They say that if the sacrifice is the ultimate way for that person to show you that they love you, you should let them do it. That, in that situation, it’s the greatest gift you can give them.
—  Character Tobias Eaton on the only reason the Abnegation allowed self-sacrifice. Allegiant, Veronica Roth.

Richard Brody on the new movie “Gone Girl”:

“‘Gone Girl’ is David Fincher’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ As Stanley Kubrick did in his final film, Fincher lifts the lid off the black box of marriage. He reveals the core of unredressed resentment, unfulfilled desire, inescapable duplicity, unrelieved anger, unresolved doubts, unrevealed secrets, and relentless self-abnegation on which the life of a couple depends.”

Credit: Everett

Things the signs remind me of
  • Aries:my mom ( 😂), anger explotions, ambition, business people, humor, either really quiet or really loud, jumping on a trampoline
  • Taurus:making weird faces, all good food, 'i love you more' fights, hot bodies, being weird with friends, saying random things
  • Gemini:icebear onesies, watching a movie on a laptop, twins, partying, sigarets, beautiful eyes
  • Cancer:giggling, ed sheeran, teddy bears, holding someones hand to comfort them, shopping, good movies/music
  • Leo:make-up, shouting something through class, the lion king, well dressed people, gold
  • Virgo:hamsters, daniel sherman, crystal neclaces, hot people, cleaning, studying, chasing dreams, cute cheeks
  • Libra:netflix, eyelashes, cheeks, pale skin, abnegation, self-pity, hipster clothes
  • Scorpio:black eye shadow, marvelous sex, mythical creatures, greek gods, cuddling, planning to kill people, incredibly hot, obsessions
  • Sagittarius:adventure, traveling the world, guitars, taylor swift, ian somerhalder, loud
  • Capricorn:hard work, beautiful hand writing, humor, hard laughing, compassion, blond hair
  • Aquarius:blue hair, american horror story, toys-stores, being weird, laughing till you have stomach ache, aliens
  • Pisces:me, compassion, attitude, butts, dreams, super natural, religion, falling over your own feet, romantic movies

One common response I’ve noted for a long time about the 1D situation and the climate of abuse that has always prevailed is for fans to blame Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam, as if they themselves decide to fuck with fans (like fans being encouraged to stalk the boys and then the boys not liking being stalked). And while on the one hand that’s better than a servile attitude I see of being self-abnegating, it’s always about the boys let’s do it for the boys we don’t matter we are nothing–which is an awful attitude–it still helps to see how abusive Modest/Syco has always been to both fandom and band. I still remember the attitude of ‘if I notice what the boys do on camera then they will be punished and I will be responsible for their being punished’.

1DHQ has always been abusive, period.

If Shia LaBeouf really wants to be a performance artist, he might finally be on the right track

With #AllMyMovies, Shia was celebrating something (in this case, cinema) instead of wallowing in self-abnegation. Sure, LaBeouf himself was often up on the screen, but in the narrow space created by the live stream, the image of him at the movies was decontextualized. The piece was unquestionably performative, but the artifice wasn’t nearly as heavy — there were no outsized antics, just a man in a chair in a theater. No matter how abnormal the installation itself was, the normalcy of his presence, largely unchanging from hour to hour, was lulling. Plenty of commentators assumed LaBeouf’s reactions to the films were feigned — he is, after all, a professional actor — but even if they were, he was acting in a much more intimate scale.

— Tasha Robinson for The Verge


There are some paths woven so deeply into the fabric of the world that nothing can be done to change them.

