“So I go to his concert with my friend Jason. We get there, the show is sold out. People are psyched for R. Kelly. Jason looks over to me and goes, “Hey Aziz, me and you are the only two white people at this concert.” And I was like, “First of all Jason, I’m not white! Second of all, you’re the only white guy at this concert. WE MIGHT KILL YOU, JASON.””—
Aziz Ansari, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening. (via nom-chompsky)
If It Looks Like a Compliment, and Sounds Like a Compliment…Is It Really a Compliment?
It sometimes seems like every day, we hear people claiming that sexism, racism, or other forms of discrimination that seem to be outdated are “no longer really a problem.” Some people legitimately believe this to be true, while others (particularly women and racial minorities) find it ridiculous that others could be so blind to the problems that still exist. So why does this disparity exist? Why is it so difficult for so many people to see that sexism and racism are still alive and thriving?
Maybe the answer lies right here, on the benevolent side of prejudice. While “old fashioned” forms of discrimination may have died down quite a bit (after all, it really isn’t quite as socially acceptable in most areas of the world to be as explicitly sexist and/or racist as people have been in the past), more “benevolent” forms of discrimination still very much exist, and they have their own sneaky ways of suppressing equality. Unaffected bystanders (or perpetrators) may construe benevolently sexist sentiments as harmless or even beneficial; in fact, as demonstrated by Becker and Wright, targets may even feel better about themselves after exposure to benevolently sexist statements. This could be, in some ways, even worse than explicit, hostile discrimination; because it hides under the guise of compliments, it’s easy to use benevolent sexism to demotivate people against collective action or convince people that there is no longer a need to fight for equality.
However, to those people who still may be tempted to argue that benevolent sexism is nothing more than an overreaction to well-intentioned compliments, let me pose this question: What happens when there is a predominant stereotype saying that women are better stay-at-home parents than men because they are inherently more caring, maternal, and compassionate? It seems nice enough, but how does this ideology affect the woman who wants to continue to work full time after having her first child and faces judgment from her colleagues who accuse her of neglecting her child? How does it affect the man who wants to stay at home with his newborn baby, only to discover that his company doesn’t offer paternity leave because they assume that women are the better candidates to be staying at home?
At the end of the day, “good intent” is not a panacea. Benevolent sexism may very well seem like harmless flattery to many (or most) people, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t insidiously dangerous, with far-reaching consequences for men and women alike.
“Something’s gotta give,
it may as well be our fingers.
Touch me, ‘til my ribs become piano keys,
‘til there is sheet music scrolled across the inside of my lungs
cause i”m breaking old patterns.”—Andrea Gibson (via loveyourchaos)
The fact that the majority of teenagers would rather listen to Justin Bieber or Taylor Momsen over Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd makes me want to fucking kill myself. Literally.
up next on MTV’s “White Girl Problems”: special snowflake and part-time tumblr user felicefawn is literally contemplating suicide over people having different music taste than her and thinks she is better than everybody else because she kinda sorta knows who jimi hendrix and pink floyd are
The word hits him like a saltine underhand-tossed into a lake of whole milk. He feels nothing inside. He does not suddenly call to mind the centuries of injustice and cruelty people like him have suffered, because people like him have not suffered centuries of injustice and cruelty. He does not feel threatened, or like violence will be perpetrated upon him (anymore than he usually does when near a black man). He is not given an instant reminder of how the system in place today works—sometimes tacitly but often openly—against him, because the system works for him. He is so pretend-offended that he uses this instance as an excuse to hold on to his atrocious beliefs for the rest of his life.
“You choose what to think about. And you may not feel that way every day, but the truth is, that you choose what you think about. It’s one of the few things that you can choose and it is—it’s kind of the definition, I think, of being a person. It’s that you have this weird gift of consciousness and you get to choose how you direct that gift. Like, how you direct your ability to think about things. So, if you choose to think about the relative health of the romantic relationships of The Situation, you’re making that choice. MTV is not making that choice for you, The Situation is not making that choice for you, you are making that choice. If you choose to think about astrophysics, you are making that choice. Every second of your definitionally temporary consciousness, you are choosing how you spend something that will not last forever. You are choosing how you spend your life, and it will be spent. And that’s a very serious thing that you have to try to take pretty seriously, even though, of course, much of our lives—because consciousness is kind of a burden—needs to be spent turning that off, which is, you know, why God made television. But we have this responsibility to ourselves, to each other, but also to the people who came before us and the people who will come after us, to think consciously about what we’re thinking about. And that was, in some ways the beginning of The Fault in Our Stars for me, was trying to think about, what I should be thinking about. Trying to think how I should be orienting my life, what should I value, what should I prioritize. And I grew up—and so did most of you—I think, in a world that values a very specific kind of heroism. The kind where you jump on a grenade to save your buddy, or you die heroically because your family says that you can’t marry the girl you want to marry, and you’re fourteen and somehow you think that’s a deal breaker?