What Africa is: - a continent consisting of over 50 sovereign nations, all of which have unique social, political and economical dynamics - a continent that hosts thousands of recognized languages and ethnic groups - the most climatically diverse body of land on Earth; there are deserts, savannas, prairies, tundras, grasslands and rainforests, all of which sustain a separate environment -a collection of countries, each of which suffer setbacks and encounter triumphs, just like every other collection of countries
What Africa is not: - a homogeneous region - the inspiration to finish your dinner - full of disease, famine and political conflicts - a place to go and discover yourself, at the price of people’s dignity and respect - a preidentifier for anything; the label “Africa” says nothing considering how diverse the continent is - a dichotomous third world with America, the people in Ethiopia encounter small, tedious issues like setting their alarm clocks and spilling coffee on their clothes too
It does not matter what you say. As a woman, as a woman of color, as a woman of size, as a woman with large breasts or no breasts and a lifetime of experience with bucketloads of passion. It does not fucking matter.*
Because unless there is a white guy backing you up, you are an angry bitch. Uppity, spirited, “that girl,” the femanazi, the super-libber, the PC chick, the conspiracy theorist…
I just wish my own experiences were enough. That the experiences of fellow women were enough. But we must always come with backers. We must always have a few men nodding along behind us in the crowd. And at the very least if we’re going to be so bold as to bring up racism or sexism in polite company then we better be willing to quote reputable studies that have been widely recognized by the psychological and sociological communities.
If we lack this armor we are just drama. Dramatic or… wait for it… psycho bitches who think everybody is out to rape them or thinks they must be, “Like, soooo attractive to be hit on so much and totally, probably, like, thinks like a victim.”
This is so dangerous because I believe it teaches us not to trust our own judgments. Sadly, in this world, that can be life or death. When that guy hits on you for the third time at the club we should just get over it. He wasn’t being that creepy. “Oh no, girl, don’t talk to the bouncer about him, that’s just drama. Just have a good time.” I complained anyway but nothing was done.
And hey, when he tries to attack you while leaving the club—which happened to me and a friend in June of this year—the police may ask you why you didn’t complain “more than once” to security. I shit you not.
Because it is never good enough. It’s always a teachable moment from man to woman. So listen up, child, because that’s exactly what you are. At least until a white man comes to back up your claims. But I don’t have to tell you that. You already know. The trick is for this argument not to be dismissed outright by some dude in a Quicksilver t-shirt because the fact is, he has final say on the veracity of our claims.
big thanks to reddit user CaspianX2 for typing all this out!
What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPaACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPaACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.
Anyway, the PPaACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPaACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.
So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):
Already in effect:
It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices)
It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)
It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money.
It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy.
It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them.
It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.
It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths.
It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for life insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending.
Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26.
No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19.
Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.
People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend.
Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick.
Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).
Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down.
New ways to stop fraud are created.
Medicare extends to smaller hospitals.
Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.
Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.
A new website is made to give people insurance and health information.
A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness.
A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers.
A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover.
Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms.
Any health plans sold after this date must provide preventative care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.
If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%)
This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.
No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history.
If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it.
Insurer’s now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need.
Make it so more poor people can get Medicare by making the low-income cut-off higher.
Small businesses get some tax credits for two years.
Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.
Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers.
Cut some Medicare spending
Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them.
Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower-class, basically making it so poor people can get some medical coverage.
Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen.
A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.
A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.
A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.
The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.
Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat.
If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPaACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPaACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers).
All health care plans must now cover preventative care (not just the new ones).
A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).
The elimination of the “Medicare gap”
Aaaaand that’s it right there.
The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something in unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.
Plus, as previously mentioned, it’s necessary if you’re doing away with “pre-existing conditions” because otherwise no one would get insurance until they needed to use it, which defeats the purpose of insurance.
When I look back at the first night of the Stonewall Inn riots, I could have never imagined its future importance. The first night played out no differently from previous riots involving black Americans and white policemen. And so, too, did its being underreported. But I was there.
