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.
“Your arguments are that of an evangelizing hammer salesman in search of the right kind of nail with the right kind of board in the right kind of weather for the right kinds of carpenters, wandering around the ruins of homes laid waste in a hurricane, some of whose owners have, incidentally, had their heads bashed in by… hammers. The audience to which [use of drones] is going to be most compelling isn’t composed of people in these conflicts; it’s those who share your fantasy of a UN viewing session in which dramatic footage prompts dramatic action, a logic vividly illustrated by the domino sequence of the Kony2012 video.”—
You speak of drones as if they are nothing more than flying cameras, just another tool for human rights researchers and journalists. This ignores a glaring difference. When reporters or human rights researchers take the extraordinary step of acting contrary to a sovereign government’s laws, the personal risks they incur provide some degree of legitimizing constraint on their actions. What you are proposing is completely different: the use of a technology whose very appeal lies in its lack of risk and therefore is not similarly constrained. Indeed, insofar as you fantasize about their use in areas “without [a] strong state” in Africa, what you are talking about is NGOs effectively assuming some kind of quasi-public function, further exacerbating their already glaring lack of accountability.
Yet you seem to be shocked that readers associate your op-ed with state or militarized use of drones. Why? You explicitly cite the NATO war on Libya as a precedent justifying your proposal. You have reportedly attempted to hire armed mercenaries for use in Darfur. And your argument does not provide any clues as to what its own limits might be. You claim there is an “enormous red line” separating military use of drones from your proposal. What, exactly, is that red line composed of other than your stated good intentions? From what I can see, not very much. When someone in the policy world took the entirely predictable step of locating the middle ground between your proposal and current practice by suggesting drone use by the UN, you had no clear position on the matter even weeks later. If you think it’s so unfair for readers to associate your op-ed with militarism perhaps you should start by opposing militarism.
It was also a disturbing symptom of the general acceptance — indeed mainstreaming — of drones as a cost-effective, risk- and responsibility-free, omnipresent technology of surveillance and violence. A technology that has facilitated new regimes of remote-control atrocity: Israel’s maintenance of the Gaza Strip as an open-air animal pen for 1.6 million human beings, and the unchecked expansion of the US-led global civil war in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines. A technology that enables the US to swap the unseemly jingoism of George W. Bush landing on an aircraft carrier for the equally disturbing insouciance of Barack Obama cracking Predator jokes at a black-tie dinner. As a human rights worker, I have seen enough shrapnel wounds and houses bombed out from both kinds of weapons to assure you that the differences do not amount to very much in the end for those whose lives have been destroyed. I do not think it reasonable for you to expect readers to forget this context and treat your op-ed — which takes this mode of warfare as given and merely seeks to share the joy of droning with others — as nothing more than an innocent “thought piece.”
A standing ovation for Darryl Li (who can be followed on Twitter under the username @abubanda.) Also, who on Earth approves these op-eds in NYT? “Drones for human rights” is probably one of the worst oxymorons I’ve ever heard.
Cathy was his first. They were together from fourteen to seventeen. After three years of under the shirt but over the bra, jean on jean friction she finally spread her legs two weeks after his seventeenth birthday on the backseat of the Hyundai he’d been gifted by his parents. That was a good year.
They were supposed to be together forever but summer abroad in Madrid and college on a different continent brought Amanda, Fay and Magda between them. Cathy realized that sex ruins everything and so she reclaimed her virginity and wore white at her wedding. Her next first time was with her husband on their honeymoon in the Cayman Islands.
When I met him he was madly in love with girl number five, a history major who told everyone her name was Jerusalem and wore thick black eye liner nearly to her temples. The night we met she was drunk on key lime vodka and lecturing the room on the applicability of Baha’i dogma to atheistic living.
I fucked him on a fold out chair in an empty kitchen, straddled across his lap with my hands for balance on the counter top, his shoulder between my teeth to drown the noise. As he was about to cum the chair went up on its two back legs and slid out from under us. He smacked his head on the granite counter on his way down and landed on his back, still inside me, still hard. He finished in the few seconds before his eyes rolled back in his head and he passed out.
I left him there with his pants down.
He had fucked five girls. But he was a virgin when we met.
