On history, tradition and God’s law - and how you shouldn’t trust a word of it.

Another day, another Twitter tyke, telling me how little women have given the world, and how inferior their achievements are in comparison with those of men.

I’ve been tweeting on the #NeglectedWomen hashtag ever since Trump was elected, and still I’m getting comments from men who refuse to believe that women throughout history have ever done anything but allow men to provide for them, raise their children and spend their hard-earned money. These men are often frustrated at the ingratitude of women; their refusal to conform to “traditional” roles; their insistence on getting equality. Some of these men are even under the delusion that equality for women means some kind of payback for the way in which women have been treated: payback for the way in which men have exploited and disenfranchised women throughout history. These men often see themselves as victims of oppression, rather than as oppressors themselves, or the descendants of oppressors. And they fear the idea of equality because these “traditional” gender roles have given them all kinds of privilege.

To be fair, it’s not entirely the fault of men for thinking this way. They’re just repeating what they have been taught from the cradle. They (and some women, too) are repeating the propaganda of another age, an age in which men’s achievements were celebrated, and those of women were hidden, denied or, in some cases, claimed by men all too eager to take the credit.

It has been a very long and very successful propaganda campaign. And to fight it means questioning all kinds of things we used to think were immutable: things like “tradition” and “history” and sometimes even “God’s word.”

Oh, yes: God is on their side. The Bible says so: an ancient text, written by men, translated by men and later, redacted by men to make sure nothing remained within the text that might contradict their agenda.

As for “traditions”, they are often, at best, based on very dubious claims. Traditions – be they traditions of dress, behaviour or role within society - really need only one or two generations to become accepted. And traditions make us feel safe – that’s why we hang on to them, even though we sometimes know that those traditions are wrong. FGM continues because of “tradition.” Slavery was once considered a God-given gift. We cling to our problematic culture, even when its traditions are embedded in racism and sexism. But traditions are merely the drag factor of past behaviours and customs, sometimes offering security, but sometimes a dangerous blindness to the needs of the present. Not all traditions deserve to be kept. Not all traditions are right, or humane.

But what about history, I hear you say? Surely history is beyond reproach? Well, here’s the thing. The concept of objective “history” as we know it is a relatively recent one. We are now becoming increasingly aware that what was until recently taught in schools as “history” and accepted as objective fact is nothing of the sort. It is no accident that the words “history” and “story” are taken from the same root. Historians have, until recently, taken events that appealed to them, and written them into a narrative that also included elements of myth, propaganda and often outright fiction.  No-one at the time believed that these “historiae” were entirely based on fact. Only later, when scholars used them to justify their world picture, were they seen as objective truth. Thus, throughout the ages, whole areas of history were redacted, rewritten, fictionalized, censored. Rulers and warlords were ignored in favour of their rivals. The winners of battles wrote history, while the losers were consigned to oblivion. And this is why it was Tacitus, and not Boudicca, who chronicled the wars between the Romans and the Iceni: and that is why we cannot know how much of what Tacitus wrote was true.

So how can we know anything? Well, we could start with looking at actual artefacts and contemporary accounts, rather than histories written long after the event. Assumptions are there to be questioned, and if we do, we start to discover all kinds of things that contradict what we were led to believe in school. DNA traces on cave paintings now suggests that half of those “cave men” were women: DNA testing on the bones of Viking warriors suggests that some of those warriors were women. 

And when we start looking at the facts, rather than just what we’ve been told, we soon come to realize that women have been painting, building, sculpting, inventing, fighting, hunting and writing for millennia. It is our knowledge, not women’s achievements, that is lacking. But where our “knowledge” of the past relies on ancient religious texts and historians with their own agendas, the facts can be easily lost or manipulated. Just because someone wrote something down a hundred – or even two thousand - years ago doesn’t make it any more true than if it was printed in the Daily Mail this morning.

Historically, it has been very convenient for men to say women have no power. It has been very convenient to ignore the achievements, the art, the inventions and the scientific discoveries of women. It has been very convenient to excuse the oppression of women on the understanding that somehow they are the weaker sex, unable to do things for themselves, unable to cope without the patriarchal guidance of men. That’s why a certain kind of man has worked hard to hide the truth from the world.

