“We thank you, dearest white savior, for neglecting to address the ‘war on women’ in your own region, in order to watch us, the women of the Middle East, progress. Shamefully, we have not yet even begun to repay you for freeing us from bondage with your bullets and uranium tipped bombs in places such as Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan. We are forever indebted.”—
Colonialism Feminism. An excerpt from the famous and most excellent letter to Mona Eltahawy. It’s not recent but it always remain relevant.
“Free speech as a legal concept only guarantees you the right to speak. It doesn’t guarantee you the right to be heard, it doesn’t guarantee you the right to be agreed with, it certainly doesn’t guarantee you the right for your speech to not be challenged by someone else’s speech, and most importantly of all, it doesn’t mean you can’t suffer consequences if and when your free speech is used to cause harm to someone. Which is exactly what sexual harassment, racial slurs, and verbal bigotry are. That’s not censorship. That’s fairness.”—
The founding fathers, it turns out, passed several mandates of their own. In 1790, the very first Congress—which incidentally included 20 framers—passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. This law was then signed by another framer: President George Washington. That’s right, the father of our country had no difficulty imposing a health insurance mandate….
[Eight] years later, in 1798, Congress addressed the problem that the employer mandate to buy medical insurance for seamen covered drugs and physician services but not hospital stays. And you know what this Congress, with five framers serving in it, did? It enacted a federal law requiring the seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. That’s right, Congress enacted an individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance. And this act was signed by another founder, President John Adams.
Far too often, I’ve heard radical queers and feminists, in their hipster garb, talking their academic jargon about checking one’s privilege and being accountable, and in the same breath mocking poor people. It’s not always explicit. Actually, in social justice circles, it hardly ever is. Many of you know not to say words like ghetto or white trash, or at least I hope you do, because of its classist and racist implications, but that seems to be where the anti-classist work stops. So, let me help you.
Every time you push your vegan/vegetarian/pescatarian diet on people, remember that your diet is a privilege that doesn’t make you superior or more of an environmentalist, food justice champion, animal lover or good human. I know you know about food deserts. Well, you don’t have to live in one to not be able to afford to have a restrictive diet.
Furthermore, poor folks went green along ass time ago. I don’t get why you feel so special about your mason jars and bicycles. Oh good for you for taking the bus when you could’ve driven. Do you want a vegan gluten-free cookie?
Yes, Wal-Mart is evil. So, is Urban Outfitters. Get over yourself. The only reason why Wal-Mart is singled out is because poor people shop there and it is easier to distance yourself from the problem. So, stop judging poor consumers who are just trying to feed and clothe their families, and start working to dismantle capitalism, or at least organize for workers’ rights (preferably in a non savior complex kinda way).
Your shitty college dorm room, apartment or shared house, does not make you poor, neither does shopping at Good Will.
There is a difference between being broke and poor, much like the difference between acute and chronic pain. Learn the difference.
For those of you who do work with poor folks, you are not special, and you are not a savior. Like I said before, drop the savior routine. It makes a big difference when you take the cues from the communities you are serving. And, just because someone isn’t a college educated career activist, doesn’t mean they don’t know what is best for them and their communities. So, don’t be a condescending ass when people don’t talk like you, and practice some real nonjudgmental allyship.
Pro tip: classy, trashy, hood, ghetto, dangerous/sketchy/seedy (in reference to poor PoC neighborhoods), white trash, etc are all really classist terms and hella racist too. Think about it, why do we specify that the trash is white? Because all other trash must be brown, right? If you don’t have a claim to these words, don’t use them.
Anyway, the examples could go on, and if anyone wants to add onto this, please do. I just don’t understand how a community that prides itself on fighting body-shaming and slut-shaming, could be so unequivocally class-shaming. In your own words, you better check your privilege.
Oh god this is so relevant
(also I’ve read posts on tumblr recently by ppl who usually seem pretty in the know that make it clear they aren’t even familiar with the term term “classism”, smh)
“What do you think street harassment is about? Sex? Benign flattery? Attraction? Women who can’t just suck it up and deal?
