Bloggers at the Three Sonorans have, again, pointed fingers of accusation at Chicanas of Tucson. It seems that we (and a few men) are responsible for divisiveness within the community, for accusing rapists and misogynists of their crimes, for calling out the men and women of the Chican@ community for their hypocrisy and machismo and for demanding that Precious Knowledge be abandoned as a source of financial support by Save Ethnic Studies because a victim of crime directly involved with the film asked that it be so. And this is a bad thing?
Underlying the blogger’s concerns over a current issue involving copyrights, profiting and local artists is a broiling anger towards Chicanas who insist upon speaking about the inequities and injustices that they have experienced from within the community movement. And again, the blogger persists in attacking the accusers rather than naming the crimes and acknowledging that these problems exist. We do not pretend to know his motivations, and they don’t really matter. What is relevant is that he continues to imply that a woman’s concerns are not valid unless they have been legitimated by the community and, in this case, the men of the community. The blogger points his angry finger at Chicana feminists as the problem, though he willingly admitted in a recent post that he knows little about feminism.
Contrary to what Three Sonorans suggests, leaving the Chicano movement behind is not a tenant of Chicana feminism (aka Xicanisma). Xicanisma, as both an academic discipline and way of life, did not originate because Chicanas were so enamored with “White” feminism that we decided to create the “Brown” version. Nor are we so feeble-minded that we cannot think for ourselves and our communities. Our studies are grounded in the commitment to our communities, our ancestors, and our children. Our actions are rooted in the knowledge that real progress does not occur unless and until the needs and concerns of all members of a community are addressed.
Believe it or not, Xicanisma developed as a response to the persisting efforts of academics and activists of all colors–including White feminists– to keep us silent. Chicanas—and all women of “Latina” heritage– continue to encounter these efforts to silence. It is nothing new to us, our mothers and grandmothers often prepare us for it, so we know from the time we are small this is something we have to face. We also know that if we are going to ever change anything, we have to continue to fight those efforts, even when they are coming from within our own communities.
The bloggers at Three Sonorans would do well to brush up on Xicanisma before further attacking it and the men and women who support it. They may be surprised to learn that it too draws upon Indigenous knowledge to promote equity and justice for men and women. We know that our Nahua traditions do not just speak of Quetzalcoatl but of our female energies too, such as Xochitl, Coatlicue, and Tonantzin. We know that our ancestors sought the counsel of the women before war. We know that women were speakers, leaders, healers, and artists. We know that there was a time when men and women honored one another and stood up for that. We work to live those traditions and teach them to our children. And try as they might, no one will silence us in those efforts.
A suggested reading list for Three Sonorans for an introduction to Xicanisma—we’ve thrown in some Indigenous knowledge too for good measure. (Note that writings by these authors too contain precious knowledge): Gloria Anzaldua, Ana Castillo, Cherrie Moraga, Emma Perez, Antonia Castañeda, Chela Sandoval, Alma Garcia, Sandra Cisneros, Michelle Seros, Aida Hurtado, Gabriela Arrendondo, Sonia Saldivar-Hull, Alicia Garcia del Gaspar, Norma Alarcon, Tey Diana Rebolledo, Vicki Ruiz, Carla Trujillo, Andrea Smith, Paula Gunn Allen, Leslie Marmon Silko, Wilma Mankiller.
Those with the smallest minds have the biggest mouths.
I can see your shattered ego all the way in Colorado.
You can be as angry as you please over a depiction of you that occurred at Malintzine’s event a few months ago. You can call it man-hating. You can call it sexism. You can call it gender violence. You can criticize the Tucson Weekly for being racist, but the embarrassment you feel over people applauding everyone’s favorite Xingona mama kicking your ass is nothing compared to the embarrassment we feel every time you write a new article.
