My main response to rise of the blogosphere is like this ive had an online presences on various blogging or forum based platforms for most of my life. The history of Blogging having been around since mass media was created in some form or another is very interesting because the modern interpretation of a blog is so new its seems impossible that the idea of sharing thoughts publicly is as old as print. But just in wording it that way it becomes so obvious. Working with word press is a little jarring as i havent touch wordpress in years and to suddenly be thrusts back into its use is crazy for me. its certainly gotten much more usable and user friendly since way back, or maybe my technologically literacy is just more mature.
Finally Lest talk about what happened to the Occupy Movement becuase its ideologies are still alive and well. Look no further than Bernie Sanders campaign uses the very same rhetoric from back in 2008 of breaking up the backs and taking back from the 1%. While there may not be a singular occupy movement any more the splinting of its focuses are still out there. And it wasnt just Bernie Sanders, Income inequality is a problem that all 2016 presidential candidates had to grapple with because they could no longer afford not to. And, in fact, it’s just one of a long list of legislative and political successes for which the Occupy movement can take credit. Inequality and the wealth gap are now core tenets of the Democratic platform, providing a frame for other measurable gains spurred by Occupy. Occupy may no longer be visible on the streets, but the gulf between the haves and the have-nots is still there, and growing. The Movement sparked minimum wage fast food workers to start the campaigen for a raising the minimum wage to something actually livable.Occupy also reshaped the U.S.-environmental movement, which had its rebirth in fall 2011 when 1,200 people were arrested in Washington, D.C., protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. As people gravitated to Occupy encampments, teach-ins, and demonstrations across the country, that energy easily transferred into the fight against climate change. Along with the more recently No DAPL protests was not only an environmental concern but a humanitarian disaster as well. The Anit Fracking portests can also be brought back to the Occupy Movements ideologies. Perhaps the biggest influence is the movements attention to the link between wealth and politics. Something that was perhaps the most talked about issue in the 2016 elections. Talk of repaying debts, hands in cookie jars and draining the swamps. The student loan crisis was first brought to national attention at Occupy protests.
To continue the conversation on the failings of the Tea Party from its “Heights” in 2009 to our most recent election. im going to talk about how a movement is only successful if the people involved are brought together if its to everyones benefit and theres a codified movement. Not one built around the fact that people are pissed they got a black president. Firstly its lost all form of leader ship. Representative Michele Bachmann retired after the 2014 cycle. Former Senator Jim DeMint resigned from the Senate to take over the Heritage Foundation. Former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli lost his bid for governor in 2013 and now runs the Senate Conservatives Fund. The governor he sought to replace, Bob McDonnell, is currently appealing his conviction on federal corruption charges. Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown was once hailed for winning “the Tea Party’s first electoral victory.” He lost his reelection bid to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012, and a subsequent race for the Senate in New Hampshire last cycle. And of course Sarah Palin who resigned a few months after Obamas inauguration. I think she was suppose to run for the presidency but that never materialized. Remember when the tea party started a saying “keep the governments hands off my medicare”. This i think comes from the fact that the people that support the tea party were largely just racists. They didnt really oppose big governments and in 2016 they didnt really support trump or atleast ideologically speaking they couldnt by what the tea party stood for. They were just a bunch of racists that hated the fact they had a black president. The sheer volume of “send obama back to kenya” signs should attest to that, as i dont see what that would do for economic reform. If they did try to use media to be more codified and informed i think the movement would of splinted and disrupted almost immediately its one that thrived form ignorance.
