As we continue to process the events of last Friday, in which 22-year-old Elliot Rodgers went on an anti-woman shooting spree he deemed “the Day of Retribution” in order to punish those women who rebuffed him, one hashtag has been proliferating immensely on Twitter. With “#YesAllWomen,” many Twitter have been sharing their experiences as women in a culture where they do not feel safe.
In a break from our usual format, we are sharing some important writing on the shooting in Santa Barbara by a gunman who sought revenge against womankind for having refused to offer him sex and love.
Jessica Valenti writes at the Guardian about the mistake of identifying this incident as one person’s isolated delusion. Violence against women happens worldwide and every day on unfathomable scales. The gunman’s terrifying views have been shared so widely because they resonate with people. Shame from rejection is a powerful emotion, and is so often redirected as misplaced anger. And, tragically, fear of retribution for simply exerting our autonomy is a daily reality for many women, as the #YesAllWomen hashtag makes plain.
We will never stamp out violent incidents altogether, but it is a heartless mistake to continue ignoring the readily identifiable forces that drive violence against women. To be clear, nobody “owes” anybody else sex. Women do not exist for other people’s pleasure.
Civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama has died at the age of 93. In this interview learn how her activism began when she and her family were held in a Japanese American internment camp. She also recalls how she cradled Malcolm X’s head after he was gunned down in the Audubon Ballroom.
"I’m strong. I have 55 doctorates. My last was from Columbia University. I teach all over the world. So, the pressure on me, the challenge on me, was always mitigated by love. That is to say it was softened by love because my grandmother loved me, my uncle loved me, and my brother loved me. I came through that. I have come through so many challenges because of love."
Forty-five years after her first UCLA teaching gig attracted the wrath of Gov. Ronald Reagan , Angela Y. Davis is back on campus this semester, as regents’ lecturer in the gender studies department. Her Thursday address in Royce Hall, about feminism and prison abolition, sums up some but not all of her work — a long academic career paralleled by radical activism. President Nixon called her a “dangerous terrorist” when she was charged with murder and conspiracy after a deadly 1970 courthouse shootout. She was acquitted, and since then, the woman born in the Jim Crow minefield of Birmingham, Ala., has written, taught and lectured around the world. Her iconic Afro has morphed from its 1970s silhouette; her intensity has not.
"I still believe that capitalism is the most dangerous kind of future we can imagine."
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”—RIP Maya Angelou. I will never forget how you made me feel (via kawrage)
“Power is being able to say complete and utter nonsense and have it be believed, powerlessness is where no matter how much cogent evidence and proof one has, to not be believed.”—Catharine MacKinnon (via youhauntyourbagofbones)
Studies Confirm the Dehumanization of Black Children and the ‘Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline’
Although African-Americans constitute only 13 percent of all Americans, nearly half of all prison inmates in the U.S. are black. This startling statistic has led the United Nations Human Rights Committee to publicly criticize the U.S. for its treatment of African-Americans. A number of recent studies and reports paint a damning picture of how American society dehumanizes blacks starting from early childhood.
Racial justice activists and prison abolition groups have long argued that the “school-to-prison” pipeline funnels young black kids into the criminal justice system, with higher rates of school suspension and arrest compared with nonblack kids for the same infractions. More than 20 years ago, Smith College professor Ann Arnett Ferguson wrote a groundbreaking book based on her three-year study of how black boys in particular are perceived differently starting in school. In “Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity,” Ferguson laid out the ways in which educators and administrators funneled black male students into the juvenile justice system based on perceived differences between them and other students.
Today this trend continues with record numbers of suspensions as a result of “zero-tolerance” school policies and the increasing presence of campus police officers who arrest students for insubordination, fights and other types of behavior that might be considered normal “acting out” in school-aged children. In fact, black youth are far more likely to be suspended from school than any other race. They also face disproportionate expulsion and arrest rates, and once children enter the juvenile justice system they are far more likely to be incarcerated as adults.
Even the Justice Department under President Obama has understood what a serious problem this is, issuing a set of new guidelines earlier this year to curb discriminatory suspension in schools.
But it turns out that negative disciplinary actions affect African-American children starting as early as age 3. The U.S. Department of Education just released a comprehensive study of public schools, revealing in a report that black children face discrimination even in preschool. (That preschool-aged children are suspended at all is hugely disturbing.) Data from the 2011-2012 year show that although black children make up only 18 percent of preschoolers, 42 percent of them were suspended at least once and 48 percent were suspended multiple times.
