“I think you can love a person too much.”
You put someone up on a pedestal, and all of a sudden, from that perspective, you notice what’s wrong – a hair out of place, a run in a stocking, a broken bone. You spend all your time and energy making it right, and all the while, you are falling apart yourself. You don’t even realize what you look like, how far you’ve deteriorated because you only have eyes for someone else.”
― Jodi Picoult,
We’re currently living in a high-pressured kettle that could blow at any moment. From political upheaval all across America, from climate-deniers claiming the government is at fault for weather anomalies like Hurrican Irma, Jose, and Katria. Black Lives Matter has been accused of being racist? All the while, American history was founded upon slavery.
There is a particular social issue that is close to my heart, mainly because I grew up with a foster-mother who was passionate about women’s equality. She taught me the value, importance and ethical responsibilities that came with defending those who society-at-large marginalized. She was very vocal. I remember that she told me she walked away from the Church because a male pastor told her, she would not be allowed to come back unless she wore a dress (she wore pants). So, she never went to church again, she walked away from institutional religion altogether! She taught me from a young age that women were inherently equal. Intrinsically valuable.
Ironically, I grew up in the same house she did, with a physically abusive father/husband. It took her a long to eventually stick up for herself; as kids, we didn’t know what to do. We feared our dad. But, I remember one day, my dad came home from work with holes in his face. He told me something dropped on his face at work, and that was it. No one questioned it. Years later, before my mom died, she told me it was her. She had, had it! She decided to stay with my dad (not sure I agree with that!) but that he was not going to hurt her anymore. The years ahead were filled with a precarious foundation of power-taking between my mom and dad. They would still get in fights. My dad would still threaten, but this time, my mom would respond with the same aggression, claiming it was feminism. Now, this leads me to my point of this article.
If feminism defines itself as simply a mirror to what it’s against, namely things like patriarchy, machismo, male-centered, gender-based value statements and claims, and misogyny and offers no balanced alternatives, there is nothing revolutionary about that. Should women be angry? Hell, yes! Should women demand recognition? Of course! We need to change the narrative, but not at the risk of just momentary emotional reward. There needs to be a less reactionary approach, one that doesn’t also rely on trope-based hermeneutics, where every situation out there is read as some opportunity to attack patriarchy. Should we have patriarchy in society, no! But, we have to see the long-haul here, not just look to be satiated by in-the-moment reactionaryism – is there a place for that? Yes, of course. But, the point here is to be strategic.
Now, for those who read this, it’s easy to dismiss this as ‘mansplaining’ which has been used as a linguistic device to shut down discourse (or rightfully so, misogynists!). There is no attempt to mansplain here. It’s an attempt to bridge the divide where we assume that one people group or one gender group has all the answers to fix society. That’s just the boring old attempt as corporate messianism. We need to work together, not against each other. Use the frustration to fuel creative alternatives. Let discourse be the seedbed for revolutionary changes.
Recently, in Bristol (UK), there was a guy who was interviewed. He told of how he and his girlfriend broke up, and there was nothing bad about the relationship, they just drifted apart. That’s all the media gave to his story, that’s all that he gave in his interview. That’s all we got. Then the Twitterverse went on a tirade.
Where some feminists just scapegoated this guy as a creep, as someone who was invading her ‘space’ by assuming she couldn’t choose herself whether what he did had any romantic value. See, the irony here, we invaded their relationship. We decided for them. We claim power has been abused. And yet, we use media, social media, and our opinions as forms of power through language. Is what he did creepy? Possibly. But, I don’t know the guy, I don’t know his intentions. 30-60 years ago, this kind of gesture would have been seen as a romantic and welcomed by many. In fact, Hollywood movies are alight with those examples. So, what is the point here? Romantic gestures and their critiques, is not a sign of feminism, they’re a sign of the times and how our cultural zeitgeist has changed the socio-romantic rules and narrative.