Throughout the book Jaffe connects movements small and large to singular events, Namely the 2008 economic collapse that created two strongly opposed movement, the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement. During this time I wouldnt say i was all that aware of their message. To me they were just more specific branches of conservatives and liberals. Occupy was trying to make another wood stock on wall street and the tea party was more hypocritical nonsense from the far right. But Jaffe did and her personae as a writer i think comes from this that she gives a very direct and unromantic view of these events. What i did understand was that these two movements came out of the 2008 economic collapse and they like everyone was upset about it. But naturally these groups of people had wildly different approaches. Ironically it was blaming each other. The 99% of the Occupy movement (rightfully) blamed the banks and the 1% for misinforming the lower classes and hoarding the nations wealth. While the Tea party took their angry masses and blamed the 99% for being poor and allowing this to happen to themselves. From the Tea party we got government shutdowns, while the occupy movement, because they had the right people to blame, actually got things done like insuring employees got their severance packages ad loan forgiveness.
To wrap up this 3 part blog post series ill be providing a list of current trans activist bloggers and media creators.
Riley J Dennis is (taken right from their twitter) an Intersectional feminist, activist, and video creator. Also a queer, trans, nonbinary lesbian.
Kat Blaque started video blogging in December 2010. Her YouTube channel Kat Blaque is focused on discussing race, gender, and other social justice issues. Blaque has described herself as an intersectional feminist, saying, “I’m a woman, I’m black, I’m curvy and I’m trans. There are a lot of things that I deal with. When I talk about those things, I am literally talking about my embodiment of these intersections.”
Laura Kate Dale taken from her patreon “I am a co-host on the Jimquisition Podcast, as well as splitting my time between critiquing serious emotional video games and recording youtube shows about butts. I also run Let’s Play Video Games with Joe Parlock and Vikki Blake.” Laura has also written numerous published articles about trans experiences and activism
The history of Trans activism is one of exclusions and neglect. Many key event in the fight for trans rights are at the behest of failures by the larger queer community and allies efforts for equality that they either intentionally or ignorantly exclude trans folks.
In most recent history there has been the Women’s March. A mass world wide protest for the reproductive rights and protection of women everywhere. Which is a statement which seemed to exclude trans women. During a six hour program with over 60 speakers there were only 3 trans women on the board with only one, Janet Mock, actually getting a chance to speak after 2 hours. A nerve racking amount of time with out a single mention of any non cis gendered women for those non cis gendered women in the audience who are already apprehensive enough to attend large event like this for their history of exclusion, the anxiety of yet again being unwelcome or unrepresented, which one transwomen getting their voice out at one event in the many around the country is far from adequate representation. The women’s march was recreating the same kind of oppression for its most vulnerable members as the oppressors they were trying to fight. The exclusion and marginalization of trans women in “women’s spaces” has real consequences. It contributes to the widespread belief that trans women are “really” men, the very lie that catalyzes violence against trans women. We see this lie repeated in state legislatures passing anti-trans bathroom bills, and in the so-called “feminist” briefs filed before the Supreme Court challenging the basic dignity of trans youths’ lives. There were more Cisgendered men given time to speak at the “womens” march then trans women. For a group of women that are monumentally more likely to be the recipient of violent crime, The same violent crimes that Cis women are fighting against and for protection from, but excluding transwomen from the conversation just lets them to be continually targeted. trans women’s issues are women’s issues, they’re intertwined and to neglect them is to the detriment of all women. The womens march was far from a failure it help to combat decades or racism and classism in the activist community but came up short for trans women.
