“…she stopped paying close attention to his words and when at red lights, examined the rain drops spattering on the windshield so intently that she almost stared right through them. Each drop seemed stuck on the glass, until another drop landed on it and they rolled down the window together, ending in a climactic splash.”
Sara: College class of 2012 (English major, Gender and Sexuality Studies minor), working at a nonprofit that gets young women ready for and interested in running for office/maybe soon applying to grad school, writer, clarinetist.
I post and reblog: things I think are pretty, things that intrigue me, things I'm a fan of, and things I care about.
Common themes include: books, writing, movies, more books, cozy beds, breakfasts, Doctor Who, Sherlock, feminist issues, and occasional pieces of my life.
Wallpaper adapted from here.
- “The government, for its part, is sticking to the old script: Venezuela is falling victim to a fascist conspiracy cooked up by American officials who are terrified of its revolutionary aspirations.”
- “Faced with a government that systematically equates protest with treason, people have been protesting in defense of the very right to protest.”
- “As the cycle of protests, repression and protests-against-repression spread, the focus of protest began to morph. What was at stake, the students realized, was the right to free assembly.”
- “The government has also mobilized its sprawling propaganda apparatus … in a concerted campaign of vilification to demonize the protest leaders as a shadowy fascist cabal in cahoots with American imperialists.”
- “The claim is outlandish, yet its ceaseless repetition reveals that to the Venezuelan government, all dissent is treason. “
- “It seems as if President Nicolás Maduro can’t finish a sentence without denouncing a fascist. The irony appears to be lost on Mr. Maduro, who seems to have forgotten that one of the cornerstones of actual fascism is the refusal to recognize the legitimacy of dissenting opinions.”
- “… 13 deaths, 18 alleged cases of torture and over 500 student arrests…”
- ‘“No way! No way! / I’m not going to take / The Cuban-style dictatorship / You’re shoving in my face.’”
I understand your feeling, and the feeling is real and important, but our gut feelings are often incorrect.
Like, to give you an analogous example: I feel like I am going to die every time I get onto an airplane, but this gut feeling I have is wrong. Maybe I will someday die on an airplane, but if I need to go to Los Angeles for some reason, I am statistically far safer flying than I would be driving, so if one of my big goals is not wanting to die (and it is!) then I should fly, even though I feel less safe than I would if I were driving.
Similarly, you are much more likely to be murdered if you have a gun in your home than if you don’t have a gun in your home. So you may feel more safe, but statistically you are much less safe.
More importantly: Due to Stand Your Ground laws, more people are dying than would otherwise die. We know this with almost total certainty. So even if the Stand Your Ground law were providing your family some protection from a hypothetical home intrusion, I fail to see how this would justify the deaths of hundreds of non-hypothetical human beings.
And most importantly: The laws we are discussing do not involve the so-called “castle doctrine.” In almost every state in the U.S., it’s legal to shoot someone who has broken into your home. (This may be a bad idea when it comes to minimizing your chance of dying, but it’s not a crime.) The Stand Your Ground laws being publicly debated in the U.S. right now apply to locations outside your home.
When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.
Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”
When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.
Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”
I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.
She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”
“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”
He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”
Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”
When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”
Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”
Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.
He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.
Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.
Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.
One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.
I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”
Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.
It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.
It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.
It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.
There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.
I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend." —
By telling the oppressed that their anger is unjustified, you allow the oppression to continue. I know it’s hard to stay calm. I know it’s scary. But you’re coming from the safe place and they aren’t. Just please … Try to be more understanding. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)
This is really beautiful
This is the absolute truth.(via makomori)
"Venezuelan opposition groups staged a third day of marches through Caracas today to demonstrate against record shortages and the world’s fastest inflation as Twitter Inc. said the government is blocking protest images on its website. President Nicolas Maduro, who banned protests Feb. 12, has asked his supporters to counter with a “march against fascism” tomorrow, in a week of social unrest that has left at least three Venezuelans dead.
