There's obviously a lot wrong with food culture and food in the United States
I feel there's a lot wrong with the TV show "My 600-lb Life" on The Learning Channel as well ( first, it's a weird channel that has shows about wedding dresses, which I didn't think would be on a channel prescribed as a"learning channel" ) But aside from its problematic parent channel, showcasing exploitative reality shows and very little really informative content, the show is problematic in itself and what it portrays
One of my biggest problems with it is how these severely obese ADDICTED people are "helped"
The people featured in this program have serious addictions to food, and they should be in rehab, just like alcoholics and drug addicts go into rehab to deal WITH THEIR addictions
But they don't. They just put them in the hospital for a bit, put them on a liquid diet, then discharge them when they've lost some weight and tell them to do the rest on their own.
Then when they fail, as they inevitably do, the doctor scolds them, shames them, reminds them they are dying, and tells them to quit playing games
It is seriously obtuse
How are people who didn't practice healthy eating habits to the point where they got over six hundred pounds going to change overnight their eating habits? They probably don't even know how to cook, and they don't even know what constitutes good food
In this rehab, that I would imagine for these patients, they would get classes, information, TRAINING as to what is healthy, and how to prepare it
If they offer classes to diabetes at diabetes clinics on how and what to eat, and how to administer insulin, why not a class connected to the rehabilitation of a food-addicted person?
How to shop, how to wash produce, how to chop produce, how to manage your time, how to store food, how to save for later
Why processed foods are bad and why you should avoid them
What really struck me about this program is when these patients get sent to live in an apartment in Houston Texas ( where the weight loss surgeon resides) to lose the requisite weight before approval for weight loss surgery, and they have nothing to do. You see these people just moping around their apartment, laying in bed, not knowing what to do with themselves, and willfully resisting exercise or preparation of food
Fine. They are too big to go grocery shopping; they cannot even leave the apartment without huge amounts of help. But whoever is helping them could buy them good food, and these people, instead of sitting around bored and tempted to eat, could be standing on their feet ( which is also a form of exercise), cooking
Washing, prepping, freezing, thawing, chopping, COOKING IS WORK
It can also be therapeutic. And I get it, not everyone enjoys cooking, but I'm sure you'd get a good portion of these patients who would enjoy it, and it would be tremendously helpful to them
When I think about how much work I put into preparing food from scratch because I am at a point in my life where I absolutely loath restaurants and resent how expensive and unsatisfactory most of the food offered is, I realize it is practically a second jobs and it's A LIFESTYLE
Maybe they DO offer these patients classes about...food?
Well, I have seen episodes where patients go to therapists, and one went to water therapy.
Otherwise, of the episodes I've seen, none of them has taken patients on trips to learn about food preparation, anon one comes to their house to help them out with that
I shared an office at a former job with a woman who went on a plant-based diet for a documentary.
She was given a manual and some lessons on how to cook and what-not, but she found herself reverting to a few very simple standbys ( like a bowl of unsalted, no oil or butter popcorn for dinner) and after she lost the weight, no support for how to continue and maintain her weight loss
She went back to eating the foods that got her into trouble in the first place : fried chicken, fast food, snack chips.
She went from eating a diet of almost all processed foods to a few vegan staples and then her support was dropped; that's hard for someone who has few developed notions about unprocessed food
Basically, the show reflects America's dysfunctions with food - it doesn't address the problem of processed foods, it doesn't address the lack of a wholesome food cultures and it doesn't promote individuals making their own food to stay healthy
Lara Daniels went to nutrition school, but the internship was too expensive
(What is it indeed?)
it's a cult
Youthful and excited to make change, mad at your parents and the rest of the world, maybe a bit vulnerable, know-it-all, and insecure, leftist activism takes a lot of victims.
