What Michelle's Reading

Just a re-posting of articles (occasionally videos) that I find to be of my particular interest.

The Objectification of Women - It Goes Much Further Than Sexy Pictures

On June 3, An American Hero Will Be Put On Trial For Treason

“Why Society Still Needs Feminism”

—   

Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night. 


Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.

Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.

Because rape jokes are still a thing.

Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.

Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a college organization.

Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.

Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time of the survey?”

Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking expensive.

Because Rush Limbaugh.

Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.

Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist.
Could. Not. Fathom.

Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.

Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.

Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.
Weird, right?

Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?

Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.

Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.

Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.

Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to protect herself.

Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.

Caitlin O’Donnell, Drake University. (via on-another-note)

(via sorayachemaly)

If heterophobia was actually real.

www.loveisallyouneedthemovie.com “Teen bulling and teen suicide based on someone’s sexual preference is ridiculous - and this film turns the tables on modern society. What IF the shoe was on the other foot?. ” —K.Rocco Shields (Creator/Director)
WingSpan Pictures is currently seeking financing of the feature version of the film.

Washington State Rep. Maureen Walsh (a Republican) gave a passionate speech defending marriage equality that’s going viral. Is gay marriage coming to Washington? The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down. 

Watch the original video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbmbdW…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/washing…

Subscribe to The Young Turks: http://bit.ly/eWuu5i

How did porn get to be cool?

each-beat:

sketchmedesire:

painiswarning:

Pakistani children light candles to pay tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Dec. 15, 2012.

This would never be on the news.

Bless them.

each-beat:

sketchmedesire:

painiswarning:

Pakistani children light candles to pay tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Dec. 15, 2012.

This would never be on the news.

Bless them.

(Source: wordsandbirdcages, via booklover)

odditiesoflife:

World’s Oldest Socks
These odd, ancient socks are the earliest knitted items in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection and quite possibly the oldest socks in the world. Made in 300-499 AD, these Egyptian socks were excavated in the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus, a Greek colony on the Nile in central Egypt at the end of the 19th century. They have a divided toe and are designed to be worn with sandals.
Particularly intriguing is the technique used to construct these red wool socks. Called nålbindning, or single-needle knitting, this time-consuming process required only a single thread. The technique was frequently used for close-fitting garments for the head, feet and hands because of its elastic qualities. Primarily from prehistoric times, nålbindning came before the two-needle knitting that’s standard today; each needle was crafted from wood or bone that was “flat, blunt and between 6 -10 cm long, relatively large-eyed at one end or the eye is near the middle.”

odditiesoflife:

World’s Oldest Socks

These odd, ancient socks are the earliest knitted items in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection and quite possibly the oldest socks in the world. Made in 300-499 AD, these Egyptian socks were excavated in the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus, a Greek colony on the Nile in central Egypt at the end of the 19th century. They have a divided toe and are designed to be worn with sandals.

Particularly intriguing is the technique used to construct these red wool socks. Called nålbindning, or single-needle knitting, this time-consuming process required only a single thread. The technique was frequently used for close-fitting garments for the head, feet and hands because of its elastic qualities. Primarily from prehistoric times, nålbindning came before the two-needle knitting that’s standard today; each needle was crafted from wood or bone that was “flat, blunt and between 6 -10 cm long, relatively large-eyed at one end or the eye is near the middle.”

This new year, I’ll start posting again.

This new year, I’ll start posting again.

(Source: everybittersweet, via pizzasun)

watanafghanistan:

Afghan school girls.

These days, it takes more than textbooks and pencils to be a schoolgirl in Afghanistan—it also takes tremendous bravery and tenacity. Since the ousting of the Taliban in 2001, Afghan girls are theoretically free to attend school. But they are stymied at almost every turn by vicious militant attacks, a lack of adequate facilities and teachers, and even their own parents’ reluctance to break from the tradition that says “girls belong at home.”

The first challenge for girls’ education in Afghanistan is cultural barriers,” said Fazlul Haque, UNICEF Chief of Education for Afghanistan.

The way forward for girls is not easy—extremists in Afghanistan are doing their best to terrorize them out of going to school. In 2008 alone, there were 283 violent attacks on schools, resulting in 92 dead and 169 injured. Despite the obstacles and threats, Afghan girls are hungrier than ever for education. “Over 2.2 million girls are now in school,” said Fazlul Haque, “and we expect a 20 percent increase in primary school enrollment for girls by 2013, with help from UNICEF education programs.”

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(via meowlitaaa)

It’s OK to Be a Hater Because Everything Is Bad

youmightfindyourself:

By: Sam Biddle, Gizmodo

Almost everything is bad. Usually, really bad, and not even bad in an interesting way. Tech is no exception—if anything, tech might be the worst of the bad. The Internet? Gross. The people who use it? Ugh. And it’s fine to hate it all.

