“America is afraid of its past. Whether it’s how it treated Native Americans, women or black people, it is constantly trying to reframe, color or flat-out ignore major aspects of our history. America, in its constant obsession with being seen as “awesome,” will actively try to Photoshop its own historical portrait. The fear is that to acknowledge the past is to take the blame for it. If we take the word “nigger” out of the classic “Huckleberry Finn” then our kids won’t see it and then we don’t have to talk about it.”—Elon James White (via meloukhia)
"This coloring book, which was purported to be from the Black Panthers, had actually been rejected by them when it was brought to them by a man later revealed to have intelligence connections. Not to be troubled by the fact that the Panthers found the coloring book revolting, the FBI added even more offensive illustrations, and mass mailed it across America. It so infuriated the white population that they stopped listening to the legitimate grievances of the black people."
“Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.”—
“If feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression, and depriving females of reproductive rights is a form of sexist oppression, then one cannot be anti-choice and be feminist. A woman can insist she would never choose to have an abortion while affirming her support of the right of women to choose and still be an advocate of feminist politics. She cannot be anti-abortion and an advocate of feminism.”—bell hooks (via inherhipstheresrevolutions)
I went to Google. I started typing “why are” and the first suggestion that popped up was “why are women like parking spaces.” Being naturally curious, I clicked the link. This was the “joke” I had the unfortunate experience of reading as a result of that action…
Women are like parking spaces…
…normally all the good ones are taken. So, occasionally, when no one’s looking, you have to stick it in a disabled one.
I want to puke. Even if I hadn’t consumed 3/4 of a handle of rum last night…I would want to puke. I reported it to the website’s administrators as offensive, but that will most likely elicit a chuckle if anything. God damnit, it’s too early in the morning for me to be this pissed off. Fuck you Google.
“A survey of girls in Zimbabwean junior schools in 2000 reported by Amnesty International found 92 per cent had been sexually propositioned by an older man on their way to school, and half of them had experienced unsolicited sexual contact by strangers. Factors such as these mean that, simply by virtue of being born female, millions of children across the world are denied their right to an education. In fact, according to the charity Childline, in South Africa a girl actually has a higher chance of being raped than of learning to read.”—
“If Sarah Palin were black, her daughter’s out of wedlock, “baby daddy drama” would have been presented as an example of both pathological behavior and a dysfunctional family that is symbolic of the social problems in that community. If Sarah Palin were black, never would the poor decision making by the Palin family be marked off as challenges overcome, or deeds to be valorized. If Sarah Palin were black, her neo-secessionist husband would have been the death knell for her political career, because as we all know you can’t trust “those people.” If Sarah Palin were black, her lack of intellectual curiosity, willful and cultivated ignorance, and lack of grace both written and spoken, would not be taken as “folksy.” Instead, Palin would be viewed as unqualified for any public office. If Sarah Palin were black she would be tarred and feathered as an “affirmative action baby.”—
Just goes to show how far Palin’s whiteness can take her. Zero intellect, two high school drop-outs, an unwed teen mother, a quitter of the one major job she had. Master of hateful coded language targeting opponents as not “real Americans”. Belongs to a church outside of the mainstream. Still a top GOP candidate.
The other day in my Feminist Theory class my professor shared a conversation she had with her (male) boss that went something like this:
Boss: You should take this summer off from teaching classes and work on publishing something.
Professor: I can’t do that, I can’t afford to lose the money that I make over the summer.
Boss: Oh…why? (Stupid fucking question)
Professor: Because the gender gap in teachers’ salary at this university is so wide that I make $20,000 a year less than male professors.
Boss: Okay, but you need to get something published this summer.
Professor: I have to be at home teaching online courses so that I can watch my children while they aren’t in school.
Boss: Isn’t there someone else in your house that could do that?
Professor: I don’t have a wife….I am the wife.
Boss: Oh…I see what you mean about the gender thing, but you’re going to have to figure it out.