Consistent with this educational data and taking into account broader demographic, family and economic data for children of various races, broken down by state, is a newer study released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that found African-American children are on the lowest end of nearly every measured index including proficiency in math and reading, high school graduation, poverty and parental education. The report, titled Race for Results, plainly says, “The index scores for African-American children should be considered a national crisis.”
Two other studies published recently offer specific evidence of how black children are so disadvantaged at an early age. One research project, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, examined how college students and police officers estimated the ages of children who they were told had committed crimes. Both groups studied by UCLA professor Phillip Goff and collaborators were more likely to overestimate the ages of black children compared with nonblack ones, implying that black children were seen as “significantly less innocent” than others. The authors wrote:
We expected … that individuals would perceive Black boys as being more responsible for their actions and as being more appropriate targets for police violence. We find support for these hypotheses … and converging evidence that Black boys are seen as older and less innocent and that they prompt a less essential conception of childhood than do their White same-age peers.
Another study by researchers at UC Riverside found that teachers tended to be more likely to evaluate black children negatively than nonblack ones who were engaged in pretend play. Psychology professor Tuppett M. Yates, who led the study, observed 171 preschool-aged children interacting with stuffed toys and other props and evaluated them for how imaginative and creative they were. In an interview on Uprising, Yates told me that all the children, regardless of race, were “similarly imaginative and similarly expressive,” but when their teachers evaluated those same children at a later time, there was a discriminatory effect. Yates explained, “For white children, imaginative and expressive players were rated very positively [by teachers] but the reverse was true for black children. Imaginative and expressive black children were perceived as less ready for school, as less accepted by their peers, and as greater sources of conflict and tension.”
Although it is clear that negative behaviors were magnified through “race-colored glasses,” according to Yates, her study of children engaged in pretend play found that “there is also potentially a systematic devaluing of positive attributes among black children.” This made her concerned about how “very early on, some kids are being educated towards innovation and leadership and others may be educated towards more menial or concrete social positions.”
Reflecting on the 2001 book “Bad Boys” and how little seems to have changed since then, Yates affirmed that author Ferguson’s assertion that black children are given a “hidden curriculum” is still true now. She told me, “Our data suggests that that hidden curriculum may be persisting today and that it’s starting much earlier than we ever could have anticipated.” She noted her deep concern that “we’re actually reproducing inequality generation after generation.”
When I asked her to comment on the Goff study showing police estimates of black children as older than they are, Yates agreed that it appears as though “the same objective data are being interpreted differently as a function of race.” Ferguson also apparently noted this trend, calling it an “adultification” of black boys. Yates recounted an example from Ferguson’s work in which “when a white student fails to return their library book, they’re seen as forgetful and when a black student fails to return a library book, terms like ‘thief’ or ‘looter’ were used.”
Studies such as these consistently show that African-Americans have the deck stacked against them starting in early childhood through adulthood. Taken together, they make a strong case for the existence of a “preschool-to-prison” pipeline and the systematic dehumanization that black children face in American society.
Yates summarized, “Across these different studies, black children are viewed differently. They are consequently given less access to the kinds of structural avenues required to advance in our society and ultimately they become less valued in our culture,” and are ultimately “fast tracked to the margins.”
Daily Beast staff writer Jamelle Bouie, writing about black preschoolers being disproportionately suspended, provocatively asked, “Are Black Students Unruly? Or is America Just Racist?” Yates gave me the obvious answer saying, “We know that [discrimination] exists. It’s the most parsimonious explanation for these kinds of persistent inequalities.”
But perhaps there is also an element of justifiable unruliness involved. Yates offered that “black children—rightfully so—are more likely to disengage from their educational milieus and potentially rebel against them because these systems are at best failing to support them, and at worst channeling them into this pipeline towards negative ends.”
She indicted American society as a whole, saying, “Our educational system, our economic system, our judicial system, all of these are converging to reproduce these kinds of inequalities and perpetuate the criminalization of blacks in our culture.”
Although Attorney General Eric Holder’s push to reform mandatory minimum sentences that disproportionately incarcerate African-Americans is indeed laudable, strong action is needed now to address the early childhood barriers facing black kids. The preschool-to-prison pipeline needs to be dismantled from its starting point rather than simply its endpoint.
Ultimately, “change,” Yates said, “is really going to require effort at all levels such as individual teachers, superintendents, police officers, attorneys general and even in the media.”
