Can we stop engaging the enemy at every turn? Reblogging posts to validate a person’s beauty (i.e. their worth) still spreads those nasty comments around for others to read and mostly doesn’t change anyone’s mind anyways. If you ignore them, they lose power….
So true! Yes, don’t reblog directly from douchebags.
Can we stop engaging the enemy at every turn? Reblogging posts to validate a person’s beauty (i.e. their worth) still spreads those nasty comments around for others to read and mostly doesn’t change anyone’s mind anyways. If you ignore them, they lose power. Remember bullies only want a reaction to match their pain with yours. Don’t waste your precious energy on this stuff!
I have to disagree. In a vacuum, especially one where we are the minority, innocent bystanders will naturally assume that they are alone and there is no support.
As a trans woman, I always knew that there was intense hate. So I take that as a given. Seeing support, though, any support, is priceless.
While I think in general that Kristof is correct that promoting breastfeeding is a good thing, I also find that his column treats women’s bodies as mere vessels for the feeding of infants, and their time therefore as worthless. Note his claim above that breastfeeding is “free.” I suppose it might seem that way to some men, but it seems awfully condescending to women everywhere–not just in the developing world–to assume that their time, effort, and attention are without value.
with thanks to Lola for the tip to read this particular post.
Stfufauxminists : But that doesn’t make feminism irrelevant, and it doesn’t mean that people can’t care about feminism while also caring about these issues. You don’t have to be against feminism to care about these things…
Tomorrow is my birthday but I’m working all day and I was off today so my boyfriend took me out all day long for some birthday celebration awesomeness. At one point we ended up at Barnes and Nobel just relaxing and reading and checking things out. It was very nice, until…
The funny thing about being transgender is that it never ends. Sure, once you begin hormones (for some) the stares may stop. People may stop using the wrong pronouns. You may not be mistaken as the incorrect gender in public facilities.
But there is still the dysphoria. There is still the issue…
Is anyone up? I just finished a piece of writing (erotica, actually), that’s really intense. I’d like to get some feedback on it, especially from other trans* women. There’s a good deal of dysphoria and internalized transmisogyny in it. I’ll PM it to you; please keep it private.
[Trigger warning: rape/rape culture and harassment.]
Despite feminists’ reputation, and contra my own individual reputation cultivated over five years of public opinion-making, I am not a man-hater.
If I played by misogynists’ rules, specifically the one that dictates it only takes one woman doing one Mean or Duplicitous or Disrespectful or Unlawful or otherwise Bad Thing to justify hatred of all women, I would have plenty of justification for hating men, if I were inclined to do that sort of thing.
Most of my threatening hate mail comes from men. The most unrelentingly trouble-making trolls have always been men. I’ve been cat-called and cow-called from moving vehicles countless times, and subjected to other forms of street harassment, and sexually harassed at work, always by men. I have been sexually assaulted—if one includes rape, attempted rape, unsolicited touching of breasts, buttocks, and/or genitals, nonconsensual frottage on public transportation, and flashing—by dozens of people during my lifetime, some known to me, some strangers, all men.
But I don’t hate men, because I play by different rules. In fact, there are men in this world whom I love quite a lot.
There are also individual men in this world I would say I probably hate, or something close, men who I hold in unfathomable contempt, but it is not because they are men.
No, I don’t hate men.
It would, however, be fair to say that I don’t easily trust them.
My mistrust is not, as one might expect, primarily a result of the violent acts done on my body, nor the vicious humiliations done to my dignity. It is, instead, born of the multitude of mundane betrayals that mark my every relationship with a man—the casual rape joke, the use of a female slur, the careless demonization of the feminine in everyday conversation, the accusations of overreaction, the eyerolling and exasperated sighs in response to polite requests to please not use misogynist epithets in my presence or to please use non-gendered language (“humankind”).
There are the insidious assumptions guiding our interactions—the supposition that I will regard being exceptionalized as a compliment (“you’re not like those other women”), and the presumption that I am an ally against certain kinds of women. Surely, we’re all in agreement that Britney Spears is a dirty slut who deserves nothing but a steady stream of misogynist vitriol whenever her name is mentioned, right? Always the subtle pressure to abandon my principles to trash this woman or that woman, as if I’ll never twig to the reality that there’s always a justification for unleashing the misogyny, for hating a woman in ways reserved only for women. I am exhorted to join in the cruel revelry, and when I refuse, suddenly the target is on my back. And so it goes.
