social justice concerns

I just learned that there are people–you know, the ones who always whine about “tumblr sj” and how it is “unreasonable” or whatever–who don’t think neurotypical privilege is a thing.

wat.png

Get your asses into any public classroom in America if you have a problem with that premise.

there’s an interesting irony how big parts of tumblr social justice is allegedly concerned with fighting oppression, racism and imperialism. yet, much of the social justice discourse here is actually pretty much a cesspool of US (cultural) imperialism. it even kind of mirrors US foreign policy because people speak over others and impose US constructs on non-US issues all the time because they think they know best and must save us from ourselves or something. 

On the Grant Twitter Fiasco Today

Grant isn’t perfect and I don’t mean to sound like his stan, but he’s honestly more socially aware than people in this fandom give him credit for. I respect that he acknowledged his privilege and explained that he is still learning to the extent that he doesn’t feel he is eloquent or knowledgable enough to Tweet about social justice concerns as much as people might expect him to because of his status. I don’t think he deserves the attacks that come his way, especially when he has a history of sharing other people’s words on issues of gun control, racially motivated police brutality, refugee relief, etc. He has said that he feels more comfortable promoting the words of others versus his own, which I think is pretty respectable.

As a personal example, I remember after the Paris attacks last year, Syrian refugees and Muslims alike were considered scum and it seemed as though everyone chose to marginalize innocent victims of war who were trying to flee violence for a better life. I have to say among all the hatred, racism, and xenophobia I was seeing on my Twitter feed, it was touching to see a Tweet from Grant urging people to donate to Syrian refugees as well as Tweets criticizing the inevitable wave of Islamophobia that followed. I know he shouldn’t be applauded for doing the decent and right and expected thing, but I still appreciated it in the storm of horrible things that were being said about Muslims and Syrians that I considered so hurtful.

I’m just trying to convey that I don’t think he’s a bad person as some fans are making him out to be. He’s still learning, as all of us are. We have to stop demonizing and attacking people whenever they make mistakes out of ignorance or unawareness and give them the opportunity to apologize and learn from that mistake, otherwise people’s mindsets will never change and they will never unlearn their biases.

If we publish a pamphlet against the State News that doesn’t talk about racism, we are FUCKED UP RACISTS. And I imagine that YDS didn’t find a way to mention that anywhere in the sections that they wrote. I just can’t exactly do this on my own, and I also feel FUCKED UP speaking on this topic because I am a white person.

nanny notes/thinking about privilege and school

I nanny for a family whose kids go to a “waldorf-inspired” pre-school, and the other day the mom was talking to me about it, and i told her how dreamy jasmine’s waldorf schooling seemed (beeswax! knitting! writing your own textbooks! semi-pagan rituals!) compared to my own (which was half parochial and half public), and she said this thing about how kids just don’t learn creative thinking skills in public school, which i disagree with, so i said what i thought was a pretty diplomatic thing, that i think it depends on the school and the teacher and what you do with kids outside of school, and she had to leave before we could finish the conversation, so i wonder if she thought i was offended and if she’ll bring it up when i see her today; she’s a counselor and very sensitive and thorough. 

Keep reading

intersections between social work and experimental writing, writing them, feeling problematic

i THINK it is possible to talk about working in the Helping Professions (“professional”) without falling into gross savior cliches, i think it is possible to write about the intersections between personal trauma and “working with people” without “making it about yourself,” i think it is possible to take on privilege without sounding like a self-involved punk scriptedly “owning their privilege” to get social justice points; i think it is important and good to talk about professional boundaries and how/why they fail or don’t work without calling a person “soft” or “burned out”; i think it’s possible to write “about” these “issues” in a way that also takes on problems within feminism? 

