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The Gorla Massacre (in Italian: Strage di Gorla) was a terrorist attack against a school in the city of Milan, north of Italy, committed by the Allies during the invasion of Italy in World War II. It occured on October 20, 1944 when an elementary school (Scuola Elementare Francesco Crispi) was severely bombed by the USAAF, the supposed liberators of Italy, killing 184 children and all the teachers.
Gorla is the name of the neighborhood where the school was located. Alone on this day, the total death toll among school children and other civilians was 614, also there were several missing and injured.
The bombing took place on October 20, 1944, and coincidentally the Minister of Armaments in Germany, Albert Speer, was in town.
The Americans planned to attack the factories in Milan with 3 groups of bombers:
38 B-24 bombers of the 461 ° group, were aimed at the factory Isotta Fraschini.
29 B-24 bombers of the 484 ° group, were aimed at the Alfa Romeo factory.
36 B-24 bombers of the 451 ° group, were aimed at the Breda factory.
A total of 103 American bombers left the airport Foggia (the city previously destroyed during the Bombing of Foggia) in central-southern Italy towards Milan. The 461° and 484° group reached the objectives. The 451° group, commanded by Colonel James B. Knapp of USAAF, had a very different story. The group took off at 07:58 in the morning and early one of the planes found mechanical problems, returning to the airport and leaving the rest of the group with 35 aircraft.
The group arrived in Milan just after 11 am when they found that they were on wrong route and too far away from original targets without time to fix the route. The commander had two solutions, send the squadron to the countryside and get rid of the weight of the bombs before returning to Foggia, or loose the bombs right there in the residential neighborhood. The commander chose the second option. The formation of bombers had 10 bombs of 220 kg each.
Teachers of the young students (ages 6 to 11 years) did hear the air-raid alarm, tried to run to the shelters along with the pupils, while some mothers ran toward the school carring small children in their arms. At 11:24 the school was bombed causing the death of 184 children, 19 adults consisting of teachers, school staff and mothers, and 18 children who accompanied their mothers.
None of those responsible for this crime were ever brought to justice.

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Text: Especially with #Ferguson all over social media, here’s my pet peeve: People who complain about racist family/friends without actively confronting them. Unless you’re depending on this racist for your livelihood, e.g. living in their home or relying on their income and they could cut you off, CALL THEM OUT. That racist aunt you visit maybe 3 times a year is posting about “thugs”? Send her facts. Show her the hypocrisy of her words. Don’t just let it go because you don’t want to “cause trouble”, THIS IS THE TROUBLE. And this applies to non-black POC. Recognize the anti-blackness in our communities (Asian Americans, you have a big responsibility in this) and do something about it. I always say no one is obligated to educate strangers that pop up demanding a breakdown of race relations, but if you consider yourself an ally yet can’t even confront that guy from high school you keep around on Facebook? I call bullshit.

Tweets #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7

these-rebelhands said:

Arielle isn't transphobic... Watch the videos.

Just to clarify, I’ve never called Arielle transphobic. If you take issue with how other people on that thread described her content, I encourage you to take it up with them. I reblogged a post calling out the problems with her content and co-signed that allies need to be really careful when it comes to speaking over people they intend to support. Which I think she does at times. I think this is a mistake a lot of well intentioned people make, but it’s problematic none the less. 

I watched the “are butch lesbians transgender” video and the “would you date a lesbian with a penis” and there a few things that made me uncomfortable. Again, I’m sure she has the best of intentions when she made these videos, but she misses the mark in some places. Right off the bat I think it’s problematic to compare trans men to butch lesbian women because…they aren’t the same. One is a man and the other is a woman. And then there’s the whole issue of focusing on someone’s genitals which just isn’t cool. I’m not trans, so it’s not really my place to tell her what she should and shouldn’t say about the community, but I was most bothered by how she responded to trans folk who’ve told her they took issue with how she presented info in her videos. Take a look at the comments, they aren’t pretty.  If someone says, “hey, I’m a member of this community and I have a problem with what you said” it’s pretty dismissive and rude to respond with “you should be happy I’m educating people because they aren’t listening to you”. That’s really shitty and I don’t support that. My point still stands, allies should speak up, not over. 

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What Men Can Do To Be Better Allies

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By: Alexis M.

Allies are an important aspect of any community. Although men are directly affected by patriarchy as women are, men are also direct beneficiaries of this type of social order. To have male allies involved in the feminist community is extremely important because it shows solidarity within the feminist community and it puts a huge emphasis on male engagement in reversing and questioning the effects sexism has had on our society.

For clarity, an ally is an individual or group who join with other individuals/groups to achieve a common goal. For example, since the purpose of the feminist community is to combat sexism, male allies are people who join the feminist community to contribute to this goal as well.

It is so important to have allies in any community because it shows that this issues faced by that group are not just issues that that group as a singular entity needs to solve on its own. Rather, it’s a human rights issue which needs the help and support of other communities in order to resolve the current problems. Sexism is not just a women’s issue, transphobia is not just a trans issue, homophobia is not just the LGBTQ’s issue, racism is not just people of colour’s issue. They are all human rights issues which need to be addressed by all communities.

As someone who has a lot of male friends who identify as feminist or with feminist ideals here are a few tips on what they can do to be better allies.

