something
a time wasting blog
descentintotyranny:

Obama’s Cynical, Stilted Response to Ebola vs. Cuba’s Magnificent Mobilization — Glen Ford
“After centuries of fattening the colonial bat, the Ebola-afflicted countries have almost no structural defenses against even the tiniest invaders.”
Oct. 15 2014
The World Health Organization is warning that the Ebola virus is now killing 70 percent of those infected in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with new cases projected to reach 10,000 per week by December. There is nothing in place or in the plans of the “international community” that will prevent the excruciating death of tens of thousands before the year is out; the short term outcome is already written in the ghastly patterns of contagion. No one knows what lies beyond the computable boundaries of this viral conflagration, but its origin is far from mysterious. The real vector of mass death that is stalking West Africa is not the fruit bat, but a global system of plunder that has rendered vast swaths of humanity hyper-vulnerable to the predations of micro-organisms and their fellow man.
Millions of Africans are among the pre-dead – marked for extermination through disease, hunger, war and the myriad other components of imperialism – the beast that, like some species of bats, can only survive by gorging on the blood of others, leaving its victims weak and pathogen-ridden. After centuries of fattening the colonial bat, the Ebola-afflicted countries have almost no structural defenses against even the tiniest invaders. Liberia and Guinea have only one doctor for every 100,000 citizens; Sierra Leone has two.
These statistics ensure that large numbers of Africans are condemned to early, painful deaths. The system guarantees it – NOT the three nations’ health care systems, which do not exist in any meaningful sense, but a global capitalist system that forces developing nations to eliminate public services or face economic strangulation and regime change. Doctors disappear, or are never trained, or drain their brains to foreign lands, or serve only the rich. Public health is a fiction, and epidemics are inevitable.
“It could have been Ebola, it could be something else – it could be cholera or whatever. All predictable,” said Allyson Pollock, a British professor of public health research and policy, in an interview with Tariq Ali. In fact, death comes to Africans from a host of microbes; malaria kills one person in sub-Saharan Africa every 30 seconds. After millennia of exposure, Africans are generally less vulnerable to malaria than Europeans, but they die of the disease in far larger numbers because European and American imperialists systematically prevent them from developing adequate public health services.
Germs don’t conspire to create the conditions that kill Africans in great and unstoppable epidemics – capitalists do.
Billionaire Bill Gates and other rich NGOists deploy their capital to push the public health sector to the barest margins of existence. As Professor Pollock explained, “conditions are being set by large, global NGOs such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” that are not rooted in public health systems, but in corporate health services for profit. “They drain off indigenous doctors into for-profit health care, while corporate global institutions force less-developed nations to strip away what public health services they have.”
This is mass murder in the interest of profit – which the colonialists have been up to for centuries, and the same mission Barack Obama and his neocolonial ilk have assigned themselves in the current era. As I wrote over a decade ago, U.S. policy is to keep the masses of Africans “barefoot, sick, hungry and afraid.” The people must be locked in perpetual poverty, dependence and absolute insecurity and fear, lest they challenge the imperial order. Public health services are perceived as a threat to global capitalism.
[…]
Meanwhile, Cuba, a country of 11 million people with a GDP of only $72.3 billion (compared with a U.S. GDP of $17.3 trillion) fielded “the single biggest medical force on the Ebola frontline…totally showing up the United States,” according to Business Insider. 165 Cuban health workers arrived in Sierra Leone, a contingent that will soon grow to 461 – part of the 50,000 health professionals the island nation deploys in 66 countries. The Cubans outnumber the African Union’s 100-person health care contribution to Sierra Leone, the second largest, and will exceed the regional total of the international aid charity Doctors Without Frontiers (Médecins sans Frontières).
Socialist Cuba sets the international pace in the battle against Ebola, just as it has in Haiti, where Cuban doctors have long been the closest thing to a Haitian national health service. Without the Cubans, much of the Haitian poor would have no effective access to health care at all. When the earthquake hit in 2010, 350 Cubans were already in the country, soon to be joined by nearly a thousand more. Since 1998, Cuba has trained about one thousand Haitian doctors – the biggest source of physicians in the country.
In truth, Cuba is in a class by itself: a country whose foreign health care policy is identical to its domestic health care policy – to serve the people by keeping them alive. If the United States attempted to match Cuba in global health care, doctor for doctor, it would cost Washington many tens of billions of dollars – far more than Havana spends on its total national budget. But, such a competition will never happen, because the purpose of U.S. foreign policy is to impose the rule of capital in every corner of the world and every aspect of life. Rather than match Cuba in medical assistance to poor nations, Washington ceaselessly pressures countries to expel Cuban doctors.
Read More

descentintotyranny:

Obama’s Cynical, Stilted Response to Ebola vs. Cuba’s Magnificent Mobilization — Glen Ford

“After centuries of fattening the colonial bat, the Ebola-afflicted countries have almost no structural defenses against even the tiniest invaders.”

