"That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women."
Seriously, this article is awesome. So glad she took the time to write it.
The returns aren’t all in yet on today’s Republican primaries but President Obama didn’t wait. He kicked off his 2012 campaign against Mitt Romney with a hard-hitting speech centered on the House Republicans’ budget plan – which Romney has enthusiastically endorsed.
That plan, by the way, is the most radical reverse-Robin Hood proposal propounded by any political party in modern America. It would save millionaires at least $150,000 a year in taxes while gutting Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps, transportation, child nutrition, college aid, and almost everything else average and lower-income Americans depend on.
Here’s what the President had to say about it:
Disguised as a deficit reduction… it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism.
We are likely to hear a lot more about social Darwinism in the months ahead. It was the conservative creed during the late 19th century – legitimizing a politics in which the lackeys of robber barons deposited sacks of money on legislators’ desks, and justifying an economy in which sweat shops were common, urban slums festered, and a significant portion of America was impoverished.
Social Darwinism encapsulated the idea of survival of the fittest (a phrase Charles Darwin never actually used) as applied to societies as a whole. Its chief apostle in America was Yale Professor William Graham Sumner.
Here’s what Sumner had to say in his social-Darwinian classic “What Social Classes Owe to Each Other” (1883):
Let it be understood that we cannot go outside of this alternative: Liberty, inequality, survival of the fittest; not-liberty, equality, survival of the unfittest. The former carries society forward and favors all its best members; the latter carries society downwards and favors all its worst members.
Could there be a better summary of what today’s regressive Republicans believe?
Obama is awesome for actually coming out and saying this. Social Darwinism.
She logged into her Facebook as I requested, and as I followed the COO’s instructions to scan her timeline and friends list looking for evidence of moral turpitude, I became aware she was writing something on her iPad.
“Taking notes?” I asked politely.
“No,” she smiled, “Emailing a human rights lawyer I know.” To say that the tension in the room could be cut with a knife would be understatement of the highest order. “Oh?” I asked. I waited, and as I am an expert in out-waiting people, she eventually cracked and explained herself.
“If you are surfing my Facebook, you could reasonably be expected to discover that I am a Lesbian. Since discrimination against me on this basis is illegal in Ontario, I am just preparing myself for the possibility that you might refuse to hire me and instead hire someone who is a heterosexual but less qualified in any way. Likewise, if you do hire me, I might need to have your employment contracts disclosed to ensure you aren’t paying me less than any male and/or heterosexual colleagues with equivalent responsibilities and experience.”
I got her out of the room as quickly as possible. The next few interviews were a blur, I was shaken. And then it happened again. This time, I found myself talking to a young man fresh out of University about a development position. After allowing me to surf his Facebook, he asked me how I felt about parenting. As a parent, it was easy to say I liked the idea. Then he dropped the bombshell.
His partner was expecting, and shortly after being hired he would be taking six months of parental leave as required by Ontario law. I told him that he should not have discussed this matter with me. “Oh normally I wouldn’t, but since you’re looking through my Facebook, you know that already. Now of course, you would never refuse to hire someone because they plan to exercise their legal right to parental leave, would you?”
What could I say? I guess we have another hire whether he’s qualified or not. Here’s the bottom line: My ability to select the best candidates for our positions has been irreparably compromised by looking into their private lives. I’ve been “tainted” by knowledge of their sexual orientation, illnesses, religion, political affiliations, and other factors that expose us to anti-discrimination legislation. We can’t even claim that the employee improperly disclosed these matters to us, as we are the ones initiating the investigation of their private doings.
Recently, the Georgia House considered a bill which would have prevented women from obtaining an abortion after 20 weeks, down from 26. Rep. Ron Stephens (R), who considers himself pro-life, originally voted against the bill, along with 16 other Republicans. In an interview with the Savannah Morning News, Stephens recalled his daughter Ashlin’s pregnancy just a few years before, when her child was diagnosed with trisomy, a devastating genetic defect, and how this bill would have affected his family’s decision:
“At five months, they told her part of her baby’s brain was outside the skull and the heart was inverted,” he said. “They said it would take only one or two breaths. She would have watched it die.” After huddling with her family, she opted for an abortion.
When the bill initially came to a vote in the House, there was no opportunity to amend it to provide exceptions for such situations. Stephens said he was so upset he felt sick and walked off the floor during the roll call.
“For something this cruel to happen to my daughter, or anyone’s daughter,” he said, “is just plain inhumane. I consider myself pro-life, but this provision was a distortion of pro-life values.”
In response, the Peach Tea Party blasted those Republicans, claiming they “displayed a willingness to depart from the conservative principles that form the bedrock of the Georgia Republican Party platform.” A blog on the group’s website referred to those Republicans as “RINOs,” or Republicans in Name Only. This was despite the fact that, when the bill was amended to exempt “medically futile” pregnancies like his daughter’s, Stephens voted for the bill, which passed.