Where some feminists just scapegoated this guy as a creep, as someone who was invading her ‘space’ by assuming she couldn’t choose herself whether what he did had any romantic value. See, the irony here, we invaded their relationship. We decided for them. We claim power has been abused. And yet, we use media, social media, and our opinions as forms of power through language. Is what he did creepy? Possibly. But, I don’t know the guy, I don’t know his intentions. We can’t universalize our critique; every time a guy/girl performs some form of the romantic act, as a rule, to live by. I can definitely see how it could be perceived as a creepy gesture. But, it is our place to impose our worldview on their relationship? Wouldn’t it be better to talk to them directly? 30-60 years ago, this kind of gesture would have been seen as a romantic and welcomed by many. In fact, Hollywood movies are alight with those examples. So, what is the point here? Romantic gestures and their critiques, is not a sign of feminism, they’re a sign of the times and how our cultural zeitgeist has changed the socio-romantic rules and narrative.
We can’t universalize our critique; every time a guy/girl performs some form of the romantic act, as a rule, to live by. I can definitely see how it could be perceived as a creepy gesture. But, it is our place to impose our worldview on their relationship? Wouldn’t it be better to talk to them directly? 30-60 years ago, this kind of gesture would have been seen as a romantic and welcomed by many. In fact, Hollywood movies are alight with those examples. So, what is the point here? Romantic gestures and their critiques are not a sign of feminism, they’re a sign of the times and how our cultural zeitgeist has changed the socio-romantic rules and narrative.
There is a point here about the media always looking to turn every act into a spectacle. That the media perverts us into pedestrian voyeurs into the lives of others. And we then assume that voyeurism gives us the power to then put on display our worldviews and opinions on the subject. This tells us more about how we have to reify the human opinion and think very highly of ourselves. And this is not saying, that we should not care for one another, or protect one another – its one of our evolutionary gifts. Compassion should be something we embrace, there are neuro-cognitive health-related benefits to helping each other. But, we can’t become alarmists. We live in an age of alarmism right now, from new forms of conservatism in politics, from racially-biased police, over-filled prisons, the rise of the KKK (never thought I would write that!), among other global issues, like climate change, genocide and etc. Alarmism just forces us to then reinterpret every event as if it’s going to be the end of the world. Our amygdalae are over stressed and we react like our ancestors did when they were running from Mammoths.
If we are going to scrutinize romanticism, it can’t just be from feminism to patriarchy – yet, THAT critique NEEDS to happen. It must also include its current incarnations, in films, on the television, in advertisements and is rooted is the only form of relationality between heteronormative couples. This is a conversation that has no easy answers. What are your thoughts?
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So, we, as a family started #vlogging. We vlog about the kids who sing, dance, laugh, tell jokes, fall in love, do all out crazy stuff! We also talk about politics, religion, life, and politically incorrect jokes. We’re a family with a difference, we are committed to sustainability, to activism and making the world a better place. Make sure to follow us to find out more and share, share, share. Thanks for caring!
Okay so we know there is this pop-culture phenomenon of bio-hacking out as of late. Now, as someone who is naturally curious about trying new things, I thought I would give it go, as it seems compatible with exercise. I have been taking it for a little over two weeks, and I have seen some results.
Taking care of your body has nothing to do with body-shaming as is so wanton to conflate in our politically correct society. Afterall, we all die, its just a matter of time, and if you’re like me, I tend to enjoy all the moments in life, even the painful ones, they make us who we are. So, health is a major issue to take seriously both personally and corporately.
But, after doing some research, the very process of losing weight can be had through eating a balanced meal. It is important what you and how much of it you eat that will determine whether the natural process of ketosis kicks in – also, for these pills to really work, you have to exercise pretty rigorously. But, everyone’s physical chemistry is different, so if you’re looking to try something new, give this a go!
You can try those out here.
A powerful scene from the hit show Black-ish deals with the tension of police brutality, raising a child, and black lives matter. They deal with these issues by juxtaposing the position: Compliance or hopelessness. So, what do you think? Is the system rigged? If so, we need to change this. This is not just some ideological farce, there is verifiable proof which are backed by statistics that show that the scape-goating of the black community is happening. My claim is this: We are in the middle of a second civil rights movement. I am going to be working with Carl Dix and the Stop Mass Incarceration movement, we need your help too. How can you help? Find a relevant organization that hilights this scapegoating. And whenever possible defend against xenophobia, police brutality and general ideological bigotry. The world needs to be better, and its up to us!
In a parable, things aren’t always what they seem. There is always more than what is actually said. Its a short story with multiple layers of meaning.
