Posted by Shayna Goncalves · February 03, 2017 4:40 AM
I just came across this article about intersectionality. One of the points that is raised, though the writer doesn’t directly address this, is how older women of colour (who are not black women) respond to the intersectional experience of being altogether black, woman and non-gender conforming. I am not quite sure what to make of the whole argument.
Posted by Shayna Goncalves · January 23, 2017 4:44 PM
I’m that girl with the purple locs. The girl with the high bun which proudly sits atop her head. The girl with the hair which glistens in the sun offering glimpses of plum and violet. The one whose every other post on Instagram is about her hair. Yeah, that girl. Some people no doubt wonder what the story is with me and my mane. Others will be unsurprised to learn that this story began with hatred of the very head of hair I flaunt so happily today. Like many other Black women and girls, I have a long and complicated history with my hair…
Posted by Shayna Goncalves · January 10, 2017 8:11 PM
(Art by Nicola Scott)
For my next article for Endangered Bodies, I’d like to branch out a bit and talk about Wonder Woman. Many of you might know her as one of the premier superheroines of American culture. She’s a literal Amazon princess born of clay, the daughter of an entire civilization of women, a hero who wields a magic lasso that compels people to be truthful, and a figure of strength and grace. In my articles about how rape’s portrayal in comics affects public and private thinking on rape, I’ve talked about rape being used for shock value. In this case, I’ll be talking about how a rape retcon was used to undermine Wonder Woman’s character and the culture she came from.
Posted by Shayna Goncalves · December 30, 2016 2:04 PM
So here's the truth: in the last few months I have gone up a dress size or two, hosted a massive acne outbreak on my forehead, been working 4-5 different freelance positions and thus verbally punished myself for not having a full-time position at one place. But here's the thing, on Christmas Eve I sat in a storytelling circle with a group of truly remarkable individuals in Loveland, Colorado. Like in traditional communal oral storytelling circles, we shared stories about the celebrations and successes of our lives in 2016. I was towards the end so as I listened to these amazing people I became more inspired not only by their wonderfully meaningful accomplishments but by their ability to acknowledge the good parts of their lives. I realized that while I have done well this year, I spend more days being disappointed with what I haven't got rather than acknowledging what I have received, done, accomplished...which ironically goes against being present.
Posted by Shayna Goncalves · October 25, 2016 4:59 PM
Hello Endangered Bodies Readers! :)
I am sure that many of you noticed that all of our articles have been posted almost incognito, as the person posting has been largely invisible in an effort to give full credit and shine to the individual writers. I am going to try do things a little bit differently, just so that you as the readers can feel the humanness in our blog and so you have some indication of who you are hearing from --because, after all, humanity, our feelings as humans, and our connection and compassion for each other is what drives our core strive for equality here at Endangered Bodies. So first off, I’m going to introduce myself and then I want to tell you about the terrific text featured this week. My name is Shayna. I am the editor of the Endangered Bodies New York (EBNYC) Blog and I will sometimes contribute my own writing as well. Among many things, I am a feminist, not a ‘feminist lite’ or a ‘sometimes feminist with exceptions’ but a feminist who finds relevance and importance in the Suffragette movement, Second Wave feminism, and Third Wave Trans-/Queer theories/politics/experiences. Every moment of my day is propelled by what these things mean for how I live. This may sound exhausting, it’s not; it is liberating, empowering, challenging, and true. Living this way has allowed me to consider us all as equals which has given me the capability to open up to learn fascinating life lessons from people of all ages, races, classes, sexualities, and genders during everyday conversations. There is never a mundane moment. Contrary to pop belief being a feminist does not exempt me from participating in stereotypically “feminine” activities such as being obsessed with styling my hair, painting my nails, or having fun getting dressed. Instead, these things have become materials that I use to construct my world. Anthropologist and Gender Studies scholar and professor Lila Abu-Lughod said that Islamic women’s Burqas can be seen as “mobile homes”. That when inside their burqas wearers can feel a sense of comfort because it is as if the qualities that help the wearers feel most safe and content when they are in the safe space of their homes is carried with them in their burqa –made even more secure because the outside world cannot penetrate inside. Therefore judgement from the outside remains reserved to criticism of her travelling house. I fashion myself in a similar way, it is my protection and safe space. While I am acutely aware of how I may be perceived, I find it amusing because that judgement no longer impacts whether or not I feel like I have to do anything. Fashion and Gender & Sexuality pervade my lifestyle, my career choices and my field of research which has landed me this amazing opportunity at EBNYC. I have told you these things about myself in the hopes that you will get a sense of who I am and you may get to know more about my peaks and low points through my writing on the blog. More so, I hope that by giving you a glimpse into me, you will feel more comfortable to let me get to know you as well. Through comments, sharing, and especially if you feel inspired to contribute writing or any form of work that you feel our community with receive. I hope to hear from you soon and thank you for joining and sharing these conversations.