If it had been me having this conversation with my boss, I probably would have screamed in his face and quit on the spot. Luckily for me (and the rest of her students), my professor has more self control. Even after the inequality was SHOVED IN HIS FACE (and even after he ACKNOWLEDGED it) he still put the burden on her to “figure it out” instead of apologizing and attempting (or even offering to attempt) to help correct the inequalities that put her in this difficult situation to begin with. Oh, the politics of academia…
“Oh yeah, we should get back to the original question, of like what can the boys do to help or something? Well, personally I think it’s crucial that boys talk to each other about their own sexisms, their own experiences as oppressors, and get used to recognizing how their behavior/action may be affecting women. And there’s all sorts of ways they can get information about what all different kinds of women/ladies and girls think. Like aside from just vampiring the females that they might know. Like there are lots of books and records and fanzines that they can seek out. Plus guys have to realize that their very presence may be censoring and demanding to women, so there are gonna be times when they just shouldn’t be around, you know? And bitching about this just adds to the whole problem anyways, cos it’s not about exclusion. It’s about safety.”—Kathleen Hanna (via thechocolatebrigade)
“Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?… There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will. The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. The poor in our countries have been shut out of our minds, and driven from the mainstream of our societies, because we have allowed them to become invisible… No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for “the least of these”.”—Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize lecture, Dec. 11, 1964. (via nbr)
“Something is fundamentally wrong with the female body and it’s natural to be unhappy with it. It’s not just natural teenage insecurity either. In our society, adult female bodies are treated like mistakes that continually need correcting. It’s too smelly, it’s too hairy, it’s the wrong shape, it’s the wrong colour. We’re seen to be badly designed somehow, needing extra stuff to make them okay. Being unhappy about your body is often presented as one of the essential personality traits of women, if we believe what society tells us.”—Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery - The F-Word (via ilovefat) (via definatalie) (via bbwprincess) (via allthechocolatesinthebox) (via sexisnottheenemy)
“If a dude thinks that he is powerful because he doesn’t get fucked, and you are weak and shameful for getting fucked, you really and truly don’t want to let him fuck you. Sex is about respect, and letting someone inside you without respect is a bad idea… I fuck while feminist by insisting that there is nothing submissive about getting fucked. Accepting the standard bullshit narrative of “penetration as dominance” or “penetration as corruption” is ridiculous and arbitrary.”—Tiger Beatdown › Fucking While Feminist: The Unfuckables (via sexisnottheenemy)
“This hairless version of reality is so pervasive that it goes against evolutionary meaning, but we pay little attention to it because social norms of beauty are dependent on it, social norms derived directly from fiscal gain. Corporate gain is a direct result of classifying body hair as shameful. No matter how brightly colored the ads or how cheerily the model smile while holding a razor to their tanned leg, ads for razors at their most basic telling women there is something wrong with one of their natural functions: hair growth.
…razor marketing “arouses the psychological fear of unpopularity and exorcises it by showing how you may avoid embarrassment,” wrote early advertising experts Doris E. Fleischman and Howard Walden Cutler. And just as deodorant is marketed as a hygienic necessity, female leg and armpit hair is symbolically unhygienic. Were the argument of shaving for cleanliness and personal hygiene truly valid, it would follow that both genders would engage in obligatory hair removal, as did the ancient Egyptians
…it is clear that the hairless beauty standard applies to women of all classes, whereas male body hairlessness seems to be predominantly at a haute couture level.”—
“A person of good intelligence and of sensitivity cannot exist in this society very long without having some anger about the inequality - and it’s not just a bleeding-heart, knee-jerk, liberal kind of a thing - it is just a normal human reaction to a nonsensical set of values where we have cinnamon flavoured dental floss and there are people sleeping in the street.”—
“No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, who wants to gnaw off its own leg.”—Frederica Mathewes-Green (via thatswhatshesaidquotes)
“I call myself a feminist when people ask me if I am, and of course I am ‘cause it’s about equality, so I hope everyone is. You know you’re working in a patriarchal society when the word feminist has a weird connotation. “Hippie” has a weird connotation. “Liberal” has a weird connotation.”—Ellen Page, interview (2008)
“When a woman enjoys her sexuality without hurting anyone else, but someone finds out about it, the response is to insult her, shame her, bring her down and make sure she never does it again. But the response to rape, and “jokes” about rape, which trivialize and normalize violent, traumatic and sometimes life-threatening acts against women is—somehow—to laugh?”—“Kat,” Slut-Shaming vs. Rape Jokes (via reelaroundthefountain)
“The study, “Keeping Women in the Science Pipeline,” found that women who are married with young children are 35 percent less likely to enter a tenure-track position after receiving a Ph.D. in science than are married men with young children and Ph.D.’s in science. Not only that, the married women with young children are 28 percent less likely than women without children to achieve tenure in the sciences.”
