Monday, August 6, 2012

Boycotts, Girlcotts, Apricots, Cumquats (Just Kiddin)

Trailer Park Barbie
When I was a little girl, I had all of ‘em:
Barbie, Ken, Midge and Skipper. I had the Barbie Dream House and Ken's Convertible too. One year, Santa even brought me all the clothes for Skipper's prom and the ultimate, extreme piece of wardrobe: 
Barbie's wedding gown.
But I never had Trailer Park Barbie.   
I'm sure lots of us can relate to her though; especially her duds, plastic rollers and eye make-up.  I hear she comes with some very cool accessories too;  Ajax and a bucket, a 20 oz. can of Keystone, and 10 cats, none of which are neutered.
I didn't grow up in a trailer park, but I did live in one for 7 1/2 years.  So did my daddy, my mom and my brother. Well, mom lived in a pre-fab when she left my dad, but was fortunate enough to park it on her own lot not in a park.
I did, however, grow up with orange/mustard shag carpet, faux paneling and frozen T.V. dinners. 
It wasn't until I entered adulthood, that I actually went to restaurants that served various ethnic foods. Our big treat, on Sunday afternoons, was lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken because the one in our town had a patio for outdoor dining.
We certainly never ate Indian food; never heard of it, which reminds me of the other night. We decided to go to Ambrosia, a yummy, delightful Indian restaurant in Monterey that makes killer cocktails, Tandori chicken and garlic naan.
Aloo Sabzi
After taking a big bite of their hot, spicy aloo sabzi, my mom-in-law snatched up her glass of Cabernet (interesting choice over her water) and told us, 
“Wow, that's hot.  I’ll just soak my tongue in my wine.”  
I love that line.  
Trailers might say, "I'll just soak my tongue in my beer"  Of course, it makes no difference as long as the soakin is easing the pain.

Speaking of 'easing the pain', I'd like to soak a few heads in a 10,000 gallon tank of skunk piss; namely Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A.  Now, I'm not saying Mr. Cathy doesn't have a right to speak his opinion and give his money wherever the hell he chooses. (In 2010, Chick fil-A donated over 
2 million to organizations that are anti-gay, including one called Exodus which "helps men and women surrender their sexual struggles to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.")  Yep, that's his right.  And it's my right to not only bring this awareness to y'all, but also to save the millions of chickens slaughtered annually by Chick fil-A.  We all are privileged to these kinds of freedoms in this country; even those damn tax-paying gays. 
But you know what, buckaroos?  
Mr. Dan Cathy hasn't experienced much hatred, discrimination or bigotry in his life.  
Who exactly is Dan Cathy?  Well, he's a husband, father, gardener, musician, Sunday School teacher and a member of New Hope Baptist Church.  He has money. Lots-o-dough.
So did his pappy.  And it doesn't take a brain surgeon to guess that his grandpappy and great grandpappy did too.   Check out the Cathy family website where you'll meet Truett, Trudy, Dan and Bubba (who lists himself as family man, adventurer and connector)
The Cathy family are all dudes ('cept Trudy a 'course) who've never had a need, reason or desire to boycott anything.   You know why? 
Okay, I'll just say it.   Because, like the Romneys, Bushes, Rockefellers, Kennedys, Gettys, Fords, Gates, Bertarelli's, Abramoviches, Mittals, Hiltons and the Westons (just to name a few); the Cathys were all born with shiny, gold spoons in their (health-insured) mouths; white and filthy rich.  
And like too many in this powerful and controlling (the 2%) minority,
they've never been in a place where their very heart, soul, livelihood depended on utilizing the tool known as a boycott.

There have been numerous effective boycotts led by the world's oppressed. One happened against the estate land owner, Charles Cunningham Boycott, when in 1880, as part of its campaign for the "Three F's" (fair rent, fixity of tenure and free sale) to protect tenants from exploitation, the Irish Land League under Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt withdrew the local labor required to save the harvest on Lord Erne's estate. When Boycott tried to undermine the campaign, the League launched a campaign of isolation against him in the local community. Neighbors would not talk to him. Shops would not serve him. Local laborers refused to tend his house, and the postman refused to deliver his mail.  And guess what? It hit right where it counted, in his rich pocketbook because his workers wouldn't pick his damn potatoes and that incurred a loss for Charlie of about 10,000 pound sterling.  At that time, that was a shit load of bank.

Mahatma Gandhi

One of my all-time heroes led a major boycott. 
The boycott of British goods by Mahatma Gandhi, known as the swadeshi policy—the boycott of foreign-made goods, especially British goods. Linked to this was his advocacy that khadi (homespun cloth) be worn by all Indians instead of British-made textiles. Gandhi exhorted Indian men and women, rich or poor, to spend time each day spinning khadi in support of the independence movement.  This was a strategy to inculcate discipline and dedication to weed out the unwilling and ambitious, and to include women in the movement at a time when many thought that such activities were not "respectable" for women. In addition to boycotting British products, Gandhi urged the people to boycott British educational institutions and law courts, to resign from government employment, and to forsake British titles and honors.

Some boycotts in our history have been tragically misused.
Boycott of Jewish Shops by Nazis
While so many others, have been for the good of humanity.

