“It’s easy to say “fuck cultural identities, we’re all human” when your culture is not the one being exploited, marginalized and oppressed. It’s easy to say “fuck borders” when your country is the one who puts up the borders. And it is really fucking easy to say “we all bleed red” when it’s not bodies of your people riddled with bullets because Western capitalism has a price.”—(via 691180)
“Gender violence is one of the world’s most common human rights abuses. Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined.”—Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times (via frankengrrl)
“On July 4th of this year, [Alicia Keys] performed in Tel Aviv, Israel, in spite of urgent pleas by Palestinian and Israeli activists, human rights advocates, and nearly 16,000 petitioners from around the world, to respect the global boycott of Israel for its illegal occupation of the West Bank and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. Personal appeals from writer Alice Walker and Archbishop Desmond Tutu did nothing to dissuade Keys or her handlers from accepting the invitation. In response, she issued the following statement: “I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”
The statement is as ridiculous and disingenuous as “My presence is charity.” How can music unify an audience when policies of occupation and apartheid exclude the vast majority of Palestinians? What good are homilies about love and peace in a land where Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are prohibited from even entering Israel, contained by a massive concrete wall, economically starved, and living under military occupation? Where thousands of Palestinians are locked away in Israeli prisons—including hundreds of minors convicted of throwing rocks at tanks and well-armed soldiers and settlers? Where Israel continues to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank, displacing Palestinians, demolishing their homes, uprooting their olive trees—all in violation of international law. Where, on more than one occasion, Palestinian mothers were forced to give birth on the side of the road or watch their severely ill children die in their arms for want of emergency care because they were held up at an Israeli checkpoint. Where the apartheid wall has turned a fifteen-minute walk to school into a two-hour ordeal for thousands of young children. For young Palestinians living in Israel who are not incarcerated, few could afford the $62.00 ticket to hear Keys. Nearly half of all Palestinians in Israel live in poverty. Most are legally excluded from residing in non-Arab communities based on their “social unsuitability,” attend severely underfunded schools, and are denied government employment.
Keys’s decision to perform was made not out of ignorance or an abiding love for Israel or a personal mission to jump-start the peace process. It was about getting paid. The Alicia Keys brand stood to lose financially and likely feared retaliation from pro-Zionist forces. Indeed, her decision to violate the boycott earned her kudos from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its allies, who in turn placed a flurry of publicity pieces praising her “courage” in the face of BDS “bullies.” But as with Shawn Carter, I don’t blame Keys personally, nor do I question her humanitarian commitments. Alicia Keys is a corporate entity driven by profits and propelled by shareholders (backers and fans). Just as Jay-Z lovers ignored Rocawear’s callous use of sweated labor, Keys’s followers have quietly supported her Israel foray. The sad truth is that 16,000 signatures is nothing against the Keys-AIPAC alliance, and most Americans see Palestine through the official lens of the Israeli government and U.S. policy.”—Robin D.G. Kelley, “Empire State of Mind” (via hagereseb)
“Also, Oprah made this huge speech at the ball praising Lady Gaga about how she is helping Americans to be the best of themselves. There’s millions of other Americans who represent that for me. Is it about numbers? About how much you’re selling? Is it truly about the journey? Because Lady Gaga’s journey isn’t that difficult: to go from the fucking Upper East Side to a fucking performing arts school and onto a stage at the museum of fucking wherever. That journey’s about four miles.”—MIA on Lady Gaga (via tokomon)
“Forever war is forever profitable. Think of the Lockheed Martins of the world. In their commerce with the Pentagon, as well as the militaries of other nations, they ultimately seek cash payment for their weapons and a world in which such weaponry will be eternally needed. In the pursuit of security or victory, political leaders willingly pay their price.”—William J. Astore, “The Business of America is War” (via tomdispatch)
This role of language is for the most part invisible to the language user. It is the nature of language to hide its own effect. The ideas or meanings established through the constitution of words and grammatical relations in a language appear to the language-user as independent existents, as obvious categories.
