apihtawikosisan:

marcinthelotus:

mirkwood:

misskittystryker:

naamahdarling:

behelitohs:

lindseywalnut:

utterlyfubar:

rcmclachlan:

doodlyood:

spinachandrice:

theonewholovesbooks:

thatfilthyanimal:

fawnthefeminist:

Young women are having difficulty accessing tubal ligation, despite it being a relatively safe (death rate is 1-2 per 100,000) and elective surgery.

There is a waiting period of 30 days for women seeking tubal ligation, yet no waiting period for men seeking vasectomies. 
(Source)


Young women are often discriminated against when seeking sterilization. Many doctors ask offensive questions (“What if you met a billionaire who wanted to have kids with you?”), state categorically that their patients are too young to consider the surgery, and generally act as though, as one woman who tried unsuccessfully to be sterilized at the age of 21 in the U.K. put it, ”just because I was a woman, I’d reach a point where an urge to breed would overcome all rational thought.” (Perhaps unsurprisingly, that woman’s 25-year-old husband faced no such presumptions when he asked his doctor for a vasectomy. The procedure was quickly approved.)
(Source)


Say that at 18 I slap down enough money so I could have my whole body covered head-to-toe in tattoos, piercings all over myself, a mountain of cigarettes, plastic surgery, and plan to have like 20 babies… but if I try at all to safely make it impossible for me to breed for the sake of my health suddenly its like WOAH THERE SLOW DOWN MISSY YOU’RE NOT READY FOR THIS KIND OF COMMITMENT YET

I have stage III Endometriosis, which means I have to get my uterus removed because I literally have terrible cramps ALL THE TIME and not just when I’m on my period. Now, I’ve always said I don’t want any children for personal reasons and I don’t need my uterus, really. I am not worried about that surgery and I don’t feel any kind of nostalgia over an organ I won’t ever use. 
The thing is, my doctor is a ‘man’. This ‘man’ told me I had to get pregnant right now before it’s too late. I told him I didn’t want to get pregnant and explained the multiple reasons but what, do you ask, did my doctor have to say about this? 'Well, better have a kid now because just imagine how depressing it must be being a thirty-something woman without children and a husband?'
I was diagnosed a year ago. I should have gone through surgery six months ago and I still can’t find a doctor that will perform the surgery without trying to force me to have children first. Basically, if you’re a woman you don’t have a say in what can and cannot be done to your body without a shitload of people getting in the way AND I’M FUCKING SICK OF IT.

Women are getting non-consensually sterilized in prison but no doctors in my area while tie my tubes at 24 because I might regret it? Fuck you, doctors. I have more purpose in life than dropping babies. Some of those women in prison are probably great moms and I have no interest in parenting. Let us have a say!

A dear friend of mine wanted to have her tubes tied.  She was about to give birth to twins and the doctors wouldn’t consent because she wasn’t 21 yet.  She had already had children and they still refused to let her have the procedure.

My friend got a vasectomy a week after asking his doctor for one, no problem. He was 25.
Me? I’ve asked 4 different doctors for some kind of permanent sterilisation—tubal ligation or Essure or whatever—and I get a pat on the head and a “You’d regret it if you did.”
Oh, DIDN’T REALIZE YOU HAD A DIRECT LINE TO MY BRAIN.

On the flip side, as a vagina-having person who had her tubes tied at the age of 26 (after having 4 children, however):
MY HUSBAND HAD TO SIGN A CONSENT FORM IN ORDER FOR ME TO HAVE THE PROCEDURE DONE.
How many times have we heard stories about husbands having vasectomies behind their wives backs and never telling them, letting those wives wallow in guilt and misery, thinking it’s their fault that they can’t get pregnant?
And yet I had had to get my husband’s permission to have my tubes tied.
(Obviously this was a decision we’d talked about extensively beforehand, so it’s not like he was about to say no, but we both couldn’t believe the fucking audacity of the hospital, asking HIS permission for ME to do something with MY body.  In fact, he said as much to the nurse that brought in the forms.)

