“Ben Barres is a biologist at Stanford who lived and worked as Barbara Barres until he was in his forties. For most of his career, he experienced bias, but didn’t give much weight to it—seeing incidents as discrete events. (When he solved a tough math problem, for example, a professor said, “You must have had your boyfriend solve it.”) When he became Ben, however, he immediately noticed a difference in his everyday experience: “People who don’t know I am transgendered treat me with much more respect,” he says. He was more carefully listened to and his authority less frequently questioned. He stopped being interrupted in meetings. At one conference, another scientist said, “Ben gave a great seminar today—but then his work is so much better than his sister’s.” (The scientist didn’t know Ben and Barbara were the same person.) “This is why women are not breaking into academic jobs at any appreciable rate,” he wrote in response to Larry Summers’s famous gaffe implying women were less innately capable at the hard sciences. “Not childcare. Not family responsibilities,” he says. “I have had the thought a million times: I am taken more seriously.””—Why Aren’t Women Advancing At Work? Ask A Transgender Person | Jessica Nordell for The New Republic (via gaywrites)
“On the evening of August 25th, 2014, the Chicago Police murdered DeSean Pittman, a black youth living on the southside. DeSean’s mother, Natasha Haul, might not be able to bury her son because the cop that killed him came to his vigil as an on duty officer, and police deliberately provoked the mourners by breaking candles for DeSean’s memorial and tearing down posters commemorating his life. When a fight broke out between DeSean’s friends, family, and loved ones, and the police, five people were arrested, including his mother, and are still being held in Cook County Jail. Natasha is being held on felony charges of aggravated battery of a police officer, and mob action, on a $75,000 bond. Natasha needs to be out in time for her son’s funeral. We need to put up 10 % to get her out, meaning we have 48 hours to raise $7,500. Additionally, DeSean’s family urgently needs financial support to help with paying for DeSean’s funeral. In the wake of an upsurge of national resistance to racist police terror and international attention to the police killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and many others, Chicago must show support the families of those murdered by CPD right here at home. The same night the police murdered DeSean, they also killed Roshad Mcintosh, a 19-year-old black resident of Lawndale, on Chicago’s westside. Donate, support the Pittman, Haul and Mcintosh families, spread the word, and resist police violence in our communities!”—Bond Out the Mother of DeSean, a Youth Murdered by CPD, FromJail! (via aboriginalnewswire)
“If you’re a student in one of the black schools here and you get into a fight you’ll probably get arrested and charged with assault. We have kids here who are barred from voting before they’re even old enough to register.”—
A black (male) protestor/resident of Ferguson, as quoted in Newsweek.
Here is where the “talking-head”/op-ed bent of our media and culture has failed us. While they all want to bemoan the “12% voter turnout at the last election,” no one has the sense to ask about the structural forces that contribute to that low figure. Instead they (and I’m including Al Sharpton in this category) yell at black voters to do their part, or, when they’re being nice about it, try to get protestors to register to vote. But listen to those protestors who cannot vote. They’re telling us they never stood a chance.
Some men push the button as far as saying that porn is actually ‘feminist’ because women make more money than men in the industry. To which I reply that men in porn are paid to orgasm, while women are paid to suffer, which is why they deserve and receive a higher monetary compensation. But money is a bad substitute for dignity and body integrity.
I am tired of men who, by wanting so hard to justify their porn use without acknowledging the harm done to women, over-rationalise some aspect of it while closing their eyes to the obvious. And when we ask them if they would like to be treated like the women in porn, they say ‘of course not, but that does not mean that those girls don’t, it is not because YOU won’t like these things to be done to your body that THEY do not like it’. Because ‘those girls’ are so different then us, regular human beings…
The fact is that women have been brainwashed to think that enduring pain is an integral part of their duty of performing femininity. Women harm their feet to walk in high heels. Women voluntarily submit themselves to painful surgeries to have bigger breast. They go through painful waxing procedures. Women are good women when they overcome their pain with a smile. And now, thanks to porn, girls are seeking advice on the internet about how to give deepthroated blowjobs without puking and how to make anal sex less painful. Men are never expected to do such things…
“Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women for the money. And it made her miserable.