Abnegation (self-sacrifice) - an enlighted mind
Corruption (moral perversion) - a black heart
Immortality (enduring fame) - an eternal soul
Grudge (malevolence) - a twisted perception
Ascension (elevation) - a noble spirit

Frankenstein, like Shelley’s Alastor, is a critique of selfish, isolated creativity… Frankenstein brings about his downfall through an act of self-aggrandising creation, which is characterized by his failure to consider the social ramifications of his actions… Frankenstein condemns much of what Byron’s Childe Harold represents: isolation, self-indulgence and an abnegation of social responsibility. It is Mary’s manifesto for the idealized community of enlightened individuals she and Shelley attempted to assemble. Her description in the elegiac Preface of the process by which Frankenstein came into being may elide some details, but it champions a method of endeavour in which ideas reach fruition through ’many a walk, many a drive, many a conversation’ – a method entirely absent from the novel itself.

Shelley played a key role in the development of Frankenstein. Together he and Mary discussed its plot, its intellectual antecedents and its emerging form… His script is interlinked with hers in the pages of the Frankenstein manuscript, transforming it into a powerful symbol of cooperative creativity.
—  Daisy Hay, from Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives

Re: this post

One thing that I think can be missing from these discussions is how similarly alienating expectations of professionalism from vulnerable workers in nominally more professional and respected professions.  I think this sort of thing is driving some of the populist rage behind Occupy and the like: even the people with degrees doing intellectual work can be treated pretty terribly by the system.

So I’ve delivered pizzas before, and while they worked us hard, I never had an adversarial relationship with the boss.  We all did our best to put on a smile even when we didn’t feel our best, there was mild pressure to keep our numbers down, and greater or worse hours were dangled as carrots and sticks or doing well in the shop or making deliveries faster, but I never got the impression that we were enemies.  My boss was tough but fair.  Above all, they didn’t seem to expect the kind of almost masochism and self-abnegation that my brief experience in law school told me was going to be de rigeur.

And I think it’s worst for the workers who are high enough class to be expected to adhere to professionalism but still imminently replaceable.  I got a job doing copyright research once.  Sounds almost lawyer like, but basically all we did was type queries into a database and figure out if a client’s requested copyright was likely to run afoul of someone else’s.  It required a bachelor’s, but only just.  So all throughout training and orientation I’m running to the bathroom, twice, three times a day to throw up, I have no idea what’s going on with my digestive system.  Towards the end of training I request a day off to get an endoscopy/colonoscopy to figure out what the hell was going on.  And they don’t even bother giving me the option saying “if you don’t come into work tomorrow, you’re fired,” they just drop me like a sack of potatoes.  I got the impression that I was so replaceable that the slight chance that I was malingering and just faking to get off work was enough that they could just hand the job to someone else. 

 During the discussion it comes out that one of the things that pissed them off was that I had asked about the smoke break policy.  This is the kind of self-abnegation and frankly fear that I think these guys were trying to instill in their workers, that I just didn’t get from the pizza delivery job.  My boss from that job would have completely understood why knowing that policy would be important to me and trusted me, at least at first to abide by whatever rules were imposed.  They certainly wouldn’t have held it against me just for asking the question.

It’s like… if my boss at [pizza chain redacted] had had the attitude of my copyright boss, they would have been like “why are you listening to audio books while you’re driving?  You need to be concentrating on how to get to your destination as quickly as possible.  We’re not paying you to enrich your mind.  And a customer might hear something they dislike, it’s a really unprofessional look.  You should be focused on your job at all times.”  Meanwhile the copyright research was pretty solitary work, there really wasn’t a good reason why we couldn’t at least throw on some headphones and make the experience a little nicer with some music.  Probably would have even increased productivity.  And yet not a single person had headphones on while working.  Maybe it would have clashed with the suits.

It’s just two pieces of anecdata, maybe I just got a great boss in one situation and a terrible boss in another one, but… again, I’ve held other minimum-wage style stuff, and I’ve peeked into other high wage style stuff, and I can at least tell you this: the people at elite law schools are fucking terrified in a way pizza delivery drivers aren’t.  I’m certainly not trying to minimize class privilege, and the lawyers can sob all the way to the bank to deposit their six figure paychecks.  But it looks to me like it’s degradation all the way down.  If you wanna know why there are so many pissed off relatively privileged college educated kids, I think this is the reason why.