He doesn’t realize how quickly it’s slipping through his fingers, like bathwater down a drain or a well-worn cliché through the mouth of a bleary-eyed, greasy-haired boy hunched over a square of unblinking light in an almost-black room at three in the fucking morning. He won’t stop in his tracks, screech to a halt, pause the tape recorder’s scratchy, interminable unwinding long enough to notice the blistering speed at which the meticulously folded bills in his black leather wallet give way to chump change, to little bits of shine and rust and jangle that bulge loudly and don’t lay flat. He can’t be bothered to watch as the numbers in his bank account ratchet furiously down to zero, and doesn’t seem to understand why he shouldn’t reach for his pockets every time a man with a sticky beard and teeth like double rows of Indian corn shuffles toward him with an imploring smile stamped on his leathery face. He doesn’t want to see the glint buried in each eye, the hollow lodged in every heart, the laughter crouched beneath the crumpled tents of sad-sack gestures, the buttons and strings and levers and pulleys frantically at work behind each unfurling of pride’s white flag, because he’s a dreamer, a drifter, and as far as he’s concerned the world and all its messy contingencies can burn so long as there are books to hold close and disappear into, plains and mountains and sparkling rivers conjured out of whole cloth where faces are faces and masks are nowhere to be seen. Yes, he would like to live in such a place. However, real life is teeming with solipsistic assholes like himself, and the only store that will offer books for a dollar a pound is ten agonizing miles away.
Rape and sexual assault are traumatic experiences that may interrupt your life at home, at work, and at school, affecting your relationships with friends, family, and co- workers.
This guide can help you to begin sorting out your emotions and concerns and to understand the facts sur- rounding sexual assault.
You have survived, and now you can begin to recover. Although this process is often slow and confus- ing, with understanding and persistence you can accom- plish a great deal. You have control over how you recover.
[TW: attempted rape] When I was 16, I had a fake I.D. and decided to go to a gay bar by myself because some friends bailed on me. While there, an older gentleman bought me a drink. He wasn’t a creeper, and he definitely wasn’t unattractive. I accepted the drink and began talking to him. No big deal. As the hour progressed, I felt myself feeling strange. I mentioned that I felt like I had a headache, and this guy helped guide me out of the bar. As we were walking down the street, the thought of, ‘Oh god, he’s drugged me, I’m going to die’ came to my head. I tried to get away, but I was so drugged up that I could barely walk, let alone speak. It also didn’t help that I had really large ‘goth’ platform shoes because I was going through a phase. Anyway, this guy brought me to his suv and began undressing me. As a final act of defiance, I hit him over the head with my platform shoe. He then punched me, and I remember thinking, ‘Why don’t they ever give workshops to gay guys about being victims of rape too?’ While I was as careful as possible, I never saw the guy slip something in the drink. I even watched the bar tender make the drink. Anyway, I lied there completely paralyzed while this pervert was lubing up. I locked eyes with his for a moment, and that’s when it happened. A very large and angry drag queen opened the door of the vehicle and beat the shit out of my attempted rapist. She and her other drag friends helped dress and care for me while the police arrived. I was saved by a group of guardian drag queens. They were basically the modern day ‘angels from heaven.’
“Goodbye,” she said quite simply, her hands waving me away, fingers cracked and bleeding like her lips. “I’m going away,” eyelids fluttering in some dreamlike state where time passed by at a different speed, but her eyes didn’t look haunted any more and where ever she was, she seemed at peace. “Don’t come looking for me,” she whispered, “you don’t find me anyway. I’m going to sleep and won’t be back for a while. Perhaps by then you’ll be gone too. I’ll miss you, but I can’t stay.” Her fingers traced over my mouth as if to stop the protests she knew were waiting to come, pressing traces of blood onto my lips. Then she left me, my words for her left withering in my mouth where they would do no good any more. But that’s when I started writing.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— in the family of things.
How can the heavens admire the stars when they are but one in the same? And how can the sun and the moon sing different songs when it is their duet that keeps the world in balance? How could the earth call to the rain and the rain not respond with outstretched arms reaching to soothe away the dry, cracked, and brittle surfaces that cry out for something to bring them back to life? How can Yin ignore Yang? How can Up forget Down? How can there be direction if Left never met Right? And, how can I be a star without my Satellite?
I feel like an ass because I’m asking for help but I really need it.
As some of my followers know, I am financially strapped all of the time. It comes with working a part time, minimum wage job. I make roughly $100 a week and so many bills to pay. Credit card, student loans, food, and gas money. I have to figure out how to pay all of that and still not have $0 in the bank within 24 hours.
So later I’m gonna kick my dog across the house, go out on my roof and snipe some cats, find some lizards and rats and chop their heads off and wear it as a necklace and then adopt some dogs and cats and then throw them into traffic. Fuck animals….
eating meat also contributes to world hunger in 3rd world countries, not to mention global warming. you sure about that?
“contributes to world hunger in 3rd world countries”
You, I never had you. A sip of your own destiny awaits your attention while
gloom lurks in the corners while alcoholic fire spreads in your throat, your lungs already in ashes and dust wanders in your
veins like crystals without shine; you, I never had you.