Oct. 15 2014

The World Health Organization is warning that the Ebola virus is now killing 70 percent of those infected in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with new cases projected to reach 10,000 per week by December. There is nothing in place or in the plans of the “international community” that will prevent the excruciating death of tens of thousands before the year is out; the short term outcome is already written in the ghastly patterns of contagion. No one knows what lies beyond the computable boundaries of this viral conflagration, but its origin is far from mysterious. The real vector of mass death that is stalking West Africa is not the fruit bat, but a global system of plunder that has rendered vast swaths of humanity hyper-vulnerable to the predations of micro-organisms and their fellow man.

Millions of Africans are among the pre-dead – marked for extermination through disease, hunger, war and the myriad other components of imperialism – the beast that, like some species of bats, can only survive by gorging on the blood of others, leaving its victims weak and pathogen-ridden. After centuries of fattening the colonial bat, the Ebola-afflicted countries have almost no structural defenses against even the tiniest invaders. Liberia and Guinea have only one doctor for every 100,000 citizens; Sierra Leone has two.

These statistics ensure that large numbers of Africans are condemned to early, painful deaths. The system guarantees it – NOT the three nations’ health care systems, which do not exist in any meaningful sense, but a global capitalist system that forces developing nations to eliminate public services or face economic strangulation and regime change. Doctors disappear, or are never trained, or drain their brains to foreign lands, or serve only the rich. Public health is a fiction, and epidemics are inevitable.

“It could have been Ebola, it could be something else – it could be cholera or whatever. All predictable,” said Allyson Pollock, a British professor of public health research and policy, in an interview with Tariq Ali. In fact, death comes to Africans from a host of microbes; malaria kills one person in sub-Saharan Africa every 30 seconds. After millennia of exposure, Africans are generally less vulnerable to malaria than Europeans, but they die of the disease in far larger numbers because European and American imperialists systematically prevent them from developing adequate public health services.

Germs don’t conspire to create the conditions that kill Africans in great and unstoppable epidemics – capitalists do.

Billionaire Bill Gates and other rich NGOists deploy their capital to push the public health sector to the barest margins of existence. As Professor Pollock explained, “conditions are being set by large, global NGOs such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” that are not rooted in public health systems, but in corporate health services for profit. “They drain off indigenous doctors into for-profit health care, while corporate global institutions force less-developed nations to strip away what public health services they have.”

This is mass murder in the interest of profit – which the colonialists have been up to for centuries, and the same mission Barack Obama and his neocolonial ilk have assigned themselves in the current era. As I wrote over a decade ago, U.S. policy is to keep the masses of Africans “barefoot, sick, hungry and afraid.” The people must be locked in perpetual poverty, dependence and absolute insecurity and fear, lest they challenge the imperial order. Public health services are perceived as a threat to global capitalism.

[…]

Meanwhile, Cuba, a country of 11 million people with a GDP of only $72.3 billion (compared with a U.S. GDP of $17.3 trillion) fielded “the single biggest medical force on the Ebola frontline…totally showing up the United States,” according to Business Insider. 165 Cuban health workers arrived in Sierra Leone, a contingent that will soon grow to 461 – part of the 50,000 health professionals the island nation deploys in 66 countries. The Cubans outnumber the African Union’s 100-person health care contribution to Sierra Leone, the second largest, and will exceed the regional total of the international aid charity Doctors Without Frontiers (Médecins sans Frontières).

Socialist Cuba sets the international pace in the battle against Ebola, just as it has in Haiti, where Cuban doctors have long been the closest thing to a Haitian national health service. Without the Cubans, much of the Haitian poor would have no effective access to health care at all. When the earthquake hit in 2010, 350 Cubans were already in the country, soon to be joined by nearly a thousand more. Since 1998, Cuba has trained about one thousand Haitian doctors – the biggest source of physicians in the country.

In truth, Cuba is in a class by itself: a country whose foreign health care policy is identical to its domestic health care policy – to serve the people by keeping them alive. If the United States attempted to match Cuba in global health care, doctor for doctor, it would cost Washington many tens of billions of dollars – far more than Havana spends on its total national budget. But, such a competition will never happen, because the purpose of U.S. foreign policy is to impose the rule of capital in every corner of the world and every aspect of life. Rather than match Cuba in medical assistance to poor nations, Washington ceaselessly pressures countries to expel Cuban doctors.