It’s power. Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking and assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly, frightening and dangerous for many girls, women, and LGBQT people.
It’s power to control public spaces. Power to alter paths. Power to shame, scare and intimidate. Power to define what is safe and what is not. It’s the power to say: “I’m entitled to touch you, comment on your body, coerce you to smile, control your movement.” Even when women perceive catcalls as flattering, they are nonetheless aware that it’s an unpredictable degree away from possible harm.”—International Anti-Street Harassment Week: 10 Things You Can Do To Stop Street Harassment (via ellielamothe)
“But most of all, stop thinking that what people so loathingly refer to as the “friendzone” is some sort of purgatory women put “nice guys” into. My friendship is not a crappy consolation prize that you’re left with if I deny you a sexual relationship– and my body is not your reward for good behavior.”—
White privilege is making the very first Black Disney Princess… and then make her spend the majority of her movie as a frog, design her white sidekick to look more like a princess than she does, , make her love interest racially ambiguous, and have her villain be a caricature of a black religion.
Mod note: And then expect black people to be satisfied with that.
So I felt really bad when P&tF came out for being like, “yeah so this is the first black disney princess but I’m not actually sure this is completely a cool movie guys and I don’t think I can really get behind it 100% sorry”
But here’s entry one on the Things I Am Told I Am Unusually Passionate About:
1. The inaccuracy of gender ratios in almost every fiction work I have seen about social insects. The most immediate examples that come to mind are Antz, A Bug’s Life, and Bee Movie. In the vast majority of bee, ant, and termite species, almost all the members of a hive or colony are female. The only males are a handful of drones. In these films, however, the ratio is at least fifty-fifty, and the protagonist is male. For me this speaks to such deeply entrenched sexism in society that the protagonist of a movie meant for a general audience - rather than a specifically female one - that the hero must be male even if it is immensely unlikely. Were Disney, or Dream Works, or some other former culprit to make a film featuring anthropomorphized versions of that species of lizard that is entirely female and reproduces through parthenogenesis, chances are the hero would be the First Male of His Kind and therefore The Chosen One. Note that I am excepting Studio Ghibli, for Hayao Miyazaki is a kind and loving god that knows how to write female heroes.
A couple weeks ago, Dan Savage was the keynote speaker at the National High School Journalism Convention, where he discussed social media, anti-gay bullying, and his It Gets Better Project. While addressing the role of religion in homophobia, he said:
We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people, the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document.
He went on to explain how the Bible contains specific instructions about keeping people as slaves, and not once does it prohibit the practice of slavery. While he was speaking, a number of students got up and walked out, to which he responded:
It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-ass some people react when you push back.
Two weeks later, this has now become the latest manufactured controversy of the Christian right. Breitbart.com devoted their entire front page to stories about Dan Savage, accusing him of “bullying high school kids” with a “profane Bible rant”. The gay conservative group GOProud claimed that Savage was “attacking high school students who were offended by his outrageous remarks” and demanded that he apologize. Michelle Malkin accused “the activist left” of “anti-Christian bigotry” for having Savage speak to student journalists, and the president of the Family Research Council called him a “disciple of division and intolerance”. Todd Starnes of Fox News has written a handful of melodramatic stories about the Christian students who were present at the speech. Starnes describes their decision to leave as follows:
Some will say what happened next took courage - but [student Jake] Naman said he was simply following the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Isn’t that just so brave?
Of course, this reflexive outrage at any criticism of the Bible is really nothing new. This January, the National Organization for Marriage demanded that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie withdraw his nomination of a judge who had criticized arguments against gay marriage that appeal to tradition and pointed out that slavery was also a tradition endorsed by the Bible. Clearly, this is something that many right-wing Christians just don’t want people to talk about.
But let’s get one thing straight: The Bible is unequivocal in its support for slavery. This isn’t a situation where there are a variety of conflicting verses that can be interpreted as for or against slavery. In every instance that slavery is mentioned in the Bible, it is never condemned. Instead, the authors of the Bible only address how slaves should be acquired, how they should be treated, and how they should obey their masters. And despite every apologetic argument about how the context of this enslavement of human beings was different from the more modern forms of slavery, the Bible consistently and indisputably endorses the buying and selling of people as the property of other people. If this is wrong, then the Bible is wrong - and if we can choose to disregard the Bible when it comes to slavery, we can likewise disregard it on the topic of sexual morality.