Activism is a phenomenon in isolationist societies in the United States ( and other Western countries), where people rarely exist in organic communities of individuals who look out for one another. It's an unnatural liberal phenomenon available to elitist individuals who don't exist in actual life or death struggles, but want to represent people who do
Just as cults want to create a paradise on Earth for their members, and utilize them for financial or human resources, activist groups operate pretty similarly, and prey on individuals dealing with the same struggles for meaning and relevance in this world
it will lower your self-esteem
Unless your soul has totally aligned with "the cause" like the sun and the moon in a lunar eclipse, the human relationship dynamics of your activist group are gonna get you down. I used to be so obsessed with politics and so believed I was a part of something great and effectual, that when people demeaned me, I didn't notice at first, and even when I started to notice, I still didn't do anything about it
Just like in high school, you're gonna see the rise of more charismatic, egotistical individuals who will determine the direction of the group, and everyone else is gonna follow along like slaves. These people will pair off into romantic couples, and will eventually make decisions and impose rules upon everyone else without the input of everyone else, believing they are more knowledgable and superior to everyone else ( and they will have already acted like this from the beginning, but it will really take off as your activist efforts progress)
You will have a great idea (yeah, it really will be great too) but the more popular girl in your group will always get to speak and when you state your idea, everyone will 1) acknowledge it for a nano-second, thank you for speaking up because this is supposed to be about "consensus" and "not silencing voices" but then everyone will poo-poo it but they'll look good because "see? they let people speak!" 2) it will be like you said nothing at all, and only the lonely trees in the forest, and the solitary stagnant pond heard your words
You will feel more and more alienated because you will be ignored, but then there will be the times you will not be ignored but these will be the times you are being bossed around to do a project that if you refuse to do it, you will be exposed for not being progressive enough
I have real-life experience in this, but if you don't believe me, you can always read Mark Rudd's account of his time in the Weather Underground. The documentary ( it's called "The Weather Underground" ) about the sixties' radical leftist group that broke off from the "Students for a Democratic Society" to form a more militant faction wasn't entirely accurate when it portrayed the leaders of the group. There are a few dissenting voices in that documentary, but if you read Rudd's memoir, you will learn that he had been ejected from the leadership of the group quite early on and spent most of his time running from the law ( the documentary doesn't mention he was no longer in the top leadership).
It was basically dominated by a handful of individuals who controlled the narrative of the group and demanded an obedience to uncomfortable "free love" practices and training for violent protest situations; it became a fascist organization based on cult of personality, as most groups usually become
A powerful inner circle inevitably forms, and these individuals set the tone and make the rules for the group. If you deviate, you don't "think right", and an intervention, bullying, or exile, is necessary
it's a form of exploitation
Aside from radical groups who exploit their less powerful members for resources and obedience, non-profit organizations function similarly and can be even more appalling in their resemblance to actual capitalistic enterprises
I once worked for an environmental organization that regularly told its' supporters that one hundred percent of fundraising went toward its' environmental campaigns.
Much to my chagrin, collecting the money to pay the phone canvassers and door-to-door canvassers was what they meant, because when i tried to rise in the ranks to become a program director, I learned I would have to earn my salary though phone canvassing and then ask for more money for the actual campaigns by writing grants and asking foundations for money. So, you see, it was kind of misleading
No one was allowed to make more than a certain amount in the organization (which is fine, because it applied even to the executive level) , but at one point, employees tried to unionize and were rebutted. I worked a second job because this job didn't provide forty hours a week, and the health insurance would have taken a huge cut of my paycheck, so I got it by working at Starbucks ( which would give you health insurance for twenty hours a week). There was a lot of expectation of doing a lot of stuff for free, even at one point having to do free labor for a more executive employee working on an art project for school. ( There was also nepotism, as an employee with no interest in advancing was offered an advanced position because her father had worked at the organization decades before)
This particular group is on the outs, not being able to harness enough cash from people already struggling in a murky economy, but the point is, non-profits eventually end up exploiting their employees and supporters in order to simply maintain themselves. The organization I worked for began to eschew smaller, more effective campaigns putting pressure on smaller companies and started piggy-backing on larger environmental organizations that had the resources to actually do some scientific research and wage national campaigns. Our phone calls were a boring public service announcement, and I gotta tell you, delivering letters of complaint to plant management, yard signs, and staging temporary outdoor demonstrations for photo-ops ( that one I really couldn't believe, having spent many hours at huge anti-capitalist protests under risk of arrest and physical harm ) are not only cheap and insincere strategies, they are ineffective in a void of community support
A lot of the kids who worked there were leftist-leaning, idealistic youths who really believed in the mission of the organization; they were fired if they didn't. Their enthusiasm brought in the money, but when your attitude changed, you were gone, no longer useful
