“Black and minority ethnic women are poorer, less healthy, less educated and significantly worse represented in the corridors of power than both white women and the rest of the UK population, according to research published today.”—
“The claim that sex workers “sell our bodies” is not only logically absurd (I was a prostitute for years, but my body is still right here with me), but totally sexist because it is based on the notion that a woman’s sexuality is her entire worth. The belief behind this expression is that since a woman has nothing of value to offer except her sexuality, if she “sells” that she has “sold herself” and there is nothing left. The fact that anti-sex worker activists use this expression so often says a lot about them.”—
Maggie McNeal Commenting on Chicago Tribune article (via thefumoblu)
And it gives the notion that other forms of work, (especially menial jobs that require too much effort and barely get people by) also don’t require you to use your body as an expendable resource for survival, essentially “selling your body” in the same regard. You can have your own personal feelings about sex work and whether or not you would enter the field, but referring to it as the “selling of one’s body” while holding other forms of work in a higher regard is nonsensical and blatant sex-shaming.
Pakistan has the largest number of people of African descent in South Asia. It has been estimated that at least a quarter of the total population living on the Makran coast are of African ancestry—that is, at least 250,000 men and women can claim East African descent on the southern coast of Pakistan and in the easternmost part of southern Iran. In Pakistan, African descendants are called Sheedi (Siddi.) Many are also called Makrani, whether or not they live in Makran.
It just sucks that there is a lot about “living healthy” that people who don’t have access to gyms and wellness classes. It’s nice that people understand how to consume healthier foods and that it’s nice to educate people on the ways how other foods that we eat are actually harmful.
But why does everything that is involved in discussions about “wing healthy” have to have the word “lose weight” sprinkled in every five seconds
Obviously I’m irritated and have been complaining about this for days. My parents being so invested in me losing weight is making it annoying for me to focus on losing weight.
I’m also extremely stubborn and hate people telling me what to do
I don’t understand the need to appropriate African cultures. I really don’t. Why isn’t being Black American enough? Our own “tribe” is beautiful enough, strong enough, rich enough, worth enough. Be content with that. As the Tao te Ching says, “when you realize you have enough, the entire world belongs to you.”
“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”—Mitch Albom (via kingsrow)
“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more “successful people”. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. it needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and human, and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”—
People need to stop putting reverts on a pedestal.
Not every revert is extremely knowledgeable or “better than born muslims,” which is a phrase that is always used. I know reverts who are extremely knowledgeable, I know reverts who have little knowledge.
Not every revert is going through family issues.
The whole family issues thing annoys me especially, of course some reverts do go through struggles with family, but I know guys who come from muslim families, their family may not be practicing, but they want to and they receive more hassle than I’ve ever received from any family members.
Reverts are not some sort of special brand of Muslim.
Reverts are just Muslim.
And on that note, I don’t need special attention, but I do need respect and love from my brothers and sisters when I ask for it. I’m still Muslim I just came late to the party.
“Yes, death. Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace. You can help me. You can open for me the portals of death’s house, for love is always with you, and love is stronger than death is.”—Oscar Wilde (via loosebowels)
“Males as a group have and do benefit the most from patriarchy, from the assumption that they are superior to females and should rule over us. But those benefits have come with a price. In return for all the goodies men receive from patriarchy, they are required to dominate women, to exploit and oppress us, using violence if they must to keep patriarchy intact. Most men find it difficult to be patriarchs. Most men are disturbed by hatred and fear of women, by male violence against women, even the men who perpetuate this violence. But they fear letting go of the benefits. They are not certain what will happen to the world they know most intimately if patriarchy changes. So they find it easier to passively support male domination even when they know in their minds and hearts that it is wrong.”—bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody (via poeticallyspeaking13)
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”—Kahlil Gibran (via thelittlephilosopher)
I have given a baby up for adoption, and I have had an abortion… .Believe me when I say that of the two choices, it was adoption that nearly destroyed me - and it never ends. The only comparison I have is the death of a loved one. The pain retreats, maybe fades, but it comes right back if I poke at it.
The baby came, and soon I realized that it had fucked me up considerably to give it away. When I did, I went looking for help. The adoption agency I went through was so Catholic that my fillings hurt. So, I looked around. I kept looking for ten years. I never found counseling or therapy or any kind of help whatsoever that wasn’t about self-hatred.
Post-adoption counseling turned out to be focused on getting yourself together enough to make yourself a new Christian baby so you could be a good Christian wife and mother. I kept getting the same thing. What if you don’t want to have a New Baby (tm), or can’t? Or you’re not religious? And why the fuck are actual babies so disposable that you’re expected to get over it after a suitable period of mourning (i.e., till you get a good Christian husband) in the case of adoption? It’s odd how this does not apply in the case of aborting a blastocyst, when you’re expected to wall yourself into a tomb away from decent society and gnaw on the bitter bones of your own despicable evil. Bad woman. BAD.
