Reblogged from invisiblelad May 24th, 2013 116 notes #gender and sexuality #slut shaming #institutional discrimination #social problems #think progressLast month, a New Jersey high school banned girls from wearing strapless dresses to prom. Administrators claimed that the dresses were “distracting” — though they refused to specify exactly how or why. Parents reacted strongly to the rule; some supported the dress code while others deemed it “slut-shaming.” On Friday, the school the school compromised by allowing girls to wear single-strap or see-through-strap dresses.
This is no isolated incident in the United States. Across the country, young girls are being told what not to wear because it might be a “distraction” for boys, or because adults decide it makes them look “inappropriate.” At its core, every incident has a common thread: Putting the onus on young women to prevent from being ogled or objectified, instead of teaching those responsible to learn to respect a woman’s body.
“ … far too much theoretical attention (much of it plainly a-historical) has been paid to “class,” and far too little to “class-struggle.” Indeed, class-struggle is the prior, as well as the more universal concept. To put it bluntly: classes do not exist as separate entities, look around, find an enemy class, and then start to struggle. On the contrary, people find themselves in a society structured in determined ways (crucially, but not exclusively, in production relations), they experience exploitation (or the need to maintain power over those whom they exploit), they identify points of antagonistic interest, they commence a struggle around these issues and in the process of struggling they discover themselves as classes, they come to know this discovery as class-consciousness. Class and class-consciousness are always the last, not the first, stage in the real historical process.
EP Thompson (via class-struggle-anarchism)
(via thepovertyoftheory)Reblogged from class-struggle-anarchism May 24th, 2013 37 notes
“ Nothing would more quickly and definitively reduce U.S. income inequality than allowing every worker in all businesses to participate in deciding the range of incomes from one worker to another. They would never — except in the most bizarre circumstances I can’t even imagine — do what is now a matter of normality, give one person millions, in some cases billions, while others have barely enough to make a living. Moving to a cooperatively organized enterprise is one of the best ways to really do something about unequal distribution of wealth.
(via sociolab)Reblogged from utnereader May 24th, 2013 127 notes
“ White people who claim to be ‘color-blind’ only reinforce racism and white privilege by refusing to acknowledge how the system benefits them while discriminating and oppressing against racial minorities. It’s easy to disregard the racial construct of whiteness when you yourself are white and able to pretend like we live in a ‘post-racial’ society. Racism is still a prevalent issue, so what good is suppose to come by marginalizing it for your comfort? Think about about white folks. It’s far more beneficial for the racially oppressed if you’re aware of racial inequality than blind to it.
(via sociolab)Reblogged from anarcho-queer May 24th, 2013 341 notes
“ Many people do lack self-confidence, and there is certainly more pressure on women to be conscious of their own appearance than men, but is it really the case that women are more critical of that appearance than everyone else?
First of all, the whole entire world is critical of the way women look. Whether you are a supermodel, a teenager or even Secretary of State, if you’re a female, there are people all around you ready to tell you how bad your body looks. Secondly, the idea that women are valuable only for their beauty permeates nearly every facet of modern society, from the billboards we walk past to the social media we use daily. And this idea that women should be reduced to their appearance originated almost entirely in the minds and actions of men. And it is still largely perpetuated today by men – who run over 90% of our media.
So to say women are their own “worst critics” when it comes to beauty puts the blame on women for a beauty-obsessed, body-shaming and misogynistic world created and maintained largely by dudes.
(via sociolab)Reblogged from wretchedoftheearth May 24th, 2013 1,553 notes #Imran Siddiquee #Women Are Not Their Own Worst Beauty Critics #misogyny #beauty standards #beauty industry #self-esteem #Dove #media
“ People don’t go online to become someone else, they go online and the network makes them into many selves, all as true in the moment as any other, and all changing the world with their tiny ephemeral footprints, making a trillion memories none of us will ever remember to remember, all watched over by machines of loving grace.
Quinn unconsciously channelling Tricia Wang.
(via sociolab)Reblogged from iamdanw May 24th, 2013 295 notes
“ It would be a very fine thing if the place of remembrance of the dead were really set out as a park for the living [as funeral directors brochures make them appear]. That is the image the cemetery- gardeners would like to convey — ‘a quiet, green, blooming island amid the hectic noise of daily life’. If only it were really parks for the living that were planned, parks where grown-ups were free to eat their sandwiches and children to play together. Perhaps that was once possible, but it is forbidden today by the tendency towards solemnity, the idea that wit and laughter are unseemly in the vicinity of the dead — symptoms of the half-unconscious attempt of the living to distance themselves from the dead and to push this embarrassing aspect of human animality as far as possible behind the scenes of normal life. Children who tried to play happily around the graves would be scolded by the guardians of the well-trimmed lawns and flowerbeds for their lack of reverence for the dead. But when people have died, they know nothing of the reverence with which they are or are not treated. And the solemnity with which funerals and graves are surrounded, the idea that there should be stillness around graves, that one ought to talk in hushed voices in cemeteries, to avoid disturbing the peace of the dead — all these are really forms of distancing the living from the dead, means of holding at a distance a sense of threat from their proximity. It is the living who demand reverence for the dead, and they have their reasons. These include their fear of death and the dead; but they often also serve as means of enhancing the power of the living.