There are the jokes about women, about wives, about mothers, about raising daughters, about female bosses. They are told in my presence by men who are meant to care about me, just to get a rise out of me, as though I am meant to find funny a reminder of my second-class status. I am meant to ignore that this is a bullying tactic, that the men telling these jokes derive their amusement specifically from knowing they upset me, piss me off, hurt me. They tell them and I can laugh, and they can thus feel superior, or I can not laugh, and they can thus feel superior. Heads they win, tails I lose. I am used as a prop in an ongoing game of patriarchal posturing, and then I am meant to believe it is true when some of the men who enjoy this sport, in which I am their pawn, tell me, “I love you.” I love you, my daughter. I love you, my niece. I love you, my friend. I am meant to trust these words.
There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.
There is the perplexity at my fury that my life experience is not considered more relevant than the opinionated pronouncements of men who make a pastime of informal observation, like womanhood is an exotic locale which provides magnificent fodder for the amateur ethnographer. And there is the haughty dismissal of my assertion that being on the outside looking in doesn’t make one moreobjective; it merely provides a different perspective.
There are the persistent, tiresome pronouncements of similitude between men’s and women’s experiences, the belligerent insistence that handsome men are objectified by women, too! that women pinch men’s butts sometimes, too! that men are expected to look a certain way at work, too! that women rape, too! and other equivalencies that conveniently and stupidly ignore institutional inequities that mean X rarely equals Y. And there are the long-suffering groans that meet any attempt to contextualize sexism and refute the idea that such indignities, though grim they all may be, are not necessarily equally oppressive.
There are the stereotypes—oh, the abundant stereotypes!—about women, not me, of course, but otherwomen, those women with their bad driving and their relentless shopping habits and their PMS and their disgusting vanity and their inability to stop talking and their disinterest in Important Things and their trying to trap men and their getting pregnant on purpose and their false rape accusations and their being bitches sluts whores cunts… And I am expected to nod in agreement, and I am nudged and admonished to agree. I am expected to say these things are not true of me, but are true of women (am I seceding from the union?); I am expected to put my stamp of token approval on the stereotypes. Yes, it’s true. Between you and me, it’s all true. That’s what is wanted from me. Abdication of my principles and pride, in service to a patriarchal system that will only use my collusion to further subjugate me. This is a thing that is asked of me by men who purport to care for me.
There is the unwillingness to listen, a ferociously stubborn not getting it on so many things, so many important things. And the obdurate refusal to believe, to internalize, that my outrage is not manufactured and my injure not make-believe—an inflexible rejection of the possibility that my pain is authentic, in favor of the consolatory belief that I am angry because I’m a feminist (rather than the truth: that I’m a feminist because I’m angry).
And there is the denial about engaging in misogyny, even when it’s evident, even when it’s pointed out gently, softly, indulgently, carefully, with goodwill and the presumption that it was not intentional. There is the firm, fixed, unyielding denial—because it is better and easier to imply that I’m stupid or crazy, that I have imagined being insulted by someone about whom I care (just for the fun of it!), than it is to just admit a bloody mistake. Rather I am implied to be a hysteric than to say, simply, I’m sorry.
Not every man does all of these things, or even most of them, and certainly not all the time. But it only takes one, randomly and occasionally, exploding in a shower of cartoon stars like an unexpected punch in the nose, to send me staggering sideways, wondering what just happened.
Well. I certainly didn’t see that coming…
These things, they are not the habits of deliberately, connivingly cruel men. They are, in fact, the habits of the men in this world I love quite a lot.
All of whom have given me reason to mistrust them, to use my distrust as a self-protection mechanism, as an essential tool to get through every day, because I never know when I might next get knocked off-kilter with something that puts me in the position, once again, of choosing between my dignity and the serenity of our relationship.
Swallow shit, or ruin the entire afternoon?
It can come out of nowhere, and usually does. Which leaves me mistrustful by both necessity and design. Not fearful; just resigned—and on my guard. More vulnerability than that allows for the possibility of wounds that do not heal. Wounds to our relationship, the sort of irreparable damage that leaves one unable to look in the eye someone that you loved once upon a time.
This, then, is the terrible bargain we have regretfully struck: Men are allowed the easy comfort of their unexamined privilege, but my regard will always be shot through with a steely, anxious bolt of caution.
A shitty bargain all around, really. But there it is.
