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Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a truly extraordinary woman.

So I take it she was given the Hedy Lamarr/Rosalind Franklin treatment? Fucking assholes. So you know what?





Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a truly extraordinary woman.

So I take it she was given the Hedy Lamarr/Rosalind Franklin treatment? Fucking assholes. So you know what?



(via pashawictorwictor)

I am grade 12 student who has just recently graduated. You might call me accomplished, and in a way, I am, but not in the way you’d think. 12 years of pouring over text books and being lined up to be judged in front of my peers has not made me any more intelligent. I can tell you the first 45 digits of Pi and I can explain to you the difference between an acid and a base, I can recite the Pythagorean Theorem in my sleep, I will recite lines out of a textbook like they are a religion. But I cannot tell you the value of security, or of kindness. The distinct contrast between personal health and personal gain. I can tell you in grade 10 four of my classmates attempted to take their own lives before finals. I can tell you our counsellors office is always booked. I can tell you how when I didn’t understand something in AP Chemistry my teacher asked me to leave if I could not participate in his class. I merely asked him to explain a question. Instead of doing his job and teaching, he told me to leave. Told me I was not good enough to be there. Mistakes are viewed as failure in these hallways. A wrong answer is a sin you must atone to, not a human error, but a flaw so grand it defines your entire life course. There is no “average” here. We all must exceed expectations. Do your parents know that a grade that is considered average is a “C”? When I got a C in fourth grade my parents grounded me for a month. They said I was lazy and stupid and incompetent and that I’d better smarten up and stop fooling around. I never fooled around. I am driven by a deep need to impress others. I never fool around. I worked and worked and worked, with a deep hollow of anxiety in my chest. I have never been good at History, but I worked and worked and I attained at best a low B. It was not good enough. It is not said but we are expected to put our education before our personal health. It is not asked of us, but it is what we must do to achieve what we are asked to achieve. Our teachers will tell you, “Oh, I only give them one hour of homework each night.” Which is essentially true, each of my five teachers only gives me one to two hours of homework each night. Hmm, that adds up to 5-10 hours of homework, and overdue classwork, and projects. Say goodbye to sleep, say goodbye to feeling calm. I’ve developed a deep rooted anxiety disorder due to school and perfectionistic tendencies. Even when you get 100 percent on an assignment they still criticise you, it is never good enough. One slip, and you are in deep deep trouble. I can tell you that 90 percent of us try our hardest, and our teachers and parents stand in the sidelines, screaming, “You can do better than that!”
Why I say our education system is flawed (via moaka)

(via rue-of-equality)

The perpetuation of the mythology that trans women deserve violence because we “deceive” straight men needs to be debunked and put to rest once and for all.
Laverne Cox, in a Huffington Post essay for Transgender Day of Remembrance (via janetmock)

(via ghouldilocks)

The latest issue of TIME Magazine proclaims marriage equality “already won”, regardless of the Supreme Court’s imminent rulings. “The Supreme Court hasn’t made up its mind - but America has” reads the cover.

(via dizzykins7)



Body modifications do not change a person’s education, worth, much less their feelings, but people keep pointing their finger. This is a form of art and personal expression. It’s their body and their life; you shouldn’t judge!


(via glaz-almaz)

There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.

Melissa McEwan, of course, on the terrible bargain. My life as a woman, as a queer person, as a fat person, is not your thought experiment.  (via sanitywatchers)


(via itscandidlycara)

“Can I just play devil’s advocate here for a second-” “NO YOU FUCKING CAN’T.”

(via deadladyofclowntown)

(via glaz-almaz)

It’s dedicated to Wangari Maathai, who remembered the beautiful bountifulness of her land before the colonial invaders laid waste to it, and she resolved to bring it back to health by planting trees. And as you know, she died last year. Rest in Well Done; beloved sister of our clan.

You ask me why I smile
when you tell me you intend
in the coming national elections
to hold your nose
and vote for the lesser of two evils.
There are more than two evils out there,
is one reason I smile.
Another is that our old buddy Nostradamus
comes to mind, with his fearful
400 year old prophecy: that our world
and theirs too
(our “enemies” – lots of kids included there)
will end (by nuclear nakba or holocaust)
in our lifetime. Which makes the idea of elections
and the billions of dollars wasted on them
somewhat fatuous.
A Southerner of Color,
my people held the vote
very dear
while others, for centuries,
merely appeared to play
with it.
One thing I can assure
you of is this:
I will never betray such pure hearts
by voting for evil
even if it were microscopic
which, as you can see in any newscast
no matter the slant,
it is not.
I want something else;
a different system
One not seen
on this earth
for thousands of years. If ever.
Democratic Womanism.
Notice how this word has “man” right in the middle of it?
That’s one reason I like it. He is right there, front and center.

