Lemme lay something to rest rull quick: people not liking you for some reason or another is profoundly different from there being institutional barriers to, and power relationships hindering, your survival and well being.
people who think Atheists are uber oppressed have obviously never had to come out of the closet, get pulled over while black, have a uterus, have genitals they don’t identify with, or even have had to work overtime to support themselves or their family
People bitch about panhandlers making more than some folks make at a job, but nobody bitches about the fact that doing the labor necessary to actually produce something is so undervalued by our society that you don’t even get reimbursed for it as well as if you just asked strangers for the money.
Noble intentions are never a reason to not explore and criticize what kinds of other harmful power dynamics are at play in a text, work of art, speech, or anything else.
is this sanctimonious, bourgeois anti poor bullshit still going around?
like there aren’t gay couples who aren’t upper middle class white dudes in sweater vests? Like there aren’t poor families who are perfectly loving and capable of raising adopted children? Are we only going to support the rights of same-sex couples to adopt as long as they’re white and upper-middle class?
Do not even try to pull that shit. This comic says nothing about the merits of race or class. Its only argument is that sometimes adoptions that would otherwise grow up in loving, warm environments are instead relegated to terrible, abusive environments for the sole reason of irrational prejudice.
I know you’re probably thinking “Waaaah the bottom panel condemns poor people and the top glorifies rich people” but in actuality, you have no idea what their incomes are. You are just applying your secondary assumptions to the images based on popular association of “clean=rich” and “poor=dirty.” But I’ve seen plenty of poor, clean, and loving families, and plenty of rich, disgusting, and neglecting families. I’d want an orphan to go into the former any day.
Just please stop for one second to consider the noble desires of people before automatically condemning their worldviews to be “fucked.” You ruin liberalism for the rest of us by turning it into a hipster farce and stealing all its legitimacy.
Having actually come from a working poor family I don’t have to make any assumptions about the kinds of obvious stereotyped imagery this picture uses to elicit an emotional response against “white trash.” I know this because these stereotypes have been applied to me. I know when images are supposed to be a caricature of my class.
If we could stop for one second to consider the signs used by the artist to communicate their point, we can recognize that, as much as we can fap over speculating about the income of the second family’s income, it’s pretty fucking clear the kind of immediate associations we’re supposed to make when we see this.
If this is only about abusive environments, and in no way reflects an extraordinarily classist sensibility, why does the abusive environment have to rely on negative stereotypes about the working poor? The dirty tanktop? The walls in disrepair? Drinking and smoking? Why not depict an upper middle class family that’s abusive? Because it doesn’t speak to a visceral, socially ingrained response against familiar signs and associations.
Liberalism ruins itself when it relies on on stereotypes and society’s over-valuing of bourgeois aesthetics to make its points. Liberalism ruins itself, and throws out its own legitimacy, when we ignore how an expression is obviously problematic and regressive because of the artists “noble desires.”
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It’s easy to not get super angsty about problematic parts of books when you admit that the author is just a function and you focus on the text as a representation of the prevailing ideology. I feel like it’s the best way to move forward and stay relevant in your criticism.
Okay so Pip got me started.
The way math is taught in this country is so ridiculous. I’m actually pretty good at math (in a college algebra class I was told I couldn’t pass without a graphing calculator but I couldn’t afford one and still passed with an A), but I fucking hate it. I’ve managed to articulate three reasons that is the case:
- the use of, as Freire called it, the “banking method” in teaching algebraic thinking
- the industrial revolution’s economic need for ability to perform rather than actualyl understand
- cold-war era emphasis on a faux meritocratic STEM system that would train the next generation of space travelers/engineers.
So for #1, there’s a lot of memorization, as opposed to emphasis on understanding why things are done and how. Students are deemed, for a number of reasons, receptacles that need to be filled with memorized formulas, instead of already sentient-yet-incomplete individuals who would do better to come to understand the relationships between different quantities as a collective, and then be taught the algorithms that coincide with these relationships. This is because of the economic necessity of this kind of thinking (both in regard to not empowering students, and what is actually prudent for what was/is needed to meet the needs of industry).
In several other countries, Geometry is actually the focus of academic math thinking. Algebra gained prominence in English speaking countries to meet the needs of industrial capitalism. What is needed, there, is not individuals who understand the mathematical principles, but subjects who are capable of applying rigidly set mathematical rules to specific situations in a way that maximizes productivity and profit.
The Cold War era “space race” had a lot of influence on education, and kind of took the previous problems and applied them to a tracking situation in which certain students who showed a knack for the already arbitrary standards for mathematical aptitude (and surprise sur-fucking-prise these standards were HIGHLY preferential to white male upper-middle class students) were supplied with resources that were unavailable to others, in order to better compete with the communists.
so I’m going to stop myself there before I type all goddamn night.
a guest speaker in my Women In Mathematics class today said something off-handed about being friends with guys her whole life and girls being “catty.” I mean, seriously. The whole point of this class is to address the gender gap in mathematics, and to help encourage young girls to go into careers in math. What on earth about that sort of sentiment is in any way helpful?
