social impact,

eventbrite.com
DoSomething.org Social Impact Bootcamp

Do you want to make real, positive change in your community? Would you benefit from advice and resources from social change experts?
Apply for DoSomething.org’s Social Impact Bootcamp in San Francisco on July 22nd! This free, day-long in-person training with DoSomething staffers and other social impact pros will give you and 100+ other young leaders the knowledge and tools you need to become an agent of change in your community. 

What you can expect:

  • The chance to meet and network with other amazing young people.
  • Choose from 12 awesome sessions, where experienced leaders break down everything you need to know about creating your own movement for good.
  • An opportunity to pitch your ideas and learnings to senior leaders in the tech, government, business, and not-for-profit worlds.
  • Four attendees will receive a $500 grant to propel good in their communities.
  • Yummy (and free!) breakfast and lunch. 

To apply, become a DoSomething.org member and click the registration button. The deadline to apply is June 19th. 

Questions? Ping us at bootcamps@dosomething.org 

FAQs:

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

No. This event is designed with high school/college aged students in mind but is not limited to that age group. 

  • Who should apply?

Any young person who is passionate about social change and interested in learning how to create sustainable change in their communities.

  • Can I bring a friend?

If you have a friend you think would be a great fit for the day, have them apply to attend! 

  • How much does it cost to attend a bootcamp?

We want this knowledge to be as accessible as possible! Because of that, DoSomething.org’s Social Impact Bootcamp is free.

  • Will breakfast and lunch be provided?

Yes! We will be providing tasty nomz and treats throughout the day.


The deadline to apply for the DoSomething.org Bootcamp in San Francisco is today!!

Are You Interested In Writing, Psychology, Mental Health, and Making a Difference?

We’re looking for intern writers to be part of our growing writing team.

As part of the team, you will work with our editors on assigned topics and come up with pitches/angles to best present your writing.

If you’re interested, here’s what’s in it for you:

1. Paid if you’re consistent and reliable, and quality is not too bad.

2. Reference letters.

3. Something to add to your resume.

4. Volunteer hours if that’s required as part of your school. You can say you’re contributing to social impact on mental health and psychology education.

5. Working with a fast-paced team of editors and managers.

—-

When you email us, email us with the following:

*NOTE*: Use this template and copy and paste the questions when responding. This makes it easier for us.