This is fucked up. Your body is no one’s business but your own. Even if there’s no law against young sterilization, women still suffer just from societal expectations, which influence doctors who are unable to be objective. People think they’re being caring but are actually just afraid of anything that goes outside of their preconceived notions of what people should do with their lives. 

I got mine at 23 (no prior children).  Via the Health Department in the state I was living in at the time.  It was on a sliding scale, and because I was poor- it was free.I ended up having to wait a year and have a psychological evaluation.  Considering my tubal was free and they were actually giving one to me, I considered this a small price to pay at the time.In the state I live in now, I never would have been able to get one that easily.  I was EXTREMELY lucky.  I consider it a minor miracle, frankly.

Still, the psych eval is hella fucking offensive.  And it does make me wonder whether sterilization would have been denied to someone like me, who is certified disabled with a mental illness.  Because I might be too crazy to make such a permanent decision (but not too crazy to decide to HAVE a kid who would likely inherit the same disorders I have*).
* I have no problem with people who have mental illnesses and DO want to have kids.  I’m just not doing it, and I’m not pretending that the desire not to pass on the hellishness of my particular brand of crazy isn’t a part of that.

I found that arguing that I was too crazy to take care of a kid and would pass my crazy down to one was enough to get them to agree. 

White women though. White able bodied women.They’re STILL sterlising incarcerated black women as well as disabled people. And they’ve got a history of forcibly sterlising black and Indigenous American women but they keep white able bodied women forced to have babies.That’s real important to include in this whole scenario. Because it really makes you see exactly what the point is.

I know two American women (who talk about getting the procedure) who are both friends of the family and both in their mid 20’s. One is black and latina woman and got the procedure without many obstacles. The other is white and her doctors all refused to give her one even though she already had one child (a girl) and said they’d consider it once she was either in her thirties or had a boy as well. Went on about a “one of each” policy? Anyways I JUST heard them discussing it at a BBQ while we were visiting stateside last month and I thought it was fucked up and relevant to this post.

It was common practice (in Canada) when my mom was just starting our family, for doctors to push hysterectomies on Native and poor women while they were in labour, getting them to sign release forms during the worst pain of their lives. Then again, during those years they sometimes didn’t bother to ask, and Native women were getting sterilized without finding out until later, and Alberta is infamous for legislating a eugenic program from 1928-1972 allowing for the forced sterilization of people with mental disabilities and mental illnesses.
They STILL push Native and poor women to agree to sterilization, hounding women during very vulnerable moments, telling us we have too many kids. I have no idea how it is for White women here in Canada in terms of electing to have one.

apihtawikosisan:

marcinthelotus:

mirkwood:

misskittystryker:

naamahdarling:

behelitohs:

lindseywalnut:

utterlyfubar:

rcmclachlan:

doodlyood:

spinachandrice:

theonewholovesbooks:

thatfilthyanimal:

fawnthefeminist:

Young women are having difficulty accessing tubal ligation, despite it being a relatively safe (death rate is 1-2 per 100,000) and elective surgery.

There is a waiting period of 30 days for women seeking tubal ligation, yet no waiting period for men seeking vasectomies. 

(Source)

Young women are often discriminated against when seeking sterilization. Many doctors ask offensive questions (“What if you met a billionaire who wanted to have kids with you?”), state categorically that their patients are too young to consider the surgery, and generally act as though, as one woman who tried unsuccessfully to be sterilized at the age of 21 in the U.K. put it, ”just because I was a woman, I’d reach a point where an urge to breed would overcome all rational thought.” (Perhaps unsurprisingly, that woman’s 25-year-old husband faced no such presumptions when he asked his doctor for a vasectomy. The procedure was quickly approved.)

(Source)

Say that at 18 I slap down enough money so I could have my whole body covered head-to-toe in tattoos, piercings all over myself, a mountain of cigarettes, plastic surgery, and plan to have like 20 babies… but if I try at all to safely make it impossible for me to breed for the sake of my health suddenly its like WOAH THERE SLOW DOWN MISSY YOU’RE NOT READY FOR THIS KIND OF COMMITMENT YET

I have stage III Endometriosis, which means I have to get my uterus removed because I literally have terrible cramps ALL THE TIME and not just when I’m on my period. Now, I’ve always said I don’t want any children for personal reasons and I don’t need my uterus, really. I am not worried about that surgery and I don’t feel any kind of nostalgia over an organ I won’t ever use. 

