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This is the global Feminist Blogs aggregator. It collects articles from many smaller community hubs within the Feminist Blogs network. For stories from particular places, groups, or other communities within our movement, check out some of these sites.

Two Scenarios | Clarissa’s Blog

Two Scenarios | Clarissa's Blog: "If you encourage the masses in their anti-authoritarianism, they will just be undereducated and eat a lot of chicken nuggets and thick shakes. One thing I’ve noticed — if you look at my old school photo, nobody is fat and if you encounter the same people on Facebook today, none of them are fat, This was a culture of deprivation rather than indulgence and there are many things to be lamented about authoritarian culture, especially that nealy all my old friends ended up conservative, but somehow none of them are self-indulgent or hostile to authority as such. They are people who could still tolerate education and a nation state. And those who cannot — hopefully they will find a way to thrive on their own. They need to lean heavily (not a pun) on their own resources, and hopefully find a way to prevent themselves from sinking."



'via Blog this'

Humiliation

So did you hear about the woman who was standing next to President Obama at the voting poll today,  trying to vote, and was humiliated by her loser of a boyfriend?

“Don’t touch my girlfriend,” the freak told Obama.

“This is a brother who just made a fool out of himself,” Obama commented, looking understandably annoyed.

“I cannot believe this is happening, ” the woman said.

It is really sad to make the news as the girlfriend of a sexist freakazoid.

I hope she dumps him.


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The World of Weirdos

Who are all those scary people who followed Monica Lewinsky on Twitter?

The world is a scary,  confusing place at times.


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Things You Can Call Women

A week ago, this Buzzfeed article, "6 Reasons You Should Stop Referring to Women as "Females" Right Now" took off, a pretty angry article about something I've generally considered to be a non-issue. The basic idea is this: using the word "female" is horrendously sexist and offensive.

The article argues that referring to someone as a female "reduc[es] a woman to her reproductive abilities", which is "dehumanizing and exclusionary". I've honestly never felt that way, I've never even thought about it, because as far as I can tell, using an adjective to emphasize a certain characteristic doesn't reduce the subject to those characteristics.

Let's say I'm looking at the Mona Lisa. And I say, "hey, that painting's pretty brown". That doesn't mean I see the painting like this:

If I was was talking to a trans man who said he used to be biologically female, I wouldn't correct him and tell him "the word you're looking for is woman", because it's not. He was never a woman. Female and woman are not always the same thing, the article is technically right about that, but that doesn't make either a bad word.

Of course, that doesn't mean that generalizing females (or women!) is ok. Let's go ahead and do what the article suggested, looking at "female" usage on Twitter.  Here are some I just came across.

There's dozens, more, but frankly, none of them would be any less offensive if they said "women" instead. They're all pretty shallow and heteronormative,  but I think that's because of the mindset, not just because they used "female". Generalizing any group of people like this is offensive towards everyone. 


The article also claims that nobody ever refers to men as "males", which isn't really true. That doesn't make it more or less sexist, though. This one is pretty offensive, but again, I don't think it'd be significantly less offensive if it said "men". 

Nitpicking like this is a non-issue that the feminist movement risks its credibility for. If you personally have an issue with being referred to as female, of course you can ask people not to, but it's this sort of generalized, angry article that's making people think feminism is petty. And it's not. There are so many more important issues to be addressing.





For me, the tipping point was finding this second article. Written by the same people and released immediately after the first,  it provides a helpful list of alternatives to calling women "females". I'm starting to this this whole thing is a joke. "Goddess"? "Perfection"? Imagine for a second two men released a list like this, demanding that women call them "kings" and worship them as Gods. This is not equality. 
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New report shows how the “pregnancy penalty” drives economic inequality

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Single mother of two Armanda Legros after a rally for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. (Photo credit: A Better Balance)

A Better Balance, a legal advocacy organization in New York City, has a new report explaining how the “bias and inflexibility towards women in the workplace that starts when they become pregnant and snowballs into lasting economic disadvantages” is driving gender inequality and overall economic inequality in the city:

Despite advances in gender equality over the past 40 years, women continue to jeopardize their livelihoods simply by having children. The pregnancy penalty helps to explain why mothers as a whole continue to earn five to six percent less than non-mothers, and why historically disadvantaged women, single mothers and black women, have seen their wage penalties rise sharply since 1977. In New York City, single, childless women under age 35 earn 96 cents for every dollar men earn, whereas women between the ages of 35 and 65, who are likely to have children, earn only 78 cents to the dollar. Over the course of a lifetime, women earn only 38 percent of their male counterparts. The pregnancy penalty also explains why poverty and gender are so closely linked. In New York City, nearly 40 percent of households headed by single mothers with children under 18 live in poverty. Nationwide, women over 65 are twice as likely as men their age to be living in poverty. When caregiving pushes women out of the workforce during their prime earning years, it derails their earnings and hampers their ability to put food on the table and make ends meet. In the long-term, it imperils their career prospects and social security payments, leaving them impoverished in their golden years.

As the report notes, “while women’s exits from, or lack of advancement within, the workforce have historically been framed as ‘choices,’” that is just laughable when you look at how thoroughly we fail to support working families in this country and how, when push comes to shove, child care continues to fall to women. The pregnancy penalty, the report argues, is the result of both “blatant discrimination” against pregnant workers (remember how that still happens?) and lack of workplace policies–like paid family leave and flexible schedules–to make it easier to juggle both a job and children at the same time–particularly for poor families.

Indeed, while all mothers face a penalty, low-income workers are hit hardest. For these women, “each new child brings a pay penalty of fifteen percent, compared to four percent for higher-wage earning mothers.” Since low-wage workers tend to have unpredictable hourse over which they have little to no control, and often can’t afford the high cost of child care, many–often single mothers–are forced to cut back to part-time or drop out of the workforce altogether. That kind of interruption isn’t just a temporary setback–it affects their future earnings and long-term financial stability. “Such breaks in workforce participation that are not accompanied by additional schooling are the single greatest contributor to the motherhood wage penalty.”

Consequently, the pregnancy penalty keeps families on the treadmill of poverty, driving overall economic inequality–which is reaching truly outrageous levels in New York City and across the country. As the report notes, New Yorkers are seeing ”the middle class vanishing before their eyes.” A Better Balance calls for NYC to be ”a laboratory for equality” by enacting a number of policy solutions, including better enforcement of the city’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which has been in effect for a year now, legislation to address workplace discrimination toward caregivers, protections for nursing workers, flexible schedules for all, expanded paid family leave, as well as affordable child care and a higher minimum wage. Cosigned.

Related:
Chart of the Day: The many ways the US fails working families
Map: Does your state actually care about working parents?
Redefining Parenting: Paid “Daddy” Leave vs The Fight for Maternity Leave.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

Which one is me?

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chapter 14

Shamanic initiation is nothing but it is ugly because you are fighting against your head to make your way to something fresh.  It's repulsive like boiling organs, putting them back into your body, nice and new.  I can see how on the one side you are prone to glorifying something but on the other that very something spells your end.  You glorify your boss, or past or parents or the great blue sky, I mean the nation or your work or power or the people or something like that.

It's repulsive to the viewer and revolting to the one being initiated, because humans tend to glorify what limits them.  These limitations give us consciousness, as GWF points out, which was before he got his horns and married Helga. When a power system comes along and tells us we are limited, we want to marry it and have its children.  That is how that goes.

So all forms of worship lead to atrophying.  You and me and all our children.  That is how that goes.

Destroy the reverential consciousness and you release the soul.  But lots of people do not realize it.

They want to revere and love and hope and break themselves on their unrealized dreams.  It's noble but it isn't Neechy and it isn't realistic.

