privilege speech

Remember That Neo-Nazi From Last Week?

Tumblr pulled down his blog. His rampant anti-Semitism and racism had to be addressed. This (!) is how a social media platform should respond to people promoting hate speech and entertaining violence against other racial groups. Twitter should have done that with Trump’s profile long ago, especially because he’s also using the site to promote false and misleading information. That makes his profile as dangerous as the profile Tumblr took down. I thank the Tumblr staff for taking swift action as they always have. Consider this a warning issued to any blogger who promotes hate speech and calls for violence toward people on the basis of their religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

every time a white person says something ignorant and racist white people defend it by saying it’s free speech but when jesse williams talks about black people struggling and african american culture being exploited and used by non black people for their own gain the same people say that’s hate speech and they start petitions to get him fired from his job??

Stop giving Islam special privileges.

Why is society (specifically in Europe) giving Islam special privileges?  Why is it wrong to question Islam and its laws, teachings, and beliefs?  Why should any religion be above scrutiny or be prioritized over other people?  

Is it islamophobic to simply criticize Islam?  If so, than why would that possibly be a bad thing?  How are we a free society if we are not free to speak our minds or free to criticize flawed ideologies?  No one has a problem with criticizing Christianity or Judaism, and because of this, many of the problems with these faiths have been fixed.  But God forbid, someone says something negative about Islam and they’re fucking Hitler reincarnated.  

*Note:  Criticizing Islam does not equal criticizing Muslims.  People are not the same as their ideologies.  

I have several points to make here so I’ll try to keep this short:

  1. If your child learns about ageism/adultism and knows how to recognize it, they are not being bratty and their minds are not poisoned, if you believe you have something to worry about because your child knows what ageism is, you probably need to research it too and re-evaluate your behavior.
  2. Yes, I’m a teenage female, yes I have hormones, no I will not have sex with the nearest guy I see. Do I get sexually attracted to men? Yes. Am I riddled with hormones? No. I can control, and so can most teenagers.
  3. If you tell a teenage girl to cover up because you’re a 30+ male and it makes you uncomfortable, you are creepy as all hell and you need to stay away from teenage girls. Or any teenager for that fact.
  4. I’m not a silly teenage girl trying to be a social activist because I support gay rights, gender equality and youth rights. I don’t care if you think I’m annoying, but I do care when you try to discourage me and call me a stupid teenager and tell my opinions will have no impact and that I should stop trying. I don’t care how much you hate teenagers, you have no reason to do that other than being toxic.
  5. And last but never least since society can’t seem to grasp onto this; Teenagers do not require parenting books or articles that start with “Inside the Teen Mind” because if you understood your child and at least tried to have a good relationship with them, you wouldn’t need parenting books or articles. Teenagers are not aliens, they are not a species you need to observe and analyze, they are human beings who want to be understood.

you’ll have to pardon me if I laugh at wealthy white westerners rallying around the notion that their “free speech” is somehow at risk in a world where white western news outlets, western culture and western opinions routinely saturate and dominate everything else

Keep reading

Adult privilege is using the “You’re just young” argument whenever a young person brings up their personal views or identity. Honestly, being young isn’t like being drunk. You don’t wake up on your 18th birthday and say “Dude, I really regret the last 18 years.” Your views on spirituality, politics, gender, sexuality, etc. deserve to be taken seriously regardless of age.

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For all its imperfections (sometimes its circus-like sessions, the drama, the anger), the Philippine Senate, the upper chamber of the Congress of the Philippines, has always been an institution that safeguarded freedom. I know it is hard to look at it that way, but if one views it from the impartial lens of history, one sees a trend.

Every time the Senate is padlocked, or abolished, the Legislature of the country would be ridden with corruption (easily pressured by the Executive branch), oligarchy, herd mentality, and would be resistant to reform. That’s not to say that the current congress doesn’t have these problems, or that unicameralism (a one chamber legislature, as opposed to bicameralism of two chambers) is bad. For a type of Legislature may work best on a certain country or nation which has its own cultural and historical context, but another type may not.

The Philippines has tried a unicameral legislature (that is, without a senate) several times: under the un-amended 1935 Constitution (from 1935 – 1941), under the 1943 Constitution of a Philippines under Japanese Occupation (from 1943-1945), and under the 1973 Constitution of the Marcos regime (from 1973 to 1986), and in those three instances, the two latter set ups had the people’s voice repressed and/or silenced.