On the first night of the Stonewall riots, African Americans and Latinos likely were the largest percentage of the protestors, because we heavily frequented the bar. For homeless black and Latino LGBTQ youth and young adults who slept in nearby Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn was their stable domicile. The Stonewall Inn being raided was nothing new. In the 1960s gay bars in the Village were routinely raided, but in this case, race may have been an additional factor, given the fact that so many of the patrons were black and Latino, and this was the ’60s.
However, today, African-American and Latino trans communities are relegated to the margins of Greenwich Village, if not expelled from it. These communities nonetheless force their way into being a visible and powerful presence in our lives, leaving indelible imprints while confronted with not only transphobia but also “trans-amnesia.” The inspiration and source of an LGBTQ movement post-Stonewall is an appropriation of a black, brown, trans, and queer liberation narrative and struggle. The Stonewall Riot of June 27 to 29, 1969 in Greenwich Village started on the backs of working-class African-American and Latino queers who patronized that bar. Those brown and black LGBTQ people are not only absent from the photos of that night but have been bleached from its written history. Many LGBTQ blacks and Latinos argue that one of the reasons for the gulf between whites and themselves is the fact that the dominant queer community rewrote and continues to control the narrative of Stonewall.
“The best way to dehumanize someone while claiming you’re not is to believe you are just the same. You erase their experiences and perspective, their struggles and obstacles, their unique way of having to deal with those things in a world that also erases them. With the words, ‘but humans are humans’ or the bullshit dramatics of ‘we all bleed red’ normal people can simply pretend that if we all did things the way they did, then everything would work out okay. But, yes, we all bleed red but you don’t treat a papercut the same way you treat a gash, you don’t treat an infected wound the same way you treat one that isn’t, you don’t treat a wound to the leg the same way you treat a wound to the gut. You are not acknowledging someone’s personhood when you ignore the very things that make their lives different than yours, and when you refuse to understand that their circumstances have given them their own perspective that is just as valid as yours. More valid in fact – their perspective about their experiences that you haven’t been through is far more valid than anything you could ever think about it.”—The danger of worldviews (Speaking when the world sleeps)
Society has allowed rapists to define what resistance is: screaming, crying, scratching, pushing, kicking, biting, punching. I didn’t resist like that. My resistance was to wriggle a bit, turn my head away when he tried to kiss me, try to stop his hand going into my bra and knickers, push him ineffectually, talk about wanting to get my cab; all things which normal men recognise as not being enthusiastic participation when they are engaging with women but pretend it’s a grey area when they talk about rape. Rapists have managed to get society to believe, that what I did, was consent.
Because I didn’t resist in the way rapists - and society - say that women should resist, they define our non-participation as consent.
BOOM, rape culture at work… Can I also add, when you are in a situation that involves rape or you think might involve rape or looks like it might involve rape in a few minutes, its usually pretty scary to scream and kick… Especially if you know this person and sometimes might even care about them and think they care about you too. It is much more likely that you’ll say “No.. Lets stop.. I don’t want to right now..” etc
i remember reading somewhere that most laugh tracks were recorded in the 50’s and most of the people laughing in them are dead. which totally makes sense because no living person would laugh at the big bang theory.