I bolded and italicized part of the final paragraph to point something out, look at this. This guy’s conscious got to him because he knew what they were doing was wrong citing his daughter’s own experience and the response was, “displayed a willingness to depart from the conservative principles that form the bedrock of the Georgia Republican Party platform.”
This is disguising and tells me they are running their political party like a dogmatic religion - stick strictly to the party line or you’re not a republican.
This also tells me they (over all) really don’t care at all about the mother, the person carrying the child and only care about pushing their agenda. The original bill had no exceptions for situations like Ron Stephens’s daughter and they didn’t care, all they cared about was towing this “pro-life” agenda.
Many adults are put off when youngsters pose scientific questions. Children ask why the sun is yellow, or what a dream is, or how deep you can dig a hole, or when is the world’s birthday, or why we have toes. Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before a five-year-old, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t know? Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys many adults. A few more experiences like this, and another child has been lost to science.
There are many better responses. If we have an idea of the answer, we could try to explain. If we don’t, we could go to the encyclopedia or the library. Or we might say to the child: “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as the Candle in The Dark (via ironfleet)
Hmmm…why IS the sun yellow? Temperature? Gas mixture? Paint? Good question. I can’t be arsed at the moment to look it up, but, still, a good question.
“I was just reading something last night from the state of California. And that the California universities – I think it’s seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught.”
Rick Santorum, not interested in facts or reality at all, as usual.
From Think Progress: “In fact, of the 10 UC system schools, just one (San Francisco) doesn’t offer American history courses. But that’s because it doesn’t offer any humanities courses at all — it’s a medical school.”
Oh right. That. I actually seem to remember American history classes being taught when I was a student in the UC system. But that must be their liberal brainwashing tactics at work! -Jess (via stfuconservatives)
What does Santorum think they are teaching impressionable minds instead? Could it be science?!
“Let me get this straight. Millions of outraged Americans are just credulous amateurs fooled by a cynical left wing ploy to stir up racial division? A man murders a kid. The police botch the investigation. Race appears to play a crucial role in both outcomes. Then a bunch of people find out about it and are outraged. And we’re the ones stirring up racial discord? This is the absurdity that the modern ideology of colorblindness will bring you to. Colorblindness has nothing to do with eradicating racism. It is about denying its existence and power. And so when faced with actual racism in such stark form, the colorblindness zealots must cast blame on those drawing attention to the racism. There is a significant segment of white opinion that continues to find efforts to combat racism more objectionable than the racism itself.”—Jesse Curtis (via azspot)
I’m just gonna let that last line sink in: “There is a significant segment of white opinion that continues to find efforts to combat racism more objectionable than the racism itself.” (via ethiopienne)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday insisted that President Barack Obama’s health care reform law should be overturned and that people with preexisting conditions should be denied coverage if they had never had insurance before.
During an appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show, host Jay Leno told Romney that he knew people that had never been able to get insurance before “Obamacare” was passed.
“It seems to me like children and people with preexisting conditions should be covered,” Leno noted.
“People with preexisting conditions — as long as they’ve been insured before, they’re going to continue to have insurance,” Romney explained.
“Suppose they were never insured?” Leno asked.
“Well, if they’re 45 years old, and they show up, and they say, I want insurance, because I’ve got a heart disease, it’s like, `Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that. You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered,’” Romney replied.
“We grow up being told that anger is bad. Good girls do not express their anger, good girls play nice, they accommodate, they please. It is time we start looking at anger differently. Why are we so bent on suppressing this anger when for so many, it is the only emotion left in the face of injustice? Why should young women appear compliant and docile when they are obviously being subjected to violence or inequity? Why shouldn’t anger be a legitimate drive for our politics? Change will not come because we ask for permission, change will happen because we leave no other alternative.”—Flavia Dzodan, “Show them how to resist: Connecting girls, inspiring futures” at Tiger Beatdown (via morecoffee)
“I’m trying to figure out how insulated one has to be from the wider world to be shocked! shocked! that racism is pervasive in American culture, and among American teens. Those wide-eyed tweets about Rue’s death being less sad because she’s black clearly come straight from the brains of adolescents (nearly all of them white, presumably) who have bathed in subtly and overtly racist culture since birth, absorbed far too much of it, and not yet learned to second-guess or even censor themselves when they parrot its tenets. They’re surprising only if you haven’t noticed that when real people of color are killed, there’s always an immediate attempt to justify or downplay the deaths. Art imitates life; reactions to art likewise imitate life.”—
Really, men hardly listen to women. It’s funny that our whole society and all of our so-called “relationship advice” treats this phenomenon like it’s natural rather than a symptom of patriarchy/ men thinking they’re more important than women.
Our culture with regards to our military is so incredibly hypocritical. On the one hand we essentially worship the military as a civic religion, and on the other we treat our troops as if they are mindless automatons or plastic game pieces on a chess board.