through our lens

anonymous asked:

Do u think marriage can be non-regressive, radical, not assimilationist?

you know what, I’m just so over the argument this question produces. it’s the wrong question to be asking.

I think the origins, concept and history of the institution of marriage are steeped in some backwards stuff and are far from radical. I won’t glorify marriage as something it isn’t just because I might want to have a wedding one day. but gay couples getting married IS a transgressive action in the face of homophobia even if it might not be the #1 anti-establishment thing to do. gender dynamics, among other things, can be pushed back against/defied in many different ways and not all of them are the most revolutionary way in the book but that doesn’t make them inherently reactionary either. it’s not even close to simple enough for that zero-sum game. even more importantly, I believe that defending human autonomy and the pursuit of a free, happy, fulfilling life without persecution is more important than making sure everyone is performing utmost radicalness. just because a marginalized person isn’t making every individual decision based on the highest level of rebellion possible doesn’t make them any less marginalized or any less deserving of defense/respect/community support. 

plenty of people come into their gayness in spaces that aren’t steeped in textbook theory and they just live their lives, that’s not inherently reactionary. I think the decision to only defend marginalized people whose ways of subverting gendered constructs in the One way that you deem most ideologically valuable atm is elitist in the first place. the only gay couple to get married in their rural american town have probably never read a thesis on ‘Heterosexism, Capitalism and Marriage’. that doesn’t mean that their gay marriage is regressive. it’s still a subversive action under heteropatriarchy, and beyond that, who cares if it’s subversive or not? they’re people with personal lives and they’re likely to face homophobic violence and harassment. they deserve support, defense and community; they deserve to celebrate their marriage in peace because it’s significant to their lives, and other gay activists/leftists shouldn’t turn their noses up or consider them the enemy. if they did it’d be hypocritical because none of us can claim that our every choice looks flawless through the lens of our political ideals! every one of those holier-than-thou folks could look in their own closet/backyard and find things that they would have to admit fall into some category of “assimilationist” or “normative” or whatever other 5 dollar word they wanna pick today. people make decisions based on their wants all the time. 

I want to get gay married one day, not for a political reason but because I’m a jewish woman, and jewish weddings are big in my culture. and I want at the very least a symbolic commitment ceremony someday because that’s important to me. plus I want to be able to visit my wife in the ICU if (god forbid) she ever ends up there. I don’t plan on acting like going to my wedding is the #1 fuck you to the system that I could muster lol I’m just gonna go to my wedding as a human being. my girlfriend is femme, she loves to wear makeup and heels, but she doesn’t try and act like that’s destroying gender and empowering women. it obviously isn’t, it just is what it is - a personal choice.  and I’m butch, and yeah that’s ‘transgressive’ in a handful of ways I suppose but I didn’t end up butch chasing an ideological status, I’m just comfortable this way. the politics about womanhood that I’ve learned as a gnc woman are another happy upside, not the be-all-end-all. not everything we do has to be in service to the movement, and honestly making “the movement” mostly about individual posturing of a radical aesthetic/set of symbolic personal actions instead of mutual aid and action/organization on a greater scale is just going to be the slow suffocation of the movement.

“so where does that leave us?”

“same as always - family.”

did you mean: dean gets hurt, belittled, betrayed and violated and he has to forgive, forget, smile, same as always


Starfleet’s moral relativism problem: is it ever ok to condemn another culture?

Central to all of Star Trek has always been the Prime Directive – that set of rules that governs our intrepid space explorers from Captain Kirk to Captain Janeway and everyone in between. Poor Captain Archer existed in a time before, and I’ve often pitied him for having to shoulder the burden of having to make some really questionable ethical decisions without having a Prime Directive to shift the blame to when it turned out his decisions really sucked.

At its core, the Prime Directive dictates that Starfleet cannot interfere with the internal affairs or development of alien civilizations. Some of the best Star Trek episodes involved our heroes clashing with the ethics of a rigid application of this doctrine, but there was always one implication of the Prime Directive that bothered me – the idea that we shouldn’t judge other cultures through the lens of our own because who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong?