“We tell people they are “strong” when we are uncomfortable with their pain and would prefer that they shut up and not bother us with it. To say “but you are strong” is telling someone “I don’t think you should feel that way,” and it’s not a compliment. I don’t think that strength means being invulnerable, or pretending that you are. The belief that silence and stoicism are inherently good qualities is how you end up dressed up like a bat punching criminals in an alley – it’s not a good road to emotional health. […] Be sad. Be angry. Let your heart break – in the diner, on someone’s futon, in the park, on the way to the zoo, at brunch, over drinks, in the therapist’s office, on the bus – Wherever it breaks, let it break all the way open, let it run out and down and spread out in a soggy puddle at your feet. Say, “I’m sorry, I can’t listen to you today, my heart is broken. Will you sit with me a while and I’ll tell you about it?“ Say, “I can’t take care of you today, but you can take care of me, and maybe tomorrow I will take care of you, and we can trade off like that for a while, okay?” Say, “I love you, and I love that you think I’m strong, but I don’t feel like being strong today. I feel like being angry and crazy and sad. Can we go to the movies or just sit here quietly or take a walk or talk about it or not talk about it?“ Your friends may get scared when you do this. If you, the “strong” one can break, what does that say about them? That’s why they push back at you and try to remind you of your strength, when what you need is for them to stand by you in your pain and weakness. They don’t have to solve that pain, they just have to bear witness to it. Maybe they don’t know how – a lot of people don’t know what to do in the face of other people’s pain. They want to fix everything, and if they can’t fix it they feel inadequate. As the “strong” one you can help them out with this by saying “You don’t have to fix it. You don’t have to do anything. Just be with me, and listen, and love me, and I’ll love you back. That’s all I need – to know that you love me, even when I’m sad and scared and don’t know what to do next.””
My last full day at university was good, all things considered. News from back home put a sort of film over the whole day, but I had lots to keep me occupied. Seven hours of packing, mostly, but also meeting two amazing people and a spur-of-the-moment 1.20am trip to campus for one of the last venue events of the year. Everything was quiet, a little messy, and I shouldn’t have expected otherwise. I don’t know what I was expecting, actually, but it wasn’t to end one of the best years of my life with three friends in an empty room, watching Hey Arnold. It couldn’t have been more perfect, thinking about it.
And now I’m sitting on my bed, with far too much luggage to fit into my mum’s car, waiting for her to arrive. I’ll have to make two trips, I think - one with her and one on the train with a couple of bags by myself. Again, quiet, and a little messy. There really is stuff still everywhere, and I’m glad, because seeing this room completely bare would have broken my heart. This is probably one of those moments where being so sentimental really does come back round to laugh in my face, but I can take it. I think.
i am aware that cultural appropriation is implicit in the idea of transethnicity, but please consider that I am not a white being trying to be Korean; I am Korean. there is a difference between, say, a cis male wearing a dress and a wig to mock women, and a transwoman adopting the appearance of her gender in order to feel more comfortable. my actions may appear to have an undercurrent of racism, or cultural appropriation, at first. but this is simply my identity. and i am doing what i have to do just so i can be comfortable in my own skin. :)
I can simultaneously be angry with white supremacy and love white people. I can be in love with a white woman and hate her ignorance at her own white privilege. I can get so frustrated with racism that I barely want to be around any white people, and I can share that with my white friends over a few drinks.
You might think that’s confusing. You might even call it hypocrisy. I call it being a person of color.
We don’t think that every white person is racist, we don’t spot someone pale and instantly assume that they vote BNP and make jokes about our families when our backs are turned. It’s a safety thing. The amount of white people I’ve met who don’t think twice about their privilege because they don’t even know they have it, when you’re wading your way through everything, twice as aware. They don’t teach you that racism is turning a blind eye and ignoring people as much as it is shouting slurs in their faces. And there are great white people, those who sit up and listen and try their best, and I love them. I really do. But I have white friends who make mistakes so often even if they do feel genuinely guilty and apologetic, so you have to understand how engrained racism is for the ones who care to be so susceptible to getting it wrong.
It just feels exhausting sometimes. Knowing that I could have the best white friend in the world, and there’s still a chance that I could go round to an older relative’s house and have to sit through a half hour of questions in a sickly sweet tone about “my people” (complete with a backhanded compliment or two and awful joke), with gritted teeth and a plastered on smile. I do not think every white person I meet is racist. But I am fully aware of the potential, and you have to keep on your toes.
Tens of thousands of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu women work for or study at various Catholic-sponsored universities and hospitals that involve and hire them — and that receive my/ our tax money. (They are quite different from fully religious Catholic institutions, like churches, dioceses, or the NCCB, that do NOT receive tax money.)
Many many of those women who are hired by or are students of these tax-supported non-religious institutions need contraception, but can’t afford it without insurance.