As a young writer, Alcott concentrated on lurid pulp stories of revenge, murder, and adultery–“blood and thunder” literature, as she called i–and enjoyed writing very much. She was in her mid 30s when an editor suggested she try writing a book for girls. Alcott wasn’t very interested, but her father was a complete moron with money and had left the family in terrible financial trouble. Alcott wrote Little Women in hopes of some decent sales and a little breathing room and got way more than she asked for. The money in sequels was too good to turn down (and her father didn’t get any smarter with a dime), but Alcott hated writing what she called “moral pap for the young” and longed to return to the smut and violence of her early endeavors.”—Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Books and Authors You Had to Read in High School (via bookriot)
BALTIMORE — The day after Mia Henderson’s body was found in a Baltimore alley, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts invited members of the city’s LGBT community to a meeting. “We are listening. We are paying attention,” he told them. “We are responding, and we are taking this very seriously.”
That isn’t nearly enough, advocates and some citizens say, after the second unsolved killing of a transgender woman in as many months, and the fourth in two years.
The killings have cast fresh light on efforts to ease tension between police and the LGBT population in Baltimore, and on the disproportionate share violence perpetrated against a group all too accustomed to it.
Henderson, 26, was found beaten to death in the early morning hours of July 16, near a strip known to be a hotspot for sex work. Henderson was the sibling of NBA point guard Reggie Bullock, who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Five weeks earlier, the body of Kandy Hall was discovered in a field behind a post office on a run-down block of Northeast Baltimore.
There are “similarities” between the Hall and Henderson killings, Baltimore Police spokesman John Kowalczyk said, but he declined to elaborate.
Those deaths followed the fatal shooting of Kelly Young in April 2013, in a house in a low-income neighborhood near the Baltimore City Schools headquarters. And back in July 2012, a transgender woman known as Tracy was shot to death on a clean, quiet street near downtown, on a block that also hosts a Baptist church.
All four killings took place in different parts of the city, and all remain unsolved.
After Young was shot last year, fellow transgender woman LaSaia Wade stopped taking the bus to her night shift at the gas company, instead arranging for car rides from friends.
“We’re very scared,” Wade said after the most recent killing. “It makes you want to change your routine.”
Batts became commissioner in September of 2012, weeks after the first of the four deaths. Under him, the department released its first LGBT recruitment video, and developed a cultural sensitivity training regimen for police officers, Kowalczyk said, looking to departments including Montreal, San Francisco, Atlanta, and nearby Washington for best practices.
The Atlanta Police Department employs two full-time LGBT community liaisons, including Senior Police Officer Brian Sharp, who works with theState Department and the Justice Department on strategies for investigating LGBT-related hate crimes and bridging the gap between LGBT individuals and law enforcement agencies.
Sharp said he investigates about 65-70 cases a year in which a member of the LGBT community is a victim. But he also spends a lot of time trying to make connections outside the context of crime — speaking at the city’s annual Transgender Day of Remembrance and taking part in the Trans March during Atlanta Pride, for instance.
“It’s a fine line, a delicate balance to not be overly involved to where they feel like the police are too present,” he said, “but we want to show support and be a part of the community outside of just when there’s tragedy.”
The Washington Metropolitan Police Department has had a Gay and Lesbian Unit focusing on public safety in that group since 1999. It has one full-time sergeant and five full-time officers, as well as two rotating spots for patrol officers. Members of the unit “use a wide variety of outreach strategies,” Sgt. Matthew Mahl, the unit’s liaison, said in an email.
On day shifts, officers could be meeting and attending planning sessions with a group that helps survivors of domestic violence. In the evening, the officers “might be in ‘club zones’ passing out robbery prevention materials,” Mahl said, “and at night they might be working with nonprofit organizations who target survival sex workers on the streets trying to get them appropriate resources.”
In Baltimore, Batts established an LGBT Advisory Council last summer after a gay man was severely beaten.
Aaron Merki, an attorney who serves on the council, said it was the council that requested the meeting between the commissioner and LGBT residents after Henderson’s death last month.
Some transgender women in Baltimore say the department still has a long way to go before it establishes a solid relationship with them.
“The police should tone down their masculinity so they can really hear what we’re saying,” said Monica Stevens, a 60-year-old transgender woman who runs a support group called Sisters of the T.
Cydne Kimbrough, 37, a transgender rights activist who led a workshop for Baltimore police on LGBT awareness, said police are often insensitive to the deep-seated issues that drive LGBT individuals into illegal activities that can, in turn, make them particularly vulnerable to violence. Widespread discrimination, Kimbrough said, is at the root of the problem.
According to a recently released study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 90 percent of the 6,450 transgender individuals surveyed said they have experienced harassment, mistreatment or bias in the workplace, which sometimes led them to seek employment selling drugs or sex.