“A lot of people learn that men and women should have different roles in this world in order to create “balance” and, therefore, end up with this idea that feminism is not only “anti-man” but “anti-woman” because it’s “against” femininity (or masculinity). If you think that masculine and feminine gender roles are not only innate but good, then you’re likely to see critiques of those gender roles as attacking actual males and females, rather than attacking those socialized roles and behaviours, as well as the hierarchy that is attached to said roles. This leads women to say things like “No, I’m not a feminist, I love being a woman” because they believe their womanhood is attached to a subordinate gender role which they have been told is not only natural, but empowering.”—Should we stop asking celebrities about feminism? (via feministcurrent)
“Until 1962, out of 120 billion dollars of government backed home loans, less than 2% went to non-white households. In Northern California, between the war and 1960, of 350 thousand federally guaranteed new home loans, less than 100 went to black families.”—
And so explains one of the deep aspects of white privilege. Living in a country that laid the foundation that gives you more of a chance to come from a family that has financial stability, property and investments. These systematic top down acts directly lead to current levels of income inequality & concentrated poverty. DIRECTLY.
"Environmental inequalities… refer to inequalities that different segments of the population – class, gender, racial groups – experience in their relationship with nature, and more specifically with regard to the effects of climate change. … The environmental crisis, as the IPCC report recognises,…
With border authorities in South Texas overwhelmed by a surge of young illegal migrants traveling by themselves, the Department of Homeland Security declared a crisis this week and moved to set up an emergency shelter for the youths at an Air Force base in San Antonio, officials said Friday.
After seeing children packed in a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Tex., during a visit last Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday declared “a level-four condition of readiness” in the Rio Grande Valley. The alert was an official recognition that federal agencies overseeing borders, immigration enforcement and child welfare had been outstripped by a sudden increase in unaccompanied minors in recent weeks.
On Sunday, Department of Health and Human Services officials will open a shelter for up to 1,000 minors at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, authorities said, and will begin transferring youths there by land and air. The level-four alert is the highest for agencies handling children crossing the border illegally, and allows Homeland Security officials to call on emergency resources from other agencies, officials said.
In an interview on Friday, Mr. Johnson said the influx of unaccompanied youths had “zoomed to the top of my agenda” after his encounters at the McAllen Border Patrol station with small children, one of whom was 3.
The children are coming primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, making the perilous journey north through Mexico to Texas without parents or close adult relatives. Last weekend alone, more than 1,000 unaccompanied youths were being held at overflowing border stations in South Texas, officials said.
The flow of child migrants has been building since 2011, when 4,059 unaccompanied youths were apprehended by border agents. Last year more than 21,000 minors were caught, and Border Patrol officials had said they were expecting more than 60,000 this year. But that projection has already been exceeded.
By law, unaccompanied children caught crossing illegally from countries other than Mexico are treated differently from other migrants. After being apprehended by the Border Patrol, they must be turned over within 72 hours to a refugee resettlement office that is part of the Health Department. Health officials must try to find relatives or other adults in the United States who can care for them while their immigration cases move through the courts, a search that can take several weeks or more.
The Health Department maintains shelters for the youths, most run by private contractors, in the border region. Health officials had begun several months ago to add beds in the shelters anticipating a seasonal increase. But the plans proved insufficient to handle a drastic increase of youths in recent weeks, a senior administration official said.
Mr. Johnson said Pentagon officials agreed this week to lend the space at Lackland, where health officials will run a shelter for up to four months. The base was also used as a temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant youths in 2012. It became the focus of controversy when Gov. Rick Perry of Texas objected, accusing President Obama of encouraging illegal migration by sheltering the young people there.
Mr. Johnson said the young migrants became a more “vivid” issue for him after he persuaded his wife to spend Mother’s Day with him at the station in McAllen. He said he asked a 12-year-old girl where her mother was. She responded tearfully that she did not have a mother, and was hoping to find her father, who was living somewhere in the United States, Mr. Johnson said.
Mr. Johnson said he had spoken on Monday with the ambassadors from Mexico and the three Central American countries to seek their cooperation, and had begun a publicity campaign to dissuade youths from embarking for the United States.
“We have to discourage parents from sending or sending for their children to cross the Southwest border because of the risks involved,” Mr. Johnson said. “A South Texas processing center is no place for a child.”
Officials said many youths are fleeing gang violence at home, while some are seeking to reunite with parents in the United States. A majority of unaccompanied minors are not eligible to remain legally in the United States and are eventually returned home.
