I believe that the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
I believe all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of kinship, love and tolerance.
I don't believe in distinction of any kind, such as
- race, colour, ethnicity, nationality
- sex, gender identity
- sexual orientation
- language, culture
- religion, spirituality
- political opinion
- any opinion
- origin (social, national or any other kind)
- age
- weight, size
- looks, beauty or lack of it
- disability or illness, visible or invisible, of mind or body
- property, wealth
- birth
- other status or identity

Friday, December 30, 2016

Taylor Swift

 5 Important Reasons I Can't Love Taylor Swift Anymore

You feel what you feel. None of my business. But I don't think those reasons are valid... perhaps you express them in a way I don't understand, being a white European woman. Our cultural reference frames are very different.

1) "Her Music Videos Are Full Of Cultural Appropriation"

Firstly, she has made 38 music videos. You talk about two.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of another culture.

Was there any of that in "Wildest Dreams"? No.

I can see how it was insensitive, inappropriate and just wrong, but there was no cultural appropriation.

So, was there that in "Shake It Off"? Perhaps. But there were many different dance styles presented and Taylor was relating to them all equally, so I don't think you can say it was racist or "perpetuating stereotypes".

Let's compare that to Nicki Minaj's Anaconda. It shows black women as twerking bottoms and the message of the song is "it doesn't matter if you are kind, smart, funny and loving, all that matters is that you have a big butt.."
Also, how do they justify placing the video in the middle of South American jungles? And not one Native American in the video... but that's OK, because Nicki isn't white?

"This time, I couldn't find any excuses on her behalf."
OK. What about this:
Someone else made the casting?
The director didn't want any black people on the set?
That's the way Africa is presented in Bogambo, African Queen, Out of Africa and English Patient, which was their intention with the video.

The profits from the video go to save and protect the African wildlife shown in the video.

I'm not saying those make anything OK, just that there are excuses.

2. She Constantly Displays White Feminism

With other words "she doesn't seem invested in the struggles of nonwhite women". Fair enough.

But - there was no squabble between Swift and Minaj. People accuse Taylor of "derailing" Nicki's "important issues", and say that Nicki was trying to speak for black women and against the sexism of focusing on skinny as beauty ideal. In my mind Taylor's reaction is very understandable. When a black woman's video was nominated, and when Taylor was the only woman in the nominated videos with "a very slim body", it's hard to see how Nicki was NOT saying "Taylor was nominated only because she's a skinny white woman, and it should have been my video there". I suppose it's even harden when one is a skinny white woman...
And she invited Nicki to the stage if she wins, and she won. Did Nicki take the opportunity to get on stage to speak about how non-white people and especially women are being exploited?
Nope. Why?

3. Her Use Of "Squad" Is Also Cultural Appropriation

No, it's not.
1) Squad is an existing word that has been existing for hundreds of years, and within white culture it is nothing more than a synonym to "group", "team", "pack".
2) How long has the "black youth culture" used the word, and how probable is it that the white culture is even aware of this usage?
3) Who do you think is more "mainstream"? Taylor Swift or Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Manet?
I suppose it's not a surprise to you that I have only heard one of those names.
I also assume you don't want me to tell you how "Gucci" is cultural appropriation.

Seriously, that your culture has one meaning to a word, it doesn't mean that another culture can't have another meaning to the word.

4. And The Demographics Of Her "Squad" Are Problematic

A white girl born in Pennsylvania, grown up in Tennessee, who has been famous for some 10 years, has friends who look just like her. Most black singers are also shown with black women.
She also told Nicki to come up to the stage with her if she wins, and she won. But I suppose if she had done that, people would accuse Taylor of tokenism.

It's kind of ironic that people are making it HER problem that her "squad" reminds them of the popular girls. Taylor was bullied at school by the popular girls, too. She was too tall and too skinny and looked weird and liked country music, when everyone else loved something else. 

5. She Refuses To Acknowledge Her Privilege

Ok, so she is a rich, white girl, and also tall, skinny and pretty. What would SHE know about obstacles and difficulties?