The thing is, my doctor is a ‘man’. This ‘man’ told me I had to get pregnant right now before it’s too late. I told him I didn’t want to get pregnant and explained the multiple reasons but what, do you ask, did my doctor have to say about this? 'Well, better have a kid now because just imagine how depressing it must be being a thirty-something woman without children and a husband?'

I was diagnosed a year ago. I should have gone through surgery six months ago and I still can’t find a doctor that will perform the surgery without trying to force me to have children first. Basically, if you’re a woman you don’t have a say in what can and cannot be done to your body without a shitload of people getting in the way AND I’M FUCKING SICK OF IT.

Women are getting non-consensually sterilized in prison but no doctors in my area while tie my tubes at 24 because I might regret it? Fuck you, doctors. I have more purpose in life than dropping babies. Some of those women in prison are probably great moms and I have no interest in parenting. Let us have a say!

A dear friend of mine wanted to have her tubes tied.  She was about to give birth to twins and the doctors wouldn’t consent because she wasn’t 21 yet.  She had already had children and they still refused to let her have the procedure.

My friend got a vasectomy a week after asking his doctor for one, no problem. He was 25.

Me? I’ve asked 4 different doctors for some kind of permanent sterilisation—tubal ligation or Essure or whatever—and I get a pat on the head and a “You’d regret it if you did.”

Oh, DIDN’T REALIZE YOU HAD A DIRECT LINE TO MY BRAIN.

On the flip side, as a vagina-having person who had her tubes tied at the age of 26 (after having 4 children, however):

MY HUSBAND HAD TO SIGN A CONSENT FORM IN ORDER FOR ME TO HAVE THE PROCEDURE DONE.

How many times have we heard stories about husbands having vasectomies behind their wives backs and never telling them, letting those wives wallow in guilt and misery, thinking it’s their fault that they can’t get pregnant?

And yet I had had to get my husband’s permission to have my tubes tied.

(Obviously this was a decision we’d talked about extensively beforehand, so it’s not like he was about to say no, but we both couldn’t believe the fucking audacity of the hospital, asking HIS permission for ME to do something with MY body.  In fact, he said as much to the nurse that brought in the forms.)

This is fucked up. Your body is no one’s business but your own. Even if there’s no law against young sterilization, women still suffer just from societal expectations, which influence doctors who are unable to be objective. People think they’re being caring but are actually just afraid of anything that goes outside of their preconceived notions of what people should do with their lives. 

I got mine at 23 (no prior children).  Via the Health Department in the state I was living in at the time.  It was on a sliding scale, and because I was poor- it was free.

I ended up having to wait a year and have a psychological evaluation.  Considering my tubal was free and they were actually giving one to me, I considered this a small price to pay at the time.

In the state I live in now, I never would have been able to get one that easily.  I was EXTREMELY lucky.  I consider it a minor miracle, frankly.

Still, the psych eval is hella fucking offensive.  And it does make me wonder whether sterilization would have been denied to someone like me, who is certified disabled with a mental illness.  Because I might be too crazy to make such a permanent decision (but not too crazy to decide to HAVE a kid who would likely inherit the same disorders I have*).

* I have no problem with people who have mental illnesses and DO want to have kids.  I’m just not doing it, and I’m not pretending that the desire not to pass on the hellishness of my particular brand of crazy isn’t a part of that.

I found that arguing that I was too crazy to take care of a kid and would pass my crazy down to one was enough to get them to agree. 

White women though. White able bodied women.

They’re STILL sterlising incarcerated black women as well as disabled people. And they’ve got a history of forcibly sterlising black and Indigenous American women but they keep white able bodied women forced to have babies.

That’s real important to include in this whole scenario. Because it really makes you see exactly what the point is.

I know two American women (who talk about getting the procedure) who are both friends of the family and both in their mid 20’s. One is black and latina woman and got the procedure without many obstacles. The other is white and her doctors all refused to give her one even though she already had one child (a girl) and said they’d consider it once she was either in her thirties or had a boy as well. Went on about a “one of each” policy? Anyways I JUST heard them discussing it at a BBQ while we were visiting stateside last month and I thought it was fucked up and relevant to this post.