If you walk out of your door during daylight you’ll have to look at your feet in order not to see something horrible. And even then, you might be wearing some dumb shoes I hate, like those dumbass finger shoes. If you wear those, go to hell. Then look up, and I bet you’ll see someone wearing Beats By Dre headphones. Follow him back to his apartment, and he probably has some idiot overpriced Bose sound dock that plays music just as well as something cheaper, but because he’s a suggestible semi-human, he bought bulky rainbow idiot headphones and that dock. He bought them because he just wants to look cool, and feel cool, and be accepted. And he is, because everyone around him is just as dumb. Look, that girl’s wearing Beats By Dre too, or maybe they’re the equally bad variant churned out by a few spare neurons of 50 Cent’s. Maybe she saw the same ads I see every day on the subway for Monster audio equipment. She wants something bright on her head due to some low evolutionary reflex, and anything expensive is good. That’s the way things work. Expensive things are better, no how many articles we and our peers write to the contrary. If you buy the most expensive, widely advertised headphones, they’ll be the best. The bigger the poster on the subway, the better the headphone. Does it have a letter on the side of it? Is it shit lime green and shiny? Is it tacky and horrible? Buy that, at Best Buy, because it’s the good one.

People who buy headphones are awful.

But of course they’re not alone. Most Android users are insufferable and the worst too. No, you see, it’s fine that this phone is ugly and slow, because you can root it and customize it. Don’t you want to spend hours customizing your phone? Don’t you realize how superior the flexibility of a new ROM is? Don’t you know what a ROM is? Aren’t you downloading a ROM? Download a ROM and put it on your phone—or just use that iPhone, you troglodyte. You poseur. Meanwhile I’ll be over here installing my ROM. Power use. Power user, power using. I’ve got this thing customized like you wouldn’t believe. Don’t believe it? Watch me as I’m forced to manually install an app so I can get text notifications that are actually visible outside of the notification bar. It doesn’t matter that the keyboard my phone came with is this bad. I’m downloading a new one right now. Fragmentation? Fragment me. Fragment me and throw away the key, or whatever.

I hate you. Oh hey guess what:

iPads are fucking horrible, as a concept. They’re fun to use, but pouring pearls out of giant flour sacks onto the dancing and desperate homeless would also probably be fun. Tablets are a complete luxury item—PURE luxury—and owning one makes you an asshole, instantly, categorically. It’s a wonderful toy. But a toy. A big boy toy. Nobody needs an iPad. Nobody. Not a single person, unless you’re literally so stupid and/or infirm that you can’t use a keyboard and mouse like the rest of the industrialized (or barbaric) world. iPads are a status symbol, a second computer that’s built expressly for convenience. You’re spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars to make your cushy life even cushier by carrying a beautiful computer you don’t need that you can use while flopped down on the couch or leaning against an airplane window like the bourgeois brat idiot you are. You don’t need this thing, and you know you don’t need it. You need a PC-yes. You need a PC to be part of modern society. But you don’t need an iPad, and the entire notion of the luxury device is noxious and offensive and the very throbbing essence of Western decadence. It’s immoral to own an iPad, but that won’t stop you or me or anyone from coveting them and reading about them until our eyes squirt blood, dripping down the pristine oleophobic Gorilla Glass IX.

Twitter! Websites! Oh they’re almost all bad. Virtually all websites and people who make them and use them are horrendous. Subhuman. Maybe inhuman. Nobody on Facebook is funny. They recycle the same horrible image memes that 4chan snowballed into Reddit’s mouth months ago. Years ago. And now they’re back again. Remember Shit Girls Say? Remember the 560,000 knockoffs? That was fun. That was funny. Look at QuickMeme—people are making the same jokes, over and over, over and over and over, and it’s being viewed more than anything I’ll ever write in my life. The same picture of a raccoon with Impact text over it. Have you ever been to 9GAG? It’s worse than a Taliban coordination message board.

It’ll go on like this forever, because people will never change, but technology will only get faster. Well, we might change, in that technology is turning us into ever-stupider, ever-strunger-outer attention anorexics with a thirst for nothing but meme gristle and Internet lists. Before we implode from the psychological strain strains of saying, doing, making, buying, sharing, and generally slathering about the worst ideas and products in the history of humanity, let’s all agree that it’s OK to whine. It’s OK to say that things are terrible, because they are. It’s OK. It’s true and it’s OK. Try it with me. Try it with me and then go to hell, because you’ll probably share a Scumbag Steve pic later today.

thepoliticalnotebook:

Picture of the Day: Madrid, Spain. A bleeding demonstration shouts as she is detained by the police during dramatic clashes set off by anti-austerity protests in Spain’s capital today in response to the government’s announcement of 65 million euro austerity package. Coal miners converged on the Ministry of Industry building to protest the end to mining subsidies.
Credit: Andres Kudacki/AP. Via.
View more Picture of the Day posts. Submit a photo.

thepoliticalnotebook:

Picture of the Day: Madrid, Spain. A bleeding demonstration shouts as she is detained by the police during dramatic clashes set off by anti-austerity protests in Spain’s capital today in response to the government’s announcement of 65 million euro austerity package. Coal miners converged on the Ministry of Industry building to protest the end to mining subsidies.

