call for info and resources… please reblog
i’m trying to compile information for a friend around collective and responses to sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Any sort of community accountability model information would be appreciated. Please link and reblog, it’d be cool to make a grassroots collection of this stuff.
I wanted to compare a review from an Indian publication with a review from the New York Times, but I could not because the New York Times never fully reviewed 3 Idiots. I guess they didn’t think a singing-and-dancing movie made by and starring brown people was worthy of a review, no matter how successful it was.
I was able to find a short review in the Village Voice which described it as a “tuneful, enjoyable college comedy.” Compare that summation to the review in the Times of India which called the film “the perfect end to an exciting year for India: the year when the aam aadmi [common man] voted in progress, liberalism, secularism and turned his back to corruption, communalism, regionalism.”
So, what did the Village Voice miss? Let’s start with “tuneful.”
3 Idiots actually only has two true musical sequences, although there are two other songs that play in the background and are intercut with dialogue. The first song, “Aal Izz Well,” shows the hijinks of the three heroes (Madhavan, Aamir Khan, and Sharman Joshi) while in college. The second is “Zoobie Doobie,” a euphoric fantasy put into song by a young girl in love (Kareena Kapoor, granddaughter of nine-time Filmfare Award winner Raj Kapoor).
Both songs heighten the emotions of the scenes surrounding them by contrasting joy with sorrow. The happy “Aal Izz Well” ends with the discovery of a suicide. “Zoobie Doobie” has a bouncy tune, but its visuals reference the famous “Pyar Hua, Ikrar Hua” sequence from the classic film Shree 420 (1955), foreshadowing a difficult end to the love affair in 3 Idiots.
Traditional Indian drama theory encourages the creation of multiple emotions in one piece; today that is described as a “masala film.” Just because 3 Idiots includes multiple comedic scenes alongside its serious ones does not mean it is a “college comedy.” Once the songs are given their proper weight as support to the narrative rather than a distraction from it, once the comedy is considered as merely a part of the film–not its whole–the recurring theme becomes visible, and that is what The Times of India (and the Desi audience in general) appreciated.
At the beginning of the film, a college student is found having hung himself; later, one of the main characters jumps from a third floor window. Towards the end, it is revealed that the heroine’s brother throws himself in front of a train. All of them were promising middle-class college students, driven to suicide by the pressure to succeed. A recent study in The Lancet found that suicide was the second leading cause of death among Indians between the ages of 15-29. The successful “tuneful” song from the film, “Aal Izz Well”, inspired a website aimed at helping Desis considering suicide.
If the NYT had considered the film worthy of review–and had been open-minded enough to get past the songs and the comedy–they might have had to acknowledge the film’s underlying commentary: that India is not the promised land of academic superiority and happy-up-by-their-bootstraps entrepreneurs it desperately wants it to be; that it might have social issues more serious than can be solved by a song.
But then the NYT would never seriously review an Indian movie anyway, because that would be an acknowledgment that the leading creative force for many people in the world comes not from Los Angeles but from Bombay. Indian films are shown all over Africa, and Asia, and the former USSR. They are popular in Britain, Australia, and Canada, and are breaking into South America; a telenovela set in India, for instance, recently debuted in Brazil.
During its aforementioned “golden age,” Indian films frequently deal with the basic economic issues and the “where do we go from here?” questions the country faced after winning its independence. The withdrawal of Britain from India was an especially shoddy colonial retreat; there was very little plan in place for the transition of power; and, while the violence on the border between the newly created Pakistan and India was the most blatant result of this policy, the films from this time point to other, more subtle, problems such as lack of infrastructure, sustainable economies, and a national identity. And these were the hugely successful films that established the “Bollywood” style. From the very beginning, people wanted to see problems onscreen. Hee! Guest contributor Margaret Redlich does a great read on why the West fails to even grasp the political ideas in Bollywood films and cast them as merely “song-and-dance” flicks on the R today. (via racialicious)
Taking sex education to young people who are not in schools
From the developing world to the UK, the statistics are clear: teenagers who miss out on education are more likely to have sex younger, less likely to use contraception, and more likely to get pregnant.
A survey carried out as part of the 2001 census in the UK showed that fewer than half of teenage mothers were going to school when they got pregnant. About a quarter of boys and a third of girls who left school at 16 with no qualifications did not use contraception when they first had sex, compared to only 6% of boys and 8% girls who stayed on till 17 or over and got qualifications.
A 2008 study of 38 mostly poor, developing countries found that 15- to 17-year-old girls who were enrolled in school were less likely to have had sex than girls who weren’t in education. Nearly 13 million adolescent girls give birth each year in developing countries; a girl growing up in Chad is more likely to die in childbirth than she is to attend secondary school, according to the IPPF. But if a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, on average she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
Leaving school also affects chances of picking up STIs: studies of HIV in Africa and Latin America have found that education lowers women’s risk of infection and the prevalance of risky behaviour.
Without the natural hub for young people that is created by school to rely on, how do sexual health professionals ensure the most vulnerable teenagers get much needed education and access to services?