This philosophy of moral relativism argues that there are no universal moral standards – sentient beings are completely at the mercy of their own societies to impart a code of moral behavior and whatever it comes up with is “good enough.” There may be common themes among many societies in terms of morals – most seem to agree it is wrong to commit murder, for instance – but ultimately, what is “right” according one society is not guaranteed to be “right” for another. And let’s be honest with ourselves – even with the topic of murder, we still fiercely debate exceptions to the “no murder” rule such as war, capital punishment, or self-defense.

Our own society provides an incredible patchwork of thorny moral and ethical issues that we still have yet to decide upon. We debate things like abortion, torture, slavery, free speech, and more. We probe these issues by asking ourselves questions like, “At what point does life truly begin?” and “Is torture ever justified?” We explore them by posing philosophical experiments like the Trolley Problem and asking ourselves whether it is morally acceptable to kill one person to save the lives of two or more others. 

How does that line go again? Something about “needs of the many” or something? 

But at the end of the day, might (in terms of numbers) makes right in moral relativism. While I don’t subscribe to that theory, there are times when our beloved Star Trek characters do under the guise of defending the Prime Directive. On the surface, it sounds very peaceful and anti-colonialist. After centuries of watching many empires from the Romans to the British set fire to cultural diversity – and given arguments that many Western nations continue to do this today, just without being quite as invadey – this sounds like a nice change of pace. Live and let live. But this also creates a mind-boggling acceptance of suffering, genocide, exploitation, and oppression within Starfleet.

One of the first chronological examples of the faults of moral relativism is found in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, “Cogenitor.” Archer and his crew meet an affable, three-gendered species called the Vissians, but we quickly learn that only two of the society’s genders have any real rights. The third gender is referred to as a “cogenitor,” and Trip Tucker ends up on Captain Archer’s shit list for teaching it how to read and putting ideas in its head. When the cogenitor later begs for asylum, Archer refuses. It gets worse – the cogenitor is sent back to the people who basically treat it as chattel and commits suicide, and Archer points out that Tucker’s interference led to its death and will mean the Vissian couple will probably never get to have a child. No winners in this ethical dilemma of an episode, only losers. Until you remember none of this would have happened in the first place if the Vissians had just treated the cogenitors like people.

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Angel One,” we encounter the cringe worthy society of Angel I, a planet of misandric women who oppress men. We all got a few giggles at the ladies of Enterprise-D being suddenly held in higher regard than their male counterparts, but things get very dark when Beata, the Elected One of Angel I, decides some dudes need to die for spreading heretical teachings that imply men are equal to women. We get a sort of cop out solution in which Beata has a change of heart and decides to banish rather than execute these “heretics” after Riker makes an impassioned speech about basic rights, but Riker was more than willing to let things go bad if need be, because, “The Prime Directive” and “Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

The 80′s were a weird time. That outfit is a few inches of fabric away from having a codpiece.

In another Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Symbiosis,” we’re introduced to the Ornarans and Brekkians and we find out that after an ancient plague, the Brekkians started peddling an expensive and addictive drug to the Ornarans and calling it a “treatment.” There’s no plague anymore – the Brekkians just control the Ornarans through their drug addiction. Dr. Crusher finds a way to synthesize this drug and offers to help wean the Ornarans off their addiction, but what does Captain Picard do? He tells her to mind her own damn business because it’s not the Federation’s place to tell the Brekkians that it’s wrong to deceive and enslave the Ornarans through an addictive drug.

This episode also gave us one of the weirdest brawls in Star Trek history. Like a Reefer Madness for the 24th century, if you will. 

And this is the most uncomfortable part of moral relativism – who gets to draw the line and where do we draw it? On one end of the spectrum, we have moral relativism which claims anything goes – societies should be able to torture animals, employ the slave labor of children, and oppress women as they see fit – just as long as enough people agree it isn’t wrong to do so. At the other end of the spectrum sits moral absolutism, a theoretical construct that would result in a perfectly unified, homogenous culture, but one that would also strip away many facets of culture that lead to human diversity. 