“The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape. “Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of 16th and Locust?”
“Did you struggle with the robber?”
“He was armed.”
“Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than to resist?”
“Did you scream? Cry out?”
“No. I was afraid.”
“I see. Have you ever been held up before?”
“Have you ever given money away?”
“Yes, of course–”
“And did you do so willingly?”
“What are you getting at?”
“Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given away money in the past–in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren’t contriving to have your money taken from you by force?”
“Listen, if I wanted–”
“Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr. Smith?”
“About 11 p.m.”
“You were out on the streets at 11 p.m.? Doing what?”
“Just walking? You know it’s dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren’t you aware that you could have been held up?”
“I hadn’t thought about it.”
“What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?”
“Let’s see. A suit. Yes, a suit.”
“An expensive suit?”
“In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn’t that so? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn’t we?”
“Look, can’t we talk about the past history of the guy who did this to me?”
“I’m afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don’t think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?”— (via howtobeasatellite)
I’m so torn on this issue. As a woman I am vehemently opposed. As an anthropologist I am more tolerant. As a humanitarian I am perplexed.
The language used in the title bothers me. I don’t like the term “genital mutilation.” I prefer “genital cutting” because it seems more honest and less ethnocentric. The name western feminism has given to this particular phenomenon is designed to disgust, to horrify, to incite anger. When we cut part of the genitals off of little boys in this country, it’s called “circumcision.” Why is it called “mutilation” when it’s done to African girls?
Beyond that, who are we (“we” being “American feminists”) to tell African women not to cut their bodies up for male pleasure, not to undergo dangerous and unnecessary surgery just for the sake of increasing marriage prospects? Breast Implants, anyone? When we do it, it’s an elite and expensive beauty procedure. When Africans do it, it’s a humans rights violation. Come on now, let’s try a little bit of cultural relativism here.
Now, just to make a distinction, I do believe that holding down a 5 year old girl and permanently altering her genitals with a broken piece of glass without her understanding or consent is a human rights violation. It absolutely is. But a lot of female circumcision doesn’t happen that way. It happens to 15 year old girls who look forward to this cultural right of passage. It happens between groups of friends who are eager to become women. It happens in ways that are not human rights violations most of the time.
The patriarchal symbolism behind the act is, of course, something that needs to be seriously addressed, but convincing women that they want to damage themselves for the enjoyment of men is not a human rights violation, it’s a global mind-fuck.
I for one do not intend on circumcising any children I may have in the future, regardless of gender. Bodies are so beautiful naturally, why would you want to chop up the most intimate parts?
Like all entrenched patterns, the gender gap in wages is supported by both myth and reality. Some of the realities behind the differential require policy changes at the highest levels.
Gendered notions of the value of work
Traditional “women’s work” tends to be in the helping and support professions. These jobs are not yet considered comparable in worth to the work that men do.
To the degree that women are clustered in lower paying positions, they may not think that they have much bargaining power in bridging the gender gap in pay. They compare their salaries to what other women are making, not to what the job should command. In negotiations, when you don’t think you have much clout and are in a low-power situation, you can be overly reluctant to push for what you are worth
Women are also more likely than men to work part-time, take time off for family reasons, and to be the primary caregivers for their children or aging parents. This affects not only their take-home pay, but their career opportunities as well. Childless women, for example, currently earn 90% of their male counterparts’ salaries.
The myths, however, operate under the surface and color the perception of the wage gag—among men and women.
