“The big lie about capitalism is that everyone can be rich. That’s impossible. Capitalism works only if the vast majority of the population are kept poor enough to never quit working, are kept poor enough to accept distasteful jobs society cannot function without. If everyone were a millionaire, who would empty the trash or repair the sewers? It follows that the poorer the general population is made, the greater the worth of the money held by the wealthy, in terms of the lives which may be bought and sold with it.”—Michael Rivero (via kittencoaster, fucknobigbrother) (via lesbianoutlaw) (via bubonickitten) (via dunespicecat)
“What’s feminist about excluding an extremely vulnerable class of women who disproportionately suffer from violence, rape, body shaming, unemployment, homelessness, and poverty, who are routinely abused and manipulated by the medical establishment, and who are disproportionately involved in sex work and pornography? That’s what I’d like to know about Raymond-esque “feminists” who see no place in the movement for trans women.”—Just a question « Tranarchism (via ireensarrows)
“The reason why torture is universally prohibited in international and domestic law the world over, however, is not because it is ineffective or counterproductive (though it is). Torture has been universally prohibited because in the aftermath of the second world war, the nations of the world agreed, under the leadership of the United States, that respect for basic human dignity required the absolute prohibition of torture under any circumstance. The acts of torture that John Yoo and other Bush administration officials so proudly defend are nothing less than war crimes that, in the absence of accountability, continue to undermine the United States’ claim to respect the rule of law.”—Vincent Iacopino (via azspot)
What exactly does that expression mean, “friends with benefits?” Does he provide her with health insurance?
I almost answered this one seriously until I saw where it was from…
Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory, “The Vegas Renormalization” (via asexyquotes)
I wish it were allowed to have friends use your awesome health insurance, or to specify someone you’re neither related to nor married to who is important enough to you that you want them to have access to your health insurance. :/
I suspect that this would fall under “unpopular opinions” but, yes, I think you can be culturally appropriative of food. I’ve never heard/seen anyone talk about food specifically as being culturally appropriated, but I highly doubt that my thoughts on this subject are unique. I suspect I just haven’t seen some wonderful work done by others. Also, I am relying on the theories and work of others who talk about food justice, even if they haven’t actually connected it specifically to cultural appropriation. *Also remember: This is just my own opinion. There are people in marginalized and oppressed groups who may completely disagree with me.*
So let’s begin with what I *don’t* think constitutes cultural appropriation of food, to get some of the angsty stuff out of the way. I don’t believe it is cultural appropriation to
eat food from another culture
to learn how to cook food from another culture
to modify recipes from another culture for your own enjoyment
to eat at restaurants, authentic or otherwise, that serve food from another culture
to enjoy learning about another culture thru the traditional and/or modern foods of that culture
So no, I don’t think you are a racist asshat because you love guacamole or pad thai. I don’t think you are a privileged douchefuck because you sweated to learn how to make a killer tagine that is now the centerpiece of your family’s holiday meals.
“What’s left?” you may ask. “I can eat what I want, cook what I want, share what I want… okay… then how dare you say that it is possible to appropriate food? Where are you going with this?”
When we talk about food justice we are talking about a few different things. What I will concentrate on here are:
Access to the foods and ingredients that are meaningful, traditional, and wanted within our culture.
Access to high quality and fresh foods and ingredients that are available to low income people in low income neighborhoods.
One way that food can be appropriated is by making it difficult for those of the culture from which it stems to gain access to it. For example, quinoa has become very popular outside its native home of Bolivia, but with that popularity comes a price to the Bolivian people that what was a staple of their diet is now too expensive for them to eat. It’s fair to assume that it will be replaced by less beneficial alternatives, most likely imported and pre-packaged. I’m not saying that everyone should throw out their quinoa or feel useless guilt for eating it. I am saying that it is a good example of where access to a traditional food has been appropriated by people in such a way as to make it inaccessible to the culture from which it comes. We can think about how much of it we eat, if there are more fair ways to get it, and look for ways to support policies and practices that help Bolivians to be able to make an income off of this seed while still maintaining their cultural practices and access to their own food.
Put another way for U.S.ians, can you imagine not being able to eat an apple or have your July 4th homemade apple pie because the government decided to export most of them, thereby raising the prices of the few available here? Sure, you might see some increase in your income, but it wouldn’t be enough to buy you those apples you once took for granted. And it wouldn’t be enough to help you to retain the centrality of the apple to your diet. Oh, but hey, apples are a pseudo-cultural marker of the U.S. (“American as apple pie”, Johnny Appleseed, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, etc.) but aren’t actually a staple for most of us anymore (though perhaps they should be).