But he is surrounded.
I want to vote and work for a way of life
that honors the feminine;
a way that acknowledges
the theft of the wisdom
female and dark Mother leadership
might have provided our spaceship
all along.
I am not thinking
of a talking head
kind of gal:
happy to be mixing
it up
with the baddest
bad boys
on the planet
her eyes a slit
her mouth a zipper.
No, I am speaking of true
regime change.
Where women rise
to take their place
en masse
at the helm
of earth’s frail and failing ship;
where each thousand years
of our silence
is examined
with regret,
and the cruel manner in which our values
of compassion and kindness
have been ridiculed
and suppressed
brought to bear on the disaster
of the present time.
The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave
it there.
I am thinking of Democratic, and, perhaps
Socialist, Womanism.
For who else knows so deeply
how to share but Mothers
and Grandmothers? Big sisters
and Aunts?
To love
and adore
both female and male?
Not to mention those in between.
To work at keeping
the entire community
fed, educated
and safe?
Democratic womanism,
Democratic Socialist
would have as its icons
such fierce warriors
for good as
Vandana Shiva
Aung San Suu Kyi,
Wangari Maathai
Harriet Tubman
Yoko Ono
Frida Kahlo
Angela Davis
& Barbara Lee:
With new ones always rising, wherever you look.

You are also on this list, but it is so long (Isis would appear midway) that I must stop or be unable to finish the poem! So just know I’ve stood you in a circle that includes Marian Wright Edelman, Amy Goodman, Sojourner Truth, Gloria Steinem and Mary McLeod Bethune. John Brown, Frederick Douglass, John Lennon and Howard Zinn are there. Happy to be surrounded!

There is no system
There is no system
now in place
that can change
the disastrous course
the Earth is on.
Who can doubt this?
The male leaders
of Earth
appear to have abandoned
their very senses
though most appear
to live now
in their heads.
They murder humans and other
forests and rivers and mountains
every day
they are in office
and never seem
to notice it.
They eat and drink devastation.
Women of the world,
Women of the world,
Is this devastation Us?
Would we kill whole continents for oil
(or anything else)
rather than limit
the number of consumer offspring we produce
and learn how to make our own fire?
Democratic Womanism.
Democratic Socialist Womanism.
A system of governance
we can dream and imagine and build together. One that recognizes
at least six thousand years
of brutally enforced complicity
in the assassination
of Mother Earth, but foresees six thousand years
ahead of us when we will not submit.
What will we need? A hundred years
at least to plan: (five hundred will be handed us
when the planet is scared enough)
in which circles of women meet,
organize ourselves, and,
allied with men
brave enough to stand with women,
men brave enough to stand with women,
nurture our planet to a degree of health.
And without apology —-
(impossible to make
a bigger mess than has been made already) -—
devote ourselves, heedless of opposition,
to tirelessly serving and resuscitating Our Mother ship
and with gratitude
for Her care of us
worshipfully commit
rehabilitating it.

I don’t like this expression ‘First World problems.’ It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.
Teju Cole (via semperes)

(via slytherenne)



Things NOT To Say To A Person With A Mental Illness

  • Snap out of it.
  • What do you have to be depressed about?
  • I know exactly how you feel. 
  • You’re just going to have to try harder. 
  • I hope you’re not doing this for attention. 
  • Have you tried praying about it?
  • You’re so melodramatic. 
  • You just have to get over it and move on. 
  • Oh, yeah, I have depression, too. But I don’t see a therapist or take meds. I’m strong enough to deal with it on my own. 
  • Don’t you think it’s time to stop being sad and just cheer up?
  • There’s nothing wrong with you. You need to learn how to smile and be happy. 

All of these things have been said to me; the last one was what the doctor doing my intake interview at a crisis stabilization unit told me when I described my suicide attempt. 

Anyone want to add on to this list?

