Symphonic Love

sociolab:

Do you ever think about the fact that the US has created and legitimized a system of institutionalized inequality by funding schools through property taxes?  That basically a child’s education is only as good as the value of the property in their neighborhood.  Funny how education is so often viewed as an equalizing factor when there is nothing equal about it.

ourafrica:

Takes notes America. Instead of looking down on -developing- nations, perhaps we should ask for help.

ourafrica:

Takes notes America. Instead of looking down on -developing- nations, perhaps we should ask for help.

latinosexuality:

starlingsongs:

fuckyeahsexeducation:

izzy-springbolt:

actuallyintersex:

misohead:

aaron-in-transit:

purpleferretspirit:

murasaki-pengi:

blackenedbutterfly:

emphasize:

fuzzyhorns:


L0031936 Credit: Wellcome Library, London Intersex Society of North Americawww.isna.org PO Box 3070 MI 48106-3070‘Phall-O-meter’ (Showing in actual scale currentmedical standards employed to determine nature ofgenital plastic surgery for children born withmixed sex anatomy)In copyright ? Collection: Wellcome Images

please reblog the fuck out of this

What in the actual fuck.

WHAT THE FUCK

… what the— is this legit!?

Yeah it is. The phrase “three standard deviations below the mean” is the common reason for removing a male fallus and assigning the baby a female gender.
If you think about it, this actually sums up, pretty well, our society.

It physically hurt my stomach to see this.

Same >_< I’ve reblogged this before but it needs more publicity so I’m doing it again.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new and is still used today. ~Mod A

can someone explain this to me in Lehman’s terms pleSe? im confused and don’t know why everyone’s losing their shit because i don’t really understand the diagram

Okay, so there’s a wide variety of genitals out there. Here is a very simplistic chart of a spectrum genitals can fall on: 

Basically the clitoris and the penis are the exact same thing, very similar anatomy. Doctors will define it as a clitoris or penis depending on 1. if it has a urethra going through it and 2. it’s size. The diagram is the one they use to decide if they want to call the baby a girl or boy or intersex. Many babies are put through genital surgeries (sometimes without the parent’s knowledge or permission) to make them look more like a penis or more like a vulva which can cause many health problems as it is a surgery, or other problems related to being assigned a gender. Any kind of surgery that isn’t necessary for health should not be performed on babies because they cannot consent.

AND THIS IS WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY SEX IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT!

in the US, medical doctors would argue that an enlarged clitoris needs to be cut down to size b/c of fears of what it may mean to have a large clitoris (oh the horrors of pleasure from a clitoris!). here’s an article i wrote 4 years ago about a doctor in the US who had done this (and may continue to do this, I don’t know I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to publish my 2nd part) as longitudinal research. um…
yeah, i’ve been in this field for a long long while.

latinosexuality:

starlingsongs:

fuckyeahsexeducation:

izzy-springbolt:

actuallyintersex:

misohead:

aaron-in-transit:

purpleferretspirit:

murasaki-pengi:

blackenedbutterfly:

emphasize:

fuzzyhorns:

L0031936 Credit: Wellcome Library, London 
Intersex Society of North America
www.isna.org PO Box 3070 MI 48106-3070
‘Phall-O-meter’ (Showing in actual scale current
medical standards employed to determine nature of
genital plastic surgery for children born with
mixed sex anatomy)
In copyright ?
 
Collection: Wellcome Images

please reblog the fuck out of this

What in the actual fuck.

WHAT THE FUCK

… what the— is this legit!?

Yeah it is. The phrase “three standard deviations below the mean” is the common reason for removing a male fallus and assigning the baby a female gender.

If you think about it, this actually sums up, pretty well, our society.

It physically hurt my stomach to see this.

Same >_< I’ve reblogged this before but it needs more publicity so I’m doing it again.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new and is still used today. ~Mod A

can someone explain this to me in Lehman’s terms pleSe? im confused and don’t know why everyone’s losing their shit because i don’t really understand the diagram

Okay, so there’s a wide variety of genitals out there. Here is a very simplistic chart of a spectrum genitals can fall on: 

Basically the clitoris and the penis are the exact same thing, very similar anatomy. Doctors will define it as a clitoris or penis depending on 1. if it has a urethra going through it and 2. it’s size. The diagram is the one they use to decide if they want to call the baby a girl or boy or intersex. Many babies are put through genital surgeries (sometimes without the parent’s knowledge or permission) to make them look more like a penis or more like a vulva which can cause many health problems as it is a surgery, or other problems related to being assigned a gender. Any kind of surgery that isn’t necessary for health should not be performed on babies because they cannot consent.

