“Israel wants the Palestinians to flee the land and surrender it to Eretz Israel, Greater Israel. Demographic fears that the Jewish State will no longer have ethnic and religious integrity worry the population. This is a view shared by important American public figures — with Eric Yoffie (former head of the Union for Reform Judaism) saying that there are “too many Arabs” in Israel, and Obama’s former advisor Aaron David Miller writing in the New York Times in 2012 that there are “too many Palestinians in Israel.”
The Palestinian threat is therefore less a military or security threat and more a demographic one. A survey conducted by a Tel Aviv University political psychologist found that 63 percent of Israelis agreed with the statement, “Arabs are a security and demographic threat to the state.” Their expulsion is the end game of the endless violence visited upon Palestine by the Israeli military. Operation Protective Edge will eventually end. But the social basis for such a war will remain.
“We don’t know when the operation will end,” said Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “It might take a long time.” Certainly, if the goal is to eradicate Palestinians from their lands — to kill them or to throw them into Egypt and Jordan — it will take a long time. The costs will be high. Nothing good will come of them. Neither for Israel nor, of course, for the Palestinians.”
“Being sex-negative doesn’t mean that I fancy myself the chief inspector of the sex police, or that I am personally judging what you do in bed, or that I’m conservative, or that I’m engaging in repressive moralizing. It doesn’t mean that I hate sex workers, or that I want to ban sex work or porn (and, in general, I tend to leave those conversations to women who do sex work while I shut up and listen to what they have to say). It doesn’t mean that I hate sex or that I’m embarrassed by it.
What it does, in fact, mean is that the way you fuck is not “private,” apolitical, or outside the realm of critique. Sex does not happen in a vacuum immune to outside structural influences; in fact, it can (and does) replicate inescapable systems of power and dominance. Being sex-negative means acknowledging that sex, and kink, have nothing intrinsically “good” or “positive” about them (in direct contrast to sex-positive feminists, many of whom argue that sex is an inherent good and that less charitable opinions toward sex are the result of a poisonous, prudish society).
It means understanding that many women have neutral to negative experiences with sex, whether due to a lack of desire or sensitivity or past traumatic experiences or myriad other reasons, or may not wish to have sex at all, and that none of this makes them unhealthy, aberrant, or wrong.”—Jillian Horowitz, xoJane, Unpopular Opinion: I’m A Sex-Negative Feminist (via birdsy-purplefishes)
Every sex worker on Tumblr. Repeatedly. Constantly. Daily.
It is a *privilege* to not know who Gail Dines is and to read something she wrote that was actually not virulently hateful towards sex workers or trans women and was maybe on point for once and so to reblog it to all of the sex workers and trans women who follow you.
Spread this post around so people KNOW NOT TO DO THAT SHIT. If Gail Dines has said something correct, I guarantee you a million other women have said it better. So find a better quote and stop it with Dines.
Princess Marks was arrested Friday when police found her children unattended in an SUV parked outside a Louisiana Walmart. When the 25-year-old returned to the vehicle, she allegedly told police she had been in her boyfriend’s car, in the same parking lot, going down on him.
Police found the Marks’s car with the windows down and engine turned off. Marks, who reportedly admitted she could not technically keep an eye on her kids while blowing her boyfriend, was charged with child desertion and released on $5000 bond the next day. The children, aged five and seven, were placed in the custody of relatives.
The New York Daily News reports that the little ones were “crying hysterically” when officers arrived at around 12:40 a.m.:
"Both of them were crying hysterically," Officer Kim Myers the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office told the Daily News. "While the deputies were trying to calm the children down, Princess walked up about 15 minutes later."
Something doesn’t add up here: If cops didn’t actually catch Marks in the act, why did she tell them about the blow job? Just making casual conversation, I guess.
“There is something about poverty that smells like death. Dead dreams dropping off the heart like leaves in a dry season and rotting around the feet; impulses smothered too long in the fetid air of underground caves. The soul lives in a sickly air. People can be slave-ships in shoes.”—Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), 87. (Originally published 1942)
New project alert! Recently, I was contacted by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, former editors-in-chief of ApexMagazine to be a contributor for their latest project: UNCANNY, whose Kickstarter just launched today. Managing Editor Michi Trota already posted about all of the wonderful things about this new mag, so I’m handing over the soapbox,…
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is deeply concerned by both the recent case of abuse in Rockville, Maryland and the Washington Post’s reprehensible article calling the abuse of autistic adults the “least bad” decision for families.
For the last six years, the children of Janice and John Land allegedly lived in a locked basement with no furniture, no working lights and only a single blanket on a bare tile floor. Left without access to a bathroom, the twins – now 22-years old – were covered in their own feces and urine. The basement was padlocked and deadbolted from the outside, leaving the children with no means of escape in the event of a fire or other emergency. The parents, who continue to show no remorse and maintain they engaged in no wrongdoing, have been charged with two counts of abuse of a vulnerable adult and two counts of false improvement. ASAN calls on the Montgomery County prosecutor’s office to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
We must also condemn the Washington Post’s July 26th article, “Coping with adult children’s autism, parents may face ‘least bad’ decisions”. The piece, which fails to quote a single autistic person, presents the abuse that the Land twins allegedly suffered as an understandable reaction to the challenges of supporting autistic adult family members. There is no excuse for abuse, even and especially when it is committed by family members against their relatives with disabilities. Each year, ASAN and the broader disability rights community remember the lives of disabled people murdered by their family members and caregivers with National Day of Mourning vigils in over a dozen cities. If not for the intervention of law enforcement, the Land twins could easily have joined the list of lost lives. While much of our work focuses on the expansion of services and supports to people with disabilities across the lifespan, we emphatically reject and condemn any effort to present inadequate service-provision as the cause of or a mitigating factor in the abuse of people with disabilities by their families.
