Quick thought on “Credibility”

–I originally wrote this to Robin via email, so I didn’t do much research did minimal editing, I’m just throwing it up since she encouraged me to–

I just read a poem by Lenelle Moïse about Antoine Dodson and she writes:

antoine, a whole nation calls you viral
but you were the one who named 
the sickness
“they’re raping everybody out here”
i know this to be true Read more…


What Are You Afraid of? #1 1/2

This comic is a great example of the messages I was discussing in the first What Are You Afraid Of? post:

[trigger warning for victim blaming]


#43: Tips by RJ of Riot Nrrd

#43: Tips by RJ of Riot Nrrd


I just discovered Riot Nrrd and I fell in LOVE with it. Check out the archives here.  I hope you love it as much as I do! I promise there will be more posts on here soon! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to do a guest post!

Queers Read This

So I had never heard of “Queers Read This” until a few of the blogs I follow (Bash Back! News & The Bilerico Project) discussed it on their blogs a month ago (I’m tragically behind on my google reader).  This letter celebrates its 20th anniversary -it was handed out at NYC Pride in 1990 .  This is why queer history is so important – I had never heard of this letter until now. Also, does anyone else feel weird about the fact that 1990 was 20 years ago?  According to Bask Back! this text is what launched so many radical queer movements, including Queer Nation.  I found it interesting to read because I know very little about queer activism in the 90s -a lot of the sentiment expressed is still relatable to me as a queer in 2010, but other parts made me wish I had a better idea of what inspired their words.  So, if you haven’t read this already, enjoy!  I’d also love to hear your thoughts!

                      QUEERS READ THIS

         A leaflet distributed at pride march in NY
              Published anonymously by Queers

                         June, 1990

   How can I tell you. How can I convince you, brother,
sister that your life is in danger:  That everyday you wake
up alive, relatively happy, and a functioning human being,
you are committing a rebellious act. You as an alive and
functioning queer are a revolutionary.
  Read more…

What Are You Afraid of? Driving (or about to) While Female

***Trigger Warning: Discussions of sexual assault and gendered violence***

As I waited in line at the grocery store I couldn’t help but peruse the headlines popping out at me from the magazine display. Lose pounds with the Taco Bell Diet! A slew of articles about Sandra Bullock’s shitty ex-partner and of course the pro-women pro-sex headlines on Cosmo*. Lady Gaga on the cover and the “Sex Article We Can’t Describe Here!” somewhat piqued my interest** but what really caught my eye was the MUST READ: The Rape Danger Zone Most Women Don’t Know About.

Now, I’ve been planning on writing a post about Fear Culture for a long time and this article was a clear sign I needed to stop procrastinating. Also, during the week I was writing this post, I got this email from my Aunt warning me to be careful (the city they used was Philly instead of IL).  How serendipitous.  Fear culture and its connection to gender and race has been glaringly obvious to me for awhile, but lately I’ve been thinking more about how fear culture intersects with class (as well as ableism, sizism, and ageism.).  I hope to explore these topics in “What Are You Afraid Of?”

Back to The Rape Danger Zone… I was slightly hopeful, hoping Cosmo might actually get something right and say the zone around men you are acquainted with or something. But no…

Keep your hackles up, ladies. Thousands of women are attacked each year in or near their cars. Yes, that’s right.  If you are a lady*** then I would advise that you stop driving alone or walking to your car at any time of the day.  Hell, you should probably never drive and stay in your home indefinitely. Because no matter where you are, you are in danger!  Julia Corker, the daughter of a Tennesee senator  was attacked “in a “safe” area where she lived with her father just blocks, in fact from the DC police headquarters as well as the US Capitol building.” (quotes around safe are authors -although I would have included them -no doubt for different reasons).  You could also be attacked because  “it’s easy to feel far safer than you actually are” which can lead to “potentially tragic consequences.”

Read more…

Hello world!

Hey all! We’d like to welcome you to our new blog! Some of you may have read some of our posts on the SDS Womyn’s Caucus blog when we were members of Students for a Democratic Society and have tagged along to our new blog. And hopefully many of you are new!

Robin and I decided to start Bursting At the Seams because we have moved on to new projects and life phases but still want to blog about all the things on our minds. We both loved the idea of a group blog, which is why the SDS blog suited us so well but we also wanted to open a space for those friends who aren’t current or former SDSers to blog too!

Bursting at the Seams is our place to riff and rant on things that are on our minds. We love examining how power, privilege and oppression play out in different situations -either via media, in our lives, or in the political realm.

If you are interested in contributing please let us know. We are interested in hearing and discussing all types of social justice issues, especially when it relates to gender, sexuality, race, size, and disability.

We welcome respectful comments and encourage discourse on the blog. We will be instituting a comments policy in the near future in order to make this a positive and reaffirming space.

Feel free to e-mail us at seamsblog (at) gmail.com.

Christa and Robin

I.N.A.Y. #2: Touching

by Robin

–cross-posted from SDS Womyns Caucus Blog–


hugging salt n pepper

A person-shaped salt shaker and pepper shaker hug each other, the salt shaker looks a bit taken aback.


This is post #2 in a series called I.N.A.Y.: It’s Not About You. I.N.A.Y. #1: “Effectively” Calling Out Patriarchy can be found here.

Recently, I had a series of discussions with a new male acquaintance about touching. Basically, I had tried to communicate that I disliked him touching me, and he kept doing it anyway. When he was confronted about this, his explanation was that he thinks people in our society are too isolated from each other, and in an effort to bridge our isolation, he goes out of his way to touch people.

The guy is certainly not the first person in my life to repeatedly touch me when I’ve tried to make it clear I don’t want them to, but I’ll give it to him that he’s the first person to have apparently put so much thought into it, indeed to have a theory around it.

The problem is, by reducing it to a formulaic theory (we’ve talked about the link between theory and patriarchy on here before), he is putting his ideology before the desires of actual people in his life. He is being harmfully dogmatic, his actions say “I know best what is good for you, better than you do. Even if you ask me not to touch you, I will because I know what you need.” I.E., he’s being paternalistic and entitled.

Read more…

Language Politics

by Christa

–cross-posted from SDS Womyns Caucus Blog–


The words I choose became a much bigger deal when I went to college (moving from a conservative area to a liberal one) and especially once I became an organizer.  I had cut out retarded long ago…but I learned why words like bitch, gay, gypped and lame are problematic.  I’ve heard many reasons why offensive language is or isn’t important by radicals and non-radicals alike (as well as privileged and oppressed folks) but I’d still rather stick with better safe than sorry.  I don’t like when people say “fag” or “that’s so gay” so I’m going to do onto others how I want to be treated. Read more…