1. What other online websites have you published on? 

2. Have you worked with an editor in the past? 

3. Do you have any published work online? 

4. What do you care most about? 

5. Do you have experience in academic writing and narrative pieces? 

6. What’s your schedule like for the next 3 months? 

7. What inspires you to write? 

8. Do you have 3-5 hours a week to work on an article? 

9. What do you hope from writing for Psych2Go? 

10. Do you see this opportunity as more of a collaboration or long term thing? 

11. What topics would you like Psych2Go To cover? 

Deadline: Aug 1 

Email to: editorial@psych2go.net 

Email Subject Headline: Your Name, Writing Internship 

The original master list

For late night talks with friends

  1. If could relive childhood all over again without being able to change anything, would you?
  2. Looking at your current level of intelligence and attractiveness, which would you choose to increase/improve?
  3. Which have you thought about more, your wedding or your funeral?
  4. If you knew you would never meet your soulmate or be happy in a relationship, would you choose to still get married/settle down with someone?
  5. Do you take what you can get, or are you “all or nothing"
  6. Have you ever thought you had a mental health issue/illness?
  7. Which are you most like and why -a river, a lake, or an ocean?
  8. If your partner/you were to get pregnant at this current moment, would you keep or abort the baby?
  9. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made
  10. What do you feel is your biggest personality flaw?
  11. Which do you admire more -your mother or your father?
  12. Who do you spend more time trying to impress?
  13. What is something that you do often, but almost always regret?
  14. Have you ever fantasized about having sexual relations with someone in this room?
  15. Do you prefer to be the big spoon or little spoon?
  16. Do you prefer to be tied up or do the tying? (bondage)
  17. Do you have a martyr complex?
  18. What is something you wish you were complemented on a lot more?
  19. If you just met someone and found out they were a psychopath, if you knew they would never harm you, would you like to be their friend?
  20. Have you ever admired a manipulator?
  21. What is something that if someone does it, they immediately lose your respect?
  22. What would having sex with the person to your right be like? (Characteristics)
  23. What do you think the person to your left thinks their best quality is?
  24. What do you think people your age’s biggest insecurity is?
  25. What do you think makes you the most different compared to everyone else in the room?
  26. What do you think makes you the most different compared to everyone else your age?
  27. What personality characteristic gets you in trouble the most
  28. What personality characteristic gets you the most friends?
  29. Pick a personality characteristic from the person to your right that you would want to have
  30. If you were   a relationship with the person on your left, what do you see them doing that would end the relationship?
  31. What characteristic makes you a bad girlfriend/boyfriend?
  32. What characteristic makes you a great boyfriend/girlfriend?
  33. Ask the person opposite you why they think you are single
  34. Which person in the group do you feel the most chemistry with?
  35. Have you ever fantasized about anyone in the group?
  36. What would make you leave your partner?
  37. What would your parents have to do to lose your love?
  38. What would your parents have to do to lose your respect?
  39. What about growing up has been the hardest for you?
  40. How do you deal with bad memories?
  41. How good are you at reading people?
  42. What is a weakness you have in your relationships?
  43. Do you think it is/will be easy for you to say “I love you” or difficult?
  44. If you had a daughter, what would you tell her about boys?
  45. If you had a son, what would you tell him about girls?
  46. Which do you think you are stronger in? intelligence or emotional awareness?
  47. Are you more of a long-term or short-term relationship person?
  48. What scares you the most about being in a relationship?
  49. Are you attracted to happy people or broken souls?
  50. Have you ever had an incestuous thought?
  51. What do you blame your parents for?
  52. List five ways in which you are, after all, quite difficult to live with?
  53. The chief problems in my relationship with my mother were…
  54. The chief problems in my relationship with my father were…
  55. If someone likes me a lot, I start to feel…
  56. What did you learn about relationships from your parents?
  57. What slightly unhealthy things feel attractive in a partner? How might this relate to your opposite sex parent?
  58. What slightly unhealthy things feel attractive in a partner?
  59. If you could consider yourself dispassionately, what might you warn a friend about if they were thinking of starting a relationship with you?
  60. If I were to explain a bit more to people about how I felt about things, they would…
  61. What are, or would be, my faults as a parent?
  62. What would hurt you the most, in terms of what your kids do/are like/think?
  63. What would be the biggest disappoint you in the kids?
  64. Name three sexual scenarios that especially excite you.
  65. When do you cry or want to cry (as an adult)?
  66. List five things that are the important to you in your life. How much of your time do you give to each of these?
  67. What things do you often end up buying that don’t – on reflection, much of the time – actually satisfy you that much?
  68. What are you trying to say through your clothes?
  69. Name three works of art (music, literature and visual art/architecture) that mean a lot to you.
  70. What are you a little addicted to? Porn, alcohol, shopping, arguing…
  71. What negative character flaws do you fear – in your worst nightmares – that other people have spotted about you?’
  72. ‘If I knew I couldn’t fail, in my professional life, I’d try to…
  73. Rank in order of importance for you in your career: Money, Status, Creativity, Social Impact, Colleagues.
  74. What sort of things have made you envious recently?
  75. When my partner disappoints me, I:
    1. Explode/get angry at them
    2. Withdraw
    3. Re-evaluate our relationships
    4. Other -
  76. What often impairs your decision making process? Lack of confidence, impatience, desire to please, over-excitement…
  77. Choose four adjective to describe yourself. Ask three good friends to do the same for you.
  78. What are you currently lying to certain people around you about?
  79. If a really kind person wanted to praise me, they’d say…
  80. If a really tough person assessed me, they’d say…
  81. Are you dominant or submissive sexually? And in the rest of your life?
  82. What things would deeply alarm your loved ones if they knew them about you?
  83. If you could create your ideal pornography, what would it feature?
  84. What would you ideally like someone to feel compassionate towards you for? What would it beautiful if they could forgive?
  85. What did you most enjoy doing as a child? Do you get those feelings now?

We’re taking questions about social media & mental health

As researchers and advocacy groups examine the impact of social media usage on mental health, they are discovering both positives and negatives. While social media fosters community and allows people to connect in ways that are possible only because of the Internet, social media can also come with risks– bullying, harassment, and language of hate. This Tumblr Issue Time discussion brings together panelists from media, advocacy, and healthcare to discuss the relationship between social media and mental health, explore the positive effects it has on community, and examine solutions for how you might mitigate or address some of the negative risks. 

Our panelists will answer your questions in an Issue Time right here on @postitforward on Tuesday, May 30th. Ask anything you’d like. 

The Ask box is open now!

You can read more about our panelists after the jump,

Keep reading

Zero Waste, Veganism, and Privilege

This post has been a long time coming. I’ve had a lot of conversations with friends on this topic lately, and I realize that these important conversations don’t happen very much in our online communities. There are three main things I’d like to address.

1. Environmentalism absolutely must do a better job of reflecting intersectionality.

I’m a member of the activist community at my school and in North Carolina in general. This means that I do everything I can to show up for black lives, trans lives, Muslim lives, native lives and more. I see intersectionality in everything I do and work hard to educate myself as a white, middle class person. I am part of the Divestment Student Network which cannot divorce these environmental issues from the social issues they impact. Environmental racism is real. The same systems of oppression that are creating environmental catastrophe are also hitting queer people, women, and poc the hardest. This cannot, must not, be forgotten. I believe that it is easy to talk about environmental issues in a way that centralizes narratives about landfills, marine life destruction, facts about carbon footprints, and endangered animals. Often times, the human side of things is left out, and those narratives must be just as important. We all suffer as a result of climate change, and certain populations suffer first and most. Our narratives should strive to be more inclusive.

