One grad student's collection of geekery, photographs, and academic what-have-you.
Reblogged from flamboyantlycriminal
A HUMAN-MADE OBJECT FROM EARTH HAS LEFT OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
Dear Well-Meaning, Respectful, Socially-Conscious Sir:
We’re friends. Or we’re friends of friends. You’re the kind of guy who cares about people as people. You are considerate and intelligent. You care about social injustices, and you genuinely want to have honest and frank discussions.
I want you to know that I respect you. And I know that you respect me. I enjoy the conversations we have, and I welcome the questions you bring to me. And so I hope that you will indulge me as I give a layered response to a concern that keeps coming up in our conversations…
This is a concern over the tone of arguments for feminism and women’s rights. It’s the doubt that you voice about the effectiveness of confrontation. You know that violence and inequality exist and you think they’re important issues, but you question whether loud exclamations of “RAPE CULTURE” and “MISOGYNY” are more detrimental than helpful. After all, when everyone starts shouting at each other, how is anyone supposed to actually hear each other?
As a rhetorician and an incorrigible peacemaker, this is a concern I understand well. I value conversation over confrontation and—like you—I’m quick to advise that people aim for a middle ground and communication rather than an ideological throw-down. When I teach my students about effective arguments, we talk about issues like addressing both sides, seeking compromise and affirming multiple points of view. So I’m not disagreeing with you, by any means. At least………..not here.
But (and here’s my compromise), I want to talk about why you’re maybe (completely unintentionally) missing the point when you ask “angry” or “confrontational” feminists to “tone it down” in the name of productive conversation.
When I teach argument to my students, one of the first things we consider is how our approach changes, depending on who the audience is. And we talk about how, often, the audience that is verbally addressed isn’t the actual audience. (Think of any political campaign that attacks the opposing party. That’s not a message meant to change minds…it’s a message meant to rally existing supporters.) And while “preaching to the choir” often has a negative connotation, it can serve a very important purpose.
In the case of marginalization and oppression, these vocal, seemingly one-sided exclamations give a very clear, very necessary message: “You are not alone.”
It’s a well documented issue that victims of oppression don’t talk about what they’ve gone through. There are a lot of reasons for this. One of the largest issues is that, in order to victimize someone, an assailant (physical or otherwise) has to deprive the victim of power. They make them feel weak. Alone. Once this has happened, reclaiming that power can be incredibly difficult (and can feel impossible). And it’s not just about the “strength” or “will” of the victim. Society itself often continues the process that the assailant began. This is because the arguments used by assailants aren’t new…they’re simply extreme versions of things we hear everyday. So when a victim tries to speak up, they now have to speak up against their attacker, their trauma, and a society that’s often unwilling to listen. No wonder they’re so silent.
When a group takes up a cause of marginalization, they are confrontational. Often times, this confrontation falls into anger and belligerence, which is very upsetting and off-putting to the well-meaning, respectful, socially conscious people they are addressing. After all, these are rational, empathetic individuals who would never intentionally victimize someone else, nor condone that behavior from someone else. They feel attacked. They feel blamed. And this, like you’ve voiced, is not a good starting place for meaningful discussion.
But what I’d like you to realize, when you come to me and say “I know violence towards women is a problem, but…” or “I know racism still exists, but…” you’re actually pointing out exactly why this kind of communication IS valid. Is important. Is vital.
YOU know that these inequalities exist, but the victims of these crimes often don’t. They have been isolated. They have been stripped of power and agency and community and support.
You hear angry voices, but they hear a rallying cry.
You see a fruitless endeavor, but they see a community.
You’re right, you know. If things are going to change, we need communication. We need compromise and understanding and intelligent discussion. But in order for that to happen, there is a whole community out there that needs to get its voice back. They need to be able to safely and securely join the conversation because, until that happens, a large part of society is going to continue reinforcing all the lies their assailants forced on them.
Yes, extreme voices are angry. Yes, they are often just noise…sound and fury and raw emotion. And to you, that’s upsetting and unhelpful.
But to people who have spent years in silence, that noise is exactly what they need.
Reblogged from assvengers
"…is that a cardboard cutout of Thor?"
"HE HAD A THING NOW DO YOU WANT THE DAMN DORITO OR NOT"
omg im gomen this stopped being funny after i had more than two hours of sleep but it’s been on my hard drive since i saw iron man 3 so i quickly finished and posted it
Why Society Still Needs Feminism
Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.
Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.
Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.
Because rape jokes are still a thing.
Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.
Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a
Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.
Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time
of the survey?”
Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking
Because Rush Limbaugh.
Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.
Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist.
Could. Not. Fathom.
Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.
Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.
Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.
Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?
Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.
Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.
Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.
Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to
Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation."
Reblogged from pookiefangs
Caitlin O’Donnell, Drake University. (via on-another-note)
Holy shit this is perfect.
Feminism to me is not hating men, or burning bras or being a lesbian, it’s about treating women like human beings.
I am beautiful.
I am intelligent.
No matter what the world says, neither of those is more important than the other.
I do not need to be the best to be good. I don’t need to be first to win. There are some situations where there are definite winners and losers. But, unless you’re looking at the Olympics or Monopoly, most of them don’t matter. Being number 2 or 3 or 4 or 10 doesn’t mean your chances are gone. There’s more than one spot in the world for talented people. It’ll be okay.
My beauty is two-fold…and the most important part has nothing to do with the makeup I wear, how I do my hair, the clothes I buy, or how symmetrical my features are. There’s nothing wrong with dressing up or putting your best foot forward. There’s a time and place for that, and sometimes it’s just plain fun. But if I want to sit around makeup-less and in pajama pants, it’s not just my right…it’s completely okay.
Even the most selfless people have their limits. If someone goes out of their way to talk to me, listen to me, and share their interests and their day-to-day life with me…they aren’t doing it “just to be nice.” No one is that nice. Not consistently. Just because I sometimes forget that I’m worth that time and effort doesn’t mean they do, too, and it’s not fair to doubt their honesty. If they’re here, it’s because they want to be.
Real beauty comes from confidence. I was lucky enough to be born with “natural” beauty, according to the world. Not everyone is. But it hasn’t gotten me more or longer or better relationships than my friends and peers. It hasn’t guaranteed me success. It hasn’t done much of anything, really. This isn’t to say that superficial beauty isn’t an unfair benefit. It is. Or, rather, it can be. But beauty alone means very little without confidence. Looking back through most of my photos, my shoulders are hunched, my body language is closed in, and I look awkward and nervous. If you really want to impress the world, believe you have something impressive to share…because you do.
My feelings—whatever they are—are right. They’re good. They are not irrational. Feelings don’t come from nowhere. Maybe I’m depressed because my body hurts. Maybe I’m angry because I feel overwhelmed by what I need to get done. Maybe I’m hurt because someone I really respected ignored me when I really wanted to be heard. My feelings are just fine. Feelings aren’t irrational. Actions are. Telling someone that I’m hurt/sad/angry/happy/excited isn’t unreasonable. It’s communication. And if they say otherwise, they’re the one being irrational.
I am not perfect. I never will be. And, honestly, I don’t want to be. My weaknesses are where I can relate to people the most. The embarrassing flaws I have keep me human. And that’s more than okay. That’s exactly what it should be.