Read More

spiderkiss:

poppypicklesticks:

maraudere:

Josh Thomas talks about male suicide

I wonder how feminists will react to this

Probably ignore it then go back to making male tears mugs and gifs 

Actually this is a very common idea among feminists

It’s something feminists have been talking about for years it’s called toxic masculinity and it’s one of the common threads among the topic of ‘Patriarchy hurts men too’. If fact the first time I read about toxic masculinity was on a feminist blog.

If you actually read things feminists talk about instead of straw manning them you might know this but OH WELL

dynamicafrica:

In honor of International Literacy Day, I compiled a list of some of my favourite books written by African authors (with the exception of the book about Fela). There are many books I could’ve added to this post but these were the first that came to mind.

There’s no order to this list and each comes highly recommended as they, in some way, changed me for the better. If I had to pick a favourite it would undoubtedly be Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions simply because it was the first book I read in which I related so deeply to several of the characters - and still do. From Nyasha’s struggle with depression and being caught between two cultures she feels alienated by, to Tambu’s hunger for a world beyond her circumstances. Ugandan author Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol comes in a close second, it’s just about as cheeky and blunt as I am in some parts and, perhaps a little out of narcissism, is why I enjoyed it.

Between these 18 books you’ll find everything from the personal to the political, and everything in-between. There’s love, there’s romance, there’s struggle, there’s strife, there’s beauty and there’s ugly too. No story is as simple as their titles may suggest, just read Camara Laye’s L’enfant Noir (The African Child) that explores the author’s early childhood in Guinea under French colonisation, or South African writer Sol Plaatjie’s historical novel Mhudi written in 1919 that placed a woman at the center of a story that deals with survival, displacement and early European colonisation in South Africa.

For anyone interested in reading these books, I found some of them available online (not all are complete):

lesetoilesnoires:

mjwatson:

A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’
Imagine this:
The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.
Your world is full of freedom and possibility.
Then you pick up a newspaper or go online. You read about angry women ranting about sexism and inequality. You see phrases like ‘rape-culture’ and ‘slut-shaming.’ You furrow your brow and think to yourself: ‘What are they so angry about? There is no such thing as sexism anymore.’
Now imagine this: 
The year is 2013. You are a 25 year-old Pakistani woman. A few months ago, you married the man you love. A man you choose for yourself. You are also pregnant with his child. You see your life stretching out before you, filled with hope and happiness. Suddenly, you and your husband are dragged away from each other. You are both beaten with bricks and batons. You can’t fight back. You can’t escape. No one comes to help you. Through your fading vision, you look up, and look into the eyes of one of your assailants: into the eyes of your father.
The year is 2013. You are a 23 year-old Indian woman. You are a physiotherapy student with a promising career ahead of you. You are sitting on a private bus travelling home alone on a warm December evening. You gaze out of the window as the buildings of New Dheli rush past you and feel content. Suddenly, a blunt force hits the back of your head and you fall to the floor of the bus. A group of strange men are standing over you. They bring the metal bar down on you again and again and again until all you can taste is the blood filling up your mouth. You pray that you will die soon. And you do, but not then. You are raped, beaten, and tortured over and over again. Death is slow and agonising.
The year is 2014. You are a 13 year-old girl from Niger. You no longer live there though. You are now living in the neighbouring country Nigeria, sitting alone in small room on a small bed in a small apartment high above the city of Kano. You are not allowed to leave. Your stomach is swollen from the unwanted life growing inside of it. You had no choice. The father is a man in his 40s. He is a businessman. He has bought you as his wife. You were a penniless, uneducated girl when he came for you. You don’t know of any life you could have had. Neither did your family: just one less mouth for them to feed. You still have the body of a child, and it’s straining under the pressure from the one inside of you. You feel like you’re about to be split in two. You don’t wonder if you will survive the birth. A part of you doesn’t want to.
These are fictionalised accounts of real events that have happened to real women living in our world today. They follow the past 250 years of women and men campaigning for women to be given equal rights to men to prevent these kinds of injustices and abuses on the grounds of gender taking place. Over the course of this time, campaigners – Feminists, both female and male – have been locked up, beaten, tortured, and even killed, in the pursuit of equality. They did this with pen and ink and print; they did this with their voices; they did this with their bodies; they did this with art and music; they did in courts of law and halls and houses of government that they fought be to allowed into.
They did this so that women would no longer been seen as property, livestock, breeding machines, sex objects, punching bags, or infantile morons. They did this not just for themselves, but also for their daughters, and their daughters, and their daughters for generations to come. They did this for women they would never meet – women who lived across countries, across vast oceans, across the entire globe, and even across time.
They did this so that women like me – a white Western woman – could attend school and university; to learn to read, write, and think critically; to gain a degree; to get a job and be paid an equal salary to a man in the same position; and to sit here with my own computer and type all of this.
Feminism is a movement for freedom, equality, choice, love, compassion, respect, solidarity, and education. We may argue, we may disagree, we may struggle to understand the choices and perspectives of others sometimes, but these core beliefs of the movement have never changed, and they never will.
That is why I am a Feminist.
If you feel that you have so far lived your life unaffected by even the mildest form of sexism – anything from feeling uncomfortable when a man catcalls you in the street, to feeling scared walking home alone at night in a secluded area – and are treated with love and respect by every man in your life, then to you I say: I’m glad for you. If you don’t think you need feminism, then that is a victory for the movement. You have fulfilled all those dreams that every suffragette being force-fed in prison and every ‘witch’ burnt at the stake dreamed you would one day.
But perhaps take a second to consider the life of the Pakistani woman who was beaten to death by her own family for marrying a man of her choosing. Or the life of the Indian woman who was raped, beaten, and murdered on a bus by a gang of men. Or the life of the little girl in Niger who was sold to a man more than twice her own age and forced to carry a baby that may kill her to deliver. Do they still need feminism?
And perhaps take a second to consider this too: Even in our liberal, Western world, why do women still only fill 24% of senior management jobs? Why are more women than men domestically abused or even killed every week at the hands of their male partner or ex-partner? Why is there still a pay gap (in the UK specifically) of 15% for women doing the same jobs and working the same hours as men?
And what about on a cultural level? Have you ever noticed how comedy panel shows usually only have one female panellist compared to 4-5 male ones? That almost every dieting product on the market is solely aimed at women? How a lot of newspapers and advertising campaigns will use a sexualised or pornographic image of a woman to sell news or products that have nothing to do with sex?
Or perhaps on a personal level: Do you choose to wear certain clothes because you want to or because you feel ‘unfeminine’ if you don’t? Do you choose to cover yourself up because you want to or because you feel ashamed or intimidated by a man looking at your body? Do you shave your legs and underarm hair because you want to or because you will look ‘ugly’ if you don’t? Did you parents dress you in pink as a baby because they liked the colour or because you were born a girl? Do you want to have children because you want to or because you are a woman?
When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, do you see yourself through your own eyes, or through the eyes of the men that will look at you when you walk out the door?
The fact is, like it or not, you still live a world where gender matters. Where gender controls not just the entire course of your life – but the lives of women all over the world. Every second, a child will be born female in a country where she will persecuted for this random biological occurrence for the rest of her life. So before you hold up your anti-Feminist placard proudly and smile at your own sense of empowerment, think not what Feminism can do for you, but what it can do for that one girl. She needs someone to stand up for her. That someone could be you.
[ x ]