2. The environmentalism movement absolutely must recognize that it takes enormous privilege to be zero waste, vegan, minimalist, etc.

I had a friend point out to me recently that they admired my lifestyle choices, but felt that certain things were exclusive to them because they lived with disability. They had a perspective that I had never considered and really appreciated hearing. I often see people in this community push back against these statements and argue about the ease of “simple swaps” or “lazy veganism” but this just silences and closes out those voices even more. This seriously needs to change. I love figures like the Vegan Bros because they don’t think purity should ever be the goal of veganism. The goal should be drawing people in to this community as much as possible, and listening to the very real challenges and barriers that people face. For example, buying high-quality, long-lasting clothing plainly is not an option for people of low income, and buying second-hand is nothing new or revolutionary when that’s what you’ve always done to get by. This needs to be acknowledged. Most importantly though, shutting down marginalized people when they express their struggles needs to stop, because we should be trying to draw a wider circle to grow as a movement.

3. I come from a place of privilege, which makes it my responsibility to be better and do everything I can to dismantle systems of oppression.

I am white, middle class, able-bodied, neurotypical and educated. I am “woke” to the deep problems in our current food system, and our fashion industry. I have enough financial independence and autonomy to chose to support better products and businesses. I live in a city where I can recycle and compost almost anything, so there’s no reason I should be sending much at all to the landfill. I have a job that allows me to push my university community to do better, and educate others. Because all of this is true, I choose to be vegan, to be zero waste, and to work for environmental and social justice as much as possible. As a friend of mine keeps reminding me “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” (Desmond Tutu). I firmly believe that complacency is a privilege, and I choose to use my privilege for good whenever and wherever I can.

On the care and keeping of your scientist
  • Congratulations on adopting a scientist! Regardless of their field they will require much coffee, free food, and love. Here are some field specific tips for keeping your scientist happy and healthy!
  • Biology: make sure they don't get overly invested in their model organism by reminding them about the flaws inherent in their system on a regular basis, but also make sure to join in when they criticize other models in favor of their own
  • Chemistry: don't let them do that 'just one more reaction' at 10 pm. make sure they get out of the lab and see the sun on a regular basis. try to keep them from partying too hard when they do leave the lab
  • Geology: humor their rock puns but don't let the lick the rocks (they will tell you they need to lick the rocks to identify them, but don't fall for it)
  • Astronomy: try not to let them become completely nocturnal. point out nice stars to them and look suitably impressed by their "pictures" of planets that don't look like anything to you
  • Physics: take them to the park on a regular basis to remind them that things larger than subatomic particles exist. bring a frisbee or a ball to play catch with and be impressed by their ability to calculate trajectories
  • Math: always make sure to have free batteries for their calculators and a mathmatica user guide on hand. Humor them when they tell you why space without angles is important
  • Ecology: make sure they remember to wear sunscreen and keep an eye on them in the field. Remind them to come inside and analyze their data occasionally
  • Psychology: don't mention Freud or ever call them a soft or social science, but make sure you gently remind them that social factors can impact reproducibility and try to keep them from drawing sweeping conclusions about the inherent nature of humanity
  • Neuroscience: be suitably impressed by their newest experiment and then remind them that people are not mice as often as possible
  • Computer Science: make sure they take breaks while debugging by limiting their supply of coffee. Nod and smile when they go off on indexing and arrays. Make sure they always have a rubber duck.
  • Make sure to keep your scientist away from engineers unless they have been properly socialized to interact in a translational household. The most important thing is to remember to hug your scientist on a regular basis and remind them that there is life outside the lab
youtube

I’m back from the YouTube Creators For Change Social Impact Camp in London, where I lost my plane magic and found something else entirely.

(it’s a jacket. what i found was a youtube branded jacket)

Frank-Walter Steinmeier Next President of Germany

Today, February 12, 2017, Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected by the Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung) as the next president of Germany. He will assume office on March 18, 2017.

Steinmeier, member of the SPD, was the candidate of the Great Coalition consisting of CDU, CSU, and SPD currently governing Germany. He was also supported by the Green Party and the FDP.

Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier grew up in a carpenter’s family in the rural Lippe area in North-Rhine-Westphalia. He studied law and political sciences in Gießen and received a doctoral degree in law in 1991. He was hired at the office of the prime minister of the state of Lower Saxony, Gerhard Schröder, in Hannover, where he quickly advanced his career. He followed Gerhard Schröder after his appointment as chancellor to Berlin, where he soon became chief of the Chancellor’s Office. In this position, he was one of the driving forces of the Agenda 2010 reforms, which are generally said to be the foundations of Germany’s current economical success, but were (and still are) controversially discussed with regards to their impact on social affairs and the coherence of the German society.