Don Juan said face down death and you will release the life force from its grasp.  This may be difficult to do because you're breaking your own head, which is why most people don't want to do it, but that's the shamanic way.

It is disgusting.

I didn't want to do it but other people broke me down instead of me, praise Allah.  I am here now and that's that.  It wasn't pretty but I made it, WTF.  I can't believe it isn't butter.  I'd write better, but this isn't my day.

I'm not that bright but from what I can tell, the clasp of death is maintained through our seeking of glory or more aptly through our preemptive assumption to recognise it long before it appears.  If we worship women we will die because of woman and God has our death sentence in his own good hands as well.

But if we worship nothing we will free the elements of eros from the death that bind us.  That will be life-giving.
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But we are a reverential form of creature.  Genuine?  said Nietzsche.  That would be the person who goes to the desert and breaks his reverential heart.  You worship things and they will limit you -- and we all do...blissed out by our childhood experiences.








Lake Ballard: a road trip from Perth to an art exhibit on a salt lake, ALL

Chapter 10

So I wrote a book although I have no idea of it now.  It was supposed to communicate...something...to someone.  I had that in mind and I am pretty sure of it.

I had some strange notions about matters in those days for sure, because I thought of society as an organism that was somehow organically united, because that was how I had experienced it until that time.  Rightly or wrongly.

God, I had some weird notions in those days.  I thought writing was communication and that ideas came across.

I surely hadn't drunk enough wine or I would have realized differently. I guess.

We're all hypnotised in some way or another and we cannot think unless we get the vino veritas in us and then we speak the truth but only for

MY BUTTOCKS

This is a pathetic excuse!

But anyway...

I have yet to do the extreme nosedive thing some day I suppose.

This is called incoherency.  It matters.

In Australia, you have no idea about male bonding.

There is no rigidity, you see.

I didn't like it that the aussies interfered in "our" selective provocations to prolong the war, but what are you to do an aussie is an aussie.

I can't make head nor tail of this and nor can you.

That is the great relief that binds my day.

You may see them sooner than you realize.

With the dawning of the new moon!






Destructive people

Adding to what Coleman outlines below, destructive people may be really your best friends, if you are strong enough.  Or if you are not so strong, they are of course your worst enemies.   And in some respects, since we are strong and weak, they can demolish our weaker sides so that they can be caused to regenerate in part, although perhaps never entirely.  I say this as a non-mystic, who sees that shamanism certainly has a structure -- as I have noticed in the writings of Nietzsche, Bataille and Marechera -- but who does not believe in individual destinies.  It isn't that we were supposed, as such, to be destroyed, because we were supposed, as such, to learn a lesson.  Rather, that was what occurred due to any sorts of reasons,  for reasons that may have been overdetermined (i.e. there were more than one).

Look at it this way.  It's not just that we are pushed into molds by negative authoritarian forces, but that our impression of the sheer awesomeness of certain notions,objects or types of people, also leaves its impression on our minds.  Positive control may be more effective and more devastating than negative control, in fact, as it is less obvious.

And destructive people break spells.  If you are spellbound by the idea that powerful people are automatically superior people, a destructive powerful person will teach you otherwise.  That is, if you are open to the lesson, an important lesson can be learned.  There may still be an impediment when people are spellbound severely by a negative authoritarian structure -- that is to say, they are afraid to act, even on what they know.  Not everybody learns a lesson when realistic facts are demonstrated but some do.

If in childhood we come under all sorts of spells, adulthood is high time to disabuse ourselves of these.   When a narcissist attacks or a troll attacks, we unlearn how to be spellbound by the values they purport to stand for.  To the extent the left has attacked me, I have learned to distrust the left and to the extent the right has attacked me, I have learned to distrust it as well.

After a while, destructive people have no other effect on me than revelatory truth.  They show me my blind spots, where I am still unconsciously revering something that ought not to have my reverence.  I only got this way because as a child I was spellbound.

As Nietzsche says, "The more mistrust, the more philosophy is present."