The Best Defense Program

1. Trauma permanently changes us.

This is the big, scary truth about trauma: there is no such thing as “getting over it.” The five stages of grief model marks universal stages in learning to accept loss, but the reality is in fact much bigger: a major life disruption leaves a new normal in its wake. There is no “back to the old me.” You are different now, full stop.

This is not a wholly negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life — warts, wisdom, and all — with courage.

2. Presence is always better than distance.

There is a curious illusion that in times of crisis people “need space.” I don’t know where this assumption originated, but in my experience it is almost always false. Trauma is a disfiguring, lonely time even when surrounded in love; to suffer through trauma alone is unbearable. Do not assume others are reaching out, showing up, or covering all the bases.

It is a much lighter burden to say, “Thanks for your love, but please go away,” than to say, “I was hurting and no one cared for me.” If someone says they need space, respect that. Otherwise, err on the side of presence.

3. Healing is seasonal, not linear.

It is true that healing happens with time. But in the recovery wilderness, emotional healing looks less like a line and more like a wobbly figure-8. It’s perfectly common to get stuck in one stage for months, only to jump to another end entirely … only to find yourself back in the same old mud again next year.

Recovery lasts a long, long time. Expect seasons.

4. Surviving trauma takes “firefighters” and “builders.” Very few people are both.

This is a tough one. In times of crisis, we want our family, partner, or dearest friends to be everything for us. But surviving trauma requires at least two types of people: the crisis team — those friends who can drop everything and jump into the fray by your side, and the reconstruction crew — those whose calm, steady care will help nudge you out the door into regaining your footing in the world. In my experience, it is extremely rare for any individual to be both a firefighter and a builder. This is one reason why trauma is a lonely experience. Even if you share suffering with others, no one else will be able to fully walk the road with you the whole way.

A hard lesson of trauma is learning to forgive and love your partner, best friend, or family even when they fail at one of these roles. Conversely, one of the deepest joys is finding both kinds of companions beside you on the journey.

5. Grieving is social, and so is healing.

For as private a pain as trauma is, for all the healing that time and self-work will bring, we are wired for contact. Just as relationships can hurt us most deeply, it is only through relationship that we can be most fully healed.

It’s not easy to know what this looks like — can I trust casual acquaintances with my hurt? If my family is the source of trauma, can they also be the source of healing? How long until this friend walks away? Does communal prayer help or trivialize?

Seeking out shelter in one another requires tremendous courage, but it is a matter of life or paralysis. One way to start is to practice giving shelter to others.

6. Do not offer platitudes or comparisons. Do not, do not, do not.

“I’m so sorry you lost your son, we lost our dog last year … ” “At least it’s not as bad as … ” “You’ll be stronger when this is over.” “God works in all things for good!”

When a loved one is suffering, we want to comfort them. We offer assurances like the ones above when we don’t know what else to say. But from the inside, these often sting as clueless, careless, or just plain false.

Trauma is terrible. What we need in the aftermath is a friend who can swallow her own discomfort and fear, sit beside us, and just let it be terrible for a while.

7. Allow those suffering to tell their own stories.

Of course, someone who has suffered trauma may say, “This made me stronger,” or “I’m lucky it’s only (x) and not (z).” That is their prerogative. There is an enormous gulf between having someone else thrust his unsolicited or misapplied silver linings onto you, and discovering hope for one’s self. The story may ultimately sound very much like “God works in all things for good,” but there will be a galaxy of disfigurement and longing and disorientation in that confession. Give the person struggling through trauma the dignity of discovering and owning for himself where, and if, hope endures.

8. Love shows up in unexpected ways.

This is a mystifying pattern after trauma, particularly for those in broad community: some near-strangers reach out, some close friends fumble to express care. It’s natural for us to weight expressions of love differently: a Hallmark card, while unsatisfying if received from a dear friend, can be deeply touching coming from an old acquaintance.

Ultimately every gesture of love, regardless of the sender, becomes a step along the way to healing. If there are beatitudes for trauma, I’d say the first is, “Blessed are those who give love to anyone in times of hurt, regardless of how recently they’ve talked or awkwardly reconnected or visited cross-country or ignored each other on the metro.” It may not look like what you’d request or expect, but there will be days when surprise love will be the sweetest.

9. Whatever doesn’t kill you …

In 2011, after a publically humiliating year, comedian Conan O’Brien gave students at Dartmouth College the following warning:

"Nietzsche famously said, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ … What he failed to stress is that it almost kills you.”
Odd things show up after a serious loss and creep into every corner of life: insatiable anxiety in places that used to bring you joy, detachment or frustration towards your closest companions, a deep distrust of love or presence or vulnerability.

There will be days when you feel like a quivering, cowardly shell of yourself, when despair yawns as a terrible chasm, when fear paralyzes any chance for pleasure. This is just a fight that has to be won, over and over and over again.

10. … Doesn’t kill you.

Living through trauma may teach you resilience. It may help sustain you and others in times of crisis down the road. It may prompt humility. It may make for deeper seasons of joy. It may even make you stronger.

It also may not.

In the end, the hope of life after trauma is simply that you have life after trauma. The days, in their weird and varied richness, go on. So will you.