Tip #1: Listen

To be an ally to a community is to be someone who is concerned with the treatment and issues that another group in society has. The best way to really understand issues in the feminist community is to be an active listener. Listen to the experiences of others and to the concerns they have, then take those concerns and experiences at face-value as legitimate.

You may feel the need to speak a lot in workshops, during group conversations and at meetings, and it’s great that you want to contribute to conversations about and with feminists, but be aware of how much time you are taking up. Your role as an ally is to help lift up the voices of others, but not to talk over them. Ask yourself: Are you dominating the conversation? Are you dictating it’s flow? Are you making it about yourself? Make sure you are aware of these things when you’re speaking in feminist spaces.

Tip #2: Self-Awareness

Speaking of awareness… self-awareness is key to becoming a better ally to the feminist community. This means being mindful of your presence, of the space you take up, of the way you speak and other things you may have not considered in your daily routine such as the privilege you have as a man.

Male privilege is essentially the ways in which men benefit in society over other groups based on their maleness. Examples of male privilege are not getting cat called while walking down the street, feeling generally safe walking home at night, being hired for a job because you are male even though you and other female applicants may have the exact same credentials, having your sex represented in multi-faceted ways in different forms of media, the chances of your personal mistakes/failure being attributed to your entire sex are slim… the list goes on and on.

The point of recognizing or checking your own privilege is to challenge the way you have interpreted the world and question ideas that reinforce gender norms. By checking your own privilege and realizing the advantages you have in social, political and economic spheres over other groups, you have already taken a big step forward in being an ally to the feminist community.

For more on how to identify your own privilege and call others out on theirs, don’t forget to check out our Feminist Dictionary entry on privilege.

Tip #3: Do Not Play Devil’s Advocate

As a philosophy major I can understand the appeal of playing devil’s advocate in hypothetical, philosophical situations/discussions, but when you’re dealing with the lived experiences of real people this is not okay.

If you’re coming into a feminist space to ruffle feathers, argue pointlessly and start a fight it is not the space for you.

Of course there are legitimate criticisms that can be discussed within a feminist community such as inclusivity, diversity, representation, etc. It’s great if you want to discuss those issues, but if you’re coming into a feminist space with the mentality that you need to prove someone wrong, then you really need to reconsider if you have sincere intentions for wanting to be more involved within the feminist community.

Tip #4: Get Active

A great way to get involved in the feminist community is to go to rallies, protests, workshops and events hosted by local feminist groups. Donate to a local women’s shelter and volunteer your time if you are able. Getting active is a great way to be a better ally because it shows that you want to be involved and want to learn more and do more for the community.

If you don’t have the time to be physically present at rallies or organizations that’s okay! There are plenty of amazing online communities that can help you get your start in feminist activism. Tumblr has a huge feminist community that was actually the first place which sparked my love of feminism. Consider creating a feminist tumblr or join a discussion forum on feminism. Everday Feminism has great online forums to help get you involved and connect you to other feminists!

Tip #5: Do Your Research

I cannot begin to count the amount of times that I have been used as a feminist encyclopedia for my male friends. I don’t mind being asked questions, but there comes a point where it becomes exhausting and irritating. Answering the same basic questions over and over again is not fun, and if you’re really interested in feminism then there is plenty of literature available at your disposal.

Do your own research, don’t make feminists explain why their oppression matters. Don’t make them prove to you that it is a legitimate concern. We don’t owe you that information. You owe it to yourself, however, to learn about these issues.

Tip #6: Call Others Out

If you see sexism being perpetuated by your friends or other people you know in your life, call them out on it. Explain to them that what they may be doing/saying is really harmful to women (i.e. catcalling, calling women inappropriate slurs, degrading women). Question their values and ideas, especially in spaces where women aren’t present.

For example, if one of your guy friends makes a joke about sexual harassment, rape, violence against women etc. tell them it isn’t funny. You don’t necessarily owe them an explanation as to why it isn’t funny but it couldn’t hurt to explain why exactly the jokes they are telling are problematic and harmful.

Being a feminist is a full time job and you can’t pick when to be one and when not to be. If you want to be a good ally, you need to be one in every space you are in.

Want to learn some more tips on becoming a better ally? Check out these articles:

I feel really bad for all the movements that are being held back because of the radicals on this site. I wonder how many supporters have switched sides after being called cis scum, or hearing the phrases “fuck allies” or “fuck men”. Think about what you’re saying.

Re: Male Feminists and #HeForShe

mach712
:

Isn’t the entire point of the privileged speaking about oppression that the other privileged people are more likely to listen to them.

When did we stop wanting this?

Yes, privileged people are often times more likely to listen to someone else speaking about oppression if they look like them and have the same privileges. This somehow gives their opinions more “credibility”, which essentially means, “I don’t value the opinions or rights of people I see as less than me”.  That doesn’t make it any less annoying. And no, this is not something we want. I don’t want you to respect my humanity just because someone else you think has more credibility than I do told you to. And that also doesn’t mean that privileged person deserve cookies and praise for essentially saying the same thing that oppressed people have been saying for centuries. I’m lookin’ at you Tim Wise…

It’s great when allies speak up and support marginalized people to encourage equality. But it’s important to speak up, not over. Uplift the voices of the people you aim to support so that other privileged people can hear them. It’s not about you. Too many “allies” forget this. And I think that’s the big issue with the #HeForShe campaign and people like Tim Wise. Don’t be Macklemore and hog the mic. Take the mic because you can, and then pass it to someone who’s more qualified to speak. 

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