But this is not to say that all of these groups are completely useless, or are incompetent or have ill intentions; they usually start out pretty well-intended, and can accomplish a lot. But like most activist endeavors, they degrade into eventual nothingness, eating themselves out
This being said, you should go out and start one
Well, maybe not totally useless, because if allowed by the winners of history, it becomes a part of the narrative of history, and it can point the way for others. Revolutions and major changes in society usually occur though, when the reigning power structure is already breaking down
what i think
I'm a big proponent of "lifestyle activism". Or anarchism ( to piss off certain people )
(No, I'm just kidding, I don't believe in anarchism)
But I do believe in people taking care of their own interests, not being a burden to others, and then being able to create a community that is thus resistant to oppression
Make a list of the things that are important to you, and follow that. Then you'll attract people who are like yourself. And then you should hang out, and then maybe your group will get bigger
I believe in the three Cul-s: Cultivate Cultures not Cults
Cultures are the reflection of their constituents
But do it for yourself
Here's what I came up with for myself:
Freedom - of thought and speech. Hate speech IS free speech. Bloody tampon art is too. The freedom to express myself, like how I choose, and not be punished for it by either society or the government
Independence - creation of wealth through means that are not totally oppressive to others. Being frugal, and not frittering money away, allowing me to be free to make decisions and not be held hostage by financial considerations
Feminism - the right and ability to choose my own destiny and not be judged due to my biological sex, within the parameters of justice
Environmentalism - I want to swim in Lake Erie without the fear of getting ill. I want to swim and sail in the Cuyahoga without the fear of death. I want to eat fish from these water sources. I want to breathe clean air. How can we escape the tyranny of institutions when wealthy people and corporations own all the land and pollute it as well? Now I have to pay to use a chlorinated community pool? When centuries ago is would have been free and easier and cleaner in a natural source available to all? How can I escape into the woods and live self-sufficiently outside of a growing fascist state if I cannot rely on natural sources of water to drink and plants and animals to eat?
Self- sufficiency - And how can I take advantage of nature's bounty, if I don't know anything about it? This is also how Americans are controlled, because they don't know basic things which would help them survive in a catastrophe. They don't know basic things to survive in the modern day world. They are easy pickings for marketeers and companies because they have so little knowledge to fortify a resistance to the compulsion to consume; they are told they are bereft of everything, and therefore must submit to consumerism fill in these gaps
Lorona Candida Mercedes Chevette doesn't really feel "American" because she grew up in an Amish community
Shows from the eighties are balm to my soul (okay, late eighties, nineties)
It's a way to go back to childhood, a time of relative comfort and security, compared to the social media and technological hell we live in now
History has been captured: the way people dressed, the way they spoke, how they really acted, the colors of the day
And none of it a re-creation - all of it from that actual time period, the 80's
When I watched the show as a kid, I didn't have the distance of time to notice how unlike what I thought people spoke like was how everyone spoke
What I mean is, watching the people being interviewed on Unsolved Mysteries, I notice that these people from the 80's, people in general (my expression for "average people", because I believe the other expression is a slight to all of us involved ) talked like people from the sixties
Strangely subdued and unenthusiastic, with accents and expressions as carefully uttered as if they were still living in that era
And I wonder to myself: "Did I speak like that? And do I now speak more hyperactively, to keep up with the times?"
I know I live in an American city where buildings from the fifties and sixties still exist, and it has registered like never before
Time is really passing by NOW
We are finally modern NOW
But I digress!
Watching Unsolved Mysteries, that spooky-as-fuck mystery show ( the theme music still makes me want to shit my pants), I get freaked the heck out by the story of "The Boys on the Tracks" ( the actual title of a book later to be written about the case)
It happened in Arkansas, and it was the strange occurrence of two boys laid out on a railroad tracks to be run over by a train. The criminally incompetent state medical examiner at the time ruled that the boys had inhaled enough marijuana to cause them to pass out, perfectly aligned, on the train tracks, but this could not have happened, according to actual competent experts and honest people with brains
So it was finally determined, after the parents raised a fuss and demanded a reopening of the investigation during a press conference, that the deaths were homicides ( even though it would not be officially updated on their death certificates for YEARS to come)
Basically, the boys stumbled upon drug activity, something they weren't supposed to see, and they were murdered, and their bodies placed on the railroad tracks to obliterate the evidence
Of course, this was not covered in the episode of Unsolved Mysteries, even though in a subsequent episode, an update was provided on the case, where the homicide ruling was confidently declared and one of the lawyers conducting the grand jury investigation told Robert Stack that the boys were murdered for coming across drug activity, and that there had been a cover up
It was sheepishly performed damage control, and it is sort of surprising to me that the case was even presented on the show, given that law enforcement and the media in Arkansas worked their darnedest to try to get people to forget about it and to dismiss the case altogether
But Arkansas, Arkansas....as soon as they said Arkansas. I was like "Oh my GOD. Could it be the Clintons again???" and then fifteen minutes later "OH MY GOD! It's the Clintons!"