Catherine Woodiwiss, “A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma” (via lepetitmortpourmoi)
ourfemifesto:

"How To Not Get Raped" A Tip Sheet By femifesto & Collaborators

On July 14th there were two sexual assaults reported to the police in Ottawa. The safety messaging released by the police and the mainstream media as a response continue to be directed at women. These “safety tips” are unfortunately not unique to Ottawa. Versions of them are repeated in communities across the country on a daily basis. This has inspired femifesto and collaborators to make our own tip sheet on how to avoid sexual assault.
End #rapeculture & #victimblaming.
Safety Tips Released By the Ottawa Police:
"Ottawa Police have issued safety tips on their website to help females protect themselves:
Try not to walk alone at night but if you do, be alert and avoid dark or isolated areas.  Instead, walk out in the open, away from walls, doorways and pillars.
Whether you are walking or driving, determine the safest route before you leave.  Take the longest route if that is the safest.
Tell friends or family members where you’re going, and then let them know when you reach your destination.
Have your key ready as you approach your house or vehicle.
Don’t enter environments where you feel unsafe. Trust your instincts.
Know your physical capabilities and limitations.
Don’t carry offensive weapons such as knives. They may be used against you.
Ottawa Police say if you suspect you are being followed:
Cross the street or walk on the side of the road.
Go immediately to the nearest well-lit or populated area.
If others are within hearing distance, turn to the person following you and say in a loud and assertive voice: “Stop following me!”
Contact Police immediately—go to a house or a store and call the Police or flag down a taxi and ask the driver to call the Police for you.
If the person following you is driving a car, take out a pen and paper, look at the licence plate and write the number down, making sure that the driver sees you do this.
Ottawa Police say if you are attacked:
Try to remember the complexion, body build, height, weight, age, and type of clothing worn by the attacker. If possible, write down the information while it is still fresh in your memory.
If an attacker is after your purse or other valuables, don’t resist. If you have the opportunity, throw your purse away from you to the distance the attacker from you.”
Source: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-police-investigate-two-sexual-assaults-in-city-s-west-end-1.1914522#ixzz37kNBGLiP
Image transcript:
How To Not Get Raped: The smart way

Start Young: Learn self defence but know that you are physically limited and cannot defend yourself. Learn not to talk to strangers before you learn to talk. Learn not to walk alone before you learn to walk. Especially learn how to be accountable for your rapist’s actions.


Trust Your Instincts: Avoid all environments where you feel unsafe and where sexual assaults commonly take place: walls, doorways, pillars, streets, sidewalks, corridors, elevators, lobbies, parking lots, cars, public transit, cabs, parks, bars, restaurants, apartments, houses, offices, universities, colleges, nursing homes and government institutions.


Always Conform: Don’t embrace the power and pleasures of your own desires. Don’t dress to impress - yourself. Don’t find yourself gorgeous and alive and wanting to share that. Don’t wear flirty skirts or revealing dresses. On the other hand do not be tomboyish. Avoid any expression that does not conform to gender norms as some people may use rape as a way to “discipline” you.    


Don’t Ask For It: Do not smile or be charming. Be pleasant and polite to everyone you meet — if you’re hostile, you may be asking for assault. Also, be sure you don’t lead on your attacker. Never invite anyone into your home, but never be alone. Don’t be coy. Don’t be brazen. Don’t confuse anyone — mixed messages can be dangerous.


Protect Yourself: If you live alone, install extra locks, buy a dog, and carry a small weapon. If you live with others, carry the dog and weapon around your home. Also, make sure you don’t carry the dog or weapon with you, as weapons could be used against you.


Date Smart: Don’t go on dates alone, you could be attacked. Don’t go on dates in groups because then you could be attacked by a number of people. But don’t decline date offers either - insulting a potential suitor is just asking for trouble.


If Attacked: Scream and struggle unless your attacker is the type who will kill you for fighting back. If you stay still for survival, make sure that they wouldn’t have let you go if you had resisted. Talk kindly to them, but don’t say anything that might sound bad in court. Protect yourself from injury, but make sure you get some bruises to count as evidence.


Call the Police: Unless you face institutional barriers to accessing justice i.e. Aboriginal peoples, women of colour, persons with a disability, trans* people, queer folks, sex workers, Muslim women that wear the niqab, youth, low income individuals, homeless people, newcomer women, those with precarious status, Deaf people…you get the picture.


Avoid Rapists: Most importantly stay away from those who commonly commit assaults; strangers, family members, friends, partners, spouses, co-workers, bosses, clients, teachers, doctors, teammates, and police officers. Be extra careful during peak times when rapes occur i.e. daytime, nighttime, dawn, afternoon, early evening, tea time, nap time. If you suspect you are being followed, go to a well lit area: unless you can’t because it’s dark outside - then set off a flare gun or light a torch. (Why are you outside when it’s dark anyway?)

Created by femifesto: Sasha Elford, Shannon Giannitsopolou, Farrah Khan, in collaboration with Rebecca Faria, Stephanie Guthrie, Julie Lalonde, Chanelle Gallant, and Lisa Mederios.
Inspired by the Ottawa Police: 
http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-police-investigate-two-sexual-assaults-in-city-s-west-end-1.1914522#ixzz37kNBGLiP

ourfemifesto:

"How To Not Get Raped" A Tip Sheet By femifesto & Collaborators
On July 14th there were two sexual assaults reported to the police in Ottawa. The safety messaging released by the police and the mainstream media as a response continue to be directed at women. These “safety tips” are unfortunately not unique to Ottawa. Versions of them are repeated in communities across the country on a daily basis. This has inspired femifesto and collaborators to make our own tip sheet on how to avoid sexual assault.

End #rapeculture & #victimblaming.

Safety Tips Released By the Ottawa Police:

"Ottawa Police have issued safety tips on their website to help females protect themselves:

  • Try not to walk alone at night but if you do, be alert and avoid dark or isolated areas.  Instead, walk out in the open, away from walls, doorways and pillars.
  • Whether you are walking or driving, determine the safest route before you leave.  Take the longest route if that is the safest.
  • Tell friends or family members where you’re going, and then let them know when you reach your destination.
  • Have your key ready as you approach your house or vehicle.
  • Don’t enter environments where you feel unsafe. Trust your instincts.
  • Know your physical capabilities and limitations.
  • Don’t carry offensive weapons such as knives. They may be used against you.

