capacity of any consequence or even hazardous.
Sending children off to work in homes could mean additional income, says Anees Jillani, an advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan. “And then there is the additional incentive of having to feed one less mouth and more space in the room that they call home,” he explained.
Over the years, however, the Pakistani media have been consistently reporting on the abuse and violence that child domestic labour often suffer at the hands of their employers.
In the last two years, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), a non-governmental organisation, has documented 18 cases of extreme violence inflicted by employers, resulting in the death of 13 children and serious injuries to five.
To date not one employer has been charged as guilty. “The perpetrators usually buy off the poor parents in out-of court settlements,” said Jillani, who is also a child rights activist. Last year, a six-year-old Laiba’s body was found in a deserted place in the eastern city of Lahore, in Punjab. She was beaten to death by her employers for urinating on the kitchen floor.
Taqi Usman, 12, was clubbed to death by his employer for not feeding her dog. In most cases, domestic workers were penalised for being just who they were - mere children.
In 2010, when 12-year-old Shazia Masih, a maid in an advocate’s house died, the media coverage was intense. The paltry sum of 720 rupees (eight dollars) a month in return for washing dishes, mopping floors and cleaning toilets helped pay off her family’s debts.
There were 17 blunt injuries on Shazia’s forehead, cheeks and scalp and she died after the wounds inflicted on her by the employer became infected.
“Clearly the profiles of the employers suggest that this has nothing to do with literacy levels. It is a reflection of how far a society tolerates injustice and exploitation,” said Zarina Jillani, who works for SPARC.
Reacting to such cruel deaths, SPARC urged the government to take immediate steps to ban child domestic labour in line with laws that already prohibit children from being employed in hazardous industries.
SPARC’s Jillani considers domestic labour even more hazardous than factory work because of its “hidden nature, slavery like conditions, the complete control of the employer and the absence of a protective parent or adult and the potential for all kinds of abuse.”
While the country has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, advocate Jillani rues there is no legal validity for it in the country. “The ILO has lately introduced a domestic labour convention but Pakistan is yet to sign it,” he told IPS.
SPARC believes that the answer lies in extending existing labour laws to domestic work and making education compulsory.
Ramzan, who is completely unlettered like the rest of his siblings, says: “We don’t have the choice or the luxury to attend school. We all work, and the more hands there are, the easier it is to feed the many mouths.”
During the second Clinton term and the begining of Bush’s term before the invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban offered to eradicate all poppy production in return for international aid for the people of Afghanistan. The Americans refused.
I amended the title up there because it was actually incorrect. One in 5 women in this study reported rape. A far greater number reported sexual assault that did not meet the study’s definition of rape. Actual report is here if anyone wants to check it out. It should also be noted this was a telephone survey that only included people 18 and older. Given the high number of victims who are under the age of 18, we can’t view these stats as exhaustive. But they’re important to note anyway.
The study defined rape as “any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.” The numbers for men were 1 in 71 reporting rape.
The study also captured:
Sexual coercion (defined as ‘unwanted sexual penetration that occurs after a person is pressured in a nonphysical way’);
Unwanted sexual contact (defined as unwanted sexual experiences involving touch but not sexual penetration, such as being kissed in a sexual way, or having sexual body parts fondled or grabbed); and
Non-contact (defined as unwanted experiences that do not involve any touching or penetration, including someone exposing their sexual body parts, flashing, or masturbating in front of the victim, someone making a victim show his or her body parts, someone making a victim look at or participate in sexual photos or movies, or someone harassing the victim in a public place in a way that made the victim feel unsafe).
Once you consider what fell outside of the study’s definition of rape, nearly half of the women surveyed (44.6%) and 1 in 5 men (22.2%) reported experiencing sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.
And who are the rapists?
More than half of female victims of rape (51.1%) reported that at least one perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner. Four out of 10 of female victims (40.8%) reported being raped by an acquaintance. Approximately 1 in 8 female victims (12.5%) reported being raped by a family member, and 2.5% by a person in a position of authority. About 1 in 7 female victims (13.8%) reported being raped by a stranger.
So, that’s less than 14% of rapes being committed by strangers. And we blame survivors for their rapes… why exactly?
Please reblog this. Anyone in the Southern New Hampshire area, please keep a look out. Description is in the article. I don’t know what else to do. I’ve posted it on Facebook but I don’t have many people on there from the area. I’m honestly at my wit’s end about this. This should never have happened.
“I am a “sex-positive” Black woman, and I believe that the sexual empowerment of Black women is essential. Sex-positivity is a movement that celebrates consensual, safer sex and the multiple facets of human sexuality as natural, empowering experiences. As Black women have a complex, unique history of sexual oppression, from the rape of our enslaved ancestors to contemporary double gender standards, it’s important that we main spaces for conversation and affirmation that are created for us, by us.”—
Okay………… so white woman goes to non-white country and says that she was “objectified” for her white skin by the men there.
It happens. I’m not saying cat-calls and objectification are okay, because I don’t think they are ever okay.
I am so over white women complaining about how hard they have it for being white.
And doing so while completely de-contextualizing the situation. When you go to a country where your white culture has for over a century told them that their Brown/Indio women are unattractive workhorses and baby makers (and when they come up here to your country you call them worse things) and that your lily white skin is what they are supposed to aspire to, you need to acknowledge that history.
And eww to the whole tone of “those brown guys made me feel unsafe as a white woman” bullshit too, as if you don’t ever experience the exact same behavior from white guys in your own country. Oh, but that’s different, isn’t it? It’s flattering when it’s white guys and you’re in your own comfort zone. It only becomes threatening and objectifying when it’s dark guys you aren’t into.
Earlier in this pregnancy, I filled out my “Initial Health History” form for prenatal and birth care. You know: check the box if you’ve experienced severe headaches, diabetes, all sorts of things. After the usual “Emotional abuse,” “Physical abuse,” “Sexual abuse,” I got to this very interesting item: ”ANY unwanted/undesired physical or sexual contact.”
So the dog is safe now which is great. But all I can think of is the kid. Aside from the pain & trauma of losing his pet I’m wondering if he’s safe. People who do things like this don’t just hurt animals. They hurt everyone that they have power over & I really hope someone with a clue to this family’s identity has the wherewithal to contact the authorities.
alexandraerin asked: You've taken on the subject of race and gender-and-sexual-minority representation in comics before. I wonder if you're aware of The Arkh Project, a Tumblr-based initiative (Tumblr name: thearkhproject) to create a professional-caliber computer roleplaying game by and starring queer people of color. Their first phase fundraiser is going gangbusters right now and they're trying to get a bit of a visibility push today, and you've got a bit of a soapbox. /shamless someone else promotion