AND THIS IS WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY SEX IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT!

in the US, medical doctors would argue that an enlarged clitoris needs to be cut down to size b/c of fears of what it may mean to have a large clitoris (oh the horrors of pleasure from a clitoris!). here’s an article i wrote 4 years ago about a doctor in the US who had done this (and may continue to do this, I don’t know I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to publish my 2nd part) as longitudinal research. um…

yeah, i’ve been in this field for a long long while.

thepeoplesrecord:

TW: Transmisogynist murder, rape - Justice for Jennifer: Protests sweep Philippines after US marine murders transgender women
October 19, 2014

Protests continue across the Philippines following news of the murder of Jennifer Laude, a transgender Filipina woman, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. marine in Olongapo City. Coming just months after the U.S. signed a controversial pact to boost its military presence in the Philippines, protesters say the killing is stoking deep-rooted anger over the U.S. military’s treatment of Philippine civilians and prompting renewed calls to boot U.S. troops from the country.

"We are not only hoping to be able to bring justice to our fellow Filipina, but also to force the U.S. and Philippine governments to rethink their strategy in the region," Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA—a Philippine alliance of women’s movement organizations—told Common Dreams on Friday over the phone from Manila.

"Here We Go Again"

Jennifer Laude, 26 years old, was killed in a Olongapo City hotel room on October 11, with signs that she may have been beaten and strangled. Philippine police on Wednesdaycharged a U.S. marine, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, with the murder. Pemberton was one of 3,500 U.S. military service members taking part in a joint military exercise with the Philippines.

U.S. military officials, who have not publicly confirmed or denied Pemberton’s identity, say that a marine under investigation is currently being held by the U.S. military on the USS Peleliu, an amphibious vessel currently in the Subic Bay free port northwest of Manila.

The Philippine government served a subpoena for Pemberton on Friday. However, past atrocities, and relative immunity for U.S. troops in the Philippines, leave many skeptical that the U.S. service member will be held to account.

In the infamous Subic Bay rape case in 2005, Lance Corporal Daniel Smith—who was found guilty in Philippine court of raping a Filipina woman while other Marines watched—was transferred from Philippine to U.S. custody. His conviction was later overturned, and he was never made to serve the life sentence handed to him by a Philippine court.

Bernadette Ellorin, New York-based Chairperson of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of Filipino organizations in the U.S., told Common Dreams that she considers the killing of Laude a “hate crime against a transgender woman.” Ellorin continued, ”There is a long history of the U.S. military committing heinous acts against people in the Philippines and not really being brought to justice because military agreements more or less protect them.”

"Here we go again," said Salvador. "We have another case, and we are still not sure if there will be justice for Jennifer and her family."

Expanding U.S. Military Presence

Meanwhile, the U.S. military presence in the Philippines, enabled by mounting pacts between the U.S. and the Philippines, is growing.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines, signed in April, is a 10 year deal that allows the U.S. to drastically increase its military presence in the Philippines. The accord is part of an Obama administration push for a military pivot to the Asia-Pacific region in a bid to hedge against China’s rising power.

The pact is broadly opposed in the Philippines, as it reverses a 1992 decision by the Philippine government, under pressure from the public, to kick the U.S. out of its last permanent base in the country, located in Subic Bay. Social movements in the Philippines have long opposed U.S. power over their country, which includes more than five decades of direct colonial rule and the backing of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

However, the 1992 decision did not actually keep the U.S. military out. The U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement, signed in 1998, allowed the U.S. to establish over 20 “semi permanent" military installations in the country. It also includes language that has been used by the U.S. military to shield service members from Philippine laws, including in the Subic Bay rape case.

Residents say that the U.S. military, and the agreements protecting it, is deeply destructive to local communities. Soldiers commit atrocities with impunity, said Salvador. And the military’s environmental destruction and waste dumping harms ecosystems and public health. This includes a U.S. Navy ship’s damage last year to Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, which the U.S. still has not paid reparations for.

"There are also concerns about the displacement of many communities because the U.S. military is already building facilities in several parts of the country, including Oyster Bay in the Pelawan Islands, which is home to indigenous communities," Salvador continued. "The U.S. military has not been fully been held responsible for the damage it has done."