—which is the plot of Romeo and Juliet, I ruined it for some of you, sorry; I should have prefaced that with a spoiler alert, but if you haven’t read Romeo and Juliet, that’s your fault—or in another of our great epics of heroism, The Odyssey—which I’m also about to spoil for you, but it’s a good reading experience, regardless. There’s this dude, his name’s Odysseus, he does some good warring, top-notch warring, and it takes him a long time to get home, because a bunch of stuff happens, and then he finally gets home and his wife has a bunch of suitors, and the correct response to that situation is to be like, ‘Hey! I was gone for a long time, and there’s no text messaging, you didn’t know I was okay, like of course there’s a bunch of suitors living here, that’s cool, but suitors it’s time to head on out and, you know, find someone else’s house to occupy.’ And instead, what happens is that the palace floors course with blood, and that is your happily-ever-after ending. And Augustus Waters in this novel really buys into that idea of heroism, that idea that the best lives are lived on the biggest possible stage, and that the best lives are lived with an eye toward the grand heroic gesture, whether it be sacrificial or otherwise. That, like, the good life, by definition, is the big life. Well, I’m here to tell you that even the biggest lives are temporary, including the life of Odysseus, including the life of Romeo and Juliet, because, you know, we’re temporary. And if that’s the only way that we orient our lives, if that’s the only thing that we value, we’re doing ourselves, I think, a great disservice. So, I wanted to write The Fault in Our Stars because I wanted to write a story that was about the kind of small heroism that almost all of us are going to have to choose; very few of us will have the opportunity to jump on a grenade and save many, many people. The vast majority of us will have to find tiny ways to take care of ourselves and each other in the best ways that we can figure out how to do. And that’s really what The Fault in Our Stars is about, ultimately. It’s about these two kids and their parents trying to figure out how to take good care of each other and trying to figure out how to leave the best possible world for those who will come after, and also live a life that honors those who have come before.”—John Green, on The Fault in Our Stars at the Tour de Nerdfighting Event in Austin, Texas (21 January 2012)
“Instead, sex-positivity is the belief that sex and sexiness are…okay. It’s the belief that people shouldn’t be judged by the sex they have. It’s the belief that consent matters and social norms do not. It’s the belief that porn and erotica are valid media of expression (not that the current porn industry is hunky-dory, cause it’s not) and that sex work ought to be just work (not that it currently is). It’s the belief that neither “slut” nor “prude” should be an insult. It’s the belief that every sexual and gender identity is valid.”—The Pervocracy: Sex Pozzie (via softjunebreeze)
“The stain of racism and sexism, is not just for people of color or women, it’s all of our burden, all of us, and we absolutely, I don’t care how ordinary you may feel, we, all of us can inspire change, every single one of us.”—Viola Davis (via christophernolans)
“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.”—Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
“Although most boys figure out how to bring themselves to orgasm by age thirteen, half of girls don’t have their first orgasms until their late teens, twenties, or beyond. Teenage girls widely agree that they get the message loud and clear that masturbation is something boys do, but girls don’t, can’t, or shouldn’t. The cultural focus on intercourse tells young women to expect they’ll begin to experience sexual pleasure once they have sex with a man (whether or not they’re even interested in sex with men). Nearly all teen boys, on the other hand, experience sexual pleasure long before they get their hands—or other body parts—into a partner’s pants. Despite the massive advances in women’s equality, young women’s sexuality is stuck in a surprising paradox. Young women are sold provocative clothes but aren’t taught where to find their own clitoris. Many girls give their boyfriends oral sex, but are too uncomfortable with their own bodies to allow the guys to return the favor. It’s still a radical act to say that women need and deserve access to information about their own sexual pleasure—not just about the risks and negative consequences of sex.”—Dorian Solot, I Love Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide. (via valjeans)
Last night, President Obama announced the creation of a special unit of federal prosecutors and state attorneys general to investigate the abusive practices of Wall Street banks during his State of Union speech. ColorOfChange will continue to push for true accountability and real relief for the millions of people who are suffering as a result of the housing crisis. Our official statement can be viewed here.
I was laying in bed and the tv was on The Rachel Maddow Show. She was talking about the pro-life movement and I wasn’t paying much attention until she spoke about a website Operation Rescue has set up. They have compiled a list of abortion providers and clinics and put them online. They list the doctors full name, a picture, address, their medical school, and the clinic they work at. They even put all of this on a map so if you need directions, they’re right there.
Now, in their mission statement, they say they want them to be “stopped through peaceful, legal means”. I call complete bullshit. This distinctly reminds me of the “wanted” posters they used to hand out. Look at how many people were harmed and killed because of those. No good will come of this. I am absolutely horrified that they would even think this was a good idea.
They can’t get away with this. I refuse to believe that this can be entirely legal. They have to be stopped. This is getting out of control. How many more people have to die before we all wake up and realize that they are dangerous.
If you want to let these people know exactly how you feel, you can contact them by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (316-683-67900), fax (916-244-2636), or mail (Pro-Life Nation/OR P. O. Box 782888 Wichita, KS 67278). I feel that by spamming their email, phone, fax machine, and mailbox it’ll be a lot harder for the more harmful information to get through.
One, possibly good, side effect of this website is if you need an abortion this site has a pretty comprehensive list of clinics. Just sayin.
As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one. May there be many a summer morning when, with what pleasure, what joy, you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind— as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.