“When I found out I had lupus, I thought all would be well once I was treated. Then we realized there was also major anxiety and depression that I was battling, so my mom reached out to lupus organizations that could help. Like Hazel, I went to a support group. But instead of meeting Prince Charming, I met a room full of women (90% of people with systemic lupus erythematosus are women) ages 50 and up who, on my fourth visit, told me how they had all had strokes or this and that and warned me that it could happen to me too. I never went back.”—Montgomery Jones, As a girl with chronic illness, The Fault in Our Stars isn’t just a love story
“Storytelling is a political act. It’s making sense of the world and ourselves, and like every other kind of sense-making, it’s as political as it is personal and vice-versa. There is no distinction to be made between the political and the personal. Writing of any kind is political. It’s claimsmaking regarding reality and how to interpret it. Because whenever we’re faced with these things, we’re faced with fundamental truths regarding how creation makes and unmakes the world, regarding whose voices are amplified and whose are lost, between who gets to speak and who is literally silenced.”— sunny moraine in 'the politics have always been there' (via swanjolras)
The FIFA World Cup is the largest sporting event in the world. The 32 best national male soccer teams compete, attracting an audience of more than 26 million people worldwide and costing billions of dollars every time it is staged. This time, the host country of the cup was Brazil, and advertisers and media outlets were happy to produce a variety of world-cup themed images in order to cash in on the soccer craze. Whether it’s beer, cars, lingerie, fast food or soft drinks, companies were eagerly drawing upon nationalist sentiments as well as staging their products within a Brazilian wonderland to attract millions of soccer fans to their brand.
These two strands – nationalist symbolism and the romanticization of Brazil as an exotic and beautiful playground – tie into another popular trope used in the World Cup imagery: that of the beautiful, scantly-clothed woman present merely as something to be looked at in order to complete the straight male soccer fans’ wet dream.
“A study on masculinity and aggression from the University of South Florida found that innocuous – yet feminine – tasks could produce profound anxiety in men. As part of the study, a group of men were asked to perform a stereotypically feminine act – braiding hair in this case - while a control group braided rope. Following the act, the men were given the option to either solve a puzzle or punch a heavy bag. Not surprisingly, the men who performed the task that threatened their masculinity were far more likely to punch the bag; again, violence serving as a way to reestablish their masculine identity. A follow-up had both groups punch the bag after braiding either hair or rope; the men who braided the hair punched the bag much harder. A third experiment, all the participants braided hair, but were split into two groups: those who got to punch the bag afterwards and those who didn’t. The men who were prevented from punching the bag started to show acute signs of anxiety and distress from not being able to reconfirm their masculinity.”—Doctor Nerdlove, "When Masculinity Fails Men"
“I think a lot of people don’t understand that when we talk about these issues—blackface, rape jokes, the appropriation of marginalized cultures, and so on—we are having an ethical conversation, not a legal one. There is no thought police. No one’s coming to your house and carting you off to Insensitivity Prison. But you, as a person living on this planet, get to make a choice whether you want to hurt people or help people. Whether you want to listen or shut people out. I can’t imagine why you’d choose “defensive shithead” over “nice lady capable of empathy,” but okey dokey.”—Oklahoma Governor’s Daughter Enrages Native American Protestors (via hellasharks)
Create your own gender. Invent your own pronouns. You are not limited to the language we have. You are not limited to the lie of the gender binary. Gender is limitless and so are you. Your identity is valid, and anyone who tells you otherwise needs to be slam-dunked into a garbage can.
Laverne Cox just made history (again). Her talent, honesty, and resilience enable her to do amazing things: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/tv/la-et-st-emmys-laverne-cox-trans-orange-is-the-new-black-20140710-story.html
Discussions about racism should be all-inclusive and open to people of all skin colors. However, to put it simply, sometimes White people lack the experience or education that can provide a rudimentary foundation from which a productive conversation can be built. This is not necessarily the fault of the individual, but pervasive myths and misinformation have dominated mainstream racial discourse and often times, the important issues are never highlighted. For that reason, The Frisky has decided to publish this handy list that has some basic rules and information to better prepare anyone for a worthwhile discussion about racism.
1. It is uncomfortable to talk about racism. It is more uncomfortable to live it.
2. “Colorblindness” is a cop-out. The statements “but I don’t see color” or “I never care about color” do not help to build a case against systemic racism. Try being the only White person in an environment. You willnotice color then.
3. Oprah’s success does not mean the end of racism. The singular success of a Black man or woman (i.e. Oprah, or Tiger Woods, or President Obama) is never a valid argument against the existence of racism. By this logic, the success of Frederick Douglas or Amanda America Dickson during the 19th century would be grounds for disproving slavery.
4. Reverse racism is BS, but prejudice is not. Until people of color colonize, dominate and enslave the populations of the planet in the name of “superiority,” create standards of beauty based on their own colored definition, enact a system where only people of color benefit on a large-scale, and finally pretend like said system no longer exists, there is no such thing as reverse racism. Prejudice is in all of us, but prejudice employed as a governing structure is something different.