 Because if women found out the truth, they would be invincible.


ANNOUNCEMENT - please check out the trailer for my new 8 part LGBTQ+ Pride Month series, “Chosen Family: Stories of Queer Resilience” - my hope is to amplify the disenfranchised voices within our community, honor our history, & fight for our future. creating this series enriched my little gay soul, so any reblogs would mean the world to me. thanks for the love & support!!

If you’re feeling disenfranchised by the fact that Marvel Comics is turning all of your beloved superheroes into Nazis, try the Wonder Woman Rebirth comics!

This comic has everything! A diverse cast of characters,

Commander Etta Candy, who is now a black lesbian-or-bi woman,

actual relationships between wlw characters,

Steve Trevor, the most pure example of non-toxic masculinity,

so many complex women,

and of course, actual Wonder Woman, 

a bisexual Amazon princess who fights the forces of evil with truth and love, and also has never turned into a Nazi.

I find it horrid that we (POCs) are devalued in this country to the point even our food in this country is seen as suppose to be cheap. The fact our cuisine and something like Tacos are so delicate, are full of flavor, time consuming in prep of the pieces that they should not be devalued. The fact food created by indigenous/immigrant and other disenfranchised groups are targeted with having cheap food when the value of these dishes should be the same of any five star restaurant. Even in my household we hold a saying of certain dishes being “Poor People’s food” when dishes of that title could rival any other. When dishes like a steak and potato with some mixed vegetables are what we can accept for a higher price when something like Mole which is from more if not as much care and prep. is what we accept to be cheaper than the steak. I know this perspective is rarely spoken on but it is important that a gourmet restaurant of these disenfranchised groups that is actually owned by them should be payed a right price for the food that is from a line of history and made with care and love from our ancestor’s efforts.

hi everyone!! my name is Tyler Oakley, & i make stuff on youtube. this month, i’m launching “Chosen Family: Stories of Queer Resilience” - an eight part series on youtube.com/tyleroakley to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month, where i hope to amplify disenfranchised voices/stories within the community, honor our history, & have open and honest discussions. (watch the trailer here)

to celebrate the launch, i’m doing an Answer Time here on tumblr, on Tuesday, June 6th at 3:30pm PT / 6:30pm ET!! so ask me anything here & i might answer your question!!


Seattle’s Socialist city council member Kshama Sawant just came up with a way to get young and poor people to vote

  • For years Democrats and progressives have struggled to get out the vote among its younger and lower-income populations. 
  • But now socialist Seattle council member Kshama Sawant has found a way to make it happen — by making the property-owning class register their tenants to vote.
  • A new measure that just passed the Seattle City Council by a vote of 6-0 would require all landlords to provide new tenants with information on voting and a voter registration form.
  • The bill was sponsored by Sawant, who tweeted after the bill’s passage that it would help toward ending voter disenfranchisement in Seattle. Read more (6/20/17)

snovvhiteandthesevendeadlysins  asked:

How can I, as a straight white female, support my friends and others on the LGBTQ+ spectrum?

Such a great question!! Listen to their experiences. Amplify their perspectives. Use your place of privilege to fight for their equality. Spread messages of inclusion & love, and don’t ever assume people *know* you’re an ally. Closeted LGBTQ+ people are watching & observing - and everything you do, big or small, signals whether or not you’re someone they can confide in or feel accepted by.

As a gay white cisgender male, so much of my experience making “Chosen Family: Stories of Queer Resilience” was about listening to people who belong to disenfranchised communities within the LGBTQ+ community, and using my platform to amplify their stories. Whether that’s people of color, trans youth, or queer refugees, it’s recognizing that I have certain privileges, and I have an opportunity to use my place of privilege to give them my microphone.


On today’s episode of: Jeff Sessions wants to bring back Jim Crow.

Click the source link for the rest of the article, but as you can see Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is wasting no time to roll back civil rights protections and make sure discriminatory policies are etched in stone.

Which is exactly wtf everyone - including Coretta Scott King - warned us he would do considering his history of doing JUST THAT - using his political power for racist ends.

Another reason to be worried, these voter ID laws are used to not only disenfranchise poor voters and minorities, but these populations have been specifically targeted since Obama’s win in an effort to regain republican control over districts around the country.