Ottawa Police say if you suspect you are being followed:

  • Cross the street or walk on the side of the road.
  • Go immediately to the nearest well-lit or populated area.
  • If others are within hearing distance, turn to the person following you and say in a loud and assertive voice: “Stop following me!”
  • Contact Police immediately—go to a house or a store and call the Police or flag down a taxi and ask the driver to call the Police for you.
  • If the person following you is driving a car, take out a pen and paper, look at the licence plate and write the number down, making sure that the driver sees you do this.

Ottawa Police say if you are attacked:

  • Try to remember the complexion, body build, height, weight, age, and type of clothing worn by the attacker. If possible, write down the information while it is still fresh in your memory.
  • If an attacker is after your purse or other valuables, don’t resist. If you have the opportunity, throw your purse away from you to the distance the attacker from you.”

Sourcehttp://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-police-investigate-two-sexual-assaults-in-city-s-west-end-1.1914522#ixzz37kNBGLiP

Image transcript:

How To Not Get Raped: The smart way

  1. Start Young: Learn self defence but know that you are physically limited and cannot defend yourself. Learn not to talk to strangers before you learn to talk. Learn not to walk alone before you learn to walk. Especially learn how to be accountable for your rapist’s actions.

  1. Trust Your Instincts: Avoid all environments where you feel unsafe and where sexual assaults commonly take place: walls, doorways, pillars, streets, sidewalks, corridors, elevators, lobbies, parking lots, cars, public transit, cabs, parks, bars, restaurants, apartments, houses, offices, universities, colleges, nursing homes and government institutions.

  1. Always Conform: Don’t embrace the power and pleasures of your own desires. Don’t dress to impress - yourself. Don’t find yourself gorgeous and alive and wanting to share that. Don’t wear flirty skirts or revealing dresses. On the other hand do not be tomboyish. Avoid any expression that does not conform to gender norms as some people may use rape as a way to “discipline” you.    

  1. Don’t Ask For It: Do not smile or be charming. Be pleasant and polite to everyone you meet — if you’re hostile, you may be asking for assault. Also, be sure you don’t lead on your attacker. Never invite anyone into your home, but never be alone. Don’t be coy. Don’t be brazen. Don’t confuse anyone — mixed messages can be dangerous.

  1. Protect Yourself: If you live alone, install extra locks, buy a dog, and carry a small weapon. If you live with others, carry the dog and weapon around your home. Also, make sure you don’t carry the dog or weapon with you, as weapons could be used against you.

  1. Date Smart: Don’t go on dates alone, you could be attacked. Don’t go on dates in groups because then you could be attacked by a number of people. But don’t decline date offers either - insulting a potential suitor is just asking for trouble.

  1. If Attacked: Scream and struggle unless your attacker is the type who will kill you for fighting back. If you stay still for survival, make sure that they wouldn’t have let you go if you had resisted. Talk kindly to them, but don’t say anything that might sound bad in court. Protect yourself from injury, but make sure you get some bruises to count as evidence.

  1. Call the Police: Unless you face institutional barriers to accessing justice i.e. Aboriginal peoples, women of colour, persons with a disability, trans* people, queer folks, sex workers, Muslim women that wear the niqab, youth, low income individuals, homeless people, newcomer women, those with precarious status, Deaf people…you get the picture.

  1. Avoid Rapists: Most importantly stay away from those who commonly commit assaults; strangers, family members, friends, partners, spouses, co-workers, bosses, clients, teachers, doctors, teammates, and police officers. Be extra careful during peak times when rapes occur i.e. daytime, nighttime, dawn, afternoon, early evening, tea time, nap time. If you suspect you are being followed, go to a well lit area: unless you can’t because it’s dark outside - then set off a flare gun or light a torch. (Why are you outside when it’s dark anyway?)

Created by femifesto: Sasha Elford, Shannon Giannitsopolou, Farrah Khan, in collaboration with Rebecca Faria, Stephanie Guthrie, Julie Lalonde, Chanelle Gallant, and Lisa Mederios.

Inspired by the Ottawa Police:

http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-police-investigate-two-sexual-assaults-in-city-s-west-end-1.1914522#ixzz37kNBGLiP

That’s Hysterical: Owning Emotions

thebodyisnotanapology:

By Megan Ryland

image

[Newspaper Clipping: Black and white photo features a white, middle aged woman holding her head in her hands and grimacing, while an older white woman with glasses observes her distress. The headline reads, “These Hysterical Women.” The article proceeds from there but is unclear.]

One sure fire way to undermine someone is to accuse them of being overly emotional. In a world where appearing irrational can be used to undercut your argument, it is often a fatal blow to be called “emotional”—the presumed enemy of rationality. The assumption that emotional = irrational has supported systems of oppression for generations and it’s about time we deconstructed that idea.

If you are being discriminated against, it’s only rational to be emotional about it. It’s only reasonable to be angry. In fact, it’s not rational to be calm in the face of injustice if being calm means accepting the status quo. It is a particular skill to be able to discuss oppression dispassionately, and one that is cultivated by those who are constantly told that their emotional reaction - their response to their oppression - must be biasing them, clouding their judgment, or making them irrational. The art of swallowing injustice and speaking calmly over the nausea is not a skill you want to be forced to learn.

Unfortunately, in order to be listened to, marginalized people must often play along with the rules of Western, masculine society that is constantly waiting to say, “You’re just being oversensitive” (aka creating a problem where none exists by having feelings) or asking, “Are you on your period?” (aka is menstruation making you incapable of rational thoughts? Are you… PMSing?). Many of the classic derailing tactics are aimed at marginalizing people for expressing emotions, especially anger, hurt, grief or trauma (click here for a great list of examples).