This week’s article is by Jessica Anderson who is a pre-med student, feminist and body positivity activist in New York City. Her article is beautiful for the way she begins to search for a deeper understanding of what body positivity means and how this nuanced definition will allow body positivity to become a state of mind beyond being an ideological passing trend. I was very excited about Anderson’s work because she really encourages us all to reclaim ourselves by reclaiming this definition. Please read it below and let Jessica and us know your thoughts! Thank you Jessica, and I hope you all enjoy it!! :)
 Abu-Lughod, Lila. “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism & its Others.” American Anthropologist 104 (3): 785
Posted by Shayna Goncalves · September 20, 2016 5:57 PM
By Jude Deluca
Part of what Endangered Bodies seeks to do is promote body positivity and a healthier sense of autonomy in our readers. At least, that’s what I believe EB does. For my part, I’ve begun exploring the dynamics around the presence of rape in comic books, talking about how portrayals of rape affect public and private spheres of thinking and the effects it has on us, abuse survivors, especially in how we view our bodies, how we have interpersonal relationships, and how we perceive love.
Posted by Shayna Goncalves · August 19, 2016 4:29 AM
“…share all that you have. Whatsoever is beautiful with you, never hoard it. Your wisdom, share; your prayer, share; your love, your happiness, your delight, share. Yes, if you cannot find anybody, share it with dogs—but share.”
It seems juvenile to begin a text with a quote, but sometimes relying on our core foundation is necessary. Recently I made an impulsive, almost child-like temper tantrum driven decision of my own to exit a relationship with someone I actually really liked. The hardest thing about breaking things off with someone we still like is that there—sometimes—remains a secret reservation within us, that the leave taking is temporary. When our relationships reach a point where we need time and space separated, it is difficult to be certain of how much time we need apart, and we might…maybe…probably spend every sore second terrified that the time apart will not ever bring us back together. There is the chance that the physical distance will lead to an “out of sight out of mind” situation rather than an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” scenario. Nevertheless, you separate yourself from one another and when people who love you ask “are you giving him distance because he needs it?” You can feel their judgmental tone because they assume that you’re giving him what he wants instead of taking the time you probably need for yourself as well.
Posted by Shayna Goncalves · August 15, 2016 8:17 PM
By Deb Flashenberg
While the inspiration to first step onto the yoga mat may come from the popularity of prenatal yoga or a suggestion from the care provider, the experience of yoga, for many women is often far deeper than simply a good stretch and a nice, quiet savasana (corpse pose) at the end of class. Prenatal yoga is often the passage way for many women to start to learn about their body and be present with the sensations of daily change.
This relates more to that weird, limbo sort of stage that occurs after being considered “recovered” when you’ve been able to break free of the behaviors but the thoughts still linger. The initial stages of recovery are so, so difficult—I’m definitely not saying they aren’t—but I really wasn’t expecting the struggles that would follow even after I was physically “healthy”. I thought of recovery as an event rather than a process; it would be a one-time thing that I would have to struggle through, but then the pain would subside. Forever. I thought life would become a place where food anxiety and weight obsession didn’t exist. Now, I’m not sure if I really, genuinely believed this to be true… I think it was more of a desperate hope that I tried to make myself believe. The hardest part of recovery for me, as I feel it probably is with many, is the weight gain. This aspect varies so much with every individual; some don’t experience weight gain because it wasn’t medically needed, and some experience a greater amount. Each human body is so individually tailored to the person dwelling inside of it, and that was hard for me to accept.