If Star Trek is supposed to serve as a guide for how we might become a more progressive society, it does a terrible job a lot of the time. Now, there are many instances of our protagonists saying “to hell with the Prime Directive!” and taking what most of us would agree is the more morally praiseworthy route. But there’s no rhyme or reason to it. Just look at how they treat the Borg. Why is it ok to let some societies oppress men or drug another species into submission but it’s not ok to let the Borg assimilate the galaxy in their ultimate quest for perfection? 

I’m going to guess the answer is that until the Borg decided to stick nanoprobes in a Federation citizen, the cheerful little robots simply weren’t the Federation’s problem. We might argue that the Prime Directive certainly has provisions for self-defense - how ridiculous would it be to consent to being annihilated or assimilated just because the Federation is afraid of offending another culture and refuses to draw a line in the sand where right stops and wrong starts? The slope gets slippery here though. We could say this mirrors the concept of large Western nations trying to police the rest of the world and impose their customs on other societies - but how many of us watched documentaries about the Holocaust in school and wondered why the hell previous generations allowed shit to get that bad? How many of us continue to stand by while people in Iraq and Syria live under the threat of the Islamic State? I doubt most people even realize what’s going on in the Philippines or Venezuela right now because hey, “Not my country, not my problem.” It is a huge gray area for what constitutes forcing certain customs on unwilling societies and trying to genuinely help people, but if we can’t agree that Nazi extermination camps and religiously motivated beheadings are bad and need to stop (even when they aren’t happening to us personally), I’ll be surprised if we ever make to the 24th century. It makes me wonder how exactly Earth “solved its problems” and created a utopian society in the first place with this attitude of moral relativism.

Let’s face it – we have no shortage of modern travesties that sound ridiculous in the context of this philosophical approach. The Chechen Republic has been reportedly rounding up gay men and torturing them in recent months, and moral relativism would have us shrug and say, “But their culture says homosexuality is a sin.” 

To anyone who actually thinks that, fuck you. 

Bacha bazi, a practice where adolescent boys are groomed for sexual relationships with older men, remains pervasive in many Pashtun societies. Moral relativism would tell us that we shouldn’t condemn predatory pedophilia because to do so would mean unfairly imposing our Western beliefs on their culture. 

Just because one culture says widespread sexual coercion is ok doesn’t make it so. 

I could keep going on, but this post is already long enough. The bottom line is, all too often, Star Trek lazily glosses over a lot of moral and ethical dilemmas by using the argument, “Who are we to judge?” June is Pride Month, and in honor of LGBT individuals all over the globe who all too often have less rights than their cisgender heterosexual counterparts, maybe we should avoid looking to the “progressive” future of Star Trek and instead ask the question, “Who are we to not judge?” 

While I can’t resolve one of the greatest philosophical questions ever devised, someone once gave me a great piece of advice that I think applies to this idea of moral relativism: no person’s belief is inherently worthy of respect, but every person is. 

Just a few things I love about J2:

* The way Jared has free rein over Jensen’s body.

* How they dedicate their lives to making each other laugh.

* The constant heart eyes between them, no matter the situation.

* Their unwavering support for each other.

* Jensen’s clever use of language without pronouns so he can gush about his boy.

* The fact that he calls Jared his boy and that Jared knows he’s Jensen’s boy and loves it and wants us all to know too.

* The way Jared provokes jealous!Jensen into being then looks so vastly satisfied once he shows up.

* Their intense eye contact.

* Jensen’s constant vigilance regarding Jared’s ongoing state of mental health.

* The way Jensen dissolves into soft blushy giggles sometimes when he’s trying to be hard!Dean telling Jared off.

* Their constant use of “he and I”, even when it’s incorrect grammar.

* Jared’s habit of saying, “I’ll answer for him” and Jensen’s nods of acknowledgement that he got it right.

* The way they view the world through an us/our/we lens.

* The fact they make no secret of their deep, committed love for each other.

I alluded to this in a reply but I feel like it needs its own post. I absolutely love that Cicero, eternally an outsider by birth during his time, who believed so wholly in the Republic as it could be, whose name belied his class, who had to work infinitely harder to climb the cursus honorum, is the person whose works we have the most of from his time. The great families, the metelli and the claudii, the noblest born senators, the jealous conservative factionalists who abandoned Cicero in his time of need because he was a new man, have faded from history and we know so little about any of them, but over 2000 years later we remember Cicero in such vivid detail, and we love him!