Women in particular have a track record of emotions being used against them as a group. The term “hysteria” has a long history and its application to women justified many different treatments, abuses and one-way trips to asylums. Women could be diagnosed with hysteria for a variety of ridiculous reasons in Victorian England, but the most common motivator seems to be the fact that a woman had some sort of emotions that could not be controlled. Today, a woman is more likely to be questioned about her periods than accused of hysteria, but it comes from the same place: the assumption that women are irrational. We’re just “crazy” right?!

Gaslighting is the term often used to describe the process of manipulating someone into believing their reactions are unreasonable or “crazy.” A popular 2011 Huffington Post article addresses the topic well if you’re unfamiliar with the term. I think that gaslighting has been a tool for oppression for a long time, used on a societal scale when marginalized people are told that they are not being oppressed. Every time an Asian American is asked to ‘prove’ his experiences of racism, or a trans woman is told her gender isn’t valid, or anyone argues that sexism/racism/heterosexism/ableism/classism is over, they are implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) saying that experiences of oppression aren’t real. They’re saying, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just overly emotional/overreacting/over sensitive. You’re crazy.” When someone expresses anger about their oppression, they’re simply turned into a stereotype so that they can be ridiculed instead of listened to and/or further marginalized through ableist accusations like “crazy.” This is gaslighting on a social scale. This constant gaslighting can then become internalized until you don’t need anyone else to tell you that you can’t trust your own emotions—you do it to yourself.

Being unapologetically emotional about what is important to you is a radical act. It’s a step towards self love to stop apologizing for having feelings, but it’s also a rejection of the pervasive cultural opinion that says having emotions weakens you (and your argument). Having feelings about a subject doesn’t unfairly bias you—in fact, it may inform you. Everyone in political conversations has emotions in play (that’s just the near constant state of the humanity) but emotions come under fire when they’re from someone inconvenient. If it’s from a woman who wants the right to reproductive freedom, or a migrant worker who wants a just path to citizenship, or a queer youth who wants to feel safe in their homes, emotions are said to distract or detract from an argument. They are seen to blur vision, not sharpen focus on their needs and the solutions. It’s a lie.

Having feelings is human. It’s also part of what drives people to make change. We can’t have a movement without them. No more apologies for caring, or crying. It’s our movement and we’ll cry if we want to.

 

A post for men about creepy men

realsocialskills:

I wrote a post a while back about how some people are very good at getting away with doing intentionally creepy things by passing themselves off as just ~awkward~.

Recently, I noticed a particular pattern that plays out. While creeps can be any gender, there’s a gendered pattern by which creepy men get other men to help them be creepy:

  • A guy runs over the boundaries of women constantly
  • He makes them very uncomfortable and creeped out
  • But he doesn’t do that to guys, and
  • He doesn’t talk to guys about it in an unambiguous way, and
  • When he does it in front of guys, he finds a way to make it look deniable
  • And then some women complain to a man, maybe even a man in charge who is supposed to be responsible for preventing abuse in a space
  • and he has no idea what they are talking about, since he’s never the target or witness
  • And he’s had a lot of pleasant interactions with that guy
  • So he sympathizes with him, and thinks he must mean well but be have trouble with social skills
  • And then takes no action to get him to stop or to protect women
  • And so the group stays a place that is safe for predatory men, but not for the women they target

For example:

  • Mary, Jill, and Susan: Jim, Bob’s been making all of us really uncomfortable. He’s been sitting way too close, making innuendo after everything we say, and making excuses to touch us.
  • Bill: Wow, I’m surprised to hear that. Bob’s a nice guy, but he’s a little awkward. I’m sure he doesn’t mean anything by it. I’m not comfortable accusing him of something so serious from my position of authority.

What went wrong here?

  • Bill assumed that, if Bob was actually doing something wrong, he would have noticed.
  • Bill didn’t think he needed to listen to the women who were telling him about Bob’s creepy actions. He didn’t take seriously the possibility that they were right. 
  • Bill assumed that women who were uncomfortable with Bob must be at fault; that they must be judging him too harshly or not understanding his awkwardness
  • Bill told women that he didn’t think that several women complaining about a guy was sufficient reason to think something was wrong
  • Bill assumed that innocently awkward men should not be confronted about inadvertantly creepy things they do, but rather women should shut up and let them be creepy

A rule of thumb for men:

  • If several women come to you saying that a man is being creepy towards them, assume that they are seeing something you aren’t
  • Listen to them about what they tell you
  • If you like the guy and have no idea what they’re talking about, that means that what he is doing is *not* innocent awkwardness.
  • If it was innocent awkwardness, he wouldn’t know how to hide it from other men
  • Men who are actually just awkward and bad at understanding boundaries also make *other men* uncomfortable
  • If a man is only making women uncomfortable but not men, that probably means he’s doing it on purpose
  • Take that possibility seriously, and listen to what women tell you about men

tl;dr If you are a man, other men in your circle who are nice to you are creepy towards women. Don’t assume that if something was wrong that you would have noticed; creepy men are good at finding the lines of what other men will tolerate. Listen to women. They know better than you do whether a man is being creepy and threatening towards women; if they think something is wrong, listen and find out why. Don’t tolerate give predatory dudes who are nice to you cover to keep hurting women.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day

Content warning: violence, abuse, racism, misogyny

You may want to read me first.

My father called her a slut. 

She wanted to tell me something. We were sitting on the back step at my house. I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew it was important. She started, “I…” and the back door opened, “Dad” came out. He lit a cigarette and leaned over the fence, looked at the neighbours yard. Listened to us.

"Wanna go watch TV?"