It was common practice (in Canada) when my mom was just starting our family, for doctors to push hysterectomies on Native and poor women while they were in labour, getting them to sign release forms during the worst pain of their lives. Then again, during those years they sometimes didn’t bother to ask, and Native women were getting sterilized without finding out until later, and Alberta is infamous for legislating a eugenic program from 1928-1972 allowing for the forced sterilization of people with mental disabilities and mental illnesses.

They STILL push Native and poor women to agree to sterilization, hounding women during very vulnerable moments, telling us we have too many kids. I have no idea how it is for White women here in Canada in terms of electing to have one.

(via apihtawikosisan-deactivated2014)



Q
Do you wish your parents hadn't adopted you? I can't get read from your posts. I get your views on the adoption system and your disgust towards it. But I can't tell if you wish they hadn't adopted you, if you don't really view them as your parents. Just curious. Feel free to ignore.
Anonymous
A

glittergeek:

peaceshannon:

peaceshannon:

well. i debated whether i should answer this. but i decided to just go for it. 

i almost didn’t answer this question because i think it’s an irrelevant question. it’s also a ridiculously simple question for an abundantly complicated relationship. it’s irrelevant because it’s a waste of time and energy to wish that my parents hadn’t adopted me. if i wished that, does it mean that i could go back in time and change anything? if i didn’t wish that, does it mean that everything regarding my relationship with my parents is rainbows and unicorns?

i wrote about why it’s irrelevent in this postsaying that i think korea should stop international adoption doesn’t mean that i denounce my own adoption. i neither denounce it or celebrate it, i simply accept it.  nor do i mourn the person i might’ve been or glorify the person that i have become.

it also dismisses the human element from my relationship with my parents. yes, i am disgusted with the adoption industry (let’s call it what it is) although i’ve stated that i’m not 100% against adoption, in theory. anyways, my parents were/are far from perfect as (adoptive) parents. but many people seem to be super concerned with my parents feelings regarding my feelings about adoption ㅡㅡ why?? are their feelings about my feelings more important than my feelings? does that make any sense??

do i view my parents as my parents? yes. regardless of our complicated relationship, i view them as my american parents. but i also think i have more than one set of parents. i do love my adoptive parents, i do appreciate the things they did right. but that doesn’t mean i’m not allowed to be critical about the many and sometimes very serious things that they did wrong.

again, does that mean i wish they hadn’t adopted me? what does that question even mean? you asked the question actually twice in your ask so i’m answering it again to point out the urgency with which you seem to need to know the answer to this question (although you did say feel free to ignore?). again, it seems like a totally irrelevant question to me but it’s one that many seem to want to know the answer to. and i think that that’s almost more telling. why do people want to know this? is it because they want to check whether or not i am appropriately grateful (by whatever standards they are measuring by) to my adoptive parents? to me, in that question, there’s an underlying implication that i should be grateful to have been adopted and therefore did not waste away in an orphanage and/or forced to become prostitute or any of the other horrid outcomes that would have surely been my fate if i had not been adopted. yes, adoptees are fed these stories of how we would’ve ended up if we hadn’t been ‘saved’ by our parents and i think this is to keep adoptees in line and eternally grateful. i think that’s psychologically abusive, but it’s an attitude that is pervasive throughout (western) society and the romance/myth surrounding the adoption story. 

so. 

do i wish my parents hadn’t adopted me? no. because that’s a pointless exercise. it’s a waste of time and energy. do i wish that poor, women of color had just as much of a right to raise their children as the middle/upper class, white women who eventually get to raise them through adoption? yes.

that is the relevant question. one that can actually be used for change and progress. and that is why i work with kumfa.

because i’ve gotten a couple more asks along this vein, i am reblogging this ask.

this person is brilliant, this post is amazing, read it.


whitepajamas:

I forgot the name of an actor and googled literally the only thing I could remember about him. 

whitepajamas:

I forgot the name of an actor and googled literally the only thing I could remember about him. 