The above sums up pretty well why many women of colour within the so-called ‘Western countries’ and those outside are very alienated with the [mainstream] feminism. 
The idea that to show a White young woman in the West why and how she needs feminism, or why and how she has benefited from feminism, you have to appeal to the ‘tragic plight’ of Women of Colour ‘elsewhere’, turn these Women of Colour into caricatures of victimhood while contrasting it with White, middle-class women as ‘empowered subjects’, is simply condescending in the best case and outright racist in the worst case.
Do you want to talk about why we need feminism in North America or Europe? Talk about how they are more likely to be raped than to receive equal pay. Talk about how domestic violence is a very real danger that they are more likely than not to face before they die. Talk about how they will be shunned or belittled solely because they dared to like something, a subculture or a profession often associated with men. Talk about how people and the society will value them only based on how close their bodies come to some imaginary, nonexistent beauty standard.
You don’t have to stroke the egos of these women rejecting feminism by turning billions of others into mere victims, into a hierarchical category in which they are fundamentally ‘less’.
Also: no, you are not leading a comfortable life because of only feminist history in Europe and North America. You don’t have a decent job, a nice home, or enough money, or access to internet because of feminism. In fact, there are many, million and millions of people in your country who don’t have those luxuries. You are living a comfortable middle class life in the US or wherever else in the oh-so-developed-West because your civilisation has plundered, colonised, and exploited other countries and peoples for decades in a scale that is unprecedented in human history. Enslavement of millions built the US, allowed many luxuries to the mostly White middle and upper classes of the US; not White Feminist women from 19th century. You owe your wifi and car and comfortable living to a genocidal history, not to Anna Howard Shaw or Mary Wollstonecraft. There are many still in these ‘developed’ portions of our world constantly exploited, often people of colour, especially women of colour, who will not only earn less than White men but also less than White women. The idea of erasing class, race, religion, ethnic, sexual and myriad other aspects of social, cultural, economic, and political realities and reducing a state solely to the earning of a single movement is not just ignorant, but unjust because it will allow you to ignore the injustices your luxuries are based on and the injustices that are still affecting you and those around you in varying degrees. 
Also: about those ‘women elsewhere’, have you thought about how much of their plight is actually an end-result of the politics in your country, in your history? Gender does not live in a vacuum, neither does sexuality as emphasised previously. Experiences of these women are marred with injustices perpetrated in the past and wars still waged, a cultural hegemony imposed upon them greatly still. I alongside many were denied access to education, am still denied access to equal work opportunities and discriminated de jure and de facto solely because I wear ‘hijab’ in my own country somewhere in Middle East, and the inspiration of this discrimination is a staunchly hateful concept of laïcité imported from France. Many queer people in Middle East and Indian subcontinent are targeted and discriminated not on the basis of their authentic and original cultural attitudes towards queer sexuality and gender, but the 19th century colonialist-imposed heteronormative norms.
Also: why do we never hear the positive contributions of women of colour, their achievements or some of the better attitudes in non-Western world? Hear about these women who contributed a lot to the global feminist movement? About feminist worker rights movements in early 20th century Ottoman Empire? Why do we never, for example, see the contrast made in the above post, just in opposite order? My country had a female Prime Minister in the 90s and while I despise her political stance and the fact that she was able to achieve that status had a lot to do with her socioeconomic privilege, it does not change the fact that nobody debated her gender in regards to her competency. Yet, I see the stupidest kinds of debates still happening in the US, arguments of whether or not PMS makes a woman a bad candidate for leadership; why do we never see the contrast made above, with same hierarchical tone in this case? “Oh, imagine if you were in a country in 2014 where they still debated if the fact that you bleed from your vagina once in a while makes you less reliable as a leader.” We don’t. There is a reason we don’t: race. Racism. Cultural hegemony stemming from that racism. That ‘there must be’ hierarchical comparisons and the oh-so-superior-West shall never be the one that’s less.
I am a feminist. I have defined myself as a feminist for years now. But there are moments, when I see posts like above and the title of “feminist” suddenly feels like a disgusting piece of clothing smothering me. I feel the urge to peel it off me as fast as I can. It is alienating to know that we will forever be only the victim in the eyes of many other women who call themselves feminists; we will be poster-child of “what if this was you”, that our contributions will forever be ignored, that the contributions of your society, your government, your ideas of race, your civilisation in our past and current issues will never be acknowledged while our cultures and societies are considered monolithic and shallowly vilified. 
If this is your feminism, I want no part in it.

lesetoilesnoires:

mjwatson:

A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’

Imagine this:

The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.

Your world is full of freedom and possibility.

Then you pick up a newspaper or go online. You read about angry women ranting about sexism and inequality. You see phrases like ‘rape-culture’ and ‘slut-shaming.’ You furrow your brow and think to yourself: ‘What are they so angry about? There is no such thing as sexism anymore.’

Now imagine this:

The year is 2013. You are a 25 year-old Pakistani woman. A few months ago, you married the man you love. A man you choose for yourself. You are also pregnant with his child. You see your life stretching out before you, filled with hope and happiness. Suddenly, you and your husband are dragged away from each other. You are both beaten with bricks and batons. You can’t fight back. You can’t escape. No one comes to help you. Through your fading vision, you look up, and look into the eyes of one of your assailants: into the eyes of your father.

The year is 2013. You are a 23 year-old Indian woman. You are a physiotherapy student with a promising career ahead of you. You are sitting on a private bus travelling home alone on a warm December evening. You gaze out of the window as the buildings of New Dheli rush past you and feel content. Suddenly, a blunt force hits the back of your head and you fall to the floor of the bus. A group of strange men are standing over you. They bring the metal bar down on you again and again and again until all you can taste is the blood filling up your mouth. You pray that you will die soon. And you do, but not then. You are raped, beaten, and tortured over and over again. Death is slow and agonising.