Eleven percent of those interviewed said they worked as prostitutes. One-fifth of those interviewed were or had been homeless, according to the study, and more than half dropped out of school before high school graduation due to physical attacks and verbal abuse.
Kayla Gilchrist Jones, who spent four years working as a sex worker, said the police were aggressive and dismissive when she herself became the victim of sexual violence in 2008.
“I wish I had never said a damn thing,” Jones said. “The first thing the cop asked me was, ‘What were you going to charge him?’”
The Associated Press does not typically identify victims of sexual assault, but Jones asked specifically for her name to be used.
Jones said Henderson and Hall had worked as prostitutes. Henderson, said Jones, told her shortly before she died that she was trying to get off the street.
Ultimately, better relationships foster better police work, said Kowalczyk, who is gay and served as the department’s liaison to the LGBT community from 2008 to 2012, a part-time role that’s still in place.
Sources to keep you informed and updated about the latest developments in Pakistan. I have tried to include a wide variety of viewpoints. I am not condoning/promoting any side, it’s up to you to inform yourself and make your mind up about the situation. This is by no means a comprehensive list and to take this list out of context i.e. to just make up your mind about the situation without first understanding the complex nature and origins of this ongoing crisis is to commit a really grave mistake.
This list will be continuously updated so keep checking back for the latest updates. Please drop me a message or leave a comment on this post regarding any source which you think should be included on the list below:
Live Streams from the Protests in Islamabad (Urdu):
"White feminism" does not mean every white woman, everywhere, who happens to identify as feminist. It also doesn’t mean that every "white feminist" identifies as white. I see "white feminism" as a specific set of single-issue, non-intersectional, superficial feminist practices. It is the feminism we understand as mainstream; the feminism obsessed with body hair, and high heels and makeup, and changing your married name. It is the feminism you probably first learned. "White feminism" is the feminism that doesn’t understand western privilege, or cultural context. It is the feminism that doesn’t consider race as a factor in the struggle for equality.
White feminism is a set of beliefs that allows for the exclusion of issues that specifically affect women of colour. It is “one size-fits all” feminism, where middle class white women are the mould that others must fit. It is a method of practicing feminism, not an indictment of every individual white feminist, everywhere, always.
Hundreds of people gathered Saturday morning for a march in Ferguson to demand justice for Michael Brown, the unarmed man shot by a police officer Aug. 9.
The marchers gathered at 10 a.m. on the parking lot of Red’s B-B-Q on West Florissant Avenue, not far from the place on Canfield Drive where Brown was shot. The rapidly growing crowd then marched down Canfield toward the shooting scene, where organizers spoke and ministers prayed as the chanting crowd grew quiet.
Later, as rain began to pour, the group headed to the city’s Forestwood Park. Some broke out umbrellas but others just trudged on in the hard rain.
Maxine Davis, 28, a Washington University student who is studying social work , graduated from Normandy High School in 2004 and was there to march Saturday with a friend.
"I’m a black Ph.D. student and I fear police brutality on me," she said. She has participated in several protests. She said she came Saturday to stand in solidarity with the Michael Brown family.
"We need people to have discussions with children about what systematic oppression is," she said.
At the park, Brown family members and organizers of the rally spoke. Some in the crowd wanted to march to the Ferguson police station, as originally planned by some organizers, and some in the park broke off to head there. By 1 p.m., dozens of protesters had gathered at the police station, on South Florissant Road about two miles from where the march had started. A small number of police officers stood outside the building.
Capt. Ronald S. Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol said authorities closed West Florissant Avenue between Canfield Drive and Ferguson Road for the march.
"Our strategy for today is to keep roads closed so people can have a peaceful march," he said. "Hopefully it will be a peaceful day."
The Ferguson Police Department met with organizers of the march over the last couple of days to form the traffic plans. The Missouri Highway Patrol and St. Louis County will assist the Ferguson Police Department with traffic control.
The march was billed as a protest “against police killings, brutality, profiling and legal cover-ups.” Organizers said people would be coming from around the country for the march.
Many people carried signs and there were people honking horns and shouting “Justice for Michael Brown.”
The diverse crowd included kids and adults and some pushing strollers along the march route. Some have T-shirts showing a person with his hands up with the words “Don’t Shoot.”
Hello, you may be wondering why I have the text “If you’re not East Asian and call youself a weeaboo, don’t follow me” in my side bar. Here are a few quick disclaimers:
I am well aware that many people do it, especially in anime-related and related fandoms.