So regardless of Dan Savage’s tone or how terribly offended some Christians were, his underlying point is completely valid. And its impact was only amplified by the incredible sight of devout Christians literally fleeing from the truth about their Bible and their own moral hypocrisy. In doing so, they made his point even better than he did. After all, if you’re so pious that you won’t tolerate anyone speaking ill of your Bible, then how can you be so completely unprepared to face the reality of what it actually says? What the hell kind of Christian are you?
And if this was your reaction as a student of journalism, then what the hell kind of journalist are you? Make no mistake, this was an event where attendance was voluntary. It was not a mandatory school assembly and they were not a captive audience. And while they certainly had no obligation to stay there and listen to him, I have to wonder whether they really understand what journalism is about. Journalists may often have to talk to people with whom they disagree. They’ll find themselves covering events that they find objectionable. Yet these aspiring journalists decided there was no need to listen to Dan Savage as soon as he said something that offended them.
Now, I’m no journalist, but when the Westboro Baptist Church came to my neighborhood, I didn’t run away from them. I walked right up to them and asked for an interview! I consider the human equality of gay people to be fundamentally truthful, but that didn’t stop me. And many Christians consider their alleged “word of God” to be fundamentally truthful as well, yet these journalism students were unwilling even to be in the presence of someone who criticized their beliefs.
Considering what Savage actually said, it’s remarkable that conservatives would call his comments “outrageous”, “bigoted”, “hostile”, and “bullying”. Do they not agree that slavery is bullshit? Because if you think supporting slavery is bullshit, then the Bible’s position on slavery is also bullshit. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. If these particular Christians haven’t yet found a comforting explanation for the slavery, stonings, and other unpleasantness in the Bible, then they should either cut those parts out of the book, or stop being offended when we quote what it says. Why should there be anything offensive about saying that a text which endorses slavery is not the best source of moral guidance? And why should such a book be immune from criticism merely because some people believe in it strongly?
Just because something is part of your religion, that doesn’t mean it can’t be wrong. And slavery is wrong, even if it’s in the Bible. No matter how much these people whine and scream and cry about it, the all-knowing, eternal God of the Bible apparently saw fit to instruct us on who we can buy and sell, whether we can keep their spouse and children as slaves, and how badly we’re allowed to beat them. Complain all you want! It’s still in there. If you have to grapple with the unpleasant realization that even you yourself have ignored the Bible’s antiquated teachings, then great! But that’s your problem - not our fault. You might walk out on us, but good luck walking out of your own mind.
Dan Savage is kind of a douche but yes to all of this.
“The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us.”—
1. Dan Savage hates trans people and uses transphobic slurs.
“Children have a right to some stability and constancy from the adults in their lives. Perhaps I’m a transphobic bigot, but I honestly think waiting a measly 36 months to cut your dick is a sacrifice any father should be willing to make for his 15-year-old son. Call me old-fashioned.
Unfortunately, your ex wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice (selfish tranny!), or it never occurred to him to make that sacrifice (stupid tranny!)…. If your son can’t deal with having his dad/mom/whatever around right now, support him and tell his dad/mom/whatever to leave the two of you alone for the time being.”
2. Dan Savage believes that bisexuals do not and should not exist.
“I’m not saying bi guys are bad people, or they don’t make great one-night stands. Bushes, bathhouses, and sleazy gay bars are crawling with bi guys. But if a guy wants more, he’ll have an easier time getting it from another gay man.”
3. Dan Savage has admonished women for not putting up with their partner’s sexual desires and has criticized female rape survivors’ stories.
“There the guy was, boned for you, and he was brave enough to put his desires out there, to make himself vulnerable (which is what the ladies are always saying they want, right?), and you lobbed the ol’ “What?!?” bomb at him and made him feel like a freak. Is it any wonder that he quickly moved on to “other things” and, one would hope, better sex partners?”