We see Cicero’s world through his lens, our picture of the late Republic is indelibly colored by Cicero’s opinions, his thoughts, his feelings. In his own time he was never truly “allowed” into the most elite echelons of the senate despite his talent and intelligence and yet he is our main, sometimes our only, route of access, point of contact, with the Late Republic. He is the definitive voice of his time, and his immortality is largely due to the merit of his writings, his oratory and philosophy which are still admired and adored. In the end, his works brought him more fame than almost any other Roman politician, and I love that by outlasting through his talent and brilliance those who never thought he belonged, Cicero proved his worth and he proved everyone wrong and, in a way, eventually won.

Too few people understand what it means to be humble. Humility doesn’t mean thinking less of oneself or becoming a human doormat. Humility does not mean devaluing one’s humanity. When we are asked to be humble, we are not being asked to beat ourselves up or go on as if we are menial, undeserving, or lesser beings.

Humility does not have to with us…but more to do with others. We are being asked to let go of our pride, the pride that poisons relationships and corrodes reason. We are asked to think of others more (as opposed to our own interests) and recognize truth for what it is (rather than through the lens of our own desires). And it is through this humility that we flourish and grow.

What separates us from the characters about whom we write is not knowledge, either objective or subjective, but their experience of time in the story we are telling. This separation allows us, the storytellers, the power of knowing the whole. Yet, equally, this separation renders us powerless: we cannot control our characters, after the narration has begun. We are obliged to follow them, and this following is through and across the time, which they are living and which we oversee.
The time, and therefore the story, belongs to them. Yet the meaning of the story, what makes it worthy of being told, is what we can see and what inspires us because we are beyond its time.
Those who read or listen to our stories see everything as through a lens. This lens is the secret of narration, and it is ground anew in every story, ground between the temporal and the timeless.
—  John Berger, from “Once through a Lens,” And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 1982)
As a friend of mine put it, “Feeling that something is wrong with me is the invisible and toxic gas I am always breathing.” When we experience our lives through this lens of personal insufficiency, we are imprisoned in what I call the trance of unworthiness. Trapped in this trance, we are unable to perceive the truth of who we really are.

Rebel Arts Photography Initiative

Like many communities in America our neighborhood in Louisville, Ky is rife with guns and violence. As well with a lot of other things that poverty and disregard by the local government brings. They aren’t about providing hope nor. opportunities. But we at Rebel Arts Society are. We are from those streets. We’ve lost friends and family. We found hope in photography. I’m telling our stories through lens. Someone gifting us a camera opened up a creative streak that was dormant and buried about the realities of everyday survival. That gift was paid to us and it’s time for us to pay it forward. We know that times are difficult like always but we have over 12,000+ followers and if we were blessed to get as little as a $1 from most of you all we could easily reach our goal to provide entry level DLSRs to youth under our initiative. And really help shape some young black lives by letting them tell their stories and finding that creative spark. If you can share this and/or donate we would be so thankful 
-Rebel Arts Society

They use sexual history as a weapon against minorities. The moment of intimacy that makes cis white men heroes is exactly what is used as a shame tactic for the rest of us.

There is a reason that Donald saying “look at her sex tape!” is an insult. There’s a reason that it’s an attack.

Because the truth is that sex is unavailable for us. Sex - even basic, vanilla sex - has rules we must follow. Women cannot have sampled too many men. Gay girls don’t have “real” sex, and gay men are “perverts”. Hispanic women that have sex are abusing welfare, black men are dangerous. Trans women are either a fantasy or a blight on society, depending on who you ask.

Sex isn’t seen through a lens of our own desires. It’s seen through the desires of men. It’s why anything a man can sexualize, he’s allowed to, but anything he can’t, he makes you feel ashamed about. It’s why breast feeding is “disgusting” but leaking nudes isn’t a crime. It’s why they ask rape victims if they didn’t just “have bad sex”. It’s why tampons are taxed as luxuries and the lawmakers don’t need to know the biological truth of menstruation to make that decision; it’s why tampons are “gross.” It’s why lesbian is a porn category, why men take classes in feminism to get laid rather than learn, it’s why a black man standing next to a white girl is a threat but a white man following someone home is just looking for a date. Why girls are sent home for showing kneecaps and rapists are allowed back on campus. A woman’s sex tape is a deep shame, but the videos of frat brothers dragging around an unconscious girl are just funny and she shouldn’t have drank so much.

