SOCIAL PRESSURE

i am aware this is a difficult issue but it’s incredibly hurtful when lesbians assume and talk as though bisexual women and women-aligned people don’t experience pain while in the closet, or never experience the trauma of being assumed to want to be with men, or that social pressure to be with men is fine and never traumatic for bisexuals.

like it all stems from this idea that being a bisexual woman or woman-aligned person means you must be open to dating men, that bisexuals can be attracted to everyone so we must not care who we end up with right :) none of us could possibly find our attraction to all genders and the bisexual label itself important while wanting to keep men at arm’s length right :) none of us could possibly have trauma upon trauma from men and none of us have ever been pressured or forced into relationships with men 

idk it reads to me as lowkey saying bisexuals are privileged and it really fucking hurts to see my own experiences erased like this

I hate the “get out of your comfort zone” sentiment because firstly fuck you for assuming everyone has a comfort zone, it’s an idea created in comfortable and privileged environment and cannot apply to survival type lives, I am trying to keep myself in the zone of “discomfort I can survive” and only other zone I can go to is “discomfort that will make me suicidal in 10 seconds or less” and i’m not risking my life for that shit, secondly it’s implying that already overwhelmed people don’t have the right to feel comfortable, and if they work towards feeling comfortable they’re doing the wrong thing, and it’s been enough of that, all of you, every person on this planet has the right to feel comfortable, and should work towards that first, and god knows if i ever find a place i feel comfortable in i will never ever leave

A male does not have to be masculine, nor a female feminine. We don’t all have to wear baby pink or dark blue. So what if you’re not obsessed with cars, or doing your nails every single night. Having a certain set of genes does not mean you have to be a certain way. Be who you are, and do what ever genuinely feels comfortable to you.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin

anonymous asked:

I’m not trying to be inflammatory, I’m just curious. How do het ace/aro people face SYSTEMATIC oppression? Gay/bi/trans people face oppression like difficultly adopting children, finding housing, they may be fired from employment because of their gender or orientation. So they are bared from normal parts of live because of their gender/sexuality. Gay ace/aro people face this too, but what do het ace/aro people experience on a societal level?

If you’d been following my blog at all or even bothered to peruse it a little before dropping this message in my inbox, you’d probably already know the answer to your question. 

You’d ALSO probably know that there are bi and pan aspecs too (e.g., I’m panromantic demisexual) which isn’t “gay” (does this term also include lesbians?) so I feel like your ask erases part of my own identity and that of others in the community.

For these reasons and more, I’d bet money that you’re not here because you’re “curious”. You’re probably here because you figure this is how you’re gonna stop a “self-imposing” aspec from speaking up for herself. 

Well guess what: That’s just hateful & sad.

Regardless though of your intentions, I’m here to say that there is in fact SYSTEMATIC oppression against aspecs. For example, Dr Gordon Hodson wrote this about his 2012 study: 

In a recent investigation (MacInnis & Hodson, in press) we uncovered strikingly strong bias against asexuals in both university and community samples. Relative to heterosexuals, and even relative to homosexuals and bisexuals, heterosexuals: (a) expressed more negative attitudes toward asexuals (i.e., prejudice); (b) desired less contact with asexuals; and © were less willing to rent an apartment to (or hire) an asexual applicant (i.e., discrimination). Moreover, of all the sexual minority groups studied, asexuals were the most dehumanized (i.e., represented as “less human”). Intriguingly, heterosexuals dehumanized asexuals in two ways. Given their lack of sexual interest, widely considered a universal interest, it might not surprise you to learn that asexuals were characterized as “machine-like” (i.e., mechanistically dehumanized). But, oddly enough, asexuals were also seen as “animal-like” (i.e., animalistically dehumanized). Yes, asexuals were seen as relatively cold and emotionless and unrestrained, impulsive, and less sophisticated.

When you repeatedly observe such findings it grabs your attention as a prejudice researcher. But let’s go back a minute and consider those discrimination effects. Really? You’d not rent an apartment to an asexual man, or hire an asexual woman? Even if you relied on stereotypes alone, presumably such people would make ideal tenants and employees. We pondered whether this bias actually represents bias against single people, a recently uncovered and very real bias in its own right (see Psychology Today column by Bella DePaulo). But our statistical analyses ruled out this this possibility. So what’s going on here?

If you’ve been following my column, you’ll recall that I wrote a recent article on what I called the “Bigotry Bigot-Tree” – what psychologists refer to as generalized prejudice. Specifically, those disliking one social group (e.g., women) also tend to dislike other social groups (e.g., homosexuals; Asians). In our recent paper (MacInnis & Hodson, in press), we found that those who disliked homosexuals also disliked bisexuals and asexuals. In other words, these prejudices are correlated. Heterosexuals who dislike one sexual minority, therefore, also dislike other sexual minorities, even though some of these groups are characterized by their sexual interest and activity and others by their lack of sexual interest and activity.

This anti-asexual bias, at its core, seems to boil down to what Herek (2010) refers to as the “differences as deficit” model of sexual orientation. By deviating from the typical, average, or normal sexual interests, sexual minorities are considered substandard and thus easy targets for disdain and prejudice. Contrary to conventional folk wisdom, prejudice against sexual minorities may not therefore have much to do with sexual activity at all. There is even evidence, for instance, that religious fundamentalists are prejudiced against homosexuals even when they are celibate (Fulton et al., 1999). Together, such findings point to a bias against “others”, especially different others, who are seen as substandard and deficient (and literally “less human”). “Group X” is targeted for its lack of sexual interest even more than homosexuals and bisexuals are targeted for their same-sex interests.