If you have ever called yourself a weeaboo at some point in time that does not mean that you can never follow me or that I will never follow you. I follow people now who do it or have done it in the past, which is part of why this page exists.
I am Chinese, not Japanese. I cannot specifically speak about the pain that this causes me from a Japanese standpoint, but because many East Asian experiences with racism overlap, I am still affected by this.
Origins of the Word
The word weeaboo comes from a webcomic. It is literally a nonsense word. The word became popularized when people on 4chan were getting upset about being called “wapanese” (wannabe Japanese). The mods put in an auto-censor so the “weeaboo” would appear rather than “wapanese.”
Why Do People Call Themselves Weeaboos?
I have several explanations/theories.
People use this to refer to their past selves when they come to realize that what they were doing was racist and harmful. This usage is okay as long as you realize that you may mess up in the future and are willing to correct that too!
East Asian people use this word to joke about their experiences and joke about weeaboos. This is an okay usage as long as they are doing this for catharsis! If there are other issues about East Asian people doing this, it’s an inter-community discussion.
People do not understand the origins of this word and mistakenly believe it means that they are into anime/manga rather than being connected to a fetishist viewpoint of Japan.
People do not understand that anti-racists use this word to call out fetishists.
What is a Weeaboo?
A weeaboo is somebody who fetishizes Japanese culture, but it may not be limited to that. A weeaboo also may conflate multiple groups of Asian people, randomly start speaking Japanese at anyone that might look Japanese, put down non-Japanese Asian people for being the “wrong type of Asian,” and even promote imperialism because of their inaccurate viewpoint of Japan!
Why Non-East Asian People Should Not Call Themselves Weeaboos
Weeaboo is a term that Japanese people and other East Asians use to describe those who do them harm due to fetishized viewpoints.
It is a term that people use in solidarity with Japanese/East Asian people to recognize this specific harmful behavior. When you are against fetishization/racism/oppression, and you claim to be this word, you are stripping it of the meaning that we assign to classify people who are harmful to us.
To be clear, you are not specifically appropriating Japanese by doing this, but you are undermining East Asian people who try to steer clear of harm. I have experienced a lot of cognitive dissonance about what I will encounter since creating this blog.
What Is Really Wrong with Being a Weeaboo?
The amount of harm done varies, so I will speak from my own lived experience.
I live in a 99% white area, but in a place with a lot of weeaboos. People will get unfriendly fast where I live and have grown up; if you are not their complacent Asian fantasy when you are around them.
When my school had a Chinese teacher teach Mandarin, the children bullied her so ruthlessly that she quit halfway through the year. Some of the white kids were angry that the district did not bring in Japanese and showed it (though I doubt a Japanese teacher would have been treated any better). This environment was very alienating and made it hard for nonwhite (especially East Asian students) to speak up to all the white kids.
Weeaboos’ fetishized viewpoints of Japan can be very misogynistic specifically and build up a fantasy idea of what Asian women are like, “submissive, docile, etc.” and cause them to sexualize people on basis of being Asian. This has caused a great deal of harm to my education personally for speaking out against injustice because I am expected to be docile, and I have developed retroactive ways of coping with attention I do not want pulled to my ethnicity.
Weeaboos can influence people into thinking they are the “wrong kind of Asian” with a strange policing of someone’s Asianness that centers on whether or not they are Japanese.
Weeaboos will thoughtlessly call people inappropriate and alienating things for wearing their traditional clothing because it is vaguely Asian and start fawning over it because they think it’s Just So Cool That You’re Asian. This may or may not wear off if you are a different type of Asian than Japanese. Either way it can be humiliating or uncomfortable.
Weeaboos don’t understand how painful it is to be ostracized for not blending enough and trying to connect to your cultural roots and will act like it is the same thing when Japanese people speak up about appropriation.
Weeaboos have also defended Japanese imperialism and neofascism, nationalism etc. without any idea of the context and get upset when people who have heritage connected to the countries hurt by this call them out.
If you read this list and thought that you would never do any of that, maybe it is time to stop calling yourself a weeaboo and evaluate your behavior. I am not insinuating that you are doing these things by listing them. I am saying that these are some of the things weeaboos do. Even if they are being less violently harmful than harrassing, they still buy into and perpetuate a larger culture of fetishization. These are the type of people that I, and other East Asians who speak about racism talk about when we refer to weeaboos.
If you are in anime/manga or related fandoms and this is the first you have heard weeaboo used in a negative manner regarding fetishism, I strongly suggest that you do some reading. If you want referrals, I am happy to provide them. Just ask me privately because I am not comfortable setting racist anons on blogs that already deal with enough vitriol.