Question

sadybusiness:

I’m trying to research the feminist protests of Ted Hughes that took place after Plath’s death — years after, I think; they seem to have happened in the ’70s, after everything had been published — but it’s all cloaked in mystery and obscure language about “the picketers” and “the women’s libbers” and “the feminist orthodoxy of the time that Hughes killed Plath.” You know, very obscure “the feminists, yes ALL OF THE FEMINISTS, were involved and then did something” language that doesn’t tell you who did what or when. Everyone agrees that feminists made Ted Hughes’ life hell for a while, and that ALL FEMINISTS EVERYWHERE thought he killed her because they were irrational bitch-monsters and also wrong about everything, but no-one seems to have any concrete details as to where, when, and how these mythical feminists did their work. 

The only people who will take any responsibility and/or give details on that front are Robin Morgan — Hughes threatened to sue her publisher if she included “The Arraignment” (the “I accuse/Ted Hughes” poem) in her book “Monster,” and the poem had to be pulled; she says that the protesters called themselves “Arraignment Women,” and published “pirate” copies of the poem, and also, that the Arraignment Women were the ones who picketed Hughes and carved his name off Plath’s gravestone — and Jacqueline Rose, who wrote that Ted Hughes sent her threatening letters after she argued for a potential lesbian interpretation of “The Rabbit Catcher,” but never engaged in protests of any kind, other than writing about how weird it was to deal with him. 

So, you all read a lot, and are generally smarter and more literary than I am. Are there any biographies or histories that might give a slightly less “and also there were some crazy feminists who did something vague” account of what those protests were, and what the protesters were actually doing and saying? 


I once told a joke about a straight person.

They came after me in droves.

Each one singing the same:

Don’t fight fire with fire.

*

What they mean is: Don’t fight fire with anything.

Do not fight fire with water.

Do not fight fire with foam.

Do not evacuate the people.

Do not sound the alarms.

Do not crawl coughing and choking and spluttering to safety.

Do not barricade the door with damp towels.

Do not wave a white flag out of the window.

Do not take the plunge from several storeys up.

Do not shed a tear for your lover trapped behind a wall of flame.

Do not curse the combination of fuel, heat, and oxygen.

Do not ask why the fire fighters are not coming.

*

When they say: Don’t fight fire with fire.

What they mean is: Stand and burn.

Stand and Burn by Claudia Boleyn.  (via claudiaboleyn)

(via whitepajamas)


The problem with escapism is that when you read or write a book society is in the chair with you. You can’t escape your history or your culture. So the idea that because fantasy books aren’t about the real world they therefore ‘escape’ is ridiculous. Fantasy is still written and read through the filters of social reality. That’s why some fantasies (like Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels) are so directly allegorical—but even the most surreal and bizarre fantasy can’t help but reverberate around the reader’s awareness of their own reality, even if in a confusing and unclear way.
China Miéville, interviewed about how his fantasy writing interacts with his politics in Issue 88 of International Socialism Journal (2000). (via kwerey)

(via jemimaaslana)


Here are white men poised to run big marijuana businesses, dreaming of cashing in big—big money, big businesses selling weed—after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting prison time for selling weed, and their families and futures destroyed. Now, white men are planning to get rich doing precisely the same thing? …

After waging a brutal war on poor communities of color, a drug war that has decimated families, spread despair and hopelessness through entire communities, and a war that has fanned the flames of the very violence it was supposedly intended to address and control; after pouring billions of dollars into prisons and allowing schools to fail; we’re gonna simply say, we’re done now? I think we have to be willing, as we’re talking about legalization, to also start talking about reparations for the war on drugs, how to repair the harm caused. …

At the end of apartheid in South Africa there was an understanding that there could be no healing, no progress, no reconciliation without truth. You can’t just destroy a people and then say ‘It’s over, we’re stopping now.’ You have to be willing to deal with the truth, deal with the history openly and honestly.

