My real life is killing me

  • Jun. 19th, 2012 at 10:26 PM
la_vie_noire: (Utena-orz)
And we are also in the middle of a social, political crisis here; and I can't afford listening to people right now. For my own health.

I need distractions.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
The US sends troops to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army with Uganda: What’s at Stake? (Please, read the article before commenting if you don't know a thing about Uganda's situation.)

Yeah, I'm glad some people are waking up and all, but I live in a poor Third World Country that is still dealing with the consequences of the Condor Operation, so.

Yeah, I don't give a damn if this makes people mad because frankly. Gah.
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
WikiLeaks Haiti: The Aristide files

US officials led a far-reaching international campaign aimed at keeping former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide exiled in South Africa, rendering him a virtual prisoner there for the last seven years, according to secret US State Department cables.

The cables show that high-level US and UN officials even discussed a politically motivated prosecution of Aristide to prevent him from “gaining more traction with the Haitian population and returning to Haiti.”

The secret cables, made available to the Haitian weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté by WikiLeaks, show how the political defeat of Aristide and his Lavalas movement has been the central pillar of US policy toward the Caribbean nation over the last two US administrations, even though—or perhaps because—US officials understood that he was the most popular political figure in Haiti.

They also reveal how US officials and their diplomatic counterparts from France, Canada, the UN and the Vatican tried to vilify and ostracize the Haitian political leader.


President Obama and Kofi Annan’s successor, Ban Ki-moon, also intervened to urge Pretoria to keep Aristide in South Africa. The secret cables report that Aristide’s return to Haiti would be a “disaster,” according to the Vatican, and “catastrophic,” according to the French.

But the regional and Haitian view was quite different. US Ambassador James Foley admitted in a confidential March 22, 2005, cable that an August 2004 poll “showed that Aristide was still the only figure in Haiti with a favorability rating above 50%.”

Uhm. But of course.

Feb. 21st, 2011

  • 3:24 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Libya warplanes bombing Tripoli-resident.

Libyan warplanes were bombing indiscriminately across Tripoli on Monday, a resident of the Libyan capital told al Jazeera television in a live broadcast.

"What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead," Adel Mohamed Saleh said.

Women of Egypt says there were 250 killed today.

This is horrible.

Feb. 14th, 2011

  • 9:08 PM
la_vie_noire: (Era una bruja)
GENTE DEL CHAN! Ly dice que se fue la luz en su casa.

And I have pictures of blond little girls with England flags as my LJ layout now. Probably because my background pic went down. (No seriously, look: [ profile] la_vie_noire, and hurry, not going to be there soon. They are gone. Pretty girls though. Not going to post a cap because I seriously don't know whose children are those.)

Also, no one is talking about the massive protests in the Arab world. So I guess I have to make a post.

Jan. 15th, 2011

  • 11:04 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
A must read, because I can't quote it all. The Denial of Self Determination: The International Community and Haiti.

If any nation in the history of humanity has been terrorized by the naked brutality and hypocritical logic of modernity, it has been Haiti. One would assume that the Haitian Revolution in 1804 would be looked upon as a pivotal moment which helped to shape the ideas of freedom, equality and justice. This was not the case. Haiti has been the victim of both history and hypocrisy, since it’s independence in 1804 as the small nation who fought for the freedom, dignity and justice has been met with a nightmarish hell of slavery, genocide, racism, isolation, extreme oppression and economic terrorism exercised in the name of modern civilization that has not disappeared in the 500 years since Christopher Columbus first landed on the island. The recent turmoil surrounding the Haitian elections on November 28th must be seen as an extension of international support in the undermining of the Haitian people’s right to self determination.


It was within this debt riddled framework of the new global economic order, fighting against the unjust demands of the IMF, World Bank and the United States, that led a Roman Catholic Priest named Jean Bertrand Aristide to become Haiti’s first democratically elected president in 1991. Aristide’s grassroots support among the poor of Haiti led to his landslide victory with Fanmi Lavalas receiving 67% of the vote.

Aristide led calls for reparation of Haiti’s odious $21 billion debt to France, and was against further rounds of privatization of the Haitian economy. These concerns did not sit well with the United States or France resulting in a coup in September 1991. Due to international as well as internal pressure, Aristide was placed back in power by the Clinton administration but was not allowed to complete a full 6 year term or run for re-election in the next available term. In 2000, Aristide was elected once again, with 91.8% of the vote.