I recently came across a discussion on Tony Stark as a queer-coded character in the comics (which I’m not going to link to because many of the threads were already deleted, ergo I’m assuming that the participants didn’t want the conversation to be spread), and I found it very interesting. For years I have read Tony Stark as subtextually bisexual in the comics, which hasn’t really translated to the films – at least not to the extent that the character of Captain America has been coded as bisexual in them. There has always been a borderline homoerotic relationship between Tony and his armor especially. But adjacent to this conversation, there was also an interesting thread in which Tony Stark as the most female-coded superhero was discussed that I found fascinating.

Someone commented on the concept stating that while it may be true for the comics, movie-verse Tony Stark is certainly not female-coded.

But isn’t he, though?

We’ve discussed before how hypermasculinity sometimes seems to go so over-the-top that it does a full 360, coming out the other side seeming rather feminized, the hypermasculine male presented as a sexual object with assets on display (slim waist, thick thighs, full chest) for the consumption of the male gaze. But that’s not the case with Tony Stark; it isn’t his hypermasculinity that makes him seem female-coded, it’s the question of agency.

Tony does seem to possess many traits that we consider culturally feminine, female cliches, such as talking a lot and talking fast, using a rich vocabulary, a short and petite stature as compared to other superheroes, the narrative passing jugement on his promiscuity, the narrative passing judgement on his desire for junk-food, his passive demeanor, his self-consciousness about his body and having to wear underarmor in public to manage his chest, his avoidance of interpersonal conflict, looking for daddy’s love and approval, the way in which he conceals much of his intelligence because he knows that if people saw him for how he really is, they would be off-put by it ie. giving the appearance of being smart-but-not-too-smart, the eroticizing of his appearance in the narrative, the focus on what he’s wearing, his obsessive-compulsive behavior, meticulous grooming habits, delicate features, dressing to impress professionally, carrying conversations, his weakness being his heart, the fact that he has to dress into a suit that conceals his identity, his true self, to interact with the world, a hard outer shell that conceals his soft inside. There are aspects to Tony Stark in the films that are female-coded.

I think that some people might find these aspects difficult to see because there are three distinct personas to the character: there’s the Tony Stark that he projects to the outside world to hide who he really is that is his true armor, there’s Iron Man that is a prosthetic, an armor that shields him and allows him the protection of being who he really is, and then there’s Tony Stark, the person he is in his heart of hearts that we see only when’s alone with the artificial intelligences he created for himself, as his friends, the only friends that really, truly get to see him, because he knows that they won’t judge him (outside of him being alone, we see glimpses of the ‘real’ Tony Stark in Afganistan, in his interactions with Natasha and in two scenes with Steve: while they’re cutting wood and Tony asking Steve whether he knew).

These are the three sides to Tony Stark, and I see a lot of fans confuse his Tony Stark armor, his protective persona, with who he is because that is, by design, the loudest, most visible side to him.

There are many sides to him that are female-coded, but it’s the limited agency that he is given in the narrative that is the most telling. Most of his stories seem to revolve around the stripping of his agency and his struggle to regain it. This character – a genius, billionaire, playboy, philantropist – who ought to be the ultimate male power fantasy has all of his stories constructed around his lack of agency and his need of a prosthetic to claim agency for himself. It’s easy to assume that an able-bodied, rich, good-looking, well-educated, white CEO of the American upper crust has all the power and control in the world, but the narrative begins disabusing the viewer of this notion right off the bat. The narrative deconstructs his agency.

What I appreciated about the Iron Man films was how they subverted the role of the damsel in distress in Pepper Potts. Especially the end of the first film in which Pepper marched through broken glass in her stiletto shoes to save Tony Stark was something that made me stop and think for days afterwards. The third film basically recreated this subversion of the trope louder for those in the back that hadn’t caught it the first time. It was Pepper Potts that was the knight in shining armor, not the title character.