"Justice for Jennifer"

Salvador says that protests in the country are issuing calls for the U.S. military to leave, and “bringing to the fore” the pressing issue of LGBTQ and women’s rights.

"Every day there have been protests in front of the U.S. embassy in Manila or the department of foreign affairs office in Manila," she said. "Protests are taking place in schools, in communities, and other parts of the country. We are seeing not only women’s and LGBTQ organizations protesting, but also students, workers, and poor people. Even media personalities, legislators, and actors, who before were not vocal about their views, have recently also shared their indignation over Jennifer’s murder."

Demonstrations have taken place across the U.S., including New York, San Francisco, and Lost Angeles. “The response has been overwhelming from our community and the LGBTQ community as well,” said Ellorin. “Transgender people are taking leadership and sticking up for value of Jennifer’s life.”

"We are demanding justice for Jennifer," Ellorin added. "We can’t take the context away: there is a problem with us military presence in the Philippines."

Source

rainandteeth:

ashleighthelion:

FREE FIGURE'S CONSENT RALLY!

wow don’t i look threatening in my hello kitty hat

socialjusticekoolaid:

Today in Solidarity (10.16.14): 5 days in and #OccupySLU is still going strong. Many students are actively engaging in meaningful dialogue about policing, white privilege, and the need for systemic change. Of course, fuckboys are plentiful in the world, and two bitter ass (white) boys thought it would be fun to bring a group of police officers to intimidate the peaceful crowd. Glad to see students standing in solidarity with what’s happening in the own backyard. This is a movement in action. #staywoke

Looking for a way to support the actions happening in Ferguson/St. Louis. You can donate supplies to #OccupySLU @ 5121 Page Blvd, St Louis, MO, 63115.

stayuglystayangry:

Older guys who make a big deal out of girls turning 18 genuinely terrify me. Like if you’re 35 or some shit and you would totally date or sleep with an 18 year old, you would with a younger girl (maybe even much younger) if it was legal. You don’t care about her emotional maturity or ethical sex or mutual informed consent, you care about not getting in trouble.

talesofthestarshipregeneration:

liligiworld:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

It’s one thing to misplace your keys, your wallet, a receipt from Macy’s or your favorite pen, but Georgia’s secretary of state cannot account for approximately 40,000 voter-registration applications that, if processed, would enfranchise predominantly black and Hispanic Georgians.

According to an Al-Jazeera report, it’s a sentiment that the staffers at Third Sector Development are expressing. The nonprofit organization was on a mission to register as many black and Hispanic people in the state of Georgia as possible so that voter turnout for the upcoming midterm elections in November would be high. And they were successful at it, until they received word that about half of the applications they submitted for processing have gone missing in action.

“Over the last few months, the group submitted some 80,000 voter-registration forms to the Georgia secretary of state’s office—but as of last week, about half those new registrants, more than 40,000 Georgians, were still not listed on preliminary voter rolls. And there is no public record of those 40,000-plus applications, according to state Rep. Stacey Adams, a Democrat,” Al-Jazeera explained.

Georgia Secretary of State Brain Kemp explained that his office is not doing anything differently from how it usually processes applications. But some people aren’t buying his story, seeing as how he’s a Republican, and black and Hispanic people tend to vote for Democrats.

Georgia Republicans have been raising eyebrows for some time now with regard to early voting and voter-ID issues. One state Republican didn’t like how black and Hispanic voters had easy access to early-voting opportunities.

The “Republican whip of the state Senate complained that DeKalb County, Ga., was making it too easy for minorities to vote by allowing early voting in an area mall close to many predominantly African-American churches,” Think Progress reports.

Third Sector Development is not taking lightly the news that no one knows what became of its hard work to get people to register to vote. The group is going to court so that a judge can look into it.

“To that end, Third Sector Development announced yesterday that, after weeks of fruitless negotiations with the state, they were going to court to find out the status of the missing registrations—or, more to the point, the eligibility of more than 40,000 potential voters,” Al-Jazeera reports.

Read more at Al-Jazeera and Think Progress.  

Source: Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele for The Root

Woooow. You see how they do??

ELECTION OBSERVERS FOR THE UNITED STATES PLEASE.

ourafrica:

Nigeria said on Friday it had agreed a ceasefire with Islamist militants Boko Haram and reached a deal for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the group six months ago.

There was no immediate confirmation from the rebels, who have brought five years of havoc in Africa’s top oil producer and triggered an international outcry by seizing the girls from the northeast town of Chibok in April.