From news coverage of a recently published study (2016):

What should the average person take away from your study?

Since I first became interested in the issue, I have come to conclude that U.S. society is both “sex negative” and “sex positive.” In other words, there is stigma and marginalization that can come both from being “too sexual” and from being “not sexual enough.” In a theoretical paper, I argued that sexuality may be compulsory in contemporary U.S. society. In other words, our society assumes that (almost) everyone is, at their core, “sexual” and there exists a great deal of social pressure to experience sexual desire, engage in sexual activities, and adopt a sexual identity. At the same time, various types of “non-sexuality” (such as a lack of sexual desire or activity) are stigmatized.

For this particular study, I identified thirty individuals who identified as asexual and asked them first, if they had experienced stigma or marginalization as a result of their asexuality, and, second how they challenged this stigma or marginalization. I found that my interviewees had experienced the following forms of marginalization: pathologization (i.e. people calling them sick), social isolation, unwanted sex and relationship conflict, and the denial of epistemic authority (i.e. people not believing that they didn’t experience sexual attraction). I also found that my interviews resisted stigma and marginalization in five ways: describing asexuality as simply a different (but not inherently worse) form of sexuality; deemphasizing the importance of sexuality in human life; developing new types of nonsexual relationships; coming to see asexuality as a sexual orientation or identity; and engaging in community building and outreach.

I hope that average people would take away from this study the idea that some people can lead fulfilling lives without experiencing sexual attraction but can experience distress if others try to invalidate their identities.

Some of the social isolation we aspecs experience comes from religious communities. Indeed, the popular myth that religious people revere aspecs is very much NOT TRUE. For example, read “Myth 8″ from the VISION Catholic Religious Vocation Guide:

MYTH 8: Religious are asexual

Question: What do you call a person who is asexual? 

Answer: Not a person. Asexual people do not exist. Sexuality is a gift from God and thus a fundamental part of our human identity. Those who repress their sexuality are not living as God created them to be: fully alive and well. As such, they’re most likely unhappy.

All people are called by God to live chastely, meaning being respectful of the gift of their sexuality. Religious men and women vow celibate chastity, which means they live out their sexuality without engaging in sexual behavior. A vow of chastity does not mean one represses his manhood or her womanhood. Sexuality and the act of sex are two very different things. While people in religious life abstain from the act of sex, they do not become asexual beings, but rather need to be in touch with what it means to be a man or a woman. A vow of chastity also does not mean one will not have close, loving relationships with women and men. In fact, such relationships are a sign of living the vow in a healthy way. Living a religious vow of chastity is not always easy, but it can be a very beautiful expression of love for God and others.

Religious women and men aren’t oddities; they mirror the rest of the church they serve: there are introverts and extroverts, tall and short, old and young, straight and gay, obese and skinny, crass and pious, humorous and serious, and everything in between. They attempt to live the same primary vocation as all other Christians do: proclaiming and living the gospel. However, religious do this as members of an order that serve the church and world in a particular way. Like marriage and the single life, religious life can be wonderful, fulfilling, exciting, and, yes, normal. Yet, it also can be countercultural and positively challenging. It’s that for us and many others.

If you thought religious life was outdated, dysfunctional, or dead, we hope you can now look beyond the stereotypes and see the gift it is to the church and world.

NOTE: YOU CAN BE A GAY CATHOLIC PERSON BUT NOT ASEXUAL, BC ASEXUALITY DOESN’T EXIST (yet somehow we’re also “most likely unhappy” and “oddities”). I sincerely hope and believe that not all religions characterize us aspecs this way. But here are some personal accounts I found on a reddit site answering the question “Do any religions have a negative stance toward asexuals?”:

Please note that the Christian pastor in the last example was fearful (or something?) that an asexual was helping to lead a youth group and kicked them out of the church as a result.

Can I just say I have a lot of opinions about JJ, especially from a Westerner’s point of view? Specifically, the way he’s treated by the other skaters in YOI? JJ is loud, boisterous, and toots his own horn at every chance. Does this make him a bad guy? No way. In fact, all it does is paint a picture of how the rest of the world views people from America. Now, I’m from the US, so I can’t really speak for Canada, but I have quite a few Canadian friends and we are all, by definition, “North Americans”. I notice that our cultures aren’t really that different- specifically our social culture. Most Western young men act A LOT like JJ does- making jokes at other peoples’ expenses, trying to one-up everyone around them, be it verbally or otherwise, being really competitive and thriving in a competitive atmosphere, and generally just being very loud and obnoxious. 

Keep reading

Be More Chill Sky High AU

I saw this textpost here by dear-enjolras-hansen and was inspired to make a bmc sky high au! I remember watching the movie as a kid and loving it. But, yeah, go read the DEH one cause it’s real fun and cute!