And it is Tony that we see as the damsel in distress, particularly again in the first and the third films. The first film contains the iconic scene of Obadiah Stane literally removing Tony’s agency in a scene that is filmed like a sexual violation, a none-too-subtle air of erotic violence in the air as he uses his date rape technology to incapacitate Tony. This is a turning point in the film. The third film contains a scene in which Tony Stark is zip-tied to a bed frame with the villain taunting him. It is implied that Tony is similarly submissive in bed. The main villain in the scene acts like a spurned lover, a definite air of seduction to his conduct toward the tied-up hero.

That is two cases of villains making eroticized advances toward a physically incapacitated Tony Stark. And it isn’t the violence or the incapacitation that makes the scenes female-coded, it is the eroticization of it. It is female characters that are subject to eroticized violence, generally speaking. The second film does not follow the pattern, but it could be interepreted as an obsessive, spurned man making unwanted advances toward our hero.

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I wrote about the interaction between Natasha and Tony previously, on how she allows us to see a side of him that we usually don’t get to see. Some people have described Tony’s hiring of her as sexist, undoubtedly influenced by Pepper’s interpretation of his behaviour as he tried to figure her out (“And she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that.”), but his interest in her was never that kind of interest. His eyes don’t track her sexual assets. Tony saw something of himself in her, especially in the way she was playing a role, but even more than that, I think Tony saw in Natasha Romanoff something that he wanted desperately to be. In control.  

Natasha Romanoff gives the air of being in control even when she gives up control, and in this she is the opposite of Tony Stark.

With this in mind, and I don’t remember whether I wrote about this before, I was quite disturbed by the way the climax of Civil War was shot not unlike a pornographic sex scene, Tony Stark being double-teamed by the super soldiers. The ending of the scene especially, with Steve straddling Tony, pounding on him, grunting, finishing it off with breathing heavily as he falls off Tony having penetrated his arc reactor with his shield, having incapacitated Tony’s prosthetic. Tony spits out blood as the super soldiers walk away from him. It’s rather symbolic, the implications of the scene very uncomfortable.

While Bucky Barnes is another character whose storyline heavily features the stripping down of agency, the female-coding of the strong, stoic silent-type is largely absent. Bucky Barnes and Tony Stark share similarities, and in this he offers a contrast to Tony.

So, yes. I do see Tony Stark of the movie-verse as a female-coded superhero because his story revolves around desperately grasping for agency. Among these hypermasculine heroes, the genius-billionaire-playboy-philantropist is at a disadvantage, so Tony Stark invented, constructed, and put on a suit that hides his true identity in order to have a measure of agency in a hypermasculine world, that allows him to assert himself. And in Civil War he was willing to sign off on his self-created agency because the establishment had managed to convince him that as a person with near unlimited resources, he was a danger to the world that he had risked his life and the lives of his loved ones to protect.

I think one of the most telling aspects of his character vis-à-vis Civil War is that, convinced that it is too dangerous for him to attempt to influence the outside world and other people in it, Tony Stark instead turned within and attempted to modify his own internal world, to (literally) influence his own internal state instead – to accept what he can’t change. This is a classic strategy of the disenfranchised.

Tony Stark is the most female-coded of the male superheroes.

Man appointed by Trump to investigate voter fraud has been sued four times for voter suppression
The Vice Chair of Donald Trump’s new “election integrity” commission has been successfully sued four times for voter suppression, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Kris Kobach led restrictive voting initiatives that targeted minorities and perpetuated voter suppression, the not-for-profit legal advocacy group said.

Disenfranchise minorities as collateral damage to you wanting to combat the fact that you lost the general election.

APUSH The Musical Part One: songs from musical theater that explain concepts from apush chapters 2-26 of american pagent 

8tracks / playmoss / youtube 

1. Molasses to Rum from 1776: explains the triangle trade as well as the hypocrisy of the revolutionary era on the topic of slavery 

2. Sit Down John from 1776: the apprehension of moderates to declare independence during the continental congress

3. But Mr. Adams from 1776: the declaration of independence (this is partly on here bc it’s about jefferson wanting to bust his nut) 

4. Non-Stop from Hamilton: the formation of the federal government, the constitutional convention, and the federalist papers

5. Cabinet Battle #1 from Hamilton: arguments between federalists and democratic republicans over assumption, excise taxes on whiskey, and slavery 

6. The Room Where It Happens from Hamilton: the dinner that jefferson hosted which decided assumption as well as where the capital would be located 