In the absence of information from the government or local television outlets, Venezuelans have turned to foreign reporters and social media for news. Twitter users had been posting their photos of demonstrations started in provincial towns earlier this month, providing an alternative to state-controlled media. It’s unclear if photos are blocked by all Internet providers in Venezuela, said Nu Wexler, Twitter spokesman.”
Check out this charming instance of squashing expression.
Please take a moment to reblog any or all of the following links, and let people know what’s going on in our country. There’s a media blackout and these things are not getting out. We NEED to get them outside Venezuelan blogs and out to the world.
REMEMBER, THIS IS HAPPENING NOW. You ARE helping if your reblog, but not later. We need this to be out right now. Get it to the media in your country, send it up, spread it over twitter and facebook. Don’t let it vanish. Venezuelans could be shut out of the internet any time and cut out from the world. You can help by reblogging this or any of the links separately.
Warning: Some of the links contain images of the events of today’s protests and the victims of pro-government shock groups, and as such these may including violence, blood and death. Remember to tag them properly.
THIS IS IMPORTANT. Please reblog this!
Please reblog, I am afraid for my family (most of my dad’s side) in Venezuela.
Do you know what is happening in Venezuela? This is what is happening. This is what has been happening during a week. The students have been protesting in a pacific way against the repressive and tyrant government that we have since 1999 (yes, 15 years living like this) and what is the police and the army doing? Beating them, shooting them and recently some students were condemned to jail for 13 YEARS!! For what crime? For claiming justice and democracy. Please, share this post, the world needs to know.
Yo, Tumblr Leftists, anyone please explain what is going on here?
Hahaha this is the same bullshit they roll out every single time. The dictatorship they are talking about is one that has won election after election in conditions that are internationally recognised by the UN and NGOs in multiple countries.
On these specific protests, they are really small demos led by right wing youth and students who are supporting the opposition who, if you remember their attempted coup in 2002, are pro-dictatorship.
The protesters have intimidated journalists, including holding one up at gun point. They have burnt and destroyed medical clinics and they shot a community leader from the slums dead in the street. The political forces we see here are right-wing and anti-democracy.
Okay. Whats going on with the supposed media black out then? Theres another tumblr post floating about saying that Venezuela is gonna get cut off from the internet, and that Maduro is saying everything is okay while the police are firing on people and beating shit up.
I’m not pro-opposition, nor am I playing devils advocate, I just would like a bit more information. Maduro, much like Chavez, wasn’t that great with the whole freedom of media thing. The opposition are certainly dictators, i’m not denying that, its just certain lack of freedoms are questionable here, and I would really appreciate you giving your opinion.
Well, I can safely say that the media blackout is pretty much bullshit. All, and I mean all, of the privately owned media in Venezuela is against the government, and most of it is still privately owned.
Fuck, the leader of the opposition, Capriles, comes from a family of media Moghuls. Like, there is plenty of anti-government press in Venezuela.
And on the topic of freedom of press, under the Chavez and Maduro government, more independent media stations, not controlled by corporations, have opened up than ever before.
In short, y’all should read VenezuelaAnalysis.com, it has pretty awesome and politically clear reporting from the streets.
What are you talking about? Do you even live in Venezuela? Have you been here? The police and the army are killing the students! I went to the march in my city yesterday and thousands of people were there protesting in a pacific way. Three students were shot dead in Caracas. In tachira people are still protesting and today I’m going out again even though I can get killed. Its easy to say all that crap when you live in Australia, but why don’t you come here and see it by yourself? And if you think that we are “small groups of people” is because you haven’t seen the protests of yesterday and because you are obviously believing all the socialist shit that you find on internet
If three students were shot dead, then why is El Nacional, the pro-opposition paper that supported Capriles’ bid only saying there have been two total deaths, one of which was a community leader from Barrio 23 de Enero, you know, Juan “Juancho” Montoya, shot dead by the opposition.
I know a woman, who as an independent journalist in Merida, was held at gunpoint by opposition “freedom fighters” for reporting the news about the conflict, who then proceeded to hold up an entire bus of ordinary people at gunpoint.