“I’m extremely sorry that you were raped, DRARS, although your baseless accusations of rape make me doubt you when you claim to be a survivor of rape. The feminist bloggers are going to accuse me of thought crimes: If a woman says she was raped then, by God, she was raped. (Tell it to the lacrosse team.) But if my reaction to your letter is a thought crime, I can only plead entrapment: I wouldn’t have had these illegal thoughts if you hadn’t sent me such a stupid letter in the first place… Finally, DRARS, I hereby withdraw my consent for you to read Savage Love. If you continue to read my column against my will, well, we all know what word to apply to your actions.”
4. Dan Savage thinks that racist gay white men are less of a threat to African-Americans than homophobic African-Americans are to gay people.
“I do know this, though: I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there—and they’re out there, and I think they’re scum—are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.”
EDIT: Here are some more lovely gems from our resident asshole Dan Savage on his rampant hatred for everything not white, male, and gay:
5. Dan Savage thinks asexuals are secretly “fags”.
“I appreciate the feedback, Stephanie, and I’m sorry I offended you. But… um… I couldn’t help but think, as I read your letter, that your boyfriend is either a fool or a fag. But if it works for you guys—if a romantic relationship devoid of sexual attraction and activity works for you guys—then it works for you guys. Who am I to argue with success?”
6. Dan Savage is fatphobic.
“First off, LARDASS, you neglected to include a sign-off, forcing me to create one for you. I tried to create one that captured the spirit and tone of your letter, and I think I did pretty well… I am thoroughly annoyed at having my tame statements of fact—being heavy is a health risk; rolls of exposed flesh are unsightly—characterized as ‘hate speech.’”
“If a group of people comes to you and says, “This thing that you are doing is hurting us,” and you keep doing it for fun, then you are a dickweed! Like, you know we had an actual genocide here, right? A deliberate extermination of human beings? Right where your house is? So maybe just err on the side of sensitivity.”—
“For the first eight years of our marriage, [Michelle and I] were paying more in student loans than what we were paying for our mortgage. So we know what this is about.
And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income. But we only finished paying off our student loans—check this out, all right, I’m the President of the United States—we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago.”—President Obama in North Carolina today on why Congress has to act to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling (via barackobama)
“Yes, we live in a sexist culture, in which women have no good choices when it comes to our bodies. We live in a sexist culture in which women are valued primarily as sexual objects, and at the same time are shamed for our sexuality. It seems to me that we have two choices as to how to respond to this. We can try to navigate the narrow, essentially impossible shoals of these contradictory expectations, and try to find that perfect, socially acceptable line between slut and prude.
Or we can say, “Fuck it. There is no way I can win — so I’m going to do whatever the fuck I want. I’m going to wear overalls, or I’m going to wear high heels. I’m going to have sex with twenty strangers in a night, or I’m not going to have sex with anyone. I’m going to dress conservatively and professionally in public at all times, or I’m going to sell naked pictures of myself on the Internet if I bloody well feel like it.”
And in saying, “I can’t win, so I’m going to do whatever the fuck I want to do,” we can create the beginnings of a victory. We can create the beginnings of a world where we really can win. We can create the beginnings of a world where we’re a little more free than the women who came before us… and where the women who come after us are a little more free than we are. We probably can’t create a perfect world, where women’s bodies aren’t commodified in the slightest (not in this generation, anyway). But we can create a better world: a world where women’s bodies and minds belong less to the patriarchy, and more to ourselves.”—Greta Christina (What I May Do With My Naked Body: A Reply to Azar Majedi About the #NudePhotoRevolutionaries Calendar)
“It is the height of privilege to think that everyone must listen to what you say. Not so. I don’t have to listen to racists. I don’t. I don’t have to listen to homo-haters. I don’t have to listen to trans-haters. I don’t have to listen to their hateful speech, their bigoted comments, or their dumb as fuck opinions (about anything). Y’all can say whatever you want. But I don’t have to fucking listen. At all. Or ever. And I’ll be damned if anyone can compel me to do otherwise.