What sucks is that it’s not even always what the other party is explicitly stating. Sometimes it’s just microagressions. Or it’s like they have said some of these sorts of things in the past, and so I have gradually learned to intuit these sorts of derogatory perspectives from their facial expressions, demeanor, and/or irritated silences.  

People who deal with mental illness (or even just a significant degree of cognitive impairment) frequently deal with invalidation, emotional abuse (including shaming, covert microagressions, condescensing language), and unrequested advice. They receive a lot of innane but supposedly helpful advice from people who are not mentally ill themselves but who have a tremendous amount of confidence in their ability to diagnosis other people, un-diagnose other people, and/or resolve other people’s problems by means of antipathy-laden facial expressions or disparaging/abusive remarks.  

General things to avoid doing: (1) Invalidating people’s experience, (2) emotionally abusing people, (3) giving out un-requested tips on how to overcome one’s mental illness, (4) repetitively pestering someone verbally in an attempt to motivate them to spontaneously heal themselves of their mental health problems and/or their cognitive impairments.  

Question: “Why should I avoid doing those things?  I just want to help!” 

Answer: “Um… because you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about?”

Regarding mental health professionals:

In a perfect world, mental health professionals would always be right. They would never make diagnostic or treatment mistakes. Their professional instincts would be spot on every time. Sadly, we don’t live in that world. In the real world, many properly credentialed “mental health professionals” aren’t actually competent to handle certain types of issues and/or certain types of intersectionalities. Sometimes professionals have deep-seated biases, bigotries, prejudices, -isms, flawed worldviews, or out-dated knowledge bases. Sometimes professionals are basically competent, yet they still make mistakes periodically. Professional mistakes become more likely during a crisis or a perceived emergency. However, generally speaking, a legitimately competent and non-coercive mental health professional can help a person to resolve (or at least better manage) their mental health issues in time. 

Regarding well-meaning laypeople:

Laypeople who mean well can’t really do much of anything. However, some things that tend to be good include: Listening, demonstrating authentic love, providing validation, and in some cases discussing professional counselling options in a non-threatening and non-coercive type of manner. When it comes to pestering the mentally ill person with advice, don’t do it, and don’t give out advice that is stupid; educate yourself like woah, then maybe your advice won’t come across as so self-evidently worthless. Rule of thumb: Don’t just sputter advice or disparaging remarks at mentally ill person in your life. Ponder the possibility that your super-awesome advice is actually horrible and that your low opinion of the mentally ill person is kind of your own problem.

(via dissociativedarling-deactivated)



These posts by Golden Notebook, Unkowablewoman, and Unhurriedheart address inclusion of transgender people in the War on Women. My thoughts follow. 


Asker anonymous asks:
Wait, are you against the terminology “war on uterus bearers”? :2
unknowablewoman unknowablewoman said:

it’s like you’ve never even read my Tumblr

yes, anon, yes

I believe that erasing the violent misogyny inherent in the anti-choice movement is dangerous because it only serves to further decenter women from the issue when we are alreadyseen as incubators and non-people. Referring to anyone as “people with uteri” is gross as fuck. Abortion/reproductive rights have been contextualizedas a women’s issue and I think it’s disrespectful and  misogynist to remove that context, both rhetorically and practically. If woman-centered language is cissexist here it’s because we have been reduced to our reproductive organs.  Furthermore, as a cis woman, it doesn’t even make any sense for me to talk about these things as a “uterus bearer” issue when I have no idea what it’s like to be seeking reproductive healthcare as a trans person. Why would I do that? When I talk about abortion rights, I’m going to talk about my experiences as a woman and the experiences of the other women I know who are being TARGETED by this legislation. This legislation IS about us. Tough fucking shit if you narcissistic babies cannot handle women talking about their experiences as women. 

And finally, let’s get fucking real, people. How many non-women are having abortions? Really? Do we have any statistics on this? I’m truly sorry for anyone who experiences an unplanned pregnancy, but when 90%+ (and I’m being generous here) of the people actually seeking these services are women then I think it’s completely fucking asinine to expect us all to change the conversation. Not everything is going to be about you 24/7 and you can call it erasure until you’re blue in the face but I’m going to call it  the real world.Andwhile you’re tearing down well-meaning, experienced activists, volunteers and reproductive health workers over something as petty as this, the GOP/Religious Right are fucking succeeding at rolling back access to reproductive healthcare of all kinds. They are SUCCEEDING and you honestly fucking think that now is the time to argue about this? You think this is a game? Protip: if women can’t access abortion, then nobody can.

