“I think I once saw gender as being an entirely oppressive force before, a force where one group of people (men) learns how to subjugate another group of people (woman). This mentality was binary and ignored the complicated ways in which gender serves as both a normalizing and transgressive force. Certain gender ideals, ideals which are impossible for most of us to ever achieve, permeate every element of society. We are all taught how to discipline ourselves and others so that we can mold to acceptable gender binaries. People of all genders are restricted by this. Since entering feminist and queer spaces, I have been fortunate to hear the stories of a few male-identified and non-binary folks. As examples, my male-identifying friend D was beaten as a child for not acting manly enough. And my non-binary identifying friend C has nearly crumbled under the pressure to behave like a girl. Even though women are often the most direct targets of gender violence, I have to remind myself that gender violence can impact anybody.”—hoax zine’s contribution to the Feminist Portrait Blog Carnival at Bitch Magazine
This is a really incredible, thoughtful piece on how gender oppression is not about patriarchal forces alone, nor is it experienced in the same way by everyone. It’s just one piece of the bigger puzzle in our quest for social justice. (via feministcomingoutday)
Christopher had taken longer than Wystan to become aware of his own change of attitude because he was embarrassed by its basic cause: his homosexuality … He became defiant when he made the treatment of the homosexual a test by which every political party and government must be judged …
The Soviet Union had passed this test with honors when it recognized the private sexual rights of the individual, in 1917. But, in 1934, Stalin’s government had withdrawn this recognition and made all homosexual acts punishable by heavy prison sentences. It had agreed with the Nazis in denouncing homosexuality as a form of treason to the state. The only difference was that the Nazis called it ‘sexual Bolshevism’ and the Communists ‘Fascist perversion.’
Christopher … now realized he must dissociate himself from the Communists, even as a fellow traveler. He might, in certain situations, accept them as allies but could never regard them as comrades.
”—Christopher Isherwood, Christopher and His Kind. (Wystan is Wystan Hughs, aka W.H., Auden.)
“It is…unfair to ask a woman to leave aside her personal experience and discuss feminist issues in the abstract. You are discussing the stuff of her life. Asking her to “not make it personal” is to ask her to wrench her womanhood from her personhood. [Similarly,] you are not objective on women’s issues because you’re not a woman. Your perception is just as subjective as hers is, but for a different reason. Either we stand to be marginalized by privilege or stand to benefit from it. That’s the reality of institutional bias; it compromises us all.”—Shakesville: Helpful Hints for Dudes (via reelaroundthefountain)
'You went all the way back to Somerville just to tip a waiter?'
'I took a cab.'
'Why did you forget to tip the waiter?'
The birthday candles had burned out, but he pictured her face clearly in the dark, the wide tilting eyes, the full grape-toned lips, the fall at age two from her high chair still visible as a comma on her chin. Each day, Shukumar noticed, her beauty, which had once overwhelmed him, seemed to fade. The cosmetics that had seemed superfluous were necessary now, not to improve her but to define her somehow.
'By the end of the meal I had a funny feeling that I might marry you,' he said, admitting it to himself as well as to her for the first time. 'It must have distracted me.'
”—Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies (“A Temporary Matter”)
From my 16 years of experience serving as a Republican congresswoman, I recognize the fact that our country is facing major economic difficulties. I also believe that today’s times necessitate pragmatic approaches and sound policy that will help us fix our economy and create jobs — not partisan political tactics that defy common sense and are a threat to Americans’ well-being.
I cannot stand with my party leadership in their dual attempts to undermine women’s health by eliminating the Title X national family planning program and prohibiting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. These efforts are bad policy and bad politics. Not only are they based on shortsighted political posturing, but they would also have a devastating impact on women’s health.
While House leadership says that its dangerous proposals are about lowering our deficit and reducing abortion, its actions are in fact a detriment to both goals.
