Fail, and some links

  • Aug. 4th, 2010 at 3:08 AM
la_vie_noire: (leyendo)
Everyone by now should know about the [ profile] ontd_p's fiasco. If not, here Keeva links to it. Someone was trolling, mocking, a trans woman in a post about transphobia. She of course got pissed, and got banned.

I just stumbled with Uppity Brown Woman has some good tips about dealing with privilege.

And she shares this thing of beauty: Common Behavioral Patterns that Perpetuate Power Relations of Domination:

The following chart shows some patterns people learn in order to survive in a hierarchical society. Not to conform to expected behavior risks social ostracism, privilege and /or one’s survival. These patterns take place in correspondence to each other; they are tendencies in relationships not personality characteristics.


Also, because my reading list is awesome, some interesting links:

Via [personal profile] dagas_isa: Morph-osaurs: How shape-shifting dinosaurs deceived us. Think all we don't know about dinosaurs and how much we lose because we won't ever see them alive.

Via Sociological Images: A Neuroscientist Uncovers A Dark Secret:

The criminal brain has always held a fascination for James Fallon. For nearly 20 years, the neuroscientist at the University of California-Irvine has studied the brains of psychopaths. He studies the biological basis for behavior, and one of his specialties is to try to figure out how a killer's brain differs from yours and mine.

[...]After learning his violent family history, he examined the images and compared them with the brains of psychopaths. His wife's scan was normal. His mother: normal. His siblings: normal. His children: normal.

"And I took a look at my own PET scan and saw something disturbing that I did not talk about," he says.

What he didn't want to reveal was that his orbital cortex looks inactive.

"If you look at the PET scan, I look just like one of those killers."

Fallon cautions that this is a young field. Scientists are just beginning to study this area of the brain — much less the brains of criminals. Still, he says the evidence is accumulating that some people's brains predispose them toward violence and that psychopathic tendencies may be passed down from one generation to another.

You know, I haven't studied sociopaths for twenty years, but I'm kinda skeptic about the whole abuse-as-trigger thing. Well, yeah, abuse can mean a lot of things, but I guess it's already confirmed not all sociopath are violent killers (not even violent people), and some haven't survived considerable amount of violence. I guess there is still a lot to know.

Jun. 7th, 2010

  • 1:45 AM
la_vie_noire: (Anthy flower)
Tracing this Body. Transsexuality, pharmaceuticals & capitalism is one of the most (if not the most) amazing, complex, and intersecting articles I have read. A must-read written in 2003 by Michelle O’Brien and still holds true and how. Seriously, I'm making a crime just quoting a bit, you have to read it (if you haven't already):

These battles over HIV, transgender health and drug use are real, with millions of people's lives on the line. Politics is changing fast around the world, as old resistance movements have disintegrated, and new forms of domination are deepening their entrenched authority. Capital flows more and more rapidly around the globe, while access to health care is strictly limited and regulated. Wars of healthcare, over the terrain of our bodies, are among the most significant political battles in the world today. Healthcare is a major site in defining, and transforming, what race and class domination mean in our day to day lives. This fight is so profound, so real, so important, precisely because it is the place where the three levels of flows come together: 1. those flows of T-Cells and hormones, of viruses and antivirals, of methadone and heroin, within our own bodies; 2. those flows of our communities, families and lives through our communities; and 3. those flows of capital and institutional power across the globe.


The politics of our bodies - as trans people, as drug users, as people living with HIV - require a sophisticated grasp of multiple contradictions. We are dependent on the very systems that oppress us. We make demands for change, and appropriate the refuse of capital for our own survival. We live in the flows, suffer in the flows, envision a new world in these flows.

Many theories of power and politics offer little to grapple with such a struggle of bodily survival. I grew up working in radical environmental movements in Oregon, using direct action to defend ancient forests. The anticapitalist analysis of many such activists relied on a fanatical commitment to purity and an attempt at a total refusal to participate or be complicit in any form of corporate rule. Veganism, do-it-yourself punk ethics, buying natural and local, Lesbian-Feminist separatism, back-to-land self-sustaining agriculture and especially eco-primitivism and other movements common around Eugene, Oregon, all frequently rely, to various extents, on a commitment to non-participation in global capitalism and certain idealized notions of purity. Since then, I've encountered similar phenomena in many political spaces, from AIDS denialists working in animal rights organizing to the MOVE family of Philadelphia, from genderqueer denunciations of medicalized body modification to the glorification of drop-out travelers by the anarchist writing network known as CrimethInc.