After Angela Merkel assumed Chancellorship of a Great Coalition in 2005, Steinmeier was appointed as foreign minister. In 2007, he became vice-chancellor. He was appointed again as foreign minister in the third cabinet of Angela Merkel and resigned in January 2017 after he was nominated as the joint presidential candidate of the Great Coalition.

In 2010, Steinmeier donated a kidney to his wife, Elke Büdenbender, to save her life.


Unlike in many other states, the president of Germany, as the official head of the state, has a mostly ceremonial and representative role. The duties of the office involve:

  • to represent Germany in the world under international law (signing international contracts, accrediting German diplomats, receiving international leaders and letters of accreditation of foreign diplomats, etc.)
  • to propose a chancellor candidate to the German parliament
  • to appoint and dismiss the chancellor (after parliamental vote) and the ministers of the federal government; the president does not have the right to reject the resignation of a chancellor
  • to appoint and dismiss high federal officials and military (requiring counter-signature of chancellor or the relevant minister)
  • to regularly meet with the chancellor and the ministers for confidential consultations
  • to sign and promulgate the law, with the right to reject his signature (happened only eight times so far)
  • to dissolve the Federal Diet (Bundestag, German parliament) under certain circumstances
  • to declare war, after the the government has determined a state of defense
  • to exercise the power of pardon on the federal level (but he has no right to issue an amnesty)
  • to declare a state of legislative emergency by request of the cabinet if no chancellor could be elected. During this period, bills submitted by the government become law after his signature even if the federal diet rejects them, but the Federal Council (upper chamber of parliament representing the sixteen states) has to approve them. Legislative emergency does non suspend basic human rights, nor does it give the executive branch exceptional power. Legislative emergency has never been declared so far.
  • to assume the patronage over projects and initiatives that have a positive impact on the German society. He is the regular patron of the German red cross and the German maritime search and rescue sevice.
  • to decide upon the national symbols after counter-signature of the chancellor
  • to occasion state ceremonies
  • to confer the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and other minor decorations

The Federal President does not have the right to issue decrees without counter-signature of a member of the Federal Government; that means that he cannot execute political power against the will of the government, with the sole exception of the strictly regulated state of legislative emergency.

The Federal President, committed to political neutrality, usually acts by the power of the word. He is independent of daily politics and free to set his topics. This way, a number of presidents have by speeches initiated public debates that materialized in law some time later. Notable examples are the speech of Richard von Weizsäcker on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of world war II, and the “Ruck-Rede” (”Jerk Speech”) by Roman Herzog. The former speech substantially shaped Germany’s current culture of remembrance, the latter initiated the debate that eventually led to the Agenda 2010 reforms by the government of Gerhard Schröder.

In case the office of the president falls vacant, the president of the Federal Council (Bundesrat) temporarily assumes the duties of the office until a new president is elected, which should be done within 30 days.

The president enjoys immunity from prosecution and cannot be voted out of office. The Federal Diet can revoke the immunity in case the president is offended of willfully violating the law. The Federal constitutional court has then to determine whether the president is guilty of the offense and has the only authority to remove the president from the office.

The president resides in Bellevue Palace in Berlin and has a second office in Hammerschmidt Villa in Bonn. His car carries the number 0-1, and the aircraft carrying the president has the call sign German Air Force 001.

The president assumes a honorary godfathership for the seventh child of a family. He helps German artists in need by a single donation or by giving the a honorarium. He offers his congratulations for special anniversaries, such as the hundredth birthday of a German citizen.

Searching for LGBTQIA+ people

Hello guys, gals and non-binary pals, I’m in need of your help again.

I’m doing a social impact project for one of my classes about Violence directed to the LGBTQIA+ community and I’m looking for anonymous life experiences regarding this topic.

All the experiences gathered will be translated and posted in a wordpress website I’ll post in here later on, so other LGBTQIA+ people can see it and make a sense of community, and so people in general are able to recognize a real issue in our society..

If you’re interested in participating please send me a personal message, and for everyone else please get the word around

Thanks!

Are You Interested In Writing, Psychology, Introversion, or Story Telling?

We’re looking for intern writers to be a part of our growing writing team.

As part of the team, you will work with our editors on assigned topics and come up with pitches/angles to best present your writing.

If you’re interested, here are what’s in it for you:

1. Paid if you’re a consistent and reliable, and quality is not too bad.

2. Reference letters.

3. Something to add to resume.

4. Volunteer hours if that’s required as part of your school. You can say you’re contributing to social impact on mental health and psych education.

5. Working with a fast pace team of editors and managers.

—-

When you email us, email us with the following:

NOTE* Use this template and copy and paste the questions when responding. This makes it easier for us.

1. A bit about yourself, what you’re studying, writing experiences.

2. A link to 1-2 of your best written articles, preferably around psychology or mental health.

3. Do you have at 3-5 hours a week to work on an article?

4. What’s your schedule like for the next 4 months?

5. What do you hope to get out from this position? Your motivation for joining.

6. Will this be more of a collaboration for you or a long term thing?

Deadline: May 30th.