I have been struggling with how to do the work many of us call ‘Social Justice.’ I understand the why - at least I believe I do. I am on a journey to understand my role in changing the world, which is no doubt a privilege. It has taken some time to get over the fear of doing the work correctly and instead operate from the heart - continuously challenging my perspective.
As I began to engage this work in a healthier manner, I noticed patterns of bad habits that educators exhibit while being change agents. These habits, in the name of justice and equity, get in the way of making authentic, strategic, and sustaining change. Below are ten counterproductive behaviors of Social Justice educators, all explored from the unique intersections of my privileged and oppressed lens.
Let me first hold myself accountable:
I’m guilty of numbers 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8. I must do better and I am thankful and grateful that 3, 5, 9 and 10 don’t, I think, apply to me. That means there is already some growth even though there’s more growing for me to do.
1. Shaming our allies instead of educating. Be careful how we hold others accountable. At times, we fall into this righteous place where we live for the moment to be right, but more so to impose the wrath of our rightness. We lose track of educating and become “Social Justice avengers”. We thrash anyone that makes mistakes or does not acknowledge their privilege, often out of ignorance. When we act this way, we instill fear and frustration in our allies, immobilizing them. Before you respond, ask yourself what do you want the result to be? Proving that you “right” or developing a stronger, more capable ally?
2. Lead with our oppressed identities – forgetting that we have immense privilege as well. How is it that we are some of the first people to forget that we are privileged? Our maleness, middle class, able-bodied, Christian, age, education, or whatever our privilege, emanates from us. It is our being and colluding is as simple as breathing. Own our privilege. Recognize and acknowledge when we have the wind behind us. Be committed to your growth and allow yourself to be challenged on the identities we often leave unexplored.
3. Create competition around being the best at Social Justice – using language as a way to exclude. We know individuals that lead conversations with big words and no context. After they are done speaking, most are lost and so is their message. Correct use of rhetoric is important, but we must be careful that it does not become jargon. Additionally, we cannot become upset when we are asked to explain or define a handful of words used or ideas explored. How often do we use language to exclude? How often is it intentional? Does using the “correct” and “smart sounding” language validate our worth or expertise?
“IF WE ARE GOING TO ENGAGE IN THIS WORK, WE HAVE TO DO SO STRATEGICALLY, KEEPING THE END IN MIND. OUR RESPONSE NEEDS TO PRODUCE THE RESULTS THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE.”
4. Leading with emotions instead of thinking and acting strategically. How often do we sound off? There are moments where we just quite cannot hold ourselves together in the moment. However, this cannot be our response the majority of the time. As Chickering said, we must learn to manage our emotions. This serves as evidence that perhaps we are not as developed as we want to believe. If we are going to engage in this work, we have to do so strategically, keeping the end in mind. Our response needs to produce the results that we would like to see. Sometimes our response will show up as joy, compromise, understanding, and empathy. Other times, it will show up as frustration, anger, and disappointment. However, every response should have a purpose. This can be a fine line with regards to maintaining authenticity. We impede the fight for justice when we act out of thoughtless emotion.
5. Not acknowledging our self-work. We must acknowledge that we are a work in progress. We challenge the oppressive systems and collude in them simultaneously. At every step we have to understand that we are not the authority, but facilitators of dynamic conversations (and we will often fall short). At times, we are engaging from places with tremendous hurt and an abundance of privilege. It makes sense that we have off-moments, or miss something, because of our privilege. We are not the best at allowing ourselves to be challenged. When we block our self-work it means we are no longer growing and we are role-modeling destructive behavior to others. For example, it is highly problematic to be an expert in gender identity and expression and have no understanding of the intersections of those identities within race and class.
6. Caught in constant surprise that people do not know what we know. Often times, I see others (myself included) blindsided by the amount of knowledge that my peers, students, and superiors lack in regards to justice and equity. The definition of privilege is unearned, unasked, and often invisible. If someone is oblivious to injustice, chances are they are blinded by their privilege. We know this, yet are surprised or abhorred? This is the work that we have committed our lives to; we must develop thicker skins. This is not to say that we will not be frustrated, shaken, or experience hurt and pain. These moments will happen. Yet, this is our purpose. It is not supposed to be easy. As Social Justice educators, we are supposed to put the cause before ourselves most of the time. Do not misunderstand, self-care is important. However, we need to be in rooms and spaces where we are constantly and strategically raising the temperature. Meet students and colleagues where they are and challenge them to be more.