Another way that I feel food can be appropriated is by fetishizing it, especially when it includes commercializing it. Privileged white people who visit an “exotic” country and learn all they can about the local cuisine, only to come home and write best-selling books, appear on Martha Stewart, and eventually parlay the experience into their own television deal are a good example of this. Haven’t you ever wondered why the food stations are so overwhelmingly pale even as “festive” and “steamy” meals from “far-away lands” are being cooked up using modern technology? How much of that money do you think makes it back into the hands of the people who generously shared their family recipes with the soon-to-be celebrity chef? When the “experts” of our food are people from outside our communities, that is a form of appropriation.
In a lot of ways food becomes the symbol of a culture. Take fry-bread for Natives. Who hasn’t heard a joke about fry-bread? Do I think it’s wrong for non-Natives to eat fry-bread? No, I don’t. But I do think it is wrong when non-Native dieticians etc. point to fry-bread to explain all the health ills of Natives. I also think it’s wrong when non-Natives refuse to acknowledge the painful history and creation of fry-bread, and the poverty and scarcity of other food that it also symbolizes. And it is wrong when Natives are reduced to “fry bread eating, commodity taking freeloaders”, just as it is wrong when Mexicans are reduced to “beaners”, Arabs to “goat grillers”, and South Asians to “smelly curry eaters”. When our traditional foods are pointed to as jokes or ways to further oppress us, to mark us out as different in a way that is mocked, that is not respectful.
Our traditional foods are central to our cultures too. For some of us there are a lot of memories around sharing those foods, and for many others of us the food was part of our journey back to our people and culture. An honest recognition of that by others is necessary to respect that food. There are also traditional times/occasions for certain foods, and taboos, that should be honored. You can share in our food, but there is still an element of privilege, theft, and imposed change that has to be acknowledged at the same time. Minimizing YOUR theft and imposed change, respecting the traditions that guide when and how that food is served, and being thoughtful of what the food represents for us is a good first step to genuine cultural understanding that moves past appropriation.
oh this hits close to home. so, so, so literally.
y’all, I may not even be able to write about this cuz it’s so intimately connected to my ENTIRE experience with racialization and theft of my cultures. but in the name of all that is holy, thank you for writing this, diggingforroots, even though it looks like you got some dismissive racist reactions to it. I needed to read this tonight.
Oh, oh, oh, this is amazing.
This just summed up my issues with Rick Bayless, Bobby Flay, & to a certain extent Paula Deen. I know she grew up in the south and those foods are what she grew up on, but how they came to be the foods identified with the American south has a whole lot to do with slavery. And she makes a mint selling soul food with a white face. Soul food is often labeled as unhealthy & a lot of the traditional recipes are unhealthy, but they aren’t that way just for shits & giggles. Slaves had to make a meal out of whatever they could scrounge up and they weren’t guaranteed multiple meals a day so those meals had to be high density and low effort. And even now when smoked turkey is substituted for salt pork, a lot of American black families cooking traditional foods are doing so in food deserts and they still need meals that are high calorie and low effort. Time to cook from scratch, access to a full scale grocery store with reasonable prices, and a way to transport those groceries are all luxuries that are often taken for granted.
I feel this way about my family’s traditional Southern foods - because the foods originated with slavery but migrated with class. My first awareness wasn’t soul food so much as it was poor food - eaten by poor people of every color all over the South. So it’s race AND class and history - and assholes on NPR talking about how BAD the food is, like it’s a goddamn sin.
“Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created. We will not blame you if your reach exceeds your grasp; if love so ignites your words they go down in flames and nothing is left but their scald. Or if, with the reticence of a surgeon’s hands, your words suture only the places where blood might flow. We know you can never do it properly—once and for all. Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. … Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names.”— Toni Morrison, from the 1993 Nobel Prize lecture (via vividverbs)
“I just have one of those faces. People come up to me and say, “What’s wrong?” Nothing. “Well, it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile.” Yeah, you know it takes more energy to point that out than it does to leave me alone?”—Bill Hicks (via robot-heart)
“It’s no wonder we don’t defend the land where we live. We don’t live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.”—Derrick Jensen *Mmm… Deep! (via thelittleyellowdiary)
“A three-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. If our concern is about suffering in this universe, it is rather obvious that we should be more concerned about killing flies than about killing three-day-old human embryos… Many people will argue that the difference between a fly and a three-day-old human embryo is that a three-day-old human embryo is a potential human being. Every cell in your body, given the right manipulations, every cell with a nucleus is now a potential human being. Every time you scratch your nose, you’ve committed a holocaust of potential human beings… Let’s say we grant it that every three-day-old human embryo has a soul worthy of our moral concern. First of all, embryos at this stage can split into identical twins. Is this a case of one soul splitting into two souls? Embryos at this stage can fuse into a chimera. What has happened to the extra human soul in such a case? This is intellectually indefensible, but it’s morally indefensible given that these notions really are prolonging scarcely endurable misery of tens of millions of human beings, and because of the respect we accord religious faith, we can’t have this dialogue in the way that we should. I submit to you that if you think the interests of a three-day-old blastocyst trump the interests of a little girl with spinal cord injuries or a person with full-body burns, your moral intuitions have been obscured by religious metaphysics.”—
i am not a fan of sam harris and atheist dogmaticism, but yeah, folks need to understand the little bit that we know about conception and early in utero development before deciding the ethics behind stem cell research.
although i have questions about stem cell research, i think some of the claims by scientists about what is possible with that research are way overhyped, and i have questions about the technology used.
what i dont have questions about is how much moral authority i have over another persons decision of what to do with their body. that is very clear to me.
