Men want what they want.
So much of our culture caters to giving men what they want. A high school student invites model Kate Upton to attend his prom, and he’s congratulated for his audacity. A male fan at a Beyoncé concert reaches up to the stage to slap her ass because her ass is there, her ass is magnificent, and he wants to feel it. The science fiction fandom community is once again having a heated discussion, across the Internet, about the ongoing problem of sexual harassment at conventions — countless women are telling all manner of stories about how, without their consent, they are groped, ogled, lured into hotel rooms under false pretenses, physically lifted off the ground, and more.
But men want what they want. We should all lighten up.
It’s hard not to feel humorless as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you’re not imagining things. It’s hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you’re going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening, it’s that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly.
These are just songs. They are just jokes. They are just movies. It’s just a hug. They’re just breasts. Smile, you’re beautiful. Can’t a man pay you a compliment? In truth, this is all a symptom of a much more virulent cultural sickness — one where women exist to satisfy the whims of men, one where a woman’s worth is consistently diminished or entirely ignored. What Men Want, America Delivers - from the inimitable Roxane Gay (via jessicavalenti)
[…] Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
Saluden Muchachxs, saluden.
James W. Loewen, “The Land of Opportunity” (via sissypunks)
lil’ ableist there in the outset, but…
a few pro-Nazi myths I’d like to address
- “Sure, Hitler did terrible things, but you have to admit he was a brilliant man!” I have to do no such thing. He was a shiftless, self-absorbed layabout who found pontificating and rabble-rousing easier than doing actual work. Like many essentially worthless human beings, he did have a great deal of skill in manipulation, which enabled him to draw people in and use them, but I don’t call that genius.
- “The Nazis eliminated unemployment!” Any improvements the Nazis made in the German economy were short-term and unsustainable. Unemployment was eliminated in a manner of speaking — by running up ridiculous amounts of debt, cutting wages by 25%, and interning or declaring ineligible a sizable portion of the work force. Rationing began in 1937, two years before the invasion of Poland — a healthy peacetime economy does not have rationing. Their economic model relied on taking over other countries and stealing their resources — it was the only hope they had of making up the deficit.
- “The Nazis were brutally efficient!” Nothing the Nazis did was even remotely efficient. Hitler’s idea of governing was to put businesses and state departments in direct competition with each other for his personal favor. This resulted in massive corruption, bureaucratic bottlenecks, and an untold waste of time and resources. The economy wasn’t put on a full wartime footing until 1942 because no one was able or willing to do so.
- “Okay, maybe Hitler wasn’t that smart, but he was still a military genius!” Germany’s military successes during the first half of the war can best be explained by their choice of opponents — most countries were hopelessly overwhelmed, while France not-so-secretly wanted to be Germany’s girlfriend — and by the skill of the senior officers who came up through the old imperial system. When faced with opponents who actually had their shit together (and in the case of Soviet Russia that’s being charitable) Hitler’s vaunted strategic abilities were shown for their true worth — little to none.
- “Nazi science was phenomenal!” Please stop learning things from History Channel specials about “Hitler’s UFOs.” The Nazis sucked as bad at science as they did at everything else, in large part because they outright rejected a lot of theoretical advances as “Jewish science” and drove some of their greatest minds out of the country (who promptly came to the US). There’s a reason we developed the atom bomb first, and it’s because we had all their best scientists and they were left with the time-servers and jackboot-lickers.
- “But if they hadn’t invaded Russia they would’ve won the war!” Anyone who offers this as a counterfactual has completely failed to understand what Nazism was about, and it bugs the shit out of me. This wasn’t some accidental miscalculation. It was actually the entire point of National Socialism, the entire point of the whole war — carving out “living space” in the East. Was it a stupid thing to do? Sure! But here’s the thing you need to understand about the Nazis: hatred always won out over practical considerations. They hated Russians, they hated Communism, they wanted to destroy Russia’s Jews, and they weren’t about to let silly things like “reality” or “good sense” get in the way of their glorious destiny. It’s the same thing as rejecting good science because it was developed by Jewish people. They didn’t give a shit about objective reality; all they cared about was the glory of the German race and the destruction of all others. If you don’t understand this, you will never understand Nazi Germany, and you will continue to swallow lies like the ones listed above.
tl;dr: Nazi Germany was a huge fucking mess from beginning to end and anyone who says otherwise is totally ignorant and very likely a Nazi apologist.
The downside of dating me is that I’ll always love the Red Sox more than you.
The upside of dating me is that you’d be dating me.