Email: Viveca@psych2go.net

5

Uber is a mess — the “bad boy” ethos shattered, a nervous breakdown in its place. This week, the CEO announced he is taking a sudden leave of absence. A former U.S. attorney general released a brutal audit of the startup’s culture. It’s a terrifying moment for many investors who want that $70 billion unicorn to make them rich or richer — not implode.

But there is one Uber investor who stands out for how she decided to speak up. It was not very Silicon Valley-like of her, but Freada Kapor Klein wanted to turn the crisis into a teachable moment. And while this week’s events could lead her to say “I told you so,” she has a different takeaway.

Let’s rewind a few months. Kapor Klein decided to write an open letter to Uber — which she published with her husband — after a young woman shared an explosive account of sexual harassment at Uber headquarters.

Kapor Klein is a venture capitalist, or a VC. That means she makes money by betting on technology startups. Uber is one of those startups. She has committed to “impact investment” — businesses that can turn a profit while also making the world a better place. For too many years, she says, critics would question her on Uber, and she stayed silent. She tried to influence the company from the inside, though she didn’t see a real will among leadership to change. While “Silicon Valley prides itself on pattern recognition,” the letter said, Uber had “toxic patterns” that needed to stop.

Kapor Klein thought she was just saying what insiders knew: This is not a one-off. Turns out, her peers didn’t like that and wanted her to pay for it.

The Investor Who Took On Uber, And Silicon Valley

Photos: Talia Herman for NPR

Call For Papers

It should not be surprising that a digital journal takes seriously the question of digital materiality: what does it mean for the digital to be and how does the being of the digital impact the social relations in which it is nested and from which it emerges? Perhaps more urgently, as theorists and radicals in the Marxist tradition, we are tasked with a responsibility to engage with the materiality of the digital. How are we to think through, and alongside, our relationship with digital materialities both as postcolonial and neoliberal subjects (for whom the digital is either inescapable or inaccessible), and as radicals for whom challenging the conditions which gave rise to the predominance of the digital is a paramount task?

In Δ1.2, we are seeking submissions that engage with or open up these questions of the digital. We are interested in a variety of perspectives, from critical inquiry to tactical guides, ontological and metaphysical analyses to critiques of virtual economies. Although we will accept a wide range of topics, our primary focus with this issue is the implication of emerging studies of the materiality of the digital for leftist thought. Submissions should be between 2000 and 15000 words in length and should follow Chicago style manuscript preparation. Submissions should represent original work which interacts with relevant literature. All finished submissions should be sent to deltamagstaff@gmail.com by June 1st.

About The Publication: ΔMag is a journal which seeks neither to fear nor hope, but only look for new weapons in spaces outside the walls of the academy.

violaslayvis submitted:

I would like to submit my friend Shay, a bi black trans scholar & organizer in Chicago. From his website http://decolonizeallthethings.com: “I’m Shay Akil McLean (twitter.com/Hood_Biologist), I’m a Pan Africanist (Nkrumah Toureist/scientific socialist) & anti-colonial community organizer (on & offline). I’m a Transman of African descent on stolen Indigenous land, writer, public intellectual, human skeletal biologist & sociologist.

I’m a sociologist & biological anthropologist studying STS/HASTS, bioethics, medical ethics, philosophy of biology, genomics, health, knowledge production and medicine. As a scholar I study how systemic inequity results in the differential distribution of health, illness, quality of life, and death. I’m currently working on my PhD in Sociology, specializing in STS/HASTS, genomics, & bioinformatics.

My academic work includes studying the impact of social, political, & economic inequality on human skeletal biology. My Master’s work looked at the impact of food insecurity, high poverty, & racial residential segregation on the dental health of poor Blacks in the 4th poorest city in the U.S..  It is through this work that I aim to construct community based grassroots interventions that change the marginalized’s relationships to knowledge and power to strategically gain equitable access to the very resources that heavily impact disease risk & life determinants while also resisting the ever present processes of settlement and displacement.”

He consistently provides invaluable knowledge on both on his website & his twitter so any donations at http://cash.me/ShayAkil would go directly towards a black trans person.