So yeah, on one hand I can take the shots from you, and believe that some enormous struggle for freedom has opened up in Venezuela (and wishes to replace the democratically elected government, yes, even the US and the UN say so, with the same forces that instigated an undemocratic coup in 2002). Or I can take the shots from the hundreds of independent activists and journalists on the ground who say that these are reactionary demonstrations.
The last time the opposition protested, medical clinics were burnt to the ground by so called “peaceful protesters”.
But in the end, it doesn’t bother me. The Bolivarian Revolution, which has given more power to the poor people of Venezuela than ever before, which has reduced poverty rates by 70%, which has created over 100000 neighbourhood councils which organise people once excluded from the democratic process, will triumph.
Just to let you know “el nacional” was bought by the government, just the same case as globovision. The clinics that you are talking about were burnt down by the tupamaros and the government blamed the opposition (like they always do) for it. If you want to know what is really happening, come here and see it by yourself.
Now you are just lying.
Like, El Nacional isn’t owned by the government. Like, it just isn’t. A brief browse of google can tell you that. In fact, the current owner founded Movimiento 2D and strongly supports the opposition movement.
The protests in Venezuela is much more complicated than socialists vs. ‘the opposition’. The protesters are not all reactionaries, anti-leftists and opposition forces as you would have us believe.
This is my biggest problem with leftist and (especially) socialist blogs. They rather accept the word of a leftist political leader and shun an entire protest/movement/resistance than look at the situation critically.
Lets take a look on how Maduro is handling the protests. The following quote was made by Maduro this week:
“Quien quiera protestar o marchar en cualquier lugar del país debe tener permiso y si no es así, serán detenidos.”
Translation: “Whoever protest or march anywhere in the country must have permission and if not, they will be detained.”
This quote is in response to Venezuelans protesting the government for the past two weeks over corruption, widespread violence and especially the severe food shortage.
And instead of immediately fixing the problem, Maduro is detaining protesters and blaming the food shortage on the opposition. He recently created a government council that would inspect private companies to ensure they are not deliberately slowing distribution or decreasing production.
Maduro’s police forces are also using live ammunition (bullets) against protesters. This is a video from yesterdays protest showing uniformed officers shooting at protesters. (Follow the link in the video for the article.)
The opposition on the other hand is almost certainly supported by the U.S. and may be funded by them as well.
This is why I encourage critical thinking. Both sides are corrupted and neither should be fully trusted. Everything they say and do should be taken with a grain of salt.
To be clear, I don’t support the opposition, nor do I support the Maduro government. But I do support the people who are legitimately protesting against violence, corruption and food insecurity.
It is a difficult issue because, as this demonstrates, many people frame it as “socialist leader” versus “right-wing opposition.” It’s not that simple. The Chavez/Maduro administrations tried to do good things for the people, but it’s resulted in one of the world’s highest murder rates and a lack of basic supplies (as I said previously). The issue is further complicated by, as the Venezuelan blogger points out, the Tuparamos - government supporters who protesters say are the ones instigating violence. Some people believe the police are also posing as protesters - here’s a photo breakdown of one (in Spanish FYI).
It’s complex but I will keep looking into it and let you all know what I find out. At this point, it seems like innocent protesters are being detained and murdered.
Yeah, ok, my dad’s Venezuelan, so I get to hear all about this all the time.
First, some simple background info: ”The South American nation is simultaneously grappling with one of the world’s highest inflation rates and one of the highest murder rates. Last year, prices rose 56 percent, and the country recorded nearly 25,000 murders.” (Source.)
Furthermore, despite an apparently robust portion of media being privately owned, the government exercises incredible undo control, whether by intimidation, denial of licenses, or by being able to literally command all stations to broadcast the president. And that’s not something that happens when there’s some huge emergency, it happens ALL THE TIME, including very conveniently during the broadcast of the opposition candidate’s campaign speech. (Source.) And Reporters without Borders ranks Venezuela 117th in the world for for press freedom, behind such bastions of freedom as Uganda and the UAE. (Source.)