There are men who will read this post and think, huffily, dismissively, that a person of color could write a post very much like this one about white people, about me. That’s absolutely right. So could a lesbian, a gay man, a bisexual, an asexual. So could a trans or intersex person (which hardly makes a comprehensive list). I’m okay with that. I don’t feel hated. I feel mistrusted—and I understand it; I respect it. It means, for me, I must be vigilant, must make myself trustworthy. Every day.
I hope those men will hear me when I say, again, I do not hate you. I mistrust you. You can tell yourselves that’s a problem with me, some inherent flaw, some evidence that I am fucked up and broken and weird; you can choose to believe that the women in your lives are nothing like me.
Or you can be vigilant, can make yourselves trustworthy. Every day.
As someone who has struggled with life-long depression, and other problems that cause a depletion of spoons, one of the ways that I’ve shamed myself most is with this idea of productivity: feeling low when I believe I haven’t been productive enough. And I hear this a lot from other people too, especially people with disabilities.
The notion of productivity is rooted in capitalist (and, it follows, ableist) ideas about an individual’s value. It is important that we be “productive”, not only when we are at work, but at all times. And what does it mean to be productive? When we are hard on ourselves for not being productive enough, what do we mean? We can try to define what productivity means for ourselves on an individual level, but I don’t believe we can separate it from the aforementioned capitalist and ableist ideas. Especially for those of us struggling with disabilities, I think this is one of the biggest, most common, and frequently unchallenged ways of internalizing ableism and perpetuating it on ourselves and others.
Defining what productivity means might be easier if we look at what it isn’t. Sitting online all day, playing games, watching television, watching movies, sleeping, relaxing, doing anything passive – I’ve seen all of these things frequently branded as “unproductive” when people criticize themselves (or others) for how they use their non-working/unstructured time. Things that don’t have a clearly defined goal. Do you have a huge to-do list that doesn’t include taking time out of the day and being kind to yourself? Do you typically not cross off most of the things on that list, and then feel upset over it, like you’ve wasted your day?
Productivity, for you, might mean engaging in active hobbies or running errands. It might mean working non-stop at multiple jobs, constant research, having several projects on the go, organizing and initiating rallies, or conducting one workshop after another. Being “productive” never includes self care. I see many creative people who are hard on themselves for not producing enough, especially if their reason for not doing so involves mental health struggles. As if we are mini assembly lines. Subconsciously comparing ourselves to mass production factories, which we will never be able to imitate because of the limitations of being a single person.
Capitalism has seeped into our lives so deeply that we don’t even realize what we’re doing when we talk about wanting to be more productive or shame ourselves for not being productive enough. We forget to take time to relax and take care of ourselves because we are so concerned with meeting quotas in our heads for productivity. Do your self-care rituals stand in opposition to your ideas of what productivity looks like? Why isn’t it productive to take care of ourselves?
Let’s stop pushing ourselves beyond our limits. Let’s fight back against this notion of productivity, against the idea that our value lies in what we “get done” every day. Let’s start working on loving ourselves as we are and giving ourselves some breathing room.
Well, I come from the perspective that industrial civilization has the means to kill all life on our planet. With 200 species going extinct every day that this system continues, and the oceans acidifying and carbon building in the air, I think the ecological collapse could explode and our planet will end up like venus. It's bad, but definitely societal (colonialist infrastructure and control) collapse is linked with that, but I think ecological collapse is part of genocide as well; genocide against the land, the erasure of history of each of us being part of the land and knowing nothing different. That history and identity have been destroyed.
Such is a wetiko society.
Yeah. I come from a wetiko society. China doesn’t really have a good philosophy about these things. I guess that’s why I divorce ecology from humanity in my mind. I can definitely envision a society running directly on solar energy with no non-human-evolved organisms.
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition, and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”—Stephen Colbert (via thakate)
Hacktivists from the loosely-bound collective “Anonymous” have announced plans to use cyber warfare against the city after activists from the group “Food, not Bombs” were arrested in droves for feeding the homeless without proper licensing.
The City of Orlando has ignored our warnings, and our generous offer of a cease fire. On Wednesday last you not only arrested two more people for feeding but you arrested the worldwide President of Food Not Bombs Keith Mchenry. This is a declaration of war.
Henceforth there will be no more cease fires, no more attempts to get you to resolve this issue with human decency. We will now treat you like the human rights abusers that you are.
Anonymous will now begin a massive campaign against you and your city web assets. Everyday we will launch a new DDoS attack on a different Target. We will continue to E-Mail millions of people in 50 countries with the Boycott Orlando campaign message.
