Sustainability does not mean defending the non-human world from human expansion. Instead, it has come to mean sustaining human civilisation at the comfort level which the world’s rich people feel is their right.
Our society seems to be obsessed with the concept of wildness, but further from it than ever before. If we don’t pay attention, we may lose our wilderness altogether.
If we believe that the rest of nature is a resource for human use, then we will treat our planet simply as a factory floor. Even if we manage that factory sustainably, it will be a poor and depressing world.
The environmental movement has become politically aligned with the Left. But accommodation on either side of the traditional spectrum limits the ability to look beyond the needs of humans alone.
Environmentalists who don’t want to destroy trees because just just feels wrong, are often dismissed as wooolly and emotional. But what’s so wrong with acknowledging our emotions?
Humanity is obsessed with progress, which usually means building better machines to solve our problems. What if this thinking was in fact making the problems worse?
I’d like you to remember the last time you found it difficult to give an explicit “no” to somebody in a non-sexual context. Maybe they asked you to do them a favour, or to join them for a drink. Did you speak up and say, outright, “No?” Did you apologise for your “no?” Did you qualify it and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t make it today?” If you gave an outright “no,” what privileged positions do you occupy in society, and how does your answer differ from the answers of people occupying more marginalised positions?
This form of refusal was analysed in 1999 by Kitzinger and Frith (K&F) in Just Say No? The Use of Conversation Analysis in Developing a Feminist Perspective on Sexual Refusal. Despite the seeming ambiguity in question/refusal acts like, “We were wondering if you wanted to come over Saturday for dinner,” “Well, uhh, it’d be great but we promised Carol already,” they are widely understood by the participants as straightforward refusals.
K&F conclude by saying that, “For men to claim [in a sexual context] that they do not ‘understand’ such refusals to be refusals (because, for example, they do not include the word ‘no’) is to lay claim to an astounding and implausible ignorance of normative conversational patterns.”
A leading advocate for spotlighting how the mainstream media contributes to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America, Caroline Heldman offers straight talk and an often-startling look at the objectification of women in our society. She illustrates how it has escalated, how we have become inured to its damaging effects and what we can do individually and collectively to demolish the paradigms that keep us from a better world.
Chair of the politics department of Occidential College in Los Angeles, Dr. Heldman appeared in the acclaimed documentary, Miss Representation and is co-editor of “Madame President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?” She is a frequent commentator on radio and television and a regular contributor to Ms. Magazine.
Last week, YouTube starlet Jenna Marbles posted a poorly-thought-out video called “Things I Don’t Understand About Girls: Slut Edition.” In a matter of two days, it was viewed 1.8 million times. Million. And following her post, many other YouTubers – thankfully! – posted response videos, calling Jenna out for the slut-shaming and victim-blaming in her video. My three favorite response videos – from Laci Green, Hayley G. Hoover, and Chesca Leigh – did a phenomenal job of not only presenting different viewpoints, but of being class acts: not a single one of them blamed Jenna for her opinion or attacked her personally.
“Experience-taking” - when we take on the character’s position and allow ourselves to be immersed in the book (losing the perception of the self), attitudes and perspectives can change as shown by the two psychology research discussed in this article.
Fascinating! Especially about the possibility that this can be used to reduce prejudice/discrimination i.e. the homosexuality study.
Australia’s prime minister Julia Gillard is one badass motherfucker. In an impassioned 15-minute smackdown in front of the house of Representatives, the country’s first female leader gave a scathing speech calling out opposition leader Tony Abbott’s extremely misogynistic comments, actions, views on abortion and single women, all while pointing in his face. She basically ripped him a new asshole.
Here’s some history: Abbott demanded that Peter Slipper, the Speaker of the House, step down for allegedly sexually harassing an openly gay male staff member in a series of text messages, one of which apparently compared female genitalia to mussels. I know. Juicy already. Abbott then implied that if Gillard defended Slipper, she would be just as sexist as a gay man who talks shit on vaginas. Abbott said, “And every day the prime minister stands in this parliament to defend this Speaker will be another day of shame for this parliament, another day of shame for a government which should already have died of shame.”
(Inside baseball: The line about “dying of shame” was a dig at Gillard’s recently deceased father, whom a shock jock said “died of shame” over his daughter’s policies.)
So Gillard let him have it.
Rachel Weisz plays Hypatia
“There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not infrequently appeared in public in the presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.”
According to historical accounts, she was murdered brutally by a Christian mob during a religious turmoil in Alexandria where she was deemed a witch.