Basically, I despise writing assignments for school. Because I suck at mainstream grammar. Prepositions are things I end sentences with. And I start sentences with conjunctions. I fully believe any person should be able to write their essay including singular they. I tend to do things like, splice in necessary commas, mainly because they cut the sentence into how it flows in my head. I sometimes go onward and onwards with run on sentences that contain improper things like putting an s on the end of a something-ward word and never look backwards to correct what I’ve done. Fragments. Fragments are a thing. Indirect and vague language are also problems from which my writing suffers.
I would appreciate it if all of my friends who work hard to promote a positive image of our Native Cultures could call or e-mail Free People clothing. Their inspiration wall is beyond heinous and it breaks my heart in more ways than one.
To me, this “wall of inspiration” hits too close to home. I see that wall of inspiration and it’s not just nameless Natives, although that shouldn’t matter, but I see my very own grandfather on that wall. My GRANDFATHER, and I can’t stand it. It’s too much. My grandfather worked SO HARD to try and help his people, to do whatever good he could for them in a truly trying time.
This is not how I want my grandfather remembered. Please help me. I’m not strong enough to do it on my own or to deal with the idea of him becoming some sort of “fashion icon” — only a picture that no one will notice it, or know what he has done. That’s what hurts me the most. The Trivialization.
PLEASE contact Free People clothing on their Contact page or send them a feedback message. Thank you for helping me:
contact us by phone: (800) 309-1500 contact us by fax: (800) 436-2618 contact us by mail: Free People Direct 30 Industrial Park Blvd. Trenton, SC 29847
“I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is vertical, so it’s humiliating. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people.”—Eduardo Galeano (via mexiroccan)
yesterday on twitter, i joked that i’d run 200+ correlations and all i’d found out was that parents are more likely to enroll female children in dance classes than male children. a friend on twitter joked back that i didn’t need to do any statistical analysis to figure that out - it was obviously true. which was good, because it meant that i’d gotten all the data in right - if my analysis had shown that more male children were being enrolled in dance classes, that would have raised my eyebrows and made me go back and re-check things.
there’s a number of these “common sense” expectations that we expect to see borne out in data - especially with large national samples, and i’ve got over 10,000 observations from the entire country. and some of those axioms, those truisms, are fundamentally depressing. here’s what we were checking for:
there’s a strong relationship between mom’s highest level of education and dad’s highest level of education
being non-white is negatively correlated with performance on pretty much every standardized test, whether it be cognitive skills, gross motor skills, color knowledge, etc
higher income is positively correlated with every single thing we think is good - performance on those tests, health outcomes, education levels, etc
poor health for either child or parent is related to much much lower income.
let me repeat - those things are so strong, so true, that if they’re not reflected in the dataset, the assumption is that there’s something wrong with the data. given that what i’m looking at is gaps in cognitive skills when kids enter kindergarten, the idea that these demographic characteristics can make the difference between being prepared and being so far behind that catching up will take every ounce of effort and every stroke of luck is beyond depressing.
a common response from supportive white folks to undocumented people is to point to their own family’s history of migration. I realized when I was reading Tim Wise’s essaythat I feel like there is something “off” about using this response to support undocumented people today.
I know a lot of people (who I agree with) have said that pointing to past ‘migration’ when it was really colonialism reframes the past “migration” in really harmful ways for native peoples, current subjects of colonialism (is our action in Afghanistan just “migration”?) etc. I agree with those critiques—but mostly, I think it’s even more complicated (because forced migration, while colonial in nature, is still forced—and native people moving to the states today are indeed doing so in a manner that continues the land theft of native peoples in the US—but they are doing so at the *loss* of their own homelands—and I think we need to find a way to incorporate an understanding of that reality into “immigration” framework)—
but reading the wise essay—that’s not what I thought back on—there was something different. which is not a fully developed thought—but more a feeling of unease with the way that a white man’s family member is prioritized in a story about white supremacist violence on the border. like—it’s fine to me if you draw on blood lines to help yourself empathise with and understand a situation that you may not otherwise fully get….but…helping white people *as a whole* to understand violence against especially mexican immigrants by giving a face and voice to somebody *who became white*—it’s as if the natural flow of the story of immigrants is “assimilation” i.e. becoming white—when in all reality, in the US, the natural flow of *story of racism* (i.e. white supremacist heteropatriarchy) is how people are *made not white* (i.e. *not citizens*). See: How Arabs were criminalized in a post-9-11 world. See: how US citizens have been made into “anchor babies.” See: how speaking Spanish when you are a US citizen makes you “disrespectful.” see: how every time black folks in the US achieve some modicum of civil rights, the bar shifts and suddenly we have a “war on drugs” and they’re disenfranchised again. etc). The story of assimilation being one of immigrants *becoming white* exists more as a “boot strap” story or a “rags to riches” story than what the *reality* of assimilation is—colored people being forced to assume their “place” on the hierarchical ladder of resource disbursement.
