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Michelle Obama won’t use the F-word. Alice Walker called it by another name. And when Hillary Clinton used the F-word, before she ran for president, she got clobbered with rumors stating she was an L.U.G. — lesbian until graduation — because she got married to Bill, and then an L.A.G — lesbian after graduation — because of her marriage to Bill.
With the Democratic National Convention meeting his month, the delegates that identify themselves with the F-word — as “Feminists for Obama” — will come out in droves. The trek to Colorado will be made by dykes, dykettes, dykelings, bi-sisters, transfolk, and, oh yeah, our straight sisters, too. But as my LBT friends have pointed out to me, the sisterhood between straight feminists and us is strained at best and nonexistent at worst. And with Hillary Democrats moving slowly over to the Obama camp, we LBT women also move with hesitancy, given Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage.
While the fault lines of race and class are rearing up among “Feminists for Obama,” so too are the fault lines of gender expression and sexual orientation, as LBT women attempt to convince our straight sisters that our families, like theirs, matter.
And while I believe many of our straight sisters understand our struggle, will they forge a sisterhood with us against a presidential candidate who supports civil unions for same-sex couples but not marriage?
During the DNC in Boston in 2004, our issues got swept under the convention-floor rug. In the Democrats’ effort to neither bash Bush nor bring up hot-button topics that might turn away swing voters, the elephant in the middle of the convention floor was the issue of marriage equality. The Democrats donned Republican drag and left Boston reneging on one of the DNC’s platform promises: to support “equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections” for LGBTQ families.
In the Democrats’ rhetoric to secure a safer world for all children, they did not understand that our children must grow up with the same rights as others and that the children of LGBTQ parents must also have those rights.
And can we, this time, rely on straight “Feminists for Obama” to help us?
Feminists have fought for reproductive justice and family protection for years. But they have also viewed us LBT women as a liability to the women’s movement. In 1969, Betty Friedan, then president of the National Organization for Women, and an icon of the “Second Wave” of feminism, called us “the Lavender Menace,” creating a chasm between straight and LBT feminists.
Going into the convention this year, “Feminists for Obama” face not only the expected infighting characteristic of the feminist movement, but also, with the current backlash to feminism, their own struggle for legitimacy. And a woman who benefited from the all the feminist movements - past and present - and could be important to their cause is not a feminist: the Democratic presidential nominee’s wife, Michelle Obama.
Michelle Obama told Washington Post writer Anne E. Kornblut in May 2007, just months after her husband’s announcement of his run, that she’s not a feminist.
“You know, I’m not that into labels,” Michelle Obama told Kornblut. “So probably, if you laid out a feminist agenda, I would probably agree with a large portion of it...I wouldn’t identify as a feminist, just like I probably wouldn’t identify as a liberal or a progressive.”
When white feminists pounced on Michelle Obama for not using the F-word for herself, many African-American sisters came to her rescue, stating that many African-American women don’t use the term “feminist,” but instead prefer “womanist,” because of the racism embedded in the feminist movement and the strained history between white and black women that remains unaddressed.
But if truth be told, the creation of the word “womanist” was to conceal “the Lavender Menace.” Alice Walker specifically devised the term in response to Jean Humez’s introduction to the book Gifts of Power: The Writings of Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress. Humez suggested that Rebecca Jackson and Rebecca Perot, who were part of an African-American Shaker settlement in Philadelphia in the 1870s and lived with each other for more than 30 years, would be labeled lesbians in today’s climate. Walker disputed Humez’s right, as a white woman from a different cultural context, to define the intimacy between two African-American women.
But many African-American sisters don’t use either term because both have been and continue to be used for lesbian-baiting in the African-American community. That’s where Michelle Obama fits in.
At the 2004 convention, DNC delegates who were supporters of marriage equality were disallowed from bringing signs into Boston’s Fleet Center for “security reasons” and because “the campaign wants to get a consistent message out.” Of the 4,300-plus delegates, 255 were identified as LGBTQ. And although one would think that these 255 should have been the loudest advocates for marriage equality, they too skirted the issue for fear of losing the election.
Let’s not make this mistake again. Because the distance between straight “Feminists for Obama” protecting their families and LBT women protecting our families is just one child away.
Rev. Irene Monroe is a nationally renowned African-American lesbian activist, scholar, and public theologian, whose writings have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Bay State Banner, Cambridge Chronicle, and Metro News.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.