Social Justice and Cute Shoes

News flash:  Martin Luther King’s legacy is far more complex than the mainstream media acknowledges!  

By articulating the connections between racism, imperialism and economic inequality, King showed how struggles for social justice are interrelated.  Today, what I find inspiring and important about MLK’s message (the real one, not the sound bite) is its radicalism.  I use “radical” in the most basic definition of the term–going to the root, origin or source.  King addressed the root causes of racial oppression in American society by pointing to the connections between U.S. economic policies at home and abroad. He fought against the military-industrial complex, founded the Poor People’s Campaign for economic justice, and courageously opposed the Vietnam War.  

On the eve of Obama’s inauguration, it’s tempting to cheer about the progress we’ve made or declare that Obama himself is the realization of King’s dream.  But the very same problems that King most forcefully addressed–racism, militarism, economic injustice–are arguably the most pressing challenges America faces today.  Although we may cheer as Obama is sworn in tomorrow, we also desperately need to think about King’s broader message of human rights and social and international justice.  Well, that and equal access to footwear, because what’s a femme revolution without cute shoes? 😉

So, my lovelies, let’s really honor and celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.  Instead of watching the usual “I Have a Dream” sound bites we get every year, take a look at these MLK quotes, most of which are not likely to make the news today:    

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

“Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”

“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”

“We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

“When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Sublimefemme in Bed and More

At last…the big reveal! Here are the answers to last week’s 10 Hidden Truths About My Life: Fact or Fiction?

1. I typically sleep in a babydoll nightie with matching g-string/thong/panty or cami with matching thong/panty.
FALSE.The key word here is “typically.” Being sublimely femme at bedtime requires a varied sleep wardrobe! I like baby doll T-shirts with low-rise boyshorts, cute nighties, silk lingerie, lacy babydolls with matching g-string/bikini, and camis or fitted tanks with “cheekies” (see pic).

2. Last night my partner dreamt about me and described me as “drop-dead gorgeous” in the dream. (Not true, I assure you, but what could be more pleasing to a femme than getting an unconscious compliment from her butch?)
TRUE. Sorry if this word choice was confusing. What I meant was I’m not drop-dead gorgeous, but isn’t she sweet to say I am–in a dream, no less?!!

3. I have had sex with 3 men.
FALSE. I gave my mother this test yesterday to see how well she knows me and when she got to this one she asked, “at the same time?!” “Nooo, Mom,” I replied, “in my life!” That was definitely the highlight of my day! So here’s the truth: I’m about as lesbo as a girl can get. Many years ago, I did once invite into my bed a butch guy with a certain rugged sex appeal, but I must confess: as much as I was into him, I was a total stone femme that night!

4. One of my favorite movies is Point Break starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.
TRUE. Like Gone in 60 Seconds, this is one of those movies I have to stop and watch whenever it comes on TV. It’s sort of the boy version of Showgirl–both covertly queer, ridiculously earnest, and therefore delightfully campy for yours truly.

5. I own 96 bottles of nail polish (that’s including several kinds of base coats/treatments and top coats).
TRUE. When I counted all my polishes, even I was rather appalled. But if you take good care of them, they can provide years of nail glamour and sexiness. And since gorgeous nails make you a better kisser, they’re worth every penny! 😉

6. Growing up I never felt smart or pretty.
TRUE. As a teenager I wore a lot of black and hung out with various alienated and socially marginal folks experimenting with their sexualities and unusual hair colors. I got a scholarship to college and was sure it was a mistake because I didn’t really think I was smart. Back then, the last thing I wanted to be was pretty, but I was also afraid that deep down I wasn’t. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day; it’s been a long road to Sublime Femmeness, my lovelies!

7. I keep a makeup inspiration book with magazine articles and images of new looks I want to try next to my vanity.
TRUE. I always refresh my makeup looks when the season changes in order to stay au courant!

8. I used to be an aerobics junkie. (Before you groan, give me a break and remember it was the 80s and I wanted to tone!)
FALSE. Good god no! I thought aerobics was an emblem of the shallow values of the 80s which I loathed with every fiber in my being. I still hate to exercise, but jumping around to Billy Idol with all those perky upbeat women in legwarmers would have probably sent me over the edge.

9. I was voted most radical in my high school class.
TRUE.I can’t believe how many people thought this was a lie! Where I went to high school it didn’t take much to get you labeled “radical,” but I actually was involved in politics and perceived as some sort of left-wing revolutionary. These days, I may be obsessed with nail polish, but I’m still a proud lefty committed to social and economic justice.

10. I’m a fan of the eyelash curler; even if I’m just lounging around the house I always curl my lashes.
TRUE.Yes indeed, I’ve been devoted to my Shiseido lash curler for the past 10 years. (Get a good curler and it will last forever; you just need to buy inexpensive replacement pads periodically.) If I’m having a casual day, I might skip on other parts of my beauty routine, but the lashes must be curled!

I’ve come clean, now what about your reveals?

What “hidden truth” about your life might surprise people?
Assuming nail polish isn’t your vice, what are you obsessed with?
What’s the one grooming/beauty ritual you have to do every day, no matter how late you’re running?
What’s your favorite bad movie?
What were you like in high school?