So what gives? The Senate, as compared to the House, is elected nationally, unlike in the House wherein representatives are elected by the regions they represent (thru legislative districts). As such, the Senate has a national view of things. Seeing however its shortcomings by missing the forest for the trees, the House of Representatives balances it. The Senate’s edge is its national outlook, hence, it is the testing ground for those who aspire for the highest government office in the land–the Presidency. The Senate is best seen in the spectrum of the past. Let’s look at it from the very colorful political life we had after World War II. 

The post-war Senate was legendary, in that, as intended by the framers of the 1935 constitution, it became the foremost venue for debate on national policy. In fact, the Senate would attract a large following (media and political analysts) in its sessions. And the senators then were very good with the arguments. These senators were not totally incorruptible, but reading the news articles of that time would give one the sense that these senators had the experience, the bravado, and the training to engage an impressive intelligent public discourse. The debates in the Senate and the exposé made by senators on the senate floor created waves in the media. And the people reacted and interacted.

The Senate has therefore been naturally on the forefront of opposition when the Chief Executive committed excesses. Take for example the bombing of Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971, where in the Liberal Party’s miting de avance, several people were injured, including some senators. President Marcos immediately suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus nationwide. The Senate opposed the move saying it was uncalled for since the bombing was not national in scope. Public opinion at the time said it was President Marcos who planned the bombing. It was Senator Eva Estrada Kalaw who urged the public to wait a little longer for the next presidential election lest the violent demonstrations that resulted be used as an excuse for martial law. In the 1971 midterm elections, the opposition won the majority seats in the Senate, a fitting reflection of public opinion that had swung against Marcos.

Seeing that the only recourse for extension of presidential term was for the Senate (a thorn in Marcos’ side) to be derailed or abolished, President Marcos planned to declare martial law, in the guise of preserving peace and order, on September 21, 1972, the date of the supposed adjournment of both Senate and House of Representatives. It was Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in his famous privilege speech on the Senate Floor days before the 21st that revealed a secret plan of the administration, called “Oplan Sagittarius,” to use the military to take control of the country and impose martial rule. Marcos denied the allegations, not even telling his close associates the plan.

On the last minute, Congress scheduled a special session on September 21, moving the adjournment to September 23, 1972. And thus it was only on the midnight of September 23 that martial law was implemented, beginning with the arrests of key senators: Senators Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., Jose “Pepe” Diokno, Ramon Mitra, and Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo. Senator Salvador “Doy” Laurel was one of those on the list of arrest but was out of the country when it happened.

As the imprisoned senators, with approximately 8,000 individuals (composed of journalists and opposition leaders) clamored for the unconstitutionality of Marcos’ martial law declaration, initially Marcos promised never to supersede the 1935 constitution. But this was only lip service. Before the opening of congress on January 22, 1973 as set by the 1935 constitution, Marcos engineered the process of the creation of a new constitution, the 1973 constitution, which was quickly (minadali) ratified before the said date. The new constitution gave him almost absolute dictatorial powers, and it abolished Congress. Thus, when the legislators arrived on January 22, at the Legislative Building, the Senate and House Session Halls were found padlocked.

Martial law ended that era of that verve of political life for the country. Perhaps there is truth in the thought that the Senate today is but a specter or a shadow of the Pre-Martial Law Senate. But the institution, no matter how imperfect, is still a reflection of public opinion, and of our aspiration as an independent people of democracy.

Thus, on its 99th year since it was established via Jones Law in 1916, let us give a virtual/digital toast to our Senate, wishing that they would live up to the trust we have given them.


Photos above:

(1) Senators Doy Laurel, Eva Estrada Kalaw, Ramon Mitra, Gerry Roxas, and Jovito Salonga in 1973, outside the padlocked Senate Session Hall. (Photo from the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, PCDSPO)

(2) The pre-war interior of the Senate Session Hall in the Legislative Building (now the National Art Gallery of the National Museum of the Philippines). The room was not used during the Martial Law Period. In 1987 the reestablished Senate opened again its session here. The Senate eventually moved to the GSIS Building in Pasay in 1997. (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the Philippines)

Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating, we need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations but who speak for all of humanity for the indigenous people of the world. For the billions & billions of under privileged people who will be most affected by this. For our children’s children and for those people out there who’s voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight, let us not take this planet for granted I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much.
—  Leonardo Dicaprio, Oscar Win Speech (Words on Climate Change)
Thoughts on Emma Watson

Like, good for you for speaking up about feminism and gender roles and sexism. Glad you are using your privilege as a celebrity to discuss these issues (albeit in a pretty basic ass speech).