Cesar Chavez Farm Workers Boycott

MLK Bus Boycott in Montgomery

The gay and lesbian communities have held boycotts since the Sodom and Gomorrah times. Why? 
The same reasons people of color, Jews, women, poor, (minority) religious groups, animal rights activists, fat folks, handicap individuals and all other oppressed groups have…Because of the severe and on-going hatred and discrimination against them.
Wealthy, white, straight (or those in the closet) males laugh out loud about boycotts.  They spew their ridiculous views about something they have never participated in and know little about. 
They say, boycotts are petty, ineffective and unsuccessful. They try to trick us into thinking that a boycott harms rather than helps.
Not true. 
Chick fil-A Boycott
Boycotts have been most successful in ancient times, as well as, present day and the recent boycotts of both Amway and ChickFila by the LGBTQ community is no exception.
The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage fervently hides its 501(c)(4) donors, but still has to disclose the donors to its Education Fund (the Ruth Institute), its 501(c)(3). Last year, ThinkProgress reported that NOM had received $500,000 from Douglas DeVos, president of the Amway company. Fred Karger, fresh off the presidential campaign trail, has launched a boycott of Amway and all other subsidiaries owned by the DeVos family. In his letter to DeVos, Karger invited Amway to settle the boycott by donating comparable funds to LGBT equality organizations so as to be ”a good corporate citizen and work toward full equality, fairness and respect for everyone in our great country.”
In 1977 lesbian/gay businesses joined an AFL-CIO boycott of Coors, citing Coors' history of support for attacks on gay rights. Sales of Coors beer plummeted in the gay community. 
In response, in 1978 Coors adopted language against discrimination on account of sexual orientation in employment, and has offered small sums of money to lesbian/gay organizations in order to recover beer sales and improve Coors' public image. But Coors has never stopped funding right-wing attacks on gay rights. 
LGBTQ Boycott

Girlcott is a neologism that combines "girl" and "boycott" to focus on strictly female boycotts. The term was coined in 1968 by American track  star Lacey O'Neal during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, in the context of protests by male African American athletes. Speaking for black women athletes, she advised that the group would not "girlcott" the Olympic Games, because female athletes were still focused on being recognized. 
n. A boycott that includes only female participants.
Example Citation:
"Yet the women—equal partners with the men in providing the product—receive only 63 per cent as much prize money as the men. That is a lower percentage than at any other grand-slam event. 
The difference . . . is generating adverse reactions among increasing numbers of fans and commentators and it has led many of the players to consider a 'girlcott' of Wimbledon."
—Billie Jean King, "Why women deserve equal pay," The Times (London)
The term girlcott was revived in 2005 by a group of young women in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania protesting what they deemed sexist and degrading T-shirt slogans on Abercrombie & Fitch merchandise.  
The Asian community led one against the clothing company as well.  
A & F called their T-shirts "humorous" but I, and the thousands who effectively boycotted, call them "dumb, racist, lookist, ignorant, degrading and offensive." Did they have a right to print them? 
I suppose so. 
Do the multitudes have a right to a full-scale "girlcott?"

"Don't be a marshmallow. Walk the street with us into history. 
Get off the sidewalk. Stop being vegetables. Work for Justice. Viva the boycott" Dolores Huerta 

"When you're listening to the Internet, the discussion is taking place in real time. We're able very quickly, sometimes in a matter of days, to pick up on what consumers are saying. If there's certain issues, like safety recalls or any mention of a boycott, we can set up an alert, so that we can alert a company or a brand so they can be on their guard and be ready to react,
if that's what it takes."
Sue MacDonald

"We are expecting that with this national boycott we will be able to further gain some respect, dignity, and improve the lot of the immigrant community."
Javier Rodriguez

Historically, here's why the oppressed boycott: 
It beats taking a police-issued semi-automatic weapon into a movie theater, school, Sikh or a Chick fil-A and killing people who hate you. 
I, for one, don't need weapons.  Shit, don't we have enough semi-automatics, bombs, drones, knives and chains on the planet; enough to hate, maim and mutilate a zillion times over?   
For today, my weapon is boycotting
I realize I can only do so much, and that I live in a very complex world. 
Yet, for me to boycott a person, place or company that chooses to endorse hatred, feels mighty nice; kick back, feet up, belly-rubbin nice.
I may be a girl from a trailer park, who used to play with Barbie's, but I ain't no stump.
We each must decide which soul we want to feed. It's that simple.
Boycott Chick fil-A for their monstrous donations to anti-gay groups AND their abuse of millions of chickens.

Now, I’ll just go soak my tongue in my wine. 


  1. Woo Whee! Can always count on you to tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may. Very-well said and very-well researched. Funny at times and in-your-face at others, this is a jam-packed manual for any boycotter or girlcotter (love that word!) I think I'll just go and soak my tongue in a glass of wine, too, while I ponder your thoughts that boycotts really can be very effective..and have been. Just like Cesar Chavez and the grape pickers...just like Gandhi, my hero, and ordinary citizens everywhere.

  2. Cuz, I agree. I'm a libertarian and VERY socially liberal. My opinion is the popular vote doesn't decide in an election but decides in day to day purchases. I won't go to Chick-Fil-A period. That's it. And if you don't agree then don't go either. But I don't thin we have to waste energy on disagreeing with these bigots, people are smart enough to vote without a blog. That being said: I think it always helps to remind people of this.

  3. Thanks, BT & Cuz....apprreciate your words, perspectives & so glad you & I are saving the chickens and spreading da word! xox~tpg