5. America has not “gotten over” its race-related problems. In American History class you learned about slavery and Jim Crow, but sadly you were taught that figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks eradicated an entire 200-year history of oppression, discrimination and segregation. Your history teachers and books tried close the race chapter on a high note, however the ongoing history of America’s systemic racism cannot be simply wrapped up and decorated with a “now we all are equal” bow.
6. Google is your best friend. Search: Black/White wealth gap, redlining, “White flight,” subprime mortgages and black families, discriminatory sentencing practices, occupational overcrowding, workplace discrimination, employment discrimination, mandatory minimum sentences and in-school segregation to start. Here are some highlights:
7. Then read some more. Google: Black Wall Street, Sundown towns, eugenics and forced sterilization, and Black voting prohibition.
8. Buy and read a book from a Black author. Some recommendations: W.E.B Dubois, James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston would be a great start.
9. Realize that segregation is still rampant. Step outside and take a look around your neighborhood. Lacking people of color much? That is called segregation. It is not by chance, though sometimes by choice. (Refer to “redlining” Google search.)
About your neighborhood again: Displacing people of color much? That is called gentrification.
Think about the schools you went to and the classes you had. Not too many minorities in either? (Refer to school segregation/in-school segregation.)
10. Programs or initiatives that target systemic racism are not “charity.” We do not refer to the 200 years of free labor provided by enslaved Blacks as charity. Or the Black property stolen by Whites during the decades of state-supported terrorism? Or, say, the unfair banking practices that have completely decimated the Black middle class through foreclosures (refer to subprime mortgages and Black families google search)?
11. Black on Black crime does not exist. There are countless White people committing crimes against White people, but “White-on-White crime” is strangely absent from the rhetoric reporting everything from elementary school shootings to world wars. Why should crimes committed by and against people of color be labelled any differently?
12. White people will not become the minority in America in the next 20 years. “Whites” were originally Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs). The definition of “White,” as a racial classification, has evolved to include “Whiter-skinned” minority groups who were historically discriminated against, barred from “Whiteness” and thus had little access to opportunity. Some examples: Italians and the Irish (who were frequently referred to as n***ers in the 1800’s), Jewish people and more recently Hispanic (George Zimmerman) and Armenian minority groups. Such evolutions, however, always exclude Blacks.
13. Hip-hop culture is no more dysfunctional than Wall Street culture. At its worst, commercial “Black culture” is a raw reflection of broader society. The caricatured imagery of drugs, money, and women are headlined most prominently by Wall Street, politicians, and media moguls but this reality never comes to reflect on White people. America spends more on weaponry than the most of the rest of the world combined but somehow it is the “violence” of hip-hop that is an exclusive pathology.
14. Black people are angry about racism, and they have every right to be. Anger is a legitimate and justified response to years of injustice and invisibility.
15. There are poor White people, but racism and discrimination still exists. The plight of the poor White midwest always makes a convenient appearance to deflect any perceived accusation of privilege or to derail conversations of racism. Racist American policy was never about securing the success of all White people, but rather about legalizing the disenfranchisement of Blacks and other people of color.
16. Silence does nothing. Blank stares and silence do not further this difficult but necessary conversation.
17. White guilt is worthless, but White action isn’t. One of the most immediate responses to racial discourse is that the effort is all about making White people feel guilty. Discourse about racism is not meant to stir up feelings of guilt, it is meant to drive people to action against injustice. During the times of slavery and the era of the Civil Rights Movement, both Black and White people played and continue to play instrumental roles in Black advancement.
18. Black people are not obligated to answer the “Well, what do we do about it?” question. Though many of us do and are not heard. The call for reparations in the form of “Baby Bonds” is a great idea. So isdesegregating our classrooms and closing the school-to-prison pipeline. These courageous voices are speaking very loudly — it is time to start listening.
“In my new hoop earrings (stolen from my mother’s jewelry box that morning), I sat in the front of the classroom with my best friends, excited to show the boys how smart we were being the only four girls in the advanced section of the integrated classes. That day, our teacher handed out a pre-test to gauge the class level. With the excitement of having the boys in our class, and the excitement from the earrings I swiped from my mother (which I decided made me look very mature), I breezed through the pre-test and finished first. When I returned to my seat after turning in my test I felt something hit my back and saw a crumpled note lying on the floor next to me.
I picked it up, sure it was a compliment of my intelligence and speed, a marriage proposal, or whatever else 8th grade girls thought 8th grade boys could provide. Not wanting to get caught with the note, I kept it in my pocket until five minutes before class was out when my teacher had her back to the board.
I goofily smiled as I unraveled the note, planning how I would tell my mother about my new boyfriend and hoping she wouldn’t be too mad about the earrings.
I felt the room spinning and my smile fade as I repeatedly read the words on the page. Show-off. Show-off. Showw-offf. Showwwofffff. My tears hit the paper, blurring the letters in my eyes and the words on the note. I sat in my seat motionless, not even realizing class had let out and all my friends had left. I heard a chair scoot up next to me and my teacher whisper “what’s wrong?”
