Posts

Who am I and Why am I Writing This?

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There's an About page and it's linked in at least one other post, so I am keeping it available. I think you should read it before reading the rest of this post, but it's pretty thin. So as I start my third or fourth attempt at this blog, I am not putting the About page in some kind of menu bar or something. Instead, I am writing this piece and "pinning" it to the landing page as a Featured Post. My name is Doreen Traylor . I was born in Columbus, Georgia to a decorated veteran father of Irish, Cherokee and probably French heritage and a German immigrant mother. I have an older sister and an older brother, both born in Germany. As noted in the brief About page, my father died while I was homeless. Also while I was homeless, I learned this song with it's unusual and remarkable attitude towards consent and female sexuality wasn't a product of the Hippie Era per se, like I thought it was. No, it was the product of an entirely Native band. Those

Alaska

I've taken an interest in the state of Alaska. That maybe sounds like it's a new interest. It's not. It began a few years ago. According to Alaska Native Peoples , Alaska has the highest state and city native populations in the US: According to the 2014 Census update, 18% of Alaska’s general population is American Indian or Alaska Native – the highest rate for this racial group of any state. Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, has the greatest proportion of Native peoples among places with over 100,000 residents, at 12%. Alaska has really bad stats on violence against women. Most years, Alaska has the worst rate of homocide for women on a per capita basis. The rate of rape cited in various articles suggests it is anywhere from 2.5 to 4 times the national average. Yesterday, I got into a discussion on Reddit about sexual assualt in the Alaskan bush. As is typical, my remarks weren't exactly warmly received. I left my final reply maybe and hour ago and came here t

Ten Pages In

I am ten pages into a 40-page document called Decolonization is not a methaphor . It is a document you can also find in the drop down menu of this site under "Resources." It is the only thing there currently, though I hope to add to that list over time. This post is some of my messy thoughts and initial reactions upon reading those first ten pages. (Please note this blog is not currently listed anywhere and is intended to be primarily a space for me to work through some things for my personal benefit and it currently gets intentionally low levels of traffic). The document I am reading through brings up the concept of "moves to innocence" and it looks to me like this is possibly an idea borrowed from some feminist text. Women are often "their own worst enemies" collectively speaking -- at least White women in White culture or groups dominated by and defined by White American culture. This has been commented on by Kethy Griffin back before she was bes

The only art gallery in Juneau owned by Alaska Native women

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I saw a tweet a bit ago about a Native art gallery doing a fundraiser to try to survive the pandemic. It starts off with "My friend owns a store in Alaska that supports over 40 Alaskan artists, most from rural Alaska." and has a couple of links. A follow up tweet described it as "...the only art gallery in Juneau owned by Alaska Native women." The two tweets were by a Native person, so I'm not going to post them here. From what I have seen, Natives tend to not like having their tweets shared around. It's problematic for them thanks to racism and so forth. I clicked into the two links in the first tweet, one to the art gallery's website and the other to their gofundme page . Their website -- an online store -- links to a blog without much content, but the blog doesn't link back to their online store. A little bit of searching turns up the fact that one of the principle people behind this, Vivian Mork, writes a column for a Juneau paper. Some of

Attitudes Towards Weight

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I've never been able to find a clip of it online, but the 1992 movie Thunderheart has a scene where the half Native FBI agent is talking with a Native woman. He tells an anecdote from his childhood and she laughs and says something like "That's the word we use for the lard we use in our soup. I think your dad was saying you were a chubby boy." His dad never told him that and my feeling was that the subtext there was his Native dad realized he couldn't tell his half White child he had just called him "fat" because in White culture that's an insult. I've seen some discussions online where Natives talk about how they think it is a good thing for a baby to be fat and it makes moms happy if you call their baby "chubby." My mother is German and when she was younger she was really awfully critical of fat people. She was always reed thin too. My sister told me once that Mom gained a dress size, apparently intentionally, after she had bre

The Day I Learned I Hadn't Escaped Drinking the Koolaid of Racism

Like a lot of folks, I like to imagine I'm some kind of decent human being and idealist and blah blah blah. So while I grew up in the Deep South, when I was younger, I liked to imagine that I wasn't racist. And then I got schooled. We arrived in Kansas and my husband became fast friends with someone at work and I spent the next several months hearing about his new best friend at work constantly, all day, every day, until I was sick to death of hearing about him in a "Oh, go fuck the guy if you like him so damn much" kind of way. In all those months of my husband never shutting up about his new best friend, the one thing that was never mentioned to me was that his new best friend was Black. I learned this the hard way: By meeting him and his wife and kids in person without being told beforehand they were Black. So I was surprised. The surprise showed on my face, which made for a very awkward meeting and my relationship to them never really recovered from my f

Dad's Trash Talk About So-Called "City Boys"

My dad spent 26.5 years in the US Army. He grew up on a farm in Indiana and he more or less attributed a lot of his talents that served him well in the military to that fact. Sort of. He was talented at things like wayfinding in places he had never been before. I guess the best example I can give is his anecdote about finding water to save the lives of his unit while trapped behind enemy lines in Vietnam. It was the dry season, I guess, and they had run out of water and this was turning into a life-threatening situation. My dad told his commanding officer (CO) that "I can get us water. You see that patch of greenery over there (against an otherwise dried out, brown landscape)? There's water there. You may have to dig for it, but there's water there." So he convinced his CO to let him and his best friend, Mojo, to go get water. They took all the canteens from everyone and put them on poles or something and left on the cloth covering so they wouldn't clank a