Of course she has had it easier than 90% of people. But that doesn't mean she is lying about the hardship. One thing with first world problems is that they are so difficult to take seriously. We are spoiled rotten. But to us it's the norm. It's all we know. Just like every other human being on this planet, you included, we believe the world is like it is to us for everyone else.It's not "refusal to acknowledge our privilege", it's failure to understand. But when one is spoiled rotten, what is a wrinkle to you, is a mountain to me. Because it IS the "worst" that has ever happened to me. It was painful. It was hard. It was an obstacle. It's totally subjective, so it cannot be compared.

For example, I have fibromyalgia, which means that my body aches more or less all of the time. I can't even remember what it was like not to be in pain. The last time that happened was when my doctor ordained new painkillers and they kicked in. It lasted for a week, I think it was march 10 years ago. I remember standing on the bus stop and wondering what was wrong because I didn't feel like I used to... and then I realized... the pain was gone. I felt "normal". OMG, it was wonderful! Why don't healthy people understand how invincible they are!
Being in pain 24/7 has also its benefits. I can function with migraine. I can function when smells make me want to vomit, and I can't deal with light, and the pain is splitting my head. I have learned to ignore it. I can walk on sprained ankle. No problems. That's just a little more annoying than what I usually have.
So when I see someone sprain their ankle and fall on a sniveling heap and crying - CRYING - because the pain is SO BAD, I roll my eyes and think they are making a lot of noise over nothing. Just get up and move, and whine about the ankle when you're done.
But who am I to laugh at someone's pain? Maybe that IS the worst they have ever experienced? Maybe that is crippling to them.
And maybe there are people who live with worse pain than I do, and to whom I am the sniveling wussy. Like children with cancer... and I'm pretty sure they don't judge me.

So, please, don't compare journeys. Just because there are people who have a harder journey than others, others' journeys aren't easy.

And, sure, she could use her fame and influence better. What about giving her ideas? Write her a speech? Give her suggestions on how to make a video that is NOT offensive? How she could be more inclusive of the non-white population?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Guess what? You've made a feminist of me!

Not really. It turns out I have always been a feminist.

Some things have happened this week.

1) Some people seriously think women shouldn't have rights.

2) There's this... person, who brags about how she and other women like she started "#repealthe19th"

3) I came here to comment these two things, when this happened (Ketutar says so: I have been watching Penn & Teller: Bullshit - comments), which lead to that I saw the show about 12 steps, and I reacted the same way I did the first time around. "But that's not what it means!!!" But I was reminded of why I like the show, and I wanted to see more, so I saw the Cheerleader episode.
And that one is so horrible I find it hard to believe.

These young women, girls, are being treated like shit just because they are girls. They are expected to do highly advanced physical stunts without any safety precautions or covers, which makes cheerleading more dangerous than ice hockey.

People look at this picture and see an athlete and his pretty little girlfriend.
When in reality it's she who has the more physically demanding and dangerous job
and he who's wearing all the protection.

And even though cheerleading has become more and more demanding and dangerous, and is practically something totally different than what it was in the 70s when it was decided it's not a sport, the status of it hasn't changed.
No, I don't think it's a sport, but it MUST be classified as sport to protect the girls! All these injuries, especially to the head and spine, will have serious medical consequences when they are older!
And people just think it's "basically just being pretty".

"Perhaps you should just keep your mouth shut and stay in the kitchen where you belong."

"Women should be in the kitchen. If they aren't in the kitchen then how am i supposed to live? I can't feed myself, I'm a man." 

Now, that's just pathetic. Adult people who can't even feed themselves.

"You can't expect a guy to spend all of his time in the kitchen unless he is better than a women, which never happens"

I agree. It never happens that a guy is better than "a women".

"Yes, save civilization and repeal the 19th!"

What civilization is that?

This? "The Latest Trend In Christianity: Beating Your Wife For Jesus"

If I can beat you up, that means I'm right?
Guess what, guys...

I don't think women are better than men. I think people are equal.

But this:

If a woman has told you "you can't hit me, I'm a girl", that means that you have wanted to hit her... and do you know what that makes of you?
Pathetic. What's the victory in beating someone weaker than you?

I have never said to anyone "you can't hit me, I'm a woman!" Because the second you hit me I know you are a pathetic loser. So you want to hit me? Go ahead and prove me right.

Frankly, all the "feminazi" memes are so damn stupid. 

I don't expect you to pay more for stuff, I don't expect you to get paid more either.
So if you think it's OK to pay another person less than you for the same job, because this person is of different gender, it's you who are the Nazi here.

