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“It was a game that everyone but me seemed to love. I was a girl who mostly hung around boys because I hadn’t yet learned that female friendships, though infinitely more confusing, were also infinitely more rewarding. I was the self-professed type who loudly preferred spending time with men over spending time with women because they were less dramatic and complicated. And so I surrounded myself with boys who found it funny to grab my body when I least expected it, and were spurred by my discomfort to push me further and more painfully.
The game ended the night that Tom*, the one who always grabbed me, did it to me again while we were walking up a flight of stairs. Familiarly, everyone laughed and I tried to join them, desperate to appear easygoing and in on the joke despite being the literal and figurative butt of it. But suddenly, the effort of it all—the smiling, nervous chuckling, and eye rolls that I had allowed myself over the past several months—sickened me. It felt like I was choking on my own vomit of anger and humiliation. To save myself, I’d have to spew my own bile. And so I turned and punched Tom directly in the groin.
The satisfaction of the moment blazed and died quickly. He collapsed to the ground, gripping himself, hissing, “You are a fucking bitch. You are a fucking bitch,” over and over again. I laughed an awkward bark of a laugh, but no one joined in this time. No one said anything at all until minutes later when we were walking—them in a pack, and me trailing behind—to our local video store. Michael, my best male friend, hung back to keep me company.
“I get that you’re mad and don’t like it when Tom grabs you like that,” he said and I exhaled a sigh of gratitude. “But what you did…” I sucked my breath in again, “…You just don’t do that to a guy. Ever.”
It’s a small relief that I didn’t feel ashamed of myself. Instead I felt disappointed in Michael, in Tom, in every other boy that now, on our walk, avoided me because I had crossed a line and hit back.”
Have you ever kept on ‘horsing around’ after someone said “no” or displayed signs of discomfort. Well, stop it. Don’t be like Tom, he’s a boundary ignoring asshole.
“much of the animosity towards radical feminism is explained by examining the fact that feminism is popularly misunderstood to simply be about “equal rights.” when radical feminists are accused of not including trans women in “our feminism,” the underlying implication is that we maliciously exclude them because we think they don’t deserve equal rights.
however, equal rights are only the goal of feminism insofar as they will be the result of liberation from oppression. but to pursue liberation, it’s necessary to first ask, why do women not have equal rights? why are women oppressed?
women are oppressed on the basis of our sex because we are exploited by men for our reproductive potential. women have been denied equal legal, social, and economic rights in furtherance of this specific form of exploitation. trans women cannot be exploited in the same manner, even though they are otherwise marginalized.
all human beings deserve to live free from exploitation and oppression. but only people who experience sex-based oppression can be liberated from it, and it’s neither hateful nor exclusionary to acknowledge that the oppression of women is different from the oppression of trans women.”
This excerpt from an article in the New Statesman:
“It’s a shame then that my enjoyment of International Women’s Day each 8th March is consistently spoiled by the United Nations’ attempt to put men at the heart of feminism with their #HeForShe campaign.
I personally am very happy for men to describe themselves as feminists, but they should be the loyal, kit-wearing supporters in the stands, and women, the first XI. #HeForShe is a pitch invasion, where men nick the ball and start booting it around to show how much they want the match to go ahead as planned.
International Women’s Day is about women. It is about the issues and oppressions that affect women globally. Hearing the statistics and stories should be enough for men to support women without it being specifically branded for them. If a man can hear that 85,000 women are raped in the UK each year and only care when this fact is labelled FOR MEN like a horrifying statistical Yorkie, he probably isn’t that much use to the feminist cause in the first place.
Feminism is constantly expected to make itself pretty and palatable. We’ve created the straw feminist, all smouldering tits and desiccated ovaries, sticking pins into voodoo dolls’ little embroidered balls, just so we can say, “I’m a feminist, but I’m not one of those feminists. I love men!” Loving men and being a feminist are not mutually exclusive but nor is “loving men” in any way a mandatory part of feminism. We should not pander to make men who, whether they support it or not, are part of a system that benefits them.”
Ms. Fletcher isn’t going to win many male friends for this article, but rightly so, feminism isn’t about the men. :)
Taken from his essay on Counterpunch called Slouching Toward Global Disaster.
It is impossible to understand and explain such a disastrous failure of military interventionism without considering the effects of two toxic ‘special relationships’ formed by the United States, with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The basic feature of such special relationships is an unconditional partnership in which the Israelis and Saudis can do whatever they wish, including pursuing policies antagonistic to U.S. interests without encountering any meaningful opposition from either Washington or Europe.
This zone of discretion has allowed Israel to keep Palestinians from achieving self-determination while pursuing its own territorial ambitions via constantly expanding settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, fueling grassroots anti-Western sentiment throughout the Arab world because of this persisting reliance on a cruel settler colonialist approach to block for seven decades the Palestinian struggle for fundamental and minimal national rights.
The special relationship with Saudi Arabia is even more astonishing until one considers the primacy of economic strategic priorities, especially the importance of oil supplied at affordable prices. Having by far the worst human rights record in the region, replete with judicially decreed beheadings and executions by stoning, the Riyadh leadership continues to be warmly courted in Western capitals as allies and friends. At the same time, equally theocratic Iran is hypocritically bashed and internationally punished in retaliation for its far less oppressive governing abuses.
Of course, looking the other way, is what is to be expected in the cynical conduct of opportunistic geopolitics, but to indulge the Saudi role in the worldwide promotion of jihadism while spending trillion on counter-terrorism is much more difficult to fathom until one shifts attention from the cover story of counter-terrorism to the more illuminating narrative of petropolitics. Despite fracking and natural gas discoveries lessening Western dependence on Middle Eastern oil, old capitalist habits persist long after their economic justifications have lapsed and this seems true even when such policies have become damaging in lives and financial burdens.”
-Richard Falk. Slouching Toward Global Disaster
Just a little peek into what fairness and equality means on the global scale. Take note of how the playing field is levelled instead of it being ‘level’ and one might start to see the patterns in our society and maybe start to question the conceptions of ‘equality’ when we are told things are ‘fine’.
The notion we have a fair playing field, a balance, whatever you’d like to call it is quite patently false. We have not all just fallen out of some sort of Rawlsian simulator into a just society. Injustice and anti-egalitarian ideals are normative in society, they are the water we swim in, the air we breathe. Otherwise interactions like the below just wouldn’t happen.
More than you’d think really. Human beings seem to intrinsically value fairness and equality and yet, as of today have constructed societies based on moving as far away as possible from any sort of equitable norm.
Take note of the piece on John Rawls and how using the Veil of Ignorance idea as a cognitive filter for making decisions. I think it is a great idea adding to the list of processes one should go through in making tough decisions in the personal, moral and political sphere.