If you knew what real silencing was, you’d have a real different opinion about free speech. If you knew that people listen to your hateful words far more than they listen to anything I say, you’d get the hell out of my face about your right to free speech.
When we traveled to the area, we found two very different Aspens. The dominant, commercial Aspen was an idyllic, post-industrial refuge with stretch Range Rover limousines, toy poodles with diamond-encrusted collars, world-class ski slopes, and Hollywood celebrities who spend just a few weeks a year in multimillion-dollar single-family homes.
The other Aspen is a place where foreign-born laborers from Latin America work in low-status, often dangerous, jobs for low wages with few benefits. In some cases, they drive 60 to 140 miles round-trip daily to get to those jobs because they can’t afford to live near Aspen’s core. Many of these workers live in deplorable housing conditions, including campers and cars “down valley” in trailer parks along the highway in dangerous flood zones.
Aspen’s goal is to be a “city beautiful,” a beacon of sustainability. Unfortunately, its path toward that goal has been paved with nativism and exclusion. The town’s resolution reflects the longstanding link between nativism and environmentalism in the U.S. As Aspen council member Tom McCabe cautioned, “The planet’s a finite resource … We can’t indefinitely welcome people and expect to maintain our quality of life.”
And this is precisely the point: Many Aspenites and others in similarly privileged communities across the U.S. want to protect their quality of life, which requires resources and wealth derived from ecosystems and labor from around the world.
While the city council put the blame on immigrants, Aspen has continued to allow construction of rarely inhabited vacation homes made of materials from across the globe, requiring year-round maintenance and energy usage. One local who looked after homes while absentee owners were out of town told a journalist that most of the properties he managed were empty 45 weeks of the year. “Yet they had to stay heated so the pipes wouldn’t freeze and their swimming pools, as a rule, were heated continuously — not drained — so they’d be ready for use when the owners arrived.” One Aspen resident and multimillionaire financier dug up and hauled away an entire hillside so that he could more easily “keep an eye on his horses.” He thought this was perfectly reasonable for his new “cabin” — a 7,500-square-foot luxury home that sits on a 157-acre lot.
There are some people in this world who just need a good solid beating about the head.
"Gunnoe’s planned testimony included this photo [removed] of a child bathing in water that is the color of a pumpkin, offset at the far end of the tub by a cluster of bath-fun bubbles. Gunnoe wanted to show the committee this photo, but the presiding politicians decided it was inappropriate. (The child was, as bathing children generally are, unclothed.) So the activist presented other evidence instead: ruined streams, stories of people with polluted water and air.
Then, when she was done and preparing to leave, the Capitol Police pulled her aside. Republican members of the panel had suggested that she be questioned about child pornography.”
“I’ve seen a ton on the facebooks about “thanking veterans for their service.” As a veteran let me just be very straightforward and honest with you. We didn’t “serve our country”; we don’t actually serve our brothers/sisters or our neighbors. We serve the interests of Capital. We never risked our lives or spent months on deployment away from our family and friends so they can have this abstract concept called “freedom”. We served big oil; big coal; Coca-Cola; Kellogg, Brown, and Root and all the other big Capital interests who don’t know a fucking thing about sacrifice. These people will never have to deal with the loss of a loved one or the physical and/or psychological scars that those who “serve”, and their families, have to deal with for the rest of their lives. The most patriotic thing someone can do is to tell truth to power and dedicate yourself to building power to overthrow these sociopathic assholes. I served with some of the most real and genuine people I’ve ever met. You’ll never see solidarity like the kind of solidarity you experience when your life depends on the person next to you. But most of us didn’t join for that; we joined because we were fucking poor and didn’t have many other options.”— An anti-capitalist veteran (via elitc)
“[T]ake the notion of “political correctness”. It is true that movements of conscience have piled demands onto people faster than the culture can absorb them. That is an unfortunate side-effect of social progress. Conservatism, however, twists language to make the inconvenience of conscience sound like a kind of oppression. The campaign against political correctness is thus a search-and-destroy campaign against all vestiges of conscience in society. The flamboyant nastiness of rhetors such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter represents the destruction of conscience as a type of liberation. They are like cultists, continually egging on their audiences to destroy their own minds by punching through one layer after another of their consciences.”—
Any time someone brings up “well I’m not ‘politically correct’” it calls for a mega-side eye. Because, what? Your desire to say whatever you want however you want to say it trumps the comfort and well-being of the people around you?