Keep reading

my lovely sleepy summer campus is suddenly full of literal high schoolers spouting anti-black racism and using the R-word among other delightful things, i’m so upset :/

also last night i was coming home late and i walked a few blocks listening to this group of dudes savoring lascivious degrading reminiscences about a woman they’d seen wearing short shorts and i was first furious on her behalf, then scared they’d turn on me if i said something, then furious all over again that i had to be scared

not that any of this is news, it’s just that the longer i steep in it the bitterer i find it

Today Jessica Valenti said that marijuana has no negative impact on society, compared to alcohol, mainly because now that marijuana is legalized in Colorado there are fewer drunk driving fatalities in Colorado specifically. Her suggestion is for women to smoke more weed. Over a hundred thousand people have been reported killed in the “war on drugs” in the Western Hemisphere, many (most?) of whom are women, before even beginning to account for women murdered as a result of related border politics and the same US imperialism that leads us to demand that central America produce and export our recreational drugs. Something like thirty thousand people are in prison on marijuana charges (alone) in the US and the vast majority of them are black and latina/o–it”s common to hear that marijuana arrests are three or four times as likely for black people than white people (or eight times more likely in D.C, for example) but black people are on average ten times more likely than white people to go to prison over it. If you ever needed a snappy example of white feminism I think “there are no societal risks linked to marijuana” oughta work.

is there a secret code for grown queers to give to kid queers that means, like, i see you, are you okay, can i help you 

trick question, no

that’s why it’s really vitally important that INSTITUTIONS ARE VISIBLY ACTIVELY SUPPORTIVE OF QUEER PEOPLE so their staff/volunteers/interns/faculty feel like it’s safe to be visible/vocal so the kid queers know that they know grown queers

Maybe a decade ago, the government offices downtown phased out a lot of its clerical positions, many of which had at one point been unionized jobs paying $15+ per hour, if they were not salaried. When they gradually laid all those people off, they introduced a new clerical position, the “Student Assistant,” which paid around $10-$12 per hour and allowed the state to make the position competitive-looking while structuralizing part-time, non-union labor that excluded almost every resident in the city. A few years ago, a lot of the departments these clerical “Student Assistants” worked in started privatizing. When Lucas held this position, his job was basically to write, rewrite, and digitize forms across government agencies, especially in Technology, Management, and Budget. Writing FOIA forms, creating more bureaucracy, digitizing bureaucracy, but also (at least) working to make paperwork more accessible. But his department, his government job, where we worked in the same building the Governor worked, was actually a contracted project. For Hewlett-Packard. The government contracted Hewlett-Packard to replace its interior bureaucracy-writing department. (And, as it goes, they dissolved their contract and everyone in the department was laid off without warning in the middle of the day.)

Now they are trying to transition those lower-paid, part-time “Student” positions into unpaid internships. Unpaid internships which amount to…paperwork. And maybe a fifteen years ago, would have been salaried and unionized.

It is so easy to say “look at how fucked the millennials are!” That would not be wrong. This is one of the best examples I can come up with to demonstrate how people like Snyder are fucking everyone over and creating, like, an uneconomy for young people which is some bananas labor exploitation.

But how come we never look at these stories and say “wow once residents of this city who worked for the city for decades had salaried, ‘secure’ jobs doing work for the city until the government wrote a new labor model which explicitly denied these local jobs to anyone except for students, most of whom do not even live in this city, many of whom are not even from this state, and now the people who have lived in this city for decades don’t have jobs anymore, and students are mad about getting paid only three dollars over minimum wage”? (Often those people are mad that the city is full of poor people who approach them on the street or sit next to them on the bus, lol.)

I don’t want to read as labor reverent or (god) promoting a kind of broad-based working class movement, because those aren’t necessarily how my politics work, nor do I think they’re that useful. And I won’t pretend like the babies of the New Left (in the UAW, for example) were heroes, or right, or not implicated in this. Walter Reuther was a precious babe and he was really smart and really important but he also invented a business unionism which wasn’t supposed to even sustain itself after the fifties, but which is just as much to blame for Reagan’s war on labor and neocolonial globalization as anything else.

But I am pretty consistently confused about why I hear so many “Millennials” (like, not anyone on tumblr, but in general) invoking labor arguments without really speaking to any of these labor histories? I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand how we look at shitty student jobs and not ask questions about who worked those jobs before we started doing them part-time. While I think unions are “to blame” sometimes, I’m not quite sure why I’m not seeing people my age write think pieces about deregulation, the destruction of the union, and the marriage between US unionism and imperialism that got us here in the first place.

