Posts Tagged: quotes

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"If your ancestors cut down all the trees, it’s not your fault, but you still don’t live in a forest."

-

Pam Oliver, a professor in the UW-Madison sociology department, explaining the historical roots of racism in the United States to her undergraduate students (mostly middle-class and White).  I try to use this when I teach race now, too, to get past the defensive “but why are you BLAMING ME” reaction. (via cabell)

THIS. THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.

To all the white people who say that they shouldn’t have responsibility in racism because they’re ancestors and not them who participated in slavery, think about this!

(via iamabutchsolo)

(via blackaddergoesnorth)

Source: cabell
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"Look back again at the pale blue dot of the preceding chapter. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?"

- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (via thedragoninmygarage)

(via stfueverything)

Source: thedragoninmygarage
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"

When I was seventeen and preparing to leave for university, my mother’s only brother saw fit to give me some advice.
“Just don’t be an idiot, kid,” he told me, “and don’t ever forget that boys and girls can never just be friends.”
I laughed and answered, “I’m not too worried. And I don’t really think all guys are like that.”

When I was eighteen and the third annual advent of the common cold was rolling through residence like a pestilent fog, a friend texted me asking if there was anything he could do to help.
I told him that if he could bring me up some vitamin water that would be great, if it wasn’t too much trouble.
That semester I learned that human skin cells replace themselves every three to five weeks. I hoped that in a month, maybe I’d stop feeling the echoes of his touch; maybe my new skin would feel cleaner.
It didn’t. But I stood by what I said. Not all guys are like that.

When I was nineteen and my roommate decided the only way to celebrate the end of midterms was to get wasted at a club, I humoured her.
Four drinks, countless leers and five hands up my skirt later, I informed her I was ready to leave.
“I get why you’re upset,” she told me on the walk home, “but you have to tolerate that sort of thing if you want to have any fun. And really, not all guys are like that.”

(Age nineteen also saw me propositioned for casual sex by no fewer than three different male friends, and while I still believe that guys and girls can indeed be just friends, I was beginning to see my uncle’s point.)

When I was twenty and a stranger that started chatting to me in my usual cafe asked if he could walk with me (since we were going the same way and all), I accepted.
Before we’d even made it three blocks he was pulling me into an alleyway and trying to put his hands up my shirt. “You were staring,” he laughed when I asked what the fuck he was doing (I wasn’t), “I’m just taking pity.”
But not all guys are like that.

I am twenty one and a few days ago a friend and I were walking down the street. A car drove by with the windows down, and a young man stuck his head out and whistled as they passed. I ignored it, carrying on with the conversation.
My friend did not. “Did you know those people?” He asked.
“Not at all,” I answered.
Later when we sat down to eat he got this thoughtful look on his face. When I asked what was wrong he said, “You know not all guys do that kind of thing, right? We’re not all like that.”
As if he were imparting some great profound truth I’d never realized before. My entire life has been turned around, because now I’ve been enlightened: not all guys are like that.

No. Not all guys are. But enough are. Enough that I am uncomfortable when a man sits next to me on the bus. Enough that I will cross to the other side of the street if I see a pack of guys coming my way. Enough that even fleeting eye contact with a male stranger makes my insides crawl with unease. Enough that I cannot feel safe alone in a room with some of my male friends, even ones I’ve known for years. Enough that when I go out past dark for chips or milk or toilet paper, I carry a knife, I wear a coat that obscures my figure, I mimic a man’s gait. Enough that three years later I keep the story of that day to myself, when the only thing that saved me from being raped was a right hook to the jaw and a threat to scream in a crowded dorm, because I know what the response will be.

I live my life with the everburning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experienced a sexual assault, but even a number like that can’t be trusted when we are harassed into silence. I live with the learned instinct, the ingrained compulsion to keep my mouth shut to jeers and catcalls, to swallow my anger at lewd suggestions and crude gestures, to put up my walls against insults and threats. I live in an environment that necessitates armouring myself against it just to get through a day peacefully, and I now view that as normal. I have adapted to extreme circumstances and am told to treat it as baseline. I carry this fear close to my heart, rooted into my bones, and I do so to keep myself unharmed.

So you can tell me that not all guys are like that, and you’d even be right, but that isn’t the issue anymore. My problem is not that I’m unaware of the fact that some guys are perfectly civil, decent, kind—my problem is simply this:

In a world where this cynical overcaution is the only thing that ensures my safety, I’m no longer willing to take the risk.

"

-

— r.d. (via elferinge)

Yes.  This.  All of this.

It’s what I tried to explain in my post about being afraid of cis people, and this is also how I feel about interactions with men too.  People who don’t get it keep looking at it from the wrong angle.  They look at it from the angle of the privileged group.  When they hear a woman talk about harassment, or sexism, or assault they’ve experienced, they go “not all men are like that”, and they think, as long as it’s not ALL of the men that are like that, then it’s okay.  As long as there are men who don’t have experiences of assaulting women, harassing us, or being sexist assholes, then there’s not a problem.  As long as there are cis people who don’t have experiences of misgendering trans people, then there’s no problem.  They don’t look at it from our perspective, which is that each time this happens to us, it scars us.  WE have to deal with each incident, and the effects on us.  WE have to deal with each time this happens, not knowing what’s going to happen, or in what condition we’ll be in when the incident is over.  This adds up.  It’s like telling somebody who gets slashed with a knife every so often whenever they go out, “oh not all knife wielders are like that”, and they want us to not be paranoid about knife wielders.  When you’ve been hurt over and over again, seemingly randomly, and you don’t know when the next person you meet is going to do it again, you get scared.  You get damned scared because you don’t want to get cut again, you don’t want another scar, you don’t want to have to heal again.  You don’t want to get hurt.  And it doesn’t fucking matter how many people are like that as long as it regularly keeps happening to us, and the culture keeps excusing it and creating an environment where it keeps happening!

Not all men are like that.

That’s irrelevant.

Almost all women have had an experience with a man who is like that.

That isn’t.

(via ami-angelwings)

(via kingof40thieves)

Source: elferinge
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"My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for."

-  Neil Gaiman (via jaynestown)

(via wearethemakersofmanners)

Source: lupanthropy
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"

Consumerism, requiring its products to be both endlessly desirable and endlessly disposable, cannot make sense of art, which is neither — not desirable, because an encounter already is, and not disposable, because an encounter exists relationally, in space and time.

At its best, literature is pure encounter: it resists consumption because it cannot be used up and it cannot expire. The bonds that are formed between readers and writers, between readers and characters, and between readers and ideas, are meaningful in a way that the bonds formed between consumers and products can never be. Literature demands curiosity, empathy, wonder, imagination, trust, the suspension of cynicism, and the eradication of prejudice; in return, it affords the reader curiosity, empathy, wonder, imagination, trust, the suspension of cynicism, and the eradication of prejudice.

"

Source: explore-blog
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"I design clothes because I don’t want women to look all innocent and naïve…I want woman to look stronger…I don’t like women to be taken advantage of…I don’t like men whistling at women in the street. I think they deserve more respect. I like men to keep their distance from women, I like men to be stunned by an entrance. I’ve seen a woman get nearly beaten to death by her husband. I know what misogyny is … I want people to be afraid of the women I dress."

- Alexander McQueen  (via penthas)

(via stfueverything)

Source: mcqueenadillo
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"We are walking through fake scenes, but ourselves, as we walk through these scenes, are real."

Source: theparisreview
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