LG(BTI?) identities as a human right have been universalized. This project is being carried out by a coalition of gay rights organizations that Joseph Massad explores in his book Desiring Arabs, called the “Gay International”. Modeling…
James O'Connor's second contradiction of capitalism
A critical introduction to the influential ecological Marxist concept of ‘the second contradiction’, proposed by James O’Connor.
O’Connor’s idea of ‘the second contradiction of capital’ is one of the most influential in ecological Marxism, and remains an important point of reference. In 1988 O’Connor was a founding editor of the quarterly journal Capital, Nature Socialism, and in an article in the first issue he introduced the concept of the second contradiction.
O’Connor’s argument falls on the cusp between Marxist orthodoxy on the one hand, and both growing ecological awareness and the emergence of ‘new social movements’ on the other. The concept of the second contradiction is developed therefore both to preserve, and to develop traditional Marxism into new domains (ecology) and for new subjects (such as feminist, environmental, and national movements). But to do so, he has to relax some of the more orthodox received wisdom. He draws inspiration from Karl Polanyi’s argument, in The Great Transformation, that market relations come into conflict with social reproduction. Combined with Marxism, this provides an alternative to:
…bourgeois naturalism, neo-Malthusianism, Club of Rome technocratism, romantic deep ecologism, and United Nations one-worldism.
We’ll now sketch out the what the ‘first’ and ‘second’ contradictions actually are, before engaging with two of O’Connor’s key ideas: an ‘underproductionist’ theory of crisis, and ‘the rebellion of nature’ thesis.
It’s been said that the 21st century is a race between the first and second contradictions. 2 The first, central to orthodox Marxism, is the contradiction between the forces of production on the one hand, and the relations of production on the other. The forces of production include things like forms of labour, scientific knowledge, co-operation, and technology, while the relations of production are the class relations arising out of private property in the means of production.
In orthodox Marxist theory, this contradiction, via the labour movement, was held to drive a more or less linear progression towards more centralised (‘socialised’) industry and more planning, by states or industrial-financial monopoly capitalists (restructuring “into more transparently social, and hence potentially socialist, forms”). Socialism could then be understood as the workers, or in practice, the Communist Party, taking over the apparatus of centralised production and planning that capitalism had bequeathed.
O’Connor flirts with this orthodoxy but isn’t satisfied with a unilinear, teleological history. Rather, he insists that:
it has become obvious that much capitalist technology, forms of work, and the like, including the ideology of material progress, have become part of the problem not the solution.
He subsequently identifies a second source of capitalist crisis, a second contradiction. This is between the forces and relations of production combined and the conditions of production, broadly speaking, between political economy and the environment:
An ecological Marxist account of capitalism as a crisis-ridden system focuses on the way that the combined power of capitalist production relations and productive forces self-destruct by impairing or destroying rather than reproducing their own conditions.
A crisis of underproduction?
To develop this claim, O’Connor seeks to develop a theory of crisis adequate to the second contradiction in the way Marxists had for the first. It’s probably helpful to clarify some Marxist jargon here, so that we can see where O’Connor’s originality lies. We’ve tried to keep it simple in the text and pushed some detail to the footnotes.
Perhaps the most common crisis theory we hear is underconsumptionist. Strictly speaking this is more of a left-Keynesian theory than a Marxist one, but many Marxists espouse something along these lines (such as Rosa Luxemburg). The central claim of an underconsumptionist crisis theory is that it’s profitable for individual capitalists to drive down wages, but yet when all capitalists do this, it suppresses consumer demand, since poorer workers are less voracious consumers. Thus capitalists are caught in a rationality trap. The solution is usually some form of social partnership, via the state, trade unions, or both, to keep short-sighted capitalists from undermining aggregate demand, and thus their own interests. Ha-Joon Chang is one of the most prominent advocates of this position.