The next most impactful failure by he larger queer community is the animosity trans folk have towards the HRC. This is a story that goes back to the founding of the GLF. As the history of trans exclusion goes all the way back to the stonewall riots. The roots of the animosity start after Stonewall. In an effort to appear more ‘mainstream’ to the straight community, Jim Fouratt and friends bounced Sylvia Rivera and other transpeople out of New York’s GLF (Gay Liberation Front). Jim Fouratt’s anti-transgender comments culminating in a 2000 one at a Stonewall observance in which he called transpeople ‘misguided gay men who’d undergone surgical mutilations’ also added insult to the injury. The GLF would then go to have transgender rights removed from their failed 1971 New York ill. In 1979 Janice Raymond the best known TERF in america queer history poured more gasoline on the fire with her virulently anti-transgender book The Transsexual Empire. Raymond also took it a step further in 1981 and penned a quasi-scientific looking report that was responsible for not only ending federal and state aid for indigent transpeople, but led to the insurance company prohibitions on gender reassignment related claims. Germaine Greer’s anti-transgender writing combined with Raymond’s led to involuntary outing and harassment of transwomen in lesbian community settings. It also sowed the seeds for the anti-transgender attitudes in the lesbian community that persisted through the late 90’s. This would create a civil war in the 80’s and 90’s where trans people were fighting for their right to inclusion and pointing out the hypocrisy in the gay and lesbians proposed bills to oppress their right in turn. Talk of “coming back” for their trans brothers and sisters after passing their gay only rights bills has yet to come through. So far the only state to come back are California, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Jersey. This all comes to a head to create Elizabeth Birch. The Head director of HRC during an epidemic of trans exclusion. Elizabeth Birch for a while eclipsed Janice Raymond as Transgender Public Enemy Number One when she was quoted at a Chicago GLBT event as stating that transinclusion in ENDA (the Employment and Non Discrimination Act) a top legislative priority of transgender leaders would happen ‘over her dead body’. It got worse when transgender lobbyists were told by sitting senators, congressmembers and various staffers that HRC Capitol Hill lobbyists Nancy Buermeyer and Winnie Stachelberg showed up on the Hill accompanied by GenderPac’s Riki Wilchins before transgender lobby events. They asked those members and staffers to tell the transpeople coming to Washington that inclusion in ENDA wasn’t possible, but hate crimes was. This along with the HRC’s almost refusal to hire transgender employees and any treatment of them as equals is one of wasted energy. Its hypocritical stance on tell trans folk to accept incremental progress but not accepting it for same sex marriage and its repeated failures from ignoring the advice from trans community leaders is an embarrassment. After years of tension a head was formed on March 26, 2013, LGBT activists gathered at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. to support marriage equality, but in the midst of these demonstrations one speaker was asked to edit their proceedings to conceal their trans identity, and the trans community was asked to lower their pride flags. This created monumental backlash and finally forced the HRC to agree to promoting trans issues more directly something they have yet to act on.
In this three part blog post I will be covering the history of trans activism, where its at currently, and the many times through out its history and today the voices of trans folk have been silenced or pushed a side.
So to start lets begin with the very beginning of the modern LGBTQIA+ movement because it wouldn’t exist without the action of trans women, namely trans women of color. Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, performer, model, sex worker, and mother figure to many young trans women in New York during her lifetime. A figurehead of the transgender community in Greenwich Village, Johnson was one of the first Stonewall instigators and was deeply influenced by her experiences being homeless and hustling for survival. The way in which rioter during the riots organized against police and use pamphlets and flyers to distribute is considered by most to be the start of the Gay Liberation Movement.
Another Figure head in the riots was Miss Major. Miss Major is one of the most prominent pioneers of today’s trans rights movement. She has fought for trans rights for over forty years. After participating in the original Stonewall Riots, she worked to organise fellow sex workers in the 1970s and to became a leader in fighting for trans rights. Currently, Miss Major is the Executive Director of the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project, an organisation working “against imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures” for transgender women of colour and their families.
moving on a little bit forward in time, Like many cities in the 70’s Los Angeles had an anti-crossdressing regulation on the books they called Rule Number 9. It made it illegal for performers to ‘impersonate by means of costume or dress a member of the opposite sex’ unless you had a special permit issued by the LA Board of Police Commissioners. The woman who help strike down the regulation Lady Java was a performer and female impersonator based in Los Angeles, California, during the 1960s. At the time, Los Angeles law made it illegal to “impersonate by means of costume or dress a person of the opposite sex” and was often used by police to break up shows and punish trans people. When Sir Lady Java became more popular, authorities began targeting her directly. Recognizing this violation on her civil rights and affect this had on the LGBT+ community, she fought back. Joining forces with the ACLU, Sir Lady Java took Rule No. 9 to court and brought the LGBT community together through public rallies and protests. While it was determined she didn’t have legal standing to file the initial lawsuit, Sir Lady Java made it possible for Rule No. 9 to be stuck down two years later.