Some insufferable SJW who I can’t remember made a post about this lamenting the fact that we don’t “count their dead at all” when we don’t acknowledge that non-women need these services too and I find that hilarious because they’re acting as if our dead are counted. As if society gives two shits about the woman seeking an abortion to get out of an abusive relationship and as if correcting all the language to ~uterus-bearers~ in our literature will somehow fix everything. There are enormous barriers that trans people face in accessing reproductive healthcare and those definitely need to be addressed but I hardly think telling women they can’t contextualize the attacks they are experiencing as a War on Women is going to solve that. In fact, I know it won’t, which is why I’ve stepped away from internet SJ for the most part and do not even care anymore how much hate/unfollowing I get for this. I consider anyone who disagrees with me on this to be nothing more than a child and I don’t need to argue with children anymore. 

you can unfollow me now and send me hate mail and call me cis scum or whatever is hip these days 



vanboobsenstein replied to your post: Seriously, I’m not going to pretend unknowablewoman is a ~saint~ or anything, but you can go ahead and unfollow if you’re going to throw shade.

wait. someone is saying that cis-women should simply call themselves “uterus bearers”? FUCK that noise.

It is truly unbearable. While LORD KNOWS trans women are incredibly, incredibly marginalized by the medical community and problematized and God knows what else, the simple fact is that anti-choice discourse is centered around cis women. John Boehner is not trans-bashing when he attempts for the umpteenth time to defund Planned Parenthood. Rick Perry is not gleefully rubbing his hands, thinking about all the “people who don’t ID as women who are pregnant”, when he diverts money to crisis pregnancy centers.

This particular brand of misogyny is about cis women, and to insist we call ourselves uterus-bearers, which btw is incredibly robotic and dehumanizing, is imo just as misogynistic. 

This is not to say that trans-bashing does not fall on a spectrum of misogyny - of course it does! - but that one-upping women who want to talk about their experiences with your special Social Justice Super Secret Password Handshake is not only annoying as hell, but actively alienating to those who actually work with women getting abortions, like unknowablewoman. 

Discussing misogyny is not a zero-sum game, where excluding trans issues on this one issue means that there isn’t enough oxgyen to talk about it when it’s relevant to many other things. Those who act like it is are being willfully disingenuous and I’m over it. 

I hope you don’t mind that I reblog this, but I just want to say that this really hits on the head what I’ve been mulling about for weeks. The reason being called a ‘person with a uterus’ is unappealing to me is that it strips me of my womanhood somehow. I am not just my reproductive organs and fuck you if that’s what you want me to identify as. I support the fight for trans* rights, but I am also a cis woman who is mainly interested in the fight against cis women. Although trans* and cis women overlap sometimes, to say that our entire fight is all about trans* rights is very off-putting. Cis women in particular are major political targets right now and although it’s all fun and rainbows to be inclusive, sometimes you just don’t fit into parts of a movement.

To quote Flavia Dzodan, My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit. The arguments here about why it’s ok to keep excluding trans people from the war on women are bullshit. Yes, I agree “uterus bearers” is not the way to correct that. I don’t want to be reduced to a body part. But using that as an excuse to continue the exclusion of trans people is ridiculous. Cis-women are not the only political targets right now. Um, hello, reauthorization of VAWA was opposed by Republicans because it extended protections beyond heterosexual cis-women! The fact that most politicians aren’t thinking about trans people when they wage war on reproductive rights, equal pay, etc. is no excuse for the feminist movement not to think about the ways this war affects trans people. Do we want to be on the same level as right wing politicians?

And that language of “inclusion” is still used is illustrative of the fact that cis-women still believe that we own this movement. That we will let you in when we think it will benefit us but if it doesn’t then you are on your own. And telling trans people that not everything is about them 24/7 is absolutely laughable and insulting. As if the feminist movement in general is always considering trans issues and we just right now need to focus on cis-women so back off you greedy trans people! These arguments are basically saying that if we consider the ways these attacks affect trans people then that will lead to the erasure of cis-women! Ridiculous!! Figuring out how to take a white, middle class cis-woman led movement and turn it something that actually makes a difference in all people’s lives is hard as hell. But we must find a way to have an intersectional feminist movement that actually ends the multiple forms of oppression we face. And we must find a way to do that without erasing anyone’s experiences or contributions. 