The year is 2014. You are a 13 year-old girl from Niger. You no longer live there though. You are now living in the neighbouring country Nigeria, sitting alone in small room on a small bed in a small apartment high above the city of Kano. You are not allowed to leave. Your stomach is swollen from the unwanted life growing inside of it. You had no choice. The father is a man in his 40s. He is a businessman. He has bought you as his wife. You were a penniless, uneducated girl when he came for you. You don’t know of any life you could have had. Neither did your family: just one less mouth for them to feed. You still have the body of a child, and it’s straining under the pressure from the one inside of you. You feel like you’re about to be split in two. You don’t wonder if you will survive the birth. A part of you doesn’t want to.

These are fictionalised accounts of real events that have happened to real women living in our world today. They follow the past 250 years of women and men campaigning for women to be given equal rights to men to prevent these kinds of injustices and abuses on the grounds of gender taking place. Over the course of this time, campaigners – Feminists, both female and male – have been locked up, beaten, tortured, and even killed, in the pursuit of equality. They did this with pen and ink and print; they did this with their voices; they did this with their bodies; they did this with art and music; they did in courts of law and halls and houses of government that they fought be to allowed into.

They did this so that women would no longer been seen as property, livestock, breeding machines, sex objects, punching bags, or infantile morons. They did this not just for themselves, but also for their daughters, and their daughters, and their daughters for generations to come. They did this for women they would never meet – women who lived across countries, across vast oceans, across the entire globe, and even across time.

They did this so that women like me – a white Western woman – could attend school and university; to learn to read, write, and think critically; to gain a degree; to get a job and be paid an equal salary to a man in the same position; and to sit here with my own computer and type all of this.

Feminism is a movement for freedom, equality, choice, love, compassion, respect, solidarity, and education. We may argue, we may disagree, we may struggle to understand the choices and perspectives of others sometimes, but these core beliefs of the movement have never changed, and they never will.

That is why I am a Feminist.

If you feel that you have so far lived your life unaffected by even the mildest form of sexism – anything from feeling uncomfortable when a man catcalls you in the street, to feeling scared walking home alone at night in a secluded area – and are treated with love and respect by every man in your life, then to you I say: I’m glad for you. If you don’t think you need feminism, then that is a victory for the movement. You have fulfilled all those dreams that every suffragette being force-fed in prison and every ‘witch’ burnt at the stake dreamed you would one day.

But perhaps take a second to consider the life of the Pakistani woman who was beaten to death by her own family for marrying a man of her choosing. Or the life of the Indian woman who was raped, beaten, and murdered on a bus by a gang of men. Or the life of the little girl in Niger who was sold to a man more than twice her own age and forced to carry a baby that may kill her to deliver. Do they still need feminism?

And perhaps take a second to consider this too: Even in our liberal, Western world, why do women still only fill 24% of senior management jobs? Why are more women than men domestically abused or even killed every week at the hands of their male partner or ex-partner? Why is there still a pay gap (in the UK specifically) of 15% for women doing the same jobs and working the same hours as men?

And what about on a cultural level? Have you ever noticed how comedy panel shows usually only have one female panellist compared to 4-5 male ones? That almost every dieting product on the market is solely aimed at women? How a lot of newspapers and advertising campaigns will use a sexualised or pornographic image of a woman to sell news or products that have nothing to do with sex?

Or perhaps on a personal level: Do you choose to wear certain clothes because you want to or because you feel ‘unfeminine’ if you don’t? Do you choose to cover yourself up because you want to or because you feel ashamed or intimidated by a man looking at your body? Do you shave your legs and underarm hair because you want to or because you will look ‘ugly’ if you don’t? Did you parents dress you in pink as a baby because they liked the colour or because you were born a girl? Do you want to have children because you want to or because you are a woman?

When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, do you see yourself through your own eyes, or through the eyes of the men that will look at you when you walk out the door?

The fact is, like it or not, you still live a world where gender matters. Where gender controls not just the entire course of your life – but the lives of women all over the world. Every second, a child will be born female in a country where she will persecuted for this random biological occurrence for the rest of her life. So before you hold up your anti-Feminist placard proudly and smile at your own sense of empowerment, think not what Feminism can do for you, but what it can do for that one girl. She needs someone to stand up for her. That someone could be you.

[ x ]

The above sums up pretty well why many women of colour within the so-called ‘Western countries’ and those outside are very alienated with the [mainstream] feminism. 

The idea that to show a White young woman in the West why and how she needs feminism, or why and how she has benefited from feminism, you have to appeal to the ‘tragic plight’ of Women of Colour ‘elsewhere’, turn these Women of Colour into caricatures of victimhood while contrasting it with White, middle-class women as ‘empowered subjects’, is simply condescending in the best case and outright racist in the worst case.