Jeremy

  • Telepathy/Mind control
  • His mind control powers only came to him in his junior year, and they’re not full brainwashing
  • Basically he can’t actually force people to do something, but he can place powerful feelings of wanting to do it in the person’s head
  • His telepathy is full blown though and he can’t turn it on or off
  • But when he gets flustered or goes through strong emotions other people’s thoughts get jumbled in with his own and he can’t really tell the difference
  • His telepathy only came in sophomore year so freshman year he was powerless and therefore placed as a sidekick
  • Even in sophomore year his telepathy was kind of useless in combat so it wasn’t until junior year when his mind control kicked in that he was moved up to hero
  • He’s always felt really inadequate and weak because of his powers or lack therefore of
  • The fact that he can hear people’s snide thoughts about him also put a dent in his self esteem
  • He got called creep a lot because people accused him of purposefully listening in on their thoughts
  • Once he got moved up to hero people started to like him a lot more though
  • He initially lets it go to his head and basically abandons Michael and Christine
  • Buuuut eventually he snaps out of it and realises he’s been a dick
  • (His guilty pleasure is listening in to Michael think about dorky things like video games and poptarts)
  • The only time he ever used his mind control outside of combat was to guide people to the right questions during tests
  • Eventually they fiqured him out and he has to take exams after school now
  • Realised end of sophomore year he’s in love with Michael
  • Realises that all of Michael’s thoughts are less bromantic and more romantic
  • Runs up to Michael last day before spring break and declares his love in the middle of the school hall
  • They kiss and there’s no voices in his head for a moment

Michael

  • Sooo everybody thinks it’s going to be technopathy but it’s actually sound manipulation
  • It’s pretty cool, he can make really good music with it
  • He can also kind of use it in combat like Coach Boomer
  • Basically he can use sound waves as a physical force
  • But he fails to portray that in initiation so he gets put as a sidekick
  • He isn’t too bothered about it because, hey, he’s got Jeremy
  • And that girl Christine seems nice
  • His powers came to him in middle school so he’s basically known since then he wants to go into composing
  • He spends his free time hanging out with Jeremy and Christine, making music, and researching 90s super heroes and sidekicks
  • Even though he’s doesn’t become popular until him and Jeremy make up after their fight, ever since first year he’s been hired as the DJ for every major event at school
  • He writes sappy love songs dedicated to Jeremy and only lets Christine and Chloe listen to them
  • They’re really good
  • One day Jeremy finds them and like… Michael basically dies of embarrassment
  • It’s all good though cause it ends in happy making out
  • Doesn’t actually really care all that much about superheros or superpowers
  • He’s more interested in human culture
  • He’s one of the only kids at their school that doesn’t immediately judge people by their powers

Christine

  • Shapeshifting
  • It was actually only a week before the start of her freshman year that her powers came to her
  • She can shapeshift into any animal or human
  • But she really hates using her powers for combat so she was placed as a sidekick
  • This is mostly due to the fact that during initiation she only shapeshifted into a toucan, a bunny, and Lindsey Lohan
  • She shapeshifts a lot
  • Christine aint afraid to use her powers basically every ten minutes
  • She just loves changing randomly into a gecko
  • She’ll often change herself to look like Jake to confuse people
  • Jake finds it absolutely hilarious
  • She also likes to play harmless pranks on people
  • Like everything’s normal and then BAM elephant in the canteen
  • One time she changed into a frog and snuck into Chloe’s school bag to surprise her
  • Needless to say she was almost turned into an icicle by accident
  • Even though she’s a sidekick and not really in any popular circles, everybody likes her so she’s kind of friends with everybody
  • She’s really close friends with Jeremy and Michael though so she confides mostly in them and vice versa
  • She’s super close with Jenna after junior year as well so they have kind of a queer platonic relationship going on
  • For three years she’s had to hear about Michael’s ‘unrequited’ love for Jeremy and then when they finally got together Jake tells her he’s got a massive crush on Rich
  • And she’s just like crying to Jenna “Why do people ask me for relationship advice, I’m demiromantic, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing!”

Rich

  • This boi is pyrokinetic!
  • His powers came to him during the summer holidays before sophomore year
  • When he came back he showed off like nobody’s business and they moved him up to hero
  • He’s popular but everybody is lowkey scared of him
  • Then one day at a party he has a mental break down due to stress of family life and identity crises and all this shit
  • And he accidentally burned down Jake’s house and put him and Jake in hospital
  • After that he was super afraid of using his powers at all and was at risk of being moved down to sidekick again which would absolutely crush his self esteem
  • It was actually Jeremy that came up to him and sat him down and let him talk out all his emotions
  • The next day Jeremy took Jake aside and told him how guilty Rich feels
  • Rich and Jake have a long conversation about it and Jake tells him that just because he messed up once doesn’t mean he should stop using his powers
  • Rich gets mental health support and starts building up his life again
  • And all his friends are there to support him as he does
  • He also realises he’s bi
  • Makes an appalling amount of fire puns
  • Has a tiny crush on Jake and ends up going to prom with him
  • They spend the night together and after that start dating
  • It’s pretty good
  • Rich used to bully Jeremy about his powers but now they’re an really good terms
  • Him and Brooke basically talk to eachother about everything
  • She just gets him so they have a close platonic relationship
  • One year they went as a sexy angel and sexy devil for halloween
  • (Rich was the devil)