“I wish to inform this audience that a ceasefire agreement has been concluded,” said the head of Nigeria’s military, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, adding the deal had followed three days of talks with the militant sect.

Government spokesman Mike Omeri said the deal covered the release of the captives and Boko Haram had given assurances “that the schoolgirls and all other people in their captivity are all alive and well.”

Their release would be a huge boost for President Goodluck Jonathan, who faces an election next year and has been pilloried at home and abroad for his slow response to the kidnapping and his inability to quell the violence, the biggest security threat to Africa’s biggest economy.

Apart from one appearance on a Boko Haram video, the girls have not been seen since the brazen nighttime raid on the town near the Cameroon border, although police and a parent said last month that one of the victims had been released.

Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates as “Western education is sinful,” has killed thousands of people in its fight to create an Islamic caliphate in the vast scrubland of Nigeria’s impoverished northeast.

A senior Nigerian security source confirmed the existence of talks, but said it remained unclear whether Abuja was negotiating with self-proclaimed movement leader Abubakar Shekau, or another faction within the group.

“Commitment among parts of Boko Haram and the military does appear to be genuine. It is worth taking seriously,” the security source told Reuters.

Several rounds of negotiations have been attempted in recent years but they have never achieved a peace deal, partly because the group is believed to be deeply divided.

“There are some talks but it depends on the buy-in of the whole group. I would be surprised if Shekau had suddenly changed his mind and is ready for a ceasefire,” the source added.

The government was negotiating with Danladi Ahmadu, a man calling himself the secretary-general of Boko Haram, a presidency source said. It was not clear if Ahmadu is part of the same faction as Shekau.

Security sources in neighbouring Chad said Chadian mediators had been involved in the discussions, which were part of a larger deal that led to the release a week ago of 27 hostages, including 10 Chinese workers, kidnapped in Cameroon.

Separately, Cameroon’s defence ministry said eight soldiers and 107 Boko Haram militants had been killed in fighting in the far north on Wednesday and Thursday, a region that has suffered regular cross-border raids.

I heard that today is the eve of his declaration. We will take this with a grain of salt till we see proof of the girls home with their families.

Also, what will happen to the other women and boys kidnapped by Boko Haram? Will they be set free as well?

Whiteness as social disease and ableism

redlightpolitics:

I want to preface this by saying that throughout this reflection, when I use “whiteness” I mean it as shorthand, inspired in bell hooks’ definition, for “white supremacist, heteronormative, cissupremacist, capitalist, Imperialist patriarchy” (see here Trudy’s compiled list of origins of definitions and here for bell hooks’ own usage of these ideas in one example of her own writing). I understand that “whiteness” usually means different things to different people but this is what I have in mind when I speak about it. Whiteness as “system of interlocked oppressions”.

Yesterday I shared Sarah Kendzior’s excellent post about media cruelty and exclusion. A number of people objected to the ableism in the piece, mostly, the conflation of sociopathy to racism/ misogyny/ transphobia, etc (you can see it in the reblogs of my post but I also saw the objections pop up on Twitter). Last week, a woman of color, in a private space, asked if people thought that referring to racism as sociopathy was ableist. The question was based, I presumed, in the definition of sociopathy as one in “which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others”. The responses (all of them), said yes. Equating racism to sociopathy was ableist. In all these instances described, the respondents pointing out the ableism were white.

I realized in these incidents that there seems to be a disconnect and lack of understanding of the framework to explain what we are experiencing as PoC. The ableism highlighted in these situations might be technically correct. These could be interpreted as ableist ways of describing social problems, unless the “observer” was implicated by virtue of being on the receiving end of these behaviors. I am not trying to gloss over the implication for mental health and for the stigmas associated with mental illness. Yet, I also realized that for many of us, myself included, whiteness can only be described as a social disease. We lack words to explain this in ways that do not further stigmatize people. I am aware that saying racism is sociopathic could be interpreted as ableist and yet, how do we describe a culture wide phenomenon that kills us? how do we describe a political system founded on our shared inhumanity? how do we describe an oppression that is rooted in lack of empathy and love towards us? Again, this is not to gloss over ableism but what words do we have to pick from? One of the consequences of epistemic injustice is that we do not have accepted frameworks to explain our lives. By “accepted”, I mean, frameworks that are society-wide accepted and recognized as valid throughout academia, mainstream media and public discourses including but not limited to policy and laws. So, in this denial of our knowledge and theories, we are left gasping for air. Here we stand looking for words that would encompass the gravity of what we experience.

