A Slave to a Slave

MAHMUD OF GHAZNI & MALIK AYAZ (1021 ce)

Mahmud of Ghazni founded the Ghaznavid Empire and ruled as Sultan. He fell in love with Malik Ayaz, a Turkish slave, and their relationship became widely regarded as the epitome of idealized love in Islamic legend and Sufi literature. As the story goes, Ayaz asked Mahmud who the most powerful man in the kingdom was. When the Sultan replied that it was himself, Ayaz corrected him, claiming that in fact Ayaz was the most powerful, since Mahmud was his slave. the “slave to a slave” became a favorite trope in Persian literature.

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10 Reasons to Ban Gay Marriage

1. Being gay is not natural. (Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.)

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay (in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.)

3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. (People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.)

4. Marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all. (Women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.)

5. Marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. (The sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55 hour just-for-fun marriage and Kim Kardashian’s 72 hour marriage would be destroyed.)

6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. (Gay couples, infertile couples, and older people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.)

7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children (since straight parents only raise straight children).

8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. (In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.)

9. Children can never succeed without a male and female role model at home. (That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.)

10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. (We could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.)

We Will Miss you, Jeanne Manford

Jeanne Manford, the unassuming Founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), died earlier this week. She was 92. Jeanne personified Courage, Grace, Beauty, Compassion, and Unconditional Love. This world is a better place for her having been here. She will be missed. Thank you Jeanne, for all you’ve done for so many!

PFLAG

The idea for PFLAG began in 1972 when Jeanne Manford marched with her son, Morty, in New York’s Christopher Street Liberation Day March, the precursor to today’s Pride parade. After many gay and lesbian people ran up to Jeanne during the parade and begged her to talk to their parents, she decided to begin a support group.

In the next years, through word of mouth and community need, similar groups sprang up around the country, offering “safe havens” and mutual support for parents with gay and lesbian children. Following the 1979 National March for Gay and Lesbian Rights, representatives from these groups met for the first time in Washington, DC.

Some snapshots of PFLAG:

In the 1980s, PFLAG became involved in opposing Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade and worked to end the U.S. military’s efforts to discharge lesbians—more than a decade before military issues came to the forefront of the GLBT movement.

In 1990, PFLAG President Paulette Goodman sent a letter to Barbara Bush asking for Mrs. Bush’s support. The first lady’s personal reply stated, “I firmly believe that we cannot tolerate discrimination against any individuals or groups in our country.  Such treatment always brings with it pain and perpetuates intolerance.”  Inadvertently given to the Associated Press, her comments caused a political maelstrom and were perhaps the first gay-positive comments to come from the White House.

In 1993, PFLAG added the word “Families” to the name, and added bisexual people to its mission and work. By the mid-1990s a PFLAG family was responsible for the Department of Education’s ruling that Title 9 also protected gay and lesbian students from harassment based on sexual orientation.

PFLAG put the Religious Right on the defensive, when Pat Robertson threatened to sue any station that carried the Project Open Mind advertisements. The resulting media coverage drew national attention to PFLAG’s message linking hate speech with hate crimes and LGBT teen suicide.

In 1998, PFLAG added transgender people to its mission.

And finally, a statement by Jeanne (found at the PFLAG site):

“Of course, I knew Morty was gay,” Manford explained. “He didn’t want to tell me. I told him that I loved him, and nothing else mattered. At first, there was a little tension there. He didn’t believe I was that accepting. But I was.”

In 1972, Morty was punched, kicked and thrown down an escalator during a gay rights protest at the New York City Hilton Hotel. Manford and her husband watched the attacks on the evening TV news, outraged that police officers appeared to ignore the assault.

Manford’s next steps erased any doubt her son may have had about her loyalty and acceptance.

She tried to call The New York Times to expose the injustice, but says she was hung up on.

Next, she wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Post. The letter was published. One sentence jumped out: “My son is a homosexual, and I love him.”

The next day, she received a phone call from Morty.

“You can’t believe it [the response],” he told her. “No mother has ever announced to the world her son is gay.”

Six Ways to Solve Sagging Breasts

1. Pushup Bras. We made those things for a reason.

2. Value yourself for who you are rather than by the state of your breasts.

3. Change society’s attitude towards beauty

4. Reject the media’s obsession towards breasts and sex.

5. Embrace nature. Accept gravity. It’s not going to go away, so we might as well try to play along.

6. Duct tape.

But seriously, why are we so obsessed with breasts in this culture? Why? Let’s be honest, they’re just sacks of fat. They are there to feed your child. They’re basically utters on a cow. (By the way, breast milk butter is a thing that exists in the world. I mean, it’s one thing I suppose if its your own milk, but please don’t start selling that shit. That’s just weird.)