The devastating earthquake on January 12th and the tragic aftermath is being used as a backdrop of excuses to mask the engineered irregularities of the recent election. The November 28th election is the most recent step in the international community’s attempt to stifle the demands of self determination by the Haitian people. Fanmi Lavalas, by and large the nation’s most popular political party has been banned in every election since the overthrow of Aristide in 2004. The exclusion of Lavalas continued into the November 28th elections based on the party failing to meet last minute technicalities invented by the highly controversial Haitian Provisional Electoral Council – heavily influenced by current President Rene Preval. Fanmi Lavalas and 14 other political parties were excluded from participating in the November 28th elections without any transparent reasoning.

Ignoring reports highlighting the irregularities of the November 28th election from civil society organizations both domestically and abroad, the international community continued to support and finance the highly flawed process. As early as June, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti issued a comprehensive report titled The International Community Should Pressure the Haitian Government for Free and Fair Elections ( but the international community did not pay attention to the warnings of political turmoil resulting from their backing of highly flawed elections.

The reasoning behind such vehement support for Haiti’s current flawed elections is simple. There is over $10 billion in reconstruction contracts, an amount too large to be trusted to any independent, or heaven forbid progressive candidate who would channel the money into the building of much needed public services and infrastructure which served the Haitian people. What the international community demands from these elections is a President which will rubber stamp any of their self serving development projects. An article in the Washington Post titled “Would be Haitian Contractors Miss out on Aid” further demonstrates the self serving nature of aid to Haiti stating that of every $100 of US contracts, only $1.60 makes it into the hands of Haitian contractors.

Some important linking

  • Jan. 15th, 2011 at 12:10 AM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Massive protests in Tunisia have ended in President Ben Ali (in power since 1987) leaving the country. Tunisia: The end of an era.

It all started about a month ago when a public suicide of a frustrated, disillusioned Tunisian grew into widespread anger. Days later the ink-spot has been ever growing in an unprecedented scope and magnitude.

The outcry against unemployment rapidly evolved into a popular movement asking for Ben Ali to leave power, for corruption to be rooted out and for the repressive police apparatus to be held accountable for human rights abuses.

Leslie Feinberg: While a hostile relative re-writes my life: ‘Who is, and is not, my family.’

In autumn 2010, Knopf published a “transgender” themed young adult novel. The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, is an estranged relative of mine.

The analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Hyde’s young adult fiction novel will come from those who are living the identities, and oppressions to which she has applied her imagination.

However, as part of the media coverage and publicity tour for the release of the young adult novel, Hyde claims much of her expertise and authority for writing her “transgender”-themed young adult novel as based on my life and identity.

[...] Since I became acutely ill in October 2007, it has been very hard for me to write, or to speak. So it is opportunistic and unconscionable that a hostile relative would take this opportunity to re-tell my life in a way that changes my sex, mis-describes my gender expression, and closets my sexuality. Hyde also attempts to silence me politically as a revolutionary, reasserts the dominant legal control of the biological family, and ignores and disrespects my chosen family.

My verbal and written request for no further contact has been violated by my relatives numerous times over the last forty years. So I do not rely on them to respect my wishes. Instead, I have clarified and strengthened my legal papers, and I am making this statement public: My living biological relatives—Irving David Feinberg, Betty Vance Hyde, and Catherine Ryan Hyde—are not my family. They do not speak for me.

Poet Susana Chavez’s Death Sparks Outrage in Juarez

Chavez is one of over 500 women in Juarez who have been found murdered in the last decade. And her death has caused an uproar because she had been one of few to speak out against the growing femicide, coining the phrase, “Ni una mas,” (“Not one more) and routinely criticizing local authorities for refusing to properly investigate the crimes. Her death has cast new suspicions about local authorities’ ability to handle the cases. That is to say that they’ve largely chosen to ignore them; so far, 92 percent of cases of women who’ve been murdered in the region remain unsolved.