Like first he bombs the hell out of my parents' homeland, defying international law, and gets away with it scot-free, doesn't have to go to the Hague as the war criminal he most definitely IS. Then he signs NAFTA, helping to destroy jobs in the United States, and making us fatter, according to Truthstreammedia.com's Aaron Dykes. He has sex with legions of women and is an alleged rapist. He enacts welfare reform and three-strikes-you're-out, he pretty much did the bidding of the Republican party during his tenure as President, but everywhere he goes, people admire how "classy" he is; it's seriously Orwellian
But I've met people who will never acknowledge any of his crimes. All the negative stuff about the Clintons and especially Bill, are just "crap". They admire how he "got around those Republicans" ( yeah, Howard Zinn would agree). The brainwashing technique of good cop vs bad cop that goes on in this country is so mega effective, and these particular techniques frequently utilized by the Clintons when accused of nefarious dealings are super-effective :
1) distance yourself
Linda Ives, the mother of Kevin Ives, one of the murdered boys, never had a vendetta against the Clintons
She was one of these unlucky people who didn't care about politics or anything, but was rudely sucked into the horrific realities of injustice and privilege in our country. For people who claim the US doesn't have political murders or deep- seated corruption, whew, she could tell you a thing or two
Reading "The Boys on the Tracks" by Mara Leveritt was a harrowing experience. It was like reading "The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women" by Kate Moore. Actually, it's like reading any book about industry exposes and political corruption, because they all go the same way. They are very hard to read if you care about justice. The realization sinks in that the protagonists of these sagas fight tooth and nail for justice and have the door slammed in their faces over and over and over again, and by ordinary people; you realize there really is no justice in this land, except for the very wealthy, and the very corrupt. And unlike Hollywood movies where the main character struggles and finally makes it to a happy ending, there are no satisfactory conclusions to any of these stories, because people in institutions, the main perpetrators, and the petty employees beholden to these individuals, all do their part to maintain the cover-up to maintain the injustice. The outcomes of grand juries and investigations are heart-beaking and maddening, as they all succumb to corruption and people like Mrs. Ives are gaslit and mocked and tortured all over again
In 2016 Linda Ives filed a lawsuit against the US government for information pertaining to her son's murder, and has yet to hear back. This was barely news during the 2016 Presidential elections
The extent of Bill Clinton's involvement in drug running in Arkansas can only be speculated upon, because he was very good at deflecting attention from himself concerning the scandal (remember those techniques I mentioned?) But it was uncovered that the CIA had connections to one Barry Seal, who had been transporting drugs and armaments to and from South America from his base in Mena, Arkansas. He was delivering weapons in exchange for drugs for the Contras in Nicaragua, a cause heavily supported by Reagan and his cronies like Oliver North, but were legally and officially prohibited from participating in, a cause heavily supported by both Democratic and Republican party members in fact.)
The most currently credible connection you can make between Clinton and the case of the boys is his despicable disregard for the pain of the parents through the continued support of the state's corrupt medical examiner, Fahmy Malak. Malak was a notoriously incompetent and arrogant medical examiner who once famously reported the cause of death of a decapitation victim as a hernia. And that was just one of his many surreal faux pas, causing so much anger and consternation as to culminate in the creation of an activist group called VOMIT (Victims of Malak's Incredible Testimony) by all the people who had had relatives maligned by his crazy and deceitful medical rulings
One of these incredible rulings helped out Bill Clinton's mother once. Virginia Kelley had been a nurse anesthetist, and her negligence on the job caused the deaths of two young women. She eventually lost her job ( SOME justice in this world, christ, the lady would read racing forms while administering anesthesia!) but her son never forgot how Malak helped his mother out, so he turned a blind eye to his malignant kookiness FOR YEARS, and only until he would announce his bid for the Presidency did Malak become a liability and he threw him under the bus
I had no idea how truly awful Joycelyn Elders was, because as chair of the State's Medical Examiners Commission, she declared she "didn't have the expertise to judge Malak's performance", and thought he had been horribly maligned by the public; she even declared he was owed an apology.