Work is seen as a choice for women, a necessity for men.
Forty-one percent of working women head their own households—they are single, divorced, separated or widowed—and 28% have dependent children. Yet American culture still buys into the myth of the male breadwinner.
It’s easier to say no to a woman.
People—men and women—assume that a woman will sacrifice her own needs for the sake of a good relationship and not push for what’s important to her. When a woman is perceived to be accommodating, it’s harder for her to get others to take her demands seriously or, in parallel, all too tempting to take the path of least resistance and not make them.
Money is not a high priority for most women.
Money may be only a factor for women in salary negotiations, not the determining one. They may value other elements in a benefit package—time, ability to telecommute, etc. That does not automatically correlate to the prevalent assumption that women don’t care about being paid fairly for the contributions they make.
For more about the wage gap, read the entire article here.
This article investigates the Special K challenge and exposes it for the pile of shit of a marketing strategy that it is…
So, let’s take a look at a day like this in terms of calories. On Monday, the day starts with a bowl of Original cereal. Calorie count with milk: 160. And the cereal contains high fructose corn syrup. Lovely. Snack: 90 calories (and HFCS). Lunch: 180 calories (what, no HFCS?!) Snack: 90 calories. Dinner: 309 calories. Total caloric intake for the day: 829. 829 calories for an entire day. This makes me irate. Okay, yes, you can add in unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables. But in order to bring that measly number up to something healthy, you are going to have to eat more fruits and vegetables than you can handle.
As far as I’m concerned, Special K’s approach to nutrition and weight loss is irresponsible and representative of a corporate- and media-endorsed vision that this is the sort of plan that should be followed when one has weight to lose. Additionally, itdepends on and adds to the intense pressure that women endure when it comes to their appearance. In campaigns that promote diets like this, thinness is equated with success, beauty, and happiness. In reality, treating your body this way is abusive and dangerous. Instead of letting cereal companies convince us that this is how we should be eating, we should be educating ourselves and fighting back. In a country where 10 million women and 1 million men are battling eating disorders, and clinical care for these disorders is costly and hard to access, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assert that Special K and companies with similar “challenges” are part of the problem, and not the solution.
Anthropology, Women's Studies, and Being "Othered"
Recently I’ve been struggling with the decision of double majoring in Women’s Studies as opposed to just minoring in it. Up until this point in my education I have been an Anthropology major with a minor in Women’s Studies. I love Anthropology; people, culture, humanity, is my passion. So why must I pick up a second major? Why do I have to stay at school longer, pay tuition longer, and work harder, just to learn about women? Why does Anthropology gloss over women so completely? It’s very disappointing to realize that the academic field I have devoted so much time, energy, and passion to neglects 50% of humanity (my 50%). Are women not humans? Are we a sub-group, not mainstream enough to be included in general fields of study? Why does the study of humanity exclude half of the world’s humans? Why do I have to be a feminist anthropologist or an anthropologist with a concentration in women’s issues to combine the study of humans with the study of women? I really, really hate that men are considered humans and women are considered women. I am tired of being “othered” even within my own field. The powers that be should consider renaming the anthropology program the ‘andropology’ program if it is only going to focus on 50% of humanity.
This manual is designed as a training tool to promote the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to engage men in VAW prevention. It aims to:
Increase knowledge about VAW
Explore the causes and consequences of VAW
Promote skills in effective approaches and strategies for engaging men in VAW prevention.
The manual takes into account the cultural, religious, social, and other specificities of the Arab countries. It can be used as a guide for facilitators in providing training on VAW and engaging men in VAW prevention, and may be used as a helpful tool that provides activities and handouts needed to implement orientation and awareness-raising sessions on specific topics related to VAW. The activities described in this guide create ways in which VAW-related topics can be discussed openly in a group setting.