Jan. 8th, 2011

  • 10:30 PM
la_vie_noire: (Anthy flower)
Para quien sea gamer, les interese los juegos, o solo guste del análisis sociocultural de cualquier medio de comunicación; Mako tiene en su blog un análisis extensivo de World of Warcraft. Y cuando digo extensivo, digo extensivo:

World Of Warcraft, o como los juegos no son "sólo" un juego.

Esta entrada no es sólo mía sino que tiene colaboración de Frey y Geli. Queremos mostrar que uno de los juegos que más jugamos no es sólo un mero juego inocente de "pura fantasía", sino que sigue generando una estandarización de ciertos grupos y no por casualidad es como es. Será una entrada larga, con mucho detalles a enumerar, pero valdrá la pena.


La Horda y la Alianza.
Es interesante ver cómo cada una de estas dos grandes alianzas, está compuesta no muy heterogéneamente y se puede dilucidar, no por casualidad, una división nítida entre los "civilizado" y lo "bárbaro", entre lo "europeo" y lo "nativo". Para que quede más claro, hablaremos de casos y sucesos más emblemáticos de cada una de las facciones que conforma cada alianza.

Jan. 5th, 2011

  • 5:39 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Via [personal profile] acari, Gaza Youth Breaks Out – Manifesto.

History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care. We are scared. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even cant think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!

We do not want to hate, we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want!

I'm so hiatusing here

  • Dec. 10th, 2010 at 10:25 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] eccentricyoruba shared this wonderful article that talks about Wikileaks, Freedom of Speech, Nigeria and Shell. This is a MUST read, people.

Julian Assange in Nigeria.

[...]The theory goes something like this: freedom of speech no longer has political traction in the west, in contrast to other parts of the world. It doesn’t really matter what is said in America in the press or elsewhere; it has little consequence for a system that is buried from view, circulating via diplomatic cables and a (mostly) secure corporate communications infrastructure. In contrast, freedom of speech remains a matter of life and death for hundreds of millions of other people, where the communications infrastructure is less sophisticated and inconvenient truths are harder to hide.

The trick is to realise that the two versions of freedom of speech are intimately related: what cannot be said in one part of the world is often conditioned by the interests at work in another. [...]

The lesson for those looking in at Wikileaks from a Nigeria perspective is clear. Those that dismiss Nigeria as the home of 419 and the submarine vent of originary corruption with a tired flick of the hand fail to see the enduring handiwork of the transational corporation, attacking a fragile state like an opportunistic virus against a weakened immune system. The dismissive ones have yet to listen to Fela and allow his words to make sense in their heads. As it was in the 1960s and 1970s, so it is today, it seems.

Dec. 6th, 2010

  • 10:24 PM
la_vie_noire: (Claymore4 Rachel and Audrey)
Awesome thing to share: Infographics. But I'm not finding alt text in those, doesn't seem to be very accessible.

I loved this one: Which Countries Are Making the Most Progress on the Millennium Development Goals. It shows what a good progress are making Developing Countries (most of them African countries) in areas like Maternal Health, Child Health, and End Poverty and Hunger.

ETA:Forget it. Lots of fail on that site. Now it has some shit about, "how higher BMI will kill you!" aaaaaarg.


  • Nov. 23rd, 2010 at 7:05 PM
la_vie_noire: (Boscoe Holder)
Study: Too Many Fat Women Don’t Even Know They’re Fat.

Of course, no one is also talking about the fact that lots of fat people are also engaging in dangerous practices like smoking, taking laxatives, or throwing up to try to be thin. Because, I mean, who cares — they’re still fat. And no one is talking about thin people who eat foods high in fat and don’t exercise, because who cares — they’re thin.

The point is, this clearly isn’t about health, or we’d be talking about unhealthy habits across the board. And if we want to talk about the unhealthy habits of those thin people who are trying to be even thinner, the problem isn’t that they don’t know just how thin they are. The problem is that thanks to this fatphobic culture we’re living in, they’re so terrified of being fat that they’d rather put their health at risk than be perceived as “unhealthy” and unattractive.

Which is to say that I’m extremely concerned about women’s health, probably a lot more so than most people. I just think that studies like this, and the kind of rhetoric and behaviors they inspire are making women’s health a whole hell of a lot worse.