7. Choosing not to challenge family members and elders. I notice that quite a few communities give their elders a pass. We choose not to challenge them or set our expectations. However, we have little issue setting colleagues and strangers “straight”. I understand that our elders may choose not to change, but since when are our conversations about changing minds? We should be about expanding thought and creating new questions and I think this transcends age and authority. This work is hard and emotionally draining, however we must be vigilant in all areas.
8. Marginalizing the courage it takes to allow your reality to be dismantled. Have you experienced a moment where everything that you thought you knew was ripped out of your hands? Perhaps, not just your hands, but your heart and soul? Everything that you hold true being constantly challenged and put on display? The way you viewed your family unit? When your question transitions from who am I, to why am I? We are charged with dismantling the life experiences of many, knocking down the walls of resistance and ignorance, and moving with care and intentionality. Do not forget what we are asking others to do.
9. Refusing to hold multiple truths. How are we creating dynamic change if we do not allow ourselves to fully explore the pros and cons of ideas? How often are we weighing the greater good? I love film and analyzing movies is certainly one of my favorite hobbies. Actors amaze me. Their gift can be transformative, but I can hold multiple truths. Whoopi Goldberg was excellent in Ghost. However, if you broke down her character you would see that it is a glorified mammy caricature. Julia Roberts is positvely charming in Pretty Woman, but is also led and dominated by the gender role that is “man”. Teach for America provides an experience where the privileged have an opportunity to engage oppressed communities. Many of these students will be policy makers and find themselves in influential positions. However, it also promotes the idea of the “white savior”. We have to be able to engage multiple truths in order to move forward strategically.
10. Challenging others to heal, by erasing their pain. Phrase this differently. At times, we say this to others as if they should forget their pain and move on. I am certain that this is not the intent of facilitators, however on many occasions it is the impact. We are marginalizing experiences. Rather, we should encourage the exploration of that pain. Understand the origins and the emotions in the now and then figure out how to manage the pain - use it strategically for fuel to both continue in the work and grow in perspective.
My hope is that drawing attention to these behaviors encourages a needed conversation between educators. We have room to grow and can do better holding each other accountable. As social justice educators, we have all agreed to continue to critique and explore the problematic ways in which we show up in spaces. Self-work practices should be encouraged.
“If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americana]
After she came up to me and said, “I’ve been with my partner for 20 years… We would never get married because he’s on social security income, and because my daughter is disabled I have secondary income from the state to support my daughter. If I got married, both my benefits and his benefits would be reduced because we would become a double income family.”
She was explaining that marriage doesn’t work for poor people, and that it doesn’t work for disabled people. Having really simple examples like hers are important.
“We tell our women “get into science, get into math, get into the pipeline.” Who wants to be in a pipeline full of acid?”—
Alicia Menendez - The View
I’m at the car dealership, waiting for my service recall to be completed, and this statement caught the attention of every woman in the room. Unsurprisingly, they all nodded in assent while the few men in the room looked uncomfortable.
The point is valid: even if access to STEM and other male dominated fields is made available, we need to do something about the culture in the field. Access to a pipeline full of acid, while it is still access, serves to maintain inequality.
Jane Doe, the anonymous 16-year-old transgender girl who spent two months in an adult correctional facility despite no criminal charge, has been transferred to a “secure facility for delinquent boys.”
According to DCF officials, while in the psychiatric facility, Doe assaulted a staff member and a fellow youth, and also destroyed DCF property on Saturday night, prompting the final determination of placement at the Juvenile Training School, stating that there is no other “suitable place” for her.
Doe’s lawyer told the AP that DCF has already broken a number of promises regarding his client’s placement, safety, and future prospects. Doe’s attorney claims that DCF officials had assured him that Doe would receive adequate therapy, and that the agency would attempt to place her in a foster home.
Doe is being held in a separate room, away from the boys at JTS.
I don’t have any words for how unjust, inhumane and downright awful this is. #JusticeForJane.
On February 21st, 2013, Ryo Oyamada was struck and killed by a police cruiser while crossing the street. NYPD claimed that the cruiser’s lights and sirens were on before the collision, but multiple eyewitnesses stated otherwise, that the lights and sirens were only turned on afterwards, and that the cruiser was speeding in excess of 70 mph down a residential street. None of these eyewitnesses were interviewed for the police report.