The History of trans activism has its roots in media id developing a codified political identity at the actions of Virginia Prince. In 1960, the first issue of Prince’s magazine “Transvestia” was published. Prince acquired the means to fund the publication after assembling a list of 25 acquaintances, each of whom were willing to donate four dollars to her start-up. Working with one hundred dollars, Prince then launched her first issue, published by her own Chevalier Publications, and sold it by subscription and through adult bookstores. Princes writings while originally focused on helping to shed ignorance of drag queens and crossdressers become more about shedding ignorance all all things related to not binary gender conformation. And although the magazine wasnt much of a commercial success it helped to bring together people from all over the country into a singular movement.
In the Article by Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips “Media Democracy in Action” they talk about a “Truth Emergency”. An emergency in America media in censorship and what the american people deem important news worthy information. At the the start of the article They talk about the fact that while the US ambassador to Iraq had misplaced 12 billion dollars that were flown to Baghdad, the current US new media was focused on Anna Nicole Smiths death, so much so that on CNN there was a solid 2 hours of uninterrupted, with out commercial, news coverage. This was the longest uninterrupted news broadcast at CNN since 9/11. Now Huff and Phillips seem to look at this as the news media having its priorities straight and that this is the birth of the infotainment society. While i agree somewhat with what they are arguing i think they are missing something very important. That this “lack of priorities” is completely intentional, its the government flexing their control over the news media in the most effective and long lasting way they can, with distractions. Anna Nicole Smiths death is only one of many seemingly strategic distractions in news media history. Back in 2004 tens of thousands of protesters marched against Bush during his visit with Tony Blair, Bush’s then imperialistic partner in the Middle East.
That same weekend, thousands of Americans demonstrated their displeasure over FTAA trade policies and tactics at its conference in Miami, during which they were subject to police violence and brutality. Police violence was calculated, massive, swift and ugly. First Amendment dissent will not be tolerated in Bush’s America, something thats perhaps being eerily mirror with our current president. Remarkably, the protests in London bore little resemblance to Miami’s with police dog enforcers, funded, incidentally, by monies appropriated for Iraq. As if out of nowhere, pop star icon Michael Jackson suddenly got splashed across news screens. Allegedly for child molestation, a warrant had been issued for his arrest, and it quickly flooded and dominated the news. British and U.S. protest coverage collapsed into a media black hole. At the same time, protests against Georgia President Edouard Shevardnadze received extensive media coverage, a despot notorious for committing election fraud. Interestingly the alternative press reported the protests were actually engineered by U.S. elites fearing Shevardnadze would stray back into the Russian fold. Nonetheless, the law of diversion is strongly evident here, democratic protests were eclipsed and then stealthily replaced with Jackson and Shevardnadze. Back in December 2004 President Bush signed into law H.R.2417, which expands the FBI’s power to investigate and to reduce the privacy rights of American citizens. Prior to its passage in Congress good old Congressman Ron Paul said of it “It appears we are witnessing a stealth enactment of the enormously unpopular ‘Patriot II ‘ legislation…Perhaps the national outcry when a draft of the Patriot Act II act was leaked has led its supporters to enact it one piece at a time in secret. Whatever the case, this is outrageous and unacceptable.” So with this monumentally unpopular bill about the be passed suddenly it is reported that Saddam Hussein had been captured on December 14. Hussein’s apprehension immediately commandeered the media ‘s attention. Furthermore on Monday, December 15, “Sen. Bill Nelson reported ‘the Bush administration told senators Iraq had the capability to hit the U.S. East Coast with WMD, leading to their vote to use military force.'” And on Wednesday, September 17, “CBS Evening News reports that for the first time, the chairman of the independent September 11 commission is ‘saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented. I think its more than clear this goes beyond mere circumstance. Sometimes diversion goes beyond a blatant distraction, sometimes its just straight up