So, what does the life and the event surrounding the hapless shooting of a 12 year old boy say about America? About the police? About fear? About power? About fetishizing guns? A lot actually!
What does it say about America?
America is not ‘America’. When someone uses the word America, for many, it conjures up the idea of a unified people. It’s the same for almost any country. The name of the country, in one sense, assumes a lot about the people that inhabit it. Especially our country. That it somehow embodies the closest ideas to our spiritual zeal for utopia; I’ve spent a lot of time in other countries, and some people covet this country for that presupposed exaggeration. Because, lets be honest, America doesn’t embody its own ideals.
It tries, but lately, its failed a lot more than not. And we have a responsibility to hold it accountable, especially if that label represents us as individuals and a corporate body of people. In the last few years with the rise of civil-war like violence, America has become embarrassing; as a country, in terms of its history, its a teenager. Right now, it seems like its throwing a tantrum. America has fallen from grace. We have a lot of work if we are divided on the fact that a 12-year old boy was shot by a police officer.
This division poses a false-dichotomy, as if we should be forced to choose who is right and who is wrong, and those are important distinctions, but, there is something hiding in plain sight that we miss by choosing these sides, and that is, as a country, we still haven’t grown up. We still are at the family table fighting over who is going to get the most toys. We are narcissistic and self-preserving, that’s what Tamir’s life reminds us, that we would rather care about the illusion of safety rather than life itself.
About the Police?
Now, I am just going to come out and tell you where I stand on this, I am an Anarchist. No, not the stereotypical “let’s go blow things up” kind of anarchists, that’s a completely wrong understanding of the idea. In this context, its the removal of mediation. For me, this means, we don’t need the police to police us, or give us some false sense of safety. I spent time in the military, I know very similar lines of ideology that hide itself as justification. As in, we need them so they can preserve our freedoms and we should just be blindly grateful for their sacrifices and so on. This is completely the wrong way to see this. We put them there. We hired them. We started the police. They weren’t there before the human race. What does it say that we still need them? That we believe we are incapable of inherent goodness? Or that we are all naturally pieces of ontological shit that we can’t ever learn? Well, it does say that if we keep them around. We need to get better at adopting new strategies as we are learning to still become human. Like care. Like responsibility. Compassion. Intersubjective alliances toward bettering ourselves. No, we need to get better at policing ourselves. It’s a sad day when the people we agreed to be in charge of our safety become the very enemies of it. It means we need to rethink not just the police but also the whole justice system they are a part of, especially when they can go free from shooting a 12-year old boy.
What about Fear?
What is fear but if not the objectification and the centering of an idea, a loss, a person, a thing right smack dab in the middle of our lives; much like a god who tells us what to do? Fear seems prevalent today in America. Almost like a religion. People would rather live in the possibility of danger rather than the possibility of the freedom that so many are shouting about. But, the last thing you experience when you choose fear, is freedom. It tells you to criminalize. It tells you who to hate. Who to love. Why we need to get rid of ‘them’. It creates all kinds of mechanised webs that defend your own world-views. Fear is the enemy here. It separates, it divides and it conquers the very thing that demands it attention.
What about Power?
Holding a gun. Being a police officer. Having status. These all represent forms of power. Power has the insane potential to corrupt quite easily. It does. It has. And it is. When we give our power to the government, we let them control every facet of our existence. We give it to them. They choose what to do with that power. They define it. They, they, they.
What about Guns?
We need to stop fetishizing guns. They don’t make us happy. They represent the very opposite of what we want by having them. They don’t create safety, they enforce it, they demand it, they are objects that give us the illusion of safety, not safety itself. If we need to wield guns to feel safe, then were we safe in the first place? Our culture is a culture of the gun. We have completely misunderstood and misappropriated the American Constitution, when historically, the second amendment was referring to a musket, in a different time, about a different war. Not now. We don’t actually NEED guns. We’ve made ourselves think we do. There are whole countries who do much better without them.
These aren’t easy issues. This article isn’t meant to be the answer, but begin a conversation that exists beyond the divide of a simplistic right or wrong. So, how do we do it? How can we create a better America? There’s still time, I think.
PS. Lookout we are going to be talking about this on my next Periscope!