This once-was-a-lawyer named Dan Harmon, who pretended to be on Linda's side and opened up a new grand jury investigation into the boys' deaths, ended up being one of the most corrupt drug dealer/takers in the county, and he only took over the grand jury so he could control the information it would produce, and go after drug dealers who didn't obey him.
But people loved him, and they believed him when he said that it was just criminals out to get him, that none of the rumors about his involvement with drugs were true
He bullied and harassed the head of a drug task force out of the state and once when he beat up a reporter, in public, the reporter was afraid to press charges because he was afraid Dan Harmon would somehow throw HIM in jail instead
He was finally brought to heel, and was sentenced to eventually eleven years in jail, but he was never indicted for all of his crimes, and not even a good fraction of them. The saving grace was that in 2010 he was arrested AGAIN for selling drugs, so at least he hasn't been able to get away with his shenanigans forever
The bigger people up the totem pole have yet to be outted and brought to justice, and who knows if they ever will
The FBI got involved at one point in the investigation, spent two years on the case, only to tell Linda Ives that "she should try to accept the possibility that the boys' deaths were an accident"
Coriandra de Bambaway would like to take credit for writing the book "Go Ask Alice", the teenage cult classic of the 80's about a drugged out suburban teenager who dies at the end of the book, but that was another lady who worked for the government
The nineties, as much as I detest them, are the unfortunate incubator of my political thought
I can't help but have been a teenager during this time period, this miserable, miserable time period of BLAH
But not until recently, when my thoughts returned to someone that no one thinks about anymore (but of whom I used to think a lot), and I reread one of his famous books, did I recognize the seeds of my own political knowledge/view of the world, and did I realize that it was pretty much mostly all due to this man
While I have definitely had other influences on my political thinking ( my dad for instance), as I reread this book, I saw it as the manual for the my political thought for generations to come
the right to legal defense ( and freedom of speech )
The book I am referring to, "From Freedom to Slavery: The Rebirth of Tyranny in America", opens with a retelling of Spence's decision to defend Randy Weaver, the white nationalist whose family was almost wiped out by the ATF in Ruby Ridge near Naples, Idaho during a siege which began on August 21, 1992 and lasted for eleven days.
Basically the ATF had planted the idea into his head that he could sell weapons and they entrapped him (just like those Cleveland Four boys were entrapped by the FBI - now you know the purpose of our governmental crime agencies). They then proceeded to kill this wife, his son, and the family dog.
Spence got a lot of flack upholding justice here, just like the ACLU gets a lot of flack from people today when they insist on defending the right of "Nazis" and other undesirables to exercise their right of freedom of speech. Like Glenn Greenwald stated once, within the last year or so, people don't seem to understand what the ACLU is about, that it defends ANYONE's right, no matter how distasteful their views, to express themselves, because those strict standards could be used against YOU, to curtail YOUR rights. Everyone, regardless of belief, is also supposed to receive the benefit of the law
Just because you don't like someone, doesn't mean they get the shaft
And these are thought crimes people. Like the people who are going to jail for Holocaust denial; this is wrong. You can't police people's thoughts. And when you attempt to, YOU become the fascist
So, even when I was an "activist", in the early 2000's, I was never one of those hot to shut down concerts or speeches of people who were purported to be "hateful" or "racist", and it always struck me as odd the macho anarchists who wanted to swarm down to whatever city was gonna host a bunch of white nationalists and beat them up, as if racism could be distilled into each one of these unacceptable human beings and then snuffed out upon punching them out
As I look back, I recognize these people as the proto-types of the Antifa of today
the noble savage and anarcho-primitivism
People give this trope a lot of grief, because it might not be true, and it might even be considered offensive, but Gerry Spence was sure into it
"The Noble Savage", who was all about being a steward of the Earth, and not owning the Earth, but belonging to it
I still believe in these ideas, even if Alt-Light and Right-Wing individuals defending colonialism seek to discredit them; even if no one ever really said them, they're still true. We should be disciples of the Earth, not owners of it
He was also into the "cranky-wise-old-man-who-lives-isolated-on-a-hill-and-knows-better-than-you" trope, and the "hippies-who-live-in-the-moment" trope, all popular with activist youth in the early 2000's
Also the anti-work diatribe, how slaving away in an office will be the living death of you
And it will, but what choice do most of us have? Environmental pollution and ignorance is making it more and more impossible to escape into the woods, but I suppose you can still become a mountain climber or a park ranger, maybe work for the Metro Parks?