An Open Letter to BuzzFeed

I have grown increasingly sick of your two-faced attitude and carelessness with how you address social issues, particularly how you twist racism and sexism to fabricate superfluous stories about your celebrity of the week… which more than often happens to be none other than Taylor Swift. It is very telling how you preach social activism yet use social discrimination as your own personal soapbox to spin your carefully crafted webs in which you attempt to convince the general public of whatever weekly angle you have chosen to take - no matter if you’ve previously preached to the opposite. You criticize celebrities for their “lack of social activism” yet serve as nothing more than a glorified celebrity gossip mix-tape that has been repeating on a loop long past its time. Whenever you feel it to be profitable, you preach to the choir about feminism, and yet here you are again crucifying a powerful woman simply because her name carries more weight than your brand. I could spend hours picking apart your latest preposterous article on Taylor Swift, pinpointing exactly where you exaggerated in order to fluff up your otherwise barren story, (i.e. your overly critical analyses of decade-old songs, your isolation of Taylor Swift from every other artist in order to play to your storyline, your fascination with your inflated version of her love life, your exaggerated accounts of fandom drama to appeal to an already polarized group, your pure falsehoods when discussing her personal life, etc.), but there are more pressing issues here than your disturbing fixation with Taylor Swift. I am more concerned with your general precariousness with spinning lies into what may appear to be a truthful article (however in retrospect I hope nobody truly considers BuzzFeed to be a source of actual news). Especially in light of our election, specifically with the misconstruing of facts and falsehoods, I would have hoped that you would have lost your taste for twisting facts in order to garner mass public attention; but clearly you are still fixated by the attention it brings you. Racism and sexism are extraordinarily important issues in our society, and these issues have been further amplified by this past election season as well as the actions which have followed; they are not toys for you to play with when you lose the influence to write about anything truly important. If you were genuinely interested in combating racism and sexism, in promoting intersectional feminism and fighting for equality on all fronts, then you would write an educated piece on the social impacts and implications of these discriminatory acts; your attributing these to Taylor Swift does nothing more than reveal your shallowness and disregard for the gravity of our current situation. You continue to both preach feminism with one face yet turn around and gossip about whatever powerful female celebrity will bring you the most attention with the other; you continue to claim to fight against racism, and yet turn right around and use these issues as a stepping stool into the public eye. It truly is astonishing that you continue to have the nerve to manufacture lengthy fictional articles on high profile celebrities as a means of catching the public’s attention in the midst of a country struggling with heightened racism and sexism, that you have nothing more to say on the issues than what you misconstrued in order to prop yourself up, that your only way to have a voice is to pretend as though Taylor Swift were the enemy and not those actually creating problems in our country (i.e. the GOP, Trump, Pence, Ryan, Bannon, etc.). Until you clean up your articles and start reporting in a truthful light, then you absolutely do not get to stand there and talk down to anyone for not displaying the standard of perfection in all social movements; until the underlying hypocrisy which has tainted your brand has disappeared, you are in no position to claim yourself to be a news company.

anonymous asked:

I need your help friend, the fandom is at stake: can you do a quick recap of why shipping isn't activism? And I don't mean just in terms of antis, but also the anti-backlash where people defend their ships by trying to prove they're actually progressive (which would still imply you need to prove your ship is not harmful before shipping it). Fans may have good intentions and mean no harm, but social justice is not achieved through fantasy.

what a good question. let me see if I can do this justice with a good answer.

First off: let’s define ‘shipping’ as ‘desiring two characters to have romantic and/or sexual interactions and using social media or fanworks to share this desire with others.’  So: specifically looking at shipping as a social activity here, because I hope we can all agree that ‘shipping it’ - simply wishing for two characters to have some kind of interaction in your head - is not activism because it’s thoughts, which on their own nobody else knows about and thus can’t have an impact.

Shipping as activism is mainly talked about in the context of being ‘queer/LGBT representation’, and everything else is treated as secondary.*  So I’ll be talking about this primarily from that POV.

Okay.

shipping is not activism because shipping doesn’t do two important things that activism does: 

  • shipping does not generate or act as mainstream representation
  • shipping does not increase awareness or change social values

and that’s okay. Shipping doesn’t need to do these things because shipping takes place in a microcosm. Fandom is but a tiny, tiny fraction of internet and social activity as a whole. No matter how ‘progressive’ we collectively are, only in the rarest cases will we make a meaningful impact on society as a whole.

Shipping serves a different, but no less important purpose, which I’ll get into below.

That’s the short version. the long version is below.

Shipping is not activism because: 

Shipping is a fandom-specific activity and fandom doesn’t make much of a social impact. We get talked about a lot by the creators because we’re the people most likely to have contact with them and provide feedback on their content; we have an impact on creators in that sense.  But apart from coming to cons and talking on social media, when we get mainstream attention it’s almost always to talk about how weird we are. Also, we don’t cause social change. We can fan over something that already exists, but we can’t cause a show with better representation to be created.

Because of this: 

Meaningful, mainstream representation of LGBT/queer relationships come from mainstream media, and fandom is not the main force acting on mainstream media productions.  Remember when korrasami became canon in the last few minutes of the last episode of Korra because the creators knew about the shippers? Congratulations: you’re looking at an outlier that took a lot of very specific circumstances and luck to have happen. And most importantly: it wasn’t done to please the shippers.  Shippers may have given them the idea, but it was done because canon korrasami would create visible bisexual/LGBT representation. It was possible because the show was only airing online, to a smaller audience, and because of the herculean efforts of LGBT/queer activists over the last century to get our collective visibility and acceptability as high as it is (and yes, we have a long way to go, but we’re miles past where we were even 10 years ago.)