Do you want to talk about why we need feminism in North America or Europe? Talk about how they are more likely to be raped than to receive equal pay. Talk about how domestic violence is a very real danger that they are more likely than not to face before they die. Talk about how they will be shunned or belittled solely because they dared to like something, a subculture or a profession often associated with men. Talk about how people and the society will value them only based on how close their bodies come to some imaginary, nonexistent beauty standard.

You don’t have to stroke the egos of these women rejecting feminism by turning billions of others into mere victims, into a hierarchical category in which they are fundamentally ‘less’.

Also: no, you are not leading a comfortable life because of only feminist history in Europe and North America. You don’t have a decent job, a nice home, or enough money, or access to internet because of feminism. In fact, there are many, million and millions of people in your country who don’t have those luxuries. You are living a comfortable middle class life in the US or wherever else in the oh-so-developed-West because your civilisation has plundered, colonised, and exploited other countries and peoples for decades in a scale that is unprecedented in human history. Enslavement of millions built the US, allowed many luxuries to the mostly White middle and upper classes of the US; not White Feminist women from 19th century. You owe your wifi and car and comfortable living to a genocidal history, not to Anna Howard Shaw or Mary Wollstonecraft. There are many still in these ‘developed’ portions of our world constantly exploited, often people of colour, especially women of colour, who will not only earn less than White men but also less than White women. The idea of erasing class, race, religion, ethnic, sexual and myriad other aspects of social, cultural, economic, and political realities and reducing a state solely to the earning of a single movement is not just ignorant, but unjust because it will allow you to ignore the injustices your luxuries are based on and the injustices that are still affecting you and those around you in varying degrees. 

Also: about those ‘women elsewhere’, have you thought about how much of their plight is actually an end-result of the politics in your country, in your history? Gender does not live in a vacuum, neither does sexuality as emphasised previously. Experiences of these women are marred with injustices perpetrated in the past and wars still waged, a cultural hegemony imposed upon them greatly still. I alongside many were denied access to education, am still denied access to equal work opportunities and discriminated de jure and de facto solely because I wear ‘hijab’ in my own country somewhere in Middle East, and the inspiration of this discrimination is a staunchly hateful concept of laïcité imported from France. Many queer people in Middle East and Indian subcontinent are targeted and discriminated not on the basis of their authentic and original cultural attitudes towards queer sexuality and gender, but the 19th century colonialist-imposed heteronormative norms.

Also: why do we never hear the positive contributions of women of colour, their achievements or some of the better attitudes in non-Western world? Hear about these women who contributed a lot to the global feminist movement? About feminist worker rights movements in early 20th century Ottoman Empire? Why do we never, for example, see the contrast made in the above post, just in opposite order? My country had a female Prime Minister in the 90s and while I despise her political stance and the fact that she was able to achieve that status had a lot to do with her socioeconomic privilege, it does not change the fact that nobody debated her gender in regards to her competency. Yet, I see the stupidest kinds of debates still happening in the US, arguments of whether or not PMS makes a woman a bad candidate for leadership; why do we never see the contrast made above, with same hierarchical tone in this case? “Oh, imagine if you were in a country in 2014 where they still debated if the fact that you bleed from your vagina once in a while makes you less reliable as a leader.” We don’t. There is a reason we don’t: race. Racism. Cultural hegemony stemming from that racism. That ‘there must be’ hierarchical comparisons and the oh-so-superior-West shall never be the one that’s less.

I am a feminist. I have defined myself as a feminist for years now. But there are moments, when I see posts like above and the title of “feminist” suddenly feels like a disgusting piece of clothing smothering me. I feel the urge to peel it off me as fast as I can. It is alienating to know that we will forever be only the victim in the eyes of many other women who call themselves feminists; we will be poster-child of “what if this was you”, that our contributions will forever be ignored, that the contributions of your society, your government, your ideas of race, your civilisation in our past and current issues will never be acknowledged while our cultures and societies are considered monolithic and shallowly vilified. 

If this is your feminism, I want no part in it.

dynamicafrica:

Kenyan Woman Makes Desperate Plea to Be Rescued From Abusive Employer in Saudi Arabia.

This is heartbreaking.

Njeri Mwaura, a Kenyan woman in Saudi Arabia, recorded and uploaded this desperate plea asking her fellow Kenyans to help rescue her from the country.

In the tearful video, Mwaura is visibly shaken and tearful as she details the ways in which her employer in Saudi Arabia is mistreating - including starving her for several days. Mwaura states that she got her job through an agent in Nairobi before arriving in Saudi Arabia.