Those women are my business. All of them, including the Catholic women who in shaping their own religious consciences (did you know that women are capable of doing that?) have concluded that contraception is ethical and moral.
Would you also suggest I keep my long Jewish nose out of some Catholic priests’ rape of Catholic children and some Catholic bishops’ protection of those priests from the law, because I’m not a Catholic? Perhaps you would.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow to Catholic League President Bill Donohue
“Queerbaiting is what most shows with (predominantly white) male leads do. Put a little gay subtext in there to stir up interest, and then every so often go to the press, shout NO HOMO NO HOMO NO HOMO at the interviewer, and everything is fine.
Did I say fine? I meant appropriative and gross as hell.”—this wonderful post explaining the many fails of Moffat when it comes to writing sexual orientation. (via lydiamartinis)
Queer Muslims - A space for queer Muslims to connect, express themselves and share resources. (A real treasure trove of articles, links and book reviews).
‘I am not Haraam’ project - a blog for LGBTQ Muslims to celebrate their identities and share their experiences.
Source: the website of the Safra project based in the UK. The full list (which also includes resources not solely targeted at Muslims can be found by clicking here.) However, below is a list of the resources specifically targeted to Muslims.
Imaan - UK based A social support group for Muslim lesbian, gays, bisexuals, transgender, those questioning their sexuality or gender identity and their friends and supporters. Website: http://www.imaan.org.uk/
Safra Project- UK based A Resource Project working on issues relating to lesbian, bisexual. trans, queer and questioning women who identify as Muslim religiously and/or culturally.
Salaam Canada ‘Salaam: Queer Muslim community’ is a Muslim Identified Organization dedicated to social justice, peace and human dignity through its work to bring all closer to a world that is free from injustice, including prejudice, discrimination, racism, misogyny, sexism and homophobia. http://www.salaamcanada.com/
The Inner Circle The Inner Circle strives to reconcile sexuality and faith, and foster friendship through a positive peer group for gay, lesbian, transgendered and other sexually marginalized persons particularly of the Muslim community, as well as persons of other religions or cultures who experience similar or related challenges, and all those who support our aims. They provide information through news/events, articles, discussions and life-orientation. They also have experts and qualified voluntary workers to deal with your queries and counseling, assisting individuals in reconciling their faith with their sexuality and dealing with other sexually related issues.http://www.theinnercircle.org.za/
BiMuslims An email discussion group for Muslims who identify as bisexual or who may be questioning their sexual orientation. Anything relevant to the bisexual Muslim community can be discussed on this forum. It is intended to be a safe space for Muslims who are bisexual and who want tomeet other Muslims who are also bisexual. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BiMuslims
TransMuslims (need Yahoo sign in) An email discussion group for Muslims who identify as transgender, and for those that consider themselves gender variant. This includes anyone that identifies as an MTF (male to female) or an FTM (female to male). Issues of relevance to the Trans Muslim community are welcome on this list, including gender identity, issues of gender socialization in Islam, sex reassignment surgery, and Islam’s views towards transgendered people. http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/TransMuslims
“Fish don’t see water, men don’t see patriarchy, and white philosophers don’t see white supremacy. We can do little about fish. Carole Pateman and others have made the sexual contract visible for those who care to look. Now Charles Mills has made it equally clear how whites dominate people of color, even (or especially) when they have no such intention. He asks whites not to feel guilty, but rather to do something much more difficult—understand and take responsibility for a structure which they did not create but still benefit from.”—Jennifer Hochschild, Princeton University (on Charles Mills’ THE RACIAL CONTRACT)
“When the fuck was it decided that we should start teaching our daughters to accept being belittled, disrespected and abused as endearing treatment? And we have the audacity to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships? How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures? Is this where the phrase “hitting on girls” comes from? Well, here is a tip: Save the “it’s so cute when he gets hateful/physical with her because it means he loves her” asshattery for your own kids, not mine. While you’re at it, keep them away from my kids until you decide to teach them respect and boundaries.”—
“You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.”—
Erin (from A Dress A Day)
I wish someone would have told me this when I was younger.