Current fandom seems to carry the belief that if we just ship hard enough and loud enough, the creators of an ongoing mainstream media will reward us by making our favorite ship canon.** The reality is we rarely, if ever, make a meaningful impact on the direction that canon takes. We’re a small, small part of the consumer base - a loud one, but small!  We’re often not the aimed-at demographic, either, so pleasing us is the last thing the execs trying to make a buck are thinking about. The material we’re fanning over is already old news to producers; short canons are usually already finished by the time we receive it, and longer ones are at least a season ahead in production time. (If we do make an impact, we won’t see it for at least a year or more.)  Shows must meet decency standards, and LGBT/queer relationships are still seen as higher-rated than their cishet counterparts.  Executives care about what will sell ad space or toys more than what fandom wants.

The fact of the matter is we have the cause and effect backwards.

Ships being ‘good representation’ is a function of increased mainstream media representation of marginalized identities, not the other way around.  When media was entirely full of characters who were white cis men, we shipped white cis men. And as media slowly stops having nothing but white cis men, we’re … still shipping white cis men a lot, because there’s still a lot of them and there’s still a societal bias that tells us that white cis men are the most important/interesting people (and simultaneously, because they are unmarked, we can’t accidentally fall into stereotype pits while fanning them), but we’re shipping more and more non-white, non-cis, non-male characters too. 

Real social activism leads to increased media representation - like the reclaiming of the word ‘queer’ in the late 80′s/early 90′s leading to a TV show called ‘Queer as Folk’ and featuring gay characters. And increased media representation leads to more marginalized characters for fandom to ship.

While transformative fandom does, to an extent, change things from canon to represent ourselves more - or just to suit our fancy! - canon always reigns supreme and is the most widespread version of the characters.  Canon becoming more diverse will always have more of an effect on fandom than fandom being diverse/having diverse content will ever have on canon.

Besides:

The desire to see ships become canon is not primarily motivated by generating healthy representation of marginalized identities.  Fans have been wanting their favorite ships to become canon since the Stone Ages.  The Harry Potter fandom wars were all about what was most canon: Harry/Hermione, Hermione/Ron, or Harry/Ginny.  Notably: Draco/Harry is not one of the pairings I list, because nobody thought there was the remotest chance that Draco/Harry would ever become canon.  It’s only recently that LGBT/queer rep in particular has been making a meaningful appearance in mainstream media, and suddenly slash ships have entered the ‘will it be canon!?’ fray. And some mlm fans feel they have more ‘right’ to canon because mlm ships are LGBT/queer rep.

Here’s the thing: if this was really about representation, then we’d all be celebrating if any mlm pairing became canon. No matter which pairing is ‘more progressive’, any LGBT/queer canon representation is better than none. But (surprise!) it’s not; the ‘queer rep!’ battle cry is just an additional cannonball in the arsenal of ongoing ship wars.*** And I venture to say that most mlm shippers engaged in a ship war would rather see an unrelated het pairing become canon than their rival mlm ship.

And this is because: 

Shipping is not, and never has been, primarily about creating healthy marginalized representation.  Don’t get me wrong: transformative fandom is heavily LGBT/queer/mentally ill/disabled/otherwise underrepresented, and we often create transformative fanworks that bring our identities into the story. That’s awesome self-fulfillment, and it can really bless and excite fellow fans who see fandom content that makes them feel more welcomed and recognized.  However.

Generating marginalized representation isn’t the primary motive for shipping. We ship out of love. We see the dynamics between two characters and think ‘oh, that’s hot’ or ‘I’d like to see more of that’. We ship for fun. We ship because we think two characters would look good together. We ship because we imagine ourselves as one character and have a crush on the other. We ship things for many, many reasons, many I haven’t mentioned here, maybe as many reasons as there are people in fandom doing shippy things.  And to that end, I’m sure that some people do decide what to ship purely because they believe it represents minority groups that need representation - but it would be too much to say that’s the main reason people ship things.

Shipping doesn’t need to be about creating healthy marginalized representation because:

Fiction is not reality; a person can ship the ‘right’ ships and still be a bigot IRL. and visa versa. Because we interact with fiction and reality in different ways, there are people who really love mlm ships but still think gay marriage is icky. On the other hand, a person can be the loudest activist for LGBT/queer causes in real life and only ship het ships in fandom, just because the dynamics of het ships pings their fancy more.

Shipping as activism preaches to the choir. Shipping being a fandom-specific activity, and many of us being oppressed ourselves, shipping the ‘right’ ship to increase awareness in the microcosm of fandom isn’t really accomplishing anything. Most of us are ourselves LGBT/queer, or friends with people who are LGBT/queer. Most of us are aware of how much pain the lack of representation in mainstream media brings on.  And most of us are sensitive to the fact that we’re not the only oppressed person in fandom space and are willing to learn more about how we can help other oppressed people.

