In the Clouds

Congratulations! You have discovered the hidden section in which I have decided to withhold any embarassingly impudent self-descriptions bar one exception; I lick feet.

Roughly organised into politics, music, visuals, thoughts (mine), ideas (others), people, and places from 2013 onwards.

Here's the questioning box.

My existence elsewhere.

How Racist is Australia? Pretty Damn Racist. 



This is my response (originally published in Crikey) to Mark Sawyer’s article ‘How Racist Are You’ published in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald last week (

Dear Mark,

As a comedian I very much appreciated your…

So Let's Talk About The Fucking Asterisk 


This one: “Trans *”

Personally, my problems with the asterisk aren’t of a nature of “this excludes trans women!” or whatever. It doesn’t. Nor are they based in an ignorance of the issues of non-binary semantic inclusion.

My criticisms are principally of…

a) the relative worth or value of the…

Putting an asterisk on the end of “trans” is INCREDIBLY EASY. A lot easier than actually working towards making spaces, events, projects, organizations or instutions GENUINELY trans / genderqueer inclusive.”

A Handy Guide to What Is and Isn't Cultural Appropriation 


What isn’t cultural appropration:

• Trying/eating/making a culture’s food 
• Listening to that culture’s music 
• Watching that culture’s movies 
• Reading that culture’s books 
• Appreciating that culture’s art 
• Wearing that culture’s clothing IF in a setting where that culture is prevalent and IF people are okay with it and/or it is necessary to fit in and not stand out weirdly (i.e. If you visit Pakistan, you can wear a shalwar kameez so you don’t stand out as an American tourist. Or if you visit a specific temple or religious setting, you may need to/want to adhere to specific dress forms. Or if you’re invited to a wedding and they allow/invite you to wear their cultural dress to participate in the festivities). 
• Using that culture’s dance/physical traditions in specific settings (i.e. taking belly-dancing classes, or going to an Indian wedding and trying to dance with them).

What is cultural appropriation:

• Wearing specific items of clothing that may (and probably do) have deeper meaning as a costume. Like on Halloween. 
• Wearing specific items of clothing to be trendy or fashionable. 
• Trying to imitate their natural beauty standards and possible makeup/markings (i.e dreadlocks and bindis and mehndi/henna). 
• Taking their rituals, old-as-hell traditions, and dances and turning them into cheap, tacky everyday garbage for you to have “fun” with (i.e. smoking sheesha. Y’all turned it into this janky nonsense that looks so trashy and stupid). 
• Taking spiritual/religious ideas and traditions and subscribing to them to be trendy or unique
• Trying to act like you’re an expert in their food, music, or art, and that you can do it BETTER than them 
• Basically trying to WEAR that culture’s skin, clothing, & beauty traditions as a costume/trend and turn old traditions into cheap garbage

And WHY is this wrong? Because, in our society, white people or non-POC can get away with wearing another culture’s clothes and identities and it will be “cute”, “indie”, “bohemian”, “trendy”, and “exotic.” BUT when a POC who actually belongs to that culture wears their own culture’s clothing, styles of beauty, or does things that are specific to their culture, they’re looked down upon, made fun of, sneered at, told to “Go home, get out of this country, we don’t do that here,” and laughed at. 


On average, you have a 1 in 18,989 chance of being murdered

A trans person has a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered

The average life span of a cis person is about 75-90 

The average life expectancy of a trans person is 23-30 years old

75% of people killed in anti LGBT hate crimes are poc

Think about this the next time you go crying over “cisphobia” and “reverse racism”


"I live in a shared apartment with 15 other girls near my college. There’s 3 of us per room. We each pay 450 taka ($6) a month for food. For breakfast, we have potato mash, lentils and rice. For lunch, we eat fish, vegetables and rice and then for dinner, we fry some vegetables. Fish for only one meal a day."

"What about meat?"
"Meat is expensive so we only buy it for 5 days in the month for lunch. Our menu isn’t bad, I guess the more you can afford, the better you can eat."


"I grew up in Adelaide during the Pauline Hanson era. There weren’t that many Asian families back then and people would tell us to go back to where we came from because we were Asian.

After September 11, they would tell us to go back to where we came from because we were Muslim. Livin’ the dream!”


"I love people, everyone has stories. I spend most of my time talking to randoms. You have no idea how much time the street steals from me."

"What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt from a street conversation?"
"I never finished high school so Sydney streets became my education. I’ve learnt so much about life from watching dry paint. Everything I am is a combination of them experiences. I think that everyone is fragile and the most violent and self destructive ones are the ones in adult bodies, facing adult consequences but in their hearts they are just kids. It seems so wrong to punish kids for making mistakes."


In Bangladesh, I used to work at the World Health Organisation but there’s no system here to get me a job like that so here I am.

I live here with my wife and kids but this isn’t just for them, I have to work to support those back home too. I’ve come here and there’s no turning back.

This in itself is a kind of war. I’ve come and I’m working but back home, I wouldn’t have even thought of this kind of work. But I’m doing it and it’s getting me by.