This linguistic aspect of experience carries over to our imagination. The inner pictures created in our minds are shaped by the conceptual meanings of our language. It may be fairly obvious that rational reasoning and analysis depends on language, but this assumption is stronger. It implies that what we call physical intuition is not a faculty independent of and prior to our use of language. Our intuition is constituted by linguistic elements, it is shaped by language. However, it is shaped by a language which itself is created in the interaction of human consciousness with the flux of sensations bringing us in contact with the outside world.
”—Grelland, Hans Herlof. “The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis And The Meaning Of Quantum Mechanics.” AIP Conference Proceedings 810.1 (2006): 325-329. Academic Search Premier. (via afrofuturisticlingo)
"Transgender equality has never been more visible as a key issue than it is today, and with the development of every new trans-supportive law or policy, there typically follows an outbreak of criticism," said Westbrook. "In our analysis, we find that these moments, which we term ‘gender panics,’ are the result of a clash between two competing cultural ideas about gender identity: a belief that gender is determined by biology versus a belief that a person’s self-identity in terms of gender should be validated. These gender panics frequently result in a reshaping of the language of such policies so that they require extensive bodily changes before transgender individuals have access to particular rights."
These gender panics reveal the criteria for who counts as a woman and a man in our society, said Westbrook. The study shows that the criteria for determining gender—the practice of placing others in gender categories—are not the same across all social spaces. While self-identity is sufficient in many circumstances, such as the workplace, people are more likely to believe that biology determines gender in sex-segregated spaces.
"In the controversies we examined, it is access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams at the center of gender panics," said Westbrook. "Moreover, not all sex-segregated spaces are policed equally. Because of beliefs that women are inherently vulnerable, particularly to unwanted heterosexual advances, it is women’s spaces at the center of these debates. Thus, with these controversies, much of the discussion is about a fear of ‘male’ bodies in ‘women’s’ spaces."
Westbrook said as a result of these fears, transgender rights policies are often discarded or altered in ways that force transgender people to conform to normative ideas of gendered bodies in order to access public facilities and activities that fit their identities.
“The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”—Arundhati Roy (via forestfungus)
“In The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois described the experience of being black in America as a constant awareness that others view one as a problem. ‘Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question… . How does it feel to be a problem?’ This observation captures shame as a defining element of African American life. Being black in America has meant that your very existence is a problem: the object of the slavery question, the miscegenation threat, the Jim Crow solution, the Negro problem, the black family crisis, the welfare dilemma, the crime problem, or the nation’s racial scar. The social and political realities of American racial inequality make black people themselves into a constant prob- lem that has to be observed, analyzed, and solved. Blackness has often been framed as a cancer that eats away at the nation. Stigmatizing blackness means that African Americans must constantly contend with social shaming.”—Melissa Harris-Perry, Sister Citizen (via socio-logic)
This is very true, but it’s important to remember that if a woman is feminine, graceful, shaves, diets, wears make up, or does any of these things in the list, it doesn’t make her a slave to patriarchy or any less of a feminist than you.
“As a Muslim feminist woman of color, I cannot relate to Slutwalks as it caters mostly to the definition of emancipation set by white women. Slutwalks deviate in terms of delivering the message against sexual assault. It turns a blind eye to women of cultures where flimsy clothes don’t necessarily lead to rapes. Muslim women get raped too. Nassim Elbardouh is right. “Do Not Rape” Walk sounds better. This isn’t to say that I don’t support Slutwalks. I simply can’t relate to a liberating movement that does not liberate nor acknowledge me. Western feminism, despite its undeniable achievements, still perpetuates the image of a white woman as the liberated one. If these feminists do claim to represent all women, they need to understand the dynamics of the cultures other women hail from. Don’t care if you’re wearing a thong or burka, no one has the right to rape you. Burka clad brown Muslim women get raped too. Represent us. I want a movement that represents me regardless of my color and creed. End victim blaming and rape culture by representing everyone.”—
Important. I hadnt really considered this before. I would say i still support slutwalks, in that the demonization of sexually active women needs to stop, but maybe create a separate event for ending rape culture, with an emphasis on the fact that this is not part o it in other cultures? Thoughts?