Arguments about the so-called redistribution of wealth are mistaken in assuming that the existing distribution is somehow the natural state of things, from which any deviation is unnatural, and hence morally undesirable. In reality, every distribution of wealth reflects a particular set of choices that a society has made: to value some skills over others; to tax or prohibit some activities while subsidizing or encouraging other activities; and to enforce some rules while allowing other rules to sit on the books, or to be violated in spirit.
All these choices can have considerable ramifications for who gets rich and who doesn’t—as recent revelations about explicit and implicit government subsidies to student lenders and multinational oil companies exemplify. But there is nothing “natural” about any of these choices, which are every bit as much the product of historical accident, political expediency, and corporate lobbying as they are of economic rationality or social desirability.
If some political actor, say the president or Congress, attempts to alter some of these choices, say by shifting the tax burden from the working class to the superrich, or by taxing consumption rather than income, or by eliminating subsidies to various industries, then it is certainly valid to argue about whether the proposed changes make sense on their merits. But it is not valid to oppose them simply on the grounds that altering the distribution of wealth itself is wrong in principle.
”—Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts [Download] (via sociolab)
“Speaking from the perspective and the tradition of lesbians of color, most if not all rationales for excluding transsexual women are not only transphobic, but also racist. To argue that transsexual women should not enter the Land because their experiences are different would have to assume that all other women’s experiences are the same, and this is a racist assumption. The argument that transsexual women have experienced some degree of male privilege should not bar them from our communities once we realize that not all women are equally privileged or oppressed. To suggest that the safety of the Land would be compromised overlooks, perhaps intentionally, ways in which women can act out violence and oppressions against each other. Even the argument that “the presence of a penis would trigger the women” is flawed because it neglects the fact that white skin is just as much a reminder of violence as a penis. The racist history of lesbian-feminism has taught us that any white woman making these excuses for one oppression have made and will make the same excuse for other oppressions such as racism, classism, and ableism.”—Emi Koyama’s “Whose feminism is it, anyway?” (via wewantrevolutiongirlstylenow)
“The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted…
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
Without Black Studies, what would we know of black protest of Jim Crow, slave revolts (and white suppression of records of these revolts), or the medical exploitation of black and brown bodies? Who would chronicle not just the struggle, but the achievements, creativity, and joys of black lives and experiences? Do naysayers really imagine white scholarship, on its own, has given an honest account on these topics? Or are such accounts simply irrelevant to them?
If anything is intellectually fraudulent, it’s scholarship that, consciously and not, excludes POC scholars or ignores race and ethnicity as categories of analysis. We all, white people included, need Ethnic Studies. Both academic scholarship and our understanding of the world are better, more honest, more robust with them than otherwise.
None of this is to say that black studies is perfect. Like many academic disciplines, it can be deeply bound to “traditional” approaches that marginalize scholarship from or about women, queer, and/or trans people. But it’s also the case that substantive critiques of Black Studies by scholars who take race and racism seriously (i.e., not Sowell and Steele) already exist. That critics are wholly ignorant of both the contributions and critiques of Black Studies is an example of what Spelman anthropologist Erica L. Williams describes as the “emotional labor” PoC scholars “must perform … beyond our job descriptions” and not just in the humanities. The considerable stresses of educating and producing scholarship are compounded by the suspicion and racial hostility PoC scholars routinely face.