The annoyance you feel every time someone calls you out on Facebook for your discrepancies, your lack of ethics, and most importantly, your protection of a known woman-beater is nothing compared to the irritation that rushes through our veins when you try to proclaim yourself as a progressive. You continue to cry wolf, and play victim. You spotlight articles that are targeted at you, or men you follow like a lost puppy, and use that as evidence of hate. You target articles that promote Malintzine and proceed to give your two cents about why it is sloppy journalism. For someone without a degree in communications, you sure seem to think you know a lot about what makes a good reporter.
The ecstatic happiness you get from comparing Malintzine and their supporters to Jan Brewer, Joe Arpaio, and John Pedicone is nothing compared to the joy we feel when we see your fan base shrinking as we provide the stories you have refused to tell. You know nothing of the bliss when we see the emails pouring into Malintzine talking about men exactly like you and the abuse they suffered at those assholes’ hands. You are unaware of what its like to know you’ve given people a voice, because you continue to perpetrate one agenda.
It’s takes a long time for a woman to realize it’s okay to be a Chingona, but now that I have, I won’t be going anywhere. I like the sight of a man pissing himself because of the power I now possess. It doesn’t matter that you don’t agree. Your thoughts are trivial when there are so many more people calling for Malintzine than there are calling for you.
Here’s the thing — a little more clarification is necessary since it seems that the confusion continues.
First of all — this is not a competition for fans or views or reads. When we set out to launch malintZine on December 21, 2012 we had a vision of offering an anonymous space for women to speak their truths. Truths that had been silenced for too long. MalintZine has been and will continue to be a radically safe space that will ferociously protect the anonymity of our authors. But malintZine and her authors are not just the women who you’ve seen in photographs — we’re everywhere!! Indeed this space has been used to call men on the mat for their straight up bullshit and specific instances of fucked-upedness, but it has also been a safe space for sharing experiences than span the spectrum from fear to rape. We were not under the impression that the presence of our truths would come easily for anyone involved including ourselves. The truth tears down barriers, destroy relationships and bring others together. While we might have hoped otherwise, personal attacks were expected.
Since December 21, 2012 malintZine has grown into a larger community than we could have imagined that stretches from LA to Colorado, New York and Baltimore with a strong core of amazing mujeres in Tucson.
We were honored and blessed to have participated in and hosted events in the last week in Los Angeles and in Tucson. We were invited to speak in Maylei Blackwell’s class and sit on a panel with Maylei and Anna Nieto Gomez. In 1971 M.E.Ch.A held a mock funeral procession that was a ritualized attempt to kill Las Hijas de Cuactemoc. They carried caskets and walked with candles to a makeshift graveyard with gravestones for Hijas leaders and a lynched effigy of Anna Nieto Gomez (with her name inscribed). It was an honor to meet Anna, who stood up to the misogynistic Chicano leaders of her time, and a humbling privilege to sit beside her on the panel.
On Friday March 8th we had the pleasure of hosting Andrea Smith for a powerful discussion about accountability with well over 150 people in attendance followed by a launch party that brought together the community of malintZine readers, authors and editors. The ability to have the physical manifestation of the safe space that had been created online at malintzine.com was quite the event. There were poetry readings, zines, and plenty of music. Yes, there was a piñata and yes it was male bodied and yes we beat it with a stick until tamarindo, chamoy, lube and condoms gushed out. Yes, a drag king who resembled Three Sonorans attended the party and photos that have since been made public were taken. Three Sonorans has become the living embodiment of contemporary chingon politics. By his own doing, DA Morales has turned himself into a caricature of a 50-year history of misogynistic one-sided Chicano Movement narrative that holds its male leaders in blameless esteem. Herein lies the point — maltinZine was created to counter the continuation of that narrative and on Friday night we celebrated.
And finally, we expect that you will continue your personal attacks on our motherhood, on our loyalty, on our motives, on our writing skills, on our education or lack of education, on our age, on our perceived sexuality, on our children and on our character — but your attacks don’t blight the truth. You may know who we are but you should also know that we are not going away. If there is a month where you cease to spew your false problematic narratives — we will be happy to keep your name of our blog (maybe!).
malintZINE accepts submissions!