Read the rest here.
P.S. This is one of the many reasons providing quality online sex education is so very important.
[from Yes!] A Bill of Rights for Occupied Communities
Photo by Rich
When communities try to keep corporations from engaging in activities they don’t want, they often find they don’t have the legal power to say “no.” Why? Because our current legal structure too often protects the “rights” of corporations over the rights of actual human beings.
If we are to elevate our rights and the rights of our communities above those of a corporate few, we, too, need to transform the way laws work.
As we wrote in Turning Occupation into Lasting Change, mainstream progressive groups have failed by constraining their activities within legal and regulatory systems purposefully structured to subordinate communities to corporate power. Truly effective movements don’t operate that way. Abolitionists never sought to regulate the slave trade; they sought to transform the legal structure that supported it by treating slaves as property rather than people under the law. Suffragists did the same with the legal status of women.
This style of organizing moves away from traditional activism—mired in letter writing campaigns and lowest common denominator federal and state legislation—toward a new activism in which communities claim the right to make their own decisions, directly.
To help them do so, we’re offering the model Community Bill of Rights template below, a legislative template for communities that want to protect their own rights. It’s based on real laws already passed from the municipal to the national level—from Pittsburgh stripping drilling corporations of Constitutional “rights” to Ecuador including legal rights for nature in its Constitution. Think of the template as a menu to pick and choose what’s important in your community. It’s meant to provide a framework and a starting point, not necessarily to be used in its entirety.
Passing a new bill of rights is a way for activists to “occupy” their cities with new legal structures that empower community majorities over corporate minorities, rather than the other way around.
Community Bill of Rights of [your city]
Section 1 - Authority
This Community Bill of Rights is enacted pursuant to the inherent right of the residents of the City of [your city] to govern their own community, including, without limitation, the Declaration of Independence’s declaration that governments are instituted to secure the rights of people, and the [your state] Constitution’s recognition that all political power is inherent in the people.
Section 2 - Findings and Purpose
Whereas, the citizens of [your city] recognize that environmental and economic sustainability cannot be achieved if the rights of municipal majorities are routinely overridden by corporate minorities claiming certain legal powers; and Whereas, the citizens of [your city] believe that local legislation that embodies the interests of the community is mandated by the doctrine of the consent of the governed, and the right to local, community self-government; Whereas, the citizens of [your city] believe that the protection of residents, neighborhoods, and the natural environment constitutes the highest and best use of the police powers that this municipality possesses; Therefore, the residents of the city of [your city] hereby adopt this ordinance which creates a community bill of rights for the residents and communities of the City, and removes certain legal powers from corporations operating within the City of [your city].
Section 3 - Statements of Law - A Community Bill of Rights
3.1. The Right to a Locally-Based Economy
Residents have the right to a locally-based economy to ensure local job creation and enhance local business opportunities. The right shall include the right to have local monies reinvested locally by lending institutions, and the right to equal access to capital, credit, contracts, incentives, and services for businesses owned by [your city] residents.
3.2. The Right To Affordable And Safe Housing
Residents have the right to affordable housing, the right to a safely-maintained dwelling, and the right to be free from housing discrimination. The City shall ensure the availability of low-income housing stock sufficient to meet the needs of the low-income housing community. People and families may only be denied renting or buying of a dwelling for non-discriminatory reasons and may only be evicted from their residence for non-discriminatory causes.
3.3. The Right To Affordable Preventive Health Care
Residents have the right to affordable preventive health care. For residents otherwise unable to access such care, the City shall guarantee such access by coordinating with area health care providers to create affordable fee-for-service programs within eighteen (18) months following adoption of this provision.
3.4. Rights for Nature
Ecosystems and natural communities within the City of [your city] possess inalienable rights to exist and flourish. The rights of rivers, streams, and aquifers shall include the right to sustainable recharge, flows sufficient to protect native fish habitat, and clean water. The City of [your city] and any resident of the City or group of residents have standing to enforce and protect these rights.
3.5. Right to Water
All residents, natural communities and ecosystems in [your city] possess a fundamental and inalienable right to sustainably access, use, consume, and preserve water drawn from natural water cycles that provide water necessary to sustain life within the City.
3.6. Right to Sustainable Food System
All residents of [your city] possess a fundamental and inalienable right to access, use, consume, produce and distribute foods generated from sustainable farming practices, and to be free of infection, or infestation or drift by any means, from genetically engineered life forms or genetically modified organisms.
3.7. The Right To Affordable And Renewable Energy
Residents have the right to access affordable and renewable energy sources.
3.8. Right to Constitutional Protections in the Workplace
Employees shall possess United States and [your state] Bill of Rights’ constitutional protections in the workplace within the City of [your city], and workers in unionized workplaces shall possess the right to collective bargaining.