7. The Election of 1800 from Hamilton: the election of 1800 would lead to the creation of political parties 

8. Alll American Prophet from Book of Mormon: the formation of mormonism and its westward expansion 

9. Rock Star from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the anti-elitist sentiments that would lead to an increase in populism as well as how jackson’s anti-elitist populism contradicted with his own superiority complex 

10. Corrupt Bargain from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the bargain which got JQA elected during the tie breaker for the election of 1824

11. Populism Yea Yea from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the rise of populism and jacksonian democracy 

12. Ten Little Indians from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the awful awful treatment of native americans (especially during jackson’s administration) 

13. Someone In a Tree from Pacific Overtures: the treaty of kanagawa and the “opening” of japan 

14. The Wild Wild West from Harvey Girls: westward expansion and the wild west

15. Paint Your Wagon from Paint Your Wagon: the california gold rush and westward expansion 

16. A Peculiar Institution from Civil War: the awful awful treatment of slaves 

17. The Glory from Civil War: the civil war in general 

18. The Ballad Of Booth from Assassins: john wilkes booth’s assassination of abraham lincoln 

19. The Ballad of Guiteau from Assassins: charles guiteau’s assassination of president garfield because he wanted to place chester a arthur in power so his faction would reap benefits of patronage 

20. The Bottom Line from Newsies: business owner’s cost cutting methods which often disenfranchised the workers 

21. The World Will Know from Newsies: the organization of labor unions against big business during the gilded age 

22. The Ballad of Czolgosz from Assassins: leon czolgosz’s assassination of president william mckinley because he felt the working class was oppressed

I woke up [the day after the presidential election] with a very pronounced case of moral clarity. In addition to the disappointment, it was like, oh, this does not change the things that I believe in. The things that I believe in that this candidate doesn’t means we’re going to have to fight for them. You don’t want to go backwards when it comes to our LGBT brothers and sisters; you don’t want to go backwards when it comes to the disenfranchisement of voters of color. We have to keep fighting for the things we believe in, and it just made that very clear: I know who I am, and I know what I’m going to fight for in the years to come.
—  Lin-Manuel Miranda
The specter of male privilege has long since been a way to deny trans women’s womanhood and basic humanity. Invoking male privilege is often meant to imply that trans women don’t know what it is like to live as “real” women — that we have not suffered the way other women have suffered, that we have not been disenfranchised by patriarchy because of our genders, and that our early experiences allow us access to forms of social power which influence how we move through the world even after we transition. This argument, beyond hinging all of womanhood on a relatively singular experience of suffering, has often been used to flatten the vast array of different life experiences among trans women and other transfeminine-spectrum people. At worst, it contributes to a culture of violence, harassment, exclusion, and erasure that presents a real threat to the lives and physical safety of the most marginalized among us.

HI FRIENDS!! my name is Tyler Oakley, & i make stuff on youtube. this month, i’m launching “Chosen Family: Stories of Queer Resilience” - an eight part series on youtube.com/tyleroakley to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month, where i hope to amplify disenfranchised voices/stories within the community, honor our history, & have open and honest discussions. (watch the trailer here)

to celebrate the launch, i’m answering your questions here on Tumblr & i’m starting it right now!! submit your questions HERE. <3

Bernie Sanders just said, “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there.”

Oh, I don’t doubt he’s “been there,” and as a straight white male, I can think of no better person to decide what constitutes racism, sexism, or homophobia.

He went onto attack Hilary Clinton for using the word “deplorable” to describe a portion of Trump’s constituency that she believed would always support him because, above all else, those people followed him for his bigotry.

I’m so fucking tired of this old sack of shit and I need people to catch up on seeing him for what he is - a populist who really only caters to the needs of disenfranchised white voters and only cares or talks about issues effecting minorities insofar as (1) they assuage the white guilt of his followers and (2) allow him to maintain the appearance of being a caring progressive.

Fuck. This. Guy.

With the posts going around reminding people how crucial the 2018 midterm elections will be, this is your reminder that there are going to be a small handful of elections in the US this year. There will be gubernatorial elections and state legislature elections in New Jersey and Virginia, as well as a few special Congressional races elsewhere.