We got up and went inside. We sat huddled together on the couch, in Whispered-Secret-Telling position. She laughed when I got the shivers from her breath on my ear. “I love you so much,” she whispered. Then my father came in, turned up the volume on The Price Is Right, and sat in the chair across from us. 

"Wanna go for a walk?"

Out the front door we went. When we got to the gate she asked if we could just stay there; she didn’t want to walk, this was too important. We barely sat down on the steps before he was behind us on the steps, the smell of cigarette smoke following him to the gate. As he leaned over the gate, he farted loudly without any acknowledgment of having done so. I had known long before that day not to say anything when he did that. He was sensitive about having his intrusiveness pointed out.

I took her hand and guided her back inside. Instead of going to our usual indoor hangout, the basement, we took the stairs to my room. She kissed me quickly before sitting on the bed. I leaned back, against the dresser, and she told me. 

She had been raped. Brutalized. She gave me details I will never forget. I asked her if there was anything I could say or do.

"Don’t let this change things."

The door flew open and that’s when he spat it at her. Squinting so hard you’d think or even hope the bulging vessels on his forehead would explode.

Get [and he took a breath] your [and another] slut [louder and more venomous] out [his jaw jutted forward as if he was jabbing it into my eye] of this house!

I stepped between them and guided her out of my tiny room. 

"Don’t call her that!" I yelled it right into his face, turned, and followed her down the stairs and to the front door.

Or what?!" He chased us down the stairs, out of the house, and caught up just in time to slam the gate between us - her out there, and me in here… in the yard… with him.

He stared hate into my eyes. I stared it right back into his.

"I’m not doing this," I said. I hopped the fence.

He yelled after me as I ran to catch up to the one who had just disclosed a rape as though she was the one with a confession to make.

Come back and fight like a man!" He yelled. "You goddamn chicken. Cluck-cluck!

I turned back and yelled at him to leave us alone. He remarked on the wetness in my eyes as he closed the gap between us. I put my hands up in time to stop a slap to my ear. The ears, along with self-esteem and any sense of safety, were among his favourite targets.

He started forward and I threw a kick in front of his face. It worked to keep him back, but only for a moment. As he darted in again, I threw another kick and he bounced back again. 

"I don’t want to," I said. "I just want to go."

Keep your feet on the ground,” he said. “Fight like a white man.”

I threw a kick toward his mid-section. When his hands went down to protect his testicles, I stepped down hard and punched him across the face, breaking his nose.

That’s better,” he said and turned and walked away.

I ran. 

She didn’t want to talk about it anymore. About anything, really. That was okay because neither did I. We walked back to her house, she went inside, and I walked around in the rain for a few hours waiting for dark, hoping I wouldn’t be locked out.

The next time I saw her, she told me they were moving. We exchanged letters for a little while but, like typical teenagers, it wasn’t long before the letters stopped and we never heard from each other again.

sourcedumal:

theravenbunnyswolfden:

the-real-goddamazon:

mortalstardust:

freezepeachinspector:

laborreguitina:

pissnerd:

badbilliejean:

blackourstory:

Happy Black History YEAR!

Greatness.

loving how my old history teacher talked about them like a terrorist group

boost me up

Wow okay so for those skimming, there’s a memo up there from THE DIRECTOR OF THE FBI that sets a mission to LIE about the good things the Black Panthers were doing, spread rumors of them being terrorists, and terrorize the communities supporting them.

If you think the Black Panthers were terrorists and you’ve never heard of the community-building, it’s because there was a literal government conspiracy to make you and people 45 years ago think that way.

i’m reblogging again (bolding mine), because people need to fucking know this. especially white americans. 

This is true.

And we in the military are told the Black Panther Party is on the same level as the KKK and we’re not allowed to join it or go to any rallies or events hosted by the BPP.

I almost laughed when I saw it. I’m sure a few of the old-head Black chiefs laughed too.

This is the legacy of colonialism and white supremacy at work.

Shit, I remember hearing forever ago that they were basically the KKK, but for black people, and wanted to destroy (kill) not the system, but all white people

Oh yes, folks LOVE to pretend like the BPP was the KKK for Black people.

Because they wanna pretend like we’d stoop to that level

thebodyisnotanapology:

by Lucian Clark, Guest Writer

image

Source: Genderbitch

[Image description: The graphic contains the text “Figure1: Venn Diagram” at the top. Beneath the text are two circles. The circle on the left contains the text “My Body” against a turquoise background. The circle on the right contains…

coeur-de-porcelaine:

pansexualpagan:

kaylamariesmiley:

toenail-fister:

daigonite:

lucifers-lycan:

sizvideos:

Mila Kunis Against Men Saying “We Are Pregnant” - Video

What the fuck is this bullshit and why was it recommended for me?

It’s not like men are involved in the creation of the baby or anything.

I mean shit, I understand that pregnancy is an extremely strenuous thing on the woman, but that doesn’t mean that a dude can’t be proud of the fact that he’s going to be a father.

Hmm. Weird how someone would want to be considered a part of the pregnancy…
There goes all of my respect for Mila Kunis.

My goodness, women like this have some fucking nerve. Good luck Ashton.

Please stop.

Pregnancy is a very dangerous time for cis-women. Until cis-men are capable of nine months of pain without the ability to take painkillers, followed by hours of one of the most painful experiences a human can undergo, I agree with Mila Kunis. It is your child. Not your pregnancy. You don’t get a fucking medal for sticking your dick inside someone and impregnating them, you get a child. So no, you don’t need a fucking spotlight highlighting your months of work and pain and the fact that you can potentially die trying to bring life into the world when you have not undergone any of the physical effort.

Things you can expect during pregnancy: Anemia, urinary tract infections, constipation, mental health conditions including intense depression, hyperemesis gravidarm (basically when persistent vomiting is more than just morning sickness and requires hospitalization). Not to mention there are dozens of infections that can cause serious problems. (x) (x)

Oh and the fact that 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriages which obviously requires hospitalization for the pregnant woman and causes a lot of emotional trauma.