Also, a blog rec: Socialism and....

liberation for all - an intersectional approach to social and economic justice

Here you can have its DW feed: [syndicated profile] liberation4all_feed

Oct. 4th, 2010

  • 8:55 PM
la_vie_noire: (Jean-Clare)
First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, [personal profile] skywardprodigal! You are so amazing, wonderful, smart and talented, I wish you the best and a wonderful day.


Now, to not spam you all, via [ profile] powerswitch: How much oil is there left, really?

Map detailing proved reserves in thousand millions of barrels at the end of 2009. Asia & The Pacific have 42.2; North America 73.3; Africa 127.7; Europe and Eurasia 136.9; South and Central America 198.9; Middle East 754.2

Leaving aside the issue of Saudi Arabia lying about is reserves, I know there is still a lot in every zone but it really bothers me how S & Central America and Middle East have most of oil, and also have... very complex and difficult situations of colonizations and imperialism with powerful Word Powers. Just saying.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
But it made me smile so hard that I figured it was okay to share.

A Victim Treats His Mugger Right.

Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.

He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.

"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm."

The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, "like what's going on here?" Diaz says. "He asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'"

Diaz replied: "If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me ... hey, you're more than welcome.


When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, "Look, I guess you're going to have to pay for this bill 'cause you have my money and I can't pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I'll gladly treat you."

The teen "didn't even think about it" and returned the wallet, Diaz says. "I gave him $20 ... I figure maybe it'll help him. I don't know."

Diaz says he asked for something in return — the teen's knife — "and he gave it to me."

Afterward, when Diaz told his mother what happened, she said, "You're the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch."

"I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It's as simple as it gets in this complicated world."


Not related, but does someone know something about [personal profile] the_future_modernes?

I can get behind this

  • Jul. 11th, 2010 at 9:05 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
An article that looks at football and WC competition through political-identity lens, the meanings these games hold. Let's be honest, as much as some people like to pretend otherwise (mostly European football insiders), this isn't "just a game" devoid of political meaning (leaving aside I don't even think there can exist such a thing, but you get me); it never was, it never will be. After I have seen some of the "shenanigans" between fans of this WC (like in any other football match), no one will tell me otherwise.

World Cup 2010: looking past the diversity storyline

The less diversity-friendly narrative and legacy of this World Cup took place in the officiating. In a tournament with 64 matches, the first World Cup held in Africa, the calls that stood out, the calls that may finally lead FIFA to change its rules and adopt new review processes, were matches that went against the giants of the first world.

Every sport has its infuriating moments, times when it seems physically impossible for the officials to have missed the offense. But Alexi Lalas and Jim McManaman didn’t spend hours discussing the merits of calls of the South Korea-Greece match, but the disallowed US goal in its Slovenia game was egregious enough to warrant an expedited review of that match’s referee and technology-enhanced dissection. The outcry over England’s non-goal in its humiliating loss to Germany was almost enough to make one forget that the final score was 4-1.


The final match between Spain and the Netherlands could not live up to the excitement of Saturday, even with two teams killing themselves to win their first title. Aside from a few gruesome moments, it just wasn’t terribly suspenseful to watch the European champions play South Africa’s former colonial overlords. Maybe Paul the Octopus picked Spain because it just didn’t feel right. The game’s lone goal came from Spain’s Andres Iniesta after nearly 120 minutes of fierce but personality-free play. After so many heart-stopping finishes, the final score or 1-0 felt like anticlimax.

It was also depressing, but unsurprising, that it took until the last day of the tournament for the American television announcers to bring up the history that the Netherlands and South Africa share. Early rounds of the tournament coverage featured plenty of color pieces on the history of apartheid but managed to omit information that would have placed the policy, and the legacy of institutionalized racism in South Africa, into more context. To hear ESPN tell it, racism is simply a sad chapter in the history books.


For the fans in the stadium on that Saturday, it wasn’t about colonialism or escaping shame at the hands of the press. It was as simple as revenge, honor, and the joy of simple, all-out, bloodthirsty competition on the field. Like the end of Rocky IV. But now with bonus vuvuzelas

I can admit that in my world football holds a lot of connotations. And even if my political like for Spain is very... dubious, it was just not right for Netherlands to win this one. (Heck, it was just not right for two European Nations to have this final, and people will say, "but the better one win!" and no. The better ones are the ones who have more resources to make better players, better teams.)

