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Banksy.  [Source]

Banksy. [Source]

I hate TV, and watch it only rarely, so on a lark I just googled “People Who Watch Too Much TV” and came up with an interesting article over at The Minimalist.

This particular reason for not watching TV resonated with me:

It is taking you away from the real people all around you. The characters on television are not real. They are thought up in an office building and given life on a piece of paper. In contrast, you are surrounded everyday by real people living real lives. These real people are facing real problems. They need you. And you need them.

Have you ever met people who can’t seem to talk about anything other than what they saw on TV?  I meet them all the time.  How much of our lives do we waste watching fake stories about fake people, soaking up advertising slogans and piss-poor values, rather than living our own lives, getting to know real people, and thinking our own thoughts?

Read the whole article here.  (Skip the stupid comments; they seem to be unmoderated.)

Let us be clear: feminism is out to screw patriarchy. It’s not there to be wheedling and apologetic. It’s not there to teach women to cope with life as subordinates. It’s not there to promote a chirpy, can-do response to a cat-call, a hand on the arse, a tongue down the throat, an unwanted grope or a rape. And if you’re thinking “all this sounds a bit judgmental,” I do understand. I know words like “patriarchy” and “male dominance” make people feel uncomfortable (I’d call it “feminismphobia” if it wasn’t time we stopped pathologising dissent). I know some women have a deep-rooted fear of how feminism could change their sexual landscape. To support something which is ultimately for everyone – but not specifically for you – is difficult, but feminism is not about misusing words (empowerment, choice, freedom) to cover up the things we don’t want to see. We’re here to knock down the entire edifice, not repaint the walls.

– Glosswitch, “Sex-positive feminism is doing the patriarchy’s work for it

Victims

M.K. Hajdin:

Those who think feminists are all “victims” who are just victimizing and oppressing themselves should read this now. They won’t, because they’re smug, privileged assholes.

Originally posted on some of this must be true:

I’m going to depart from my usual program of feminist theory and literature for a moment to write about victims – specifically, the way that “victims” are constructed under patriarchy. To stop male violence – or, let’s be less ambitious, to reduce it, to reduce its effects, to help its victims, to help ourselves if/when we become victims of it – this is something feminists need to understand. And I’m not sure that we necessarily do, or not as well as we could. So this is an attempt to move a little further in that direction. It’s not my work, not at all really – I didn’t come up with these ideas in the first place, and then something like thirty other women have contributed, in discussions, over a period of time, but I can’t name any of them due to anonymity. I did feel, though, when hearing this and…

View original 1,434 more words

Two new pieces

 

Blue Copper 3 by M.K. Hajdin

Blue Copper 3 by M.K. Hajdin

Here are two of my new paintings.

redredsun

Red Red Sun by M.K. Hajdin

Blue, White 2 by M.K. Hajdin

Blue, White 2 by M.K. Hajdin

I feel like I’m being more true to myself by being essentially worthless in this society.

Tyler Funk

Me too, Tyler.

Artists are basically worthless to society; there are too many of us, and we produce luxury items that no one really needs in a world with too much luxury for too few.  Disabled people are considered worthless because they can’t slave away to make our corporate overlords even richer.  So being a disabled artist entails double the worthlessness.

But the society we live in is so sick, and its priorities so twisted, that I would hate myself if it ever embraced me, for then I would know I’d gone wrong.

I’m proud not to fit into this sick, sad world.

Objectification is depressing.  Here, have a cat pic.

Objectification is depressing. Here, have a cat pic.

Huffington Post Writer Almost Gets It, but Then Fails:

In this essay at the Huffington Post, Lori Day takes on the subject of how men don’t have to be beautiful the way women do and she nearly, nearly nails it:

“Women of all ages, races, body types, and occupations can now show society that they are equally deserving of being objectified — not just the young, thin, white hotties who typically get that special honor. Today, if you’re female, you’re never too old, too large, or too anything to be photographed or painted while naked or scantily clad, and duly lauded for your physical attributes. Hooray!”

Bonus points for the sarcasm.  The article starts out so promising, with just a minor flub here:

“It is legitimate to want to broaden our extremely narrow definitions of female beauty beyond extremely thin, extremely young, extremely white, and extremely western ideals.”

No, it’s not legitimate, because as this very article points out, all expanding the definition of beauty does is expand the range of women to be objectified and sexualized.  Maybe that’s a short-term gain for those  non-conventionally beautiful who want social approval and husbands, but it does nothing to advance the interests of women as a class.

As I’ve pointed out before on this very blog, beauty is a brutally oppressive hierarchy that keeps women down.  As with all hierarchies, the end goal of feminism is not to expand, but to dismantle it.

She goes on about objectification at some length, all of it good, and then comes the massive fail:

“Look, I’m not foolish enough to think that the male gaze will ever go away (or even should), nor do I believe it will ever cease being a driving force behind what a lot of women themselves have come to view as empowering. ”

Like other liberal feminists, she’s setting her sights pretty low.

The Male Gaze turns women into objects, not people, so damn right it should go away, and in a post-patriarchal society, it will.  The problem is that Day can’t imagine a world without patriarchy.  To her, male domination and the dehumanization of women is just “natural” and a given; all we can do is angle for a better deal with our masters.    Women who have come to view themselves as “empowered” by catering to the Male Gaze aren’t really empowered, as Day seems to know but won’t come right out and say.

But she goes on to say “I understand human nature, but I still want more for girls and women.”

Without dismantling the patriarchy it ain’t gonna happen.  And the first step to dismantling the patriarchy is acknowledging that it is a social construct, and not “human nature”.

 

 

 

 

 

On fashion

David Bowie

David Bowie can have fun with this shit, because it’s not compulsory for men.  (source)

We’ve got the goon squad, and we’re coming to town….

– David Bowie, “Fashion”

When I was 13, I had only the vaguest stirrings of what would eventually make me into a feminist.   But I was brutally aware, as only a 13-year-old can be,  of the strict social caste system among kids.  I was aware that I was not thin or pretty enough to be one of the cool kids, and I was too poor to afford the clothes that signified status.  I grew up in a ghetto section of a large California city, part of and surrounded by poverty.  If you weren’t from around there, you might think that the poor kids wouldn’t care as much about having the right clothing as the rich kids, but you’d be wrong.  Designer clothing was EVERYTHING.  To the point where many of our parents sought out cheap designer knockoffs for us at the swap meet in the hopes of helping us fit in.  If you showed up at school in a dress from K-Mart, everyone knew it and would mock you mercilessly.    They always knew where the cheap clothes came from.

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