Mann depicted these cost-effective female educators as angelic public servants monitored by Christian faith: wholly unselfish, self-abnegating, and morally pure.” Women weren’t just cheaper to hire; they were also assumed to be naturally nurturing and pious enough to teach godly behavior. “Teaching,” Goldstein writes, “was promoted as the female equivalent of the ministry: a profession whose prestige would be rooted not in worldly rewards, such as money or political influence, but in the pursuit of satisfaction that came from serving others.” In other words, you can pay teachers in work.

One of the tensions that runs through The Teacher Wars, as well as the teaching profession in general, is that between the angelic volunteer and the hardened union negotiator. By original design, American teachers aren’t supposed to be in it for the money. The U.S. education system was built around a historically specific moment in the development of women’s relation to the workplace: Teaching was high-prestige and intellectually demanding, compared with other career options available to women in the 1830s. Our heavenly ideal teacher still resembles Mann’s vision:

How divinely does she come, her head encircled with a halo of heavenly light, her feet sweetening the earth on which she treads, and the celestial radiance of her benignity making vice begin its work of repentance through very envy of the beauty of virtue!

Compare this to the introduction of Miss Jennifer Honey in Roald Dahl’s Matilda:

Their teacher was called Miss Honey, and she could not have been more than 23 or 24. She had a lovely pale oval madonna face with blue eyes and her hair was light-brown. Her body was so slim and fragile one got the feeling that if she fell over she would smash into a thousand pieces, like a porcelain figure.“

From our Back To School issueNot For Teacher: a review of Dana Goldstein’s The Teacher Wars by Malcolm Harris

Watch on

“France is going to endure, and I’ll tell you why. If you’re in a war of culture and lifestyle withFrance, good fucking luck, because go ahead, bring your bankrupt ideology. They’ll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloises cigarettes, Camus, Camembert, madeleines, macarons, Marcel Proust and the fucking croquembouche. You just brought a philosophy of rigorous self-abnegation to a pastry fight, my friend. You are fucked.” - John Oliver

Here is an example of the layered processes of an emotional flashback. A complex PTSD sufferer wakes up feeling depressed. Because childhood experience has conditioned her to believe that she is unworthy and unacceptable in this state, she quickly becomes anxious and ashamed. This in turn activates her Inner Critic to goad her with perfectionistic and endangering messages. The critic clamors: “No wonder no one likes you. Get your lazy, worthless ass going or you’ll end up as a wretched bag lady on the street”! Retraumatized by her own inner voice, she then launches into her most habitual behavior. She lashes out at the nearest person as she becomes irritable, controlling and pushy (Fight/ Narcissistic) - or she launches into busy productivity driven by negative, perfectionistic and catastrophic thinking (Flight/Obsessive-Compulsive) - or she flips on the TV and becomes dissociated, spaced out and sleepy (Freeze/ Dissociative) - or she focuses immediately on solving someone’s else’s problem and becomes servile, self-abnegating and ingratiating (Fawn/Codependent). Unfortunately this dynamic also commonly operates in reverse, creating perpetual motion cycles of internal trauma as acting out also gives the critic endless material for self-hating criticism, which in turn amps up fear and shame and finally compounds the abandonment depression with a non-stop experience of self-abandonment.
—  Managing Abandonment Depression in Complex PTSD

There is the artist, and then there’s this pragmatic person within you who bails you out when you’re drowning. Don’t let the artist fuck with what the pragmatist is trying to do. But do let the artist take up a lot of space. Let the artist call herself an artist, even to her parents’ skeptical friends. Practice saying it out loud to exactly the people who are the most likely to think you’re a fucking joke.

You’re an artist if you create art, period. You’re a writer if you write. First, you have to claim the title. You can’t work hard until you claim the right. (For women, I think, that’s particularly true.)