Some of you wanted me to share this. A very polite adventuresofawimpygirl said: “Hi Mehreen. This is quite embarrassing but I recently learned that the term “paki” is offensive. I’ve heard many of my friends regard Pakistani’s as “paki” so I presumed (mistakenly) it was just short for Pakistani. Would you mind providing me with some background and explaining why this term is offensive? I would like to pass this on to my friends as well. Thanks!”
So I answered: It started as a racial slur against “objects” of the colonies under Britain’s oppressive empire. The term “Paki” was used by white British people to humiliate Pakistanis originally. Later on it was used for South Asians and even Central Asians generally. A minority of expat Pakistanis decided to ‘reclaim’ the word but the majority, including myself, finds it extremely offensive. From here: “The abbreviation Paki acquired offensive connotations in the 1960s when used by British tabloids to refer to subjects of former colony states in a derogatory and racist manner. In modern British usage “Paki” is typically used in a derogatory way as a label for all South Asians, including Indians, Afghans and Bangladeshis. To a lesser extent, the term has been applied as a racial slur towards Arabs and other Middle Eastern-looking groups who may resemble South Asians. During the 60’s many emigrants were also dubbed as “black” to further segregrate them from the white community. Some would say such a division still exists in parts of England.”
If a Pakistani uses it, it’s their choice. If a non-Pakistani uses it, they’re asking for trouble. It’s disgusting.
“I want to tear myself from this place, from this reality, rise up like a cloud and float away, melt into this humid summer night and dissolve somewhere far, over the hills. But I am here, my legs blocks of concrete, my lungs empty of air, my throat burning. There will be no floating away.”—The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (via rhetoricalities)
“I’m actually pretty numb to the “I wouldn’t have an abortion myself but I support the right to choose” argument because I’ve heard it so often. In some ways, it feels to me like the pro-choice movement has decided to illustrate that one can be personally anti-abortion without being anti-choice — without ever talking about the implications of that. I can respect that from an individual but I have problems with it being the singular face of the pro-choice movement.
Because when we cast abortion as a necessary evil, we really do perpetuate the shame of it. Someone, a lot of someones, is having all these abortions — but no one wants to talk about it because there is so much cultural fear and shame associated with it. It makes people — even and perhaps especially people who haven’t had an abortion — uncomfortable. And goodness forbid any of us should be uncomfortable.
But here’s the thing — just as I validate and respect the experiences of people who have had a difficult time with their abortion, I validate and respect the experiences of those people who did not. There are very much people who love abortion, no matter how glib that sounds, because it saved their lives — whether literal or metaphorical. There are people who are going to treat it with humor — for any number of reasons, including everything from laughing in the face of trauma to not finding it traumatic at all.
I know that is a hard thing to hear for a person who thinks of abortion as a necessary evil. But for many people, it is an open and honest reaction — and it needs to be heard, too.”—
“I’M a Palestinian who was born in the Israeli town of Lod, and thus I am an Israeli citizen. My wife is not; she is a Palestinian from Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Despite our towns being just 30 miles apart, we met almost 6,000 miles away in Massachusetts, where we attended neighboring colleges.
A series of walls, checkpoints, settlements and soldiers fill the 30-mile gap between our hometowns, making it more likely for us to have met on the other side of the planet than in our own backyard.
Never is this reality more profound than on our trips home from our current residence outside Washington.
Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport is on the outskirts of Lod (Lydda in Arabic), but because my wife has a Palestinian ID, she cannot fly there; she is relegated to flying to Amman, Jordan. If we plan a trip together — an enjoyable task for most couples — we must prepare for a logistical nightmare that reminds us of our profound inequality before the law at every turn.
Even if we fly together to Amman, we are forced to take different bridges, two hours apart, and endure often humiliating waiting and questioning just to cross into Israel and the West Bank. The laws conspire to separate us.
If we lived in the region, I would have to forgo my residency, since Israeli law prevents my wife from living with me in Israel. This is to prevent what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once referred to as “demographic spillover.” Additional Palestinian babies in Israel are considered “demographic threats” by a state constantly battling to keep a Jewish majority. (Of course, Israelis who marry Americans or any non-Palestinian foreigners are not subjected to this treatment.)
Last week marked Israel’s 64th year of independence; it is also when Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” during which many of Palestine’s native inhabitants were turned into refugees.
In 1948, the Israeli brigade commander Yitzhak Rabin helped expel Lydda’s Palestinian population. Some 19,000 of the town’s 20,000 native Palestinian inhabitants were forced out. My grandparents were among the 1,000 to remain.