3.9. Right to Determine the Future of Neighborhoods
Neighborhood majorities shall have the right to approve all zoning changes proposed for their neighborhood involving significant commercial, industrial, or residential development. It shall be the responsibility of the proposer of the zoning change to acquire the approval of the neighborhood majority, and the zoning change shall not be effective without it.
3.10. Right to a Free, Open and Accessible Internet
(a) All residents of the City of [your city] shall possess the right to a free and open internet, which shall include, but not be limited to, the right to access, use, send, post, receive, or offer lawful content, applications, or services of the user’s choice.
(b) All residents of the City of [your city] shall possess the right to be free from provider service and performance level discrimination based on the identity, source or type of individual content or service providers.
3.11. Right to a Citizen Managed and Accountable Police Force
All residents of the City of [your city] have a right to a police force managed by a civilian police chief held fully accountable by an elected panel of citizens.
3.12. Right to Clean and Fair Elections Free from Corporate Interference
Residents of [your city] possess the right to fair elections, which shall include the right to an electoral process free from corporate involvement.
3.13. Right to Clean Government
Residents of [your city] have the right to clean government, which shall include the right to a City legislative process free from corporate lobbying and involvement.
3.14. Right to Marriage Equality
Residents of [your city] have the right to gender-neutral marriages for both same- and opposite-sex couples.
Section 4 - Prohibitions and Corporate Legal Privileges
4.1. Prohibition on Corporate Personhood and Privileges
Corporations and other business entities which violate the rights secured by this Community Bill of Rights shall not be deemed to be “persons,” afforded by the United States and [your state] Constitutions, nor possess any other legal rights, privileges, powers, or protections which would interfere with the enforcement of rights enumerated by this Charter.
4.2. Ban on Electioneering
It shall be unlawful for any corporation to make a contribution or expenditure to influence any election within the City of [your city].
4.3. Ban on Lobbying
It shall be unlawful for any corporation to communicate with an elected official within the City of [your city] urging support or opposition to pending legislation. This ban shall not be construed to prohibit open forum communications between corporate lobbyists and elected officials.
Section 5 - People’s Right to Self Government
All residents of [your city] possess the fundamental and inalienable right to a form of governance where they live which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people, that all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and consent, and that corporate entities and their directors and managers shall not enjoy special privileges or powers under the law which make community majorities subordinate to them.
Section 6 - Enforcement
6.1. The City of [your city] may enforce this Community Bill of Rights through an action in equity brought in the [your court of jurisdiction]. In such an action, the City of [your city] shall be entitled to recover all costs of litigation, including, without limitation, expert and attorney’s fees.
6.2. Any resident of [your city] shall have the authority to enforce this Community Bill of Rights through an action in equity brought in the [your court of jurisdiction]. In such an action, the resident shall be entitled to recover all costs of litigation, including, without limitation, expert and attorney’s fees.
Section 7 - Severability
The provisions of this Community Bill of Rights are severable. If any court of competent jurisdiction decides that any section, clause, sentence, part, or provision of this Ordinance is illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences, parts, or provisions of the Community Bill of Rights.
Section 8 - Repealer
All inconsistent provisions of prior Ordinances adopted by the City of [your city] are hereby repealed, but only to the extent necessary to remedy the inconsistency.
This model was developed by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. You can learn more about CELDF’s theory of change, its democracy school educational programs on corporate power and its global organizing efforts for community rights at their website: www.celdf.org.
You can also find the model Community Bill of Rights template for Occupy Communities as a google docor as a pdf.
Thomas Linzey and Jeff Reifman wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Thomas Linzey is the Executive Director of theCommunity Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit law firm which provides legal assistance to communities struggling to protect community self-government and the natural environment from corporate decision-making. Jeff Reifman is co-founder of Envision Seattle, a rights-building effort modeled after CELDF’s work. He’s also a technologist, freelance writer and organizer.
how to find race and privilege fail in one easy lesson
I shared my recent thoughts on privilege, white-face on brown voices, male face on feminist voices and cis-het face on queer voices over at DailyKos. It’s a good site for group politics and like any group of people, it has blind spots and privilege issues.
In general terms, conservatives tend to celebrate privilege. They not only admit it exists, but openly seek to gain and exploit it. This leaves the undoing of privilege in the intellectual bucket of liberals and progressives. Being progressive and privileged is not desired and can be embarrassing, so also generally speaking, liberals and progressives can be tempted to deny their privilege.
And that is how very often, we end up smack dab in the middle of race fail.
I won’t post them all, but take a look at the comments on the thread there.
Here are a few of the nuggets left for me in the comments:
- It’s only a conversation about “white man’s burden” if Kipling is mentioned. (god, this could have saved me hours of arguments)
- when dismissing tumblr, refer to it as twitter
- declare that you have no interest in knowing about it or what ‘cis’ means.
- it doesn’t help anything to pummel the white man
- when the topic is privilege masses ignoring brown / queer / female voices for cis-het-white-males who repeat those ignored voices, talk exclusively about a cis-het-white-male
- as always, when race or privilege are the topic in a white space of hundreds of thousands of readers, the most common reply is: crickets