Jake

  • Super speed/Super strength
  • Immediately put as a hero without having to do initiation because of his parents
  • Jake’s had his powers since he was like ten so he knows how to use them really well
  • In school, people with more than one super power are already admired, that’s why Jeremy suddenly became really popular when he realised he could use mind control
  • But Jake’s just naturally an awesome guy
  • He’s basically the most popular guy in sky high
  • He prefers using his super speed more than his super strength but he’s well trained in both
  • Pretty much set for life since his mums were both well known superheros
  • He’s following in their footsteps
  • Already stopped a few small bank robberies
  • Dated Chloe all throughout freshman year
  • Broke up with her when he realised he was only with her because they were both the ‘most popular girl/boy in school’
  • Dated Brooke for a bit in sophomore year and then went on a few dates with Christine in junior year
  • Drunkenly made out with Jeremy one time during Jeremy’s ‘popular’ phase
  • Basically he’s hooked up with a bunch of kids at school
  • Because he’s seen as the ‘golden boy’, he feels a lot of pressure to do well as well as keep up his image to his classmates
  • Turns to sex and alcohol for stress release
  • He had a problem and refused to get help but after he almost burned to death and was put in hospital it was kind of like a wake up call for him
  • He got his shit together and he still regularly goes to AA meetings
  • Gets an extreme puppy love crush on Rich their senior year
  • Keeps doing things like lifting up benches or running to catch footballs on the other side of the school to try and impress him
  • It works out well in the end
  • Really good friends with Brooke, Chloe and Jenna
  • They make him carry their shopping bags and sometimes them when they go shopping

Chloe

  • Ice powers
  • She’s had her powers since the end of elementary school so she’s really talented with using them
  • She can kick ass in combat but also uses her powers to create ice sculptures and cool her drinks up in the summer
  • Put as hero no question
  • Best at combat in sky high behind Jake
  • On her way to becoming a great superhero
  • Is often called ‘Ice Queen’
  • She likes it and is thinking of using it for her alias
  • Has to deal with a lot of Elsa jokes
  • She just freezes people to get them to shut the fuck up about it
  • Loves to pair up with Rich during training
  • Watching them spar is spectacular
  • Her, Brooke, Rich and Jake are all training buddies
  • In her senior year she becomes basically best friends with Michael
  • They sit and bitch about people while listening to Michael’s latest composition
  • After Brooke and Jake broke up Chloe and Brooke started up a ‘friends with benefits thing’
  • Then Chloe realised she was actually in love with Brooke and wanted to cuddle and kiss her non-sexually
  • So she puts up a massive ice sculpture outside Brooke’s house one day junior year  that says ‘BE MY GIRLFRIEND
  • They become a couple
  • Has been close friends with Jenna since they were kids, and even though she acts like she’s perpetually annoyed by her, Chloe is super overprotective of Jenna
  • Like she’s overprotective of all her friends (especially Brooke), but like it’s really noticeable with Jenna
  • Once knocked a guy out for making fun of Jenna being a sidekick
  • She’s a very angry teen just cause of social and academic pressure, as well as her crippling insecurity
  • When she’s super angry she’ll storm off to be alone
  • And just sit and let the things around her slowly be overtaken by frost and ice
  • Turns lakes into ice rinks in the summer for her and her friends to skate on

Brooke

  • Flight
  • Brooke’s had her powers since she was a baby
  • Her parents had to put an extra secure cage on her cot so that she would stop whizzing around her room at midnight
  • She also had to be put on a child leash for her toddler years
  • She loves flying so much
  • Hardly ever walks anywhere
  • Just floats around like 3 cm off the ground
  • Hero
  • She’s great in combat and is expected to be a superhero in the future
  • But she has her heart set on being a trainer
  • The spotlight kind of freaks her out so she’s much happier supporting people instead
  • Has been pining over Chloe since middle school and when she wakes up to see the ice sculpture in her garden she flies down from her bedroom window and scoops Chloe up superman style and kisses her
  • When she gets upset she flies up to a really high cloud and just kind of… sits there and cries
  • She like to fly around with Christine when she’s shapeshifted into a bird
  • She gets called ‘airhead’ a lot as a joke and even though she laughs along it makes her quite self conscious about her intelligence
  • She just feels like everybody always only sees her power when they look at her and not her
  • BFFs with Rich
  • Even though she’s scared to stand up for herself she’ll protect her friends against bullies
  • If anybody makes fun of any of her friends she takes their school bag or some other possession and puts it on the roof of the school
  • And then refuses to get it down for them

Jenna

  • Technopath
  • Nobody expected it because everybody forgets the fact that Jenna is actually super smart
  • She’s super good with any kind of technology, but especially mobile devices
  • Constantly has her phone with her
  • Is initially placed as hero in freshman year but she mostly uses her powers to snoop on people’s group chats and the school’s secrets
  • Cause she could not give less of a shit about being a superhero
  • She gets moved down to sidekick halfway through freshman year
  • The only thing she’s worried about is that her popularity is rapidly decreasing
  • She starts getting left out of loads of shit because being a sidekick means you’re a loser, basically
  • But she manages to crawl her way back up the social ladder due to her friendships with Chloe, Brooke and Jake
  • But everybody just completely labels her as a sidekick tagging along behind a group of heroes
  • So she always just assumes that people are friends with her out of pity or to utilise her power in some way
  • It takes a lot of time and reassurance from her friends to realise that that isn’t the case
  • She actually starts to care about her future in like sophomore year and starts to work hard on training with her powers and her grades
  • End of senior year she gets an offer to work with the government which she takes
  • Really close friends with Christine
  • They move in together after high school
  • They’re quite codependent on each other but not in an unhealthy way
  • They’re just super close
  • The lines between a platonic and romantic relationship between them are blurred
  • Close friends with Chloe and texts her about every piece of gossip she hears
  • Favourite hobby is hacking into homophobes/transphobes/racists/etc blogs and changing them to look like foot fetish blogs

