honestly, i’ve been saving my thighs for other tattoos because i’m a very visual, particular person. i was originally going to get tattoos solely based on aesthetics and designs i thought would be pretty to show off. but something happened.
i’ve always been interested in intersectional feminism and deconstructing power systems based on race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. so i impulsively got this design (original illustration by alexander heir, who runs DEATH/TRAITORS). after weeks of being frustrated by reading about what’s going on in ferguson (the media’s focus on blaming michael brown and painting protestors as if their provocation by a militarized police force wasn’t a valid reason to be taking action), i decided to get this. it pushed me over the edge after consistently keeping up with the cases of trayvon martin, renisha mcbride, kimani gray, oscar grant, eric garner, jonathan farrell, aiyana jones (8 year old killed by a detroit SWAT team), john crawford, and so on. then i thought about that piece of shit kid ethan couch, who killed people in a drunk driving accident and got away with it because of affluenza. i read various articles about how the media portrayed white serial killers, mass murderers, and terrorists better than black victims of police brutality. i also recently started reading “the new jim crow” (better late than never) and that stirred even more fury in me, which i didn’t think was possible.
learning about social justice issues turns you into a very angry person, and rightly so. knowing more means understanding the cruel reality of the world we live in. all these events are not proof of a system that is broken. they are proof that the system is working exactly as it was designed. this country has a lot to learn about human rights, for all the pompous patriotism it boasts. we need to do better. we can do better. it requires an honest dialog about the intersections of oppression. it requires the will to learn, and an exercise in developing empathy. if you’re not angry, you’re part of the problem.
so that’s basically why i got this tattoo. because i WANT people to ask me about it. i WANT to talk about these things with people. i don’t care if they disagree, i want to challenge their ways of thinking and let them know they can unlearn those prejudices.