Therefore for underconsumptionists, crisis is not inherent to capitalism, it can be avoided by more enlightened self-interest and social partnership, making capitalists realise that ‘decent wages’ are win-win.3 The more properly Marxist theory, by contrast, is one of overproduction. This view points out it’s rarely in the interests of capitalists to pay higher wages, since it eats into their profits. And it also points out an error in underconsumptionist thinking: consumer demand isn’t the only demand, firms also consume, e.g. purchasing new machinery. Of course, firms only invest in the hope of future profits, so this creates a ‘grow-or-die’ dynamic, but it means that underconsumption is a symptom rather than a cause of crisis.4
Rather, for the overproductionist point of view, firms investing in more mechanised processes each seek advantage over their rivals by becoming more productive. But as these productivity gains generalise across the industry, rates of profit begin to fall. For overproductionists, this is the rationality trap: capitalists are compelled to become more productive to compete, but increased productivity and competition ultimately depress profit rates. Eventually, suitably profitable investments begin to dry up. Too much capital chases too few profits. Firms either engage in more speculative activity or withhold investment, the economy falters, some firms fail and others are devalued. The general devaluation of capital – crisis – helps restore the rate of profit, and then a new round of accumulation can begin.5
It is in this context that O’Connor proposes a different kind of crisis:underproduction. 6 His argument is as follows: capital increasingly dominates and incorporates its environment. This includes the natural environment – with things like soil nutrient depletion and deforestation. This requires things like synthetic fertilisers or planned forestry. It also includes the social environment – peoples’ health suffers from pollution and overwork, which necessitates things like healthcare provision to maintain the workforce. In this way, nature itself becomes produced, so “that ‘natural barriers’ may be capitalistically produced barriers, that is, a ‘second’ capitalised nature.” 7
Consequently, capital increasingly has to produce its own environment, and this represents an overhead cost at the system level. A crisis of underproduction thus includes, but exceeds, a crisis of social reproduction, encompassing both social and environmental reproduction.
…we can introduce the possibility of capital underproduction once we add up the rising costs of reproducing the conditions of production. Examples include the health care costs necessitated by capitalist work and family relations; the drug and drug rehabilitation costs; the vast sums expended as a result of the deterioration of the social environment (e.g. police and divorce costs); the enormous revenues expended to prevent further environmental destruction and to cleanup or repair the legacy of ecological destruction from the past… 8
In light of the massive costs associated with mitigating and adapting to climate change, this line of argument seems highly salient. This also provides a framework to understand the contemporary discourse around ‘ecosystem services’: once natural cycles are perturbed and/or replaced by political-economic ones, the price of nature’s ‘free gifts’ is revealed in rising financial costs. Examples could include the use of (energy intensive) synthetic fertilisers to compensate for declining soil fertility, or the need to hand-pollinate cropswhere intensive pesticide use and loss of hedgerow habitats have wiped out pollinators. For O’Connor, this dynamic feeds back into economic crisis:
No one has estimated the total revenues required to compensate for impaired or lost production conditions and/or to restore these conditions and develop substitutes (…) all unproductive expenses from the standpoint of self-expanding capital. 9
The rebellion of nature
O’Connor therefore explains the rise of new social movements as a response to the crises of underproduction. This seems to stretch the concept too far, as well as being politically problematic in framing feminist, indigenous, or anti-racist movements as ‘nature’ rebelling. However, the narrower claim that capital’s encroachments on the environment solicit resistance is surely borne out by today’s anti-pollution riots, fracking resistance, and the No TAV movement.
The combination of crisis-stricken capitals externalising more costs, the reckless use of technology and nature for value realisation in the sphere of circulation, and the like, must sooner or later lead to a ‘rebellion of nature’, that is, to powerful social movements demanding an end to ecological exploitation.
It is perhaps here that O’Connor’s attempts to preserve Marxist orthodoxy through broadening its scope comes up against its limits. It is true that ecological explanation can and does provoke diverse ecological struggles. But this is no more inevitable than austerity necessarily giving rise to a powerful, unified class movement. It provides the grievance, but grievance is only one of the conditions for a movement. In the case of climate change, we also encounter a further problem. With a polluting factory or mine, the effects are often felt most harshly in the immediate vicinity, or at least in specific localities, e.g. down river, and the origin is relatively easily identified. But climate change is massively nonlocal in both space and time. 10
That is to say, as the first official climate change refugees evacuate their drowning island, who is to blame? Aside from the impossibility of attributing it to any specific greenhouse gas emissions, the inertia of the climate system means the emissions that caused this warming happened decades ago (warming from recent emissions is still ‘in the pipeline’). How can a movement coalesce against such a diffuse threat, one that is so massively distributed in space and time? We are not saying this is impossible, only that it can’t be taken for granted that ‘sooner or later’ powerful social movements will cohere.
In a sense, this is no different to the more narrowly defined class struggle. Capitalism generates grievances daily, a small percentage of these flare up into local struggles, a small percentage of these broaden out or link up into wider movements, and a small percentage of these escalate to shake the whole social order. Fragmentation and multiplicity are the norm. Ecological struggles seem to follow the same pattern. Indeed, O’Connor insists that “issues pertaining to production conditions are class issues (even though they are alsomore than class issues).” Climate change will certainly escalate the grievances, with crop failures, rising food prices, and displaced populations to name but three.