And check out this lovely tidbit: the President has the power to rule by decree! (Source.)
Add to that massive shortages, including a lack of toilet paper, paper for printing newspapers, and food staples (and aside from food shortages being bad because people go hungry, let me tell you that it’s pretty tragic when there can’t be as many arepas in the world as their should be).
So it’s not surprising that there’s a strong, desperate opposition to the government.
And it’s absurd to paint them all as right-wing and to imply that anyone who’s against the failed, oppressive policies of those in power is automatically anti-Venezuelan, which is definitely happening.
I have tons of family in Venezuela, a small number of whom are actually “Chavistas”, and it’s been a scary, unstable, corrupt place under the current regime.
Don’t mistake claiming “leftism” as being “good” or “fair”.
A raging liberal half Venezuelan
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to a buffer zone law that protects patients and staff at clinics in Massachusetts from anti-choice harassment and violence.
Across the country, extreme, often violent, anti-choice protesters physically block access to clinics and intimidate people exercising their constitutionally protected rights. Learn more about this issue and the laws that exist to protect patients and their doctors.
Think back to everyone who argued that OWS protesters deserved police brutality because they were “disrupting business”. I’m assuming that this isn’t a big deal to these folks if the business being disrupted is one they don’t like.
Clinic escorts are fucking heroes. ThinkProgress has more on why abortion clinics need buffer zones.
I wrote about this the other day, but yeah, this.
Parrot, Andrea & Cummings, Nina. Forsaken Females: The Gobal Brutalization of Women. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2006, (p. 19)
I work on the fourth floor of a building that is right across the street from a Planned Parenthood. Naturally, there are often…interesting?…people hanging out outside it, and we have an excellent view of their shenanigans.
Yesterday, though, was kind of scary.
I glanced out the window and saw this guy just standing on the sidewalk in front of the clinic, and he had something in his hand that appeared to be a belt, with the buckle end hanging loose. Something about his body language indicated that something was not quite right with him, somehow, and with the belt, he looked a little menacing.
So I said something about him, and my coworker and I watched him for a minute. He proceeded to walk down the street, belt slightly swinging. So far, he was only a bit odd, really, although maybe a little worrying.
But then our breaths caught as he was about to cross paths with a young woman walking in the opposite direction because he lifted is arm as though he were about to hit her with the buckle end of the belt!
She shied away, and he didn’t seem very committed to the movement, letting his arm lazily drop down. And then they each kept walking, almost as if nothing had happened.
It must have been much, much scarier for her, but being so far a way and being unable to do a damn thing about what’s happening right before your eyes has its own kind of awful stress.
[CW: discussion of rape culture and violence]
This reminds me of an article about online (heterosexual) dating that I read a while ago. It listed men’s and women’s worst fears about meeting someone from online. The highest ranked fear that men had was that their date would be fat, whereas the highest ranked fear that women had was that their date would turn out to be violent and kill them.
I think that says a lot.
Its interesting also that these fears sit subconsciously until woman are asked to exams their responses to men. We women will operate with this fear in mind, the way we protect ourselves, make sure our friends know where we are when we go on a date, words that we use while interacting with men, all in hopes they will not kill us, but simultaneously love us.
I think bell hooks made a point about this in her series on love. Something along the lines of how can women hope to love and receive love from men when at the foundation of our relationships there is this strong fear of men. You can’t build true trust when your foundation is crumbling under you.
The scariest part is, once you recognize this fear, and face it, how do you address it when there is evidence of “good” men abusing, hurting, and killing women everyday?
I was in my early 20’s when one of my homegirls broke this down for me.
I was in a broken relationship, and one of the things was that bugged me at the time was that the girlfriend at the time would freak out whenever I got angry - I never yelled, never throw or hit things, mostly, I just needed some time to cool out.