Tim Wise, someone whose work is awful, has spoken about the pathology of privilege and this is where Tim Wise’s phony and shallow activism comes through. Privilege is not the pathology. Privilege is the symptom of whiteness as a social disease that kills us. The outcome of our systemic Othering and eventual deaths is the privilege. Wise, ever the apologist, falls into the white trap I’ve written about this past week claiming that racism is bad not because it kills PoC, racism is bad for white people because it causes them mental illnesses

That’s what white privilege does to white folks. But that’s not all. It also creates an intense anxiety, like a mental dysfunction, an emotional anxiety, and distress. If you are privileged after all, if you are the top dog, if you have all the advantage, you are constantly afraid of who’s gaining on you. You’re constantly afraid of who’s coming to take what you have. You’ve got to close the border. They’re coming to take our stuff.  We’ve got to worry about terrorists. They’re coming to take our stuff. We got to get them before they get us; preventative war. We’ve got to stop them. That’s what privilege will do for you because those who have it are constantly anxious. A study in June of 2004, in the journal of the American Medical Association, which received very little attention, found that in the United States the rates of anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse related mental disorders are twice the global average, five times the rate in Nigeria. How is it that the most powerful and privileged people on earth can have so much more anxiety than people who live in war torn areas, civil war, political corruption, amazing problems, often famine, all kinds of hardships, that for the most part, we don’t see at least in the same abundance, let’s say, in the United States? And yet, it is here that the greatest level of anxiety exists. I would suggest that the reason that happens is because it’s the privilege that generates the anxiety.

See? White folks suffer more than those Black folks in Nigeria or in war thorn, famine suffering countries! (really? how did he get away with the inherent white supremacy of this statement?! and worse, how did he become mandatory reading material in educational institutions across the Western world?! I know the answer, these are the rhetorical questions I ask myself in disbelief).

How do we, as PoC define a system where you are viewed and treated as the disease and as the reason for the disease (which is what Tim Wise implies, by proximity, in his statements above)? Because if white folks experience anxiety and mental health issues due to a desperation to preserve their privilege, aren’t we somewhat responsible for their perceived suffering as well? How do we steer clear of this language to explain “whiteness as a system that immunizes itself from our existence”? Yes, these are all disease related metaphors and yet, which other metaphors do we have to illustrate something that kills us? Moreover, how do those of us who bear the marks of this whiteness while simultaneously dealing with mental health issues and the associated stigmas find an appropriate framework that doesn’t stigmatize us in one of our intersecting oppressions?

In the Journal of Disability Studies Quarterly, Phil Smith writes about “Whiteness, Normal Theory, and Disability Studies”. From his paper:

Racism is defined bluntly and cogently as “an ideological ethnocentric diseased set of beliefs

“A diseased set of beliefs”. And then, further on, this:

It is very true that minorities are at greater risk for acquiring disability labels and losing ability capacities, often as a result of impoverishment (O’Connor 1993). Difficulty in obtaining services for African Americans may include issues including impoverishment, discrimination, and services that are not culturally competent.[…]

And race has been tied in basic ways to understandings and metaphors of developmental disability. For example, prior to the label of Down syndrome used by modernist medical science, the term Mongolism was the dominant term. The construction of people with disabilities as freaks is “steeped in racism, imperialism, and handicapism…”. Psychiatric survivors have also experienced a “potent fusion of insanity and blackness” as the result of racialized terror felt by Whites.

Race and disability have resided in the same social terrains throughout their history, especially so in educational territories. Eugenicist, modernist science has been instrumental in conflating the cultural topography of disability and race. For example, research has shown over and over that there is a relationship between eligibility for special education services and race […]

One of the most recent of these studies revealed that “…black public school students are three times as likely as whites to be identified as mentally retarded and in need of special-education services…” (Tato 2001, Paragraph 4). Another source notes that African-American students are mis-identified as being mentally retarded or emotionally disturbed at much higher rates than whites […]

I could go on quoting more race based ableist stigmas from this paper but I won’t. My point is made: ableist discourses rest on a foundation of racist Othering. This is not to say that white people are not oppressed by ableism. This is to say that whiteness (see my first paragraph for the working definition) will do away with their own if, by proximity, they can be linked to “us”. And if that is not the textbook definition of a culture that exhibits a “long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others”, then what other words are we left to use to define it?