My breasts don’t feel all that sexy to me. In fact, they’re kind of a hindrance (Sorry, girls). They obstruct my view, and make me top-heavy. I can’t chest bump. I can’t jump, run, climb stairs, or play hopscotch without a bra (Nobody wants to be  hit in the face with their own breasts). They make me feel awkward because of their excellent crumb-catching capabilities. They’re just always in the way. Sometimes I just want to sling them over my shoulder or detach them just for a moment so I can tie my freaking shoes!

And why do we think that bigger is better? I mean, I suppose I can see the attraction, but I think we’re starting to take it way too far. (Or, do I see the attraction because society has conditioned me to see the attraction/think bigger is better?)

In 2011, breast augmentation was the second most popular cosmetic surgery in the U.S. (right under Liposuction) with 316,848 cases. And then fifth most popular was a breast lift with 127,054 cases.

I am so skeptical about whether bigger is better.


big breastsbiggest breast implantbiggest breasts

Now really, is that attractive? Nothing against these women, I’m sure they’re wonderful people. But…. it just looks so uncomfortable. And that last girl in the bright pink top, her breasts were made so big by some sort of hollow coil inside of her breasts that is constantly expanding. The coil-thing expands, and it forces the breasts to fill with fluids, and the coil expands, the skin stretches, and the breasts fill with fluid, until you take the coil out. That sounds horrible.

Seriously, how the hell do they tie their shoes??

And when these women go out, people flock to them. They want their picture taken with these women, or rather, with their breasts. See, unlike normal celebrities where people want a picture with George Clooney or Katy Perry, people don’t know who these women are, nor do they really care. It’s the breasts. They get the women attention, but I don’t really think that sort of attention is flattering.

Could this be one of those urban legends, like Valentines Day was created by Hallmark, or Halloween was cooked up by the candy companies. This social ideal, this standard of beauty–big breasts–was made up by plastic surgeons in order to generate business?? I feel like it’s a perfectly valid conspiracy theory.

Teen Mom who Waxed her 3-Year-Old’s Eyebrows Claims she’s a “Good Mom”

Farrah AbrahamFormer Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham not only decided to wax her little girl’s unibrow, stopping mid-way when the child protested, only to finish the job while the little girl slept (Side note: can you imagine creeping into your daughter’s bedroom while she slept with a pair of tweezers in your hand? In what world is that normal? That sounds like a creepy slasher movie or some shit), but after that proudly blogged about it, saying “I feel like a good mom!”

Dearest Mommy Farrah did it because she “felt bad for her.”

But what can we expect from a woman who just threw down 16 grand on plastic surgery for her breasts, chin, and nose?

It’s one thing to use a tweezer on your baby, but wax?? That could have burned her. She’s three years old! Jesus, woman, have you no sense? Who the hell cares if a 3 year old has a unibrow?

One consequence of such early-in-life beauty obsessions experts say is that it teaches young girls to value themselves based on how they look instead of who they are. If you’re going to start her worrying about how her eyebrows are shaped at 3, how can you expect her not to worry about her beauty? This plugs right in to how young children think already; they focus on what they can see and not what lies underneath. You have already started your daughter on the path to body issues.

And what are children supposed to think if their own mother–the woman who gave birth to them, the one person in the world who is supposed to love you no matter what–feel bad for you because you have a unibrow. Farrah basically told her daughter that her own mother doesn’t think she’s beautiful. And she’s teaching her to blindly accept the popular culture’s definition of what pretty is.

Eyebrow guideBeing taught to focus on beauty can lead to a lifetime of psychological and social problems. If your mother values you based on how you look, you in turn will learn that behavior, and then appearance becomes the focus of what you care about. Only caring about appearance undermines emotional attachment, which can in turn cause an inability to make or maintain caring relationships, or develop a positive self image.

I just don’t understand why you would ever want to wax your child’s eyebrows. She’s a child. So what? She’s supposed to run around with other kids, and play in a sandbox, and believe in the Tooth Fairy, not worrying about if she’s beautiful or not.

Of course, her mother is a person who got pregnant as a teenager and then thought it would be a good decision to be on a reality show. (Honey, to get on a reality show these days, your life has to be pretty screwed up. Just an observation.)

 

Why I don’t like One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” a feminist perspective.

The other day my sister asked me why I felt the need to break my arm lunging to change the radio station when What Makes You Beautiful came on. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. It’s wasn’t just because they were a boy band, or because I had already heard the song enough times to fill a lifetime, or because I’m just not into this particular type of music, but something else. I figured out why. It’s the lyrics.

I’m only going to put in about half of the song. I think that’ll be enough. The song is about this guy singing to this girl about how beautiful she is.