(And yes, yes, yes. France, Italy and England were just awful. But you know I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about how European football is the best -heck, you don't see all football players dying to play in Brazilian clubs or something-, and how "African football is just bad right now, we deserve their cup!!" -I'm looking at you, South America- and all the shit going on. And yes, I get inequalities happen in every sport competition out there, doesn't mean I can't talk about this particular one though. I can and I do it probably because I'm fed off with this one.)
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
Dude, Imperialism exists. Is real. I love when people go on and pretend it doesn't exist and can exclude the rest of the world when the rest of the world (well, at least a lot of it) doesn't have a choice in excluding them.

Just saying, United States of America.

ETA: I think what bothers me of the victimization going on is that you may dislike USian, Usonian, whatever because you find it silly or what the hell, but then you leave me, by your supposed "right to reject whatever term because THE OTHERS WILL DEFINE YOU," with no choice but to call you by my own identity when I want to talk about you. And 1) people won't know what I'm talking about because they barely know my country, 2) I will be basically saying, with all the imperialism going on, that I'm part of you! (And a lot of well, remembering, maybe a couple of people overseas had already told me when I informed them I was from America that I was really part of USA, but didn't want to admit it or something.)

You see what difference of power does to a "dilemma" like this?

DAUGHTER OF ETA: This video is very awesome. Lets join Antarctica, people. I think is sensible.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Iraq video sets off renewed protests

Journalist advocacy groups called for the reopening of an investigation into the 2007 killing of a Reuters photographer and his driver after the WikiLeaks website released classified video footage on Monday of a 2007 helicopter attack in Baghdad which killed 12 people.

"This footage is deeply disturbing," said Joel Simon, executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

"The video also confirms our long-held view that a thorough and transparent investigation into this incident is urgently needed," Simon added.

The video shows the camera feed from an Apache helicopter

gunship as it performs an air strike on a group of men milling around an empty Baghdad street.

The video also shows the helicopter firing on a van that arrived at the scene and was attempting to evacuate the only visible survivor of the first attack. The attack wounded two children who were inside the vehicle. Among those killed were Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.

[...] But after US ground forces arrive and find wounded children in the van the helicopter attacked, the helicopter pilots blame the Iraqis.

"Well it's their fault for bringing kids into a battle," says one.

"That's right," says another.

"I know that two children were hurt, and we did everything we could to help them. I don't know how the children got hurt," Major Brent Cummings, the executive officer of the battalion who launched the attack, told the Washington Post after the incident.

Priceless. That's all I can say.

Killings of Iraqi journalists: US says they were not war crimes

Oh. "The problems of journalism" I see. If this were the case of American civilians killed mindlessly by Iraqi soldiers...

U.S. Military Releases Redacted Records on 2007 Apache Attack, Questions Linger

The conclusions? According to an investigation by the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, the aircrew “accurately assessed that the criteria to find and terminate the threat to friendly forces were met in accordance with the law of armed conflict and rules of engagement.” The report concluded that the attack helicopters positively identified the threat, established hostile intent, conducted appropriate collateral damage assessment and received clearance to fire.

What’s more, the military indirectly blamed the reporters for being in the company of “armed insurgents” and making no effort to identify themselves as journalists. An investigating officer with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 2nd Infantry Division, concluded that “the cameramen made no effort to visibly display their status as press or media representatives” and added that “their familiar behavior with, and close proximity to, the armed insurgents and their furtive attempts to photograph the Coalition Ground Forces made them appear as hostile combatants to the Apaches that engaged them.” A long telephoto lens, the officer says, could have been mistaken for a rocket-propelled grenade.

It’s also clear, however, that the military quickly figured out that they had inadvertently killed two Reuters employees, and that two children had been seriously wounded in the incident. During “sensitive site exploitation,” members of the ground unit recovered cameras and media cards from the scene, and were able to identify pictures shot by a Reuters employee at a coalition news conference.

The reason I still follow WM

  • Apr. 3rd, 2010 at 4:52 PM
la_vie_noire: (Utena-orz)
... is "Drop It Like It's Hot." Which is an awesome section, I'm not going to deny that.