obscured. Politicians have been using the limitations of CSPAN for decades now. whether its blind sighting the public with more bills then can be covered with the 3 CSPAN channels or passing them so late a night most americans aren’t awake to even be conscious of whats happening. On a night in March 2005 at 2:54 a.m, the Republican-led House cut veteran’s benefits by three votes, on a night in April 2005 at 2:39 a.m., the Republican-led House slashed education and health care by five votes, on a night in May at 1:56 a.m, the Republican-led House passed the tax-cut bill by a few votes, and on a night in June at 2:33 a.m., the Republican-led House passed the Medicare drug bill by one vote.Congressman Sherrod Brown said “But what did the public miss? They didn’t see the House votes, which normally take no more than 20 minutes, dragging on for as long as an hour as members of the Republican leadership trolled for enough votes to cobble together a majority. They didn’t see the GOP leaders stalking the floor for whoever was not in line. They didn’t see Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority leader Tom DeLay coerce enough Republican members into switching their votes to produce the desired effect…In other words, they didn’t see the subversion of democracy.” And even today in trumps presidency we’re seeing these distractions take place just the same, a CNN sotry on Sean Spicer attacking the media for its reporting on inauguration attendance was shared 169,700 times on Facebook. A story on Trump’s executive order to start rolling back Obamacare clocked just 71,100 shares. On The New York Times’ website, the most widely shared story debunked Spicer’s “alternative facts.” It showed up on Facebook 170,900 times. The New York Times piece about Trump’s executive order abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership got 44,600 shares. So what is there to be done with this, with such deep roots corruption in todays media one has to go look towards independent news sources and activist media for the kind of honest news coverage people deserve. Unfortunately the kind of coordination needed to produce big stories like mainstream media does is sometimes hard to accomplish independently and in a way creates the same problems of distractions with an over saturation of conflicting stories. In the article “Drawing and Effacing Boundaries in Contemporary Media Democracy Work” by Christina Dunbar-Hester, she covers how different groups approach media reform with their own personal priorities and strategies. Namely Activists and Scholars, each groups with their own perspective on whats the most important parts of news stories and their attitudes towards distributing information.
In last chunk of chapters i most focused on Barlows journey into blog use, the rise of blog use after 9/11 and their ultra partisan/biased views the ran rampant. Maybe its because its 2017 and i spent my formative years on the internet for probably just as long as Barlow has been using it as a news medium. i didn’t really find anything particularly new or insightful probably because i was living this life he talks about. not of creating this content but being aware and imbibing it. I wasn’t writing new columns on a blog but i was complaining and ranting on social media to real people all over the country and sometimes the world.And again it becomes more obvious that people have reacted the same to new media as always with the creation of trump. So the information on how personal blogging can be didnt really make me think very much as im intimately aware of the personal nature of online writing already.
In this chunk of chapters Barlow talks about the origin of political parties in news media. Back when the were first being formed the republican and democratic parties weren’t as partisan and their beliefs were far from set in stone. But what helped create and unified mind set was the creation of biased news media. Everyone who identified as a republican could now be only educated politically by republican news sources and like wise with democrats, this creates and space where their ideas arent challenged. Another echo from the past in the present with face books approach to content aggregation. Showing people what they want to see, which goes into what he talks about next with is the rise of corporate media, which is news stories that are bought. Newspapers starting as passion projects with private investor had unlimited freedom, but as more people learned how to read and bought papers the more productions costs weighed down on the writers. Its then that governments saw a tool for use and began to help support the news papers and in turn the news started to take a lighter tone with the active politicians. This also then opened up businesses to buy ad space or influence stories in their favor too.