Yes, one of the questions is “Why are Israelis and Palestinians fighting?”
Over the past several weeks, I have been seeing a lot of posts about the Israel-Palestine conflict and have been shocked by the amount of bias in the media about the issue from both sides. Even more, I am amazed how little public knowledge exists about the issue, and this lack of historical and even contemporary knowledge promotes extremist views and irrational emotional reactions. Therefore, although no article can be unbiased, everyone should see these facts:
◤ That One Stray Hair ◢
That one stray hair. The one reminds you that you’re not fully a woman. The type of woman that you’re supposed to be.
That one stray hair. The one that stands out from the smooth, invisible hairs on the rest of your face. It’s unique. Bigger. Bolder. Stronger. Traits often associated with men. But this hair is not afraid to stand out. It’s not afraid to remind you that you are not the stereotype of a perfect, idealistic woman you are supposed to be. Your gender is not absolute. You share some features with men.
You can be part woman and part man without being a monster. The reason that others fear you has nothing to do with beauty. It is because you are a threat to the patriarchal system. You are a threat to the flawless masculinity or femininity ideals that these people perform constantly. This performance, of course, can never be real. But they spend their lives constructing and re-constructing these ideals. You are a threat to the power that their categorical appearance gives them. You show them that like you, their gender is fluid. You show them that like you, they do not fit into one of two boxes—male or female.
That one stray hair is empowering. It is what Frida Kahlo’s unibrow did for her, her art, feminism, and the world. It is what Western society is obsessed with suppressing. So embrace it. Don’t pull it out. Instead, pull out the strength from within yourself to love this hair and use it to make people question the world around them.
Argentina will never beat Germany. They won’t even come Klose. It’ll just be Messi.
IF EVERYTHING THAT I SAY IS hysterical, HOW DO I MAKE MYSELF HEARD?
◤ On the Environment: It Is Simply Not that Simple ◢
Imagine clear water
A glistening ocean
With flourishing wildlife
You fear the unknown
What lies within its depths
You should fear the sea creatures
But instead, your fear is
I remember my childhood
The fish, the crabs,
The jellyfish that sprayed ink into my mother’s eyes
Then one day, there was a little pool
of dead fish
That was one of the first times
I stumbled upon death
And really thought about it
My paradise was no longer a utopia
But why did the fish die?
I guess I’ll never know
All I know is that it disturbed me
We tend to think that humans are the problem
People cause the extinction of other species through overpopulation
We equate humans with environmental destruction
However, it is simply not that simple
Humans have lived for decades, centuries, even millennia, where they cohabitated with other creatures
We lived with the environment
The industrial revolution did not always exist
But rather, it overthrew a previous state of living
The states of industrialism, capitalism, and overconsumption are very new
in comparison to the age of the earth
or even humankind
And overconsumption, a symptom of capitalism, is arguably the greatest cause of environmental destruction
Therefore, to equate humankind with environmental destruction is to equate humankind with capitalism and overconsumption
But we all know how unnatural imaginary money is
So stop thinking that environmental destruction is inevitable
That it is a natural part of the ‘Human Condition’
Capitalism is not part of the ‘Human Condition’
We do not have to give the earth cancer
We do not have to settle for the inevitability of dying from cancer
There comes a point when every revolution is replaced
When a system is no longer working,
(Although it arguably never did)
It must be changed
Cooperating with the land
Rather than dominating it
Giving back as much as you take
These are ancient ideas
But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them
We are not stuck in the myth of progress
We are not on a linear timeline
Where the destination is technology
Listening to Native wisdom is not “going backwards”
Neither is it “going forwards”
Because there is no end or beginning to a circle
If we return to harmony with the earth,
How can that be anything but better?
Those in power are too complacent for change
They think that they are benefiting from the system
When they are actually dying from it instead
We are their children
We are inheriting their mess
It may not have been caused by us
But if we don’t take on the responsibility to change it,
Then who will?
- Anna Kozak
A woman has the right to use contraceptives. There are condoms, spermicides, the Pill, diaphragms, tubal ligation… any number of methods of contraception. If a woman is raped, there is even the Morning After Pill.
I’m begging all women to choose to use contraceptive measures and to have sex responsibly, rather than allow themselves to become pregnant and then killing that new life-form. That is all.
From a former fetus who all the doctors said should have been aborted for my mother’s health and safety, and who they also predicted would not have survived anyway or would have debilitating birth defects and certainly would not be able to function normally in society. (I have an IQ of 140 and work as a Japanese translator and English editor.)
I’m going to reblog this keeping your comment - even though you made sure to erase all the comments before yours - because I’d like to respond with this:
My mother also had a dangerous pregnancy, and for a long time my parents debated having kids at all. That they chose to have me - chose - despite the risks, means that the pro-choice movement has done its job, because they had that choice to make. Remember, being pro-life isn’t about wanting to choose life; it’s about wanting to force every pregnant person to give birth, against their will or not.
But here’s the thing about your ridiculously offensive argument that just because your mother carried a dangerous pregnancy to term and you came out all right, and are able to score an arbitrary number on an arbitrary test, and therefore every woman should carry their pregnancy to term no matter what the circumstances: it’s only from your perspective. You don’t make any effort to think about what your mother went through, the terror she may have felt, the courage it took for her to risk her own life in order to bring you into this world. She didn’t just “choose not to kill” you - she actively chose to keep you, every day, knowing you could kill her and knowing you might have a short, painful, horrific life even if you survived, even if she survived. How can you make all these claims about the danger your mother was in while pregnant and not think for a moment about her agency? How can you make this argument and not sit back for a moment and think, “what if someone had said this to my mother while she was pregnant with me?”