“Strong girls, remember that sensitive liberal boys are our secret enemies. They disguise themselves with the androgyny of long hair and quiet thoughts, but underneath they are just as much BOY as the young republican of your choice. Be careful, beautiful girls, be strong - just because he holds your hand and looks you in the eye when you talk to him doesn’t mean he respects your body or your mind.”—Christine Doza, Bloodlove
“My father got sick when I was 22… and I was poor. And my father had an ulcer, and it exploded, and, you know, all these toxins get in your blood - and basically, my father died 50 days after his ulcer. So I had a father get sick while I was poor.
My mother got sick while I was rich. I don’t really wanna get into to it, but my mother was sicker than my father, okay? And my mother’s alive. My mother’s fine, okay?
I remember going to the hospital to see my mother and wondering, was I in the right place? Like, this is a hotel! Like, it had a concierge, man! …If the average person really knew the discrepancy in the healthcare system, there’d be riots in the streets, okay? They would burn this motherfucker down.”—CHRIS ROCK, responding to host Bill Maher asking if he ever went to the emergency room as his primary healthcare provider, on Real Time. (via xicanagrrrl, inothernews) (via fuckyeahfeminists)
“Some may blackly (angrily) accuse me of trying to blacken (defame) the English language, to give it a black eye (a mark of shame) by writing such black words (hostile). They may denigrate (to cast aspersions; to darken) me by accusing me of being blackhearted (malevolent), of having a black outlook (pessimistic, dismal) on life, of being a blackguard (scoundrel) - which would certainly be a black mark (detrimental fact) against me. Some may black-brow (scowl at) me and hope that a black cat crosses in front of me because of this black deed. I may become a black sheep (one who causes shame or embarrassment because of deviation from accepted standards), who will be blackballed (ostracized) by being placed on a blacklist (list of undesireables) in an attempt to blackmail (to force or coerce into a particular action) me to retract my words. By attempts to blackjack (to compel by threat) me will have a Chinaman’s chance of success, for I am not a yellow-bellied Indian-giver of words, who will white-wash (cover up or gloss over vices or crimes) a black lie (harmful, inexcusable). I challenge the purity an innocence (white) of the English language. I don’t see things in black and white (entirely bad or entirely good) terms, for I am a white man (marked by upright firmness) is there ever was one. However, it would be a black day when I would not “call a spade a spade,” even though some will suggest a white man calling the English language racist is like the pot calling the kettle black. While many may be niggardly (grudging, scanty) in their support, others will be honest and decent - and to them I say, that’s very white of you.”—Robert. B. Moore, “Racist Stereotyping in the English Language” (via a-n-a-r-c-h-a)
“I’m a feminist…
Because I wear my politics on my body. Because gender is social structure. Because I’m wicked tough. Because I have a choice and I need to defend it. Because it’s ok to be a stay-at-home mom. Because emotions are fluid. Because I can attain enlightenment. Because I dance. Because my body is not me but we coincide and coexist. Because I will always question the status quo. Because naked is beautiful. Because I want a revolution. Because it’s ok be angry. Because the silence must be broken-life’s too short to not speak up. Because I’m “purty loud for such a little thing”. Because I can choose to get married. Because I stand for what I believe in. Because it’s not ok to label. Because I love myself. Because little boys can be pretty and little girls can be strong. Because no doctor should choose my sex. Because gender is complex. Because everything is complex. Because a short skirt doesn’t mean she’s asking for it. Because a woman gave birth to you. Because I’m radical. Because I’m a person. Because I’m still learning. Because no action is not an option. Because my scariest nightmare is the one where I can’t speak.”—Simmons College Feminist Union t-shirt (via girlwithapearlearing)
“There’s a huge difference between harassing a woman and trying to start a conversation. Here are some tips: talk to her, not at her. Treat her with respect: be aware of her personal space, ask her how she’s doing or what she’s reading instead of commenting on her body parts, look at her face instead of her chest. If she ignores you, drops eye contact, or walks away, back off. It wasn’t rude of you to approach her, but she’s not being rude if she doesn’t want to keep talking to you, especially if you initiated conversation while she was running an errand, waiting for the bus, or on her computer at a coffee shop.”—Catcalling Is a Problem: How to Talk to a Woman Without Being Rude, Creepy or Scary (via splatterdick)