Michelle Alexander, associate professor of law at Ohio State University and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness quoted from White Men Get Rich from Legal Pot, Black Men Stay in Prison. Alexander’s thesis is that the USA is addicted to caste systems, regardless of what is deemed legal or illegal. (via nezua)

(via boredangry)


milkteasympathy:

CLOTHING LIFE HACKS

(via lifesgoingoutofstyle)




hahamagartconnect:

ERIN RILEY’S TABOO TAPESTRY

Philadelphia based fiber artist Erin M. Riley is tackling taboo issues with her loom. She’s capturing the issues of today’s generation with very old school traditional form of storytelling. Her threads weave together depictions of female sexuality, drug use, birth control, car crashes, selfies, among others. The results of which are breathtaking in a very perverse way - most of the images will make you feel as if you’re sneaking a peek at private photos on someones phone, the element of being privy to what’s going on behind the scene but not being talked about - and at second glance you can’t help but stare in awe at the painstaking efforts that go into her work. 

Erin’s work will be showing at Philadelphia based Paradigm Gallery + Studio from August 30th - October 12th, 2013. Hope you can make it out, these tapestries are sure to stir up a dialogue.

 

(via girlsgetbusyzine)


prehistoric-birds:

Pelagornis chilensis (by danielmartinezpina)
Those aren’t teeth, they’re sharp beak projections, hence the colloquial name “pseudotooth bird”. Not that you’d want to mess with one of these twenty-foot-wingspan prehistoric murdergulls either way. 

prehistoric-birds:

Pelagornis chilensis (by danielmartinezpina)

Those aren’t teeth, they’re sharp beak projections, hence the colloquial name “pseudotooth bird”. Not that you’d want to mess with one of these twenty-foot-wingspan prehistoric murdergulls either way. 

(via scientificillustration)


vintagegal:

Affectionate Ladies c. 1900s-1980s

(via houseofincest)


CHILI: THE MASTER RECIPE

andythanfiction:

Chili.  The quintessential ‘Murcan Manly Meal, complete with romanticized and problematic stereotypes, heavy commercialization, cultural appropriation, violence, confusion, grandiose claims, and revisionist history…but also strong, remarkably nutritious, deeply individual, flexible enough to be as accessible or as complex as a cook feels comfortable with, and purdy darned tasty.  

image


It’d be just damned WRONG of me to say there’s one way to do chili, so what you’re getting here is a basic rundown of How Do You Chili, then two of my favorites.  

START WITH THE BASE: ABOUT 4 QUARTS
Stock.  Chicken, beef, or vegetable.  Totally best if homemade, but if you’re going for canned or from boullion, for the love of Chuck(roast) get low-sodium, or you’ll wind up with a tribute to Lot’s wife instead of John Wayne.  Fill your slow-cooker or big pot halfway with this stuff - about 4 quarts.  If you want to add beans from dried, fill it 2/3 of the way and put the rinsed beans in to soak overnight the night before without turning it on.  

NOW ADD PROTEIN: ABOUT 3-5 LBS TOTAL

  • Beans, canned or dried, as you prefer (see above about soaking them): 2 cans if canned, 1lb if dried.  Kidney, navy, great white northern, red, pink, pinto, or black.  (Most agree that Texan style chili is categorized by the use of chopped beef and no beans, but most of the rest of America uses kidney beans, while black beans are particularly Tex-Mex)
  • Sauteed saiten, soy crumbles, vegan chorizo, textured vegetable protein, or pressed, crumbled, and fried tofu.  
  • Ground and browned or roasted and shredded chicken, duck, or turkey
  • Ground and browned or smoked and pulled pork
  • Ground and browned or finely chopped beef (best if approx. 10% fat if ground, good cuts for chopping are chuck roast, london broil, short ribs, blade steak, trimmed brisket, or eye round roast).  You can chop it up by hand, but unless you’re insane, use a motherfucking food processor.
  • Bison, Venison, Elk, Moose, or Boar, treated like beef.

Whatever you use, if it makes juices, put the juices in the pot.  They have flavor, and flavor is a thing that is yes. 

OPTIONAL VEGGIES: UP TO THREE CUPS 

These things will start fights in places that serve large quantities of Budweiser and have a house whiskey.  Use them or don’t at your own risk and discretion, but be aware, people have VERY strong opinions about whether they belong in a Real Chili.  However, if you start adding peas and carrots and potatoes and cabbage and turnips and shit like that, you’re making a chili-inspired stew, not a fucking chili.  