and of course—some non-white immigrants will be “allowed” to make it—but their “making it” feeds into the “boot strap” narrative and is used as a tool to measure other immigrants by—NOT other white US citizens. and it’s interesting because those who are “allowed” to make it—can have it all ripped away when white folks get scared of a person they decide looks like you.
Bolded for emphasis (but really everything is awesome)
Bush will not be investigated for lying us into war, authorizing torture, and spying on American citizens; but Anthony Weiner will resign.
Cheney will not be investigated for lying us into war, authorizing torture, and spying on American citizens; but Anthony Weiner will resign.
Rumsfeld will not be investigated for lying us into war and authorizing torture; but Anthony Weiner will resign.
Rice will not be investigated for lying us into war; but Anthony Weiner will resign.
Clarence Thomas will not be investigated for rank corruption; but Anthony Weiner will resign.
AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!
I am officially bummed out.
I am bummed - but I’m also bummed by this. Because there shouldn’t be a double standard. Everyone on that list should be held accountable BUT SO SHOULD WEINER. All of them getting a free pass doesn’t mean dick *heh* if we’re trying to claim meaningful social moral highground. Just saying.
I have been ignoring most media surrounding the Weiner case, because the salivating over lascivious details about his erections makes me want to puke much more than the fact that he took those pictures in the first place. So I don’t know if he used taxpayer funded resources to engage in those activities. If he did then his behavior is in a category of ethics violations that deserves accountability. But not the same level of accountability that should be levied at deeds that result in deaths and human rights violations.
CSBR is an international solidarity network, striving to promote sexual, bodily and reproductive rights as human rights in Muslim societies across the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia. In our core values, we recognize that sexuality cannot be disentangled from systems of power politics and domination in society.
In light of the Palestinian queer call for action, and as members of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, CSBR, we cannot stand “neutral” towards Israel’s illegal occupation, apartheid policies, and violations of international law.
We join the campaign to urge IGLYO’s member organizations and board of directors to move their General Assembly out of Israel, and stop being active participants in Israel’s multi-million dollar ‘pinkwashing’ campaign, “which aims to re-brand Israel as a haven for queers while drawing attention away from its crimes against the Palestinian people.”
In Solidarity, Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies Nasawiya — A Feminist Collective (LEBANON) Muntada — The Arab Forum for Sexuality, Education and Health (PALESTINE) GaYa NUSANTARA (INDONESIA) Women’s Health Foundation (INDONESIA) Helem — Lebanese Protection for LGBTIQ (LEBANON) Pilipina Legal Resources Center (PHILIPPINES) Meem — A Community of Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer & Questioning Women and Transgender Persons (LEBANON) Aahung (PAKISTAN) Vision (PAKISTAN) WWHR, Women for Women’s Human Rights (TURKEY)
I was encouraged to make this post by Cat (who is extremely awesome, by the way).
For a while, I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be on testosterone for some length of time. I want to look more like my age, and I want my voice to deepen. I’m about to turn 22, and every time I interact with other people who believe I am a cis boy, they misidentify my age as 13 or 14. So I want to start T as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, I have the kind of insurance that is probably not going to cover it, especially because the kind of T I want is a non-injectable kind due to my severe phobia of needles. A year’s supply of Androgel out of pocket costs in the range of $2000 (USD) and a 3-month supply is in the range of $500. I’m unemployed, and in the fall when I’ll be employed on my college campus, I’ll only have enough money to pay for food. I can’t see myself being able to come up with money for T all on my own.
“A man who gave testimony in Spanish before a Texas State Senate committee Monday was told by a Republican lawmaker that using his native tongue is “insulting” if he also knows how to speak English. At about 2:17 into the video below, a man testifying against a controversial bill that seeks to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” by withholding state grant money is interrupted by state Sen. Chris Harris (R), who asks why the man is speaking in Spanish with the aid of a translator. He responded in Spanish, and his translator said: “Spanish is his first language and since it’s his first time giving testimony he would rather do it in Spanish.” “It’s insulting to us,” Harris snapped back, to voices of approval from the audience. “It’s very insulting, and it means if he knows English, he needs to be speaking in English.””—