And I’m just going to point everyone to the amazing tumblr: Trans Repro Justice

Educate yourselves. 

But as a general rule, if you’re not the original target of an insult, you can’t be the one to reclaim it.




Here’s how The History Channel works:


Launched in 1995, The History Channel spent quite a bit of time on World War II, leading to “The Hitler Channel” as a sarcastic moniker. Realizing Nazi Germany can only be so profitable, The History Channel began expanding its chosen topics. The shift to reality TV came in 2007, as they began airing Modern Marvels. That show spun off Ice Road Truckers. The History Channel also changed their slogan to “History made every day” - perhaps realizing they were beginning to ignore their original mission of actual history. In 2008, The History Channel simply became “History”.

As The New York Times explains:

Its biggest show for the last two years has been “Pawn Stars,” about a family that buys and sells watches, necklaces and artifacts. Just last week, History scheduled a spinoff, “Cajun Pawn Stars.” But the channel is also considering shows that may seem suited for TNT or even ESPN, like a “Hatfields and McCoys” mini-series and a jousting competition. The goal, it seems, is to steal market share from the other big boys.

History has been able to declare its “best year ever” for five years in a row because it took what could be seen as a radical turn away from its brand nearly five years ago.

Summary from Cracked:


Nat Geo, owned by the News Corporation, launched in 2001 with lofty goals. A news release from National Geographic proclaims “the 21st century would prove to be the real age of discovery as the pace of scientific research and technology accelerates” and that the new Nat Geo channel would bring these discoveries to life. The new channel originally planned to recap science news in an “All Things Considered” format, and to produce shows in-house using the National Geographic Society’s explorers-in-residence. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Well, in order to keep up with History, Nat Geo began adding reality television shortly after its launch. This included programs like Border Wars, Swamp Men, Rocket City Rednecks, and Knights of Mayhem.

Instead of the quality illumination of scientific discovery, in its quest for ratings and keeping up with The History Channel, Nat Geo is morphing into a knock-off of History. The latest tragedy taken up by Nat Geo is Killing Lincoln, Bill O’Reilly’s book about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination that is so riddled with factual inaccuracies, the Ford Theater’s in-house bookstore refuses to carry it

So thanks, History. See what you’ve done? History is choking the life out of history, science, and whatever else it can set its grubby corporate hands upon.

And this, kids, is why we need PBS.

This pisses me off so much because when I was growing up, I used to watch it along with Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. I loved that stuff! It really peaked my interest in other cultures and history and other places. To see it change so much in the past years is just upsetting and depressing.

Slightly OT, but when I went to Wiki to see what year it aired, I laughed when I got to this:

 For some unknown reason the History Channel rarely airs shows actually relative to History, rather many programs compare contemporary culture and technology with the past, while some programs have an unfortunately more esoteric focus such as conspiracy theoryreligious interpretation, UFO speculation, or reality television.



“Tell me again how lazy I am. I never stop working, and I will not clear $20,000 of income this year. My relationships with friends and family have deteriorated because I cannot afford to take an hour or two off on weekends to hang out”

(via sinshine)

The ethnocentric idea that the white woman (or man) is the norm- measure of all things- is ethnocentric, and has dominated Western scholarly writings in at least the last two centuries. Consequently, cross-cultural women’s studies have largely focused on finding patriarchy, and deciding what strategy Western feminists can use to liberate women of Africa, Latin America and Asia from its shackles. There have been few genuine scholarly attempts to uncover and analyze the role and importance of gender differences in other societies and cultures. Scholars have simply assumed that if gender is salient in the West, it must be salient in all societies across time and space. […] These feminists’ vantage point, entailed rescuing the exploited, helpless, brutalized, and downtrodden African woman from the savagery of the African male and from a primitive culture symbolized by barbaric customs. In their passionate zeal, it was inconceivable to some white women that there might be any society in the world in which women fare better than they do in the West.The ethnocentrism of some Western feminists ranged from the idea that there is a universal woman who is white (like them), to the imposition of Western concepts and values to interpret the experiences of “other” women.