At first, NYPD refused to release video footage of the accident, but then released a heavily edited video that seemed to corroborate their version of events. But new video secured from the NY Housing Authority directly contradicts these claims, and indicates that someone went to great lengths to cover up the truth. THIS IS A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE, and serves only to further weaken the public’s trust in the police. Tell the NYPD to conduct a full and fair investigation into Ryo Oyamada’s death. The tragic death of Ryo Oyamada demands nothing less.
In so doing, these men have ably demonstrated the point Sarkeesian sought to make all along: that gaming is riddled with misogynistic violence, and that this violence reflects a real-world misogyny rampant within the gaming world.
What happened to Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri has resonated across the country with African Americans because all of us feel that it could have easily happened to any of us.
Every black person has their own story of racial profiling, especially black men. Any white person, not just police, engages in racial profiling when they suspect, avoid, follow, report or challenge a black person simply because of their race and their own idea of where black people “belong.”
My own family is more typical than exceptional. I was about ten years old, and my family was living in a newly integrated part of Los Angeles in the 1960’s. We had been on a family outing to the more exclusively white area of the San Fernando Valley. When returning at the end of the day, my father noticed a police car had begun following us. The police car followed us fully ten miles back to our neighborhood and didn’t stop until my father pulled into the driveway of our own home.
As we exited the car, the officer got out to question my father. I remember hearing the officer ask my father, “Where do you live?” Insulted and incredulous, my father responded, “I’m standing in front of my home.” After inspecting his driver license, the officer left. But he left my father standing there, embarrassed as a grown man, humiliated in front of his family, and reminded once more that in spite of his college education, middle class home and tidy children, he was no more than a criminal suspect in the eyes of America.
I had my own initiation freshman year at Harvard College. I had just left a matinee movie in Harvard Square and crossed the street into Harvard Yard to rendezvous with friends in Grays Hall (one of the Yard dorms). Suddenly, I noticed a strange sight, a Cambridge police car, with blue lights flashing, driving in the Yard! One of the things a freshman learns upon arriving at school is the unique legal boundaries that envelop most colleges in the United States: all campus buildings and students are policed by the University Police, non-students and the surrounding community is policed by the City of Cambridge Police. As I approached my destination, I surmised that a serious crime must have occurred in Grays Hall for the police to be violating that boundary.
But suddenly I heard the screeching halt of the tires and the metallic disembarkation of the officers and noticed, as they crouched behind their opened car doors, that they had their hands poised above their gun holsters. Now my heart began to race and a fog of disorientation dissolved into the bracing reality that I was the emergency. It was a cold winter day and I had my hands deep in the pockets of my overcoat. The officers barked out their orders for me to, “Take your hands out of your pockets, SLOWLY.” As they cautiously approached me I could see the gathering crowd on the steps of Grays Hall watching nervously as the episode unfolded.
The officers demanded my identification. Fortunately, I was carrying my college ID card and was able to prove that I belonged on campus. As they relaxed and began to return to their cars, I had demands of my own. “Why did you stop me?” Dismissively, they tossed a “You fit the description” over their shoulder. There had been a report of an assault by a black man in a white coat in the subway station at Harvard Square. Yes, I fit the description. I was a black man.
This experience has stayed with me my entire life. It is a virtual rite of passage for every black boy. White boys lose their virginity, Jewish boys get bar mitvah’ed, and black boys have their first police stop. Now, I was a man.
This constant feeling of being under suspicion, under surveillance and perceived as a danger, is hard to shake. It first resulted in a rather comical experience that I had just a few months later. I was walking in the neighborhood where the campus and the community are indistinguishable. But I was apparently in front of a school-owned building because this incident involved the Harvard University Police. I was walking down a narrow side street about a block outside the Yard when I saw several Harvard Police cars with lights flashing and sirens sounding arriving from both directions.
Panic stricken and totally convinced they were coming for me, I froze; heart pounding out of my head, waiting for the first bullet to strike, when at least a dozen officers got out of their cars, ran towards me and then without a word, ran right past me and into the house behind me. I continued my journey but I would still not trust that next time they would be coming for me.
It is a testimony to the persistence of racial profiling that 35 years later (2009), on a street not far from that one, black Harvard professor (and close friend of President Barack Obama), Henry “Skip” Gates, would be arrested by Cambridge police officers for breaking and entering his own house. A white neighbor saw a suspicious black man forcing his way into a house. The police believed the white neighbor but disbelieved the professor who was in custody at the police department before he had the opportunity to prove that he belonged (in that house).