One of the saddest aspects of this appeal is that Mwaura’s story is far from unique. Saudi Arabia has a terrible record when it comes to the treatment and protection of domestic workers in the country.

(H/T: Ghetto Radio Kenya)

ravensrandoms:

drziggystardust:

skeptikhaleesi:

Some interesting info: This is very reminiscent of the Baby X experiments, in which it was discovered that people reacted differently to a baby’s behavior depending on whether or not they believed the baby to be male or female.  People were asked to watch a video of a baby reacting to a startling image (a Jack-in-the-box popping up), and describe the baby’s emotional state.  When people believed the baby to be female, they described the baby as being scared and upset; when they thought the baby was male, they perceived the baby to be angry.  This was very telling, as it showed that literally identical behavior could be construed differently based on the perceived gender of the subject.

Now imagine a lifetime of gender specific socialization- male anger is par for the course while the same emotion in a woman is personal weakness. Ha oh sorry don’t have to imagine THAT’S REALITY 

Yes.

ravensrandoms:

drziggystardust:

skeptikhaleesi:

Some interesting info: This is very reminiscent of the Baby X experiments, in which it was discovered that people reacted differently to a baby’s behavior depending on whether or not they believed the baby to be male or female.  People were asked to watch a video of a baby reacting to a startling image (a Jack-in-the-box popping up), and describe the baby’s emotional state.  When people believed the baby to be female, they described the baby as being scared and upset; when they thought the baby was male, they perceived the baby to be angry.  This was very telling, as it showed that literally identical behavior could be construed differently based on the perceived gender of the subject.

Now imagine a lifetime of gender specific socialization- male anger is par for the course while the same emotion in a woman is personal weakness. Ha oh sorry don’t have to imagine THAT’S REALITY 

Yes.

thisbridgecalledmyback:

svllywood:

Ben Affleck speaks about Islamophobia X

ON BILL MAHERS ISLAMOPHOBIC ASS SHOW GO AWFF AND EID MUBARAK BROTHERS AND SISTERS

okay um yas

wallahibro:

stop scrolling and fucking read my words and reblog this. i don’t care how you do it but fucking share this right now.

i’m going to type like one of those annoying ass people who bold their words and speak in caps too and i hate those people on here but who the fck cares just listen to me.

ISIS is honing in on the kurdish city of kobane (ayn al-arab in arabic), which is right on the border with turkey. over 400,000 kurds have left their native town out of fear. during this whole time, ISIS has been massacring people who are mostly kurds living in the villages around kobane.

young kurdish men are being BEHEADED in the streets. kurdish yezidi and assyrian women and girls are raped, kidnapped, and sold into sex slavery. NOW OTHER FAMILIES ARE ACTUALLY KILLING THEIR YOUNG DAUGHTERS TO PREVENT THIS. GIRLS AS YOUNG AS 8 OR 12 ARE JUMPING OFF CLIFFS TO AVOID THIS LIFE AND YOU’RE IGNORING THIS.

i’m used to this because no one cares about the kurds. no one cares about the minorities of the middle east. it’s been 130 years of genocides after genocides after massacres after village destruction and internal displacements that i’m immune to this but this is just too much. we have our own protection services but we are working on little to no money and weapons from the early 1990s and 2000s. how are we going to protect ourselves from a terrorist group who has millions of dollars to their name and turkey to protect them?

now turkey has been denying they support ISIS in any way possible but how can they not be supporting them when the foreign defense minister pardoned them of their crimes? how can they not be supporting ISIS when they allow future militants from the US and europe to go through its borders and enter syria via secret border holes that are actually facilitated by the turkish military? and then when they are injured they’re rushed off to turkey where they get intensive hospital care in all the border towns, how is that not support?

my question to you is, when will you care? when, after how many weeks of the topic of ISIS being on the news, did you stop caring? was it the moment you heard “another conflict in the middle east”? or are millions of lives at stake just a grain of sand to you while you try to block it all out to focus on stupid ass marvel movies or a movie about a goddamn raccoon?

why have i only seen support for us kurds by warmongers and weird conservatives who think a woman who is putting her life on the line to protect her family and country is the definition of feminism even though she has no choice?

THIS IS REAL AND THIS IS SERIOUS.

if thousands of people can rally together to support palestine in the street, in art, in movies, and on the internet, you can do this, too. don’t be a goddamn hypocrite AND SUBSEQUENTLY SUPPORT A GENOCIDE OF ANCIENT PEOPLE, DUDE.

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