These languages of purity and non-participation are frequently counterposed by the glorifying ideological cheerleaders of capitalist domination. Every major U.S. newspaper, every president and senator, every corporate trade journal is aggressively advancing the absurd notion that capitalism is the best avenue to manage and stop human suffering. Believing that state power and corporate tyranny will somehow make a decent world have a major impact on the popular discourses of science, technology and industrial production. Such pro-capitalist perspectives are of no use to me.

Instead, I've tried through this paper to trace other ways of thinking through the relationship between my body and capitalism. Each step, I've tried to simultaneously recognize my participation and complicity, and trace the possibilities of resistance and liberation. In trying to describe the complexity of these relationships, I've found inspiration in Donna Haraway's essay "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century." A truly remarkable text, Haraway's essay brilliantly cut through polarized debates characterizing science as either a wonderful tool of capitalist improvement or the evil bane of patriarchy. Instead, Haraway describes the figure of the cyborg. The cyborg is the bastard child of the patriarchal realms of capitalism, nature and technoscience. Rather than reproduce their systems of command, control and communication, the cyborg ran radically challenge, undermine and resist domination. The cyborg is a new vision of feminist consciousness, a radical means of relating to technology and science. The cyborg is never pure, never free of the systems it subverts, never belonging to a realm before or outside of capitalist technoscience and patriarchy. But the cyborg is also a revolutionary, an effective, empowered, conscious being that reworks, redirects and restructures the oppressive systems that birthed it.

This vision of the feminist cyborg has been very useful and inspiring to me in understanding my own body and in struggling to the liberation of trans people. Like the cyborg, we are both complicit in and a challenge to the biomedical industries. We are drastically rebuilding our bodies with the aid of technology, surgery and drugs. And we are doing this all on our own terms, committed to our own well being, striving to our own liberation. Far from dupes of doctors or the crude escapists of ecoprimitivism, we are living amidst the systems we are always subverting. Trans people live in that hybrid edge of technology, science, nature and capital that Haraway correctly and brilliantly identifies as a tremendously power space of resistance and movement.

We are all in the midst of structures of tremendous violence, oppression and exploitation. There is no easy escape or pure distance from them. Our ability to resist, in this world, at this time, is deeply inseparable from our ongoing connection to these very systems. But resist we do. Every day, in so many ways, we are all struggling towards a new world of liberation, healing and respect.

Here is Donna Haraway's 1991 essay: A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century, if you want to read it.

Dec. 2nd, 2009

  • 11:00 PM
la_vie_noire: (Utena transformation)
Mako escribe: El poder perjudicial del discurso científico.

Sin embargo, este interés tan "paternal" de la Europa por "civilizar" a las comunidades nativas de américa y a las personas negras esclavas, traídas desde África (y a toda África también) sólo impulsó la resistencia de estos grupos a perder su cultura. Esta manifestación totalmente legítima fue considerada por los europeos como símbolo de la naturaleza salvaje y animal de estas etnias (o sea, eran no europeas=bárbaras). Lentamente comenzó a emerger la idea de que eran "intrínsecamente" animales y por ende inferiores a los europeos: las "verdaderas personas".

[...] Nadie relativizó a la ciencia. Nadie pensó que allí se estaba haciendo un abuso del discurso en pos de mantener un sistema colonialista desde hacía siglos.
Nadie cuestionó.

Lo que quiero rescatar de este pensamiento es que la ciencia, tiene inherentemente un discurso colonialista y blanco cuando se trata de aplicarlo a la sociedad. Y quienes usan a la ciencia para dar por hecho una realidad social, más que nunca deben ser concientes de esto.

Mako posteó esta entrada hace algún tiempo, y como yo no andaba mucho por acá, se me pasó completamente hacerle propaganda. Yo fui beta (o algo así), y la verdad admito que hay cosas que no me había dado cuenta al leerlo, y hay cosas que aún no me dejan conforme (esa breve historia de la ciencia me sigue pareciendo Eurocéntrica, no sé si ya te lo había dicho o es algo que ni noté, pero Asia está borrada del mapa, Mako), pero dice cosas que necesitan ser dichas, y vale la pena leerla.


la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire

Latest Month

March 2013



RSS Atom
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios
Designed by [personal profile] chasethestars