For more photos of March 8th’s International Womyn’s Day events hosted by malintZINE click HERE!
By Anna NietoGomez, Coughing Woman
Custom was that violence against women was private and should not be talked about in public. The women’s rights movement changed all that, and violence against women became a public discussion. Women demanded that they have the right to be safe at home, at work and at play. Traditionalists ignored this challenge, blamed the woman for the violence done against her and took no action.
Then women told their stories. First they began the telling with friends and family, but nothing changed. The story was forgotten, and violence against women continued. Then the telling became public. The telling increased from a solo, to a chorus, from a community to a nation. The telling were stories of all kinds of violence against women, sex exploitation, sexual harassment, rape and physical abuse.
The telling raised awareness that women are not safe, and when women are not safe, the family is not safe. The telling organized a larger agreement that women have the right to be safe in the home, at work and at play. The telling became political when the nation heard the same stories told by so many different women all over the country. Once the telling became political, laws were passed to protect women from violence. But laws are not enough. Courageous Mujeres created MalintZINE, a 21st century feminist magazine for mujeres of all kinds!
It told the story of violence against women in Tucson and of their efforts to stop it. Mujeres voiced to the community leaders that violence against women made community activism a hostile and unsafe place to be. Mujeres asked their leaders to condemn and help stop the violence against women.
But the leaders did nothing, they said the complaints were a nuisance. The leaders didn’t want to know what the women thought or said. They contended that the role of the Mujer was to be seen and not heard, to look pretty and to please the men at night. The leaders said stop complaining, there are more important things we have to do. They told the women to return to work. Lets work together so that Hombres are equal to Gavachos.
The leaders explained that the role of the Mujer was to make the men look good. It was disloyal to complain and air their dirty laundry in public. The leaders said hush, act right! Stop telling these stories, or we may lose the gains that have been made.
The Mujeres said, “Remember Penn State”. Those leaders ignored complaints of violence against students. The leaders perceived the complaint to be the problem, not the perpetrator. They knew the perpetrator and he was good for their program. The leaders agreed, the program was more important than any violence against students.
So the leaders lied to themselves and said they did not receive the complaints. Each time they heard the crowd cheer and basked in their glory, the leaders lied again, “We did the right thing”. So the perpetrator committed violence against students over and over again. And It was unsafe to play.
But the story was not forgotten because there were many more new stories to tell, and finally the telling became public, and the nation heard. Then there were consequences. But the crowd booed at the telling, “It’s a lie. Our leaders made us great, we owe them. Don’t take them away. Who cares what happened to the students.”
The program was not destroyed. Finally the perpetrator and the leaders who covered it up were removed. They longer enjoyed the glory. Again the Mujeres told their leaders, “Remember Penn State, this could happen to you.”
But the leaders refused to learn the lesson. They knew the perpetrators. They were good for the business of civil rights which brought fame, money and jobs. The leaders agreed, the business of civil rights is more important than violence against women. They said nothing, and did nothing. The leaders denied that sexual harassment was bullying, and pretended it validated women’s self worth. They expected women to provide sexual favors for the leaders and their male network. And women got something in return, they were envied for being pretty and desired and they got a free dinner to boot. Women who resisted or complained were discredited as disloyal and crazy. The Mujeres were ostracized, and shunned and feared losing their jobs.
The leaders told the Mujeres: The woman is to blame when she is raped. Change your behavior. If women do not want to be raped, stay home and do not go to play. Don’t drink alcohol, don’t wear short skirts or plunging neck lines.
The leaders did nothing to stop violence against women. They advised: ” Prove your loyalty to the movement, go home, forget about, and come back to work another day.” “It never happened if you don’t have a police report.” “No one will believe you, you’re promiscuous, we know your history.” “Have pity of the rapist, think of the violence against men.” “Don’t criminalize men of color”.