Norbert Elias - The Loneliness of the Dying (via thepovertyoftheory)Reblogged from thepovertyoftheory May 23rd, 2013 17 notes #elias #sociology
“ So we must not refer a history of sexuality to the agency of sex; but rather show how ‘sex’ is historically subordinate to sexuality. We must not place sex on the side of reality, and sexuality on that of confused ideas and illusions; sexuality is a very real historical formation; it is what gave rise to the notion of sex, as a speculative element necessary to its operation. We must not think that by saying yes to sex, one says no to power; on the contrary, one tracks along the course laid out by the general deployment of sexuality. It is the agency of sex that we must break away from, if we aim - through a tactical reversal of the various mechanisms of sexuality - to counter the grips of power with the claims of bodies, pleasures, and knowledges, in their multiplicity and their possibility of resistance. The rallying point for the counterattack against the deployment of sexuality ought not to be sex-desire, but bodies and pleasures.
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1 (via omensetters)
A facilitator in my queer youth group gave me this book when I was seventeen and it was absolutely life-changing.
(via sociolab)Reblogged from omensetters May 23rd, 2013 248 notes
“ The food movement has been slow to recognise the fact that worker rights and working conditions should be a key part of any discussion about the ethics of food. Reforms to the food system need to incorporate workers and their welfare, not just better farming practices, more humane treatment of animals, and other measures focusing on food as an end product. Food is also a process, and the people involved in that process have a right to fair treatment, something they don’t have currently. The continued marginalisation of farmworkers and the focus on other issues in the food movement speaks poorly of the movement overall, and reveals some telling attitudes about labour, race, and entitlement.
(via sociolab)Reblogged from meloukhia.net May 23rd, 2013 1,613 notes
Reblogged from thepovertyoftheory May 23rd, 2013 9 notes #sociology #quantified self #deborah luptonThe concepts of ‘self-tracking’ and the ‘quantified self’ have recently begun to emerge in discussions of how best to optimise one’s life. These concepts refer to the practice of gathering data about oneself on a regular basis and then recording and analysing the data to produce statistics and graphs relating to one’s bodily functions, diet, illness symptoms, appearance, social encounters, phone calls, work output, computer use, mood and many more aspects of everyday life.
Heritage politics in the UK - Laurie Taylor talks to Ruth Adams, the author of a new study which argues that powerful interest groups have championed a ‘country house’ version of our national past in place of a more complex and diverse history. Has the heritage lobby transformed the architectural heritage of the aristocracy from a minority interest to a cause with popular support? And, if so, at what cost? Also, Dr Caroline Gatrell discusses her sociological exploration of the every day lives of modern day parish priests with her co- author, Dr Nigel Peyton, the Bishop of Brechin.Reblogged from thepovertyoftheory May 23rd, 2013 1 note #sociology #bbc radio 4 #thinking allowed
“ There are various ways of dealing with the fact that all lives, including those of the people we love, have an end. The end of human life, which we call death, can be mythologized through the idea of an afterlife in Hades or Valhalla, in Hell or Paradise. This is the oldest and commonest form of the human endeavour to come to terms with the finiteness of life. We can attempt to avoid the thought of death by pushing it as far from ourselves as possible - by hiding and repressing the unwelcome idea -or by holding an unshakable belief in our own personal immortality — ‘others die, I do not’. There is a strong tendency towards this in the advanced societies of our day. Finally, we can look death in the face as a fact of our own existence; we can adjust our lives, and particularly our behaviour towards other people, to the limited span of every life. We might see it as our task to make the end, the parting from human beings, when it comes, as easy and as pleasant as possible, for others as for ourselves; and we might pose the question of how this task is to be performed. At present this is a question that is being asked in a clear, unclouded way only by a number of doctors— in the broader debate of society the question is hardly raised.