If I could sum up the problems of current fandom, it’s that we assume that nobody else is #woke (even though most of us are sufferers). In that sense, shipping the ‘right’ ship doesn’t bring more awareness; it acts as a signal to others that you have awareness, and hopefully protects you from being erased or harassed as an ignorant asshole (’cishet’).

Most importantly:

Shipping isn’t activism, but it does something else great: it lets marginalized fans express and indulge themselves in any way that pleases them.  - fandom is primarily made of underrepresented minorities, so shipping is a way that we express ourselves and relate to one another - whether those ships are ‘progressive’ or not. So, so many of us deal with social stigma or harassment or hate in our real lives; we consume media to get away from that, and we indulge in fandom to get away from that.  Most of us are, just by existing and demanding space in the world, activists for the rights of the marginalized and oppressed. Fandom is a space for us to play with each other and connect over something fun and pleasant, and those fun and pleasant things don’t have to be activist things. We’re allowed to take a break.

The importance of activism and representation is to benefit the marginalized and oppressed, letting us be recognized and less stigmatized, and deconstructing the social and political structures that work against us leading fulfilling lives.  When we use shipping the ‘right’ ship as a bludgeon to attack one another, we are literally defeating the purpose of our own causes. We’re stigmatizing each other for our fandom interests. And we’re certainly not deconstructing any social structures that harm us!

In conclusion:  The way we can be most activist in transformative fandom is, no joke, to care more about the fact that almost everyone else here is marginalized too than that one another’s ships aren’t marginalized enough.

*In talking about ships as representation we generally start with ‘this ship is queer/LGBT’ and then use all other axes of oppression to prove which ship is ‘more progressive’, i.e. - F1nnPoe and Ky1ux are both mlm, but F1nnPoe is more pure because it’s a black man and a Latino man as opposed to two white men. (Occasionally race will also be talked of as the primary point of value, depending on the fandom.)

**On a side note, this whole paragraph is also why it’s unlikely that fandom being ugly will ever cause a show to be cancelled or a pairing will get changed in canon because some fans were nastier than others. We’re like bugs with stingers: scary and painful but ultimately not that impactful (unless you’re allergic, I guess, but forget that part of the metaphor). 

***This is part of where the ‘I have to prove my ship is wholesome/their ship is evil’ stuff comes from: ‘proving’ to creators that your ship is the ‘better’ queer representation because it either covers more marginalized bases or is ‘more pure’, making it less objectionable for mainstream representation. (the joke is that bigots don’t care how pure an LGBT/queer ship is: they’re gonna still think it’s awful because it’s LGBT/queer.)

PS - I don’t think this answer really addresses why arguing about purity of ships is a bad plan, but this is already so long that I’ll address that somewhere else I think.

Common Effects of Torture

I’m going to start with an important and underappreciated point: the effects of torture are hard to research.

For a mixture of reasons, including shame and fear of reprisals, many people are uncomfortable admitting that they were tortured. Fewer still have the opportunity or are willing to participate in research. Sample sizes in studies are often ridiculously small, so small that it can be difficult to reach any conclusions.

On top of that, picking a control group can be difficult. If the majority of torture victims are depressed does comparing them to a health or depressed population make more sense? If the majority of torture victims suffered serious head injuries should they be compared to people with mild brain damage?

The research is hard. We’re only just beginning to get a clear picture of the short and long term effects of torture, on individuals and communities. Sometimes clear evidence just isn’t there.

Sometimes, for some techniques, it is. So long as you don’t call it ‘torture’. Information on sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, starvation, dehydration and extreme temperatures are all available.


What this means is that treatment is often a hit and miss affair. Studies trying to find better ways to treat torture victims often can’t find enough volunteers to get meaningful results.

All of that said, here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the things a character who has survived torture and physically healed might experience.

Depression 

Anxiety 

Suicidal thoughts

Hypervigilance

Persistent memory problems

Difficulty learning new skills

Difficulty relating to others

Chronic pain

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Addiction

Insomnia

Long term Personality Change

Social Isolation

Panic attacks 

Much of the research on treating torture survivors focuses on PTSD which appears to be a more common response for torture than for other traumatising events.

It’s worth mentioning that although clear evidence on torturers is even more difficult to come by there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that torturers are often traumatised by carrying out torture.

Anecdotal evidence suggests torturers develop many of the same psychological symptoms as their victims, including PTSD, depression, addiction, social isolation and long term personality changes.

[Sources, ‘Mental health interventions and priorities for research for adult survivors of torture and systematic violence: a review of the literature’ Torture Journal vol 26 iss 1 2016 W M Weiss et al

‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation’ Harvard University Press S O’Mara

‘Dysfunctional Pain Modulation in Torture Survivors: The Mediating Effect of PTSD’ The Journal of Pain vo 18 2017 R Defrin et al

‘Testimonial Therapy: Impact on social participation and emotional wellbeing among Indian survivors of torture and organized violence’ Torture Journal vol 25 iss 2 2015 M M Jorgensen et al]

Disclaimer