I don't expect you to pay for dinner. I'm fully capable to pay for my own food. 
I am also fully capable of filling my fridge and cooking my food, too. 
I expect you to be able to do the same. 
Every time you say things like "women belong to the kitchen" I think you're a pathetic loser who can't even feed himself.

I don't expect you to open doors to me. I expect you not to barricade the doors either.
If you do, I know you are afraid of me.

I don't expect benefits because of the gender, I expect no disadvantage because of the gender either. For either of us.

I don't hate men. I don't think all men are this or that. I don't think women are better than men. I expect the same from men when it comes to women.
I expect people to not hate women, or think women are this or that or think men are better than women.

"I just don't think they should have equal rights. Because (no offense) they're not equal."
If a woman would say that about men, you'd call her feminazi.

I oppose objectifying of all people, men and women. 

I don't think my looks have any relevance to any of this, just as little as your looks, so if you start saying things like "they are just ugly old maids" you have obviously nothing intelligent to say.

On the left is a cartoon of what idiots like to think suffragettes were. 
On the right a real suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst. 
She got married at the age of 21 and had 5 children. 
People who cannot separate cartoons from real life are a bit... special. 
People who prefer to believe cartoons over historical facts are idiots.

"All things valuable to mankind were created by men only, thus only men can have rights to use them."

You use the household appliances, I use the medicine. Also, I preserve and cook my food. You hunt and eat your meat raw.
Any objections? Women were gatherers, men were hunters.
The gatherers gathered the herbs used as medicine.
The gatherers processed food for storage. Among other things, they invented fermenting, which is how beer became to be.
The gatherers prepared the food for eating.
The gatherers invented agriculture. 
The gatherers invented fire, pottery and basketry.
The gatherers invented yarn and fabric.

The hunters invented how to make things to hurt and kill others.

Hunters might have domesticated the animals, though it's more likely women who did that too.
Come on. You are a hunter and find a wolf pup. Would you think "oh, how fluffy and cute that is!", or would you think "that's going to grow up and eat my prey and probably my kids, too. Better to kill it now".
Or you see an orphan lamb. Do you think "oh, so cute! I want to take care of it!" or do you think "oh, food! I want to eat it!"

But seriously. All the references to history and how "all the inventors and influential people have been men!" claim. That just shows an incredible ignorance and understanding of society.

Firstly, women were seen as objects to own for several thousands of year, simply because we are physically weaker. Men have been writing women off the world history, diminishing our impact and influence and taking credit for our work and inventions. It's the same thing with every person not a white male.
For a very long time women weren't even allowed to study. Still in the 60s women in Universities were told they are stealing a place from a "better deserving" male, a person who would not just get married and become a mother, but would actually work. Through the whole 20th century women had to fight to prove that they are just as intelligent and capable at work as men are. But still there are people who don't believe this, without understanding the consequences of the 2000 years of slavery.
There are still people who should know better who say things like "women shouldn't be working with science, because they are too emotional and distracting men". Total bullshit!
Women weren't allowed to do certain works. Not because they couldn't have done them, they do them today with no difficulties, but because "it was believed" women couldn't do these jobs. Not even when women HAD to do these jobs - because all able-bodied men were at war - did people believe that they actually could do these jobs. Women put together all the planes and tanks and guns and bullets used to win the war, and were rewarded by people telling them they did nothing, just let men fight for them.
There were a lot of things women weren't allowed to do.

One could ask why there were no female Leonardo da Vincis, then? Or Galileo Galileis?
Actually, there were, but most weren't allowed to engage in such "manly things". Those who did it against the society were ostracized. Some were even killed for daring to do "things only men should do". Some got their work and contribution stolen. After all, who would believe a woman? Even today we have people who claim Marie Curie was "just an assistant".
These are just the women we know of. How many brilliant women were killed or forced out of the field before they managed to do anything? How many brilliant women got their work stolen by a man the society today believes is the "father" of the invention or idea? They thieves wouldn't most certainly tell. Considering today's field I am certain of that there were a lot more resources there. And just the thought of that we have been wasting all those resources because of a brittle male pride... Makes me sick!

But, I know. You can bend it from wire and paint it with fire, and people still don't get it. More stupid people.
On a Plate - a great comic strip about equality of opportunity

You just don't get it.