Without consequences, nothing changes, and violence against women remains normal. But Tucson is different . The Mujeres told friends and family, nothing changed, but it was not forgotten. Mujeres created malintZINE to tell their stories. The telling became public. The telling increased from a solo, to a chorus, from a community to a nation. The telling raised awareness that it is not safe for women to be a community activist. Some threaten Mujeres with lawsuits if they do not stop the telling. But the Mujeres persist. With the telling comes support, and allies who will help them make the community safe for women. What do they want? Public support to stop violence against women. A public apology for failing to provide a safe environment for women. A public statement of men acknowledging that gender violence work is men’s work too! Men’s compliance with a code of behavior that respects women’s rights and allows women to live in a safe environment. Social, as well as legal consequences to those who act out violence against women.
After being called on his misogynist oriented blogging and continued spread of misinformation, some weeks ago, DA Morales, also known as Three Sonorans (TS), proclaimed that his blog would be shut down. The TS absence lasted only a few days and many pockets were lined with quick cash from bets won against his promise. We are regretful to have won the bet! At a New Year’s party, Richard M. Martinez referred to Morales as his “publicist” which simply affirmed Morales’ role. Perhaps the bestowment of his role and title is what propelled Martinez’ promoter to begin TS and what prodded him to once again surface the blog and spew continued misogyny and mistruths.
A quick review of the traces of the misogyny in the TS blog, finds that this anointed publicist has consistently used his blog to attack/defame many women in leadership roles, including Adelita Grijalva, Regina Romero, Sylvia Campoy, Kristel Foster, Kim Dominguez and Mari Herreras. Clad in 1960s chauvinism – “Chingon politics”, Morales has referred to feminists as men-haters. His disdain for the Grijalvas seems to influence much of his blogging, as does his seemingly hero-worship for some of the men with whom he closely associates. His position on domestic violence is strong (anti) unless the alleged perpetrator happens to be one of his close associates. Then he goes into subterranean denial and full-blown deflective defense; a strategy of calling attention to anything and everything else except the real issue. The more fires that are lit away from their troubles, the less attention to their troubles!
(Does he- or the person he serves as publicist- think that we don’t decipher such exploits?) And… with audacity only an authentic misogynist can muster, DA Morales then writes a blog admitting his ignorance about domestic violence while claiming his desire to learn about the topic. Of course, this serves only as self-hype and camouflage. (Disingenuous efforts are easily detected when they are so contradictory to one’s repeated actions.)
As if all of these sexist misdeeds are not enough, the topic of sexual assault is one which has been obviously barred from his blog since its very utterance may be counter to “the cause;” the case; film; and potentially damage fund-raising. Ironically, when Morales became aware that this issue was being openly discussed by women, he suggested that the discourse be taken out of the blogosphere and into a more confidential setting; clearly another sexist miss-step. (News flash: Women do not need guidance on where they may speak on this or any issue and certainly will not be silenced through such artificial gestures.)
Bear with us. It does NOT end here, although we do wish it had, long before this point.
Last week the District Federal Court Order adopted all elements of the TUSD Desegregation Plan, which includes Mexican American culturally relevant courses. Curriculum that embraces Mexican American heritage in the form of history/social studies and literature will be developed, approved by the Board, and implemented in every high school by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. Many of us have fought for this! In fact, many of us are anticipating a curriculum that is much more inclusive of Chicana authors, poets and a historical perspective which includes the important contributions of numerous Chicanas. Cause for celebration? Of course, but not according to the TS Blogs on this topic. Since late December Morales’ repeated chant, likely reflective of those for whom he speaks, has been ‘MAS is dead’. Would such declaration be made if it were possible for Sean Arce to vie for the directorship overseeing culturally relevant curriculum? Likely not, since the Morales position prior to Arce’s arrest was that he should be named the director. Within a short period after public knowledge of Arce’s arrest, the messaging from Morales drastically shifted; it was only then that he proclaimed that MAS was dead. His blog makes it appear as though he has poured over the Court Order in order to formulate his position when, in fact, his position was formulated in correlation to the Arce arrest and proceeding fallout.