But all I kept thinking when I saw all these silly articles claiming that Emma Watson gave a “game-changing” speech at the UN is that the only reason she has this opportunity and is receiving all this praise as a pioneering “game changer” is because she is a (wealthy, straight, young, Eurocentrically/stereotypically pretty, able bodied, cis) white woman. And she hasn’t even said anything really revolutionary that other feminists have not said before.

Notice how, unlike Beyonce and Nicki Minaj and other PoC celebs who have claimed and defended their feminist identity, Emma Watson’s feminist self- identification/speech has not been immediately contested or rejected because of her work or profession.

Notice how she spouts ideas about “gender as a spectrum” that queer scholars, activists, and theorists, many of color as well, have been saying for decades.

Notice how she pulls out the trope of rural African girls not receiving an education as a marker of gender progress- as if Africa is a monolith, as if other European and non-European nations don’t also have problems with disparities in women’s education, as if that statement doesn’t revive troubling, racist stereotypes about Black nations.

Notice how she places the impetus on men to spread gender equality- as if masculine identified people have not already been part of feminist movements, as if the only way to make feminism acceptable and effective is to invite men for the sake of their “sisters, daughters, and mothers” and not because people of all genders are human beings who deserve rights/respect, whose freedom is inherently interconnected.

Notice how her discussion of feminism does not include the intersectional weights of racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism.

I appreciated some aspects of the speech- tying up men’s liberation from the limits of gender roles alongside other genders within feminism, for instance. And I understand that she is promoting some kind of UN program for men & gender equality, that perhaps she saw her speech as an introduction to feminism, that she is probably not being intentional in her mistakes.

But I can’t see past the flaws of her words and her undeniable privileges that have made her the spokesperson for feminism in the UN’s eyes, therefore lending her limited vision of feminism more international/mainstream weight. And how the contributions of so many women of color, queer peoples and other marginalized groups who ACTUALLY have shaped and led feminist movements are being erased in one fell swoop by the kind of widespread media attention she is receiving.

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Emma Watson Gets Bullied for Promoting Gender Equality: Writer Says She Should “Stick to Telling the Rules of Quidditch”

Emma Watson, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, made a call for gender equality in a recent speech for the HeForShe campaign in New York, and while her efforts are beyond respectable, one writer used it as an opportunity to bully the star.

Her captivating speech challenged universities to provide “equal respect, leadership and pay” in order to “tell women that their brain power is valued.” She also encouraged universities to “make it clear” that the safety of women (as well as minorities and anyone who may be vulnerable) is “a right and not a privilege.”

While the speech was yet another applause-worthy move by the actress to promote gender equality and women’s rights, The Sun used it as a means to make fun of her.

Offered without comment - The Sun’s response to Emma Watson addressing the UN about gender equality and sexual assault.

In a clip from the publication (which was captured by Louise Ridley and posted on Twitter), the writer, Rod Liddle, condemns Watson for her boring “whining, leftie, PC crap,” which he says “all actresses do if we are stupid enough to give them the chance.”

Liddle, instead, suggests “Hermione Granger” should “stick to telling [people] the rules of quidditch or how to turn someone into a frog.”

Though he says he doesn’t object to “them” (them, meaning actresses) having views, he doesn’t understand “why we take them seriously.”

It seems as though Mr. Liddle didn’t do his research on Watson before publishing the article, so we figured we’d give him some insight:

Not only did she graduate from Brown University, but she’s also been an ambassador for the UN for two years, working on initiatives for the HeForShe campaign to raise awareness and promote gender equality and women’s rights. She’s given educational and respectable speeches on the subject time and time again and has become a major face in Hollywood to battle against its lack of gender equality and sexism.

Amid maintaining her career and her work with the UN, she also started a feminist book club called Our Shared Shelf and has fully participated in it, using the opportunity to further her own feminist education.

So, if Liddle or anyone else is questioning “Hermione’s” involvement in these matters, we remind you of the questions she once presented herself: 

“If not me, who? If not now, when?”