I am tired and it’s something we are taught never to look to closely at, because it’s a sin. Because our bodies are sinful. Because a man gets a wink from God but we get eternity in hell.

And the thing is. For white men, their past is always tucked securely away. The philandering romance hero finds his true love, and the women before are unimportant. The politician who has abused women and cheated on his wives gets to yell about infidelity. The rapist had 20 minutes of a bad decision, like a car crash that kills someone in slow motion. They all walk from the scene of the crime and it never haunts them.

And we stand there, ghosts, and know we have no place to rest. We don’t get to run. Our pasts always come up, churning grave soil. And they stain us.

hamelin-born  asked:

Fic Prompt: Coldwave, Zombies.

Fic: Staying Alive - AO3 link
Fandom: Flash, LOT, Arrow
Pairing: Mick Rory/Leonard Snart, Cisco Ramon/Lisa Snart, unproven allegations of Mick Rory/Leonard Snart/Barry Allen

Summary: “– as always, this is Ami Dillon, your resident media studies graduate student and totally under-qualified radio host, and your source for the latest updates on the state of Central City during the present Zombie Crisis, courtesy of the Mayor’s office. In addition to life-saving tips and general safety alerts, we also bring you the excellent morale-boosting soundtrack of the greatest hits of the Apocalypse, by which we mean whatever tracks the local radio stations had sitting around and the cover songs played by our dearly beloved cover band, the Post-Apocs. As always, we begin with our theme song: Stayin’ Alive, by the Bee Gees!”

(the great coldwave romance of the zombie apocalypse)

A/N: Have you ever had an idea, gone “heh, that would be funny, I’ve always wanted to try writing one of those” and then it eats your brain? This is it.

…honestly, with the zombie apocalypse theme, I really should have predicted it.


———The End———

“– as always, this is Ami Dillon, your resident media studies graduate student and totally under-qualified radio host, and your source for the latest updates on the state of Central City during the present Zombie Crisis, courtesy of the Mayor’s office. In addition to life-saving tips and general safety alerts, we also bring you the excellent morale-boosting soundtrack of the greatest hits of the Apocalypse, by which we mean whatever tracks the local radio stations had sitting around and the cover songs played by our dearly beloved cover band, the Post-Apocs. As always, we begin with our theme song: Stayin’ Alive, by the Bee Gees!”

———The Beginning———

Consciousness comes swiftly, as it always does, but Len yawns and stretches lazily anyway. He doesn’t have anything serious planned for today: Lisa’s off doing some ‘team bonding’ thing with the new Rogues he’s recruited, by which she means she took them to that Caribbean island resort beach house that Len won in a high stakes poker game against a Family don once to kick back, drink margaritas, and demonstrate to them the value of staying in rather than out. Len’s the vinegar, Lisa’s the honey; they work well together that way.

Naturally, Len is going nowhere near that stupid island when it’s this hot; he would have agreed to go if Mick was going, because Mick would have kept people (Lisa) from badgering him about leaving the air-conditioned house to go swimming or something stupid like that, but Mick had been lured away by a fireworks convention (why are there fireworks conventions? Why? Is it specifically designed to lure in pyrophiliac arsonists? Except no, Len checked it out, it’s apparently legit and just run by fireworks companies, pyrotechnics experts, and people who like things that go boom) all the way over on the East Coast, so Len’s all by himself.

He finds he likes that state so much more when it’s voluntary.

Still, biology can’t be denied: he’s definitely awake now.

Yawning again, he pads over to the kitchenette they’ve set up in the warehouse to make himself a cup of coffee, flicking on the TV as he does.