Let me be clear, federal law already prohibits federal funding from going toward abortion. So, the notion that this extreme proposal is about preventing federal dollars from funding abortion is bogus.
In addition, family planning programs like Title X and what Planned Parenthood offers effectively reduce instances of abortion by providing contraception and education to millions of women. Each year, Planned Parenthood’s services prevent more than 600,000 unintended pregnancies.
The proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds will have zero impact on the budget, since it is not a budget cut. It simply prohibits a health care provider from receiving federal dollars and participating in federal health programs.
More broadly, family planning services have been shown to be a good investment. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that for every dollar invested in family planning, taxpayers save nearly $4. Put another way, eliminating the national family planning program will result in higher costs, not lower costs.
Attacking Planned Parenthood is not just bad policy, its bad politics. It’s a well-known political axiom that independent women voters sway elections. Well, independent women voters also oppose attacks on Planned Parenthood and on efforts to undermine access to women’s health.
I want to live in her state so I can vote for her.
“I fear that the consumer who buys a Confederate flag coffee cup, which she will then put on her American flag place mat, is the sort of sophisticated thinker who is open-minded enough that she is capable of hating blacks and Arabs at the same time.”—Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation
So I was looking at an old thread on Robert Jensen’s book, Getting Off, and was surprised to see…well, myself, saying pretty much exactly the same thing I’d say now in that thread, and in more-or-less the same way, but in December 2007. I don’t remember writing this, but it’s an accurate description of my beliefs:
I hate my maleness and I hate my whiteness, but I do not hate myself because my maleness and my whiteness are societal problems, not personal problems. I do not hate the fact that I have a penis, or pale skin, or European ancestors; I hate the fact that I live in a culture where my penis, pale skin, and European ancestors have made me complicit in a culture of violence and exploitation from the word “go.”
Sight unseen, I don’t know that I would agree with Jensen’s argument wholeheartedly.
His remark about how we obviously “hate” women and children because society oppresses women and children, for example, turns me off. As a vegan, you know hatred of animals has nothing to do with why people eat cheeseburgers and it’s the same sort of phenomenon. All humans are corpse-eaters by nature, biologically engineered by four billion years of evolution to be thieves and murderers. We subsist by depriving others of their lives and resources. We are all vampires, in a sense. But it isn’t about hate. It’s about eating, shitting, and sleeping. And some of us happen to be white males who are more exploitative than others, but exploitation is the most natural thing in the world—and humans do exploitation better than any other species that has ever existed.
EXERCISE/WEIGHTLIFTING: Haven’t missed a day over the past week, and have doubled up by doing two routines per day for a few of the days. Have increased weight (which I didn’t plan to do until next month) and reps. Treadmill routine is shot to heck right now because my right knee is flaky, but I still haven’t gone over my daily net calorie budget yet in 2011. Weight loss appears to have hit a plateau, but I’m not really worried yet.
WRITING/DISSERTATION: Productivity is up, more queries, and extensive dissertation reading. Cropped down the sections on Levinas and de Laguna, added to the section on Searle. Central part of the dissertation is still on track for resubmission around the end of the month/first of April, which should leave plenty of time for revising and resubmitting the final two chapters before Easter.
My volunteer schedule has taken a little bit of a hit lately, but I’m sure I’ll make up for lost time over the next couple of weeks.
Tiger Beatdown is looking for new writers! Because it is about that time again, with me and Garland being the only folks on there these days, and both of us not posting on there as much as we should due to other commitments. (ALTHOUGH GARLAND IS BETTER THAN ME. In basically all of the ways….
“well, first of all, you must realize that i worship you. second of all, at the expense of seeming repetitive, i love you. thirdly, and here i go again with my enormous command of language, i can’t live without you.”—
excerpted from one of his many, many love letters to elizabeth taylor.
“There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.”—Melissa McEwan, of course, on the terrible bargain. My life as a woman, as a queer person, as a fat person, is not your thought experiment. (via sanitywatchers)