“This dominant narrative surrounding the inevitability of female objectification and victimhood is so powerful that it not only defines our concepts of reality but it even sets the parameters for how we think about entirely fictional worlds, even those taking place in the realms of fantasy and science fiction. It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game worlds would feel too “unrealistic” or “not historically accurate”. What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend or break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection. We are perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons and items in a massive invisible backpack. But somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.”—Tropes vs Women in Video Games, Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 (via jdisapunk)
“Hate. It’s all hate. Because if you can look at the history of women being beaten and battered into silence and second-class citizenship, and still ask if they are at all to blame for the violence visited upon them, there’s nothing else to call that.
There is a tendency to judge the actions of those with the least amount of power the same as those with more power and then ask, “Isn’t that what equality means?” It’s a clever rhetorical evasion of the issue. Equality is the goal, but to pretend that we actually exist as equals right now is to ignore reality. Like it or not, we all carry history with us in our personal interactions. The history of violence against women is one where women’s bodies are a battleground in a struggle for power. Punches, kicks, weapons, and the threat of death have been used to assert dominance and deny women autonomy, at home and out in the rest of the world.
That’s why it’s not a matter of it being wrong for a man to hit a woman because he may be physically stronger than her. It’s not about women being delicate. That line of thinking is standing on the right side of the issue for the wrong reasons. It reinforces patriarchal thinking about a man’s duty being protection.
No, violence against women is a scourge because it establishes a hierarchy of power. It is a means of ensuring submission. It assures the persistence of inequality through terror.”—Mychal Denzel Smith, How to know that you hate women
“I always think with my heart first and then with my brain. If I want to cry, I cry. I am not afraid of crying. I am not afraid of saying how I am feeling. That is the kind of person I want to be, that is the kind of person I am trying to be.”—Iranian playwright Diana Fathi. Read the rest of our interview with her here
“When minor characters who are also ethnic minorities start talking among themselves in their native tongues, they sometimes take advantage of their invisibility to say things. Sometimes they break the Fourth Wall and start ranting about the movie director. Sometimes, they spout random obscenities or natter about their lousy lunch. It’s all in not-English, so whatever they say doesn’t matter! And the actual translations of their lines can be a secret source of hilarity in films where actors are instructed to use a Gratuitous Foreign Language (GFL) in order to make a scene sound more authentic. When some Native Americans cast in Westerns were told to speak their own language to add some authenticity, these actors took the opportunity to crudely editorialize about their director, which allegedly resulted in Native American audiences (in)explicably cracking up laughing during scenes that were meant to be dramatic.”—Minorities can be marginalized in film, but not silenced. (via salon)
“The term “tear gas” is a misnomer. For one thing, “tear gas” seems to imply something innocuous— you would think it’s just a chemical that makes you tear up. In fact, tear gas is a dangerous, potentially lethal chemical agent which is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention for use during wartime. As the Omega Research Foundation argues: “Less-lethal weapons are presented as more acceptable alternatives to guns. But these weapons augment rather than replace the more lethal weapons. Euphemistic labels are used to create the impression that these weapons represent soft and gentle forms of control. CS is never referred to by the authorities as vomit gas, in spite of its capacity to cause violent retching.” NGO Physicians for Human Rights believes that “ ‘tear gas’ is a misnomer for a group of poisonous gases which, far from being innocuous, have serious acute and longer-term adverse effects on the health of significant numbers of those exposed.””—What is tear gas? —Facing Tear Gas (via somethinglickedthiswaycums)
“As a child I never heard one woman say to me, “I love my body.” Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. No one woman has ever said, “I am so proud of my body.” So I make sure to say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age.”—
“Annie (a pseudonym) is a Chinese-American, straight, female university professor. While she was in graduate school, she found it difficult to receive medical treatment due to the perceived psychiatric condition of simply being Asian and female: “I went to a doctor at the university because I had recurring abdominal pain. The doctor listened to my description, but rather than doing a physical exam, he explained to me that it was normal for Asian women to be anxious and stressed out, and anxiety was probably causing my abdominal pain.” But surprisingly, the doctor didn’t treat the anxiety either. He just said there was nothing he could do.”—Shattering the Madness Monolith: On the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Psychiatric Disability (via longmoreinstituteondisability)
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”—L.R. Knost (via maxistentialist)
things life is too short for: - hating yourself - pretending to laugh at “jokes” that are actually just bigoted statements - not singing along to your favorite songs - waiting hours to text someone back just to look cool - bad coffee - bad books - mean people - body shaming - letting other people dictate your life - larry’s storyline
“So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent- if not inappropriate- response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may- in ways we might prefer not to imagine- be linked to their suffering, as the wealth as some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark.”—
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
Something to think about re: photos of Mike Brown and police brutality in Ferguson, especially for white people who have never experienced police violence and who were raised to believe that police are trustworthy.
“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