There are systemic issues raised by this case. Neighbors report that police had been contacted about the Lands’ alleged imprisonment of their children several times as far back as three years ago. Police had apparently also visited the Land home on multiple occasions to investigate other criminal complaints. An inquiry should be launched to determine why prior complaints to law enforcement did not trigger earlier action. Montgomery County should explore what mechanisms are necessary to ensure that police and Adult Protective Services investigators respond in a timely and adequate fashion to cases in which adults or children with developmental disabilities face abuse, whether they be in family homes or residential service-provision environments.
People with disabilities deserve the same access to justice and the same freedom from abuse as the non-disabled population. Media narratives that sympathize with those who abuse their children set the stage for future copycat incidents, and make intervention by law enforcement and the broader community less likely. We urge a robust prosecution of John and Janice Land and encourage the Washington Post to review the appropriateness of their recent article justifying the abuse of the Land twins.
Can we get a signal boost for trans Latina Arianna Lint’s gender-affirming surgery? Her gofundme page has had 57 shares on facebook but not even half that many dollars in the month that she’s had her page.
Language plays a huge part in how we understand and describe the world around us, and how we communicate that understanding to others. Because of this, it can be easy to forget that the dictionary isn’t some infallible, unchangeable document handed down from on high— but it isn’t! Words are actually tools created by humans to help with those aforementioned jobs. The version of the English language that most of us grew up using has pronouns that refer to two particular genders because it reflects a culture that has also, historically, only recognized those two genders. And as our cultural understanding of gender expands, our language expands too, in order to make room for it.
It can be easier to take all of this in—and to see gendered pronouns as culturally created—if you’re aware of their history. So, without further ado, here are Four Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Gender and Pronouns!
1. “Gender” was a grammatical term before it meant anything else. When you hear the word “gender,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably the cultural definition —put most simply, “the characteristics that a society delineates as masculine or feminine.” But the word wasn’t used that way regularly until the 1950s. Before that, it was actually a linguistic term. About one-fourth of the world’s languages—German, Spanish, and Icelandic, to name a few—have what’s called grammatical gender, which means their nouns are sorted into different categories called genders.
And although many of these gender categories fall along a masculine/feminine/neutral divide (as in, for example, Spanish), some don’t! Take Dyribal, an aboriginal Australian language with only a few dozen native speakers left. Dyirbal has four grammatical genders, which linguists refer to as male, female, edible, and inanimate, but even that is pretty approximate. For example, Class II, the “female” class, actually contains women, fire, things related to water, things related to fighting, and most birds.
2. English used to be a gendered language.
Gendered third-person pronouns in English are the vestiges of a language that used to be entirely gendered. According to linguist Anne Curzan, Old English indicated grammatical genders using suffixes (think “-o” vs. “-a” in Spanish). Old Norse did the same thing, but used slightly different suffixes than Old English. When the Vikings began invading Northern England around the late 11th century, speakers of both languages were running into each other a lot, and probably trying to communicate. Since the two languages had a lot of roots in common, in order to understand each other better, “people may have deemphasized these inflectional endings, which were already weak, and then maybe they just dropped away,” taking their grammatical gender signification with them. The only gendered words that stuck around? Those pesky third-person pronouns, which were too short to be affected.
3. Gender-neutral and nontraditional pronouns have their own rich and varied history.
English speakers of all stripes have long been frustrated with the language’s lack of gender-neutral pronouns. A look back at press records reveals public complaints from,newspaper copyeditors wrestling with inelegant phrasing, as well as police commissionerswho were unsure whether or not they could arrest women under a law that only used masculine pronouns. Feminists as far back as 1882 disliked the standard practice of using “he/him/his” as a fallback pronoun, and advocated for a gender-neutral word instead. Those who noticed these problems often provided alternatives. For example, in 1884, a lawyer named Charles Crozat Converse proposed the word “thon,” which was popular enough to make it into several dictionaries. Casey Miller and Kate Swift, who have writtenseveral groundbreaking works on gender-biased vocabulary, suggested “tey.” More recently, people who identify outside the gender binary have resurrected some of these terms for their own personal use, as well as coming up with others. Some of the most common include “ze,” “e,” and the singular “they,” but the sky’s the limit—here’s the most complete list I’ve found.
4. Using someone’s preferred pronouns really makes a difference.
If you think about it, a pronoun serves as a synopsized version of a person, and no one wants to be condensed down to the wrong essence. Respecting someone’s pronouns—by asking which ones that person prefers, using those consistently, and apologizing if you slip up—is a great way to show that you respect who that person is. As Lauren Luben recently shared in zir “Why Change Names and Pronouns?” video, “when someone uses a gender-neutral pronoun, I feel like they are identifying who I am as a being.” Another person I spoke to told me that “I could give you a precise list of every single genderstraight ally I’ve ever witnessed using my pronoun correctly—that’s how much it means to me.” Still others have said that being referred to correctly makes them “absolutely giddy with joy,” “so completely happy,” and “makes me suddenly want to hug them.”
Learning any new vocabulary word can be challenging, and incorporating it into your daily speech might take a little while. But in the end, it’s worth it, because knowing and using that word has broadened your understanding of the world, as well as your ability to describe and communicate that understanding. Non-traditional pronouns are no different!
Cara Giaimo is a Boston-based writer interested in words, gender, and the push-pull of identity construction. She also likes rock’n’roll and biking around. You can find more of her work at Autostraddle and Case Magazine.
Read more on The Parents Project, a first-of-its-kind digital resource for parents of LGBTQ kids.