I may have to write a fic of this… But yeah. BMC Sky High AU

Some illusions that society has created are far from the truth. You don’t need the newest car or fanciest jacket to be the best. Food is not okay to just chuck in the trash. Clean water is not the least bit disposable. Run away from these illusions, and protect your own beliefs.

My bilingual story:

I’m bilingual, I speak fluently Italian and English, like I studied English for 17 years, and I’m 23. SO WHY DO I KEEP ON FUCKING UP EVERYTIME SOMEONE ASK ME SIMPLE THINGS???? But let me explain.
I was minding my own business in the trains station while waiting for the train to arrive ( strangely enough it was late –thanks Italian railway -). Then out of thin air a man (I think he was from middle east, but that’s important only because he was a bilingual like me and he spoke with out making a mess out of himself, so GOOD JOB MAN, REALLY PROUD OF A FELLOW BILINGUAL) touched my shoulder since I was wearing my headphones and asked without missing a bit : “ Good morning, could you tell me where is the nearest ATM?” And in my mind I was like:“ Girl, this is your moment, you waited years for this, you studied hard, now say "NEAR THE SUBWAY, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ESCALATORS” and don’t mess up, you’ve got this!!!“. But that was not what I said. My directions were: ” sì.. I meant, yes I could, no, I can…tell…you the ATM… you go down where the train that… goes under… the city, you know… the under train. But you have to,…come si dice… take the… the…ESCAVETOR…no sorry, the escalator and go down. The ATM is there. In front.“ After this horrible, horrible disaster he thanked me. I mean he didn’t laugh at me or anything. I would have laugh at me or at least looked at myself in pity. But he thanked me, smiled and went where I told him.
So after all this I understand that being bilingual is hard as fuck. I was so scared of messing up that I ended up doing just that. And I really what to thank that man, because he didn’t make fun of me, or told me that he didn’t understand a thing I said. That was a really nice thing to do. So thank you man , let’s hope next time I won’t be so awkward.

I’m sorry to be a downer and this isn’t ~about~ anything but I’d just like to remind everybody that hockey boys ARE gross and WILL disappoint you.

I… just get worried? Sometimes? My friends get all mushy over some NHL kid with bad teeth soft hands and a face like an unfortunate potato all “MY SON” and “THIS BOY” and I’m just like… pls do not get your heart broken when you are reminded that he is an overpaid spud marinated during his most tender years in a bath of economic exploitation and toxic masculinity

Pls remember that the actual good thing here is you and your joy in the things you experience and the meanings you create. Not him or his team.

Because if you depend on him to be good and pure and upstanding and valiant, well, there is a lot of social pressure on him not to be, and he is only human.

The "Myth" of Black Love

Let me start off by saying that I got inspiration for this post from another post about the disillusionment of a black woman about dating within the black community, expressing that too many black men aren’t attracted to black women and ideally go for non black women. Which got me thinking that with all this recent promotion of black couples via social media, I feel like we can’t just focus on the pros of black love, but we must also bring to light the darker, behind the scenes reality for black women finding love among black men who directly and indirectly express their refusal to be with black women.

I get it, the praise for black love has to do with unifying the black community by saying, “See, black men and women DO love each other.” And yes, I believe it. I don’t believe the photos I see of black couples on social media are fake or anything, but can we also bring to light female black singles and how their singleness is affected by the presence of misogyny noir and anti blackness among black men? Dating in general is hard, but imagine how dating is as not only a black person, but a black woman who does not fit Eurocentric beauty standards (such as light skin, light eyes, loose hair, slim facial features, etc.) Often times I commonly see these types of “conventionally” attractive black women paired up with black men more so than mono-racial looking black women - I wonder why?

As a mono-racial, dark skinned black woman who grew up in predominantly white spaces, from my own experiences on and offline, I can confidently say that a lot of black men don’t consider me to necessarily be their “ideal” type based off black and white standards of beauty, and I feel like black and white standards of beauty go hand in hand for obvious reasons having to do with cultural assimilation, a history of colonization, and so on. Which brings me right to another point I’d like to make about looks equating to superiority or inferiority. Sure, you can’t judge a book by the cover yet too often black men do so, falling prone to the stereotypes associated with non black ethnicities of women - so it’s not just about non black women meeting a Eurocentric standard of beauty easier than most black women. It’s also about how black men view them as less “controlling” than black women, therefore more agreeable and “nicer” JUST due to ethnicity and ethnicity alone. Mind you, I’m not saying black men who date outside their ethnicity all have agendas behind their attractions, BUT I am still iffy about their reasonings for “racial preferences.” I think now is a good time to quote myself from the post about the disillusioned black woman:

“And whenever I see a black woman who exclusively dates outside the black community I feel like it’s not for the same reasons black men often do it - for black women who either often or only date non black men I feel like I have more understanding for them because of the treatment they receive from black men who often have no issue with voicing how undesirable black women are to them. That gives black women more authority of their love lives by expanding their dating pool (since the lot of black women go for black mates) vs. black men who often go for non black women for superficial, anti black reasons rooted in sexism. So when a black woman says “I don’t date black dudes” I don’t see it as excusable but at the same time I understand her reasons for doing so more than a black man refusing to date black women. I feel like black women are often looking for genuine love, the kind of love too many black men can’t give them because of their racial baggage, while said black men are oftentimes looking for trophies to use to spite black women and make non black men “envy” them for “stealing” their women.”