They were fortunate to become only internally displaced and not refugees. Years later my grandfather was able to buy back his own home — a cruel absurdity, but a better fate than that imposed on most of his neighbors, who were never permitted to re-establish their lives in their hometowns.
Three decades later, in October 1979, this newspaper reported that Israel barred Rabin from detailing in his memoir what he conceded was the “expulsion” of the “civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000.” Rabin, who by then had served as prime minister, sought to describe how “it was essential to drive the inhabitants out.”
Two generations after the Nakba, the effect of discriminatory Israeli policies still reverberates. Israel still seeks to safeguard its image by claiming to be a bastion of democracy that treats its Palestinian citizens well, all the while continuing illiberal policies that target this very population. There is a long history of such discrimination.
In the 1950s new laws permitted the state to take control over Palestinians’ land by classifying them “absentees.” Of course, it was the state that made them absentees by either preventing refugees from returning to Israel or barring internally displaced Palestinians from having access to their land. This last group was ironically termed “present absentees” — able to see their land but not to reach it because of military restrictions that ultimately resulted in their watching the state confiscate it. Until 1966, Palestinian citizens were governed under martial law.
Today, a Jew from any country can move to Israel, while a Palestinian refugee, with a valid claim to property in Israel, cannot. And although Palestinians make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population, the 2012 budget allocates less than 7 percent for Palestinian citizens.
Tragically for Palestinians, Zionism requires the state to empower and maintain a Jewish majority even at the expense of its non-Jewish citizens, and the occupation of the West Bank is only one part of it. What exists today between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is therefore essentially one state, under Israeli control, where Palestinians have varying degrees of limited rights: 1.5 million are second-class citizens, and four million more are not citizens at all. If this is not apartheid, then whatever it is, it’s certainly not democracy.
The failure of Israeli and American leaders to grapple with this nondemocratic reality is not helping. Even if a two-state solution were achieved, which seems fanciful at this point, a fundamental contradiction would remain: more than 35 laws in ostensibly democratic Israel discriminate against Palestinians who are Israeli citizens.
For all the talk about shared values between Israel and the United States, democracy is sadly not one of them right now, and it will not be until Israel’s leaders are willing to recognize Palestinians as equals, not just in name, but in law.”
Women, especially young childless undecided women voters, are talking about jobs, not abortion rights, right? What women really care about is not contraception, not access to family planning resources, not social issues like gay marriage, abstinence-only sex “ed” or Mitt Romney’s 50 year old bullying. Nope – it’s the economy. Women, “like everyone else,”– that would the norm – men, just want to be able to go to work, earn a fair wage and support their families. These “social” things are a “distraction” leading Americans to avert their gaze from what’s really important: the economy. Polls are clear: jobs and the economy are their number one concerns.
This oft-repeated juxtaposition, superficial and irresponsible, between The Economy and Social Issues (especially, in polls, “jobs” and “contraception”) is like a political media Greek chorus. People believe it, especially women who are disinclined to think about themselves as discriminated against by virtue of their sex. Young women answer these questions and pollsters ask them the way they do based on the assumption that women, armed with education and “girl power,” have equal access to newly created jobs and will be paid fairly for their work. Those are false assumptions that women, especially young childless ones, need to consider before they vote, because this year’s elections, both state and presidential, will affect their ability to do both for years to come.
We’re engaged in a mass delusion that misleadingly pits The Economy against what are at their core, Reproductive Rights. Don’t be fooled when considering who to vote for – women can’t participate equally in the first until they have the second. The very phrasing of the questions and the reporting of the answers hide the complex and interdependent relationship between the two. Contraception, reproductive rights, gay marriage (defined as it is by conservatives as a threat to male/female hierarchies) – all have critical implications for women’s economic well-being and for the economy at large.
Insistence on splitting these two concerns is particularly useful to Republicans, because it allows them toblame women’s economic woes on their “choices,” a specific irony. If a woman gets paid less or doesn’t have a “seat at the table” it’s because she chose a lower paying job, or because she chose to have children and works part-time, or she chose to not complete her education. If women make “bad choices” it’s their own fault, their decisions and they have to pay the consequences. Which gets us to the second half of this equation. Simultaneously, for the “less important” Social Issues, the word “choice” is completely anathema to Republican legislators and presidential hopefuls. Girls and women cannot possibly be trusted with “choices” when it comes to their own bodies, sex ed, birth control, health care, sexuality, domestic violence and marriage.
Most importantly, however, in terms of the economy, is that what all of these secondary-in-importance social issues boil down to is that women especially cannot be allowed to “choose” for themselves when to become mothers – arguably the single most important contributing factor to their, and our economies, long-term well-being.
What single factor arguably has the greatest impact on a woman’s work life? In other words, what enables women to participate in the economy and become productive workers and engines of economic growth and expansion?