Or that you can’t consume alcohol, most types of fish, you can’t expose yourself to hot water (or any heat, really), or get an x-ray. You cannot eat lunch meats, raw sprouts (radishes, alfalfa, etc.), soft cheeses, anything unpasteurized is out, as are foods with raw or undercooked eggs. And caffeine can lead to miscarriages, so say goodbye to coffee, teas, and chocolate. (x) (x) (x)

About 2 million pregnancy losses occur annually in the U.S.; 6 million babies are born. 25% of pregnancies are lost.

14.5% of pregnant women will experience at least one pregnancy complication.

11% of women are diagnosed with post partum depression.

(x)

800 women die because of pregnancy-related problems in the U.S. annually. (x)

Labor can last for 36 hours or more. You’re in a room full of strangers, who are all seeing your vagina, your blood, your shit, your piss, and your agony. It’s common for tearing to occur during the delivery (x) and after the baby is born you still have to deliver the placenta (essentially an organ).

Pregnancy is terrifying, dangerous, and uncomfortable. None of you have the right to shit on Mila Kunis for telling the truth: You do not deserve the spotlight of your wife’s pregnancy. So get over yourselves. Yes, the father CAN be proud, and he should be. But it’s not his pregnancy. He is not the one who will endure it.

It is not weird that someone would want to be involved in their wife’s pregnancy. It is weird that you have the fucking nerve to lose respect for someone reminding you that the father is not the pregnant one in the picture.

So please, stop.

Today in male entitlement: now women ”have some nerve” if they remind men that they are not, in fact, the pregnant ones. 

teallikethecolor:

brigidkeely:

Here’s How A Fake Feminist Hashtag Like #EndFathersDay Gets Started And Why It’ll Keep Happening

brigidkeely:

brigidkeely:

There’s an organized, ongoing attempt by people from 4chan/pol, reddit, MRA/MRM sites, and Stormfront all working together to attack feminists on twitter— specifically Black feminists/womanists. 

https://twitter.com/hashtag/YourSlipIsShowing?src=hash #YourSlipIsShowing (created by sassycrass on twitter) covers some more of the issue, and , , and are covering this really well, including posting screen shots of discussions of tactics. 

Here’s a storify about it: https://storify.com/sassycrass/yourslipisshowing-documenting-a-hoax and here’s a quick look at how an authoritative state like Azarbaijan can control and hijack hashtags - http://www.katypearce.net/shenanagins-again-and-again/ . The 4chan etc trolls are using the same tactics (signing up at the same time, RTing each other, using names and photos of real-looking people, etc).

They’re targeting specific people, overwhelmingly Black women who are active and outspoken (and often critical of) movement feminism.

(NB that the hashtag SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen mentioned in the buzzfeed article was created by karnythia as a way of commenting on the failings of institutionalized feminism and the white women who predominantly run it, ignoring the needs and concerns of WOC. Trolls picked up on it and posted a bunch of hateful and ridiculous shit.)

EDITED TO ADD:

Marvelous storify by So_True here: https://storify.com/so_treu/yourslipisshowing-6-16-2014 . Lots of information including some history of white on Black violence and suppression on both a civilian and governmental level.

https://storify.com/eaton/pol-vs-social-justice Storify about /pol/ and EndFathersDay with screenshots from /pol/

EDITED TO ADD pt 2:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/end-fathers-day-and-feminist-troll-accounts buzzfeed account of some of what’s been happening, including mention of #whitecantberaped.

Note that trolls are grabbing photos/avatars of actual people, which is really gross, and some of them are also RTing tweets from actual people with words changed, or posting edited screenshots of tweets from real people to make them sound racist, abusive, etc.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/your-slip-is-showing-4chan-trolls-operation-lollipop Another account of the trolls trying to drag down Black feminists/womanists, including the new hashtag they’re allegedly going to try and launch: #whiteenough, an attempt to claim that light skinned POC (let’s be real, WOC) benefit from white privilege. Like Black people & other POC haven’t been discussing colorism for generations.

Reblogging for the day crowd.

Hey folks, over 100 ppl have reblogged or faved my original post of this. If you could, please reblog this one as well/instead as I’ve added more information to it. Also, seriously, check out the links. It’s super gross.

I also want to restate, again, that these folks aren’t just attacking feminists/women, they’re specifically attacking Black women who are feminists/womanists including trying to dox them/threaten their kids. Most mainstream (white) feminists aren’t saying anything at all about this, let alone supporting them.

This is it.

plansfornigel:

DEBUNKING THE MEN’S RIGHTS MOVEMENT

POSTED BY
DEBUNKINGMRAS

POSTED ON
MARCH 12, 2014

What follows is a response to a popular list of claims and arguments made by men’s rights activists.

1. SUICIDE: Men’s suicide rate is 4.6 times higher than that of women’s. [Dept. Health & Human Services — 26,710 males vs 5,700 females]

Not for lack of trying: women attempt it three times as often. [1] Men are more likely to succeed because we are trained for violence, trained for emotional detachment, and trained to deal with problems ourselves rather than seeking help from others. Moreover, we are socialized with a sense of self-importance that can lead men to believe family members would be better off dead without them or to use suicide as a form of revenge against people close to them. The statistic given here also masks that many of these “suicides” were actually murder-suicides. In the United States, an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 people died in suicide attacks each year. [2] More than ninety percent of the offenders are men; nearly all the victims are female. [3]

2. LIFE EXPECTANCY: Men’s life expectancy is seven (7) years shorter than women’s [National Center for Health Statistics — males 72.3 yrs vs females 79 yrs] yet receive only 35% of government expenditures for health care and medical costs.