You read it right. I do feel like a lot of black men aren’t capable of loving black women the way they need to be loved, which has to do with seeing their blackness in the same way that they see their own and not letting gender be the deciding factor concerning superiority vs. inferiority, especially if said black women don’t fit the Eurocentric standard of beauty. I will say that non black men aren’t the “golden ticket” of black women in order for them to find love - there’s undeniably issues of anti blackness and sexism in all communities. But at the same time since non black men aren’t hit the hardest by racism, since anti blackness is global, they do have less baggage from that and less pressure to socially conform in my eyes. Because really, I believe more non black men are attracted to black women more so than they let on, it’s just that their cultural ties such as pleasing family and community hold them back from acting on this attraction confidently.

We really do need to have a real conversation about misogyny noir alongside “black love.” Because part of the way black men are going to love black women unconditionally has to do with an awareness of their own social conditioning and their own perceptions of black womanhood.

reasons to read radio silence by alice oseman

  • a contemporary realistic ya novel set in england featuring characters who actually sound and act like contemporary english teenagers!!! yes this is so rare that it does deserve three exclamation marks
  • a really refreshing critique of the social and academic pressure put on young people to go to uni, even if they’re not suited to it
  • a beautiful friendship between a boy and a girl who have a typically tropey meet-cute and then DON’T FALL IN LOVE
  • you know that feeling you get when your heart flutters over an adorable fictional couple? i seriously have FRIENDSHIP BUTTERFLIES from reading this book
  • four of the main five characters are lgbtqiap - including a bisexual protagonist whose story doesn’t revolve around romance and a canonically demisexual character WHO USES THE WORD
  • eta: also three of the five mains are poc!
  • It’s all about friendship and fandom and figuring out who you want to be and doing what makes you happy :’)
“The Basics”

The basic structure of the sortinghatchats system is that you aren’t just sorted into one House, but into two tiers of Houses: Primary and Secondary. Your Primary House defines WHY you do things. Your Secondary defines HOW. To build this system, we’ve drawn on the Sorting Hat’s songs, general HP canon, extracanonical data (ex. interviews with JKR)… and then extrapolated.

People are complex– for joy or for utility, due to social pressure or careless recreation, people often use the reasoning or methods of Houses that aren’t their Primary or Secondary. We call this “modelling” or “performing” a house and we will explain it in greater detail later. These additional layers help us capture some complexities in characters that we couldn’t get using Primary and Secondary alone. People can vary hugely in how they embody their Houses; in this system, Aang, the heroic pacifist protagonist from Avatar the Last Airbender, shares most of his Houses with HP’s Lord Voldemort.

The way you decide which Houses are yours is not necessarily by looking at what you do, but at what would make you proudest and most content if you were strong enough to do it. Your sorting is what you want to be and what you believe you should do, whether or not you actually live up to it. That’s how people like Peter Pettigrew can end up in Gryffindor.

PRIMARIES

Your Primary is your why. It’s your motivations, your values, and the way you frame the world around you. It’s how and what you prioritize, and what you weigh most heavily when making your decisions. People often also assume that others share those priorities. A common response to our system is “but you must oversort into Gryffindor/Slytherin/Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff–everyone has that type of morality, deep down!”

Gryffindor Primaries trust their moral intuitions and have a need and a drive to live by them. They feel what’s right in their gut, and that matters and guides them. If they don’t listen to and act on that, it feels immoral.

We call Gryffindor morality “felt” but that doesn’t mean they’re all impetuous, emotional hellions. Gryffindors can still be intelligent, deliberate creatures who weigh their decisions and moralities carefully. Reasoning, intellectualizing and debate can be support for a Gryffindor’s felt morality– but those things can never make a fully satisfying morality in themselves. Some things are just wrong, no matter what pretty words you use to explain them.

Ravenclaw Primaries have a constructed system that they test their decisions against before they feel comfortable calling something right. This system might be constructed by them, or it might have been taught to them as children, or it might have been discovered by them some point later in life. But it gives them a way to frame the world and a confidence in their ability to interact with it morally.

Ravenclaws do not lack an intuitive sense of morality or gut feeling about things, but they distrust those instincts and have a need to ignore or to dig down deep and dissect those internal moral impulses. Living within their built moral system is as important to a Ravenclaw as to a Gryffindor; it’s the source of the morality that differs between them–what they trust.

Hufflepuff Primaries value people–all people. They value community, they bond to groups (rather than solely individuals), and they make their decisions off of who is in the most need and who is the most vulnerable and who they can help. They value fairness because every person is a person and feel best when they give everyone that fair chance. Even directly wronged, a Hufflepuff will often give someone a second (or fifth) chance.