Norbert Elias - The Loneliness of the Dying (via thepovertyoftheory)Reblogged from thepovertyoftheory May 22nd, 2013 16 notes #elias #sociology
“ [T]this is not merely a question of the actual termination of life, the death certificate and the urn. Many people die gradually; they grow infirm, they age. The last hours are important, of course. But often the parting begins much earlier. Their frailty is often enough to sever the ageing from the living. Their decline isolates them. They may grow less sociable, their feelings less warm, without their need for people being extinguished. That is the hardest thing — the tacit isolation of the ageing and dying from the community of the living, the gradual cooling of their relationships to people to whom they were attached, the separation from human beings in general, who gave them meaning and security. The declining years are hard not only for those in pain, but for those who are left alone. The fact that, without being specifically intended, the early isolation of the dying occurs with particular frequency in the more advanced societies is one of the weaknesses of these societies. It bears witness to the difficulties that many people have of identifying with the ageing and dying.
Norbert Elias - The Loneliness of the Dying (via thepovertyoftheory)Reblogged from thepovertyoftheory May 22nd, 2013 13 notes #elias #sociology
Instead of studying for the last final of my undergraduate career, I am writing this letter in protest of the University of Southern California’s latest atrocity. Last night, students gathered at a house near campus to celebrate their completion of another rigorous school year. Many attendees were graduating seniors. Almost all attendees were minority students: African-American and Latino.
I did not attend last night’s party, but I could hear the helicopter circling from my dorm room over a mile away. When the Facebook posts and photos started appearing on my news feed around 2:30am, I had flashbacks to an era I wasn’t even alive to suffer through. I was too scared to go outside, legitimately fearing that an officer would see me and arrest me for being Black and inquisitive. I can only imagine how my peers felt when they saw over twenty LAPD patrol cars pull up and release 79 officers to end a peaceful, congratulatory party.
It is inexpressibly disheartening to hear fellow students recount horror stories of police brutality two weeks away from being among the first in my family to graduate from a four-year university. To know that my college degree holds no weight in the face of institutional racism and discrimination is sobering. Since the three most recent shootings, all triggered by non-USC affiliated Black males, that occurred on and around USC, there has been an increased presence of LAPD and other security forces around campus. Amid the tense racial climate that followed, I patiently endured the ignorant comments, racist blog posts and suspicious stares, but the intolerance has reached a new high. Six of my friends spent the night in jail.
To be clear, I do not have a problem with increased protection or security. Who’s to say that a shooting won’t occur at the next student party? It could happen, God forbid, and I understand why USC wants to be prepared. My issue lies within the selective surveillance of minority-hosted parties, as if crimes only happen among high concentrations of melanin. Hundreds of criminal offenses, including sexual harassment, rape and assault happen every Thursday night on Greek Row, a undeniably white establishment. Yet, the culprits of the Department of Public Safety Crime Reports distributed to USC students and faculty, seem to be strictly limited to Black and Latino males (6’2-6’5 in dark hoodies). These reports, together with the newly constructed, other-izing gates around campus, have instilled an unhealthy amount of fear in students, administrators and safety officials. We have been trained to double check for USC logos on the sweatshirts of minority males on and around this campus to make sure that they’re “one of us.” It doesn’t surprise me that LAPD has adopted the same attitude. For them, it has been this way for decades.
If the USC Department of Public Safety feels justified in allowing nearly a hundred police officers to shut down a minority attended party due to the fact that African-Americans were responsible for the recent shootings, we’re in for a bigger battle than most students bargained for when they decided to enroll here. That ideology reeks of racial profiling and associates the behavior of a few criminals with the entire Black student body, a comparison that makes my stomach turn. While LAPD is busy sending all of their manpower to harass the future of America’s leaders, the real trouble lies within my campus’ freshly painted fences.
USC should not be permitted to reap the benefits of diversity without facing its complexities. You can’t help the hood without loving it first. When USC’s founders decided to break ground in South Central instead of Malibu, it signed up for a difficult and delicate community partnership that needs to be revisited.
To me, protection means opening our gates even wider for at-risk youth who are in desperate need of positive role models, not locking them out after 9pm. I will feel safe on this campus when I see DPS officers negotiating with LAPD, pleading with them to let students of color party in peace. I will feel welcomed when I see a public statement from President Nikias acknowledging the discrimination and blatant racism that my people have had to endure since we were first admitted into this school. I will become a proud Trojan when the USC community finally grows to reflect and embrace its resilient surroundings.
To my peers, I am sorry that we have to dedicate hours that should be spent studying to defend our freedom of assembly. None of us have the time to write letters, plan meetings and rally against injustice, but we must. The next generation of brilliant Black students is depending on us to guarantee their right to a dignified college experience.
Ways to Act:
Sign this petition to help end racial profiling at USC: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-racial-profiling-at-usc
Attend the Sit-In at Tommy Trojan on Monday, May 6 from 12-4pm
Attend the DPS & LAPD Campus Discussion on Tuesday, May 7 at 6pm in Annenberg 204
*Meet in front of Annenberg at 5:30pm to pray over the meeting.
(via otherkin-taco)May 22nd, 2013 1,334 notes