PoCs are constantly expected to be emotional midwives to white people. Attempts to claim space or identity for ourselves—without deference to whiteness—are inevitably met with suspicion, anger, fear, and guilt (witness white anger over the President’s racial self-identification). We’re expected to have a conversation on race and racism that centers and assuages white emotions, to speak about race in terms and frameworks that are neither by, for, or ultimately about us. What little space we’re afforded in mainstream media is taken up with 101-level education, demands that we justify our existence, and prove the merit of our perspectives and accomplishments beyond the shadow of a doubt. White critics and, occasionally, other people of color, often feel a casual entitlement to pass judgment on PoC narratives of our own experiences, and on our scholarship, without putting in the effort to learn about or engage with either.
If you laugh at jokes about raping people I will laugh at my fist punching your throat because sure it’s violent and demeaning but I think it’s funny so why aren’t you laughing get off the floor and stop whining I am trying to assert that my desire to make a joke out of your traumatic experience is more important than your pain it’s called Freedom of Speech read a book.
It is impossible, in this space, to list all of the monstrous things that this man did. What stands out for me most vividly is the way that he altered public discourse about poverty in this country. Reagan ushered in an era of mean-spiritedness that continues to shape our public policies and social values. This is a man who threw thousands of disabled people on to the streets. This is a man who gave huge tax breaks to his rich friends while simultaneously blaming poor people for their own poverty. His deficit-causing, supply-side, “trickle-down” tax cuts were sold to the public with bullshit math. Together with a tremendous boost in military spending, Reagan’s tax cuts were designed to make the government destitute —necessitating cuts in government spending and thereby justifying the dismantling of social programs.
As a result, we saw the complete demonization of the poor. Reagan’s COMPLETELY FICTIONAL creation of the “Welfare Queen” (lazy, single black women who were dependent on welfare for years, having more babies to collect easy money and get rich) was sold to the public as if it were true. It is a lie that has remained embedded in the public conscience, making it impossible in the last twenty years to get the government to help those in need. Reagan made selfishness and apathy seem normal.
Before Reagan, any candidate running for President would have had to address poverty issues in his campaign. As we will witness in the final months leading up to this November’s election, Reagan’s legacy is that the plight of poor in this country no longer warrants discussion by our (Republican or Democratic) candidates or elected officials, except for scapegoating. Millions of children live in poverty in this country, and in our present climate our leaders have no obligation to care about them.
Thanks to Mr. Reagan. I was raised Catholic and taught to believe in hell. I don’t know if it exists, but I have absolutely no doubt that if it does exist, Ronald Reagan is there now.
Joseph N. DeFilippis, from Ronald Reagan: The Real Legacy.
I think this is appropriate considering how people want to buy a vial of his blood.
have likely never felt the flood of relief that there is a WORD FOR WHAT YOU ARE after spending years wondering if you were broken, what was wrong with you, feeling ridiculously isolated and having other people complain about things you can’t change about yourself. If there’s a word for it, that makes it a real thing.
Knowing that I am real, that I am not alone, has done so much more for me than this idea that homogenizing everyone by refusing to recognize our differences is supposed to. I felt invisible and/or mocked for most of my life by people who thought we should all just be “people.” Why in the world would anyone think that could be a good thing for me now?
“Why does everyone need a label, GAWD!?” is code for “I haven’t given my self and who I am much thought, and the fact that you have, and have had to, upsets me. So stop it and be more like me, dammit!”
“A colonized mind is capable of seeing ONLY the options laid out by the coloniser […] a colonised mind is trained to be held within the limits set by the coloniser […] solutions have to come from decolonized minds that can see beyond the confines established and enforced by the coloniser […] often colonised minds will side with the coloniser against decolonized thinking and action, that is what the colonized are trained to do, that is part of the colonisation process”—Debra White Plume dropping some truth bombs (via selchieproductions)
“But most of all, stop thinking that what people so loathingly refer to as the “friendzone” is some sort of purgatory women put “nice guys” into. My friendship is not a crappy consolation prize that you’re left with if I deny you a sexual relationship– and my body is not your reward for good behavior.”—
The problem I have with many of the more militantly vocal advocates of “gender as a social construction” … is that they take “social construct” to equal “imaginary,” and then try to use that to prove that being trans isn’t really possible.