That would be motherhood.
So, even single, childless, undecided women who may one day get pregnant, should consider what happens to a woman when she gives birth:
She is 44% less likely to be hired
She makes 11% less than her non-mother female counterpart (who is already just making 78cents to the male dollar)
She is less likely to go to school or complete her education.
She works part-time with more frequency, so that she can provide child care for which she is uncompensated and can derive no benefits as child care is invisible labor.
She is less able to work overtime.
She is unable to get maternal health care coverage as part of a basic insurance policy. Already discriminated against by gender rating in insurance prices, she is now doubly financially harmed by the fact of her parenthood.
She is more likely to have to limit herself to lower paying job sectors where she thinks she will have more “flexibility” even though this has been proven not to be the case.
She is more likely to be impoverished and become state dependent.
And, what is motherhood? In it’s simplest terms, it is reproduction.
This is why instead of The Economy and Social Issues being unrelated as people keep suggesting, they are integrally related. The very nexus of The Economy and Social Issues then, from a policy perspective, is the question “Do you believe women should work, for (fair) pay and outside of the home?” Republicans do not. That’s why their dedication to controlling female sex and reproduction is an economic policy choice – it affects women’s abilities to pursue education, get hired, be paid, stay in the workforce.
If you believe yes women should be able to work and be paid fairly outside of the home, then you do everything possible to create family friendly work structures, fair pay regulations, health care access, planned parenting provisions, that enable women to do just that. If no, then you don’t. You do the opposite. You create a disabling “social issue” legislative scaffold on which to build a “it’s your own fault” Temple to Patriarchy.This is precisely what the Republic party is doing. If you are an undecided woman voter you should pause to consider the impact of these intersections on your own life and the lives of other, often far less privileged, women.
As it is now, even for a woman who has access to birth control, health care, safe and legal abortion, becoming a mother in this country, planned or unplanned, is the single worst economic decision a woman can make. She is still cobbled by inadequate health care, higher gender-rated insurance premiums, discriminatory pay, poor return on her educational investment, greater responsibility for child care and an inability to save effectively for security in her old age.
Republicans have shown repeatedly and without remorse that they want to keep women vulnerable, dependent and at home:
Domestic Violence? Let’s make sure the Abuser Lobby is happy, given the mail order bride business and more, and ensure that women most vulnerable to violent abuse are isolated and left even more at the mercy of mostly men who will rape and beat them without recourse to the law.
Reproductive Freedom? Let’s pursue husbandry-informed blunt force trauma legislation ensuring that women’s bodies and reproduction stay in the control of men. Eliminating Planned Parenthood, making it hard to find birth control and abortion services, mandating transvaginal ultrasounds that women themselves have to pay for, requiring waiting periods that require expensive travel – all of these things impede women’s freedom and ability to compete fairly in the job market.
Health Care: What, you mean the stuff that keeps people healthy and able to go to work? Hell, no. We’ll not only fight against affordable health care (the opposite of which is unaffordable health care) but we will also stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood, even including monies dedicated to non-abortion services like…family planning – often the only services that poor women have access to. Title IX? The only federal program devoted to family planning, you almost cannot make this up it’s so ridiculous: Romney will eliminate it entirely, to save money for The Economy.
And yes, even Mitt Romney’s 50 year old bullying of a gay boy. Why? Because the exact same attitudes that informed that incident inform his support of abstinence-only education, gendered societal roles, fair pay provisions, reproductive freedom – namely, there are rules, boxes which people are supposed to fit into – and when they don’t conform to his world view they should be punished and forced to. The roots of his high-school bullying escapades and his “Social Issue” policies both reside in an inability to empathize with people who don’t look like and sound like him. It’s why he saw nothing wrong in explaining that Ann Romney was responsible for translating females. Empathizing with women is just not a possibility if you’re a man.
All of these issues profoundly affect women’s ABILITY TO ENGAGE FULLY AND EQUALLY IN THE ECONOMY WITHOUT PENALIZATION. If Republicans were serious about their commitment to women’s unimpeded equality in the workplace, then they would not insist that “social” policies are unrelated to “the economy” and they would not be pursuing broad legislation that affirmatively harms women’s ability to participate in the economy on multiple levels. Basic control over her own body, that would be reproductive freedom and health care that is affordable, non-discriminatorily priced, and relevant to her body and not men’s, affects whether a woman can seek and complete her education. The type of job she can get. How many hours she can work. If she can afford to start a business. Whether or not she can work full time or has to work part time. Whether she can afford childcare and health care, if she works. Whether she can safely leave an abusive spouse without fear for her children and seek work to support herself.
That’s why Social Issues, like contraception, are ABOUT The Economy not separate from it.