Reading O’Connor in the context of climate change remains productive, even if it’s sometimes a case of working out where he goes wrong. Indeed, when he writes that “atmospheric warming, acid rain, and pollution of the seas will make highly social forms of reconstruction of material and social life absolutely indispensible”, we can only agree.
1.If counting contradictions floats your boat, David Harvey’s new book is called 17 contradictions of capitalism. The editorial of Endnotes 3 goes the other way, arguing that there’s only one contradiction, between use value and exchange value, which however gives rise to numerous antagonisms.
2.Though we can’t find the source of this quote: if you know please tell us!
3.This is a simplification, for example Rosa Luxemburg’s underconsumptionist crisis theory argued crisis was inherent to capitalism, but could be deferred by expansion into non-capitalist areas – imperialism. But once the whole world was carved up by imperialist powers, the crisis would become inescapable.
4.For reasons of brevity, we are simplifying a large and contentious body of crisis theory here. For example, underconsumptionists counter that all demand is, ultimately, consumer demand.
5.Nothing in this account requires a terminal crisis, theories of which have more to do with political requirements: either to rationalise the ‘evolutionary socialism’ of social democracy, or to compensate for a proletariat not living up to its ascribed revolutionary role.
6.Apologies for the succession of arcane jargon - unfortunately it goes with the territory. O’Connor is developing an observation made by Marx here: “The greater the development of capitalist production, and, consequently, the greater the means of suddenly and permanently increasing that portion of constant capital consisting of machinery, etc., and the more rapid the accumulation (particularly in times of prosperity), so much greater the relative over-production of machinery and other fixed capital, so much more frequent the relative under-production of vegetable and animal raw materials.”
7.This argument parallels the move from formal to real subsumption of the labour process, which is Marx’s account of how capital remakes production in its image - deskilling, organising production lines and global value chains etc.
8.O’Connor follows Marx here: “The maintenance and reproduction of the working class is, and must ever be, a necessary condition to the reproduction of capital. But the capitalist may safely leave its fulfilment to the labourer’s instincts of self-preservation and of propagation.” Clearly treating divorce as ‘social deterioration’, and implicitly seeing social reproduction as the realm of natural instincts elides a host of gendered dynamics.
9.Subsequently there have been attempts to forecast the economic cost of climate change, for instance the Stern Review, and the reports of the IPCC’s Working Group II.
10.This phrasing is borrowed from Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects: philosophy after the end of the world.
“During two decades of democracy, white South Africans, the primary beneficiaries of the apartheid system, relinquished power but got even richer.”—Tim Cohen, Boston Review http://bit.ly/Ro8ZdW (via bostonreview)
“It’s become popular in some activist circles to embrace notions from postmodernism, and that includes the idea that gender is somehow a binary. Gender is not a binary. It is a hierarchy. It is global in its reach, it is sadistic in its practice, and it is murderous in its completion. Just like race, and just like class. Gender demarcates the geopolitical boundaries of the patriarchy—which is to say, it divides us in half. That half is not horizontal; it is vertical. And in case you missed this part, men are always on top.”—Lierre Keith, Radfem Reboot 2012 (via weloveradfems)
“Women are in the habit of accepting male candidates as the default and male perspectives as neutral rather than gendered. Women candidates can’t necessarily count on more support from women voters than from men, perhaps because women are used to getting past the question of whether candidates resemble us, and considering instead whether they’ll represent us.”—Ann Friedman (Women Politicians and the Relatability Problem)
Let me put this in something you'll understand. If I say "I think white privilege is silly" to a black person, the black person has three choices: A. explain why that privilege--either overtly or implicitly--benefits me, though I am free to think this way as long as I go with that knowledge. B. Simply walk away and let me think what I think, no point getting involved. C. Freak the fuck out about it and yell a lot, possibly get unnecessarily violent, ultimately making an ass of themselves. Think.