“Why does she get scared when I’m angry? I’d never hit her!”
“But she doesn’t KNOW that. She can’t assume that. Look at how many dudes are out there pulling shit.”
And that stuck with me for a hot minute. The relationship was broken on so many levels anyway, but that fact still remains, as a man, I can’t fault women for assuming the worst in order to protect themselves, especially how the world’s patriarchy and misogyny rolls.
I’ve had continual discussions with Tchy about this, and I don’t expect to stop. It’s fair to say that there’s no one in the world that I trust more, and he has been extremely careful with me, but… the fact remains that he leans quite a bit towards the masculine, and this means that that fear is always there. The news of transmasculine folks abusing/raping people doesn’t help that fear any. :(
I’m learning not to apologize for it. It’s not my fault (nor, really, is it his) that I’m scared of dude-type people. But it’s always there. Which is another reason why I get so pissed off when trans men try to make transmisogyny about them.
This is an incredible thread of responses. I’ve seen this quote before, but not the dialogue that built up around it. The part about loud=violent hits home particularly hard for me. I am terrified of getting into irl arguments with men, especially when they get loud. It’s always going to sit in the pit of my stomach.
That part resonates for me too, although from a completely different angle. Despite being more terrified of sexual violence than I am of anything other than my own brain, I do not hesitate to yell, confront, get up in the face of, threaten, even hit men twice my size and many times my strength. Faced with a threat of violence from men, I will either imply or state “I dare you to.”
I also, as previously established on this blog, have a death wish.
To me, that encapsulates everything about the violence, especially sexual violence, coded into relationships between men and women in our society: for a woman to assert herself in the face of maleness may require the woman in question (such as me) to be perpetually suicidal.
Reblogging for commentary. I have been frightened and scared by men being loud with me, even if I don’t think they’ll be violent. Like people have said above, it’s just a latent response in your brain to fear violence from men.
I went out to dinner with someone a couple of weeks ago (LONG story, was supposed to be a group dinner but it ended up just being me & a strange man) and I told him I blogged about feminism and politics, and he went off on me. He told me feelings were bullshit and women just wanted special privileges, and then he said, “Women don’t give men enough credit for not being violent psychopaths. That’s what we are, deep down. We want to rape and pillage, and we don’t, and women don’t give us enough credit for that.” I burst into tears. That shit was terrifying.
I too am reblogging this for the amazing commentary.
When supposed feminist ally men deny this very basic, simple truth - that’s how you know they are an ally to no one.
This all gets taught to women at a very young age, how dangerous the world is when you’re in it being a woman. I’ve been struggling to write about something that happened with my daughter a few weeks ago, how to form the words, but this is possibly the best context.
We were in the wine shop, in line to pay, and she was so excited to get her lollipop (in the time honored tradition of wine stores everywhere). A man two people ahead of us started fighting with the woman behind the counter about how much money he’d given her. As I was moving her behind my body, my daughter froze, and when I say froze, I mean wasn’t moving a muscle except to shake.
It sorted itself out pretty quickly. We paid and left.
Once we got back into the car, she started crying. I asked her what was the matter, and she said, “Mama, I was so scared. When men get angry they shoot people.”
That’s a direct quote. When men get angry, they shoot people.
I asked her, “Baby, why do you think that?” She replied, “on NPR, that’s what happens. When men get really mad they kill people. That guy was really mad, what if he had a gun? What would you do?”
The talk we had afterwards was difficult; no one said parenting was easy. But this is the life we live as women. If my 9 year old understands it, then men of the world, alleged feminist allies, Nice Guys, random douches on the street, and even actual non-dangerous men: so can you.
I’ve reblogged this quote before, I think. But reblogging now for the amazing commentary.
I was having a discussion with my father and brother the other day. We were talking about receiving threats of rape or violence via the internet. Their whole argument was “just ignore it and walk away from your computer”. Amazing solution. Can’t believe I never thought of that. It’s so clever because we all know that when you leave your keyboard the threat of violence disappears.