am i PRETTY?
My child asked me this morning, at 10 years old, “Mommy, am I pretty?” and I want to cry. It’s a question that is inevitable and is too powerful. I have to say yes but I also say “You are more important than Pretty”
Pretty.. I wish I could say it doesn't matter, but I made a career of my pretty, my pretty enough. For so long, I was pretty on the outside and so fucking ugly, mean, and sad on the inside... When I see pretty, mean girls, I get it. I remember. You hurt because you were hurt and it all hurts when we are measured by PRETTY. Beyonce sang it best, but we've ALL (feminists and all the women artists/poets/singer since time began) been saying this same line for so long and will continue to say, because it's a cultural disease that isn't going away anytime soon. PRETTY HURTS.
I have stopped posting photos of my kids on social media and I will try to keep them from accessing Facebook and social media platforms as long as possible, knowing how these platforms are causing more pain to young girls than those supermodel magazines did to me and my generations. (Kate Moss led us all into starvation of self worth).
I am always posting about my work and community, but don't ever doubt that MOTHER is the most dear role I play in this world and in this lifetime. It's cliche' but... everything I do, I do for them. I wish I could always shield them, protect their bodies and minds with my own, but I know that, as they are full-fledged tweens now, the harshness of the world is upon them and our dark blood magic is flowing. But still I frantically carve at the world's edges, hoping to smooth a gentler space, sew seeds for futures of joy.
And always this:
One day, when the inevitable bully tells them that their mother is a whore, I hope that they will reply, "Fuck Yeah."
(from my essay, Mother Whore, published in the Slutist 2018)
Photo by Aeric Meredith Gordon
Fly in Power Screenings
Thank you to all who joined us in Flushing for our community premier. Don't worry if you missed it, as we will be screening all over the country and many, many times in NYC over the next year.
If you would like to host a screening, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!!
Please follow my event page and/or @RedCanarySong for dates/locations!
8LIVES Vigil 2023
Daoyou Feng 冯道佑
Hyun Jung Grant 김현정
Suncha Kim 김순자
Paul Andre Michels
Soon Chung Park 박순정
Xiaojie Tan 谭晓洁
Delaina Ashley Yuan
Yong Ae Yue 유영애
Red Canary Song invites community members and allies to a vigil honoring the eight lives lost in the Atlanta spa shootings on March 16, 2021.
Pay your tribute to an altar dedicated to the victims; bring flowers, candles, and your loved ones. Build a moment of remembrance and solidarity by writing a message to hang by the altar. Let us gather to mourn and stand strong with one another. Together, we will reorient ourselves, overcome fear with love, and imagine beyond policing.
In light of the increased visibility of racist attacks against our Asian communities, we recognize that there is not enough space where first-generation, working-class migrants can name and process this violence. It is even more difficult for massage/sex workers who survive this kind of violence on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, this event is led by and catered to the safety needs and cultural understanding of monolingual Flushing residents and Asian migrant massage and sex workers.
Thank you to @nonviolentpeaceforce @apichachc @kqtxnyc @flushing_town_hall @flushingworkers @AAFC.NYC and all of our other collaborators and community members for helping us put this together