“Scenes of chaos break out internationally as what can only be described as zombies terrorize cities and towns around the globe,” the reporter says as violence plays out behind her. “No one knows where this plague came from, but the simultaneous outbreak in multiple locations has been definitively determined to be an act of bio-terrorism. Governments around the globe have deployed the military and information is limited. Interstate and international communications are being shut down as we speak. We don’t know how much long we will be able to continue reporting –”

The TV crackled, static-y, and abruptly cut out.

“Well,” Len says, reaching out to flick the coffee maker back off before it’s finished making the coffee. “Shit.”

Keep reading

Loneliness is not a function of solitude, and loneliness is not remedied when two people from subjective viewpoints intersect at the same point in space and time. Loneliness is something we experience when we are unable to express our inner-world; when we can’t reconcile the meaning of our internal truths through the lens of our external relationship with reality.
—  David Foster Wallace

anonymous asked:

What would you do if you felt like your client was lying to you? Or if you knew they were, how would you (or a therapist in general) handle that?

One of the most important things I ever learned from a supervisor was this: there is The Truth, meaning the official, objective, unbiased facts of a situation, and then there is your truth and my truth and that lady down the hall’s truth. Everyone has their own personal truth, and that truth is always- always -biased because we are looking at the world through our own lens, filtering facts through our own perspectives, and our beliefs and emotions color how we interpret things. 

So when a client tells me something, no matter what it is, I have to keep in mind that they are telling me their truth and not The Truth. That doesn’t mean they are not being honest or that what they are saying is not true. But it’s always- always -biased. It’s my job to understand and accept their truth while also trying to figure out where the bias is and how that might be impacting their truth. 

I’m saying all this because people ask “do clients lie?” and that word, “lie” has this connotation that the untruth is being delivered intentionally and maliciously. And sometimes that does happen, but more often, people tell me what they think of as the truth, but it’s got bias and errors in there. Are they lying? I would say no, but that doesn’t mean I should interpret what they are saying with a grain of salt. 

So anything a client says to me, I’ve always got to question a little bit. Not because they are necessarily deliberately trying to pull the wool over my eyes, but because I am going to be more effective I can be if I understand the difference between their truth, The Truth, and the truth of other people. 

When things don’t make sense for whatever reason- I just get more information. If I think someone is deliberately lying to me, then I might need to more directly discuss that with them. It’s a lot easier to be effective as a therapist when you are getting as much of The Truth and the client’s truth as possibe. 


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every time i see a white gay on here claim that being closeted bears no psychological trauma i laugh because i know how much painstaking care me and all my nonwhite lgbt friends take to hide ourselves and to endure our families homophobia/transphobia. how there is a deliberate form of emotional labor involved in this process. how draining it is to juggle communities and prioritize people who’ll never fully see you as human (whether it’s cishets in your ethnic/religious community or whites in the lgbt community). how we all get deathly terrified at even the slightest suspicion that our parents might’ve seen or heard something that would tip them off. how the concept of coming out isn’t something we can actually consider. 

it’s genuinely humorous when you realize that white gays will never be able to move beyond their perspective and view our lives through a lens of empathy. like white sociopathy is real and i’ve really seen it among white gays especially. like they will never be able to relate to that Ethnique Gay Terror. that’s what i’m calling it now. patented! 

anonymous asked:

I think that what your gender anon doesn't seem to understand is that you've put world building into the clans that cause their society to differ from ours, & the rules involved are different. Gender itself is a different beast than how we experience it, & they're reacting to it through our lens, & not the one you've crafted for your story. While our experiences influence how we think about/craft our stories, it doesn't mean we can't try to take what we know & make something new or different!

That seems about right, yeah! Most readers are human and all that. 

One of biggest things difficulties of Ni is the burden it places on the user. Granted, Ni at its core is not a foretelling function, but it does a mighty good job at it. It can predict the lifespan of things. It can see different factors at play and how they affect the outcome of things. So on nights where things are more quiet and somber and you begin looking at your life, you can’t help but focus on the things you have been ignoring. You see the future of everything you have. You see where your life is headed, how a friend is slowly losing interest with you, how your attitude and work ethic is changing for the worst, why your relationship with someone you love very much will end in heartache… It’s like being on a train heading for a cliff, but the brakes are broken. You see what’s coming and can’t do anything about it. It’s completely and utterly depressing.