You’re insecure
Don’t know what for
You’re turning heads when you walk through the door
Don’t need make up
To cover up
Being the way that you are is enough

Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

Let’s start here, focusing on the first few lines. You’re insecure/Don’t know what for. I do. She’s insecure because she’s been bombarded with media and images of beautiful, perfect, unattainable women; women from television shows and movies and billboards and magazines, and she feels like she doesn’t compare. She can’t compare. She’s in high school (presumably). Those years can be the shittiest in life. Her breasts aren’t big enough, her lips are plump enough, her eyebrows aren’t waxed enough, her butt is too small or too big. When she looks in the mirror she doesn’t see the beautiful young lady she is, she sees the love handles on her hips, and the gap in her teeth, and her eyes are too far apart, and her scrawny legs. She doesn’t see the girl you see, because women aren’t supposed to. To know you are beautiful is to be full of yourself, or too confident, stuck up, conceited.

But also, perhaps she is insecure not about her beauty, or her weight, but we can conceive that perhaps she feels inadequate for other reasons, such as she doesn’t have as many friends as she would like, she doesn’t feel smart enough, she hasn’t been to a party, she secretly doesn’t want to drive, or rebel, like all of her other friends do and so in that way she feels like she is an outsider, etc. There are other reasons to be insecure besides beauty.

[Chorus]

Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it aint hard to tell
You don’t know
Oh Oh
You don’t know you’re beautiful

Let’s be honest here, she could be faking that hair flip and coy glance downwards. Whoever this little girl out there is, no offense to you, but it is a possibility.

If only you saw what I can see
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe
You don’t know
Oh oh
You don’t know you’re beautiful
Oh oh
That what makes you beautiful

But wait, a minute ago you were saying how she shouldn’t be insecure, but it is that insecurity that you like? That’s what makes her beautiful? That is exactly what I just said up above in my very first paragraph. Girls aren’t supposed to be confident. They’re not supposed to know they’re beautiful. We like them insecure. We like them anxious. It makes girls “cute” and “delicate” or some other bullshit like that.

So c-come on
You got it wrong
To prove I’m right I put it in a so-o-ong
I don’t know why
You’re being shy
And turn away when I look into your eyes

Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

Well, I just told you why. Or maybe she’s just shy. Maybe she likes you and is embarrassed. Maybe she grew up in a family that never taught her the skills to look people dead in the eye when they talk.

There’s basically no new lyrics after this point in the song. It just repeats itself a few times before ultimately coming to a final and complete end.

I just don’t really understand the song. Yeah, boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl is beautiful, boy sings about girl…. but then he sings about her beauty, she doesn’t realize her own beauty, that’s why he likes her, and then he wants her to own her beauty? The logic doesn’t quite follow.

Girls, Don’t Get Raped!

First of all, can we just acknowledge how brave this girl is for telling her story in so detailed a picture? If something like that happened to me, I don’t know if I could write it down, take a picture, and put it on the internet for everyone to see. And her friends and boyfriend are assholes. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with them?

Second, I’m not sure if the person who wrote over the picture, the picture on the right, realizes the putrid irony of what s/he rewrote. And they hit all the marks. In the woman’s story, she says that because of the way she dressed, because she drank, society says that “it was her fault” for being raped, which is exactly what the right side picture says. She says she was called a whore, and the right side calls her that too.

It immediately labels the woman as a slut, a whore, a lying bitch who deserved what she got, placing all of the guilt and blame upon her; then, it exonerates the rapist as being completely in his rights to have sex with her; and then it paints the (ex) boyfriend as a good guy, a hero almost, who saw through the evil whore’s silver tongue and got back his dignity by spitting in the bitch’s face.

The right side picture is saying everything that she says our society teaches, which (at least in my opinion) make her claims all the more credible, because there they are in black and white just a few inches away.

And isn’t it ironic that the very last line of the right side says “I am not responsible for my actions.” Where is the accountability and responsibility of the men’s actions? Both of them? The rapist (who apparently isn’t a rapist) and the boyfriend?

Don't get raped

Don't get raped not Don't rape

Lets stop rape

When you know it is rape:

1. When the woman says no.

2. When you try to convince the woman to have sex with you/when you guilt a woman into having sex with you.

3. When the woman is too intoxicated (by alcohol or drugs) to make fully conscious decisions.

4. When the sex is unwanted, unconscious, or unasked for.

Rape doesn’t just happen in a dark alleyway in the city by a stranger. Rape can happen anywhere to anyone. Rape is usually committed by someone you know. Rape can occur in a marriage. Rape can occur without any beating or weapons involved.

So yes, because she was drunk, she was not of a sound mind to give full consent (if any consent was ever given), and it was rape.

I do actually feel like this when walking home alone. I pretend to talk on my cellphone when I walk home alone.

I do actually feel like this when walking home alone. I pretend to talk on my cellphone when I walk home by myself.

[disclaimer: I know that not all men are rapists, and not all rape victims are women. Thousands of men each year are raped, but only 1 in 10 men report being raped.]

 

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And if you can’t tell, yes, in the uppermost righthand corner of the first picture, whoever posted this picture to their Facebook thought that it was very funny. Very funny indeed.