It got me thinking though. One of the ways patriarchy harms people is through hindering friendships. The obvious example would be the “friendzone” bullshit: how genuine friendship between two people of different genders is rare because patriarchy views acts of empathy and kindness as “investments” with the expectation of profits - i.e sex.
But, like, I’m kind of the opposite of this speaker, in that I’ve always found it easier to be friends with women - the difference being that patriarchal cultural attitudes have always made that difficult. Non-romantic (I avoid “platonic” because of its historical implications) friendship between men and women (I’m also leaving my own gender identity out of this for the sake of making a point, and because to the uninformed observer I am perceived in every way as a cis man) is viewed as impossible. Society sees that, when a man is friends with a woman, or hangs out with women, he’s either trying to get in her pants, or he’s gay. Other guys view it as a relinquishment of his masculinity to do so; it’s a compromise of one’s manhood to interact with women in a way that respects them as equals and not as “others” or targets. Women, because of the way patriarchal society tends to define these relationships, are skeptical about letting a man hang out with them because of the threat that this interaction might have a predatory motive - that the point is not genuine friendship.
The result is basically a self-licking ice cream cone. Men and women are alienated from one another and find it difficult to establish no-strings-attached friendship, and so the notion that there is no such thing is solidified. As such, we’re all deprived of meaningful interaction and non-romantic connection with other people.
hey I’d bet real American dollars that it’s possible to support and show solidarity with the ability of lgbt* folks to participate in institutions (no matter how fundamentally problematic), that have previously not recognized them as legitimate persons, if they choose, while simultaneously understanding that assimilation into those institutions isn’t the end-all-be-all of lgbt* rights, and that true, long term liberation lays in a multitude of different issues and struggles.
Never trust anyone whose idea of thinking critically about “human rights” primarily involves discussing the constitution.
The market can make potato chips that taste like chicken and waffles but can’t provide health care for the working poor.
You know what? Giving 10 bucks to a stranger who was obviously making up his sob story and who promised to pay me back but never did was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done for my soul. That was two years ago, and I hope I run into him again just to shoot the shit and smoke a cigarette.
Because, honestly, even if they’re “just going to spend it on alcohol,” fuck it. Maybe it’s cold outside and it’ll warm them up, maybe they just need a drink after a day on the streets, maybe they actually just needed a little gas money, or to grab a sandwich from the Dash In. Fact is: I might have been working minimum wage and going to school but no matter what I would have done with that ten bucks, if he asked for it, he had a better use for it than I did.
People develop such horribly misanthropic attitudes - and they’re usually horrifically anti-poor. I’m as cynical as they come, but for fuck’s sake, for the sake of your fucking humanity, don’t be cynical about those less fortunate than you. How is that so hard to get? if you must be cynical, be cynical about the folks juggling stock portfolios, profiting from the labor of a hundred thousand people on minimum wage, or paying for their house with trust fund. They deserve your cynicism much much much much much much more than the guy in the Food Lion parking lot asking for ten bucks.
I’ve been drinking and have had a long day don’t mind me.
I’ve noticed the some of the same people comparing any amount of gun control to Hitler’s Reich, turning around and - as a solution to our mental health problem - suggesting we keep a database of registered mentally ill people. Somehow the irony is lost on them.
I don’t understand why a country should pay for someone when they aren’t working.
Nevermind that going through labor and taking care of a newborn is a lot of fucking work. This is a huge problem, that people think this way. This stems from the notion in neo-classical/neo-liberal economic theory that any time not spent exchanging labor time for a wage is leisure, no matter what you’re doing. No matter how hard you’re working your ass off, and no matter what other value it might have to society, if it’s not work that contributes to the capitalist production process, it’s leisure. Never mind that it’s extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, it is to take care of a newborn and get all of that stuff straight while working full time - and never mind how much work it is, how necessary it is, and how beneficial it might be to the child and to the mother, since she’s not producing for a capitalist, she doesn’t deserve to eat.
anotherlgbttumblr asked: A lot in 'nice-guy is rape's capitalist cousin' made sense to me except the last part. If rape was seen as the stealing of a commodity, I don't think there would be nearly as much victim blaming. Because there is nothing capitalism protect more than property, and a rich man advertising the fact that he has lots of property would never be accused of asking for it to be stolen. The fact that society cares way more about a rich man whose property has been stolen than about a rape victim is ver
Referring to this post.
[TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE] I get what you’re saying, and that’s why it’s not so much of a cut-and-dry analogy. In rape there’s an element of patriarchy carrying over that isn’t a factor in most capitalist property relations. Stealing in capitalism is the worst of crimes because it is against property, but also because we have no other prevailing social structures that hold it dear. Victim blaming is a means of rationalizing the contradiction between society valuing property, and society valuing sexual domination, in market terms.
I guess what I should have clarified is that I’m not trying to conflate patriarchy and capitalism and put one thing completely in the terms of the other, but rather trying to highlight how society reconciles the intersection of the two things.
Like, a rich man advertising his wealth is fully protected by how society values property, but in the case of rape that protection is nullified by the values of an intersecting structure, and victim blaming is the attempt to reconcile contradictions between the structures’ values (in other words another example of how the market doesn’t actually ever serve to end social hegemony), while “nice-guy-ness” is kind of a synthesis of the two values.
Did I make that make sense or is it even worse?