He made a harrowing critique of corporations, and of civilization itself
it's amazing how much he anticipated. This book was published in 1993, and anarcho-primitivism was just starting to come into prominence amongst anti-capitalist activists in the early 2000's. Individuals like John Zerzan and Derrick Jensen emerged, criticized for being distracting and useless by more "serious" anarchists of the socialist vein. And since we're looking back at the past and re-examining influential individuals of the nineties, early 2000's, John Zerzan is no longer so influential or well-known, although he continues to write books and host a college radio show. Derrick Jensen on the other hand, has had a more interesting "decline". He has recently been outted as a transphobe, along with a woman named Lierre Keith who was a vegan for a long time until she became ill and then she wrote a controversial screed about the pitfalls of veganism. They started an environmental group together which is acknowledged as being TERF ( trans exclusive radical feminist, meaning they do not recognize transwomen as women or as being covered by the auspices of feminism), and they seem to subscribe to right wing criticisms of transgender cultures and individuals
the evils of capitalism and corporations
Gerry Spence eloquently enlightened me as to the evils of corporations
And it wasn't through hard statistics and hardcore, incensed yet strangely wooden revolutionary rhetoric from the pages of a Revolutionary Communist Party newspaper, it was through kind and creative and respectful common sense
The criminality of surrendering our lives to corporations and the advertising used to convince us to lay over our lives to unnecessary consumption. The environmental, societal, and spiritual consequences of such a capitulation were eloquently and passionately and creatively engendered to the reader. Reading his book again after more than twenty years, I still remember the particular turns of phrase and specific anecdotes he used to convey his points; literally like talking to an old friend again!
Respect. Of which he showed a great deal towards his fellow Americans. He lamented how they were constantly being abused, and how they were constantly being told they were free, when they were not. This is a big theme with me, because Americans really do think they have it the best, but from the poorly maintained streets and the poor return on their taxes, to having some of the worst news media, environmental pollution, biased judicial systems, educational systems, and adulterated food supplies in the world, America is essentially a third world country. It is a land where profit and corporations uber alles, and people are okay with that. There are cities where you can't drink the water, you can't walk the streets safely, you can't earn a living, but scandals of the President and other nonsensical tripe dominate the news; these are the conditions of a third world nation
He also got a lot of his historical info from Howard Zinn, (making this analysis TOTALLY nineties). I didn't even realize he had done that literally until TODAY, as I am writing this, because when I first read the book in high school, Howard Zinn hadn't even entered my radar, and wouldn't do so until the early 2000's... he is also today someone no one really talks about anymore
I remember sitting in biology class in high school and telling my hapless classmate and friend-from-the-neighborhood that women didn't need to compete with men "because it's THEIR TOTEM POLE!" and he replied jokingly "Yeah! That totem pole! What?!?!"
I had NEVER cared for or thought about feminism in high school ( even as I felt offended by things certain individuals did to me based on my sex), but I had also always resented being lumped into a political category because of my genitals, and I always hated ( STILL DO) the "i am woman, hear me roar" rhetoric, because it reeks of weakness and silliness
Gerry Spence, A MAN, didn't introduce me to feminism, if that's what you were thinking - he simply validated some of my own ideas to me
(He also introduced me to The Malleus Maleficarum, The Witches' Hammer, the infamous European manual on dealing with "witches" from the fifteenth century, and a maddeningly hateful screed about women )
Modern feminism is women begging men to take them seriously. That's a neoliberal feminist. But we live in a corporate medium, a medium where money is like water is to the ocean, and if you don't have money, you cannot survive, and you do not have power, so you seek the means to procure it, and a lot of it. That means taking on positions originally meant for men. Like when Christina Hoff Sommers tells women to become petroleum engineers if they want to close the wage gap
And about that totem pole...the "superhero" one, that women are always trying to climb, with examples like Black Widow and Wonder Woman, trying to excel on men's plane, when it's really unnecessary, if you truly believe in the intrinsic, inherent, HIGH, value of women; a lot of people don't get that
Men do need to stop acting like douches though. While women shouldn't expect them to hand them their freedom, they DO have a responsibility to not rape and sexually harass women, or call them stupid, or worthless whores, as misogynists are wont to do...
Gerry Spence eventually got his own TV show on MSNBC which was a little awkward to watch, because while he has a way with words on paper, he was not as slick on air - I guess it takes a certain amount of dishonesty and "i'm-not-really-going-to-talk-about-anything-of-substance" to be able to talk like a bonafide talk show host
He's 89, and no one talks about him anymore. Ralph Nader is in his eighties too. And Howard Zinn is dead.