I’m not sure why we can’t look at “Boomers”–ie, people of a certain age–and see that they don’t have jobs either. I can’t for the fuck of me understand why people keep passing around things that say GREEDY PEOPLE IN THE ERA OF REAGAN without recognizing that most people globally under Reagan were suffering, and some of them were right here, you know? YOU KNOW, THE STATE THAT HAS MOSTLY BEEN KNOWN AS A POST-INDUSTRIAL APOCALYPTIC WASTELAND FOR MANY DECADES?? THAT DID NOT HAVE ANY PERIOD OF NOT-RECESSION BETWEEN THE RECESSION IN THE EIGHTIES AND THE RECESSION OF THIS CENTURY? ACTUAL STATE OF PERMARECESSION????That older people really got fucked by this economy, too? Like, most people in my community are of “Boomer” age and are way worse off than I am? And many of them don’t have college educations and so, after being pushed out of “our” economy in order to make space for us to take shitty low-paying clerical jobs, are unable to ever get any kind of work again? And, like, they are older than us and have more health needs, and families to take care of? Not everybody’s parents are rich, that’s what the Reagan era means.

I just…don’t…understand? Is it easy for us to blame and crucify our poor, sick, homeless elders? How come no one seems to notice that blaming people of that generation is a pretty neoliberal project itself? How come people are cool with illuminating the shittiness of the decade that deregulated labor–ie, the generation where Reagan put many of our parents under the poverty level??–but like, totally on board with Bill Clinton, you know, the guy that turned Reagan’s imperialistic project into one of the most globally devastating things you could even imagine, the guy who did MORE TO DISMANTLE WELFARE THAN ANYBODY ELSE EVER BASICALLY?? How come Bill Clinton is not a Robber Baron, but, like, the 50-year-old lady down the street is?? Literally how come you are whining to me about how it’s not fair that I get food stamps (household less than $10,000 and my mother, a baby boomer, makes about that herself), but you can no longer get food stamps without working by declaring yourself a full-time student, which is bad sure but, HOW COME YOU ARE MAD ABOUT THAT BUT STILL LIKE BILL CLINTON.

I have no idea what I was on about, sorry, what? Basically, I am frustrated by the constant insistence that my generation is surprised to be poor because somehow all of our parents were rich, I am sick of “move back in with your rich parents” as a rhetorical device because it’s bullshit, I’m sick of young people using neoliberal strategies they learned in neoliberal universities to try to restructure our neoliberal economy for their benefit and nobody else’s, I’m sick of young people kind of employing a labor analysis but having no understanding of anything that happened in the US or anywhere else for the past thirty years, I am also sick of how sometimes “Boomers fucked us” rhetoric borders on “why ever would I support my ailing family, I WENT TO COLLEGE” rhetoric and on top of that isn’t even augmented by at least some critique of how few public social aid programs are available to our elders because of THE DISMANTLING OF WELFARE. I’m sick of some other stuff also probably.


I guess I’m sick of people my age who have two parents and a family home, lolol.

things i see people get really mad about every day:

  • having to speak up for people who can’t hear or understand them well
  • having to speak slowly or rethink the way they might say something because the person they are talking to doesn’t speak the same language in the same way that they do
  • having to use written language to communicate with someone who can’t communicate verbally
  • having to use verbal language to communicate with somebody who can’t communicate with written language
  • having to wait in line behind somebody who moves slow
  • having to wait in line behind somebody who accidentally cut in line because they have cognitive issues and didn’t realize how the line worked

as a person with disabilities and ptsd and who is also often a fuckup i have personally come to terms with being a fuckup who fucks up a lot and i know that it is gonna impact my grade, especially if i don’t take the initiative to talk to a professor about it. the goal of accessibility should be, like, don’t give people a lower grade just because they have panic attacks in class but honestly most of us are okay with “students with disability are going to get a less good grade than other students sometimes can you not try to make a political point about how they are a problem  they just wanna take the c and go home” like i will skip a bunch of classes and let my grade go down .5 but i would really like it if my professor doesn’t say “ptsd is the new dog ate my homework”

SO some more boring tumblr methods posting:

  • nextyearsgirl is a really notorious twerfy-type blogger and awful person. first point: you shouldn’t be following her, period, or reblogging her, you should try to remember her url and avoid posts that come from her, easy.
  • it’s scary to know that we can’t always know about the authors of tumblr viral posts, their politics, the awful stuff they have done. this is why i don’t like to reblog a lot of political-type posts unless i know and can vet (as much as i can) their origin. sometimes to a fault! this just makes tumblr feel ok for me. but this is not about purity, rightness, accidentally reblogging a person who is incidentally an abuser or a transmisogynist or whatever other thing
  • what this is about is tumblr’s economy of feminism, and we need to be especially careful about what and how we circulate feminisms, because
  • a post about feminism made by a really noted transmisogynist is a transmisogynist post and nothing more. it cannot be recontextualized and
  • these people do this on purpose. they come up with these little slogans that could mean a lot of things–“feminine attributes and femininity are the fucking primary tools of misogyny”–so you go, yes, ok, that makes sense? i’m a woman, maybe this explains something i’ve experienced?
  • first, these are always tiny slogans that are designed to immediately expand into transmisogyny. (why do you think she makes this statement? what thesis does “femininity is the fucking primary tool of misogyny” prove?)
  • second, they make it so that when their rhetorical motives are criticized, that criticism can only become sexism. (ie, “you think that my suggestion that trans women’s ~~appropriation of femininity is a patriarchal tool is ~problematic because you are invested in upholding patriarchy” etc.) this, i hope obviously to my followers, is a quick way to deny trans women…what is that word that my rhetoric friends use? rhetorability? and it’s a way to trap trans women into becoming Examples for twerf tumblr: a woman comes out to criticize this (honestly really elementary not bright Radical Feminist thought or whatever) and their speech is essentialized as patriarchal violence immediately and they are not listened to and their gender is invalidated all over, etc. etc. etc.)
  • so my point is that the author of tumblr soundbytes is not incidental, and actually these people’s trust in your casual acceptance of feminist soundbytes is literally their lifeblood. (“thousands of women agree with my 10 words about patriarchy!”) not to mention that like 17 y/o feminsits are gonna be like “this 35 y/o woman hates sexism, I should follow her” and, like, nooooooo
  • but the other thing that I think is so important to remind you is that twerfs literally will always let you know they are twerfs. these bloggers traffic in innocuous-seeming feminist slogans but actually 100% of the time if you go to their blog you will see on the first page of their blog something really obviously conspicuously transmisogynistic (or a number of other istics). I learned this from tumblr user formerly desliz (not using her url for protection), who is very wise, and I have never forgot. always click through and it’s almost always obvious. i mean, maybe it’s not always obvious, i’m not trying to say there is not all kind of subtle fucked up shit, but there are a lot of Big Name feminist bloggers that are really transparent about their transmisogyny and circulated by people who probably wouldn’t want to be working with them, so
  • and they fucking all have faq pages. all of them! and they all say the same shit. I was thinking about listing some common red flags in case you’re not totally sure what I’m talking about, and nextyearsgirl makes it easy, on her faq and “before you follow” page, which i was gonna excerpt but I don’t wanna deal with that and I don’t want you to go looking at it now either unless you really, really don’t know what I’m talking about. but you do.

just try to click through to the source of whatever slogany thing you reblog this is really stressful and ruining feminism for everybody

i’m unsure that i want this reblogged, probably not

MSG has been used for more than 100 years to season food. During this period, extensive studies were conducted to elucidate the role, benefits and safety of MSG. At this point, International and national bodies for the safety of food additives consider MSG safe for human consumption as a flavor enhancer. The “MSG symptom complex” was originally termed as the “Chinese restaurant syndrome” when anecdotally Robert Ho Man Kwok reported the symptoms he felt after an American-Chinese meal. Kwok suggested multiple reasons behind the symptoms, including alcohol from cooking with wine, the sodium content, or the MSG seasoning. But MSG became the focus and the symptoms have been associated with MSG ever since. The effect of wine or salt content was never studied.
—  Anyone who hates MSG is a racist and an enemy of savory. Never to be trusted.