This is a curious statement. If women live seven years longer than men, it should be obvious why they receive more health support: because the oldest people in society are those that most need subsidized health support, and the oldest people are predominantly women. Furthermore, the insurance industry charges $1 billion a year more to women in health insurance each year for the same coverage plans men receive [4], and up to 53% more for the same individual coverage plan [5], despite women’s overall better health and despite receiving 23% less income then men. [6]

3. WAR: Men are almost exclusively the only victims of war [Dept. Defense — Vietnam Casualties 47,369 men vs 74 women]

The first thing to say is that if trained soldiers sent to engage in imperial wars of aggression can be called “victims” at all, then they are victims of those responsible for the wars in which they fought. And those responsible are men. All Presidents and Vice Presidents have been men. All members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been men. Both branches of Congress have always been dominated by men. Polls since Vietnam show that men have been the ones to support going to war, and the ones most likely to support wars currently in progress. [7] On every level of analysis it is men who are responsible for war, and to somehow blame male combat deaths on women is not only absurd, but insane. If we want to stop these deaths, we need to stop those who are responsible for them: the male politicians, male military personnel, male war contractors, and male warmongers who perpetuate them.

The second thing to say is that this is simply a lie. A study by researchers at the Harvard Medical School looking at wars in 13 countries, including the Vietnam War, found that of the 5.4 million people violently killed, more than 1 million were female. [8] This figure does not account for those women killed less directly through aerial spraying, inflicted poverty, or as the result of sexual torture by men. This also ignores male sexual violence during wartime. In Vietnam, for instance, it was common and accepted practice for soldiers to gang rape women and young girls, as well to kill a female following a rape. [9] Such was the frequency of the latter that the term “double veteran” was coined to refer to such perpetrators. [10]

4. WORKPLACE FATALITIES: Men account for more than 95% of all workplace fatalities.

The figure is 92% as of 2012. One important reason for this discrepancy is that men are inclined to select work that is dangerous in order to prove their masculinity to women, to other men, and to themselves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most dangerous professions in the United States are construction, transportation, and warehousing, all of which are male-dominated professions. [11] Men’s relative risk of danger is further increased through a relative lack of safety compliance. [12] Tellingly, the most common way for a woman to die in the workplace is to be murdered. [11]

5. MURDER: Men are murdered at a rate almost 5 times that of women. [Dept. Health & Human Services — 26,710 men vs 5,700 women]

Men also murder at a rate more than 9 times that of women. That men are often killed by other men is not a problem that women are responsible for. I can hardly imagine why that even needs to be said. In the United States in 2010, 1,095 women were killed by husbands or boyfriends, accounting for 37.5% of female murders. By contrast, only 241 men were killed by their female partners. [13] The smallness of this figure is particularly striking when we consider that 200,000 women in the United States suffer serious violence from male partners each year. [14]

6. CHILD CUSTODY: Women receive physical custody of 92% of all children of separation, and men only 4%. [Department of Health & Human Services]

91% of the time, custody is agreed upon or settled by parents themselves, usually without outside mediation. Mothers are more likely to receive custody because both parents usually understand that it is in the best interests of their children. In married two-partner households, women spend nearly twice as much time doing child care as their male partners. [15] Only 4% of custody cases go to trial and only 1.5% are resolved there. [16] In disputed custody cases, fathers win custody 70% of the time, [17] despite abusive men being among those most likely to fight for custody. [18]

7. JURY BIAS: Women are acquitted of spousal murder at a rate 9 times that of men [Bureau Justice Statistics — 1.4% of men vs 12.9% of women]

This is not a matter of “bias”: women are sometimes acquitted of murdering their husbands because their husbands abused them or their children. It is estimated that 1.3 million women are beaten by male partners in the United States every year, putting them in fear for their lives. [18] Every one of these women would be justified in killing her spouse or partner and receiving an acquittal. It is exceptionally rare for any man to experience a comparable level of terroristic threat from his wife.

8. COURT BIAS: Men are sentenced 2.8 times longer than women for spousal murder [Bureau Justice Statistics — men at 17 years vs women at 6 years]

As per above, many women receive lighter sentences for killing their husbands because their purpose in doing so was to stop physical abuse against themselves or their children.

9. JUSTICE SYSTEM BIAS: Women are assessed for Child Support on average at half the rate of men, yet are twice as likely to default on Child Support payments. Ninety Seven (97%) of all child support prosecutions are against fathers. [Census Bureau]

Women are assessed less often than men and default more often because women aged 18-35 have on average $0 in net worth. Many mothers simply have no means to pay child support. By comparison, white men of the same age have a median wealth of $5,600, and men of color have $1,000. [20] This wealth discrepancy also pressures young mothers who care for the welfare of their children to prosecute men for child support.

10. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Numerous credible studies from independent researchers report that women are the initiators of domestic violence in 58% of all cases, and cause physical abuse in almost 50% of all cases, yet women only account for 6% of all criminal proceedings in such matters.

It’s telling that you speak of “numerous credible studies” and carefully avoid citing any of them. I tried to find studies from any source making such claims, with no success. What I did find is the most recent report by the US Department of Justice, which found women suffer 805,700 physical injuries at the hands of partners each year, compared to 173,960 men. Moreover, the injuries suffered by women were more than twice as likely to be considered “serious”, defined as including sexual violence, gunshot and knife wounds, internal injuries, unconsciousness, and broken bones. To put that another way, partners inflicted 104,741 serious injuries on women, compared with less than 9,400 inflicted on men, a greater than 11:1 ratio. [14] Even those men who have been subject to partner violence have usually not taken it seriously. According to a study by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, they were “significantly more likely than were women to laugh at partner-initiated violence”, while women “reported more fear, anger, and insult and less amusement when their partners were violent.” [21] It’s also worth noting that a number of these male injuries were incurred by male rather than female partners; according to a 2000 Department of Justice report, men living with male partners are at nearly twice the risk of “serious” violence as those living with women. [22] If women really are criminally prosecuted in 6% of domestic violence cases, then that figure sounds eminently reasonable.