I silently handed her the note and dug my head into my arms on the table, wondering where I had gone wrong in my life.
After a few moments she laughed softly and I raised my head, confused.
“What? Are you really going to let a stupid boy tell you who you are and how you life your life? Angela, never let a boy–or anyone for that matter–justify your existence. ””—Angela Batuure, How I lost my voice
“I have been reading books for school since seventh grade, which gives me a solid four years of experience. In that time, it’s no struggle to count the number of women’s voices included in that mix: two. That’s right, besides Harper Lee and Mary Ann Evans, women authors are nonexistent.”—Madeleine Nesbitt, #ReadWomen, in school and beyond
“I could have grown up with Bella and Edward’s relationship as my model, and then moved on to Olivia and Fitz of Scandal. That girl would have thought that love was supposed to mean losing control of all decision making. That girl would grow up thinking that when a man abandons you it’s because he loves you too much. That you could have maybe one friend outside of your relationship. Instead I know that a good partner will encourage you to pursue your dreams, respect your decisions and trust you.”—Alice Wilder, Leslie + Ben 5ever, or, how Parks & Rec saved me from Twilight
“all girls are catty to each other” myth actualy just statistical error. average girl is nice to other girls. Regina Georg, who goes to high school & insults over 10,000 girls each day, is an outlier adn should not have been counted
“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.”—Erin McKean, You Don’t Have to be Pretty (via venomous-feminists)
In a study of children aged 2-5, parents interrupted their daughters more than their sons, and fathers were more likely to talk simultaneously with their children than mothers were. Jennifer Coates says: “It seems that fathers try to control conversation more than mothers… and both parents try to control conversation more with daughters than with sons. The implicit message to girls is that they are more interruptible and that their right to speak is less than that of boys.”
Girls and boys’ differing understanding of when to talk, when to be quiet, what is polite and so on, has a visible impact on the dynamics of the classroom. Just as men dominate the floor in business meetings, academic conferences and so on, so little boys dominate in the classroom - and little girls let them.
and also i feel vindicated in my former one woman campaign to dominate classroom discussions, because i definitely got a lot of women talking when they realized that the professor listened to me as much as the guys.
“Psychologists have found that people’s belief in a just world helps explain how they react to innocent victims of negative life circumstances. People become cognitively frustrated when presented with stories of victims who suffer through little fault of their own. They can deal with this frustration in two ways: they can conclude that the world is an unjust place, or they can decide that the victim is somehow to blame. Most people reconcile their psychological distress by blaming the victim. Even when we know that suffering is undeserved, it is psychologically easier to blame the victim rather than give up the idea that the world is basically fair.”—
This is also referred to as The Just World Fallacy. If the world is “good and just,” then bad things must only happen to people who “deserved it or caused it.” Except the world is not good and just. And despite individual people choosing to be good and/or just, structures, institutions and systems remain corrupt overall. Primarily through the media is the idea that bad only happens to those who deserve suffering conveyed. Add this to the manifestations of oppression based on gender, race, class, nationality, citizenship, sexual orientation, size, etc. and things like rape culture for example, thrive. And even ideologies that appear “harmless” to some people like prosperity gospel, positivity culture, the law of attraction and American exceptionalism are based on ignoring systemic inequality and focusing on exceptional cases. They stand firm in this particular fallacy.
See, it requires quite a bit from a person to be willing to challenge the world as is. It is psychologically, emotionally and intellectually easier to victim blame. It also helps people protect their psyches from the thought that something bad could happen to them or worse, that they are the causes of those bad things happening to others.
Still…it’s unacceptable. Victim blaming = unacceptable. The right thing to do is listen and support victims/survivors of anything and the oppressed of any form of oppression and work to deconstruct the structures, institutions and systems that make it possible. On an individual level, it requires accountability.
"Madeleine: I read articles from the Times and the New Yorker, and they seemed relatively business-like, but what was really interesting was to read the announcement of Abramson’s hiring versus the announcement of her firing. The tone was definitely more combative and tense in the second one; it was very clear that she did not go out without pushing back. What I think is really true about this situation is that women are forced to toughen up in the newsroom to even be considered for a job like executive editor, and then everyone complains about how pushy and tough they are if they get the job. It’s a ridiculous double standard.
Sam: It’s a lose lose situation. You have to conform, but once you do, you become threatening
Madeleine: Every article I read talked about how much her replacement, Dean Baquet, is liked in the newsroom, and that really isn’t an option for women in the workplace if they want to move up. If they seem nice, they are viewed as “soft” and unsuitable for the job.
Maya: It’s also just such a loss, I read a really great Slate article that talked about how many women in media and journalism really looked up to Abramson. Whatever the real cause for her being fired, I think because she was a woman she didn’t have a safety net, and it’s awful because in the years she was editor she hired even more women as editors and in other positions, who then increased the representation of women overall on the paper, which is so important.”
-SPARKteam discussing NYT’s firing of Jill Abramson in a new blog.