  • Tomatoes; fresh, stewed, roasted, grilled, sun-dried, or canned
  • Corn; fresh, canned, grilled, or roasted
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers

NOW SHIT GETS REAL

Because we’re going to make the chili seasoning blend.  This is where you get to be a serious cook, roll up your sleeves, and fucking shine on you crazy diamond.  This is also the part that takes your pot full of STUFF and makes it CHILI.  You can definitely go with Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations here, but you’re mixing from categories, not just as you motherfucking like it.  

  • Chili Paste - About a half cup, added at the same time as ¼ cup cider or balsamic vinegar.  To get this fine-ass velvety awesome shit, take dried chilis you reconstituted in hot water for 10 minutes or fresh chilis or some mix of the two and puree them.  To vary the flavor, toast, smoke, grill, or roast the chilis, or use hot coffee, hot tea, or hot stock instead of water.  Different chilis have RADICALLY different flavors, not to mention heat levels, so get to know them before you assume that you’ll be on the same planet with a handful of smoked poblanos vs grilled habeneros.  
  • Fruitiness - Between two tablespoons and a cup of tomato paste if you’re going traditional.  Advanced Placement can come in here all sneaky with peaches, cherries, raisins, blackberries, nectarines, apricots, apples, and cranberries, and once again you can always shake it up by using fresh vs reconstituted dried vs grilled, smoked or roasted.
  • Booze - About two shots (3-4oz) of whiskey, bourbon, vodka, or tequila, or about a cup of hard cider or beer.  This is actually boozeforscience! and is about the way that the alcohols help release oils from the chilis and spices to make them soluble in the stock so you can taste them more.  
  • Sweetener – Between a small and a really big handful (2tbs-1/3 cup if you want me to get precise) of brown sugar, dark honey (mmm buckwheat honey…), sorghum, molasses, jiggery, turbanado sugar, pioncillo, coconut sugar, or date puree.
  • Umami Boosters – A secret weapon! About 2 teaspoons of Marmite, Vegemite, anchovy paste, dried ground baby anchovies, or red miso, 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, tamari, or soy sauce, or ½ cup roasted or grilled mushroom puree. PICK ONE, NOT SEVERAL.
     
  • Onions and Garlic – No real negotiating here.  Chop up a big-ass yellow onion and half a head of garlic and sautee them in some form of butter or oil, preferably the fat from browning your meat or bacon grease, then toss them in.
  • Spices – Use fresh ground if at all possible.  If you are feeling super badass, toast those fuckers in a frying pan before you grind them.  Use about ¼ cup total. The ones in bold are not optional. The rest are.  Cumin, coriander, black pepper, bay leaf, oregano (Mexican oregano better than Italian), cloves, cinnamon, long pepper, star anise, black cardamom, nutmeg, thyme, coffee powder, unsweetened cocoa, onion powder, dried orange peel, paprika, celery seed, safflower, annatto. 
  • Salt – To taste; kosher, black, red, or smoked

All this shit in the pot?  Good.  Let it simmer for about 6 hours or slow-cooker on high for 8.  Acceptable toppings include sour cream, scallions, green onions, bacon, cheese (especially cheddar), Fritos, and fresh chopped chilis or tomatoes. Makes MUCH for MANY.

TWO OF MY FAVORITES:

Tomato-Peach Chili
Beef stock, venison, great northern beans, roasted corn, dried arbol, dried pasilla, ONE red habanero, bourbon, buckwheat honey.  2 grilled pureed peaches, 1 small can tomato paste, red miso, mandatory spices plus cloves, star anise, coffee, safflower, paprika, and cardamom. 

Cherry-Chocolate Chili

Beef stock, beef short ribs, kidney beans, chipotle, poblano, ancho, guajillo chilis, whiskey, sorghum, eliminate the cider vinegar, 2/3 cup pureed fresh black or bing cherries, 1/3 cup roasted tomato paste, mandatory spices plus cloves, star anise, coffee, cocoa, celery seed, and paprika.