Because let me tell you, if my mom had decided after becoming pregnant that the risks were too great, that she didn’t want this, and had aborted me? I would not exist - and that would be okay. And no amount of telling her she was a killer would have made her into one, because abortion is not murder.
No really, it isn’t. My mother was a wonderful woman, full of energy and love and intelligence and compassion. If she had made a different decision and not had a child, or had adopted a child instead, or later on had a different child after re-thinking the risks and going ahead anyway, she still would have been a wonderful woman. No, I would not have existed, but that would not have made my mother a killer; it would have made her a person who didn’t have a baby. How dare you reduce her - reduce anyone - into a simple binary of killer/not-killer by the decision she made about her pregnancy? For that matter, how dare you look at this argument and think, “the important thing here is for anyone who might become pregnant to know that their kid might score 140 on an IQ test, therefore abortion is wrong”?
And how fucking dare you dismiss the realities of rape and incest by saying that “there is even the Morning After Pill” without addressing the fact - fact, not feeling or opinion - that contraceptives and morning-after pills are difficult if not impossible for many women to obtain, especially women who have been raped or victimized? Are you really that ignorant? Do you honestly think that every woman lives near a pharmacy that will give them the medication (yes, it’s medication) that they need without invoking religious or moral objections? Do you really not understand that forcible pregnancy is a thing that men do to women all the fucking time? You beg women not to become killers but you don’t say a fucking word about the men who impregnate women against their will, who trick them or rape them or lie about their contraceptive use. You dismiss all of what happened before and you insist that the entire moral onus is on this pregnant person, who does not want to be pregnant. She can be a killer or she can be a not-killer, and that’s all you give her.
To my followers and anyone else who reads this: as one of those oh-so-underrepresented former fetuses, I am begging you to make the best decision for yourselves. I am begging you to block out the noises people like this make when they try to tell you what to do with your body, your life, your self. I am begging you to take as much information - information, not manipulative horseshit and propaganda - into account when deciding whether or not to remain pregnant. And I am begging you to tell anyone who has an opinion about you to go fuck themselves.
Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately.
[x] (via neighborly)
As a teacher, I give girls what I hope is a lot of attention. I don’t know if I give girls their fair share, but I aspire to, especially after noticing that boys are willing to use their greater share of teachers’ attention to get girls who they feel aren’t being quiet and docile enough punished. I have therefore acquired a reputation for “caring more about the girls.” This has had two marked results: Some straight boys have gotten more hostile toward me, and most girls have gotten more confident around me. This makes me think I’m doing something right.
Longer thoughts on how this phenomenon relates to sexual harassment in classrooms, if you’re interested: The girls figured out I won’t report them if they hit boys who are sexually harassing them, I’ll only report the boys. This led to an increase in how often girls got the last word and boys got smacked in my classes, and, also, to a DECREASE IN HOW OFTEN GIRLS GOT SEXUALLY HARASSED. The sexual harassers seem to have been depending on the sort of “equal blame” and “retaliation is never warranted” and “don’t hurt others’ feelings” perspectives so many schools try to instill in kids; the sexual harassers were usually the ones bringing me into the situation by saying, “Miss, she hit me! You should write her up!” Once they figured out I was only ever going to respond, “If you don’t treat girls like that, they won’t hit you,” the girls got more confident and the sexual harassers largely shut the fuck up.
In schools, fighting against sexual harassment is often punished exactly the same as, or more severely than, sexual harassment — a lot of discipline codes make no distinction between violence and violence in self-defence, and violence is ALWAYS the highest level of disciplinary infraction, whereas verbal sexual harassment rarely is. Sexual harassers, at least in the schools I’ve been in, rely heavily on GETTING GIRLS IN TROUBLE WITH HIGHER AUTHORITIES as a strategy of harassment — creating an external punishment that penalises girls for and therefore discourages girls from fighting back. Sexual harassers are willing to use their greater share of floorspace to ask to get girls who won’t date them punished. By and large, teachers do punish those girls when they swear or hit. Schools condition girls to ignore sexual harassment by punishing them when they speak up or fight back instead.
Once the sexual harassers in my classes understood that girls wouldn’t be punished for rejecting them, they backed off around me. And there started to be a flip in what conversations I get called into — girls are telling me when boys are being nasty (too loud and dominant), instead of boys telling me when girls are being uncooperative (louder and more dominant than boys think they should be).
reblogging again for the wonderful commentary.
Holy crud, so glad I read this. Reblogging for other educators.
As a girl who would not be shut up and would not tolerate teasing or abuse from boys in my class and was several times sent to such higher authorities for it, reading this is extremely, extremely vindicating. I was lucky, though, because being a particularly bright, advanced student for those grades, they generally took my side and I never got into any severe or lasting trouble. Again ,this was luck, and shouldn’t be the rule.
I was going to write that exact last paragraph; WOW.
I’m pretty sure my school’s attitude on violence (including sexual harassment cases) was even if you’re defending yourself you’re still in trouble because you probably did something to provoke the attack in the first place. And I know for a fact that my sister got in trouble for hitting a boy who harassed her and he got off free.
Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.
So it’s no secret, I love Big Brother, as a former student of Psychology and reader of Orwell, I’ve grown to love the whole advent of the social experiment (Zimbardo & Milgram) as well as the nuances involved in human behaviour under surveillance, (conscious or otherwise). As some might already be…
Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
I’m eating skittles and drinking iced tea, while I’m clinging to Ahmed’s reading of Fanon and her analysis of the ways fear work: “The black body is ‘given back’ only insofar as it has been taken, stolen by the very hostility of the white gaze. For the black man, fear is felt as coldness; it…
William Beckett recently came out with the song Benny & Joon. I can now see where he got the inspiration for his vampire outfit in Fall Out Boy’s video for A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me.