Bula Bakaar was not alive, or living in the United States, during the nineties, because the nineties in the US sucked. The music, style, the clothes, the inexorable march of the Clintons into politics; Europe was so much better, especially with all that borrowed money from the IMF
There are certain "feminist principles" that have been prescribed as the defining characteristics of modern-day feminism
Not second wave feminism, not any feminisms from the past, but third wave ( fourth wave?) feminism that is intersectional
Taking into consideration meddling oppressions that may foul the waters of an ordinarily clear cut case of sexism
Taking into consideration a person's race or disability or economic class when considering scenarios of oppression involving women
All these things have a bearing on the situation
There are also certain tenets that are not necessarily intersectional, but which are emblematic of mainstream feminism
I get confused sometimes, because I get the feeling that when I adhere to these tenets, as I am wont to do because I am obviously obtuse and insanely loyal, I am relieved of the feminist moniker in the eyes of mainstream neoliberal feminist gatekeepers
if a woman reports she has been raped or sexually assaulted, you must believe her
I would think this would apply in any situation ( what do I mean by that???) because this guiding principle is based on the idea that it is rare that a woman makes a false accusation
So, that means, when a woman we don't like accuses someone of assaulting her, we have to believe her
It means even if someone accuses our best boy friend of assaulting her, we have to believe HER
I innocently assumed this meant I should believe Juanita Broadrick, and all the other women who accuse Bill Clinton of assaulting them
But I have since learned that they are all liars and they can be safely dismissed
So can Lena Dunham's friend who was accused some months back
I have a friend whose friend was accused and according to her, there is no way he could do such a thing, so I guess, he didn't
Trump though, his accusers, although there are several of them, like twelve of them, hardly reported on for as much as the media harps on his every flaw, they can be believed
That one is a SURE THING
It JUST IS
I'm not defending Trump; I'm just confused because I thought this rule applied the same to everyone
But since I have a hard time with this rule, I think it will be easier for me if I change it to: If a woman reports she has been raped or sexually assaulted, she's lying if the guy's your friend or is a political person you are somehow beholden to
feminism is not just about women doing what they want: it's about justice
I have problems with this one too
I was pressured to support Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but I was already familiar with her track record of never-having-done-anything-progressive-to-help-anyone-ever and her sorry history as a warmonger as Secretary of State
Her track record abetting dictatorship in Honduras, destroying the country of Libya, exploiting Haiti, promoting GMO's, pay-for-play with hubby also during her tenure as Secretary of State, her corrupt charity foundation, her faux enthusiasm for feminism, made it so that I never even considered her an option (and if she ran in 2020 I would STILL not vote for her; she would have to do something pretty amazing)
Hillary Clinton is the quintessential neoliberal, but I was told that I was not feminist if I opposed her
Carefully worded books were published to gingerly criticize her without being wholesale lynched by deluded liberals
Jessica Valenti told me to vote for Hillary Clinton. She said feminism was about justice
But Hillary Clinton was not and is not about justice
In Parks and Recreation, the main character Leslie Knope, a character I absolutely adored, happened to unfortunately adore female political figureheads like Madelaine Albright.
Madelaine Albright was not about justice, when she declared the lives of thousands of Iraqi children was worth the price of sanctions. When she said it was cool to bomb Serbia back to the stone age.
The latest appointee to CIA director is a woman, first time ever. A woman who was probably involved in torture programs that the CIA has conducted. I'm not saying women cannot and should not hold these types of positions, but this is not really something to cheer about, especially if all she does is imitate the cruelty and duplicity expected of the job
Women can't be held to a higher standard, that's unfair, and unrealistic, but then stop calling it a "justice movement"
This kind of feminism is disturbing to me, but because I am not in charge, I cannot change this mentality
So, due to my continued confusion, I have had to change this rule in my mind too: "Feminism IS just about women doing what they want; it has nothing to do with justice."