Other popular social constructs include law, government, police, money, economics, corporations, marriage, family, property, territory, nations, entertainment, fidelity, morals, ethics, taxes, language, courtesy, and so on.
“Poverty is not simply having no money — it is isolation, vulnerability, humiliation and mistrust. It is not being able to differentiate between employers and exploiters and abusers. It is contempt for the simplistic illusion of meritocracy — the idea that what we get is what we work for. It is knowing that your mother, with her arthritic joints and her maddening insomnia and her post-traumatic stress disordered heart, goes to work until two in the morning waiting tables for less than minimum wage, or pushes a janitor’s cart and cleans the shit-filled toilets of polished professionals. It is entering a room full of people and seeing not only individual people, but violent systems and stark divisions. It is the violence of untreated mental illness exacerbated by the fact that reality, from some vantage points, really does resemble a psychotic nightmare. It is the violence of abuse and assault which is ignored or minimized by police officers, social services, and courts of law. Poverty is conflict. And for poor kids lucky enough to have the chance to “move up,” it is the conflict between remaining oppressed or collaborating with the oppressor.”—Megan Lee (via sociolab)
Women invented all the core technologies that made civilization possible. This isn’t some feminist myth; it’s what contemporary anthropologists believe. Women are thought to have invented pottery, basketmaking, weaving, textiles, horticulture, and agriculture. That’s right: without women’s inventions, we wouldn’t be able to carry things or store things or tie things up or go fishing or net-hunting or haft a blade or wear clothes or grow our food or live in permanent settlements. Suck on that.
Women have continued to be involved in the creation and advancement of civilization throughout history, whether you know it or not. Pick anything—a technology, a science, an art form, a school of thought—and start digging into the background. You’ll find women there, I guarantee, making critical contributions and often inventing the damn shit in the first place.
Women have made those contributions in spite of astonishing hurdles. Hurdles like not being allowed to go to school. Hurdles like not being allowed to work in an office with men, or join a professional society, or walk on the street, or own property. Example: look up Lise Meitner some time. When she was born in 1878 it was illegal in Austria for girls to attend school past the age of 13. Once the laws finally eased up and she could go to university, she wasn’t allowed to study with the men. Then she got a research post, but wasn’t allowed to use the lab on account of girl cooties. Her whole life was like this, but she still managed to discover nuclear fucking fission. Then the Nobel committee gave the prize to her junior male colleague and ignored her existence completely.
Men in all patriarchal civilizations, including ours, have worked to downplay or deny women’s creative contributions. That’s because patriarchy is founded on the belief that women are breeding stock and men are the only people who can think. The easiest way for men to erase women’s contributions is to simply ignore that they happened. Because when you ignore something, it gets forgotten. People in the next generation don’t hear about it, and grow up thinking that no women have ever done anything. And then when women in their generation do stuff, they think “it’s a fluke, never happened before in the history of the world, ignore it.” And so they ignore it, and it gets forgotten. And on and on and on. The New York Times article is a perfect illustration of this principle in action.
Finally, and this is important: even those women who weren’t inventors and intellectuals, even those women who really did spend all their lives doing stereotypical “women’s work”—they also built this world. The mundane labor of life is what makes everything else possible. Before you can have scientists and engineers and artists, you have to have a whole bunch of people (and it’s usually women) to hold down the basics: to grow and harvest and cook the food, to provide clothes and shelter, to fetch the firewood and the water, to nurture and nurse, to tend and teach. Every single scrap of civilized inventing and dreaming and thinking rides on top of that foundation. Never forget that.
“Dude, you’re so edgy and politically incorrect. It’s totally ironic and satirical how you regurgitated those ancient and threadbare stereotypes. It reminds me of my great great great great grandpa, Cracker von Patriarch, who also challenged the status quo by embracing it with loving tenderness.”—
I don’t know where I came across this, but it’s witty as fuck (via octagon-surgeon)
Hehe, this is like my favorite response to the “I don’t try to be PC” argument: whoa! so brave! it takes real courage to buck the thoughts and feelings of others while you say whatever you want! BRAVO!!!
I want to copyright “Cracker von Patriarch” as this blog’s Patronus.