This doesn’t mean all Hufflepuffs are inherently tolerant human beings, any more than all Gryffindors are inherently good, moral creatures. Hufflepuffs tend to believe that all people deserve some type of kindness, decency, or consideration from them–but they can define “person” however they want, excluding individuals or even whole groups.

Slytherin Primaries are fiercely loyal to the people they care for most. Slytherin is the place where “you’ll make your real friends”– they prioritize individual loyalties and find their moral core in protecting and caring for the people they are closest to.

Slytherin’s reputation for ambition comes from the visibility of this promotion of the self and their important people– ambition is something you can find in all four Houses; Slytherin’s is just the one that looks most obviously selfish.

Because their morality system of “me and mine first” is fairly narrow in scope, Slytherins often construct a secondary morality system to deal with situations that are not addressed by their loyalty system.

SECONDARIES

Your Secondary is your how. It’s how you approach the world as a person interacting with it, and how you make your way. It’s how you problem-solve. It’s not necessarily what you’re best at, or even what’s the most useful to you, but about what skills and methods you value as being intrinsic to you. Do you improvise, do you plan? Do you work on something a little bit every day? Do you charge into the fray and tell people exactly what’s on your mind? What do you do? How would you describe the way you meet the world?

Note: the term “Secondary” is not meant to imply that how you do things is any less important than why (the Primary House). It’s simply the way our terminology fell out and we’re too lazy to change it. The importance of motivations v. methods is a personal sliding scale– it’s perfectly valid for a person to identify with their Secondary House over their Primary. (When drawing from canonical sources, we assumed each character likely was in a House that matched to either their Primary or their Secondary. For instance, Harry is in Gryffindor for his heroic Gryffindor Primary, but Ginny Weasley is there for her brash and bold Gryffindor Secondary.)

Gryffindor Secondaries charge. They meet the world head-on and challenge it to do its worst. Gryffindor Secondaries are honest, brash, and bold in pursuit of things they care about. Known for their bravery, it is almost a moral matter to stay true to themselves in any situation that they’re in.

Ravenclaw Secondaries plan. They collect information, they strategize. They have tools. They run hypotheticals and try to plan ahead for things that might come up. They build things (of varying degrees of practicality and actual usefulness) that they can use later– whether that’s an emergency supply pack, a vast knowledge of Renaissance artistic techniques and supplies, or a series of lists and contingency plans. They feel less at home in improvisation and more comfortable planning ahead and taking the time to be prepared.

Hufflepuff Secondaries toil. Their strength comes from their consistency and the integrity of their method. They’re our hard workers. They build habits and systems for themselves and accomplish things by keeping at them. They have a steadiness that can make them the lynchpin (though not usually the leader) of a community. While stereotyped as liking people and being kind (and this version is perhaps a common reality), a Hufflepuff secondary can also easily be a caustic, introverted misanthrope who runs on hard work alone.

Slytherin Secondaries improvise. They are the most adaptive secondary, finding their strength in responding quickly to whatever a situation throws at them. They improvise differently than the Gryffindor Secondary, far more likely to try coming at situations from different angles than to try strong-arming them. They might describe themselves as having different “faces” for different people and different situations, dropping them and being just themselves only when they’re relaxing or feel safe.

But the Journey Continues…

These four basic Primary and Secondary houses are summarized starting places that we use as a basis for further discussion. What are some ways this gets complicated?

Keep reading

I get angry when I see posts like “normal people simply lack courage.” I think allowing yourself to be normal is a courageous act in a world that constantly pressures us to be special and exciting and alternative. At the same time we’re always asked to fit in, so I guess we can just sum up that the expectations of our society don’t make a lot of sense and we can’t really make the right choices anyway. Just do you. If you wanna have a “mainstream life” and it fulfils you, be proud of that. Don’t let others pressure you into changing.

Actual female power:

RESOURCES - having everything you need for survival and socializing without ever having to depend on men, having a secure place to live, source of nourishment and heat without ever having to consider marriage, sex work, or any kind of catering to men in order to establish mere survival on this planet. 

AUTONOMY - full control over your own body. Not ever having to be touched against your will, or have another person control any part of your body, especially your reproductive abilities, deciding on your own and for your own benefit what happens with your body, knowing what’s good for your body and exact risks you take if you’re willing to subject it to pregnancy, sex, or any other condition, not ever taking a bigger risk than you feel safe taking.

COMMUNITY - Bonding, sharing, belonging, participating, being protected by a community of women with the same interests, same experiences, and same goals as you have, knowing that all or most of your experiences are common and normal in society you live in, receiving support, validation and help in all of your issues, knowing that no matter what happens, women will have your back, as you have theirs, standing united against threats that hit us as a whole.

KNOWLEDGE - receiving the formidable knowledge women of history have created and achieved on this planet, knowing that women created everything and everyone, knowing the role your sex has played on this planet was vital and immeasurable, knowing your history, knowing what we had to fight for and what we still have to fight for, having a conscious mind about the endless achievements and labour women preformed, as well as the endless violence and crimes committed against our sex, and the danger we’re put in from day to day.

