The Madwoman in the Attic

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There’s no point to a guy yelling, “Hey sexy baby” at me out of the passenger window of a car as it speeds past. Even if I was into creepy misogynists and wanted to give him my number, I couldn’t. The car didn’t even slow down. But that’s okay, because he wasn’t actually hitting on me. The point wasn’t to proposition me or chat me up. The only point was to remind me, and all women, that our bodies are his to stare at, assess, comment on, even touch. “Hey sexy baby” is the first part of a sentence that finishes, “this is your daily message from the patriarchy, reminding you that your body is public property”.

My First Name Ain’t Baby: ‘Hey Baby’ and Street Harassment (via official-mens-frights-activist)

I was trying to explain why I couldn’t imagine taking catcalls as complimentary to a cis dude friend a couple years back, and this is what I didn’t manage to articulate.

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56,635 notes

makingofamelody:

makingofamelody:

1. Eric Garner executed on July 17th, 2014. Put in illegal choke hold and strangled by the NYPD

2. Pregnant lady gets put in an illegal chokehold by an NYPD officer for “illegally grilling” while her seven year old daughter watches July 27th, 2014

3. NYPD enters wrong house and drags a naked woman across the floor, then pepper sprays her four year old grandson August 2nd, 2014.

4. Man shot and killed by police for holding a toy gun in a Walmart, Dayton, Ohio - August 6th, 2014

5. Unarmed Black teen shot ten times by the Ferguson Police while walking home with his friend from the convenience store - August 9th, 2014

Since July 17th there has been five reported occurrences exemplifying the police and American justice system’s lack of reverence for Black life. These are the five stories that were able to attract at least minimal attention. Who knows what is going on out there covered up (like the Ferguson police is trying to do with Mike Brown’s murder), unrecorded, and unknown. In the past 23 days the police have perpetrated the humiliation, degradation, and murdering of Black dignity,souls, and people. Knowledge is power. Do not rely on mainstream media to give you the full/accurate story. They will always be complicit in the devaluing of Black life because Blackness has been criminalized in America. Please spread these stories and add any more that you know of under the hashtag #badges are the new hoods. We need to start documenting, and spreading information. They will try to silence us as they did to Ramsey Orta, and Alba Lekaj, the people who filmed the NYPD harasing and murdering Eric Garner. But united we can make a difference.  Knowledge is power. Stay woke Black America, Stay woke.

(via tehnakki)

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We need to talk about Anne Frank

historicity-was-already-taken:

As of this writing, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has sold over one million copies, and holds a place on several bestseller lists. The film adaptation of the book has made over two hundred million dollars in the domestic and foreign market. The book and the movie tell the story of two terminally ill American teenagers, and both contain a scene where the protagonists, Hazel and Augustus, share a kiss in the Anne Frank House. John Green made the following statement regarding the scene:

“Anne Frank was a pretty good example of a young person who ended up having the kind of heroic arc that Augustus wants—she was remembered and she left this mark that he thinks is valuable—but when he has to confront her death, he has to confront the reality that really she was robbed of the opportunity to live or die for something. She just died of illness like most people. And so I wanted him to go with a sort of expectation of her heroism and be sort of dashed.”

Here, Green makes it clear that he reads Anne Frank’s death as being from an illness like “most people,” like his protagonist. In doing so, he erases the circumstances under which she contracted typhus. “Most people” are not Ashkenazic Jewish teenage girls who contracted typhus in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. This fundamental erasure of the context of her death allowed him, those involved in the cinematic adaptation, and yes, a large portion of his readership, to accept the use of Anne Frank and her death as a prop in this American YA love story. Indeed, when further called on the issue, Green stated:

“I’ve been getting this question a lot. I can’t speak for the movie, obviously, as I didn’t make it, but as for the book: The Fault in Our Stars was the first non-documentary feature film to be granted access to the Anne Frank House precisely because the House’s board of directors and curators liked that scene in the novel a great deal. (A spokesperson recently said, ‘In the book it is a moving and sensitively handled scene.’) Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, had this to say: ‘The kissing scene in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ in the annex of the Anne Frank House is not offensive or against who Anne Frank was. What Anne communicated in her diary was hope. She celebrated life and she celebrated hope.’ Obviously, the Anne Frank House and the ADL do not have a monopoly on Anne’s life or her legacy, but their opinions are important to me.”

I take issue with this response. Here, Green is divesting himself of responsibility for the scene, and communicating to his critics that he is not to blame, because the Anne Frank House board of directors, curators, and a Holocaust survivor approved of it. In other words, he is drawing these peoples’ assumed authority to silence criticism, and to avoid taking responsibility for the filmed version of a scene he created.

The Anne Frank House, for all the wonderful work it does, is a museum. Like all museums, it must work to attract and reach out to potential patrons. In other words, museums have to advertise because they require patrons and revenues to exist. Therefore, I read the official approval of the Anne Frank House simply as a targeted attempt to reach out to and attract a pool of untapped, younger patrons. They chose to support the filming of a sympathetic romantic scene about terminally ill teenagers in their institution to reach out to young people. While that is a sound business decision, I would argue that it’s hardly an ethical one for the Anne Frank House, an institution devoted, as per their website, to:

“the preservation of the place where Anne Frank went into hiding during the Second World War, and to bringing the life story of Anne Frank to the attention of as many people as possible worldwide with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination and the importance of freedom, equal rights and democracy,”

to support the filming of this scene. For, in Green’s own words, that scene had nothing to do with the context of Anne Frank’s death, and therefore, it did nothing to bring Anne Frank’s story to life. And it hardly raises awareness of contemporary European anti-Semitism.