My next experience was also in a college community. A white female classmate and I were going to lunch, and I was driving. Before we could reach our destination, a city cop pulled us over. He didn’t ask for my driver license or registration. He asked her, “Are you alright?” While I was stunned and dumbfounded, she figured it out before I did. He saw a black man driving a white woman and deemed she needed saving.
Finally, my son has had it harder that I had it. He has had so many experiences that he doesn’t bother to tell me about them all. But this one was a gem. He and a friend were returning from a club late one night and got into a cab for a ride home. A few blocks away from the club, a police car pulled the cab over. Their first thought was that the cab driver had committed some traffic infraction. But instead of asking the driver for his license, the officers ordered my son and his friend to get out of the back seat and stand on the side walk.
Suddenly, they realized that the police weren’t stopping the driver but the two of them. What was their crime? Apparently, “riding a taxi while black” had now been added to the catalogue of “_______ while black” crimes. No charges, just a harassing “catch and release” action that is the most common outcome of these encounters.
The presumption of guilt and danger that is at the heart of racial profiling lays heavy upon every black person living in America. It changes our relationship with the world. We are constantly on guard against a charge, a confrontation, a challenge. Racial profiling does long-term damage to the self-image, self-esteem and ego of the African American.
We have been duped into moving capitalism’s problems around instead of resolving them, into the foolish notion that buying green is an act of divergence from capitalist exploitation.
Worried about car emissions? Buy Tesla’s Model S. Want to fight water misuse? Take shorter showers. Concerned for underserved children around the world? Use a credit card that supports a NGO. Interested in bettering working conditions for exploited laborers? Look for the “fair trade” stamp at corporate outlet malls.
But by all means, NEVER stop buying.
Identifying the central issue with this behavior, Derrick Jensen explained, “Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance.”
As individuals we should do what we can, but we have to realize that letting corporations frame/limit global issues like environmental responsibility to consumer choice is self-defeating. We need bigger tools than our individual selves. Imagine trying to fill a dump truck using a spoon. That is what we are doing when we decouple the need for organized, community-wide political resistance from our individual ability to partake in generating and sustaining solutions.
Interracial seduction cases were also rare. Where antimiscegenation laws prohibited marriage between the races, a white man’s promise of marriage to a nonwhite woman had little meaning. Even a mixed-race woman had weak legal standing, given the tightening racial boundaries exemplified by the “one-drop rule” that determined black or white identity. In Louisiana, Edward Slattery successfully defended himself from a seduction suit brought by his concubine of ten years, Lilly Carson, who had a mixed racial heritage. When he left the relationship she wanted him to provide payment for herself and their young daughter. But because she was “not a person of the white race,” Slattery successfully contended, they could not have wed and this he could not have seduced her under promise of marriage. Antimiscegenation laws did not, of course outlaw nonmarital sexual relations between white men and women of colour. But because seduction law did not apply, these women had no additional legal remedy when coerced. This exclusion buttressed the understanding that African American women were not respectable; though fair game for sex, they were not marriageable.
Besides excluding black women from protection, the seduction laws exacerbated the differential treatment of black and white men, contributing to the racially two-tiered system for prosecuting rape. Antiseduction laws increasingly applied to nonconsensual sex between a white man and a white woman. White men accused of rape were more likely to be charged with either attempted rape or criminal seduction, terms that could obscure the use of force. If convicted, they served relatively short prison terms. In contrast, the crime of coercive, violent sex was increasingly associated with black men, who faced long prison terms, execution, and, by the late nineteenth century, the threat of lynching.
Estelle B Freedman, Redefining Rape, 48.
This comes after a discussion of the way seduction laws came into play because rape cases were so hard to win, requiring proof that the victim was of the utmost virtue as well as unassailable proof that the woman had fought nearly to her death rather than be raped. Seduction laws, by contrast, didn’t require proof of physical coercion and initially seduction cases were easier to win, tho, as we see here, not permanently, and not for everyone.
“Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it’s all a male fantasy: that you’re strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you’re unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.”—Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride (via chartyourowncourse)
Jewish Scene: Graffiti on walls of vandalized Copenhagen school included slogans ‘No peace in Gaza’ and ‘No peace to you Zionist pigs.’
This is a Jewish school. These are kids. Merely children. Slogans like “no peace in Gaza” are not at all antisemitic at rallies, but when used to attack Diaspora Jewish institutions like a children’s day school, become antisemitic for how they are weaponized.
This shouldn’t even need saying, but attacking and frightening children because they are Jewish is abhorrent.