PHYSICAL STRENGTH - our bodies are created strong, and the stronger we get, the more chance we achieve for physical safety, having the ability to beat the crap out of anyone who tries to assault you is a real power, looking too physically intimidating to even be attacked is a real, big asset, not being threatened physically by men is a luxury most women don’t have due to social pressure to keep our bodies small and fragile, so aiming for body as strong as possible is a real power, and it’s a power men don’t want us to have.

AGENCY - acting in favour of your own interests, knowing what those interests are and knowing how to take action that will bring you to your goals, never wasting time on representing the interests of a group that works against you, never wasting your energy, labour or time on those who see you as less than a human, fighting for all that you know you deserve, and know you can get, never letting someone else speak for you or decide for you, never putting your human rights on hold for the sake of other’s goals.

SAFETY - this is a power we have to fight for the most. Safety from psychological and emotional terror society enforces onto us in order to change our bodies, to give up on our strength, looks, bodily autonomy, confidence, freedom. Safety from falling into traps men have created in order to exploit us, safety from our bodies being sold, safety from abusive marriage, safety from physical violence, sexual violence, safety from having our autonomy taken away from us, from the credit of our intelligence and our labour and our creations taken from us, safety from having to spend our entire lives catering to predators in mere hope they will spare us the pain they’re inflicting on any woman who isn’t doing what she’s being told. We deserve to be protected from all of it. We deserve to have full lives without the epidemic of psychological, physical and sexual violence ever touching our lives, much less dictating them.

Note that men already have all of these, it’s given to them by default, resources are available for them in much greater quantity, autonomy of their body is achieved, they receive plenty of validation and community from their male peers, male authority, and male directed media, their stories and achievements are over-represented in every single history course, their physical strength is celebrated and they’re encouraged to get as strong as possible, they wouldn’t dream of representing anyone’s interests but their own, and they’re safe from a big chunk of emotional, psychological and sexual terror women are going thru every single moment of their life, even if other men still from a physical threat to some of them.

WE HAVE RIGHT TO RESOURCES AS WELL. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO OUR BODIES. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMMUNITY. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO OUR HISTORY. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CELEBRATE OUR PHYSICAL STRENGTH. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT FREELY FOR OUR OWN INTERESTS. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAFETY FROM ABUSE. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE LIBERATED FROM SOCIETY THAT WOULD TAKE ALL OF THIS FROM US.

When they warn you about peer pressure in school they tell you about drugs and alcohol; they tell you about people offering you weed or beer and telling you ‘all the cool kids are doing it’. They talk about peer pressure like it is obvious and so easy to spot that you can joke about it when it arises among your friends. 

What they don’t tell you is how it can be a subtle and consistent othering. What they don’t tell you is that ‘no thanks’ is never the end of it. What they don’t tell you is that its not always about drugs or alcohol. 

No lesson on the dangers of peer pressure includes the feeling of ‘outsideness’.  They never teach you about the self-consciousness when all of your friends are drinking and laughing and gently teasing you about being the ‘parent’. It’s not always a forceful pressure and they don’t always mean to press on you. but even the strongest stone can be carved away by drop after drop of water. 

No one warned me about the peer pressure that comes with being the only one who doesn’t have a crush. No one warned me about feeling ashamed and anxious about being the only one who had never been in a relationship. No one warned me how being a virgin and feeling kind of grossed out by the idea of sex would make knots in my stomach when I talked about the ‘top ten celebrities I’d do’ at sleepovers. 

No one warned me about the peer pressure that comes when a friend in my social group had a crush on me. No one warned me how uncomfortable I would be with it, or how much my friends would tease me about never having a boyfriend, or tell me now was my chance, or exclude me from group dates. No one warned me that my friends would tell me I was heartless for not giving them a chance, or they wouldn’t speak to me again if I didn’t date them because it was cruel for me to not to give them a chance when we were friends and they were into me. 

When they warn you about peer pressure no one warns you that you can be cornered into doing things you aren’t comfortable with or don’t want to do by people you trust and it doesn’t always have to do with ‘what the cool kids are doing’ it can be as subtle as being different because in school being different is pressure enough. 

Our culture tells girls in a million tiny ways to pay attention to guys’ boundaries and respect them. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be pushy. Don’t bother someone unless they actively request your company, otherwise you’re needy and pathetic. Don’t make a big deal out of it if you don’t get your way. Don’t be too loud, too uncomfortable to be around, too bitchy.

And then we tell boys, don’t let anyone disrespect you. Stand up for yourself. If you see what you want, go after it with everything you’ve got. If it matters to you, it’s worth fighting for. If you don’t succeed, keep trying. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Nice guys finish last. Get the girl.

This kind of interaction exists along other lines of oppression as well - white, cis, abled, wealthy, straight, etc., people are taught that they are the only ones allowed boundaries, and everyone else is being aggressive/needy/etc. for setting their own and should be squashed. 

Hierarchy is perpetuated by socially pressuring lower-tier groups to anticipate, learn about, and respect others’ boundaries, but not to have any of their own – while the same social pressures contantly assure more privileged people that they have a right to set boundaries so far out that they infringe on others’ autonomy.

In this paradigm, an oppressed person setting reasonable boundaries is treated as a deep insult to an oppressor who wants to override them. Not actively catering to an oppressor’s desires is treated as a tresspass instead of a default state.

We need to notice stories and language that glorifies some people’s entitlement and demonises others’ autonomy. Pay attention.