As for the ADL, I very much agree with Mr. Foxman’s assessment of Anne Frank. However, what she celebrated in her life and her writings have little to do with what she has come to mean in within public memory of the Holocaust of European Jewry. Her narrative has been used by nations and educational systems to the extent that for many, she is the Holocaust; she is the face of the Holocaust. But what we inherit from her isn’t the experience of the Holocaust. That experience, and her death at Bergen Belsen take place outside the pages of her diary. Readers are never forced to experience the Holocaust through her eyes; they are able to embrace the tragedy of the Holocaust through her story while remaining removed from its experiential realities. Thus, Anne Frank becomes the Holocaust without forcing anyone to experience it. Her name can be invoked to summon tragedy, without forcing anyone to feel it.

While Anne Frank may be the face of the Holocaust of European Jewry, the memory of the experiential reality of the Holocaust is male. The way we conceptualize and remember the concentration camp experience is constructed by male narratives. More Jewish men survived the Holocaust than Jewish women. Due to attitudes towards education in the interwar period, more male Jewish survivors had the education and literary capital needed to craft enduring narratives of their experiences than did female Jewish survivors. There are three foundational male Holocaust survival narratives: Night by Elie Wiesel, Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi, and Maus by Art Spiegelman about his father’s Holocaust experience. Never have I seen those three men and their narratives used as a joke, or a meme, or a cheap narrative device, or as self-promotion by an American pop star.

These men are revered, and their narratives taken extremely seriously. And none of them, none of them have been used in a prop in a story about terminally ill gentile American teenagers. They survived, in perhaps the type of heroic arc a John Green protagonist would yearn for. Yet Augustus doesn’t look to them. He doesn’t share a kiss with his girlfriend at Auschwitz. He shared a kiss with her in the Anne Frank House.

Anne Frank is not a prop. She is not a symbol, she is not a teenager who happened to die of an illness, and she is not one of the canonical Jewish male survivors. She is one of many millions of Jewish women and girls who were industrially murdered like livestock, incinerated, and left in an unmarked grave. That is the story of the Holocaust of European Jewry, and that is the story of the persecution and murder of all Europeans (the disabled, Romani, Irish Travelers, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists) who failed to fit into Nazi racial and ideological constructs.

And we would all do well to remember that.

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ask historicity-was-already-taken a question

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609,060 notes

grave-at-trenzalore:

followingthedeer:

sainthannah:

heatherbat:

stunningpicture:

‘Cause people seem to only post the 20-something Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey Hepburn was the granddaughter of a baron, the daughter of a nazi sympathizer, spent her teens doing ballet to secretly raise money for the dutch resistance against the nazis, and spent her post-film career as a goodwill ambassador of UNICEF, winning the presidential medal of freedom for her efforts.
…and history remembers her as pretty.

AND HISTORY REMEMBERS HER AS PRETTY

note

this is the first time I have ever seen a picture of her older than 20 and I think that’s scary

Me too.
So, so glad to learn/see more.

grave-at-trenzalore:

followingthedeer:

sainthannah:

heatherbat:

stunningpicture:

‘Cause people seem to only post the 20-something Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey Hepburn was the granddaughter of a baron, the daughter of a nazi sympathizer, spent her teens doing ballet to secretly raise money for the dutch resistance against the nazis, and spent her post-film career as a goodwill ambassador of UNICEF, winning the presidential medal of freedom for her efforts.

…and history remembers her as pretty.

AND HISTORY REMEMBERS HER AS PRETTY

note

this is the first time I have ever seen a picture of her older than 20 and I think that’s scary

Me too.

So, so glad to learn/see more.

(via tehnakki)

26,933 notes

I think the average guy thinks they’re pro-woman, just because they think they’re a nice guy and someone has told them that they’re awesome. But the truth is far from it. Unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations.
Junot Diaz (via luciaferr)

(via spiderine)

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Milbank: Grand Jury in Mike Brown shooting being rigged

(Washington Post) What happened in Ferguson, Mo., last month was a tragedy. What’s on course to happen there next month will be a farce.

October is when a grand jury is expected to decide whether to indict the white police officer, Darren Wilson, who killed an unarmed black teenager by firing at least six bullets into him. It’s a good bet the grand jurors won’t charge him, because all signs indicate that the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, doesn’t want them to.

(Source: quickhits, via spiderine)

328,209 notes

goldstarprivilege:

muchymozzarella:

afunnyfeminist:

ghastderp:

i love sir patrick stewart more with each passing day.

See, guys. This is how you do it. Notice the words “Not all men are like that” are never spoken.

He knows men are like that

his father was like that to his mother

he has experienced the pain firsthand, of what it’s like when men are like that

and he never wants men to be like that again and he fights tooth and nail against the men who are still like that

And moreover, he acknowledges his privilege [as an older white male who is famous/well known] and uses it to speak up. He knows what he is, and he never has to say he’s not like those men he fights against—he never says it, his actions speak loud enough for everyone else to see it. 

Sir Patrick Stewart, everyone.

(Source: vastderp-placeholder, via oliviacirce)