What Will You Do, Catholic America?

Oh, man. I have a lot of thoughts about the Catholic Church right now so here goes somethin’. I. don’t. know. how we can keep turning a blind eye. Like, I can’t fathom it. I can’t wrap my head around the idea that there’s no justice for these victims and that priests and Catholicism will just keep on keepin’ on, telling everyone to just ‘pray about it!’

Pardon my French, but what the f*ck? These victims--these CHILDREN--don’t need prayers. They need THERAPY and JUSTICE and a SUPPORT SYSTEM to grapple with the dichotomy of knowing they were wronged by the very institution promising them salvation. If that’s not a manipulation of power, I don’t know what is. We’re blacklisting comedians, producers, and directors left and right for their abuses of ADULT WOMEN and people, but what about these CHILDREN? What about these PRIESTS who have direct access to our communities? WHO will blacklist THEM? WHO will look out for the children? You can trust the Church to protect itself. They’re not going to come forward and say, “We are terribly sorry to inform you that Father Voldemort did a grave, grave thing. If your children are exhibiting signs of abuse or come to you with information, please let us know so that we can wholly correct this terrible situation. WE PRAY FOR YOU, our families, as you cope with this.” No. They’re not going to do that. They’re going to move your priest to a different location, claiming “sick leave” or “a new position.”

Personally, I want to see them all go down. I want to see the Pope say this is the GRAVEST WRONG that can be done on this earth. Not abortion. Not suicide. I want to see them condemn these filthy, despicable, child-molesting priests and I want them on sex offender watch lists and I want them banished from the church the way the church has historically banned women who abort their pregnancies.

GOD DAMN, I AM SO ANGRY. IT IS 2018. WE KNOW THIS IS BAD. WE ARE STANDING UP AND FIGHTING. WE HAVE #METOO AND #TIMESUP AND MARCH FOR OUR LIVES. Catholic America, this is my question for you: how can you show up to mass every Sunday after this? Knowing that this could be happening in your diocese. In your church. To the children sitting next to you. To your children. How can you put money in that basket? How can you kneel in silent prayer? How can you look at your Church and the SHAME and DISTRESS it has brought its youngest members? What will you do to protect your children? Because Faith sure as hell won’t.

Fashion, Paper, and Femininity: Isabelle de Borchgrave

While studying art & culture in London in 2014, I spent an amazing day at Tate Modern and came across a poster so sarcastic, I thought it was serious at first. The poster, created by Guerrilla Feminism, is called "The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist." I bought it for my best friend & woman artist, Shelby Kay. A great deal of Guerrilla Feminism's work focuses on women in the fine arts, the limited recognition they receive, and the exploitation of female bodies in the arts (see: "Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?"). So when I saw there was an entire exhibit at The Four Arts Society dedicated to female artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave, I jumped at the opportunity to support a fellow woman in the arts. 

Isabelle de Borchgrave is a female artist famous for recreating historic garments and costumes with mind-boggling accuracy and attention to detail. Even more astounding is that these recreations of hers are made entirely out of PAPER and trampleoi. Her collection, Fashioning Art from Paper, is currently on tour in the U.S. Click here to find out where it'll be next and scroll through my favorite works below.

 

 

The Brouhaha of Cultural Appropriation

I was talking with some Boomers in my life this past Halloween when somebody brought up how the holiday’s been “politicized.” I personally don’t think there’s anything “political” about treating a culture with human dignity, but somewhere along the line, somebody trivialized the act of being inclusive into a political construct. These boomers I know are good, kind, generous people who I think just haven’t considered the implications of cultural appropriation past the context of something childlike and innocent, like playing “cowboys and indians.”

I know anybody who’s reading this post of their own free will and volition is doing it because they probably agree with what I’m saying. That’s the first step, but carrying the belief of respecting other cultures and other peoples’ full humanity is lifelong practice! We all need call-outs and call-ins, and I want to continue to challenge us all to work towards these values. Also consider sharing this with somebody else who might need a little clarification in their life!

Cultural appropriation is the act of taking something sacred from another culture and donning it for aesthetic reasons while remaining willfully ignorant of the culture from which you are drawing. Usually, the culture being appropriated has faced pressure to assimilate with western ideals, dress, and religion. On a much less subtle note, cultural appropriation is also dressing up like a stereotype of culture. It’s a form of mockery and it’s overtly racist.

We are living in a politically volatile era right now. Duh. We are a polarized society, so when we take something and claim it’s “political,” we’re setting everyone up to brace for a fight, either in defense of a point of view or against it. However, as second-wave feminist writer Carol Hanisch wrote in 1969, “the personal is political,” and the experiences lived by cultures different from traditional western culture deserve to be acknowledged. If a group of people that western culture has objectively forced into assimilation says, “You are taking something important to us and using it for your own benefits while negating the strife that your culture has caused ours throughout history,” we should listen. If we approach cultural appropriation with respect for our neighbors, I think we’ll have a much better understanding of what, exactly, cultural appropriation is and why it is something that we should be mindfully avoid.

Kat Blaque’s got a pretty great video that discusses cultural appropriation in greater detail. Check it out here

Don't Pray for Las Vegas

Don’t pray for Las Vegas.

Don’t change your profile picture in solidarity.

Don’t post a status about how hurt you are to see that this has happened again.

If the only action you’re going to take is to condemn gun violence from the safety of your couch to people who are mostly in agreement with you, don’t bother.

Now, I’m not condemning anyone’s religious preference or

how they choose to heal their wounds.

I’m condemning this laissez faire, “We care!” mentality

that “proves” that we care and “proves” that when others hurt, we hurt, too, that “proves” that we have an ounce of humanity left within us.

I’m condemning the unspoken elephant in the room that when you say, “Pray for Las Vegas,” you mean, “The only thing I will do for Las Vegas is Pray.”

You mean, “I care, but not THAT much.”

You mean, “That’s just the reality of the world we live in these days.”

You mean, “I will not google my representative.”

You mean, “I will not call or email my representative.”

You mean, “I will not speak out against gun violence except to do so with my fingers on a tiny glowing screen.”

You mean, “I will do nothing, but I will hope that somebody else does something.”

You mean, “I will let this world turn to ruin as I sit idly by.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am sick of this “cog in the wheel” mentality, this, “I’m doing something, see?!?” when “doing something” means knowing what you’re doing is not enough and not caring to do better.

It’s lazy.

It’s privileged. It’s refusing to believe that the victims of all of these mass shootings assumed they probably wouldn’t die due to gun violence instead of old age, an accident, or cancer.

Don’t WAIT for somebody else to do something, grab the problem by the shoulders and face it square off. CALL YOUR SENATOR. TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO CALL THEIR SENATOR. DEMAND BETTER OF THE PERSON WHOSE JOB IT IS IT REPRESENT THE CITIZENS OF AMERICA. DEMAND BETTER OF THE PERSON WHOSE JOB IT IS TO REPRESENT YOU. Until you direct your attention to your representative, they don’t HAVE to do jack. Posting to Facebook and failing to contact your representative is like doing your homework and refusing to turn it in.