dendroica

And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.

The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, being amazing. (via questionall)
optimistfeminist
As a society, we’re not serious about ending violence against women. We pay great lip service to the idea, but we aren’t willing to interrogate the ways in which we have accepted gendered violence in our everyday lives.

We teach boys this general message about how they’re supposed to “respect women” while writing off all behavior that is blatantly disrespectful (and dangerous) toward women as “boys being boys.” It starts young, when every hair pull, pinch, slap, push, and shove boys exact on girls is written off because “boys will be boys” and that’s how they flirt. No, that’s how they hit girls. Any message to the contrary only further perpetuates the idea that all of this is OK.

Then they get older and any time they get into a physical altercation with a girl, we spend more time asking about how they were “provoked” than what they should have done instead of putting their hands on a girl.

Then they become adults and the police and lawyers and judges downplay the seriousness of their offenses. And they get to say “that’s not the person I am” or “I take full responsibility” and voila, they’re completely absolved.

Where the fuck is the respect?

Why teaching “respect” won’t end violence against women

It should be pretty obvious why this fails, right? If the reason you shouldn’t hurt people is because you should “respect” them, then the moment someone loses your respect, they become vulnerable to violence from you. Some losses of respect are legitimate (i.e. the person did something very bad and now you don’t respect them), some are not (i.e. the person violated gender norms and now you don’t respect them), but regardless of what they did, they don’t deserve violence.

And some people are never considered “respectable” at all, because we don’t consciously include them when we say things like “respect women.”

(via brutereason)

Read that commentary, yo.

(via be-a-riot-grrrl)
optimistfeminist

sherokutakari:

"but women have sex organs on their chests! I don’t walk around with my pants off!"

I think what you mean to say is “women have secondary sex characteristics on their chests”, not sex organs

in which case let me remind you that your facial hair and enlarged adam’s apple are also secondary sex characteristics

if secondary sex characteristics bother you and you feel they should be covered up in public, please feel free to shove your entire head in a bag at any time