why the fuck would you say “white privilege is silly”
it doesn’t matter how they react they can punch you in the face and scream at you that doesn’t make them less right as long as they actually tell you white privilege is real and ur a shit for denying it
“When people with privilege hear that they have privilege, what they hear is not, “Our society is structured so that your life is more valued than others.” They hear, “Everything, no matter what, will be handed to you. You have done nothing to achieve what you have.” That’s not strictly true, and hardly anyone who points out another’s privilege is making that accusation. There are privileged people who work very hard. The privilege they experience is the absence of barriers that exist for other people.”—Mychal Denzel Smith | No One Cares If You Never Apologize for Your White Male Privilege (via star-trekker)
“The idea that gender […] is a class condition is the basis of actual feminism; it’s the basis of feminism as a radical political movement. So, now what we’re seeing is that that basic assertion, that female people are subjugated under patriarchy [and are] subject to resource extraction under the gender caste system, this exact idea which is the basis of feminism, has been redefined as “transphobic” because it criticises gender as a class condition.”—Rachel Ivey (via slw-t)
Below is an updated compilation of my essays on street harassment with the most recent essays and ones included in previous listings. I also included links to other types of posts that are relevant and on my street harassment blog tag.
This is not an “abstract” “social justice” “opinion” on…
“The problem with Cliven Bundy isn’t that he is a racist but that he is an oafish racist. He invokes the crudest stereotypes, like cotton picking. This makes white people feel bad. The elegant racist knows how to injure non-white people while never summoning the specter of white guilt. Elegant racism requires plausible deniability, as when Reagan just happened to stumble into the Neshoba County fair and mention state’s rights. Oafish racism leaves no escape hatch, as when Trent Lott praised Strom Thurmond’s singularly segregationist candidacy.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, on the different kinds of racism in American society. (via theatlantic)
“More whites believe in ghosts than racism.”—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, noting how increasingly, many white people will, without any proof, accept the existence of ghosts, but still refuse to acknowledge that structural racism exists without first seeing repeated, statistical, detailed and documented evidence —and often not even then (via odinsblog)
“Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: ‘I do not belong here.’”—SELECTIONS FROM JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR’S ARGUMENT FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (via newwavefeminism)
“Power is being able to say complete and utter nonsense and have it be believed, powerlessness is where no matter how much cogent evidence and proof one has, to not be believed.”—Catharine MacKinnon (via youhauntyourbagofbones)
“hooks says she asked Janet Mock if glamour was a source of power, and Mock responded “yes,” immediately. Mock explains that, to wear makeup and heels, to “pretty [herself] up,” to “claim [her] body” and to “prettify” it in the way she wants, constitutes power. Mock sees it as claiming space. As claiming power. “This little space is mine,” she says, referring to her body. “I will do it for myself. Not for the pleasure of or for the gaze of a man.” Does she gaze at herself, I wonder? Through whose eyes? Where did these images of glamour and female beauty come from?”—BELL HOOKS WILL SAVE US ALL FROM THE LONG, SLOW DEATH THAT IS POPULAR FEMINISM (via feministcurrent)
CARRY IT FORWARD stars activist legend Angela Davis as the program’s narrator,Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues and Emotional Creature) portraying Ethel Rosenberg, and Cotter Smith as Julius Rosenberg. The production uses dramatic readings, acted vignettes, poetry, music, and historical photos to dramatize the last four days of the Rosenbergs’ lives through their prison letters and Robby and Michael Meeropol’s firsthand accounts.
The film also tells the stories of present-day activist families the Rosenberg Fund for Children assists (including the family of Russell Maroon Shoatz), and spotlights current movements for peace, environmental justice, immigrants’ rights, civil liberties and other progressive struggles from Idle No More and Stop, Stop and Frisk, to the fight to free all political prisoners.
Nothing but love from everyone with the return of People of Color Organize. Thank you so much! Remember you can find us on Tumblr (peopleofcolor) as well as on Facebook or Twitter (@pocoXL or fb.com/pocoXL).
The culture you are a part of depends on your ethnicity. Your ethnicity is determined by the community you were raised in and the community you continue to live in and participate in. Your ancestry is also considered a part of your ethnicity, but unless your family makes an explicit goal to have…
“If you were a computer-loving male child who took a lot of shit from your peers, I suspect you heard something similar from the adults in your life. Maybe it was “Sure, things are bad now, but when you’re a little bit older, women will LOVE guys like you!” Or maybe it was “That kid who makes fun of you now will be working at a gas station when you run a big fancy computer company and marry a supermodel!” If you were once young, nerdy and male, it is not unlikely that your future sense of self-worth was funded with a non-consensual IOU from the world’s women. It’s taken me a long time, but at this point I genuinely believe that much of this “GEEKS SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH” rhetoric is little more than patriarchy’s bespectacled wingman. It excuses the pain that systems of power exert on children by promising little boys future dominion over little girls. It is deeply and massively fucked.”—
Are computer-loving female children fed these same lines? Are they told “SOME DAY YOU WILL HAVE ALL THE MONEY AND POWERS AND MEN WILL FLOCK TO YOU LIKE AUTONOMY-DEPRIVED MAN-ZOMBIES?” If you insist that the presence of enough computers magically transforms the world into a meritocracy, you might want to think about that one for a second.