feminism is about body positivity and not fat shaming "people of size"
During the 2016 presidential campaigns, the mudslinging against Trump was... the same as it was now
And bleeding heart liberals, in their brain-washed induced hysterical hatred, eschewed their own principles of righteousness in order to get back at the man who had, gosh, I'm not really sure what he did to them
But, some really puke-inducing statues were de rigueur during the time, and many Hillary supporters cheered on their existence
I thought it was rubbish of course, but there you have it. You also had liberal political commentator Ana Kasparian call Alex Jones a "fat fuck" when he crashed their set in Cleveland during the RNC. This after spending an episode of the Young Turks complaining about body image oppression and how bad her experiences had been and how bad it is in general
It's petty and pathetic and it's full-blown body-shaming, which means, you : don't really believe being fat is okay or that fat people deserve respect because you use it as a slander; you don't really believe in your own principles
But again, I had to change another rule in my mind: Body shaming and transphobia and fat shaming are not cool, except if leveled against your enemies (even when I can think of better, more intelligent, and much more devastating criticisms of them)
and this one isn't a criticism of feminism: free speech is my right to offend but i'm offended by...
Hundreds of years ago, a Mexican poet named Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz wrote a poem called "Hombres Necios" (Brainless Men), about how men accuse and taunt women for doing things they do themselves. Even back then it was a noticeable trend, and in modern times it's a common narrative of anti-feminist men.
The Alt-Right and Alt-Light and their hangers-round like to bat around lewd jokes and call certain men faggots and all women thots and and black people say things like "we wuz kangz" and they defend the right to express their specific brand of offensive "humor"
I am no one to tell people what to do ( unless I smell they are weaker than me) and I am mostly for living and letting live, but I do detect the hypocrisy inherent in declarations of the new right to speak hatefully but then get offended by things like menstrual blood and unshaved legs and women playing sports
Basically it's "I can offend, but you can't offend me". And this, depending on what you find offensive
Alt Right men ( because they are primarily men and and a few severely deluded women, some who I actually really like by the way ) are offended by the things that women can't help but have happen to them: periods and body hair. People in general, in our patriarchal society are offended by them
I didn't ask to have hair appear on my legs. It just happens. So does the hair on my armpits
So does body odor. Farts. Poop. Urine. Menstrual blood. Bloody pants
In nature's infinite wisdom, I know there is probably a good reason to have these pools of hair on my body. I'm not buying into the whole "vestigial organ" argument here, because people used to think that about the thymus gland, and look where it got them ( cancer)
What is so horrible about leg hair? Is it really so egregious?
And menstruation is just the process that occurs when a biological fertile woman isn't ready to give birth yet.
(Spent menstrual blood you can use like fertilizer, like manure. Some women do. Other women believe manure will kill you, and don't understand how gardening works, so this is not necessarily a criticism of the alt-right, but I am sure it has similar foundations).
But it's not just about the body
It's the audacity of women to pursue intellectual lives and careers, to have opinions on political matters. Andrew Anglin and Richard Spencer unequivocally state that women have no place as "thought leaders" , even in their own movement, and should be paid absolutely no attention to, that they are unequivocally stupid and worthless as none other than baby makers ( you would think someone who creates life would be consulted in important affairs, but what do I know? You would think this sort of person would be revered, but they are not)
Basically women, and especially feminists, don't get to have free speech
Spencer has declared them "resources" ( which is just referring to them as they have always been referred to through most of history). Women like Brittany Pettibone who participate in the Alt-Right are just "groupies". And maybe they are, because I hear these insults with my ears but these other women don't hear these insults and they keep on keeping on with their cheerleading agenda and many have stated that when it's time, they will give up "all this journalism" and get married and have those ten kids that they owe the movement, but UNTIL THEN, it's party time; If I were an alt-right woman, I would be beyond hurt, and I would seek therapy, and then some dinner
It's how dare you complain about men treating you badly? The relatively small proportion of assault and suffering that belongs to men is presented as the antidote to this complaining. And that's not to say that men aren't abused in our society, and don't fight in wars, but they are not treated the same way women are. And who creates wars anyway? It isn't women, or feminism. It's men themselves, because they dominate our institutions ( don't worry, women already sell other women out); elite men create problems for lower class men...AND women
For a man, being called a woman or the p-word ( I HATE the p-word, you know what it is) , or saying you "run like a girl"; there is no greater insult. That alone should say something about how women are viewed
And while there are legitimate and extremely accurate criticisms and analysis in the Alt-Right, it is mostly a panicked reaction to women and minority's amassing materialistic gains in our society
But unfortunately, the traction women and minorities are gaining in society is being exploited to help fill capitalist coffers and extend US and Israeli imperialist hegemony, instead of helping everyday people. This gives rise to an amorality that is justified when applied to our enemies
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