If you live somewhere where there’s an election this year, it’s REALLY crucial for you to show up. Weird off-year elections aren’t an accident, it’s a deliberate attempt at disenfranchisement because the powers that be figured (correctly) that people wouldn’t even think to show up to the polls when there’s not a major election. Don’t fall into that trap. NJ and VA are both going to be electing new governors as neither incumbent will run again, and the state governorships and legislatures being run by republicans are part of the reason why the country has been gerrymandered to shit.

Know your elections, know your candidates, figure out if you have to go to the polls this November. Volunteer. Organize. Vote. It starts now, this year, and this fight will be a lot longer if you’re not vigilant and active.

why don’t people understand that minority =/= oppressed

blondes are a minority. blondes are not oppressed

vegans are a minority. vegans are not oppressed

bald people are a minority. bald people are not oppressed

just because you are a minority of something doesn’t mean you’re oppressed. oppression requires systemic and institutional movements meant to disenfranchise and disadvantage groups of people.

You don’t even need to be a minority to be oppressed. The majority of South Africans are black but they are still subject to racism. White people make up less than 10% of the population of South Africa, but white people are not oppressed in South Africa on the basis of being a “racial minority” there

Please dear god educate yourself on oppression dynamics before speaking up like you’re an authority on it

There’s this notion that I keep seeing that privileged people benefit from oppression of another class, and it’s an idea I never saw when I first started learning sociological theory.

Back in like 2012, tumblr was all about including men in feminism and talking about how feminism would benefit everybody because it would do away with homophobia/homoantagonism and toxic masculinity, etc.

Like… to say that privileged groups (if not individuals) actively benefit from oppression is to erase the performative aspect of privilege; entry to privilege is determined by the privileged (see: Straight determines Straight) and if you deviate Too Much from their expectations, they revoke your right to reap the benefits of membership.

For example, despite all the campaigns about how Real Men Cry or whatever, the prevailing cognitive understanding that society holds is that crying is not masculine, and men who cry are shameful. This is sets a very hard limit on the emotions that a man is capable of showing, which is absolutely a kind of marginalization (but not inherently oppression).

To put it another way, if a cis man wears a dress, would he not face tangible violence from society at large regardless of what he claims his gender is? Is it the same as systemic legal disenfranchisement? Of course not. But a cis man in a dress has less social power than a cis man following social norms. And that power difference is rooted in transphobia/transantagonism. Whether or not it necessarily is the same experience is debatable, but transphobia/transantagonism is inexorably linked to rigid gender roles and toxic masculinity and homophobia/misogyny and other systems that actively hurt both oppressed and privileged classes.

Orientation-wise, people have discussed how coercive heterocentricism can negatively impact people who have never thought about their own orientations before, regardless of if they would turn out straight in the end anyway.

Even aside from gender and orientation, does anyone really benefit from ableism? A student experiencing one-off anxiety will likely not receive any more accommodation than somebody with an anxiety disorder with no legal documentation of it. How often do able-bodied people feel awkward about using the elevator? And how many often do disabled folks feel similarly awkward about how soon it’ll be before somebody makes them justify their right to use accessibility features? Again, abled people are not systemically disenfranchised and stigmatized, but both classes would benefit from a world where nobody gatekeeps disability or bats an eye at accommodations.

The problem with the Us vs Them model of privilege and oppression is that it seeks to create new power structures alongside the existing ones, instead of dismantling the entire notion of power itself. If you let people do what they need to do (whether it’s using the elevator or wearing a dress) without trying to retroactively judge the validity of their experiences, then everybody gets an equal playing field to be themselves freely and openly. After all, the number of elevators (ie resources) that exist in a space should be determined by usage statistics, and not by some statistic of how many disabled people there are present.

Exclusive labels will always leave out a grey population or fringe groups of marginalization.  Everybody oppresses each other and that’s a fact of life and intersectionality. What needs to happen is an abolishment of the systems that keep everyone down; true revolution means aligning not through labels but through ideologies. Even Marx said that when the time comes to overthrow capitalism, some bourgeoisie will align themselves with the revolution. Disability and gender are social constructs that exist because people in power say they do, but those people in power would benefit more in the end from saying they don’t.