Credit: Andres Kudacki/AP. Via.

View more Picture of the Day postsSubmit a photo.

(Source: photoblog.msnbc.com, via thepoliticalnotebook)

A Book Lover's Guide to Reading and Walking at the Same Time

youmightfindyourself:

I stand up. I start walking. I’m still reading. My secondary senses go into overdrive to keep me on track (you know, like Daredevil). My mind divides: I’m both here and not-here, in the reality and in the fiction at the same time. The world scrolls by around the edges of the page, the margins outside the margins—furniture, stairs, pets, children. I keep a weather eye on all that, but I’m still reading, I’m still taking in sentences. I’m navigating by memory and peripheral vision, eyes down, course-correcting as needed.

Then I’m safe at my destination without once having broken contact with the fiction. It’s satisfying. I feel like I got away with something. Screw you, Aslan, I’m stayin’ in Narnia.

Though it’s a slippery slope from there. Once you master the basic skill, it’s tempting to take it to the office. I do. That’s familiar turf too, though there’s a new element, namely my co-workers. They probably think it’s odd. Eccentric even. Bah! It’s worth it. By reading and walking at the same time I’ve got uninterrupted access to the page. It’s like broadband, it’s always on.

Now reading and walking outside—I’ve seen it called readwalking—that’s a different proposition. I do it, but it depends on where I am. Marilynne Robinson lives in Iowa City, where I imagine (I’ve never been there) you can find dog-walking paths that are relatively free of foot traffic. I live in New York City, where the sidewalks are crowded, and there are already a lot of people bombing along them with their heads down because they’re texting. My favorite part is when two texters meet head-to-head and they both look up and stare at each other blankly, neither one budging, like the north-going Zax and the south-going Zax in Dr. Seuss.

I try to be a little more considerate than that. But once in a while I get off the subway at a crucial juncture in a novel, and I just cannot wait till I’m in my office to find out what happens next. I have to squinch out a few sentences in between. I just have to.

My first move is to clamp the book under one arm, inside-out, at my current page, like a running-back with a football, so I can whip it out at a moment’s notice.

Then I pick my spots. Short bursts is the approach. You look for a stretch of open sidewalk, maybe a half a block, you hastily memorize the major obstacles, and then you glance down at the book. You’re speed-reading here—you don’t so much run your eye over the page as grab the next few sentences all at once. Then the book goes back under the arm. You look up again and digest the words as you walk. You check your location and bearing, like a submarine, and you prepare to dive again.

Strangers look at you a bit funny, but come on—they’re strangers. Not like the characters you’re reading about. Sure, they may be fictional, but they’re not strangers. They matter.

In extreme cases I’ve even been known to draft off the backs of other pedestrians, the way cyclists do in a crowded peloton. I pick a target who looks like a fine upstanding citizen, with somewhere to be and a tolerant view of humanity. I find I can follow the person at a discreet, respectful distance, keeping his or her feet at the upper edge of my peripheral vision, and use them to lead me around fire hydrants and sidewalk café chairs and people hailing taxis, like a seeing-eye dog.

It’s foolish, of course. I know it is. It’s the opposite of being a flâneur: I’m not practicing what Balzac called “the gastronomy of the eye,” feasting on the rich details of the world around me as if it were a novel. I’m doing the opposite. I’m not a flâneur, I’m a lecteur: I’m opting out of life’s rich pageant in favor of literature’s rich pageant. I can only imagine the serendipitous encounters I’m missing out on, the interesting cloud formations, the fleeting eye contacts, the fine architectural details, the noteworthy trees, the changing seasons, all the chance beauty that’s passing me by while I walk and read. But sometimes life just isn’t as interesting as art.

Of course the other thing I miss is sightings of my fellow lecteurs, charging along the pavement, nose in a book, steering by feel. But I know they’re there. We pass like ships in the night—mon semblable, mon frère. But there’s a kinship between us nonetheless. We’ve made the same choice. They too have chosen art over life, looking weird over looking normal, the printed page over the blank, uninteresting, unreadable faces of the crowd. They’ve opted out of it all.

Five Levers for Social Change: Part 1 (SSIR)

The Cheat Sheet: Obama Talks Afghanistan Loss of Life at NATO Summit But Silent on Chicago Gun Violence

Twelve year-old Nazia Banks was in his last 90 minutes of life when Air Force One landed at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Saturday night.

As President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were greeted on the tarmac by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife, Nazia was on the opposite end of the city,…