Artists, pretentious or not, blustery and swaggery or self-abnegating, need to find their faith in their work all over again, every morning of their lives. You need to devote yourself to your religion, Lost Artist.
An unspeakable post


Time after time, wave after wave, feminists are accused of being exclusive and bigoted simply for defending the space that each woman should have for herself – the mental and/or physical room of one’s own. We make demands that would never be made of men, whose boundaries remain inviolable. It is only women – and to be specific, female women – who are expected to include and include to the point of self-abnegation. We are told what we are, how we think, what we should call ourselves. Our inner lives – experiences of our own bodies, our female socialisation, the discomforts we have suffered from birth – are considered accessible and transparent. We are permitted no complexity. We are the opposite, the complement, the helpmeet, the foil that grants definition to anyone who is not us. We exist, but not as complete entities in our own right.

For all our talk of the need to challenge cis norms, we have reached a point where it is expected  that all those born female will enter into feminism as “traditional” women – those flexible, juggling, accommodating, motherly creatures who put everyone else’s needs before their own. That is how we are socialised to think of ourselves and, like it or not, that is what we demand of others. It is antithetical to a social justice movement which prioritises a woman’s right to active consent, but we do it anyway. We demand that gender norms are questioned while at the same time expecting females to perform in the same way as always: giving, giving, giving, never making their own imprint but always bearing that of others. For that is inclusion, is it not? Never daring to be so fickle, so mean, so exclusive, as to say “no – that is where you end and this is where I start”.

It does not surprise me one bit that an increasing number of young women declare themselves genderqueer or non-binary. It has become the one remaining get-out clause for consent. As an older woman who is a mother, it has been made clear that such a get-out clause is not available for the likes of me, regardless of what I know my relationship with gender to be. Someone has to be Cis Woman™, on hand to do the ideological equivalent of wiping arses, scrubbing floors and shutting the hell up. Widespread terror at the thought of not having such a person – the SWERF, the TERF, the whorephobe,  the pearl-clutcher – available as a means of deflection is palpable. Now that we no longer do witch trials it’s fair to say that if the TERF did not exist, patriarchy would have to invent her (oh look! It did!). She is woman at her most hollowed out, a blank screen for projection, the cause of original sin – otherwise known as male violence – and a vessel to contain all bile.

It is true that if some women have to be positioned as the TERF, others may feel they don’t have to. It grants the latter a temporary place of safety. This is not the same as self-definition – the number of defensive contortions one has to go through in order not to be tarred with the TERF brush increases by the day. To give up on words – woman, man, female, male, gender – which describe the fundamentals of one’s own oppression is no small sacrifice. To do so because one has effectively been coerced, due to a culture of fear and misrepresentation, is nothing short of an intrusion on women’s mental, linguistic and psychic space.

This matters to me because the feminism that is exclusion – being able to close the door and say “this is MY understanding of what I am” – is just as important as the feminism that is inclusion. Like most women I know what it is to experience sexual and physical abuse. I know how hard it can be to feel safe within one’s own body and I don’t think we should underestimate how much this matters as regards one’s own mind. A feminism that is forceful and intrusive, denying swathes of women the right to their own inner lives, is no feminism at all. A feminism that dismisses reproductive difference and denies women the basic tools with which to describe what happens to people like them is worse than no feminism at all.

It is easy to make the majority of women say yes when they want to say no. It is easy to make them acquiescent and self-effacing. It is easy to make them consent to things they do not feel and say things they do not believe. Patriarchy has been doing this for millennia, using fear and coercion. Feminism should be granting us a safe space in which we can finally say no. This is not about whether you agree with me on gender or sex work or any other specific issues; I just want you to know that you, as a woman – any woman – should have the right to define your own body, your own experiences and your own internal boundaries.

Vox Sentences: Ted Cruz unhinges his jaw and swallows his pride
Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, in what has to be one of the more humiliating self-abnegations in modern electoral politics. Read more