love the classism there too like “someday you will be better than those other people because you will have more money and a ‘real’ job” like hooray that’s not toxic AT ALL
and it adds an extra layer of sexism because lol women are gold-diggers amirite, that’s all you need to attract women, is a fat paycheck — not, you know, personal merits of some kind beyond a marketable skill (not that a good work ethic isn’t a desirable trait in a partner but that can’t be all you’ve got)
male entitlement becomes more explicable — NOT more excusable, but easier to understand — when we look at how many promises of this kind are made. “if you just do x y and z then you will get women” oh well no wonder you’re mad, you did x y and z and the women aren’t falling at your doorstep, it’s still your fault you didn’t figure out we’re people at some point but it’s not like you were encouraged to learn that
though some men manage somehow so I sure don’t feel sorry for your whiny ass (cumaeansibyl)
Actually, the international discourse around this mass abduction has been terribly bizarre. Nigerians have been reporting on it ceaselessly and the entire country has been in an uproar since the beginning, but in the last week there’s been a massive explosion of…
In fact, Ms. Mosley also helped direct the film “Girl Rising,” a well-received documentary about the global struggle to educate girls, and her effort to draw attention to the kidnappings is part of a push by The Documentary Group, a for-profit company, to promote the project world-wide.
CNN Films paid $500,000 last year for three years’ rights to the film, and will air it again on CNN International this weekend.
CNN had no comment.
Holly Gordon, founder of the Girl Rising project, said in an interview on Thursday that the Nigeria kidnappings provide “an important moment for us to promote our film.”
Ms. Gordon said Ms. Mosley’s idea for her social-media campaign was solely her own, and Girl Rising helped her to expand her social-media network by linking to its own.
The company said it designed the distinctive red avatar Ms. Mosley used on her social-media pages, and supplied her with “talking points” on girls’ education.
Ms. Mosley on Thursday said she updated her Twitter account biography to reflect her involvement with Girl Rising, and sent a series of tweets giving credit for the hashtag to its Nigerian creators.
Ms. Mosley, 38 years old, has been with The Documentary Group’s Girl Rising project “from the very beginning,” in 2007, said Ms. Gordon, and directed the Afghanistan chapter of the film, which covers girls’ education issues in nine countries.
Ms. Gordon said the budget for the film was $10 million: $3.7 million for production costs, and the remainder for the “campaign,” a global effort to highlight the challenges facing young women in developing nations by screening the film in venues including theaters and nonprofit meetings, along with creating short-subject films for nongovernmental organizations working on such issues as childhood marriage in Ethiopia.
The project’s first and one of its biggest funders is Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, through his Vulcan Productions. Mr. Allen and his sister Jody Allen are the film’s executive producers.
Vulcan funded the film because of Mr. Allen’s interest in alleviating global poverty, and has also provided media and promotional expertise.
"We know that if you educate one girl you can break the cycle of global poverty in one generation," said Carole Tomko, Vulcan’s creative director and general manager. "That community we created and united for change are coming together and doing everything they can do to get these girls released."
To the degree that Ms. Mosley initially didn’t disclose her involvement in Girl Rising, “That would be unfortunate, because she’s a fantastic storyteller and she just wants to bring those girls home, too,” Ms. Tomko said.
Remember when I said that this Ramaa Mosley woman that is going around doing press and is being credited with creating the #bringbackourgirls campaign will be cashing in on this? (See point 5 here) - The lady is a clear fraud and orchestrated this thing from the beginning. Now you know why CNN was first to label her a savior. This woman is being funded heavily, and co-opting the Chibok tragedy was just a way to promote herself, her film and to earn money. She is shameless.
Let this be a teachable moment for the naive souls who messaged me, saying that we don’t know her intentions, it doesn’t matter who gets credit etc. Maybe if you actually paid closer attention, you’d be able to see charlatans for who they were, instead of always coming to the defense of white saviors.
I’d like to ask people what they think about the portrayal of race in manga. The thing is, reading a few manga, I worry sometimes that race in manga is never handled as well as it could be and if I become a manga artist I don’t want to make the same mistakes.