I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think youve not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that Id starve to death before Id sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.
- Woody Guthrie.
When most Americans think about “rape culture,” they may think about the victim-blaming attitudes that led the Steubenville boys’ defense to argue that an unconscious girl consented to her sexual assault because she “didn’t say no,” the school administrators who choose to protect their star athletes over those boys’ rape victims, or the bullying that resulted in multiple victims of sexual assault taking their own lives. While those incidences are certainly symptoms of a deeply-rooted rape culture in this country, they’re not the only type of example of this dynamic at play. Rape culture is also evident in the attitudes that lead school administrators to treat young girls’ bodies as inherently “distracting” to the boys who simply can’t control themselves. That approach to gender roles simply encourages our youth to assume that sexual crimes must have something to do with women’s “suggestive” clothes or behavior, rather than teaching them that every individual is responsible for respecting others’ bodily autonomy.
immigrants, poor people, queer people of color, disabled folks, women (esp trans women of color) and gender-nonconforming folks if you are in academia and you don’t feel smart enough, remember that you are in the playground and training grounds of the elite. academia was not designed to include you. you are surviving something that has been systemically designed to exclude you in order to keep power in the hands of white, middle class, able bodied cis-men.
knowing this, don’t let academia train you to believe that elitism is the right way to make it through school. you can learn shit, hold the knowledge of your people in your heart, discard shame for your humble beginnings and/or marginalized identities. move through this experience knowing that the changes it offers you don’t have to include accepting academic elitism, inaccessible language or superiority. you can can simultaneously own the privilege that comes with being college educated and connections to your roots. academia does not have to kill your spirit.
fabian romero- indigenous immigrant queer boi writer, facilitator and community organizer (via fabianromero)
i needed to hear exactly this as i have one of those moments of doubt with my ability to write well after my hs cw teacher said my writing in fact isn’t in his taste