11. CHILD VIOLENCE: Mothers commit 55% of all child murders and biological fathers commit 6%. NIS-3 indicates that Mother-only households are 3 times more fatal to children than Father-only households. Despite these compelling figures, children are systematically removed from the natural fathers who are their most effective protectors.

The first sentence is unsourced and not credible. According to one group of filicide [child murder] researchers:

Although some studies have noted that mothers commit filicide more often than fathers, other research has shown that paternal filicide is as common or more common than maternal filicide.

Reports of a higher proportion of maternal filicides most likely reflect the inclusion of neonaticides in some studies. [23]

In other words, there is no agreement as to whether mothers or fathers are more likely to kill their own children, but when mothers are seen as more likely, it is likely because infanticides are included in the results. According to the above researchers, the main motivation “may be the undesirability of the child,” and mothers under the age of 20 with a previous child are among those most likely to engage in such a murder. Young mothers without sufficient economic, family, or medical support may find there are no better options for themselves or for their other children. By contrast, fathers who kill their children are “often perpetrators of fatal-abuse filicide”, meaning that they batter their children to death. Some of the most common motivations for father filicide are “attempts to control the child’s behavior, and misinterpretation of the child’s behavior”. [23]

I’ve recently obtained a copy of the NIS-3 study, and while Table 5-4 does indeed provide data indicating that “Mother-only households are 3 times more fatal to children than Father-only households,” the provided footnote also says explicitly that the difference is either statistically insignificant or marginal, with p-values above 0.10. What that means is that the numbers, while provided, are statistically worthless and cannot be used to even hint at inferences. Meanwhile, the data from the NIS-3 regarding parental households that is statistically valid paints a very different picture. In every category, father-only households put children at a higher risk of harm than mother-only households. Risk of abuse is 71% higher, including a 68% greater chance of physical abuse. Risk of neglect is 28% higher, including a 32% rise for physical neglect, 67% rise for emotional neglect, and 14% rise for educational neglect. Risk of both moderate or serious injury is 40% higher.

That this is true is particularly exceptional when we pair this with data from the more recent NIS-4 study which found that households with a lower socioeconomic status were nearly 7 times more likely to involve neglect, including a nearly ninefold risk of physical neglect. Overally the safety of children in these households was classified as 5.7 times more severe than those of a higher socioeconomic background. [24] Single women with children are far more likely than men to live under conditions of severe poverty: both black and Hispanic women with children under age 18 have an average median wealth of $0, compared to $10,960 for black men and $2,400 for Hispanic men; white women with children have an average median wealth of $7,970, compared to an average of $56,100 for white men. [20] If economic justice for women was sufficiently advanced, we would expect the safety of mother-only households illustrated by the NIS-3 to increase still further. Given this information, to call fathers the “most effective protectors” of children is a hateful turn of phrase, suggesting that mothers wish harm on their children and only fathers can protect them. This in spite of the reality that children are far safer in the custody of their mothers than their fathers.

12. WEALTH: Women hold 65% of the total wealth in the USA [Fortune Magazine]

This is a ridiculous lie, and to their credit I can find no evidence that Fortune Magazine ever made such a claim.

Contrary to this claim, one Harvard University researcher found that men have an average net worth of $26,850, compared to an average of $12,900 for women. [25] That is to say, men on average hold more than twice the wealth of women.

References

[1] http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
[2] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/21/murder-suicides-are-in-a-class-by-themselves/2572133/
[3] http://www.jaapl.org/content/37/3/371.long
[4] http://www.nwlc.org/press-release/new-nwlc-report-discriminatory-health-insurance-practices-cost-women-1-billion-year
[5] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/health/policy/women-still-pay-more-for-health-insurance-data-shows.html?scp=1&sq=women%20insurance%20costs&st=cse
[6] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/07/the-wage-gap-between-men-and-women-has-grown-during-the-recovery/
[7] http://www.gallup.com/poll/7243/gender-gap-varies-support-war.aspx
[8] http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7659/1482
[9] Nick Turse, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, pages 164-171
[10] http://www.waywordradio.org/double_veteran_1/
[11] http://pro.sagepub.com/content/41/2/1283.short
[12] http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0011.pdf
[13] http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expandhomicidemain
[14] http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ipvav9311.pdf
[15] http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/06/15/a-tale-of-two-fathers/
[16] http://www.divorcepeers.com/stats18.htm#fn%201
[17] Joan Zorza, “Batterer manipulation and retaliation compounded by denial and complicity in the family courts” In M.T. Hannah & B. Goldstein (editors), Domestic violence, abuse and child custody: Legal strategies and policy issues
[18] http://www.nnflp.org/apa/issue5.html
[19] http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/ipvbook-a.pdf
[20] http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/CRWG/LiftingAsWeClimb-WomenWealth-Report-InsightCenter-Spring2010.pdf
[21] http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/8/11/1301.short
[22] https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/181867.pdf
[23] http://www.jaapl.org/content/35/1/74.full.pdf+html
[24] http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/nis4_report_congress_full_pdf_jan2010.pdf
[25] http://citation.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/0/9/2/6/pages109260/p109260-1.php

This synopsis was written by Owen Lloyd, a stay-at-home dad living on the Oregon coast. Hate mail can be addressed to him at owen.lloyd@gmail.com.

http://debunkingmras.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/debunking-the-mens-rights-movement-x/