The hashtag #WhiteFeministRants was started by @RaniaKhalek in response to The Nation piece on “toxic feminism”, a piece that purposely obscured structural power differences and racism within feminism as to why the responses (to various stunts by White feminists) from women of colour do not always have a “nice tone” and are thereby deemed “toxic.” I previously posted about that article and shared an important quote from another response piece to that article. The tweets I sent above were specific to Black women and experiences with mainstream feminism because that’s my experience as a Black woman, but of course Black women aren’t the only ones repeatedly marginalized in these daily hit pieces, within feminism and within society itself. But the role of anti-Blackness within such friction cannot be denied either. 

If we’re going to have an honest conversation about problems in feminism (which simply reflects White supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy itself, “feminist” label or not) but cannot discuss why some womanists/Black feminists, women of colour who are feminists, trans women, sex workers, poor women, disabled women etc. respond to these hit pieces and structural exclusion and oppression because of White Feminism/mainstream feminism's proximity to the State and distance from the oppressed, then things like what I mentioned in the tweets above (which is not really hyperbole…at all) need to be included in claims of “toxicity.”

I do not randomly tweet White women. Other than a handful who are kind to me, I don’t talk to too many online about topics of any significance. I don’t have any White women friends offline because of the abuse I experienced at their hands in high school, college, grad school, a decade of corporate America and social groups/gatherings/in public. So I am not running around planning to be “toxic” to White women or White feminists specifically. I don’t troll them or anyone online. Sometimes I discuss their harmful work and I don’t always tweet them directly. I focus on my life and my work, but that work includes deconstructing racism and how this (among many other identity facets) differentiates how we experience gender. And racism amidst feminism does not get a pass nor am I doing so because I want some kinda “White approval” that they deny me. So this idea that I could ever talk about it “too much” or should ignore it and grin, smile and tap dance for White feminists is an idea that will not ever be valid to me.

Oh and by the way, when they’re saying things like what I mentioned in my tweets above—reinforcing White supremacist narratives and norms about Black women as feminists, mothers, writers etc.—that stuff hurts. I understand that Whites think that Black people—especially Black women—do not experience pain in the way Whites do or at all (as actual research has confirmed their thoughts), that is actually a White supremacist lie with centuries of history used to justify the dehumanization of Black people. These things hurt. And while their “feelings” get “hurt” by critiques that I make of their racist, White supremacist, anti-intersectional, purposely obscuring structural power type of pieces, planning and action, their lies about who I am as a Black woman threatens my life. There is no “both sides” that “goes both ways” when one “side” has White supremacy—which they do not use their feminism to deconstruct—supporting them. 

Related Essay List: 2013: A Year Of White Supremacy and Racism In Mainstream Feminism


hey… this one’s a little rough around the edges… but there’s been discussion of a few ppl bringing shame upon the house of the feminism recently so here’s Disrespectful “Feminist” Daisy! I don’t think she gets the meaning of the word intersectionality…

Wario thinks this is really good, it is’a better than the one Wario was’a working on. Wahahahaha!

this. so great.


Wario wants you to imagine these’a being said in’a Toad’s shrill, irritating voice.

Beili Liu - The Mending Project (2011)

“…Hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling in a shimmery cloud. The piece involved the artist sitting at a small black table, hand-mending patches of fabric together which visitors were encouraged to cut themselves near the entrance. As the performance continued, the piece grew as one continuous cloth and lay spread on the floor.  

The hovering mass of the downward-pointed scissors represent the distant fear and looming violence present in today’s cultural climate. The sharp blades above the artist are put in contrast by the silent and simple act of mending. The dichotomous result of the instant fear superimposed with the calming effect of the sewing created a surreal atmosphere in the room.”

(Source: likeafieldmouse)



white boys playing at government, without opposition
i’m onto you. i know your refugee policies
have nothing to do with refugees and
everything to do with performing white sovereignty
you can put on the biggest muscle parade in the world
i know this is not your country

forget facts and figures,
forget human rights
forget the reassurance
that only a reasonable number
of adequately-persecuted UN-recognised
hard-working polite
civilised brown people
contributing labour, gratitude, delicious foods
and diversity but not transformation
will arrive

remember that your authority is premised on a colony of lies

i know your nightmares
the flood, looking back, the taste of salt
your fear of invasion is a fear of retribution
in 2013, still your solution is to put
prisons on another country
while this one remains colonised

the sun will set on british theft
when justice comes you can’t stop it
with oceans, bullets or laws
borders won’t protect you
from who rises within

i know your nightmares
if everyone comes here
the worst that happens is
we live like other people
learn what they know
of survival

the best that happens
is the weight of the world
cracks open something

unsettling —

i know your nightmares
and i hope your fears are right
that all they/we who come
threatens this way of life

i dream your nightmares
the flood you fear i welcome
i can taste the salt, look back
see white foam on the crest, breaking
and everything beneath rising
with full force

Lia Incognita, 2013. First performed at Spoken Out For Refugees, on Wurundjeri land, Sunday 18 August 2013.

Anonymous said: Hey, I don't know you, but my name is Jessica Xu too :D

Oh awesome! Hello to yet another Jessica Xu in the world :)

Urasabite no omoi: Non-Western Feminism: a list 


It is my intention to put together a non-western feminism course syllabus for submission to my Women’s Studies department. In that spirit, I have collected a list of texts on non-western feminism, mostly in the voices of non-western women, to serve as a starting point for developing this…

Summer break reading here I come

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