Combustion, explosion, emotions thudding like missile launches in the ocean with bottoms, you, I never had you and
I am rocking the cradle of pure psychosis at its murkiest, one, two, three, until
gloom lurks in the corners while you watch the cradle fall with your eyes shut with frightened silence screaming and kicking you in the heart so let’s break its legs to destroy, rebirth, a sip of your own destiny with a cup full of rust and sickly bacteria, dementia,
“You ask yourself: where are your dreams now? And you shake your head and say how swiftly the years fly by! And you ask yourself again: what have you done with your best years, then? Where have you buried the best days of your life? Have you lived or not? Look, you tell yourself, look how cold the world is becoming. The years will pass and after them will come grim loneliness, and old age, quaking on its stick, and after them misery and despair.”—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (via serialstranger)
In 1990, there were slightly more than 3 million Americans over the age of 85. Now there are almost 6 million. By 2050 there will be 19 million—approaching 5 percent of the population. There are various ways to look at this. If you are responsible for governmental budgets, it’s a knotty policy issue. If you are in marketing, it suggests new opportunities (and not just Depends). If you are my age, it seems amazingly optimistic. Age is one of the great modern adventures, a technological marvel—we’re given several more youthful-ish decades if we take care of ourselves. Almost nobody, at least openly, sees this for its ultimate, dismaying, unintended consequence: By promoting longevity and technologically inhibiting death, we have created a new biological status held by an ever-growing part of the nation, a no-exit state that persists longer and longer, one that is nearly as remote from life as death, but which, unlike death, requires vast service, indentured servitude really, and resources.
The absurdity of decrying the conditional/relative privilege that Asians have while simultaneously pointing out one of the biggest… just. Gets me.
Because how does your brain process something so absurd?
For all the problems that Asians do have and experience, the fact that we are not criminalized for existing, that police don’t harass, stalk, and attack us, that we aren’t put into prisons, means that we clearly enjoy a certain level of privilege that Black and/or Latin@ and/or Indigenous people don’t.
Because for all that I don’t trust the police in their function as a tool of white supremacy, I have never, ever feared for my life because of them. I will not be shot for walking while Asian, even if my hand is near my waistband. I wouldn’t even be stopped and frisked, if I lived in New York.
If this is not a privilege, I’m not really sure the word as meaning anymore.
I have various learning disabilities, and my fantastic medley of various disorders means that memorization is very difficult for me. I share this because I’ve always had a tough time memorizing The Qur’an. This came up when I was younger, I was in an informal round table, in which we were discussing The Qur’an.
We were debating a certain topic, and I could not recall the exact words (in The Qur’an), and my, let’s call him “my rival,” in the group was a Hafiz (masha Allah) and he was/is very intelligent. He asked me to cite, in The Qur’an, where I could prove my position.
I’d like to underline: He did not know I had difficulty memorizing because of my learning disabilities, but as a strong debater he knew that his advantage over me was his memorization of The Qur’an, so please I do not want to make it seem like he did this from a cruel position.
I struggled to remember the exact words, I tried to underline the broad concepts, affirming my position and challenging his own, but he simply (and rightly) pushed me for the exact words, as the language was important. We both knew I was right, but that’s not the point in debate, and without the exact words, I could not win, completely.
Our teacher, who was also a Hafiz, knew that I struggled with memorization, but did not know why, and he said something, as a kind of rebuke to the other student:
“There’s no use in memorizing The Qur’an if you cannot understand The Qur’an.”
He obviously did not mean this to demean those who memorize The Qur’an (again, he was a Hafiz) but it meant so much to me, and I didn’t want to post this quote alone, exactly because I do not want people to think that memorization is bad or useless, but that understanding (and therefore acting) upon The Qur’an is the most important thing, and we must never forget that.
Insha Allah, I pray that we can, as an Ummah, understand The Qur’an so that we may deal with each other with the manners and conduct worthy of people who claim to follow The Qur’an.
In life he may dream to play the bold hero, the urbane prince, the adventurous rouge, the astute witted bard, the ardent Don Juan. Or, in essence, he cannot escape the act of the human. the insecure, the incoherent, the unfulfilled, the privation of dream. Suddenly, it dawned upon him: The dream, the sequence of perceived failings, victories, the loss of loves never gained, the days of night and the night of days, the security of the material, the insecurity of the immaterial the fear of the unstructured, the humiliation of triviality, the disingenuity of hope, the need for purpose.
All this, and more, were the products of want and disillusionment of want.
Wake up! Life lies not in security of dream, no. Nor that of structure, Life lies in being, All of those secure are doomed to die.
Those who disdain death, see her for the false siren she is, the harlot of want, those who see, gain life, may revel in being, in universe, in emancipation, in eternity, in immortality.
n. the surge of energy upon catching a glance from someone you like—a thrill that starts in your stomach, arcs up through your lungs and flashes into a spontaneous smile—which scrambles your ungrounded circuits and tempts you to chase that feeling with a kite and a key.