Here’s a short piece on being an ally in fact, not just in word. Usually when I see a post about allies not being allies, I’m a little sad that the person writing can’t be more sympathetic to a new ally who messed up a pronoun or something by accident. This post, however, is very clear on the problem: the “I support you, BUT” syndrome that’s honestly so familiar to ALL of us for one reason or another. Everyone messes up (awkward pronoun slip anyone?) once in a while; the important thing is that you are fully supportive and “on the same side” of the trans people you know and the trans community when it comes to things like identity and legal rights. Sooo I think this is pretty much right on. ^_^
“Acceptance means believing someone when they say they know who they are…
You cannot support, accept, respect, or ally with a trans person while misgendering them, questioning their motives for transition, giving them “helpful advice” on how to look more cis (or otherwise criticizing their trans appearance), or in any way acting like or believing that your gender is more valid than the gender of a trans person.”
“Instead of trying to fictionalize gender, let’s talk about the moments in life when gender feels all too real. Because gender doesn’t feel like drag when you’re a young trans child begging your parents not to cut your hair or not to force you to wear that dress. And gender doesn’t feel like a performance when, for the first time in your life, you feel safe and empowered enough to express yourself in ways that resonate with you, rather than remaining closeted for the benefit of others. And gender doesn’t feel like a construct when you finally find that special person whose body, personality, identity, and energy feels like a perfect fit with yours. Let’s stop trying to deconstruct gender into nonexistence, and instead start celebrating it as inexplicable, varied, profound, and intricate.”—
-Julia Serano, Performance Piece (Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation eds. Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman)
Human civilisation would “collapse” and efforts to tackle global warming will fail unless the world curbs its culture of greed and excessive consumerism, a report has warned.
The world’s population is burning through the planet’s resources at such a reckless rate – about 28 per cent more last year - it will eventually cause environmental havoc, said the Worldwatch Institute, a US think-tank.
In its annual State of the World 2010 report, it warned any gains from government action on climate change could be wiped out by the cult of consumption and greed unless changes in our lifestyle were made.
Consumerism had become a “powerful driver” for increasing demand for resources and consequent production of waste, with governments, including the British, too readily wanting to promoted it as necessary for job creation and economic well-being.
More than £2.8 trillion of stimulus packages had been poured into economies to pull the world out of the global recession, it found, with only a small amount into green measures.
But the think tank warned that without a “wholesale transformation” of cultural patterns the world would not be able to “prevent the collapse of human civilisation”. The think tank found that over the past decade consumption of goods and services had risen by 28 per cent to $30.5 trillion (£19bn) - with the world digging up the equivalent of 112 Empire State Buildings of material every day.
The average American consumes more than his or her weight in products each day, many US two year-olds can recognise the McDonald’s “Golden Archers” sign, although they cannot read the letter, and an average western family spends more on their pet than by someone trying to live in Bangladesh.
A cultural shift from consumption to valuing sustainable living was needed because government targets and new technology were not enough to rescue humanity from ecological and social threats.
Consumerism it said had “taken root in culture upon culture over the past half-century … (and) become a powerful driver of the inexorable increase in demand for resources and production of waste that marks our age”.
Erik Assadourian, the institute’s project director, said it was “no longer enough to change our light bulbs, we must change our very cultures”.
At current consumption rates, 200 square metres of solar panels a second and 24 wind turbines every hour were needed to be built to satisfy energy levels.
The think tank said it was not just the United States that was guilty of a culture of excess with other developing countries such as Brazil, India and China adopting greed as a success symbol.
China, one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emissions producers, recently overtook the US as the world’s top car market.
“More than 6.8 billion human beings are now demanding ever greater quantities of material resources, decimating the world’s richest ecosystems, and dumping billions of tons of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere each year,” the report said.
This number will only increase as people in the developing world aspire towards a Western-styled consumer lifestyle.
Mr Assadourian added: “Until we recognise that our environmental problems, from climate change to deforestation to species loss, are driven by unsustainable habits, we will not be able to solve the ecological crises that threaten to wash over civilisation.
“We’ve seen some encouraging efforts to combat the world’s climate crisis in the past few years.
“But making policy and technology changes while keeping cultures centred on consumerism and growth can only go so far.”
He said such measures such as banning incandescent light bulbs and steering children away from consumerism through toy libraries would help.
We are not heading towards ecological collapse. We are heading towards a social one. As goods become scarce, they increase in price. This increase contributes to an economic divide that leads to civil unrest. Civil unrest has tipping points - they flare into full fledged revolutions.
These painful revolutions will hit long before we exhaust our resources.