The most recent blog of February 11th 2013 is condescending, patronizing and diminishes the contributions made by everyone involved in the process to develop the TUSD Desegregation Plan. Morales claims that the individuals who have been involved in the Plan development are all women. He minimizes the contributions of the women who represent the interests of TUSD’s Latino students and who are part of the Mendoza Party, which- from the eyes of a misogynist- is the way his world works. Morales is wrong on this and many other counts throughout the blog. He buffers his presentation as perhaps being erroneous, since he was not privy to much information involving the plan development process due to the gag order imposed by the court. Nonetheless, Morales dives right in and presumes to know what happened during the confidential process, guessing which woman did what in the negotiations. His subtle admission of ignorance of the process is not loud enough and certainly does not hold him back from casting- race and gender based blame and minimizing the contributions of those involved. As was witnessed during the public forums on the desegregation plan and as one can deduce in reading the court documents, several men were involved during the process; but this, like all other misinformation presented does not really seem to matter. The TS blog is filled with assumptions and misjudgments, particularly relative to MAS, and casts ultimate blame largely based on their gender and race. How can a blogger who constantly alleges racism simultaneously exercise misogyny and his own prejudice be viewed as having any level of knowledge on issues of equity and social justice.
But now back to the Desegregation Plan and Morales’ erroneous statement about MAS and its state of being. Morales does begrudgingly admit that the Desegregation Plan does have many valuable elements but perseverates on the death of MAS. What is in the Desegregation Plan relative to Mexican American culturally relevant courses provides the opportunity for improvement and expansion. The courses are to be offered in every high school beginning with the 2013-14 school year and expansion is also included for the middle school and elementary school level. Since when is improvement and expansion deemed as a loss or a death of any sort? Through the eyes of the TS blogger the glass is not half full or half empty; it is empty. No matter how good the Plan, inclusive of the Mexican American culturally relevant courses, it was anticipated by many that sour grapes would manifest from DA Morales and those for whom he seems to speak. If they could not be the ones to deliver a win, then how dare anyone else do so; especially women!
With stone throwers comfortably standing on the sidelines and taking continued actions to obstruct rather than contribute, it is difficult to assess how much harm they may actually impose by demoralizing supporters and convincing some that we have lost. Just two weeks ago, TS printed a piece written by Richard Martinez suggesting that the desegregation money be stripped away from TUSD; $61,000,000 per year. Were this to happen, it would cause irreparable harm to all students in TUSD, most of whom are students of color. Such damaging rhetoric is expected from the extreme far right Republican factions of our state; not from those who purport to support the rights of students of color. The floating of such a proposal on the brink of the Court’s decision on the Desegregation Plan is unmistakably an attempt to deflect, distract and destroy. Some have said that this is the ultimate sour-grapes nuclear attack strategy that has been reserved if certain conditions were not met by those on the sidelines hurling the stones, such as Morales and Martinez. Their conditions have self-imploded! Their strategies have been faulty and have not worked; their case has not yet had a win (and we genuinely hope it does); their fund raising has failed; their man will not head up the department that oversees the work on Mexican American culturally relevant courses; their overall support and credibility is dwindling and their support base has been fractured- much due to the constant display of sexism. None of these failures have been externally imposed; they have all been self-imposed. Yet, their attacks and continued polarization persist. Instead of celebrating a significant “win” for our community; they jointly chant ‘MAS is dead’ or shallowly propose to extricate desegregation dollars from our school district as a means to deflect and distract from our monumental win. Who exactly does this serve? Certainly, it does not serve the students or the community.
TS reflects misogyny, prejudice, anger, mistruths and polarization which is not a foundational voice for social justice. For any who continue to read TS, understand the deceptions you will encounter and search out the facts elsewhere.
We need to continue to celebrate our WIN and acknowledge our individual and unified role in obtaining it – the struggle and work that lies ahead. We must rebuke the propaganda that is being hurled around (‘MAS is dead,’ the idea to extract desegregation dollars from TUSD, etc.). We must remain engaged in pressuring TUSD to implement the Desegregation Plan and we must not allow for any further polarization.