Reclaiming UGLY:

Let’s think about this logically: what does me or you being beautiful do to improve the lives of others? Nothing, really. Certainly it does not do as much as passion, or kindness, or empathy, or bravery… these are the attributes that change the world… not beauty. And, even better, these are the attributes that have nothing to do with genetics. We can CHOOSE to go out of our way to be kind, to be brave, to passionately chase dreams, to harness our talents to change the world. At any moment, each and every one of us has the power to be a strong, compassionate, brave, and make a difference in the world.

You can’t wake up one morning and just decide to change your apperance to fit whatever mold beautiful takes on in your society (at least, not without a lot of money and pain)… either you fit the mold of beautiful or you don’t. We all know this and yet, we all seem to spend so much more time obsessing over beauty than we do over all of those other wonderful and useful qualities.

[...] Even the concept of “inner beauty” bothers me to a degree. Why not inner strength? Inner kindness? Inner AWESOMENESS? Why does it always come down to beauty?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT trying to belittle the struggles of those who wrestle with body image issues. How could I be, when I am just as entrenched in this as anyone else? All I am trying to do is shed some light, shake things up, and get us to question just WHY it is that we feel so much pressure to look a certain way; to be beautiful.

Instead of trying to change perceptions of beauty, maybe we should just run with it… embrace the title of ugly and use it to force others to see the value in the rest of us; our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams… because at the end of the day, that’s where the real value lies.


One thing these people are not: crazy.

I am crazy. I have mental illnesses. I am insane. I am loony. Sometimes, I may even be bat shit crazy.

I am not these people.

My identity is not an appropriate analogy to use to describe these people. They are hateful, horrible, terrifying, reprehensible, bigoted, scary, extremists. Some of them may well have mental illnesses. But you can’t tell that just by looking at someone. And even if they do, it’s not an appropriate epithet to use as an insult; believe it or not, people can have mental illnesses and also have political beliefs. Differing political beliefs and, yes, differences in beliefs about appropriate methods of political expression, are not rooted in mental illness.

[...] When I see people using my identity as a slur; when I see people referring to other people or things which they don’t like with words like crazy, insane, lunacy, insanity, loony, I am reminded of how unsafe the world is for people like me. How people who claim to care about social justice, who claim that being silent is part of the problem, are happily to carelessly erase me when it suits their needs. It’s a thread which runs almost continually through social justice activism. Activism is convenient as long as it does not involve any personal sacrifice or self examination, does not require the actual acknowledgment of other human beings. As soon as it does, there will be excuses, excuses, excuses.

LINKAGE: Veiling and "Save the Muslim Girl!"

Just about every book in this genre features such an image on its cover. These are familiar metaphors for how the Muslim girl’s life will be presented within the novel. The way the girls’ mouths are covered reinforces existing ideas about their silence and suggests that we in the West (conceptualized as “free” and “liberated”) need to help unveil and “give” them voice. The images also invite ideas about girlhood innocence and vulnerability, and invite Western readers to protect, save, and speak for these oppressed girls.

[...] To give you a sense of the range of meaning of the veil, consider for instance that in Turkey—a predominantly Muslim country—the veil (or “religious dress”) is outlawed in public spaces as a means to underline the government’s commitments to Kemalism, a “modern,” secularist stance. In response and as a sign of resistance, some women, especially young university students and those in urban areas, consider the veil to be a marker of protest against government regulation of their bodies and the artificial division of “modern” versus “faithful.” Similar acts of resistance are taken up by feminists in Egypt who wear the veil as a conscious act of resistance against Western imperialism. As another example, before 9/11, the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan (RAWA) documented the Taliban’s crimes against girls and women by hiding video cameras under their burqas and transformed the burqa from simply a marker of oppression to a tool of resistance.

-- Özlem Sensoy and Elizabeth Marshall, excerpts from "Save The Muslim Girl!," a series on Muslimah Media Watch on Muslim girls in contemporary young adult fiction.


I haven't opened a book this Eastern break (is there an equivalent in English for "Semana Santa"?). I have an exam the 7th, then the 12, then the 13. I have a long homework to hand in on Monday. What did I do these past four days? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I so deserve the guilt.


la_vie_noire: (Default)
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